Monthly Archives: March 2013

GM urges Seoul to act over currency

The chief executive of General Motors in South Korea has urged the new government to act against its rising currency, as carmakers express concern that a weakening Japanese yen is undermining the competitiveness of South Korean exports. South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, could help manufacturers by pursuing “a policy that favours on the foreign exchange, like both neighbours”, said…

Bailey calls for bank capital transparency

©Anna Gordon Andrew Bailey, the incoming head the Prudential Regulation Authority Banks should be required to make their individualised capital requirements public so that investors can see which financial groups have attracted regulatory concerns about risk and why, says the UK’s new top financial watchdog. Andrew Bailey issued his call for transparency just before taking the helm of the new…

LSE says openness is key to Clearnet

In coming weeks, the London Stock Exchange is set to close its 18-month pursuit of a controlling stake in LCH.Clearnet, the transatlantic clearing house. It is potentially its most significant deal in years. Last week, both sets of shareholders and UK regulators approved the transaction, in which LSE will take a 57.8 per cent stake, valuing LCH at €633m. “The…

Bargain basement banks not such a bargain

©EPA Is it time to buy European banks? This column last posed that question in June, and concluded – from an analysis of their balance sheets and accounts – that banks were cheap, but there was no “margin of safety”. Buying bank shares remained an almost pure bet on the broader progress of the eurozone crisis. So it proved. The…

Bank of Cyprus – the noose tightens

The noose is tightening around Bank of Cyprus. The stricken island’s number one lender is being frogmarched dangerously close to the same fate as Laiki Bank, the number two. Laiki is being dismantled as part of the €10bn bailout; only its insured deposits up to €100,000 are untouched. The Cypriot central bank now says that uninsured depositors above the same…

Manufacturing figures likely to support BoJ

All eyes will be on Japan this week as the new Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda takes up an economic challenge. The Japanese government is attempting to boost the economy with an aggressive monetary and fiscal stimulus. Last week Mr Kuroda reiterated his intention to expand purchasing to include longer-dated government bonds; as a result, the 20-year Japanese bond…

Japanese cross-holdings ripe for sale

An “Abenomics”-inspired surge in Japanese companies’ stock portfolios will boost earnings for the fiscal year just ended, prompting firms to start cashing in holdings, according to the country’s largest brokerage. For years, Japan’s dense network of cross-holdings has been seen as more of a liability than an asset, as companies have been forced to book valuation losses amid persistently weak…

‘Left for dead’ currency markets pick up

©Dreamstime A rise in interest rates would be good news for currency markets The spectre of rising interest rates is stalking the bond markets, leading to talk of a mass move from fixed income to equities. But it is good news for currency markets, which have been left for dead under the weight of the loose monetary policies pursued by…

Argentina reveals payment offer to holdouts

©Reuters Argentina has told a US appeals court that it can pay holdout creditors only on the same terms as two previous debt swaps. In a filing with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, after being ordered to spell out its offer to holdout creditors, Argentina argued that its offer represented “substantial” returns considering the low price paid…

Cupid sacks broker after share scare

Cupid, the online dating company, topped off an eventful week by sacking one of its brokers after short sellers pounced on the stock late last week. Numis, which shared broking responsibilities with Peel Hunt, was let go after shares in Cupid fell nearly 60 per cent at the end of last week after reports that the company used fake dating…