UK Corporate Tax | Trends
Britain likely will succeed in taxing multinational companies at a 25% rate on their UK operations beginning in April, without violating international tax treaties, analysts say, but tensions are rising between countries on suspicions that MNCs are engaging in global tax evasion.
Corporate Debt | Capital Markets
Euroclear will extend its cross-border settlement services at the end of January to Mexican corporate debt instruments known as cebures, or “bourse certificates.” This will enable Mexican companies to issue peso-denominated debt specifically targeted to international investors.
China | Capital Markets
In a major step toward opening China’s capital account, Hong Kong and Shanghai have linked their equity markets and abolished the cap on how much Chinese currency Hong Kong residents may purchase (or sell) daily.
The market in over-the-counter derivatives is shrinking, while exchange-listed futures and interest rate swaps traded on new swap execution facilities (SEFs) are setting records. New regulations and capital requirements are squeezing bank trading desks and forcing more derivatives trading onto exchanges and centralized clearing.
Canada & China | Capital Markets
Canada and China have agreed to support the increased use of renminbi in trade, commerce and investment between the two countries.
Capital Markets | Middle East Equity
The Middle East is experiencing a boom in initial public offerings, following years of relative inactivity since the global financial crisis. The area’s IPO markets began to recover in the fourth quarter of last year, and new share issues are now coming at a fever pitch, despite falling oil prices that could threaten regional economies.
CAPITAL MARKETS | FOREIGN EXCHANGE
As the Federal Reserve winds down its bond-buying program and prepares to raise rates, analysts are debating the likelihood of a repeat of last year’s “taper tantrum”—when the mere hint of a gradual end to quantitative easing in the US caused huge disruptions to emerging markets (EMs).
CAPITAL MARKETS | AFRICAN EQUITY
Initial public offerings on the Nairobi Securities Exchange have been few and far between in recent years.
CAPITAL MARKETS | ISLAMIC FINANCE
To diversify its sources of financing, Goldman Sachs plans to issue a benchmark Islamic bond, at a time when demand for sukuk is outrunning supply. Meanwhile, South Africa is planning its first sovereign sukuk, and the Egyptian government is working on a new sukuk law, following the military’s overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year.
CAPITAL MARKETS | FOREIGN EXCHANGE
It is a changing world for FX traders. Regulatory uncertainty and low volatility are putting a damper on the foreign exchange market, with spreads narrowing by 20% already this year—to record lows.
CAPITAL MARKETS | MIDDLE EAST EQUITY
Riyadh, the Saudi capital, has already built a new financial district, named after King Abdullah, but its 42 new skyscrapers stand largely empty. That could change following the decision by the government in July to allow foreign financial institutions to invest directly in listed shares, starting in the first half of 2015.
CAPITAL MARKETS FOCUS: MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Companies around the world are stepping up their due diligence on mergers and acquisitions involving Chinese counterparties, after several major deals have been called into question as a result of Peking’s widening corruption probe.
MANAGEMENT | PENSIONS
As people live longer, many companies are discovering that they have to pay pension benefits to retirees for longer than they had expected. Insurance companies are stepping in with new products that can help take this “longevity risk” out of corporate defined-benefit pension plans.
Subcustodians are being pressured by declining margins and low interest rates at the same time they are trying to cope with an onslaught of new regulatory requirements. For those with the skill and the wherewithal to meet the challenges, however, the business of protecting and servicing client assets remains profitable. Global investing is expected to continue to increase in the future.
GCC REGIONAL SUPERSECTION 2014 | INTRODUCTION
The six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council have some of the world’s highest living standards and a combined GDP of more than $1.6 trillion. They play an important role in maintaining global economic stability, and their continuing prosperity depends critically on oil prices and the ability to generate surpluses to pay for infrastructure development and job creation.
FINANCE & CAPITAL | TRENDS: SOVEREIGN DEBT: SNAPSHOT: M&A