Monday 5th October 2015
NEWS TICKER, OCTOBER 2ND 2015: Asian stock markets were mixed in trading today. The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 8.7 points or 0.31% lower to 2793.15, taking the year-to-date performance to -17.00%. The top active stocks today were DBS, which declined0.86%, Sinarmas Land, which gained 0.89%, SingTel, which declined 1.11%, CapitaLand, which gained 3.69% and UOB, with a1.72% fall. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index declined 0.35%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 0.35%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended 1.2% lower at 5052.02, following a patchy performance overnight in US markets, while South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.5% over the day. The Nikkei 225 ended flat. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index, which reopened after a holiday Thursday, was a rare bright spot for the region, up 3.2%, helped by slightly stronger-than-expected Chinese manufacturing data reported yesterday. However, analysts continue to warn against reading too much into any short term data, the long term outlook for Asia is still strong, though short term, while everyone hangs on the outcome of US jobs and economic data, investors are tending towards extreme caution - The amount of outstanding Euro commercial paper (CP) and certificates of deposit (CD) has decreased by $880m in the latest week according to the CMDPortal. Corporate sector outstanding, decreased by $5.1bn during the week, while sovereign, supranational and agency outstandings increased by $3.9bn to $242. Financial outstandings have fallen by $30.3bn in the last eight weeks while outstanding of asset backed securities has increased by $652m. Commercial paper (CP) consists of short-term, promissory notes issued primarily by corporations. Maturities range up to 270 days but average about 30 days. Many companies use CP to raise cash needed for current transactions, and many find it to be a lower-cost alternative to bank loans - Moody's has downgraded the corporate family rating (CFR) and the probability of default rating (PDR) of Eurasian Resources Group Sarl (ERG) to Caa1and Caa1-PD, respectively, both with negative outlook. The rating downgrade is associated with the agency's decision to lower the Baseline Credit Assessment ('BCA') of ERG to caa2, from caa1 previously. The lowering of the BCA to caa2 reflects the deteriorated fundamental credit profile of ERG, due to its increased financial and liquidity risks, which the rating agency considers are not sufficiently mitigated by the company on a stand-alone basis. The BCA is a key factor behind the CFR, as defined according to the Government-Related Issuer ('GRI') rating methodology, which Moody's applies to ERG, given the Government of Kazakhstan (Baa2 stable) is a main shareholder with a 40% stake. Moody's assessment on the other main factors behind the CFR according to the GRI methodology remained unchanged. In particular, Default Dependence is still considered as high and Government Support as moderate. These assessments drive the one notch uplift on the BCA.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 

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.


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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