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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Stocks and Funds

Rob Cox

Rob Cox: VW needs an eight-step recovery plan

13 October 2015

That’s the minimum number of constituencies the $68 bln carmaker, snagged in a giant engineering deception, must now mollify to restore credibility. Customers, investors, suppliers, dealers, governments, unions, staff and ordinary people each will require a unique approach.

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner arrives with girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson (L) and Bridget Marquardt for his 80th birthday party in Munich's famous club P1 May 31, 2006.

Hef's cover-up exposes magazine industry softness

13 October 2015

Playboy is to stop publishing pictures of nude women and focus on journalism to try to boost sagging readership. But print industry ad revenue is down 30 pct since 2000 and competition is fierce. The notion that more men really will read Playboy for the articles could be a tease.

Barclays tiptoes back to investment bank see-saw

13 October 2015

Hiring ex-JPMorgan executive Jes Staley as its CEO might augur the UK bank returning to its former investment bank-led growth strategy. Trouble is, growing that kind of business in the new regulatory landscape is hard. And Barclays Capital’s returns were never that great. 

The Barclays headquarters building is seen in the Canary Wharf business district of east London.

UK regulator will squirm at Barclays CEO choice

13 October 2015

Jes Staley oversaw rapid growth at JPMorgan, and the BoE pushed out another expansionist investment banker as the UK bank’s boss in 2012. But Staley will commit to Barclays’ current plan to shrink, and its traders and advisers need a leader. Signing him off will be a tricky call.      

Bids and Buyouts

A pair of gloves and a mallet rest on beer barrels

AB InBev may suffer beer-swill antitrust hangover

13 October 2015

The brewer’s latest deal could trip over a decades-old Supreme Court defeat for former rival Pabst. That case’s crackdown on beer mergers led to a backlash and big JVs like Molson’s with SABMiller. Since AB InBev’s bid for the latter, trustbusters seem ready to turn back the clock.

Anheuser Busch's Budweiser and Bud Light Beer can be seen on display at a new Wal-Mart store in Chicago, January 24, 2012.

AB InBev makes an offer SABMiller shouldn't refuse

12 October 2015

Budweiser’s parent has made a fourth proposal for the UK-listed brewer at some $103 bln. The cash-and-shares bid is 42 pct above SAB’s stock price before the latest approaches were made, and comes at nearly 15 times last year’s EBITDA. It is just about time to say “I do.”

A pint of beer stands on a table in a pub in Liverpool, northern England November 19 , 2014.

AB InBev must change spots to make SAB deal work

13 October 2015

Having won its UK rival’s agreement to merge, the Budweiser brewer now gets to put its fearsome talent for cost-cutting to work. But that may not be enough. AB InBev will need to create growth and court governments to make the $104 bln bid stack up. Those are different skills.

People check out computers at the Dell booth at the Rootstech Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah February 7, 2014.

EMC investors get $67 bln ticket out of trouble

12 October 2015

Michael Dell and others are paying $33 a share for the tech conglomerate. Sure, most of the notional 38 pct premium comes as a flaky tracking stock in EMC sub VMware. But there are no other obvious bidders and breaking up the company is a risky alternative for only slight gains.

Money and Markets

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in Milford, New Hampshire September 7, 2015.

President Bernie Sanders would dig an $8 trln hole

12 October 2015

The socialist U.S. candidate would shake up the economy with dramatically more government spending. But promises from free college tuition to a government health system would cost more than $12 trln over a decade – far short of additional revenue, like a Wall Street trading tax.

A broker reacts while trading at his computer terminal at a stock brokerage firm in Mumbai, India, August 24, 2015. India's benchmark BSE index fell more than 5 percent on Monday to their lowest in a year, as a rout in Chinese equities sparked widespread

Indian stock market bright spot warrants caution

13 October 2015

The return of sizeable IPOs is another sign Indian equities are defying emerging-market gloom. The promise of reform in the world’s fastest-growing large economy has prompted foreign investors to pile in. But high valuations leave plenty of room for disappointment.

Gamers play the "StarCraft II" in Cologne, Germany August 5, 2015.

Couch-sports on TV could be whole new ball game

12 October 2015

U.S. cable network TBS is starting a competitive videogame league with talent agent William Morris in a bid to build on the power of live programs. With online viewership for “League of Legends” battles already on a par with events like soccer’s World Cup, it may be a big score.