Saturday 30th August 2014
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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.

Russia's new trading infrastructure takes shape

Friday, 03 February 2012
Russia's new trading infrastructure takes shape The Russian trading market is in flux as its key institutions reform and work to improve market efficiencies. In late January MICEX-RTS stock exchange reported that it intends to amend the procedure for delisting of securities, while late last year, President Dmitry Medvedev enacted the Central Securities Depository law, which had been approved by the Duma in mid-November 2011. The signing of the law was a watershed in the evolution of the Russian securities market and helps describe the country’s re-emerging trading infrastructure. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The Russian trading market is in flux as its key institutions reform and work to improve market efficiencies. In late January MICEX-RTS stock exchange reported that it intends to amend the procedure for delisting of securities, while late last year, President Dmitry Medvedev enacted the Central Securities Depository law, which had been approved by the Duma in mid-November 2011. The signing of the law was a watershed in the evolution of the Russian securities market and helps describe the country’s re-emerging trading infrastructure.

Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev signed the country’s so-called CSD law into being in early December last year. The law establishes the particular legal status of the central securities depositary. According to the law the CSD may be any joint stock company which is a non-banking credit organisation appropriately authorised to conduct depositary activities in the securities market and has been acting as a settlement depositary for at least three years. Any entity wishing to become a CSD in the country will have to submit an application to the ministry of finance, a process which is expected to take approximately four months. Interestingly however, it is also prescribed in law that there can only be one CSD in the country. It is expected that there will be at least a full year transition period before the new CSD is fully operational and active.
The next Russian government is expected to adopt a much more proactive strategy to try and attract greater international corporate involvement and more investment in the economy.  As well, it looks likely to continue with internal reforms to encourage the evolution of Moscow as an international financial centre. While reform is high on the government’s agenda right now, anti-Putin demonstrations late last year will ensure that for the first half of 2012 at least, politics and the pace of economic liberalisation will remain at the forefront of assessments of the attractiveness of the Russian equity markets.
Many local brokers view the prospect with optimism. According to a broker the government's response to the recent protests offers encouragement that there will be political reform, while WTO membership at least provides a timeline for companies to become more efficient and competitive”.
Among the plethora of rules in the CSD law, it seems accounts can be opened at the registrars either by the CSD or by beneficial owners. Additionally mandatory reconciliation of the CSD’s records with those of the registrar should be undertaken each time that securities transactions are conducted over the nominee holder account of the CSD; to ensure finality of settlement at the CSD.
The nominee concept for foreign entities is also part of the CSD law and will come into force from the beginning of July this year. ICSDs and foreign CSDs will be able to open accounts directly with the national CSD. Other foreign entities wishing to be nominees will be able to do so via their accounts with local custodians.  
The president also signed another mouthwateringly titled law, Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Connection with the Adoption of the Federal Law on the Central Securities Depository.  In more straightforward parlance, this is now referred to as The Satellite Law. This particular law regulates the activities of the professional securities market and ensures compliance with the CSD Law. It covers the types of accounts that can be opened by local depositaries and registrars as well describing some record-keeping features for the safe-keeping of securities of foreign companies operating on behalf of third parties.
This was followed in late January as the newly-merged MICEX-RTS stock exchange reported that it intends to amend its procedures for the delisting of securities. Currently, the removal of securities from the exchange may be initiated by the issuer. Going forward, it looks like the stock exchange will be able to suspend or even forbid a delisting procedure during meetings of its securities markets committee. If a suspension is recommended, investors will be able to leverage a special trading window, for as much as three months, to sell off their securities.  Up to now investors had no such protection.
Additionally a working group on the establishment of the country’s so-called International Financial Centre (IFC) is reportedly considering a number of draft amendments to local regulations covering the listing of securities and additional requirements for delisting.  According to a release issued by Deutsche Bank.:“  The amendments envisage that the delisting of securities undertaken by a stock exchange due to violations by an issuer or issuer’s agent will result in the introduction of a special six month trading window for these securities and their admission to a ‘non-listed’ securities list.  Significantly for investors, shareholders will be able to claim against the issuer’s management team for losses resulting from the de-listing.

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