Wednesday 26th July 2017
NEWS TICKER July 25th: Orezone Gold Corporation (TSXV - ORE) says the Ministry of Mines and Quarries in Burkina Faso, West Africa has issued and Sarama has paid the invoice for the transfer of the Bondi Gold Project (Djarkadougou exploration permit) from Orezone’s subsidiary company to Sarama Resources subsidiary company. This is the last step of the approval process before the official transfer that will be effective when the Ministry of Mines will deliver the new Djarkadougou Order (Arrêté) in Sarama’s name, at which point Sarama Resources shares and warrants issued to Orezone as part of the transaction will be released from escrow. The issuance of the Arrêté is a matter of process which should happen through the course of Q3 2017 - Andrey Solovyev, global head of DCM at VTB Capital reports today that “VTB Capital acted as joint global coordinator on the placement of a five-year $725m eurobond issue with an 8% coupon for Nostrum Oil & Gas PLC. Nostrum Oil & Gas is an independent multi-field oil and gas company engaging in the production, development and exploration of oil and gas in the pre-Caspian Basin. The order book was significantly oversubscribed, driven by a broad range of top quality international accounts. The order book comprised global investors from the following regions: USA - 40%, Great Britain - 39%, Continental Europe - 16%, Asia and Middle East - 4%, CIS - 1%. Investors including Global Asset Managers, Investment Funds, Banks, Pension Funds and Insurance Companies participated in the transaction. Several participants had invested in Nostrum’s previous bond issues. This deal is the third transaction arranged by VTB Capital for Nostrum Oil & Gas PLC, reflecting the depth of expertise at VTB Capital - The US dollar remains under pressure amid heightened market uncertainty over the US administration’s ability to implement key campaign promises including healthcare and tax reform. A downward reassessment in short-term Fed rate hike expectations following a more dovish than expected tone from US Fed chair Janet Yellen at last week’s semi-annual testimony, coupled with disappointing US June inflation and retail sales data, have weighed on market sentiment towards the greenback -- Turning to core government bonds, yields remain off recent multi-month highs. Thursday’s ECB monetary policy meeting decisions will be important in either buoying market sentiment over the summer months, or depressing it -- According to today’s market report from EFG Eurobank in Athens, Greece’s return to financial markets expected this week, is being postponed because the IMF has set a ceiling to the amount of debt that Greece can hold in order for the Fund to participate in Greece’s debt restructuring programme. European Commission officials have reportedly commented that a successful completion of the 3rd Economic Adjustment Programme – due to expire in August 2018 – will require more than one bond issuance by the Greek government for the country to be able to build up a buffer of €9bn which is to come from the ESM loan, the containment of public expenditure and tapping the markets. Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos has subsequently told local press that the country will tap the markets when it estimates that it is in the best possible position with the lowest possible risk -- Moody's Investors Service has today withdrawn the senior unsecured (P)Aa2 provisional rating on the Norwegian railway operator Norges Statsbaner AS (NSB)s medium-term note program and the Aa2 senior unsecured ratings on all the outstanding bonds, with the exception of the Aa2 senior unsecured rating on the CHF325m notes due 2017.The withdrawal of the ratings follows the completion of the transfer of most of NSB's debt, together with the ownership of NSB's rolling stock, to the newly-established company Norske tog As, which has been demerged from the group as part of the railway sector reform -- James Zimmerman, manager of Jupiter’s UK smaller companies fund, says today in his market note that political uncertainty in the UK is likely to create volatility for many domestic-focused companies for some time. He adds that following the UK’s decision to leave the EU in June last year, the unexpected outcome of the snap UK general election has only heightened political uncertainty in the UK. This uncertainty is likely to persist for some time. Over the past year, sterling has fallen by more than 10% against the US dollar, and inflation in the UK has overshot the Bank of England’s target rate, hitting 2.6% in June. Additionally, he says, a number of more domestically-focused UK shares fell sharply immediately after the EU referendum result and have continued to face headwinds due to sterling weakness and increasing inflation pressures. However, in contrast, many UK-listed international earners have continued to rally, benefiting from the sharp depreciation of sterling over the past year -

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Although long standing, in 2016 the country’s privatisation programme was harnessed by the government to encourage foreign investment in minority stakes in a gamut of state-owned firms, include the country’s flagship National Company KazMunaiGas. Since then, the programme has sometimes been mired in questions around governance. Partners, Carter Brod and Aset Shyngyssov of global law firm Morgan Lewis examine the viability of Kazakhstan’s privatisation plans.


Set against a dynamic business backdrop in its own backyard, the European Energy Exchange (EEX) has adopted a confident and bold strategy to establish its global footprint within the exchange industry. Last year’s move into new commodity focused asset classes marks a new dimension in EEX’s growth and its continued transition from Europe’s leading energy exchange towards a global, multi-commodity exchange group. It has provided EEX and its parent company, Deutsche Börse Group, a growing competitive edge, given that it can also provide the vertical post trade support infrastructure required to back its expansion plans. Why has EEX been so successful in Europe, and how does that translate into its plans for global growth?

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Egypt opts for development funds

For the third time this year, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has depreciated the Egyptian pound against the dollar in a foreign exchange auction in mid-October, taking the currency's decline for the year to 9.8%. The pound fell 1.3%(10 piasters) to 7.93 per dollar sell side and 7.88 buy side according to a report by the state-owned Middle East News Agency, which announced that the CBE offered $40m at a regular dollar sale to local lenders. Can the country pick its way out of the blues?


The make-up of shareholders in Turkey’s banking segment has always been a touchstone of wider market change. The country has always been a swing market and the banking system has remained vulnerable, even with an improved capital base, as it has an ultra-high dependency on foreign funding of lending. That vulnerability has resulted in some significant changes in the investment in the country’s banking segment by foreign financial firms who have shown little stickiness in the country when the going gets tougher.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Political uncertainty weighs on Turkey

A survey of 947 respondents in Turkey by Washington think tank PewCentre Research suggests Turks are dissatisfied with the direction of their country. Rising prices, crime and inequality are concerns. Moreover after years of quasi-Islamic rule that has been antipathetic to the military; survey respondents say the military is the only group with a “good influence on the country”. Opinions of the police, national government, religious leaders and the courts are mixed, while views of the media tilt to the negative. More pertinently perhaps, 52% of Turks think their children will be worse off financially in the future. The findings come as voters are scheduled to revisit national government elections on November 1st after the AKP party failed to form a coalition government in June. The upcoming elections will be closely watched, both as a bellwether of wider change in the eastern Mediterranean and as an indicator of the near term prospects for a lynchpin emerging market.

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