Sunday 26th 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." -

Prime money market funds credit profiles weaken says Moody's

Thursday, 09 May 2013
Prime money market funds credit profiles weaken says Moody's The credit profiles of euro-denominated, US prime, and sterling prime money market funds (MMFs) worsened slightly in the first quarter of 2013, says Moody's Investors Service in its quarterly MMF reports published today. According to the ratings agency  continued constraints on supply of high-quality short-term assets, and the prolonged period of low interest rates leading MMF portfolios to migrate to lower rated assets are behind the deterioration. Moody's quarterly MMF reports evaluate market trends and the evolution of MMFs' risk factors, including credit, liquidity and market risks, based on the aggregated data of Moody's rated MMFs. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

The credit profiles of euro-denominated, US prime, and sterling prime money market funds (MMFs) worsened slightly in the first quarter of 2013, says Moody's Investors Service in its quarterly MMF reports published today. According to the ratings agency  continued constraints on supply of high-quality short-term assets, and the prolonged period of low interest rates leading MMF portfolios to migrate to lower rated assets are behind the deterioration. Moody's quarterly MMF reports evaluate market trends and the evolution of MMFs' risk factors, including credit, liquidity and market risks, based on the aggregated data of Moody's rated MMFs.

Prime euro-denominated MMFs experienced further credit deterioration and maturity extensions in Q1, largely driven by the prolonged low rate environment and constraints on supply of high-quality assets. Their credit profiles saw a modest deterioration in Q1 2013, reflected by the decrease in investments in securities rated Aaa, Aa1 and Aa2, claims Moody's. Overnight liquidity decreased significantly to 30.5% of assets under management (AUM), after it peaked at 37.4% at end-2012, due to the continued pressures on funds' yields, and the resulting need for funds to invest their cash in higher- yielding instruments, it adds.

The low interest-rate environment and low yields across the sector prompted a decrease in euro MMFs AUM to 74.8bn. The increased exposure to relatively long-dated securities—combined with the modest credit profile deterioration—increased funds' sensitivity to market risk. As the credit pressures on European banks continue, funds' aggregate exposure to European financial institutions decreased 20% to €29bn at the end of March from €36bn at the beginning of the quarter. Exposure to UK financial institutions decreased significantly by 51%, followed by German (-27%) and French financial institutions (-10%).



Meanwhile, there has been  a modest credit deterioration, as 2.2% of investments in US domiciled funds and 3.8% in offshore domiciled funds moved from Aaa and Aa-rated securities to A-rated securities. Approximately 23% of investments in all Moody's-rated MMFs were rated Aaa, says Moody's. Overnight liquidity remained high, at around 39% of US domiciled fund assets and 34% in offshore domiciled funds on average.

In addition, the funds' sensitivity to market risk increased modestly in this quarter due to the increased exposure to slightly longer-dated securities combined with the modest deterioration in funds' credit profiles.

Combined AUM of U.S. domiciled funds declined 3.5% to $662bn, while the combined AUM of European and offshore domiciled funds increased 3% to $242bn.

Moody's says that prime sterling-denominated MMFs experienced further credit deterioration and maturity extensions in Q1, largely driven by the prolonged low rate environment. Funds' credit profiles saw a modest decline in credit quality, due to the credit degradation of the UK, as reflected by Moody's downgrade of UK government's bond rating in February by one notch to Aa1. Sterling MMFs' liquidity trend has been negative throughout Q1, due to fund managers' increased investment of cash and cash-like securities in their search for higher yield. This also led to increase the funds' WAM by 3.8 days throughout the quarter. Given the increased exposure to relatively long-dated securities, combined with the modest deterioration in the credit profile, funds' sensitivity to market risk increased.

Combined AUM increased by 2.5% to GBP114.8 billion during the quarter, despite the low interest-rate environment and low yields across the sector. While exposure to European financial institutions remained stable during the quarter at 49% or GBP56 billion, there have been significant country shifts. Exposure to Dutch and French financial institutions decreased by 5% and 4%, respectively, and exposures to UK and Swedish financial institutions increased by 19% and 6%, respectively.


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