Reuters blog archive
from Global Investing:
Asian equity markets tend to be casualties of weak yen. That has generally been the case this time too, especially for South Korea.
Data from our cousins at Lipper offers some evidence to ponder, with net outflows from Korean equity funds at close to $700 million in the first three months of the year. That's the equivalent of about 4 percent of the total assets held by those funds. The picture was more stark for Taiwan funds, for whom a similar net outflow equated to almost 10 percent of total AuM. Look more broadly though and the picture blurs; Asia ex-Japan equity funds have seen net inflows of more than $3 billion in the first three months of the year, according to Lipper data.
Analysts polled by Reuters see more drops ahead for the yen which they predict will trade around 102 per dollar by year-end (it was at 77.4 last September). Some banks such as Societe Generale expect a 110 exchange rate and therefore recommend being short on Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese equities.
But the weak yen may not be unilaterally bad news for Asian companies. Morgan Stanley analysts have compiled a list of Asian shares that could gain from falling yen costs. Take India's Maruti-Suzuki. It has zero exposure to yen in terms of revenue but its cost exposure (due to import or components) is 34 percent. A similar picture at China Motor Corp. in Taiwan. Another Taiwanese firm, semiconductor maker Siliconware Precision has a 2 percent revenue exposure to Japan but the yen accounts for 15 percent of its cost base, according to MS data.
from Global Investing:
(corrects name of hedge fund in para 3 to Symphony Financial Partners)
Any doubt about the importance of a weaker yen in thawing the frozen Japanese economy will have been dispelled by the Nikkei's surge to 32-month highs this week. Since early December, when it became clear an incoming Shinzo Abe administration would do its best to weaken the yen, the equity index has surged as the yen has fallen.
Those moves are giving sleepless nights to Japan's neighbours who are watching their own currencies appreciate versus the yen. South Korean companies, in particular, from auto to electronics manufacturers, must be especially worried. They had a fine time in recent years as the yen's strength since 2008 allowed them to gain market share overseas. But since mid-2012, the won has appreciated 22 percent versus the yen. In this period, MSCI Korea has lagged the performance of MSCI Japan by 20 percent. Check out the following graphic from my colleague Vincent Flasseur (@ReutersFlasseur)
Sony, in a bout of bad timing, is hosting an event on March 7 in San Francisco for tech reporters at the same time as Apple's reported iPad 3 unveiling and the Japanese conglomerate wants to make sure it won't get ditched.
Sony, which some people consider to be the "Apple of the '80s", sent out a helpful e-mail on Tuesday informing invited members of the press of the scheduling conflict without mentioning the world's most valuable tech company.
from Africa News blog:
I was left somewhat traumatised after going to see a screening of a controversial new Hollywood-backed short released this week, aimed at highlighting the link between minerals mined for British mobile phones and the use of rape and murder as weapons of war in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The highly graphic campaign video - appropriately called Unwatchable - starts with a little English girl picking flowers in the garden of her family’s multi-million pound mansion in a picturesque Cotswolds village.
While Kraft's iFood Assistant offers recipes and shopping lists for consumers, Nationwide's application gives policyholders instant tools to help deal with some of the calls and paperwork that follow a vehicle bust-up, including access to tow truck service, and getting a claim started.
Europe's leaders can no longer rely on the argument that German resilience will cushion the blow to the continent from the worst global recession in just about anyone's living memory.
Germany's economy, Europe's largest, is now officially confirmed as the basket case of Europe, thanks to a plunge in demand for high-tech goods, stagnant domestic demand, and a strong currency.
The world's second largest economy, Japan, and Europe's largest, Germany, all of a sudden have a lot in common.
Their most striking resemblance in recent weeks is the breathtaking speed of economic decline, with output ransacked by a collapse in world demand for high-quality manufactured goods and an overvalued currency.