Monday 31st August 2015
NEWS: Friday, August 28TH: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority says it has granted a restricted banking licence to Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific Company Limited (GSAPCL) under the Banking Ordinance. GSAPCL, incorporated in Hong Kong, is a wholly-owned banking subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The number of restricted licence banks in Hong Kong is now 24 - Apple launched its first Australian dollar corporate bond issue, raising $1.2bn within two hours this morning. Strong demand for the US tech giant’s fixed and floating, four and seven year Kangaroo bonds saw the firm outstrip predictions it would raise between $500m and $1bn. Apple bonds are popular because the AA+ rated company is considered an ultra-safe investment, although yields are correspondingly low — about 3% on four-year bonds and about 3.8% on seven-year bonds - The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the responses received to the Joint Committee Discussion Paper on Key Information Document for PRIIPS. The responses can be downloaded from the regulator's website - Romania’s MV Petrom reportedly is planning a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange. According to Romanian press reports, the local investment fund Fondul Proprietatea may sell a significant stake in the company via public offering on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange. OMV Petrom, with a current market capitalisation of €4.85bn has announced that it will ask its shareholders’ approval for a secondary listing in London. The general shareholders meeting is scheduled for September 22nd. Austrian group OMV, holds 51% of the company’s shares; other shareholders include the Romanian state, via the Energy Ministry, with a 20.6% stake, and investment fund Fondul Proprietatea, which holds 19%. The remaining 9.4% is free-float - Morgan Stanley (NYSE/MS) today announced the launch of a new fund, the IPM Systematic Macro UCITS Fund, under its FundLogic Alternatives plc umbrella. The fund provides exposure to IPM’s Systematic Macro strategy, which is based on IPM’s proprietary investment models that provide unique insights into how fundamental drivers interact with the dynamics of asset price returns. The FundLogic Alternatives Platform currently has more than $2.6bn in assets under management (as of 31 July 2015) and this latest addition expands Morgan Stanley’s offering of global macro strategies - Equities sold off hard this morning as continued pressure on Chinese stocks rippled throughout world markets. Chinese government intervention brought the Shanghai Composite back a positive close; but the question is now, has confidence eroded so much that the market will continue to depend on the government to prop it up? The other key element to consider today is the outcome of the debate in the German parliament on the Greek bailout. Last month, a record 65 lawmakers from the conservative camp broke ranks and refused to back negotiations on the bailout. The daily Bild estimated that up to 120 CDU and CSU members out of 311 might refuse to back the now-agreed deal. However, Chancellor Merkel is looking to secure support from the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel's junior coalition partner, and the opposition Greens which will likely swing the final decision Greece’s way. However, a rebellion by a large number of her allies would be a blow to the highly popular Chancellor.

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  • Friday, 28 August 2015 UK's DMO consults with GEMMS on September through November issuance
    Ten gilt auctions are scheduled in October-December 2015: seven of conventional gilts and three of index-linked gilts. In addition, up to two syndicated offers are envisaged in that period. The DMO says it consulted with gilt edged market makers earlier this week on its issuance schedule. Read more...
  • Friday, 28 August 2015 NEWS IN BRIEF: Friday, August 28th
    News from around the global investment, corporate and capital markets. Read more...
  • Friday, 28 August 2015 MNI Russia business sentiment rises in August
    Russian companies were more upbeat about the business environment in August, in spite of the plunge in oil prices in recent months. The MNI Russia Business Sentiment Indicator rose 1.9% to 52.3 in August from 51.3 in July, the highest since the introduction of sanctions in July 2014. Read more...
  • Friday, 28 August 2015 M&G Real Estate signals rising interest in UK leisure sector
    Rising consumer spend will fuel further growth in the UK’s leisure sector, according to the latest research published today by the leading global real estate fund manager M&G Real Estate. Read more...
  • Thursday, 27 August 2015 NEWS IN BRIEF: THURSDAY, AUGUST 27TH
    News from the corporate, investment and capital markets. This section is updated daily. Read more...
  • Thursday, 27 August 2015 Moody's: Oman's government financing needs grow amid low oil prices
    While solid economic growth continues to support Oman (A1 negative), it’s very high economic and fiscal reliance on the oil and gas sector and limited scope for fiscal reforms will add pressure to public finances in 2015-2016, says Moody's Investors Service in a report. Read more...
  • Thursday, 27 August 2015 US presidential preview: what's at stake in 2016
    The US is back on the election trail once more. Who are the runners and riders? What are the battle lines between the parties this time around? Most of all, are Americans convinced the country is finally back on track--and will they vote accordingly? From Boston, Dave Simons reports. Read more...
  • Thursday, 27 August 2015 Why volatility expectations remain elevated
    We have clearly seen a tremendous amount of volatility across capital markets. Our view heading into the second half of 2015 was that market volatility would be impacted by slowing growth in China, Eurozone tensions and central bank policy divergence, writes Bill Eigen, chief investment officer, Absolute Return and Opportunistic Fixed Income, JPMorgan Asset Management. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2015 Moody's: Province of Buenos Aires's ratings not affected by extended debt issuance
    Moody's Latin America says that the Caa1 - Global Scale local currency and Baa3.ar - Argentina's National Scale ratings to the Province of Buenos Aires´s Series III Local Market Bonds remain unchanged after the issuance of the additional amount of almost ARS188m, in line with the province's long term local currency issuer ratings, which carry negative outlook. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2015 Investor confidence falls in August by 4.5 points to 108.7
    State Street Global Exchange has released the results of the State Street Investor Confidence Index (ICI) for August 2015, which shows the Global ICI has decreased to 108.7, down 4.5 points from July’s revised reading of 113.2. Confidence among North American investors decreased with the North American ICI falling 0.8 points to 119.1, down from July’s revised reading of 119.9. Meanwhile, the Asia ICI rose by 3.5 points to 93.0 while the European ICI fell 6.8 points to 93.5. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2015 Alternative funds growth for Jersey as private placement uptake breaks 200 barrier
    The Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) says the number of Jersey funds marketing into Europe through national private placement regimes (NPPRs) under the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) has broken through the 200 barrier (June this year), underpinned by strong combined performances in Jersey’s alternatives sector where net asset values under administration rose 15% on the previous year. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2015 NEWS IN BRIEF: WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26TH
    News from the corporate, investment and capital markets. This section is updated daily. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 26 August 2015 NZ Reserve Bank consults on bank outsourcing
    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has published a consultation document on potential changes arising out of the review of the outsourcing policy for registered banks. The consultation proposes to retain the objectives of the existing policy and supports banks’ continued use of outsourcing arrangements, but also proposes to update the objectives to better align with Open Bank Resolution (OBR) and to provide more clarity on the policy. Read more...
  • Tuesday, 25 August 2015 Moody's: Vietnam's B1 rating reflects return to rapid growth
    Moody's says that Vietnam's B1 government bond rating is supported by macroeconomic stability and a return to rapid economic growth, but faces challenges related to rising government debt. Read more...
  • Tuesday, 25 August 2015 Moody's reviews offshore drillers for downgrade
    Moody's has placed the ratings of eleven offshore drilling companies under review for downgrade. The companies under review include, Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (A3), Ensco plc (Baa1), Noble Corporation (Cayman Island) (rated subsidiaries Baa3), Rowan Companies Inc. (Baa3), Transocean Inc. (Ba1 Corporate Family Rating or CFR), Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (Ba2 CFR), Seadrill Partners LLC (Ba3 CFR), Shelf Drilling Midco, Ltd (Ba3 CFR), Ocean Rig UDW Inc (B2 CFR), Paragon Offshore plc (B2 CFR), and Pacific Drilling S.A. (B3 CFR). Moody's also affirmed the P-2 Commercial Paper Ratings for Diamond Offshore and Ensco plc, respectively. Read more...
  • Tuesday, 25 August 2015 India Business Sentiment suffers setback in August
    MNI Indicators says Indian businesses were less confident about the business environment in August as subdued domestic demand offset the positive impact of lower inflation and interest rates. The MNI India Business Sentiment Indicator, a gauge of current sentiment among BSE-listed companies, fell by 4.6% to 62.3 in August from 65.3 in July. Read more...

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Key Stories from FTSE Global Markets

This article considers the recent decision in The Queen on the Application of Jason Lord, Paul Reynolds, Justin Mayger v Director of the Serious Fraud Office [2015] EWHC 865 (Admin). It looks at the High Court's ruling to refuse permission to judicially review the decision of the Serious Fraud Office to prevent three senior employees from being accompanied by the external legal representative of their employer at a section 2 compelled interview. Abdulali Jiwaji and Rory Spillman of Signature Litigation take us through process and the implications for witnesses.

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It is probably an understatement to suggest that August was a testing month for emerging markets. Irrespective of the drivers of the recent route the sheer extent of market volatility in recent weeks only served to question the commitment of investors to segment as an allocation choice. Should emerging markets be worried that it is indicative of a lasting directional change?

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At a time when Saudi Arabia continues to pump out oil as demand falls and inventories rise, it has now turned to the capital markets to help prop up budget spend as export revenues and reserves fall. Saudi Arabia has tapped the capital markets twice in the last six weeks: the first involved some SAR15bn ($4bn) in seven and ten year bonds; followed by a SAR20bn issue. The issues were sold down rapidly in the local banking market, but while ratings agencies and investors remained quite sanguine about the bonds, it signals a new direction in Saudi economic affairs.

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The roll out of the Kuwait’s five year development plan (2015-2020) looks to have been revitalised in the summer after something of a hiatus in the first half of the year. Despite low oil prices, and a substantial projected drop in state revenues over the 2015/2016 financial period, Kuwait’s capital goods project market looks once more to be gaining traction. In recent weeks a new refinery project and an extension to Kuwait City’s airport were signed, in deals worth a combined KWD5.2bn (approximately $17.3bn). As of the beginning of August, the country looks to be generating some KWD71bn (around $234bn) of capital goods projects over the coming half decade.

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Friday, 28 August 2015

Qatar’s LNG: trading places

Until last year, Qatar fair dominated the narrow world of LNG. Having consistently controlled a tad over a third of the global market (by comparison, Saudi Arabia barely has 10% of the global oil market). It led in gas liquefaction; its output helped influence prices and its long term offtake contracts were the envy of other producers. Now Qatar has to make some tough choices as aggressive and rising producers such as Australia, the United States have thrown down a competitive gauntlet. Qatar’s once cosy world is not cosy anymore. Can it rise to the challenges it will inevitably face over the coming decade?

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  • Monday, 24 August 2015 12:19 The Allocation Disadvantage
    Kathleen Hughes at Goldman Sachs Asset Management explains how UK corporate pension schemes risk underperforming as a result of historic asset allocation biases.
  • Tuesday, 23 June 2015 09:57 The outlook for emerging markets
    Richard Titherington, Chief Investment Officer for emerging market equities at J.P. Morgan Asset Management Performance so far this year across the emerging market (EM) equity…

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