WALL STREET: ‘ Snippets from the Markets as JP Morgan Discusses Buying Argentina’s Sovereign Debt ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES (Wall Street) – July 31 – JP Morgan is discussing the possibility of buying Argentina’s sovereign debt from a group of dissident bondholders, Dow Jones reported on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

​The South American nation is fighting a court decision that determined it must treat all bondholders the same, despite a massive restructuring agreement stemming from its default more than a decade ago.

A group of so-called "vulture fund" holdouts are demanding that Argentina honour their bonds without a haircut.


ARGENTINA: ‘ Fails to Strike Deal to Avert Second Default in Twelve Years ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES (New York) – July 31 – Argentina failed to strike a deal to avert its second default in more than 12 years after talks with holdout creditors ended without a settlement on Wednesday reported by Reuters/Fox News

​(Banco Central De La Republica Argentina)

The country’s economy minister, Axel Kicillof, speaking at a news conference at the Argentine consulate in New York, repeatedly referred to the holdout hedge funds as "vultures" after two days of talks failed to produce an agreement.

"Unfortunately, no agreement was reached and the Republic of Argentina will imminently be in default," Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the case, said in a statement on Wednesday evening.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. must return a $539 million deposit from Argentina intended for restructured bondholders, a U.S. judge ruled, calling the transfer an “explosive action” that disrupted potential settlement talks with holders of defaulted debt reported Bloomberg.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York has ruled that Argentina can’t pay holders of its restructured debt without also paying more than $1.5 billion to a group of defaulted bondholders, raising the possibility of a new default as the South American nation approaches a June 30 payment deadline.

Ace Finance News Reported in June that on Monday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Argentina in its battle against hedge funds that refused to take part in debt restructuring offered in 2005 and 2010.

The long, drawn-out debt battle in US courts has prevented Argentina from accessing international capital markets.


PORTUGAL: ‘ Banco Espirito Santo Reports Euro 3.6 Billion Loss Wiping Out Capital Buffer ‘

#AceFinanceNews – PORTUGAL – July 31 – Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo has reported a half-year loss of €3.6bn, an amount that wipes out the existing capital buffer of nearly €2.1bn bringing it below the minimum level required by regulators.

​All officials in charge of auditing and supervision at the bank have been suspended, reports Reuters.


UNITED STATES: ‘ Federal Reserve Plans to Keep Interest Rates at Historic Low ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES (Washington) – July 30 – The Federal Reserve said inflation has ‘moved somewhat closer’ to its long-term target; however, there is slack in the U.S. labour market.

​As such, the central bank cut its bond purchases to $25 billion a month from $35 billion, as expected.

It also reaffirmed its plans to keep rates at historic lows until the economy improves further.

Fox News


UNITED STATES: ‘ Mortgage Servicers Creating Next Sub-Prime Crisis as They Side-Step New Banking Regulations Evolving into Lenders’

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – July 30- Mortgage servicers in the United States are evolving into the next big lenders reported Reuters, as they are sidestepping regulatory scrutiny to win business in a gap left by the retreat of big banks from the home-loan market.

By writing new mortgages, non-bank servicers such as Ocwen Financial Corp (OCN.N) and Walter Investment Management Corp (WAC.N) have grabbed the opportunity to supply less creditworthy borrowers with funding no longer available from banks.

The trend, investors and analysts say, could spark a revival in the shares of non-bank servicers by relieving the pressure that has accompanied regulators’ questions over how well these companies are treating struggling borrowers.

But, as they compete for limited business, the temptation to offer ever-riskier loans raises the spector of another sub-prime crisis.

Reuters Money


‘ China’s Prepayment for Russian Oil Supplies Compensate Rosneft for US Ban on Loans’

#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW, July 29./ITAR-TASS/. China’s prepayment for Russian oil supplies will compensate oil major Rosneft for a US ban on loans, BP head Robert Dudley said on Tuesday.


‘ Washington State Reduces Cost of Solar Panels by $2,500 ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES (Washington State) – July 29 – All new technology, no matter how innovative, arrives in a world of pre-existing laws and regulations. But not all technology catches the same breaks.

​A company like Lyft or Uber can do its thing right out there in the open for a surprisingly long time, despite being — essentially — appified versions of such already-illegal innovations as dollar vans and jitneys.

By comparison, solar energy, despite having made leaps and bounds both technologically and finance-wise, can’t show up at the block party without bringing down a lawsuit, a law, or some kind of extra fee.

Yet those impediments, intentional and unintentional, are beginning to remove themselves. A decision this week by the Building Code Council in Washington state is a prime example.

Until now, the process of legally installing solar panels on a building in Washington has been what it is in most of the U.S.: while there are state and national building codes, each county enforces them differently. What this meant was that the process of putting in solar ranged from the very simple (a solar panel installation was seen as the equivalent of putting on an extra layer of shingles) to the complicated and prolonged (any installation, no matter how much of a no-brainer, required a full set of plans, signed by a licensed structural engineer, which added between $800-$2,500 to the final bill.)

Solar installers were spending a lot of time learning about how permits were handled from county to county, and avoiding some areas altogether because the process was so daunting.

Read More: Grist


HAGUE: ‘ Russia Faces Fine of $50 Billion Over Oil Assets ‘

#AceFinanceNews – HAGUE – July 29 – The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague is set to announce a $50bn fine against Russia for expropriating the assets of former oil giant Yukos, reports Reuters.

Russia must pay the compensation to the shareholders in a legal commercial case that has lasted almost a decade.


#hague, #russia

‘ Banking Union Faces Germany’s Constitutional Court To Access Legality of Changes ‘

#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – July 29 – Germany’s constitutional court is once again to be a testing ground for the eurozone’s reponse to the financial crisis as a group of academics has filed a case arguing that the banking union is illegal reported EUobserver on the July 28 in Brussels.

The five academics argue that the Banking union – a new supervisory and bank resolution system for eurozone banks – breaches German law as it was not agreed with the right treaty changes, reports Die Welt am Sonntag.

Markus Kerber, a finance professor at Berlin Technical University (TUB), told the paper that the banking union had "no legal basis in the EU treaties and so represents a breach of constitutional rights."

The supervisory system – under which the European Central Bank will, from November, oversee the financial health of around 120 banks with the power to shut them down – is the "pinnacle of Brussels power-grabbing to date", says Kerber.

The complainants, who filed their papers last week, also find that a conflict of interest has arisen because the ECB council, which also makes interest rate decisions, has a veto right on banking supervision decisions.

The challenge also calls into question the Single Resolution Mechanism, which sets out to deal with failing banks, as well as the €55bn fund meant to cover the costs of the process.


#ans2014, #banking-union, #european-central-bank, #european-union, #germany

HHS: ‘ Consumer Health Insurance Premium Rebates Next Month will Total $330 Million in Refunds ‘

#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – The Department of Health and Human Services today highlights one of the dividends stemming from the 2010 health care overhaul. HHS this morning announced the tally of this year’s consumer health insurance premium rebates.

The health care law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of the premium dollars they collect on patient care or rebate the difference back to individuals. The calculation of the medical loss ratio began in 2011 and rebate checks were first issued in 2012.

CQ HealthBeat reported (subscription) that HHS estimates 6.8 million consumers will receive refunds next month totaling $330 million.

A separate HHS report released today estimates that insurance company efficiencies enticed by the MLR formula saved consumers $3.8 billion on premium payments.

By Paul Jenks @ The Hill