Tuesday 28th June 2016
NEWS TICKER: JUNE 28TH: This morning the story is about keeping calm even as the West European political landscape looks set to change forever. The aftershocks from the UK’s decision to leave the EU last week will continue for some time. This morning however the focus is on the UK Chancellor’s statement that was designed to calm the markets and set out a marker for the Leave camp in the ruling Conservative Party to keep him in a unity government if the divorce from the EU is to proceed unimpeded. Expect lots of posturing, but the reality is a deal will be wrought between prominent Remainers and Leavers, so that they can ‘sell’ to a clearly divided population that a reasonable outcome for the UK can be achieved. Expect also that many Leaver will now renege on many of the pledges and charges levelled against the EU, as they were plangently either not achievable or true. Politically, the fallout is far from over: Nicola Sturgeon, whose reputation has been enhanced by the referendum will now seek ways for Scotland to exit the Union; a clever move as firms looking to locate overseas to keep long term free access to Europe will now seriously consider Edinburgh and Glasgow as alternatives to Ireland or Luxembourg. There are areas of concern however: one is in Northern Ireland, where a call for a Border Poll by leader Martin McGuinness could reignite old political divisions and moves by many MPs in the Opposition Labour Party to oust the party’s leader Jeremy Corbin is distracting attention from the main question: how does the UK extricate itself from Europe with the most gain and least pain to all sides. While Leave campaigners and television commentators look to try to reassure the British public that they should not be worried by short term movements in sterling and the stock market. According to brokerage Clear Treasury: “Sterling this morning has drifted lower again since Friday’s close which saw the pound depreciate 9%. The worst may not be over for the pound either as the Brexit fallout is by no means over. We will likely see aftershocks in the market for the foreseeable future. The difficulty here will lie in anticipating these shocks, and for this reason it’s hard to justify many traders being able to justify holding or purchasing additional sterling. This is why we feel that the pound may not have reached its bottom just yet. Keep a close eye on economic data from the UK with GDP, market sentiment, retail figures etc all likely to be impacted going forward” – The world’s top central bankers meet in Brussels today for a three-day summit; no doubt Brexit is on the agenda and they will certainly be talking measures to calm the markets. On Tuesday, European leaders meet and following the inimitable Angela Merkel’s admonition to all Europeans to treat with the UK kindly and well will help defuse what could have been a rancorous meeting – St Louis Missouri-based Stifel Financial Corporation today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Sterne Agee's legacy independent brokerage, clearing, and RIA businesses to INTL FCStone Inc. (NASDAQ: INTL). Following a financial restructuring of the combined businesses, consideration will approximate the tangible net asset value of the entities. The transaction is expected to close immediately after regulatory approval, which is anticipated in July. As part of the agreement, Stifel has agreed to sell: Sterne Agee Financial Services, Inc.; Sterne Agee Clearing, Inc.; Sterne Agee Leach, Inc.; Sterne Agee Asset Management; and Sterne Agee Investment Advisory Services. To support these businesses, INTL FCStone has agreed to hire substantially all of the Birmingham, Alabama-based support professionals. Ronald J. Kruszewski, chairman and CEO of Stifel, says, "Last year we successfully integrated the Private Client Group branches and institutional fixed income business from our Sterne Agee acquisition. We are pleased to have found an acquirer in INTL FCStone who is committed to these businesses and the professionals in the Birmingham community." -

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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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