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.

Hong Kong’s OTC Clear to welcome US clearing members

Friday, 09 May 2014
Hong Kong’s OTC Clear to welcome US clearing members OTC Clear, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) will begin to offer its OTC derivatives clearing services to US clearing members, after receiving no-action relief from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

OTC Clear, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) will begin to offer its OTC derivatives clearing services to US clearing members, after receiving no-action relief from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). 

The go-ahead covers clearing of propriety trading by US members that involves interest rate swaps, denominated in Hong Kong dollars, renminbi (RMB), US dollars and euros, as well as non-deliverable currency forwards, denominated in RMB, Taiwan dollars, Korean won and Indian rupee.

The no-action letter is effective immediately until the earlier of December 31st 2014 or the date when the CFTC registers OTC Clear as a derivatives clearing organisation (DCO) or exempts it from registration.

"We are very pleased to receive the no-action relief from the CFTC because it will allow us to admit our US founding shareholders and other eligible US persons as clearing members," says Calvin Tai, HKEx's Head of Global Clearing (Asia).  "Our US founding shareholders have a significant role in the OTC derivatives market so this is a very important step forward for OTC Clear, which is a key part of our strategy to establish a strong fixed income and currency business as we expand into more asset classes.

"OTC Clear has also submitted an application to the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to seek regulatory recognition that will allow the clearing house to accept financial institutions incorporated in the European Union as its clearing members," Mr Tai said.

Two of OTC Clear's 12 founding shareholders are affiliates of US banks.  The founding shareholders together hold 25% of OTC Clear’s shares and HKEx holds the remaining 75%. 

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