Tuesday 28th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: MONDAY, APRIL 27th 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." -

Actis launches Energy Impact Model

Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Actis launches Energy Impact Model Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity investor, has today announced the launch of the Actis Energy Impact Model, a tool for assessing progress over the life of its energy investments. The Impact Model reportedly captures in a systematic way the key drivers that build value, and helps pinpoint where action is required. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity investor, has today announced the launch of the Actis Energy Impact Model, a tool for assessing progress over the life of its energy investments. The Impact Model reportedly captures in a systematic way the key drivers that build value, and helps pinpoint where action is required.

The model has been under development since mid-2010 and is based on the Five Capitals model developed by Forum for the Future, a leading sustainability NGO that works with the business community. The five capitals are finance, people, social/community, infrastructure and environment, to which Actis has added a sixth, namely governance. The firm has also worked with Forum and Imperial College to test and improve the model.

“Actis believes the capital it invests in the emerging markets should be transformational for society. This model enables that wider impact to be properly measured and adjusted, and helps us to measure the non-financial drivers of market value. The Impact Model will help to build value in our portfolio companies that is meaningful and increases the financial worth of each company,” explains Torbjorn Caesar, co-head Energy at the firm.



The Impact Model requires Actis and the management of its investee companies to score each investment twice a year on up to 63 criteria, both quantitative and qualitative. For example, under the category of Environment, a quantitative criterion would be GHG Emission, which is assessed by measuring distribution losses as a percentage of energy dispatched, while a qualitative criterion would be the Impact on Land rated on a scale of 1 to 5. The results can then used for benchmarking, annual planning, target setting and review by both Actis and the investee company’s executive team. The model can also be used as part of the initial investment decision.

“From our work with leading companies, we know that hardwiring sustainability into management processes (such as impact indicators) is a critical element in making that part of everything the business does,” notes Jonathon Porritt at Forum for the Future.

Initially, Actis will apply the model to all its energy investments, which may well result in further refinement of the metrics. The Impact Model is structured so that individual indicators can be changed and improved over time without disrupting the core of the model. The firm is confident that measuring the impact of its investments will drive long-term sustainable value, and has developed a similar framework to assess the non financial value drivers of its other investments, but the ultimate ambition is for the private equity industry more widely to take it up.

“Offering the Impact Model to other private equity firms to adopt is a brilliant act of leadership. Pioneering companies realise that their success relies on many others,” says orritt. “Actis can help the private equity industry shed some of its negative reputation, and open up the prospect of a private equity sector that directs its undoubted dynamism at generating returns from sustainable activities.”

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