Search League Tables

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Stocks and Funds

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Blackstone Group

Blackstone leaves a trail of money to follow

17 April 2014

The buyout firm generated record quarterly earnings, in stark contrast to Wall Street’s slog. It’s the latest sign of a power shift from banks to shadow banks, broadly defined. Having confined big lenders, watchdogs could pick up the scent on Steve Schwarzman and his ilk.

Morgan Stanley gets most relief from first quarter

17 April 2014

James Gorman presided over a far better Q1 than in 2013 – including bucking the Wall Street trend in fixed-income trading. Goldman posted stronger numbers, though investment gains helped. More importantly, Gorman is closer to hitting targets than other rivals like Citi and BofA.

Barclays chairman David Walker

Time for Barclays to speed up chairman succession

17 April 2014

David Walker always envisaged he would step down in August 2015. The current lack of clarity over who will be running the board wouldn’t matter if things were going well. But with Barclays at a strategic crossroads, it needs solid and sustained leadership as soon as possible.     

A bull styrofoam figure is pictured in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange September 16, 2008.

Bull case for SAP starts to emerge

17 April 2014

The $100 bln German software group is the latest big tech firm to disappoint investors. Shares fell after currency moves hit Q1 results. Yet the investment case is improving. The stock has cheapened this year, and SAP’s shift to cloud-based databases seems to be working.

Bids and Buyouts

CITIC Pacific Chairman Chang Zhenming is seen next to the company's logo during a news conference in Hong Kong April 16, 2014.

Asia push to in-house M&A forces advisers to adapt

17 April 2014

From China’s CITIC to Singapore’s Temasek, Asian acquirers are increasingly relying on in-house talent to get deals done. The loss of potential deal flow in an already tough market means big banks will have to work harder to prove their worth.

Baidu

China travel merger could mean liftoff for Baidu

16 April 2014

A potential $11 bln tie-up of booking sites Ctrip and Qunar sounds dandy. But the real break may be for search engine Baidu. As Qunar’s biggest shareholder, it could get a first-class seat in the merged duo, with room to take a bigger stake when valuations come back to earth. 

Chang Zhenming, Chairman and Managing Director of Citic Pacific, attends a news conference in Hong Kong August 26, 2009.

CITIC's $37 bln merger hints at SOE reform task

16 April 2014

The union of the Chinese giant with its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary offers rare visibility into China’s sprawling state conglomerates. CITIC Pacific shareholders get mostly listed assets at a discount – and if all goes well, a potentially profitable ringside seat in the cleanup.

A man holds a glass of whisky in the visitors centre of the Diageo-owned Dalwhinnie Distillery

Diageo throws money at Indian empire-building

15 April 2014

The UK distiller is again trying to tighten its grip on India’s United Spirits. It’s offering $1.9 bln to nearly double its stake to 54.8 pct. A sky-high multiple of 38 times EBITDA gives this offer better odds than the last. And there’s industrial logic to offset the huge price.

Money and Markets

Janet Yellen

Fed unease may yet shrink biggest U.S. banks

17 April 2014

A new leverage limit requires the eight largest to add another $68 bln in padding, on top of other rules on capital and liquidity. Janet Yellen still isn’t certain that’s enough. Sure, it’s the Fed’s job to worry. But big banks and their investors are already feeling the pinch.

Britain/UK

Market sees UK economy through rose-tinted glasses

17 April 2014

Sterling and gilt yields have risen as traders put the best possible gloss on recent economic snapshots and bet on an early 2015 rate rise. Market optimism could well persist, pushing the pound even higher. But there are good reasons for the Bank of England to be less sanguine.

Horacio Vazquez (L), 56, from Buenos Aires, speaks while Eva Geller, 66, from Uruguay, looks down with other pensioners during a news conference organized by the American Task Force Argentina denouncing Argentina's failure to meet bond payments in New Yor

Argentina tests Elliott's cunning at Supreme Court

17 April 2014

Two cases challenge the hedge fund’s ability to work around U.S. laws that shield the country’s assets. The court is hearing one of them as it mulls another on paying debt-swap holdouts. Upcoming arguments in the first may reveal how creative collection plans fare in the second.

Martin Hutchinson, Breakingviews, Columnist

Review: Hustling helps Africa's partial success

17 April 2014

Dayo Olopade’s “The Bright Continent” describes “kanju,” the hustling, striving and rule-breaking that make modern Africa work. The canny invisible hand can outwit the dead hand of corrupt bureaucracy. Sadly kanju makes the continent a tough place to do fully organized business.