Thursday 24th July 2014
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THURSDAY TICKER: JULY 24th 2014 - New opportunities for European businesses, affordable energy bills for consumers, increased energy security through a significant reduction of natural gas imports and a positive impact on the environment: these are some of the expected benefits of the energy efficiency target for 2030 put forward today by the European Commission in a Communication. The proposed target of 30 % builds on the achievements already reached: new buildings use half the energy they did in the 1980s and industry is about 19% less energy intensive than in 2001. The proposed target goes beyond the 25% energy savings target which would be required to achieve a 40% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030. At the same time the framework on energy efficiency put forward today aims to strike the right balance between benefits and costs - The California Pension Fund (CalPERS) has told the American press that it might cutting back on its investments into the hedge fund arena by as much as 40%. A CalPERS spokesman told papers that the investment staff will make a formal recommendation to the board in the fall. CalPERS reported a preliminary 18.4% return on investments for the 12 months that ended June 30th this year. CalPERS’ assets at the end of the fiscal year stood at more than $300bn - The number of funds notifying the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) of their intention to privately place into Europe under AIFMD rules broke through the 150 mark ahead of the end of the AIFMD transitional phase this week. The JFSC figures show that, as at 22 July, a total of 164 funds had opted to make use of Jersey’s private placement route into Europe, and that the UK was the top intended market for managers, followed by Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands - Vodafone Group’s debt rating was cut one level at Moody’s Investors Service after the carrier made multibillion-dollar acquisitions to expand in Spain and Germany. The second-largest wireless company’s senior unsecured debt was cut to Baa1, the third-lowest investment grade, from A3, says Moody. The outlook is stable. Newbury, England-based Vodafone reported net debt of £13.7bn ($23.3bn) for the quarter ended March 31st. It is the first time Moody’s has given Vodafone a rating lower than A3 since 2007. Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings rank Vodafone’s debt at A-, the fourth-lowest investment grade. Vodafone’s acquisition of cable operators in Europe and falling revenue in some of its biggest markets contributed to the cut, Moody’s said - In a separate report issued this week, Moody's says the stable outlook on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Aaa rating reflects the bank's conservative capital and liquidity practices, which should support its solid financial performances despite the challenging operating environment. The rating agency's report is an update to the markets and does not constitute a rating action. Moody's also notes that the bank benefits from very high liquidity, owing to its prudent treasury management policies, favourable debt structure and strong market access.

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Key Stories from FTSE Global Markets

Regardless of interest rates reduction, after record April, issuers’ activity in EM Eurobonds primary market decreased by half, mainly due to the fact that most companies that need financing preferred to enter the market in the first 4 months of the year.

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Any memory of last year’s lowest recorded levels of volatility since the financial crisis has surely been erased with the latest geopolitical events. Uncertainty around the pace of growth in China, the trimming of QE in the US, and mounting concern about Ukraine has meant that 2014 has already been marked down as a volatile year. But despite these shockwaves, for some investors a volatile market does not have to mean market losses. By Ben Few Brown, director, Arcanum Asset Management.

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Market experts at the 2014 thought leadership roundtable on TARGET 2 SECURITIES (T2S)

  • Jo van de Velde, head of product management, Euroclear        
  • Graham Ray, director, global product management, direct securities services, Deutsche Bank
  • Alain Pochet, head of clearing custody & corporate trust services, BNP Paribas Securities Services.
  • Tom Casteleyn, managing director, BNY Mellon        
  • Richard Scavetta, T2S programme director, Citi
  • Eric de Nexon, head of strategy for market infrastructures, Société Générale
  • Alex Dockx, executive director, product strategy, regulations and market infrastructures, Corporate & Investment Banking, JP Morgan  
  • Axel Pierron, head of capital markets, Celent
  • Francesca Carnevale, editor, FTSE Global Markets
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Ever since regulators first proposed that most OTC derivative contracts should settle through central clearing counterparties (CCPs) market participants have predicted a massive shortfall in the amount of high quality collateral available to meet CCP margin requirements. Doomsayers bandied about numbers of Brobdingnagian proportions—in the trillions—that would drive up costs, perhaps to the point where some derivative trades would become uneconomic. The clearing mandates began to take effect last year (at least in the United States) but so far the dire predictions have failed to materialise. The picture could change—the clearing requirements will not be in full force globally for several years—but the scale of any shortfall, if not Lilliputian, is unlikely to pose a major threat. Neil A O’Hara reports.

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Thursday, 22 May 2014

EMIR and the data detectives

Some weeks after the deadline for the start of reporting all derivative trades to new European trade repositories, many firms are still believed to be non-compliant. Some believe the new system could take up to a year to bed down. Indeed, one leading figure said: “It’s just as well it was a soft launch, because if it had been a hard launch it would have been a disaster.” Ruth Hughes Liley looks at the impact of the implementation of EMIR.

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