Monday 27th April 2015
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, APRIL 24th 2015:Luc Luyet, CIIA – Senior Market Analyst AT Swissquote says that yesterday, “the SNB surprised the market by announcing that the number of sight deposit account holders that are exempt from negative interest has been reduced. This decision doesn’t change much the domestic banks’ situation as the “20 times the minimum reserve requirement” rule is still running. On the other side, the institutions associated with the Confederation, such as the pension fund of the Confederation or the pension fund of the SNB, are no longer exempt of negative interest. Consequently, only the account holders of the national social security system are still fully exempt.” - High yield debt issuance remains buoyant. Issuance volume for the week ending April 17, 2015, slowed down a bit from the previous week, but remained strong. Junk bond, or high-yield debt, issuers continued to issue bonds as yields remained favourable. High-yield debt is tracked by the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF and the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund. According to data from S&P Capital IQ/LCD, dollar-denominated bonds amounting to $10.75bn were issued across 16 transactions in the week ending April 17th. The issuance volume fell by 3.2% from the week ending April 10. Pricing was evenly spread across the week. The number of transactions fell from 18 to 16 week-over-week. Last week brought the total US dollar issuance of high-yield debt to $115.8bn in 2015 YTD, up some 15% from the same period in 2014, the bulk of which is refinancing of older debt - Moody's says EMEA auto ABS performance remained stable during the three-month period ending February 2015. The sector's average performance trend was positive in terms of delinquency ratios and cumulative losses. The 60+ day delinquencies decreased to 0.66% in February 2015 from 0.77% in February 2014, while cumulative defaults decreased to 1.06% from 1.20% over the same period. This decrease was due mainly to the good performance of the German and Dutch markets. The prepayment rate increased slightly to 13.49% in February 2015 from 13.30% a year earlier. As of February 2015, the pool balance of all outstanding rated auto ABS transactions was €27.55bn - According to Sino specialists Red Pulse, China’s State Council is considering allowing daily repatriation for QFII. Currently, RQFII enjoys T+1 repatriation while QFII is restricted to T+5. QFII is the largest channel for foreign investment into China with quota of USD150bn, however, only half of the quota is in use, like at least partly due to the five-day repatriation stipulation - Malaysia’s state pension fund will offer a Shari’a-compliant investment option for its members by 2017, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Najib says it will create the largest Shari’a fund of its kind in the world. Malaysia has one of the world’s largest Islamic finance sectors and the authorities are keen to develop it further. They envision the industry accounting for 40% of the country’s total banking assets by 2020 compared with latest figures of around 23% released last year. The $160bn (MYR577.4bn) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) already invests about a third of its portfolio in stocks and bonds that comply with Islamic principles, which ban interest payments and pure monetary speculation. The fund reportedly hired consultants last year to study the feasibility of a state-backed pension fund focusing entirely on Shari’a-compliant investments. Additionally, local press reports says that Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional has received regulatory approval to issue a MYR1billion (around $275m) socially responsible Islamic bond - The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc has declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share on the company's outstanding common stock, an increase of 67% from the prior $0.15 per share quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable on June 26TH 2015, to shareowners of record at the close of business on June 12TH 2015 - Lazard Ltd today reported operating revenue1 of $581m for the quarter ended March 31st. Adjusted net income was $103m, or $0.77 (diluted) per share for the quarter. These results exclude a pre-tax charge of $63m relating to a debt refinancing2. Q1 2015 net income on a U.S. GAAP basis, including the pre-tax charge, was $56m, or $0.42 (diluted) per share. "Our Financial Advisory and Asset Management businesses continue their strong performance," says Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. "In the first quarter, we refinanced and repaid a portion of Lazard's long-term debt, significantly reducing our interest costs," adds Matthieu Bucaille, chief financial officer of Lazard. "Consistent with our capital management objectives, we have increased the quarterly dividend by 17%, the fifth increase in as many years." -

Mukhtar Ablyazov associate imprisoned, $5bn civil litigation ongoing

Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Mukhtar Ablyazov associate imprisoned, $5bn civil litigation ongoing On August 10th a Cypriot court sentenced British citizen, Paul Kythreotis, to 2 months in prison for contempt of court. Mr. Kythreotis is an associate of Mukhtar Ablyazov, former chairman of Kazakstan’s BTA Bank, who is accused of misappropriating BTA funds totalling around $10bn during his time at the bank. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

On August 10th a Cypriot court sentenced British citizen, Paul Kythreotis, to 2 months in prison for contempt of court. Mr. Kythreotis is an associate of Mukhtar Ablyazov, former chairman of Kazakstan’s BTA Bank, who is accused of misappropriating BTA funds totalling around $10bn during his time at the bank.

Kythreotis was the subject of a July 2010 English High Court order instructing him to disclose details of his assets as part of a world-wide freezing order. He failed to disclose information concerning over $68m of his personal assets, and also refused to comply with the request to provide information on a further $295m of BTA Bank assets alleged to have been misappropriated by himself, Mr. Ablyazov and other associates. He also later admitted to supplying the English court with false information. He was susequently found guilty of contempt of court and sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.

Mr.Kytherios has avoided serving his sentence by refusing to return to the UK, however BTA bank were able to successfully pursue action against him through the Cypriot legal system, where he currently resides. Despite currently residing in a Cypriot prison the English judgement and corresponding 21-month sentence remain outstanding.



Pavel Prosyankin, BTA Bank managing director, welcomed the judgement and reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to seek redress from Mr.Ablyazov and his associates, whom they allege to have misappropriated billions of dollars of funds during his tenure as chairman.

BTA Bank has launched 9 civil cases through the English High Court as a part of its restructuring agreement with creditors to recover missing assets. The proceedings were filed against Ablyazov and his associates- including Kytherios- shortly after his 2009 arrival in London. Somewhat Ironically, Ablyazov had applied for UK asylum on arrival to the UK, citing politically motivated persecution as the cause of his flight from Kazakhstan. In the early stages of the litigation, the English courts froze his assets and held his passports to prevent him fleeing the jurisdiction. However, Ablyazov subsequently fled the UK after the High Court sentenced him to prison in February 2012 and is now in hiding- his location is currently unknown.

He also has a 22-month contempt of court sentence against his name, and Justice Teare, presiding, has taken the unusual step of issuing Mr. Ablyazov an "unless order"- meaning that he will not be able to defend BTA’s suits against him should he continue to fail to comply with the outstanding court order against him. He has appealed both judgements through his lawyers, with a verdict expected in October.

Sources close to the bank have stated, "The bank’s main priority is to protect the assets [that they believe Ablyazov has misappropriated] through all legal channels so they can be returned to the bank and creditors. Ablyazov’s assets were put into receivership to prevent them from being removed or hidden, but there has been evidence that assets were improperly dealt with since then, so the bank sought and won a committal action."

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