Saturday 1st August 2015
NEWS TICKER, FRIDAY, JULY 31ST: US bond markets expect a $900m issue from the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District as early as next year after its rate commission voted yesterday to back the district’s plan to tap the markets. The bonds will continue financing a $4.7bn capital program required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to keep sewers in St. Louis and St. Louis County from regularly overflowing into area creeks and rivers. Already, the district has put $600m toward sewer projects in St. Louis and St. Louis County. MSD customers can consequently continue to expect annual sewer bill hikes each summer. In 2012, the average customer paid $29 monthly. This month, bills rose to an average of $41. After this bond issue, the monthly sewer bill will cost the average household $61 by 2019 - JP Morgan has hired Lebo Moropa, giving the bank its first dedicated prime brokerage and equity finance presence in South Africa, reports Securities Lending Times. Former HSBC trader Moropa has joined the bank in Johannesburg and will focus on synthetic and cash prime brokerage and securities lending, including delta one and will report to Paul Farrell in London. Moropa was a delta one trader at HSBC and has worked for JP Morgan before– Apulia Finance has informed the Luxembourg Stock Exchange of its intent to issue a securitised paper, backed by residential mortgage loans originated by Banca Apulia. The issue date is August 6th and the deal is lead managed by BNP Paribas who is also joint arranger with Finanziaria Internazionale Securitisation Group. Swap counterparty in the transaction is Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada and the clearers are Euroclear and Clearstream. Funding is at three month Euribor with a spread of 0.40% before the step up date and 0.80% after the step up date. The deal is worth a combined €170m of which €153m are Class A asset backed floating rate notes due 2043; €6.79m Class B asset backed notes and €9,84m are Class C asset backed floating rate notes – all due 2043.

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Europe

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has today concluded that “no obstacles exist to the extension of the passport to Guernsey and Jersey”. ESMA has assessed six jurisdictions to date and said that Switzerland will remove any remaining obstacles with the enactment of pending legislation and that it had formed no definitive view on the other three (Hong Kong, Singapore, and the USA).

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Following the call for interest for the renewal of the Consultative Working Group for the Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee, ESMA today announces the composition of the new group. The Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee undertakes ESMA’s work on issues relating to the provision of investment services and activities by investment firms and credit institutions. Particular regard is made to investor protection, including the conduct of business rules, distribution of investment products, investment advice and suitability. 

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English Housing Associations could struggle to maintain their current financial
performance after recent government policy changes made their operating
environment more challenging, Moody's Public Sector Europe says in a report "2015
Outlook Update - English Housing Associations: Sector Outlook Turns Negative
Due to Adverse Policy Decisions" published today.

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Volatility is here to stay and investors should get used to it, say Stephanie Flanders, chief market strategist for Europe, and Thushka Maharaj, global strategist, multi-asset solutions at JP Morgan Asset Management. The investment theme now seems to be diversify more and expect less in the second half of 2015.

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The top 20 issuers of European collateralised loan obligations (CLOs) 2.0 account for €3.31bn (28%) of a total €11.5bn of collateral, says Moody's. "European CLOs 2.0 are beset by heavy concentration: both, in terms of their obligors and their exposure to the telecoms industry, for which we have a negative outlook. However, the higher credit quality of the obligors makes up for the related risks," states Branimir Jovanovic, a Moody's analyst.

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Boutique asset managers are increasingly losing their home country bias in the search for investment growth, in particular switching into Europe in 2015 despite the recent issues in Greece, according to a survey of over 100 fund managers by independent capital markets research firm TABB Group for SunGard.

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After 17 hours of negotiations, European president Donald Tusk announced a short while ago that “we have agreement. Leaders have agreed in principle that they are ready to start negotiations on an ESM programme, which in other words means continued support for Greece. There are strict conditions to be met. The approval of several national parliaments, including the Greek parliament, is now needed for negotiations on an ESM programme to formally begin.”

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Moody’s says financial markets have reacted with some volatility in particular in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, the so-called periphery countries, to the Greek No vote. “For the time being, we expect the impact of any additional instability on banks in these countries to remain relatively contained and not a trigger for any immediate rating actions. However, the situation is highly political and remains fluid, so our view could change quickly,” notes the ratings agency in a report by Nick Hill, managing director, Banking at Moody’s Investor Services.

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