Posts from Wednesday Jul 16 2014

Sell Rosneft, buy AK-47s

From the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Wednesday:

The following transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States involving the persons listed below are hereby prohibited: transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in new debt of longer than 90 days maturity of these persons (listed below), their property, or their interests in property…

Note that wording carefully. “US persons” could extend beyond the US. Meanwhile “new debt of longer than 90 days maturity” could extend beyond US dollar debt.

It does not, however, include US dollar clearing generally, the US Treasury says. Nor, it seems, CDS which references prohibited underlying debt.

Now note whose debt — not all transactions; debt — US banks, US clearing systems, and US investors may be prevented from dealing with accordingly: Read more

How to build an empire, the full Murdoch timeline

Step one, inherit.

Keith Rupert Murdoch, second of four children, was born in Melbourne, Australia on March 11, 1931. In 1953, after graduating from Worcester college, Oxford, he assumed control of News Ltd — left to him by his father. Adelaide News was the main asset, and he took control of the Sunday Times in Perth, developing the sensationalist style now seen in many Murdoch papers.

Step two, start hunting with ruthless and patience persistence.

The following is an updated version of a timeline the FT published back in 2007, and we’ll also put a helpful list of News Corp’s biggest deals at the bottom. Read more

Time Warner rejects

Statement here, and it is more than boilerplate.

The Board is confident that continuing to execute its strategic plan will create significantly more value for the Company and its stockholders and is superior to any proposal that Twenty-First Century Fox is in a position to offer.

Superior to a 25 per cent premium? Also note the reference to the Murdoch factor — control of the group by the closely-held voting shares of Fox (our emphasis): Read more

Fox confirms

21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies. The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner.

Statement here. It may be worth revisiting the implacable tactics used by Rupert Murdoch in the pursuit of his last big trophy, as described by that prizeRead more

Murdoch and Time Warner, one hundred years ago

1984, Fortune:

Warner would fit the scope of Murdoch’s ambition. It operates one of the most consistently profitable movie and TV studios in Hollywood, owns a vast film library worth more than $500 million, and has one of the largest record companies in the U.S. A battle for Warner would show off Murdoch’s defiantly competitive ways. His instincts are brute and he hardly ever bolts from a row. In late January, for instance, he had reporters at the New York Post searching for dirt about Steve Ross of Warner.

July 16 2014, NYTRead more

Meanwhile, at summer camp

If Google or 21st Century Fox is interested in buying Time Warner, it’s news to Jeff Bewkes.

“I know nothing about it,” the media conglomerate’s chairman and CEO told Variety at the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, on Wednesday when queried about reports that the two companies were eying Time Warner… Read more

Rupert’s bear hug

An $80bn scoop on Dealbook…

Fox first approached Time Warner in early June, these people said. Chase Carey, the president of Fox and a longtime top lieutenant to Mr. Murdoch, met privately with Time Warner’s chief executive, Jeff Bewkes, these people said. Later that month, Fox delivered a formal takeover proposal worth $85 in stock and cash for each Time Warner share. Read more

Markets Live: Wednesday, 16 July, 2014

Live markets commentary from 

Almost normal service resumes, join us for Markets Live at 11

Paul is still ill, and Bryce is wreck diving at Bikini Atoll (possibly), but Joseph and Dan will be hosting Markets Live today at 11am, London time — so please do join them.

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Good morning New York,


Sharks off the British coast again?

The summer silly season is nearly upon us, so what chance a reprise of this Daily Mail classic?

From November 2009 when Britain’s tabloids met contango with predictable consequences: Read more

African Minerals: Dermot Coughlan resigns

African Minerals Limited (AIM: AMI) announces that Dermot Coughlan, one of its independent non-executive directors, has advised the Company of his resignation with immediate effect.

Dermot has been an independent director of the Company since 2010 and the Company notes his contribution during that time which saw the rapid progression of the Company’s Tonkolili project through exploration, development, construction and into operations.

The announcement follows our July 2 story, A related party at African Minerals, which reported that the miner had made large payments for warranty breaches to a company in which Hong Kong financial disclosures indicate non-executive director Dermot Coughlan and his son Craig Coughlan hold a financial interest. Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Wednesday,

– Who wouldn’t dislike the “Unaccountable Capital Markets Death Panel.”

– Oil futures trading in troubled waters.

– Congratulations to China where debt has finally reached 200 per cent of GDP.

– Hackathon accidentally picks perfect metaphor for own awfulnessRead more

The 6am London Cut

Markets: Asia-Pacific markets were barely moved by better-than-anticipated GDP numbers from China. Data out on Tuesday already showed that Chinese bank loans and other forms of credit grew at their fastest pace for three months in June. The Australian dollar, which usually reacts positively to better growth numbers in China, slipped 0.3 per cent to $0.9341. (FT’s Global Markets OverviewRead more