Viewing posts categorised under: Finance

UBS Podcast: UBS FX Strategist, Geoffrey YU, Talks About the RMB Movement

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

With the Federal Reserve lowering its outlook for the US economy and long-term rates, UBS FX strategist, Geoffrey YU, expects the low volatility market environment to continue. He advises investors to focus on high-yielding currencies, especially in emerging markets and, in particular, the RMB. In the short term, YU expects a return of inflows into China, which will increase the value of the RMB. As a result, the USD/RMB rate could trade below 6.20 in the near future. The forecast USD/RMB rates for 2014 and 2015, respectively, are 6.25 and 6.35.

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Swiss Re Helps Chinese Crab Farmers to Weather-Index Insurance

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

Reinsurance giant Swiss Re has teamed up with Chinese firm China Pacific Insurance (CPI), to introduce a temperature-index insurance scheme to protect the $73 million hairy crab industry. Swiss Re has been promoting the use of weather-index solutions in China for a few years now, as climate change and ChinaÕs growing aquaculture begin to have a more serious impact on the region. The hairy crab industry provides a livelihood to roughly 3,000 farmers, with Hong Kong citizens alone eating around 600,000 of the crustaceans each year. The problem for the farmers is that climate change is creating hotter weather and hairy crabs die very easily in temperatures above 33 degrees (interestingly they can survive extremely cold conditions), an increasingly common heat for the areas where the crabs mature. In Jiangsu province, Shanghai, temperatures reached 40 degrees last year causing huge losses for farmers, as many of the crabs didnÕt survive. The new product introduced by Swiss Re and CPI uses a weather-index insurance policy with temperature experience as the trigger, meaning farmers receive payout when the temperature stays above 37.5 degrees for three consecutive days. Farmers will also be able to choose one-year, two-year or three-year coverage for the summer period.

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RSA Insurance : to Sell RSA China to Swiss Re Corporate for GBP71 Million

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

RSA Insurance Group PLC (RSA Insurance Group plc) Thursday said it has reached an agreement to sell Sun Alliance Insurance China Ltd (RSA China) to Swiss Re Corporate Solutions for GBP71 million ($121.8 million) in cash. The insurer said the transaction is expected to result in a gain on sale and an addition to the Group’s tangible net assets of GBP26 million. “This transaction builds on the momentum of our recently announced disposals in the Baltics, Poland and Canada, and represents continued progress against our aim of tightening the strategic focus of the Group,” Chief Executive Stephen Hester said. “We are continuing to evaluate further non-core disposals, some of which we expect to agree during 2014,” he added. RSA China underwrites both commercial and personal insurance risks and accounted for GBP14 million of net written premiums in RSA Group’s 2013 financial statements.

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UBS Aims for Expansion of China Property Investment Unit

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

UBS is aiming to broaden its Chinese property investment division with a move into commercial real estate, according to Bloomberg, citing comments from the head of global real estate for Asia-Pacific at UBS Global Asset Management Trevor Cooke. Reports say that several cities throughout China are anticipated to experience upped rental demand for commercial property on the back of new regulatory changes. UBS already invests directly in Chinese residential property through a joint venture formed in 2008 with Shenzhen-based developer Gemdale Corp. The bank is planning a second residential fund, with an initial close of about $100 million and a total of at least $350 million, Cooke said. UBS plans to offer clients the option of investing in Chinese property using either U.S. dollars or yuan.

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UBS Said to Hire CICCÕs Jiang for China Investment Banking Role

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

Jiang Guorong, executive chairman of investment banking at China International Capital Corp., will join UBS AG, people with knowledge of the matter said. Jiang will take a senior role for China investment banking at Zurich-based UBS, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The banker, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University, has been a member of the Hong Kong stock exchangeÕs listing committee since June 2009, according to the bourse operatorÕs website. He previously worked at the Bank for International Settlements, International Monetary Fund and Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the website shows. Jiang is joining last yearÕs top equity underwriter in Asia Pacific, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Share sales in the region raised USD 37.9 billion in the first quarter this year, down from USD 47.6 billion the same time in 2013, the data show. Rob Stewart, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for UBS, declined to comment. A Beijing-based spokeswoman for CICC, who asked not to be named citing company policy, couldnÕt immediately comment on JiangÕs departure. Jiang didnÕt immediately respond to three calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.

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Zurich Insurance : hunts for M&A targets in China

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

Zurich Insurance Co Ltd is actively seeking merger and acquisition opportunities in China to fuel its business expansion, a company executive said on Thursday. “We are looking for appropriate M&A opportunities to boost our presence and expand our business scope,” said Stuart A. Spencer, chief executive officer of general insurance for the Asia-Pacific region. He said Zurich adopted a “defensive” stance during the global financial crisis. Now, thanks to a solid balance sheet, the company wants to be more aggressive. “We have no preference as to whether the target should be a domestic one or an international one having operations in China, but it should be a strategic and cultural fit with our business,” Spencer said. Last April, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission approved the Swiss company’s plan to transform its Beijing branch into a wholly owned subsidiary, making it easier to expand across the country. Spencer said the company has since submitted an application to the CIRC to open a branch in Shanghai.

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Top 10 riskiest cities in the world

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

United Nations expects 6.3 billion people or 68% of the world’s population to be living in urban areas by 2050, with the highest increase occurring in high growth markets. Many of these cities are located on the coast and are threatened by floods, storms, earthquakes and other natural hazards, according to Swiss Re, a reinsurance company. Swiss Re counts residents threatened by multiple perils more than once in the report. Therefore the number of people potentially affected by multiple perils can be more than the size of a city’s population. Shanghai ranks number 8, as in Shanghai, nearly 17 million could be affected by a massive flood, according to Swiss Re. Pearl River Delta, ranks number 3, which includes Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Macau and Guangzhou. More than 34 million people face multiple threats, including storm surge, cyclonic wind damage and river flood in Pearl River Delta.

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Chengdu Hosts China’s First Licensed-Horse Racing Event

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

On 6 April, Chengdu, Sichuan province, hosted the first ever horse race in China that had licensed imported horses from all over the world. The Dubai-based Meydan Group, the organizer of Dubai’s World Cup, one of the richest horse racing events of the year with USD 27.25 million in prize money, put the race together through a partnership with the Chengdu government. “Twenty years ago, tennis was the sport in China. Ten years ago, it was golf. Now, it’s time for horse racing,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, vice-president and head of international marketing for Longines, the luxury watch designer. The Switzerland watch house, which has been the official timekeeper for the Dubai World Cup for more than a decade, was also the timekeeper at the Chengdu race.

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Research Collaboration with Swiss Re Group on Parametric Insurance Solutions

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

On 13 November 2013, CDRF and Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd hold a signing ceremony for the joint research program on ÒParametric Insurance Solutions for the Reform of the Relief System against Natural DisastersÓ. Mr. Wang Mengkui, Chairman of the CDRF and former Minister of the DRC, and Michel M. Lis, Group CEO of Swiss Re, attend the signing ceremony. SG Lu Mai and Ivo Menzinger, Managing director and Head Asia-Pacific of Global Partnership of Swiss Re sign the agreement on behalf of the two parties. Mr. Menzinger points out that Swiss Re is very pleased to contribute to ChinaÕs social and economic development by rendering relevant financial and technological support as well as expertise for the research on this subject, including providing leading international case studies on parametric insurance solutions. Mr. Lu Qin, President of Swiss China, says: ÒSwiss Re has been long working on promoting insurance solutions for mitigating the losses of natural disasters in China. This joint research program enables Swiss Re to work more closely with Chinese government and make sure insurance plays a greater role in disaster relief and mitigation.Ó

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UBS Planning China Stock Futures as Hedge Demand Soars

by swisscham in Bank, Finance, Insurance

UBS AG plans to start trading Chinese stock-index futures after turnover more than tripled in the past two years amid growing investor demand for ways to hedge against equity losses. The Swiss bank will probably offer contracts on the CSI 300 Index by next year after acquiring a Chinese commodities-futures brokerage this month, said Yang Xia, the head of China equities at UBS. Trading of the securities climbed more than 250 percent over the last two years as the CSI 300 slumped, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The index has fallen 7.6% this year, extending its losses since the end of 2009 to 40%, and closed at a 14-month low yesterday.

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