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Mexican IPC Index ETF “iSHARES NAFTRAC” listed on Spain’s LATIBEX

BGI IShares listed it’s Mexican ETF (TRAC) NAFTRAC on the Spanish LATIBEX exchange on November 19th, 2009.

This is the first time a Mexican traded TRAC is listed abroad. It marks a significant recognition of the Mexican financial markets and in particular for BMV – Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) the Mexican Stock Exchange in it’s international expansion.

The NAFTRAC tracks the top 35 traded Mexican stocks according to the BMV IPC index. The TRAC was listed on April 16th, 2002 and was the first such instrument to be listed in Mexico and Latin America, and has become one of the most traded instruments in Mexico’s Stock Exchange.

Barclays Global Investors (BGI) Mexico, is underwriting and listing the TRAC on LATIBEX in Madrid, Spain.

Note: TRAC (Títulos Referenciados a Acciones) are the Mexican equivalent for ETF’s traded on the stock exchange and issued by BGI IShare Mexico

Note: BMV IPC tracks companies of global influence like WalMex, FEMSA (CocaCola), Telmex, Modelo, CEMEX, Bimbo, AMX, Bolsa and others with global operations and revenues. See latest performance of IPC here.

Source: BMV, 19.11.2009
Summarized translation by FiNETIK from BMV press release 19.11.2009

Filed under: BMV - Mexico, Exchanges, Latin America, Mexico, News, Services, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

World Bank warning on status of the US Dollar

World Bank president Robert Zoellick has given the United States a warning over the future of the dollar as the world’s key reserve currency.

He said: “The United States would be mistaken to take for granted the dollar’s place as the world’s predominant reserve currency. “Looking forward, there will increasingly be other options to the dollar.”

Mr Zoellick will deliver the warning as part of a speech at the John Hopkins University in Washington DC later today (Monday September 28th 2009).

In the speech, he will say that the huge economic changes of the last two decades, which started with the breakdown of Communist economies in the Soviet Union and across Eastern Europe, have seen the emergence of India and China as economic powers thanks to the reforms they made.

Mr Zoellick, who replaced Paul Wolfowitz as World Bank president in 2007, will also call on the G-20 to work as a steering group for international economic co-operation.

He will suggest that countries with emerging economies should be treated as responsible stakeholders by the G-20, while recognizing that many developing nations face the challenge of bringing millions of their citizens out of poverty.

Source: Worldbank, 28.09.2009

Filed under: News, Risk Management, Services, , , , , , , , ,

Dark Pools:New ideas fail to lift mood over dark pools

This week, Liquidnet, a US operator of “dark pools”, unveiled the latest device to emerge in European share trading, which it called “Supernatural”.

The company claims it will help European fund managers increase their chances of finding matches for large blocks of shares in Liquidnet’s dark pool by linking it up with other exchanges, brokers and alternative trading platforms such as Chi-X Europe.

Yet even as dark pools continue to generate eye-catching ideas, controversy is raging over their very existence. In Europe, the issue is pitting exchanges against big banks in a new battle over control of billions of dollars in share trading orders.

Dark pools allow the matching of large blocks of shares without prices being revealed until after trades are completed. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are studying them amid questions over their transparency.

Dark pools are not only run by companies such as Liquidnet; they are also operated by banks’ trading arms and exchanges. They have grown rapidly since first appearing in the US in the late 1990s, with at least 15 in existence in Europe.

The exchanges have launched an attack on the proliferation in Europe of pools run by the banks – such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suiss, and Morgan Stanly – arguing they are operating outside the view of European regulators. 

Mifid launched competition in European share trading in 2007, leading to an explosion of new type of trading venues.

The Federation of European Securities Exchanges, whose members include Deutsche Börse  and Euronext , wrote this week to the Committee of European Securities Regulators in Paris, claiming banks’ dark pools were “unregulated venues” operating with “full opacity”.

It said that under Mifid, crossing networks were supposed to register under certain formal categories that would subject them to the same market surveillance and price reporting requirements as exchanges.

Yet many were not, FESE claims. “Practically all of this trading is outside the realm of European rules and thus beyond the reach of supervisors,” wrote Judith Hardt, FESE secretary general, in the letter to CESR chairman Eddy Wymeersch, a copy of which was obtained by the Financial Times. “As a result, more trades are being executed away from the public view, without interacting with other orders, and at prices that may not be optimal for clients.”

She argued that European equity markets “are becoming a dealer market”.

The banks are furious. They see the FESE move as exchanges exploiting post-crisis concerns over off-exchange markets to persuade policymakers of the benefits of channelling trading of stocks through regulated exchanges.

Dark pool trading accounts for about 4 per cent of all trading in Europe, according to consultancy Tabb Group. But it is growing, and with the proliferation of the types of “dark” trading venue unleashed by Mifid, bankers say exchanges fear trading could shift further away from them. “The exchanges are opportunistic, fear-mongering. And it’s pretty clear why: commercial interest,” says one.

The banks reject the notion that their crossing networks are unregulated, pointing out that broker-dealers are already regulated, and the banks’ clients – such as money managers – are regulated.

They also argue that their dark pools perform a legitimate function at a time when large orders are increasingly hard to execute on exchanges as complex electronic trading strategies slice orders into smaller and smaller sizes.

They reject the FESE view that investors are at a disadvantage by the alleged “opacity” of bank dark pools. They say that many of the block trades being carried out in them are placed by the banks’ asset manager clients, which in turn are handling funds placed with them by millions of ordinary investors.

The problem, industry experts say, lies with Mifid itself. Exchanges say that bank dark pools are not required to report trades in a coherent way, or even at the same time as those trades reported to the market by exchanges. Mifid is unclear on the issue.

Steve Grob, director of strategy at Fidessa, a trading technology company, says: “The reporting environment in the US is much more transparent. There needs to be some clear regulation about how they report what they do.”

Niki Beattie, managing director of The Market Structure Practice, a consultancy, says: “The thing is that brokers are governed by a certain set of rules and exchanges are governed by another. Mifid failed to move with the times.”

She believes, however, that Mifid has given brokers an “unfair advantage” over exchanges. “They are both trying to be liquidity pools and [Mifid] has given the brokers an unfair advantage,” says Ms Beattie, a former trading strategist at Merrill Lynch.

CESR is studying the issue. Last week Charlie McCreevy, European Union internal markets commissioner, said dark pools would form part of the European Commission’s planned review of Mifid. That would focus on whether the growth of those operated by broker-dealers gives their backers “unfair commercial advantages” in the market.

With dark pools under attack more broadly, banks may have a tough job making their case. Ms Beattie says: “The exchanges probably have some right to be out there questioning this.”

Source: FT, 24.09.2009 by Jermy Grant

Filed under: Exchanges, News, Risk Management, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carbon Fraud hit by carousel fraud

Carousel fraud has found its way to the carbon market. The particularly European type of fraud entails setting up complicated import and export schemes between EU member countries, charging buyers for value-added tax in the country of destination, and then absconding with the tax rather than handing it over to the governments.

In 2006 the UK and German governments embarked on a series of raids in 2006, and the UK introduced ‘reverse charging’ for VAT on certain items prone to carousel fraud. At the time carousel fraud was mainly seen as confined to small electronic goods such as mobile phones and computer chips.

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A year later it was it was observed that fraudsters were simply moving away from those goods towards others that hadn’t yet been targeted by authorities. But it wasn’t until high volumes of trade were observed on France’s BlueNext carbon exchange this year that carousel fraud became an issue in the carbon markets.

France last month decided to exempt carbon permits from VAT without seeking the required approval from the EU, and the UK government yesterday applied a zero VAT rate to carbon credits, again without seeking EU approval. The Netherlands meanwhile has introduced rules so that the carbon permit buyer, rather than the seller, is responsible for paying tax. And Spain is reportedly considering what to do about the issue.

Could there be a problem, however, with so many different approaches being taken?

Source: FT, 31.07.2009, by Kate Mackenzie

Filed under: Energy & Environment, News, Risk Management, , , , , , , ,

Surprising Green Energy Investment Trends Found Worldwide

Science Daily 07.06.2009 – Some $155 billion was invested in 2008 in clean energy companies and projects worldwide, not including large hydro, a new report says. Of this $13.5 billion of new private investment went into companies developing and scaling-up new technologies alongside $117 billion of investment in renewable energy projects from geothermal and wind to solar and biofuels.

The 2008 investment is more than a four-fold increase since 2004 according to Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009, prepared for the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Sustainable Energy Finance Initiative by global information provider New Energy Finance.

Extremely difficult financial market conditions prevailed during 2008 as a result of the global economic crisis. Nevertheless investment in clean energy topped 2007’s record investments by 5% in large part as a result of China, Brazil and other emerging economies.

Of the $155 billion, $105 billion was spent directly developing 40 GW of power generating capacity from wind, solar, small-hydro, biomass and geothermal sources. A further $35 billion was spent on developing 25 GW of large hydropower, according to the report.

This $140 billion investment in 65 GW of low carbon electricity generation compares with the estimated $250 billion spent globally in 2008 constructing 157GW of new power generating capacity from all sources. It means that renewables currently account for the majority of investment and over 40% of actual power generation capacity additions last year.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said: “Without doubt the economic crisis has taken its toll on investments in clean energy when set against the record-breaking growth of recent years. Investment in the United States fell by two per cent and in Europe growth was very much muted. However, there were also some bright points in 2008 especially in developing economies—China became the world’s second largest wind market in terms of new capacity and the world’s biggest photovoltaic manufacturer and a rise in geothermal energy may be getting underway in countries from Australia to Japan and Kenya”.

“Meanwhile other developing economies such as Brazil, Chile, Peru and the Philippines have brought in, or are poised to introduce policies and laws fostering clean energy as part of a Green Economy. Mexico for example, the Global host of World Environment Day on 5 June, is expected to double its target for energy from renewables to 16 per cent as part of a new national energy policy,” he added.

Overall Highlights from the Report

Wind attracted the highest new investment ($51.8 billion, 1% growth on 2007), although solar made the largest gains ($33.5 billion, 49% growth) while biofuels dropped somewhat ($16.9 billion, 9% decrease).

Total transaction value in the sustainable energy sector during 2008 – including corporate acquisitions, asset re-financings and private equity buy-outs – was $223 billion, an increase of 7% over 2007. But capital raised via the public stock markets fell 51% to $11.4 billion as clean energy share prices lost 61% of their value during 2008.

Investment in the second half of 2008 was down 17% on the first half, and down 23% on the final six months of 2007, a trend that has continued into 2009.

One response to the global economic crisis has been announcements of stimulus packages with specific, multi-billion dollar provisions for energy efficiency up to boosts to renewable energies.

“These ‘green new deals’ lined up by some economies, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, European countries and the United States contain some serious clean energy provisions. These will help support the market,” said Mr. Steiner.

“However, the biggest renewables stimulus package of them all can come at the UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen in just over 180 days time. This is where governments need to Seal the Deal on a new climate agreement-one that can bring certainty to the carbon markets, one that can unleash transformative investments in lean and clean green tech,” he added.

Green Energy Costs Coming Down — Solar Costs Set to Fall 43%

The investment surge of recent years and softened commodity markets have started to ease supply chain bottlenecks, especially in the wind and solar sectors, which will cause prices to fall towards marginal costs and several players to consolidate. The price of solar PV modules, for example, is predicted to fall by over 43% in 2009.

Carbon Markets Continue Upward

Despite the turmoil in the world’s financial markets, transaction value in the global carbon market grew 87% during 2008, reaching a total of $120 billion. Following the lead of the EU and Kyoto compliance markets, several countries are now putting in place a system of interlinked carbon markets and working towards a global scheme under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Growth Shifts to the Developing World

On a regional basis, investment in Europe in 2008 was $49.7 billion, a rise of 2%, and in North America was $30.1 billion, a fall of 8%.

These regions experienced a slow-down in the financing of new renewable energy projects due to the lack of project finance and the fact that tax credit-driven markets are mostly ineffective in a downturn. With developed country market growth stalled (down 1.7%), developing countries surged forward 27% over 2007 to $36.6 billion, accounting for nearly one third of global investments.

China led new investment in Asia, with an 18% increase over 2007 to $15.6 billion, mostly in new wind projects, and some biomass plants. Investment in India grew 12% to $4.1 billion in 2008. Brazil accounted for almost all renewable energy investment in Latin America in 2008, with ethanol receiving $10.8 billion, up 76% from 2007. Africa achieved a modest increase by comparison, with investments up 10% to approximately $1.1 billion.

The Greening of Economic Stimulus Packages

Not surprisingly given market conditions, private sector investment was stalling in late 2008 but government investment looks ready to take up some of the slack in 2009. Sustainable energy investments are a core part of key government fiscal stimulus packages announced in recent months, accounting for an estimated $183 billion of commitments to date.

Countries vary significantly in terms of investment and the clarity of their measures. The US and China remain the leaders, each devoting roughly $67 billion, but South Korea’s package is the “greenest” with 20% devoted to clean energy. This green stimuli illustrates the political will of an increasing number of governments for securing future growth through greener economic development.

According to Michael Liebreich, Chairman & CEO of New Energy Finance, “There is a strong case for further measures, such as requiring state-supported banks to raise lending to the sector, providing capital gains tax exemptions on investments in clean technology, creating a framework for Green Bonds and so on, all targeted at getting investment flowing”.

“What’s most important is that stimulus funds start flowing immediately, not in a year or so. Many of the policies to achieve growth over the medium term are already in place, including feed-in tariff regimes, mandatory renewable energy targets and tax incentives. There is too much emphasis amongst some policy-makers on support mechanisms, and not enough on the urgent needs of investors right now.”

Between 2009 and 2011 UNEP estimates that a minimum of $750 billion – or 37% of current economic stimulus packages and 1% of global GDP – is needed to finance a sustainable economic recovery by investing in the greening of five key sectors of the global economy: buildings, energy, transport, agriculture and water.

2009 and beyond: Climate change, energy security and green jobs

New investments in the first quarter of 2009 fell by 53% to $13.3 billion compared to the same period in 2008, reflecting the depth of the global financial crisis, according to the report, which notes “‘green-shoots’ of recovery during the second quarter of 2009, but the sector has a long way to go this year to reach the investment levels of late 2007 and early 2008.”

Climate change, economic recovery and energy security will spur far greater investments in coming years.

In particular, the growing understanding that global carbon emissions (CO2) must peakaround 2015 to avoid dangerous climate change (based on the 4th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change– UNEP/World Meteorological Organisation) will make clean energy investments national priorities.

Annual investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage need to reach half a trillion dollars by 2020, representing an average investment of 0.44% of GDP.

These levels of investment are not impossible to achieve, especially in view of the recent four year growth from $35 billion to $155 billion. However, reaching them will require a further scale-up of societal commitments to a more sustainable, low-carbon energy paradigm.

With the current stimulus packages now in play and a hoped-for Copenhagen climate deal in December, the opportunity to meet this challenge is greater than ever, even seen from the depths of an economic downturn.

Says Michael Ahearn, President of US-based First Solar: “This report highlights the continuing importance of government leadership to ensure that renewable energies, including solar, achieve their potential in weaning us off fossil fuels and addressing climate change.”

See also: Investment in Clean Energy Exceeded Fossil Fuel Investment in 2008

Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009 — Sector Hi-lites

Wind

Wind attracted the highest new investment ($51.8 billion, 1% growth on 2007), confirming its status as the most mature and best-established sustainable generation technology. Wind’s leading position continues to be driven by asset finance, as new generation capacity is added worldwide, particularly in China and the US.

Solar

Solar continues to be the fastest-growing sector for new investment ($33.5 billion, 49% growth on 2007), with compound annual growth of 70% between 2006 and 2008. Solar’s growth reflects the easing of the silicon bottleneck and falling costs, which are expected to decline 43% in 2009. Solar project financing underwent the most dramatic growth in 2008, rising 71% to $22.1 billion.

Biofuels

Investment in biofuels fell 9% in 2008 down to $16.9 billion. Although the technology is well established, particularly in Brazil, it has suffered for the past two years from over-investment in early 2007, followed by a fall from grace caused by a combination of high wheat prices, lower oil prices and an increasingly heated food-versus-fuel controversy. Biofuels technology investment is now focused on finding second-generation / non-food biofuels (such as algae, crop technologies and jatropha): the second half of 2008 saw next-generation technology investment exceed first-generation for the first time.

Geothermal

Geothermal was the highest growth sector for investment in 2008, with investment up 149% and 1.3 GW of new capacity installed. The competitive cost of electricity from geothermal sources and long output lifetimes have made this an attractive investment despite the high initial capital cost.

Energy Efficiency

New private investment in energy efficiency was $1.8 billion – a fall of 33% on 2007 – although this figure doesn’t capture the investments made by corporates, governments and public financing institutions.

The energy efficiency sector recorded the second highest levels of venture capital and private equity investment (after solar), which will help companies develop the next generation of sustainable energy technologies for areas such as the smart grid. Energy efficiency also attracted more than 33% of the estimated $180 billion in green stimulus measures.

Global Trends in Sustainable Energy Investment 2009 — Regional Hi-lites

Europe

Europe continues to dominate sustainable energy new investment with $49.7 billion in 2008, an increase of 2% on 2007 (37% CAGR from 2006-2008).This investment is underpinned by government policies supporting new sustainable energy projects, particularly in countries such as Spain, which saw $17.4 billion of asset finance investment in 2008.

North America

New investment in sustainable energy in North America was $30.1 billion in 2008, a fall of 8% compared to 2007 (15% CAGR from 2006-2008). The US saw a slow-down in asset financing following the glut of investment in corn based ethanol in 2007. Also, the number of tax equity providers fell for wind and solar projects due to the financial crisis.

Africa

South Africa — Feed-in Tariffs Kick Start Green Investment

On 31 March 2009, South Africa announced ‘feed-in’ tariffs that guarantee a stable rate-of-return for renewable energy projects. South Africa is hoping to spur the sort of investment spurred in Germany and Denmark through feed-in tariff schemes.

Sub-Saharan Africa — Geothermal Kenya & Sweet Sorghum Ethanol

Elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, lack of finance is the principal barrier to sustainable energy roll-out. However, some notable progress was made in 2008.

In Kenya, a number of investments are underway; including the continents first privately financed geothermal plant and a 300MW wind farm planned for construction near Lake Turkana.

In Ethiopia, French wind turbine manufacturer Vergnet signed a EUR 210 million supply contract in October 2008 with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation for the supply and installation of 120 one MW turbines.

In Angola, Brazilian industrial conglomerate Odebrecht set up an Angolan sugar cane processing plant and plans to steer its production from ethanol to sugar when it comes online late next year. UK-based Cams Group announced plans for a 240 million liter per year sweet sorghum ethanol facility in Tanzania.

North Africa — Sun and Wind

Renewable energy in North Africa remains focused on Morroco, Tunisia and Egypt, particularly in solar and wind. Egypt recently announced its expectation that wind farms in the Saidi area will produce 20% of the country’s energy needs by 2020. Morocco’s government has also outlined plans to meet 10% of its power needs with renewable energy sources.

Asia

China – Asia’s Green Energy Giant

By 2008, China was the world’s second largest wind market by newly installed capacity and the fourth largest by overall installed capacity. Between 5GW and 6.5GW of new capacity was installed and commissioned in 2008, bringing total capacity to 11GW to 12.5GW.

China became the world’s largest PV manufacturer in 2008, with 95% of its production for the export market.

Some 800MW of biomass power was added in 2008, bringing the total installed capacity for agriculture waste-fired power plants up to 2.88GW. Development of biofuels has all but ground to a halt, mostly due to high feedstock costs.

India – Pressing Need for Grid Improvements and Clean Power Generation

In 2008 the largest portion of new investment in India went to the wind sector, growing 17% — from $2.2 billion to $2.6. Thanks to a supportive policy environment, solar investment grew from $18 million in 2007 to $347 million in 2008, most of which went to setting up module and cell manufacturing facilities.

Small hydro investment in India grew nearly fourfold to $543 million in 2008, while biofuels investment stalled and fell from $251 million in 2007 to only $49 million in 2008.

Japan – A New Push for Sustainable Energy

In December 2008, Japan unveiled a new $9 billion subsidy package for solar roofs, granting JPY 70,000 ($785)/kW for rooftop PV installation. For the first time in three years, domestic shipments of solar cells rose between April to September (up 6%), indicating a fundamental change in domestic solar demand.

Geothermal also seems to be reawakening in Japan, after a twenty-year lull. In January 2009, plans for a 60MW geothermal plant were announced.

Australia – Geothermal and Wind Gaining Support

The Australian government has set up a A$500m ($436 million) Renewable Energy Fund to accelerate the roll-out of sustainable energy in the country. A$50 million has already been committed to helping geothermal developers meet the high up-front costs of exploration and drilling.

Geothermal is expected to provide about 7% of the country’s baseload power by 2030.

Wind will also benefit from Australia’s new push for sustainable energy, and is expected to provide most of the 20% renewable energy by 2020 target.

Other Asian Countries — Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia

In late 2008, the Philippine government signed a new Renewable Energy Law, offering specific incentives (mainly tax breaks) for renewable generation — a first for Southeast Asia and perhaps a model for other countries. Thailand and Malaysia have been talking about introducing renewable energy legislation for some time; and other countries are planning biofuel blending mandates, similar to those introduced by the Philippines in 2007 and subsequently by Thailand.

Latin America

Brazil – World’s Largest Renewable Energy Market

About 46% of Brazil’s energy comes from renewable sources, and 85% of its power generation capacity thanks to its enormous hydropower resources and long-established bioethanol industry.

Some 90% of Brazil’s new cars run on both ethanol and petrol (all of which is blended with around 25% ethanol). By the end of 2008, ethanol accounted for more than 52% of fuel consumption by light vehicles.

Brazil is now moving into wind. The government has announced a wind-specific auction to take place in mid-2009, for the sale of approximately 1GW of wind energy per year.

Brazil also has a global leader in renewable energy financing. In 2008 the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) was the largest provider globally of project finance to renewable energy projects.

Chile, Peru, Mexico and the rest of Latin America

Brazil accounted for more than 90% of new investment in Latin American, but several other countries are looking to implement regulatory frameworks supportive of renewable energy.

Chile’s recently approved Renewable Energy Legislation is responsible for regulating the country’s renewable energy sector, where small hydro, wind and geothermal projects have become increasingly attractive for investors. It requires electricity generators of more than 200MW to source 10% of their energy mix from renewables.

In 2008 Peru introduced legislation that requires 5% of electricity produced in the country to be derived from renewable sources over the next five years, including financial incentives such as preferential feed-in-tariffs and 20-year PPAs for project developers.

Mexico has a non-mandatory target to source 8% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2012. However a new national energy plan expected at the end of June 2009 is expected to double that target.

For original article click here.

Source: ScienceDaily 07.06.2009

Filed under: Asia, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Energy & Environment, India, Japan, Latin America, Library, Malaysia, Mexico, News, Peru, Risk Management, Thailand, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Swine Flu Emergency Yet, but Banks Should Keep Eyes Open

James Kerr says it’s better for banks to be safe than sorry when it comes to building pandemic-related contingency plans—and Y2K-type backup plans are insufficient.

The swine flu scare hasn’t reached pandemic proportions at this point. However, that hasn’t stopped people and the markets from panicking slightly. Just today, someone working for Ernst & Young in New York was reported to have had swine flu. And stocks are still a little jittery as news of the scope of the disease continues to be broadcast.

“It doesn’t take much to get a reaction out of the market during these uneasy times,” James Kerr, president and managing partner with Cromwell, Conn.-based Best Practices Enterprise Group, told BS&T. “It’s unfortunate that the markets reacted to this because these isolated outbreaks have had little impact on business throughout the world. If it reaches pandemic proportions, yes, some businesses will be in jeopardy. But, as of the moment, calmness should prevail as businesses do what they need to do to prepare for contingency operations.”

Although it’s not yet time to push the panic button, it is still important for banks to monitor something like the spread of swine flu closely and to take stock of their disaster recovery plans. Today’s situation is reminiscent of what happened during the bird flu scare just a few years ago, Kerr comments. “I don’t see any major differences in the way businesses have reacted to this compared to the bird flu scare. Most firms took little action then. I don’t think this scare will make them take any more action now.” This kind of complacency can be dangerous. Kerr senses some banks might think the contingency plans they developed to handled Y2K, for example, are adequate. This is not the case, he asserts, since the steps a bank would take in the event of mass computer outages differ greatly when compared with what must be done if workers are unable to report to the office. “A few years ago many firms built contingency plans to handle a Y2K catastrophe scenario, such as electrical outages, water outages and transportation problems. So, they think that they can just dust those business continuity plans off if a pandemic strikes. But, here again, the Y2K scenario and what you do about it is much different than one where workers can’t work. Certainly, many organizations have done it right and have built pandemic-specific business contingency plans. But, many others have not.”

Based on what he has seen from the research, Kerr is inclined to believe it isn’t a question of “if” but “when” when it comes to a worldwide flu pandemic. “The problem is most of us choose to ignore these kinds of warnings and most of the time we do just fine,” he comments. “But, I advise my clients that it is far wiser to make an investment in planning for this (even if it never happens) because the cost of planning is a lot less than the cost to the business if it gets caught without a plan.”

Source: Bank System & Technology,

Filed under: Asia, Banking, Latin America, Mexico, Risk Management, , , , , , , , , ,

Liquidnet Survey: Global Dark Pool use set to Grow despite Financial Crisis

The growth in the use of dark pools by the buy side is set to grow significantly during 2009 according to a global survey of investors undertaken by Liquidnet, the global institutional marketplace for equities trading.

Despite the recent decrease in exchange trade volumes, the report found that the majority of participants globally are planning to increase their use of dark pools, with 54% of those questioned predicting an increase, and only 7% foreseeing a decline in their dark pool volumes. Nearly three quarters (73%) of European participants questioned plan to increase their use of dark pools this year, compared to 58% in Asia and 52% in North America.

The findings are published in Liquidnet’s annual Buy-Side Voice report, a survey of 590 market participants including Liquidnet’s buy-side trading Members, as well as non-Member industry professionals including other buy-side traders, sell-side traders, analysts and portfolio managers. The report investigates the implications of major changes affecting the marketplace in the wake of the financial crisis, such as the impact of short selling restrictions, and provides insights on products and desk tools such as the use of algorithms and methods of best execution.

The report suggests that MiFID has not been wholly successful in ensuring access to instant liquidity in Europe. Despite the introduction of a number of new platforms in the wake of MiFID, 40% of European respondents said that their access to instant liquidity has actually decreased since the directive came in to force in November 2007.

The survey also investigated attitudes of the buy-side towards the sell-side, contrasting recent joiners to the asset management industry to long-term professionals. A third (33%) of respondents with less than five years of trading experience believes that the sell side can be replaced with technology, while those with considerable trading experience value the broker relationship more highly. 67% of respondents with more than 30 years’ trading experience do not believe they can eliminate contact with the sell side, compared to just 46% of respondents with less than five years’ experience.

John Barker, Managing Director, Liquidnet Europe, said, “This survey backs up our own data, showing that block trading activity looks set to remain robust, despite declining market volumes on exchange in the wake of the financial crisis. Dark pool trading is not a new phenomenon, but as this report shows, it is increasingly finding favour amongst institutional traders keen on reducing trading costs. Buy-side investors, who wish to trade larger order sizes without worrying about moving the market in the process, frequently find that they are able to achieve best execution via undisplayed, or latent, liquidity.

“It is noteworthy that traders in Europe feel that MiFID has had a negative impact on their ability to access to instant liquidity. The survey suggests that the advent of new trading venues such as MTFs means that traders are concerned about their access to trading opportunities in a more fragmented marketplace.”
Other findings from the survey include:

* 43% of respondents use 1-3 algorithm providers, 12% use 4-5 providers, 26% use 6-9 providers, and 19% use 10 or more algorithm providers
* The majority of North American (68%) and European (67%) respondents are familiar and interested in actionable Indications of Interest (IOIs), compared to Asia where the majority of respondents (56%) were unfamiliar with actionable IOIs
* Approximately 35% of respondents state that short selling restrictions have hindered them as a trader, resulting in decreased liquidity and increased spreads.

Source: mondovisione, 22.04.2009

Filed under: Asia, Data Vendor, Exchanges, News, Trading Technology, , , , , , , , , , ,

The International Private Banking Study 2007

Download: International Private Bank Study 2007, Swiss Banking Institute

By the Swiss Banking Institute, University of Zuerich, by Prof.Dr.Theodor D. Cocca & Prof.Dr. Hans Geiger

Source: Private Banking Innovation, April 2009

Filed under: Asia, Banking, Latin America, Library, Services, Wealth Management, , , , ,

The Economic Outlook: 2012 and beyond

To see into the future of our economies, with some small degree of certainty, we have to pay attention to what is happening around us and what we do.  American Cronical 22.02.2009 full article

But to get an idea of how the future will be, one has to have a real picture of the present. This is important since a false picture will present us with false alternatives, on which we act which in turn will result in unexpected outcomes (i.e., future that we are not prepared for).

It is not always easy to see through all the false pictures and data that we are constantly presented with. For example, in Norway on February 18th, the real-estate association came out with the statement that the housing crisis was almost over and the bottom was reached. This was plastered all over the place. Next day on February 19 th, the Norwegian Centre for Statistics came out with its own forecast; stating that house prices will continue to fall for the next year and that situation will deteriorate further.

It was clear to some of us that the real-estate association was putting out false information to drum-up business for its members. But if banks, industrialists, and even politicians also send out false and misleading information, then the average person will make decisions that may be contrary to his or her best interests.

Most of us do not have the time, energy, or even the necessary knowledge to gather and sift through large amount of data. We rely on news media, and the experts to make most of our decisions. Until last year, very few people were talking about the tremendous crisis that was well under way; even though as early as 2006, there were clear signs that the economy was under tremendous pressure.

In this article I will try to provide you with a picture of the present situation and then try to extrapolate based on the current policies adopted by various governments, what the near future will look like.

The current economic situation

Let me tell you in no uncertain terms that we are facing a synchronised global economic depression and I am not the only one that is saying this. In early February, the International Monetary Fund’s chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the world’s advanced economies — the U.S., Western Europe and Japan — are “already in depression”. Gordon Brown, the UK’s Prime Minister also used the word “depression” to describe the global economy, although his aides quickly said it was a slip of the tongue.

The politicians and others of course avoid using the term “depression” for fear of creating a panic; instead they use terms such as “severe recession” or “one of the most serious financial crises since the great depression”, etc. But they all are saying the same thing, we are in a depression and all the available data support this. An important fact to remember is that this depression is synchronised and this synchronicity has been made possible by the globalization and accompanying deregulation; the very things that were making workers poorer and the rich, richer.

Now the chickens have come home to roost. All economies are now suffering. Such promising economies as Iceland’s saw its GDP shrink by 10%, while the success show case of Europe, Ireland, had its GDP shrink by 6%. Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy shrank by 2.1% in the three months to December, seconded by Italy, which suffered a 1.8% drop in GDP. The French economy also contracted by 1.2% while IMF put Spain on its vulnerable list. UK ‘s GDP has also suffered and is forecasted to contract by 3.5% in 2009.

The misery list includes most of the Eastern European countries as well with some such as Ukraine set to experience severe contraction. According to IMF Ukraine’s GDP will shrink by 8 to 10% in 2009. The Russian economic growth is also set to fall. According to the Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach the forecast for the Russian economy has worsened to a 2.2-percent contraction in GDP.

Japan’s economy, the second largest in the world, contracted by 12.7 per cent on a seasonally adjusted annualised basis in the fourth quarter and is set to contract by. According to the Taiwanese government, Taiwan’s GDP will shrink by 3% in 2009. Another big economy in Asia is Korea. According to S&P sovereign ratings, Asia’s fourth-largest economy will contract by about 3.5 percent this year. All other South East Asian economies are reporting severe slow down or outright contraction except China.

According to National Bureau of Statistics of China, by comparing the fourth quarter 2007 to that of the fourth quarter 2008, China had achieved a 6.8 percent growth in 2008. However, many believe that this figure is misleading and that the Chinese are hiding the extent of the economic contraction of its economy. They point out that energy consumption in China has substantially been reduced. This could not have happened without a marked slowing down of the economy.

According to the article published in The Epoch Times (17 Feb 09) “Economists at the Standard Chartered Bank estimate China’s growth rate to be around 1 percent. Morgan Stanley analysts estimate it to be at 1.5 percent. This is much lower than the CCP reported 15 percent for the first quarter of 2007. According to economists at Merrill Lynch, the sequential growth rate of fourth quarter of 2008 was zero percent.”

Middle Eastern countries have also been severely affected by the financial crisis. The revenue from their major source of income, oil, has fallen at an incredible rate. Oil prices that were around 120 to 140 dollars last year have come down to around 30 to 40 dollars this year. Every country has slashed its expenditure with the accompanying slowing growth. For example recently UAE was forced to halt construction projects worth $582 billion or fully 45% of all projects. A recent report in New York Times (11th Feb. 09) paints a grim picture of the situation in Dubai. The report states that ” with Dubai’s economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills)”. Iranians, Saudis, Iraqis, Kuwaitis and others have also been forced to slow down or freeze many projects. One must not forget that many of these countries’ petro-dollars are re-circulated back into the US and European economies. Those funds are drying-up fast.

Turkey sitting between the Europe and Middle East is also suffering. Turkey has the largest GDP in the Islamic world. Turkey’s GDP was 750 billion in 2008, the GDP of Saudi Arabia was 600 billion dollar for the same period. A once dynamic economy is now negotiating with IMF for help.

Having surveyed most of the economic landscape of Europe and Asia, we can now look at the world largest economy, the US. The US economy is in a terrible shape, with all sectors going through severe depression. Housing market has completely collapsed. The auto industry is going bankrupt. The banking sector is alive only by the grace of the government handouts. The entertainment industry (TV and film industry excluded) is facing severe problems and unemployment is increasing rapidly. The Federal Reserves’ forecast for 2009 shows a contraction of 0.5 to 1.3 percent of the GDP with official unemployment rising to 8.5 or 8.8 percent. Here one should note that this official unemployment rate does not present a true picture, since all those who give-up registering with the unemployment office or are barely working (part-time workers, etc) are not counted as unemployed.

The missing engine of growth

Before we look at the future development we have to remember that there are four factors that power an economy: consumers, investors, government, and a favourable trade balance. Some economies such as China rely on favourable trade balance and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for their growth. For example according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, from 1990 to 2007, China received $748.4 billion in FDI. At the same time, since its economic liberalization, China has recorded consistent trade surpluses with the world. For example China has registered trade surpluses of $102 billion for 2005, $177.47 billion for 2006, $262.2 billion for 2007, and $295.47 billion for 2008. China currently has accumulated nearly two trillion dollars in foreign exchange reserves.

In contrast to the China, the United States has relied on consumers and the government for its growth. According to Peter G. Gosselin citing Roach of Morgan Stanley Asia, U.S. consumers constitute only about 4.5% of the global population, yet they bought more than $10 trillion worth of goods and services last year. In contrast the Chinese and Indian consumers combined which account for 40% of the global population bought only $3 trillion worth. He goes on to point out that according to government statistics, from 2001 to 2007, U.S. consumer spending shot up from a little over 73% of the economy to nearly 77%.

If we just look at the differences in consumption levels between US and China-India, we’ll see that these countries are not in a position or have the financial resources to pick-up the slack left by the US consumers. Anyway, China’s growth is based on its exports and the FDI and not its consumers. When the international market shrinks, the Chinese will see (as they do now) a sharp drop in their actual growth. If they try hard they may be able to keep their people’s standard of living at its current level (highly unlikely); but they will be unable to increase consumption. Anyway, according to the Bloomberg (19 January 09), the Chinese unemployment rate has jumped to its 30 year high and will most likely increase further.

How about Japan? Japan also started its economic miracle by export-led growth. Japan saved hard, and worked hard to become one of the largest economies in the world. However, the bursting of the housing bubble of 1990-91 started a deflationary period that Japan never really recovered from.

If we look at the Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) for Japan, the U.S., and the Euro Area from 1999 to 2006, with 1999 being the base (100), we’ll see that by 2006, the CPI index for US was 122.8, 118.5 for EU and 97.7 for Japan. This shows that until 2006 Japan was still in the grip of deflation.

Add to this the recent financial crisis and you’ll see that Japan is once again entering another deflationary period. In deflationary periods, consumers spend less and try to save more. The fear of losing one’s job, the psychology of ever decreasing prices, and general feeling of doom act against free spending by the consumers. One should also understand that Japanese consumers are reluctant to spend like their American counterparts. According to the available figures (2005), the Japanese consumption was only 55% of the GDP. Compare this to the American consumption of 77%. So the Japanese consumers cannot help either.

What about the EU? Euro zone consumers have a slightly better consumption rate than the Japanese. The consumption rate for Euro zone (2005) was 57% of the GDP. In addition the Euro zone is facing severe financial problems with many countries such as Spain, Ireland, Italy and others facing mounting debt and shrinking export market. Consumers already hit by the housing crisis, financial crisis and now the imminent unemployment crisis cannot be expected to start spending wildly.

So who is going to take the position left vacant by the US and act as the world’s economic locomotive and pull the world out of the depression? The answer is no-one and everyone. US is clearly not able to do that much. As a matter of fact the US consumers have to get used to lower spending levels for at least a decade, if not for good.

According to Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, as quoted by Aaron Task in Yahoo Finance, American’s standard of living is undergoing a “permanent change” – and not for the better as a result of:

  • An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values
  • A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets.
  • A $14 trillion consumer debt load amid “exploding unemployment”, leading to “exploding bankruptcies.”

“The average American used to be able to borrow to buy a home, send their kids to a good school [and] buy a car,” Davidowitz says. “A lot of that is gone.

The diminishing wealth
Last year when the depth of financial crisis became apparent the US Feds started to aggressively cut interest rates, in the hope of reducing the severity of the crisis. Other countries specially the Europeans soon followed the Americans in cutting their interest rates. As the crisis spread to Asia and the Middle East, they also began to cut their interest rates. But soon it became apparent that this crisis was not like any they had seen since the great depression and simply cutting interest rates was not going to solve the problem.

To start with the housing market had collapsed completely leaving many banks holding worthless pieces of paper. In addition, these papers were (partly) insured by many insurance and financial institutions that weren’t banks, but because of financial deregulations, had acted as banks. They were also hit by the bad mortgage problems. In short, all the financial institutions, banks, insurance companies and others were suddenly in trouble.

This hit the stock markets, with the shares of these institutions taking a nose dive. These institutions are extremely important for the economy. They provide the logistics for financial transactions. Any problem here affects all parts of the economy. So it was not a surprise to see that all normal financial transactions suddenly came to a halt, hitting other sectors of the economy. Share prices of all the affected sectors began to go down and with it the fortune of the share holders. To see the extent of the damage done one just has to look at how much various stock markets have fallen.

The following stock markets data was published by The Economist (21 Feb. 2009) which shows the extent of the fall since Dec 31st 2007:

US (NAScomp) – 44.7%, US (DJIA) -43%, US (S&P 500), Japan (Nikkei 225) -41.3%, China (SSEA) -55.1%, Hong Kong (Hang Seng) -52.9%, Canada (S&P TSX) -53%, Australia (All Ord.) -61%, Britain (FTSE 100) -55.8%, Euro area (FTSE 100) – 59.5%, Euro area (DJ STQxx 50) – 58.7%, France (CAC 40) -56.1%, Germany (DAX) -55.3%, Greece (Athex comp) -73.7%, Italy (S&P/MIB) -63.1%, Netherlands (AEX) -60.4%, Norway (OSEAX) -64%, Denmark (OMXCB) -55.2%, Sweden (Aff.Gen) -57.7%, Russia (RTS, $ terms) -77.1%, Turkey (ISE) -70.3%, India (BSE) -64.9%, South Korea (KOSPI) -62.6%, Taiwan (TWI) -50.5%, Brazil (BVSP) -53%, Argentina (MERV) -56%, Mexico (IPC) -52.9%, Venezuela (IBC) – 55.6%, Saudi Arabia (Tadawul) -56.8%, South Africa (JSE AS) – 54.1%…. WORLD all (MSCI) -51.2%.

For people in general, shares act both as saving and investment. The average person buys share in hope of getting better return than the banks. It is also easy to get in and out of the market. The advancements in information and communication technologies, the costs of buying and selling have fallen steadily in the last decade. So now anyone with a computer can buy and sell shares. This ease of entry enticed an ever increasing number of ordinary people to enter the stock markets.

Now the people have been hit by three disasters. First they lost a lot of money in the housing market. This was both real and illusory. First they were hit with the housing crisis. Many have lost their homes or have seen the value of their homes depreciate heavily. Then they were hit with the collapse of the stock markets. Trillions of Dollars, Yens, Euros and Yuans have been wiped-out in a relatively a short time. Then many have lost their jobs and many are uncertain about the future job security. All these have had a tremendous impact on the consumers, forcing many to heavily reduce their consumption, which in turn have begun to affect businesses which in-turn are shedding workers to compensate for the loss of sales and revenues. This is a classical deflationary circle that feed on itself.

The governments’ response to this threat has been to stimulate the economy by pumping large sums of money into the economy. A decade ago, a hundred billion dollar was an astronomical sum. Today we don’t even bother to look at it twice. Today we talk of Trillions. A few hundred billions here and a few hundred billions there soon add up to a few nice trillions; especially the trillions that we don’t have.

Now we face a classical problem: the increasing budget deficits. Exactly when the economy is contracting and tax receipts are falling, the government expenditure is rising rapidly. In addition, the governments are buying bad debts (US, UK, etc) and trying to spend more on whatever they can in order to arrest the increasing unemployment and stimulate the economy. These large sums have to come from somewhere. They can be borrowed or money can simply be printed. The problem is that some governments are opting for both.

The most important economy is of course the US economy. The US government under Bush spent close to one trillion dollars, and now the Obama administration is promising to spend trillions in the years to come to stimulate the economy. With official US debt now close to 11 trillion dollars and climbing fast, the situation is becoming untenable. According to treasurydirect.gov, last year (2008) US government paid $451 billion dollars interest on its debt. Add to this the Medicare and social security obligations and suddenly things look a lot worse than they appear.

So how can the US continue its deficit spending? By issuing treasury bonds and other security certificates of course. Both public and foreign governments buy these securities which are guaranteed by the US government. According to Reuters (February 18th 2009), foreign central banks alone held $1.76 trillion dollars in US treasuries. According to the same report “The combined holdings of Treasuries and agency securities by foreign central banks at the Fed totalled $2.573 trillion, up $11.223 billion”.

The coming inflation

So far the foreign governments and businesses have been willing to buy US debt, but with the current economic downturn things are beginning to change. According to New York Times, in the last 5 years China has spent as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying mostly American debt. However, with the sharp slowdown in its economy, China is finding it difficult to keep buying. China has also come-up with its own $600 billion stimulus plan. This along with the falling trade surplus and the falling tax receipt will make it exceedingly unlikely that China can keep financing part of the US government’s deficit spending. The same applies to other countries as well.

So as the economic downturn continues we can see two things: the interest on US treasuries increase substantially to make it attractive and or printing money. Printing money is not so farfetched as many would like to believe. Already countries that cannot find willing lenders are resorting to this. A good example of this is UK. With the current plans to nationalise a few more banks (Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland), the UK national debt is set to surpass the £2.2 trillion pound mark. This is 150% of UK’s GDP. It is not then surprising to see that the Bank of England voted unanimously earlier this month to seek consent from the government to start the process of quantitative easing by buying gilts and other securities. Quantitative easing means printing money. With interest rates at 1%, printing money is likely to increase inflation.

Already many governments find it difficult to cover their deficits. It is only a matter of time before they also begin to print money. It is especially appealing for the US government to do this since inflation means a real value reduction in debts. With mounting trade and budget deficit and decreasing tax receipts and the shrinking of the number of willing lenders, US government may not have any choice but to print money.

So far, all governments are reducing their interest rates to historic lows and at the same time spending a lot of money that they don’t have. It will take at least two more years for the economy to stabilise. Here we should note that by stabilise I mean an arrest in decline rather than outright growth. Once that point is reached we will begin to see the effects of the loose monetary policy: a tremendous rise in inflation which can be accompanied by low economic growth or in other words stagflation.

The fear of stagflation arises from the fact that from all indication, growth will not strengthen anytime soon. It is quite clear now that the US and to a large extent the European consumers have been hit hard by the current crisis. There is also the possibility that another banking crisis may still ensue such as the commercial real-estate mortgage defaults and above all the repetition of currency crisis (1997 Asian Financial Crisis). Already we see that China Japan, Korea and others are setting-up $120 billion currency defence fund to protect Asian currencies against speculative attacks.

The current economic crises have left many countries’ local banks with foreign currency loans that they find difficult to repay in that currency. This and the possibility of defaults have made these countries a good target for speculators. If such an attack starts, many countries will automatically have to devalue their currencies (even more than they already have) or try to defend their currencies. In either case this may trigger yet another crisis that may actually destroy a good portion of many economies around the world.

Even if we assume that no more nasty surprises will appear in the next two years and the economies stabilise, we are left with the reduced levels of consumption around the world, especially in major economies. As I have mentioned above, it is very clear that at least in US, the consumers are not going to recover anytime soon. I have also shown that the Chinese and Indian consumers cannot replace the US and European consumers. So there will be a dearth of market for the goods and services produced by others. In absence of US, the question will be: which country or countries are able to increase demand to such a degree as to trigger a recovery; a recovery that most likely will be accompanied with high inflation.

In 2006 in the article “the coming financial crisis”, I stated the following:

“At the end of the WWII, 45 nations gathered at a United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to address the problems of reconstruction, monetary stability and exchange rates.

The delegates agreed to establish an international monetary system of convertible currencies, fixed exchange rates and free trade. To facilitate these objectives the delegates agreed to create two international institutes: the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). An initial loan of $250 million to France in 1947 was the World Bank’s first act.

Since then there has already been considerable criticism of the roles of IMF and the World Bank. The above mentioned problems and the ongoing trade imbalance in the world have to be addressed by a similar gathering. Sooner or later, both the United States and the rest of the world have to address the existing problems. These problems are not the United States’ alone. We cannot ignore the largest economy on earth. It is said that if United States sneezes, the world catches cold. We have to either make sure that the United States doesn’t catch cold or vaccinate ourselves against it.”

Once again I restate my earlier arguments: we need a new “Bretten Woods” agreement where we can address the existing problems and restructure the world’s economic system. If we don’t do this, and soon, we will face protectionism, low economic growth, and even trade wars. We have ignored this problem for a long time and are now paying the price. What would the price be if we continue to ignore the existing systemic problems?

Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway. He is a management consultant and a contributing writer for many online journals. He’s a former associate professor of Nordland University, Norway. He can be contacted at : Bakhtiarspace-articles@yahoo.no

Source: American Cronicle, 22.02.2009

Filed under: Asia, Australia, Banking, Brazil, China, Energy & Environment, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Malaysia, Mexico, News, Singapore, Venezuela, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Financing Energy Efficency: Lessons from China, Brazil, India and Beyond

The World Bank has recently published a book that might be interesting to fellow CleanTechies. Financing Energy Efficiency: Lessons from Brazil, China, India and beyond says that aforementioned countries will more than double their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions within a single generation if they fail to implement successful energy efficiency efforts. Given the increasing energy demand from these three developing nations at a time of skyrocketing worldwide energy prices and greenhouse gas emissions, there should be a general interest to reduce energy consumption in these countries.

Alarming figures
China, India and Brazil are three of the world’s top 10 energy consumers. Together these countries are expected to represent 40% of the world’s population and be responsible for well over 50% of all energy demand by developing countries. By 2030, they are expected to account for 42% of growth in energy demand worldwide.

Bob Taylor, a World Bank energy economist, explains his and the other authors’ approach in writing this book: “We dissected the energy efficiency terrain through this study to find out why it’s so hard to get the right incentives in place so that more investment can happen. What we found is enormous untapped potential – especially in Brazil, China and India – but plenty of good solutions that can work as long as the financing and investment environment is in place and there’s plenty of commitment from policy makers.”

Need for action
According to the authors, energy efficiency is critical in these countries “for reasons of energy supply security, economic competitiveness, improvement in livelihoods, and environmental sustainability.” While they see gradual improvement in the three countries, “when you think about the sort of energy demand of even one of these countries in the next decade, the need for action and much faster progress is very clear,” says Taylor.

The authors conclude that implementing energy efficiency projects could – to a certain extent – be cheaper than providing new supplies. However, the development and financing of energy efficiency projects would be impeded by weak economic institutions in these developing and transitional economies. The authors analyze these difficulties, suggest a 3-part model for planning and financing energy efficiency retrofits and present thirteen case studies to illustrate the issues and principles involved.

Source: CleanTechies, 02.12.2008

Filed under: Banking, Brazil, China, Energy & Environment, Hong Kong, India, Library, Mexico, News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

World Wealth Report 2008 -GapGemini Merrill Lynch

Down Load: World Wealth Report 2008 -GapGemini Merrill Lynch

Source: GapGemini – Merrill Lynch, December 2008

Filed under: Asia, Banking, Latin America, Library, News, Services, Wealth Management, , , , , , ,

BM&FBOVESPA’s Regulation System As A Model For The Rest Of The World; to offer Services to Europe,Asia and North America

Brazil’s Finance Minister Suggests BM&FBOVESPA’s Regulation System As A Model For The Rest Of The World – Specialists From The Exchange Will Offer Services And Products To Exchanges In Europe, Asia, And North America.

During the G-20 Summit, held in Washington DC, from November 14 to 15, Brazil ‘s Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, addressed world leaders on regulations for the derivatives market.

In an interview with the press, Mr. Mantega recommended BM&FBOVESPA’s clearinghouse settlement, collateral and custody systems as a model for the rest of world to follow. He also suggested that technical meetings be held by the G-20 members in order to discuss the regulatory instruments that should be put into practice by world markets.

During an interview with the Agencia Estado in Washington on the eve of the Summit meeting, Friday (Nov/14), Mr. Mantega cited the need to evaluate how hedge funds and derivatives should be regulated in the future, explaining to a reporter: “I believe the procedure we use in Brazil should be one of the solutions, which is to establish clearinghouses, like the ones in BM&F, where a derivatives transaction must be registered, the client must deposit collateral, and the client becomes subject to additional margin requirements if necessary. They don’t have this here. This is a proposition for the derivatives market and for CDS (credit default swap) market, which perhaps today represents the largest volume of derivatives that have not yet been dealt with, and currently stands at USD55 trillion in derivatives activities that must be regulated together with other markets.”

Source: Mondovision 20.11.2008

Filed under: Banking, BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil, Exchanges, News, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boston Consulting: A Wealth of Opportunities in Turbulent Times

BCG: Global Wealth 09.2008: A Wealth of Opportunities in Turbulent Times

Source: The Boston Consulting Group, September 2008

Filed under: Asia, Latin America, Library, Risk Management, Services, Wealth Management, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pan-European Platforms Form Symbology Working Group

Chi-X Europe, Nasdaq OMX Europe and BATS European Markets Division have formed a working group to create a uniform symbology for European equities. The three companies said today that the initiative will allow market data to be more easily consolidated across trading venues and facilitate smart-order routing.

“A common symbology will ease navigation between market centers and ultimately provide a better experience to investors,” said Todd Golub, head of markets development at Nasdaq OMX Europe, in a statement. “This move will also reduce the back-office complexities” related to the European Union’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), which went into effect about a year ago. Nasdaq OMX Group’s multilateral trading facility (MTF) began limited operations Sept. 26.

“Customers will now only need to manage one common list” of symbols, Golub added in an interview. “It will also drive down the cost of trading in Europe and help liquidity move from the primary exchanges.” Participation in the effort is open to all European venues–both exchanges and MTFs–said the companies.

Source: Securities Industry News, 22.10.08

Filed under: Data Management, Exchanges, Market Data, News, Reference Data, Standards, , , , , , , , , , , ,