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NEWS: Friday, August 28TH: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority says it has granted a restricted banking licence to Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific Company Limited (GSAPCL) under the Banking Ordinance. GSAPCL, incorporated in Hong Kong, is a wholly-owned banking subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The number of restricted licence banks in Hong Kong is now 24 - Apple launched its first Australian dollar corporate bond issue, raising $1.2bn within two hours this morning. Strong demand for the US tech giant’s fixed and floating, four and seven year Kangaroo bonds saw the firm outstrip predictions it would raise between $500m and $1bn. Apple bonds are popular because the AA+ rated company is considered an ultra-safe investment, although yields are correspondingly low — about 3% on four-year bonds and about 3.8% on seven-year bonds - The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the responses received to the Joint Committee Discussion Paper on Key Information Document for PRIIPS. The responses can be downloaded from the regulator's website - Romania’s MV Petrom reportedly is planning a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange. According to Romanian press reports, the local investment fund Fondul Proprietatea may sell a significant stake in the company via public offering on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange. OMV Petrom, with a current market capitalisation of €4.85bn has announced that it will ask its shareholders’ approval for a secondary listing in London. The general shareholders meeting is scheduled for September 22nd. Austrian group OMV, holds 51% of the company’s shares; other shareholders include the Romanian state, via the Energy Ministry, with a 20.6% stake, and investment fund Fondul Proprietatea, which holds 19%. The remaining 9.4% is free-float - Morgan Stanley (NYSE/MS) today announced the launch of a new fund, the IPM Systematic Macro UCITS Fund, under its FundLogic Alternatives plc umbrella. The fund provides exposure to IPM’s Systematic Macro strategy, which is based on IPM’s proprietary investment models that provide unique insights into how fundamental drivers interact with the dynamics of asset price returns. The FundLogic Alternatives Platform currently has more than $2.6bn in assets under management (as of 31 July 2015) and this latest addition expands Morgan Stanley’s offering of global macro strategies - Equities sold off hard this morning as continued pressure on Chinese stocks rippled throughout world markets. Chinese government intervention brought the Shanghai Composite back a positive close; but the question is now, has confidence eroded so much that the market will continue to depend on the government to prop it up? The other key element to consider today is the outcome of the debate in the German parliament on the Greek bailout. Last month, a record 65 lawmakers from the conservative camp broke ranks and refused to back negotiations on the bailout. The daily Bild estimated that up to 120 CDU and CSU members out of 311 might refuse to back the now-agreed deal. However, Chancellor Merkel is looking to secure support from the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel's junior coalition partner, and the opposition Greens which will likely swing the final decision Greece’s way. However, a rebellion by a large number of her allies would be a blow to the highly popular Chancellor.

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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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