Wednesday 20th 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.

Commodity ETPs in demand as China outlook Improves

Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Commodity ETPs in demand as China outlook Improves Global Commodity ETPs saw a second consecutive quarter of inflows in Q2 2014, as increasing confidence in China’s economic outlook and global economic recovery boosted commodity prices and investor demand for commodity exposure. Inflows totalled $275m, up from $271m of inflows in Q1 2014. The combination of inflows and higher prices pushed assets under management (AUM) in commodity ETPs at the end of Q2 2014 to $123.3bn from $122.4bn at the end of Q1 2014. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Global Commodity ETPs saw a second consecutive quarter of inflows in Q2 2014, as increasing confidence in China’s economic outlook and global economic recovery boosted commodity prices and investor demand for commodity exposure. Inflows totalled $275m, up from $271m of inflows in Q1 2014. The combination of inflows and higher prices pushed assets under management (AUM) in commodity ETPs at the end of Q2 2014 to $123.3bn from $122.4bn at the end of Q1 2014.

]  “All key commodity sectors saw inflows during the quarter except for agriculture and livestock.  Precious metals saw the strongest investor demand with $430m of inflows, followed by diversified broad commodity ETPs with $172m, energy with $135m and industrial metals with a more modest $15m.  Agriculture and livestock saw $477m of outflows. Increasing confidence in the US recovery, a positive turn in China growth after three years of slowdown, and expected further easing measures by China’s policy-makers has boosted prices and investor sentiment towards commodities,” says Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy at ETF Securities.

Commodity ETPs with the strongest demand in Q2 were platinum and palladium, with $400m and $410m of inflows respectively. Rising global auto demand (autocatalysts are a key source of demand for both metals) together with rising supply concerns due to mine strikes in South Africa and potential Russia export restrictions has exacerbated fears that already large supply deficits will worsen and has pushed prices higher for both metals.  We anticipate these trends will continue in H2.

Gold ETPs saw mixed flows, with US listed gold ETPs seeing $586m of outflows while Europe and other country listed gold ETPs saw $483m of inflows, leading to net quarterly outflows of $103m. Most of the divergence in the gold ETP flow trends took place in April.  The most likely explanation for the divergence is that during that period European investors were focusing on the close-to-home potential risks of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine, while US investors mostly maintained their bullish view on risk assets as US equities continued to hit new highs. With geopolitical risks still high and many risky asset classes trading at stretched valuations, we believe gold ETP demand will continue to improve in H2 2014 as investors look for hedges against possible risk market corrections.

Diversified broad commodity ETPs saw the largest inflows after platinum and palladium, with total inflows of $172m in Q2. The inflows reflect improving sentiment towards commodities as an asset class as China growth has shown signs of picking up and China policy-makers have made clear they are moving into stimulus mode after three years of tightening. It is interesting to note that the largest inflows were into diversified broad commodity ETPs that exclude agriculture, with $89m of new flows into these ETPs versus $75m into those that include agriculture, highlighting generally negative investor views towards agriculture. 

Agriculture ETPs as a group saw $468m of outflows, with broad diversified seeing the largest outflows followed by sugar, corn, cocoa and coffee. The outflows are likely a combination of profit-taking and expectations of improved growing conditions for a number of key agriculture commodities. If an El Nino weather event occurs later this year (current NOAA forecasts put the probability at 70%), speculative flows may return.

Energy ETPs saw $175m of inflows in Q2, with most of the flows ($169m) going into oil ETPs. Increasing violence in Iraq has raised concerns about supply disruptions, pushed oil prices higher and driven oil ETP demand higher. Natural gas ETPs saw $21m of outflows as investors took profits on the natural gas price surge earlier in the year. Industrial metals saw a modest $15m of inflows, with nickel seeing the strongest inflows ($38m) as Indonesia’s ban on ore exports drove prices higher.

 

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