Sunday 26th 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." -

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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