Monthly Archives: September 2012

KKR branches out with Acteon

First Reserve, the energy-focused private equity group, said it had sold its stake in oil services company Acteon Group to US buyout group KKR, in a deal that values Acteon’s equity and debt at £800m-£900m. The move marks KKR’s first investment in the fast-growing oilfield services sector. “As exploration and production shifts into more complex environments, like deepwater offshore, the…

Xstrata deal close after move on pay vote

Xstrata is set to recommend the latest offer from Glencore on Monday, bringing the seven-month saga to create one of the world’s largest natural resources groups closer to an end. Over the weekend the miner hammered out a novel structure designed to win support from its shareholders. Barring a last-minute glitch, Xstrata’s board will recommend the offer via a proposal…

China’s bond market – jury still out

Many regions across China are struggling financially. The south-east manufacturing city of Dongguan is near bankruptcy, researchers at Sun Yat-sen university reckon. Yet local governments all over China still have big infrastructure plans. And deteriorating asset quality means that banks are reluctant to extend loans. How is China plugging the gap? Cue its corporate bond market. China’s nascent corporate bond…

JPMorgan snaps up Europe mortgage bonds

JPMorgan has snapped up three quarters of the first European commercial mortgage bond launched since the financial crisis in a deal that heralds the return of a vital source of funding for the continent’s cash-starved property market . The bank acquired €565m of the notes in a commercial mortgage-backed security supported by 30,000 residential rental properties in Germany, in a…

Oil groups tussle for Colombia licences

©Nexen Some of the world’s largest oil companies are jostling for licences to explore for shale gas in Colombia, one of many countries hoping to replicate the North American boom in unconventional gas. ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips are among the more than 80 companies bidding for licences, according to Javier Gutiérrez, chief executive of Ecopetrol, Colombia’s state-run energy…

Xstrata close to backing Glencore offer

Xstrata is preparing to recommend the latest merger offer from Glencore on Monday, with the miner over the weekend hammering out a novel structure that is designed to help maximise support from its investors. The company was on Saturday still finalising its proposal in response to feedback from shareholder that would allow different groups of investors to support the deal…

New strategies come to fore as funds take broader view

©Dreamstime Which way up? Many ways of making money via currencies have been found wanting in recent years On the face of it, appetite among global pension funds for alternative assets is rising. Institutional investors around the world have been looking for asset classes that are less correlated ever since the credit crunch in 2008. Pension funds now hold 20…

ECB’s bond buying plan buys time – but for how long?

©Getty When in July Mario Draghi, the ECB president, publicly proclaimed that the central bank would do “whatever it takes” to ensure the future stability of the euro, the effect on the markets was immediate. Borrowing costs fell dramatically for the governments of Italy and Spain, stock markets rallied, and the recent decline in the external value of the euro…

Realogy sets terms for $1bn share offering

Realogy Holdings, owned by private equity group Apollo Global Management, has set the terms of a $1bn share offering as it prepares to kick-off its roadshow next week. The US residential property broker, which operates estate agency franchises including Century 21 and Sotheby’s International Realty, was bought by Apollo at the height of the US housing boom. Apollo paid $30…

US court scraps CFTC position limits rule

A US court has rejected a proposal by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission that aimed to limit speculation in commodity markets. The “position limits” rule was to take effect in two weeks. It would have capped holdings of futures and options for 28 commodities and their derivatives, from crude oil to corn and cocoa, expanding existing limits to contracts for…