Saturday 30th 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.

UK government shifts policy on executive pay

Wednesday, 20 June 2012
UK government shifts policy on executive pay Following its industry consultation, ‘Executive Pay Consultation on Enhanced Shareholder Voting Rights’, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has decided on a three year binding vote on future executive remuneration policy, including pay and exit pay. http://www.ftseglobalmarkets.com/

Following its industry consultation, ‘Executive Pay Consultation on Enhanced Shareholder Voting Rights’, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has decided on a three year binding vote on future executive remuneration policy, including pay and exit pay.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has decided on a three year binding vote on future executive remuneration policy, including pay and exit pay.By making the binding vote on the remuneration policy effective for three years,  the government hopes to encourage greater dialogue on executive remunertaion between companies and shareholders. It should also encourage companies to adopt a longer term and transparent approach to their executives' pay.

This package of reforms will address failures in corporate governance by empowering shareholders to engage effectively with companies on pay. It will:

  • Give shareholders binding votes on pay policy and exit payments, so they can hold companies to account and prevent rewards for failure
  • Boost transparency so that what people are paid is easily understood and the link between pay and performance is clearly drawn
  • Ensure that reform has a lasting impact by empowering business and investors to maintain recent activism.

Business Secretary Vince Cable explains that: “At a time when the global economy remains fragile, it is neither sustainable nor justifiable to see directors’ pay rising at 10 per cent a year, while the performance of listed companies lags behind and many employees are having their pay cut or frozen.

“In January we kicked off a national debate aimed at encouraging shareholders to become more actively engaged as company owners in better aligning directors’ pay with performance. I have been greatly encouraged by the ‘shareholder spring’ and I want to see that momentum sustained. That is why I am bringing forward legislation to strengthen the powers of shareholders through a binding vote on pay,," he adds.

The government’s reforms will provide shareholders with new powers to hold companies to account, while making it easier to understand what directors are earning and how it links to company performance.

The current advisory vote gives shareholders a mechanism to register their dissatisfaction with a company’s remuneration report. “In practice, however, there has been too much reliance on investment managers to ensure consistent oversight of portfolio companies on corporate governance issues such as pay” says Aled Jones, senior consultant in Mercer’s Investments business. “Trustees need to adopt a more proactive stance by regularly monitoring their managers on how they raise strategic issues such as remuneration in their interactions with company directors. Ultimately this is about the effectiveness of board processes. Where these processes are not successful – such as when pay proposals are voted down; it is shareholders’ responsibility to understand what went wrong and take action.

The government will introduce the reforms through amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which is currently before Parliament.

Revised, simplified regulations setting out how companies must report directors’ pay will be published at the same time. There will be a chance to comment on these regulations before they become law.

The government intends all these reforms to be enacted by October 2013.

 

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