Thursday 28th 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.

Much ado about HFT

Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Much ado about HFT FIA EPTA debunks high-frequency trading myths at MiFID II paper launch http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

FIA EPTA debunks high-frequency trading myths at MiFID II paper launch

Launching its position paper on the review of the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (known as MiFID II), FIA European Principal Traders Association has addressed what it claims to be  misconceptions surrounding high-frequency trading (HFT).“It’s time to bring more balance to the HFT debate, which until now has been driven by emotive language, anecdotes and fabrications rather than hard fact,” says FIA EPTA chairman Remco Lenterman. “For example, many people don’t realise that market abuse—as well as being morally reprehensible—comes at a hefty price for the market. So principal trading firms such as our members have a very real economic incentive to fight market abuse and back regulatory reform,” Lenterman adds, claiming that the industry’s critics have chosen to overlook the value that principal trading firms add to the real economy in terms of lower transaction costs and greater liquidity.

FIA EPTA is an association of European principal traders formed in June 2011 under the auspices of the Futures Industry Association (FIA). FIA EPTA represents more than 20 principal trading firms that, on a combined basis, are responsible for very significant volumes of trading in many asset classes on European regulated markets and multilateral trading facilities (MTFs). On average and across the main trading venues in Europe, one in two transactions in futures and one in three transactions in equities very likely have an FIA EPTA member firm on one or both sides of the transaction.

The position paper highlights FIA EPTA’s backing for a comprehensive regulatory framework and the regulation of all market participants with memberships to regulated markets and multilateral trading facilities. It also argues for well calibrated order-to-trade ratios determined by trading venues to ensure orderly trading on their platforms. Equally it expects trading venues and market participants to have robust risk controls in place to address risks inherent in electronic markets as well as ESMA’s guidelines on systems and controls in an automated trading environment, and supports transparent and open markets along with pre- and post-trade transparency measures and on-exchange trading. “We strongly support measures that ensure safer, more resilient markets, but we urge policymakers to carefully weigh the costs of such measures. No one benefits if badly designed regulations disrupt liquidity and drive up costs for traders and investors,” Lenterman said.

FIA EPTA represents firms that trade their own capital in the European exchange-traded markets. The association estimates that its members are responsible for a substantial part of the traded volumes on European exchanges and multilateral trading facilities.

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