Tuesday 7th July 2015
NEWS TICKER, TUESDAY, JULY 7TH: Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) has assigned definitive B2 rating to the €400m senior secured notes issued by Senvion Holding GmbH and guaranteed, among others, by Rapid TopCo GmbH, following a review of the final bond documentation. The corporate family rating (CFR) of B1 and the probability of default rating (PDR) of B1-PD of Rapid TopCo GmbH remain unchanged. The outlook on all the ratings is stable. - Interactive Data, a provider of fixed-income evaluated pricing, will provide hourly snaps from its continuous evaluated pricing feed to Algomi Honeycomb (Algomi). Interactive Data will provide evaluated prices to the Honeycomb platform for high-yield and investment-grade US and European corporate bonds. The data will be available to help Algomi buy-side clients to achieve increased pre-trade transparency and price discovery. “Our goal is to give our clients the ability to access pre-trade price data which can be used to help facilitate trades in increasingly illiquid markets,” said Usman Khan, Chief technology officer and co-founder of Algomi. “Our Honeycomb buy-side clients will have access to Interactive Data’s evaluated prices as an important additional reference point that can be considered when comparing dealer bid and offer levels for execution,” he adds. Interactive Data’s continuous evaluated pricing launched in 2014 against a backdrop of a fast-evolving fixed income market structure characterized by shrinking dealer inventories, reduced liquidity, and a changing broker/dealer landscape. The continued shift to electronic trading platforms requires a supply of independent, high-quality data that allows users to assess quote quality and enhance price discovery, in the absence of traditional protocols. Continuous evaluated pricing facilitates this activity. The provision by Interactive Data of fixed-income evaluated pricing to Algomi is another deal in a succession of agreements with electronic trading and software platforms. - Federated Investors, Inc (NYSE: FII), will report financial and operating results for the quarter ended June 30th after the market closeson Thursday, July 23rd. A conference call for investors and analysts will be held at 9am Eastern on Friday, July 24th. President and chief executive officer J Christopher Donahue and chief financial officer Thomas R Donahue will host the call - Zapp today announces that Barclays has joined the financial institutions, retailers, billers and payment providers offering ‘Pay by Bank app’ mobile payments to consumers. Barclays also plans to offer ‘Pay by Bank app’ payments to customers via their existing mobile banking app later this year. Security first Pay by Bank app transactions are protected by a consumer’s existing bank app security - Singapore Exchange (SGX) reported growth in securities, derivatives and commodities activities in June. Traded value was $25bn, up 20% year on year and up 8% month on month, while daily average value was $1.2bn up 20% from a year earlier and up 8% from a month earlier. ETF trading also rose 30% from a year earlier to $237m while trading of STI stocks accounted for 68% of total trading versus 51% a year earlier. A total 37 bonds raising $12bn were listed in on SGX compared with 45 issues raising $21bn a year earlier - Following a recent Morningstar Analyst Ratings Meeting, Morningstar has moved the Kames UK Equity fund to a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze. The fund was previously rated Silver. Although the fund has a strong long term track record under the current manager, Stephen Adams, returns over the medium term versus peers have been weaker. In addition, the manager has recently taken on additional responsibilities within the group, having been promoted to head of equities. Adams has passed some UK team responsibilities to his colleague Philip Howarth, but has additional non-UK equity responsibilities in his new role. Concerns over these two issues have resulted in the rating change - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 9.79 points or 0.29% lower to 3332.94, taking the year-to-date performance to -0.96%. The top active stocks today were UOB, which declined 0.47%, Singtel, which gained 0.47%, DBS, which gained0.05%, Global Logistic, which declined 0.40% and CapitaLand, with a 0.57% fall. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.45%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined0.68% - Moody's Investors Service today upgraded Europcar Groupe S.A.'s (Europcar or the company) corporate family rating (CFR) to B1 from B3 and probability of default rating (PDR) to B1-PD from B3-PD. Concurrently, Moody's changed the instrument rating on the €475m senior notes due 2022, the obligations of which have been transferred to the company from Europcar Notes Limited after the completion of Europcar Groupe S.A.'s initial public offering (IPO), to definitive B3 from provisional (P)B3 and upgraded EC Finance Plc's instrument rating on the €350m senior secured notes due 2021 to B2 from B3. The outlook on the ratings is stable - CACEIS Bank Luxembourg – London Branch has received regulatory approval to provide depositary services to alternative investment funds. This enables the CACEIS group to provide a full range of depositary and custody services to alternative investment fund managers operating in the UK market. CACEIS has a long history of servicing UK clients, and with this approval, will be able to directly support these clients in their home market.

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The European Review

By Patrick Artus, chief economist at Natixis

Are there available instruments to stimulate euro zone growth, and are they likely to be used?

Friday, 15 June 2012 Written by 
Are there available instruments to stimulate euro zone growth, and are they likely to be used? A consensus is emerging that euro zone growth must be boosted to prevent several countries from slipping into a depressive cycle where production declines and unemployment increases without the fiscal deficit or the external debt correcting. We have drawn up a list of available instruments to boost euro zone growth (wage increases, fiscal deficits, European investments, a range of actions by the ECB, weakening of the euro) and seek to determine which measures are most likely to be implemented. The risk is that agreement between European countries is only reached on policies that do not provide a substantial boost to growth in the euro zone – faster (spontaneous) wage increases in Germany, increase in investments by the EIB and structural funds, a third VLTRO, a cut in the euro repo rate – and not on policies that would have a much greater impact, such as fiscal stimulus in Germany, purchases of government bonds by the ECB, massive currency purchases (dollars) by the ECB. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

A consensus is emerging that euro zone growth must be boosted to prevent several countries from slipping into a depressive cycle where production declines and unemployment increases without the fiscal deficit or the external debt correcting.

We have drawn up a list of available instruments to boost euro zone growth (wage increases, fiscal deficits, European investments, a range of actions by the ECB, weakening of the euro) and seek to determine which measures are most likely to be implemented.

The risk is that agreement between European countries is only reached on policies that do not provide a substantial boost to growth in the euro zone – faster (spontaneous) wage increases in Germany, increase in investments by the EIB and structural funds, a third VLTRO, a cut in the euro repo rate – and not on policies that would have a much greater impact, such as fiscal stimulus in Germany, purchases of government bonds by the ECB, massive currency purchases (dollars) by the ECB.

There is a consensus over growth stimulus in the euro zone

There is a growing consensus that growth in the euro zone needs to be boosted. The recession is leading to a situation in an increasing number of countries where the fiscal deficit is no longer being reduced (Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece).



Meanwhile, despite the slowdown in domestic demand, the external deficit remains substantial in Portugal and is no longer being reduced in Spain, Greece and France due to the weakening of activity and exports in the euro zone. Indeed, rising unemployment is pushing down real wages in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal while companies everywhere remain cautious and are investing little.

So a depressive dynamic is emerging: declining activity and falling wages without any improvement in fiscal or external deficits. This has given rise to a growing view that action needs to be taken to boost growth in the euro zone. We will therefore draw up a list of policies that could stimulate growth in this region and gauge the likelihood of these being introduced.

The (possible/likely) policies to stimulate euro-zone growth

1. Faster wage growth in Germany

Rather than an explicit economic policy, this is more the effect that full employment and high corporate profitability have on wage growth in Germany. Indeed, wage agreements reached in Germany mean an annual four per cent rise in nominal wages in 2012, or around two per cent in real terms, is conceivable. Our research suggests that every percentage point annual increase in wages in Germany results in a EUR 14 bn income injection.

2. Fiscal stimulus in Germany

Whereas other euro zone countries are having difficulty reducing their fiscal deficits, Germany has virtually eliminated its deficit. A coordinated fiscal policy in the euro zone, therefore, could involve a more expansionary fiscal policy in Germany. Indeed, a one percentage point of GDP rise in Germany’s fiscal deficit would amount to an income injection of around EUR 30 bn – a bigger boost to euro zone growth.

3. European investments

It is often suggested that, since euro zone countries have no more leeway to boost their economy, stimulus needs to be carried out at the European level, either in the form of additional investments by the EIB or in the form of additional investments by European structural funds. A 10 per cent increase in investments both by the EIB and European structural funds (excluding agricultural policy) would mean an additional EUR 14 bn of investment per year.

4. Driving down long-term interest rates through ECB government bond purchases

Spain and Italy are faced with considerably higher long-term interest rates than their growth rates, which is crippling their economies. Direct purchases of Spanish and Italian government bonds by the ECB would help to drive down their interest rates, so the Securities Markets Programme (SMP) should be reactivated for substantial amounts. Indeed, this has proved successful in the United Kingdom where massive purchases of Gilts by the Bank of England have kept long-term interest rates very low despite the magnitude of the country’s fiscal deficit. Central banks can control long-term interest rates if they are willing to buy the necessary quantity of government bonds.

5. A third VLTRO

The three-year repos in December 2011 and February 2012 enabled Spanish and Italian banks to obtain cheap funding at one per cent and finance massive purchases of domestic government bonds, which resulted in a temporary fall in interest rates on these bonds.

A fresh long-term repo would have two positive effects. It would help to finance the external deficits of Spain and Italy (and also those of other countries) as well as contribute to the financing of the fiscal deficits in Spain and Italy.

6. A cut in the euro repo rate

There is still some room for manoeuvre for a cut in the euro repo rate while maintaining a big enough margin between the repo rate and the deposit rate at the ECB. A 25 or 50 basis point cut in the repo rate would be justified in light of the euro zone’s growth outlook and the muted rise in unit wage costs. The cut would likely lead to a depreciation of the euro and bolster growth. We have projected that a 100 basis point cut in the repo rate would increase euro zone growth by 0.2 percentage point per year for two years with a 50 basis point cut by 0.1 percentage point per year.

7. Sharp depreciation of the euro

Even after its recent fall, the euro is still overvalued by around 10 per cent.

Despite the lack of buyers, the euro is depreciating only slightly because the euro zone has no external borrowing requirement. In order to obtain a sharp depreciation of the euro, the ECB would have to accumulate substantial foreign exchange reserves (mainly in dollars) without sterilising these reserves, i.e. adopting the same policy as emerging countries, Japan and Switzerland.

While a depreciation of the euro would increase activity in the euro zone as a whole, it would do little to benefit the least industrialised euro zone countries (Greece, Spain, and even France).

So which measures are likely to be implemented?

Faster wage growth in Germany is already taking place and an increase in European investments is very likely. Moreover, considering the growth outlook and the rise in long-term interest rates, a third very-long-term repo (VLTRO 3) and a cut (25 to 50 bp) in the refi rate are also likely.

However, we do not believe Germany will introduce a fiscal stimulus package (due to the refusal by the Germans to “pay for the others”), nor will there be a reactivation of the SMP (the monetisation of public debts jars with the ECB and Germany), nor foreign-exchange interventions to drive down the euro (due to the resulting monetary creation, since it would not be sterilised).

Meanwhile, the effectiveness of a VLTRO 3 is questionable: do the banks want to buy more government bonds at a time when interest-rate risk is still high and there will be other stress tests on government bond portfolios in the future?

We are therefore  left with a stimulus consisting in EUR 14 bn in wages in Germany, EUR 14 bn in European investments and a 25 to 50 bp cut in the repo rate, which could add 0.2 percentage points per year to euro zone growth at best.

Patrick Artus

A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, of Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Adminstration Economique and of Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, Patrick Artus is today the Chief Economist at Natixis. He began his career in 1975 where his work included economic forecasting and modelisation. He then worked at the Economics Department of the OECD (1980), before becoming Head of Research at the ENSAE. Thereafter, Patrick taught seminars on research at Paris Dauphine (1982) and was Professor at a number of Universities (including Dauphine, ENSAE, Centre des Hautes Etudes de l'Armement, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and HEC Lausanne).

Patrick is now Professor of Economics at University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He combines these responsibilities with his research work at Natixis. Patrick was awarded "Best Economist of the year 1996" by the "Nouvel Economiste", and today is a member of the council of economic advisors to the French Prime Minister. He is also a board member at Total and Ipsos.

Website: cib.natixis.com/research/economic.aspx

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