Opening Quote: Final Premier Farnell offer

By Jonathan Guthrie

Sign up to receive your City morning briefing by email here.

Swiss electronics group Datwyler has signalled it will take its £615m bid for Premier Farnell, distributor of the Raspberry Pi, no higher. The company has defined its offer as “final”, which means shareholders can take it or leave it. They are likely to leave it, since US rival Avnet has bid £691m. Read more

FT Opening Quote: Admiral continuity, Cobham change and tax clampdown

Sign up for Jonathan Guthrie’s Opening Quote daily by email here.

Admiral’s half year results are a terrible disappointment. It isn’t the numbers – group profit before tax is up 4 per cent to £193m – so much as the absence of bon mots from founder Henry Engelhardt, who stepped down as chief executive of the motor insurance group earlier this year. He likened prior results to “a snowball running like an express train” and his career to hot buttered toast.

 Read more

FT Opening Quote – RIT reduces equities exposure

By Jonathan Guthrie: Lord Rothschild is pulling in his horns. The veteran investor has reduced the equities exposure of RIT Capital Partners, his family’s £2.5bn London-quoted vehicle, from 55 to 44 per cent. He has cut sterling-denominated positions to 25 per cent and raised outlay on gold and precious metals to 8 per cent. Read more

An Alphapause

Yeah, it’s mid August. News flow is light. Izzy and Murphy are off (separately) for a week’s holiday; the rest of the team will be sorting through off-site stuff like email backlogs, catching up on reading material and doing some important contact development work. So expect a very light posting schedule from us. Normal service will be resumed on Monday, August 22. Read more

Thoughts for the weekend, and some links

A twofer this edition, as FT Alphaville is on a summer semi-holiday next week.

First: Read more

First FT – China warns UK over nuclear power deal, the global democratic recession and mankind’s greatest heritage site

Bilateral ties stand at a ‘crucial historical juncture’ over London’s deferral of an £18bn nuclear power project Read more

Thought for the weekend

I’m not going to job through everybody’s f***ing hoops. Bullsh*t from Maxwell that we’ve had to pay money to get bloody disproven because the code’s f***ing out there. I’m not doing this every f***ing time. I’m not going to sign every f***ing key I own in the world. I’ve got the first f***ing nine keys, I’ve got the f***ing genesis bloody block, I’ve got the f***ing code, I’ve got the f***ing papers. I’m not going to go through f***ing everything. I don’t really give a sh*t whether people like it.

- Craig Wright in an interview with GQ, released by the magazine this week. (via Ars Technica UK)

Markets Live is back at 11am

After a short, refreshing break, both Bryce and Murphy have made it back to FTAV HQ. So Markets Live resumes on Monday at 11am, as per usual. Never heard of ML? Click here. Read more

Thought(s) for the weekend

FinTech does not live at any specific location it lives at every mind and heart who is willing to make difference and has potential to take dream forward…

What is FinTech and where does it Live? (via Climateer InvestingRead more

Markets Live is on a one-week break

Bryce has fled north of the border; Murphy’s skulking at home in London. There’s no session of Markets Live today, or any day this week. Unless there’s a market emergency, of course. Normal service will be resumed on August 1. Read more

In knighthood news

Your lady here is sort of suggesting here I should remember about a board meeting in 20-whatever it was…

– (Sir) Philip Green, evidence to the parliamentary committee inquiry into the collapse of BHS, last month Read more

From Cardiff Garcia, locked-down earlier in Munich…

Quick audio vox pop here from Cardiff, who happened to in a restaurant near the site of the lone gunman attack on Friday night… Read more

Thought for the weekend

I do like the simplicity of the one product. We’ll probably expand in time, though. Maybe people would cook more if they could do things a little differently. Maybe, functionally, a new ingredient would allow that. People are still using eggs and milks and bread. When were those invented? People upgrade their iPhones every couple of years but we’re still eating the same foods that our ancestors did.

– Rob Rhinehart, inventor of Soylent meal-substitute gunk, enjoying Lunch with the FT

Thought for the weekend

Doo doo, doo doo. Right. Good.

- David Cameron reflecting (via a hot mic) on his resignation as Prime Minister Read more

There’s no Markets Live session on Friday

Bryce has taken a snap Summer Friday; Murphy’s deepening contact relationships in NW8. Normal service will resume on Monday. Read more

There’s a good reason to be a Long Room member…

It provides access to useful posts, like this one — a collection of timely reads on the financial consequences of Brexit.

Long Room membership is free, but access is restricted to finance professionals. In joining, you’ll be asked to fill out a little form and provide contact details. But don’t worry, we won’t spam you. Read more

Thought for the weekend

Wavelet transforms were invented for the purpose of analyzing time series data for which the mix of frequencies (power spectrum) may vary, and have come to be widely used in the fields of physics and engineering. One key application of wavelet analysis is identification of intra-cycle location, or distance to the next peak or trough. Applied to data for the USDJPY, this should provide us with some indication as to how long the yen might keep strengthening.

 Read more

FT Festival of Finance: The podcast preview

Monsoon conditions, interference and sheer content volume means we’re having to dedicate a bit more editing time to the podcast version of the FT Festival of Finance (AKA Camp Alphaville 2016) than anticipated. But it’s all in the name of bringing you as smooth a listening experience as possible.

The fully finessed beach bundle will be with you next week. In the meantime, however, here’s a sneak preview of the unedited Brexit-themed content (you know, before it goes entirely stale). Read more

If you voted for Brexit and like open-ended UK property funds, we have some bad news

From Standard Life Investments as it suspends trading in its £2.9bn UK real estate fund (one of the UK’s largest) because of post-referendum redemption requests:

Updating with actual press release:

STANDARD LIFE INVESTMENTS UK REAL ESTATE FUND

Due to exceptional market circumstances, Standard Life Investments has taken the decision to suspend all trading in the Standard Life Investments UK Real Estate Fund (and its associated Feeder Funds) from 12:00 noon on 4July 2016.

The decision was taken following an increase in redemption requests as a result of uncertainty for the UK commercial real estate market following the EU referendum result. The suspension was requested to protect the interests of all investors in the fund and to avoid compromising investment returns from the range, mix and quality of assets within the portfolio.

 Read more

FT Opening Quote

Shareholders in the London Stock Exchange will vote today on a merger with Deutsche Boerse to create a pan-European exchanges champion. The deal has been cast into doubt by the Brexit referendum, according to some commentators.

LSE investors can be expected to vote Yes, not least because the drop in the value of sterling has increased the value of the 46 per cent stake they will take in the merged entity. Read more

Festival of Finance 2016 — the liveblog

The Alphaville team has decamped to the FT’s Festival of Finance 2016 in London. Follow a special day-long Markets Live session for updates from the event. 

Thought for the weekend

“I think it’s comprehensible why this happened: first, no one wants to feed and subsidise poorer economies, to support other states, support entire nations. [...] Apparently the British people are not satisfied with the way problems are being solved in the security sphere, these problems have become more acute lately with the migration processes.”

– Russian President Vladimir Putin’s take on Brexit.

Anticipating the central banks

Fresh from the inbox, first from Goldman:

We expect the BoE to implement policy actions aimed at maintaining market functioning (in difficult circumstances), by activating swap lines with other major central banks and by announcing additional liquidity operations, including the provision of term funding for UK banks. Read more

Brexit: the monetarists weigh in

We are full-on tin hats mode here on Alphaville, as we pass along interesting commentary as fast as we spot it.

Two of the most prominent monetarist economists have just weighed in on Brexit, concluding that it represents a monetary shock more than, well, all the other kinds of shock. Read more

Thought for the weekend

Karen Buck MP: I am just interested in the contribution that BHS would make. Did the trustees ask for more than £10 million?

Sir Philip Green: I don’t know. You must have been a mind-reader in your previous life. Were you? Read more

Thought for the weekend

MARK HOWARD QC: You were intending was that this would be a rigged auction where you would be assured the opportunity to win because you would have access to information which was confidential when no one else would have access to your information…?

GUY HANDS: If we take the word “rigged” away, yes.

 Read more

FirstFT – Brexit defection, the maze beneath London and why smart guys still wear suits

Sarah Wollaston, a senior Tory MP, has abandoned the Leave campaign in the first major political defection of the referendum debate Read more

Ira Sohn in HK (warning: contains shorts) UPDATED

By Jennifer Hughes and Peter Wells in Hong Kong

We’re not sure US and UK regulators attend hedge fund conferences, but in Hong Kong they do. Ashley Alder, head of the Securities and Futures Commission even opened the gig and described hedgies as “a breath of fresh air.”*

See below for some of the ideas presented – and the first short ones in five years of the conference in its various guises.

 Read more

Thought for the weekend

“When I began covering Bernie Sanders for The Huffington Post, my goal was to imagine what an equally accurate and reasonable and just master narrative sitting alongside the one promoted by the corporate media would look like. I wanted to write editorials that came from that master narrative, not the corporate one, because I believed then and believe still that the experimental journalism of the future will embrace the multi-dimensionality of metanarrative. Write that Sanders is in the midst of a competitive primary race enough times — and support those claims with unimpeachable elements of the totalized “Real” — and in time we collectively can see that that seemingly impossible metanarrative is every bit as powerful and present and perceivable as any other.”

Seth Abramson, columnist at The Huffington Post.

Thought for the weekend

“It didn’t take long for the BitShares community to realize that funding projects today would cause a short-term fall in the value of BitShares. Unable to bear the short-term paper-loss and psychological impact of a lower market cap, people started electing proxies that would vote against all spending proposals.”

– Lessons in decentralised autonomous organisations from Dan Larimer.