Monday 24th November 2014
NEWS TICKER – MONDAY NOVEMBER 24TH 2014: The director of the National Security Agency, Navy Admiral Michael Rogers, says he expects to see adversaries launch a cyber-attack in the next few years aimed at severely damaging America's critical infrastructure. "I fully expect that during my time as commander, we're going to be tasked to help defend critical infrastructure within the United States because it is under attack by some foreign nation or some individual or group," Rogers told the House Select Committee on Intelligence this morning (EST). Rogers, who also serves as commander of the US Cyber Command, says the government is better prepared to defend against those attacks than it was two years ago.On November 24th, the Federal Reserve will conduct a fixed-rate offering of term deposits through its Term Deposit Facility (TDF) that will incorporate an early withdrawal feature. This feature will allow depository institutions to obtain a return of funds prior to the maturity date subject to an early withdrawal penalty. The Federal Reserve will offer eight-day term deposits with an interest rate of 0.29000% and a maximum tender amount of $20,000,000,000. The penalty for early withdrawal is 0.75%, the minimum tender per institution is $20,000,000,000 - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended +29.72 points higher or +0.90% to 3345.32, taking the year-to-date performance to +5.70%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained +0.64% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index gained +0.83%. The top active stocks were SingTel (+0.51%), UOB (+1.37%), DBS (+1.64%), Keppel Corp (+0.22%) and OCBC Bank (+1.16%). The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index (+1.70%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index are Midas Holdings (+1.72%) and Geo Energy Resources (+3.02%). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Technology Index, which gained +0.16% with Silverlake Axis’s share price gaining 0.41% and STATS ChipPAC’s share price unchanged. The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value were the IS MSCI India (+1.70%), SPDR Gold Shares (+0.34%), DBXT MSCI Singapore IM ETF (unchanged). The most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were Suntec REIT (unchanged), Ascendas REIT (unchanged), CapitaCom Trust (+0.89%) - In an interview with US online service Careers Info-Security News Greg Shannon, chief scientist at the CERT Division of Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute says that to defeat cyber-adversaries, cybersecurity professionals should adopt a contrarian attitude, says. "Having that contrarian point of view allows you to get into the mindset of the adversary," Shannon says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "How would this technology work if it did something the designer of it didn't think of?" he asks. "Certainly, that's the way the adversary is thinking, coming up with new attacks, new threats. They're looking at an app, a piece of software or some websites, [and they think] 'What can I do here that the designer didn't think of? Is there a way to get information through channels, through tricks that weren't anticipated? Is there some frailty of humans that I can exploit to get information out of them that they wouldn't normally give me?'" – Raiffeisen Bank International warned in an analyst conference call yesterday that profits in its Russian business would be challenged in Q4 versus Q3. The bank’s Chief Financial Officer Martin Gruell said higher risk provisioning and increased operating expenses could cut profits in its single most profitable market. "I would expect the fourth quarter to be a bit lower than the third quarter," he said. He believes the worst of the rouble's devaluation is over, but explained that the impact on the group’s capital from the dip in the ruble, could push RBI's core capital below 10% of risk-weighted assets by the end of this year - The performance of the Dutch residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market remained stable during the three-month period ended September 2014, according to the latest indices published by Moody's Investors Service. The 60+ day delinquencies of Dutch RMBS, including Dutch mortgage loans benefitting from a Nationale Hypotheek Garantie, decreased to 0.95% in September 2014 from 0.98% in June 2014. At the same time, the 90+ day delinquencies decreased to 0.72% during the three-month period compared with 0.75% in June 2014. Cumulative defaults continued to increase to 0.54% of the original balance, plus additions (in the case of Master Issuers) and replenishments in September 2014, compared with 0.47% in June 2014, says the ratings agency. Cumulative losses slightly increased to 0.11% in September 2014 from 0.10% in June 2014 – According to a Clearstream client bulletin on November 18th, the US Internal Revenue Service and the US Treasury published an amendment to the current temporary regulations (TD9657) regarding FATCA. The amendment impacts Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) who have entered into an agreement with the IRS to become a participating FFI. It amends the determination date and timing for reporting with respect to the 2014 calendar year.

BlackRock adds master trust to range of DC pensions solutions

Friday, 15 June 2012
BlackRock adds master trust to range of DC pensions solutions BlackRock says it has launched a new BlackRock Master Trust to complement its existing trust and contract-based DC solutions. It will bundle scheme administration, an investment platform, member engagement tools and trustee services. It will also enable employers to provide DC benefits under the more stringent governance model of a trust without the associated long term overheads of having to appoint trustees or meet the regulatory and audit costs usually associated with operating trust-based schemes, claims the firm. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

BlackRock says it has launched a new BlackRock Master Trust to complement its existing trust and contract-based DC solutions. It will bundle scheme administration, an investment platform, member engagement tools and trustee services. It will also enable employers to provide DC benefits under the more stringent governance model of a trust without the associated long term overheads of having to appoint trustees or meet the regulatory and audit costs usually associated with operating trust-based schemes, claims the firm.

Employers using the BlackRock Master Trust will be able to offer a preselected range of funds including a default option. Alternatively, employers can work with their investment consultant to customise the investment funds available using the full range of funds on BlackRock’s DC investment platform. The service will also provide a range of solutions to help companies meet the communications challenges of auto-enrolment. Employees will be able to use Target Plan, an integrated modelling tool, which allows clients to assess saving requirements and manage changes to retirement age, contribution level or investment choice.

Paul Bucksey, BlackRock’s head of DC business development and client relations,says that: BlackRock Master Trust ... will offer employers the cost effective and flexible solutions needed to address the challenges of auto-enrolment and the long term savings needs of their employees using the governance structure that best suits them. We have seen significant interest in Master Trust, both from existing clients as well as the wider market, and expect demand to accelerate as we move into the auto-enrolment era.”



Following an extensive selection process, BlackRock has appointed Independent Trustee Services (ITS) as the corporate trustee. “ITS has a strong approach to scheme governance and excellent relationships with pension schemes, employers and consultants which made them the ideal choice for our new product. ITS is a firm with an excellent reputation for delivering professional trustee services across a wide range of pension schemes,” says Steve Rumbles, BlackRock’s head of UK Defined Contribution Pensions, said:

 

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