Wednesday 20th August 2014
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MONDAY TICKER: AUGUST 18TH: 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.

Better inflation outlook in Asia, says SC corporate sentiment study

Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Better inflation outlook in Asia, says SC corporate sentiment study A survey of leading Asian corporations by Standard Chartered says Indonesian corporations and energy companies are the most optimistic and inflation has a better outlook in 2012 for most Asian economies. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

A survey of leading Asian corporations by Standard Chartered says Indonesian corporations and energy companies are the most optimistic and inflation has a better outlook in 2012 for most Asian economies.

Standard Chartered has issued the first of a series of quarterly surveys,  based on the views of 529 C-Suite executives from 7 Asian economies and 12 industry groups, 99% of whom are clients of Standard Chartered and business contacts of the equity research team.

According to the bank, the survey differentiates itself by structuring questions that draw out important links between economic variables such as corporate order books, costs and margins, as opposed to focusing on single-issue variables. Responses help build a more comprehensive  picture of the outlook for industry sectors and economies.

Analysis of the responses to the survey highlights a number of nuanced conclusions, says Clive McDonnell, chief equity strategies at Standard Chartered, with specific implications for investors. These include, the observation that buoyant new orders are centered on economies that are more domestically oriented, including Indonesia, India and Thailand. Capex and hiring plans are also biased towards these economies, whereas cyclical economies (with the exception of Korea) and sectors are less positive.

Equally, the RMB is gaining traction as a settlement currency, with 37% of the respondents using or intending to use it. Moreover, the biggest challenges faced by corporates are: the demand outlook (selected by 28% of respondents), cost pressures (25%) and regulation (19%).

 The energy sector is also expected to benefit from a wave of new capital in 2012, with 44% of respondents indicating their plan to tap into the debt market for raising new capital.  

Key challenges facing corporates in 2012 have also been identified in the survey. 28% of respondents see demand as their greatest challenge, closely followed by cost pressures, at 25%. Regulatory uncertainty took the third spot, with 19% of respondents indicating it as their biggest challenge. 

 “A likely recession in the West in 2012, as judged by our respondents, has failed to dampen bottom-up corporate sentiment in Asia. Our Aggregate Index signals a slight improvement in the lead indicators for business prospects in the year ahead, despite challenges of demand, cost pressures and regulatory obligations,” says  McDonnell. He adds:

“Investment implications from the survey support our recommendation for continued emphasis on companies that focus on domestic demand, particularly in Indonesia. We also expect margin pressure to ease in 2012, reflecting improvement in inflation expectations.”

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