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Aug 21, 2013

Lloyds Banking sells German life insurer for $400 mln

LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) – British lender Lloyds Banking
Group has sold German life insurer Heidelberger Leben
to private equity group Cinven and reinsurer Hannover Re
for around 300 million euros ($400 million), raising
hopes that the state-rescured bank is moving closer to restoring
its dividend.

The deal, which will boost Lloyds’ core capital by 400
million pounds, and the separate sale on Wednesday for 254
million pounds of a portfolio of leveraged loans, helps
strengthen the bank’s balance sheet and could accelerate
government plans to start selling down its 39 percent stake,
analysts said.

Aug 20, 2013

Family comes first for risk-averse fund managers

LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Investors seeking less volatile
returns from their stock portfolios are turning their attention
to family-owned firms that play for pride as well as profit.

In the wake of the 2007-09 financial crisis, when investors
worldwide were badly burnt by companies’ laxer attitude to risk,
some fund managers are increasingly drawn to firms with family
legacies to protect.

Jul 28, 2013

Europe banks get set for dividend lift – if regulators allow

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) – A clutch of European banks are
primed to lift dividends to put them back on the radar of
yield-hungry investors after years spent using cash to repair
balance sheets.

HSBC, UBS, BNP Paribas,
Standard Chartered, Swedbank and other banks
in Switzerland, France and Sweden could lead the way back to
bigger payouts.

Jul 21, 2013

Cost of weeding out criminals and tax cheats hits private banks

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Private banks managing the
financial affairs of the world’s wealthy face spending millions
of dollars every year on vetting new clients, as regulators get
tough on banks that harbour tax cheats and money launderers.

While the world’s rich are getting wealthier and putting
more money into private banks, a growing proportion of the cash
is from geo-political troublespots in the Middle East and Asia.

Jul 10, 2013

Activist investors keep lower profile in Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – As activist investors launch more high profile corporate battles in the United States, in Europe they are eschewing public hectoring for private talks.

Aggressive activism has had mixed results in Europe, where protracted fights have on occasion driven down share prices and put off other shareholders instead of bringing about the changes the activist investors demand.

Jul 4, 2013

Emerging markets mania was a costly mistake: Goldman executive

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors who wrongly called time on U.S. economic supremacy during the financial crisis are set to pay a hefty price for betting too much on the developing world, according to a top Goldman Sachs strategist.

The U.S. investment bank helped inspire a twenty-fold surge in financial investment in China, India, Russia and Brazil over the past decade, its chief economist popularizing the term BRICs in a 2001 research paper.

Jul 4, 2013

Emerging markets mania was a costly mistake -Goldman exec

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – Investors who wrongly called time
on U.S. economic supremacy during the financial crisis are set
to pay a hefty price for betting too much on the developing
world, according to a top Goldman Sachs strategist.

The U.S. investment bank helped inspire a twenty-fold surge
in financial investment in China, India, Russia and Brazil over
the past decade, its chief economist popularising the term BRICs
in a 2001 research paper.

Jun 30, 2013

Fund firms’ boycott threat could hurt Lloyds stock sale

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Just as Britain’s government is
trying to clear a path for the politically sensitive sale of its
39 percent stake in Lloyds bank, resentment is brewing among the
investors who would be expected to buy the stock.

Some fund managers say they are wary of buying stock
released in staggered sales until banks and regulators clarify
the rules on how quickly company owners are allowed to sell more
shares – a dispute that could hurt large stock offers such as
Lloyds.

Jun 26, 2013

Young funds bet big on free-spending seniors

PARIS/LONDON (Reuters) – Their birth heralded the longest phase of economic growth in living memory. Now, 65 years on, wealthy “Baby Boomers” are doing the feeble global economy another good turn, according to some fund managers.

Millions of newly-retired Europeans, North Americans and Japanese are breaking open bulging pension pots, spelling big profits for investors who can spot the companies best placed to cater to their spending habits.

Jun 21, 2013

Accounting rules mask banks’ financial health: investors

LONDON (Reuters) – Major UK shareholder groups took a fresh swipe at “unreliable” accounting rules which make it harder for them to assess the strengths of the companies they invest in.

Their call for an urgent review of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) comes after the top financial regulator upped its estimates on bank funding gaps.