Sunday, 8 November 2015

Some stories to be thinking about

A few finance and related stories we need to be thinking about before Monday morning:

Macro matters:

Another week, another weak China weekend economic statistic:

'China's trade figures disappointed analyst expectations by a wide margin in October, reinforcing views that the world's second-largest economy will have to do more to stimulate domestic demand given softness in overseas markets.

October exports fell 6.9 percent from a year ago, down for a fourth month, while imports slipped 18.8 percent, leaving the country with a record high trade surplus of $61.64 billion, the General Administration of Customs said on Sunday'

Still the trade surplus is the highest on record since at least 1995...

Meanwhile thinking about the broader G20 I thought this article was thought-provoking ahead of the Chinese Presidency starting on 1 December: 

'The expiration of US$380 billion of IMF bilateral funding over 2016 and 2017 introduces unacceptable systemic risk into the global economy. This requires an urgent response from the G20. These loans need to be renewed. By packaging this with these other initiatives, renewing these bilateral loans will be more palatable to the emerging market economies who, in return for their funding commitments, do not receive any additional voting power'

Shifting to the financial markets I liked this chart showing a potential market correction around the end of the second term of a US President?

Europe political and economic discussions will continue to fill the front pages over the next year or so ahead of any Brexit referendum.  I liked this map showing potential disagreements and allegiances.  Note that outside of selected Scandinavian countries and Ireland there are few consistent supporters of the UK's more sceptical position on many pan-European issues.  

Meanwhile talking about Europe I thought this was a wise quote from the weekend Financial Times:

However at least European investors are investing in European equities

(h/t @Eurofaultlines)

Gold and wine have had pretty highly correlated prices recently:

Give me gold as an investment asset any day - a view seemingly shared by BestInvest in their recent asset allocation update (link here). 

Meanwhile many private investor have backed property.  Interesting chart showing UK property price differentials since the global financial crisis in 2008: 

Wow, great list here of 'CAPE' valuations showing how cheap the emerging markets look...

Internet population not as globally free as you may have initially thought (very interesting report here):

Talking about interesting reports here is 'the world's largest ranking of countries by English skills'

Interesting on robo advisers from the front page of Saturday's FT:

Apparently 'a large order of McDonald's fries costs about $126 in Venezuela' (link here). 

Very, very true (h/t @StockTwits) on trading and investing: 


Company-related observations:

Can we be surprised that there has been a 'spate of jumbo corporate debt offerings has lifted US issuance to a record high as companies seek to lock in financing to fund multibillion-dollar acquisitions before the Federal Reserve lifts rates for the first time since the financial crisis.
US multinationals have raised more than $132bn in so-called jumbo-deals — debt offerings above $10bn in size — in 2015, more than a fourfold increase from a year earlier as companies including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and UnitedHealth take advantage of low interest rates, according to data from Dealogic' (FT)

'Shell’s record of poor returns on an ever-rising capital base makes the BG deal in our view even less appealing' (link here).  Interesting...I actually disagree as I noted here last week but it is a good debate. 

Good observation on an important technology IPO:

Double eleven day next week...huge retail day for China and Alibaba in particular.  Great backdrop and history in this article here

'For most of the world, next Tuesday will be just another day. But in China, internet users will be throwing money at their screens. At the end of the day, Chinese users will almost certainly have set a new record, spending more money online in a single day than has ever been spent before anywhere'.

Savers who put cash into 6.5% 'Bollywood bond'  from Eros International fear for their investment as price halves in a matter of weeks (link here): 

Seeking Alpha noted: 'Several company engineers have admitted manipulating carbon dioxide emissions data, stating the ambitious goals set by former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn were too difficult to achieve. Nordea has confirmed it will sue Volkswagen over the emissions scandal, becoming the first asset manager to do so.VW is also expected to offer cash this week to the owners of diesel cars in the U.S. as it steps up recovery efforts under a "TDI Goodwill Program." '

A few business stories from The Sunday Times:

National Grid - 'poised to kick off the £10bn sale of its gas distribution operation...spurred into action by rampant demand for infrastructure assets from foreign investors' 

SABMiller - 'set to offload its American business for more than US$10bn...selling its 58% stake in Miller Coors to joint venture partner Molson Corrs'

TalkTalk - 'could cut or even axe its dividend this week as it spells out the heavy cost of last month's cyberattack' 

Wells Fargo prowls City in hunt for fund giant...Henderson and Jupiter tipped as targets for America's fourth-biggest bank' 

And finally...

The importance of social media...

but also a wonderful list about how people are 'daft' and aid crooks and others by irregular social media postings. 

Ho ho... 

(h/t @patriciavalerio) 

Have a good week

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