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Rule Financial records impressive growth by helping investment banks respond to regulatory pressures




IT consultancy celebrates 15th anniversary with increased revenues of 25%, the opening of a new development centre in Poland, and expansion in North America
Rule Financial, an independent provider of business consultancy, IT consultancy and IT services to the global investment banking community, today announces year-on-year growth in revenues of 25%, global expansion, and the recruitment of further banking domain specialists and technical experts.
With the need to meet the challenges brought about by global regulatory reforms such as Dodd-Frank and EMIR, investment banks are turning to the expert consultancy for assistance in meeting the strict regulatory guidelines, backed by an integrated and efficient onshore / nearshore delivery capability.
Now in its fifteenth year since Marcus Rule started the company in the City of London, the market demand for nearshore development has seen revenues generated from development in Poland trebling between 2012 and 2013, driving the requirement for a second development centre in the city of Poznań. In Q1 2013 the company expanded its New York office and opened a second US office in Boston, to cater for the growing demand from buyside firms. With the opening of these two new offices and further jobs created across its five other locations, the company has seen its global headcount rise to nearly 600.
Rule Financial has a leading team of domain experts that oversee the strategy, design and implementation of solutions for investment banks and other market participants, and has recently expanded the team with several new hires based in its London headquarters. Derek Perry and Emily Cates joined as specialists in operational processing and design, Neil Hookway joined as a specialist in treasury markets and change management, with Graham Wood completing the list of new hires, joining as a specialist in operational risk.
Testament to the expertise of the organisation, in Q4 2012 Rule Financial become one of only five consultancies to be awarded the LCH Clearnet CCP² accreditation, making it a trusted provider of business and technology solutions for clients connecting to the clearing house. Rule Financial’s commitment to excellence also saw its user centred design team gain award-winning recognition for a high-profile risk-management interface for a tier 1 investment bank.
Chris Potts, CEO, Rule Financial, said: “2012 was an outstanding year for Rule Financial, with the momentum continuing steadily into 2013. The company prides itself on providing the perfect mix of expertise and outstanding customer service, enabling us to meet a growing demand for our consultancy and technical skills. To ensure our people continue to deliver only the highest levels of service, we have rolled out our ‘talent opportunity programme’, as part of which our junior employees receive coaching and advice from our highly experienced practice heads and senior management.
The expansion in North America also provides a platform for us to begin working more closely with buyside firms, who (as our research into preparation for Dodd-Frank reforms in 2012 discovered), are also in need of support in order to be ready for the impending deadlines. Rule Financial is ideally placed to meet these regulatory demands by providing specialist services which are now in great demand.  Even in these difficult economic times, we can assist our clients in meeting their respective challenges, in areas such as risk management, operational cost efficiency, global nearshore development, collateral optimisation, and a wide range of other areas affected by global regulation.”





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Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues – Reuters poll



Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues - Reuters poll 1

By Sumita Layek and Bharat Gautam

(Reuters) – Oil prices will stage a steady recovery this year as vaccines reach more people and speed an economic revival, with further impetus coming from stimulus and output discipline by top crude producers, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The survey of 55 participants forecast Brent crude would average $59.07 per barrel in 2021, up from last month’s $54.47 forecast.

Brent has averaged around $58.80 so far this year.

“Travel and leisure activity look set to catch up to buoyant manufacturing activity due to the mix of stimulus, confidence, vaccines, and more targeted pandemic measures,” said Norbert Ruecker of Julius Baer.

“Against these demand dynamics, the supply side is unlikely to catch up on time, leaving the oil market in tightening mode for months to come.”

Of the 41 respondents who participated in both the February and January polls, 32 raised their forecasts.

Most analysts said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) may ease current output curbs when they meet on March 4, but would still agree to maintain supply discipline.

“With OPEC+ endeavouring to keep global oil production below demand, inventories should continue falling this year and allow prices to rise further,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Oil demand was seen growing by 5-7 million barrels per day in 2021, as per the poll.

However, experts said any deterioration in the COVID-19 situation and the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran could hold back oil’s recovery.

The poll forecast U.S. crude to average $55.93 per barrel in 2021 versus January’s $51.42 consensus.

Analysts expect U.S. production to rise moderately this year, although new measures from U.S. President Joe Biden to tame the oil sector could curb output in the long run.

“A structural shift away from fossil fuels” may prevent oil from returning to the highs of previous decades, said Economist Intelligence Unit analyst Cailin Birch.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arpan Varghese, Noah Browning and Barbara Lewis)

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Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll



Japan's jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures - Reuters poll 2

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.

While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.

The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.

“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.

“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”

Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.

The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).

Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser



China's economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 - central bank adviser 3

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.

This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.

Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.

China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.

Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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