Monthly Archives: January 2013

Crédit Agricole poised for profit warning

Crédit Agricole is poised to issue a profits warning, which could come as soon as Friday, linked to reducing the amount of goodwill on its books. Shares in the French bank fell 1.5 per cent to close at €7.28 on Thursday on fears that the publicly quoted but mutually owned bank would warn investors that it would not meet consensus…

Shadow banks fill project debt void

Pension funds and insurance groups are filling the void left by banks in the rapidly changing infrastructure debt market, raising hopes this kind of financing can help spur a global economic recovery, according to Standard & Poor’s. Infrastructure debt is vital for the building of schools, hospitals and roads, which governments hope will help create jobs and drag the faltering…

Banks set aside £700m for swaps scandal

Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds have set aside about £700m for compensation for mis-selling complex derivative products to small businesses but analysts suggest the final cost to the industry of the latest mis-selling scandal could be up to £2bn. The Financial Services Authority on Thursday ordered the four banks to review all their sales of interest rate…

Colgate-Palmolive: clean pair of heels

Colgate-Palmolive is, to oversimplify only slightly, a better company than Procter & Gamble. Colgate’s organic sales growth during the past two years has averaged just under 5 per cent, against P&G’s 3.5 per cent. Colgate’s operating margins are consistently higher than its larger rival’s, it has a deeper presence in emerging markets, and its returns on invested capital are well…

Investors enliven second generation CDOs

Whatever you do, don’t call it a collateralised debt obligation. If Wall Street never sees the letters C, D and O side by side again, it will be too soon. These financial instruments, built out of other financial instruments built out of mortgages that no one could afford, poisoned the banking system. As, of course, you will have heard. Click…

Low rates spark corporate bond bonanza

It’s been a dramatic start to the year for global corporate bond markets. Companies borrowed more money than in any other January on record. Bullish sentiment has encouraged investors to lend despite slender returns. But the strength on the issuer side is driven not only by the low cost of debt, but by fear that it may never be this…

Barclays in Qatar loan probe

UK authorities are probing an allegation that Barclays loaned Qatar money to invest in the bank as part of its cash call at the height of the financial crisis in 2008, which enabled the bank to avoid a UK government bailout. While the terms of Barclays’ emergency fundraising have been under the scrutiny of the Financial Services Authority and the…

Antofagasta premium rating at risk

Antofagasta hit a four-month low on fears that rising costs would erode its premium rating. The Chilean copper miner has dropped 10 per cent since warning on Wednesday that 2013 costs would be higher than expected. It blamed higher power tariffs and poorer metal grades. Rising costs last month forced Antofagasta to suspend work temporarily at its Antucoya copper project,…

German IPO raises more than €1.3bn

Real estate group LEG Immobilien has raised more than €1.3bn in the second-largest German initial public offering in five years, after its shares were priced in the middle of the expected range at €44. The deal comes amid hopes of a revival in the European IPO market following 2012, which was the second-worst year for deal activity since the financial…

Santander results hit Spanish stocks

Disappointing results from Santander sent Spanish stocks into negative territory as the bank missed analyst forecasts for fourth- quarter earnings. Spain’s largest bank by assets said net profits after provisions declined by 59 per cent to €2.2bn in 2012. Fourth-quarter earnings came in at €401m, below expectations of about €800m. The shares fell 3.5 per cent to €6.18. Madrid’s Ibex…