Rabo news https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/investors/irnews_research/rss.html Rabobank News https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/investors/irnews_research/rss.html https://www.rabobank.com/DotCom/Corporate/en/investors/irnews_research/rss.html Rabobank News en <![CDATA[Dutch economy will continue to flourish this year, despite international uncertainties]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/20170607-economic-quarterly.html After a strong 2016, the Dutch economy continues to flourish this year. Dutch GDP is forecast to grow by 2.2 percent in 2017, and 1.9 per cent next year. There are still significant geopolitical and political risks around the world, but so far the Netherlands seem relatively unaffected: exports are rising steadily. Housing investment and household consumption are driving economic growth in the Netherlands this year. The labour market continues to improve considerably, with unemployment expected to hit 4.5 percent in 2018. After 2018 however, the economic catch-up growth will likely be over. This is the message Rabobank economists published in their Economic Quarterly Report today.

Despite positive labour market figures, long-term development of disposable income in the Netherlands is cause for concern. Rabobank economist Nic Vrieselaar: “Many Dutch people experienced a drop in income during the crisis. Incomes have now been rising only modestly for quite some time, despite the fact that unemployment is falling rapidly. Wage increases in real terms have actually been much lower recently than in the first months of 2016. This could partly be because of a relatively large gap between unemployment and underemployment, as is the case in other European countries. Furthermore disposable incomes and the functioning of the labour market would benefit from a reduction in the gap between net wages and taxes on employers.”
Global economy: slightly more political stability
Global economic growth is expected to slightly outpace that of 2016. Rabobank economist Daniël van Schoot: “We have downwardly adjusted our forecast for the US and UK, but we expect the eurozone and China to grow faster than previously thought. We are also seeing a global recovery in commodity prices, which is mainly benefiting commodity exporters such as Russia and Brazil.”
But there are still serious international concerns. Van Schoot: “These are now mostly geopolitical in nature. The protectionist stance of the US seems to have softened somewhat, but policies delayed don’t necessarily mean policies denied. The developments with respect to North Korea and the influence of China could have huge consequences for US-China relations. This means that a trade war between these countries is certainly not yet off the agenda. 
Apart from these geopolitical concerns, the global economy appears to have stabilised, although this is largely a cyclical phenomenon. Much of the current growth is catch-up growth, which is why policymakers need to tackle global imbalances more in order to limit their braking effect on growth. By global imbalances, we specifically mean the differences in national current account balances. These differences were a major contributor to the creation of the financial crisis.” 
The Quarterly Economic Report is available at: www.rabobank.com/economics 
Investor News Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:17:29 GMT
<![CDATA[New top management structure at Rabobank]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/New-top-management-structure-at-Rabobank%20.html The Rabobank Supervisory Board has decided to introduce a new top management structure. On 1 September 2017 responsibility for the day-to-day management of Rabobank will transfer from the Executive Board to a Managing Board of ten members led by current chairman of the Executive Board Wiebe Draijer. The formation of a Managing Board will bring a flatter structure, increased focus on the digital transition, and representation of more customer segments at the highest executive management level. This should result in an acceleration of Rabobank’s digital transition. The Works Council has issued a positive advice on this change. All proposed appointments are pending regulatory approval.

Wiebe Draijer: “Eighteen months ago we set out our strategic route. We’re well on track, but this adjustment will help us boost the pace of the changes at Rabobank in relation to the market and to digitalisation. In the new Managing Board, all key customer segments are represented at executive level. Group-wide attention for digitalisation and talent at the highest executive management level gives us a closer fit with the change agenda of the cooperative Rabobank.”

Separate directors in the Managing Board will represent four key customer segments: Retail banking and Commercial banking in the Netherlands, Wholesale Clients and Rural & Retail International worldwide. The Digital Transformation Officer will be responsible for digitalisation of service provision, innovation and Fintech across the group. The Managing Board will also include the Human Resources role to boost culture, leadership and talent development even further. Alongside the chairman, CFO and CRO, the Managing Board will also include a CIO/COO with responsibility for IT, data improvement and operations.

The Rabobank Managing Board will consist of [i]:

  • Wiebe Draijer (51), Chairman
  • Bas Brouwers (45), Chief Financial Officer 
  • Petra van Hoeken (56), Chief Risk Officer
  • Mariëlle Lichtenberg (49), Retail Banking
  • Kirsten Konst (42), Commercial Banking
  • Jan van Nieuwenhuizen (56), Wholesale Clients
  • Berry Marttin (51), Rural & Retail International
  • Bart Leurs (45), Digital Transformation Officer
  • Ieko Sevinga (51), Chief Information Officer / Chief Operating Officer
  • Janine Vos (44), Chief Human Resources Officer

In view of the changes to their domains, Rien Nagel and Ralf Dekker are taking the opportunity to seek new career challenges outside the bank. Once their current term of office expires, they will be available for a transition period to transfer their responsibilities.

Ron Teerlink, chairman of the Supervisory Board: “The formation of the Managing Board is a major step towards realising Rabobank’s strategic objectives. The new members will most certainly be a great asset to the team, working together to tackle the challenges we face with ambition and great energy. On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I would like to express our extraordinary appreciation to Ralf Dekker and Rien Nagel for their achievements on behalf of the bank. Ralf made a substantial contribution to streamlining our operations and IT and took the lead in intensifying our innovative power. Rien played a leading role in the governance change at Rabobank. On 1 January 2016, 106 cooperative local banks and the central cooperative organisation at Rabobank Nederland merged into a single new cooperative Rabobank. The process to bring about this change and its impact were of immense value to the bank. We wish both gentlemen every success in their future ventures.”

Wiebe Draijer: “I am looking forward to moving ahead on our strategic course with a renewed and extended team. Digitalisation, innovation and HR will be given greater priority. With separate executives for our key customer segments in the Netherlands, we can further tighten our focus on improving customer service provision in combination with our identity as a bank firmly anchored in local communities and always nearby. Outside the Netherlands, we will further capitalise on the growth potential in Rural Banking and through our continued focus on F&A, we will reinforce our leading position in the F&A chain for our Wholesale clients.  As a whole, this Managing Board constitutes a multi-faceted and balanced group of people with an outstanding track record inside and outside Rabobank. I too would like to express my appreciation for the dedication, professionalism and team spirit shown by Ralf Dekker and Rien Nagel. I wish them the very best for the future.”

Ralf Dekker: “Although we still have quite a way to go, I’m extraordinarily proud of what was achieved during my time on the Executive Board, certainly in the field of innovation, IT and operations. I’m confident that this upward line will continue in the new structure, certainly given that IT and innovation will be so explicitly incorporated in the new Managing Board. On the personal level, the time is right for me to take up a new challenge outside Rabobank, which I find an inspiring prospect.”

Rien Nagel: “The change to the executive management structure at Rabobank and the three-way split of my portfolio is a logical reason for me to seek a change of direction and to leave the bank. I’m proud of what I have achieved, together with my colleagues, on behalf of our members and our customers. I wish the new Rabobank executive team every success. It’s been a great pleasure to work so intensively with them and I will continue to follow developments with great interest. As I explore options for my professional future, I will continue to focus on entrepreneurship.”

[i] From 1 September 2017 the statutory Executive Board of Rabobank will consist of Wiebe Draijer, Bas Brouwers, Petra van Hoeken, Kirsten Konst, Jan van Nieuwenhuizen and Berry Marttin (reappointed for 4 years).

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

Investor News Wed, 31 May 2017 16:23:49 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank successfully priced its first Covered Bond]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/covered-bonds-investors.html On May 22, 2017 Rabobank successfully priced its inaugural EUR 2.5 billion dual tranche Covered Bond. Rabobank offered the Covered Bonds to institutional investors. A pan-European roadshow took place prior to the trade to introduce the Covered Bond programme to investors. Rabobank’s Covered Bonds are backed by Dutch prime residential mortgages and are assigned a (P)‘Aaa’ rating by Moody’s.

Rabobank priced a EUR 1.5 billion 7yr and a EUR 1 billion 15yr with an order book of over EUR 4 billion with over 140 different investors. Over the coming years Rabobank plans to issue one or two benchmark transactions a year under the Programme. Issuing Covered Bonds will further diversify and optimise Rabobank's funding composition, which supports the Strategic Framework of the bank. Covered Bonds provide cheaper funding and also leads to a further diversification of the investor base.
Information on the issue of Rabobank Covered Bonds can be found here.
Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.
Investor News Mon, 22 May 2017 16:23:49 GMT
<![CDATA[House prices on course to hit new peak]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/house-prices-on-course-to-hit-new-peak.html The growth in the Dutch housing market continued unabated in the first quarter of 2017. The number of sales in the first three months of the year reached 55,911 homes, well over 30% more than in the first quarter of 2016. At the same time, as the rise in the number of transactions, the number of owner‐occupied homes for sale also rose, which meant that shortages remained at roughly the same level. This contributed to the rise in house prices in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the last quarter of 2016 – by 2.0%. The year‐on‐year rise was no less than 6.8%.

In view of the strong growth in the first quarter and taking account of economic growth, rising incomes and persistently low interest rates being forecast, we are adjusting our expectations for this year: for 2017 as a whole we are assuming 225,000 to 235,000 sales and price rises of around 6.5%.

On the mortgage market, new approvals rose further during the first quarter of 2017. Higher repayments and tighter restrictions in the loan‐to‐value regime contributed to the total gross mortgage debt levelling off in the fourth quarter of 2016. Rising competition between mortgage providers is expected to help keep mortgage rates low in 2017 too.

In view of the ever growing housing shortage and sharp price increases this has caused, it is for the new government to work together with municipalities, housing associations, commercial parties and private developers to come up with new solutions for the housing market. A crucial task here will be to build affordable homes in both the owner‐occupied and rental sector. 

The full Dutch Housing Market Quarterly report can be found here.

Investor News Wed, 17 May 2017 06:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank launches Covered Bond Programme]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/rabobank-launches-covered-bond-programme.html Rabobank announced a deal related roadshow to offer Covered Bonds to institutional investors. The inaugural Covered Bond will be issued under the EUR 25 billion Programme, which is backed by Dutch prime residential mortgages and is assigned a (P) Aaa rating by Moody’s. Rabobank received regulatory approval from the De Nederlandsche Bank on its Covered Bond Programme.

Rabobank plans to issue one or two benchmark transactions per year under the Programme. Issuing Covered Bonds will further diversify and optimize Rabobank's funding composition, which supports the Strategic Framework of the bank. Covered Bonds provide attractive funding for especially longer duration issues. It also leads to a further diversification of the investor base.

Information on the issue of Rabobank Covered Bonds can be found here.

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

Investor News Thu, 11 May 2017 08:54:33 GMT
<![CDATA[Call notification]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/call-notification-usdollar-2000000000-perpetual-non-cumulative-capital-securities-isin-xS0703303262.html (ISIN: XS0703303262)

Rabobank issued the Capital Securities on 9 November 2011. In accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Capital Securities, Rabobank may elect to redeem the Capital Securities on the First Call Date, being 29 June 2017, subject to certain conditions, one of which is the approval of (formerly: the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank N.V.), now:) the European Central Bank. Rabobank confirms that it has obtained such approval of the European Central Bank. 
Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to Condition 7(c) of the Terms and Conditions of the Capital Securities, the Issuer has elected to redeem and will redeem all of the Capital Securities at the principal amount thereof, together with any accrued and unpaid interest on 29 June 2017.
Fiscal Agent and Paying Agent  
Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch
Winchester House
1 Great Winchester Street
London EC2N 2DB
United Kingdom
Paying Agent and Euronext Amsterdam Listing Agent 
Croeselaan 18
3521 CB Utrecht
The Netherlands
Investor News Mon, 01 May 2017 06:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank publishes Annual Report 2016]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/rabobank-publishes-annual-report-2016-1.html Rabobank today published the 2016 integrated Annual Report, in which it renders financial account and provides clear insight into Rabobank's significance for people, the environment and society.

The fact that the bank makes the difference is revealed in its concrete contribution to bringing about welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and promoting a sustainable global food supply and the way in which we are working towards achieving a sustainable Rabobank. In more concrete terms, our focus is on helping customers get ahead, strengthening the economy and society and helping produce more food with fewer resources.

Integrated reporting
The Annual Accounts 2016 and the 'Capital Adequacy and Risk Management Report 2016' are also included in the integrated Annual Report. Rabobank today also published a compact annual review that is more accessible to a broader audience.

All reports are available on the links below.
Annual Report
Annual Review
Infographic ‘Our impact on society’

Elements of this press release are considered by Rabobank as inside information relating directly or indirectly to Rabobank within the meaning of article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU Regulation 596/2014) that is made public in accordance with article 17 Market Abuse Regulation.

Investor News Tue, 21 Mar 2017 06:00:00 GMT
<![CDATA[DBRS assigns ‘AA’ Issuer Rating with a Stable Trend to Rabobank]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/dbrs-assigns-aa-issuer-rating-with-a-stable-trend-to-rabobank.html

On 7 March 2017 DBRS assigned Issuer Ratings to 43 European banking groups. Rabobank was assigned a ‘AA’ Issuer Rating with a Stable Trend. This is in line with Rabobank’s Senior Debt ratings.

Investor News Thu, 09 Mar 2017 14:33:32 GMT
<![CDATA[Rabobank: the next cabinet must make visionary investments in the economic structure]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/rabobank-the-next-cabinet-must-make-visionary-investments-in-the-economic-structure.html The fact that the Dutch economy will perform so well both in 2017 and 2018 does not mean that the next cabinet can lean back and relax. Economic growth is expected to drop back after 2018. That is why the next cabinet must invest in strengthening the Netherlands’ economic structure, for example in order to maintain purchasing power. It would also be unwise to reverse economically smart reforms that have already been implemented, such as the increase in the retirement age. This is the message from Rabobank economists in their Economic Quarterly Report published today.

The Dutch economy recorded its highest rate of growth last year since the crisis; this year, growth will speed up even more, with the economy expected to expand by 2.3 per cent. In 2018, economic growth in the Netherlands will drop slightly to 2.0 per cent due to less buoyant growth in consumption. Unemployment will fall further, causing the unemployment rate to decrease to as little as 4.6 per cent in 2018. Rabobank economist Martijn Badir: “Despite this good economic performance, we see no reason for the next cabinet to lean back and relax. That is because in the longer term, economic growth in the Netherlands will be significantly lower due to pressure on both the supply of labour and productivity growth. Indeed, the current high growth figures should be seen as catch-up growth, making up for the economic lost ground since the crisis.”

“Make hay while the sun shines”
According to the economist, additional measures are needed to structurally bolster the economy. Badir: “The mantra is and remains: let’s make hay while the sun shines. Which is now. The next cabinet should make visionary investments in R&D, innovation and human capital in order to increase structural labour productivity. It is extremely important for serious action to be taken in investing in the long-term employability of workers. Human capital must be pushed much higher up the policy agenda, especially now that the labour market is becoming ever more flexible and technological developments are causing knowledge and skills to quickly become outdated.”

At the same time, the cabinet should beware of reversing economically sensible reforms. For example, a reduction in the state pension (AOW) retirement age would not only hit government finances, it would also damage the economy. Badir: “Under the current policy, the AOW retirement age will rise in tandem with life expectancy. If the next cabinet reduces the AOW retirement age to 65 again, that will not only mean less sustainable government finances, it will also result in fewer people offering their services in the labour market. In that case, the Dutch economy’s potential growth rate will fall further at a time when it is already under pressure, due in part to the ageing population.”

Rabobank economists are also advocating thorough reform of the tax system. Badir: “A new tax system must put an end to the economically distorting jumble of allowances and tax-deductible items. The current tax system is so complex mainly because allowances and new taxes have been added year in, year out, principally for short-term political ends. A lot of money is leaking out as a result, which is at the expense of our prosperity. Given the fragmented political landscape, it is to be hoped that the next cabinet will adopt ‘simplicity’ as a necessary precondition for a properly functioning tax system.”

Now that the economy is performing better and the government is expected to have a budget surplus in 2017, there is a danger of losing a sense of urgency about the need to keep health costs under control. Badir: “The debate about abolishing the insurance deductible is one example of this. However if healthcare costs spiral out of control again, households’ disposable income will probably barely rise in the next ten years, as taxes and premiums will need to increase to cover the costs."

The Dutch economy suffers more than its neighbours when there is a headwind but also experiences more of an upturn when there is a tailwind. “This vulnerability is undesirable, if only because it leads to uncertainty and undermines confidence,” says Badir. “The next cabinet can tackle this economic vulnerability by dismantling the barriers that currently exist, for example between pensions and the housing market. In this way, households would be able to use part of the money they have saved for their pension to reduce their debt on their own home, especially if they are paying off the mortgage in regular instalments anyway. They should also be able to use the capital tied up in their pensions or own home to finance education.”

Trump’s policy is having a negative effect on growth in world trade
The Rabobank economists are once again expecting moderate global economic growth in 2017 and 2018 of around 3 per cent. Rabobank economist Maartje Wijffelaars: “Our forecasts are subject to uncertainty, mainly due to political developments, including elections in a number of key eurozone member states. It is also difficult to assess the effects of the Brexit negotiations. In our forecasts, we are assuming that the protectionist measures President Trump is expected to take will have a negative effect on the growth in world trade. Even if no concrete measures materialise, the threat of such measures could still have a negative impact.

The Economic Quartlery Report is available at: www.rabobank.com/economics.

Investor News Thu, 09 Mar 2017 10:25:53 GMT
<![CDATA[Fitch affirms Rabobank at 'AA-' with a Stable Outlook]]> https://www.rabobank.com/en/investors/irnews_research/investor_news/2017/fitch-press-release-24-February-2017.html

On 24 February 2017 Fitch Ratings announced that they have affirmed Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A.'s (Rabobank) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘AA-‘ with a Stable Outlook, Viability Rating (VR) at ‘a+’ and Short-term IDR at 'F1+'. The ratings actions are part of the annual review of Rabobank.

Investor News Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:20:20 GMT