Unstructured Finance

Deals wrap: Just one word – plastics

A worker sorts plastic bottles at a recycling centre in Hefei, Anhui province November 10, 2010. REUTERS/StringerPlastics. They don’t glitter like gold does, but more top hedge fund managers are betting on the chemical commodities that go into making plastics and buying up shares in the companies that produce them.

The Smart Money 30, a group that includes some of the biggest stock-picking equity funds, also trimmed bets on tech giants Apple and Google while favoring General Motors and Citigroup, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

What’s the easiest way to boost your company’s reputation? Buy up a top global brand. At least that’s the advice being given to top Chinese companies by the country’s commerce minister, who is urging the country’s firms to seek out new foreign acquisitions in an effort to secure more name recognition abroad.

More signs that the luxury market has bounced back from its recession-induced slump. France’s LVMH, the world’s number one luxury group, snapped up widely-popular Italian jewelry maker Bulgari in a deal valued at $5.19 billion as it aims to bulk up its jewelry business and expand in emerging markets. Some analysts say the offer could set off a new wave of consolidation in the luxury market.

Some of the hottest tech startups are clamping down on trading of their shares as the race to snap up pieces of pre-IPO companies has attracted the scrutiny of U.S. regulators, write correspondents Alexei Oreskovic and Liana Baker.

Check Out Line: Cautious notes hit by top luxury execs

bulgari1Check out the cautious notes being sounded in the global luxury market.

Industry executives voiced concerns about everything from unemployment to Europe’s brewing economic crisis, but are nonetheless banking on growth from China and a recovering U.S. market.

Leading officials speaking at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit said the debt crisis in Europe is threatening to halt luxury’s rebound, but demand for fine merchandise was picking up in the United States while China’s shoppers were venturing frequently into Tokyo for top brands.

“The euro zone is a sizable market, but today the growth reserve is in the emerging countries, and particularly in China, whose demand is pulling the entire sector,” said Isabelle Ardon, head of Paris-based SG Gestion’s luxury fund.

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