|Bid||7.36 x 3000|
|Ask||7.37 x 21500|
|Day's Range||7.36 - 7.39|
|52 Week Range||6.54 - 9.50|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.85|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||65.85|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.29 (3.91%)|
|1y Target Est||7.51|
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. companies are rushing into Europe’s bond market, taking advantage of what may be a last chance to lock in low-cost financing before renewed Brexit upheavals.Last week was the busiest for sales in five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and Metro Bank Plc joined the rush on Monday. Royal Mail Plc, WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets are also readying potential deals, following sales last week by borrowers including Barclays Plc, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and broadcaster ITV Plc.U.K. issuers may have a potentially short window to get deals done, as earnings blackouts and the countdown to the country’s Oct. 31 departure from the European Union may hinder deals next month, particularly if a no-deal Brexit seems likely. In the meantime, optimism that the country will reach an agreement or delay its departure is boosting the pound and helping to hold borrowing costs near record lows in both euros and sterling.“The whole Brexit situation remains in a state of flux,” said Andrey Kuznetsov, senior credit portfolio manager at Hermes Fund Managers Ltd. “In this type of situation, it is normal for issuers to tap the market in periods of calm and improved sentiment.”Gains for the pound this month will also likely boost investor demand for sterling assets especially amid Europe’s low yields, he said. U.K. companies sold 7.6 billion euros ($8.3 billion) of bonds in euros and sterling last week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Barclays demonstrated the recent pricing advantage for issuers, as the bank sold a 1 billion-pound ($1.2 billion) AT1 at 6.375% last week after more than 7.5 billion pounds of orders. That compares with 7.125% for a comparable note in June.Sterling borrowing costs are about 2.1%, compared with above 3% at the start of the year, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data. Euro investment-grade yields are below 0.5%, the data show.Metro Bank is offering sterling senior non-preferred bonds. Royal Mail, the nation’s postal service, will start a roadshow on Sept. 25 ahead of a bond sale in either pounds or euros.“We are taking the opportunity to access finance at the current low rates,” a spokesperson for the London-based company said in an emailed reply to Bloomberg News questions.Yields Creep UpYields in both euros and sterling have crept up this month, after fairly consistent declines this year, adding extra urgency for any borrower considering a sale. Europe’s traditionally busy September sales surpassed 100 billion euros at a record pace this year.Brexit risks also remain for borrowers and issuers. Uncertainty about the country’s future ties to the EU contributed to the collapse of tour operator Thomas Cook Group Plc. U.K. non-financial companies have also only sold about $60 billion pounds of bonds worldwide this year, the lowest tally since 2016, according to Bloomberg data. Domestic sterling sales are the lowest since 2015, the data show.Domestic-focused companies have taken advantage of pauses in Brexit upheavals to get deals done this year. Retailers Next Plc, Tesco Plc and Co-Operative Group Ltd. all sold pound bonds in a three-week spell ending in May. Marks & Spencer Group Plc followed in early July.Morrison, the country’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, plans to offer a sterling-denominated benchmark twelve-year bond following meetings in London on Monday. The company didn’t reply to an e-mailed request for comment on the bond sale.Across Europe, “it makes sense for companies to take advantage of the current window to issue bonds, said Ryan Staszewski, senior portfolio manager, investment grade credit at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.(Updates with Metro Bank offering in second and eight paragraphs)\--With assistance from Alice Gledhill.To contact the reporter on this story: Priscila Azevedo Rocha in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Hannah Benjamin at email@example.com, Neil Denslow, V. RamakrishnanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- “Don’t Call It QE.”With that four-word title, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s chief U.S. economist, Michael Feroli, effectively summed up Wall Street’s reaction to the weeklong stress in funding markets and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s comments about how he and other policy makers would deal with it. At his press conference last week after the central bank’s rate decision, Powell said it’s “certainly possible that we’ll need to resume the organic growth of the balance sheet earlier than we thought.” Among the most likely solutions to rein in short-term rates that briefly spiraled out of control is some sort of permanent open-market operations. Naturally, hearing “growth of the balance sheet” sounds to some like a return to quantitative easing — the post-crisis measure of purchasing Treasuries or other securities to inject liquidity into the financial system. The phrase “QE-infinity” is often tossed around as a swipe against meddling by central banks and their permanent role in propping up financial markets. Fed critics seized on Powell’s words as confirmation that such infinite QE is around the corner.Strategists at Wall Street’s biggest banks sought to head off that sort of framing almost immediately.The key difference in “organic growth” of the Fed’s balance sheet versus QE-style expansion, they say, is that the former comes about because of increased demand for the central bank’s liabilities — mainly, those Federal Reserve Notes in your wallets. Feroli estimates that demand for U.S. currency has been growing by $100 billion a year recently. The Fed will most likely move to offset this heightened demand by adding assets, he said, but that’s hardly QE. After all, the central bank did precisely the same thing for most years between 1914 and 2007.Bank of America Corp. strategists predict the Fed will be even more aggressive. “It is important to make the distinction: this is not a return to quantitative easing,” they said in prefacing their estimates. They say the central bank will need to purchase about $150 billion of assets a year because of the demand for its liabilities. On top of that, “to avoid a repeat of recent funding pressures and a return to an ‘abundant’ reserve level plus a buffer, we think the Fed most likely will need to purchase an additional $250 billion.”This is not some Wall Street ploy to play down the significance of the Fed resuming balance-sheet growth. The Fed is clear on its website about how it needs to engage in open-market operations to counter the growth in its liabilities: The quantity of Federal Reserve notes held by the public has grown over time. Absent any additional action by the Federal Reserve, the increase in Federal Reserve notes would reduce the quantity of reserve balances held by depository institutions and push the federal funds rate above the target set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). To prevent that outcome, the Federal Reserve engages in open market operations to offset the reduction in reserve balances.That’s exactly what happened last week, when the effective fed funds rate rose to 2.3%, higher than the stated 2.25% upper bound. The Fed’s go-to preventive measure, as it always has been, is precisely the sort of asset purchases that Powell was describing.Former New York Fed President Bill Dudley, writing for Bloomberg Opinion, said the Fed could focus on adding short-term obligations like Treasury bills to make abundantly clear that its plan is different from post-crisis QE. Joseph Abate at Barclays Plc sees similar benefits to buying bills — it would serve to “avoid any confusion with QE and to emphasize that these purchases are ‘reserve management operations,’” he wrote.At NatWest Markets, strategists went even further, differentiating between buying assets to offset currency growth and a sort of “QE-lite” program. Organic growth “seems to suggest offsetting currency growth, and not using the balance sheet to relieve stress in funding markets,” they wrote in a Sept. 20 note. “It’s possible a QE-lite style program could exist in the future, but we do not think the Fed is ready to commit to anything like that at this time. Given the recent funding pressures, we see the Fed as being content with coming in and conducting temporary repo operations.”For now, that’s exactly what the New York Fed plans to do, committing late last week to a series of overnight and term repurchase agreements through Oct. 10. That’s some pretty serious firepower. As I wrote after the recent FOMC decision, this seemed like the most obvious stopgap measure to deal with any lingering quarter-end stress while policy makers consider their more permanent approach and how they’ll communicate the shift to markets.Should they go with permanent open-market operations, it “will inevitably be referred to by some in the media as ‘QE,’” JPMorgan’s Feroli lamented. “This would be unfortunate.”Aside from a general lack of nuance, though, it’s unclear what harm would be done if some investors simplistically equated routine purchases to QE. Maybe risky assets would rally more than they should. Maybe Treasury yields and gold prices would jump higher on expectations of accelerating inflation. Neither of those outcomes would truly be so bad. If anything, if markets misinterpret bond buying as a form of easing monetary policy, it could provide breathing room for the Fed to pause on any more interest-rate cuts, as its dot plot suggests.Regardless, Wall Street strategists have staked out their position and appear intent to spread the word, providing a welcome assist to Powell. The Fed chair’s communication record, after all, has been spotty at best. Still, even he wouldn’t dare call any open-market operations a return to QE. Markets shouldn’t, either.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis 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.
(Bloomberg) -- A relief rally in emerging-market assets last week hit a roadblock as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s second rate cut this year wasn’t accompanied by a dovish tone that some traders were hoping for. The MSCI index of developing-nation equities posted the first weekly loss in five and a currency gauge also weakened. Some trade noise resurfaced by the end of the week as U.S. President Donald Trump said he won’t seek an interim agreement to end the trade war with China.The following is a roundup of emerging-markets news and highlights for the week ending Sept. 22.Read here our emerging-market weekly preview, and listen to our weekly podcast here.Highlights:U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers lowered the main interest rate for a second time this year and Chairman Jerome Powell said “moderate” policy moves should be sufficient to sustain the U.S. expansionThe Fed took action to calm money markets, injecting billions in cash to quell a surge in short-term rates that was pushing up its policy benchmark rate and threatening to drive up borrowing costs for companies and consumersThe New York Fed said Thursday that it will once again do a $75 billion overnight repo operation on Friday. It follows liquidity doses of the same size Thursday and Wednesday and $53.2 billion on TuesdayBank Indonesia cut its benchmark interest rate to 5.25% from 5.5%, as expected, while monetary authorities in South Africa and Taiwan left their respective rates unchanged. Brazil’s central bank set the stage for a longer and deeper monetary easing cycle after cutting its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 5.5% and signaling inflation will remain below target next year even if borrowing costs fall furtherPresident Donald Trump said he doesn’t want to make a partial trade deal with China and that voters won’t punish him for the ongoing trade war in his 2020 bid for re-electionIn a quick change of events, China canceled a planned visit to farms in the U.S. heartland -- a trip touted by the Trump administration as a building of “goodwill”A change in schedule for a Chinese delegation’s planned visit to U.S. farm states has nothing to do with the trade talks, and America will extend the invitation in another arrangement, China Business News reports citing Vice Agriculture Minister Han JunTrade groups from China and the U.S. held “constructive” talks on relevant economic and trade issues of mutual concern in Washington during Sept. 19-20, China’s Ministry of Commerce said SaturdayRead more: U.S.-China Talks Resume as Beijing Officials Go to Farm BeltSaudi Arabia said attacks on its critical oil infrastructure were “unquestionably sponsored by Iran” but stopped short of saying the strikes were launched directly from or by the Islamic Republic, claims that could have propelled a drift toward warPresident Donald Trump said he wants tougher U.S. sanctions on Iran as his top diplomat arrived in Saudi Arabia to consult with leaders and build a case against TehranSaudi Aramco’s chairman said the drone strike on the kingdom’s main crude-processing plant won’t slow preparations for an initial public offering of the state-owned oil giantChina’s economy slowed further in August. Industrial output rose 4.4% from a year earlier, versus a median estimate of 5.2%, while retail sales expanded 7.5%, compared to a projected 7.9% increaseThe new gauge of borrowing costs was lowered in September. The one-year reference rate for bank loans was set at 4.2% versus 4.25% in AugustNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited Trump to visit Pyongyang, Joongang Ilbo reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matterTrump said he “probably” won’t travel to Pyongyang for the next round of nuclear talks with Kim, but would be willing to visit the North Korean capital in the futureAsia:China’s overall prices are stable and the nation has a good foundation for prices to remain stabilized, said Fu Linghui, a spokesman for the National Bureau of StatisticsThe Bank of Korea should cut its base rate to the previous record low of 1.25% to help boost private-sector investment, one board member said, according to minutes of the Aug. 30 meeting that decided to freeze the rate at 1.5%The central bank has “sufficient” room for more policy easing, board member Shin In-seok saidFed’s decision to cut interest rates eases pressure on the South Korean central bank before the next interest-rate decision meeting, Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol saidPresident Moon Jae-in’s approval rating reached the lowest since his term began in May 2017, Gallup Korea’s poll showsIndia’s central bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said he needs time to assess the impact of the oil supply shock following the attack in Saudi Arabia, adding that growth in the domestic economy remains a priority. He also said there’s room for interest-rate cuts to spur economic growth given stable and below-target inflationDas said the RBI has no target or band for the level of the exchange rate and interventions are intended to manage undue volatilityIndia will cut corporate tax rate for local businesses to an effective 25.2% from 30%, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said FridayIndia expects to rule over the entire state of Kashmir in the future, its foreign minister said, a statement that could further ratchet up tensions with rival PakistanThailand will reduce levies collected for its Oil Fund so that retail fuel prices remain unchanged as crude climbs, the Energy Ministry saidThe nation can find other sources of oil imports if there’s a long-term impact from the attacks on Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia, Energy Minister Sontirat SontijirawongExports posted larger-than-expected drop in August while imports fell more than predicted, leaving trade surplus of $2.1 billion, compared with forecast $650 million in excessPhilippines central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said the central bank may cut its key interest rate by 25 basis points at the Sept. 26 meeting, with the increase in the consumer price index seen slowing to 1.4% in September compared to the previous yearThe biggest risk to the world economy today is the U.S. president, Diokno told a panel discussion in SingaporeThe attack in Saudi Arabia is unlikely to have an impact on Philippine oil supply, which means there will be no need for further government action, said Department of Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick ChuaMalaysia’s tax collection rose 8.94% year-on-year as of Aug. 31 and an increase in tax collection shows that economy is growing substantially and is on an upwards trend, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng saidRuling party leader Anwar Ibrahim, who cut a deal to become the country’s next prime minister ahead of last year’s election, said he should take power around May 2020Bank Negara Malaysia remains on guard against potential domestic and external risks to the nation’s financial stability including the weaker global outlook and elevated household debt, according to a statement from the central bankTerry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn Technology Group, pulled out of next year’s presidential election in Taiwan, a move that may help unite the opposition Kuomintang partyThe Solomon Islands broke diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of BeijingTaiwan decides to sever official relations with Kiribati, Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu says; the break leaves Taiwan with just 15 diplomatic alliesEMEA:Attacks that slashed half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output had “zero” impact on the kingdom’s revenue and won’t affect economic growth, Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan saidThe nation attempted to move beyond the worst oil disruption in its history, assuring the world that crude exports won’t suffer, its damaged facility has partially restarted and that production capacity will be back to normal within monthsSaudi Arabia’s central bank said it’s prepared to inject liquidity in the financial system if needed to help the economy cope with the aftermath of the attacksSaudi bonds declined and pressure on the riyal rose on Monday after drones struck at the heart of the kingdom’s biggest source of revenueIranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif refused to rule out military conflict in the Middle East after the U.S. sent more troops and weapons to Saudi Arabia in response to an attack on oil fields the U.S. has blamed on the Islamic RepublicPrices on Aabar Investments PJS bonds jumped by the most on record as the state-owned Abu Dhabi firm offered to buy back 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) of debt earlyThe central banks of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two biggest Gulf Arab economies, followed the Fed again on Wednesday after it reduced rates by a quarter percentage pointEgypt’s stocks plummeted on Sept. 22 on concern that the small but rare protests against President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s government may escalateLebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is traveling to Saudi Arabia and France to follow up on efforts to secure financial support for his debt-laden country and show it’s serious about reformBenjamin Netanyahu’s gamble to hold elections for a second time this year backfired, as a deadlocked result left Israel convulsed by a new wave of political turmoilSouth Africa’s annual inflation rate rose more than forecast in August as food prices grew at the fastest pace in more than a yearNigeria’s inflation rate fell to the lowest in more than three years in August as growth in food prices slowedA Kenyan parliamentary committee rejected the National Treasury’s proposal to repeal a contentious law that caps interest rates, despite opposition from the central bank governor and the High Court annulling itGhana’s economic growth slowed more than projected in the second quarter as the construction sector contractedZambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, may double power tariffs as the government seeks more costly imports to offset a shortfall from its drought-stricken hydropower damsZimbabwe’s central bank has tightened the rules governing the trade of foreign currency by money exchange offices with immediate effectUkraine’s former central bank governor, who purged the financial industry and helped bring the country’s biggest lender under state control, said her house near Kyiv was burned down in an arson attackTurkey took its boldest step yet to clean up the growing pile of bad debt held by banks. The Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, or BDDK, told lenders for the first time to reclassify $8.1 billion of loans as non-performing by the end of the year and set aside enough provisions to cover themLatin AmericaBrazil’s pension reform rapporteur in the Senate said amendments accepted to the bill have no fiscal impact and will keep estimated savings of the overhaul unchanged. The first-round voting is set for Sept. 24 and second round Oct. 10Petrobras raised fuel prices days after oil surged, a move that should help ease concerns about political interference at the firmArgentina’s government can’t resolve growing investor concern over the ability to repay its debt alone and will require consensus with the opposition to reach an orderly reprofiling of its obligations, Economy Minister Hernan Lacunza saidCentral bank raised a floor on its benchmark interest rate to 78% from 58% for the rest of September as the government fights a resurgence in inflation triggered by political uncertaintyArgentina remained mired in a recession during the second quarter, its sixth straight, marking the longest quarterly recessionary stretch in at least the last 15 years, according to GDP dataAn International Monetary Fund spokesman acknowledged the latest change to central bank policy, noting Economy Minister Hernan Lacunza’s upcoming visit to WashingtonThe central bank modified a capital control rule to allow sovereign bond payments to be made abroad, according to a resolution dated Sept. 16Uruguay’s second quarter GDP rose 0.1% compared to the same period of the previous yearColombia is seeking to take advantage of the rally in its long-term bonds to extend the average life of its debt, both in pesos and dollars\--With assistance from Colleen Goko, Selcuk Gokoluk, Alec D.B. McCabe, Carolina Wilson and Lilian Karunungan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at firstname.lastname@example.org;Netty Ismail in Dubai at email@example.com;Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tomoko Yamazaki at email@example.com, Karl Lester M. YapFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco has added banks including Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG as bookrunners on its planned initial public offering as it pushes ahead with plans for the blockbuster deal, people with knowledge of the matter said.The energy giant also picked Credit Agricole SA, Gulf International Bank BSC and Societe Generale SA, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Aramco is planning to select about 15 bookrunners in total, including two Chinese firms, one of the people said.Aramco is moving fast to add banks in junior roles on the deal after choosing the top underwriters last week. Bankers from the newly-appointed underwriters are flying to the Middle East for meetings with Aramco starting Monday, according to the people.The oil producer, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is still planning to add more local firms in junior roles on the offering, the people said. Representatives for BNP, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale and UBS declined to comment. Aramco, Barclays, Credit Agricole and GIB didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.Aramco held kickoff meetings with the top banks in Dubai earlier this month. Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley were chosen earlier for senior roles on the deal, Bloomberg News has reported.Aramco aims to stick to its schedule for planned analyst presentations and hasn’t told banks of any plans to delay the IPO, even after devastating attacks on its biggest facilities slashed oil output, Bloomberg News reported last week.The company was considering holding analyst presentations the week of Sept. 22 and listing on the Saudi bourse as soon as November, people with knowledge of the matter have said.\--With assistance from Archana Narayanan, Carol Zhong and Vinicy Chan.To contact the reporters on this story: Dinesh Nair in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Myriam Balezou in London at email@example.com;Matthew Martin in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Scent at email@example.com, Michael HythaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Deutsche Bank (DB) makes progress in meeting the radical restructuring targets it had announced in July 2019 to free up capital for other productive business lines.
(Bloomberg) -- The dollar-funding squeeze, which rocked short-term interest rate markets this week, may deepen further with the end of the quarter approaching.Banks are just about to start their usual pattern of cutting back on providing liquidity to close books and meet regulatory requirements. And next week, there’s another round of Treasury auctions that could leave markets net short of another $45 billion in cash.That may explain why stress is showing up in bill sales and currency markets even after the Federal Reserve conducted three overnight repurchase operations, with a fourth to come on Friday, to ease a liquidity shortage.The Repo Market’s a Mess. (What’s the Repo Market?) Thursday’s Treasury bill sales flopped as investors demanded extra yield to be rewarded for tying up cash. The securities slid ahead of the sale and the average yield was awarded five basis points higher than pre-auction indicated.Meanwhile, the costs of borrowing dollars in funding markets is still elevated. In currency swap markets, handing over yen in return for dollars for one week -- a time period which covers the crucial month end -- now costs you the equivalent of 2.4% on an annualized basis. It was just 0.2% a week ago.The same is true in cross-currency basis -- where banks and financial institutions can swap floating-rate payments in different currencies -- with the premium for the Australian dollar over its U.S. counterpart collapsing by the most in eight years during Asian trading hours on Friday.Finally, the spread between U.S. Treasuries and interest rate swaps reached a record low Wednesday. That’s an indication that traders are getting anxious about the rate at which they can finance bonds, and are starting to use swaps instead.“With balance sheet constraints unaddressed, and possibly intensifying into year-end, we expect little relief for front-end swap spread,” Barclays Plc strategist Amrut Nashikkar wrote in a client note. Investors can expect swap spreads to remain under pressure, particularly further along the curve, which are more susceptible to limited balance-sheet capacity, he added.(Adds Barclays comment in eighth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Spratt in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at email@example.com, Paul DobsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Barclays and leading global FinTech investor, Anthemis have today announced a partnership to co-launch a New York City-based studio targeting female entrepreneurs to establish sustainable, valuable FinTech businesses. Despite female-founded startups outperforming their male counterparts in terms of revenue1 according to research by Pitchbook2, in 2017, just over 2% of venture capital funding went to all-female startup teams. As two leaders in the FinTech community, Barclays and Anthemis have joined forces to launch the Female Innovators Lab, which is aimed at bridging this gap.
Barclays announces the appointment of Adrienne Yih as a Managing Director and Senior eCommerce and Brand Retailing analyst, based in New York. “Adrienne has a strong reputation with both institutional and corporate clients for thought-leading research and deep sector knowledge, and her expertise will complement our existing retail research team,” said Rob Rouse, Americas Head of Equity Research. Prior to joining Barclays, Adrienne worked for Wolfe Research where she was known for developing robust quantitative models used to inform her fundamental industry view and stock picks.
(Bloomberg) -- India’s rupee halted a seven-day rally and bonds declined after a drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities sent global crude prices soaring by the most on record.The currency fell 0.9% to close at 71.5963 per dollar and the benchmark 2029 bond yields rose eight basis points to 6.72%. The S&P BSE Sensex gauge of equities declined 0.7%.India buys more than two-thirds of its oil, mostly from the Middle East, making it one of the most vulnerable to a surge in energy costs. The threat of greater geopolitical risks comes at an inopportune time for India, where growth has slowed to a six-year low, and may prompt traders to dial down bets on the central bank adding to four rate cuts this year at its October review.Podcast: Indian Assets Bear the Brunt of Saudi Drone Attack“If crude prices stay up, the Reserve Bank of India may not be able to deliver more than 25 basis points of cuts,” said Naveen Singh, head of fixed-income trading at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership Ltd. in Mumbai.Data released Monday showed that wholesale prices rose 1.08% on-year in August. Retail inflation last month stayed within the RBI’s medium-term target for the 13th month. India’s current-account deficit widens by $10 billion to $12 billion with every $10 barrel jump in oil costs, according to Barclays Bank Plc. in Singapore.The needs more time to assess the impact of Saudi attacks on its public finances, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told a local news channel. Supporting economic growth remains the central bank’s top priority.The crude spike overshadowed measures Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled over the weekend to revive growth. The third set of steps in four week include a tax refund program for exporters and a funding window for affordable housing to revive stalled projects.Brent soared 10% and crude traded in New York added 9% after the world’s largest oil exporter lost about 5.7 million barrels a day of output following the attack. It is the single worst sudden disruption ever, surpassing the loss of Kuwaiti and Iraqi petroleum supply in August 1990, when Saddam Hussein invaded his neighbor.Fund FlowsThe shock comes when sentiment remains fragile in India’s $1.9 trillion market. While equities appear to have found a floor after suffering the worst three-month period since 2016, as foreigners turned net buyers last week, a series of steps by authorities to revive the economy have failed to spur a sustainable rally.Global funds have pulled $4.5 billion from shares in the current quarter, and a weak rupee typically leads to a vicious cycle of capital outflows.“Current-account deficit economies, which are oil importers, will fare worst,” said Khoon Goh, the Singapore-based head of Asia research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. “In this regard, INR, IDR and PHP are likely to underperform. USD/INR, after having fallen below 71 last week, is likely to test 72 again if oil prices stay elevated.”\--With assistance from Kartik Goyal.To contact the reporters on this story: Subhadip Sircar in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ronojoy Mazumdar in Mumbai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ravil Shirodkar, Margo TowieFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investment bank Moelis & Co has hired Barclays' banker and army veteran Will Peters to advise its tech, media and telecoms (TMT) clients as a managing director based in London, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Peters spent 15 years at Barclays where rose to become one of their most senior TMT bankers. Peters specialises in fiber and communications infrastructure as well as payments and fintech and has worked on a number of deals involving both equity and debt financing.
Aldi, the discount food supermarket, plans to more than double the number of stores in the London area to 100 after smaller-format shops proved more successful than expected. Mr Hurley said the UK capital could easily support 250 stores — compared with the current 45 — with around 50 of those being the Local format.
(Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market currencies posted the longest streak of gains since January 2018 last week and stocks rose to a six-week high as global monetary easing and prospects of a trade truce -- even if a temporary one -- made investors more comfortable with riskier assets. As the European Central Bank cut rates and announced a new stimulus plan, markets are waiting for the Federal Reserve to confirm bets on additional easing.The following is a roundup of emerging-markets news and highlights for the week ending Sept. 15.Read here our emerging-market weekly preview, and listen to our weekly podcast here.Highlights:U.S. officials have discussed offering a limited trade agreement to China that would delay and even roll back some U.S. tariffs in exchange for Chinese commitments on intellectual property and agricultural purchases, according to five people familiar with the matterBefore that, President Donald Trump had said he was postponing the imposition of 5% extra tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeksEarlier, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox Business that Washington and Beijing made “a lot of progress” in trade negotiationsThe U.S. is considering an executive order to crack down on shipments of fentanyl and counterfeit goods, according to people familiar with the matter, a move aimed in part at pressuring China to help the U.S. combat its opioid epidemicChina announced a range of U.S. goods to be exempted from 25% extra tariffs put in place last year, as the government seeks to ease the impact from the trade war without lifting charges on major agricultural items like soybeans and porkThe Asian country is considering whether to permit renewed imports of American farm goods including soybeans and pork, according to people familiar with the situationSaudi Arabia’s oil production was cut by half after a swarm of explosive drones struck at the heart of the kingdom’s energy industry and set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze -- an attack blamed on Iran by the top U.S. diplomatSaudi Aramco has picked a slew of banks to work on its planned initial public offering following intense lobbying by some of the world’s top dealmakers, people with knowledge of the matter saidThe European Central Bank cut the deposit rate to a record-low minus 0.5% and said it’ll buy 20 billion euros ($22 billion) a month of debt for as long as neededNorth Korea delivered a pointed message to the Trump administration -- firing two “short-range projectiles” into its eastern seas hours after saying it was willing to restart nuclear talks with the U.S.Turkey’s new central bank governor delivered another interest-rate cut that exceeded forecasts as he balances calls for drastic easing from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the market’s fragile sentiment. The key rate was cut to 16.5% from 19.75% and the lira advancedTrump discussed easing sanctions on Iran to help secure a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later this month, prompting then-National Security Advisor John Bolton to argue forcefully against such a step, according to three people familiar with the matterEmerging-market exchange-traded funds received inflows for a second straight week, led by Mexican stocksAsia:Global funds no longer need approval to purchase quotas to buy Chinese stocks and bonds, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange saidChina’s producer price index fell further into contraction, signaling a worsening economic slowdown that threatens to add deflationary pressures to the global economy. Credit growth rebounded faster than expected in AugustThe country is opening the door to soybean meal shipments from Argentina, the world’s biggest exporter of the animal feed, as Beijing looks to pivot away from U.S. agricultural products amid a trade war with WashingtonSouth Korea’s unemployment rate plummeted to the lowest level in nearly six years in August, a rare positive sign for an economy facing headwinds from weak global demandPresident Moon Jae-in appointed to the position of justice minister a close confidant who faced a grilling in the media and in parliament over allegations of corruption and nepotismIndia unveiled measures involving at least $7 billion in stimulus to help exporters and eased overseas borrowing norms for some housing projectsInflation accelerated in August, reaching the highest level since October, while remaining within the central bank’s medium-term targetThe nation has called a meeting of state-run bank chiefs next week to review lenders passing on interest-rate cuts to customers, people with the knowledge of the matter saidBank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said the baht’s appreciation is a big concern for the country’s exporters. Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said the central bank closely monitors the currencyThe government is ready to take new economic steps if the ones already rolled out are insufficient, Uttama saidThe World Bank projects Indonesia’s economic growth will slow to below 5% next year and warned of “severe” outflows if global risks worsenThe country expects to complete $10.9 billion of strategic projects this year, according to a statement issued by Coordinating Ministry for Economic AffairsIndonesian sovereign bonds will extend a rally as foreign funds keep chasing high-yield securities amid a global slowdown and a low interest-rate environment, according to a government officialThe nation must speed up reforms aimed at boosting foreign investment and bolstering the economy to counter risks of a global recession, President Joko Widodo saidMalaysia’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 3% for a second straight meeting as the economy posts steady growth despite mounting global risks. “Domestic drivers of growth, alongside stable labor market and wage growth, are expected to remain supportive of economic activity,” Bank Negara Malaysia said in a statementThe government will need to seek fiscal space in its 2020 state budget to prioritize sustainable economic growth, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng saidTaiwan’s exports rebounded more than expected in August, as the protracted China-U.S. trade war accelerates manufacturing relocation and the new iPhone launch cycle lifts demandChina again urges the Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party to immediately withdraw their “black hands” in Hong Kong, spokesman from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office saidPhilippines’ trade deficit widened to $3.4 billion in July after narrowing in the previous two months, compared with a revised shortfall of $2.4 billion in JuneCurrent account deficit narrowed to $1.7b in 1H from shortfall of $3.8b the year earlierHouse of Representatives approved bill gradually reducing transaction tax rate on listed stocks from current 0.6% to 0.1% in 2024Philippine central bank Governor Benjamin Diokno said another policy rate cut of at least 25 basis points could come as early as this monthEMEA:South Africa’s longer-maturity debt and the low level of foreign-currency bonds is “more of a strength than a weakness” for the country’s credit rating, according to Moody’s Investors ServiceBusiness confidence slumped to the lowest level since disinvestment from the country over its apartheid policies more than three decades agoFactory output contracted for the second consecutive month in July as the output of petroleum and chemical products and basic iron and steel continued to shrinkTalks around restructuring Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.’s bonds must be approached carefully to avoid spooking the market, according to S&P Global RatingsThe Nigerian government is holding on to its economic growth projection of 3% this year even after expansion missed forecasts in the second quarterA local court upheld President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in February elections, dismissing a challenge by the main opposition candidate that sought to overturn the winTurkey’s 12-month rolling current-account surplus widened to the highest level since January 2002 as weak consumer demand continued to curb importsZimbabwean Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube established a Monetary Policy Committee in his latest attempt to stabilize an economy in freefallSerbia’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged at a record low, pausing after two unexpected cuts to assess the impact of looser monetary policy on below-target economic growth and slowing inflation. The benchmark rate was held at 2.5%Surging inflation and a government plan to nearly double the minimum wage weren’t enough to make Poland abandon its pledge to keep borrowing costs at a record-low for the foreseeable future. The central bank left its key rate at 1.5%Romanian inflation slowed for the second month in three, with the lack of sustained direction in prices bolstering the central bank’s stance to keep interest rates on holdCzech consumer prices rose 2.9% from a year earlier in August, exceeding the 2.8% median analysts’ estimate and the central bank’s own projection of 2.6%The Tadawul All Share Index almost wiped out this year’s gains after Saudi Arabia picked banks for the Aramco saleAramco is considering a structure for its initial public offering that would prevent it from marketing the deal directly to fund managers in the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter saidSaudi Arabia held discussions with some of the kingdom’s wealthiest families about becoming anchor investors in Aramco’s mammoth share sale, according to five people with knowledge of the talksLebanon’s government is unlikely to tap international bond markets at current market rates, an official said, days after the indebted country’s finance minister announced plans for a sale of up to $2 billion in NovemberEgypt will approach investment banks “very soon” to advise on a plan to raise between $3 billion and $7 billion from international debt markets by June, a Finance Ministry official saidInflation eased in August to its lowest level since the start of 2013, paving the way for what could be the second-biggest push to cut interest rates across emerging marketsZimbabwe’s central bank raised its main interest rate to 70% to stabilize a plummeting currency and rein in surging inflationUkraine is set to agree on a new loan of about $5 billion from the International Monetary Fund, according to three people familiar with the matter.Latin AmericaArgentina’s recently imposed capital controls are now creating impediments for bondholders looking to collect payments as their securities come dueThe International Monetary Fund is unlikely to grant a $5.4 billion disbursement to Argentina without knowing the economic policy plans of the government that takes over in December, according to people familiar with the situationCountry’s economy minister is headed to Washington this month for more talks on the country’s record International Monetary Fund loan, which has hit trouble after the government imposed capital controls and delayed debt payments amid a market slumpDollar reserves continue to shrink as businesses and savers move money out of banks, increasing the chances that the government will need to tighten capital controls in coming weeksPresidential front-runner Alberto Fernandez is expected to visit Mexico on Sept. 19 to meet with President Andres Manuel Lopez ObradorInflation was little changed at 54.5% in August, less than the 55.4% forecast by analystsMexico’s inflation slowed sharply in August to very near the central bank’s target, bolstering the case for policy makers to lower borrowing costs furtherManufacturing production increased 3% from a year earlier, three times more than economists expected and partly offsetting a drop in the broader industrial sectorState-run oil producer Petroleos Mexicanos tapped the international bond market and announced cash tender offers for outstanding bondsPemex also to receive a $5 billion capital injection from the Mexican government to improve its debt profileLopez Obrador sent Congress a 2020 budget plan that assumes a growth scenario many economists see as too optimisticBrazil’s economy contracted in July after two months of gains, according to a key gauge of activity, as the central bank prepares to cut interest rates again in its efforts to boost growthBrazil-based funds significantly reduced bets on falling interest rates last month as the real slumped 8%Retail sales rose five times more than economists expected in JulyGovernment has announced the rules for an auction of oil drilling rights worth $26 billion, setting the stage for Latin America’s top crude producer to become an even bigger player in the global marketA senior Brazilian lawmaker expressed confidence that the pension reform bill currently in the Senate won’t have to return to the lower house for further scrutiny, a move that would delay the crucial legislation and unsettle investorsThe special secretary for the tax office has resigned amid a fierce debate over the possible introduction of a tax on financial transactionsPresident Jair Bolsonaro has flip-flopped on key appointments to Brazil’s antitrust regulator, leaving the respected body in a state of paralysis and subject to accusations of political interferenceChile will submit a bill to Congress within six months to make it more attractive for foreign companies to sell stocks and bonds in the local market, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain saidPeru’s central bank kept its reference rate unchanged at 2.5% while signaling it’s ready to consider increasing stimulus after the economy’s worst slump in almost decadeThe government’s plan to reduce its fiscal deficit by increasing revenue faces risks due to slower economic growth, Fitch Ratings saidColombia’s economic committees for the Senate and Lower House approved the amount of 271.7 trillion pesos ($81 billion) for the nation’s 2020 budgetGovernment will take on 19.2 trillion pesos in new debt to fund its 2020 budget, Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla said\--With assistance from Colleen Goko and Selcuk Gokoluk.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at email@example.com;Netty Ismail in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tomoko Yamazaki at firstname.lastname@example.org, Karl Lester M. YapFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Deutsche Bank AG will pay $15 million to resolve claims it conspired to rig prices of bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , becoming the first of 16 financial services companies to settle litigation by investors. The German bank did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which also requires that it bolster its antitrust compliance procedures and cooperate with the investors. The settlement was disclosed in filings late Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Talk of a tie-up between the French hypermarket stalwart Carrefour SA and its arch-rival Casino Guichard Perrachon SA is back, almost a year after a first stab at exploring the idea ended in a public clash of egos and accusations of dishonesty.Carrefour has again denied an offer is in the works, but shares of the heavily-indebted, heavily-shorted Casino rose 3% on Monday after BFM reported that the grocery chain was thinking about an approach. While there would be obvious advantages for both sides in a deal, navigating the politics around potential job cuts and getting to an agreed price would be tough. A selective sale of assets looks more likely.The time passed since this combination was last considered has at least made a difference in how the big personalities involved – Carrefour boss Alexandre Bompard and Casino’s boss and lead shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri – might think about a move to create France’s biggest supermarket group. In late 2018, Naouri’s debt-laden empire was under attack from short-sellers, Casino shares were trading near 20-year lows and trust was at a minimum. Despite both men’s similar background in France’s elite schools and civil service corps, nothing clicked. Bompard, 24 years Naouri’s junior, reportedly enraged his rival by using the informal “tu” to address him.The pressure on Naouri has intensified since his investment vehicle Rallye SA (through which he controls Casino) entered creditor protection in May, but Casino is in a happier place. Its share price has jumped about 50% in a year, giving it a market value of 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion). It’s no longer being squeezed to help pay off Rallye’s debts and its Monoprix and Franprix stores give it a leading position in Paris. Online delivery deals with Amazon.com Inc. and Ocado Group Plc are another positive.This has left Naouri in a better position than some of his hedge fund antagonists were anticipating. He still controls Casino, even if his shares have been pledged to bank lenders as collateral, and the rebound in the company’s market value is a bonus. Daniel Kretinsky, a Czech billionaire, has backed his strategy by buying a Casino stake. While there’s still a need to sell assets to lighten Rallye’s debt load, Naouri has options to avoid a fire sale.On Carrefour’s side, Bompard would be foolish not to take a serious look at Casino given the intense competition in France’s supermarket sector. Carrefour’s 20% share of the French grocery market is in danger of being chipped away by its closure of hypermarkets and the threat from German discount chains such as Lidl. Adding Casino’s 11% market share would remove a rival and save money. Barclays estimates that the deal could deliver about 1 billion euros in gross synergies, or 1% of the companies’ combined annual revenues.Politics and price are, however, serious hurdles. Casino shares already trade at a premium to the sector, and the company would probably demand a sweetener to give up control. Carrefour has cash after selling a stake in a China business, but a higher value bid would force it to try to extract more savings. That might not be easy with regulators almost certainly demanding store disposals and France’s president Emmanuel Macron desperate to avoid layoffs.Asset sales might be better, or maybe a Brazil-only deal. Carrefour’s and Casino’s combined Brazil entities would have a market share of 54% in that country so some disposals would be necessary. But it might still be a way to free up some cash for Naouri and improve Carrefour’s profit margins in Latin America. Given the barbs being traded between Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and Macron over trade and the environment, this might be one idea on which the leaders can agree.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are times when the fundamentals get thrown out the window and greater forces take over the market. The first part of this week was a prime example as investors decided en masse to do some rebalancing by shifting out of stocks that have outperformed largely because of sheer momentum into those that have lagged, namely deeply discounted value stocks. This shift did little to overall valuations, with the MSCI All-Country World Index gaining a grand total of 0.01% on both Monday and Tuesday. Markets returned to some sense of normalcy on Wednesday, with the MSCI surging as much as 0.72% to its highest since the start of August. The move may be a sign investors are confident the European Central Bank on Thursday will pull out the proverbial bazooka to spur the region’s flagging economy and encourage other major central banks to follow suit. That means not only cutting interest rates and turning dovish on the outlook for rates but also announcing a plan to resume quantitative easing by buying at least 40 billion euros ($44 billion) of bonds each month for a year. Such speculation was reinforced by a rally in euro zone government bonds Wednesday and the Bloomberg Euro Index touching its lowest since mid-2017. But it’s also likely the ECB stores the bazooka and pulls out the pellet gun instead. Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau is one of several ECB policy makers who have signaled skepticism over the need for renewed QE. In fact, some strategists including James Bianco of Bianco Research consider the ECB’s decision to be perhaps the most important central bank decision of the next few weeks, and that includes the Federal Reserve’s meeting on Sept. 18.According to Bianco, if ECB policy makers do not deliver the expected rate cut or a new QE program Thursday, they would be “sending a powerful signal that they have indeed reached their limit” of effectiveness. The alternative isn’t that great, either, because it would mean policy makers “don’t know what else to do,” Bianco wrote in a research note. “This will only further damage their financial system,” he added. So while equity markets have benefited greatly from extraordinary central bank stimulus since the financial crisis, the times may soon be changing.THE GREAT BOND ROTATIONThe bond market, of course, also has a vested interest in the ECB’s decision. At least some of the backup in government debt yields globally the last week or so can be attributed to some doubts that the ECB will resume its QE program in light of the push-back from Villeroy and other officials. But, as always, there is more going on in the bond market, which has also been caught up in the rotation from “momentum” to “value,” skewing the signals being sent by bond yields. That can be seen in this month’s best-performing bond markets, which happen to have been the biggest losers in August. And this month’s losers were last month’s winners. The Bloomberg Barclays China Aggregate Index tumbled 2.95% in August even as the broader market rallied. This month, it’s up 0.61% while the broader market is down. Another big turnaround is taking place in the global high-yield bond market, which has gained 0.74% this month after tumbling 1.56% in August in its largest slide since October 2018. Government bonds globally are down 1.18% this month after surging 2.59% in August to match their best monthly performance since June 2016. But as with equities, this rotational move may come to an end with the ECB meeting Thursday. “We live in an interconnected world and any adjustment in European rates will have an effect on” rates in the U.S. and elsewhere, Bianco added in his research note. But if the ECB decides not to cut rates or resume QE, “we could start the conversation” on whether rates globally have bottomed.CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FORPresident Donald Trump took another shot at the Fed on Wednesday, tweeting that it should “get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less.” He ended the missive by calling policy makers “boneheads.” On the surface, zero or even negative interest rates sound attractive, but there is a growing sense that they do more harm than good, especially to the banking system. And a healthy banking system is generally accepted as a key to a healthy economy. Consider Europe, where the Euro STOXX Bank Index has dropped 39% from last year’s peak in January. The banking industry makes a large chunk of its money by borrowing at low short-term rates and lending the proceeds at higher long-term ones, pocketing the difference. That becomes impossible when rates are zero or negative and yield curves flatten as a result. Lenders including Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG have already complained about the hit to their profitability from the ECB’s policies, potentially hindering their ability to supply the credit that fuels the economy, according to Bloomberg News’s Yuko Takeo and Nicholas Comfort. They point out that the ECB’s deposit rate used to be the interest banks received for keeping their excess cash at the central bank overnight, but at minus 0.4%, it has become a charge, one that Deutsche Bank says could cost it hundreds of millions of euros this year. Scope Ratings figures that euro-area banks have incurred 23 billion euros of charges at the ECB since negative rates started in 2014 and are now paying almost 7 billion euros a year. MEXICO’S LOOKING UPInverted yield curves happen when long-term rates in the bond market fall below short-term ones. This phenomenon is generally believed to augur a recession, or at least a severe economic slowdown. In the current environment, there is no shortage of inverted yield curves around the world. One place where an inverted yield curve may be sending false signal is in Mexico. The peso is one of the world’s best performers this month, appreciating 2.77% against the dollar, as recession fears ease and the nation’s inverted yield curve looks poised to turn positive. The 2-year/10-year swap rate spread now stands at just minus 2 basis points, compared with a nadir of 23 basis points a month ago, when Mexico seemed headed for recession, according to Bloomberg News’s George Lei. As it turned out, the nation managed to skirt two consecutive quarters of contraction, and the central bank provided an extra boost by cutting interest rates in August. Banxico’s decision to cut rates by 25 basis points on Aug. 15 helped send the spread higher because it was sooner than most people expected, said Jens Nystedt, a senior portfolio manager at Emso Asset Management. Dovish remarks from Mexican policy makers and a slowdown in inflation toward the 3% target also helped, Nystedt said.NATURAL GAS IS GETTING INTERESTINGMany traders got burned when natural gas suddenly shot up some 41% last November before tumbling 36% in December. The wild swings were widely thought to be tied to a complicated trade set up by one or more big investors that in essence bet on a gain in oil and a drop in natural gas. When oil started moving opposite of the desired direction, the trader, traders or even a company in the energy industry had to quickly reverse their positions, exacerbating the moves in oil and natural gas. Now the natural gas market is setting up for some more wild volatility tied to what traders believe will we a winter supply crunch. The premium that gas for delivery next March is fetching over the April contract, a spread known as the widow-maker for its volatility, has jumped 60% in the past two weeks, according to Bloomberg News’s Naureen S. Malik. Though production from shale basins is at a record, the demand boost is poised to limit how much is added to underground stockpiles. That’s stoking concern about a potential supply squeeze in the winter, when consumption of the heating fuel peaks, Malik reports. While gas prices have climbed over the past two weeks, futures are still near the lowest levels since 2001 for the time of year, straining producers’ balance sheets. That means this winter could be make-or-break for some explorers, said Rich Redash, head of global gas planning with S&P Global Platts.TEA LEAVESFor all the talk about nonexistent inflation, the data seem to be showing something different. The core U.S. consumer price index rose 0.3 percent in both June and July, the first back-to-back increases of that size since 2001. The government on Thursday is forecast to say that the measure rose 0.2% in August. But any increase above that is sure to roil markets, where high prices for most all financial assets have been predicated on minuscule inflation. The increases in June and July “combined with upward surprises on average hourly earnings in July and August suggest that firmer inflation pressures are finally re-emerging, and that soft inflation earlier this year was, in fact, transitory,” the team at Bloomberg Economics wrote in a research note.DON’T MISSHow Presidents Should Talk About the Fed: Narayana KocherlakotaTrump, So-Called ‘King of Debt,’ Doesn't Get It: Brian ChappattaThe Hopes and Fears of Markets Are Left to Politics: Conor SenItaly Has a Golden Bond Market Opportunity: Marcus AshworthNewton Saw This Crash in Momentum Stocks Coming: John AuthersTo contact the author of this story: Robert Burgess at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc’s activist investor Edward Bramson has taken a fresh swipe at the bank, telling his investors that its new chairman must address the lender’s “destructive strategy.”Bramson, who became one of Barclays’s top investors last year, said in a recent letter seen by Bloomberg News that the securities unit is still far from competitive. However, it’s too early to draw a conclusion on whether Nigel Higgins, who took over the chairmanship in May, is making the right changes, Bramson wrote. Barclays’s Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley has been the key defender of its investment bank since taking the reins in 2015.“For the time being we think it is the best course to wait to see whether or not Mr Higgins can address Barclays’ current value destructive strategy with a scalpel or if more comprehensive change will be required,” Bramson said in the letter sent Sept. 3, which made no mention of Staley by name.Spokesmen for both Bramson and Barclays declined to comment.Staley has tightened cost controls and cut jobs in the last few quarters in an effort to hit profitability targets. Bramson, meanwhile, has long argued that focusing on the corporate and investment bank (CIB) is a mistake. The activist, whose Sherborne Investors Management LP holds stock and derivatives worth about 5.5% of Barclays, tried and failed to get a board seat and revamp the bank’s strategy in May.“Markets activities consume so much of the company’s assets and management attention that, without addressing them, Barclays will be unable to fix the profitability issues that plague the CIB and the group as a whole,” Bramson wrote.The division posted a 4% fall in half-year income to 5.2 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) in August, hit by lower banking fees and a 6% decline in markets income. The bank eliminated 3,000 jobs in the second quarter and is offloading businesses including its automated options business in New York.The investment bank “is not self-sustaining and is structurally uncompetitive. This is not as a result of simplistic sound bites such as low volatility, Brexit, or having a headquarters outside of the USA, but rather because Barclays’ strategy misaligned with the modern CIB marketplace,” according to the activist.To contact the reporter on this story: Stefania Spezzati in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at firstname.lastname@example.org, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ostensibly, a lot has happened with PG&E Corp. this week. It emerged that San Francisco Mayor London Breed had offered to buy the city’s power grid from the utility. Then, PG&E filed a reorganization plan to emerge from bankruptcy. This all seems pretty important.It hasn’t registered with the stock. Having had a day or so to absorb the late-Monday court filing and a couple of days to mull Mayor Breed’s offer, the stock trades around the $11 level it’s been at for a few weeks.That makes sense. San Francisco’s proposal is like someone showing up at your hospital bed and offering to buy the bed. The $2.5 billion being proposed wouldn’t even cover 10% of the high end of estimated liabilities PG&E faces. In return, the company would give up its network in the second-largest city (by population) in its service territory; a city that is also wealthy, growing and doesn’t face serious wildfire risk, making it relatively more valuable.Apart from the company, the bankruptcy court and PG&E’s claimants aren’t likely to be thrilled about this either. Labor isn’t. State regulators and politicians should also be wary, as removing San Francisco could leave the remaining PG&E with that delicious cocktail of higher risk premium and fewer resources (see this). If that buyout proposal looks DOA, PG&E’s reorganization plan looks more TBD. This proposes raising up to $14 billion in new equity mostly via a rights issue, with some existing shareholders attaching backstop commitments. In lieu of a detailed capital structure for the emerging entity, it came with a clutch of letters from major banks such as Barclays Plc and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expressing confidence they could arrange tens of billions of dollars of debt and equity finance for PG&E’s exit.The most controversial aspect, and the one that renders it all a bit moot at this point, is the plan’s cap on wildfire victims’ liabilities at $17.9 billion. As it was, CreditSights analysts were estimating liabilities north of $20 billion – and that was before the bankruptcy judge ruled last month that victims of the Tubbs Fire in 2017 could seek a jury trial to determine PG&E’s potential liability. Prior to this, a finding by CalFire, the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, that PG&E’s equipment wasn’t responsible for that fire led many to assume the company was off the hook. Now it could face potentially billions more in liability.Suffice to say, with the equity backstop contingent on the $17.9 billion cap and no more big fires, and the banks’ letters expressing confidence rather than binding commitment, the current plan looks more like a placeholder.Of course, this is a negotiation, and PG&E has to signal progress with a first draft of some sort to keep control of the process. But the cap on liabilities has drawn the anger of victims’ lawyers already. This matters in particular because PG&E’s filing still expresses the possibility of gaining legislative approval early next year to issue so-called Wildfire Victim Recovery Bonds. These would securitize a portion of future profits to fund payouts, thereby enabling shareholders to take only a temporary hit to value rather than permanent dilution from straight equity issuance. However, PG&E has failed once already on this front in Sacramento. It will be all too easy for opponents to fight the next push if they can point to a plan that covers bondholders and shields equity holders to a degree but caps payouts to victims.All of which means that, for all the noise, the balance of risk hasn’t changed. PG&E still faces pressure from rival plans, especially the big equity check being dangled by the Ad-Hoc Committee of Unsecured Bondholders. The uncertainty attached to the Tubbs trial and the potential for dilution loom large. Plus, this will all play out against the backdrop of California’s current wildfire season, with the northern part of the state displaying “above normal significant fire potential” this month.Back in late June, PG&E’s stock hit a summer peak of almost $24 on hopes that a mixture of state help and securitization would shield investors. As I wrote then, however, the reality is that PG&E needs a lot of new capital, and equity tends to take the hit in that situation. Three months on, the exact path out of Chapter 11, and what that will mean for its shares – which have fallen by more than half – remains murky. Having bought the rumor over the summer, there seems little rationale for buying the news now. To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Barclays' (BCS) latest job-cut move in its Japanese fixed-income trading arm comes in response to the challenging operating backdrop across the globe.
(Bloomberg) -- The California Senate passed a bill that could force Uber and other gig economy giants to reclassify their workers as employees. Such a change would secure labor protections for thousands of people across the state and deal a significant blow to companies that built multi-billion dollar businesses on independent contractors.Under the new law, Assembly Bill 5, people in California could generally only be considered contractors if the work they’re doing is outside the usual course of a company’s business. Companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc., which rely on armies of drivers to service their customers, would likely fail that test without transforming how they do business. Employees are entitled to a minimum wage and overtime pay, neither of which is a common protection within the gig economy.Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat who’s seen as friendly to both labor and technology, has said he supported the bill, a signal that it may soon become law without a special exception for the gig economy. The State Assembly has already approved a version of the bill and it’s expected to pass the same legislation in a later vote.The cost could be significant and comes at a delicate moment for the two largest companies in the industry. Lyft and Uber are struggling to staunch accelerating losses and cratering stock prices. Just hours before the bill passed, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said he was cutting more than 400 technical employees after eliminating a similar number of jobs earlier in the summer.Shares in Uber were down about 1% in New York Wednesday morning while Lyft was up less than 1%.“The State Senate made it clear: your business cannot game the system by misclassifying its workers,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the Democrat who authored the bill, said in a statement. “As lawmakers, we will not in good conscience allow free-riding businesses to continue to pass their own business costs onto taxpayers and workers. It’s our job to look out for working men and women, not Wall Street and their get-rich-quick IPOs.”Read more: Uber Has Bigger Problems to Worry About Than the D.C. ShutdownGiving employee status and benefits to workers in California would cost Uber and Lyft an additional $2,000 to $3,600 per driver annually, according to research from Barclays Plc and Macquarie Capital. That would be as much as $500 million for Uber in the state each year. California often sets the legislative tone for other states to emulate, and the costs could quickly add up if more follow suit.The largest companies in the gig economy have been trying unsuccessfully since last year to secure concessions that would forestall a reclassification of their workers. The companies appealed to state lawmakers to shield them from the new standard and have held talks with union leaders and the governor’s office.“We are now witnessing the dashing of the American dream,” Senator Jim Nielsen, a Republican, said on the Senate floor.Read more: Uber Makes Further Cuts to Its Staff as Losses Pile Up (1)Corporate efforts to secure a legislative deal may continue past the current legislative session, which ends this week. Meanwhile, gig companies are also setting up a fallback. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash Inc. each committed $30 million last month to potentially put the issue before voters as a 2020 ballot referendum.The California showdown has become the leading battleground in the U.S. debate over the rights of gig workers. Several Democratic presidential candidates endorsed the California bill and are backing proposals that would replicate the approach on a national scale.“The passage of this legislation could be a watershed in the reduction of inequality in society and the workplace,” said William Gould, Stanford University law professor and former National Labor Relations Board chairman. “Some of this depends upon the willingness of organized labor, plaintiffs lawyers and government to stand up and protest. On this, we must wait and see.”(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Josh Eidelson in Palo Alto at email@example.com;Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at email@example.com, ;Peter Elstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Lloyds (LYG) and Barclays (BCS) are making extra provisions to be able to compensate customers, after the surge in last-minute claims related to the PPI scandal.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- To get a sense of how the market feels about the day-to-day drama coming out of WeWork, investors have little choice but to turn to its bonds.After all, the company has no publicly traded shares — and, if the latest twist in its saga is to be believed, that might be the case for longer than anticipated. Executives of WeWork and its largest investor, SoftBank Group Corp., are discussing whether to shelve plans for an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the talks told Bloomberg News. On top of that, the office-rental company may rely on junk bonds for funding for the foreseeable future or even explore a whole-business securitization, a WeWork executive said, according to a person familiar with the matter.Not surprisingly, WeWork’s junk bonds are tumbling. They fell below 100 cents on the dollar on Tuesday for the first time since the company filed to go public last month, with both the number of trades and overall volume reaching the highest in about a month. While a dip below face value doesn’t inherently spell doom, it’s nevertheless a sign that the bad news is starting to take its toll on investors.But here’s the mystery: Who exactly are those investors?We know who holds about 25% of WeWork’s $669 million in high-yield debt due 2025 because Bloomberg aggregates data from the most recent public filings. So, for instance, Lord Abbett & Co. held about $43.8 million as of May 31, or about 6.5%. The second-largest holder is Allianz SE, which includes funds from Pacific Investment Management Co.; grouped together, it owns about $21 million, or a bit more than 3%. Three State Street Corp. exchange-traded funds hold a combined $9.6 million, or 1.44%. In the period through July 31, funds from TIAA-CREF and Ameriprise Financial Inc. pared back their exposure. Still, that’s far from a complete picture. Only knowing who owns 25% of a company’s bonds is minuscule, even for the high-yield market. WeWork makes up about 0.05% of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Index. Here’s a sampling of other debt with nearly identical weightings and comparable maturities, and how much of its ownership is public:Lamar Media Corp. bond maturing in 2026: 47% known Seven Generations Energy bond maturing in 2025: 72% known J2 Global bond maturing in 2025: 51% known Navient Corp. bond maturing in 2021: 57% known Antero Resources Corp. bond maturing in 2023: 67% known CVR Partners LP bond maturing in 2023: 64% knownSuffice it to say, bonds in the high-yield index with lower publicly reported ownership than WeWork are few and far between. So if active money managers, ETFs, pensions(1) and life insurers make up only a quarter of investors, who else is left? Hedge funds would be a likely place to start looking. WeWork’s bond matures in less than six years and offers a yield of more than 8%. (At the height of the rally last month, it yielded closer to 7%.) The Bloomberg Barclays high-yield index has a comparable average maturity of 5.76 years, but its yield is just 5.6%. There’s been no indication that SoftBank and its affiliates own any of the securities, but they do own about 29% of WeWork stock, which shows just how much the Japanese conglomerate has riding on the company’s success. Opportunistic investors appear to have jumped into WeWork’s bond at least twice this year. The bond soared after the company’s April 29 announcement that it filed paperwork confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold an IPO and then again after it filed its S-1 prospectus in August. As I wrote in May, an IPO could give WeWork a cash injection that ought to cover interest for a while. It would also give bondholders a layer of protection in the capital structure because public shareholders would take the biggest hit if WeWork fizzles.These big investors, whoever they may be, can’t be feeling too comfortable right now, given the state of the IPO. As for We Co., the parent of WeWork, becoming a regular presence in the capital markets, I’ll just say this: It’s one thing to be Netflix Inc. — whose stock price has more than doubled since the start of 2017 — and tap the high-yield bond market again and again (its bonds maturing in 2026 have 73.5% public ownership). It’s quite another to be WeWork, given that its IPO range could wind up closer to $20 billion, compared with the $47 billion valuation it had earlier this year. There is no shortage of investors, analysts and commentators who see WeWork as the height of market folly. It’s a company with an unusual corporate structure and a business model that seems destined to implode when the economic cycle turns.So far, the bond market isn’t convinced that WeWork is about to crash and burn. That is, if anyone can trust trading among investors who are largely unknown.(1) The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, held about $2.6 million of the bond as of June 30, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It's possible other pension funds don't disclose such precise figures.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc is making cuts to its Japanese fixed income business as Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley slashes costs globally to counter weak profits at its markets unit.The British bank is parting ways with several salespeople and traders in Tokyo, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named discussing information that isn’t public. The reductions were made in the last week, the people said.Barclays joins Societe Generale SA and Deutsche Bank AG in cutting their fixed income divisions, which are in the business of trading bonds. Banks are contending with a decade of low and negative rates, eroding trading profits -- and with no end in sight as the European Central Bank remains in easing mode. Japan has been in a similar environment for years. Deutsche Bank moved to eliminate workers in high-yield trading last week, while SocGen has focused the deep cuts to its markets division in fixed income.Barclays’s corporate and investment bank posted a 4% fall in half-year income to 5.2 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) in August, hit by lower banking fees and a 6% decline in markets income. Operating expenses for the unit were stable at 3.6 billion pounds.Staley has faced criticism from some shareholders over the performance of the investment bank, which is a centerpiece of his strategy. The American-born CEO is fending off activist investor Edward Bramson, who wants to see the investment bank shrink, by keeping a tighter control on expenses. The bank eliminated 3,000 jobs in the second quarter and is offloading businesses including its automated options business in New York.A Barclays spokeswoman declined to comment on the Tokyo cuts.(Adds detail of other banks cutting jobs in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Viren Vaghela in London at email@example.com;Harry Wilson in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at email@example.com, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Barclays Bank PLC (“Barclays”) announced today the launch of the iPath® Series B Carbon ETNs (GRN). The ETNs will track the performance of Barclays Global Carbon II TR USD Index (Ticker:Ticker::BXIIGC2T). The New ETNs are expected to begin trading on the NYSE Arca exchange on September 10, 2019.