BCLYF - Barclays PLC

Other OTC - Other OTC Delayed Price. Currency in USD
2.1300
-0.0725 (-3.29%)
At close: 12:12PM EST
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Previous Close2.2025
Open2.2130
Bid0.0000 x 0
Ask0.0000 x 0
Day's Range2.1300 - 2.2130
52 Week Range1.6000 - 2.2500
Volume16,707
Avg. Volume89,807
Market Cap36.378B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.83
PE Ratio (TTM)76.07
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.09 (4.07%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-08-08
1y Target EstN/A
  • Financial Times

    Performance anxiety: Why are we killing bonuses?

    Instead of a bonus that varies based on total shareholder return, free cash flow and revenue growth, the BT CEO will receive the payout with no such strings attached. LTIPs have become so toxic that many shareholders now prefer a fixed allocation of shares, hoping that will align managers’ interests with their own.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 1-UK regulators call time on lengthy glitches in banking services

    Regulators made proposals on Thursday to strengthen the ability of banks and payment firms in Britain to cope with major incidents and maintain key services with minimum interruption. The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have proposed that banks, insurers, investment firms, exchanges and financial market infrastructure (FMIs) firms like Visa that make payments possible, set "impact tolerances" for important services. Firms themselves would quantify the maximum level of disruption they would tolerate in terms of time, volume of business or number of customers affected.

  • India Central Bank Resists Rate Cut Pressure as Inflation Spikes
    Bloomberg

    India Central Bank Resists Rate Cut Pressure as Inflation Spikes

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.India’s central bank defied expectations for an interest rate cut, preferring to keep its arsenal dry in case growth in Asia’s third-largest economy struggles to recover strongly in coming months.The decision not to cut in the face of spiking consumer prices is likely to burnish the Reserve Bank of India’s inflation-fighting credentials, three years after it adopted a 4% medium-term target. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee headed by Governor Shaktikanta Das decided to wait and see how the five rate cuts already delivered this year pan out before it does more.The MPC unanimously voted to keep the repurchase rate at 5.15%, confounding both economists and markets. None of the 43 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted the move, with Das telling reporters after the rate decision that the pause was temporary.“The RBI is keeping some of its powder dry for later,” said Teresa John an economist with Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities Pvt. in Mumbai. “We believe space for rate cuts -- 40 to 50 basis points -- is likely to open up in the first half of the next fiscal year as growth is unlikely to be significantly above 6%.”The surprise move was prompted by a spike in inflation in October above the central bank’s 4% medium-term target, and follows less than a week after data showed growth slowing to a six-year low. The RBI, has lowered rates by a total 135 basis points. with cuts in each of its policy meetings this year until now, though banks haven’t passed on all of that easing to borrowers.“There is space available for further monetary policy action,” Das told reporters. “There is a need to maximize the impact of rate reductions,” he said adding that such actions could not be “mechanical.”Sovereign bonds and stocks declined, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year bonds rising 13 basis points to 6.60%. The rupee rose 0.1% to 71.4250 per dollar.​While central banks around the world have been loosening monetary policy to offset a growth slowdown, the RBI seemed more worried that food prices are likely to remain sticky.“The RBI did indicate that it recognizes there is policy space to cut further, but policy makers appear to be keen to build inflation credibility amid higher prints,” Rahul Bajoria and Ashish Agrawal, analysts at Barclays Bank Plc. wrote in a note. “Despite cutting growth projections sharply, it has left the door open for future cuts as long as inflation comes down in line with its projections.”The RBI cut its full-year growth forecast for the fiscal year through March to 5% from 6.1%, while adding the inflation print in October was “much higher than expected.” The central bank raised its inflation forecast for the second-half of the fiscal year to 4.7%-5.1% from 3.5%-3.7% seen previously.Transmission WoesA crisis among shadow lenders and a build-up of bad loans at banks have curbed lending in the economy. The spread between the central bank’s key policy rate and the weighted average lending rate on outstanding loans from commercial banks is the highest in data going back to February 2012.Das said the central bank was aware of vulnerability among the top 50 shadow banks it was monitoring closely. It was trying to encourage banks to lend more to the crisis-ridden shadow banking sector, which has been a huge driver of domestic consumption by way of consumer loans in recent years.As such he indicated that monetary policy alone could not get the economy out of the slowdown and the government too needed to deploy counter-cyclical measures to boost activity.Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has announced a slew of measures, including $20 billion in tax breaks to companies. It’s also merged weak state-run banks with stronger ones in a bid to spur lending, eased foreign investment rules and set up a special real-estate fund to salvage stalled residential projects.What Bloomberg’s Economists SayThe Reserve Bank of India’s shock hold on interest rates suggests rising inflation is a bigger concern than slumping growth. If so, this raises the prospect of another hold at its February review. The failure to ease -- the consensus forecast was for a 25 basis point cut, while we expected a deeper reduction -- will delay a recovery in the economy.\-- Abhishek Gupta, India economistClick here to read the full reportDespite these measures a recovery looks uncertain. While Das said there were “green shoots,“ most high frequency indicators show that a rebound is some way off.The RBI’s decision “defies the expectation of the market and also the body language of the central bank over the last six months or so when they seemed amenable toward out-of-the-box thinking and being very proactive in terms of supporting growth,” said Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.\--With assistance from Tomoko Sato, Kartik Goyal and Ragini Saxena.To contact the reporter on this story: Anirban Nag in Mumbai at anag8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net, Karthikeyan Sundaram, Jeanette RodriguesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Japan Leans on Fiscal Stimulus to Keep Recession at Bay
    Bloomberg

    Japan Leans on Fiscal Stimulus to Keep Recession at Bay

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced stimulus measures to support growth in an economy contending with an export slump, natural disasters and the fallout from a recent sales tax increase.The total stimulus package amounts to around 26 trillion yen ($239 billion) spread over the coming years, with fiscal measures around half that figure, according to a government document released after a cabinet meeting Thursday evening. The stimulus will boost growth in the economy by about 1.4 percentage point, the document said.“We shouldn’t miss this chance, this is exactly when we should accelerate Abenomics and overcome our challenges,” Abe said, shortly before the cabinet meeting approving the measures. End of Line for BOJ Leaves Kuroda Talking Up Fiscal FirepowerThe extra spending comes amid a rising awareness around the world that more government help is needed to keep economies growing in the face of a global slowdown that is exposing the limits of relying on central banks to do the heavy lifting of economic management.“In any country, the positive impact of extra monetary stimulus is limited, which is especially true in Japan and Europe where rates have turned negative. You have no effective choice but to execute fiscal measures to support growth,” said Harumi Taguchi, Tokyo-based principal economist at IHS Markit.Earlier in the day, Abe described the stimulus as a three-pillared package designed to aid disaster relief, protect against downside economic risks and prepare the country for longer-term growth after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.He said the stimulus would be funded by a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending in March, and special measures in the following year. The package outlines 4.3 trillion yen in funding for the measures in an extra budget this fiscal year.While the package was slightly larger than expected, the fresh spending measures of under 10 trillion yen left markets largely unimpressed. The officially released figures at the end of the day all matched the numbers contained in a draft seen by Bloomberg News earlier Thursday.Economists, meanwhile, cast doubt on whether the extra spending really packed the punch claimed in the draft. They said the government could have timed the tax increase better, but also asked if a perfect time for a tax hike exists.Bond Traders Shrug Off Japan’s $239 Billion Bid to Boost EconomyWith the package, Abe looks intent on minimizing the risk of a recession that would tarnish the record of his Abenomics growth program, while shoring up his own political support after recent scandals. To that end, an array of measures with a large price tag that can be paid for with the bare minimum of extra borrowing would fit the bill for a country with the developed world’s largest debt load.The package earmarks spending to improve the country’s resilience to extreme weather, to extend a rebate system for cashless payments and to put a tablet or device on every school child’s desk through the end of junior high school.“The size of the package is pretty big considering the official government assessment of the economy is that it remains on a recovery trend,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo. “We’ve heard a lot about preventive interest rate cuts, but these are preventive fiscal measures.”Extra government spending gives the Bank of Japan welcome breathing space to keep its monetary easing policy on hold as fiscal policy takes the driving seat in propping up growth.Barclays Changes BOJ Call, Expects No Easing Through FY2021Ahead of the announcement of the plan, some economists had already switched their forecasts on the BOJ’s policy stance toward a holding pattern rather than additional action, taking into account the likelihood of the stimulus package and the central bank’s lack of extra ammunition.The BOJ has already piled up assets worth more than the size of Japan’s entire economy in its bid to support growth and inflation. But the mounting side effects of its easing program on the banking sector and a perceived lack of effectiveness of taking yet more action are keeping the bank on hold unless absolutely necessary.Japan’s economy kept growing in the first three quarters of 2019 despite an export slump exacerbated by the U.S.-China trade war, but it is forecast to shrink 2.7% in annualized terms this quarter. The sales tax hike and typhoon damage, combined with weak exports are the factors set to push the economy into reverse.The package aims to get Japan’s economy up and running again to avoid any further deterioration in global demand triggering a recession early next year.Punching PowerStill, economists were skeptical that the measures would boost growth by the 1.4 percentage point set out by the government.Based on rough calculations following the news, Masaki Kuwahara, senior economist at Nomura Securities Co., saw a boost of around 1 percentage point over time from the package. More specifically, he said the economy would get a 0.6 percentage point gain over the next two fiscal years.Takashi Shiono, economist at Credit Suisse Group AG, said the kick from the spending would be up to 0.2 percentage point in the coming year.“That’s probably smaller than the consensus view, but we think the budget for public spending can’t be spent so quickly because of labor shortages and already solid demand for construction companies,” Shiono said.What Bloomberg’s Economist Says“Japan’s fiscal stimulus package appears to be a marginally larger than expected, going by the size of the planned extra budget and actual spending in the draft reported by Bloomberg News. This is clearly positive for growth -- likely helping avert a recession -- but it won’t be sufficient to prevent a significant slowdown in 2020.”\--Yuki Masujima, economistClick here to read more.(Updates with official confirmation of figures, comment from Prime Minister Abe)\--With assistance from Emi Urabe and Emi Nobuhiro.To contact the reporters on this story: Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at tfujioka1@bloomberg.net;Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at ynohara1@bloomberg.net;Takashi Hirokawa in Tokyo at thirokawa@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net, Paul Jackson, Jason ClenfieldFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Negative Rates Are Starting to Worry ECB Officials
    Bloomberg

    Negative Rates Are Starting to Worry ECB Officials

    (Bloomberg) -- Five weeks since Mario Draghi retired from running the European Central Bank, finding an outright fan of his legacy of negative interest rates has become a lot harder.Governing Council members, who collectively lowered the key rate to minus 0.5% shortly before Draghi’s term ended, are increasingly portraying it as a necessary evil that shouldn’t be compounded. Sparse communication on monetary matters by his successor as president, Christine Lagarde, hasn’t dispelled that impression.Banks have picked up on the mood change, dropping predictions that Lagarde -- under the guidance of Chief Economist Philip Lane, the intellectual standard-bearer who proposed the latest cut as part of a stimulus package -- would ease again at her first policy meeting on Dec. 12.It’s a striking development for an institution whose credibility hangs on the promise that it can always do more if needed to revive inflation, and whose policy guidance explicitly states that rates can still fall further. It suggests that a strategy review planned by the new chief will need a thoughtful scrutiny of the toolkit.“We don’t expect they’ll cut rates further,” said Sarah Hewin, chief economist for Americas and Europe at Standard Chartered Bank. “I’m not sure there is a consensus that negative rates are bad, but I’m wondering whether with this transition from Draghi to Lagarde -- a new broom at the helm -- there’s an opportunity to vocalize their concerns.”Don’t Be PassiveLane has defended negative rates as a complement to other measures that aim to spur economic activity. In one speech last month, he said they aren’t “super loose” -- citing the absence of a price surge as a demonstration of that. In another, he said the policy forces banks to chase higher investment returns.Aline Schuiling, an economist at ABN Amro Bank NV, reckons the weakness of the economy means the ECB will cut again, probably in March. There is “some recovery in growth, but not very spectacular,” she said.Yet the lack of a broad public defense for negative rates has let a chorus of criticism from bankers fill the void. Among them is Deutsche Bank AG President Karl von Rohr, who last month described them as “the biggest challenge facing the European financial industry.” Even the ECB’s own financial stability review flagged the risks of ultra-loose money.Two of the ECB’s prospective new board members took a similarly cautious view when quizzed by the European Parliament this week. Italy’s Fabio Panetta said officials need to be alert to the “unintended consequences of monetary policy.” His German colleague, Isabel Schnabel, said the institution should listen carefully to voters’ concerns on sub-zero rates.Ministerial MoaningSuch discontent is vocal in someeuro-zone countries, notably Germany and the Netherlands. Reflecting that, ECB officials are also privately encountering pushback from some finance ministers, according to people familiar with the matter.Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann and Dutch central bank Governor Klaas Knot, already skeptics of loose policy, look unlikely to back another rate cut unless the economy worsens significantly. So far, it seems to be stabilizing. At Draghi’s final meeting in October, one participant made a plea for “patience” to allow current easing to work.Bank of Spain Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos said this week he couldn’t rule out that sub-zero policy could eventually harm monetary-policy transmission.Perhaps most striking is that Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco, a long-time backer of monetary stimulus, has started criticizing the sub-zero policy, saying he prefers asset purchases.“The longer they remain negative and the lower they go, the higher is the likelihood of significant negative side effects,” the Italian told German newspaper Handelsblatt. “I’m not encouraging this.”One of the last banks holding out for a December rate cut, JPMorgan Chase, has thrown in the towel. Economist Greg Fuzesi said that “given the lack of any easing signal, and the time it often takes for the ECB to build consensus, it is becoming increasingly hard to see the ECB do more.” Barclays said this week that “the bar for more easing is high.”The chief worry is that policy is close to the so-called reversal rate, where the harmful effects outweigh the good. Lane’s denial that such a situation is near may be valid, but it’s also unsurprising that the chief economist wants to dispel any impression of monetary impotence.He and many of his colleagues, including Lagarde, do make the point that more government spending could speed up the path to normalization. Germany, the prime candidate to do that, isn’t rushing to respond though, and a newly created euro-area fiscal capacity is tiny.In short, central bankers are approaching their last meeting of the year with a heavy heart about one of their signature policy tools, even if there’s no immediate way out.Austrian Governor Robert Holzmann said in September that negative rates aren’t sustainable and will need to be reversed. That’s a relatively extreme view in the Governing Council -- but the open hand-wringing on the matter among his colleagues suggests he could one day have company.(Updates with Barclays forecast in 15th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Catherine Bosley.To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Stirling in Frankfurt at cstirling1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at skennedy4@bloomberg.net, Paul GordonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • HSBC, StanChart Help Keep Coal Industry Alive, Says Greenpeace
    Bloomberg

    HSBC, StanChart Help Keep Coal Industry Alive, Says Greenpeace

    (Bloomberg) -- Four British banks have provided $31.8 billion of financing to coal companies in the past three years, even as they publicly moved away from doing business with some of the fossil-fuel industry, according to Greenpeace.The environmental group said Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc provided “life support” to companies with plans to build new coal plants, according to a report published Thursday.“The coal industry should be on its deathbed, but is being kept alive only by desperate and dirty funding from banks,” said Rosie Rogers, head of Greenpeace U.K.’s climate campaign.Greenpeace’s data tracked loans and underwriting of debt securities from the start of 2016 to Sept. 30 of this year. Since 2016, all four of the banks have said they’ve stopped lending to new coal-fired power plants. The banks have moved away from other hydrocarbon businesses: HSBC has said it won’t finance projects in Canada’s oil sands, for instance, and RBS has followed suit.When contacted by Bloomberg News for comment on Greenpeace’s data, all four banks’ press officers pointed to these policies and simultaneous efforts to finance renewable energy.Barclays, however, disputed some of Greenpeace’s methodology. The group’s data on coal lending would count a Barclays loan to a coal-producing conglomerate’s renewable division, for instance, even if the bank had no relationship financing coal production, according to a spokeswoman for the lender.Financial firms are under pressure from environmental groups to cut funding to businesses that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, such as coal plants, and instead support climate-friendly projects. Another source of pressure is the rise of green investing, where funds have an explicit mandate to avoid buying stocks in companies perceived to fund dirtier industries.Greenpeace’s data was provided by Urgewald, a non-profit environmental and human rights organization, and BankTrack, a Dutch not-for-profit group that campaigns against the financing of projects it deems environmentally or socially harmful.To contact the reporter on this story: Alastair Marsh in London at amarsh25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net, Keith Campbell, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Orange Joins Phone Industry’s Big Infrastructure Sell-Off
    Bloomberg

    Orange Joins Phone Industry’s Big Infrastructure Sell-Off

    (Bloomberg) -- Orange SA will seek to extract greater value from its telecom infrastructure, joining rivals in selling stakes in mobile-phone towers and fiber-optic networks.In a first step, France’s largest phone carrier is selling 1,500 mobile towers in Spain to Cellnex Telecom SA for 260 million euros ($288 million), it said Wednesday in a statement unveiling a five-year strategic plan.Orange will set up separate companies to house its 40,000 cellular towers and look for partners to help finance the costly roll-out of fiber networks in France and elsewhere in Europe.Its shares fell as much as 4.8%, the biggest intraday drop in more than three years, after the company issued new forecasts for profits and dividends in the near term that were weaker than analysts had expected. Orange Slides to Almost 3-Month Low as Investor Day DisappointsThe carrier is a relative latecomer to an industry push to hive off network infrastructure into separate businesses to boost its value and bring in new investors. There’s big demand for those assets among funds seeking reliable investment returns. Their involvement could help Orange to cut investment costs and boost a share price that’s barely changed in half a decade, frustrating the government, which owns almost a quarter of the company. The company’s new financial targets see capital spending starting to decline from 2022 once it’s made investments in radio-access network sharing deals in Spain and Belgium and completed the bulk of a fiber-to-the-home fixed-line deployment in France. Ecapex, Orange’s term for capital spending, is expected to grow by around 200 million euros in 2020, then stabilize in 2021 before starting to decline the following year.Read more: Orange’s Midterm Outlook Ambition Hindered by Pressures: ReactMaking the most of infrastructure is key to a new target to increase Ebitdaal -- its measure for adjusted operating income -- by 2% to 3% for 2021-2023. That’s after slightly increasing Ebitdaal in 2019 and aiming for “flat positive” Ebitdaal in 2020.The extra profit may not go to shareholders for now: the company set a minimum annual dividend of 70 euro cents until 2023 and said any increase would depend on the amount of organic cash flow.“We believe the short-term guidance is underwhelming versus consensus expectations,” said Barclays analysts in a note. “As such we expect some profit taking after the recent strong stock performance.”Orange stock has gained 1.5% this year through Tuesday, in line with the wider Stoxx Europe 600 telecommunications index, while independent wireless tower company Cellnex has doubled in value.Red LineFor now, Orange’s infrastructure plans are relatively limited compared to those of rivals. While Vodafone Group Plc has set up a separate towers business for which it plans an initial public offering or stake sale, Orange is looking on a market-by-market basis to consider selling non-strategic towers, and will hold on to what it sees as the most valuable sites. While the new tower companies in Europe seek to demonstrate infrastructure value, monetization so far is “very limited,” Jefferies analysts led by Jerry Dellis wrote in a note.Orange will only go so far in separating assets that it still sees as key to its future. Chief Executive Officer Stephane Richard said it is a “red line” for Orange to “keep control” of the infrastructure, while conceding that its share price doesn’t reflect the value of the assets under the current structure.U.S. carriers have been more radical than their European peers in the past decade, selling overall control of their towers to create a large, independent tower industry. Those deals sometimes led to higher costs for the carriers when the tower operators cranked up mast leasing costs.Orange said it will share future fiber broadband deployment in Spain and Poland with other carriers and may find partners for its French fiber rollout. Richard also raised the prospect of a possible IPO for Orange’s Africa and Middle East business, as previously reported by Bloomberg News. (Adds analyst comment in tenth paragraph, detail on fiber plans at end)\--With assistance from Kit Rees.To contact the reporter on this story: Angelina Rascouet in Paris at arascouet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Japan’s  Government Calls for Decisive Fiscal Action
    Bloomberg

    Japan’s Government Calls for Decisive Fiscal Action

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Japan’s government called Tuesday for decisive fiscal action combined with powerful central bank easing to ensure the economy can overcome risks threatening growth and to recover from natural disasters.A draft of a government stimulus package obtained by Bloomberg sets out the need for spending on upgrading disaster-prevention infrastructure, an extension of a cashless rebate program and information technology help for small and mid-sized companies that are raising wages.Japan Eyes Big Fiscal Stimulus With Little Concern Over DebtThe draft didn’t set out how much money would be spent on the measures, but a senior Abe administration official said the stimulus would easily top 10 trillion yen ($92 billion).“The feeling I got was that the economic measures would go far beyond 10 trillion yen in scale and that overall working size would be about 25 trillion yen,” said Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Fumio Kishida, after a party meeting to discuss the draft.The effective punching power of the stimulus package won’t be clear until specific figures are given for actual spending and the size of an extra budget to fund it. Overall figures for spending packages typically include loans and assistance from the private sector.A package in August 2016 had a headline size of 28.1 trillion yen, but the extra budgets financing it that year amounted to only 3.5 trillion yen, an amount that the latest package is expected to exceed.With his first major stimulus package since 2016, Abe seems intent on maintaining his economic legacy as Japan’s longest serving prime minister. While Japan’s labor market is close to its strongest in almost three decades and domestic demand has kept the economy expanding despite the global slowdown, the economy still faces risks from U.S.-China trade tensions and October’s sales tax hike.A typhoon and bad weather in October have also made it hard to discern the economy’s underlying strength. Economists have long forecast a contraction in the last three months of this year as the sales tax increase hits domestic consumption.Retails sales dropped the most on record in October and production fell twice the amount analysts expected, leading to renewed concern that the impact from the tax might be larger than hoped. Some economists see a chance of gross domestic product shrinking more than a market consensus of -2.7% this quarter, the biggest contraction since 2014.Still, positive capital spending figures released at the start of the week suggest companies are continuing to invest despite the economic headwinds, offering policy makers some justification for a diluted spending package.Barclays Changes BOJ Call, Expects No Easing Through FY2021The stimulus package calls for spending to take place alongside continued Bank of Japan easing, essentially enabling the central bank to sit tight without adding to its own measures.Already some economists are switching their forecasts on the BOJ’s policy stance toward a holding pattern rather than additional action, taking into account the imminent announcement of the government’s stimulus package.To contact the reporters on this story: Emi Nobuhiro in Tokyo at enobuhiro@bloomberg.net;Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at ynohara1@bloomberg.net;Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at tfujioka1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net, Paul JacksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Moody’s cuts outlook on UK banking system from stable to negative

    Moody’s has reduced its outlook on the UK banking system from stable to negative, saying Brexit uncertainty has eroded “the country’s growth prospects” while low interest rates are hitting lenders’ profitability. The credit rating agency warned that the “deteriorating” operating environment for UK lenders was “weighing on their asset quality and profitability”. Meanwhile “persistently low interest rates and increased mortgage market competition” had dented net interest margins — a metric that tracks the difference in banks’ cost of funding and the rates they charge to borrow.

  • Have Insiders Been Buying Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) Shares?
    Simply Wall St.

    Have Insiders Been Buying Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) Shares?

    We often see insiders buying up shares in companies that perform well over the long term. On the other hand, we'd be...

  • Bloomberg

    EM Review: Hong Kong Bill, Latin America Rout Dented Risk Taking

    (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market currencies and stocks slid for a third week, recording losses in November, as Latin America’s mounting political tensions and the unsolved U.S. and China trade war dented investors appetite for these assets. The Brazilian real and the Chilean peso fell to all-time lows, prompting central bank interventions, and the Colombian peso traded at the weakest level ever amid anti-government demonstrations.The following is a roundup of emerging-markets news and highlights for the week ending Dec. 1.Highlights:U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that expresses U.S. support for Hong Kong protesters, a move that strains relations with China and further complicates the president’s effort to wind down his trade war with BeijingChina’s foreign ministry reiterated a threat of retaliation without offering any detailsHong Kong leader Carrie Lam didn’t make any new concessions to protesters after pro-democracy forces won a landslide in local elections, a move that risks leading to further violence after months of unrestTrump said Tuesday that talks with China on the first phase of a trade deal were near completion after negotiators from both sides spoke by phone. “We’re in the final throes of a very important deal,” he saidChina’s government wants tariffs to be rolled back as part of the phase one trade deal with the U.S., Global Times said in a tweet on Sunday, citing unidentified people in BeijingChina’s Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed core concerns in a phone call, the Chinese government said in a statement, without elaboratingThe Chilean peso, Colombian peso and Brazilian real all touched record lowsBrazil’s central bank intervened in the currency market saying the market was dysfunctional and vowing to intervene further if neededChile’s central bank also announced an intervention program, under which it will sell as much as $10 billion on currency spot market and up to $10 billion in currency hedgesTurkish and Qatari central banks are boosting the size of a currency-swap deal to $5 billion, extending the gas-rich Gulf nation’s support for its ally by adding to its foreign-exchange reservesEmerging-market ETFs received inflows for a seventh straight week, led by BrazilAsia:China saw solid demand for its third offering of dollar bonds in three years, though U.S. investors largely left the deal alone amid the trade war. Final orders amounted to more than $16.5 billion for the $6 billion of securities, compared with $13.2 billion for $3 billion last yearThe official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.2, the first reading indicating expansion since AprilProfits at Chinese industrial companies fell the most since at least 2011 in October, dropping 9.9% from a year agoChina’s central bank governor sounded a cautious tone on the health of the global economy on Sunday, while signaling that monetary policy makers will continue to refrain from large-scale easing stepsNorth Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles and could be planning even bigger moves, stepping up pressure as it threatens to walk away from sputtering nuclear talks unless Trump offers up concessions by year endThailand said its latest round of stimulus will spur more than 100 billion baht ($3.3 billion) of spending, as it steps up efforts to fight an economic slowdown caused by baht strength and the trade warExcess global liquidity is expected to increase the volatility of the baht, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob saysCurrent account surplus narrowed to $2.905b in October from $3.531b a month earlierJapan and South Korea took fresh swipes at one another, raising questions about whether relations between the U.S. allies would improve after they reached a last-minute deal earlier in November to rescue an expiring intelligence-sharing pactTop South Korean and Japanese diplomats will likely meet on the sidelines of a gathering of Asian and European foreign ministers later this month to discuss a resolution to a year-long dispute, Yonhap News reportedBank of Korea keeps interest rate unchanged at 1.25%Governor Lee Ju-yeol insisted that Korea’s economy was already passing through its most painful momentThe central bank lowered the 2020 GDP growth forecast to 2.3% from 2.5% previouslyExports dropped 14.3% from a year earlier in November, worse than estimate of 9.7% declineSouth Korea and Indonesia are seeking to sign a bilateral trade agreement in the first half of 2020India’s economy grew 4.5% in the third quarter from a year ago, the weakest pace in more than six yearsPrime Minister Narendra Modi is finally attempting to overhaul India’s most controversial labor laws to attract investment and make it easier to do business in a country where changing archaic rules is a challenge for any governmentIndia seized control of a second non-bank lender, stepping up efforts to contain the economic fallout from the nation’s shadow banking crisisThe RBI bought has about $18 billion of foreign exchange since the end of September, according to estimates by Bloomberg Economics, propelling reserves to a recordPhilippine central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said a rate cut is “possible” as early as December if inflation remains low, just weeks after saying there would be no more monetary easing this yearThe Philippines sold its maiden foreign-currency catastrophe-linked bonds to help cover costs of major calamities, in conjunction with the World BankOctober budget deficit narrowed as spending growth slowedIndonesian bonds have drawn record annual inflows this yearBank Indonesia will retain its “accommodative” monetary policy stance, Governor Perry Warjiyo told bankersMalaysia will seek ways to resolve the ringgit’s depreciation because it is a source of concern for the public, Bernama reported Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as sayingSri Lanka kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a second month as it tries to balance a slowing economy with rising inflation. It held the standing lending facility rate at 8%Taiwan raised its economic forecasts for this year and next as evidence mounts that the it is benefiting from investment flows amid the U.S.-China trade warEconomy’s third quarter growth was revised up to 2.99%EMEA:Turkey said it had been clear all along of its intention to deploy a newly-acquired Russian missile system, a day after it risked triggering U.S. sanctions by starting the first tests of the S-400sTurkish gross domestic product is growing at an accelerating pace in the last three-month period of the year and 5% expansion is a possibility, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak tells lawmakersSouth African Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo said if Moody’s Investors Service cuts the country’s credit rating to junk there could be a sell-off of between $5 billion and $8 billion of its bondsThere is a high likelihood that the government’s finances will deteriorate further, posing risks to the stability of the financial system, the central bank saidSouth African business confidence improved in the fourth quarter for the first time in almost two years, yet the economy remains stuck in a downward phase. A quarterly gauge measuring sentiment rose to 26 from a two-decade low of 21Non-residents have sold a net $9.8 billion of South African stocks and bonds in 2019, already the most in a year since Bloomberg started compiling the data in 1998Vale SA, the Brazilian mining giant, plans to place its Mozambican coal operations on maintenance for three months, essentially closing the tap on about one-third of the southeast African country’s export earningsNigeria’s central bank held its benchmark rate for a fourth straight meeting at 13.5%, saying the surge in inflation to a 17-month high is just temporaryGhana wants to issue a Eurobond and conclude a $750 million share sale in a mining royalties fund by February, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta saidCountry is considering a minimum loan-to-deposit ratio for banksKenya’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to 8.5% from 9%, its first reduction in 16 months as the removal of a cap on borrowing costs will make it easier for policy decisions to help boost credit and economic growthUkraine’s central bank openly accused billionaire Igor Kolomoisky of orchestrating an intimidation campaign through public protests and negative media coverage as he fights to win back control of the country’s biggest lender from the stateAbu Dhabi is planning to put as much as $1.5 billion into Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering, as the oil giant taps friendly neighbors to prop up a deal that’s so far failed to draw foreign investors, people with knowledge of the matter saidThe retail tranche of Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering is fully coveredIPO has drawn total bids of $44.3 billion, about 1.7 times the amount the government is seeking to raiseSaudi Arabia arrested at least eight intellectuals as it extended a crackdown on political dissent that’s sparked condemnation abroadLebanon repaid a $1.5 billion Eurobond on Thursday, an official with knowledge of the matter said, buying the country time as speculation swirls over its ability to avoid a default during a political and economic crisisIts chances of escaping a default still look grim as reserves shrinkLebanon’s Finance Ministry issued two bonds, each valued at $1.5 billion, to the central bank, a person familiar with the matter saysParliamentary consultations to name a new Lebanese prime minister were expected to have started Thursday, with caretaker premier Saad Hariri saying he won’t take on the job permanently amid nationwide unrestThe Bank of Israel extended a pause in interest rates at 0.25% even as it conceded political uncertainty risks damaging the economy, opting to keep in reserve its minimal room for maneuver as major central banks suspend monetary easingHungary economy grew 5% in the third quarter, Czech Republic expanded 3.4% and Poland grew 3.9%, all confirming preliminary readingsNamibian President Hage Geingob won a second term despite the worst-performance yet for his South West Africa People’s Organization as a stuttering economy curbed support for the ruling partyBulgaria’s long-term foreign currency debt rating was upgraded by S&P to BBB, the second-lowest investment grade score, from BBB-The outlook for Bahrain’s debt rating was revised to positive from stable by S&PZimbabwe’s central bank maintained its key rate at 35%Iraq’s parliament approved the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi after some of the worst violence during two months of anti-government protestsLatin America:Brazilian central bank’s intervention surprised markets as the bank’s chief and the economy minister had both said days before they were comfortable with allowing markets to settle the exchange ratePresident Jair Bolsonaro had said he would like to have a stronger currency, but signaled he would defer to his economy chiefAmid confusing messages from policy makers and a sour mood over Latin American assets, the real continued to weaken, prompting the central bank to act again on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning and to sell $1 billion in an auction on Thursday; it is unusual for the central bank to reveal the amount offeredCurrency depreciation is making traders question a promised 50 basis-point rate cut in DecemberBrazil analysts lifted end-2020 key rate forecast for the first time in at least a year amid the weaker currency and signs that economic activity is slowly gathering paceBolsonaro still backs Brazil’s pro-market policies, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said in an interview with O Globo newspaper published on SundayState-owned oil producer Petrobras unveiled its five-year strategic plan projecting a slowdown in production along with a program to sell assets and slash its debtBrazil current-account deficit widened more than expected in October, while the unemployment rate declined for the first time in three monthsThe Chilean peso rebounded on Friday after the central bank announced the intervention, but protests and looting continueCentral bank will hold its next monetary policy decision on Dec. 4, two days earlier than scheduled, in a bid to provide “timely information” about the country’s economic situationGovernment announced an economic reconstruction program and asked lawmakers to speed up the approval of 4 bills that seek to improve public securityIndustrial production fell in October as a wave of violent protests forced the closure of shops, paralyzed much of the public transport system and led many people to cut short their working hours; unemployment rate was stableCountry is gambling its status as a pro-market poster child as the government scraps plans to cut debt in favor of at least $1.5 billion per year in additional social spending to appease protestersMexico fell into recession in the first half of 2019, revised data showed, painting a bleaker picture of a stagnant economyThe central bank cut its 2019 growth forecast, citing auto sector weakness in 4Q as one of the reasons, while expecting the economy to improve in 2020, according to its inflation reportThe majority of the central bank board said monetary policy needs gradual adjustment, while policy makers appointed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador again voted for steeper interest-rate cutsAMLO announced an infrastructure plan worth 859 billion pesos ($44 billion) with most of the capital coming from the private sectorAMLO celebrated his first year in office touting his achievements in reducing inequality in the country, while defending an economy that fell short of targetsGovernment may speed up plans for drafting and debating a tax overhaul to generate more revenue if 2020 budget assumptions turn out to be overly optimistic, a top official saidThe U.S. pushed Wednesday to wrap up final negotiations with Democrats on the USMCA in meetings with top Mexican and Canadian officialsThe IMF renewed Mexico’s flexible credit line for two more years and cut it to $61 billionArgentine creditor groups are taking shape as investors gear up for President-elect Alberto Fernandez to name his cabinet on Dec. 6Government plans to hold debt negotiations with private bondholders and the IMF at the same time as part of a strategy to obtain a better deal, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matterFernandez said he doesn’t want to borrow more money, wants time to develop the economyThe IMF named Luis Cubeddu as the Argentina mission chief “as part of a routine senior staff rotation”Argentina’s economic activity index fell less than expected in SeptemberArgentina’s central bank will maintain its rate floor at 63%, while it expects the monetary base to continue expanding in December and JanuaryColombia’s anti-government demonstrations lost steam on Wednesday as fatigue set in after seven straight days of protests, and police became less confrontationalA day before, President Ivan Duque pledged tax breaks for the poorest Colombians in a bid to quell protestsLuis Lacalle Pou of the center-right National Party beat the left-wing candidate in Uruguay’s presidential election, in the first shift to the right in 15 years\--With assistance from Yumi Teso and Philip Sanders.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Lilian Karunungan in Singapore at lkarunungan@bloomberg.net;Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at aoyamada3@bloomberg.net;Selcuk Gokoluk in London at sgokoluk@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tomoko Yamazaki at tyamazaki@bloomberg.net, Karl Lester M. YapFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • India’s Economic Growth Sputters to 4.5%, Weakest Since 2013
    Bloomberg

    India’s Economic Growth Sputters to 4.5%, Weakest Since 2013

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.India’s economy grew at its weakest pace in more than six years last quarter, a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he steps up action to stem the fallout.Gross domestic product rose 4.5% in the September quarter from a year ago, down from 5% in the previous quarter. It matched a median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.Core infrastructure industries’ output declined 5.8% in October, the biggest contraction since at least 2005, data released separately showed Friday.”Today’s weak print was well telegraphed, and while the Reserve Bank of India did not project this kind of weakness, we do not think their view on growth trajectory will change materially,” said Rahul Bajoria, senior economist with Barclays Bank Plc in Mumbai. “We expect RBI to keep cutting rates.”The slowdown in Asia’s third-largest economy took a turn for the worse this year as consumers curbed spending, businesses held back on investments and export demand slumped. Having left much of the stimulus burden to the Reserve Bank of India early this year, Modi has recently taken bolder steps to reverse the decline, though the policy room for additional stimulus is narrowing.“Domestic demand is displaying chronic weakness, with an apparent credit crunch afflicting wide swaths of the economy,” Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore, said before the GDP data. “Production and sales are under pressure, and public spending is running out of room due to poor tax collection.”In recent months, the government has slashed corporate taxes, set up a special real-estate fund, merged banks and announced the biggest privatization drive in more than a decade. The central bank has already cut interest rates by 135 basis points this year to the lowest since 2009, with economists predicting more easing to come next week.The weak growth outlook and interest-rate cuts are weighing on the rupee, the worst performing currency in emerging Asia this quarter.Manufacturing, which is a focus area for Modi’s administration as India tries to woo investors, declined 1% in July-September from a year ago, while farm output grew 2.1%.The government expects growth to recover as consumption and investments pick up. The economy has bottomed out, Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty told reporters in New Delhi.India was the world’s fastest-growing economy until last year, posting quarterly growth rates of as high of 9.4% in 2016. A crisis among shadow banks -- a key source of funding for small businesses and consumers -- weak rural spending and a global slowdown have since conspired to bring down growth steadily.“The onus is on the government to do the heavy lifting,” Devendra Pant, chief economist of India Ratings and Research, a local unit of Fitch Ratings Ltd., said before the data were released. He expects the government will miss this year’s fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of GDP as it boosts spending while tax revenue falters.(Updates with government’s reaction in the 10th paragraph)\--With assistance from Tomoko Sato, Siddhartha Singh and Shruti Srivastava.To contact the reporter on this story: Vrishti Beniwal in New Delhi at vbeniwal1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net, Unni KrishnanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barclays joins rivals with cuts to CEO pension perks
    Reuters

    Barclays joins rivals with cuts to CEO pension perks

    Barclays is planning to cut the 396,000 pounds ($508,068) pension allowance it pays Chief Executive Jes Staley by around half, echoing moves by rivals who have pledged to rein in executive pension perks following a campaign by investors. The possible changes follow protests from investors and employee unions over the disparity between pension payouts offered to Britain's top bank bosses and their staff. HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland have pledged to set pension contributions paid to their CEOs at 10% of base salary, matching those paid to their wider workforces.

  • Financial Times

    Virgin Money CEO beats bigger rivals on pension payments

    Virgin Money chief executive David Duffy will receive a larger pension payment than the bosses at some of his much larger rivals next year, after the company resisted shareholder pressure to cut his pay. Virgin Money’s latest annual report, published on Thursday evening, said that new appointees would be paid in line with the rest of its staff, who receive a maximum contribution of 13 per cent of their salaries.

  • Financial Times

    Barclays to cut chief executive Jes Staley’s pension allowance

    Barclays will join the other big UK banks in cutting the pension allowance of its chief executive, marking a significant win for investors who have pushed the industry to bring the perk into line with benefits for the wider workforce. Jes Staley is due to earn a cash lump sum of £396,000 in lieu of a traditional pension this year, equivalent to around 34 per cent of his cash salary. The talks with investors are still continuing, but if Mr Staley agrees to the cut it would mean that all of the five large listed UK banks will have made significant concessions on executive pensions following a long-running campaign waged by institutional investors.

  • Financial Times

    Ex-Barclays banker denies devising Qatari side deal

    The former executive told a jury at London’s Old Bailey on Wednesday that he never would have proposed a side deal to Qatar’s powerful prime minister at the time, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, unless it had prior sign-off from Barclays’ investment bank head, Bob Diamond, its former chief financial officer, Chris Lucas, and the lender’s compliance team. “It was not my responsibility,” Mr Jenkins said when his barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, asked who came up with the solution for delivering the extra fees the Qataris demanded for investing.

  • Goldman’s ‘Baby Bear Market’ Hides a Mundane Call on Bonds
    Bloomberg

    Goldman’s ‘Baby Bear Market’ Hides a Mundane Call on Bonds

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- I don’t envy Wall Street strategists this time of year. Correctly predicting the future is obviously difficult, and yet they’re expected to lay out the path forward for each asset class during the next 12 months and recommend trades to profit from those views. To make things even more challenging, bank analysts are under increased pressure to prove their worth by making flashy forecasts that, in theory, will attract more media coverage and win more clients. That can be tough to do if their base-case is relatively boring.This all serves as background for how it’s come to the point that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is forecasting a “baby bear market” in bonds in 2020. If that sounds like a borderline oxymoron, it’s because the strategists appear to be walking a fine line between being provocative (I’m writing about it, aren’t I?) while also calling for a relatively small move in the $16.5 trillion U.S. Treasury market. The group’s forecast is for the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield to “rebound to 2.25%, mostly skewed toward the second half of 2020.” The 10-year U.S. inflation breakeven rate may rise too, they say, though “levels beyond 2.0% look tough to achieve.”To be clear, those predictions seem perfectly rational. They’re certainly in line with the market’s general stance that the Federal Reserve is firmly done with interest-rate moves after it’s “mid-cycle adjustment” that cut the fed funds rate 75 basis points. An increase in 10-year yields by about 50 basis points would suggest that the central bank was successful is staving off an economic slowdown with its three rate cuts. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was 2.25% as recently as May.But couching that forecast in the language of a “bear market,” even a “baby” one, runs the risk of misleading investors on what such an increase in Treasury yields would mean. As a reminder, Bill Gross declared “bond bear market confirmed” in January 2018 after the 10-year yield surged past 2.5%, citing broken 25-year trend lines. Jeffrey Gundlach, DoubleLine Capital’s chief investment officer, said last year to watch for the 30-year yield to close above 3.22% twice to signal the end of the bull market. It stayed above that level for two months, from early October to early December.And yet, when the dust settled on 2018, the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Index still posted a gain of 0.9%. The 10-year Treasury note itself was flat on the year, with the increase in yield (and drop in price) countered by interest payments. As I wrote last New Year’s Eve, the bond bear market never really came.If you subscribe to the more traditional definition of a bear market — a decline of 20% or more over a sustained period — it wasn’t even a close call. Similarly, the “baby bear market” that Goldman envisions won’t be in the ballpark, either.The bank’s strategists noted that in both mid-cycle adjustment episodes of the 1990s, 10-year Treasury yields moved substantially higher in the year after the final rate cut, though the slope of the yield curve from two to 10 years barely budged, meaning the maturities moved in parallel. They see that as less likely this time because virtually no one expects the Fed to raise rates anytime soon, keeping the front end of the curve locked in place.But for the sake of argument, suppose shorter-term yields also rise by 50 basis points by the end of 2020. Even then, two-year Treasuries would still post a positive return of 1.23%. Five-year Treasuries would be flat. The 10-year benchmark would have a negative 1.9% total return. And based on the composition of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury Index, this sort of scenario would spell a loss of about 1%.Maybe you consider a 1% overall loss a baby bear market. It would be the first annual decline since 2013, after all. What I see is a Treasury market that’s up about 10% in 2019 and probably due for a pullback. The index has had a negative total return in just four years dating back to 1973. In three of those four instances, it posted a double-digit gain during the previous year, as it might do in 2019. In other words, it’s not uncommon for bonds to take a breather after a relentless rally, particularly after a year like this one, when 30-year yields fell to an unprecedented low.It’s possible that as more Wall Street forecasts come in, other strategists will make the case for a more sizable and prolonged bond sell-off. But I’m not so sure, judging from early reports like this one from NatWest Markets strategists led by John Briggs:“Just about every year, we lay out a list of both upside and downside risks to the rate outlook. This year, we are struggling to come up with strong upside risks. Moreover, even if upside rate risks were realized ... we think the magnitude of the sell-off would be relatively muted. Thus the amount yields may rise in that equilibrium is less than the potential amount yields can fall in any of our downside risk scenarios, of which there are many. In sum, in a best case scenario we think yields have limited room to rise but in the more severe downside risk scenario, yields can fall substantially.”For what it’s worth, NatWest is hardly a perma-bull on Treasuries. As for Goldman, it has tended to be more hawkish and have more optimistic U.S. growth forecasts than its peers. For instance, as of early December 2018, it was still calling for four Fed rate increases this year. In a Nov. 20 report, strategists led by Jan Hatzius predicted real U.S. gross domestic product growth of 2.3% and 2.4% in 2020 and 2021, respectively, compared with the consensus estimates of 1.8% and 1.9%.In any case, this isn’t the backdrop for a reckoning in Treasuries. Not even a “baby” one. To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Former Qatari PM wanted to be ‘special gulf guy’ for Barclays, court hears

    A senior banker who was “gatekeeper” of Barclays’ relationship with Qatar has told a London court that the former prime minister of Qatar wanted to be the bank’s “special gulf guy”. , was beginning his defence in a prosecution brought by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. The SFO alleges that he and two other bankers negotiated secret side deals with Qatar as it injected £4bn of emergency funding into Barclays in 2008, helping it avoid a state bailout during the financial crisis.

  • Bloomberg

    EM Review: Trade Deal Uncertainties Kept Risk Sentiment Sluggish

    (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market investors were buffeted once again by competing comments over progress in U.S.-China trade talks last week. By the end of the week one fact was clear though -- there was still no deal ahead of the looming Dec. 15 deadline on new tariffs -- and the MSCI Inc.’s gauge of currencies fell for a second week. There is now speculation that phase one of the agreement won’t be completed before the end of the year.The following is a roundup of emerging-markets news and highlights for the week ending Nov. 24.Read here our emerging-market weekly preview, and listen to our weekly podcast, here.Highlights:Trade negotiators from the U.S. and China are making progress in key areas, even as concerns grow that efforts to nail down the first phase of a broader deal are stallingChinese President Xi Jinping said his nation wants to work toward a phase one trade agreement with the U.S. on the “basis of mutual respect and equality,“ his first comments on a partial dealThe near-deal between the U.S. and China that fell apart six months ago is now being used as the benchmark to decide how much tariffs should be rolled back in the initial phase of a broader trade agreement, people familiar with the talks saidU.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview they are “very close” to a deal although unsure if he wants itCNBC reported that officials in Beijing were pessimistic about the chances of reaching a deal with the U.S. Reuters reported the first phase of a U.S.-China trade deal may not be completed before the end of the yearIf a trade deal is difficult to find, it is likely the new U.S. tariffs that go into effect on Dec. 15 will be at least postponed, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the talksThe U.S. Commerce Department has started approving some suppliers’ applications for licenses to do business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., partially reopening access to one of the biggest buyers of U.S. technologyTrump, touring an Apple Inc. assembly plant in Texas, said he’s “looking at” exempting the iPhone maker from tariffs on goods imported from ChinaTrump said he “protested” U.S. interest rates that he considers too high relative to other developed countries in a meeting on Monday with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome PowellMany participants saw downside risks to the economic outlook as elevated, “further underscoring the case for a rate cut at this meeting,” according to minutes of the Oct. 29-30 Federal Open Market Committee session released Wednesday in WashingtonChina lowered the cost it charges on short-term open-market operations for the first time since October 2015, trimming the rate on its seven-day reverse repurchase agreements to 2.5% from 2.55%China’s base rate for new corporate bank loans dropped in November, following a series of policy-rate cuts from the central bank aimed at easing liquidity concerns. The one-year loan prime rate was set at 4.15% versus 4.2% in OctoberHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer made progress but failed to seal a deal Thursday on the stalled U.S. Mexico Canada free trade agreement, increasing the likelihood the deal won’t get a vote in Congress this yearU.S. envoy Gordon Sondland said Rudy Giuliani -- working at Trump’s direction -- demanded a quid pro quo from Ukraine by holding up a White House meeting unless the country’s leader announced investigations that would benefit Trump politicallyNow that House Democrats have wrapped their last scheduled public hearing on Ukraine they have to decide whether to schedule more, or move to the next step toward impeaching TrumpThe U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill aimed at supporting protesters in Hong Kong and warning China against a violent suppression of the demonstrations -- drawing a rebuke from Beijing. Pelosi sent Trump legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters, and the president is expected to sign the bill into lawTrump said he stands with Hong Kong, but also wants trade deal. He declined to say if he’ll sign Hong Kong bill amid trade talksChina denounced a Hong Kong court ruling that declared the government’s mask ban unconstitutionalHong Kong residents handed an overwhelming victory to pro-democracy candidates in a vote for local district councils on SundayThe South African Reserve Bank left its repo rate unchanged at 6.50% even after the nation’s annual inflation rate dropped more than forecast to the lowest in almost nine years in OctoberAfter months of speculation and delays, South Africa named Andre de Ruyter as chief executive officer of its debt-crippled state power utility, surprising investors and angering a key unionS&P Global Ratings cut its outlook on the government’s foreign-currency rating of BB to negative, citing slow growthSaudi Aramco’s bankers are seeing sufficient early demand to pull off the state oil giant’s initial public offering just three days after launching the deal, people with knowledge of the matter saidSaudi Arabia’s central bank doubled leverage limits for retail investors looking to buy shares in Aramco, according to people familiar with the matter, part of an effort to boost local demand for what could be the world’s largest initial public offeringA group of opposition legislators in Chile presented a so-called constitutional accusation against President Sebastian Pinera over alleged human rights violations committed by security forces during street marches and riotsInvestors added to emerging-market exchange-traded funds for a sixth week as positive developments in U.S.-China trade talks outweighed deteriorating geopolitical situations in Latin AmericaAsia:China will continue proactive fiscal and prudent monetary policy, Premier Li Keqiang saidThe nation still has room to adjust its fiscal, monetary and real-estate policies if uncertainty over trade with the U.S. generates further downward pressure on the economy, central bank adviser Ma Jun said. China still has room for conventional monetary expansion, former central bank head Zhou Xiaochuan also saidMilitary cost-sharing talks between the U.S. and South Korea broke down over Trump’s demands for a five-fold funding increase, raising new questions about the stability of one of America’s closest alliancesBank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said society is changing at “a rapid and complicated pace” and central banks also face new challenges including managing monetary policy in a low-growth, low-inflation environment and structural changes following digital innovationSouth Korea’s external debt maturing in 1 year or less fell to $133.8 billion at end-September from $140 billion at the end of JuneEarly trade figures for November show exports could be headed for their smallest monthly decline since AprilTrump urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “act quickly” to get a nuclear deal done, suggesting the two leaders could meet again “soon”Thailand’s economy grew more slowly than expected in the third quarter and the government lowered its full-year forecast as the country deals with the impact of the U.S.-China trade war and a strong currencyThe central bank may lower the 2019 economic growth forecast from 2.8% and it remains concerned about baht strength, Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob saidThe Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee remained concerned about baht appreciation against trading partner currencies, as heightened external uncertainties could cause the Thai economy to be more sensitive to greater currency appreciation, according to minutes released from its Nov. 6 meetingIndustry Minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit called on the BOT to do more to curb appreciation in the baht and said its strength has hurt auto exports and the local economy as a wholeThe government will provide more economic stimulus if needed, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said. The government is considering measures to bolster the tourism and property sectors, part of its latest efforts to support the economy, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak saidThe Bank of Thailand is prepared to use monetary policy if economic growth disappoints, its Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said. He also said “the key rate shouldn’t be negative, as it will create lots of structural problems”The Indian government has kept inflation low, fiscal spending disciplined, and current account deficit manageable to ensure macroeconomic stability, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saidIndia seized control of a second non-bank lender, stepping up efforts to contain the economic fallout from the nation’s shadow banking crisisThousands of citizens have been swept up in a campaign of mass arrests following a decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to end seven decades of autonomy in KashmirIndonesia’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 5% while pumping more liquidity into the financial system to stimulate the economy. Banks’ reserve requirement ratio was cut by 50 basis points, the first such decision since JuneIndonesia’s budget deficit was about 289.1t rupiah ($21 billion) as of October, equal to 1.8% of gross domestic productMalaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s ruling alliance received a setback from voters, losing a parliamentary seat to the main opposition coalition at a by-election for the first timeConsumer prices climbed 1.1% on year in OctoberMalaysia has asked banks to submit pitches to help with a potential Samurai bond saleThe Philippines posted a balance of payments surplus of $163 million in October, wider than the $38 million surplus in SeptemberForeign reserves were revised up to $85.8 billion in October from $85.7 billion reported earlierCentral bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said he’s not in a rush to deliver another reduction in banks’ reserve requirements, adding he has until 2023 to fulfill his promise to bring the ratio to single digitTaiwan’s push for its companies to invest in advanced manufacturing at home after decades of focusing on China is helping off-set the effects of Beijing’s trade war with the U.S., the government saidEMEA:Hungary’s central bank left its monetary policy setup unchanged, ignoring a depreciation in the forint and a surge in core inflation in one of the European Union’s fastest-growing economiesRomanians elected President Klaus Iohannis for a second term as he promised to end years of political chaos and bring normality to one of the European Union’s poorest member-statesA unit of Gazprom PJSC plans to sell the remaining 3.59% of so-called quasi-treasury shares in the Russian gas producer on Thursday in a deal that could be valued at $3.3 billionRussia’s state-owned giants are heeding President Vladimir Putin’s call to cut their reliance on the dollar, but they’ve shown little desire to pay for it. Now the central bank may step in to ease the burdenThe International Monetary Fund said talks over a new loan for Ukraine will continue after a mission from the lender left Kyiv without agreeing on a dealUkraine’s long-term foreign debt rating was affirmed by Moody’s at Caa1 and outlook was raised to positive from stableThe mortgage unit of Poland’s largest lender PKO Bank Polski SA plans another green covered bond offering, following up on its inaugural transaction earlier this yearPoland’s prime minister won a vote of confidence in his cabinet after vowing to build a patriotic welfare state and win a “culture war” to defend traditional Catholic valuesPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he told Trump during their White House meeting that Turkey wouldn’t halt its deployment of a Russian air-defense system, as he downplayed differences between the NATO allies over the dealNigeria’s inflation rate rose to a 17-month high in October as food prices surged. Consumer prices rose 11.6% from a year earlier compared with 11.2% in SeptemberZambia’s central bank raised its key interest rate for a second time this year, bucking a global easing trend, in a bid to support its currency and tame inflationZimbabwe’s central bank halved its key interest rate to 35%, joining the finance ministry in efforts to revive an economy hobbled by years of mismanagementLebanese protesters flocked to the capital Tuesday and forced parliament to postpone its session indefinitely after facing off with the army and anti-riot police, adding to a political storm in the country even as banks reopened after a week-long closureThe political crisis in Lebanon has sent yields on some of its dollar bonds into triple digitsMorocco is targeting its lowest euro-borrowing costs ever as it returns to international debt markets for the first time in five years, taking advantage of robust investor demand for securities denominated in euroThe north African nation’s long-promised plans for an economic restructuring began to take shape as authorities outlined a plan to restructure and unload debt-laden state assets and appointed a growth czarLatin America:Chile’s President Pinera said the government is listening to the demands of protesters, but won’t sink into a populism that would damage the economyThe government and opposition agreed on a package of measures to boost pensions for the poor and cut public transport fares for the elderly, part of efforts to quell a month of demonstrationsAnalysts expect Chile’s economy to shrink this quarter, and they’re trying to figure out if that will stretch into 2020 -- turning it into a recessionGDP grew 3.3% on an annual basis in the third quarter, in line with expectationsChile’s economic activity will face “significant” slumps in October and November, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones saidArgentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez told International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva that he has a plan to grow the economy and tackle the nation’s debt as he seeks to renegotiate a record $56 billion credit line with the lenderCountry posted a trade surplus of $1.8 billion in October, while consumer confidence fell 5.5% in NovemberPeru’s economic growth accelerated in the third quarter to its fastest pace this year, boosted by investment in new copper minesGovernment offered to buy dollar- and local-currency bonds and said it will also issue new notes denominated in Peruvian solesBrazil traders have trimmed key rate cut bets as the outlook for growth improves and the local currency drops near to a record lowPresident Jair Bolsonaro said he’d like to see a stronger local currency against the U.S. dollarCentral bank president Roberto Campos Neto didn’t show concern over the currency levelCongress is likely to tackle everything from a byzantine tax system to a government spending cap before July, when local election campaigns redefine legislative priorities, according to Lower House Speaker Rodrigo MaiaThe return of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to Brazil’s political spotlight is adding another layer of complexity to the government’s ambitious reform program, lawmakers sayBrazil’s and Mexico’s annual inflation rates hovered near multi-year lows in mid-November, bolstering expectations for central banks in both countries to further reduce borrowing costs to support feeble demandThe IMF’s board plans to vote on Mexico’s request to renew its flexible credit line, possibly for less than the current $74 billion, before it expires next weekS&P said there is no reason for an immediate Pemex downgrade and said that the oil company rating will only move if the sovereign doesColombia saw the largest protests in years with labor unions, students and indigenous groups leading a nationwide strike Thursday aimed at the deeply unpopular President Ivan DuqueEcuador’s bonds rallied after the government sent a bill to congress designed to narrow the budget deficit and satisfy requirements of a $4.2 billion agreement with the International Monetary FundA 32-year-old senator from Bolivia’s majority socialist party should be the nation’s president, ousted leader Evo Morales said in an interview\--With assistance from Colleen Goko, Selcuk Gokoluk, Philip Sanders and Paul Wallace.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at yteso1@bloomberg.net;Netty Ismail in Dubai at nismail3@bloomberg.net;Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at aoyamada3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tomoko Yamazaki at tyamazaki@bloomberg.net, Cormac MullenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    European banks slash $280bn from main US businesses

    Europe’s four biggest investment banks cut $280bn of assets from their main US holding companies in the past three years as they withdrew from Wall Street and moved business away from the glare of regulators. The dramatic reshaping of the US operations of Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS and Barclays shows how the banks are tackling their chronic profitability challenges in the country. Since 2016, large foreign banks have been forced to move most of their US operations into intermediate holding companies (IHCs) that are independently capitalised and stress-tested against their ability to withstand future crises.

  • James Richman: Billionaire Investor Reportedly Takes a Closer Look at Barclay’s Assets for Sale
    Insider Monkey

    James Richman: Billionaire Investor Reportedly Takes a Closer Look at Barclay’s Assets for Sale

    The Barclay twins, David and Frederick, have been a staple on the list of British billionaires for decades.  They are often described as reclusive billionaires and notorious for keeping their private lives hidden from the public and shying away from any form of publicity.  Several talks about the sale of some of their properties have […]

  • Ex-JPMorgan Trader Convicted for Helping Rig Currency Market
    Bloomberg

    Ex-JPMorgan Trader Convicted for Helping Rig Currency Market

    (Bloomberg) -- A former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker was convicted of conspiring with traders at other banks to rig bids and fix prices in currency markets -- a victory for prosecutors in their campaign against collusion in foreign exchange.A federal jury in New York on Wednesday took less than four hours to find Akshay Aiyer guilty of a single count of conspiracy to violate antitrust laws, following a trial that lasted more than two weeks.He’s the second person to be convicted in a crackdown on dubious practices used by currency traders and faces as long as a decade in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced on April 3.Prosecutors had relied on testimony from two alleged conspirators, former Citigroup trader Christopher Cummins and ex-Barclays banker Jason Katz, who pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Cummins and Katz testified that the traders plotted in chat rooms, on the phone and at social gatherings to rig trades while leading customers to believe that they were actually competing with each other.Conviction a Reminder“This conviction serves as a reminder of our commitment to hold individuals responsible for their involvement in complex financial schemes which violate the integrity of the global financial markets,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a statement. Aiyer and his lawyers declined to comment after the verdict.The conviction shows that antitrust prosecutors can successfully pursue currency-market cases despite previous acquittals, said Philip A. Giordano, a partner with Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.The verdict also underscores the importance of the role that victims play in these types of trials, as the government called representatives of asset management firms who testified that they were harmed by the traders’ collusion, he said.“That helps to put the other evidence, the evidence from the co-conspirators, in perspective,” Giordano said. “It shows that the alleged conduct did not occur in a vacuum. The conduct is less susceptible to interpretation when it is connected to a negative impact on a customer. It makes it easier for the jurors to accept the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts.”Read more on judge throwing out a related caseDefense lawyers argued that all three of the traders made their decisions independently. They argued that Cummins and Katz had been colluding with other foreign-exchange traders for years before they even met Aiyer and were simply trying to save themselves by implicating him to avoid prison.Aiyer is a native of India who came to the U.S. in 2002 to attend college. He joined JPMorgan in 2006 and worked there until 2015, first as a foreign-exchange analyst and later as a trader.The first person charged in the crackdown, Mark Johnson, a former global head of foreign exchange at HSBC Holdings Plc, was found guilty in 2017 of front-running a $3.5 billion client order. But a U.K. court refused to extradite Johnson’s underling, Stuart Scott, and three British traders accused of similar conduct were acquitted by a jury in New York last year. U.K. investigators dropped a criminal probe into individual traders, finding there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.Banks around the world have paid more than $10 billion in penalties for misconduct in the currency markets since the crackdown began. Citigroup Inc., Barclays Plc, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and JPMorgan Chase pleaded guilty in 2015 to rigging currency rates and agreed to pay about $2.5 billion to the Justice Department as part of an overall $5.8 billion settlement with multiple regulators.The case is U.S. v. Aiyer, 18-cr-333, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).(Updates with sentencing date in third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in Federal Court in Manhattan at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.