Friday 22nd 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.

Responsible investment products set for growth

Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Responsible investment products set for growth Over three quarters of 85 pension fund managers polled by ING Investment Management believe that being environmentally and socially responsible – as well as encouraging good global governance – is important to the future of investment. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Over three quarters of 85 pension fund managers polled by ING Investment Management believe that being environmentally and socially responsible – as well as encouraging good global governance – is important to the future of investment.

Findings from the new survey show that two third of investment professionals responsible for pension funds, already integrate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors and/or a Socially Responsible Investment style (SRI) into their investment processes. Nearly half of this (48%) say their appetite for ESG and SRI has increased over the past six months.

Hendrik-Jan Boer, senior portfolio manager for ING IM’s SRI funds: “In recent years there has been a shift within the industry towards more responsible investment products. This research underlines the importance – both professionally and personally – of ESG factors. With three quarters of investors believing that the sector is important for the future of the industry, we expect the demand for socially responsible investments to grow further in the coming years and to become even more commonplace in investors’ portfolios.”

A greater reliance on responsible investment criteria was expected to bear fruit in terms of investment return over the next five years. However, when it came to the reasons for incorporating this in their investment strategy, the majority of respondents (58%) did so due to “a sense of personal responsibility”. In addition, just over half (52%) stated that it was the companies procedure to apply such criteria to investments.

In terms of the most proactive practitioners of these principles, developed economies were perceived to be the most keen with Western Europe (86%) cited by the most respondents, followed by North America (36%) and Australasia (24%). Turning to actual asset owners, pension funds were viewed as the most willing group to incorporate ESG factors within their portfolios – cited by 73% of respondents – while charities (62%) were the second most willing.

“It is certainly positive to see that investors not only believe in the social and intrinsic value of ESG factors, but also believe in the effectiveness of applying such criteria to their investments,” adds Boer. “It is encouraging to note an anticipated shift in attitudes towards ESG from simply being a filter that investors feel they should implement in their portfolios to becoming a genuinely strong investment tool in its own right.”

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