Friday, 4 January 2013

China's securities regulator goes ahead with audit reform for funds

China’s securities regulator has announced plans to step up its reform of auditing practices in the funds industry, with a view to implementing a comprehensive audit system reform in China's funds sector. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said the audit reform was necessary to support fund management companies’ rapid development and broaden the sector’s products. The reform is expected to include measures to simplify auditing procedures, amend audit procedures and to introduce online auditing of fund products.

The CSRC said the reform would cancel a previous audit channel, and companies would be able to report directly back to the CSRC about the availability of their fund products according to market demand.

The CSRC also said the audit period would be shortened, and conventional products should be audited within 20 working days. Conventional products include common equity or hybrid securities, bond funds, index funds, money market funds, seed funds, Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) products and single-market exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

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Proposed new funds regulations will raise compliance standards in China, says lawyer

Proposed new Chinese regulations allowing a wider range of companies to manage funds will require higher compliance standards and more resources to be allocated internally to compliance, said a Beijing lawyer. In a recent regulatory consultation, China’s securities regulator said entities such as securities companies, insurance fund management companies and private securities fund management institutions would be allowed to develop and manage mutual funds that solicit investment from the public.

TieCheng Yang, a partner at Clifford Chance in Beijing, told Compliance Complete that the move would impose further compliance requirements on the companies affected.

"From a compliance perspective, the newly-permitted asset managers, including private fund managers, securities companies and insurance fund management companies, shall be subject to additional compliance requirements under the new rules and other laws, such as the amended Securities Investment Funds Law and regulations applicable to the management of publicly-raised funds," said Yang.

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Friday, 21 December 2012

Taiwan banks face higher systemic risk in the long run, says Fitch

Taiwan banks can be expected to face higher systemic risk in the long run due to increasing opportunities for credit exposure to Taiwanese companies operating in China, according to a new report from ratings agency Fitch Ratings. Cherry Huang, an analyst at Fitch, told Compliance Complete that an increasing number of loans made by Taiwan banks to Taiwanese companies operating in mainland China could increase systemic risk in the island's banking system.

In a recent report on the outlook for banks in Asia-Pacific, Fitch said that while Taiwanese banks' China-related credit would remain around eight percent of total assets in the coming year, the condition could become riskier in the longer term.

Banks in Taiwan are lobbying the island's financial regulator, the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC), to lift the regulatory ceiling for China-related credit exposure. However, the Fitch report pointed out that China was ranked highest in terms of systemic risk, according to a micro-prudential index (MPI), whereas Taiwan was ranked near the bottom.

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Chinese corporate issuers should improve information disclosure and corporate governance, says Fitch

First-time Chinese corporate issuers have been urged by Fitch Ratings to improve their post-bond deal information disclosure and make sure they pass on adequate information to international bond investors promptly.

Matt Jamieson, the head of APAC Research at Fitch Ratings, told Compliance Complete that due to a lack of experience, Chinese corporate issuers often did not understand the requirements for information disclosure to international bond investors. He said their delayed pace of information disclosure prohibited investors from being sufficiently updated on the current affairs of the companies they have invested in.

In a recent report, Fitch said some investors had expressed frustration that the level of communication from many Chinese corporate treasury teams had been extremely poor, when compared to other multinational corporates issuing bonds.

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Hua Xia case highlights regulatory risks posed by mis-selling, says lawyer

A recent case involving the suspected mis-selling of a wealth management product by Hua Xia Bank in China has showcased the risks banks face from individual sales staff acting on their own, according to a Beijing lawyer. Her comments followed an announcement earlier in December that a former employee of the bank had mis-sold a high-risk wealth management product (WMP) to a customer without explaining the risks involved. The WMP later stopped making repayments.

The Hua Xia incident was an extreme example of how things could go wrong, and reflected a failure by the bank's risk management department to spot the risk, said Jane Jiang, partner at law firm Allen & Overy in Beijing. She said the case revealed that the contractual relationship between the bank and its customers was not clear. If the former Hua Xia employee sold WMPs at the bank’s counter, the bank arguably gave implied authorisation by allowing such WMPs to be sold at the bank, said Jiang.

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Friday, 14 December 2012

Chinese life insurers face new risks and challenges from investment liberalisation

Chinese life insurers face new investment risks from issues such as complexity and non-transparency, after the country’s insurance regulator earlier this year broadened the investment scope for insurers by allowing them to hold a wider range of investments, said a report by Fitch Ratings.

Joyce Huang, director of Fitch Ratings’ Asia-Pacific insurance team and author of the report, told Compliance Complete that life insurance companies in China need to be fully prepared to face challenges posed by the range of new investment products.

"Generally, products will be more complicated, [and] it is not that transparent compared to if [life insurance] companies buy government bonds or corporate bonds," she said. "Usually they [government and corporate bonds] have ratings -- that would be the main difference. Liquidity can also be an issue due to no secondary market being available."

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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Training and culture vital to ensuring strong compliance, conference hears

The compliance profession is a people industry, and employers need to understand why they are training people and how training will affect their company’s business, said speakers at a Hong Kong conference. In a panel debate on compliance and training at the third Pan-Asian Regulatory Summit in Hong Kong, organised by Thomson Reuters, panellists said training and a culture of compliance was key to avoiding a wide range of risks such as reputational damage and fines.

David Nutman, regional head of compliance at Prudential in Asia, said at the conference that one of the other key factors for companies to consider was recognition for compliance officers.

"Recognition is very important, [it] is not just about positioning compliance from a financial point of view, it is equally about positioning them an organisation to influence and make a direction change in behaviour generally."

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

China's insurance regulator announces measures to improve sales conduct

Saturday, 19 May 2012

CSRC launches innovative officials rotation (re-write)

Recently, I read an article  from China Economics & Finance (Caixin Media), named as A New Spin on Regulation. It mainly talks about how the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has begun rotating officials to break up vested interest groups and clear way for innovation.

Last October, Guo Shuqing became CSRC's Chairman, who has ever since advocated less administrative interference in the country's securities markets .

"A key element in Guo's package of proposed reforms would replace an approval-based stock issuance system with a registration-based mechanism," staff reporter Lu Yuan writes on the China Economics & Finance. "But vested interests stand in the way of his overhaul plan."

The method is to replace officials occupying powerful positions at centre stage with those from behind the scenes. This means the nine key deparments officials would be moved to secondary departments, meanwhile, the vacancies would be filled by officials from outside the key departments.

The rotation began in early March, additionally, personal wishes would be considered during transfers.

One example saw Li Liang, a Columbia master graduate who also holds a Ph.D from the China Academy of Social Sciences, become the party Committee of China within CSRC. "Li's move is only one of the many for the CSRC recently and is intended to dislodge senior officials from posts that are vulnerable to exploitation and corruption." Lu writes.

"This time, among all regulatory bodies, the CSRC has carried out probably the most thorough job rotations," one of CSRC's officials told Lu.

According to the publication, CSRC does rotate its officials. Throughout the years, the regulatory body managed several rounds of executive job rotations, though it was deemed a procedure which has not so far affected the protected interests of key departments until the recent changes. 

CSRC employs more than 3,000 people nationwide, with 800 residing in Beijing.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Greece future (re-write piece)

The BBC Business reveals that Greece will have a fresh election on 17 June, due to the failure to form a coalition government on 6 May.

The event raised concerns over Greece's membership within Eurozone.

Tuesday's election showed that there was no party to win a parliamentary majority. Since then, there has been deadlock over whether Greece should continue to go ahead with the austerity measures required by an international bailout agreement.

The BBC reports that recent opinion polls suggest the leftist bloc Syriza, which opposes the tough bailout conditions, would win a new election, but would still not gain enough for a parliamentary majority.

EU officials were in talks concerning Greece's future – if Greece elects an anti-bailout government in June, the country would exit Eurozone.

The rest of the markets has also been affected by the crisis, which has seen Asian stocks are pushed lower on Wednesday and oil prices are knocked down.

Additionally, the uncertainty over the Euro has also sparked concern over a run on the Greek banks.

European leaders indicate that they will cut off funding for Greece, if the country rejects the bailout agreement sealed in March, and there would be no further discussion on its bailout.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, talked about the possibility of orchestrating an “orderly exit” for Greece from the eurozone.

“It is something that would be extremely expensive and would pose great risks, but it is part of options that we must technically consider.”

The newly elected French president Francois Hollande also expressed his opinion that he would prefer Greece to remain in the Euro.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

JP Morgan trading loss story (re-write)

JP Morgan Chase's shares value has plunged by 9% after its trading loss amounting to $2 billion (£1.2 billion), which subsequently resulted in a notch loss from a leading rating agency, the BBC Business reveals. 

It is believed that the loss is related to a London-based credit trader Bruno Iksil, who amassed an outsized position which hedge funds bet against. The bank has ruled out the strategy used in the loss trades is proprietary trade, which is prohibited by the so-called Volcker rule.

The regulators are now finalising Volcker rule, and are also pressed ahead to ensure the supposed “hedging” by JP Morgan would be covered in an expansive clamp down.

The head of SEC Mary Schapiro told the BBC that “all the regulators are focused on this”.

According to the Reuters, the bank's chief executive Jamie Dimon said it was not clear whether the bank had broken any law or violated any rules. “We've had audit, legal, risk, compliance, some of our best people looking at all of that.”

The losses prompted Richard Fisher, the President of Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, to call for the break-up of the top five U.S. Banks, and to say he is worried the biggest banks do not have adequate risk management.

Added to that, the debacle also undermines confidence in other U.S. banking shares, with Citygroup closing 4.2% lower, Goldmans Sachs falling 3.9% and Morgan Stanley losing 4.2%.

According to the BBC, Fitch downgraded the bank's debt from A plus to AA minus, and forecasts another downgrade could be possible in the next six months, even though the scale of the loss was “manageable”.

JP Morgan was believed to be in a much healthy condition than many other banks after avoiding risky investments in the 2008 financial crisis.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

News writing - one

Question One

A federation in Yeltham is teaming up with local Crime Prevention Panel to tackle fear of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Yeltham Neighbourhood Watch Federation has undertaken a survey in conjunction with the Panel, and they find out the impact of fear of crime on people's lives is as great as the crime itself.

It reveals no fewer than 62 per cent of people aged 70 said they were too frightened to go out alone after dark because of the fear of being attacked and robbed.

The Federation chairman Rob Littler said: “It is very sad they sould feel this way.

“They were not referring to night-time trips into the town centre – they were talking about going out in the dark in their own communities.”

Jeffrey Steele, chairman of Yeltham Crime Prevention Panel, said: “The servey highlighted the fears of some of our widely varying comunities and has allowed us to identify one particular problem where we believe we can help.”

Other findings show under 68 per cent of respondents said they were worried about their cars being broken into, while 72 per cent said they were afraid of being burgled.

Vandalism has relatively little impact in part of town, but 57 per cent in some estates said they were worried about noisy youngsters hanging about on street corners after dark and creating problem.

Both organisations have decided to purchase 1,000 door safety chains, which will help pensioners to reduce the fear of answering door to strangers for fear of being robbed or conned.

Gerald Parkins, chairman of the Lupsham Estate Community Association, Yeltham, said: “Pensioners are very fearful and there are two members of our committee who are skilled workmen and would be willing to provide their time free of charge to fit door chains.”

Chief Inspector Antony Wardell of Yeltham Police said: “Fear of crime is also an important issue because this can impact equally on people's live."

(325 words)

Question Two:

A pensioner has been robbed at 8:45am at his doorstep in Beck Road, Ilworth by three men pretended as gardenders.

The 84-year-old widower has been kept talking by two men while the third entered the house by the unlocked back door.

He stole a wallet, containing £55 notes and loose change, on the kitchen table.

The two at the front door were in their 30s, rough appearnace with fair-haired and local accents.

Anyone with information contact us on 412311.

(80 words)

Question Three

A number of dead fish has been found in the smallest pond at Yeltham Park this morning.

The loss might be natural causes, could be pollution or vandalism

The remaining fish will be kept in quarantine until the reason been found.

Anyone with information contact environmental health department on 375222.

(50 words)

Question Four


The manager of the GP:

How does the axed bus service affect the GP's practice?
When did the axed bus service start to serve the local community?
What is the percentage of patients who are late for appointments?
What has the surgery done so far since the incident happened?
Do you know why the bus company made such a decision?
Which part of the day do most people arrive late?

Representative of the local residents association:

How does the axed bus service affect local resients' appointments with their GPs?
What is the local people's attitude towards the bus company's decision?
What has the residents association done towards the axed bus service?
Are there any alternative routes that people can use to get to their GPs?
How long do the residents have to wait for the No 126 bus to arrive?

No 126 bus company manager:

Why did your company decide to axe the no 126 service?
Is there any other alternative way to solve the problem?
Has your company considered the problems it might cause to local residents?
Does your company propose any new plan to tackle the problem?
How long will the axed service last?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

My days at The Independent on Sunday

I've been at The Independent on Sunday newsroom for two-week-and-three-day, and I've enjoyed my stay so far.

The paper is at the same building as the Daily Mail group, at Northcliff House. The building's just around the corner of High Street Kensington tube station.

My internship is mainly research based, and I've been researching for different stories, such as NHS healthcare reform, the UK agriculture, coalition government leaders' wealthy friends etc.

Last week, the paper's foreign news-desk editor asked me to write a piece about what the life was like when growing up in China during the one-child-policy years.

He wanted something original and personal, and can be compared to local teenages' life here.

Since the paper is a sunday paper, reporters usually work from Tuesday to Saturday, and they've got Monday off. People there are generally lovely and helpful, and it's a great team to work with.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Small business hit hard due to the credit crunch

One of the hardest hit interior stores in Beeton is to close today due to the present economic downturn.

While Tindall Shopfitters Ltd has just been shortlisted for a national award as Retail Interiors' Store-fit Company of the Year, the firm's 22 staff are facing job cuts, according to the managing director Jameson Tindall.

Philip Platts, 57, metalworker and staff representative at the company said there were people weeping when they heard what was happening. “Some of us are of an age where we're unlikely to find new jobs, but that wasn't what we were crying about,” Said Philip.

“We were crying because this is the end of an era. Those who created the country's economic crisis have a lot to answer for,” He added.

In order to help staff find new employers, the family-run business in Gresley Street not only have held consultations with staff representatives, but also has been talking to the town's Chamber of Commerce.

Chief executive officer of Beeton Chamber of Commerce Harold Livesey said: “The economic maelstrom has led to a clutch of firms in Beeton getting into difficulties and a couple have closed down.

“We know there are others on the brink of collapse so the local outlook is mostly gloomy. All our recent surveys of members continue to show a declining level of business activity.”

The credit crunch has reduced the firm's sales to almost non-existent levels but late payment by clients has been a major problem too.

Matt Adsley, the spokesman from the Association of Small Businesses which headquartered in Beeton, said: “It is very unfortunate when one of our members, such as Tindall Shopfitters, has to close its doors, especially when it is a company with such a good reputation."

The company, with a reputation of high quality shop and warehouse fittings production, has been operating for over six decades, and this year it is supposed to mark its diamond anniversary.

A charity bazaar to raise money for the British Heart Foundation

A charity bazaar will be held to raise £500 for the British Heart Foundation.

The event, organised by St Peter's Church, is to commemorate its treasurer Arnold Higgs, who died from a fatal heart attack.

It starts at 10am this Saturday morning at the church hall in Stanley street.

Internship at The Independent on Sunday

I was totally thrilled when I received my one-month Internship Award at The Independent on Sunday.

The award is run by the paper in conjuction with my journalism training centre – noSWeat Journalism Training. It aims to reward the best trainee journalists, in terms of their work in class, general attitude to journalism training, and to the college in particular.

Only two students, including both full/part timers from the 2009 intake, scooped the award.

From my side, I've been to different newsrooms in this country as an intern for long, and I could have even dubbed myself an internship/work experience professional.

But none of them have been an internship/work placement like this before – it's really a recognition of all the hard work and dedication that I've been throwing into my studies, which I should be really proud of!

On top of that, tutors' full support at the college also helped me a lot to grab this opportunity.

In my opinion, the process of training journalists can sometimes be rather painful and difficult.

Just the Teeline Shorthand alone could scare a dozen, never mind the more complicated tasks such as being expected to understand all the local/central government stuff, or remembering the media law aspect when court reporting.

As far as I am concerned, the pass rate of Teeline Shorthand is only 24% nationwide. And of course, it should mean passing 100 words per minute or above, which is an industry standard.

When a student qualifies as a trainee, recognised by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), he or she is expected to complete at least 18 months' on-the-job training in a local newspaper or any publication that offers a junior reporting role.

The trainee is expected to cover all sorts of stories on the job, ranging from local council meetings, residents group gatherings, fundrasing parties, road accidents, magistrates/crown court reporting, to post offices or banks' closure, and any bits and bobs that concern the local community most.

After successfully completing the 18 months, trainee reporters are then entitled to take the National Certificate Exam (NCE) in a bid to be fully-qualified as a senior reporter, which is the final stage of the whole journalist training process.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Bogus collectors steal clothes for charity

Bogus collectors in Beeton are stealing clothes donated to a charity.

Yesterday 25 plastic charity bags were stolen from streets in Dalton.

Amanda Powney, secretary of the Beeton branch of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “This is a particularly mean type of theft that has a direct impact on the money we raise to fund our specialist nurses.”

The official Macmillan van used for pickups has a side-logo printed in dark green and lime.

Anyone with information should contact 08448732199.

Century-old hide is to be restored

A more than century-old hide is to be restored in a bid to build up an eco-friendly community in Ilworth.

The 170-year-old hide, erected by the well-known Victorian naturalist Sir Hnery Swire, was the last remaining stone-built hide in Holme Part Wood on the western outskirts of Ilworth, according to the Community Service Committee Chairman Stanley Hucksley at the Rotary Club of Ilworth.

Andrew Nicolson, Ilworth Council's Countryside and Conservation manager, said: “This is a wonderful project that has our full support. Our foresters are already working on improvements to the footpaths in parts of the wood near the hide.”

The project, which will mark the Rotary Club's 60th anniversary, was funded by a Heritage Initiative Lottery grant of £25,000, according to Stanley.

The council says it wishes to enhance and protect the local community. “We shall use the Rotary project as a springboard to setting up a Friends of Holme Park Wood group,” said Andrew.

Local schools and community groups will be involved in working with Rotarians. Colin Moran, Head teacher of Holme Grove Junior and Infants School, said: “A scheme such as this will provide tremendous impetus for a whole series of school-based projects.

“It is to be greatly welcomed and the Rotary club is to be congratulated on its intiative.”

In addition to restoring the hide, the club is planning to improve public accesss, enhancing existing footpaths and opening up at least one other.

Bill Ivanson, environmental officer for the club talked about the hide's dilapidated condition as he lives near the wood and has long been aware of the last remaining bird hide.

He said: “When the club asked for ideas for an environmental scheme to mark our diamond jubilee, I had no hesitation in offering this is a project.”

Part of the grant will be used to set up a series of lectures talking about Sir Henry, who is famous for his groundbreaking work.