Sunday 14th February 2016
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, JANUARY 12TH: Morningstar has moved the Morningstar Analyst Rating™ for the Fidelity Global Inflation Linked Bond fund to Neutral. The fund previously held a Bronze rating. Ashis Dash, manager research analyst at Morningstar, says, “The fund’s rating was placed Under Review following the news that co-manager Jeremy Church was leaving Fidelity. Lead manager, Andrew Weir, who has managed the fund since launch in May 2008, remains in charge and is further supported by the new co-manager, Tim Foster. While we acknowledge Weir’s considerable experience in the inflation-linked space, some recent stumbles and below-benchmark returns over time have led us to lower our conviction in the fund. This is currently reflected by our Neutral rating.” - Italian GDP growth looks to have stalled to 0.1pc in the last quarter of 2015, falling below analyst expectations of 0.3% growth. The Italian economy grew by just 0.6% last year having come out of its worst slump since before the pyramids were built. The slowdown will put further pressure on reforming Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi, who has been battling to save a banking system lumbering under €201bn (£156bn) of bad debt, equivalent to as much as 12% of GDP. It is a serious situation and one which threatens Italy’s traditionally benign relationship with the European Union. The EU’s bail in rules for bank defaults seeks to force creditors to take the brunt of any banking failures. Italy suffered four bank closures last year, which meant losses of something near €800m on junior bond holders (with much of the exposure held by Italian retail investors). No surprise perhaps, Italian bank stocks have taken a beating this year, Unicredit shares are currently €3.06, compared with a price of €6.41 in April last year. In aggregate Italian banking shares are down by more than 20% over the last twelve months. Italian economy minister Pier Carlo Padoan told Reuters at the beginning of February that there isn’t any connection between the sharp fall in European banking stocks, as he called on Brussels for a gradual introduction of the legislation. He stressed that he did not want legislation changed, just deferred - Is current market volatility encouraging issuers to table deals? Oman Telecommunications Co OTL.OM (Omantel) has reportedly scrapped plans to issue a $130m five-year dual-currency sukuk, reports the Muscat bourse. Last month, the state-run company priced the sukuk at a profit rate of 5.3%, having received commitments worth $82.16m in the dollar tranche and OMR18.4m ($47.86m) in the rial tranche. Meantime, Saudi Arabia's Bank Albilad says it plans to issue SAR1bn-SAR2bn ($267m-$533m) of sukuk by the end of the second quarter of 2016 to finance expansion, chief executive Khaled al-Jasser told CNBC Arabia - The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) announces that the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) will hold a public meeting at the Commission’s Washington, DC headquarters located at 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581. The meeting will take place on February 25th from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm – Local press reports say the UAE central bank will roll out new banking regulations covering board and management responsibilities and accountability – Following yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, says that “Overall, the economic recovery in the eurozone continues and is expected to strengthen this year and next. At the same time, there are increasing downside risks and there is volatility in the markets all around the world. The euro area is structurally in a much better position now than some years ago. And this is true also for European banks. With Banking Union, we have developed mechanisms in the euro area to bring stability to the financial sector and to reduce the sovereign-banking nexus. Capital buffers have been raised, supervision has been strengthened, and we have clear and common rules for resolution. So overall, structurally we are now in a better position and we need to continue a gradual recovery”. Speaking at the press conference that followed the conclusion of the February 11th Eurogroup, Dijsselbloem also acknowledged that “good progress” has been made in official discussions between Greece and its officials creditors in the context of the 1st programme review. Yet, he noted that more work is needed for reaching a staff level agreement on the required conditionality, mostly on the social security pension reform, fiscal issues and the operation of the new privatization fund. On the data front, according to national account statistics for the fourth quarter of 2016 (flash estimate), Greece’s real GDP, in seasonally and calendar adjusted terms, decreased by 0.6%QoQ compared to -1.4%QoQ in Q3. The NBS Executive Board decided in its meeting today to cut the key policy rate by 0.25 pp, to 4.25%. - Today’s early European session saw an uptick in energy stocks, banking shares and US futures. Brent and WTI crude oil futures both jumped over 4% to $31.28 a barrel and $27.36 respectively before paring gains slightly; all this came on the back of promised output cuts by OPEC. That improving sentiment did not extend to Asia where the Nikkei fell to a one-year low. Japan's main index fell to its lowest level in more than a year after falling 4.8% in trading today, bringing losses for the week to over 11%. Yet again though the yen strengthened against the US dollar, which was down 0.1% ¥112.17. Swissquote analysts says, “We believe there is still some downside potential for the pair; however traders are still trying to understand what happened yesterday - when USD/JPY spiked two figures in less than 5 minutes - and will likely remain sidelined before the weekend break.” Japanese market turbulence is beginning to shake the government and may spur further easing measures if not this month, then next. Trevor Greetham, head of multi asset at Royal London Asset Management, says “When policy makers start to panic, markets can stop panicking. We are seeing the first signs of policy maker panic in Japan with Prime Minister Abe holding an emergency meeting with Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda. We are going to get a lot of new stimulus over the next few weeks and not just in Japan. I expect negative interest rates to be used more in Japan and in Europe and I expect this policy to increase bank lending and weaken currencies for the countries that pursue it”. Greetham agrees that both the yen and euro have strengthened despite negative rates. “Some of this is due to the pricing out of Fed rate hike expectations; some is temporary and to do with risk aversion. In a market sell off money tends to flow away from high yielding carry currencies to low yielding funding currencies and this effect is dominating in the short term”. Australia's S&P ASX 200 closed down 1.2%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng settled down 1.01. in New Zealand the NZX was down 0.89%, while in South Korea the Kospi slid 1.41%. The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 1.25 points or 0.05% higher to 2539.53, taking the year-to-date performance to -11.91%. The top active stocks today were DBS, which declined 0.91%, SingTel, which gained 1.13%, JMH USD, which declined 1.39%, OCBC Bank, which gained 0.13% and UOB, with a0.34% advance. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.50%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined0.31%. Thai equities were down 0.38%, the Indian Sensex slip 0.71%, while Indonesian equities were down another 1.16%. The euro was down 0.3% against the dollar at $1.1285, even after data showed Germany's economy remained on a steady yet modest growth path at the end of last year. Gold fell 0.7% to $1238.80 an ounce, after gold gained 4.5% Thursday to its highest level in a year. Greetham summarises: “Like a lot of people, we went into this year's sell off moderately overweight equities and it has been painful. What we have seen has been a highly technical market with many forced sellers among oil-producing sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions protecting regulatory capital buffers. However, economic fundamentals in the large developed economies remain positive, unemployment rates are falling and consumers will benefit hugely from lower energy prices and loose monetary policy.”

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IOSCO publishes its final report on International Standards for Derivatives Market Intermediary Regulation

Wednesday, 06 June 2012
IOSCO publishes its final report on International Standards for Derivatives Market Intermediary Regulation The International Organisation of Securities Commissions has published today a report entitled International Standards for Derivatives Market Intermediary Regulation, which recommends high-level international standards for the regulation of market participants that are in the business of dealing, making a market or intermediating transactions in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Historically these derivatives market intermediaries (DMIs) often have not been subject to the same level of regulation as participants in the traditional securities market. Without sufficient regulation, some DMIs operated in a manner that created risks to the global economy that manifested during the financial crisis of 2008.  http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The International Organisation of Securities Commissions has published today a report entitled International Standards for Derivatives Market Intermediary Regulation, which recommends high-level international standards for the regulation of market participants that are in the business of dealing, making a market or intermediating transactions in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Historically these derivatives market intermediaries (DMIs) often have not been subject to the same level of regulation as participants in the traditional securities market. Without sufficient regulation, some DMIs operated in a manner that created risks to the global economy that manifested during the financial crisis of 2008. 

In 2009, the leaders of the G-20 committed to reforms in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market to improve transparency, mitigate systemic risk, and protect against market abuse. The intent of this new report by IOSCO is to help further these objectives by providing high-level international standards for the regulation of market participants that are in the business of dealing, making a market or intermediating transactions in OTC derivatives (OTC derivative market intermediaries, or DMIs). IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators is recognised as the global standard setter for securities regulation.  The organization's membership regulates more than 95% of the world's securities markets in 115 jurisdictions and its membership continues to expand.

Historically, market participants in the OTC derivatives market have, in many cases, not been subject to the same level of regulation as participants in the traditional securities market. This lack of sufficient regulation allowed certain participants to operate in a manner that created risks to the global economy that manifested during the financial crisis of 2008. This Report focuses on the regulation of DMIs, taking into account the distinctions between the OTC derivatives market and the traditional securities markets, and the differences in jurisdictional approaches of international market authorities. The recommendations in the Report are intended to address:



 DMI obligations that should help mitigate systemic risks;

 Requirements intended to manage counterparty risk in the OTC derivatives markets; and

 Protecting participants in the OTC derivatives markets from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices.

In particular, the report focuses on the market participants who should be regulated as DMIs, given their type and level of involvement within the OTC derivatives market, and describes the substantive areas that generally comprise regulation. The regulation of DMIs should be primarily focused on areas where capital, counterparty or client money and public confidence may be most at risk.

The report provides a description and definition of the market participants who should be considered DMIs, including a discussion of the characteristics distinguishing DMIs from traditional securities market intermediaries.  Moreover, the report makes recommendations covering :

 Registration/licensing standards;

 Capital standards or other financial resources requirements for non-prudentially regulated DMIs;

 Business conduct standards;

 Business supervision standards; and

 Recordkeeping standards.

Cross-border consistency among market authorities with respect to the regulation of DMIs is essential to successful oversight of the global OTC derivatives market particularly because many DMIs operate in multiple jurisdictions.  

The report draws on the extensive work IOSCO has done on traditional securities market intermediaries, in an effort to harmonize the recommendations applicable to DMIs and to avoid the creation of unnecessary burdens on entities that act as both traditional securities market intermediaries and DMIs.  

Consistency among market authorities with respect to the regulation of DMIs is essential to the successful oversight of the global OTC derivatives market particularly because many DMIs operate in multiple jurisdictions.

The report makes some 15 or so specific recommendations, which include the following:

1. DMIs should generally include those who are in the business of dealing, making a market or intermediating transactions in OTC derivatives. However, DMIs should not include end-users and market participants who enter into OTC derivatives transactions but are not engaged in the business of dealing, making a market or intermediating transactions.

2. DMIs should be subject to registration or licensing and applicable substantive regulations and/or requirements and standards once registered or licensed in some form by the relevant market authority or authorities, recognizing that in certain limited circumstances full application of substantive regulations and/or requirements and standards may not be appropriate for certain types of entities.

3.  Registration or licensing requirements applicable to DMIs should be tailored to OTC derivatives activities.

4. The registration or licensing of DMIs should establish minimum standards and require DMIs to provide and update information with regard to their OTC derivatives activities to regulators to assist them in determining whether registration or license should be granted and/or revoked. All registering or licensing authorities should have the power to grant or reject and suspend or withdraw the registration or license of DMIs registered or licensed by such authority.

5. Relevant material information on licensed or registered DMIs should be made publically available. If a DMI registered or licensed in its home jurisdiction is carrying on OTC derivatives business in another jurisdiction in which the DMI is not registered or licensed, the market authority of the host jurisdiction in which the DMI is carrying on business should ensure that there are appropriate supervisory arrangements in place for the OTC derivatives business carried on by that DMI. These arrangements should take into account how the DMI is supervised in the host jurisdiction and any cooperative arrangements in place between the market authorities of the home and host jurisdictions. Market authorities should closely cooperate to identify overlaps, conflicts and gaps between jurisdictions with respect to cross-border issues relating to DMI supervision and to ensure that the DMI’s activities in the host jurisdiction are adequately supervised. It is further recommended that jurisdictions coordinate their approaches via multilateral or bilateral channels to reduce overlaps and conflicts, to the extent possible.

6. Market authorities should consider imposing some form of capital or other financial resources requirements for DMIs that are not prudentially regulated that reflect the risks that these intermediaries undertake.

7. DMIs should be subject to business conduct standards. These standards would include, among other things, prohibitions against fraud, misrepresentation, manipulation and other abusive practices.

8.  Business conduct requirements should be tailored, as appropriate, for the OTC derivatives market. This could be based on the reasonable assessment of the nature of the party dealing with a DMI or on the complexity of and the risk associated with the specific OTC derivatives market product or service.

9. For cleared OTC derivatives transactions, DMIs should segregate collateral belonging to clients from their own proprietary assets and employ an account structure that enables the efficient identification and segregation of positions and collateral belonging to DMI clients. Where applicable and possible, DMIs should have in place procedures to facilitate the rapid transfer or porting of cleared client positions and collateral.

10. DMIs should be required to have effective corporate governance frameworks designed to ensure appropriate management of OTC derivatives activities within the DMI.

11. DMIs should be required to design supervisory policies and procedures to manage their OTC derivatives operations and the activities of their representatives.

12. DMIs should be required to maintain risk management systems and organization to properly identify and manage their OTC derivatives related business risks.

13. DMI’s management should be required to establish, maintain and apply policies, procedures and systems of control sufficient to provide reasonable assurance that the DMI and each individual acting on its behalf are competent and comply with applicable regulatory standards and the DMI’s internal policies and procedures.

14. DMIs should be required to develop and maintain an effective business continuity plan, based on their size, risks, and the nature of their operations, to allow them to mitigate, respond to and recover from business disruptions or disasters.

15. DMIs should be required to retain OTC derivatives transaction records and be able to provide them in a timely, organized and readable manner. The record retention period for OTC derivatives transactions should apply for a specified period after its termination, maturity or assignment.

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