The Avaloq group, an international leader in integrated and comprehensive solutions for wealth management, universal and retail banks, announces the recruitment of Anantha Ayer. He will assume the position of CEO of the planned Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centre in Singapore.
Anantha Ayer joins Avaloq following more than 20 years in distinguished leadership roles in Technology and Operations within the Asset & Wealth Management industry. He was most recently the interim Head of Wealth Management Operations (Global) at Deutsche Bank AG. Prior to that he has lead teams from Technology, Operations and large change initiatives across various financial centres.
“I am delighted to have Anantha joining Avaloq at this exciting time. Given our ambitious goals for the Asia Pacific market, we want to have the most talented people in senior management roles. Anantha brings a strong leadership in building organisations and his skills and experience in the banking operations and technology area will prove invaluable as Avaloq builds its presence in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centre in Singapore for Asia Pacific”, comments Peter Scott, Chairman of the Board, Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
Commenting on his appointment, Anantha Ayer says: “I am very enthusiastic to be part of this exciting journey with Avaloq. I am convinced that the BPO offering from Avaloq provides benefits, advantages and opportunities to banks and wealth managers – not only a cutting edge technology platform but also an industrialised operational process to support the businesses.”
Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., the newly founded subsidiary of the Avaloq group, will supply back office services for the Wealth Management business of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management in Singapore. The new organisation will be part of Avaloq’s global network of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres.
Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. will provide Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management (DeAWM), a division of Deutsche Bank Group, with full BPO services for its Wealth Management back office operations in Singapore. These services include back office administration processes. The BPO provider is the newly founded subsidiary of the Avaloq group, an international leader in integrated and comprehensive banking solutions for wealth management, universal and retail banks. The new organisation will be part of Avaloq’s global network of BPO centres.
The move to Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of the Avaloq group, is planned in two phases: the first in Q3 2014 and the second – the transfer of the core IT platform to Avaloq’s technology platform – is planned to take place in 2015, subject to compliance with local requirements.
“Business process outsourcing is rapidly gaining in importance as financial institutions continue to free themselves of processes and operations that are not regarded as differentiating but are subject to volume efficiencies. Following the successful establishment of BPO centres in Switzerland and Germany, we are now extending this business model to Singapore where we will be announcing the formal launch of a regional BPO centre later this year”, comments Peter Scott, General Manager for Avaloq Asia Pacific and Chairman of the Board for Avaloq Sourcing Asia Pacific (Singapore).
Avaloq adds Group Chief Acquisition Officer to expand Global BPO Strategies
The Avaloq group announces the appointment of Dr. Enrico Ardielli as Group Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO). His previous role as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will be taken over by Markus Bertini.
In line with its market vision and growth plans, Avaloq will continue to execute its BPO strategy by creating a Global Processing Network (GPN). For the realisation of this international BPO centre network of excellence, new business will be added both organically and through acquisitions. Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Avaloq group has decided to create the new position of a Group CAO whose responsibility includes the successful handling of acquisitions at minimum risk. In addition, the Group CAO will be a member of the Board of Directors in the various Avaloq group subsidiaries.
The new position will be taken over by Enrico Ardielli, who has been with Avaloq for more than 12 years as Group CFO. Ardielli holds a Dr. oec. publ. degree as well as a degree in business and economics from the University of Zurich. His successor as Group CFO will be Markus Bertini, who joins the Avaloq Executive Board after having worked for Avaloq since May 2014. Prior to this, he successfully ran his own accountancy and consulting company serving multinational clients and worked as well as a lecturer at Zurich Business School. Enrico Ardielli and Markus Bertini assume their new positions on 1 September 2014.
Francisco Fernandez, Group CEO of Avaloq, comments: “I am glad that we could appoint two outstanding finance professionals for these key positions. Thanks to Enrico Ardielli’s extensive knowledge and his great achievements for the Avaloq group so far, I am convinced that the Group CAO position is perfectly filled and that he will further strengthen our business model and group strategy. At the same time, Markus Bertini’s passion for entrepreneurship and vast financial experience make him the best choice for the Group CFO position.”
BTG will pay for BSI Group with 1.2 billion francs in cash and 300 million francs of shares in units listed in Sao Paulo, Generali said in a stock-exchange statement today. The Trieste, Italy-based company said it will book a loss of about 100 million euros ($136 million) for the transaction, while the deal will add about 9 percentage points to its Solvency 1 ratio.
The Brazilian lender controlled by billionaire Andre Esteves is expanding internationally as the country’s growth slows. It’s added units in Mexico and Colombia, and in January Esteves said he planned to open offices in Geneva, Houston and Singapore as the firm expanded in commodities. Last week, it agreed to acquire Global Atlantic Financial Group Ltd.’s reinsurance unit Ariel Re.
“This acquisition reflects our confidence in the tradition and strength in Switzerland as a global financial center,” Esteves, the bank’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “It’s an opportunity to build one of the biggest global private-banking platforms.”
BTG was unchanged at 34.15 reais at 10:31 a.m. in Sao Paulo. Generali reversed earlier gains, falling 0.1 percent to 15.38 euros in Milan, valuing the insurer at 24.1 billion euros.
The acquisition will almost double BTG’s assets under management to create a wealth- and asset-management business with more than $200 billion in assets, BTG said. The bank plans to keep the BSI brand for its global wealth-management platform.
“The acquisition is in line with BTG’s strategy to diversify revenue,” Ricardo Kim, an analyst at brokerage XP Investimentos CCTVM SA in Sao Paulo, said in a report today. He said the transaction was positive for BTG.
Brazil’s rising inflation and slowing growth has led to a drought in the nation’s initial public offerings, reducing investment banking revenue. BTG has been building a global commodities business since last year as part of its strategy to offset declining investment banking fees.
Brazil, which hosted this year’s World Cup, has expanded at an average annual pace of 2 percent since 2011, when President Dilma Rousseff took office, the slowest economic growth for a Brazilian administration in more than two decades. Economists expect the South American nation to expand 1.05 percent this year, according to a weekly survey published by the central bank today.
Proceeds from the sale, which is scheduled to be completed by the first half of next year, may be reduced by “any fine established pursuant to the U.S. Department of Justice’s tax amnesty program relating to Swiss financial banking institutions payable by BSI,” Generali said.
BSI is one of at least 36 Category 2 Swiss banks seeking to avoid prosecution for handling undeclared American money by joining the U.S. Justice Department’s voluntary disclosure program. The U.S. is scouring Switzerland for names of tax dodgers who used the world’s largest offshore haven to hide money from the Internal Revenue Service.
Under a program announced in August, about a third of Swiss banks with “reason to believe” they violated tax laws asked the Justice Department to forgo prosecution. In turn, banks must hand over data on undeclared accounts and pay penalties.
Generali CEO Mario Greco sold the unit to focus on the company’s main business, strengthen finances and boost profitability. The firm, which set a goal of 4 billion euros of revenue from asset sales by 2015, will have achieved 3.7 billion euros with the sale, Greco said in the statement.
“This sale completes the disposal process aimed at strengthening the capital base of the group, resolving a key issue for us, and allowing Generali to focus on driving forward with its core insurance business,” he said. “This result is a testament to our team’s ability and commitment to execute a complex transaction in a challenging environment.”
BSI had a net loss of 722 million Swiss francs last year as it took writedowns faster than planned because of new regulations for accounting treatment of goodwill, the bank said in April.
Generali’s net income in the three months to March climbed to 660 million euros from 603 million euros a year earlier, the company said in May. The first-quarter pro-forma Solvency 1 ratio after the BSI sale will exceed the insurer’s 2015 target of 160 percent, it said today.
“Once the announced sale of BSI is concluded, Generali’s period of balance sheet repair will be complete,” Marcus Rivaldi, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in a report today. “Focus now turns to how earnings and dividends can be improved.”
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the leading global network of exchanges and clearing houses, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with ULLINK, a provider of electronic trading and connectivity solutions to the financial community, for the combined sale of NYFIX and Metabit, both units of NYSE Technologies.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“This agreement completes our stated goal of taking certain stand-alone NYSE Technologies businesses and positioning them with other leading technology companies that can enable them to continue to grow and innovate on a global scale,” said Ben Jackson, President and Chief Operating Officer, ICE Futures U.S. and President, NYSE Technologies. “With more than one thousand firms and order execution venues connecting to NYFIX and Metabit from key trading venues around the world, we are committed to working effectively with the ULLINK team to support this transition.”
NYFIX offers a portfolio of end-to-end technology solutions for the financial services industry with FIX-based products designed to handle a firm’s high-performance messaging, connectivity, routing and monitoring needs. NYFIX Marketplace™ is a global community of more than 1,000 trading counterparties with connections to exchanges and other electronic trading venues, including Metabit’s extensive reach in Asia.
Metabit’s operates a collection of electronic trading and connectivity solutions, including Direct Market Access (DMA) capabilities that enable access to financial markets throughout Asia. Based in Japan and built on cutting-edge technology designed in Asia for Asian markets, Metabit links more than 140 market participants in the region.
This agreement completes Intercontinental Exchange’s previously announced intention to divest certain non-exchange related assets of NYSE Technologies.
Evercore is acting as the exclusive financial advisor and Shearman & Sterling LLP as legal advisor to Intercontinental Exchange on this transaction.
Market Updates – After tumbling as much as 11% in the first 2 weeks of May, to a new low of 513.9 on May 13th, due to the tension with China in Vietnam’s East Sea, the market rebounded in the second half of the month and closed down 2.8% (VNIndex) and 2.3% (VN30). The HNX lost 5.1%.
Inflation advanced slightly in May, backed by moderate improvement in demand and supply.
May inflation was recorded at 0.2% MoM, down from April’s 0.33%. Consequently, the CPI increased only 1.08% YTD. Moderate improvement continued to be recorded in both demand and supply sides. 5M2014 real retail sales advanced 6% YoY, surpassing the same period last year’s growth rate of 4.6%, whilst the index-industry products (IIP) increased 5.6% YoY, higher than the rate of 4.8% of 5M2013.
Sustained YTD trade surplus driven by FDI sector
GSO estimated that 5M2014 trade surplus reached USD 1.6bn, a slight drop from the historic high of USD 2bn recorded for 4M 2014 in April, due to a trade deficit of USD 400mn in May. FDI continued to be the biggest contributor to the economy as the sector generated a trade surplus of USD 7bn in 5M2014 whilst the domestic sector made a trade deficit of USD 5.3bn. FDI disbursement remained steady with 5M2014 disbursed FDI recorded at USD 4.6bn, up 0.4% YoY.
FDI sector’s confidence largely restored through appropriate compensation and strong determination of the Vietnamese Government to prevent recurrence of riots
The PM has requested urgent support and compensation for businesses affected by anti-China protests and riots, including tax cuts, workers’ salary subsidy and land rental reduction etc. to offset against damages suffered. These prompt incentives and the Government’s affirmative measures to punish rioters and to avoid recurrence of such events have more or less calmed the public’s and FDI sector’s sentiment, as well as restored investors’ confidence.
Rumor about another round of currency depreciation was denied by the SBV
As the USD/VND rate has been increasing, amidst the tension with China, to 21,140 – 21,190 (official bank rates) in May, the highest level since the beginning of the year, concern about another depreciation of the Dong has again emerged. However, the SBV denied the rumor, given (1) sustained YTD trade surplus; (2) historic high FX reserves; and (3) the wide gap between deposit rates of the Dong and the USD. The SBV also affirmed that the depreciation (if any) will not exceed 1% in 2014 (down from the 2% stated at the beginning of the year) to show their confidence in maintaining the Dong’s stability.
Vietnam consumer confidence once again improving
Vietnam Consumer Confidence Index reached 99 points in 1Q2014 in the global survey of Nielsen, the highest level since Q4/2011. Consumers were found to be more willing to spend after 2 years of consumption tightening as 56% of respondents across the country had positive perception of their personal finances for the year ahead. Although saving still remained the top priority, consumers channeled more spare cash into tourism, house renovation and stock investment.
Our view – The sell-off due to the political tension with China was fairly short-lived as by month end, the VNIndex was almost back to where it started for the month. We think although the tension may not go away very soon, it will not have significant long-term downside impact on Vietnam’s economy. In fact, economic stability has been maintained on the broad base since the beginning of the year with inflation under control, relatively stable exchange rate and sustained trade surplus. Discussion on amendments of the Law of Investment and a comprehensive legal framework for Public – Private Partnership (PPP) in the ongoing 7th cabinet meeting will provide investors with uniform guidance and regulations in PPP to encourage more private investment in infrastructure. This will also help to improve the administrative process in getting investment project approval to make the investment environment in Vietnam more favorable. The Government’s prompt support rendered to affected businesses in the anti-China riots has shown that FDI is still a top priority for Vietnam. We think the market will likely remain volatile in the coming weeks and we will continue to monitor it closely for buying opportunities.
In year 2014 we expect to see numerous new policy and regulation updates on the financial reform of ShanghaiFTZ. Where are we today?
Shanghai local government and Chinese central government will endeavor to expand the market functions, deepen the opening of local financial markets to foreign investors, increase the number of financial institutions in the FTZ, encourage the financial business innovation and make Shanghai more of an international financial center.
Many reform details are under consideration or have already been executed in 2014, such as setting up crude oil futures, international gold trading, financial asset trading, syndicated loan trading platforms and building nationwide trust registry service institutions. Besides, rules regarding foreign and FTZ-registered firms’ parent companies RMB bonds issuance are on the way. Moreover, ShanghaiFTZ regulators will also consider introduction of free trade account management by allowing financial institutions to set up FTA (Free Trade Account) accounting units segregated for residents and non-residents. Furthermore, ShanghaiFTZ regulators encourage direct investment abroad from local firms and private equity funds. The main contents of ShanghaiFTZ’s reform could be described as a ‘1+4’ policy, where ‘1’ stands for risk control segregate account system; ‘4’ stands for interest rate liberalization, foreign exchange liberalization, RMB cross-border utilization and RMB capital account opening.
FX reform and FTA accounts
PBOC announced that, starting on March 17, 2014, the interbank RMB/USD spot price’s fluctuation spread increased from 1% to 2%. For commercial banks, the fluctuation range of RMB/USD spot price offering to the clients could be expanded from 2% to 3% from the mid-price calculated by Chinese interbank FX market. This is the third time for PBOC to expand the fluctuation range. Analysts say the expansion in RMB/USD spot fluctuation range is a clear signal that RMB will be internationalized in the near future and ShanghaiFTZ is thought to be a test-bed for that. The most prominent aspect of ShanghaiFTZ FX reform is the FTA (Free Trade Account). FTA is essentially a free trade bank account for ShanghaiFTZ registered firms, very similar to an offshore bank account, which enables free capital flow inside the FTZ. FTA system allows both foreigners and local residents to get their money in and out through FTZ. Overall, there are mainly 3 types of FTA accounts. Local firms in the FTZ could open FTA accounts; individuals in the FTZ could open FTA accounts; foreign firms in the FTZ could open FTN accounts. As regulators are treading conservatively with hot money inflows and money laundering risks in mind, there is still no detailed timeline. However, we believe the FTA mechanism will be released in 2014 or 2015 as a momentous milestone in the financial history of China.
Interest rate reform
In March, 2014, a PBOC official claimed that the sequence of ShanghaiFTZ interest rate reform will be ‘liberalize interest rates for foreign currencies prior to RMB interest rates; free the loan rates prior the deposit rates’.
There were actions towards interest rate reform in ShanghaiFTZ from the regulators. PBOC announced that from March 1st, 2014, the deposit rate of foreign currencies below the amount of USD3 million would be liberalized, which actually removed the ceiling for foreign currencies’ deposit rate. This is thought to be an important step on the road to fully liberalized interest rate reform. The next step could be liberalization of the deposit rates of the local currency, which may not only be applicable in ShanghaiFTZ, but also the rest of China.
Cross-border RMB utilization
On Feb 21, 2014, PBOC released the detailed regulation on expanding the usage of RMB overseas, which simplified the process of RMB overseas usage under current and direct investment account. However, overseas RMB financial scale and usage range will still be restricted, as well as cross-border e-commerce transactions and RMB trading services.
Six banks constitute the first batch of firms applied for the cross-border RMB settlement licenses. ICBC and Bank of China helped their clients within the zone to make an overseas RMB loan; Bank of Shanghai, HSBC and Citi Bank launched cross-border RMB current account centralized collection and payment services; Bank of Communications signed the first overseas RMB borrowing service for the non-bank financial institutions.
Capital account liberalization (to be announced)
In the future, the capital account might be opened for local and foreign investors. As Chinese reformers are relatively prudent and conservative, the liberalization process of capital accounts have been advancing relatively slowly so far. One important step in the process will be a gradual opening of commercial futures market to foreign institutional investors.
2014 version of ‘negative list’ (possibly to be released in the 1st half of 2014)
In the 1st half of 2014, a new version of ‘negative list’ will be released to update the 2013 version. Although it is not clear what items this version may include, there are two aspects which are certain. One aspect is that the contents included in the negative item list will be shortened, which implies that the restrictions on types of companies to register in the zone will be reduced. The other aspect is that ShanghaiFTZ might cooperate with Hong Kong to introduce advanced practices from the city.
In-depth report on ShanghaiFTZ are available here.
Deutsche Börse will be exclusive licensor of BSE market data to international clients New partnership gives market participants easier access to market data and information products of both exchange groups Deutsche Börse Market Data + Services and BSE today announced a partnership under which Deutsche Börse will act as the exclusive licensor of BSE market data and information products to all international clients. The new cooperation will benefit existing and potential customers by giving them access to both exchanges’ market data products under a single license agreement. A signing ceremony was held in Frankfurt on 2 October 2013.
The partnership also allows Deutsche Börse to deepen its client service capabilities in important Asian markets such as India, as well as strengthen the strategic alliance between the two exchanges.
“By partnering with BSE we give customers access to the full suite of real-time, delayed and end-of-day data products offered by both exchanges under a single license agreement. This approach meets clients’ market data needs while reducing their administrative requirements and increasing overall efficiency,” said Georg Gross, Head of Front Office Data + Services, Deutsche Börse.
“BSE is once again happy to partner with Deutsche Börse as this will enhance BSE’s visibility with international clients in the area of market data and information products. BSE will also get access to the innovative product development expertise of Deutsche Börse, which shall help BSE to provide an improved customer experience,” said Balasubramaniam Venkataramani, Chief Business Officer, BSE Ltd.
Under the new cooperation, Deutsche Börse will be responsible for sales and marketing of all BSE market data products to customers outside of India, while BSE continues to serve its domestic clients. Deutsche Börse will also share joint responsibility for product development and innovation, which includes extending its existing and the creation of new market data solutions and infrastructure to support BSE’s product offerings.
Products covered under the cooperation agreement include Real-time, Delayed and End-of-day data for BSE’s Equity and Derivatives markets, corporate data such as Results, Announcements, Shareholding Patterns and Corporate Actions as well as Real-time and Delayed Indices.
This market data agreement also further strengthens the cooperation between Deutsche Börse and BSE that began earlier this year. In March 2013, the two exchanges announced a long-term technology partnership in which BSE will deploy Deutsche Börse Group’s trading infrastructure.
Marco Polo New World redefines global trading solutions through innovation and reliability
Perseus Telecom providing ultra-low latency connectivity and infrastructure to Marco Polo New World
NEW YORK – 30 September 2013– Recently acquired Marco Polo Securities today announced that it has integrated with ‘Marco Polo New World.’ The Marco Polo New World vision encompasses new management along with next generation technology, befitting the firm’s testament to reliability and performance that have kept loyal financial services customers in place for fourteen years.
Cliff Goldman, CFO and President of Marco Polo, stated, “Launching Marco Polo New World coincides precisely with the strategic repositioning the firm has made, in the context of being a vendor of strength and reliability for the customers we serve in developed and emerging markets.”
Established in 2000, the original firm set out to overcome the barriers to investing and trading between developed and emerging markets. Today Marco Polo New World, with its new focus and technology, has in place a global electronic trading platform which currently provides connections to 70 plus countries representing more than 100 markets. This trading platform has an extensive global network of broker dealers and asset managers that enjoy neutrality and flexibility, all whom are backed by an experienced and knowledgeable service team that works around-the-clock.
Defining global trading solutions
Premier global electronic trading provider with experienced and professional customer support
Committed to continually providing new gateways to Emerging Markets
Strong new leadership and vision, committed to innovation and reliability
Anthony Orantes, Managing Director of Marco Polo New World, says, “Customer feedback has been phenomenal throughout the Marco Polo New World launch. We have strong support and backing by Perseus Telecom, which helps our customers take advantage of the Perseus global ultra-low latency connectivity to exchanges and trading venues. We also selected a world-class management team comprised of executives with significant experience operating in global markets, who understand market structure, advanced technology, and electronic exchange trading,” he concludes.
‘Defining global trading solutions’ is central to the Marco Polo New World value proposition. “Our New World brand name, and even our logo, is based on innovation, technology, and connectivity. This core value reinforces what we are committed to deliver to our global customer base,” said Kamran Rafieyan, Director of Marco Polo New World. “With the new leadership in place our firm can deliver a higher level of service for our current and future customers.”
With the new management team of Dr. Jock Percy, Marco Polo New World Chairman, Cliff Goldman, CFO and President of Marco Polo Securities, Anthony Orantes, Managing Director Sales, and newly appointed Kamran Rafieyan, Director of Marco Polo New World, the company’s vision is being executed by a team of trusted, experienced, and performance-driven partners. Under the guidance of this leadership, Marco Polo New World will work closely with its customers to help them navigate through the array of complexities in today’s global trading markets.
Perseus provides network and infrastructure to Marco Polo New World resulting in significant advantages for the firm and its customers. In addition to more efficient operations for the company, by utilizing the Perseus award winning ultra low latency network, Marco Polo New World customers will be availed to increased trading speeds.
Marco Polo New World, through its local exchange and brokerage relationships, offers intra-market connectivity and routing to brokers and exchanges in more than 100 markets. “Perseus Telecom is a global market-to-market exchange connectivity provider with the lowest latency available, and it is now supercharging the Marco Polo New World platform,” said Dr. Jock Percy, CEO of Perseus Telecom. “Perseus serves a significant number of trading firms, exchanges and technology providers with unsurpassed speed and precision,” Percy added.
Admist concerns on capital outflows due to U.S Fed tapering and fear of Syria war, the market retreated quite badly in August with foreign net selling of USD 41.8mn across the 2 bourses. By the month-end, VN Index lost 3.7% to close at 472.7 whilst VN30 tumbled 1.72%. HNX was the best performer of the 3 indices when it only edged down 0.49%, closing at 61.19.
As of 20th August, registered FDI reached USD 12.6bn, soaring 19.5% from a year earlier.Thiswas backed by 768 new projects mostly focusing on the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, the FDI disbursement edged up 3.8% y-o-y to USD 7.6bn and became a key factor contributing to the marked improvements in production activities. Indeed, while the employment index for the manufacturing sector in SOEs and private sector showed a negative growth, that in FDI sector still increased 5.6% y-o-y. Besides, FDI enterprises continued to be the main driving force to push export as they are contributing more than 60% of export and USD 2.7bn of trade surplus. YTD export turnovers advanced 14.7% y-o-y as of end August, however the YTD trade balance still suffers little deficit of USD 577mn due to a higher pace of import growth.
CPI accelerates but is still under control
The August general consumer price index edged up 0.83% m-o-m compared to previous month. Consequently, the year on year headline CPI was lifted up to 7.5% y-o-y, from 7.29% y-o-y in July. While aggregate demand was still weak, cost push effect became the primary reason for the return of inflation, in which electricity and gasoline price was adjusted up 5% and 2%, respectively. The healthcare basket, which was adjusted up remarkably in Hanoi, clearly produced the strongest effect. Fortunately, it only contributed little effect to the month-on-month CPI growth. The government’s inflation target of 7-8% would likely be met provided that there is no significant shock of gasoline price in the rest of this year.
Fast tracking VAMC
Sector-wide NPL figure at the end of 1H2013 was announced at 4.65%. This figure was indeed encouraging as NPL has fallen sharply from 8% by the end of 2012. 30 credit institutions that had NPL higher than 3% will be forced to bring down NPL level to 3% by selling bad debts to VAMC. In a recent interview, VAMC’s CEO said that in the next 2 months VAMC will issue bonds to swap for VND 10 trillion worth of bad debts of 10 banks. Banks with highest NPL will be given priority to sell bad debt to VAMC. The speedy execution of VAMC hopefully would help to clean up sector-wide bad debt more swiftly by year end.
More banking resolution to restructure banking system comprehensively
The PM signed a Resolution that allows SBV to assign financially strong banks or SBV itself, if there is no appropriate bank, to purchase stakes in weak banks which were unable to increase their capital or restructure themselves. Strong banks are requested to assist weak banks in both finance and management until their conditions come back to normal or acquired by other parties. This supportive resolution, together with VAMC formation, has clearly demonstrated the government’s determination to restructurethe banking system and tackle the NPL issue.
More details on raising foreign ownership limit (FOL) plan available
According to the HOSE, the proposal on issuing Non-Voting Depository Receipts (NVDRs) was submitted to MoF. With the same model as Thailand NVDRs, an SBV subsidiary will buy and hold 10% of total outstanding shares of listed companies and issue equivalent NVDRs to foreign investors. Foreign investors holding NVDRs will be fully entitled to company financial benefit, but not voting rights. NVDRs will be converted to normal shares when foreign room is open. This NVDRs model will be applied to all companies. However, we do not think it will happen soon this year due to the amount of preparation required.
Our View – 8 months of the year has passed and the economy has started showing some modest improvements. Inflation is under control and the government’s target would be likely to be met. More affordable borrowing cost is supporting production activities and making business environment more attractive. In addition, gold market has been gradually stabilized as the gap between domestic and global prices has been falling to half of previous high level. These improvements in economic conditions have prompted us to believe that the economy seems right on track for a gradual recovery. Furthermore, the government’s serious effort in restructuring the banking sector and the future lifting of foreign ownership limit gave us reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic about the market despite recent pullbacks due to external factors, which actually revealed buying opportunities for some good stocks we have been watching.
On August 6, 2013, Chinese securities companies received ‘the notice of preparing the initiating stock options full simulating trading works’ sent by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. This information implies that SHSE is already fully prepared for the launching of stock options. Although there is no clear timetable for launching the stock options, it is likely that they will appear in Chinese capital markets in 2013 or 2014.
Exchange traded stock options are new to Chinese capital markets and these derivatives provide a number of benefits. For one, both long and short-term trading are accessible and, similar to other derivatives such as futures, t+0 is allowed. Another benefit, which is an advantage over futures, is that leverage is provided but buyers can only lose the amount that they paid for the option. Options traders can also execute more complicated strategies through the combination of buying and selling call and put options, including straddles and spreads. Moreover, stock options are perfect hedging tools for individual stocks. Currently, Chinese stock index futures can only hedge the risks of the CSI 300 index and can not directly hedge non-systematic risks from individual stock options. And, despite providing leverage, security companies charge high transaction fees and interest rates for customers interested in selling short and buying long. Furthermore, the introduction of stock options comes with a high minimum threshold, which may largely change the structure of investors in the stock market by increasing the proportion of institutional investors. Thus the introduction of stock options may largely change the landscape of Chinese stock markets and may stimulate trading volumes.
However, there are also potential problems and doubts from the public that my come with the introduction of Chinese stock options. One issue regards the minimum threshold for investors of stock options. Some market analysts estimate that this threshold could be as high as one million yuan, which is higher than thresholds for index futures and securities lending services from securities companies. Currently, only 1% of accounts in the stock market can meet this requirement. Critics argue that stock options may serve as a tool to short the market by institutional investors and rich individuals, who may be in a disadvantaged position. But there are also analysts stating that the threshold may be lower, which would give normal individual investors a better opportunity to participate. The minimum threshold will depend on the final decision from CSRC.
Another problem has to do with the underlying stock that stock options are based upon. Currently, it seems as though only very large blue chip listed companies can enjoy stock options, so not all stocks can be optioned. Because large-cap stocks fluctuate less dramatically than small-cap and medium-cap stocks, the meaning of stock options may not be as transparent as in the fully opened western markets. But for institutional investors like mutual funds, as large-cap stocks take larger proportions of their shares, stock options may be an ideal hedging tool for stabilizing the performance of their portfolios. As current stock markets have adopted t+0 and t+1 trading, short-term day trade for hedging is not feasible. Thus traders may either choose longer-term hedging strategies or speculate through high-frequency intra-day trading.
Furthermore, large amounts of speculation in stock options may lead to dramatic fluctuations in stock prices. Similar to trades within A-share markets, the cost of short-selling is much higher than longing the stocks. So under the current unbalanced system, both hedgers and speculators may choose short in the stock options and the performance of A-share markets in the future may weaken. This has already been proven from the stock index future’s impact on A-share stock markets.
In conclusion, despite the risks, the launching of stock options is important for the development of Chinese capital markets.
Considered one of the best retail banks in China, China Merchant Bank (CMB) has started their private banking business in 2007. At the end of 2012, CMB’s pre-tax profit from their private banking business reached 2.3 billion yuan. Other major banks in China have similarly increased their wealth management profit since 2010, when growth of the market really accelerated.
ICBC and BOC still have the largest private banking AUM among the top 5 while CMB has the most private banking centers to serve its HNWI customers. The high net worth customer segment (over 10M RMB in investable assets) is growing at 18% growth rate and reached to 700,000 by the end of 2012. It seems that banks have finally cracked the code and wealth management is set to grow in China.
Fastest Connection to the BM&F Bovespa from Equinix/ALOG in Sao Paulo
Financial Compliant Network for Global Direct Market Access
Perseus Telecom, a leading provider of ultra-low latency, high capacity networks for market-to-market connectivity, today announced a fully managed ultra low latency solution offering called LiquidPath®. The service offering encompasses a complete trading network solution and infrastructure service for local and international exchange trading across global financial markets. LiquidPath® was developed to empower both the international Buy-Side with the local Sell-Side in order to take full advantage of the ever-evolving Emerging Markets landscape.
LiquidPath® connects the Perseus ultra low latency global network with key exchange data centers around the world. The service assists with procurement, staging and management of infrastructure for firms in need of support in foreign or emerging markets. Deployed at the beginning of 2013, the LiquidPath® platform connects the Perseus award winning network connection of New York’s Nasdaq OMX datacenter with the Sao Paulo Equinix/ALOG datacenter and into the site of the BM&F Bovespa exchange.
In Brazil, LiquidPath® is run by a local Perseus team of financial technology experts who purchase, install and manage equipment used for market data and trading in the Brazilian financial markets. The solution has connected Equinix/ALOG with BM&F Bovespa in less than 50 microseconds making LiquidPath® the fastest connection in market. LiquidPath® is an RCB compliant network of Brazilian exchange market data and trade execution messages.
Key Features of LiquidPath® Brazil
Market-To-Market: Global connectivity to 60+ financial markets.
Ultra Low-Latency: Fastest trans-Atlantic connection between London & Frankfurt; New York & London; New York & Sao Paulo.
Market Access Acceleration: Turn-up connections with exchanges, vendors and counter parties within proximity datacenters in days not months.
Agile Technology Support: Immediate adoption of new trading technologies as made available to stay competitive.
Financial Network Compliant: RCB network allowing for DMA access to local CVMs and exchange ports.
The LiquidPath® platform has seen an immediate market adoption, as many customers have connected onto the fast path between the Equinix/ALOG data center and the BM&F Bovespa data center with less than 50 microseconds RTD.
Marcos Guimaraes, President of Perseus do Brazil said, “In this new world of globalized, multi-market and multi-asset trading, the total cost of ownership for a firm has become extremely complex and competitive. Our latest offering provides simple, fast and flexible access to global exchange liquidity solving the problems our top end customers face.”
The Perseus LiquidPath® product is part of a suite of services designed to help trading firms get access to far reaching exchanges’ market data, send order execution and be in proximity with the trading community of multiple markets. Perseus stands by its testament of simplifying the process of trading connectivity, solving the problems that the complexities of international deployment involves and keeping the process efficient so that customers can mitigate risk and save money.
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