Libor Director Swaps BBA For Thomson Reuters; Singapore Bourse Says Not In Merger Talks With LSE
The director responsible for the management of the setting of Libor at the British Bankers’ Association has left his post, just as a group of banks being investigated in an interest-rate rigging scandal are looking to pursue a group settlement with regulators. Lots of talk about SGX and LSE planning a merger, although it seems that is being refuted.
Off to Camp
Sunday I am off to camp with the Boy Scout Troop. It is back up to Camp Freeland Leslie just outside of Oxford, Wisconsin for a week of tent living, eating food prepared by boys and sweating a lot in the heat.
Thursday though I will be leaving camp at 3 a.m. to drive to Madison, Wisconsin’s airport so I can fly to Washington, DC for the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee meeting. I have yet to decide whether I will show up in my Boy Scout uniform at the meeting. I do promise to shower the night before, but that only normally is good for about 5 minutes.
Besides Boy Scout camp, I am also taking a week’s vacation the following week, either to recover from Boy Scout camp or to celebrate the 21st anniversary of my wife Cheryl’s 29th birthday. Or maybe both.
While I am away, JLN Editor-in-Chief Jim Kharouf will be in charge of JLN and making the snarky comments.
I will be somewhat reachable, but with generally bad cell phone service. The best bet is to email me or text me if you need a response. Email Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jon Matte at email@example.com if you have any news you want included in JLN.
~John J. Lothian
Libor director swaps BBA for Thomson Reuters
Richard Partington and Michelle Price – Financial News
The director responsible for the management of the setting of Libor at the British Bankers’ Association, the industry body that establishes the benchmark, has left for a job at the data provider that plays a key role in the process. [...] Thomson Reuters confirmed that Ewan has joined the company as head of business development for its fixing and benchmark business. Ewan could not be reached for comment.
HSBC Reminds Us Why Anger at Bankers Is the Norm
By William Pesek – Bloomberg
You have to love the chutzpah at HSBC Holdings Plc. At the very moment it’s asking the courts to remove a ragged band of Occupy Wall Street protesters encamped under its Hong Kong headquarters, the largest European bank is also reminding the world why many people are so angry at bankers. While it obsesses over a few demonstrators, HSBC has been cited for helping terrorists, drug cartels and other criminals launder money, according to a U.S. Senate investigation.
Former UBS risk chief joins Newedge
Tom Osborn – Financial News
Newedge, the market’s largest futures broker, has bolstered its board by appointing the former head of the risk policy group at UBS as a non-executive director, as the firm moves to shore up its market position. Seasoned derivatives banker Tanya Castell joined the board of the French broker’s London subsidiary last month, as chair of the firm’s risk committee.
Peregrine Financial New York Agency Desk Joins Gain Capital
By Allison Bennett – Bloomberg
Gain Capital Holdings Inc., a publicly-traded online foreign-exchange company, hired 10 New York-based employees from failed commodities broker Peregrine Financial Group Inc. attracted 80 percent of the Peregrine agency desk in New York, which specializes in foreign-exchange, options, metals and non-deliverable forwards, Gain Capital Chief Executive Officer Glenn Stevens said in an interview.
OCC Announces Its Designation As A Systemically Important Financial Market Utility
On July 18 OCC received notice it has been designated as a systemically important Financial Market Utility (SIFMU) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) as part of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.
ICE Clear Credit Designated Systemically Important in U.S.
IntercontinentalExchange, a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter (OTC) markets, confirmed that ICE Clear Credit, ICE’s North American credit default swap (CDS) clearing house, was designated as a systemically important financial market utility by the Financial Stability Oversight Council and that ICE Clear Credit has waived the right to appeal that decision.
SunGard Named “Best Counterparty Risk Solution Provider” in Waters Rankings 2012
SunGard has been recognized as “Best Counterparty Risk Solution Provider” for its Adaptiv solution for the fourth consecutive year in the Waters Rankings for excellence in financial IT solutions and services.
For Whom the Bell Tolls: Successfully running the gauntlet of regulation and technology in the derivatives markets
Steve Grob – Fidessa
Throughout 2006 European equity markets were busy preparing for the arrival of MiFID, which shared similar objectives to Reg NMS which was implemented across the pond some years earlier. Just as in the US, most European market participants were focused on operational readiness and ensuring that their systems and procedures met the various checklists created by the armies of consultants they had employed.
What JP Morgan’s Whale Trade, Warren Buffett and Rube Goldberg Tell Us About Risk
How is it possible for JP Morgan, the bank with the best reputation on the Street for having a handle on risk control, to still be guessing about how much damage was done by the over-exuberant trading by the “London Whale”? First it was $2 billion. Then it was $5 billion. No, hold on, make that seven. Then, “can we get back to you on that?”
***JM: There is a difference between having losses that are worse than expected due to market conditions (e.g. awful fills on orders during surprise volatility or a lack of liquidity); and having traders who are not fully aware of the “worst normal outcome” from a trade. I’m still not certain, but it looks to me like JPM traders didn’t actually know what a failure would cost them. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t really matter how the market further punished them when unwinding. The root cause is still trading incompetence.
Ex-Barclays Leader Shows How to Come Clean
Last week’s testimony of Barclays Plc Chairman Marcus Agius to a U.K. parliamentary committee received less press than the earlier testimony of his former chief executive officer, Robert Diamond, but Agius’s performance was more remarkable.
Krugmenistan vs. Estonia
The Nobel laureate says stimulus and currency devaluation are the best way to survive a crisis. Estonia chose austerity. Why their rancorous, and often hilarious, war of words matters
Cinnober CEO Javier Tordable Discusses the Company’s Recent Partnerships
Javier Tordable, who took the CEO post at Cinnober in March, has inked notable trading platform, clearing and surveillance technology deals with the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) and The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). This week, the firm announced a deal to provide clearing technology for the London Metal Exchange (LME). In our recent interview during the FIA-FOA International Derivatives Expo in London, Tordable talks about the DGCX deal, the acquisition of Nomura’s Swedish technology development center in Umeå, Sweden, as well as where technology is heading. Interview by John Lothian News editor-in-chief Jim Kharouf.
JLN Interest Rates
Paulson, Rubin Say U.S. has to, and probably will, avoid the so-called fiscal cliff
Two Treasury secretaries from two different parties who served under two different circumstances agree on one thing: The U.S. has to, and probably will, avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. If it does not, agreed Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin, the consequences will be dire at a time when the country can ill afford another crisis.
How Could Libor Regain Credibility?
CNBC via Yahoo! Finance
The very existence of the London Interbank Offered Rate has been threatened by the escalating scandal involving banks allegedly manipulating the rate during the credit crisis.
Geithner: US acted ‘early and forcibly’ on rate-rigging
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended his actions related to a rate-rigging scandal Wednesday, saying in an interview on CNBC that he acted quickly and correctly when he became aware of the issue.
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SGX and LSE not planning a merger
SGX this month opens a trading hub in London that will allow traders access to SGX’s Asian equity futures.
Singapore bourse says not in merger talks with LSE
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The Singapore Exchange said on Friday it was not discussing a possible merger with London Stock Exchange, contrary to a report in a British newspaper.
LSE, Singapore exchange in merger talks – report
Reuters via Yahoo! Finance
The London Stock Exchange Group is in talks with the Singapore Exchange about a potential 7.2 billion-pound ($11.3 billion) merger, the Daily Telegraph reported, in a deal likely to face tough regulatory scrutiny.
Banks in Libor probe consider group settlement-sources
Katharina Bart and Diane Bartz – Reuters
A group of banks being investigated in an interest-rate rigging scandal are looking to pursue a group settlement with regulators rather than face a Barclays-style backlash by going it alone, people familiar with the banks’ thinking said. Such discussions are preliminary, and it is unclear if regulators will enter these talks, aimed at resolving allegations that banks attempted to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark that underpins hundreds of trillions of dollars in contracts.
Interest-Rate Swaps to Be Based on DTCC Repo Index at BofA, UBS
By Matthew Leising – Bloomberg
Bank of America Corp., UBS AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. have agreed with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. to base interest-rate swaps on the general collateral finance repurchase rate.
Libor Reported as Rigged in ’08 Proving 2012’s Revelation
Barclays Plc’s admission that it rigged the London interbank offered rate shows regulators, central bankers and politicians weren’t paying attention when everyone from Citigroup Inc. to the Bank for International Settlements indicated that the measure was being manipulated.
Feeding Frenzy Seen If Wall Street Sues Itself Over Libor
Donal Griffin – Bloomberg
Wall Street, grappling with mounting regulatory probes and investor claims over alleged interest-rate manipulation, may face yet another formidable foe: Itself.
Libor Scandal Shows Many Flaws in Rate-Setting
Bank of England Says New York Fed Gave No Warning on Rate-Rigging
Italian parliament approves euro zone bailout fund
Reuters via Yahoo! News
The Italian lower house voted on Thursday to approve the European Stability Mechanism, the euro zone’s new bailout fund, giving final parliamentary clearance after a vote in the Senate last week.
Rajoy Sets Course Against Spanish Protests as Investors Flee
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will begin mapping out Spain’s economic path through the next 18 months today in the face of mounting pressure from protesters and investors, who pushed bond yields above 7 percent yesterday.
Russell Wasendorf Sr. Had Silver SpongeBob Coins, Other Assets Seized By FBI
The Huffington Post
Silver SpongeBob SquarePants coins minted by a private company in New Zealand were among assets seized by FBI agents from Peregrine Financial Group after its chief confessed to nearly 20 years of fraud last week.
Peregrine’s Vast Money Trail
Accounting firm McGladrey shifts HQ to Chicago
SEC Poised to Release Muni Blueprint
The Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to release a lengthy blueprint outlining improvements to the $3.7 trillion market for bonds issued by states and localities, including regulatory and legislative proposals designed to increase transparency in the relatively opaque market.
SEC Veteran Michele Wein Layne Named Director of Los Angeles Office
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Michele Wein Layne has been named Regional Director of the Los Angeles Regional Office and will begin her new role immediately.
Clock ticking for SEC to pursue fraud charges in financial crisis cases
Five years after the financial crisis began to unfold, questions are arising about whether federal securities regulators are running out of time to pursue alleged fraud. The answer, as usual, depends on who you ask.
Blamed over Stanford, SEC’s Texas office plots comeback
Reuters via Yahoo! News
FORT WORTH – Convicted Texas financier Allen Stanford haunted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth office long after he was arrested in June 2009. The office was battered by scathing criticism from Congress and within the agency for allegedly missing or ignoring clues for years that Stanford was running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
“The True Sign of Intelligence” – Remarks By CFTC Commissioner Scott D. O’Malia, Stevens Institute Of Technology- Hanlon Financial Systems Lab
European Central Bank Governing Council Appoints Members Of The New T2S Board
Federal Reserve Board Reaffirms Long-Standing Policy Of Applying Relevant International Risk-Management Standards To Fedwire Funds And Fedwire Securities Services
Canadian Securities Regulators announce results of continuous disclosure reviews for Fiscal 2012
Information for customers affected by United Group Liquidation
Schedules of corporations fees
ASIC consults on retail trading of Commonwealth Government Securities
The AMF is warning again investors to be aware of activities conducted by Fairvesta
SIFMA Statement On Eminent Domain And TBA Trading
Exchanges & Trading Facilities
Merger of Singapore, London Exchanges Unlikely
CNBC via Yahoo! Finance
Rumors of yet another possible cross-border merger between two stock exchanges gathered pace on Friday, after a British newspaper reported that Singapore and London bourses are in takeover talks.
Irish Stock Exchange extends Xetra contract
Electronic securities trading at the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) will continue to use Deutsche Börse’s trading system. The Irish Stock Exchange has extended the Xetra agreement with Deutsche Börse AG by a further four years until 31 December 2016. The two companies announced this decision today.
Cartesian Capital Group and Russian Direct Investment Fund Acquire Stakes in Moscow Exchange MICEX-RTS
Cartesian Capital Group, LLC, a global private equity firm and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s $10bn government-sponsored private equity fund have acquired stakes in the Moscow Exchange MICEX-RTS from ZAO UniCredit Bank.
Moscow Exchange – New Brand-Name Of MICEX-RTS Exchange
KCBT Raises Minimum Margins for HRW Wheat Old Crop/New Crop Spreads
Burberry celebrates 10 years on London Stock Exchange
Eurotunnel celebrates first day of trading on NYSE Euronext London
Program Trading Averaged 29.2 Percent of NYSE Volume during July 9-13
BME Report On Shareholder Remuneration – Half-Yearly Record Of 16bn Paid By Spanish Listed Companies To Their Shareholders
Hedge Funds & Managed Futures
Hedge fund industry assets sink as performance ebbed in second-quarter
Reuters via Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Even though investors put a net $4.1 billion into hedge funds in the second quarter of 2012, it was not enough to offset performance losses at many funds that resulted in total industry assets shrinking. Hedge fund capital dropped from $2.13 trillion in the first quarter to $2.1 trillion, with the average fund down 2.7 percent
Hedge Fund T2 Splits; Tilson Sells, Repurchases Berkshire Stake
Wall Street Journal Blogs
Whitney Tilson and Glenn Tongue are splitting up. Well-known hedge fund T2 Partners liquidated most of its stock positions last month as the two managers parted ways, according to a letter to investors.
KKR Plans to Offer Two Retail Funds to Pursue Debt Deals
KKR & Co. LP , the private-equity firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts , plans to open two debt funds for individual investors, according to government filings.
Exclusive: Ex-Goldman mortgage chief plans foreclosed home fund
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive Donald Mullen, one of the architects of the subprime mortgage trade, is trying to raise at least $500 million for a fund that will buy foreclosed homes with an eye toward renting them out.
Blackstone’s earnings slump on choppy markets
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Blackstone Group LP, the largest publicly listed alternative asset manager, said on Thursday its second-quarter earnings dropped as challenging public markets eroded the value of its assets and crimped its lucrative performance fees.
Rothschild Anoints Alexandre Heir as Family Cements Reign
Jacqueline Simmons and Anne-Sylvaine Chassany – Bloomberg
Alexandre de Rothschild said his father always told him to “do what you want — if you want to play tennis, go ahead.” Alexandre, now 32, did not devote his life to perfecting his serve, breeding horses, or the other pursuits one might imagine are available to a scion of the world’s biggest family-owned bank. Instead, he took jobs at other financial firms before joining the family business four years ago, becoming the seventh generation of a banking dynasty that can be traced to the 18th century.
Van Eck Announces Acquisition of a Hedge Fund Beta Business
Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance
On June 29, 2012, Van Eck Associates Corporation acquired a Hedge Fund Beta business and team from Lyster Watson & Company, and will be offering a suite of strategies called Trackers.
Asset Managers Bullish on Alts
Asset managers predict alternative mutual funds to make up 9.7% of mutual fund assets in five years, and rise further to 15.8% of assets in 10 years, according to new research by Cerulli Associates.
Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater On The “Self Re-Inforcing Global Decline”
The world’s largest hedge fund is not as sanguine about the hope that remains in the markets today. The firm’s founder, Ray Dalio, who has written extensively on the good, bad, and ugly of deleveragings, sounds a rather concerned note in his latest quarterly letter to investors as the ” developed world remains mired in the deleveraging phase of the long-term debt cycle “
Banks & Brokers
Morgan Stanley Shares Slump as Earnings Miss Estimates
New York Times
Morgan Stanley said on Thursday that it had swung to a profit in the second quarter, but it missed expectations. Revenue fell as the firm contended with the doldrums that have descended on the banking industry.
Morgan Stanley Joins Citigroup in Job-Cut Push Amid Slump
Morgan Stanley (MS) and Citigroup Inc. (C) are among Wall Street firms preparing to eliminate jobs as first-half revenue dropped for a third straight year.
Morgan Stanley Dives 5%, Something’s Gotta Give, Meredith Whitney Says
Unlike big retail banks like BofA and JPMorgan Morgan Stanley is more reliant on its investment banking business to do well. Unfortunately for its investors, it hasn’t.
Barclays the biggest Libor liar? No, that may have been Citi
A trio of studies indicates that Citigroup understated its borrowing costs more than others.
ICAP Wins 2012 Best IDB Award from Waters Publishing
ICAP, the world’s leading interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services, announced today that it has won for the second year in a row the “Best Interdealer Brokerage” award in the Waters Rankings 2012 Awards. The winners of the awards were officially announced last night in New York City at an industry event.
Instinet Named Best EMS Provider by Readers of Waters
Instinet Incorporated, a global leader in electronic trading and agency-only brokerage services, today announced it has been named “Best Execution Management System Provider” in the 2012 Waters Rankings for its Newport 3 EMS.
Credit Agricole says not accused in interest rate scandal
AFP via Yahoo! News
French bank Credit Agricole said on Thursday that it has “not been accused of any wrongdoing” in the interest rate rigging scandal that has cost the jobs of top executives at Barclays Bank.
Has JPMorgan Lost Its Way?
John Pierpont Morgan must be spinning in his grave. In the wake of revelations about billions of dollars in high-risk trading losses and brokers pushing proprietary mutual funds, the preeminent bank old JP created seems more like an out of control “boiler room” than a venerable institution.
UBS Americas Chairman Wolf Leaves to Start Advisory Firm
Robert Wolf , the chairman of UBS AG ’s Americas unit and one of Wall Street’s top supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama , is leaving the Swiss bank after 18 years to start an advisory firm.
ANZ CEO Says Will Stay Course, Create Super-Regional Bank
Chief Executive of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Mike Smith, said he will stay the course in his current role as he strives to turn Australia’s third-largest lender by market value into a super-regional bank.
E*TRADE Financial Corporation Announces Second Quarter 2012 Results
KBW, Inc. to Report Second Quarter and First Half 2012 Financial Results on August 2, 2012
Uproar Over Rate Reaches Germany
FRANKFURT—German banks are caught in the cross hairs of the global investigations into rate manipulations. Deutsche Bank AG and the now-defunct WestLB AG were both given positions on the panel that created the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, considered a prestigious posting at the time for a foreign bank.
Clearing & Settlement
Omgeo Named Best Exceptions and Reconciliation Management Provider in 2012 Waters Rankings
Omgeo, the global standard for post-trade efficiency, today announced that it has been named “Best Exceptions and Reconciliation Management Provider” in the Waters Rankings for the third year in a row. The tenth annual Waters Rankings winners were selected by a survey of Waters’ 10,000 subscribers, including market participants and readers of Waters magazine, a financial markets technology publication.
Indexes & Products
Teucrium’s Gilbertie: Futures ETFs Are Safe
IndexUniverse.com via Yahoo! Finance
Amid all the worry about crooked brokers, futures-based ETFs come out smelling like roses, Teucrium’s Gilbertie says.
BlackRock Investments Canada Inc. Announces Final July Distributions on Certain Exchange Traded Funds
ProShares Launches First Geared Australian Dollar ETFs
UBS Continues Expansion in MLP ETF World, Launches AMU
RTS webinar: Quant & Technical Power Trading: Leveraging Cutting Edge Tools for Profit
Join us for an interactive webinar on August 1st where a panel of distinguished experts will discuss Quantitative and Technical trading. Our panel will offer views on trading opportunities and how to best optimize your strategies in today’s markets.
No Jail Time for Cooperating Witness in Galleon Case
New York Times
Anil Kumar, a former top partner at the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company, was a crucial witness for the government in its cases against the hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam and a former Goldman Sachs board member, Rajat K. Gupta.
SEC Charges CEO With Insider Trading in Secondary Offering of Company Stock
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the chairman and CEO of a Santa Ana, Calif.-based computer storage device company with insider trading in a secondary offering of his stock shares with knowledge of confidential information that a major customer’s demand for one of its most profitable products was turning out to be less than expected.
SEC Charges Chicago-Based Consulting Firm and Executives With Accounting Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Chicago-based consulting firm and two of its former executives with accounting violations that overstated the company’s income for multiple years.
FSA secures redress for victims of boiler room scam
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has secured a court order against Sinaloa Gold Plc (Sinaloa) and one of its directors, Glen Lawrence Hoover, a United States resident, which will see money returned to 79 UK victims of a boiler room scam.
Former investment company director pleads guilty following ASIC investigation
Environmental & Energy
Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
**RKB — Hot weather not forceful enough, this beefy beat ‘em-with-science piece leads with the Colorado fires and eventually gets to “aborting” Kentucky corn kernels and broken arctic ice. Loaded with quotes from global leaders to bankers to lab rats, its number-crunching wake-up call is effective so go ahead and invest the time. You’ll sound geek-chic at parties.
UN sees future for carbon scheme despite price drop
The United Nations’ carbon offset market has a long future in helping the world curb man-made greenhouse gas emissions, even with carbon prices at record lows, the executive chairman of the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) said on Thursday.
Carbon prices plunge yet again amid backloading delay rumors
Analysts have warned carbon prices in the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) could plunge to new depths of below 6 euro (4.70 sterling) a tonne if uncertainty around the commission’s plans to solve a glut of permits in the market continues.
China is outgrowing its financial system
By Henny Sender – Financial Times
At the beginning of July, a mix of the most thoughtful Chinese and foreign policy makers, academics and market practitioners gathered in Shanghai for the annual Lujiazui financial forum. The economic backdrop wasn’t great. Europe continues at the edge of the precipice while the US has lost momentum and emerging markets are also slowing. The world still hasn’t recovered from the global financial crisis made in the US and swiftly exported to much of the world.
China Brokerages Hit by Weak Stock Market
Derivatives Trading after the Launch of “Night Session” -1 Year has Passed Since the Launch-
Osaka Securities Exchange Co., Ltd.
(OSE) successfully started “Night Session” (Trading hours: 16:30 to 3:00 on the next day) for Stock Index Futures and Options trading(*1) on July 19, 2011 (trading day of July 20, 2011), and today, 1 year has passed since the launch. The trading volume of the first year of “Night Session” was as follows.
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission Offers Practical Guidance On How To Ascertain Key Risks Before Investing
Press Conference By Tadahiro Matsushita, Japan’s Minister For Financial Services – Insider Trading – Manipulation Of LIBOR – Possible Manipulation Of TIBOR
NASDAQ Dubai Welcomes US$ 500 Million Emaar Sukuk To Its Market
NASDAQ Dubai, the region’s international exchange, today welcomed the listing of a US$ 500 million Sukuk on its market by Emaar Properties PJSC, the Dubai-based global property developer.
QNB & Standard Chartered, Additional Custodians To Start Activity At Qatar Exchange
Following their recent licensing by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA), Qatar National Bank and Standard Chartered Bank have now respectively signed a Depositary Agreement with Qatar Exchange to start Custody activities, raising the number of custodians working in the Qatari market , including HSBC, to three.
PwC says emerging markets to drive revenue growth
Reuters via Yahoo! News
Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers expects a third of its global revenues to come from developing markets by 2016, up from 19 percent now, as its clients look for attractive returns away from crisis-hit mature economies.