Posts from Friday May 9 2014

Cheap date index says steer clear of sterling

Forget PPP-adjusted GDP. Deutsche Bank is trying to make international currency comparisons sexy with its Cheap Date index, part of its annual look at global price trends.

How much does it cost to take your loved one out? DB’s statistics wonks probably aren’t getting any, judging by the way they construct their index, which involves a date at McDonald’s and doesn’t even include flowers:

We have defined the “cheap date” as follows: cab rides, McDonalds burgers, soft drink, two movie tickets, and a couple of beers. Please note that in our last update we had included sending a bouquet of roses in the activities for a date. This year we have removed it as it was skewing the comparison.

File that excuse away; it might be useful next Valentine’s Day.

The index shows London as the most expensive place for a cheap date. True cheapskates should take their paramour to India: Read more

B b b b b b b boom! (UK edition)

Welcome to boom time in the UK. There, we said it. Or rather we’ve spotted that the optimistic Jonathan Stubbs at Citi has said it. There is a buzz, and it is all about the Bs.

Bull Market — Boom, Bids, Base Rates, Builders & Big-Caps

Global recovery, UK boom — Our economists expect progressive recovery of global economy in 2014-15 with GDP growth of 3.1% this year rising to 3.5% in 2015, from 2.5%in 2013. Recovery led by US and Europe/UK. EM headwinds not strong enough to derail growth. UK survey data very strong, eg new orders, hiring and investing intention. Boom time.

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This is nuts. When’s the crash?

Apple, that ultra-secretive, profit maximising, cash hoarding, phone making, tax dodging efficient maker of phones and stuff is supposed to be the sensible one. It sells actual things for a profit and is not known for pouring money down speculative drains.

But, as the FT’s Matt Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw revealed, it wants Beats Electronics for $3.2bn. Beats makes headphones, like Apple does, and, er, even longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster is scratching his head.

We are struggling to see the rationale behind this move. Beats would of course bring a world class brand in music to Apple, but Apple already has a world class brand and has never acquired a brand for a brand’s sake (i.e., there are no non-Apple sub-brands under the company umbrella). Separately, we are not aware of any intellectual property within Beats that would drive the acquisition justification beyond the brand.

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Markets Live: Friday, 9th May, 2014

Live markets commentary from FT.com 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Co-Op in £400m capital raise || Overbearing Omnicom is to blame, says Lévy || Arcelormittal losses || Putin might on display || US to join tax club || Stocks off highs Read more

Introducing James Stunt

This is the first of a new occasional series here on FTAV.

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Won’t somebody think of the property developers?

And so it goes, from Nomura’s Zhiwei Zhang:

Today’s 21st Century Business Herald reports that in Jiangsu Province the Rongchen Property Development Co. Ltd. defaulted on a RMB100m trust product that came due last August. The paper says that as yet the principal and interest have not been fully paid.

Separately, in Zhejiang Province, risks have increased with regard to entrusted loans totalling about RMB5bn made by 19 listed companies (as of end-2013) to mainly small and medium-sized property developers. These loans were extended at interest rates ranging from 7.25% to as high as 25%. Almost all entrusted loans made by one of the listed companies, Sunny Loan Top Co. Ltd., were extended to property developers at annual rates above 18%. The paper reports that some RMB600m of entrusted loans extended by four companies have either.

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

- Geithner dismissed Summers as espousing “the hedge-fund view.”

- In the scion’s den.

- Out of the shadows and on to the cover of the Economist.

- Is investment banking dead? Read more

The *ahem* 7am London Cut

With apologies for the delay, we had tech issues…

Markets: Asia-Pacific markets are ending the week on a mixed note after Wall Street stocks ticked lower and Chinese inflation slowed to an 18 month low. (FT’s Global Markets OverviewRead more