Wednesday 8th 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

Is Greece offered any other choice to a slow death and a sudden death?

Friday, 06 July 2012 Written by 
Is Greece offered any other choice to a slow death and a sudden death? The adjustment programme that Greece is putting in place with the Troika, even if it is toned down and spread out over time, will eventually lead to a fall in Greeks' purchasing power until Greece's external deficit disappears. And in light of Greece's economic structure and the disproportion between its imports and exports, this will imply a collapse in living standards in Greece. The other possibility for Greece is to leave the euro and massively devalue its currency, but this would instantly mean a loss of purchasing power due to the deterioration of the terms of trade, and a massive decline in domestic demand, which would in any case be inevitable because there would then be no more lenders to finance Greece's external deficit. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The adjustment programme that Greece is putting in place with the "Troika", even if it is toned down and spread out over time, will eventually lead to a fall in Greeks' purchasing power until Greece's external deficit disappears. And in light of Greece's economic structure and the disproportion between its imports and exports, this will imply a collapse in living standards in Greece. The other possibility for Greece is to leave the euro and massively devalue its currency, but this would instantly mean a loss of purchasing power due to the deterioration of the terms of trade, and a massive decline in domestic demand, which would in any case be inevitable because there would then be no more lenders to finance Greece's external deficit.

For Greece to escape a slow death (austerity programme) or a sudden death (exit from the euro), a massive European aid plan would be needed to rebuild the Greek economy and create jobs, a plan that is unlikely at present, and very different from the present bailout which merely finances debt servicing on Greek government bonds held by public investors.

The logic of the adjustment programme for Greece: Slow death



Even if Greece and the Troika renegotiate the adjustment programme, its fundamental characteristics will remain the same:

·                                  a restrictive fiscal policy to eliminate the fiscal deficit;

·                                  a fall in wages to improve competitiveness and reduce domestic demand, until Greece's external deficit disappears.

The main idea of the adjustment programme is that Greece's domestic demand exceeds its production capacity, thereby generating a structural external deficit. So Greeks "are living beyond their means", with a rise in living standards far exceeding growth in production capacity, and it is therefore legitimate to reduce domestic demand both through a restrictive fiscal policy and wage cuts.

The fall in wages could also bring about an improvement in competitiveness, hence an improvement in foreign trade, but its main objective is to reduce domestic demand and imports.

The problem with this approach is that:

·                                  it is showing its ineffectiveness: despite the decline in domestic demand, the current-account deficit has declined little; due to the shortfall in activity, public finances are no longer improving;

·                                  its cost in terms of jobs and purchasing power is gigantic. Greece is a country in which the weight of industry is very small and where, as a consequence, the disproportion between imports and exports is very great.

A substantial decline in purchasing power in Greece is therefore needed to eliminate the external deficit, with a further fall of about 30% in real wages. Purchasing power would have to be brought back to the level of the early 1990s to balance the current account, and this is of course rejected by the population. The fundamental problem is twofold:

·                                  even if there is a fall in wages, the improvement in price-competitiveness is limited by price stickiness;

·                                  since the size of industry is small, the adjustment must be achieved mainly through a fall in imports, hence a decline in income.

Exit from the euro and devaluation: Sudden death

Faced with this prospect of a "slow death" due to the austerity programme, Greeks could decide to leave the euro and devalue. But in that case the shock would be sudden and terrible, because there would be both:

·                                  a rise in import prices;

·                                  an obligation to eliminate the external deficit, because no one (neither the private sector nor the public sector) would any longer lend to Greece;

·                                  a weak positive impact of the gain in competitiveness, due to the small size of industry.

Greece would default on its gross external debt, and would therefore no longer have to service that debt, which is positive (it would gain six percentage points of GDP in interest payments on external debt). But the rise in import prices would even further exacerbate the foreign trade imbalance, while the potential for external borrowing would disappear. There would inevitably have to be a reduction in domestic demand to restore the foreign trade balance despite the rise in import prices, hence inevitably a collapse in imports in volume terms.

This is reminiscent of the process in Argentina, in similar circumstances, in the early 2000s: a collapse of activity following the huge devaluation, the need to switch to a current-account surplus which required dividing imports by three - hence a collapse in the real wage due to imported inflation, and in domestic demand and employment.

From 2003 onwards, there was  a sharp improvement in Argentina's situation, but it is important to remember that it had considerable structural advantages by comparison with Greece at present:

·                                  substantial weight of industry (22% of jobs);

·                                  before the crisis, exports and imports of the same size;

·                                  a smaller current-account deficit to reduce (five percentage points of GDP).

The shock would be far more violent and prolonged for Greece.

So what would be the solution for Greece?

We have seen that Greece is at present offered two solutions:

·                                  a "slow death", through a stifling of the economy via the austerity plan, even if it is softened down;

·                                  a "sudden death", if there is an exit from the euro and devaluation.

In either case, gradually or suddenly, there must be a substantial decline in purchasing power to eliminate the external deficit which is no longer financeable. For Greece to escape this dreadful choice, Europe's aid would have to be allocated not to debt servicing on Greece's government bonds held by public investors (EFSF, ECB) - which in and of itself is an incredible situation where Europe is borrowing in order to pay to itself the servicing of the Greek debt it holds - but to help rebuild the Greek economy and create jobs, which is definitely not being done at present.

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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