Daily Archives: July 24, 2017

Calypso Acquires Stake in Sernova Financial

Merged activity to boost investor participation to centralised clearing

SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Calypso Technology, Inc., a leading provider of capital markets and investment management software, announced today that it has acquired a minority stake in the capital of Sernova Financial, a provider of Cloud-based clearing and post trade services.

Powered by the Calypso Cloud platform, Sernova Financial recreates the shared infrastructure and service items of clearing brokers. By reducing the transaction costs and providing optimal workflows, Sernova lowers the barriers to centralised clearing for regional banks and investment managers.

“Calypso seeks to make the financial markets really work on Cloud,” said Calypso CEO Pascal Xatart. “Our investment and partnership with Sernova Financial will broaden the markets we serve by providing the industry with a turnkey cloud-based solution to access the Centralised Clearing Counterparties (CCPs) network”.

Venkatesh Ramasamy, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Sernova Financial, added, “Calypso entry into our capital strengthens our technical and commercial partnership with a recognised industry leader. Regulatory hurdles have reduced the number of clearing brokers and increased the cost of their services. Providing unrivalled cost and operational efficiency, Sernova needed to expand its product coverage to address a soaring demand”.

Calypso was recently awarded the 2016 Technology Provider of the Year by Asia Risk Magazine, Best OTC Clearing and Risk Management System Implementation, in collaboration with Hong Kong Exchange, by Asian Banker 2017, and Software Vendor Platform of the Year by QA-Financial, 2017.

About Calypso Technology, Inc.

Calypso Technology, Inc. is a Cloud-enabled provider of cross-asset front-to-back technology solutions for financial markets. Its award-winning solutions improve reliability, adaptability and scalability across several verticals, including capital markets, investment management, central banking, clearing, treasury & liquidity, and collateral. For the past 20 years, Calypso has delivered innovative software for trading, risk management, processing, and accounting, bringing simplicity to complex challenges. Clients benefit from increased efficiency, better allocation of capital, faster regulatory compliance, quicker time to market, and reduced TCO.

With over 35,000 users in over 60 countries, Calypso is on the cutting-edge of emerging technologies like big data, blockchain and AI. “Calypso” is a registered trademark of Calypso Technology, Inc. in the U.S., EU and other jurisdictions. Other parties’ trademarks or service marks are the property of their respective owners and should be treated as such.

www.calypso.com

About Sernova Financial 
Sernova Financial is an innovative provider of turn-key post-trade services with a focus on clearing and extensions into back-office services such as collateral and integrated risk management. Sernova Financial’s solutions are designed and built by ex-prime service professionals of a top-tier global bank with specialization on intermediation, clearing, collateral, and risk management. Their solution is delivered in partnership with Calypso Technology and TCS.

www.sernovafinancial.com

Media Contacts:

Calypso Technology
Philippe Carrel
philippe_carrel@calypso.com
+44 7584 283778

Sernova Financial
Ulf Bacher
ulf.bacher@sernovafinancial.com
+44 2038133101

Minister Malusi Gigaba: OECD launch of South Africa’s 2017 Economic Survey

Mr. Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General

the esteemed delegation of the Secretary-General

top leadership of the National Treasury

ladies and gentlemen

Good morning. I welcome you all to this event in officially launching the 2017 Economic Survey of South Africa.

I particularly extend my sincerest gratitude to the Secretary-General and the OECD Mission, specifically for your efforts in conducting this assessment of South Africa’s economy. It is without doubt that South Africa is currently faced with difficult economic conditions that we are actively engaging with and responding to. The work initially undertaken by the OECD in collaboration with the government of South Africa is highly commendable.

South Africa engages with the OECD through the Enhanced Engagement Programme and is a key partner to the OECD. The SA-OECD cooperation is forward-looking and mutually beneficial, hence the commitment to policy exchange and practice dialogue. The release of Economic Surveys by the OECD forms part of knowledge exchange and best practices. The OECD is positioned as a global think tank on policy advice due to its comparative benchmarking practices with other countries.

It is worth highlighting some of the interconnections between what the government is doing together with some key recommendations of the survey. The Economic Survey is launched at an opportune time in which South Africa is addressing the challenges of unemployment and inclusive growth.

Growth has disappointed in the last few years. Weak consumer demand and persistently falling business investment have become a challenge worsened by slow growth of the global economy. In this context, reviving economic growth is crucial to increasing well-being, job creation and inclusivity.

The government has developed the 14-point Action Plan which has strong support from the President and Cabinet to address the challenges of slow domestic growth.

The Action Plan aims to accelerate progress, coordinate government efforts and act as a mechanism for accountability; and it has realistic, achievable objectives set against realistic and firm timelines. In some way, the Action Plan makes a genuine attempt to respond to some of the challenges raised in the OECD Economic Survey of South Africa, to provide political and policy certainty, raise consumer and business confidence, reignite growth in the economy and thus begin the path of raising our growth levels faster, bigger, inclusively and on sustainable basis.

Ladies and gentlemen, we agree with the observations made in the 2017 Economic Survey that, among others, boosting entrepreneurship and growing small businesses will contribute to creating jobs. We also agree that, notwithstanding the above, entrepreneurship in South Africa is low compared to other emerging economies. Steps have been taken to ease starting a business and the Department of Small Business Development is currently addressing the red tape associated with starting a small business through simplification of procedures.

The government is in the process of finalising a complementary government fund aimed at financing SMMEs in start-up phase. We further agree with the observation that the quality of the education system and lack of work experience contribute to gaps in entrepreneurial skills and, in that regard, government policies will provide more support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. We have identified a significant role that could be played by State-Owned Companies (SOCs) in advancing the objectives of employment and inclusive growth, particularly targeting micro enterprises and black owned small businesses.

For example, from April 2017, 30% of every large contract must be, where feasible, sub-contracted to SMMEs. We acknowledge that more needs to be done with regards to effecting rigorous monitoring and evaluation to ensure robust implementation of this imperative. We believe that this forms part of the developmental mandate of the State Owned Companies and will be strongly integrated in their Corporate Plans, monitored and evaluated through annual performance plans and implementation. The recent digitisation of procurement processes means that these changes can be monitored closely. Lastly, we believe that further reforms in the Telecommunications sector would be supportive of entrepreneurs and small businesses through reduction of costs to do business.

Government is taking actions to issue policy directives mandating ICASA to commence the licensing processes and we would like to complete the spectrum licensing process by the end 2018. Another key initiative is to direct the Competition Commission to investigate data prices. We are also taking steps to commence with the roll-out of the broadband programme. These would further reduce the cost of doing business in line with our efforts to grow SMMEs.

Ladies and gentlemen, government recognises that the sustainable South African economic growth is intricately linked to the growth of the SADC region. Slow growth and a rise in unemployment contribute to a decline in consumer demand. It is in this context that we agree with the observations made in the Economic Survey that regional integration offers substantial opportunities for South Africa and that more efforts should be directed in the implementation of existing SADC protocols and agreements. In this regard reducing non-tariff barriers by improving customs procedures and simplifying rules of origin would strengthen intra- regional trade in SADC.

It is important for South Africa to play a leadership role in demonstrating the benefits of regional integration. Intra-trade in the SADC region remains constrained by the infrastructure bottlenecks. In this regard, we are working with the Multilateral Development Banks for co-financing of the cross-border infrastructure. South Africa prioritizes addressing the challenges associated with intra-SADC trade through the implementation of the industrialisation plans and strategies. For example, the South African government in partnership with the SADC Secretariat and the Southern African Business Forum are co-hosting the SADC industrialisation week from 31 July to 4 August 2017 in Johannesburg. This SADC industrialisation week seeks to address all the issues surrounding intra-SADC-trade.

In conclusion, we commend the OECD for its partnership with South Africa and look forward to the successful completion of the Secretary-General’s visit.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

Gauteng pays tribute to Ronnie Mamoepa

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has expressed sorrow at the news of the passing of distinguished communicator and anti-apartheid activist, Ronnie Mamoepa.

Mamoepa died on Saturday at the age of 56, following complications arising from a stroke he suffered last month.

At the time of his death, Mamoepa was a spokesperson for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

On behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Government, let me pass our heartfelt condolences to the Mamoepa family, friends, comrades and the entire government communications fraternity. We would like to urge them to remain strong during this difficult time, said Premier Makhura.

Family spokesperson Groovin Nchabeleng said the Mamoepa family is still in shock as it comes to terms with the passing away of their brother, father and uncle.

He said the family appreciates the support, condolences, as well as messages of comfort that continue to pour in from around the country and on the different social media platforms.

The family held a prayer service on Sunday. Nchabeleng said there will be a prayer session every day from Monday from 6pm to 7pm.

The family will announce details of the memorial service on Monday. Those who wish to send their condolences through social media platforms may use #RIPRonnie, said Nchabeleng.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Swaziland Cuts HIV Infection Rate in Half

The U.S. government says the HIV epidemic is “coming under control” in Swaziland, the country with the world’s highest prevalence of the virus.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) said Monday that new infections among adults in Swaziland have dropped by nearly half since 2011. It said the latest research also shows that life-saving anti-retroviral treatment has doubled in the country during the same time period and now reaches over 80 percent of infected adults.

PEPFAR has focused much of its efforts on increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs for over 11 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Monday’s statement also says the southern African nations of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe “demonstrate significant progress toward controlling the HIV epidemics.”

The U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Deborah Birx, said “These unprecedented findings demonstrate the remarkable impact of the U.S. government’s efforts … We now have a historic opportunity to change the very course of the HIV epidemic.”

The data shows that the number of people in Swaziland who have achieved a suppression of the virus – meaning the virus does not replicate to make them sick – has doubled since 2011.

While the results show large progress in combating the epidemic, it also reveals key gaps in HIV prevention and treatment. PEPFAR says the data shows that women ages 15-24 and men under age 35 are less likely to know their HIV status, be on HIV treatment, or be taking anti-retroviral drugs than older adults.

“These gaps are all areas in which PEPFAR continues to invest and innovate,” the statement said.

Swaziland’s government says about 27 percent of its population was HIV-positive in 2016, down from 31 percent of adults in 2011.

Source: Voice of America

MILITIAS RENEW ATTACKS IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC TOWN, KILL UN PEACEKEEPER

BANGUI, Christian militias in Central African Republic have launched several attacks in the town of Bangassou in recent days, attempting to seize a cathedral housing displaced Muslims and killing a Moroccan peacekeeper, the United Nations said on Sunday.

The incidents, including one on Sunday, came after attacks on the same diamond-mining town in May that killed at least 115 people and point to the inability of U.N. peacekeepers to contain violence in a country where government control barely extends outside the capital.

“The attack took place as the peacekeepers from the Moroccan contingent were escorting water trucks filling up in the river in order to meet the humanitarian needs of the town,” Vladimir Monteiro, spokesman for the 13,000-strong U.N. mission (MINUSCA), said of the Sunday incident.

Three others were injured, he added, in an attack he attributed to anti-balaka fighters drawn from the country’s Christian majority.

Fighters from the same group launched a foiled attack on Friday on the town’s cathedral that is housing hundreds of displaced Muslims who have been sheltering there since the May killings, Monteiro said.

Like some 500,000 others displaced in the country, many of those inside the cathedral have nowhere to return to since their homes were destroyed in the May killings.

Thousands have died in the ethnic and religious conflict that broke out when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias.

The latest incidents this weekend have prompted some 14 humanitarian organisations to suspend their activities in the town, 700 km (435 miles) east of Bangui on the Congolese border, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

An official at French medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres, which operates the local hospital, confirmed fresh shootings on Sunday. But she said the charity remained present.

Violence has escalated since former colonial power France ended its peacekeeping mission in the country last year that once had as many as 2,000 soldiers. It continues despite a peace deal signed between the government and rival factions in Rome last month.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK