|Bid||0.0000 x 0|
|Ask||0.0000 x 0|
|Day's Range||4.7000 - 5.1000|
|52 Week Range||4.2260 - 12.1400|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.37|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||4.78|
|Earnings Date||May 08, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.69 (12.59%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr 30, 2020|
|1y Target Est||14.41|
Movers Indices • S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) rose 2.18% to $259.53.• Nasdaq ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) rose 3.02% to $190.90.• Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSE:DIA) increased 2.14% to $221.24.• FTSE/Xinhua China 25 ETF (NYSE:FXI) rose 2.74% to $37.07.• FTSE Europe ETF (NYSE:VGK) increased 0.86% to $42.98.Commodities • United States Oil ETF (NYSE:USO) fell 4.36% to $4.28.• Gold ETF (NYSE:GLD) increased 0.09% to $152.42.Bonds • 20+ Yr Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ:TLT) increased 0.85% to $169.13.Industries • Retail ETF (NYSE:XRT) decreased 0.03% to $30.03.• Energy (NYSE:XLE) increased 0.62% to $28.50.• Technology (NYSE:XLK) rose 3.61% to $81.49.• Financial (NYSE:XLF) rose 0.86% to $21.18.Stocks Higher • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) increased 6.98% to $131.88.• BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) increased 13.42% to $62.38.• Owens & Minor (NYSE:OMI) rose 32.73% to $7.30.Stocks Lower • ING Groep (NYSE:ING) decreased 9.27% to $5.48.• Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) decreased 21.88% to $1.Top News • Benzinga Pro's Stock To Watch For Mon., Mar. 30, 2020: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) https://www.benzinga.com/pre-market-outlook/20/03/15693692/benzinga-pros-stock-to-watch-for-mon-mar-30-2020-johnson-johnson-jnj• Carly Fiorina Blasts Corporate Bailout Funding In $2T Coronavirus Relief Bill https://www.benzinga.com/general/politics/20/03/15690587/carly-fiorina-blasts-corporate-bailouts-funding-in-2t-coronavirus-relief-bill• Mercedes F1 Develops Breathing Aid That Eliminates Need For Ventilators https://www.benzinga.com/news/20/03/15691133/mercedes-f1-develops-breathing-aid-that-eliminates-need-for-ventilators• 31 Stocks Moving in Monday's Pre-Market Session https://www.benzinga.com/news/20/03/15692662/31-stocks-moving-in-mondays-pre-market-session• Mark Zuckerberg And Priscilla Chan Donate $25M To Gates Foundation Coronavirus Accelerator https://www.benzinga.com/news/20/03/15690761/mark-zuckerberg-and-priscilla-chan-donate-25m-to-gates-foundation-coronavirus-acceleratorUpcoming Earnings • CUI Global (NASDAQ:CUI) will release earnings today for Q4. Last year, for the same quarter, they reported an EPS of -$0.1 and revenue of $26,952,000. Analysts predict the revenue to be around $5,950,000 and the EPS to be at -$0.11.Earnings Recap • Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) reported earnings today for Q3, higher than consensus estimates. They reported an earnings per share of $0.28, and sales of 345,588,000. Last year, for the same quarter, they reported an EPS of $0.82 and revenue of $383,992,000.See more from Benzinga * Cal-Maine Foods: Q3 Earnings Insights * 5 Communication Services Stocks Moving In Monday's Pre-Market Session * 18 Healthcare Stocks Moving In Monday's Pre-Market Session(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
European banks dropped on Monday after the chief regulator for the region recommended no dividend payments be made until the autumn, though the broader market turned higher after a strong start on Wall Street.
ING is fully committed to helping our customers and supporting society in coping with the coronavirus pandemic. In many countries we are working with the local industry and governments to provide businesses and individuals the necessary financial flexibility while ensuring we continue to play the vital role banks have in society, providing key banking services through our network. In that context, ING announced today it will follow the recommendations made by the European Central Bank to European banks on 27 March 2020 regarding dividend distributions.
(Bloomberg) -- India’s economy is poised to shrink next quarter and full-year expansion set to suffer markedly, as a three-week nationwide lockdown starting Wednesday brings activity to a standstill, according to economists including from ING Groep NV and Deutsche Bank AG.With two of the three-week shutdown falling in April, gross domestic product growth in the quarter to June could contract about 5%, Prakash Sakpal, an economist at ING in Singapore, wrote in a note. The economy, which expanded 4.7% in the quarter ended December, hasn’t seen a contraction in at least two decades. India’s economy had contracted 5.2% on an annual basis in 1980.“The biggest whammy will be to private consumption, which accounts for 57% of India’s GDP,” Sakpal said. “With all non-essential consumption dropping virtually to zero for a week in the current quarter means year-on-year GDP growth plunges to just about 1%,” he wrote.That’s prompted ING to cut its growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1 to 0.5% from 4.8% -- That’s a far cry from the government’s expectation of 6%-6.5% expansion.Deutsche Bank’s Chief India Economist Kaushik Das expects real GDP growth to collapse in April-June to a negative print of 5% year-on-year or more, going by China’s experience.“We don’t rule out a possibility of negative real GDP growth in July-September as well,” Das said, adding “it will take time to re-start economic activities and push the economy back to a pre-lockdown stage.”Other assessments were less severe. Rahul Bajoria, a senior economist at Barclays Plc in Mumbai, sees an about two percentage point hit to output, which will trim the calendar 2020 GDP forecast to 2.5% from 4.5% earlier, and fiscal year 2021 projection to 3.5% from 5.2% previously.“We estimate that the cumulative shutdown costs will be around $120 billion or 4% of GDP,” said Rahul Bajoria, a senior economist at Barclays Plc in Mumbai. Of that, the new shutdown assumptions account for roughly $90 billion of additional impact, he added.A median survey of economists by Bloomberg forecast April to June growth at 2.7% while the full-year expansion was pegged at 4.3%.Unlike other large economies, India has so far desisted from announcing any major policy initiatives to support growth -- either through interest rate reduction or easing of fiscal purse strings, although Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has promised measures “sooner than later” to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.The central bank’s monetary policy committee is scheduled to meet between March 31 and April 3 and the six-member panel is expected to cut interest rates.(Updates with survey table)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
As reported, ING has scheduled its Annual General Meeting for Tuesday 28 April 2020. Next to shareholders, also holders of American Depositary Shares (ADS) are eligible to attend the meeting and to exercise voting rights. ING earlier reported a US Record Date of 25 March 2020.
ING will propose to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to appoint Juan Colombás, Herman Hulst and Harold Naus to the Supervisory Board. Juan Colombás (1962, Spanish) currently is chief operating officer of Lloyds Banking Group, from which he will retire in July 2020.
Given the strong CET1 position at 14.6% as well as meeting comfortably AT1 and T2 requirements ING Group announced today it will redeem two series of outstanding perpetual securities: the USD 700 million of 6.125% Perpetual Debt Securities (the “6.125% Securities”) on the call date of 15 April 2020 and the USD 1 billion of 6.000% Perpetual Additional Tier 1 Contingent Convertible Capital Securities (the “6.000% Securities”) on the call date of 16 April 2020. The 6.125% Securities (CUSIP 456837509 / NYSE: ISG) and 6.000% Securities (CUSIP 456837AE3) will each be redeemed in full in accordance with their terms, with payment to be made on 15 April 2020 and 16 April 2020, respectively.
(Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank signaled it’s ready to buy more debt of nations such as Italy to calm mounting financial panic, and pushed back against political criticism of President Christine Lagarde’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.A day after Lagarde sent Italian bonds into a tailspin and stirred memories of turmoil by saying the ECB’s job isn’t to rein in yields, her colleagues went on the counterattack. Italian Governing Council member Ignazio Visco told Bloomberg Television that officials can skew purchases toward the worst-hit countries -- such as his.“We can frontload, we can concentrate on particular jurisdictions according to the circumstances,” Visco said in the interview. “There is no question that if there are movements in the spreads caused by fears about the effects of coronavirus, this will make more difficult our provision of liquidity and the impetus we are giving to the economy.”Italian bonds erased losses after Bloomberg’s interview with Visco on the prospect of the ECB front loading purchases of Italian debt. The rate on 10-year bonds fell 18 basis points to 1.58% as of 11:41 a.m. in London, after earlier rising as much as 19 basis points.”Yesterday Lagarde wasn’t so clear about a possible ECB purchase of bonds, so the ECB is trying hard now to convince market that it stands ready,” said Joost Beaumont, senior fixed-income strategist at ABN Amro. “Visco’s remarks go in this direction and his clarification seems to be working.”Surging bond spreads -- the difference between yields on debt of stressed nations and safer options such as Germany -- were a hallmark of the euro zone’s 2012 debt crisis that almost broke up the currency bloc.The ECB’s view is that the market misinterpreted Lagarde’s comments, and that if spreads are driven by liquidity needs or a flight to safety, that’s absolutely the central bank’s job. Despite 2.6 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion) of asset purchases so far and hundreds of billions more to come, it doesn’t see any imminent risk of breaching European Union law banning it from financing governments.“We will not tolerate any risks to the smooth transmission of our monetary policy in all jurisdictions,” ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane wrote in a blogpost. “We clearly stand ready to do more and adjust all of our instruments, if needed to ensure that the elevated spreads that we see in response to the acceleration of the spreading of the coronavirus do not undermine transmission.”What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“Lagarde didn’t offer the broad-spectrum stimulus that financial markets may have wanted, but she’s taken appropriate action to deal with the shock at hand. Her comments on spreads were ill-judged and have required a lot of subsequent clarification, but markets should take her advice -- don’t “overinterpret” her.”-Jamie Rush. Read his ECB INSIGHTLane added that officials will cut interest rates if needed. Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau declared earlier that the ECB will use all the flexibility it has to combat fragmentation in the euro area if necessary.“We will use our full firepower, with maximum agility and all possible flexibility,” Villeroy told France’s Radio Classique. We can “buy more of certain country debt and less of others.”Policy makers unexpectedly opted not to cut rates on Thursday, instead pledging to spend an extra 120 billion euros on quantitative easing by the end of the year. The ECB will also start a new program to make it easier for banks to support smaller companies hit by cashflow disruptions.In rare swipes at the central bank, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte both rebuked the decision. Macron said he didn’t think it’ll be enough, and Conte said the task of the ECB is “not hindering but facilitating.”The ECB was so keen to roll back Lagarde’s remarks, that it even included a rare addendum in its official transcript of its press conference, referring to comments she made afterward in an interview with CNBC.Spanish Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez de Cos said in an interview in Madrid that Lagarde was misinterpreted and is the best person to spearhead the crisis. “What do we need to focus on? On the clarification she gave afterward,” he said.Still, the ECB has repeatedly said that it can’t combat the virus impact alone, and governments need to do more. The mood may be shifting -- Germany pledged to spend whatever is needed to dull the economic impact of the coronavirus, while the European Commission said it’s ready to give a green light to widespread fiscal stimulus if the situation deteriorates.German finance minister Olaf Scholz said on Friday that his country would spend billions of euros to cushion the economy, and called the situation “very serious.”Back in 2012, President Mario Draghi curbed the turmoil with his famous pledge to do “whatever it takes,” and his subsequent emergency bond-buying program. That comment was so successful that the measure was never needed -- which only highlights the damage Lagarde wrought with her misstep.“Markets have a way to force policy makers to the drawing board when they get it wrong so eventually we might see more support,” said Antoine Bouvet, senior interest-rate strategist at ING Groep NV. “After yesterday’s debacle, I think more purchases would be necessary to calm markets down.”(Updates with European Commission announcement in 14th paragraph)\--With assistance from Greg Ritchie and Carolynn Look.To contact the reporters on this story: Francine Lacqua in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Paul Gordon in Frankfurt at email@example.com;Sonia Sirletti in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.org;William Shaw in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jana Randow, Craig StirlingFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Coronavirus is probably the 1 concern in investors' minds right now. It should be. On February 27th we published an article with the title Recession is Imminent: We Need A Travel Ban NOW. We predicted that a US recession is imminent and US stocks will go down by at least 20% in the next 3-6 […]
(Bloomberg) -- Global bond markets snapped back aggressively from their phenomenal rally over the past week on bets that governments will introduce fiscal measures to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus.Treasuries led a sell-off in haven assets -- with 10-year yields poised for the biggest jump in over three years -- as stocks and oil markets rebounded from their rout Monday. The moves spread to Europe, with German bond yields surging higher and U.K. short-end rates moving further away from the 0% threshold that they had breached for the first time ever.Investors have been calling for fiscal measures as the virus contagion worsens, crimping supply chains and denting consumer sentiment. U.S. President Donald Trump flagged the possibility of a payroll tax cut, while Australia said it was close to a stimulus package. Italy may increase its stimulus to around 10 billion euros ($11.4 billion), according to two officials, who declined to be named discussing confidential deliberations.“We were bound to have a bounce in sentiment at some point as support measures get announced,” said Antoine Bouvet, a senior rates strategist at ING Groep NV in London. “There is no saying how long this will last but in this instance I would guess until we get more details on the size of the U.S. fiscal package.”There were signs of investors unwinding their hedges for a further deterioration in trading conditions. In currency markets, the yen tumbled by the most since 2014, while the FRA/OIS spread, a gauge of banking sector risk, collapsed from the highest level since 2011. The Schatz asset swap spread -- another popular disaster hedge -- also narrowed drastically.“Haven assets have been sold broadly due to high hopes on Trump’s economic measures,” said Shinichiro Kadota, a foreign-exchange & rates strategist at Barclays Plc in Tokyo. “The yen could be sold further if the market can be convinced that the package could actually help the economy.”The yen dropped 2.8% to 105.18 per dollar, giving up most of the gains from the previous day’s blistering rally.Treasuries were sold across the curve, with the 10-year futures hitting limit down to trigger circuit breakers. U.S. bonds had gone on a record-setting rally on Monday, with the entire curve dropping under 0.7%.Do SomethingThe International Monetary Fund’s chief economist urged policy makers to implement targeted fiscal, monetary and financial market measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak.The European Central Bank is set to give its latest decision on interest rates Thursday, with traders nearly pricing in a full interest-rate cut. In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson could choose to announce a package of fiscal measures. Bond dealers in the country expect the biggest surge in issuance in over a decade.New Zealand’s finance minister said Tuesday the central bank has room to move on interest rates. In Japan, Jiji reported that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party sees a need for as much as 20 trillion yen ($191 billion) worth of stimulus in April or May.“Discussions on fiscal stimulus are getting louder,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane, chief strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. “That, along with the fact that bonds have been overbought, has triggered the reversal.”Yields on Japan’s 10-year bonds climbed as much as 14 basis points, and the rate on the benchmark in Australia surged by 18 basis points.Treasury 10-year yields climbed almost 20 basis points to 0.73%, rebounding from the 22 basis point drop on Monday.“Treasuries will remain extremely volatile,” said Masahiko Loo, a fixed-income portfolio manager at AllianceBernstein Japan Ltd. Still, “yields are expected to stay under downward pressure as long as concerns over the coronavirus remain in place.”\--With assistance from Stephen Spratt.To contact the reporters on this story: Masaki Kondo in Tokyo at email@example.com;John Ainger in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org;Chikafumi Hodo in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org, Shikhar Balwani, Dana El BaltajiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- German bonds rallied to push long-term yields to all-time lows as investors flock to havens from the growing economic impact of the coronavirus.The yields on 10-year and 30-year bonds fell below previous records reached last year. The moves are part of a global rush to position for stimulus measures by the world’s major central banks given the risk of recession.The drop came on a day where other haven debt also smashed records, with yields on U.S. Treasuries plumbing unseen levels. Investors are expecting more action from policy makers after the Federal Reserve’s emergency interest-rate cut on Tuesday, with the European Central Bank meeting next week.“These dynamics don’t come round often -- we’re reminded of 2008 and the euro crisis in 2011,” said Kiran Ganesh, a multi-asset strategist at UBS Global Wealth Management. “It’s the market struggling to weigh up the virus and what containment measures can be put in place.”Yields on 10-year bunds, seen as the benchmark safe asset in Europe, fell as much as six basis points to -0.747%, while those on 30-year notes touched -0.337%. The entire German curve is below 0%, meaning that investors who hold the securities to maturity are willing to pay for the privilege.The move in Germany has still been outstripped by the U.S., with the spread between the two narrowing to the tightest since 2016 as U.S. 10-year yields fell 17 basis points to 0.74%. The decline spurred talk of short term U.S. rates even turning negative, which would see them joining a $14 trillion global stockpile of sub-zero bonds.“The flight to quality continues to benefit safe assets and it is hard to see where this stops unless the epidemic get contained,” said Antoine Bouvet, senior rates strategist at ING Groep NV. “We’re still bullish.”(Updates with comments.)To contact the reporters on this story: John Ainger in London at email@example.com;Michael Hunter in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at email@example.com, Neil Chatterjee, Anooja DebnathFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
ING will today file its Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2019 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The 2019 Form 20-F will be available on the ING website, and can be downloaded from the SEC website (www.sec.gov ) later today. For further information on ING, please visit www.ing.com.
ING today published the 2019 ING Group Annual Report, an integrated report providing stakeholders with an overview of our strategic direction, performance and business and other developments in 2019. Next to ING’s financial statements the report includes an explanation of our strategy and how we create value as well as the annual statements of our CEO and the chairman of the Supervisory Board. Chapters including those on innovation and transformation, people, and risk developments give in-depth views of a range of areas crucial to ING.
(Bloomberg) -- ING Groep NV, the biggest Dutch lender, has been considering a sale of its Turkish business, people with knowledge of the matter said.ING has held preliminary talks with potential advisers about the possibility of divesting Istanbul-based ING Bank AS, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. It also approached a local competitor late last year to gauge their interest in a deal, though it isn’t currently running a formal sale process, one of the people said.No final decisions have been made, and ING could opt to keep the business, the people said. A representative for ING declined to comment.ING has been weighing exiting from Turkey as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration exerts its control over the banking industry, pushing commercial lenders to extend more credit to aid economic growth, while forcing the companies to cut the number and size of fees. A potential deal would follow a move by Italy’s UniCredit SpA to cut its stake in Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi AS as part of its strategy to divest non-strategic assets.HSBC Holdings Plc is also considering leaving the Turkish market, where it has been operating since the early 2000s, Reuters reported on Jan. 29, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. The global banking giant had already announced plans to cut jobs in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey as the latest part of its cost-reduction program.The Dutch lender, which entered Turkey by acquiring Oyakbank AS for $2.7 billion in 2007, has had a mixed experience in the country. Profit at the unit, the 12th largest of the country’s 47 banks, rose 39% to 1.47 billion liras ($238 million) last year, while assets declined slightly to 57.1 billion liras. Non-performing loans rose to 4.3% on a total of 10.6 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in the fourth quarter, compared with 2.8% a year earlier. Turkish loans make up about 1.5% of ING’s total loan book.In 2018, the bank sold a bad loan portfolio of 533 million liras to investors for a marginal price of 10 million liras.In Amsterdam, ING is seeking to replace outgoing Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers. That succession race could include Pinar Abay, the former head of the Turkish unit who was promoted to oversee the parent company’s biggest businesses in December, according to a Citigroup Inc. analyst.The Borsa Istanbul Banks Sector Index rose as much as 4.9%, the most since Jan. 9. That compares with a gain of as much as 3% in the stock exchange’s benchmark index.(Updates banking index rise in last paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ruben Munsterman.To contact the reporters on this story: Kerim Karakaya in Istanbul at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ercan Ersoy in Istanbul at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stefania Bianchi at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Onur Ant at email@example.com, Vernon Wessels, Hilton ShoneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Standard Chartered Plc may have many failings. At least it has a leader.The London-based emerging markets bank run by Bill Winters hasn’t had the best of years, and the outlook, with so much exposure to virus-affected Hong Kong, is looking grim.It does, though, have a stable team, led by a CEO about to complete five years in the job. That puts the bank in a better place than traditional rival HSBC Holdings Plc, which is undergoing a radical overhaul with 35,000 job cuts under caretaker CEO Noel Quinn.On Thursday, StanChart posted full-year underlying pretax profit of $4.2 billion, slightly behind the consensus forecast of $4.3 billion, and announced a $500 million buyback. That was less than the $1 billion analysts had expected. The bank salved the disappointment by hinting that it will return more capital to shareholders after completing the sale of its stake in Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata. There’s no share buyback in the works at HSBC.Standard Chartered said that the coronavirus outbreak will delay its target of a 10% return on tangible equity by 2021. The epidemic has led to a shutdown of factories in China and wide-ranging travel disruption that has interrupted global trade. Its warning mirrors that from HSBC, which said last week that the outbreak could lead to as much as $600 million in additional loan losses if it continues into the second half of the year.Having Winters at the helm gives StanChart an edge — and not just over HSBC. Several other European banks have new or no heads. Earlier this month, Credit Suisse Group AG named a new CEO after ousting Tidjane Thiam over a spying scandal; UBS Group AG poached ING Groep NV Chief executive Ralph Hamers; Barclays Plc, according to the Financial Times, is looking for a replacement for Jes Staley, who’s preparing to retire from the bank next year amid allegations of links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.Winters hasn’t exactly had a chummy relationship with investors. He took a pay cut after shareholders complained about his high pension allowance last year, a revolt that he initially criticized as “immature and unhelpful.” To put that painful episode behind him, the CEO will need to offer a meaningful increase in shareholder returns from last year’s 6.4%, two percentage points lower than HSBC.Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the year. As with HSBC, Hong Kong is StanChart’s single biggest market. Before the impact of last year’s anti-government protests could fade, the coronavirus has arrived to threaten the economy again. The outbreak will also hurt Singapore, another key market.All the same, if and when he leaves Winters will in all likelihood hand over a more solid franchise than he received. When he joined in June 2015, StanChart was neck deep in bad corporate loans in India and Indonesia. That problem is in the rearview mirror now. Even though the loan loss rate ticked slightly higher last year, it was just over half what it was two years ago. While asset quality pressures may rebuild because of the supply-chain disruption from the coronavirus, at least the bank’s ability to endure as an independent institution is no longer in doubt. Having made a mark as a digital lender in underbanked Africa, StanChart is now in the fray to open an online-only bank in Hong Kong. Given the aging demographics of its existing client base in the former British colony, going after more millennials and Generation Z customers may be a smart move.Asia is the biggest profit pool for banks worldwide. But growth is slowing and competition from fintech is on the rise. With global interest rates once again going limp, there’s little hope for boosting profit margins. While Winters can perhaps keep a tight leash on costs, he may not be able to pare them any further. Having pushed back the 10% return on equity target to beyond next year, even juicy buybacks won’t keep investors from souring on the one CEO who — to borrow from a StanChart advertising tagline — seems to be here for good. Or as close to that as it gets in European banking nowadays.To contact the authors of this story: Nisha Gopalan at firstname.lastname@example.orgAndy Mukherjee at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After being ruled by effectively the same coalition for 61 years, Malaysia just witnessed the alternative collapse in less than two. The crisis sparked by the shock resignation of the 94-year-old prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, and how it’s resolved will grab all the attention for now. But the arrival of short-cycle politics will cast a long shadow over the Southeast Asian nation and investors will reset their antennae.Mahathir ruled from 1981 until retirement in 2003, only to return 15 years later to cause the biggest electoral upset in Malaysia’s history. But while his latest government did make an early attempt to remove politicians from state-linked companies and disallow “support letters” that help favored businessmen win contracts, institutions in Malaysia remain far too unreformed and weak to withstand prolonged political flux. What happens next is unclear, though an investment recovery this year can be easily ruled out. Mahathir might yet cobble together the 112 lawmakers needed to form the next government. Or, he may back someone other than Anwar Ibrahim, to whom he was supposed to hand over the top job after about two years. But the prime minister obviously didn’t like his new partner and old enemy enough to commit to a transition date. (Mahathir fired Anwar, who was his chosen successor, in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis. Anwar was imprisoned on convictions of corruption and sodomy that he said were a plot to remove him from politics). The 72-year-old Anwar could take a shot at power, though he looks resigned to not becoming the eighth prime minister of independent Malaysia. “Maybe the ninth,” he said at a prayer ceremony at his home as the fall of Mahathir’s government looked imminent. His party, which was allied with Mahathir in an unwieldy coalition, has split. Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, who was also jockeying for the top job, left with a small breakaway faction of 10 other lawmakers.The long-ruling Barisan Nasional regime, which was Mahathir’s political home before he fell out with his successors, is now back in the frame. Backing Mahathir — or his appointee — against Anwar may be the best chance for its elites to revive the old order. The coalition lost its stranglehold on power in 2018 because of popular disgust against then-premier Najib Razak over a scandal in which $4.5 billion was allegedly stolen from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB, state investment company and laundered around the world. Najib is on trial for a range of related crimes; the former prime minister rejects the allegations against him.Whatever the outcome, it looks likely that the new dispensation will seek legitimacy by aligning itself with the Malay-Muslim majority. The ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, which had long hoped that Anwar would get a chance to fulfill his promise of making economic entitlements needs-based, rather than centered on race, will be disappointed. Decades of pro-Malay policies forged in great part under Mahathir have encouraged rent-seeking while prompting young, educated and disillusioned minorities to seek their fortunes elsewhere.When it comes to spawning new-age digital companies, the country is lagging behind its neighbors. Smaller Singapore and poorer Indonesia are both doing better, despite Malaysia making an early start to industrialize its traditional oil and plantation economy. Any emerging coalitions will be too vested in the status quo of public construction contracts to seek a course correction. Unstable administrations also tend to be myopic about spending and taxation. One of the first things Mahathir did upon his May 2018 return was to scrap the goods and services tax, which had lowered Malaysia’s budgetary reliance on its aging oil fields. The GST was deeply unpopular because it was perceived to have raised the cost of living. But Malaysia’s high investment-grade rating probably won’t survive the global electric-vehicle revolution without more diversified sources of government revenue. It’s unclear how committed a new finance minister will be to medium-term fiscal goals. What should investors make of this muddle? Most of the reassessment may occur in the price of the currency as foreigners get cold feet. Malaysian government debt, on the other hand, might remain in demand from local retirement funds.A slowing economy, which is already starting to weigh on the under-performing equity market, could support bonds. The coronavirus outbreak in China, which absorbs more than a fifth of Malaysian exports, is threatening to crush gross domestic product growth this year to 3.5%, according to ING Groep NV, its slowest since the global financial crisis.But just as neighboring Singapore rolls out billions of dollars in fiscal relief to mitigate the impact of the epidemic, decision-making in Kuala Lumpur is suddenly imploding, with Mahathtair continuing only as interim prime minister. The economy this year could well become an early victim of Malaysia’s shortening political cycle.To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- European banks have a problem with their boardrooms.From the Anglo-Asian giant HSBC Holdings Plc to Spain’s Banco Santander SA and Switzerland’s Credit Suisse Group AG, a troubling phenomenon has become apparent at many of the region’s lenders: the weakness of the body tasked with ensuring the company’s success.Bankers are already under pressure because of rock-bottom interest rates and digital disruption, so it’s far from ideal that their boards appear slow, clumsy and overly beholden to their chief executives. Proper corporate governance matters as much now as it did during the financial crisis. While lenders may be simpler and safer by some measures, they’re still impenetrable to the outside world, and new risks are always emerging. Their CEOs need to be chosen, managed and held in check more effectively.An endless series of boardroom dramas has beset Europe’s banks in the past year. Consider HSBC. the continent’s biggest lender has just embarked on its biggest overhaul in decades (its third attempt to adapt to the post-crisis era), a plan that involves tens of thousands of job cuts, scrapping buybacks and reallocating capital to more profitable businesses. It’s hardly the time to be leaderless.Yet six months after ousting CEO John Flint, who only held the job for a year and a half, HSBC’s board hasn’t made up its mind whether it wants to give his interim replacement Noel Quinn the job, or to hire externally.In fairness, finding the right boss for a sprawling bank with a $2.7 trillion balance sheet is the most important task of the board and Chairman Mark Tucker — alongside setting the strategy. It mustn’t be rushed. But a strategic overhaul of this magnitude needs a leader who owns the new plan. The longer the appointment drags out, the tougher it will be for Quinn to execute; and the harder it would be for a credible external candidate to implement someone else’s turnaround story. The board has given itself until as late as August, but time isn’t on its side after the favorite outside candidate, UniCredit SpA’s Jean Pierre Mustier, committed himself to his current employer.HSBC’s board is in fine company when it comes to messy situations. At Barclays Plc, another regulatory probe into CEO Jes Staley — this time looking at his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein — raises questions about oversight at the top of the firm. Staley was fined previously for attempting to unmask a Barclays whistleblower. The London-based bank took two months to go public on the latest inquiry, and it hasn’t shared details of its own review into the CEO’s relationship with Epstein. While one shouldn’t jump to conclusions, more transparency from the board would have been invaluable to investors.Elsewhere, the Credit Suisse board hardly covered itself in glory during a months-long spying scandal that cost CEO Tidjane Thiam his job. While Thiam was cleared of knowing about the surveillance operations against employees, past and present, it’s pretty damning that neither he nor the board were aware of those activities being carried out by key personnel. The Swiss giant’s directors must share responsibility for an episode that damaged the bank’s reputation and upset employees.In April, Santander faces its own embarrassing showdown in a Spanish court. After withdrawing its offer of the CEO post to Andrea Orcel — the former head of investment banking at UBS Group AG — over a disagreement on pay, Santander is being sued by Orcel for more than 100 million euros ($108 million). Why Santander would have agreed to honor UBS’s generous financial obligations to Orcel, and then withdrew the proposal, is unclear. A detailed account of alleged text messages between Santander Chairman Ana Botin and Orcel and his wife, published by Reuters, points to personal relationships possibly playing a bigger role than they should have in a CEO appointment.For its part, UBS botched its own internal CEO succession plan, and eventually hired Ralph Hamers from ING Groep NV — despite the Dutch bank’s failings over money-laundering and Hamers’s lack of experience in UBS’s core businesses. That was a controversial move by the directors of the world’s biggest wealth manager. In the age of the “purposeful company,” bank boards should be leading the way on properly representing their shareholders, as well as employees and society. It isn’t obvious whose interest they’ll serve by remaining so ineffective. To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi 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 Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you’re a banker sitting somewhat idle at UBS Group AG, you may be feeling vulnerable today. The Swiss giant has picked Ralph Hamers — an outsider credited with making ING Groep NV one of Europe’s most digitally savvy and cost-efficient banks — as its new chief executive officer. That sets a clear strategic direction for UBS.The lender is turning to an experienced hand in trimming costs and using machines instead of humans. Still, beyond the obvious signals about how UBS intends to defend its bottom line in the future, it’s hard to portray the recruitment of the 53-year-old Dutchman, a lifer in banking, as a truly radical choice at a time when the robots are taking over finance. As Morgan Stanley’s $13 billion acquisition of E*Trade Financial Corp. shows, managing wealth in the future will involve a considerable degree of technology nous and automation. Hamers did well by introducing popular banking apps for ING’s retail customers, but servicing the rich is a different game.Plus, with the boardrooms of some of Europe’s biggest banks mired in controversy, the arrival of the former ING CEO will raise a few eyebrows: The Dutch lender had to pay $900 million to settle an investigation into alleged money-laundering.After successfully turning around UBS by shrinking its trading business and expanding in private banking, outgoing CEO Sergio Ermotti has taken his foot off the pedal somewhat recently. The $2.6 trillion wealth manager hasn’t adapted as swiftly as competitors to negative interest rates and the firm’s bloated costs have hit its profitability.So hiring someone from outside Swiss financial circles will at least bring some kind of break. A focus on operational costs has helped another Swiss bank, Credit Suisse Group AG, and Italy’s UniCredit SpA.While it’s not entirely obvious that Hamers can replicate at UBS what he did in Dutch consumer banking, his laser focus on expenses will be positive. The appointment also ends uncertainty about the leadership of the Swiss bank, where half the executive management team has changed in the past two years.Hamers is certainly experienced, having spent almost three decades at ING, including six as CEO, but he’s never cut his teeth running an investment bank. That unit soaks up 30% of UBS’s risk-weighted assets and is generating returns that even Ermotti deems unacceptable. Nor has the new man run a wealth management business, which makes up about 60% of UBS’s profit. Barclays analysts noted that none of the investors they’d spoken to had named Hamers as a potential Ermotti successor.Then there’s ING’s patchy record of oversight and controls. In 2018, the Dutch lender agreed to pay that $900 million to settle an investigation into corrupt practices by former clients. The bank was also reprimanded by its regulators over the money-laundering scandal. Its chief finance officer had to leave.In fairness, it’s hard to find a senior banker with a question-free past right now: Nordic banks have been embroiled in money-laundering scandals too; Credit Suisse ousted CEO Tidjane Thiam amid a spying scandal; and Barclays Plc’s CEO is being probed by British regulators over his ties to the deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein.Hamers arrives with many of the right attributes for the job, and UBS investors pushed up the share price on Thursday. UBS Chairman Axel Weber says his new CEO will have learnt from the money-laundering debacle. But this is a very big beast to get right. To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi 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 Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Ralph Hamers, CEO of ING, will step down from his position and leave ING as of 30 June 2020. After 29 years at ING he will join UBS on 1 September 2020 and will become Group Chief Executive Officer per 1 November 2020. Over the past six years Ralph Hamers has transformed ING into a leading digital bank, on the way to become the go-to financial platform for our customers.
ZURICH/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - UBS , the world's largest bank to the rich, named the head of ING as chief executive on Thursday, seeking to tap his tech knowledge after he transformed the Dutch lender into one of Europe's most successful online banks. Ralph Hamers' appointment heralds a shift in focus for the Swiss bank, which historically relied on its bankers' personal attention to customers to build a group managing more than $2 trillion of investments. ING, by contrast, is better known for its brash orange logo, mobile apps and online loan applications.