Archiv: December 2006


Euro replaces dollar as strongest cash currency

Five years after its introduction in the European Union, the euro has replaced the US-dollar as the strongest global cash currency. "This is the first time that the euro has beaten the US-dollar", said a spokesperson of the European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday. Still, the US-dollar stays ahead in numbers since the smallest unity is the 1-dollar bill whereas the smallest note in the European currency is 5 euro. According to the ECB there were 614 bln euro bank notes in circulation in mid-December, whereas US-dollar bank notes only amounted to 588 bln euro (776 bln US-dollar).

Experts, however, argue that a simple comparison of bank notes in circulation does not make the euro a stronger currency. Economic expert Christoph Balz of Commerzbank comments: "In Europe cash is very popular, whereas most payments in the US are done via credit card, which explains why the circulation of bank notes is smaller in the US."

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Earthquake knocks Asia back to phone age

It was a tsunami for the digital age, a collapse of the virtual world that radiated through much of Asia and beyond after an undersea earthquake late Tuesday off the coast of Taiwan. People woke Wednesday to find themselves without e-mail or the Internet and, in some cases, without telephone connections, cut off from the real world around them. The earthquake ruptured two of the undersea cables that are part of a communications fretwork that circles the globe. Coming on the second anniversary of the Asian tsunami that took 230,000 lives, it was a reminder of the world's increasing dependence on communications technology.

Read the full text by Seth Mydans (International Herald Tribune).


Season`s Greetings

From everyone at Telekurs (UK) Ltd, we wish you a festive season and happy new year for 2007!

christmas-big.jpg

This year's card has been designed by Abigail Adams, a 10 year old student at Scope's Ingfield Manor School. Scope is a national disability organisation whose focus is people with cerebral palsy.

For more information on SCOPE, please visit www.scope.org.uk


Robots could demand legal rights

Robots could one day demand the same citizen's rights as humans, according to a study by the British government.
If granted, countries would be obliged to provide social benefits including housing and even "robo-healthcare", the report says. The predictions are contained in nearly 250 papers that look ahead at developments over the next 50 years.

Read the full article by BBC News.


Thai exchange remains volatile

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) remains volatile just one day after the sharpest index decline of its history. On Wednesday the market rebounded to reach a plus of 69.41 points or 11.16 percent, which is the highest ever recorded intraday high. The trading volumes amounted to 55.2 bln. baht (around $1.5 bln).

The rapid recovery of the market has provoked a genereal relief in the entire Asian region. The Nikkei rose 1.4 percent. The indices of Seoul and Hong Kong rose 1.02 and 1.45 percent respectively. Taipeh rose by 0.65 percent and Singapour by 0.81 percent.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Thai stock crash sends shock waves to Hong Kong and Tokyo

On Tuesday the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) lived the blackest day of its 31-year history. At 11:30 (local time) the index of the SET, the SETI, had already dropped by 10 percent. For the first time in the exchange's history trading had to be suspended for half an hour. One day before Thailand's central bank had imposed capital controls in order to curb a sharp rise in the Thai currency, the baht. The capital controls were designed to push the currency down by dissuading foreigners from buying baht. The concern of the central bank is that a high baht may have a bad impact on the country's export industry. Apparently, investors were not convinced of the efficiency of this measure. After the plunge of the stock market on Tuesday the Thai government was forced to reverse its decision by declaring on Wednesday that the stock market was excempt from the capital controls.

The spectacular crash of the SET sent out shock waves to all important Asian markets. SET is the third biggest exchange of South-East-Asia. On Tuesday the KLCI index (Malaysia) plunged 1.96 percent and other exchanges followed suit (Jakarta's index: 2.85 percent, Straits-Time-Index: 2.2 percent, Hang Seng: 1.19 percent, Mumbai exchange: 2.54 percent. Even Japan's Nikkei dropped by 1.09 percent and the exchanges of Manila and Seoul by 0.98 percent and 0.38 percent respectively.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Google and NASA plan online flights on Mars

Google and NASA plan online flights on Mars Google and NASA will work together to make space information, as well as weather on Earth, available on the Internet, NASA said Monday. Weather visualization and forecasting and tracking of the international space station are among the projects under discussion. The NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, said the agreement with Google would "soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars."

Read the full article published by the International Herald Tribune.


NYSE gets go-ahead to buy Euronext, but Nasdaq hits wall

The global consolidation of stock exchanges took a big step forward Tuesday — and slid one small step back. Euronext shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $14 billion deal with NYSE, which would create a new trans-Atlantic bourse with $100 billion in daily trading volume and give a lift to the New York Stock Exchange's international expansion plans. NYSE's cross-town rival, Nasdaq, did not fare as well on Tuesday. Its takeover target, London Stock Exchange, urged shareholders to reject Nasdaq's "wholly inadequate" $5.3 billion hostile takeover offer.

Read the full article by Heather Timmons (International Herald Tribune).


Market Data Information: New currency code for Uruguayan Peso

In addition to the existing official currency code for the Uruguayan Peso (CH-Valoren 56689, Telekurs Currency Code numeric: 949, ISO Curreny Code numeric: 858, ISO Currency Code alpha: UYU), a new currency code was introduced effective 20 November 2006. It was announced by the British Standards Institute (BSI), the ISO secretariat in charge of the assignment of new currency codes in line with ISO4217.

The new currency has been entered into the database as follows:

Telekurs Currency Code numeric: 956
Telekurs Currency Code alpha: UYI
ISO Currency Code alpha: UYI
ISO Currency Code numeric: 940
CH-Valoren: 2800840

The new currency code UYI is used only for issuance of debt instruments by the Uruguayan government in the international global bond market. As for the exchange rates UYU will remain as the official currency of Uruguay.

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.


Wireless: Can mobile phones give you 'presence'?

To Jyri Engestrom, most cellphone speed-dial systems might as well be a list of obituaries. "You see the names of your closest friends, but you don't know where they are or what they are doing," Engestrom said. "For all you know, they could be dead." Engestrom, a serial entrepreneur based in Helsinki, started a company named Jaiku last summer to solve this problem and deliver what he called "rich presence." Jaiku's software, which can be downloaded onto a growing range of phones or activated via SMS messages, allows people to learn where their friends are, what they are doing, who is with them and what time they last used the phone (and for how long).

Read the full article by Thomas Crampton (International Herald Tribune).

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


American-Chinese talks bring no immediate solution for trade deficit problem

Little progress was made on the problem of the escalating trade deficit during the two days of talks between U.S. and Chinese officials. Altough the U.S. urged China to take immediate actions the talks only resulted in general declarations.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was among the high-ranking American-Chinese delegation, is a recognized China expert and generelly uses a very moderate tone when discussing Chinese politics. But this time his statement was franc and clear which may point to the urgency of the problem. Paulson said that Washington expected Beijing to take efficient measures to solve the escalating American-Chinese trade deficit. The Chinese deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi also adopted a very franc tone by saying that it was also the duty of the U.S. to bring their own economy in order. Wu Yi also complained that Americans showed little understanding for the economic realities of their republic.

In his declarations the U.S. Secretary left no doubt that the Chinese foreign currency policy was in the center of American preoccupation. Although Paulson made a low-key statement, it is rather evident that the U.S. government accuses China of currency manipulation. A low Yuan rate benefits the Chinese exports to the U.S., whereas American exports to China are faced with higher obstacles. Paulson told the press that China was open for a more flexible currency policy but an exact deadline was not given for the proposed liberalisation.

The demands from the U.S. (copyright protection, removing obstacles for American exports, liberalisation of the financial and services sector and a greater juridicial transparency) meet with equally high requirements from China. Wu Yi suggested that Americans should save more and control their budgets. In contrast, the U.S. wants China to support domestic consumption and find ways to reduce the dependency of the Chinese economy from the export industry.

There is no doubt that the Chinese economy is driven by exports and capital investments. But one should also understand that Chinese saving is a response to the ongoing changes in the social structures which is undermining the traditional pension system and leaves many Chinese citizens unsecure. Both sides have acknowledged their respective demands but without a definitive timeline. Both, the U.S. and Chinese side, are mostly driven by their domestic interests which currently seems to oppose the possibility of finding a satisfying short-term solution for the trade deficit and currency problem.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


French banks rescind shareholder agreement on NYSE/Euronext merger

Just a few days before the shareholders of the pan-European exchange Euronext will vote on the merger with NYSE, five major French banks have prematurely rescinded a common shareholder agreement. In a joint declaration BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale, CDC and Dexia said that the purpose of the agreement had been reached, namely to coordinate their policy with regards to consolidations in the exchange landscape. The banks had made their agreement a few days before NYSE started their merger negotiations.

The actual reasions for rescinding this agreement might be that the banks no longer agree on the NYSE/Euronext merger. Crédit Agricole, CDC and Société Générale are said to be in favour of the merger, whereas the position of BNP Paribas remains unclear. The BNP chairman Michel Pébereau is known as a supporter of a European solution. Dexia is said to be against NYSE/Euronext. Also, the French economy does not seem over-enthousiastic about the forthcoming French-American partnership. In a survey by the daily newspaper Le Figaro the majority of constituent corporations of the French index CAC -40- were still hesitant to clarify their positions. Only a few companies are explicitely and without reservation in favour of NYSE/Euronext.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Press release: New CEO of Telekurs Financial appointed by Telekurs Group

Mr Marc Carletti has been appointed as CEO of Telekurs Financial Information Ltd. and concurrently as Member of the Telekurs Group Executive Committee. Marc Carletti has been active for around 20 years in various management functions at Reuters, most recently since 2004 as Managing Director of Reuters France and President of Reuters Financial Software.

Read the full text of this press release (download 46 KB).


Google to launch online auction for its options

Internet giant Google has announced the creation of a online auction system, which will enable its employees to trade options with institutional investors. The mini-exchange for Google options should be available in spring 2007 and will be organized by the investment banking firm Morgan Stanley. The broker firm Smith Barney will act as "adminsitrator" for employees. All future and past stock options of Google will be negotiable. Topmanagers of Google will not have the right to participate in the auctions. Google employees will also be given the option to exercise their options in a traditional fashion.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Goldman's Christmas jackpot

Goldman Sachs is to pay its staff more than £8bn ($15bn) in salaries, benefits and Christmas bonuses this year.
The handout follows another bumper year for the US investment bank. Goldman reported a 93% jump in fourth quarter profits to a record $3.15bn, bringing its annual earnings for the year to $9.54bn.

Read the full article by BBC News.


Nasdaq reveals hostile takeover bid for LSE

Nasdaq has decided to submit the bid of £2.7 directly to the shareholders of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Three weeks ago the management of LSE rejected another takeover attempt by Nasdaq. On Tuesday LSE chairwoman Clara furse asked the shareholders not to respond to the new bid by selling their shares. The offer by Nasdaq runs out on 11 January.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Bank of New York merges with Mellon Financial

On 4 December the Bank of New York and Mellon Financial announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge, creating the largest securities servicing and asset management firm globally. The new company, which will be called The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, will be the world's leading asset servicer with $16.6 trillion in assets under custody and corporate trustee with $8 trillion in assets under trusteeship, and will rank among the top 10 global asset managers with more than $1.1 trillion in assets under management.

Source: The Bank of New York


China markets face WTO deadline

China is set to see greater competition from foreign banks as a deadline looms for it to open its markets under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. Monday will mark five years since China joined the WTO, and one requirement included lifting limits on foreign access to retail banking. A US report will assess if such rules have been met. If they have not, China could face a WTO case from the US.

Read the full article by BBC News.


'Telekurs Twing' officially registered at Transat 6.50

Telekurs Financial is proud to announce that "Telekurs Twing", a purpose-built saling boat, has been officially registered for the Transat 6.50 yacht race in 2007.

In autumn 2007, Jacques Valente – a sales executive with Telekurs Financial – will sail single-handed with "Telekurs Twing" in the yacht race from La Rochelle in France to Salvador da Bahia in Brazil.

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You can find more technical information on the Notice of Race (pdf, download 208 KB) and the eco-sailor's charter (download 62 KB). Or simply visit www.transat650.org.

In addition, realtime, the client magazine of Telekurs Financial publishes a regular feature about Jacques Valente's preparations for the challenging yacht race. Don't miss the next issue of the realtime magazine.


Green light for Euronext merger

The national regulatory authorities of the pan-European exchange Euronext have given their respective approval for the planned merger of the exchange with NYSE. Provided that the general assembly of Euronext will also approve the deal, there will be no more obstacle to the implementation of the merger. The approval of the regulatory authorities has been given subject to certain conditions, as was communicated in a letter to Euronext chairman Jean-François Théodore. One condition is that the respective member countries of Euronext should not loose any competence for their national markets. The main worry of the regulators during the examination of the project was that Euronext would fall under the stricter US regulation as applied to NYSE. After the merger Euronext will only have the status of a subsidiary of the newly created Euronext NYSE.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Spam 2.0 flows unabated

In the past six months, spam has gotten measurably worse. Worldwide, spam volumes have doubled from last year, according to the spam-filtering company Ironport, and unsolicited e-mail now accounts for more than 9 of every 10 messages sent over the Internet.

Last week, the European Commission chastised member countries for doing too little to enforce European Union rules banning spam. The commission said that spam could account for as much as 80 percent of the content in a typical inbox in Europe, with the biggest culprit being the United States, which accounts for 21.6 percent of spam coming into the EU.

Read the full article by Brad Stone (International Herald Tribune).


New release of Telekurs iD mobile

The new release of Telekurs iD mobile will go live on 7th December 2006 between 07:30 and 08:00 a.m. Telekurs iD mobile users will be notified via a message that the new release is available and how it can be downloaded.


Swiss regulator creates MiFID working group

According to Eva Hüpkes, head of regulation at the Swiss Federal Banking Commission, the Swiss legislator has not yet prepared a draft for implementaton of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), but does not exclude this possibility at a later juncture. However, the Swiss regulator has recently created an informal working group with the Swiss Bankers Association, the Swiss Funds Association, the Swiss exchange SWX and the Federal Finance Administration (FFA). The goal of the working group will be to analyse the consequences of MiFID for Switzerland.

"There are many similarities between MiFID and the 'current practice' in Switzerland," says Hüpkes. But she also stresses that the EU directive goes much further, which is why the implementation of MiFID could be a heavy financial burden on the legislator as well as on the respective corporations. According to the British regulatory body FSA the implementation of MiFID in Great Britain alone would cost £ 2.8 bln.

The Swiss Federal Commission outlines three scenarios of the implementation of MiFID in Switzerland. In the first case clients would desert Swiss banks if they could not comply with MiFID regulation. The second more positive case assumes that if Switzerland does not implement the directive, it could become more attractive to EU corporations which want to avoid the high implementation costs. This latter scenario is evidenced by the implementation of the Sarbanes Oxley Act in the USA, where corporations "fled" the impact by delocating. Lastly, in the third scenario Switzerland would come under pressure to implement EU standards (regulatory creep). Especially Swiss firms with subsidiaires or headquarters in the EU would need to analyse MiFID thoroughly to apprehend the possible impacts.

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


LMEmini contracts in Telekurs Financials products

The London Metal Exchange (LME) has launched small-size, cash settled, monthly futures contracts, traded electronically and via the telephone market. Initially for copper, aluminium and zinc from 4 December 2006.
LMEminis offer the market a new contract which is accessible, transparent and simple to trade. In addition, being cash-settled, the contracts are built on the reputation, credibility and liquidity of the existing LME contracts.
You can find out more information about the LMEmini contracts under http://www.lme.com/lmemini.asp.


Montreal stock exchange to go public

The stock exchange of Montreal (Montreal Exchange Inc) has planned its IPO for next year. Shares of the exchanges will probably be listed in Toronto and at one of the US-exchanges. The Montreal exchange, which looks back at a history of 131 years, is specialized in derivative instruments and is currently owned by various firms and individual shareholders. The biggest shareholders are the National Bank of Canada (8.8 percent), UBS Securities (7.6 percent) and exchange employees (total: 14 percent).

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung


Telekurs Financial wins financial-i Innovation Award for the ‘most innovative data aggregator’

Early this month, Financial-i announced winners across more than 50 categories of its inaugural 'Leaders in Innovation' Awards. These awards were introduced to provide recognition for banks, software and hardware vendors shaping the delivery of business solutions in wholesale transaction banking and essentially to recognize companies that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to product innovation.

As IT decision makers in wholesale financial institutions, their customers are seeking business solutions that fulfill a range of requirements such as cost effectiveness and helping to solve common business problems (e.g. STP, integration across departmental silos, automation of manual processes). Solutions which are less time consuming to use, cost efficient to implement and which enhance the overall efficiency were fitting criteria on selecting winners. Financial-I focused on these requirements as well as on product innovation over the last 12 to 18 months.

Taking all feedback from leading analyst firms and consultants covering the wholesale transaction banking space in consideration, Financial-i compiled a list of companies it considered to be innovation leaders in categories encompassing:

>> Securities services
>> Treasury & FX
>> Network services
>> Risk management
>> Data Management

Telekurs Financial was delighted to receive the award of being the most innovative data aggregator and will continue to strive to continue its innovation in the market. For more information on Financial-i please go to www.financial-i.com . If you would like to get in touch with a representative from Telekurs (UK) Ltd , please email info@telekurs.co.uk or call on Tel. +44 (0)20 7550 5000.


Attacks possible on stock Market and bank web sites

The US government issued an alert Thursday to American stock market and banking Web sites about a possible Internet attack from a radical Muslim group, but said the threat was unconfirmed and seemed to pose no immediate danger. The notice was issued after officials noticed a posting on a “Jihadist Web site” calling for an attack on American financial Web sites in December, said a spokesman for the US Homeland Security Department, Russ Knocke.

Read the full article by The New York Times.


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