By Dominic Elliott
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Banks and financials stocks have had a pretty good year. The Thomson Reuters Global Financials index is up by more than 20% in the last 12 months, and although the detritus of the financial crisis still offers the occasional sting, investors are starting to see brighter spots for the industry.
The world's leading ad agencies are positioning themselves in Brazil, Russia and China -- countries that are expected to provide almost a third of the growth in global advertising over the next three years. That's according to a report by S&P Capital IQ Equity Research, a unit of publishing giant McGraw Hill.
More research was published today showing that the honeymoon is over for American hedge fund managers and technology giant Apple. The iPhone maker was one of the top two most sold stocks by hedge funds in the fourth quarter, according to an analysis of regulatory filings by Bank of America. (The other stock was Tyco International).
By Lauren Tara LaCapra
On a conference call to discuss Goldman Sachs' new chief financial officer yesterday, an analyst asked departing CFO David Viniar why he was leaving when the stock is at a historic low.
By Matthew Goldstein
Hedge fund titan John Paulson has a shrinkage problem.
The billionaire manager's flagship Paulson Advantage funds are quickly losing altitude after peaking with $19.1 billion in assets under management in March. As of the other day, the combined AUM of the Paulson Advantage and Advantage Plus funds had fallen to $15.7 billion, according to investor sources.
News and views on the hedge fund industry from Reuters and elsewhere:
Hedge funds exit from Europe bets - The Wall Street Journal
South African government to clamp down on hedge fund oversight - Business Report
Analysts at UBS are predicting the European insurance industry could be at the start of a new wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as companies look to counter falling demand for insurance by taking over rivals to boost top-line growth and extract cost synergies. Bank rescues have created a number of potential targets as well.
Michael Chiu, senior investment manager at ING Investment Management, has China Mobile as its biggest holding, and is overweight the banks as it plays down the potential impact of NPLs.