Sunday 5th July 2015
NEWS TICKER: FRIDAY, JULY 3rd: Euronext says trading volumes for June 2015 and enterprise-wide activity for the first half year. During the first six months of 2015, Euronext posted the strongest six-month performance since the end of 2011 supported by favourable economic conditions. June average daily transaction value on the Euronext cash order book stood at €9,202m (+54% compared with June 2014). Activity on ETFs remained particularly dynamic last month with an average daily transaction value at €587m, up 106% compared to June 2014. Cash markets saw a material increase in trading activity across the first half of 2015, with an average daily transaction value for the period up 35% vs 2014. During this period, Euronext experienced three of the ten highest volume traded days since January 2012, and on march 20th the strongest single day of trading cash products of €18bn since the same date. In the meantime, the continued focus on nurturing domestic market share meant it returned to 65% for the month of June in a highly competitive environment - Morningstar has placed the Morningstar Analyst Rating for the Mirabaud Equities Swiss Small and Mid-fund Under Review following the appointment of new portfolio manager, Paul Schibli. The fund previously held a Neutral rating. Morningstar manager research analysts will meet with the new manager soon to reassess Morningstar’s opinion on the fund - Moody’s has today changed the outlook on all ratings of Bridge Holdco 4 Ltd, the ultimate holding company for Bridon Group, to stable from positive. Concurrently, the group's B3 Corporate Family Rating (CFR), B3-PD Probability of Default Rating (PDR) as well as the B2 instrument rating on the USD286 million senior secured first lien term loan, $40m senior secured revolving credit facility and the Caa2 rating on the $111m senior secured second lien term loan borrowed by Bridge Finco LLC have been affirmed - Subsea 7 S.A. repurchase of convertible bonds has filed a notice with the Luxembourg stock exchange that it has repurchased convertible bonds worth $10m in nominal value at an average price of 91.5 of the $700m 1% Subsea 7 S.A. Convertible Bond Issue 2012/2017 (ISIN NO: 001066116.8). Following the purchase, the Company holds bonds with an aggregate nominal value of USD 91,800,000 representing approximately 13.1% of the 1.00% Subsea 7 S.A. Convertible Bond Issue 2012/2017 - Bellpenny says that its CEO, Kevin Ronaldson, will step down later this year to become ‘Founder Director’ of the business. Nigel Stockton, who has been a director of Bellpenny since inception, will, subject to FCA approval, become the new CEO. The changes are expected to take effect in September - The Straits Times Index (STI) ended 14.89 points or 0.45% higher to 3342.73, taking the year-to-date performance to -0.67%. The top active stocks today were DBS, which gained 2.00%, Singtel, which closed unchanged, Global Logistic, which declined 0.39%, Ascendas REIT, which gained 0.42% and UOB, with a 0.43% advance. The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.16%, while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index declined 0.30%. Outperforming sectors today were represented by the FTSE ST Financials Index, which rose 0.69%. The two biggest stocks of the Index - DBS Group Holdings and OCBC- ended 2.00% higher and 0.79% higher respectively. The underperforming sector was the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index, which slipped 0.89%. Midas Holdings shares declined 1.56% and NSL increased 0.67%.

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North America

Mercer, a consulting firm in health, wealth and careers and a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), has announced the appointment of Simon O’Regan as president in North America.  Previously president of the Mercer EuroPac, region which includes Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand, he is succeeded by Martine Ferland, previously senior partner and leader of the retirement business for EuroPac. Pat Milligan will assume a newly created role focused on growth of the firm’s multinational clients.

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In a speech to the DerivOps North America 2015, CFTC chairman Timothy Massad highlighted market uncleared swaps – SEF confirmations and confirmation data reporting and error trades are now in CFTC sights. 

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State Street Global Exchange today released the results of the State Street Investor Confidence Index (ICI) for February 2015. The Global ICI decreased to 105.2, down 1.4 points from January’s revised reading of 106.6. Confidence among European investors declined the most, with the European ICI falling 8.2 points to 105.9, down from January’s revised reading of 114.1, while in Asia the ICI fell by 5.3 points to 93.8. However, the North American ICI rose by 3.1 points to 104.3.

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Fidessa group plc (LSE: FDSA) today announced a key appointment for its sell-side business, Jay Biancamano is now head of equities product marketing for the Americas. Based in New York and reporting to James Blackburn, global head of equities product marketing, Biancamano will focus on driving the strategic direction of Fidessa's sell-side equities products to provide new and innovative services to its clients which deliver them real business value.

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Apex Fund Services, the independent fund administrator, has appointed Dennis Westley as managing director, North America with immediate effect. Westley will have responsibility for growing Apex’s North American operations and integrating potential acquisitions. Reporting directly to Apex’s Global CEO, Bill Salus, Westley will also manage Apex’s offices in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Toronto.

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Fitch Ratings-New York-09 February 2015: North American Exploration and Production (E&P) companies continued to announce reductions to 2015 capital spending in Q4 earnings calls as a function of lower oil prices, according to Fitch Ratings. Capex cuts are ongoing as the price of West Texas Intermediate has dropped over 50% since July of last year, and now stands at just over $50/barrel.

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Kames Capital has added to its equity capabilities with the appointment of Matt Harding. Harding joins the team as an investment analyst focussing on North American equities, reporting to Marcus Chandler, Kames’ head of North American equities.

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Aviva Investors will manage a new global tactical asset allocation retail mutual fund which is intended to address demand for risk-managed options for equity allocations, and is the latest addition to Virtus’ portfolio of open-ended mutual funds.

The Aviva Investors Multi Strategy range, AIMS, launched in the UK on the 1st of July 2014 and has since gathered over £480 million in assets* from investors looking for products that clearly align with their investment goals. Aviva Investors’ Target Return Fund aims to provide a specified target return by investing in a globally-diversified multi strategy portfolio, while limiting the volatility of those returns compared with global equities.

Commenting on the strategic partnership, Euan Munro, chief executive officer of Aviva Investors says: “Key to our approach is a commitment to delivering outcomes central to investors’ financial well-being and clearly aligned to their investment goals. We believe that our range of solutions can appeal to a broad set of investors from around the world, who in the current low-yield environment are seeking to secure positive returns across various market conditions.

“We’re delighted to be working with Virtus, as not only will the partnership widen Aviva Investors global distribution footprint by providing access to Virtus’ strong product development and distribution capabilities, it will also provide US retail clients with access to Aviva Investors’ specific expertise in the management of outcome-oriented multi-strategy solutions.” 

George R Aylward, president and chief executive officer of Virtus, adds: "When we develop new investment solutions for the mutual fund market, we want to get the best strategies from high-quality investment managers, so we look forward to working with Aviva Investors to offer multi-strategy investment solutions and then adding Aviva Investors as a manager as we expand into other strategies.

"We are particularly pleased to work with Aviva Investors Chief Executive, Euan Munro, who has been a pioneer in the development of multi-strategy investment solutions.  His team has specialised in using a collaborative, disciplined, transparent approach that seeks to create consistent and explainable performance in up and down markets.” The fund is expected to be available to investors in the second quarter of 2015 subject to regulatory approval.

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