Wednesday 20th 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.

Insurance companies remain committed to private equity says Preqin study

Friday, 15 June 2012
Insurance companies remain committed to private equity says Preqin study Some 60% plan to make new commitments in 2012. New regulations have on a limited impact on allocations. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Some 60% plan to make new commitments in 2012. New regulations have on a limited impact on allocations.

Almost two-thirds of insurance companies are planning to make new private equity investments before the end of 2012, according to the latest Preqin research. “Insurance companies represent an important source of capital for the private equity industry, accounting for 9% of all capital invested in the asset class. Regulations such as Solvency II are likely to impact upon the level of exposure some of these investors will have to the asset class. However, over three-quarters of insurance companies have so far been unaffected by impending regulations and the majority of insurance companies will continue to allocate capital to private equity in order to meet their long-term investment objectives,” explains Emma Dineen, manager, Private Equity Investor Data.

The survey results show that despite impending Solvency II regulatory changes, the vast majority (79%) of insurance companies have not altered their levels of exposure to private equity. Moreover, nearly one-third (30%) of insurance companies are currently below their target allocations to the asset class, and 88% plan on maintaining or increasing their allocation to private equity over the longer term. According to the research 60% have over $250m allocated to private equity, while 60% of firms polled intend to make their next commitments to funds in 2012. Only a marginal 2% intend to invest in 2013 and 16% not before 2014, while 22% remain unsure on exact timings.

According to the research, small to mid-market buyout funds are viewed as the most attractive fund types, with 49% of respondents seeking to invest in these types of funds over the next 12 months. Some 46% of respondents are actively or opportunistically seeking co-investment opportunities alongside fund managers.

The results, say Preqin, are generally positive for fund managers coming to the crowded fundraising market with new vehicles, as 85% of insurance companies will consider forming some new GP relationships over the next 12 months. Also positive for fund managers is that 79% of insurance companies have not changed their exposure to private equity as a result of new regulations.

Looking regionally, some 51% of insurance companies view Europe as an attractive area for private equity investment even in the current economic climate, while 45% view North America as attractive, while 16% see Asia as appealing. Around 31% of insurance companies polled already invest in emerging markets, and a further 29% are reportedly considering the opportunity.

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