Monday 27th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: MONDAY, APRIL 27th 2015:Luc Luyet, CIIA – Senior Market Analyst AT Swissquote says that yesterday, “the SNB surprised the market by announcing that the number of sight deposit account holders that are exempt from negative interest has been reduced. This decision doesn’t change much the domestic banks’ situation as the “20 times the minimum reserve requirement” rule is still running. On the other side, the institutions associated with the Confederation, such as the pension fund of the Confederation or the pension fund of the SNB, are no longer exempt of negative interest. Consequently, only the account holders of the national social security system are still fully exempt.” - High yield debt issuance remains buoyant. Issuance volume for the week ending April 17, 2015, slowed down a bit from the previous week, but remained strong. Junk bond, or high-yield debt, issuers continued to issue bonds as yields remained favourable. High-yield debt is tracked by the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund. According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, dollar-denominated bonds amounting to $10.75bn were issued across 16 transactions in the week ending April 17th. The issuance volume fell by 3.2% from the week ending April 10. Pricing was evenly spread across the week. The number of transactions fell from 18 to 16 week-over-week. Last week brought the total US dollar issuance of high-yield debt to $115.8bn in 2015 YTD, up some 15% from the same period in 2014, the bulk of which is refinancing of older debt - Moody's says EMEA auto ABS performance remained stable during the three-month period ending February 2015. The sector's average performance trend was positive in terms of delinquency ratios and cumulative losses. The 60+ day delinquencies decreased to 0.66% in February 2015 from 0.77% in February 2014, while cumulative defaults decreased to 1.06% from 1.20% over the same period. This decrease was due mainly to the good performance of the German and Dutch markets. The prepayment rate increased slightly to 13.49% in February 2015 from 13.30% a year earlier. As of February 2015, the pool balance of all outstanding rated auto ABS transactions was €27.55bn - According to Sino specialists Red Pulse, China’s State Council is considering allowing daily repatriation for QFII. Currently, RQFII enjoys T+1 repatriation while QFII is restricted to T+5. QFII is the largest channel for foreign investment into China with quota of USD150bn, however, only half of the quota is in use, like at least partly due to the five-day repatriation stipulation - Malaysia’s state pension fund will offer a Shari’a-compliant investment option for its members by 2017, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Najib says it will create the largest Shari’a fund of its kind in the world. Malaysia has one of the world’s largest Islamic finance sectors and the authorities are keen to develop it further. They envision the industry accounting for 40% of the country’s total banking assets by 2020 compared with latest figures of around 23% released last year. The $160bn (MYR577.4bn) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) already invests about a third of its portfolio in stocks and bonds that comply with Islamic principles, which ban interest payments and pure monetary speculation. The fund reportedly hired consultants last year to study the feasibility of a state-backed pension fund focusing entirely on Shari’a-compliant investments. Additionally, local press reports says that Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional has received regulatory approval to issue a MYR1billion (around $275m) socially responsible Islamic bond - The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on the company's outstanding common stock, an increase of 67% from the prior $0.15 per share quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable on June 26TH 2015, to shareowners of record at the close of business on June 12TH 2015 - Lazard Ltd today reported operating revenue1 of $581m for the quarter ended March 31st. Adjusted net income was $103m, or $0.77 (diluted) per share for the quarter. These results exclude a pre-tax charge of $63m relating to a debt refinancing2. Q1 2015 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis, including the pre-tax charge, was $56m, or $0.42 (diluted) per share. "Our Financial Advisory and Asset Management businesses continue their strong performance," says Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. "In the first quarter, we refinanced and repaid a portion of Lazard's long-term debt, significantly reducing our interest costs," adds Matthieu Bucaille, chief financial officer of Lazard. "Consistent with our capital management objectives, we have increased the quarterly dividend by 17%, the fifth increase in as many years." -

BlackRock index update reveals global market moves

Wednesday, 16 January 2013
BlackRock index update reveals global market moves BlackRock has released its quarterly update of the BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index (BSRI), showing key movements by Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The BSRI provides investors with a framework for tracking sovereign credit risk in 48 countries, drawing on a pool of financial data, surveys and political insights. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

BlackRock has released its quarterly update of the BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index (BSRI), showing key movements by Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The BSRI provides investors with a framework for tracking sovereign credit risk in 48 countries, drawing on a pool of financial data, surveys and political insights.

The update also contacts the newly created interactive BSRI, which allows for viewing individual country scores, comparing two countries and sorting overall rankings by index components. The BSRI was developed through the BlackRock Investment Institute (BII) in June 2011, in recognition of the growing focus by investors around world on sovereign risk debt. The BSRI uses more than 30 quantitative measures, complemented by qualitative insights from third-party sources.

Highlights of the report include Japan’s fall in the rankings as a result of its sharply deteriorating fiscal balance – a space worth monitoring in 2013 as a new government and central bank governor settle in. “The fiscal profile of Japan worsened enough to cause it to slip two spots to 35th place, even as its other BSRI components improved. Japan now ranks just ahead of South Africa but below the likes of Turkey, Indonesia and Slovakia,” according to the BII.



The US remained at 15th place even as it teetered on the edge of the “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. "The last-minute deal was better than nothing, we think, but its limited scope means more tortured budget talks – and market volatility – ahead,” BII strategists said.

China, Australia and New Zealand moved up in the rankings, with Australia jumping three spots due to an improved primary budget balance. “China rose two spots to 16th place on the back of higher government revenues as a percentage of GDP. China’s ‘Willingness to Pay score’ improved due to the relatively smooth once-a-decade leadership change,” according to the report.

India remained at 39th place, but the country’s profile improved on most fronts, according to the BII: “India’s ‘Fiscal Space’ improved on a lower debt-to-GDP level and an improving primary balance. Among major BSRI movements, the BII also noted that South Africa dropped two notches to 36th place: “South Africa slid two spots to 36th place mainly due to a rapidly worsening current account deficit. Anecdotal evidence has money fleeing the country at a rapid pace, and the BSRI appears to reflect this.”

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