Monday 27th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, APRIL 24th 2015:Luc Luyet, CIIA – Senior Market Analyst AT Swissquote says that yesterday, “the SNB surprised the market by announcing that the number of sight deposit account holders that are exempt from negative interest has been reduced. This decision doesn’t change much the domestic banks’ situation as the “20 times the minimum reserve requirement” rule is still running. On the other side, the institutions associated with the Confederation, such as the pension fund of the Confederation or the pension fund of the SNB, are no longer exempt of negative interest. Consequently, only the account holders of the national social security system are still fully exempt.” - High yield debt issuance remains buoyant. Issuance volume for the week ending April 17, 2015, slowed down a bit from the previous week, but remained strong. Junk bond, or high-yield debt, issuers continued to issue bonds as yields remained favourable. High-yield debt is tracked by the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund. According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, dollar-denominated bonds amounting to $10.75bn were issued across 16 transactions in the week ending April 17th. The issuance volume fell by 3.2% from the week ending April 10. Pricing was evenly spread across the week. The number of transactions fell from 18 to 16 week-over-week. Last week brought the total US dollar issuance of high-yield debt to $115.8bn in 2015 YTD, up some 15% from the same period in 2014, the bulk of which is refinancing of older debt - Moody's says EMEA auto ABS performance remained stable during the three-month period ending February 2015. The sector's average performance trend was positive in terms of delinquency ratios and cumulative losses. The 60+ day delinquencies decreased to 0.66% in February 2015 from 0.77% in February 2014, while cumulative defaults decreased to 1.06% from 1.20% over the same period. This decrease was due mainly to the good performance of the German and Dutch markets. The prepayment rate increased slightly to 13.49% in February 2015 from 13.30% a year earlier. As of February 2015, the pool balance of all outstanding rated auto ABS transactions was €27.55bn - According to Sino specialists Red Pulse, China’s State Council is considering allowing daily repatriation for QFII. Currently, RQFII enjoys T+1 repatriation while QFII is restricted to T+5. QFII is the largest channel for foreign investment into China with quota of USD150bn, however, only half of the quota is in use, like at least partly due to the five-day repatriation stipulation - Malaysia’s state pension fund will offer a Shari’a-compliant investment option for its members by 2017, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Najib says it will create the largest Shari’a fund of its kind in the world. Malaysia has one of the world’s largest Islamic finance sectors and the authorities are keen to develop it further. They envision the industry accounting for 40% of the country’s total banking assets by 2020 compared with latest figures of around 23% released last year. The $160bn (MYR577.4bn) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) already invests about a third of its portfolio in stocks and bonds that comply with Islamic principles, which ban interest payments and pure monetary speculation. The fund reportedly hired consultants last year to study the feasibility of a state-backed pension fund focusing entirely on Shari’a-compliant investments. Additionally, local press reports says that Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional has received regulatory approval to issue a MYR1billion (around $275m) socially responsible Islamic bond - The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on the company's outstanding common stock, an increase of 67% from the prior $0.15 per share quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable on June 26TH 2015, to shareowners of record at the close of business on June 12TH 2015 - Lazard Ltd today reported operating revenue1 of $581m for the quarter ended March 31st. Adjusted net income was $103m, or $0.77 (diluted) per share for the quarter. These results exclude a pre-tax charge of $63m relating to a debt refinancing2. Q1 2015 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis, including the pre-tax charge, was $56m, or $0.42 (diluted) per share. "Our Financial Advisory and Asset Management businesses continue their strong performance," says Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. "In the first quarter, we refinanced and repaid a portion of Lazard's long-term debt, significantly reducing our interest costs," adds Matthieu Bucaille, chief financial officer of Lazard. "Consistent with our capital management objectives, we have increased the quarterly dividend by 17%, the fifth increase in as many years." -

Is your compliance program adequate to the task?

Monday, 05 March 2012
Is your compliance program adequate to the task? In the face of a changing regulatory environment it is important for you to determine that your compliance program is adequate to protect you and your firm. The following questions are designed to identify factors that are important to an effective and robust compliance program. Honestly answering the following questions is the first step in making this assessment. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

In the face of a changing regulatory environment it is important for you to determine that your compliance program is adequate to protect you and your firm. The following questions are designed to identify factors that are important to an effective and robust compliance program. Honestly answering the following questions is the first step in making this assessment.

Culture of Compliance

Key questions:



1. Does the management team, as well as the investment personnel, believe that  governance processes are important and understand the legal and regulatory requirements  impacting their roles?
2. Does your chief compliance officer have respect and influence in your organisation?
3. Do risk and compliance personnel raise issues to you (or your senior management team) for consideration, even when the issues concern a major profit centre?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, you are at risk of not realising that something has gone awry until it is too late. You must manage regulatory and legal issues just as closely as you would manage financial challenges

Organisational Structure

Key questions:

1. Does your chief compliance officer have direct access to your governing board or executive committee?
2. Have you
  (i) identified the laws that apply to your company, your investment vehicles, and your investments, and
  (ii) have you incorporated these requirements into operational processes?
3. Is there a process for keeping the information gathered in #2 up-to-date reflecting both changes to laws, changes to the market place, and new activities?

If the answer is “No” to any of these questions, you need to build these processes now.

Compliance Manual

Key questions:

1. Is your compliance manual tailored to your business?
2. Is it meaningful to you and your staff so that you use it to obtain guidance in unusual or tricky situations?
3. Do the investment personnel appreciate the importance of the policies and procedures that apply to them?

If you answered “No” to more than one of these, you probably do not have satisfactory compliance manual in place.


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