Wednesday 27th 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.
Middle East and Africa Regulation

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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EFG Hermes and QInvest have terminated their joint venture proposal after the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) failed to approve the deal.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

G20 meeting outcome: the PBOC view

The People's Bank of China has issued its summary of the G20 meeting attended by the world's central bank governors and finance ministers. China was represented by Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei.

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The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published today a final report on Technological Challenges to Effective Market Surveillance: Issues and Regulatory Tools, which makes recommendations to help market authorities address the technological challenges facing effective market surveillance.

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