Archiv: September 2006


Switzerland has biggest market share for structured products

The Swiss Structured Product Association (SVSP) introduced five new members on Thursday and gave a market overview about structured products. The new members, namely Hypo-Vereinsbank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Julius Baer and Sal. Oppenheim, joined the association in April. SVSP was founded by ABN Amro, Credit Suisse, UBS, Vontobel and the Zurich Cantonalbank. SVSP-members now have a global market share of 90 percent, said the President of the Association, Roger Studer. He also confirmed that talks were being held with the remaining issuers, namely Bank Leu, Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Deutsche Bank, Sarasin, Citibank, Cantonal Bank of Vaud, JP Morgan, Banca del Gottardo, BZ Bank, OZ Bankers and Société Générale.

In recent years the segment of structured products has been on a continous growth path. End of last May, for instance, volumes grew by 66 percent to 237 bln Swiss Francs. Switzerland is currently the biggest market for structured products worldwide. Structured products make 5.3 percent of the total assets under management in the country. SVSP estimates that around 600 000 investors hold structured productions in their portfolios.

For the coming years SVSP estimates a continous growth of 20 percent per year. Notwithstanding the risk of structured products, they are also taken into consideration for long-term pension investment. Also, the MiFID regulation will allow the so-called "EU passporting". New markets, such as Spain, France, Scandinavian countries and Eastern Europe offer some considerable growth potentional, but Switzerland will probably maintain its strong position.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


CME announces repackaging of market data for 2007

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced yesterday that beginning January 1, 2007, all distribution of CME market data will be repackaged to include market depth data.

CME's market data offering will encompass Top 5 Book data, which includes top five price levels of bids and offers for any electronically-traded CME futures product.

Source: CME


Internet's future in 2020 debated

The internet will be a thriving, low-cost network of billions of devices by 2020, says a major survey of leading technology thinkers. The Pew report on the future internet surveyed 742 experts in the fields of computing, politics and business.

More than half of respondents had a positive vision of the net's future but 46% had serious reservations.
Almost 60% said that a counter culture of Luddites would emerge, some resorting to violence.

The Pew Internet and American Life report canvassed opinions from the experts on seven broad scenarios about the future internet, based on developments in the technology in recent years.

Read the full article by BBC News.


Telekurs Financial sponsors the SFE Swiss Financial Services Reception

Telekurs Financial sponsored the SFE Swiss Financial Services Reception on September 20th, 2006 at The Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh. The event attracted over 60 key figures from the financial community in Scotland focusing on the future of the mutual fund industry.

Financial-round-table-big.jpg

The reception was organised by Scottish Financial Enterprise to celebrate the opening of the new Swiss Consulate General in Edinburgh. SFE Chief Executive, Amanda Harvie chaired the session with an address from Mr Alexis P. Lautenberg, Swiss Ambassador in London. A keynote speech entitled 'Looking Ahead: Determinants and Perspectives for the Mutual Funds Industry', was delivered from Matthew Stemp, Managing Director of the Global Asset Management Division, UBS.

The main issues raised during the event were the striking similarities between the financial sectors in Scotland and Switzerland. Several speakers also commented on the international reputations for prudence and professionalism enjoyed by the financial sectors in both countries.

One key distinguishing factor identified by the panel was the specific area of excellence in each location. Switzerland was seen as a leading location in terms of private wealth management whereas Scotland and Edinburgh in particular, was seen as a centre of excellence for the fund management and securities administration sectors.

It was generally predicted that there would be increasing levels of business between the Swiss and Scottish financial sectors and the Swiss Ambassador cited this as one of the main reasons behind the Embassy's decision to relocate the Swiss Consul General office from Manchester to Edinburgh.

The reception was followed by a private dinner hosted by SFE at The Stevenson House.

For more information about the Scottish Financial Enterprise please click here.

To get in touch with a representative from Telekurs Financial , please email info@telekurs.co.uk or call on Tel. +44 (0)20 7550 5000.


Mobile web shake-up gets started

The mobile web is about to receive the biggest shake-up in years with the start of open registration for mobile phone-specific website addresses. The general public can now register websites ending with .mobi (dotmobi) as the backers of the mobile net hope to overturn consumer apathy.

Read the full article by BBC News.


Find out more about Telekurs Financial's mobile financial information offering Telekurs iD mobile


Rating agencies under the auspices of the SEC

With the "Credit Rating Agency Reform 2006" the United States Senate has approved a law which will put the rating agencies under the authority of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The law will also provide a registration procedure for new competitors. The SEC will also be entitled to intervene in case of conflict of interest or uncompetitive practices. Under the new law a rating agency could loose its status as officially approved credit rating agency if its ratings of the creditworthiness of issuers would not meet defined quality standards.

The new law still needs to submitted to the House of Representatives for approval or amendment. To date five rating agencies are approved by the SEC, the biggest of which, namely S&P and Moody's, currently hold a market share of around 80 percent. The role of rating agencies came under critisim during the last years, especially in the case of Enron, where the agencies were blamed for not forecasting the financial difficulties of the former energy giant.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung



Digital archiving gains new tool

A tool that makes it easier to gather and store digital archives has been developed by the National Library of New Zealand and the British Library.As more and more information goes online the race is on to create meaningful digital archives. The web curator tool automates the process of collecting and storing information. It will become a key part of the British Library's existing digital preservation programme.

The web curator tool that was developed will be available to other organisations as an open source release by the end of the year. The practise of web harvesting - using software to search out and gather snapshots of websites - will become increasingly important as organisations seek to preserve web pages, which often have a shelf-life of just a few months before disappearing.

Read the full article by BBC News.


Thailand's military coup may not entail long-term financial crisis

Thailand's unexpected overnight military coup rattled Asian financial markets last Wednesday and pressured the Thai baht and other regional currencies, though its economic repercussions remained unclear.

The news prompted Fitch Ratings to say it was considering lowering the credit rating of the country's sovereign debt and seven major Thai banks. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it was putting six major Thai companies, including Thai Oil Public Co., on negative watch.

But some analysts predicted that the coup's impact may be limited and possibly even help end Thailand's political crisis, which has dragged on for months."We think overnight developments in Thailand probably set up a net reduction in political uncertainty and could enable a speedier resumption of decisive governance," Michael Kurtz, a regional economist for Bear Stearns, said in a report issued last Wednesday.

In the country's first coup in 15 years, Thai Army chief General Sondhi Boonyaratklin led a bloodless, well-orchestrated overthrow while Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Sondhi told a news conference that he would act as a prime minister until a new leader is named and a new, temporary constitution enacted. A general election will be held by October 2007, he said.


The International Monetary Fund, which bailed Thailand and some of its neighbors out of a financial crisis in the late 1990s, was closely watching the situation but believed the region would be little affected, said the IMF's chief, Rodrigo de Rato. "Thailand's economy is fundamentally strong," de Rato said.


Although Bangkok was calm, regional financial markets were roiled, and analysts said the Thai currency was likely to remain under pressure until the political chaos ends. Thailand's financial markets were closed after the coup leaders declared a holiday and put the country under martial law.

Source: wtopnews


Credit derivatives identified as fast-growing market segment

At its 2006 Regional Member Conference in London on 19 September, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) announced the results of its Mid-Year 2006 Market Survey of privately negotiated derivatives.

According to the Survey, notional amount outstanding of credit derivatives grew by 52% in the first six months of the year to $26.0 trillion from $17.1 trillion. The annual growth rate for credit derivatives is 109% from $12.4 trillion at mid-year 2005. For the purposes of the Survey, credit derivatives comprise credit default swaps referencing single names, indexes, baskets, and portfolios.

Notional amount outstanding of interest rate derivatives, which include interest rate swaps and options and cross-currency swaps, grew by 18 percent to $250.8 trillion from $213.2 trillion. The annual growth rate for interest rate derivatives to mid-2006 is 25 percent from $201.4 trillion in mid-2005.

Notional amount outstanding of equity derivatives, which consist of equity swaps, options, and forwards, grew by 15 percent from $5.5 trillion to $6.4 trillion. This represents year-on-year growth of 32 percent from $4.8 trillion at mid-year 2005.

Source: ISDA


ICE enters into agreement to acquire Nybot

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the leading electronic market place for crude oil, natural gas, power and emissions, has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire the world's leading soft commodity exchange New York Board of Trade (Nybot). The two exchanges hope that the combination of their global commodity market places will expand offerings for market participants as well as create long-term shareholder value. Nybot will use the electronic trading platform of ICE.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


British government plans to reinforce FSA's role

The British government is to legislate to enhance the FSA's powers in relation to recognized exchanges. This government initiative can be seen as an effective measure to secure the regulatory status of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). According to the Economic Secretary of the British Treasury Department, Ed Balls, the new law should ensure that the LSE could still be regulated with "a light touch" in the future. Although Nasdaq was not explicetely mentioned by Balls, it is rather clear that legislation aims to protect the LSE from having to adopt the listing rules of the American exchange. Nasdaq currently holds a minority stake of 25.1 percent in the LSE. According to British Merger and Takeover regulation Nasdaq can start a new attempt to complete the takeover in October.


The ownership changes in european stock exchanges, as already experienced in the merger of Euronext and the
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), entail some important regulatory questions. More specifically, the LSE seem to have attracted a number of issuing firms seeking to detour the stricter US-regulations for foreign IPOs. The NYSE has made it clear that it was not in their interest to export US-regulation to Europe. Still, the long-term consequences of a change of ownership with US participation have not been sufficiently clarified so far.

The British regulator FSA has already voiced its concerns this spring that the complete takeover of the LSE by Nasdaq could undermine its authority as a regulator. The legislative draft by the British Treasury Department may bring an answer to that problem. According to Ed Balls, the FSA should receive a veto right in the new law. This will entitle the FSA to veto rule changes proposed by exchanges that "would be disproportionate in their impact on the pivotal economic role that exchanges play in the UK and EU economies". Yet, Ed Ball confirms that the measures are not aimed at hindering an ownership change at the LSE. The government, according to a statement by the Treasury Department, is "neutral as to the nationality of the owners of Recognised Bodies".

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


India becomes the fastest-growing cellular market in the world

India has become the fastest-growing cellular market in the world, adding a net 5.9 million cellular subscribers in August, the Cellular Operators Association of India said this week. The gain outstripped China’s increase of 5.19 million subscribers. Large areas of India remain too poor or remote to have cellphone service, even though the middle class is growing in many cities. As poverty slowly eases, the explosive growth in cellphone use is expected to continue in this nation of 1.1 billion people. Factors like low calling charges and cheap handsets are also behind the subscriber gains.

Read the full story by The New York Times


UBS to open "UBS Wealth Management Campus" in Singapore

On Tuesday UBS announced its plans to open the UBS Wealth Management Campus - Asia Pacific, its new wealth management training facility in Singapore.

Established in response to the increasing demand for UBS’s wealth management services, the UBS Wealth Management Campus - Asia Pacific will provide training for employees new to the wealth management industry, and ongoing training and professional development for existing UBS employees. The campus is expected to open in the first quarter of 2007.

Situated at the historic Command House at 17 Kheam Hock Road, the new campus will include a lecture hall equipped with video conference facilities and voice activated cameras, five seminar rooms, a media lab with over twenty computers for business technology training, networking and administrative areas.

When fully operational the campus will enable UBS Wealth Management in Asia Pacific to increase client advisor numbers by more than 20% annually. UBS anticipates that the campus will provide training for approximately 5,000 existing and future UBS Wealth Management staff between 2006 and 2010.


IMF lifts world growth estimates

World economic growth will be higher than previously thought at 5.1% in 2006 and 4.9% in 2007, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. The predictions are both 0.25% higher than the IMF outlook given in April. However, the IMF warned that global imbalances posed risks - in particular, the US budget deficit and China's vast trade surplus. The report was released at the start of the IMF and World Bank's annual meetings in Singapore.

Read the full article by BBC News.


EU plans to ease banking mergers

The European Commission has unveiled plans aimed at facilitating cross-border mergers between banks. Existing rules allow member states to block proposals if they think a merger threatens the target firm, but the EU says the rules are prone to abuse. The proposals would make criteria for objecting harder and "leave no room for political interference", said the EU. The decision follows rows in 2005 when Italy's central bank was seen to stop cross border bids for Italian banks.

Read the full article by BBC News.


Market Data Information: Zimbabwe currency reform

On 05 September 2006 the British Standards Institute (BSI), which is the ISO-secretariat in charge of the assignment of new currency codes under ISO 4217, announced that for the time being no new currency code will be introduced for the Zimbabwe Dollar.

This factsheet (download 29.4 kb) features all the important changes to exisiting security codes.


Desaster management after 9/11

The Swiss Futures and Options Association (SFOA) discussed "desaster management after 9/11" on its 27th annual Burgenstock-Meeting in Lucerne (Switzerland).

Business continuity or the efforts to keep an IT-system running at all times can sometimes lead to surprising measures in the trading community. In South Africa, for instance, where capitalism is not favored by everyone, the management of the stock exchange puts some efforts in motivating the police force to defend the premises in case of outside attacks.

In the US exchanges were hit by two important events after 9/11. A large power failure and the hurricane "Katrina". John Wilson of the pan-European exchange Euronext said that training and tests were considered vital for desaster preparation. Euronext has different data centers and their clients are not informed which one is currently operational. Gary De Waal of the American Fimat underlined the importance of the following preparative measures: to identify critical systems, to enhance geographical diversification, to run stress tests and to enhance the communication plans (and means) for the interaction between clients, staff and supervising authorities.

According to operations manager Patrick Gambaro, the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) transferred their offices to the other side of the river and communicated with staff on walkie-talkies during the aftermath of 9/11. Without these measures the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) probably would have taken longer to resume its trading activity.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


IBM to build supercomputer for US-government

The US Department of Energy said Wednesday that it had awarded I.B.M. a contract to build a supercomputer capable of 1,000 trillion calculations a second, using an array of 16,000 Cell processor chips that I.B.M. designed for the coming PlayStation 3 video game machine. The initial phase of the contract will be for $35 million. There will be two more construction phases through the completion and installation of the system in 2008. The total cost is expected to be $110 million.

Read the full story by The New York Times.


SWX lowers fees on virt-x

As from 2007, the SWX Swiss Exchange will lower the trading fees for their blue chip trading platform virt-x. According to the Exchange the fees will be lowered for constituent securities of the Swiss-Market-Index (SMI), for some European stock and for Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) at an average rate of 15 percent.

Additionally, market participants will be exonerated from fees for the said securities as from 1st October until the end of this year. This special incentive will especially benefit the financial intermediaries, i.e. banks and security traders, creating estimated economies of around 30 m Swiss francs.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Tullett prepares energy market boost for 2007

Tullett Prebon Information (TPI), the subsidiary of interdealer broker Collins Stewart Tullett, is planning to launch an energy market data product next year, according to Henry Ann, senior managing director and head of information sales and new business.

Ann told the market data review "Inside Market Data" that TPI inherited a good energy broking business with CST's acquisition and integration of Prebon Yamane in 2004. This would give them the opportunity "to go out and market the data".

Source: Inside Market Data

Interdealer brokerage data is available on Telekurs Financial's financial information display Telekurs iD. For more information about this offering, you may read the following feature (download 55 kb) from our news magazine realtime.


Rush testing for Microsoft's new operating system

Microsoft rushed what may be the final test version of its Windows Vista operating system to more than a million testers on Friday, trying to meet deadlines for its long-delayed commercial release. With pressure mounting to squeeze out final bugs, Microsoft asked testers to give Vista an urgent shakedown — even as they headed into a long holiday weekend. Microsoft has said publicly that it is hoping to offer the program to corporate customers before the end of November and to the broader consumer market in January.

Read the full story by The New York Times.


Schroders will transfer private banking to Switzerland

Global asset management leader Schroders will expand its presence on the Swiss financial market. The company intends to relocate parts of its European private banking business to Zurich until next year. This was announced by the company's CEO, Michael Dobson, during a press conference on Thursday. For Schroders Switzerland represents the second biggest foreign market right after Japan. The company, which was founded in 1804 and is still partly owned by the Schroders family, currently has $ 7 bln Swiss francs assets under management from Swiss private banking clients.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


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