Archiv: March 2006


Stock exchange merger in Australia

The Australian stock exchange (ASX) and the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE) have announced their intention to merge. According to the "Australian Financial Review" this will create the ninth largest listed exchange group in the world. ASX chairman Maurice Newman said the merger would have significant benefits for both sets of shareholders and all market participants. SFE chairman Rick Holliday-Smith said the proposed merger was a logical progression. According to the Swiss financial newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung the Australian Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) viewed the proposed merger as positive in a preliminary statement - this in contrast to a merger proposal which was made by the same exchanges seven years ago.



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Weblogs in corporate communications: hype or help?
Lunchtime with Telekurs iD
Telekurs iD in use at Zurich Cantonal Bank
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Islamic banking rapidly expanding

The Islamic banking industry is growing rapidly, with more and more companies choosing to offer a range of products compliant with Islamic law, known as the Sharia. Islamic banking operates by sharing profit or loss between the bank and its clients, instead of interest. Assets of Islamic banks have soared by almost a quarter (24 per cent) each year over the past decade and now command a majority share of many key markets, including the Gulf states, an Islamic banking expert told Reuters.

Izzedine Khojah, secretary general of the General Council for Islamic Banks, explained that Islamic banking is rapidly expanding and is likely to maintain its recent growth over the next few years. Around 300 Islamic banks and financial institutions now exist worldwide, with an estimated $300 billion in assets, a figure predicted to soar to $1 trillion by 2013.

Speaking at a conference on Islamic banking, Mr Khojah said: "Islamic banking has proved the ideal model for the needs of Islamic societies, we are no longer talking about fragments. Governments and central banks have taken the lead in supervising Islamic banks and encouraging growth of the system."

The Islamic banking chief pointed out that Syria passed Islamic banking and insurance laws in 2005, Libya passed similar legislation several years ago and the Islamic banking industry itself has established its own standards and tools, including a rating agency and an arbitration authority.

Source: Bobsguide, the Guide to Software & Technology in Asset Management, Banking & Risk Management


Indian government indicates change of currency regime

BusinessWeek online: Last week Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated his government's readiness to move towards capital account convertibility -- making the flow of money in and out of the country for investments easier. The central bank announced the appointment of a six-person committee to produce a "road map" toward that goal by July 31.

read the full article by BusinessWeek online:
http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/mar2006/pi20060324_632691.htm


New ETF's listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange

This week, fourteen new products have been listed in the the Exchange Traded Funds segment of the SWX Swiss Exchange. This brings the the total number of ETFs traded in this segment to 49. The newly added ETFs are iShares products issued by iShares plc (Barclays Global Investors).

Source: SWX Swiss Exchange


Market Data Information: SWX Swiss Exchange disseminates order book data

The SWX Swiss Exchange will start disseminating level 2 data as from 22 May 2006. The order book data will consist of the 10 best bid/ask quotes plus their respective sizes and will be available on exchange codes 4, 349, 351, 352 and 504.

Level 2 data for SWX is - for the time being - subject of the level 2 virt-x entitlement.

This data will be available in Telekurs Financial's display products.

Get an up-to-date overview of Telekurs Financial's global data range.

For a regular update on the data offering subscribe to Telekurs Financial's data newsletter DATAFLASH.


Market Data Information: Change in Mozambique currency

A currency reform will be carried out in Mozambique effective 1 July. The current currency
description will be changed from Metical MZM to Metical MZN. As from 1 July the new currency will be listed in Telekurs Financial's data base as such:

Telekurs currency code numeric: 637
Telekurs currency code alpha: MZN
ISO-Code numeric: 943
ISO-Code alpha: MZN
CH-Valoren number: 2476324

The ratio between the old and the new Metalic is 1000:1

Get an up-to-date overview of Telekurs Financial's global data range.

For a regular update on the data offering subscribe to Telekurs Financial's data newsletter DATAFLASH.


Telekurs USA at the ISITC-IOA 12th Annual Industry Forum & Vendor Show

Telekurs USA will participate as an exhibitor at this year's ISITC-IOA Annual Industry Forum and Vendor Show, to be held in Boston from March 26 – 29, 2006.

This year’s conference is themed, “Securities Industry Under Reconstruction: New Patterns Ahead”, with the keynote address delivered by James Palermo, Vice Chairman of Mellon Financial Corp. Under this umbrella, some of the financial industry’s most respected practitioners and researchers will explore such hot topics such as:

U.S. & Global Regulators: Trends in Transparency. Cooperation and Integration. MiFID and its Impact on the Financial Industry.

Hedge Funds: Where are they going?

Baby Boomers & Retirement: How will they impact the Financial Services Industry?

The mission of the International Securities Association ISITC-IOA is to support global securities operations, to promote Straight-Through-Processing (STP) throughout the industry, to recommend and endorse operating standards that will reduce risk and increase efficiency, and to use the combined expertise of its members to address developments within the industry. Telekurs Financial has been an active association participant for many years, and is pleased to support its important mission.


Google rolls out finance site

Finance sites with regular updates of stocks, news and charts attract millions of website visitors. After Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money, the time has come for Google to join the competition. Today the Internet giant has launched its new site finance.google.com, wich is presently available as a Beta version.

Here is an extract of the related article by Forbes:

Google's site, finance.google.com, will compile news, stock-price data, stock charts, company fact pages and other financial data, much like the offerings at other finance Web sites. Finance sites are some of the most popular on the Internet, attracting 161 million visitiors in January, according to ComScore Media Metrix; that total was up 23% from the previous year.

Read the full article by Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/technology/2006/03/21/google-yahoo-microsoft-cx_ck_0321google.html


Record volume in the Swiss franc repo market

At end-2005, the Swiss franc repo market saw an upswing and achieved a record volume of CHF 90 billion in December. The important interbank market achieved a record volume of CHF 55 billion; the other CHF 35 billion were gained from bilateral trading with the Swiss National Bank. The acquisition of new national and international member banks kept pace with this positive development.

By the end of the year, the number of actively participating banks had increased to 136. In connection with a further expansion of the business in the securitised money market, Eurex Repo introduced a foreign-currency segment with EUR, USD and GBP while retaining its clearing and settlement structures in the Swiss repo market. This offers additional opportunities for Swiss banks in particular, who can manage their foreign-currency holdings in the above-mentioned currencies via the CHF repo market without having to pay supplementary membership fees.

These additional sources of revenue in the three currencies require very little or no operational resources, since the tried and tested SIS Tri-Party Service can be expanded with no further use of resources and trading can be carried out under existing agreements.

Source: Eurex Zurich Ltd.


Telekurs Financial: focusing strongly on ISO 15022

Telekurs (UK) Ltd were sponsors of TSAM 2006 (Technology Solutions for Asset Management) on 7 March 2006. Richard Newbury, Head of Products at Telekurs (U.K.) Ltd was a panel speaker in the Corporate Actions stream which evaluated the progress of data standards and automation in corporate actions management.



Richard Newbury was joined by other panel speakers including George Harris, Vice President, Investment Operations, RDUG & Credit Suisse; John Clayton, Business Model and Harmonisation, Euroclear, and Catherine Marks, SWIFT Solutions Manager, SWIFT, to discuss the panel topic “An update on market initiatives regarding data harmonisation” focusing strongly on ISO 15022 and the advantages and disadvantages of having this single automated standard.

It was Telekurs Financial’s observation that the year 2005 had been useful in terms of getting this format integrated with customers, however there still seems to be some over expectation by the user community of what ISO 15022 can deliver.

The conclusions that all participants came to were:

Users are looking for cheaper solutions for smaller companies.
Although ISO 15022 is felt to be a good start, the delegates felt that it did not provide a full answer and that there is still a need for a broader data set.
It was agreed that a regulation needs to be introduced to push people to make a move on the topic.
There is a need for greater harmonisation to iron out the differences between announcements on different markets.

2006 therefore poses an opportunity for data vendors and custodians to improve the standardized messaging service for corporate actions and educate the user community on the regulations revolving around this.

TSAM has become the leading forum in the UK focusing specifically on the technology and operations related issues facing asset management companies. The event attracted huge numbers of senior-level delegates from all areas of the investment management arena.


Market Data Information: New Forex Data in Telekurs iD

Since the beginning of this week, the following new Currency Basis Swaps by Tullett Prebon are availabe in Telekurs Financial's financial information display Telekurs iD*:

- Turkish Lira (TRY) against USD
- New Zealand Dollar (NZD) against USD

This data will be featured in separate Telekurs iD lists.

As from 10 April 2006, Tullett Prebon will further complete its interest rate swap coverage by adding non-deliverable IRS in:

- Chinese Renminbi
- Indian Rupia
- Korean Won
- Malaysian Ringgit
- Philippine Peso
- Taiwanese Dollar

Respective instrument lists will be available in Telekurs iD*.

* (real-time data only available in the Advisory Package of Telekurs iD).


Merger talks are top on the agenda of global exchanges

Merger talks between global exchanges have greatly accelerated during the past weeks. This article by BusinessWeek online gives a snapshot view of all suitors and wooed parties:
http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/mar2006/pi20060314_834085.htm

See also this related article by BBC News:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4808304.stm

See a summary of today's related news headlines by Google.


Volatility index VLEU in real-time

Since 15th March Telekurs Financial offers the volatility index VLEU™ in real-time to its clients of market data products. The relevant real-time data is available under exchange code 202.

The VLEU™ represents the fluctuation of the stocks in the next 45 days expected by market participants. For each Swiss stock traded on Eurex six at-the-money call options with 45 days to maturity are chosen. By the prices of these options and the estimates of Bank Leu the VLEU™subindices are calculated. These are summarized to the VLEU™overall index according to the trading volume of the last ten trading days.

Get an up-to-date overview of Telekurs Financial's global data range.

For a regular update on the data offering subscribe to Telekurs Financial's data newsletter DATAFLASH.


Market Data Information: exchange codes for NYSE

Telekurs Financial notifies its market data clients of an important change.

The following name changes come into force with immediate effect:

old name: EC 65 / NYS / New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
new name: EC 65 / NYX / NYSE Group Inc. (NYSE)

old name: EC 68 / BON / New York Stock Exchange, Bonds
new name: EC 68 / NYD / NYSE Group Inc. (NYSE Bonds)

old name: EC 69 / PAC / Pacific Stock Exchange Arch. SE
new name: EC 69 / NAR / NYSE Group Inc. (NYSE Arca)

Get an up-to-date overview of Telekurs Financial's global data range.

For a regular update on the data offering subscribe to Telekurs Financial's data newsletter DATAFLASH.

You may also read this weblog entry: NYSE-share rises 24 percent on first trading day


Subscribe to SME news from AWP

Since 1 February, subscribers to AWP-News through our display products have had the opportunity to try out this agency’s interesting pool of information on Swiss second-line stocks and SMEs free of charge. No other news agency offers such a wealth of information.

Does the product appeal to you? If so, why not move quickly and tell your financial information sourcing unit that you would like to subscribe to AWP’s SME news service? If the order is placed by 31 March 2006 your company will benefit additionally: The supplier, AWP AG für Wirtschaftspublikationen, is offering a further two months’ free access to the SME news service on top of each one-year subscription.

To confirm your order, we just need your company name, customer number and user ID. Simply send an e-mail to sales.tkf@telekurs.com.


Swiss stock exchange SWX launches Central Counterparty Service

On 3rd March the Board of SWX Swiss Exchange approved the introduction of a Central Counterparty Service (CCP) for the SWX Equity Market. With SIS x-clear AG and LCH.Clearnet Limited, SWX will provide a comprehensive, robust and cost efficient solution for the clearing and settlement of equity products on SWX.

The SWX CCP service will be an extension of the current virt-x model. The decision to introduce this service has been made in consultation with members of SWX both in Switzerland and internationally with the aim of standardising post trade processing and maximising efficiency. A central counterparty is a specialised clearing institution that facilitates securities trading by standing between buyers and sellers to ensure that money and securities change hands smoothly and efficiently, with minimum counterparty risk.

It is expected that the project will be implemented during the second half of 2006, subject to relevant formal and regulatory approvals

Source: SWX Swiss Exchange


Swiss banks building up presence in Arab Gulf states

The ongoing surge of the oil prices brings prosperity to the Arab states of the Gulf, namely to countries of the GCC. More important for the financial industry, however, is the emerging of an important financial centre between Europe and Asia. The Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH), the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) are currently competing for this role. Major Swiss banks have already been building up their presence in the Gulf and seem to be well positioned to meet the growing interest of the investor community in this region.

UBS has representative offices in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai. In the last three years the number of UBS staff in the Middle East has doubled. Yet, UBS has not yet applied for a licence for DIFC und QFC. In Bahrain UBS is present with its fully-owned subsidiary Noriba Bank to service the market of Islamic financial products.

Credit Suisse is presently the only Swiss bank with a comprehensive financial offering at the DIFC. Credit Suisse is also a member of the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX). This year, Credit Suisse is planning to expand its presence, namely at the QFC and the Saudi-Arabian city of Riad.

Finally, the Swiss private banking specialist Julius Baer has a subsidiary at DIFC and specialises in high net worth individuals with bankable assets of around $10 m according to Thomas R. Meier, regional head middle east of Julius Baer.


Source: Schweizer Bank


Telekurs Financial will be present at the 8th "Journee Solutions Bancaires"

The Geneva branch of Telekurs Financial will be present at the 8th "Journée Solutions Bancaires". This major banking technology event of Western Switzerland will be held next Wednesday, 15 March. At booth no 39 visitors will be able to discover how the new product functionalities and data offering of the financial information display Telekurs iD is improving working efficiency not only in the back office but increasingly also in the front and middle office.

More information can be found at www.unicore.ch (only in French). Telekurs iD is also presented at the regular iDealunches in major financial cities such as Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt or Paris.


EU Commission sends cost-cutting signal to clearing industry

Financial Express: The European Commission confirmed on Tuesday it will intervene this year unless the cost of clearing and settling cross-border share trades is cut.

McCreevy, European commissioner for the internal market, has previously complained that the cost of clearing and settling cross-border trades in shares is too high and well above the cost for domestic trades, creating an obstacle to creating a single market that would give investors greater choice.

read the full article by Financial Express:
http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=119799


NYSE-share rises 24 percent on first trading day

The share of NYSE Group Inc. made a promising start on its first trading day. NYSE Group Inc was founded by merging the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the online trading platform Archipelago. On Wednesday, the CEO of NYSE Group, John Thain, placed the very first bid for the new share, which is traded under the symbol of NYX. He bought 100 shares at the price of $67. Minutes later the shares were already trading at $70 and rose to $80 until the market closed. This corresponds to a plus of 24% on the same trading day.

You may also read the following weblog entry: New York Stock exchange ending a story as a member-owned club

Market experts did not expect such a successful trading start, as the Archipelago stock had already risen by 280% since the announcement of the merger on 20th April 2005. The New York Stock Exchange will now have to stand the the test as a publicly held for-profit company.

CEO John Thain has already announced his goal to cut $200 m per year and to quadruple the benefit of the NYSE Group in the next two years. He also defined some priorities, namely to consolidate the new trading model of the Hybrid exchange, to expand the product offering beyond stock trading and finally to seek growth by national and internatiional acquisition.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung

bell_2.jpg


Caption: Ringing the NYSE Opening Bell in celebration of the launch of the new publicly held, for-profit NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) on Wed., March 8, 2006 are: (left to right): President and Co-Chief Operating Officer Jerry Putnam, Chief Executive Officer John A. Thain, Chairman Marshall N. Carter, and President and Co-Operating Officer Catherine R. Kinney. After the Opening Bell, the stock of NYSE Group began trading on the NYSE.
Photo by NSE Group, Inc.



CeBIT is celebrating its 20th anniversary from 9 to 15 March in Hannover

From 9 to 15 March CeBIT - the world's leading ICT event - is celebrating its 20th anniversary event. This year's show is featuring technological convergence as its core theme, and giving a lot of attention to how technology is increasingly serving both the business and consumer worlds. Digital applications which just a short time ago were restricted to the workplace have now found their way into the consumer sector, and vice versa (e.g. mobile phones and MP3 audio), and all signs point to even stronger convergence trends just around the corner.

CeBIT 2006 will be taking place under the programmatic motto 'Digital Solutions for Work & Life'. Throughout seven action-packed days, visitors can experience the new digital world in its entirety. They get a glimpse of what's possible today - and where the fast-growing ICT industry is headed in the foreseeable future.

Read the full text of CeBIT's latest press release.

You may also want to read the following feature by BBC News: Gadget snapshots from Cebit.


New York Stock exchange ending a story as a member-owned club

Reuters: The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will ring the opening bell in honor of itself on Wednesday as it goes public, ending a 213-year history as a member-owned club and eyeing further growth in the booming exchange sector.

Read the full article by Reuters:
http://today.reuters.com/investing/financeArticle.aspx?type=hotStocksNews&storyID=2006-03-08T061017Z_01_N07409706_RTRUKOC_0_US-FINANCIAL-NYSE.xml


EU interest taxation: alternative classification method designed for Swiss Banks

The Swiss Banker's Association has introduced an alternative classification system for financial instruments which fall under the European Union taxation of savings income. This new classification method especially developed for Switzerland will allow investment funds and hybrid instruments for which there is no self-declaration by the provider or issuer - and which are therefore flagged as "unknown" - to be classified as "out of scope" in Switzerland. Telekurs Financial offers the information platform for the interested parties.


Only paying agents domiciled in Switzerland or Liechtenstein that are subject to Swiss banking law can make use of this facility. These paying agents transmit their requests for an out-of-scope classification via Telekurs Finanancial's website enclosing the relevant prospectus or term sheets. Telekurs Financial will then submit the applications to the panel of experts responsible for classification. This body, which is made up of representatives of the Swiss Banker's Association, the Federal Tax Administration and the Swiss Funds Association, decides whether an out-of-scope classification should be approved, and makes its decisions known by publishing the minutes of its meetings.

You may also read this feature which focuses, among others, on how the Swiss financial industry applies the current EU Directive on savings income (download, pdf 43 kb).


RIM reaches settlement to end the Blackberry litigation

BBC: Blackberry's maker, the Canadian company Research in Motion (RIM) has reached a $612.5m settlement to end a dispute with American software firm NTP that could have closed the service in the US. RIM said on Friday that the deal with NTP represented a "full and final settlement".

Read the full article by BBC UK:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4773006.stm


Latin American countries: turning away from Brady Bonds

Last week Brazil, Columbia and Venezuela announced their intention to repurchase parts of their respective foreign debts. Brazil intends to repurchase Brady bonds for a value of $ 6.6 bln. Whereas Columbia and Venezuela announced they would repurchase foreign currency issues for a value of $ 4.3 bln and $ 3.9 bln respectively.

The trend to repurchase foreign currency bonds confirms the endeavour of Latin American countries to reduce their foreign debt and by so doing to enhance their investment profile. In the past, foreign currency bonds denominated in euro or USD proved to be critical especially in times of economic unrest. Financial crisis was often triggered by a simple equation: a devaluation in the home currency equals an increase of the foreign currency debt. The dangerous dynamics of a currency devaluation was especially felt by Brazil four years ago, when foreign investors reduced their investments in Brazil in the face of the uncertain outcome of the presidential election in 2002. The Brazilian currency real lost up to 40% while the foreign debt surged to critical heights. Only a record loan by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was able to avoid a greater financial crisis.

Brady bonds were largely issued at the end of the eighties and were then thought to be a practical answer to the financial crisis in Latin Amercian, Asian and South-east-European countries. They were part of an IMF debt rescheduling program and allowed those countries to swap foreign debt against bonds which were backed by a zero-coupon bond issued by the US Treasury. In the past years, the investment community gradually turned away from Brady bonds. The volume of Brady bonds continously dropped from the formerly issued $ 156 bln to the presently estimated $ 50 bln. Mexico already stepped out of its entire Brady bond share in 2003.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1 March 2006

You may also want to read the following weblog entry: Brazilian government grants tax exemptions in the capital market for foreign investors


Russia intends to create growth segement for trading in small and mid caps

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports that the Russian government will change the current legislation this year in order to allow the listing of small and medium-capitalized companies at the stock exchanges. Furthermore, the major Russian exchanges Micex Stock Exchange and Russian Trading System (RTS) are intending to create special growth segments similar to the British Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

It is estimated that the number of Russian IPOs should be five times higher in 2006, as the Russian economy continues its growth path. Last year, Russian IPOs generated record revenues of $ 6.1 bln.


First Asian sharia-compliant index launched by Singapore Exchange

Singapore Exchange (SGX) in partnership with FTSE Group (FTSE), and Yasaar Research (Yasaar) launched the FTSE SGX Asia Shariah 100 Index at this end of February.

The FTSE SGX Asia Shariah 100 Index is made up of 100 Shariah-compliant stocks, from Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong. The Index will be used as a basis for the creation of financial products such as Exchange-Traded Funds and Over-the-counter trading instruments.

The FTSE SGX Asia Shariah 100 Index, is the first of a series of FTSE SGX Shariah Indices to be launched. The Indices are designed to reflect the stock performance of companies in Asia Pacific whose business activities comply with Islamic Shariah law. Growing interest in Islamic investment vehicles in this region has created a renewed demand for Shariah-screened indices covering a range of asset classes, and this series offers a new and innovative approach to Islamic indexing.


Open Source still regarded as "destructive force" by software industry

SD Forum and Olliance Group recently invited 70 software industry representatives to discuss the role and importance of commercial open source software. Among the participants were more than 15 CEOs of open source companies. The German technology website golem has published the following brief out of the event summary, entitled "The Future of Commercial Open Source Summary Report":

According to the report the participants surprisingly agreed on different points. They still regarded Open Source as "destructive force", nevertheless Open source would be the dominant model fo future software development.
Agreement was also reached on the opinion that Open Source could not be regarded as business model as such, but rather as a method to develop and deploy software.

"The Future of Commercial Open Source Summary Report" has a creative commons licence and can be ordered on this webpage (by Olliance Group).


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