Archive for Private Equity

“U.S. support for the Sunni camp was made clear by the fact that Trump made Riyadh his first foreign stop as president, by his willingness to sell the Saudis $110 billion in military equipment, and by his repeated criticisms of Iran during his speech.  Why the United States would want to tilt toward either side in the Sunni-Shiite divide is mystifying.

These two sects have been at odds for centuries, with no signs of a detente. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization, is Sunni. The same goes for al-Qaeda, the group founded by Osama bin Laden that brought down the World Trade Center on 9/11.”…

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  • S&P 500 closes up 0.9% as U.S. CPI below estimates; oil steady
  •  10-year Treasury yield back below 3%; pound declines

Asian stocks rallied after their U.S. counterparts gained amid relief the latest reading on American inflation suggested less need for the Federal Reserve to accelerate monetary tightening. The dollar steadied after dropping the most since March.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for its best week since February thanks to easing investor concerns that higher U.S. yields and a stronger dollar would spur broad contagion. Equity benchmarks advanced across most of the region, with Japan’s Topix heading for its highest close in 10 weeks. Malaysian assets trading offshore began to stabilize after the shock election win for the opposition. Ten-year Treasury yields held below 3 percent…

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  • U.S. bank seeks 51% stake as CEO Dimon aims for full control
  •  UBS, Nomura submitted similar applications in recent weeks

JPMorgan Brokering (Hong Kong) Ltd. is seeking permission to take a 51 percent stake in a local entity, China Securities Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Gao Li said in a statement late Thursday. The regulator will review the application “efficiently” in accordance with the law and regulations, the statement said…

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Sam Walton, who opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Ark., in 1962, considered himself a natural merchant. “I could sell,’’ he once wrote.

Now the giant retailer he created must prove that it can also successfully buy.

Walmart on Wednesday announced a $16 billion deal to purchase 77 percent of the Indian e-commerce service Flipkart as part of its strategy to capture a piece of a fast-growing and increasingly tech-savvy market. The Flipkart deal, one of the largest and riskiest in Walmart’s history, follows a pattern of purchases over the past 18 months that includes a men’s clothing brand and a delivery start-up…

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  • Insurer’s shares price at $20, short of $24-$27 range
  •  Offering still tops Pagseguro Digital, iQiyi listings

Axa Equitable Holdings Inc., encompassing the American operations for French insurance giant Axa SA, fell almost $1 billion short of its targeted share sale in what was still the biggest U.S. initial public offering of the year.

Axa Equitable Holdings raised $2.75 billion, selling 137.25 million shares for $20 each. That was short of its targeted range of $24 to $27 apiece. The proceeds from the listing will help its French parent company fund its biggest-ever acquisition: a $15.3 billion takeover of XL Group Ltd.

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The job of New York attorney general over the past two decades has proved to be a launching pad for aspiring politicians who used their legal authority to go after Wall Street hucksters, corrupt politicians and real estate scofflaws.

It was a strategy laid out by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who had both held the role. And Eric T. Schneiderman showed no reservation in following a similar playbook when he went after the big banks for mortgage abuses and the ride-hailing company Uber for its use of customer data…

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  • Japanese drugmaker secures $31 billion bridge loan from banks
  •  CEO Weber says deal transforms company, giving it global reach

Chief Executive Officer Christophe Weber capped a drawn-out pursuit of the U.K.-listed company with an acquisition he described as transformational that will give Takeda wider reach into the world’s biggest drug market and strengthen its global pipeline for lucrative drugs that treat rare diseases…

Takeda Moves to Join Pharma Giants With $62 Billion Shire Deal

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Billionaire Albert Frere’s Groupe Bruxelles Lambert SA selected Goldman Sachs’s international unit to sell its 6.6 percent stake in Burberry for about 498 million pounds ($673 million). While the investment bank bought the shares at a discount of more than 4 percent to Tuesday’s closing price, the stock fell on the news and dropped as much as 7.8 percent in London. That left the firm holding shares at a paper loss, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the bank’s position isn’t public…

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May
08

Private Equity Going Public?

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The fact that more public companies are being acquired by large global private equity firms is neither shocking nor problematic, at least according to the titans of private equity.

It’s hardly surprising that boards of formerly public companies elect to give private equity a chance, said Jonathan Sokoloff, managing partner of Leonard Green & Partners…

Private Equity Going Public?

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  • At least three co-founders are on brink of 10-figure fortunes
  •  Chairman Lei Jun may end up as China’s fourth-richest person

Eight years later, Lei Jun and the seven other Xiaomi co-founders have created a company that wants to challenge the global industry dominance of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. It’s also targeting an initial public offering that’s expected to be the largest since 2014, and which could create five new billionaires…

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  • Park Avenue unit is $9 million collateral as taxi loans swoon
  •  Deal with Sterling National suggests financial pressure

The transaction, outlined in public filings this week, indicates the financial pressure on Cohen is hitting close to home as federal prosecutors delve into a broad range of his business activities, including a hush payment to a porn actress…

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  • Ashkenazy, Kingdom Holding are said to exercise option
  •  Investors Shahal Khan and Kamran Hakim previously struck deal

Ashkenazy and Kingdom have less than two weeks to come up with a deposit and proof of funds for the total or their deal will be canceled, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details of the deal are private. A cancellation would reinstate the earlier agreement, signed by Shahal Khan and Kamran Hakim, the person said…

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If the employees of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and all its subsidiaries were packed into one city, the population would be about the same as Tampa, Florida.

The inhabitants of this fictional town—call it Buffettville, after the company’s longtime leader, Warren Buffett—would be its own economic microcosm. There’d be airplane pilots, train conductors, garment workers, welders, insurance adjusters, chemists and car salesmen, to name just a few professions. Every year, as the conglomerate buys companies in the real world, more factories and offices would pop up in Buffettville, adding to its population…

As Warren Buffett’s Empire Expands, Many Jobs Disappear

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Investments called private placements are among the fastest growing in finance, outpacing the public stock market. They are frequently populated by brokers with red flags in their record

Ray Kay, who works as a financial adviser in Beverly Hills, Calif., advertised on the radio a purportedly low-risk, high-income investment.

There were a few points Mr. Kay omitted. He used to be called Raymond L. Kotrozo. Under that name, he was barred from the securities industry for allegedly running a fraud, according to public records, and later fined $5,000 for breaking that ban…

A Private-Market Deal Gone Bad: Sketchy Brokers, Bilked Seniors and a Cosmetologist

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COPENHAGEN — At first blush, Margrethe Vestager’s decision to investigate Apple’s planned acquisition of the music-identification app Shazam seems fairly minor, at least by her standards. As Europe’s competition commissioner, Ms. Vestager is known for aggressively pursuing big cases against Silicon Valley giants, and the Shazam deal is a smallish one, by most estimates valued at far less than $1 billion.

But what interests Ms. Vestager about the transaction is not the amount of money at stake, but the amount of data. In a rapidly expanding information economy, she believes the control of data is a new regulatory frontier…

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A funny thing happened on the way to impeaching Donald Trump. After two-years of investigations by a highly politicized FBI and a Special Counsel stacked with Clinton supporters, Robert Mueller’s probe has resulted in the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the arrests of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and the indictment of 13 Russian nationals on allegations of hacking the 2016 election – along with the raid of Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

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Democracies will increasingly have to choose between raising wages and redistributing income or maintaining free trade and capital flows. Because they are likely to choose the former, the world may face a long-term reversal of globalization.

Investment-driven growth can broadly occur in the form of one of two models, each with a different way of treating wages and household income. One model, which I will call the high-wage model, incorporates and encourages high wages as the engine behind growth and productivity gains. I will call the other model the high-savings model. In this model, growth seems to be driven mainly by growth in savings, which provides the cheap capital that drives investment, which in turn drives productivity gains…

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The leaders of Xerox, who looked to be on their way out just two days ago, may not be going anywhere just yet.

The embattled office equipment company said late Thursday that a settlement it reached earlier this week with unhappy shareholders would not go into effect because a key deadline had been missed. That settlement had called for the replacement of Jeff Jacobson, the company’s chief executive, and a majority of its board of directors…

Xerox Executives Stay Put as Settlement With Carl Icahn Expires

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With the Iran Deal looking increasingly fragile, front-month WTI futures have just traded above $70 for the first time since Nov 2014.

$70 just happens to be the 50% retracement from the Aug 2013 highs to the Feb 2016 lows…

WTI Tops $70 For First Time Since Nov 2014 As Iran Deal Deadline Looms

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The nation’s largest bank is also an adorably lame wannabe early adopter dad who “just loves tech” so it came as something less than a surprise to learn that JPMorgan went and pulled ‘An Uber’ in a bold move to bolster it’s machine learning division…

The largest U.S. bank by assets said Thursday that Carnegie Mellon University’s head of machine learning will join JPMorgan in a new role, head of artificial-intelligence research.
In the position, Manuela Veloso, who is also a professor at Carnegie Mellon, will build on the bank’s existing work applying machine learning technology, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal…

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  • Ezra Chowaiki pleads guilty to fraud for cheating collectors
  •  Prosecutors said he duped clients out of millions of dollars

A Manhattan art dealer pleaded guilty to using paintings by Wassily Kandinsky and other renowned artists as bait to defraud collectors and investors out of millions of dollars.

Ezra Chowaiki, who was the face of Chowaiki & Co. Fine Art Ltd. on Park Avenue before its bankruptcy filing in November, entered his plea Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. He agreed to forfeit $16 million and 25 works of art, including paintings by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Edgar Degas…
Manhattan Art Dealer Faces Federal Prison Over Investor Scam
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Stocks took a big dip lower today, but managed to recover quite a bit of that this afternoon.

There may have been some relief from the lack of screaming headlines from the first day of the US-China trade talks.

Gold and silver gained a bit as the US Dollar gave up some of that short term overbought condition as Noted yesterday.

Tomorrow will be the Non-Farm Payrolls report. The economic calendar with the specific forecasts is included below.

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  • HDFC Bank to add up to 150 private bankers to 250-strong team
  •  Advises clients to steer clear of India’s stressed assets

India’s clampdown on unaccounted cash has sent a flood of money into the private banking industry, prompting a major lender to embark on a hiring binge for wealth managers.

HDFC Bank Ltd. — the most preferred wealth manager in India among high net worth clients surveyed by Euromoney — plans to add as many as 150 relationship managers by the end of 2020 to the current 250, said Rakesh Singh, group head of private banking. He started hiring at a faster pace last year, when he added about 50…
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Ricky Sandler‘s hedge fund firm Eminence Capital has filed a 13G with the SEC regarding shares of Formula One (FWONK).  Per the filing, Eminence now owns 5.4% of the company with over 10.86 million shares.

This is up from the 8.58 million shares they owned at the end of 2017.  The filing was made due to activity on March 19th…

Eminence Capital Boosts Formula One Position

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Hennes & Mauritz AB Chairman Stefan Persson may be single-handedly propping up shares in the Swedish fashion retailer.

In April alone, the billionaire acquired about 18.2 million shares in Stockholm-based H&M for 2.46 billion kronor ($278 million), bringing the value of purchases since the beginning of last year to 13.4 billion kronor…
One Man May Be Propping Up Shares in H&M
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  • Backyard serves as site of cannabis industry matchmaking event
  •  Gathering tied to the Milken Institute Global Conference

At one of the many after-parties surrounding the Milken Institute Global Conference, Jim Belushi charmed a crowd of diners with jokes and harmonica playing. But the actor and comedian wasn’t there as the entertainment: He was on a mission to promote marijuana.

Belushi’s $38.5 million Los Angeles mansion was the setting Tuesday night for Green Table Global’s latest exclusive dinner, where about 150 people mingled in the expansive backyard. Green Table hosts events to bring together wealthy investors and cannabis entrepreneurs…
Jim Belushi Hosts Pot Party for Investors at His L.A. Mansion
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The BAD stage of inflation has officially hit.

As I have noted previous, inflation enters the financial system in stages. The first stage involves a jump in prices paid by producers. This means that those firms responsible for manufacturing goods and services, suddenly see a sharp spike in the cost of basic materials they use to build/ manufacture.

That process began in early 2016 and accelerated throughout 201 into this year…

The Financial System is Moving into an Inflationary Setup… Is Your Portfolio?

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United States Treasury Secretary and famed non-economist Steven Mnuchin flew home to Los Angeles the other day in order to spend time around a different group of people who have no idea how he got successful, and also for an appearance at The Milken Industry Global Conference.

The Warlock of Washington clearly felt at home in a room of bold-name financial types, and appears to have gotten so relaxed that he ended up reinforcing the notion that he’s an adorably unqualified political shill having a real fun time running the Treasury Department. Sitting in Beverly Hills and staring out at a sea of people who know infinitely more about him than what’s happening in the macroeconomy and aren’t hemmed in by their willing emotional servitude to a mental autocrat who uses the DJIA to measure part of his self-worth, Mnuchin attempted to pooh-pooh market fears by just, like, saying “Me no worried.”…

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The single biggest issue… the one that 99% of investors continue to ignore when it comes to investing or making forecasts… is the fact that Central Bank rigged the entire financial system post-2009.

They did this by cornering the sovereign bond market.

Because sovereign bonds are the bedrock of the current fiat, debt-based financial system (the risk-free rate of return against which all risk is valued), when Central Banks did this, they literally created a bubble in Everything…

How to Invest In an Everything Bubble

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Yes, it is May Day, time to think about workers and socialism, while Vladimir Putin gets himself inaugurated for another term as President of Russia, with military vehicles parading In Red Square like they used to for the glory of the workers, but today for the glory of President Putin.

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Richard Jenrette, who co-founded the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 1959, spent four decades on Wall Street. When he died last week from complications of cancer at the age of 89, he left behind on his desk 24 rules to succeed — in finance, and in life. The list, titled “What I Learned,” was shared Sunday at an intimate memorial service for family and local friends in Charleston, South Carolina. Here’s what it said:

Legendary Investment Banker Richard Jenrette Left These 24 Rules for Success

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  • StanChart is among lenders competing in $292 billion business
  • Banks are securing funding in anticipation of loan growth

Competition in Hong Kong’s $292 billion time-deposit business is intensifying as a surge in short-term borrowing costs forces banks to seek other avenues of funding…

Banks Scrambling for Hong Kong Deposits Push Rates as High as 3%

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  • Sees potential $50 billion stock buying by trend followers
  • It ‘is not correct’ that ‘there is no one to buy equities’

An “upside-down” market may bode well for U.S. stocks, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co…

JPMorgan Says Unusual Market Could Mean ‘Buy in May’

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Thanks to some hard work from the folks over at the [previously] non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the American public is now aware that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has spent $1 million of taxpayer money by refusing to fly commercial.

Based on what CREW has found by FOIA’ing and then suing to obtain Mnuchin’s travel records, it seems that Mnooks has pulled every possible bureaucratic lever available to him to avoid getting on anything other than a private government plane while traveling for business or pleasure in his 15 months running Treasury.  Mnuchin’s travel has eviscerated modern norms of travel expenses for any federal employee who is not the president and reflects an almost pathological refusal to not get exactly what he wants…

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If you’re wondering what to make of Morgan Stanley’s quarter, why not just ask Goldman?

Morgan Stanley & Co. (MS): First Take: A very well rounded beat

…reads the title of Goldman’s post-mortem for their rival’s Q1 results, which included revenue that crossed the $11 billion threshold.

With JPMorgan, Citi, Goldman, and now Morgan results all in the books, it’s clear that when it comes to volatility, they’d all be fine with “more cowbell”. Equities trading was a boon for pretty much everyone in Q1 and unsurprisingly, given its dominance in the space, Morgan was no exception, posting sales & trading revenue of $2.6b – that was well ahead of consensus ($2.15b) and comprised 58% of trading revenue compared to ~31% for peers…

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The owners of Santa Fe’s “Opera House” bought it for $3.5 million, then put a further $18 million into restorations.

Robert Knutson, a founder and the retired chairman and chief executive officer of the Education Management Corp., took his company public in 1996. A decade later, it was acquired for $3.4 billion by a consortium of private equity firms led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In 2009, the company went public again, this time with a valuation of about $2 billion. (It’s since been reacquired. A 2010 Bloomberg article reported that Knutson had made $132.4 million in stock sales from his company.)…

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  • Disposal will bring about 400 million yuan gain, filing says
  • The Chinese conglomerate is selling assets to repay debt

HNA Group Co. plans to sell a real-estate unit for 2.9 billion yuan ($456 million), in the latest disposal for the embattled Chinese conglomerate as it unloads billions of dollars of assets to pare one of the highest debt loads in the country…

HNA to Sell Property Assets for $456 Million in Latest Disposal

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It’s great when posts just write themselves, and I can tell you, right now, in the first sentence, that this is going to be one of those posts.

Back in January, I wrote something here called “Norway: Future Shithole Country“. In case it wasn’t obvious (and it should have been because, you know, I explicitly stated it in the article), the allusion to “shithole” was a humorous jab at Donald Trump, not an expression of some deeply held prejudice I harbor against Norway, a place which is exceedingly unlikely to ever fit anyone’s description of a “shithole”…

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  • Investors barely reward companies that top profit estimates
  • RBC data show market will be fine as long as growth continues

It’s probably time to declare peak earnings. Does that mean the stock market’s doomed?

RBC Capital Markets studied the previous five profit cycles and found that the strongest rate of growth was always followed by a period of lackluster equity returns. What happens longer-term comes down to whether growth actually contracts — something not forecast for at least another two years…
Peak Earnings Are Rattling Equity Investors, But History Says Stay Calm
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For more than a century, the name “Goldman” has been a byword on Wall Street for elite. The best of the best. The most farsighted and forward-thinking. To be awarded the coveted title, “partner,” was to have your life changed; to be deprived of it forever mind-warping and embittering.

Now, there is a new reward to be sought:

Goldman Sachs Sends Supersonically-Rotating Corpse Of Founder Into Orbit

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Apr
29

End of Days For Markets?

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Wall Street is buzzing over Amazon’s impressive March quarter results.

Analysts are growing more confident over the prospects for many of Amazon’s new businesses including subscription services, advertising and cloud computing.

The e-commerce juggernaut reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings results Thursday. It also gave profit guidance for its second quarter significantly above Wall Street expectations…

End of Days For Markets?

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  • Advice comes as Goldman sees upside risks to Fed rate forecast
  • JPM doesn’t share market ‘fixation’ on flattening, 3% 10-year

The moves in stocks lately are just strange — but there’s still a logical approach to investing for the expected end of “easy money,” according to JPMorgan Chase & Co…

JPMorgan’s Guide to End of `Easy Money’ Amid Tepid Equities

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Apr
29

Jes Staley Really Showed Us

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Last month, we had a little fun with Barclays CEO Jes Staley. Staley, who was at the time enjoying a very unusual instant of grudging appreciation from shareholders, has spent the better part of two years trying to turn the bank around by turning its investment bank around. While this appeared to be working, some skeptical Wall Street Journal columnists and snarky bloggers suggested that for all of the apparent success, of which there was some but not much, trying to save Barclays’ I-bank made no sense, both because Barclays sucks at investment banking, and also Barclays having an investment bank at all makes no sense. To which Jes Staley says,…

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SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares rose again on Monday as tensions in the Korean Peninsula eased and first-quarter earnings shone, although some investors pondered whether this sunny outlook could dim in the near future…

Asian shares edge higher as tensions ease, earnings rise

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  • CEO Gupta expects 2018 net interest margin of at least 1.85%
  • Nomura analyst says 13% ROE came in earlier than expected

DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Southeast Asia’s largest lender, delivered a decade-high return that came along with above-expectations quarterly profit. The stock gained over 2 percent…

DBS Shares Gain to Record After Quarterly Profit Beats Estimates

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Technological disruption poses serious threats to incumbent businesses. Here are two examples from Artificial intelligence and Walmart’s earnings showing how this disruption occurs.

I was reading the news this morning and ran across a post on Artificial Intelligence on the BBC News website. And it got me to thinking about technology and the opportunities and threats technological disruption can pose to incumbent businesses. Now, the BBC article was talking mostly about politics and psychology. But I think the ‘threat of AI’ has implications for businesses too. Let me see if I can tease apart some of this in this morning’s daily…

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Investors are dumping U.S. stock funds at one of the fastest paces in a decade as rising market turbulence erodes confidence in the nine-year-old bull market.

U.S. equity mutual funds and exchange-traded funds recorded $2.4 billion in outflows for the week ended April 18, according to the Investment Company Institute. That followed $41 billion in outflows from these funds in February—the biggest monthly exodus since January 2008, ICI data show. Overall, investors have yanked $67 billion out of these stock funds since the start…

Stock Funds Suffering Big Outflows as Rattled Investors Rush to the Exits

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  • Strategists return to steepener trades, bets on shorter rates
  • Front-end yields are near top of trading range, Citigroup says

Australian bank funding rates have started to turn lower, giving traders the confidence to return to long positions in the front-end of the local rates market.

Strategists have issued a flurry of recommendations to go long on shorter-dated interest-rate swaps, either outright or versus longer-maturity ones, betting floating rates will fall as the Reserve Bank of Australia stays on hold. These positions were upended earlier this year as surging three-month bank borrowing costs pushed up shorter-end rates…
Aussie Funding Costs Start to Fall, Breathing Life Into Old Bets
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Good Tuesday. Here’s what we’re watching:

• Earnings are dragging stocks lower.

• The yield on the 10-year Treasury note broke through 3 percent.

• A new study found that female and male C.E.O.s tend to earn similar levels of compensation.

• What does Eddie Lampert have in mind for Sears?

• A thought experiment with Amazon’s pay and profits…

Washington Moves to Soften a Big Bank Capital Rule: DealBook Briefing

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Sequoia Capital is making fast progress in its bid to raise what will be the largest U.S.-based venture fund.

Investors have committed roughly $6 billion to the venture-capital firm’s new global growth fund, according to people familiar with the situation...

Sequoia Capital’s Growth Fund Tops $6 Billion in Record Haul

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Deals rarely look as good on paper as they do in a chief executive’s head. Comcast’s $31 billion offer for the British satellite broadcaster Sky just about passes financial muster. Investors expecting a higher bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, with backing from the Walt Disney Company’s boss, Robert A. Iger, are betting on the triumph of sentiment over spreadsheet.

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Walmart Inc. is close to finalizing a deal to buy a majority stake in India’s leading e-commerce company for at least $12 billion and may complete the agreement in the next two weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

All the major investors in Flipkart Online Services Pvt are now on board with the Walmart purchase, after an earlier debate over an Amazon.com Inc. acquisition, said the people, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Tiger Global Management will sell nearly all its 20 percent stake in Flipkart, while SoftBank Group Corp. will offload a substantial part of its 20 percent-plus holding, the people said. Walmart will likely end up with 60 percent to 80 percent of Flipkart, valued at about $20 billion, they said…
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  • China will soon allow foreign firms to own majority of JVs
  • BofA is said to focus on expanding debt services in China

Amid all the excitement about China’s plan to open up its securities market, one U.S. banking giant is playing it cool.

Deterred by what it sees as uncertain profit opportunities, Bank of America Corp. has no near-term plans to follow the seven foreign firms — from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. — that have set up securities joint ventures on the mainland, a person with knowledge of the bank’s strategy said. China plans to allow foreign firms to take majority stakes in securities JVs this year…
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  • Two years straddling national votes tend to be good for stocks
  • Modi faces a ballot due by 2019, with majority at stake

Indian stocks have been roughed up along with most markets in recent months, but there could soon be reason to cheer. National elections are due by 2019, and modern history shows that tends to be a good thing for investors.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces an uphill battle to sustain his party’s majority in the key lower house of parliament, the past six elections show positive returns for Indian equities over the two years that straddle the vote — regardless of whether power changed hands…
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  • Region accounts for more than 40% of bank’s net new inflows
  • Shares soar after revenue and earnings beat analyst estimates

Asia is getting richer and that’s fueling growth thousands of miles away at Credit Suisse Group AG.

The Zurich-based firm — which reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue — added 6.2 billion francs ($6.3 billion) of new assets in its Asia Pacific business in the first quarter, the most in at least two years and accounting for more than 40 percent of new inflows at the bank. The results helped drive the shares up as much as 5 percent…
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Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion fine on Wells Fargo for years of selling unnecessary products to customers, the toughest action by the Trump administration against a major bank.

The penalty, part of an expected settlement on Friday between the bank and two regulators, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, will punish Wells Fargo for forcing customers to buy auto insurance policies they did not need and other misdeeds, according to four people briefed on the regulatory action…

Wells Fargo Said to Be Target of $1 Billion U.S. Fine

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Lotte Group’s retail unit is selling 22 of its stores in Beijing to China-based grocer and hypermarket rival Wumei Holdings Inc. for 256 billion won ($237 million), the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

Lotte Shopping Co. has taken a sales hit in China over the past year after the group provided land for South Korea’s deployment of the U.S. missile defense system known as Thaad. As geopolitical tensions around the system rose, most of the retailer’s outlets in China were forced to suspend operations over alleged fire-safety violations…

Lotte to Sell 22 Beijing Stores to Wumart Operator, Chosun Says

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The VA3 data center is a 245,000-square-foot facility with 16 megawatts of critical power immediately available. NTT Communications, parent company of RagingWire, invested more than $160 million in the new property.

RagingWire has opened the first of seven planned data centers at its 78-acre campus in Ashburn, Va., and the company’s third in the region. Northern Virginia is currently the largest data center market in the world by net absorption values, with 115 megawatts delivered by the end of 2017, according to JLL’s 2018 Data Center Outlook. It is estimated that about 70 percent of all Internet traffic passes through this area.

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Aligned Energy is growing its footprint in Phoenix, as are many other data center operators in the area. CEO Andrew Schaap shares his thoughts on why this maturing market is growing so fast.

The data center sector is booming. By the end of 2017, markets in the United States saw approximately 315 megawatts in net absorption, according to JLL’s 2018 Data Center Outlook. This accounts for more than half of the overall absorption rate of 583.5 megawatts across top global markets. Europe, Middle East and Africa came in second with a total 135 megawatts, while the Asia-Pacific region reached about 85 megawatts.

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  • Potential deal could create Amazon-branded retail locations
  • Toy-store chain has announced plans to shut down U.S. stores

Amazon.com Inc. has looked at the possibility of expanding its retail footprint by acquiring some locations from bankrupt Toys “R” Us Inc., according to people with knowledge of the situation…

Amazon Has Considered Buying Some Toys ‘R’ Us Stores

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