Thursday 29th January 2015
NEWS TICKER: THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH 2015: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a Financial Institution Letter yesterday encouraging supervised institutions to take a risk-based approach in assessing individual customer relationships, rather than declining to provide banking services to entire categories of customers without regard to the risks presented by an individual customer or the financial institution's ability to manage the risk. The FDIC also reinforced the agency's policies on managing customer relationships to examiners and other supervisory staff. Financial institutions that properly manage customer relationships and effectively mitigate risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to any category of customer accounts or individual customers operating in compliance with applicable laws. FDIC examiners must provide notice in writing for any case in which an institution is directed to exit a customer relationship - US mid-market investment bank BR & Co says it will release results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014 before the market opens on Wednesday, February 11th -.Chile’s Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Luis Felipe Céspedes, along with General Manager Sercotec Bernardo Troncoso, made ​​a visit to the antique del Barrio Italy yesterday to introduce new programs for productive development that will display Sercotec for entrepreneurs , micro and small businesses during 2015 - Moody's de Mexico has upgraded debt ratings to Baa1 (Global Scale, local currency) from Baa2 and to Aaa.mx (Mexico National Scale) from Aa2.mx of the following five enhanced loans to the state of Chihuahua: MXN4.5bn from Banco Interacciones (original face value) with a maturity of 20 years; MXN1.38bn from BBVA-Bancomer (original face value) with a maturity of 20 years; MXN 2.03bn from BBVA-Bancomer (original face value) with a maturity of 20 years; MXN1.72bn from BBVA-Bancomer (original face value) with a maturity of 20 years; MXN3bn from Multiva (original face value) with a maturity of 17 years (MXN1.4bn disposed of). The ratings agency also assigned debt ratings of Baa1 (Global Scale, local currency) and Aaa.mx (Mexico National Scale) to the following enhanced loans: MXN1.995bn from Banorte (original face value) with a maturity of 20 years; MXN1bn from Santander (original face value) with a maturity of 20 years. All the enhanced loans are payable through a master trust (Evercore as trustee F/0152), to which the state has pledged the flows and rights to 56.98% of its federal participation revenues. All the loans under this master trust share the cash flow and are paid on a pari passu basis. - The January monthly energy review by the EIA was released yesterday evening. Preliminary estimates of US residential energy consumption suggest that for October 2014 total energy consumption equaled 1.3 quadrillion Btu, a 2% decrease from October 2013. Electricity retail sales and electrical system energy losses accounted for 73% of residential sector total energy consumption, while natural gas accounted for 16% of residential sector total energy consumption, renewable energy accounted for 6%, and petroleum accounted for 5% - Celent has released a new report, titled, IT Spending in Banking: A North American Perspective. The report is authored by Jacob Jegher, a research director with Celent's Banking practice. North American IT spending growth is rising steadily, he says, and is expected to be 4.5% higher in 2015. Growth will drop slightly in 2016 as IT spending by North American banks reaches US$64.8 billion, an increase of 4.2%. In the report, Celent examines, analyses, and contrasts the IT spending patterns of US and Canadian banks. The firm says North American bank IT spending will grow from $59.5bn in 2014 to $62.2bn in 2015. This year, the firm adds, is shaping up to be another promising one for retail banking; significant funds are still required to move forward and maintain self-service initiatives, digital banking projects/overhauls, branch transformation initiatives, and omni-channel endeavours. Additionally, mobile banking will continue to receive significant attention as banks aim to build on existing smartphone and tablet apps. Analytics, omni-channel banking, compliance/regulatory, and IT security investments will also be priorities. Spending on corporate banking will continue to climb through new component or module-based initiatives. Midsize banks are still very much looking to compete with larger banks that have invested significant amounts over the last several years. Small business is also a growing area of interest because banks still haven't figured out how to attack this distinct and attractive market segment. "The figures point to another strong year; 2015 is poised to build on the growth experienced last year," says Jegher. – The CME Group advises that the deadline to claim a SMART Click ID for GPS and BPS will be February 6th, 2015. After this date, there will no longer be an option to login with a Legacy ID and both applications will only be accessible with a SMART Click ID. Applicants can create a SMART Click ID (if you do not have one already) or claim your Legacy ID via the GPS and BPS portals and both applications must be claimed independently prior to the deadline. The CME says that after February 6th, the GPS and BPS applications will no longer be available via the CME Portal. These applications will only be available via ‘direct’ links following direct links: https://gps.cmegroup.com; https://bps.cmegroup.com; and https://login.cmegroup.com - China’s debt build up since the global financial crisis ranks as one of the largest in recent history (in the 97th percentile of debt-to-GDP changes in a sample of 55 countries over the past 50 years) according to Goldman Sachs’ latest Global Economics Weekly research report. The bank says the development is new and is a major global macro concern for investors. Deteriorating external conditions and declining investment efficiency have contributed to the debt build-up. The research team says that while the risk is significant, its analysis exploring the aftermath of large debt build-ups over the past half-century suggests that credit booms do not always end in deep recessions or banking crises. “GDP growth typically decelerates by at least 3-4pp after credit booms, although in China’s case some slowing has already occurred. Smoothing the adjustment process is likely to require increased central government fiscal outlays and policy interest rates should remain fairly low,” says the team. They add that while Chinese policy-makers have begun to address credit issues, significant imbalances still need to be worked off and capital market system development and reforms still need to be implemented more fully -
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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