Strong foreign banks splurged on, profited from Fed's emergency credit

Section:

Non-US Banks Gain from Fed Crisis Fund

By Robin Harding, Bernard Simon, and Christian Oliver
Financial Times, London
Monday, December 27, 2010

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/69728262-11ec-11e0-92d0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz...

Some of the world's strongest banks have profited from an emergency credit facility set up by the US Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the global financial system, according to a Financial Times analysis of data released by the Fed.

More than half of lending under the Fed's term auction facility -- the largest of its crisis programmes -- went to foreign banks. Details of the varied uses to which they put it may add to political criticism of the Fed.

The Taf was set up in December 2007 to provide one-month loans to credit-worthy banks as markets dried up for lending longer than overnight. In August 2008 it began offering three-month loans as well.

Rabobank of the Netherlands and Toronto-Dominion of Canada, two of the only banks in the world with triple-A credit ratings, used more than $20 billion in cumulative Taf loans.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Prophecy Receives Permit To Mine at Ulaan Ovoo in Mongolia

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Prophecy Resource Corp. (TSX-V:PCY, OTCQX: PRPCF, Frankfurt: 1P2) announces that on November 9, 2010, it received the final permit to commence mining operations at its Ulaan Ovoo coal project in Mongolia. Prophecy is one of few international mining companies to achieve such a milestone. The mine is production-ready, with a mine opening ceremony scheduled for November 20.

Prophecy CEO John Lee said: "I thank the government of Mongolia for the expeditious way this permit was issued. The opening of Ulaan Ovoo is a testament to the industrious and skilled workforce in Mongolia. Prophecy directly and indirectly (through Leighton Asia) employs more than 65 competent Mongolian nationals and four expatriots. The company also reaffirms its commitment to deliver coal to the local Edernet and Darkhan power plants in Mongolia."

The Ulaan Ovoo open pit mine is 10 kilometers from the Russian border and within 120km of the Nauski TransSiberian railway station, enabling transportation of coal to Russia and its eastern seaports. Thermal coal prices are trading at two-year highs at Russian seaports due to strong demand from Asian economies.

For the complete press release, please visit:

http://prophecyresource.com/news_2010_nov11.php



Ed Clark, TD chief executive, said that using Taf was logical even though his bank never had a liquidity problem. "That wasn't how we made a lot of money. But you make a dollar here, you make a dollar there. What's the spread you make on a billion dollars?" he said.

In the summer of 2008, TD was borrowing $1 billion from TAF at rates of between 2 and 2.5 per cent. For that borrowing it used the lowest quality -- and hence highest yielding -- collateral acceptable to the Fed.

More than 80 per cent of its collateral had a triple-B credit rating at a time when such bonds yielded about 7 per cent. TD could therefore have made a notional gross spread of about $4 million a month during 2008.

Mr Clark said the authorities were encouraging healthy banks to use schemes such as the Taf so as not to stigmatise their weaker counterparts. In January 2008, Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, said the Taf appeared to be succeeding because "there appears to have been little if any stigma."

"You go through the whole crisis and there were lots of things we did that weren't necessarily economic but were the right thing to do for the system," said Mr Clark. "So I'm not embarrassed by this at all."

Rabobank said it used the Taf only "in case the situation on the financial markets would further deteriorate" but it still had $5 billion in outstanding loans as late as January 2010.

The Fed declined to comment, but has pointed out that all of its emergency credit was repaid in full with interest, and that its goal was to provide liquidity.

Korean banks, including Hana Bank, Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, and Shinhan Bank, were also among the most enthusiastic posters of triple-B collateral to the Taf.

One Korean bank official said: "It was the best option we had for raising foreign capital during the financial crisis."

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Sona Drills 85.4g Gold/Ton Over 4 Metres at Elizabeth Gold Deposit,
Extending the Mineralization of the Southwest Vein on the Property

Company Press Release, October 27, 2010

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Sona Resources Corp. reports on five drillling holes in the third round of assay results from the recently completed drill program at its 100 percent-owned Elizabeth Gold Deposit Property in the Lillooet Mining District of southern British Columbia. Highlights from the diamond drilling include:

-- Hole E10-66 intersected 17.4g gold/ton over 1.54 metres.

-- Hole E10-67 intersected 96.4g gold/ton over 2.5 metres, including one assay interval of 383g of gold/ton over 0.5 metres.

-- Hole E10-69 intersected 85.4g gold/ton over 4.03 metres, including one assay interval of 230g gold/ton over 1 metre.

Four drill holes, E10-66 to E10-69, targeted the southwestern end of the Southwest Vein, and three of the holes have expanded the mineralized zone in that direction. The Southwest Vein gold mineralization has now been intersected over a strike length of 325 metres, with the deepest hole drilled less than 200 metres from surface. "The assay results from the Southwest Zone quartz vein continue to be extremely positive," says John P. Thompson, Sona's president and CEO. "We are expanding the Southwest Vein, and this high-grade gold mineralization remains wide open down dip and along strike to the southwest."

For the company's full press release, please visit:

http://sonaresources.com/_resources/news/SONA_NR19_2010.pdf