Daily Archives: July 14, 2015

Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 19:30 (Kyiv time), 13 July 2015

This report is for the media and the general public.

The SMM monitored the implementation of the “Package of measures for the implementation of the Minsk agreements.” Its monitoring was restricted by third parties and security considerations*. The SMM observed 50 ceasefire violations at and around Donetsk airport. The situation around Shyrokyne remained calm. The SMM continued to facilitate demining and repair work on a major water-supply system between Maiorsk and Horlivka. The SMM monitored the security situation in Mukacheve and Right Sector protests across Ukraine.

The SMM from its base in “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled Donetsk city centre heard at least 16 incoming and outgoing artillery explosions 3km to the south-south-west in the early morning hours. The security situation calmed during the day, with fewer observed explosions than in previous days. Between 08:00 and 18:00hrs at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at Donetsk central railway station (8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM heard 50 mortar explosions and small arms and light weapons (SALW) fire[1]  – a significant reduction from three days earlier on 10 July, for example, when the SMM observed more than 600 explosions there (see SMM Daily Report 11 July 2015).

The SMM followed up on observations and reports of shelling by visiting towns including Krasnohorivka (government-controlled, 21km west of Donetsk). There, the head of the civilian-military administration and, independently, several civilians described incoming tank fire between 3:30 and 4:00hrs. The SMM observed six fresh craters and one impact on a residential building – and concluded that the craters had been caused by 125mm main battle tank (MBT) incoming rounds fired from the east-south-east.

The SMM continued, for the second week, to facilitate vital repair work to the water-supply system around “DPR”-controlled Horlivka (39km north-east of Donetsk) – following the cancellation of planned work on 12 July because of security concerns after ceasefire violations the previous two days (see SMM Daily Report 13 July 2015). The SMM continued to hear sporadic mortar shelling in the morning, 32 mortar (82mm) explosions west of the SMM’s position in Horlivka – though the SMM could not determine if the mortar rounds were incoming or outgoing. While at the government-controlled checkpoint at Maiorsk (45km north-east of Donetsk), after 13:00hrs the SMM also heard sporadic incoming and outgoing mortar shelling (82mm and 120mm) to the north-east and then, after 15:30hrs, SALW fire to the east-south-east. The SMM maintained close contact with JCCC representatives at Soledar headquarters as well as with Ukrainian Armed Forces and “DPR” commanders on site to help maintain the ceasefire. The repair crew was able to complete its work for the day by 16:30hrs.

At the Novoazovsk (“DPR”-controlled, 53km east of Mariupol) international border crossing point between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, the SMM observed a calm situation with a dozen trucks waiting to cross into the Russian Federation. The “DPR” “border guard” “commander” said an average of 150 trucks passed back and forth daily – bringing food, diesel fuel and construction material to Ukraine, and transporting Ukrainian food and steel/metal products to the Russian Federation. He added that four of the trucks, which the SMM saw had Russian Federation license plates, had delivered a shipment of humanitarian aid in the form of bottled water to “DPR”-controlled Donetsk region.

At a Ukrainian Armed Forces checkpoint near government-controlled Volnovakha (53km south-west of Donetsk), the SMM observed a 2.4km line of civilian vehicles waiting to cross into “DPR”-controlled areas of Donetsk region – more than twice as long as in recent weeks. Travellers, six men and four women, spoke of wait-times of up to eight hours. Meanwhile, on the other side of the checkpoint, the SMM observed 800m line of civilian vehicles waiting to cross into government-controlled areas.

The general security situation in Luhansk region remained relatively calm, though the SMM observed three ceasefire violations in government-controlled Trokhizbenka (33km north-west of Luhansk). Some of the fire was observed at what the SMM concluded was a government training ground next to the town. The SMM also heard the sounds of five to seven single gunshots and two mortar rounds being fired near the contact line to the south. Later in the afternoon, the SMM heard at least 17 explosions caused by what it concluded to be incoming mortar and grenade fire to the south-south-west.

In Stanytsia Luhanska (government-controlled, 16km north-east of Luhansk) the SMM spoke with three civilians, two women and one man in their seventies, who identified themselves as residents of nearby Malynove (government-controlled, 19km north-east of Luhansk). They described the security situation in their village as calm during the day, but said they were regularly hearing SALW fire during the night. All three complained about the closure of the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge, saying it made it impossible for them to visit relatives or sell agricultural produce in “LPR”-controlled areas of the region.

The SMM revisited one “DPR” heavy weapons holding area. As on previous visits, the SMM observed one previously recorded towed howitzer (2A65 Msta-B, 152mm) to be missing – with the site personnel saying, as they have before, that it was away for training.

Despite claims by all sides that heavy weapons had been withdrawn, the SMM continued to observe heavy weapons in areas proscribed by the Minsk arrangements: in “DPR”-controlled areas, a 120mm towed mortar. In government-controlled areas, the SMM observed a column of five MBTs (T-64). In addition, SMM unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) observed in “DPR”-controlled Komsomolske (45km south-east of Donetsk) one self-propelled howitzer and in “DPR”-controlled Bila Kamyanka (52km south of Donetsk) five MBTs.

The SMM continued to monitor the security situation in Mukacheve (Zakarpattia region, 152km south-west of Ivano-Frankivsk, 605km south-west of Kyiv), following the armed incident on 11 July which left reportedly two people killed and several others wounded (see SMM Spot Report 12 July 2015). The SMM observed an increased police presence. Residents expressed their concern that tensions might escalate. The deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine, who is leading the government task force investigating the Mukacheve incident, meanwhile informed the SMM that they continue to search for the Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor) members involved in the incident.

The SMM meanwhile continued to observe rallies in other parts of Ukraine by Right Sector members and supporters, many of whom were demanding an investigation into the Mukacheve incident while also protesting against what they described as state corruption, the slow pace of reform and the government’s policies towards volunteer battalions. The SMM visited an improvised checkpoint 5km west of Kyiv city on the side of highway M-06, consisting of tires, sandbags and pieces of metal. Seven young men were present, some wearing military uniforms with Right Sector insignia and some wearing balaclavas. The checkpoint was on the side of the highway and not blocking traffic – but the “commander” said it served as a symbol of Right Sector protest and also allowed them to track any movement of military equipment west. Outside the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs office in Odessa on 12 July, the SMM monitored a peaceful protest of some 125 Right Sector supporters – between 25 and 45-years old, including ten women. More than half of the protestors were wearing camouflage fatigues. The recently appointed Odessa chief of police addressed protesters – pledging to work with self-defence groups such as  the Right Sector and encouraging them to report any police wrongdoing. The SMM monitored a demonstration on Liberty Square in Kharkiv on 12 July, attended by some 100 Right Sector supporters, men and women, many wearing military fatigues. The square was closed to the public and guarded by a cordon of 50 police officers. The SMM in Dnepropetrovsk also monitored a peaceful protest on 13 July outside the city’s regional police headquarters by some 50 Right Sector supporters. Members of other volunteer battalions, Aidar and Dnipro-1, were also observed among the protesters. The SMM also monitored a smaller Right Sector rally in Zaporizhzhia.

The SMM continued to monitor the situations in Kherson, Lviv and Chernivtsi.

* Restrictions on SMM monitoring, access and freedom of movement:

The SMM is restrained in fulfilling its monitoring functions by restrictions imposed by third parties and security considerations, including the presence – and lack of information on the whereabouts – of mines and damaged infrastructure. The security situation in Donbas is fluid and unpredictable and the ceasefire does not hold everywhere. Self-imposed restrictions on movement into high-risk areas have impinged on SMM patrolling activities, particularly in areas not controlled by the government. Most areas along the Ukraine-Russian Federation international border have ordinarily been placed off limits to the SMM, particularly those controlled by the “LPR”. The SMM UAVs cannot operate in Luhansk region as it is beyond their range.

Denied access:

  • “DPR” armed persons at a checkpoint at Novoazovsk (40km east of Mariupol) refused the SMM entry to the town after a pre-arranged meeting with a military-police investigator there was unexpectedly cancelled, saying that because the meeting had been cancelled the SMM had no other reason to be there.

Interference with the UAV:

  • While flying over “DPR”-controlled Dzerkalnyi train station (45km south-east of Donetsk), the SMM UAV was jammed for three minutes.

[1]  For a complete breakdown of the ceasefire violations, please see the annexed table.                

SYZ acquiert Royal Bank of Canada(Suisse) SA

Genève,14juillet2015–Le groupe bancaire suisseSYZ poursuit son expansionavec la conclusion d’un accord en vue d’acquérir Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA. Avec près de CHF 10 milliards sous gestion, labanque privéesuisse de RBC est active principalement en Amérique Latine,en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient, des marchés complémentaires pour le Groupe SYZ,qui gèreraprès deCHF 40 milliards d’actifs après la transaction.Cette acquisition permet à SYZ de renforcer son empreinte internationale, d’améliorer sensiblement sa rentabilité et de réaliser d’importantes synergies.

Avec l’acquisition de la Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA, l’activité de banque privée du Groupe SYZ doublera ses avoirs sous gestion pour atteindre près de CHF 22 milliards et entrera ainsi dans le top 20 des banques privées en Suisse. Au total, le groupe gèrera près de CHF 40 milliards avec ses deux divisions Asset et Wealth Management.

Tout en gardant les spécificités qui ont fait le succès de RBC Suisse, notamment les excellentes performances de leurs équipes dans les marchés émergents, leurs compétences reconnues et la qualité du service, les clients des deux entités pourront bénéficier de la compétence reconnue de la Banque SYZ en matière de gestion de fortune. Depuis son origine, celle-ci propose en effet une approche innovante de la gestion. La Banque SYZ propose d’allier les avantages de la banque privée traditionnelle, en termes de solidité,d’indépendance et de qualité de relation, avecune orientation claire sur laperformance, obtenue grâce à des techniques d’investissementmodernes et une gestion active.

« Cette acquisition permet à la Banque SYZ d’accéder à de nouveaux marchés en Amérique Latine,en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient, des régions où l’esprit entrepreneurial, une de nos valeurs fondatrices, est en pleine expansion.Il s’agit d’une étape majeure dans la stratégie d’expansion du groupe. Je me réjouis d’accueillir ces nouvelles équipes au sein de notre structure et je suis convaincu que nous allons bénéficier de leurs nombreuses compétences.»a déclaré Eric Syz, CEO du Groupe.

La récente adoption de la solution bancaire Avaloq et l’externalisation d’une partie des activités opérationnelles auprès de B-Source permettra d’intégrer aisément les opérations de la banque privée suisse de RBC.

Cette transaction reste soumise à l’accord des autorités réglementaires suisses.

Pour tout renseignement complémentaire, prière de contacter:

Moreno Volpi
Tél.: +41 (0)58 799 16 98
E-mail: moreno.volpi@syzgroup.com

A propos de SYZ
Fondé en 1996 à Genève, le groupe bancaire suisse SYZ se concentre exclusivement sur la gestion  d’actifs à travers deux piliers complémentaires : la banque privée haut de gamme(Banque SYZ) et la gestion institutionnelle(SYZ Asset Management). SYZ compte 440 collaborateurs et une masse sous gestion de CHF 29 milliards (EUR 28 milliards). Outre le siège de la Banque à Genève, le groupe est implanté notamment à Zurich, Lugano, Locarno, Milan, Madrid, Londres, Luxembourg, Bruxelles, Paris, Dubaï, Nassau et Hong-Kong.

A propos de Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA
Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA, dont le siège se situe à Genève, fournit des services de banque privée, de crédit, de trust et de fiduciaire à des clients fortunés partout dans le monde, en particulier dans les marchés émergents, tels que l’Amérique latine, l’Afrique et le Moyen-Orient. Au 31 octobre 2014, le total des actifs sous gestion de la banque s’élevait à environ 10,1 milliards CHF.

SYZ Group acquires Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA

GENEVA, July 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GENEVA, July 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Swiss banking group SYZ continues to expand with the signing of an agreement to acquire Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA. With approximately CHF 10 billion in assets under management, the Swiss private banking subsidiary of RBC is chiefly active in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. These are complementary markets for SYZ Group, which will manage nearly CHF 40 billion in assets. This acquisition allows SYZ to extend its international footprint to raise its profitability and to deliver significant synergies.

With the acquisition of Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA, the assets under management of the private banking business of SYZ Group will double, reaching nearly CHF 22 billion and making it one of the top 20 largest private banks in Switzerland. In total, including its Asset Management and Wealth Management divisions, the Group will manage nearly CHF 40 billion in assets under management.

The clients will benefit from the recognised expertise of Banque SYZ in asset management while still being able to take advantage of the specific features that have made RBC Suisse a success, notably the recognised track record of its teams in the emerging markets, their renowned competences and the quality of their service. Since inception, Banque SYZ has offered an innovative approach to wealth management, combining the benefits of a traditional private bank in terms of solidity, independence and high-quality relationships with a clear commitment in terms of performance, which is obtained thanks to the most modern investment methods and a policy of active management.

“This acquisition will enable Banque SYZ to access new markets in Latin America, Africa and Middle East, where strong entrepreneurship, one of our founding values, is expanding. It also represents a major step forward in terms of the Group’s growth strategy. I am delighted to welcome these new teams to our organisation and I firmly believe that we will benefit enormously from their many skills.” stated Eric Syz, CEO of the Group.

The recent adoption of the banking solution Avaloq and the outsourcing of some operational activities to B-Source will enable the smooth integration of the operations of the Swiss private banking subsidiary of RBC.

This transaction is still subject to the approval of the Swiss regulatory authorities.

About SYZ Group
Founded in 1996 in Geneva, Swiss banking group SYZ focuses exclusively on asset management via two complementary pillars: high-end private banking (Banque SYZ) and asset management (SYZ Asset Management). SYZ employs 440 staff and has CHF 29 billion in assets under management (EUR 28 billion). Headquartered in Geneva, the Group also has offices in Zurich, Lugano, Locarno, Milan, Madrid, London, Luxembourg, Brussels, Paris, Dubai, Nassau and Hong Kong. www.syzgroup.com

About Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA
Headquartered in Geneva, Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse) SA provides private banking investment solutions, credit, trust and fiduciary services to high net worth clients globally, with a particular focus on emerging markets, including clients from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. It had approximately CHF10.1bn in total assets under management as at October 31, 2014.

CONTACT: Moreno Volpi
Tel.: +41 (0)58 799 16 98
Email: moreno.volpi@syzgroup.com