German pension fund association criticises EU rating agency proposals

first_imgThe aba, Germany’s pension fund association, has criticised the EU’s plans to oblige pension funds to establish their own credit-research mechanisms.In August, German regulator BaFin issued a decree implementing EU-level changes to regulations concerning rating agencies.According to the European Commission’s proposals, pension funds are to be required to conduct their own credit-risk assessments in order to reduce their dependence on the larger rating agencies.But the aba, after assessing the proposals in detail, has now issued a position paper in which it criticises parts of these changes.  In its paper, it says: “The aba supports the objective to regulate credit ratings to a greater degree and reduce reliance of investors on credit-rating agencies caused by regulatory requirements.”However, it “opposes the call for IORPs to develop their own internal credit-analysis processes”.The aba argues this would “overburden” many investors – particularly IORPs – which tend to have “only limited business operations”.Meanwhile, the BaFin itself has amended its decree to tone down this requirement, stating that credit-risk analysis can “initially” also take the form of checking the plausibility of external ratings – through the rating reports of external agencies, for example.For direct bond holdings, the aba recommends the provision of “minimum standards” for internal credit-analysis processes for IORPs, similar to the BaFin’s recommendations. For indirect investments, the association sees the investment management company or asset manager as being “solely responsible” for credit ratings.Meanwhile, the European supervisory body ESMA has issued its first report on rating agencies.Under the amendments to the law regulating those institutions, ESMA has to report annually on the existing rating agencies and their market share, as issuers are to be required to get assessments from two rating agencies – one being a small provider, with a market share of less than 10%.According to the first ESMA report, the three large rating agencies have a combined market share of 85%.last_img read more

French, local forces kill three gunmen in northern Niger raid

first_imgRelated Gunmen attempt to rescue Islamist militants in Niger French and Niger forces killed three gunmen in a convoy carrying drugs and heavy weapons in Niger close to the Libyan border, the French army said on Monday, as its troops step up efforts to stop militants crisscrossing the Sahel-Sahara region.Paris, which has led efforts to push back Islamist fighters in the region since intervening in its former colony Mali in 2013, has deployed thousands of troops across West Africa to form a counter-terrorism force and prevent trafficking in the region.The army said in a statement that on May 14 two pick-up trucks attempted to force their way through a checkpoint set up by about 200 French and Niger troops.“The occupants of the vehicles attempted to drive through and responded to warning shots by violently opening fire,” it said. “Amid the fighting, three people in the convoy were killed and three others were captured and handed to the Niger army.”It said 1.5 tonnes of drugs and weapons, including submachine guns, were recovered as well as communications equipment.France has set up a base at Madama in northern Niger to monitor the Salvador Pass trafficking route that leads from southern Libya to northern Mali.More than 3,000 French troops are now operating out of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad — countries straddling the vast arid Sahel band — with the aim of stamping out Islamist fighters across the region.The French operation, dubbed Barkhane after the name of a kind of sand dune formed by desert winds, has set up its headquarters in the Chadian capital N’Djamena, but also placed an outpost in northern Chad about 200 km from the Libyan border.French officials have said for several months they are concerned by events in Libya, warning that the political void in the north is creating favourable conditions for al Qaeda-linked fighters to regroup in the barren south of the country.They have also said that failure to conclude a peace deal between the Malian government and separatist rebels is helping traffickers restore their previous networks in the region.– (Reuters) Gunmen Attack UN Base in Northern Mali Nigeria: Niger Delta Gunmen Kill Ninelast_img read more

Priyanna Ramdhani makes it into men’s doubles final

first_imgCARIBBEAN Junior Girls’ badminton champion Priyanna Ramdhani, has reached across barriers to play in the Men’s doubles and made it all the way to the final with partner, Avinash Odit, in the GUMDAC Annual Open Doubles, when the 2017 badminton season commenced last Wednesday. Played at the National Gymnasium, the first day of competition also saw Ramdhani win in the Ladies’ doubles, where she teamed up with Greer Jackson. In the open Mixed doubles she will join forces with Jonathan Mangra.Due to lack of competition in the Ladies’ division, Ramdhani is being allowed to play in the men’s competition to keep up her top form, according to a press release from the Guyana Badminton Association.Though unusual, it is not the first time something like this has been done. In squash, Guyana’s Nicolette Fernandes has played in the men’s competition before.Ramdhani and Odit made it into the final after ousting Marlon Chung and partner Ronald Yen in 21-15, 21-16 semi-finals match-up.The duo also had an earlier win when they took out veterans George Melville and Leslie Lui 21- 11, 21-15.The other men’s doubles semi-final win went to Nicholas Ali and partner Jonathan Mangra. Ali and Mangra won 21-18, 21-18 sets against the pair of Gokarn Ramdhani and Javid Rahaman.In other wins in the quarter-finals Chung and Yuen defeated Tyrese Jeffrey and Akili Haynes 21-7, 21-10, while Gokarn and Javid prevailed against Stephan Murdilall and Haymant Ramdhani 21-9, 21-13.In the only Ladies’ doubles match of the day Priyanna and Jackson triumphed 21-5, 21-9 over Emelia Ramdhani and Ayanna Watson.In the open Mixed doubles final Priyanna and Mangra will take on Ali and Jackson.Priyanna and Odit were on opposite ends in their Mixed doubles match-up. Odit teamed up with Angelica Holder and lost 19-21, 12-21 to Priyanna and Mangra.The tournament continues tonight at 18:00hrs with play-offs in the finals and third-place matches along with the presentation of prizes.The tournament, being played for the 5th year, is sponsored by GUMDAC through Managing Director Darrell Carpenay, who is also an executive on the GBA.last_img read more