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South Africa’s central bank has disagreed with a ratings decision by Moody’s to downgrade Capitec Bank Limited (Capitec) by two notches, and place it on review for a further downgrade. The central bank says it respects the independent opinion of rating agencies but that it does not “agree with the rationale given in taking this step”. Two reasons are given for the rating action: a lower likelihood of sovereign systemic support based on decisions recently taken in relation to African Bank Limited (African Bank), and heightened concerns regarding the risk inherent in Capitec’s consumer lending focus. “With regard to the first point, it is important to reiterate that the approach taken by the SARB to any resolution to address systemic risk will always be based on the circumstances and merits of the particular prevailing situation. Decisions will also be informed, as was the case with African Bank, by principles contained in the Key Attributes for Effective Resolution Regimes proposed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which have the objective that a bank should be able to fail without affecting the system,” notes the central bank in an official statement. “This is in keeping with evolving international best practice. In the case of African Bank bond holders and wholesale depositors are taking a 10% haircut, which is generally regarded as being very positive given that the trades following the announcement of African Bank's results were taking place at around 40% of par. Therefore in fact substantial support was provided, not reduced. Moreover, all retail depositors were kept whole and are able to access their accounts fully,” it adds - According to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) credit card receivables increased by 2.1% in the second quarter to HKD112, after a reduction of 6.7% in the previous quarter. The total number of credit card accounts edged up by 0.7% to around 16.8m.The rollover amount, which reflects the amount of borrowing by customers using their credit cards, increased by 2.9% during the quarter to HKD19.2bn. The rollover ratio also rose marginally from 17.0% to 17.1% in the same period. The charge-off amount increased to HKD569mduring the quarter from HKD528m in the previous quarter. Correspondingly, the quarterly charge-off ratio rose to 0.51% from 0.46% in the previous quarter. The amount of rescheduled receivables transferred outside the surveyed institutions’ credit card portfolios reduced to HKD94m from HK$109m in the previous quarter. The delinquent amount increased to HKD249m at end-June from HKD239m at end-March. However, the delinquency ratio remained the same at 0.22% because of an increase in total card receivables. The combined delinquent and rescheduled ratio (after taking into account the transfer of rescheduled receivables mentioned above) edged up to 0.29% from 0.28% during the same period - Harkand has been awarded a contract to support Apache with inspection, repair and maintenance work (IRM) as well as light construction (LC) across their assets in the North Sea, following completion of a competitive tender exercise. The award includes the provision of vessels, ROV and diving services for a three-year period, plus two one-year options. The firm will also support offshore marine construction contractor EMAS AMC who have been awarded a separate contract for pipe lay and heavy construction as part of the same tender process. Harkand Europe managing director, David Kerr, said: “This contract is an important step in strengthening our close working relationship and growing our North Sea business with Apache.

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Regulatory Update

Waiting for the SEC to Jumpstart U.S. Business? Instead, Why Not Jumpstart Your Own Business?

Thursday, 23 August 2012 Written by 
Waiting for the SEC to Jumpstart U.S. Business? Instead, Why Not Jumpstart Your Own Business? In April 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”), a law that would ease restrictions on marketing private funds to U.S. investors. It came with high hopes that U.S. regulatory requirements would soon be simplified in this area. Now those efforts may be stalled for the time being. This does not mean that your efforts to market into the U.S. should also be stalled. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

In April 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”), a law that would ease restrictions on marketing private funds to U.S. investors. It came with high hopes that U.S. regulatory requirements would soon be simplified in this area. Now those efforts may be stalled for the time being. This does not mean that your efforts to market into the U.S. should also be stalled.

By way of background, in the U.S. most private funds are offered to investors in reliance on an exemption from registration with the SEC that prohibits “general solicitations or general advertising.” The JOBS Act instructed the SEC to adopt rules eliminating the prohibition by the beginning of July. The SEC missed that deadline. More recently, the SEC scheduled a meeting for August 22 to consider the rules, but at the last minute the discussion was postponed until next Wednesday, August 29. In a subtle, but potentially impactful change to the meeting agenda, next week’s meeting will consider “whether to propose” (emphasis supplied) rules to eliminate the prohibition, as opposed to actually considering the rules themselves.
 
For the time being, the prohibition on general solicitations and general advertising remains.
 
However, according to a recent Citibank study, U.S. investors are the most active day one/early stage allocators and their allocation are over 50% larger than those from other regions. When entering into the U.S. market, non-U.S. advisers may have an advantage over U.S. emerging managers since many already have established track records.

Instead of waiting for the SEC to jumpstart U.S. businesses, why not jumpstart your own? U.S. advisers have successfully navigated the U.S. environment for years; you can too.

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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