Unstructured Finance

Out for the count

October 31, 2009

A bit delayed this, but drawing your attention to Parvathy Ullatil’s entertaining look at hedge fund managers going at each other with fists and gumshields, rather than outlandish claims of stratospheric bonuses. Photos from Reuters pictures.

Who likes to stop at the duty free shop?

October 30, 2009

dutyfreeApparently, travelers looking for some new cosmetics.
Sales at duty free stores — those airport emporiums for everything from perfume to cigarettes and extra-large Toblerone bars — boosted results at both Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder.
Elizabeth Arden posted stronger sales than anticipated and an unexpected quarterly profit on Thursday.  A day later, Estee Lauder said that travel retail accounted for about 9 percent of sales in its latest quarter, up from the usual range of about 7 percent.  Its higher profit came in well ahead of expectations.

Mutual fund investors rewarded for patience

October 30, 2009

A man speaks on a phone as he looks at a large screen displaying India's benchmark share index on the facade of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai May 18, 2009. REUTERS/Punit ParanjpeEquity fund investors had a lot to cheer about in the last seven months.

Stock market enthusiasts had almost given up hope after losing an average 52 percent in 2008, when the benchmark Sensex recorded its first annual fall after six years of gains. But a rally since the start of March has bought the smiles back.

Oil market gets a government

October 30, 2009

The physical oil market, where traders exchange barrels of oil or financial instruments derived from them, is transacted not on a trading floor or electronic exchange, but by phone, instant messaging and – although employers have clamped down on it — the long liquid lunch.
Exactly, in other words, where regulators tend not to be looking. Instead, guidelines and indexes drawn up by the two main oil pricing agencies, Platts and Argus Media, serve as the de-facto rulebook for oil trading.
Argus announced a coup against Platts this week. The state oil company of top world exporter Saudi Arabia, Aramco, is switching to a crude benchmark index published by Argus to price its crude oil sales to the United States, from another benchmark published by Platts.
With a due sense of the gravity of its task, Argus issued a description of its index in a document labelled a white paper — a term typically reserved for drafts laws issued by the British government.

Check Out Line: Define “significantly”

October 30, 2009

fabrizio-fredaCheck out Estee Lauder’s profit coming in well ahead of raised expectations.

Sure, we should have expected that.  After all, the cosmetics maker said two weeks ago that its fiscal first-quarter profit would be “significantly higher than previous guidance” due to a variety of factors.

Keeping score: PGE, Stellar Megaunion and IPOs

October 30, 2009

Highlights from the Thomson Reuters Investment Banking Scorecard:


As part of a government privatisation program, Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA (PGE), an electric utility, raised $2.1 billion in an IPO on the Warsaw stock exchange this week.  The offering marks the largest IPO from a Polish company on record and the biggest IPO in Europe since the $2.5 billion listing of Dutch coal miner, New World Resources NV, in May 2008.

DealZone Daily

October 30, 2009

That big, candy-coated M&A bellwether, Kraft-Cadbury, remains at the forefront of many dealmakers’ thinking. Brad Dorfman examines how the clock will really start ticking on a deal to create the world’s biggest confectioner once Kraft (KFT.N) reports earnings next week. Meanwhile, a clutch of other companies are making more upbeat noises about M&A, to wit:

Morning Line-up

October 30, 2009

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


Barclays faces 130 mln stg loss from K1 ‘fraud’ – Times 

Galleon fears raised in 2001 – FT

Citadel opens its ‘gates’ – WSJ

Och-Ziff buyer of TPG’s Debenham stake – Reuters

And the award for best hedge fund goes to….

October 30, 2009

Take a bow George Soros, Trafalgar Capital, King Street, Credit Agricole and a host of others.

M&M stock rises in weak market

October 29, 2009

AUTO INDIA MAHINDRAShares in Mahindra & Mahindra rose nearly 4 percent to 928 rupees and ended as the top Sensex gainer, even as the benchmark index dropped over 200 points.