Archiv: February 2006


Telekurs Financial is supporting sponsor of FISD 2006 in Amsterdam

On 8 to 9 March the FISD 2006 in Amsterdam will be featuring a series of half day programs encompassing an entire spectrum of today's and future market data industry topics including:

- Market Data Commercial and Administration Issues,
- Securities Processing Automation and
- the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).

See also the full program of FISD Amsterdam.


Brazilian government grants tax exemptions in the capital market for foreign investors

According to a report of Finanz & Wirtschaft the Brazilian government has decided to grant a number of tax exemptions on financial transactions in the homeland market. Foreign investors holding Brazilian government bonds, for instance, will be exempt from the tax on capital gains of 15%. Risk and private equity capital will also be exempt. Finally, the CPMF tax, a transaction tax on public offerings made by Brazilian companies, has been waived with immediate effect.

With this decision the Brazilian government hopes to enhance the attractiveness of the homeland bond market especially for foreign investors. So far, foreign investors are only holding 1% of Brazilian government bonds denominated in the local currency real, which corresponds to a total volume of $ 450 bln. Non-government bonds will be excluded from the tax exemption.


Ratings under scrutiny

According to a report of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, bond issuers underline the importance of larger competition in the rating business. In a survey made by the Bond Market Association 41 bond issuers confirmed that the lack of competition was an important issue for the rating branch. 42% of the surveyed investors shared this opinion. Furthermore:

90% of the issuers indicated that ratings agencies such as Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings would support them in the aim to gain a better access to the capital markets and also to reduce their issuing costs.
85% of the issuers indicated that they were content with two ratings, while 15% considered three independent ratings as necessary. 61% of the investors indicated they would prefer to invest in bonds with three ratings.

The survey also indicated that issuers preferred Moody’s rating to the ratings by Standard and Poor’s. However, investors showed a preference for S&P and Fitch ratings. This survey was made by the Bond Market Association, which is based in UK and the USA, together with the US Association of Corporate Treasures.


Telekurs Financial participating at the TSAM 2006

Telekurs Financial will be participating and exhibiting at TSAM 2006 (Technology Solutions for Asset Management) as part of the Corporate Actions stream. The focus will be on “Automation: how far have things really come, what are the hurdles, and ways to address them”.

This event will be held on 7 March 2006 at the following location:

Venue
The Brewery.
Chiswell Street,
London EC1Y 4SD 

Richard Newbury, Head of Products at Telekurs (UK) Ltd, will be one of the panellists at a round table discussing “An update on market initiatives regarding data harmonisation” which starts at 13h50. Read the full schedule for more details.


Deutsche Boerse proposes merger with Euronext

As the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports today, the German stock exchange Deutsche Boerse is currently looking at the possibility of merging with Euronext. According to Guardian Unlimited the Chairman of Deutsche Boerse, Mr Francioni said: "A combination of Deutsche Boerse and Euronext would create the first truly European exchange organisation capable of asserting claims to global leadership."

Euronext has reacted cautiously to the announcement of Deutsche Boerse. The proposition of "merger between partners" would need to be analysed carefully said a spokesperson of Euronext on Wednesday.

Deutsche Boerse dropped a bid to buy London Stock Exchange last year after opposition from shareholders, a second failed attempt to buy the London market in five years.


Reseachers of IBM have discovered new production method for computer chip industry

According to BBC News UK current technology for computer chip production is reaching its physical limits as chips become tinier. A new technique discovered by reseachers at IBM could lead to smaller and higher capacity chips, and delay a switch to costlier and unproven chip-making methods. IBM said the method could fuel the push towards more powerful and compact handheld devices.

Read the full article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4735236.stm


First gold-ETF in Switzerland

According to the Swiss financial weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft, the Zurich Cantonal Bank will issue the first Swiss Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on gold at the end of February.

Trading activitiy in gold-based ETFs on other global exchanges such as New York or London already amounts to a total of 429 tons of gold which represents a value of around $ 7.5 bln according to a statement made by the World Gold Council last Tuesday.


NYMEX to offer open outcry and electronic trading side by side

Beginning of February, the Board of Directors of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) voted to offer side by side open outcry and electronic trading of its benchmark, physically settled energy futures contracts.

Read the full text of NYMEX's press release.


Mobile multi-function devices can now compete with PC world

Wireless solutions such as the Blackberry combining email, phone, SMS messaging and Internet functions have registered a growing success in the business world and may soon challenge the dominating PC role in everyday communication. According to analysts of Data Monitor, the number of wireless e-mail users should reach 200 million at the end of this decade. The producer of Blackberry, Research in Motion (RIM), does no longer stand alone in this growing competitive market.

At the wireless trade fair 3GSM, which was held last week in Barcelona, market leaders already presented their answer to the Blackberry. The Pocket LOOX T. by Fuijitsu-Siemens, the Q by Motorola, the E61 by Nokia or the M600 by Sony Ericsson which are expected to be launched beginning this spring may share the somewhat clumsy looks of the famous predecessor, but wireless-wise already know that beauty lies in the number of features.


The trends towards wireless has been greatly supported by the technological progress made in the past years. Third-generation technologies such as UMTS were the crucial step to make the e-mail, video-streaming or other mobile features comparable to the quality offered by a traditional PC. A new generation HSDPA network with even greater capacity should be available in Switzerland for this year. The security issue is, however, still on the table as nobody can guarantee at this point that spam-mails may not also become a wireless day-to-day-nuisance.

Pricing may be the next hurdle to take in order to enlarge the number of private users for multi-function wireless, as current price range only allows the proliferation in the exclusive and therefore lower-populated business world


Reference data spending on high level

The research and consulting firm Tower Group published the results from its 2005 Reference Data Survey early this month. According to the financial technology news provider Finextra, the author of the study, Matthew Nelson says that the majority of firms surveyed reported that they have already acquired funding for data management projects or have budgeted for them in 2006.

Read also the full report by Finextra.


How Swiss paying agents implement the EU interest taxation on savings income

In June 2003 the European Union (EU) published a Directive on the taxation of savings income, which came into force on 1 July 2005. The aim of the Directive is to guarantee effective taxation of cross-border interest payments made to physical persons domiciled in the EU.

Given the complexity of the Directive and the bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU, implementation represents a major challenge for paying agents, particularly from the standpoint of their computer applications. First, paying agents must precisely identify the actual beneficial owners, a concept that leaves room for endless legal squabbling. Second, they must obtain detailed information relating to interest paid on debt claims (in the widest sense) and by investment funds (which have invested in these debt claims). It goes without saying that, given the various national interpretations, the definition of interest gives rise to difficulties in practice.

This is an extract of an article published by the Swiss financial magazine l'Agefi. Read the full article.

This article is also available in German, French and Italian.

Find more documentation about the EU Directive on the taxation of savings income.


US house of representatives commenced hearing on "China and the Internet"

On 26 January this Weblog posted a feature on how Internet giant Google abides to Chinese censorship rules.

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives commenced a hearing on "China and the Internet". Four US based Internet giants had to respond to claims that they engage in business in China at the expense of human rights and intellectual freedom for Chinese and other users.

Leading executives for Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco Systems were sharply questioned in the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations at the initiative of committee Chairman Representative Christopher Smith, Republican of New Jersey.

Read this insight of the hearing by the International Herald Tribune:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/15/business/internet.php

Read also this feature of the BBC on how the Chinese goverment reacts to growing international criticism of its Internet regulations:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4715044.stm


Welcome to Telekurs Financial's weblog - read on!

Telekurs Financial decided at the end of 2005 to set up a weblog at this company site. A new addition to the news window, it will feature Telekurs news on products, services and events enriched with content from the banking, high tech and business sectors.

In collaboration with Telekurs software subsidiary Rolotec AG, Telekurs Financial developed the weblog in the course of a rapid two-month project. During the first stage, the weblog editor used a test blog to gain experience with the new news format and become familiar with the very easy-to-use content management system. Posting frequency soon rose sharply, often reaching two weblog news entries per day. The technical integration of the weblog into the existing website was equally quick and problem-free.

Telekurs Financial's corporate weblog at now serves customers and other interested people as a source of useful information on the latest issues from the IT and banking worlds.


Viennese stock exchange launches Southeast Europe Index

Starting 15 February, the Viennese stock exchange Wiener Börse AG will be publishing the Southeast Europe Traded Index (SETX), which contains the 15 largest companies listed on the stock exchanges of Bucharest, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Sofia.

SETX is a capitalization-weighted price index and is calculated and published by Wiener Börse in real time in EUR and USD. The starting value of the SETX was defined at 1000 points on 3 January 2005. In the previous year, the Southeast Europe Index rose by 31.1% and in the first few weeks of the year already by 16.9%.


Russia issues first 30-years-debt

On Wednesday, Russia issued the first 30-years-bond in rouble according to an annoucement of the Russian Ministry of Finance. According to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung this is the longest debt issued in the local currency rouble since the collapse of the former Soviet Union. The issue comprises a total 8 bln rouble and will be due for redemption on 6 February 2036. Market observers believe that the Russian government may be financing pensions funds with this loan. The yearly interest of the bonds will be 6.9 % with the exception of the first interest payment in this August of 6.95 %.

In December 2005 Standard & Poor's had upgraded Russian bonds in rouble for the ninth time since 1999. This upgrade caused the Russian bond yields to drop. For example the 9% rouble issue due for redemption in August 2006 yielded 6.7% on Tuesday compared to the 7.14% yield three months ago according to Trust Investment Bank. S&P rates the rouble long bonds with "BBB+" which is S&P's third lowest investement rate. Moody's counry rating of Russia is "Baa2".


AOL and Yahoo propose e-mail-charging to beat spam

According to BBC News UK the big net firms AOL and Yahoo are trying to stop spammers by charging to deliver e-mail messages. They plan to charge fees of up to one cent (US) per message to those that sign up for the service. In return for the fee, AOL and Yahoo will not send the messages through spam filters and traps that typically strip out all images and weblinks in an e-mail.

Read the full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4684942.stm


MiFID: European Commission presents formal drafts for "level 2" measures

This week the European Commission has presented its formal drafts to the European Parliament and the European Securities Committee (ESC) for a series of technical measures implementing the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). The proposed measures now being submitted to the European Parliament and the ESC are the so-called "level 2" measures(or “implementation measures”) required under the "Lamfalussy" process; they will make operational the principles set out in the "level 1" Directive.

The draft measures are being tabled after a very extensive round of intense consultations with all stakeholders over the last two years. They are designed to protect investors and consumers without imposing unnecessary compliance burdens on firms. The measures have been drafted to provide firms with clear and predictable rules and to give greater security to investors and consumers who buy services from foreign firms.

The proposed "level 2" measures are in line with the "Level 1" Directive which was adopted in April 2004. In accordance with the "Lamfalussy" process, the draft measures have been sent to the European Parliament and the European Securities Committee (ESC) who will examine them over the next three months.

Following the vote in the ESC, the European Parliament will have a one-month period to check that the limits set in the "Level 1" Directive have been respected, before the measures are adopted by the Commission, probably during summer 2006.

The recently approved extension Directive will push back the application date for the "level 1" Directive to November 2007. This is to allow firms to make the necessary preparations.

The formal drafts, together with background notes and frequently asked questions (MEMO/06/57), are available at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/securities/isd/mifid2_en.htm


Telekurs (USA) and Bear Stearns Pricing Direct host conference on securities valuation issues

Telekurs Financial and Bear Stearns Pricing Direct® Inc. ("PricingDirect”) will host a one-day conference on Issues in Securities Valuation” on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 9:00 a.m. EST in New York. The event will feature keynote addresses by Steve Forbes, President & Chief Operating Officer, Forbes Inc. and Doug Shulman, President – Market, Services & Information, NASD.

Read the full text of this press release (download pdf 33KB).


Financial centre contingency planning and crisis management

A working group headed by the Swiss National Bank has published recommendations on contingency planning and crisis management for the Swiss financial centre. The working group also included representatives of the Federal Banking Commission, the operators of key financial market institutions such as SIS Swiss Financial Services Group, SWX Swiss Exchange and the Telekurs Group , and important participants in the financial centre such as Credit Suisse, PostFinance and UBS .

An analysis of measures aimed at ensuring the stability of the financial system forms the basis of the report. In the event of a major disruption, the management of key financial market institutions must be in a position to restore operations within two hours. Important market participants must be able to resume critical business processes within four hours.

Overall, the institutions represented in the working group are well prepared, even in the event of large-scale disruptions. Various measures to increase the resilience of the financial system were identified, and a start has been made on implementing them. For instance, an alarm and crisis organisation spanning the financial sector has been created. Operating plans are also to be adapted to ensure that more attention is given to the possible incapacitation of staff in the event of a crisis.

Download the Swiss National Bank's report "Business Continuity Planning in the Swiss Financial Centre" (download 91kb).


South Africa's all-share-index breaking the 20 000 mark

The all-share-index of the Johannesburg exchange (JSE) is continuing its record high as the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports on 1 February. This Wednesday the index closed at a best ever of 20 040 points, thereby breaking the mark of 20 000 points for the first time. Only two weeks ago the index had broken the mark of 19 000 points. According to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung the market gained support by the upwards trend in gold and platinum shares.


Swiss stock exchange SXW sees growth potential in ETFs

In the US financial world, Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) have already become a standard cost-friendly alternative to the traditional investment funds. An ETF is an Index fund whose composition is tied to the weighting of an index and can be traded at any time without issuing commission. In Europe ETFs are a relatively new segment with growth potential and in Switzerland the Swiss exchange SWX has been successful in launching and marketing this instrument according to the banking magazine "Schweizer Bank".

Since the launch of the first ETF on the Swiss market five years, SWX has been recording a steady increase in sales volume. Equally, the number of instruments has been increasing from the first two ETFs traded in 2000 to the present number of 34 instruments listed at the SWX by seven issuers.

The Euopean ETF market is clearly dominated by instruments based on the leading homeland index. The German exchange and Euronext record the biggest volumes with ETFs based on their respective leading indices DAX and CAC-40, whereas in Switzerland it is the SMI which serves as leading role for investors. Three Swiss issuers, namely Credit Suisse, UBS and Indexchange offer ETFs on the SMI.


Greenspan's whisper

Alan Greenspan steps down. The man was already a legend in his lifetime and his public interventions were legendary. The famous saying "Greenspan's whisper makes the stock market shudder" might just have been a little exaggeration. But it might also be telling a tale about old-fashioned integrity worth remembering in today's financial world.

Alan Greenspan - aged 80! - held his last press conference as president of the Federal Reserve yesterday and - would you believe it - rather than sheding tears he announced another raise of interest rates! Mr Greenspan is succeeded by Ben Bernanke a former chief economic advisor of US-president George W. Bush.

see in the following articles how the international press bids Mr Greenspan's farewell:

Business Week Online: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jan2006/nf20060130_0592_db084.htm?campaign_id=rss_daily
Le Monde (french version):
http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3230,36-735973,0.html
BBC News:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4669778.stm
NZZ Online (german version):
http://www.nzz.ch/2006/02/01/bm/articleDJEQA.html


Trial-period for AWP-News SME service

As of today, all subscribers are entitled to two months’ free access to AWP-News – the service for news about small and medium-sized enterprises.

Each day the stock markets are open, you will find up to 30 reports and evaluations in German and French on the key events in the Swiss SME sector. Weekly market reports and exclusive ratings from the SME rating agency round out the offering.

You can find the SME news in the news window of your display product marked AWP. In the Applet version of Telekurs iD you can set an additional filter: Screens, Global Screen, News, AWP, Small and medium-sized Companies.

You will find further information on the AWP-News SME service in the following factsheets available for download in which you can download here in German, English, French and Italian.


press release: First STP solution goes live in UK with Telekurs Financial's corporate actions data

Brewin Dolphin Securities Ltd, the largest independent private client portfolio manager and stockbroker in the UK, went live on 23 January 2006 with the first integrated STP solution in the UK which uses Telekurs Financials’ corporate actions data delivered via the Valordata Feed in ISO 15022 format and Mondas’ Radica CAPS.

Read the full text of this press release (download 36 kb).


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