Saturday 20th December 2014
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY DECEMBER 19TH 2014: Scotiabank’s Commodity Price Index dropped -4.8% m/m in November (-6.1% yr/yr) and will end 2014 in a ‘deflationary’ mode, says economist Patricia Mohr. "Significant capacity expansion and the defence of market share by major oil and iron ore producers— against a backdrop of lacklustre world economic growth — account for the softness at the end of the year," she says. Mohr adds that the decision by Saudi Arabia not to reduce output to shore up international oil prices, but instead to allow prices to drop to levels curbing US shale development appears to be having a negative impact on confidence in a wide variety of other commodity as well as equity markets. She predicts prices will fall further this month, but will start to rebound in mid 201 - Jonathan Hill, the EU's financial-services commissioner, says he plans to pursue rules that separate a bank's proprietary trading from retail operations. "The sensible thing to do is to seek to make progress quickly" on the issue, Hill said. "There are still areas of risk in some of the biggest and most complicated banks,” reports Bloomberg- CME Group, said yesterday that it will change daily price limits in its CME Feeder Cattle futures effective today, pursuant to its emergency action authority. The current daily price limit for CME Feeder Cattle futures is $3.00 per hundredweight and will change to $4.50 per hundredweight effective on trade date December 18th Additionally, effective December 19th (tomorrow) these limits will have the ability to expand by 150% to $6.75 per hundredweight on any business day in the event that one of the first two contract months settles at limit on the previous trading day. CME Feeder Cattle futures have been locked limit for five consecutive days as a result of various factors. The change to daily price limits is necessary to ensure continued price discovery and risk transfer, says the CME. Daily price limits for CME Live Cattle futures will remain unchanged at $3.00 per hundredweight. Effective Friday, December 19th, these limits will have the ability to expand by 150 percent to $4.50 per hundredweight in the event that one of the first two contract months settles at limit on the previous trading day - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended +16.42 points higher or +0.51% to 3243.65, taking the year-to-date performance to +2.49%. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained +0.29% while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index gained +0.71%. The top active stocks were Keppel Corp (+2.68%), SingTel (-1.02%), DBS (+2.36%), Global Logistic (-3.21%) and UOB (+0.30%). The outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index (+3.13%). The two biggest stocks of the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index are Midas Holdings (+6.38%) and Geo Energy Resources (unchanged). The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Telecommunications Index, which declined -0.98% with SingTel’s share price declining -1.02% and StarHub’s share price declining-0.73%. The three most active Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by value today were the IS MSCI India (+2.56%), DBXT CSI300 ETF (+0.42%), STI ETF (+0.61%). The three most active Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) by value were Ascendas REIT (-0.42%), Keppel DC REIT (unchanged), Suntec REIT (+0.26%). The most active index warrants by value today were HSI23400MBeCW150129 (+7.32%), HSI22600MBePW150129 (unchanged), HSI24000MBeCW150129 (+12.50%). The most active stock warrants by value today were KepCorp MBeCW150602 (+21.95%), DBS MB eCW150420 (+29.29%), DBS MB ePW150402 (-18.03%) - Spain’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Eduardo Torres Dulce, has resigned from the post for “personal reasons”, Spanish daily El Mundo reported this morning. A spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s office confirmed the news by telephone to The Spain Report, saying that Mr. Torres Dulce had informed Justice Minister Rafael Catalá of his decision: “but that it perhaps would not come into effect until they find a replacement”. That decision is taken at cabinet level. The next cabinet meeting for Rajoy’s government is tomorrow morning - Hedge funds including Marshall Wace, Odey Asset Management and Lansdowne Partners are shorting OTP Bank Plc, a Hungarian lender with a Russian subsidiary whose shares have fallen almost 6% this month reports Albourne Village. All three London-based funds took or increased their position this month in OTP, Hungary’s largest lender, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The ruble rose today in Moscow after plunging as much as 19%against the dollar yesterday, when Russia’s central bank increased interest rates to 17% percent from 10.5 percent in an attempt to stem the decline. The ruble is down 52% this year and has taken a disproportionate beating in the wake of sanctions and falling oil prices. The country still has the third largest currency reserves in the world and so is unlikely to default. According to Eric Chaney, Manolis Davradakis and Greg Venizelos from AXA IM’s Research and Investment Strategy team Russia will likely resort to fiscal stimulus to contain the risk of social and political unrest. Capital controls, political unrest and even default on private hard currency debts are possible outcomes they say. They credit default swaps market is pricing a one-third probability of sovereign default within five years - Indonesia is ramping up financing for its $439bn development program, planning an almost fivefold increase in sales of project sukuk. The government is seeking to raise IDR7.14trn rupiah (around $568m) from notes that will fund particular construction ventures next year, compared with IDR1.5trn this year, which say local press reports, will help finance its estimated spending of about IDR5,519trn from 2015 to 2019 to build roads, railways and power plants.
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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