Monthly Archives: May 2015

Energy companies seize initiative on climate change

©Bloomberg Six of Europe’s largest oil and gas companies have banded together for the first time to ask the UN to let them help devise a plan to stop global warming. In a sign of the rising pressure on fossil fuel companies ahead of a UN meeting in Paris to seal an international climate deal, the chief executives of groups…

UK and US manufacturing activity in focus

The coming data-heavy week presents a broad mix of indicators for leading economies. Monthly activity surveys for the US, UK and China are out on Monday and Wednesday, eurozone inflation and growth data are published on Wednesday and Friday respectively, then there are interest rate announcements from the European Central Bank and Bank of England on Wednesday and Thursday with…

Top US fund managers attack regulators

©AFP US fund managers have launched a new attack on global regulators as they fight a rearguard action against possible rules that would treat groups such as Fidelity and BlackRock as threats to the financial system. The Financial Stability Board, a global watchdog chaired by Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, is exploring whether to designate the biggest…

New rules let Visa, Mastercard enter China

©Bloomberg Global bank card operators including Visa and Mastercard can seek licenses to clear domestic Chinese payments starting on Monday, following a long-running struggle to penetrate a market dominated by a powerful state-backed incumbent. The biggest share prices gains for both Visa and Mastercard over the last year have come in response to Chinese government policies that open the local…

Surplus hits physical oil cargoes price

©Getty Sellers of physical oil are struggling to offload cargoes of North Sea and west African crudes, prompting them to offer big discounts amid a persistent surplus. The barometer of North Sea production is known as Dated Brent and is used to price two-thirds of the world’s physical oil supplies. A cargo of Forties crude, one of the four different…

US launch of Primark keeps AB Foods ahead

A sell-off in the closing minutes of trade sent the FTSE 100 sharply lower on Friday, but AB Foods avoided the drop. Goldman Sachs backed AB’s plan to launch its Primark chain in the US this September, with the clothing retailer seen being ideally positioned to capture America’s love of fast fashion, particularly among the millennial generation. US consumers spend…

Intel nears $15bn deal to buy Altera

©AFP Intel is close to acquiring Altera, a maker of “programmable” processors, for as much as $15bn, people familiar with the matter say, in what would mark the California chipmaker’s biggest ever deal. The purchase could be announced as early as next week, said one person informed about the negotiations between the two companies, and would be the latest in…

GameStop conquers with new releases

©Reuters Strong sales of new releases such as Mortal Kombat X and Battlefield Hardline helped GameStop conquer new territory in the US markets. The US video game retailer reported better than expected first-quarter profits and same-store sales, and also lifted its full-year outlook. The Texas-based company had profits of $73.8m, or 68 cents a share, in the three months to…

How the Chinese currency came in from the cold

©Getty China currency is “no longer undervalued,” says IMF Financial Times, May 26 Undervalued, overvalued. Is it just me, or can nobody agree on the true value of the Chinese currency? There are many conflicting views. For now, the renminbi is akin to beauty: in some respects its value still lies in the eye of the beholder. OK – but…

FCA must not delay publishing HBOS report

©Bloomberg The UK regulator has been urged to radically reform how the asset management industry operates Mike Ellis is an Authorised Person. We know this because the Financial Conduct Authority did the authorising. Mr Ellis was finance director of HBOS from 2001 to 2004, and again from 2007 until 2009. Now he’s chairman of the Skipton Building Society, an altogether…