|Bid||0.0000 x 0|
|Ask||0.0000 x 0|
|Day's Range||4.9300 - 4.9700|
|52 Week Range||4.6800 - 9.0700|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.89|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||5.96|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.50 (10.08%)|
|1y Target Est||5.10|
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly dispatch on where the country stands now and where it's going next.The yuan steadied on Thursday after China’s central bank set the daily fixing stronger than analysts expected, providing some reassurance to traders rattled by a tumultuous week in markets.The currency rose as much as 0.3% after the People’s Bank of China set its daily reference rate at 7.0039 per dollar. While that was the first time since 2008 that the fixing was weaker than 7, it tracked earlier moves in the spot rate and was stronger than the 7.0156 average estimate of 21 analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg.The fixing has become a closely-watched event after a weak reference rate on Monday triggered the biggest loss in the yuan since 2015, sparking concern about a global currency war. The latest move comes after the PBOC took steps to calm sentiment, including reassuring foreign companies that the yuan won’t weaken significantly.“China wants to prevent panic now,” said Gao Qi, a strategist at Scotiabank. “The PBOC will continue to send signals to stabilize the yuan in the near term.”The yuan is down 3.7% in the past three months, and at its lowest since at least 2015 against a basket of 24 trading partners’ currencies.Further depreciation is still on the cards. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods and the PBOC could loosen its monetary policy to aid growth. Central banks in New Zealand, India and Thailand all made surprise interest-rate cuts on Wednesday, stoking fears of a full-on currency war.Yet China will be keen to avoid the experiences of 2015-2016, when a one-off devaluation spurred companies and individuals to yank money out of the country.“I suspect the authorities will want to gain more comfort over the next few days and weeks that we’re not seeing a huge intensification of capital outflow pressures, before they possibly allow it to go a little weaker,” said Andrew Tilton, chief Asia Pacific economist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “Right now I suspect they want to desensitize the market to this magic number of 7, and make sure that they are not going to have a capital outflow problem.”The risk is how the Trump administration responds to a weaker yuan. The U.S. this week labeled China a currency manipulator, a formal designation which China rejects. The yuan may tumble to as weak as 7.7 in the event of an intensification of trade tensions, according to Societe Generale SA.“The further it falls, the more likely the Trump administration will respond with more tariffs and other policies to target China,” said Ben Emons, managing director for global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors in New York. “All of which points to even more downside in the RMB, which is then a problem for other emerging countries that compete with China,” he said, using an abbreviation of the yuan’s official name.That means the PBOC’s reference rate is going to continue to be closely watched by traders and central bankers alike.“The fix is the number one game in town and will continue to dictate the pace of play for risk assets over the near-term,” said Stephen Innes, managing director for VM Markets Ltd. in Singapore. “Nothing else matters at this stage.”(An earlier version of the story corrected a spelling error in the headline.)\--With assistance from Qizi Sun, Enda Curran and Claire Che.To contact the reporter on this story: Tian Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at email@example.com, Jeffrey Black, Will DaviesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Italian bonds declined after a report that Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is threatening to bring down the government unless his demands for changes in the cabinet are met.The 10-year yield premium over Germany, a key gauge of risk in the Mediterranean nation, climbed toward the widest level in a month. The newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that Salvini has given Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte until Monday to replace some cabinet members including Finance Minister Giovanni Tria, who is seen as a brake on the coalition’s spending plans.“It was Salvini saying if he doesn’t get his own way, the coalition isn’t for him,” that drove Italian bonds down, said Lyn Graham-Taylor, senior rates strategist at Rabobank International. “We like tighter peripheral spreads.”The sell-off underscores the fact that investor sentiment toward the populist government still remains fragile, even after a global hunt for positive yields fueled a rally in the nation’s bonds in recent months. While the 10-year debt of peers such as Portugal and Spain now yield close to nothing, Italy’s still offers a yield of about 1.5%.The yield spread over Germany rose by as much as nine basis points to 2.09%, before paring the increase to four basis points. The 10-year yield was up five basis points at 1.47%, after touching a high of 1.53%. The two-year rate rose three basis points to 0.004%. Volumes in futures were running at around 150% of the 10-day average.Japanese investors bought a record amount of Italian bonds in June, according to the Asian nation’s balance-of-payment data released Thursday. Italy faces a credit review by Fitch Ratings Friday, which currently ranks the country two notches above junk. Both Danske Bank AS and Societe Generale SA both expect no change in ratings.To contact the reporter on this story: John Ainger in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ven Ram at email@example.com, Anil VarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China’s export growth rebounded in July and imports shrank less than forecast, signaling some recovery in trade just as companies brace for the arrival of new tariffs from the U.S.Exports increased 3.3% in July from a year earlier, while imports declined 5.6%, leaving a trade surplus of $45.1 billion, the customs administration said Thursday. Economists had expected exports to drop by 1% and imports to shrink by 9%. China’s exports to the U.S. dropped 6.5% in July from a year earlier in dollar terms and its trade surplus with the U.S. for the first seven months was $27.97 billion, down from $29.92 billion in the first half.Stabilizing exports are a brighter sign for China’s slowing economy after a bruising first half, and follow indications that policy makers are willing to tolerate a weaker yuan that may help boost the nation’s external competitiveness. President Donald Trump announced last week that the U.S. will impose 10% additional tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese exports starting next month, after the two sides ended their first face-to-face talks in three months without progress. Beijing said it will retaliate.“The strength in exports reflected a broad-based improvement,” said Michelle Lam, Greater China economist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. “But given Trump’s latest threat, we may see some front-loaded orders again in August before more weakness in the rest of the year.”If Trump imposes the additional tariffs as scheduled Sept. 1, China’s economic growth will slow to 6% this year and 5.6% in 2020, according to estimates by Bloomberg Economics. China’s yuan slid past the key level of 7 to the dollar this week, weakening to its lowest level against a basket of peers since 2015 on Thursday.Economists interpreted the data differently. Despite export and imports beating expectations in July, the trade outlook remains bleak in the second half as purchasing managers indexes of major trading partners remain low, indicating sluggish external demand, said Ding Shuang, chief China and North Asia economist at Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. in Hong Kong.“The last round of U.S. tariff increases in June -- from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of China’s goods -- will likely show its effect in the next few months,” he said. “Compared with the first half, net exports may turn from a boost to a drag on the economy.”China’s escalating trade war with the U.S. may be nudging the world economy toward its first recession in a decade, with investors demanding politicians and central bankers act fast to change course.The latest setback hit German industrial production, which in June registered its biggest annual decline in almost a decade, highlighting the severity of a manufacturing slump in Europe’s largest economy. In the Asia-Pacific region, central banks in New Zealand, India and Thailand made surprise interest-rate cuts Wednesday trying to safeguard their economies from global headwinds.What Bloomberg’s Economists SayThe upbeat data cannot obscure the gloomy external outlook. The impact of the escalating trade war between the two biggest economies will reverberate across the world at a time when major economies are showing further signs of weakness.\--Chang Shu and Qian WanFor the full note click hereBetty Wang, senior China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong, said so far there is no strong evidence that manufacturers are receiving fewer orders. The downside to exports may be limited for the rest of this year even considering the 10% tariffs, though the impact may be seen on manufacturing investment, she said.Commodities imports were stronger across the board. Soy was among the standouts, with inbound shipments climbing to the highest in almost year after China boosted buying of South American supplies and before halting purchases from the U.S. Imports of coal, crude oil, iron ore and copper concentrates also rose year-on-year.Wang said the a mix of rising prices and volumes drove strong commodity imports.“Coal and crude oil volumes also held up, which could be seen as signs of rising energy demand,” she said, adding that higher iron ore prices compared to last year also boosted the value of imports.“Exports still look set to remain subdued in the coming quarters as any prop from a weaker renminbi should be overshadowed by further U.S. tariffs and broader external weakness, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, a senior China economist at Capital Economics in Singapore.To contact the reporters on this story: Sheryl Tian Tong Lee in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Miao Han in Beijing at email@example.com;Kevin Hamlin in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at email@example.com, Michael S. ArnoldFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- China’s central bank set its daily currency reference rate marginally stronger than 7 a dollar, leaving analysts anticipating Thursday’s fixing as a key policy signal.The Wednesday level of 6.9996 gives the People’s Bank of China little headroom if it wants to track the spot rate lower while staying on the strong side of 7. The currency has recently breached that key psychological level, stoking criticism from Donald Trump and roiling global markets, but the fixing hasn’t. The yuan was down 0.28% at 7.0449 a dollar at 5:03 p.m. in Shanghai.“Investors may be concerned that the fixing may break 7 in the future, which will be seen as a sign that room for depreciation remains large,” said Tommy Xie, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. “The fixing in the coming days will send very important signals on the central bank’s stance.”The PBOC is seeking a balance between allowing more flexibility in the yuan amid an escalation of the trade war, and preventing a vicious cycle of depreciation and capital flight. Officials vowed Tuesday to keep the exchange rate steady, helping the currency rebound from its weakest level since 2008.The PBOC has helped create the perception that levels matter in the fixing and the spot rate. Monday’s plunge came after the central bank set the reference rate weaker than 6.9 per dollar for the first time since December. When the spot rate approached 7 in the past, officials were seen to take extreme steps to prevent further depreciation.JPMorgan Cuts China Yuan Forecast After Manipulator DesignationIt’s not just the dollar the yuan has fallen against. The Bloomberg replica of the CFETS RMB Index, which tracks the Chinese currency against 24 exchange rates, is approaching the lowest level since the basket was created in 2015.JPMorgan Chase & Co. joined investment banks to cut the forecasts on the yuan, expecting the currency to slide to 7.35 by year-end against the dollar and the trade-weighted index to fall to 88.7 by the end of 2019. The yuan could sink to as low as 7.7, if the U.S. increases tariffs on Chinese goods or takes other measures against the nation, Societe Generale SA analysts led by Jason Daw write in note.To contact the reporter on this story: Tian Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at email@example.com, Richard Frost, Will DaviesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It didn’t take long for the Donald Trump tweet. That you can get more than 7 Chinese yuan to the dollar for the first time since 2008 was always going to be a red rag to the White House bull in the escalating economic battle between Washington and China. The president tweeted on Monday morning – inevitably – that Beijing was a currency manipulator and asked the U.S. Federal Reserve whether it was “listening.”Although Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow so far has ruled out any currency intervention by the U.S. Treasury to weaken the dollar, it would be a brave trader who took this at face value.Perhaps the people to feel most sorry for in this arm-wrestling between the world’s two most powerful countries are the Europeans and the Japanese, who might end up as collateral damage. Both the U.S. Treasury and the Chinese authorities have the capacity to ramp up or deescalate their currency hostilities. After years of ultra-expansive monetary policy, Japan and Europe have almost no room left for their own defensive maneuvers. The European Union has managed to shrug off one rate cut by the Fed; as my colleague Ferdinando Giugliano noted recently, the European Central Bank will have been delighted that the half-hearted Fed reduction made the dollar even stronger against the euro (a boon for struggling European manufacturers). But a series of easing moves by the Americans would be a totally different story. The ECB has already fired its biggest policy gun by signalling a move toward even deeper negative rates after the summer and the possible restart of net bond purchases. It is out of ammunition.In the meantime, a weaker yuan is by itself very bad news for Europe. As Kit Juckes, a currency analyst at Societe Generale SA, points out, the euro is even more exposed to trade with China than it is to trade in dollars. An unwanted rise in the euro as China and the U.S. duke it out to weaken their own currencies would be a disaster for Europe’s export-dependent manufacturers and could plunge the continent into recession.For a sense of how badly this might play for Europe, look at its industrial powerhouse Germany. The country’s exports equate to nearly half of its gross domestic product, compared to 12% for the U.S. and 20% for China. Germany is far more exposed to international trade despite a buoyant domestic economy and falling debt. And Trump is in no mood to do the Germans, or their carmakers, any favors.Japan, the world's third-largest economy, is similarly at the mercy of its bigger rivals. The yen has strengthened recently against the dollar to early 2018 levels and is back to 2016 valuations versus the yuan. That puts huge pressure on Shinzo Abe’s government in its efforts to resuscitate the economy.One shouldn’t assume, of course, that a U.S.-China currency war – to sit alongside the trade war – is inevitable. The yuan is not a fully free-floating currency, which means Beijing is nominally in control of where it ends up (although things got out of hand back in 2016). And while China might be happy to send a signal that it can weaponize its currency, this is no doubt just a warning shot as my colleague Shuli Ren has written.The U.S. has the leverage to resist. Unfortunately, those who have already played their negative rate and quantitative easing cards look close to busted in the global currency poker game. To contact the author of this story: Marcus Ashworth at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Credit Agricole SA followed competitor Societe Generale SA in strengthening its capital buffers, even though slower investment banking activity weighed on second-quarter earnings.Profit at the large clients business that houses the securities unit fell 20% after the bank saw a continued drop in margins in a sluggish market. A decline in overall net income was in line with expectations and Chief Executive Officer Philippe Brassac said the higher CET1 ratio -- a key measure of financial strength -- “further secures” its 50% cash divided policy.Brassac is betting on corporate banking and asset management to bolster revenue and boost net income after unveiling a new strategic plan in June. The lender -- which met previous key targets ahead of schedule -- is seeking to increase net income to 5 billion euros and boost its return on tangible equity, a key measure of profitability. While that metric declined in the first half, it’s still within the bank’s target range.The CEO has reorganized the bank’s structure and sold less-strategic holdings over the past four years while pledging to secure more partnerships with other companies. With the lender less dependent than crosstown rivals BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA on trading, he’s boosted some targets while rivals have cut theirs. European banks are facing an extended era of low or negative interest rates and ever-rising capital requirements.The lender posted 5.15 billion euros ($5.7 billion) of revenue, slightly ahead of analyst estimates, after giving out more loans to homeowners and businesses.Credit Agricole fell as much as 5.9% in Paris trading as signs of an escalating U.S.-China trade war caused shares to drop across Europe. The stock was down 5.7% at 10.31 euros as of 10:04 a.m. The STOXX 600 Index declined as much as 1.9% while competitors BNP Paribas and Societe Generale also both posted declined of more than 4%.Expenses rose more than 2% in the quarter compared with a year earlier, though they are still within the bank’s target range as a percentage of income. Both the French retail business and the asset management business including Amundi boosted the lender’s bottom line, which at 1.22 billion euros was in line with analyst estimates for the quarter.The bank is one of the few in Europe that has also grown through deal-making. In April, it agreed to take over Banco Santander SA’s main custody and asset-servicing activities to scale up in a business dominated by U.S. firms. Amundi SA, which reinforced its European leadership after the 3.5 billion-euro purchase of Pioneer Investments from UniCredit SpA in 2017, has said recently that it remains a “natural consolidator in Europe.”Corporate ClientsThe bank is seeking to drive more revenue from large corporate clients in cash management and target more small- and medium-sized businesses. It’s also seeking a 20 billion euros increase in yearly net inflows as it targets so-called mass affluent customers.French rival Societe Generale saw its shares soar on Thursday after it boosted its CET1 ratio, though by a much greater magnitude than at Credit Agricole. Still, the increase may signal to investors that Credit Agricole could boost payouts as it seeks to boost net income by 600 million euros over the next three years.Credit Agricole also said it signed partnership agreements in the quarter with Italy’s Banco BPM and Spain’s Abanca as part of its 2022 plan.(Updates with share price in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Gaspard Sebag.To contact the reporter on this story: Dale Crofts in Zurich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam at email@example.com, Dale Crofts, Ross LarsenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Based on Société Générale Société anonyme's (EPA:GLE) earnings update in March 2019, it seems that analyst forecasts...
Shares of Societe Generale, France's third-largest bank by market capitalisation, jumped on Thursday after it hit its solvency target a year early, easing investor concerns it would have to raise more capital. Although net profit fell in the second quarter, the bank met its 2020 goal of raising its common equity tier 1 ratio, an indicator of a lender's solvency, to 12% from 11.5%, thanks to asset disposals and the payment of parts of its dividends in shares instead of cash. At the beginning of the year, some of our investors wondered whether we would need to raise capital," SocGen's Chief Executive Frederic Oudea said in an interview with French radio station BFM.
(Bloomberg) -- Societe Generale SA Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea boosted the bank’s capital strength and outperformed most rivals in equities trading as the bank’s largest restructuring in years takes shape.The French lender -- which exceeded its capital requirement by the narrowest margin of the eurozone’s top 10 listed banks last year -- achieved its 2020 target for a CET1 ratio of 12% ahead of time and said it’s on track to keep the metric at that level. The increase may alleviate concerns among analysts who had suggested the bank may need to raise capital.The business of buying and selling equities and providing services to hedge funds -- a traditional strength -- also did better than most peers and beat analyst estimates, though still fell compared with a year earlier. Declines in fixed-income trading in the second quarter were also less than some analysts had been expecting.Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea, the longest-serving CEO of a top European bank, is cutting 1,600 jobs and paring risk after giving up his main mid-term targets for growth and profitability. He’s seeking to preserve the bank’s leadership in businesses such as equity derivatives while strengthening capital and exiting or refocusing some fixed-income activities.The shares gained as much as 5.9% in Paris trading and were up 4% as of 12:52 p.m. local time.Trailing SharesThe stock has been trailing those of larger rival BNP Paribas SA, suggesting stockholder concern about the turnaround. Some analysts have said that ongoing turnover at the trading unit might dent revenue and that the changes come with high risks. In February, SocGen replaced the markets unit’s head and the head of the fixed-income business is also leaving.Read more about the cuts to the investment bank here.Second quarter revenue from fixed-income trading fell almost 10% to 524 million euros, though analysts had expected a bigger decline. Equities trading held up better, with the 6.7% slightly ahead of Wall Street peers. The French lender is known for its equities derivatives strength and last year bought Commerzbank AG’s equity markets and commodities unit. It could also be a potential beneficiary from Deutsche Bank’s withdrawal from equities.‘Strong Leadership’“We want to focus in the areas where we have a strong leadership,” Oudea said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “I see opportunities in this market where some banks are withdrawing from certain activities. I meet with a lot of clients and they want a few European banks alongside.”The strengthening capital means “there is no reason to cut the dividend,” Oudea said. The dividend was set at 2.20 euros for 2018 at the bank’s annual general meeting in May.SocGen’s results add to signs that European lenders -- at least on the trading side -- didn’t suffer much more than Wall Street rivals during a quarter that’s set to cap one of the worst first halves for securities trading since the financial crisis. BNP Paribas on Wednesday surprised markets with a second straight quarterly gain in fixed-income trading while Credit Suisse posted a 6% increase in fixed income and only a slight decline in equities.SocGen said it’s more than half way through a plan to reduce risk at its market business and has cut about 4.9 billion euros of the targeted 8 billion euros of risk-weighted assets. Oudea reorganized his top management and hired senior traders from Bank of America Corp. last year to help reboot the global-markets business after the shock departure of investment-banking boss Didier Valet.SocGen has been scrambling to reduce or exit some trading activities to help absorb the effect of a regulatory review and shore up capital, pledging to accelerated disposals to bolster its funding levels. Analysts such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Kian Abouhossein had argued that the bank should slash its dividend by two thirds to ease concern about capital.The bank had been working with McKinsey & Co. to find ways to bolster its CET1 ratio as it confronts the higher regulatory requirements, a person familiar with the matter said in May. Oudea had said he wanted to reach the 12% target for the ratio as soon as possible, tapping the consultancy firm for the review known internally as “Optica.”(Adds Oudea comment on dividend.)\--With assistance from Anne Swardson, Caroline Connan and Macarena Munoz.To contact the reporter on this story: Dale Crofts in Zurich at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
PARIS , Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Societe Generale, one of the largest European financial services groups, reports results for Q2 2019. CEO Frédéric Oudéa comments on the Group's results. Watch video ...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Wall Street’s worst first half in more than a decade for trading is turning out to be surprisingly less painful for some European firms: Credit Suisse Group AG and BNP Paribas SA managed to claw back some of the market share they had previously lost. But counting on a continued rebound could be a mistake.On Wednesday, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank reported a 7% increase in second-quarter fixed income revenue, against a decline of the same magnitude among its U.S. peers. Income from trading stocks was flat across the firm, but compared favorably with the 8% drop posted by its rivals across the Atlantic.This isn’t quite a vindication of Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam’s three-year effort to pivot the bank away from the volatile trading business to the more stable world of managing wealthy clients’ money. It is still far from certain how sustainable the uptick in trading will be.In equities, a business that analysts estimate was unprofitable as recently as last year, Thiam said he is confident Credit Suisse has been catching up with the top five players as it attracts balances from big hedge funds. This matters because only the biggest are likely to generate a profit from that business.But in May, the firm replaced the head of the unit, Mike Stewart, who had been charged with turning around the operation when he was hired in 2017. The impact of the recent management changes remains to be seen.The outlook also remains “very difficult” in Asia, Thiam acknowledged. There, fixed income revenue slumped 29% in the three months through June. What’s more, an over-reliance on bonds across the firm may not help if the fixed-income market turns after an exceptional first half.Then there is the mysterious contribution of the International Trading Solutions unit, or ITS. A joint venture between Credit Suisse’s wealth management, markets and Swiss units, the bank hailed ITS as a big driver of income in the first quarter – even if it didn’t provide specific figures.Asked how the business helped markets in the second quarter, Thiam said it was “one of the components in equities.” The only references to ITS in the financial report point to a decline in both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year revenue. As I’ve said before, more transparency on the lumpy trades it generates is essential.Credit Suisse’s rival BNP also defied expectations with an 8% bounce in bond and currency trading revenue. The figure for equities was down 14% on an exceptionally strong year-earlier period.With the outlook for revenue deteriorating last year, the French firm accelerated a plan to reorganize its investment bank and focus on high-volume electronic business and select bespoke deals with fatter margins. The gains this year amid lower volatility in foreign exchange suggest the shift is paying off, but there may not be much upside left.Neither Credit Suisse nor BNP would comment directly on the competition, but both are probably benefiting from the retreat of European rivals. Deutsche Bank AG is giving up on equities trading and Societe Generale SA is scaling back in rates, currencies and prime services. BNP is, for example, preparing to ramp up its services for hedge funds by taking on Deutsche Bank’s clients and platforms.Whether both firms are able to rebuild and keep growing their franchises beyond these recent readjustments is still far from certain.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 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/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.The global hunt for yield has led to a surge in demand for Indian and Indonesian bonds this year, but some money managers have begun to warn the trade is getting risky.Foreign investors have poured over $11 billion into rupee and rupiah bonds this year, after a combined $3 billion withdrawal in 2018. An enthusiasm for easy monetary policy that may have gone too far and uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade war raises the specter that inflows could reverse, according to investors including S.E.A. Asset Management Pte and Schroder Investment Management Ltd.“The EM Asia market outlook has seen a boost from the Fed comments which will bring only short-term relief to markets,” said Alexander Zeeh, chief executive officer of S.E.A. Asset in Singapore, referring to Chair Jerome Powell’s dovish testimony to lawmakers earlier this month. “We would caution regarding the robustness of Asian economies amid reduced trade and falling PMIs. Eventually markets and riskier assets could still sell off.”With global markets in a renewed era of monetary easing, bond investors have been quick to move to markets where yields are high and there is ample room for rate cuts. Indian sovereign bonds have capped a third month of gains, with benchmark yields down 100 basis points this year to 6.37% Wednesday, while their Indonesian equivalents have fallen over half a percentage point to 7.37% -- among the biggest declines in Asia.For PineBridge Investments, which favors rupee and rupiah securities, emerging-market bonds now face the risk that any easing by the Fed could fall short of market expectations.“Considering how much easing has already been discounted by European debt markets and the rally this year in U.S. Treasuries, any signs the central bank will be unwilling to back up their dovish rhetoric with easing action would be negative for risk markets,” said London-based PineBridge fund manager Anders Faergemann.Fed Chair Jerome Powell looks poised to cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point on Wednesday, with traders pricing in roughly two more by the beginning of next year, according to futures markets. Yet with U.S. economic data still relatively strong, uncertainty over the pace of cuts remains high.While Indonesia lowered its benchmark interest rate for the first time in almost two years on July 18, after raising it by 175 basis points in 2018, its Indian counterpart has already cut three times this year. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said last week policy makers have effectively delivered more easing than the cuts suggest, signaling a key pillar of support for Indian debt could soon disappear.Trade WoesOn the growth front, the U.S.-China trade war continues to loom large over the region’s economy and markets. Washington and Beijing concluded a new round of talks in Shanghai on Wednesday with little immediate evidence of progress.“With weakening exports, it is unlikely that EM Asia will post very strong economic data in the coming quarter,” said Manu George, director of fixed income in Singapore at Schroder Investment. Given the uncertainty about talks “between the Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators, EM Asian bond performance will likely oscillate for a while.”The prospect of U.S. tariffs on Indian goods and a spat between South Korea and Japan have only added to the fallout from the ongoing Sino-American dispute, according to S.E.A.’s Zeeh.Easing CycleStill, for Todd Schubert, head of fixed-income research at Bank of Singapore Ltd., it all comes back to the Fed. As long as central banks keep their easing bias, EM Asian bonds stand ready to benefit, he said.“The Fed’s (still anticipated) rate cut will set off a global monetary easing cycle as other central banks follow suit that will be positive for risk assets,” Schubert said. Foreign “inflows into higher beta markets such as India and Indonesia should increase as global monetary easing encourages a risk-on, search for yield environment.”(Adds conclusion of latest U.S.-China trade talks in the ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Liau Y-Sing in Kuala Lumpur at firstname.lastname@example.org;Hooyeon Kim in Seoul at email@example.com;Kartik Goyal in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at email@example.com, Cormac MullenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Japan’s contrarian retail investors have cut long positions in emerging-market currencies -- right at the time monetary easing in developed economies suggests they do the opposite.In a move that’s at odds with their tendency to chase high yields, these investors are turning cautious on the currencies like the South Africa rand and the Turkish lira. This is even as many of the signs emanating from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank point to a widening spread in yields with developed markets.The ratio of long positions to shorts in the rand, lira, Mexican peso and the Polish zloty contracted to the lowest level since September last week, based on data compiled by Bloomberg from Tokyo Financial Exchange Inc. The ratio has ticked up slightly since then, but it is still far below levels seen in June.Normally, the time would be ripe for Japanese retail investors to buy high-yielding currencies on dips and to focus on swap points, or carry.But the recent strength in the dollar has given people reason for caution, according to Takuya Kanda, general manager at Gaitame.com Research Institute Ltd. in Tokyo, which caters to retail investors.There is a view that the likely rate cut by the Fed this week bolsters the U.S. economy, helping the greenback retain its advantage as a high-yielding developed-nation currency, said Kanda.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index has rallied 1.4% in July, the biggest monthly gain since October, after bets of a 50 basis point move by the Fed faded in favor of a quarter-point reduction.Societe Generale SA also disagreed with the “consensus” belief that a Fed easing cycle will be bullish for emerging-market currencies.The market has already priced in around four rate cuts through mid-2020, which already helped these currencies stabilize, Jason Daw, head of emerging-markets strategy at Societe Generale, wrote in a note on Tuesday. Many central banks in developing economies are showing a willingness to ease policy, with the spread between emerging-market yields and Treasuries at a decade low, he said.The rand has seen the steepest reduction in bullish wagers among the four emerging-market currencies amid deep problems at state power firm Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and concern about the nation’s fiscal outlook. The long/short ratio on the rand dropped to 8.80 as of July 30, from a high of 18.84 in mid-June, the exchange data showed.The ratio for the lira has been trending lower since March, declining from 9.52 to 4.38. Rates intrigue has been at the fore in Turkey, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan replacing the central bank chief as part of a push to lower borrowing costs.While dollar interest rates over 2% are appealing given uncertainty in many countries, emerging-market currencies still offer more and may lure back Japanese retail investors.The Bank of Japan also gave them a reminder on Tuesday that the dire state of yields at home won’t be changing until at least around spring of next year, which will undoubtedly add to the swelling pile of negative-yielding debt around the world.“I expect carry demand to pick up,” said Hosui Orihara, a senior economist at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo. “With the Fed set to cut rates and ECB turning dovish, emerging-market currencies are likely to be a preferred choice.”(Adds strategist comment from eighth paragraph and second chart.)To contact the reporter on this story: Masaki Kondo in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at email@example.com, Brett MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal grows ever more likely, the City of London’s status as the center of European finance is in increasing jeopardy. The Square Mile is also missing out on the chance to lead the charge into one of the hottest new products in finance, in part because of the government’s reluctance to participate in the mini-revolution.By the beginning of this month, more than $100 billion of green bonds had been sold globally, up from $70 billion at the same point last year and on pace to top last year’s record $134 billion of issuance. While the sector is still small in comparison with the $2.6 trillion of international bonds issued this year, it has doubled in size in just two years — and with the climate crisis becoming more apparent with every temperature record that gets broken, its future trajectory is clear. Countries including Chile, Poland and the Netherlands have all sold debt designed to finance environmentally friendly projects. France has been at the forefront of developing the market for green bonds issued by governments; as a result, its banks are at the top of the global league tables for underwriting sales of this kind of debt for both nations and companies. Credit Agricole SA, BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA enjoy a combined market share of almost 15%.The U.K.’s sole representative in the top 10 rankings is HSBC Holdings Plc — which has seriously considered shifting its head office to Asia, where it makes most of its revenue. That’s a sorry state of affairs given London’s record of being at the vanguard of developing new financial products. And that poor showing is because the U.K. is notably absent from the list of governments that have issued the bonds.The Debt Management Office, which is responsible for U.K. gilt sales, referred me to the government’s Green Finance Strategy report published earlier this month. While that report acknowledges the importance of the continued “mainstreaming of green finance products,” it dismisses the idea of a sovereign issue:The Government does not consider a sovereign green bond to be value for money compared to the core gilt program, which remains the most stable and cost-effective way of raising finance to fund day-to-day government activities.The Government remains open to the introduction of new debt financing instruments but would need to be satisfied that any new instrument would meet value for money criteria, enjoy strong and sustained demand in the long-term and be consistent with the wider fiscal objectives of government.That reluctance strikes me as shortsighted. Admittedly, the Dutch government’s 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) of 20-year green bonds sold in May yield more than a slightly longer-dated 22-year vanilla issue. But the average gap of fewer than 5 basis points in the past two months is negligible.Moreover, given that the U.K. report also talks about the need for Britain “to consolidate its reputation as the home of the green finance professional and to capture the commercial opportunities” from the growth of the global market for environmentally friendly securities, a tiny increase in interest payments seems — literally — a small price to pay. Back in the day, it was the U.K. and the Bank of England that took the lead in transformative financial innovations. Bankers in London invented the Eurobond market, which became one of the primary sources of finance for companies and governments worldwide. The now discredited London interbank offered rates were the most important benchmarks of borrowing costs.When it became clear that Europe was serious about introducing a common currency, it was the U.K. central bank that did much of the groundwork. Back in 1991, Britain issued the biggest benchmark bond denominated in European currency units, the euro’s forerunner, as a way of cementing London’s role in the development of the new currency — a victory that still rankles with Paris.And half a decade ago, the U.K. was determined to become the first nation other than China to sell a bond denominated in renminbi as financial centers vied to become the offshore trading hub for Beijing’s currency. Those yuan bonds were repaid almost two years ago.Prior to entering Parliament, the newly installed chancellor of the exchequer, Sajid Javid, was a managing director at Deutsche Bank AG. So he, of all politicians, should appreciate that the City needs to grasp any and every opportunity to position itself for a post-Brexit world. Prime Minister Boris Johnson should allow him to instruct the DMO to embrace green bonds as a relatively cheap way to put London in the mix — and the sooner, the better.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The family of the former owners of a Cuban bank seized by Fidel Castro's government nearly six decades ago sued Societe Generale for approximately $792 million, saying the French bank owes damages for circumventing U.S. sanctions against Cuba. In a complaint filed on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Miami, 14 grandchildren of Carlos and Pura Nuñez, who once owned Banco Nuñez, want to hold Societe Generale liable under U.S. law for doing business with Cuba's central bank, which nationalized Banco Nuñez and other lenders in 1960. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said he believed the case was the first against a bank that allegedly "trafficked" in property expropriated by the Castro regime, since the Trump administration said in April it would begin letting U.S. nationals sue companies for such conduct.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For the bond market’s “tale of two cities,” look at Rome and Vienna. Both Italy and Austria have come to the market recently with ultra-long duration debt sales. It’s remarkable that the latter managed to get a 98-year issue away with a 1.17% interest rate, but Italy’s 48-year offer this week at a near 3% yield is pretty miraculous too given all of the political and economic risk in that country.Kit Juckes, a currency analyst at Societe Generale SA, wrote on Tuesday that “the shortage of positive-yielding ‘safe’ bonds is still driving investors to overpay for what’s left.” Not half.I’ve written before about the Austrian offer and what it said about the market’s abject desperation for yield, but the Italian sale is the other side of the same crazy coin. Things are at a pass when “safe” investors have to sign up for 98 years to get 1.2% (a similar level to euro zone inflation), and those with appetite for a bit more risk have to swallow 48 years of Italy for a not-exactly eye-watering 2.85%. Many investors will be dead before the Italian paper matures; definitely so at the end of the Austrian bond’s term.Bondholders are clearly dicing with danger by taking on such long-dated debt of a country like Italy, whose populist government is still battling with the European Union over its budget deficit. Whatever. There were still more than 18 billion euros ($20.2 billion) of orders for the 3 billion-euro offer. That was despite it offering just 11 basis points more yield than Italy’s 30-year benchmark bond.The hope among those buying in now is that Italian yields will fall further (bonds rise in value when yields drop) if relations stay cordial between Rome and Brussels after a recent thawing. The spread between the German 10-year benchmark bund and its Italian equivalent was as tight as 140 basis points in 2016; it is 210 basis points currently.It’s certainly smart of the Italian treasury to take advantage of the unique environment to reach for ultra-long financing. At the half-year mark, more than 60% of the country’s 250 billion-euro funding requirement for 2019 has been completed. Significantly, much of it has been of a longer duration and that will relieve pressure for many years to come. At least this offers some consolation to investors that the risk of an Italian funding crunch is being reduced rapidly. Of course, Austria's 98-year ultra-long security also carries risk given that its meager return is at or below the prevailing euro area inflation rate. Knowing whether either country will remain in fit shape to repay the principal over such a long time requires a strong constitution. Still, the key metric for bond investors is that Austria’s government debt was just shy of 73% of gross domestic product at the end of the first quarter this year. Italy’s debt is running at 132.2%, and the European Commission estimates it will exceed 135% in 2020.Yield-starved, euro-denominated investors probably have had little option than to buy both issues and blend the risks. But it’s alarming that these buying decisions – between safe and a bit more risky – are now having to be made on such absurdly distant time horizons. Who would want to be a fund manager holding a parcel of ultra-long bonds when the music stops?To contact the author of this story: Marcus Ashworth at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Marcus Ashworth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European markets. He spent three decades in the banking industry, most recently as chief markets strategist at Haitong Securities in London.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Resurgent tensions between Japan and South Korea threaten to wallop chipmakers from Samsung Electronics Co. to SK Hynix Inc., upsetting a carefully choreographed global supply chain by smothering the production of memory chips and other components vital to widely used devices.As the world fixates on Donald Trump’s campaign to contain Huawei Technologies Co. and China’s ambitions, a concurrent dispute between Beijing’s two richest neighbors also has far-reaching implications for the production of everything from Apple Inc. iPhones to Dell Technologies Inc. laptops. The industry is now scrambling to gauge the fallout after Japan -- citing longstanding and unresolved tensions -- slapped restrictions on exports to Korea of three classes of materials crucial to the production of semiconductors and cutting-edge screens.That maneuver, the most recent manifestation of decades of war-time tensions, places Samsung at the center of a firestorm and again underscores the global nature of the production machine that cranks out most of the world’s gadgets. Not only does it make memory chips, but Samsung is also the biggest producer of smartphones.Korea’s largest company has lost about 16 trillion won ($13 billion) in market value this month through Monday, while Hynix has shed 1.5 trillion won. The two companies -- which together account for 60% of the world’s memory chip-making capacity -- declined to comment.While inventory levels differ across each material, Samsung has under a month’s worth of supply on average, according to people familiar with the matter. Samsung and SK Hynix are busily sourcing alternatives, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about a sensitive political issue. The two Korean giants assured clients they would try to minimize the impact on output, but Samsung, for one, is bracing for potential production cuts or even stoppages should the situation persist, the people said.That’s why the Korean conglomerate’s de facto leader, Jay Y. Lee, hopped on a jet to Tokyo over the weekend for emergency meetings with Japanese suppliers. It’s unclear how deeply felt the impact might be -- much depends on whether Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-In can work out a compromise. But in a worst-case scenario, flexible screens for iPhones and other mobile devices could sputter, while memory chips used in everything from HP Inc. notebooks to Amazon.com Inc. servers could dwindle.“This is an unprecedented event,” said Jongjun Won, chief executive officer at Lime Asset Management Co. “If it’s lucky, the chip industry may be able to adjust inventories. There could be a happy ending if the Japan issue gets resolved in the meantime. However, the intertwining of politics and business is making it difficult to find a solution.”The dispute has spilled over into social media. South Koreans, angered by Japan’s move, have taken to Instagram and other platforms to call for boycotts of Japanese travel and consumer products.Japan’s targeting a trio of materials that, while little-known outside of the industry, is profoundly important for electronics production. The government says they also have sensitive military applications. Within the tech sector, fluorinated polyimide is required for the production of foldable panels -- such as those used in Samsung’s Galaxy Fold -- among other things. Photo-resists are key to chipmaking, while hydrogen fluoride is needed for both chip and display production.Finding substitutes won’t be easy: Korean corporations now depend on Japan for over 90% of all the fluorinated polyimide and resists it needs, and 44% of its hydrogen fluoride requirements, Societe Generale estimates. Ironically, if the dispute drags on, Japanese suppliers of those chemicals -- companies from JSR Corp. to Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. that comprise a small but inextricable link in the chain -- could take a hit as well.“This could be a negative factor for the world economy,” Huh Nam-Kwon, CEO at Shinyoung Asset Management Co, said by phone. “All we need to do is wait and see how the situation goes. Just one word from Abe could decide anything. It’s hard to predict.”The most significant impact will be on Samsung’s next-generation products: foldable displays as well as chips of 7 nanometer line-widths or less that’re made via the so-called extreme ultra-violet (EUV) process. That puts at risk Samsung’s express goal of investing $116 billion to become the No.1 in the logic chip business by 2030. Without Japan’s materials, Samsung may be hamstrung in efforts to develop an EUV-based foundry business and in advanced memory chipmaking.Their rivals may step in to fill that gap in the interim. Micron Technology Inc., the only other memory chip maker of significance, stands to benefit. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. could further widen its lead over Samsung when it comes to made-to-order chips, vying for Samsung customers like Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp.“There will be considerable impact on both sides,” said Heungchong Kim, a senior research fellow at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy. “Those materials are not something that can be replaced in a short period. This is becoming a weird situation.”The situation may worsen if Japan removes South Korea from a so-called “White List” of countries treated as presenting no risk of weapons proliferation, a move Tokyo is now considering.Japan and Korea have traditionally turned to the U.S. to mediate in their clashes, but it’s unclear this time if Trump is keen to step into the fray. Compounding the situation are the basic mechanics of the restrictions. While not a ban per se, would-be exporters of the affected materials need to obtain a license from the government. That could take up to 90 days -- an eternity for a fast-moving industry.There’s also disagreement by industry analysts over which corporations exactly will get hit hardest, in part because some Japanese firms have either localized production in South Korea or maintain plants in countries such as China.“In the near-term, we do not expect Korean companies’ major customers to move to other component vendors due to high switching costs and long qualification process times,” said J.J. Park, head of Korean equity research at JP Morgan. But “if there is a bottleneck due to a shortage of key materials resulting from Japan’s curb on export of materials, we can’t rule out potential market-share loss to their peers.”Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co. is a key supplier of polyimides, according to Taipei-based WitsView and Isaiah Research -- but company representatives deny it makes the material. IHS Markit analyst David Hsieh said in addition to Sumitomo Chemical, SKC -- like Hynix, an affiliate of the giant SK Group -- or Kolon Industries are viable local substitutes.JSR is a major resist producer, while the global hydrogen fluoride market is dominated by Kanto Denka Kogyo Co., Showa Denko KK and Daikin Industries Ltd., according to Taipei-based Isaiah Research. Resist manufacturer Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co. said it already supplies South Korean customers locally. Daikin said the restrictions will have no impact on its hydrogen fluoride because the materials are made in China, while Morita Chemical Industries Co. is building a plant there that will go online next year.“While high levels of semiconductor inventory might provide some cushion, time may not be on Korea’s side,” Citigroup economists Jin-Wook Kim and Johanna Chua said in a recent note. “Displacing Korean chips would disrupt the supply chain because building alternative sources needs specific technology and sizable capex.”(Updates with analyst’s comments from the 18th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Heejin Kim, Yuki Furukawa and Isabel Reynolds.To contact the reporters on this story: Sohee Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.org;Debby Wu in Taipei at email@example.com;Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at email@example.com, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.