Friday 22nd May 2015
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, MAY 22ND: The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has named Beliz Chappuie as CalPERS' Chief Auditor, effective July 31, 2015 - Saudi Arabia's oil minister has said the country will switch its energy focus to solar power as the nation envisages an end to fossil fuels, possibly around 2040-2050, Reuters reports. "In Saudi Arabia, we recognise that eventually, one of these days, we are not going to need fossil fuels, I don't know when, in 2040, 2050... we have embarked on a program to develop solar energy," Ali Al-Naimi told a business and climate conference in Paris, the news service reports. "Hopefully, one of these days, instead of exporting fossil fuels, we will be exporting gigawatts, electric ones. Does that sound good?" The minster is also reported to say he still expects the world's energy mix to be dominated by fossil fuels in the near future - Barclays has appointed Steve Rickards as head of offshore funds. He will lead the creation and implementation of the bank’s offshore funds strategy and report directly to Paul Savery, managing director of personal and corporate banking in the Channel Islands. For the last four years Mr Rickards has been heading up the Guernsey Funds team providing debt solutions for private equity and working with locally based fund administrators. Savery says: “Barclays’ funds segment has seen some terrific cross functional success over the past year or so. Specifically, the offshore business has worked hand in hand with the funds team in London to bring the very best of Barclays to our clients, and Steve has been a real catalyst to driving this relationship from a Guernsey perspective.” - Moody's has downgraded Uzbekistan based Qishloq Qurilish Bank's (QQB’s) local-currency deposit rating to B2, and downgraded BCA to b3 and assigned a Counterparty Risk Assessment of B1(cr)/Not prime(cr) to the bank. The agency says the impact on QQB of the publication of Moody's revised bank methodology and QQB's weak asset quality and moderate loss-absorption capacity are the reasons for the downgrades. Concurrently, Moody's has confirmed QQB's long-term B2 foreign-currency deposit rating and assigned stable outlooks to all of the affected long-term ratings. The short-term deposit ratings of Not-prime were unaffected - Delinquencies of the Dutch residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market fell during the three-month period ended March 2015, according to Moody's. The 60+ day delinquencies of Dutch RMBS, including Dutch mortgage loans benefitting from a Nationale Hypotheek Garantie, decreased to 0.85% in March 2015 from 0.92% in December 2014. The 90+ day delinquencies also decreased to 0.66% in March 2015 from 0.71% in December 2014.Nevertheless, cumulative defaults increased to 0.65% of the original balance, plus additions (in the case of master issuers) and replenishments, in March 2015 from 0.56% in December 2014. Cumulative losses increased slightly to 0.13% in March 2015 from 0.11% in December 2014 – Asset manager Jupiter has recruited fund manager Jason Pidcock to build Asian Income strategy at the firm. Pidcock J has built a strong reputation at Newton Investment Management for the management of income-orientated assets in Asian markets and, in particular the £4.4bn Newton Asian Income Fund, which he has managed since its launch in 2005. The fund has delivered a return of 64.0% over the past five years compared with 35.9% for the IA Asia Pacific Ex Japan sector average, placing it 4th in the sector. Since launch it has returned 191.4 against 154.1% for the sector average. Before joining Newton in 2004, Jason was responsible for stock selection and asset allocation in the Asia ex-Japan region for the BP Pension Fund.
Middle East and Africa Regulation

No surprise perhaps, that political turmoil in the Middle East has focused the minds of investors into relative safe havens. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is  the main beneficiary of inflows of private capital into the GCC region (Gulf Cooperation Council), according to Invesco’s fifth annual Invesco Middle East Asset Management Study.The UAE saw total private capital inflows of 81% on a net respondent view basis in 2014, compared to 52% last year. Over half (58%) of this capital was seen on a net respondent view to be coming from emerging markets, including Russia and Africa. In comparison, the net respondent view shows most other countries in the GCC to be in net outflow.

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Moody's Investors Service says that Egypt is demonstrating signs of political stabilisation and economic improvement, with credit challenges centred on weak government finances.The government has started the implementation of measures to lower fiscal deficits and contain government debt, while external financial support from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait have helped stabilise the country's international reserves and government funding costs, says the ratings agency.

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Florida based MEA Risk, a risk and country stability assessment firm issues today a report that discusses the latest developments on ISIS in North Africa and in the Sahel, with the conclusion that an offensive is under way.

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South Africa's Reserve Bank (SARB) has placed African Bank Limited under external supervision and announced plans for a capital injection underwritten by local lenders.

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In 2013, a number of concerns were raised about the integrity of foreign exchange (FX) rate benchmarks. These concerns stemmed particularly from the incentives for potential market malpractice linked to the structure of trading around the benchmark fixings. As a result, the FSB Plenary formed a working group chaired by Guy Debelle of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Paul Fisher of the Bank of England to focus on foreign exchange benchmarks. The group was given a mandate to undertake analysis of the FX market structure and incentives that may promote particular types of trading activity around the benchmark fixings. The group was tasked to propose possible remedies to address these adverse incentives as well as to examine whether there is a need and scope to improve the construction of the benchmarks themselves.

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The positive outlook for global economic growth has increased in the last year among Middle East intermediaries, according to the latest poll, carried out by Invesco Asset Management, however their biggest concern for global financial markets is emerging market monetary tightening. 

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Monday, 02 September 2013

DIFC reports 7% business uptick

The number of companies operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre is on the rise again. The DIFC reports a 7% uptick in registrations reflecting a return to confidence in the emirate follow a number of fallow years.

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The International Monetary Fund says the near-term outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa remains broadly positive, with growth projected to accelerate to around 5.5% in 2013-14, following a year of strong growth in 2012. In its May 2013 Regional Economic Outlook, Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World, the IMF says that these favourable prospects partly reflect the gradually improving outlook for the global economy, while locally, investment in export-oriented sectors is an important driver of growth for the future.

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