It’s a persistent corporate comedy, this one.
While clicking around the entertaining (and alleged) Chinese bid for Aston Villa FC, we thought we’d revisit Johnny Hon, the enthusiastic chap fronting Gate Ventures, that bizarre “theatre investment” company that was thrown off the AIM market last summer. Read more
How about this for a wheeze?
Tell your boss that on July 1 you are going to some boring conference called the FT’s Festival of Finance in the City, where you’ll be able to focus on some potentially market-moving remarks from the ECB’s chief economist, Peter Praet, and also catch a discussion with one of the sharpest financial brains on the planet, Hyun Song Shin.
But really it’s Camp Alphaville, so you can also grab a VR headset and play this as well! Read more
Endless pixels are spilt discussing the digital evolution/revolution/degradation of media. Here’s a fresh example of the New Journalism. Courtesy of Katie Martin, a live blog covering the opening of a KFC chicken shop in Nottingham…
There’s a discount. Just for today.
And there’s a code: Friday13th. Use it here.
The authorities here had led the Alphaville team to believe there would be no special price reductions for the FT’s Festival of Finance (née Camp Alphaville) on July 1, at the Honourable Artillery Company, London EC1. There was supposed to be just one high-value rate: £120, including VAT.
That’s turned out to be rubbish. Read more
Just quickly click the image.
It will only take about 30 seconds. If that. Honest.
Rocket really is coming back to earth, moving 4.66 per cent closer at pixel…
Administrators are going in at BHS, the British chain of down-at-heel department stores, best known through the years for its budget lighting department and serving up cheap coffee to pensioners.
The business has been managed for most of the past 16 years by Sir Philip Green, “King of the Shops,” on behalf of his wife Tina, who has spent the period in Monaco, avoiding UK tax. BHS was sold last year to an opaque group of supposed turnaround specialists. But the situation was probably already terminal – hence the sale price of £1.
Here, in very rough terms, is how the finances worked. It’s an open question as to whether, with a little less financial engineering, this business might yet have survived. Read more
On Tuesday last week, a company called Luen Wong Group, joined Hong Kong’s new-ish Growth Enterprise Market at 25 HK cents a share. By Thursday it was trading at 46 times that. Luen Wong is a civil engineering subcontractor. It’s a specialist in roads and footpaths and drainage.
The company has proved to be the most eye-catching of recent Hong Kong IPOs, but there are plenty of other examples of nuttiness.
A day before Luen Wong arrived, Hypebeast, an online fashion store, jumped 20 fold on the GEM. Read more
Intel provided us with an eye-catching number as it announced, late on Tuesday, “a Restructuring to Speed its Transition to a Company that Powers the Cloud and Billions of Smart, Connected Computing Devices…”
Up to 12,000 Intel people — 11 per cent of the workforce — will lose their jobs.
Trip Chowdhry’s Global Equities Research has extrapolated that news out to the wider old skool US tech world and come up with a rather larger layoff number: 369,000 over the next 12 months. Read more
The presentation deck for the €5bn plan to prop up Italy’s weaker lenders has leaked to Economia Il Messaggero. Click to read:
The extraordinary story concerning Monegasque ‘energy services’ group Unaoil, broken jointly by the Fairfax media titles in Australia and Huffington Post in the US 24 hours ago, looks about to erupt fully.
Here’s the statement released by the Principality on Thursday evening. It seems Britain’s SFO has been first off the mark acting on the findings of a six month long journalistic investigation. The findings will be of interest to certain US regulatory bodies as well, no doubt. Click to read… Read more
Elsewhere on Thursday,
- Online fraud victim compensation and moral hazard.
- The aggressive, outrageous and infuriating (ingenious) rise of BrewDog.
- Minsky had some thoughts about Trump.
- Quantifying the Fed’s impact on the S&P 500. Read more
Back in October, Bill Ackman asked the question of Valeant chief executive Michael Pearson:
Mike, is there any fraud going on at the company?
We got a fuller answer on Monday. Click for the 8-K: Read more
It’s an unsustainable business model aimed at bilking insurance companies.
The latest Valeant market crash was still ongoing at pixel, the stock being off 45 per cent or so at $38.
You could pin this simply on the dreadful Q4s and accompanying 2016 guidance: revenues to fall 12 per cent. Read more
One of the go-to guys on trade litigation between the US and China is Bill Perry, a Seattle-based attorney who spent the 80s at the US International Trade Commission, the Office of Chief Counsel and Office of Antidumping Investigations, and the US Department of Commerce.
While tackling all sorts of anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, he runs a blog that covers what it says on the tin: US China Trade War
And if you ask him about the fast-escalating case involving China’s ZTE Corp, Bill will offer you one word: Hòumén (back door or 后门 in simplified Chinese. Read more
To cite Investopedia…
The name “blue chip” came about because in the game of poker the blue chips have the highest value. Blue chip stocks are seen as a less volatile investment than owning shares in companies without blue chip status because blue chips have an institutional status in the economy. Investors may buy blue chip companies to provide steady growth in their portfolios. The stock price of a blue chip usually closely follows the S&P 500.
While throwing in some history… Read more
From the SEC, via FINRA, late last month…
Rule 2242 is intended to foster objectivity and transparency in debt research and to provide investors with more reliable and useful information to make investment decisions. The rule adopts a tiered approach that, in general, provides retail debt research recipients with extensive protections similar to those provided to recipients of equity research under FINRA rules, with modifications to reflect differences in the trading of debt securities.2 At the same time, the rule provides broad exemptions for debt research distributed solely to eligible institutional investors.
And from Barclays, on Thursday… Read more
We must dust off our Vulgarati series, since “London art dealer and multi-billionaire” James, husband of Formula 1 heiress Petra Ecclestone, has new wheels…
Back in the late 90s, during one of the first attempts to forge a merger or some sort of alliance between the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges, an internal competition was launched to find a name for the new entity. The prize was a weekend for two, all expenses paid, in either London or Frankfurt, depending on the winner’s abode.
In the event, all the entries came from the Deutsche Boerse side; none at all came from the LSE. But in any case, a winning entry was never chosen because the whole plan fell foul of board level egos. And every merger plan since has fallen on similar grounds. Read more
The FCA has posted one of its “Dear CFO” letters to the UK spreadbetting/CFD sector. It follows a review across ten firms which (surprise, surprise) found various areas of concern.
Would-be investors in CMC Markets, whose float closes on Thursday, might take particular note. They are, after all, being invited to help Peter Cruddas and his wife Fiona, along with Goldman Sachs, take more than £200m off the table…
Click to read. Read more
The ECB, we guess, is still getting to grips with its new(ish) role as bank regulator-in-chief across Europe. But in the case of Portugal’s Novo Banco, the phoenix-like entity created out of the collapsed Banco Espirito Santo, there’s no evidence the ECB has any handle whatsoever.
A strange re-resolution of Novo Banco, announced between Christmas and New Year, has been left entirely to the Bank of Portugal, whose bungling plan to protect local retail investors at the expense of foreign bond holders (notably Blackrock and Pimco) now looks to be headed for the courts.
Indeed, as Bloomberg reported this week, Clifford Chance in London and PLMJ in Lisbon have now been hired to sue the Portuguese central bank.
Yet all this could be avoided, if only the Bank of Portugal would lose a little of its bloody-mindedness. Read more
We have a severe problem with our ML comments system. We can’t restart Tuesday’s session of Markets Live until that has been looked into.
The tech team are on the case, but probably best you go make yourself a cup of tea. Read more
Henry Blodget set a high bar in low-grade blogging five years back when visiting the WEF’s annual Alpine outing: he took photos of each bit of junk in his official Davos bag. It made for a 22-page slide show, bringing in 124,481 reader page views — the advertising on which will have helped to pay for his trip.
At Davos this year it fell to Quartz to come up with a fresh way to waste readers’ time, promising this:
We brought an antenna to Davos to track private air travel, and here’s what we found
Anyone practicing their knife-catching skills with this particular miner will have replaced their hands with ribbons. Here’s Anglo American of late…