Friday 29th 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.

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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