Sunday 31st 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.

Asian hedge funds outperformed regional equity markets

Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Asian hedge funds outperformed regional equity markets Asian hedge funds outperformed volatile regional equity markets in 2011, marking the second consecutive year of such outperformance, according to data released by Hedge Fund Research Inc (HFR).  http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Asian hedge funds outperformed volatile regional equity markets in 2011, marking the second consecutive year of such outperformance, according to data released by Hedge Fund Research Inc (HFR). 

In a year marked by a difficult cycle of navigating steep equity market declines in Japan and Emerging Asia, the benchmark HFRX Asia with Japan Index posted a narrow gain of +0.4 percent in 4Q11 to end 2011 with a decline of -5.2 percent, mirroring the performance of the broad-based HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index and topping the Nikkei 225 and the Shanghai Composite Index by 1,200 and nearly 1,700 basis points (bps), respectively. The recently launched HFRX Korea Index posted a gain of +4.8 percent for 4Q11 and, despite declining -7.5 percent for the full calendar year, also topped the benchmark Kospi Index by nearly 350 bps for 2011.

Global investors reduced capital invested in the Asian hedge fund industry by $1.04 billion in 4Q11, the first quarterly net outflow to Asian hedge funds since 1Q10. For the full year 2011, Asian hedge funds experienced a net inflow of $6.6 billion, representing a +7.5 percent increase in total AUM in these funds, bringing total estimated capital in Asian hedge funds to $82.1 billion to conclude the year. Contrary to trends across the global hedge fund industry, two-thirds of the new capital invested in Asian hedge funds in 2011 went to Equity Hedge strategies, with Event Driven and Relative Value Arbitrage also experiencing net increases in capital. While the largest sub-strategy for Asian hedge funds continues to be Equity Hedge: Fundamental Growth, funds executing on Distressed, Market Neutral and Event Driven: Multi-Strategy have experienced capital increases, while AUM dedicated to Macro and Activist funds has declined over the past year.

The total number of Asian hedge funds has also continued to increase, ending 2011 at nearly 1,100 funds, a gain of 4 percent for the year, and growth which has been consistent across both Emerging and Developed Asia. In addition, the number of funds choosing to locate in Asia also increased for the year, with China, Singapore and Australia all showing increases, while the number located in the US declined for the year. The percentage of Asian-focused hedge funds located in China increased to 28.6 percent in the second half of 2011, while the percentage located in the US declined to 26.4 percent.

“2011 was a challenging year for Asian hedge funds not only as a function of complexities associated with Asian inflation, natural disasters and speculation on currency policy, but also as related to assessing the potential impact that the European sovereign debt crisis could have on Asian trade, financial market liquidity and currency levels,” says Kenneth  Heinz, president of HFR. “The increased proliferation of specialised, Asian-located funds executing on uncorrelated, market neutral strategies and the relative performance benefits these offer are likely to attract capital from both Asian and global investors as cyclical risk tolerance increases in 2012.”

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