Saturday 23rd 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.
North America

The US Treasury Department says it has guaranteed $325m in new bonds to support economic development opportunities in low-income and underserved communities across the country.The funding, provided through the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Bond Guarantee Program, is designed to help CDFIs fill a financing gap in underserved areas by providing long-term, fixed rate capital.

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Auto loan originations are at the highest level in eight years and auto loan balances, which include leases, have increased for the 13th consecutive quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Q2 2014 Household Debt and Credit report.

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has published a request for input on proposals to establish a common mortgage-backed security and specifically asks whether the proposed program poses a danger to financial markets.

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Prudential has posted an operating profit of £1,521m in the first six months of 2014, noting strong performances from its US and Asia businesses. The figure is a rise of 17 % compared to the same period last year.

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BATS Global Markets (BATS) says its US equity market share jumped to 20.3% in July, higher than 9.6% a year ago and 19.2% in June. 

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RBC Global Asset Management has launched its RBC European Dividend Fund, available for purchase by individual investors and advisors in Canada.

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A Wells Fargo survey shows cash flow, revenue and access to credit getting better for small US businesses, as expectations for year ahead remain flat. More small business owners say their company's current financial situation is good, yet their outlook for the next year has not changed significantly, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.

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Canada’s TMX Group has revealed a $26.4m net loss in this year’s second quarter compared to last year, noting the reduced value of some of its assets, primarily its investment in BOX Market, which operates a US-based options exchange.  

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