Friday 25th 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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Regulatory Update

Insider Trading, Worldwide

Tuesday, 12 June 2012 Written by 
Insider Trading, Worldwide Last week, regulators in both the U.S. and abroad brought landmark cases for insider trading violations. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Last week, regulators in both the U.S. and abroad brought landmark cases for insider trading violations.

In the U.S., Judge Katharine Hayden sentenced former corporate lawyer Matthew Kluger to twelve years in prison—the longest term received to-date for insider trading violations.  While working as a lawyer at prominent law firms (including Cravath, Skadden, and Wilson Sonsini), Kluger misappropriated nonpublic corporate merger information over the course of seventeen years.  Notably, Kluger’s sentence reflecting Kluger’s abuse of his legal position was longer than the eleven years handed to Raj Rajaratnam in the widely publicized Galleon case.

Also last week, in Japan, the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (“SESC”) proposed to fine a U.S. broker dealer $185,000, a penalty much higher than what the SESC has sought in other recent insider trading cases.

Only a few months ago, the U.K. FSA fined a U.S. based hedge fund $11 million for selling shares in a company shortly after receiving indications of a possible stock sale.  This case is a reminder that professionals who obtain information through the exercise of their employment, profession, or duties should be particularly aware of whether they may be exposed to sensitive information along with its potential for liability.

China, too, may also become more active in cracking down on insider trading.  Sources report the Chinese government may broaden the definition of an insider and focus on government officials as well as corporate executives. 

In short, as financial transactions become increasingly globalized, it is clear that portfolio managers, traders, and compliance personnel need to be conversant in the legal and regulatory regimes of multiple jurisdictions.  Requirements surrounding the use of nonpublic information are particularly relevant as acceptable standards of behavior evolve; expect more activity on this front.

Deborah Prutzman

Deborah Prutzman is the founder and CEO of The Regulatory Fundamentals Group (RFG), a New York-based firm that designs and implements business and risk solutions for alternative asset managers and institutional investors. RFG's senior-led team employs a robust suite of tools, including practical alerts on new and potential industry developments and its powerful RFG Pathfinder® knowledge management platform which simplifies the challenges of operating in a regulated environment.  To learn more about The Regulatory Fundamentals Group call (212) 537-4058, email a representative at Information@RegFG.com or visit RegFG.com

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