Wednesday 8th July 2015
NEWS TICKER, TUESDAY, JULY 7TH: Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) has assigned definitive B2 rating to the €400m senior secured notes issued by Senvion Holding GmbH and guaranteed, among others, by Rapid TopCo GmbH, following a review of the final bond documentation. The corporate family rating (CFR) of B1 and the probability of default rating (PDR) of B1-PD of Rapid TopCo GmbH remain unchanged. The outlook on all the ratings is stable. - Interactive Data, a provider of fixed-income evaluated pricing, will provide hourly snaps from its continuous evaluated pricing feed to Algomi Honeycomb (Algomi). Interactive Data will provide evaluated prices to the Honeycomb platform for high-yield and investment-grade US and European corporate bonds. The data will be available to help Algomi buy-side clients to achieve increased pre-trade transparency and price discovery. “Our goal is to give our clients the ability to access pre-trade price data which can be used to help facilitate trades in increasingly illiquid markets,” said Usman Khan, Chief technology officer and co-founder of Algomi. “Our Honeycomb buy-side clients will have access to Interactive Data’s evaluated prices as an important additional reference point that can be considered when comparing dealer bid and offer levels for execution,” he adds. Interactive Data’s continuous evaluated pricing launched in 2014 against a backdrop of a fast-evolving fixed income market structure characterized by shrinking dealer inventories, reduced liquidity, and a changing broker/dealer landscape. The continued shift to electronic trading platforms requires a supply of independent, high-quality data that allows users to assess quote quality and enhance price discovery, in the absence of traditional protocols. Continuous evaluated pricing facilitates this activity. The provision by Interactive Data of fixed-income evaluated pricing to Algomi is another deal in a succession of agreements with electronic trading and software platforms. - Federated Investors, Inc (NYSE: FII), will report financial and operating results for the quarter ended June 30th after the market closeson Thursday, July 23rd. A conference call for investors and analysts will be held at 9am Eastern on Friday, July 24th. President and chief executive officer J Christopher Donahue and chief financial officer Thomas R Donahue will host the call - Zapp today announces that Barclays has joined the financial institutions, retailers, billers and payment providers offering ‘Pay by Bank app’ mobile payments to consumers. Barclays also plans to offer ‘Pay by Bank app’ payments to customers via their existing mobile banking app later this year. Security first Pay by Bank app transactions are protected by a consumer’s existing bank app security - Singapore Exchange (SGX) reported growth in securities, derivatives and commodities activities in June. Traded value was $25bn, up 20% year on year and up 8% month on month, while daily average value was $1.2bn up 20% from a year earlier and up 8% from a month earlier. ETF trading also rose 30% from a year earlier to $237m while trading of STI stocks accounted for 68% of total trading versus 51% a year earlier. A total 37 bonds raising $12bn were listed in on SGX compared with 45 issues raising $21bn a year earlier - Following a recent Morningstar Analyst Ratings Meeting, Morningstar has moved the Kames UK Equity fund to a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze. The fund was previously rated Silver. Although the fund has a strong long term track record under the current manager, Stephen Adams, returns over the medium term versus peers have been weaker. In addition, the manager has recently taken on additional responsibilities within the group, having been promoted to head of equities. Adams has passed some UK team responsibilities to his colleague Philip Howarth, but has additional non-UK equity responsibilities in his new role. Concerns over these two issues have resulted in the rating change - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 9.79 points or 0.29% lower to 3332.94, taking the year-to-date performance to -0.96%. The top active stocks today were UOB, which declined 0.47%, Singtel, which gained 0.47%, DBS, which gained0.05%, Global Logistic, which declined 0.40% and CapitaLand, with a 0.57% fall. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.45%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined0.68% - Moody's Investors Service today upgraded Europcar Groupe S.A.'s (Europcar or the company) corporate family rating (CFR) to B1 from B3 and probability of default rating (PDR) to B1-PD from B3-PD. Concurrently, Moody's changed the instrument rating on the €475m senior notes due 2022, the obligations of which have been transferred to the company from Europcar Notes Limited after the completion of Europcar Groupe S.A.'s initial public offering (IPO), to definitive B3 from provisional (P)B3 and upgraded EC Finance Plc's instrument rating on the €350m senior secured notes due 2021 to B2 from B3. The outlook on the ratings is stable - CACEIS Bank Luxembourg – London Branch has received regulatory approval to provide depositary services to alternative investment funds. This enables the CACEIS group to provide a full range of depositary and custody services to alternative investment fund managers operating in the UK market. CACEIS has a long history of servicing UK clients, and with this approval, will be able to directly support these clients in their home market.

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Volcker Rule likely delayed until after US presidential elections

Monday, 16 April 2012
Volcker Rule likely delayed until after US presidential elections As mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Volcker Rule—named for its author, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker—prohibits commercial banks from using their own capital to invest in hedge funds and private equity funds, unless such activity is deemed “systemically important” (that is, is related to market making, securitisation, hedging, and/or risk management) and is limited to a three-percent ownership stake. With nary a fan on either side of the pond, the much-maligned Volcker Rule could be ripe for modification—though any change is more likely to happen later than sooner. David Simons reports. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

As mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Volcker Rule—named for its author, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker—prohibits commercial banks from using their own capital to invest in hedge funds and private equity funds, unless such activity is deemed “systemically important” (that is, is related to market making, securitisation, hedging, and/or risk management) and is limited to a three-percent ownership stake. With nary a fan on either side of the pond, the much-maligned Volcker Rule could be ripe for modification—though any change is more likely to happen later than sooner. David Simons reports.

Regulators had hoped to have the Volcker Rule finalised by mid-July. However, ironing out the increasingly complex proposal—which includes newly added exemptions needed to placate the bill’s many opponents—will likely take much longer.

Retiring Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, head of the House Financial Services Committee and co-author of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, has suggested something of a compromise; that regulators work towards completing a simplified version of the law by early September. "The agencies [have] tried to accommodate a variety of views on the implementation,” says Frank, “but the results reflected in the proposed rule are far too complex, and the final rules should be simplified significantly.”



Financial institutions may be struggling to regain public trust in the wake of the 2008 credit meltdown; however that has not stopped officials from taking aim at the proposed Volcker legislation during the SEC’s comment period which closed on February 13th. Speaking on behalf of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Tim Ryan, SIFMA’s president and chief executive officer called the proposed regulations “unworkable” and “not faithful to Congressional intent”. Moreover, Ryan says they will have negative consequences for US financial markets and the economy.

Echoing a common theme among Volcker critics, Ryan contends that the new law could result in drastically reduced market liquidity for investors, and make it more difficult for companies to raise capital. SIFMA’s five-part comment letter includes proposed modifications to proprietary trading restrictions and hedge fund/private-equity fund investment activity under Volcker, and expresses concern over Volcker’s impact on municipal securities and global securitisation.

Like almost everything else drafted by the Obama White House, the Volcker Rule has virtually no support in the GOP, and includes among its detractors Daniel Gallagher and Troy Paredes, the two Republican members of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Speaking at an Institute of International Bankers conference held in Washington last month, Gallagher suggested that regulators re-examine their initial efforts and, if necessary, “go back to the drawing board to make sure we regulate wisely, rather than just quickly.”

Not that all of the criticisms have had political overtones. An exception to the rule allowing US banks to continue trading treasuries and municipal bonds has drawn fire from state and local government agencies, which have demanded that they receive the same exemption. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), the US-based firm charged with protecting investor interest in the municipal-securities space, has urged regulators to expand the rule’s proprietary trading exemptions to include municipal-bond brokers. It’s an effort to avoid “bifurcation” within the municipal securities market, says MSRB, warning current exemptions “are not useful in the municipal securities market,” and unless modified will “prevent a free and open market from prevailing.”

Nor has Volcker venting been limited to the US. In a comment letter issued in February, the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), the representative association for Europe’s investment-management community, argued that exemptions favouring US institutions pose a serious threat to European funds due to the potential shift in the balance of power. Accordingly, regulators should take the necessary steps to prevent any negative impact on liquidity and operational efficiency abroad, said the group.

Meanwhile, Oregon’s Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, who along with Senator Carl Levin of Michigan helped draft some of the Volcker provisions, bristled at suggestions that substantial modifications would be required. If anything, said Merkley, the rule needs to be tougher, though not “as vague or complex as regulators are making it.” Also in favour of a stronger Volcker is former Citigroup chief executive officer John S Reed, who has argued that in its present form the rule “does not offer bright enough lines or provide strong enough penalties for violation."

Having made regulatory reform one of its chief priorities, the Obama administration is unlikely to cede any ground in the months leading up to the US presidential elections in November. Hence, even the most vocal of Volcker opponents admit that change is unlikely to happen until after the new Congress convenes in January of next year.

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