Monthly Archives: June 2015

Sirius gets go ahead for potash mine

A £1.7bn potash mine in a national park in North Yorkshire has been approved after planners ruled it was “transformational” for the economy, outweighing the need to preserve the precious moorland countryside. Sirius Minerals said it would be the “lowest impact mine in the world”, create 1,000 jobs and pump billions into the economy around the fishing port of Whitby…

Davis ready to make contrarian coal bet

©Charlie Bibby/FT Former Xstrata CEO Mick Davis Mick Davis, former chief executive of Xstrata, knows coal. By the time Xstrata was sold to Glencore in 2013, Mr Davis had turned the miner into the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, the type used in power stations. Coal lay behind Xstrata’s decade-long record as a corporate success story, riding the commodities…

Deutsche Bank: Cryan’s clean-up job

©Bloomberg Deutsche Bank’s “passion to perform” advertising slogan — translated tortuously from the original German — was never totally convincing. But now critics have started twisting it into a “passion to underperform”. Little wonder. Germany’s biggest bank is facing its deepest crisis of confidence in a generation. In April, Deutsche paid a record $2.5bn fine to US and UK regulators…

Greek crisis presents buying opportunity

©EPA People walk past a graffiti reading No in central Athens Fund managers said the crisis in Greece may present a buying opportunity, especially for European equities which are expected to gain over the longer term from the region’s stimulus programme. The MSCI Europe index is down 3.6 per cent from a week ago after Greece called a referendum on…

Grain prices rise as tighter supply looms

Corn and soyabean markets surged, capping a month of strong gains, after a pair of government reports suggested less ample supplies beckon. The US Department of Agriculture’s grain stocks and acreage reports indicated strong demand from livestock and biofuel refiners was whittling away granary surpluses, while weeks of rain was shrinking the potential size of crops just planted. The quarterly…

Home Retail buoyed by broker upgrade

Home Retail Group could double its share price by turning its Argos chain into “Amazon with stores”, according to Morgan Stanley. A Morgan Stanley upgrade lifted Home Retail 4.1 per cent to 169p against a falling wider market. While disappointing sales in each of the last three quarters “raise some obvious questions about the relevance of the Argos format for…

Handbag hit takes shine off Michael Kors

Handbag retailers were decidedly out of fashion among equity investors on Tuesday. On a day that saw Wall Street bounce back from its biggest one-day loss of the year, sentiment for a number of leading US accessories retailers soured after an analyst warned that the headwinds facing the handbag market could continue into the all important holiday shopping season this…

Plastics companies stretched by rising prices

©Bloomberg A Shell worker at its Netherlands petrochemical plant in Moerdijk For any industry, it would be a spectacular windfall: a near 50 per cent fall in the cost of its major input. That is what has happened to European petrochemical companies over the past year, as the price of crude oil plunged, delivering a once-in-a-generation boon to a sector…

Greek bond prices enter default territory

©Bloomberg Prices for benchmark Greek debt were already pricing in a default — or arrears — as electronic trading of the country’s government bonds was halted. Non-regulated, over-the-counter trading of bonds remains possible and one banker in Europe said he had seen a small number of Greek bond sales on Monday. However, a number of electronic bond platforms have suspended…

Greek heat dries up new stock sales in EU

©AFP Greeks protest in front of their parliament at the closure of banks and the stock market and the imposition of capital controls New bond and equity sales have dried up in Europe as companies and financial institutions await a resolution of the Greek crisis before bringing fresh stock to market. Sudden freezes in European capital market activity — which…