Thursday 30th October 2014
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THURSDAY TICKER: OCTOBER 30TH 2014: - In ConvergEx’s survey of financial market professional, released today, uust 17% of respondents say they approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, while 73% said they disapprove. (This compares with a 41% approval/54% disapproval rating for the President in the RealClearPolitics average, 10/8-10/23/2014) Half (50%) of those surveyed give the President a “D” or “F” grade on handling issues of concern to the financial services industry. Opinions of Congress are even lower, with just 8% approving of the job being done by Congress and 81% disapproving. (This compares with a 13% approval/79% disapproval rating for Congress in the RealClearPolitics average, 10/3-10/20/2014. Almost half (46%) give Congress a “D” or “F” grade on handling issues of concern to the financial services industry. 69% of respondents say they would like Republicans to be in control of the Senate following the elections, a figure above even the 65% who say they plan to vote Republican in their own House districts. By 61% to 14%, Republicans are trusted over Democrats on issues impacting the financial services industry. For 8 of 9 market sectors, a higher percentage of respondents said equities would respond positively to a GOP win than to a Democratic win. Only for the Heath Care sector do more investors expect a positive outcome in response to Democrats holding the Senate - The Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) posted a net profit (before deducting minority interest) of QAR503m in 3Q2014, flat QoQ, but 79% higher than a particularly weak 3Q2013. CBQ’s operating income in 3Q2014 increased 16% YoY but dropped 10% QoQ, driven by lower-than-expected results at subsidiary ABank. ABank’s operating income tumbled around 23% QoQ as non-interest income plummeted. For CBQ excluding ABank, operating income stood at around QR 764 million in 3Q2014, up 12% YoY, down 6% QoQ - Moody's has today assigned a provisional (P)B1 corporate family rating (CFR) to Kompania Weglowa SA, the parent company of the group. This provisional rating is subject to the successful completion of the issuance of new notes as currently contemplated by management. Concurrently, Moody's has assigned a provisional (P)B1 rating with a loss-given default (LGD) assessment of 3 (46%) to the senior unsecured notes to be issued by Kompania Weglowa Finance AB (publ), a financing vehicle owned by the company. The outlook on all ratings is stable - ING Group will release its 3Q 2014 results on Wednesday November 5th around 7:00 am CET - AIMCo, Allianz Capital Partners, EDF Invest andHastings have closed its buy of Porterbrook, a UK-based rolling stock leasing company. orterbrook is one of three main rolling stock companies (ROSCOs) in the UK that owns and leases a fleet of passenger and freight rolling stock to Train Operating Companies and Freight Operating Companies under long term contracts. It owns 32 per cent of total passenger rolling stock in the UK. No financial terms were disclosed - Fixed-income markets remain volatile: Europe is challenged, Brazil might struggle, and China is dealing with a potential property bubble. Opportunities nonetheless remain rife for savvy investors, particularly in the high-yield markets. Western Asset believes high-yield should be a key component of any successfully diversified bond portfolio. "We are pretty bullish on credit in general, and high-yield in particular," says Michael Buchanan, head of Global Credit at Western Asset. "Credit is less about the overall economic environment and more about strong corporate fundamentals. Corporations can do well in a mediocre economy, and that seems to be what's happening. Three factors are important right now: the overall economic environment is supportive; strong active management allows us to identify the right opportunities; and valuations are as compelling as they have been in months. This is a good time to take a fresh look at high-yield." Western Asset also believes high-yield products will offer price appreciation as spreads should tighten. On the global economic environment, Mr. Buchanan echoed Western Asset views that interest rates are poised to rise – albeit slowly, and via a process that will be carefully measured. Rates will not be meaningfully higher in the near future, or at least the moves will be gradual – According to Moody’s while the US government's current fiscal position remains relatively healthy, mandatory social spending will begin weakening the current fiscal profile of the US government at the end of the decade. For the next few years, barring another shock like the global financial crisis, the US budget deficit is expected to remain well within historical norms with Federal government debt ratios stable. However, the fiscal implications of the US government's healthcare-related programs likely will put pressure on its credit profile before the end of the decade, absent unexpected and sustained growth in revenue due to higher than expected GDP growth, additional tax increases, or reductions in planned expenditures, says Moody’s.

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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