Friday, 20 May 2011

Emirates airline hires four banks for potential bond

Emirates airline has zeroed in on four banks — Deutsche Bank, Emirates NBD, HSBC and Morgan Stanley - for a potential dollar-dominated bond issue, the Dubai-based carrier said yesterday.

"Emirates can confirm the appointment of the joint lead managers and our intention to go on a roadshow, with a view to launching a bond if market conditions, including pricing, are favourable," an Emirates spokesperson said.

$10bn Glencore's shares flat on debut day

I spoke about Abu Dhabi's recent investment in Glencore (as well as other investors) recently so its only fair to update on their current market status.

Shares in the commodities trading giant Glencore ended right where they started on the first day of conditional - or "grey" - trading in London.

 They closed at the same price as they opened - 530p - although at one point they rose as much as 4% to 548p.

LinkedIn shares double

Shares in business networking website LinkedIn have more than doubled on their trading debut in New York, having been priced at $45 each.

At one point the networking site climbed as high as $121.97.

At the closing price, LInkedIn commands a market cap of $8.91 billion.

Japan in recession

The Japanese economy shrank at an annual rate of 3.7 per cent in the first quarter, tipping it unofficially into a recession, as the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted production and prompted consumers to cut spending.

Japan's economy has now contracted for two quarters in a row, the generally accepted definition of a recession. Japan sank into a recession during the global financial crisis, but had emerged from it in 2009.

The drop off was worse than economists had expected. In a survey of 23 economists, Bloomberg had projected an average drop of 1.9 per cent.

HMV to sell Waterstones for £53m

Earlier I spoke about an unconfirmed report that HMV is selling waterstones.

HMV has agreed to sell its Waterstone's book chain to a fund controlled by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut for £53m. Mr Mamut already owns 6% of HMV, which has issued a string of profits warnings this year.

Last week HMV alerted the market to interest in Waterstone's from multiple bidders although it emerged that Mamut, who counts Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich among his friends, was considered to be the front runner.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

US hits their debt limit - $14.3 trillion - now looking elsewhere for money

The US has reached its debt limit of $14.3 trillion (£8.6tn) (WOW!) and is taking measures to cut spending to avoid breaching it.

Treasury secretary Tim Geithner announced that he was suspending payments into two federal pension funds, after the government reached its maximum legal borrowing limit. Geithner said the suspension should allow the US to avoid a default before 2 August (previously set to 8 July) and urged Congress to agree to raise the debt ceiling before this 11-week deadline expires.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Portugal bail-out goes ahead while Strauss-Khan is refused bail!

As the IMF managing director was remanded in custody in New York on charges of attempted rape and declared a flight risk, his colleagues were striking a deal for the eurozone's third rescue package.

 The ministers – along with the 10 EU finance ministers from outside the single currency, including chancellor George Osborne – agreed on a €78bn bailout for Portugal. They also signed off on the permanent eurozone bailout fund, the European stability mechanism, which is to shore up the currency from 2013.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Al-Futtaim Motors cuts number of used cars

Dubai Al-Futtaim Motors Company (AFM) plans to cut the number of used cars it sells in an effort to concentrate on new vehicle sales.

Simon Frith, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Motors Company, told Gulf News that AFM would not be selling cars more than three years old because customers were reluctant to buy them. He said that going forward AFM would be selling "a third as many used cars" as it would be selling new.

So why did Microsoft buy Skype for $8.2bn?

Earlier I blogged about Microsoft buying Skype for $8.2bn, a figure that shocked analysts.

Click here to read an article in The Telegraph explaining why Microsoft payed $8.2bn.

It is a long but easy read and goes into more depth as to why and how Facebook and various other companies were interested in buying Skype, despite its losses.

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's arrest may prolong ongoing debt crisis

Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, was taken off an Air France plane at JFK airport just minutes before it left for Paris.
Police say he faces three charges, including attempted rape. His lawyers say he denies the claims.

Markets are expected to react negatively on Monday to the news of Mr Strauss-Kahn's detention in New York.
The former French finance minister had been a key ally for the European Union as Greece, Ireland and Portugal all sought billion pound bail-outs to pay their debts.

Strauss-Kahn had been due to attend a crucial meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, to talk about the final details of a €78bn (£69bn) IMF-backed bail-out for Portugal and discuss further funding for Greece.