Monthly Archives: April 2015

Eurozone markets dip as QE euphoria fades

©EPA European share prices saw their first monthly decline of 2015 in April, as enthusiasm for Europe’s quantitative easing programme began to fade. Powerful rallies in eurozone stock and bond markets since the start of 2015 went into reverse this week, with analysts saying asset prices had risen too far, too quickly, and were due for a correction. The FTSE…

LinkedIn joins social media losers

©iStock LinkedIn became the third social media company in a week to lose as much as a quarter of its valuation in minutes after reporting a weaker outlook, on a steep slide in European advertising as well as the costs of acquiring education site Lynda.com. The business networking site saw some $7bn wiped from its market capitalisation in after-hours trading,…

Primark growth potential boosts AB Foods

©Getty AB Foods was in demand on Thursday after Morgan Stanley set out a 25-year plan for its Primark chain. Primark has the potential to grow nearly tenfold by 2040, creating a global network of 2,700 stores from 287 currently, Morgan Stanley forecast. That would make Primark about as big as H&M by store count and equal to Inditex by…

Puerto Rico drops tax plan, hitting bonds

©Reuters Puerto Rican bonds slid deeper into distressed territory on Thursday after the debt-laden island’s House of Representatives voted down measures to overhaul the tax system, deepening concerns over the commonwealth’s creditworthiness. The House of Representatives voted 28 to 22 to reject a bill that would have reformed the value added tax and helped plug a yawning budget deficit that…

BP investors need protecting from Cameron

©Reuters Call that a national champion? BP is a curious business to receive such a flattering title, via government protection from takeover. Its standout achievements in recent years have been dumping 134m gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and allying itself with a business linked to the Russian state, invader of the Crimea. What other internationally unappreciated UK…

Bunge rules out transformational deals

©AFP Bunge, the international agricultural trader, said it was looking for smaller acquisitions rather than a transformational deal as it reported strong first-quarter results driven by soyabean processing and improved grain trading. Soren Schroder, Bunge chief executive, said it was looking at businesses up to the range of about $600m, all but ruling out an independent move for Tate &…

Oil groups reveal toll from price fall

©Bloomberg The slump in oil and natural gas prices since last summer has driven the American production operations of the world’s largest oil companies into losses. ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips of the US on Thursday reported that they lost money on oil and gas production in their home country in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell disclosed a $1.1bn loss…

Iron ore rally starts to fade

©Dreamstime Iron ore has resumed its downward trajectory after a rally that sent the price of the steelmaking commodity up by 25 per cent in a matter of weeks. After sinking to a six-year low earlier this month, the price of iron ore had risen more than $12 a tonne as Chinese steel mills replenished their inventories. But the recovery…

Statoil takes $4bn writedown on US assets

Statoil, Norway’s biggest energy group, on Thursday wrote down the value of its shale and oil sands assets in the US and Canada by $4bn after the sharp fall in crude prices. Statoil revealed impairments of NKr30.4bn ($4bn) linked to its investments in “unconventional” oil and gasfields in North America. “We take a more cautious view due to the uncertainty…

Vale earnings slump 60% on China cutbacks

©Bloomberg Vale’s iron ore mine in Barão de Cocais, Brazil Vale, the world’s largest producer of iron ore, reported its worst earnings for six years as Chinese steelmakers cut back orders, hitting the Brazilian company hard. First-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation slumped 61 per cent to $1.6bn from a year earlier, disappointing analysts and marking Vale’s…