Capital Markets, Financial

BGC Partners eyes new platform to trade US Treasuries

BGC Partners plans to launch a new platform to trade US Treasuries early next year, in a bid to return to a market in the middle of evolution, according to people familiar with the plans.  The company, spun out of Howard Lutnick’s Cantor Fitzgerald in 2004, sold eSpeed, the second-largest interdealer platform for trading Treasuries, […]

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Sales in Rocket Internet’s portfolio companies rise 30%

Revenues at Rocket Internet rose strongly at its portfolio companies in the first nine months of the year as the German tech group said it was making strides on the “path towards profitability”. Sales at its main companies increased 30.6 per cent to €1.58bn while losses narrowed. Rocket said the adjusted margin for earnings before […]

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Renminbi strengthens further despite gains by dollar

The renminbi on track for a fourth day of firming against the dollar on Wednesday after China’s central bank once again pushed the currency’s trading band (marginally) stronger. The onshore exchange rate (CNY) for the reniminbi was 0.28 per cent stronger at Rmb6.8855 in afternoon trade, bringing it 0.53 per cent firmer since it last […]

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Nomura rounds up markets’ biggest misses in 2016

Forecasting markets a year in advance is never easy, but with “year-ahead investment themes” season well underway, Nomura has provided a handy reminder of quite how difficult it is, with an overview of markets’ biggest hits and misses (OK, mostly misses) from the start of 2016. The biggest miss among analysts, according to Nomura’s Sam […]

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Spanish construction rebuilds after market collapse

Property developer Olivier Crambade founded Therus Invest in Madrid in 2004 to build offices and retail space. For five years business went quite well, and Therus developed and sold more than €300m of properties. Then Spain’s economy imploded, taking property with it, and Mr Crambade spent six years tending to Dhamma Energy, a solar energy […]

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Categorized | Insurance

Insurers face clash of rules

Posted on May 31, 2012

Regulation is changing the equation for European insurers operating in the US.

At least one disposal is certain: the European Commission has ordered Dutch group ING to offload its insurance and investment management business in the US – along with that in other regions – as a condition for receiving state aid during the financial crisis.

    Regulatory concerns could also push Europeans to sell their US operations in a less direct manner, say analysts.

    The capital-intensive nature of many US life assurance products make American operations obvious disposal candidates for European groups whose regulatory capital positions are a potential problem.

    They include Aviva, whose incoming chairman and interim chief executive John McFarlane acknowledged last month that the UK insurer needs to improve its capital position “materially”.

    Yet with US life companies trading at a discount of about 10 per cent to their book value, analysts say few European insurers will be in a hurry to sell the assets.

    Prudential paid only 46 per cent of European embedded value – an insurance-specific measure – for Swiss Re’s closed US business.

    Still, new rules threaten to bring matters to a head.

    Brussels is in the process of deciding which countries it deems to have an “equivalent” regulatory system to Solvency II, the capital requirements regime due to take effect at the start of 2014.

    Unless a country is deemed equivalent, EU-based insurers’ overseas operations would have to comply with Solvency II as well as local rules.

    Kevin McCarty, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, indicated last month that US regulators had no intention of becoming equivalent.