Friday 22nd 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.

Macro gains offset by equity losses

Friday, 15 June 2012
Macro gains offset by equity losses Hedge funds post declines in volatile May; systematic macro post gains on fixed income http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Hedge funds post declines in volatile May; systematic macro post gains on fixed income

Hedge funds posted decline in May, with the HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index posting a loss of -1.6%, says Hedge Fund Research, Inc., the indexation, analysis and research provider for the global hedge fund industry. This marks the third consecutive monthly decline, reducing the year to date gain for the index to 2.5% through May.  “During the volatile month of May, investors reacted to increased European bank and sovereign bond risk and weakening U.S. economic data by aggressively moving portfolios toward less risky exposures,” explains  Kenneth J Heinz, president of HFR. “This

risk-off response adversely impacted certain areas of equity-sensitive hedge fund exposures, while benefitting strategies tactically positioned to insulate portfolios and produce gains resulting from the strong trends and volatile environment which materialised. In the current environment, at some level, every hedge fund is a Macro fund.” 

Mirroring trends across financial markets, hedge fund performance during May was widely divergent across strategies, with macro funds posting their best monthly performance since April 2011, while equity hedge posted its largest decline since September 2011. The HFRI Macro Index gained 1.7% in May, bringing YTD gains to 1.9%, with significant contributions from systematic strategies and positions in fixed income, commodities and currencies, with limited aggregate exposure to equity market volatility. The HFRI Macro: Systematic Diversified Index gained 4.1% in May and has gained 2.9% year to date.

The HFRI Equity Hedge Index posted a decline of -4.1% in the month, paring its year to date gain to +1.8%, with declines across growth, energy and emerging markets strategies only partially offset by short bias funds, which gained over 7%. Event driven strategies fell by -1.4%, paring year to date gains to 3.1%, with weakness in activist, distressed and equity special situations funds. Falling yields and increased volatility failed to offset the impact of credit weakness as Relative Value Arbitrage funds posted a decline of -1.3%, the first decline for this strategy in 2012, narrowing year to date gains to 3.1%, for the global strategy.

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