Thursday 28th May 2015
NEWS TICKER: WEDNESDAY, MAY 27TH: The S&P Capital IQ division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE:MHFI) whose CUSIP Global Services (CGS) unit produces identifying instruments and entities that support efficient global capital markets, says Scott Preiss, currently CGS’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has been promoted to the role of Global Head & Managing Director, replacing Jim Taylor, who is retiring, on July 1st, after 28 years of service - Orezone Gold Corporation (ORE-TSX) says a mining permit application has been submitted to the government of Burkina Faso for the construction and operation of its wholly owned Bomboré gold project. The application is based upon the recently announced positive Feasibility Study (April 28, 2015) and includes an environmental and social impact assessment and a relocation action plan (RAP) for the local people affected by the project. The four to eight month permitting process includes public hearings and a complete review by the Ministry of Mines and Energy1 (MEE) and the Ministry of Environment and Durable Development2 (MEDD) and the National Mining Commission3 (NMC), a technical panel. During a weekly cabinet session in parliament the recommendations of the NMC are reviewed and once approved, the permit is a Decree signed by the President of Burkina Faso, the Minister of Economy and Finances, the Minister of MEE and the Minister of MEDD - BNP Paribas Securities Services says its BNP Paribas Dealing Services subsidiary has been selected to manage the dealing activities of RPMI Railpen, the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS). RPS is the sixth largest pension scheme in the UK. Following its decision to bring some of its investment activities in house, RPMI Railpen says it was looking for a dealing desk solution to optimise the execution of its market transactions. RPMI Railpen manages the assets of the RPS on behalf of its parent company, the Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited. Railpen Investments, its investment arm, is an FCA authorised investment manager with assets under management exceeding £21bn - LIM Advisors Ltd, a Hong Kong based fund manager, has signed a milestone agreement to utilise SimCorp Dimension for a full front, middle and back office platform. The $2bn fund manager will leverage SimCorp Dimension to establish full operational capability across multiple asset classes, including equity, bonds, convertibles, listed futures & options and derivatives - Botswana-based grocery retailer, Choppies Enterprises Limited (Choppies) debuted on the Main Board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in the Food Retailers and Wholesalers sector and is the sixth listing on the exchange this year. The firm raised SAR575m in a secondary listing. Choppies boasts a wide FMCG portfolio, including its own private label products and leading international food brands. As a fast growing retailer on the continent, Choppies’ secondary listing on the JSE is intended to assist the company with access to capital needed to support its organic and acquisitive growth as well as establish its presence and public profile in strategic markets in Southern and East African markets. The group is currently the top supermarket chain in Botswana, holding significant market share of the overall national food retail market. Choppies currently operates 125 retail outlets in Southern Africa, comprising 72 stores in Botswana, 35 stores in South Africa and 18 stores in Zimbabwe. Through the listing, Choppies intends to increase its footprint in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia – Small World FS, the international payment services provider says it has processed £10bn in transactions since launching in 2006. The London-headquartered financial technology business now operates the third largest payout network in the world, with a global payout network of over 250,000 locations in 188 countries. This news comes after months of rapid expansion, including the extension of its digital services into 14 sending markets, as well as inking deals with the MTN Group, Africa’s largest mobile operator, and Nations Trust Bank, Sri Lanka’s fastest growing bank - Ullink, a global provider of market leading electronic trading and connectivity solutions, today announced that Kotak Institutional Equities (KIE), one of India's leading institutional brokers and a division of Kotak Securities has chosen Ullink’s UL Bridge connectivity solution. KIE has chosen UL Bridge to facilitate FIX messaging, message enrichment and order routing, to enhance its existing connectivity infrastructure. UL Bridge’s uniquely modular architecture works in conjunction with KIE’s Order Management System (OMS), allowing KIE to provide better execution services to more clients, both locally and globally - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 35.04 points or 1.01% lower to 3424.94, taking the year-to-date performance to +1.78%. The top active stocks today were DBS, which declined 1.54%, Singtel, which declined 1.89%, OCBC Bank, which declined 0.67%, UOB, which declined 1.62% and Ascendas-hTrust, with a 1.43% advance. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.35%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 0.06%. The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Health Care Index, which rose 0.26%. The two biggest stocks of the Index - Raffles Medical Group and Tianjin Zhongxin Pharmaceutical Group Corporation- ended 0.46% lower and 3.48% higher respectively. The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Telecommunications Index, which slipped 1.81%. Singtel shares declined 1.89% and StarHub declined 0.50%.

The push and pull of willpower & politics

Friday, 25 May 2012
The push and pull of willpower & politics June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

June will be a battle between political will and economics. While European leaders continue to insist that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone, they are continually being reminded of the economic reality that a break-up of the single currency is almost certain. What is becoming more apparent day by day is that the markets will simply not allow the likes of Greece to have their cake and eat it without paying for it too. Whether Europe’s politicians will listen to those market siren calls for change has yet to be determined.

If the Germans and French remain reluctant to put their money in the pockets by either using the ECB’s potential firepower or create a special eurobond then they could themselves become the very nemesis of the single currency that they tell us they are so desperate to keep. Even so, risk aversion continues to whittle down the markets; at the time of writing the index is at 5380, down some 25 points. Traders are watching term support trends at 5335, 5300 and 5275; hopeful bulls out there will be looking for resistance at 5490, 5615/45. This near term downward trend sees the index capped by a downward trend line that also puts some resistance at 5450. Over the longer term now that the index has broken below its 200 day moving average and its upward trend line a close below 5400 could been seen as very negative and we’re now in the ­territory of people not wanting to catch a falling knife.

While immediate market focus will remain on Europe and its affect on the macro picture, there are a couple of important pieces of data that UK investors should note. First, following a surprising improvement in April, unemployment numbers are likely to show a weakening labour market.  There’s little in the way of encouraging data from the UK at the moment, but last month’s data was the first ­indication that unemployment is ­starting to peak. Job creation has come largely from part time rather than ­permanent work and the tick downwards to 8.3% in the rate of unemployment is expected to rise back to 8.4%. Second, it will be interesting to see whether the upcoming Bank of England’s inflation report will encourage the central bank to stick to their hawkish guns or whether the ­confirmation of the double dip recession and a further downgrading of growth projections will result in a more dove-ish tone.



Other European indicators are not great either: Italian ten year yields have crossed back above 6% and for Spain back above 6.5%, meanwhile risk adverse investors piled into German bunds driving their cost of borrowing even lower. This is classic fear gripping the markets once again as the vicissitudes of 2012 look to be playing out in a very similar fashion to 2011. Financial markets detest uncertainty and at the moment they are riddled with them since Greece has been unable to form a government and has had to call for a new round of  elections on 17th June. Up until that point we can expect volatility to remain high and continued pressure to the downside.

The euro made a low of $1.2720 as the situation in Greece continues to deteriorate. Bears sold the single ­currency heavily after socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos announced that talks to form a coalition government had failed and that the public would have to go back to the polls next month. Gold continued to fall as traders dumped risky assets and piled into the safety of the US dollar. Spot gold traded as low as $1541 an ounce.  With little technical support seen until $1531 and no turn around in Greece on the horizon, the down trend looks set to stay firmly in place.

On top of all the European woes there’s also the growing concern that China is slowing down quicker than was previously thought. Add any downturn to the euro crisis and it has negative connotations for global growth.

As ever, ladies and gentlemen, place your bets...

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