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.

Ireland’s central bank issues consultation on post-AIFMD non-UCITs funds regime

Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Ireland’s central bank issues consultation on post-AIFMD non-UCITs funds regime The Central Bank of Ireland has released a public consultation proposing enhancements to its non-UCITS regime in preparation for the implementation of the European Union’s (EU’S) Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The implementation of AIFMD will give rise to substantial changes to the non-UCITS funds industry. It is proposed that the current Qualifying Investor Fund (QIF) regime in Ireland will be replaced with a new Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Fund (QIAIF) regime. For retail investors in non-UCITS products, a separate Retail Investor Alternative Investment Fund (RIAIF) regime will be created. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The Central Bank of Ireland has released a public consultation proposing enhancements to its non-UCITS regime in preparation for the implementation of the European Union’s (EU’S) Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD). The implementation of AIFMD will give rise to substantial changes to the non-UCITS funds industry. It is proposed that the current Qualifying Investor Fund (QIF) regime in Ireland will be replaced with a new Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Fund (QIAIF) regime. For retail investors in non-UCITS products, a separate Retail Investor Alternative Investment Fund (RIAIF) regime will be created.

Some fundamental changes set out by the Central Bank of Ireland at the end of October in its consultation paper on the implementation of Europe’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) is designed to help strengthen Ireland’s attractiveness to international managers. Fearghal Woods, chairman of the Irish Funds Industry Association (IFIA) explains, “the authorities in Ireland are making significant progress towards implementing a range of legislative and other measures to enable the broadest possible range of regulated structures for alternative investment managers of all types to coincide with the introduction of the AIFMD directive and that will help maintain Ireland's position as a leading funds jurisdiction".

Interested market participants have six weeks to let the central bank know their comments on the proposed changes. Usually open consultations of this kind are allotted 12 weeks, but given that the AIFMD rules come into force in July 2013, time is of the essence and the central bank has opted for a shorter consultation process. “The central bank is sending out a strong signal that it is aware of change in the non-UCITS world and this consultation not only reflects the changes that are happening but seeks to anticipate future changes,” explains Kieran Fox, head of business development at IFIA.

Core to proposed changes to the country’s non-UCITS investment regime is the consolidation of the country’s regulatory book into a new single handbook covering all regulation for AIFMs. This consolidation will see the removal of countless minor regulatory requirements which have come into place over the years. “It is a game changer,” concedes Fox, “and it is clear that we have moved from a complex regulatory structure, that involves non-UCITS notice documents, and a dozen or so guidance notes and policy documents as well as an array of other ad hoc regulations towards it being brought into one handbook with appropriate chapters covering key market segments.”

According to the central bank, these changes will result in a more efficient and streamlined regulatory environment for all types of alternative investment funds in the country. “The timing of this consultation process will allow managers to establish AIFMD compliant funds in time for the implementation of the EU directive in July of next year,” explains Eoin Fitzgerald, managing director, Morgan Stanley Fund Services, and a member of IFIA Council, which leads industry engagement.

The central bank is proposing the redesign of its AIF regime to optimise its reliance on European regulatory requirements, or at least those set out in the AIFMD; the creation of a higher risk AIF option to UCITS for retail investors; the elimination of regulations on QIAIFs that are not substantially adding to the protection of investors as well as the application of the AIFMD depositary regime to all authorised AIFs, including those with AIFM below certain thresholds.

Changes to share class rules, the issuance of partly paid units and the removal of existing property fund rules will make it more attractive and easier to establish both private equity and property funds in Ireland. IFIA chief executive Pat Lardner explains that with 40% of the world’s hedge funds serviced in the country, “Ireland is the leading global centre for the domiciling and servicing of alternative investments.”

For more on this story, read the November edition of FTSE Global Markets, or visit the website: www.ftseglobalmarkets.com from Friday onwards.

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