from Global Investing:

Show us the (Japanese) money

April 30, 2013

Where is the Japanese money? Mostly it has been heading back to home shores as we wrote here yesterday.

from From Reuters.com:

Kissing Brits land on most popular list

March 19, 2010

Sex and sexuality in some form or another dominated our best-read list this week, whether a simple kiss, randy nurses or naked activists. There was some serious stuff in there, too, but really, it's all about the sex.

from DealZone:

DealZone Daily

October 22, 2009

Insurance companies are the focus of many deals pages on Thursday, with Prudential eyeing a listing in Asia, AXA moving to sell a stake in China's Taikang and Aviva detailing its restructuring now the Delta Lloyd IPO is moving.

from Commentaries:

Is BlackRock going to rule the world?

October 8, 2009

It's amazing how well the company has positioned itself to clean up the mess left behind by the financial crisis. It already has chummy ties with the government, including the Federal Reserve which tapped it to manage and eventually liquidate toxic assets the central bank took on from AIG. It's also the risk and analytics manager in chief for the Fed's MBS purchasing program.

from Funds Hub:

Morning line-up

September 18, 2009

Hedge fund stories from the past 24 hours from Reuters and elsewhere:

rtxcg5sInsurers quit hedge funds - Insurance Times

Investors fear hedge fund rules limit choice - Reuters

Hedge fund ATM moves to Washington - Bloomberg

Will the high water mark catch on - Seeking Alpha

Back to life (settlements) - HFMWeek

from Commentaries:

Cat bondage

August 26, 2009

Catastrophe bond lovers and other insurance-linked securities enthusiasts should take a look at a report on insurance securitisation published today by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

from Commentaries:

Killing two birds with a partial IPO

August 6, 2009

SPORTS YACHTINGBanks and insurers are looking for ways to bolster their capital, while having the flexibility to strike if there are acquisitions to be had on the cheap. To achieve these twin goals, Spain's Santander and now British insurer Aviva intend to float minority stakes in subsidiaries.

from The Great Debate UK:

RBS and Barclays: not monolithic on monolines

May 8, 2009

REUTERS-- Margaret Doyle is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --
Barclays thinks the insurance it has against its "impaired assets" is worth twice as much as RBS seems to believe. It's hard to see how both could be right.
On May 7, Barclays said that it expects to get 76 percent of any claim made against its "monoline" insurers. The following day, RBS said fat chance -- we think it's 35 percent. They may not have the same insurers, but they are also coming from the problem from different angles.
Unlike Barclays, RBS is already attached to the government teat. Because RBS has taken a huge capital injection from the state, chief executive Stephen Hester had much less to lose than his counterpart at Barclays John Varley in admitting that things are looking grim.
For Barclays, it makes more sense to take losses only as fast as you earn enough to cover them.
Moreover, RBS has also already agreed to join the government insurance scheme. RBS said that around 75 or 85 percent of the 4.9 billion pound headline hit in the first quarter was to assets that will end up in the government's Asset Protection Scheme (APS). RBS has to take 19.5 billion in losses before it calls on the government purse. These numbers show that it has already chalked up around 4 billion of that first loss.
Moreover, that huge figure excludes 755 million pounds of trading asset write-downs. That means the bank's total losses for the quarter were 5.6 billion pounds.
RBS's 51-page report also reveals the details of another banking farce. It has 31 billion pounds-worth of bonds outstanding. The market is sceptical about RBS's ability to repay this, and has marked the bonds down accordingly. In this quarter alone, that market write-down equates to more than 1 billion pounds. RBS has taken this as a "profit".
Hester himself rightly flags up that there are more headwinds to come. There will be further losses as the recession deepens.
Net interest margins are likely to remain compressed. While the banks may get away with what they term asset pricing (higher interest charges on our loans), it will be a while -- if ever -- before their funding costs return to pre-crunch levels.
Longer term, regulators will demand that banks set aside more capital against the loans that they make, thus depressing equity returns.
Hester may think there is mileage in being frank. But he should be careful. After all, RBS has not agreed final terms on the APS with the government. Having seen these numbers, it may decide that RBS should be forced to pay harsher terms.

from The Great Debate UK:

Fortis shareholders retreat with honour

April 29, 2009

REUTERS-- Margaret Doyle is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are her own --

Revolting shareholders were reduced to throwing shoes and coins at the chairman at Tuesday's meeting to approve the carve-up of the failed Benelux bancassurer, but to no avail.

from Africa News blog:

Keeping pirates at bay

January 22, 2009

There are some expectations that piracy in the Gulf of Aden is about to tail off for a bit. It appears that pirates don't like rough weather any more than anyone else does.