Unstructured Finance

BSE realty index rises

The BSE Realty Index pared early losses and closed 5.6 percent higher in a volatile Tuesday session.

Government data showed infrastructure sector output grew 7.0 percent in October from a year earlier, faster than an upwardly revised annual growth of 2.7 percent in September.

Orbit Corp, Indiabulls Real Estate and DLF were among the top gainers in the realty index, rising 13.9 percent, 8.4 percent and 7 percent respectively.

Do you think the atmosphere is conducive for investment in this sector?

Deals wrap: Is Google getting a deal for Groupon?

Google Inc is inching toward buying e-commerce coupon website Groupon Inc for as much as $6 billion, the New York Times said on Tuesday. A deal, which could be in the range of $5 billion to $6 billion, could be struck as soon as this week but people with direct knowledge of the matter cautioned that the talks between Google and Groupon might still fall apart, the paper said. See Reuters analysis on how Google plans to spend its $33-billion cash hoard.

If completed, the acquisition would be Google’s most expensive to date. But is the price tag too steep? Groupon has so far raised $170 million in venture capital and reportedly hauls in upwards of $50 million every month.

All Things Digital tech columnist Kara Swisher, who first reported Google was interested in buying Groupon, calls the potential blockbuster a “killer move” for Google and writes: “While the $6 billion Google is considering paying seems high, Groupon’s fast-growing revenue and profitability make its multiples less daunting, said those familiar with the matter.”

Reliance Industries gains

Reliance Industries gained 3.7 percent on Monday, recovering from the recent underperformance.

Shares in India’s top listed firm closed at 998.2 rupees after helping the benchmark index gain more than 200 points. Whenever there is a reversal from a sharp decline, people look at large caps and known names as defensive bets, an expert said. Do you think it is a good time to enter this stock?

Starbucks, coffee shops see collateral benefit from Black Friday

STARBUXBlack Friday bargain hunting is a marathon, requiring a shopper to be alert and aggressive to outmaneuver rivals for that last $200 LCD TV at Target. But with so many retailers opening their doors at midnight, why bother going to sleep? Even if you shopped at Kohl’s, which opened at 3 am or J.C. Penney, at 4 am, you were in for very short night for most.

So bleary-eyed shoppers turned out in drove at U.S. malls on Friday, with lines at coffee shops among the longest.

Mall operator Macerich said on Friday that the Starbucks at its Tysons Corner Center in suburban Washington had lines 30 people deep at 11 a.m. At the Newport Center mall in Jersey City, exhausted shoppers could be seen forming a line of 20 to get much needed java.

Teens, men, self-love boost Black Friday

AEROPOSTALEAfter going AWOL for a couple of years, it sounds like men and teens are flexing their spending muscles this year and are helping retailers out this Black Friday.

“There seems to be a lot more men and a lot more younger consumers between the ages of 15 and 25,” said Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren in an interview. And it wasn’t just at Macy’s.

The Newport Centre mall in Jersey City, N.J., felt like a high school at 5 a.m. , teeming with teenagers. Half the shoppers seemed to be toting Aeropostale shopping bags and the other half bags from American Eagle Outfitters.

Deals wrap: Genzyme bid hinges on new drug

Genzyme (GENZ.O), resisting a hostile bid from Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA), is open to a deal that links its value to the success of key drug Campath, the U.S. biotech’s chief executive was quoted as saying. But it was not up to Genzyme to suggest that to the French drugmaker, which has launched a $18.5 billion takeover offer for Genzyme, Chief Executive Henri Termeer was quoted as saying in French newspaper Le Figaro.

“This is one of the alternatives that could be explored. We are thinking about it with regard to the Campath molecule. This could be used by Sanofi or by other companies we talk to,” Termeer told the newspaper in an interview.

Global food companies are set to square up against emerging market buyers and private equity players to buy half of Yoplait, the world’s second-largest yogurt maker after French peer Danone (DANO.PA). General Mills (GIS.N), Nestle (NESN.VX) and Lactalis, Europe’s largest dairy group, all have sound strategic reasons to pursue the maker of Petits Filous yogurts and Yop drinking yogurt, valued at 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion) by its CEO Lucien Fa in a Reuters interview.

Shares in real estate firms drop

A labourer works at a construction site in the northern Indian city Lucknow February 7, 2006. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar/Files

Shares of real estate developers came under pressure on Thursday following the arrest of top public sector bankers the previous evening on corruption charges.

The CBI on Wednesday arrested five officials from state-run listed companies, including the chief executive of LIC Housing Finance, for taking bribes to facilitate large corporate loans.

The BSE Realty Index closed 5.4 pct down, with DB Realty, HDIL and Unitech dropping 10 pct, 9.7 pct and 6 pct respectively.

Deals wrap: Looking back on GM’s debut

GM/IPOGeneral Motors’ momentous return to the stock market last week was helped in part by the automaker’s own executives. Several top managers at the top U.S. automaker acquired shares in the IPO and some added to their stakes afterward, led by Chief Executive Dan Akerson and Chairman Ed Whitacre.

Whitacre and Akerson acquired more than $500,000 of GM stock each, taking 800 shares each in the initial public offering and then adding to their stakes afterward in open market transactions, filings with U.S. securities regulators show.

The dramatic debut, the largest IPO in U.S. history, came a year and a half after the U.S. government rescued the automaker and forced a massive overhaul. It also marked the beginning of the end of the government’s 61 percent ownership stake in the company, which the Obama administration said it hopes to shed entirely by mid-to-late 2012. The New York Times reports that Treasury officials faced a tough decision over the public offering price in the days leading up to the listing, torn over how it would define the success or failure of Detroit’s $50 billion bailout.

What it takes to build a hedge fund

Fledgling hedge fund managers should expect sleepless nights, less time with their families, and intense competition for capital, as the industry has grown even more competitive after the financial crisis,  according to Lars Kroijer, a former hedge fund manager who says he doesn’t think he would run a fund again.

Kroijer, who writes about his six years at the helm of the $1 billion London-based hedge fund Holte Capital in the recently published  ”Money Mavericks: Confessions of a Hedge Fund Manager” told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that new hedge fund managers are fighting an uphill battle to get enough capital to start their businesses, and you couldn’t start a hedge fund today with just three guys as he did in 2002.

New hedge funds, he said have to start with a lot more capital these days, because they need to be able to weather the markets a bit longer and make sure they stay in business long enough to get a real shot to prove to prove that they are good investors.

The eye in the sky forecasts holiday sales

park1By  Jon Lentz

When predicting holiday shopping traffic, it can help to take a bird’s eye view.
Or even better, take a peak from outer space.
That’s what Thomson Reuters analyst Jharonne Martis-Olivo did, using mall traffic data for the 10 weeks leading up to Black Friday gleaned from satellite images showing how crowded shopping mall parking lots were as a way to detect shopping patterns. The data from the images was provided by Remote Sensing Metrics.
Her conclusion? Mall traffic for November 2010 has recently shown a steep rise, pointing to stronger same-store sales.
The data include more than 500 satellite observations of car count from shopping malls across the country.
Mall parking lots were only 30 percent full in September of 2008, a period when same-store sales declined.
During September in 2009 and 2010, more cars were parked outside the malls, which correlated with an uptick in sales.
Other factors, such as how much a customer spends on a visit, also play a role. For example, prices were slashed in 2008 in November as retailers struggled through the worst financial crisis in decades.
But prices seem to be less of a factor this year, and November sales could be looking up. Different companies are taking different approaches to attracting holiday shoppers.

Source: Image of Southtown Shopping Center in Minnesota: (C) 2010 DigitalGlobe, Remote Sensing Metrics analysis.