Saturday 22nd September 2018
Mobile operator EE has said it will activate the UK’s first live 5G trial network in London’s Tech City in October –The UK government says organisations that are aiming to establish themselves or expand as Public Service Mutuals can now apply for a share of £1 million in funding -- India’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate for the first time since 2014 to curb rising price pressures and calm financial markets as policy tightening in the US rattles emerging markets – A new report from South Africa's Reserve Bank (SARB) contains exception results for a trial of its blockchain-based system for interbank clearance and settlement. According to a release yesterday SARB says it has completed a 14-week "realistic" proof-of-concept that managed to settle the country's typical 70,000 daily payment transactions within two hours, taking an average of 1–2 seconds for each transaction while preserving full anonymity. Absa, Capitec, Discovery Bank, FirstRand, Investec, Nedbank and Standard Bank are among a slew of banks that participated in the exercise. Even so, despite the success claims, SARB says its proof-of-concept doesn't mean it plans to replace the existing real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system with a live blockchain implementation, yet – According to Mickhail Shlemov, VTB’s Capital’s head of research today, “With the demerger of Bank of Georgia Group’s investment business to Georgia Capital PLC, we have revised our forecasts for Bank of Georgia Group so that they now include only the banking business. We expect the bank to benefit from this demerger amid an acceleration in corporate loan growth (although retail lending is likely to decelerate), with the total loan book expanding at a CAGR of 11% in 2017-21F. However, NIM performance headwinds are likely to stay intact. Management has reiterated its strategic targets, and we also expect the bank to show ROE of more than 20% in the next three years, with a 40% dividend payout ratio. As a result, our new 12-month Target Price is GBp 2,300/share. This implies an ETR of only 14% (the stock is up 10% since demerger day).” On May 29th, Bank of Georgia Group (BOGG) announced the completion of the demerger of the Group’s investment business to Georgia Capital PLC. As a part of the process, the bank has issued 9.8mn shares (up to 19.9% of the total share count) to Georgia Capital. Yet the capital will also be diminished by a special dividend payment of some GEL 120mn (GEL 3.10/share), similar to the proposed BGEO Group payment – Reuters reports that European parliament member Danuta Huebner says that London’s call for EU access after Brexit under mutual recognition will not work. Equivalence would let the EU set the rules – Scott Eaton, the former chief operating chief for Europe at MarketAxess has been appointed CEO of Algomi following the departure of co-founder Stu Taylor earlier this year. Eaton has taken over the role with immediate effect and will focus on developing Algomi’s fixed income services, including data aggregation and the Algomi ALFA market surveillance tool – The FCPA Blog notes today that banking giant Credit Suisse Group has agreed to pay a $47m penalty to the US Justice Department to end an FCPA investigation into hiring practices in Asia -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted Tuesday to approve a proposal to modify the Volcker rule, the last of the five agencies responsible for the rule to do so. The proposal is now open to a 60-day public comment period. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the move "an important first step" and noted Treasury's support for "better tailoring the application of the rule, preserving liquidity during periods of stress, decreasing unintended compliance burdens and encouraging capital formation." --

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    Under the Trump administration in the US, and with the rise of a new breed of ‘lifetime’ leaders, the established economic order looks to be in question. Is the comprehensive regulatory structure, established in the post 2007/2008 financial crisis enough to hold the current, more stable financial system in place? Or will the new, more aggressive breed of politicians be the undoing of the carefully reconstructed global markets? Read more...
  • Monday, 25 June 2018 Leadership changes at Macquarie infrastructure debt investment solutions
    Kit Hamilton and Tim Humphrey have been appointed co- heads of Macquarie’s global infrastructure debt asset management business, Macquarie Infrastructure Debt Investment Solutions (MIDIS). Read more...
  • Monday, 25 June 2018 ADGM launches crypto asset regulatory framework
    Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the International Financial Centre in Abu Dhabi, has launched a comprehensive framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities, including those undertaken by exchanges, custodians and other intermediaries in ADGM. The guidelines follow on from a market consultation, which ended at the close of May and is one of the first articulations by a meaningful regional regulator of a firm regulatory framework covering new digital assets. Read more...
  • Friday, 22 June 2018 Gasunie Transport Services will use gas trading platform PEGAS to determine neutral gas price
    Dutch gas transmission system owner and operator, Gasunie Transport Services will use PEGAS, the pan European gas trading platform, which is part of Powernext, as the exclusive platform for the determination and provision of the Neutral Gas Price (NGP). Read more...
  • Friday, 22 June 2018 Pasta La Vista Baby: assessing the impact of Trump's hawkish trade stance
    Major bond market yields were little changed over the past week, with investors seeming to shrug off growing trade worries, as the Trump administration appeared to take an increasingly hawkish stance. The threat of tariffs saw the US dollar continue to march stronger and this continued to weigh on sentiment in emerging markets (EM), with sovereign credit, locals rates and emerging currencies continuing to re-price as investors sought to de-risk portfolios. Elsewhere, credit markets saw headwinds from new issuance, and in the eurozone, the periphery saw wider spreads following Spanish supply with markets remaining somewhat fragile. By Mark Dowding, co-head of developed markets at BlueBay Asset Management. Read more...
  • Thursday, 21 June 2018 A $10trn opportunity: Tokenisation opens a new world of investment potential
    Blockchain is one of the most exciting financial developments in modern times. Devised initially to host Bitcoin transactions, the technology is now being used by high net worth individuals (HNWIs) to liquefy real-world assets into “security tokens.” This new world of finance will eventually reshape both regular and cryptocurrency economies in the years to come. By Gregory Van den Bergh, co-founder and CEO of Bankorus, the first AI-powered crypto-wealth management platform built using blockchain technology. Read more...
  • Thursday, 21 June 2018 ECON and AFCO MEPs want ECB to regulate CCPs
    Economic and monetary affairs and constitutional affairs committee MEPs backed the European Central Bank proposal to bring central counterparties within the scope of its regulatory powers Read more...
  • Thursday, 21 June 2018 Saudi and Argentina market upgrades and the importance of emerging markets status
    It has been some time in coming, but yesterday both Saudi Arabia and Argentina finally secured emerging markets status. The turnaround came as both countries have begun strides to normalise their capital markets and investment regimes, amid a spate of economic and political reforms by their governments. Moreover, MSCI also placed Kuwait on watch for a possible future reclassification from frontier to emerging markets status. What does emerging markets status mean and how will the markets benefit? Read more...
  • Wednesday, 20 June 2018 Offshore insolvency petitions rise in 2017
    The number of insolvency petition filings in offshore jurisdictions was up significantly in 2017 when compared to the previous year. The overall jump in petition filings was due in large part to increased filings in the British Virgin Islands and Mauritius which offset falls in the Cayman Islands and Isle of Man, according to a report from offshore law firm Appleby. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 20 June 2018 Simcorp merges UK and Northern European market units
    The merger of Simcorp’s UK and Northern European market units comes at a time when the buy side is particularly challenged by market complexities. However, says a Simcorp spokesman, “also recognises the significance of technology in limiting spiralling costs and increasing profitablity. As seen in the recent WBR Insights European buy side report. The collaboration between the UK and Northern Europe teams will enhance both SimCorp’s service to existing clients and its position to attract new clientele, in an ever-evolving market. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 20 June 2018 Polaris invests in IT consultancy ProData Consult
    Polaris will acquire a majority shareholding in ProData Consult, Denmark’s leading independent IT consultancy focused on business and IT consultants. Read more...
  • Wednesday, 20 June 2018 KfW IPEX-Bank funds Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr for €95m for new trams
    Together with NORD/LB Norddeutsche Landesbank, KfW IPEX-Bank, as syndicate leader, is financing the purchase of a total of 80 new trams that can be used in double traction for local public transport in the cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg. Read more...
  • Tuesday, 19 June 2018 Appetite for apps outstrips capacity to develop them in UK businesses
    UK businesses are at risk of experiencing an “app crunch” as fierce demand for apps meets a developer skills shortage and a lack of investment in customer-facing tools, according to the latest State of Application Development report, based on polling of over 3,500 IT professionals. The poll was organised by OutSystems the low-code rapid application developer, which publishes the report. Read more...
  • Tuesday, 19 June 2018 Freddie Mac prices $1bn multi-family K-077 deal
    Freddie Mac has priced its offering of Structured Pass-Through Certificates (K Certificates); essentially multi-family mortgage-backed securities. The company expects to issue approximately $1bn in total of the K-077 Certificates, which are expected to settle on or about June 26th. Read more...
  • Tuesday, 19 June 2018 BREXIT: Asset Managers in Limbo
    As Brexit negotiations enter their second year, the UK Asset Management industry braces for long-term insecurity. Loss of access to the European single market and possible changes in the delegation model leave UK asset managers anxious. Despite this, Britain’s withdrawal presents itself as a valuable opportunity for rival European financial centres wishing to fill the growing power vacuum left by London’s diminishing financial dominance. By Bastian Dittrich, Global Head of Business Development Real Assets and Manuela Frohlich, Global Head of Business Development Financial Assets at LRI Group. Read more...

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Key Stories from FTSE Global Markets

Several years ago, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) outlined a new business strategy that at its heart envisioned a much larger role for itself. That role involves sometimes simple, sometimes complex multi-tasking in its approaches to helping the financial industry deal with today’s realities: new and increased regulation, the impact of globalisation, new business processes and the requirement to minimise market risks and lowering the costs of securities transactions. Putting its strategy to work has led to an expansion and evolution that has added new services and responsibilities for DTCC along the way. In doing this, DTCC has asked a lot of itself. How far has DTCC achieved its aim of becoming a global super-utility? What are the next steps? FTSE Global Markets spoke to Michael C. Bodson, president and chief executive of DTCC about the post-trade giant’s strategy and global outlook.

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Continuous innovation and a fight for market share looks to be shaping the global post trade landscape. Presenting the Eurosystem's 'Vision for 2020' project at the October 2015 Sibos, board member of the European Central Bank, Yves Mersch, stated at the assembly that the central bank is considering bringing together the processing of cash and securities across the Eurosystem on a single platform. The move is a signal indication of the growing confidence of the post trade segment; a move to bring together post trade services in a single entity in Europe and a growing land grab for market dominance among the sector’s leading players.

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You would be forgiven for thinking that slower than expected growth in China this year (6.9% rather than the 7% target) would by October have been factored in by investors. After a tumultuous summer in which one Chinese indicator after another hinted at a slowdown, the fall season seems to have brought little relief, although at the time of going to press the Shanghai index was 15 points above its summer nadir. Even so, the Chinese downturn will likely push back a Fed rate hike by some months until emerging markets show some sign of stabilising; though with Brazil’s recent downgrade by Fitch, there look to be only pockets of optimism right now. How dark is the outlook for emerging markets over the next eighteen months?

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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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