Monthly Archives: August 2014

Scotland’s oil reserves still unclear

©Getty Is the North Sea a third full or four-fifths empty? And how will that translate into dollars, pounds or a new currency flowing into Holyrood’s coffers if Scotland votes for independence on September 18? With projections of reserves forming a key part of the Yes campaign’s financial arguments for an independent state, the debate on the true scale of…

Rate decisions to provide week’s focus

Monetary policy announcements lead the week’s data releases with rate decisions from the Bank of England, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan due on Thursday. A range of activity indicators are also available this week with August Purchasing Managers’ Index data for UK manufacturing and services out on Monday and Wednesday and their US equivalents, the ISM’s, out tomorrow…

BHP promises growth at spin-off

BHP Billiton is trying to assuage South African concern over its curtailed role in the country by promising that the local assets it is shedding in a corporate break-up will get more leadership and better chances to grow. The world’s most valuable natural resources group will dramatically cut its presence in South Africa as part of a spin-off strategy announced…

NADL chief wants more work with Rosneft

©Bloomberg The head of the Norwegian drilling company that signed a recent $4.25bn deal with Rosneft says he hopes for more business with the Russian state-controlled oil company and others in that country despite the pressure of growing western sanctions. North Atlantic Drilling is selling 30 per cent of itself to Russia’s Rosneft as well as providing six offshore rigs…

Margins: the new normal

The valuation bears – who think the stock market is overpriced relative to fundamentals, and is set to fall – are still losing money. There may, however, be a spark of statistical hope to warm their dour hearts. They believe that corporate profits are too high and must mean they will revert. And the US national accounts data for the…

Draghi approaches his Abenomics moment

©Matt Kenyon Investors were not listening hard enough to Mario Draghi’s recent speech at Jackson Hole. If they were, they would have heard the sound of gears shifting. At the annual gathering of central bankers last month, the president of the European Central Bank called for more “growth-friendly” fiscal policy across the eurozone and admitted markets had lost faith in…

US bonds are tracking ECB policy

©Reuters The link between US monetary policy and US bond yields has fallen apart this year, showing how fears of deflation in Europe are driving global financial markets. According to analysis by the Financial Times, the correlation between five- and ten-year Treasury yields has fallen to its lowest level on record, with US bonds appearing to track European monetary policy…

Buyout groups invest in UK North Sea oil

©Getty Buyout groups Blackstone and Blue Water Energy are providing $500m to Siccar Point Energy, a new UK-focused oil company, in one of the largest ever private equity investments in North Sea oil. The move highlights the continuing international appeal of Britain’s offshore oilfields, in spite of increasing competition from newer and more prolific basins in Africa and the US…

LSE cash call supports underwriting cartel

You are Chris Gibson-Smith, chairman of the London Stock Exchange. Is your top priority to: a) ensure a fair fight between buyers and sellers of stock; or b) look after the interests of shareholders in the companies listed? The LSE is in the middle of a well-flagged, and generally well-received rights issue to pay for a sensible acquisition – a…

IC: August 30 highlights

©Bloomberg Buy: AGA Rangemaster (AGA) Despite recent weakness, new ranges are set to widen Aga’s appeal and a forward price to earnings ratio of 13 looks undercooked, writes Julia Bradshaw As more and more people are choosing to live cheek by jowl in city flats, hawkishly watching their energy bills, images evoking draughty country cottages can seem increasingly at odds…