Monday 28th July 2014
slib33
FRIDAY ANALYSTS TICKER: July 25th 2014 - According to Adam Cordery, global head of European fixed income, Santander Asset Management, and fund manager for the Santander Euro Corporate Short Term and Euro Corporate bond funds, “Pricing of risk assets doesn’t offer much of a margin for error at the moment. And now Europe is starting to go on holiday, market liquidity may get poorer than normal, and any buys today may well have to be holds until September. It is always interesting to note what yields are required to attract clients to financial products. Twenty years ago, bond funds offering yields of 10%+ could generally attract lots of client interest very quickly. However as rates have come down over the years, so the yields clients demand have fallen. Now 4% seems to be the new 10%, he say. Cordery thinks that unfortunately, investors often want today the yield/risk mix that was available last year, so the products that get launched, sold and bought in size may be more risky than people think. “Products with 4% yield will sell well today, but to get to a 4% yield in Euro you need to invest in a portfolio with an average rating of single-B, and that is far from being risk-free. I get the impression the conventional wisdom today is to think that interest rates must surely go up soon and the main risk to bond portfolios is an increase in bund yields. Because of this many investors are buying short-duration products and floating rate notes, perhaps viewing them as a safe choice, almost like cash. It is possible however that these products may yet prove to have a considerable sensitivity to changes in credit market spreads and/or bond market liquidity, and may prove to be no protection at all.” - Commenting on the RBS share price jump, Dr Pete Hahn of Cass Business School, says “It's hard to tell whether the RBS share price jump today is more about relief or optimism. The former is about fewer fines, fewer losses on loans, and fewer costs in a shrinking business and possibly dividends for shareholders. And there's the rub, owning shares (as opposed to interest bearing debt) should be about optimism and long-term growth in dividends. But from a shrinking business? Few would argue that RBS' retail and corporate bank had efficiencies to be gained and cash flow that might be converted to dividends; yet like most banks, RBS' cost of equity remains stubbornly and appropriately above its ability to provide a return on that equity. For shareholders, current improvements should mean dividends in the medium term but a recognition that RBS may lack any merit for new investment and delivering any long-term dividend growth - not good. While many large retail banks are getting safer, in some aspects, and we often speak of them in terms of moving toward utility type models, banks take risks, are cyclical, face competition, have new business challengers, and are simply are not utilities. Investors shouldn't get ahead of themselves here.” - According to the monthly survey held by the central bank of Turkey, the country’s capacity utilization (CU) rate declined slightly to 74.9% in July from 75.3% in June. Meanwhile, seasonally adjusted (SA) CU also declined to 74.3% from 74.7% in June, writes Mehmet Besimoglu at Oyak Yatirim Research. As for manufacturing confidence, the index declined to 109 from 110.7 in May. On SA basis, the index also edged down slightly to 106.4 from 107.2. SA capacity utilisation was broadly stable in 1H14, averaging at 74.7%. This is the same level with the 2013 average. Despite the political turmoil and volatility in financial markets, activity has been relatively resilient. Export recovery & government spending supported production in 1H. Following the elections, public spending relatively decelerated. The turmoil in Iraq also decelerated export recovery from June. Nevertheless, we still expect 3.5% GDP growth in 2014, writes Besimoglu.

Rules could curb collateral movement, ICMA warns

Thursday, 03 April 2014
Rules could curb collateral movement, ICMA warns Regulators need to consider the impact of financial regulation on the movement of collateral according to a new study by ICMA’s European Repo Council. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Regulators need to consider the impact of financial regulation on the movement of collateral according to a new study by ICMA’s European Repo Council.

The trade body has highlighted potential systemic risks of inhibiting collateral fluidity and the negative impact this could have on the stability and efficiency of capital markets.

A number of regulatory and market driven initiatives are in place to meet the challenges that currently constrain the efficient movement of collateral, including Target2-Securities, EU Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR) and tri-party settlement interoperability between ICSDs/CSDs.

However, according to ICMA’s study entitled 'Collateral is the new cash: the systemic risks of inhibiting collateral fluidity’, regulations such as the Basel III Leverage Ratio and the proposed EU Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) could prohibit the effective functioning of collateral markets.

For the markets, these regulations could mean less liquid secondary markets for securities, greater asset price volatility. Hedging, and the pricing and management of risk, could become more difficult. There may also be greater execution risks for investors.

Meanwhile the economy could suffer from reduced investment in capital and businesses, higher borrowing costs for governments, increased costs for corporate capital raisers and place more onus on central banks to support markets.

“If banks find it economically inefficient, or are restricted by regulation from supporting the critical functions of sourcing, pricing, managing, and mobilising collateral, and the infrastructure is not in place for the efficient mobilisation of collateral, then the basic intermediation roles of banks and financial markets - that of maturity, risk, and credit transformation - would be undermined,” says the study.

The proposed EU 11 Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), were it to be applied to securities finance trades, would severely impair the effective functioning of collateral markets. Another ICMA study suggests that the size of the European repo market could be reduced by as much as 66%, with the market effectively closed for transactions under six months’ maturity.

In addition, new Basel III capital adequacy requirements are making the balance sheets of banks more expensive. As a result, banks are having to rethink their business models and priorities. Low-margin, capital-intensive businesses, such as repo, are becoming less attractive.

“Sound regulation is essential for the efficient and stable functioning of the global funding and capital markets that support our economies,” says the IMCA’s report. “So is collateral. In this respect, regulation should not only avoid inhibiting collateral fluidity, but, where possible, it should aim to enhance it.

Godfried De Vidts, chair of ICMA’s European Repo Council, adds: “As we build the framework of new financial regulation for safer markets we should steer clear of embedding systemic risks which could contribute to future financial crises.”

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