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Apr 16, 2014

A Minute With: John Oliver on channeling rage into comedy

NEW YORK (Reuters) – British stand-up comedian John Oliver can sound downright angry at times, even though his star is on the rise.

The 36-year-old Oliver has managed to parlay a successful stint filling in for Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” into a gig hosting a Sunday night news comedy show on HBO that debuts April 27.

Jan 8, 2014

Microsoft succession speculation focuses on internal candidates

SEATTLE/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Speculation over Microsoft Corp’s succession plans refocused on internal choices on Wednesday, a day after the leading outside candidate, Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally, took himself off the list of potential CEOs at the world’s largest software maker.

A source close to the company said no appointment was likely until the last week of January or in February. The source asked not be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the process to select a successor to long-time CEO Steve Ballmer, who in August announced his plan to retire.

Sep 11, 2013

Vivendi says to decide on SFR spin-off early 2014

PARIS, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Vivendi said it aimed to
decide early next year on whether to spin off its struggling
French telecoms unit SFR as the once-sprawling conglomerate
seeks to remake itself as a media group focused on music and
pay-TV.

Vivendi set the deadline for a decision on a split between
media and telecoms and also named its largest shareholder
Vincent Bollore as vice-chairman of its board in a bid to defuse
a boardroom row.

Aug 21, 2013

Leverage crackdown puts spotlight on Credit Agricole, Deutsche

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A regulatory crackdown on debt could hit Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) harder than expected and embroil Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) despite the French bank’s insistence that its ownership structure reinforces its capital defenses.

Global regulators meeting in the Swiss city of Basel in June surprised banks with a new focus on leverage to measure risk, prompting banks holding large amounts of financial derivatives such as Barclays (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Deutsche Bank to either tap investors for more equity funding or make plans for yet another purge of assets to free up capital.

Aug 6, 2013

Slimmed down investment bank helps Credit Agricole top forecasts

PARIS (Reuters) – Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a more than twelvefold increase in quarterly profit, becoming the latest French lender to beat forecasts as its slimmed down investment bank showed unexpected resilience.

However, France’s third-biggest bank struck a cautious note on the domestic economy, which has become all the more important to the 119-year-old semi-cooperative bank as it unwinds an ill-fated expansion abroad.

Aug 6, 2013

Credit Agricole’s profit bounces back

PARIS, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Credit Agricole reported
a more than twelvefold increase in quarterly profit on Tuesday
from a year-ago period depressed by Greece and Italy-related
provisions as France’s No. 3 bank refocuses on its home market.

Chief Executive Jean-Paul Chifflet said he expected the bank
- which in 2012 posted a loss close to 4 billion euros ($5.3
billion) related to its exit from Greece and asset writedowns -
to deliver a “significantly positive” result for the full year.

Aug 2, 2013

Allianz, AXA beat forecasts; oversight worries loom

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Europe’s two top insurers, Allianz (ALVG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and AXA (AXAF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), reported forecast-beating earnings on Friday even as both keep a wary eye on looming regulations, with AXA’s CEO warning of the dangers of an “avalanche of bureaucracy”.

Like other insurers, the two have been struggling against low interest rates that crimp the yield they can earn on their investments but both managed to achieve stronger than expected gains in operating profit, helped by strength in asset management and their property and casualty insurance businesses.

Jul 29, 2013

Merged Publicis-Omnicom may speak with American accent

PARIS (Reuters) – The advertising giant to be formed from the merger of Publicis (PUBP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Omnicom (OMC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) may resolve any clash between its French and U.S. arms by taking on a more American identity, some industry observers said on Monday.

The two companies have portrayed the deal that will create a $35 billion industry leader as a “merger of equals”. They have similar market capitalizations and the new group’s board will be equally split between representatives of Publicis and Omnicom.

Jul 26, 2013

Vivendi selling most of Activision stake for $8.2 billion

PARIS/BANGALORE (Reuters) – France’s Vivendi (VIV.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Friday that it planned to sell 85 percent of its stake in Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to the video games maker and its management for $8.2 billion, its second blockbuster deal in the past week.

Vivendi is selling the shares for $13.60 each, a 10 percent discount to Activision’s closing price on Thursday. After the deal, Vivendi will retain a stake of 83 million shares, or 12 percent of the video games maker best known for the Call of Duty series and online multi-player game World of Warcraft.

Jul 25, 2013

TF1 profit falls 17 pct, holds sales forecast

PARIS, July 25 (Reuters) – France’s biggest private
broadcaster TF1 on Thursday reported a milder than
forecast 17-percent slide in quarterly profit and reiterated a
full-year sales target already reduced to reflect the weak
economy.

Its shares surged 9 percent on relief that its 48.4 million
euro ($64.06 million) second-quarter profit – as well as a 5
percent drop in second quarter advertising revenue – were ahead
of expectations.

    • About Christian

      "New York-based editor in charge of banks, exchanges, insurers, asset managers and hedge funds coverage as well as separate team that reports on mergers and acquisitions. Previously led aerospace and defense team, also in New York. Was initially hired by Reuters in Milan, where I covered banks and insurers. Before that I was at Bloomberg for 8 years, including a 3 year stint in Sao Paulo."
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