Monthly Archives: August 2012

Riskier assets sought by the yield-hungry

Global investors hungry for higher-yielding assets are flooding into US mutual and exchange traded funds that bet on riskier debt, pushing flow volumes so far this year to their highest on record. Inflows into US-domiciled high-yield mutual funds and ETFs wrapped up a three-month run in August to reach $32bn, according to EPFR Global. The amount is more than double…

Gas groups headed for large writedowns

©AP US natural gas companies are heading for large writedowns in their reported reserves as a result of the slump in gas prices – in some cases, putting their finances under pressure. The reserves reductions will not be fully revealed until their full-year results are reported in 2013, but reflect the challenging economics of the US shale gas boom –…

Glenstrata faces further headwinds

Glencore and Xstrata’s $70bn merger plans were dealt further blows this week as several prominent investors in the mining company said they will vote against it. Knight Vinke, the activist fund and a top-20 investor in Xstrata, further agitated the run-up to a shareholder vote, saying it would vote against the deal and warning that it would seek a shake-up…

Fed and Isaac fuel sense of anticlimax

It was an anticlimactic week for oil bulls as the damage to production infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Isaac was minimal and Ben Bernanke, the US Federal Reserve chairman, failed to offer any definitive indication of monetary easing in his comments on Friday. Earlier in the week, oil industry executives were braced for Hurricane Isaac to wreak…

Old news can be good for canny investors

Can you see the wood for the trees? If so, you have a rare ability not shared by many investors, and you can make money from it. Prices of stocks, bonds and commodities bounce around in response to new information. But there is hard evidence that so many investors do not pay full attention that significant and predictable profits can…

Field of dreams: Israel’s natural gas

©Lihee Avidan The Sedco Express drilling rig above the Tamar gas field in the Mediterranean The black and yellow helicopter heads north from Tel Aviv, passing over empty beaches, a yacht harbour and a string of sprawling seafront residences that house some of Israel’s wealthiest families. After a few minutes the pilot makes a sharp turn to the left and…

Samsung trumps Apple in Tokyo court

©AFP A week after Samsung lost its US smartphone patent case, a judge in Tokyo rejected a separate attempt by Apple to assert its intellectual property against the South Korean group in Japan. The judge ruled on Friday that Samsung had not violated Apple patents by copying a feature of the US group’s iPhone and iPad mobile devices that allows…

Waiting on the central banks

The story for markets and investors during August has been “the calm before the storm”. Investors on both sides of the Atlantic are betting on more stimulus from central banks this month that can maintain this summer’s powerful rally in equities, corporate bonds and commodities. Click to enlarge Traditionally, September marks the return of many financiers from holidays and market…

Goldenport cuts interim dividend

Goldenport has cut its interim dividend and put its full-year payout under review following six months that “turned out to be one of the most challenging periods for the shipping industry”. The London-listed, Athens-based group had maintained a dividend even through 2008 and 2009, when the global recession badly hit shipping companies flush with vessels but low on business. John…

First-half losses narrow for Bwin.party

German regulatory issues and tougher competition among internet poker providers continue to weigh on Bwin.party, the online gaming group, which reported a narrowing of first-half losses. The FTSE 250 company, which was formed last March when sports specialist Bwin merged with online poker and casino company PartyGaming, on Friday said higher revenues at its sports betting and casino divisions had…