Investment & Business News Headlines

If analysts are stupid, private investors should thank their lucky boots

Talking of short termism: “analysts are stupid” and can’t see beyond quarterly results, or so said a leading captain of industry yesterday.

Sir Nigel Rudd, boss at Alliance Boots, reckons that the rationale for the merger of Boots and Alliance Unichem was obvious: “Healthcare is a growing business, people are getting older, they need more medicine.” And yet the city just doesn’t seem to be able to see it.

It’s this short sightedness from the city that eventually prompted deputy chairman Stafano Pessina to give up on the city, and throw his...Read More

Private equity defeats swarm of locusts

It’s amazing how times change.

Not so long ago the hedge funds were held up as the scourge of business. In some cases, companies saw their share price fall in the wake of speculators shorting their stock – selling shares in a company they had not yet bought.

It seemed that a...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

If analysts are stupid, private investors should thank their lucky boots

Talking of short termism: “analysts are stupid” and can’t see beyond quarterly results, or so said a leading captain of industry yesterday.

Sir Nigel Rudd, boss at Alliance Boots, reckons that the rationale for the merger of Boots and Alliance Unichem was obvious: “Healthcare is a growing business, people are getting...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

Spain: is the economy down the drain?

It didn’t take much. Last week, audited accounts from Valencian real estate developer Astroc were out, and it was the small print that raised alarm. Apparently, some of last year’s profits came from the sale of Astroc assets to its chairman. This immediately led to fears that the company had...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

Inflation: Bank of England got it wrong say economists

Let’s give Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, credit where it’s due. He voted against the move. Sometimes, though, disagreeing with something is not enough. He was the boss, and the organisation he headed made a mistake; the buck stops with him, even if the man said no.

Back...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

Property crash in an unlikely possibility says Nationwide

Back in July last year, a home owner with a £150,000 mortgage would have faced mortgage payments of £918, or so says the Nationwide in its latest housing report. Today the payments would be £977, but if rates go up again next month (which just about everyone, including the Nationwide...Read More

Posted Apr 27, 2007

Sleazy tricks, responsible human beings, and the EU monolith

Rijkman Groenink, chief executive of Dutch Bank ABN AMRO explained it to shareholders yesterday: “As human beings and responsible citizens,” he said, “we have the obligation to look farther than the last quarter.” Perhaps more tellingly, he added, “Price isn’t the only thing that counts.”

Mr Groenink wants to...Read More

Posted Apr 27, 2007

A thought for the day from RedTower

Should equity investors consider returning to the technology theme?The technology sector has been relatively neglected by the investment community partly because
other sectors have seen better earnings growth and less demanding multiples, but also because
the collapse from 2000 to 2003 meant that technology has remained somewhat of a “dirty...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2007

Buy- to- let shakes off rate fears as demand goes through the roof

So interest rates are set to rise. Some are predicting rates of six percent by the year end, and remember rates were at just 4.5 percent last July. So, if these gloomy predictions prove true, that would mean a highly significant jump in mortgage payments.

And yet buy-to-let investors still seem...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2007

Apple does it again but is the truth too inconvenient?

There’s more than one halo at stake.

Once again, profits at Apple have soared. This time profits during the latest quarter were up 88 percent on the same period last year; iPod sales were up from 8.5 million a year ago to 10.5 million units, while the Mac saw a sales...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2007

Dow passes 13,000 but is it unlucky?

The Dow Jones passed yet another record last night, this time closing at 13,089. That’s 135 points up on the day, 626 points up on the year and a staggering 1038 points up on the year low, set on 5th March.

It has taken the index just six months to jump...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2007

Spain: is the economy down the drain?

It didn’t take much. Last week, audited accounts from Valencian real estate developer Astroc were out, and it was the small print that raised alarm. Apparently, some of last year’s profits came from the sale of Astroc assets to its chairman. This immediately led to fears that the company had...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

Private equity defeats swarm of locusts

It’s amazing how times change.

Not so long ago the hedge funds were held up as the scourge of business. In some cases, companies saw their share price fall in the wake of speculators shorting their stock – selling shares in a company they had not yet bought.

It seemed that a...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

Inflation: Bank of England got it wrong say economists

Let’s give Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, credit where it’s due. He voted against the move. Sometimes, though, disagreeing with something is not enough. He was the boss, and the organisation he headed made a mistake; the buck stops with him, even if the man said no.

Back...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2007

Property crash in an unlikely possibility says Nationwide

Back in July last year, a home owner with a £150,000 mortgage would have faced mortgage payments of £918, or so says the Nationwide in its latest housing report. Today the payments would be £977, but if rates go up again next month (which just about everyone, including the Nationwide...Read More

Posted Apr 27, 2007

The eroding attributes: Sainsbury’s may have to sell its property assets after all

Lord Sainsbury recently kicked private equity into touch, leaving it with a nasty flea in its ear. “Sainsbury’s success has been based on a strong balance sheet and a largely freehold property base. Eroding these attributes will make the company more vulnerable to competitive pressures which is not in the...Read More

Posted Apr 27, 2007

Microsoft thunders back, but where next? Could Yahoo be bid target?

Cast your mind back three years. At that time, or so it appeared, Microsoft was far too big for its own good, and it dwarfed the likes of Apple, Google, and Yahoo to such an extent that it was barely worth mentioning the software giant and the three smaller rivals...Read More

Posted Apr 27, 2007

RBS returns to ABN circus

Seconds out round two, or is that round 3 – or maybe four?

The saga of ABN AMRO rumbles on. This time RBS, Santander and Belgium’s Fortis have said they are considering making an offer that would trump the Barclays bid by around 13 percent.

It all comes down...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2007

Pensions costs rise by £15 billion for every extra year of life.

For every extra year we live, the UK private sector pensions have to find an extra £15 billion, or so says a report from KPMG.

In fact, the report said that “UK private sector companies have added around £30 billion to the level of pension liabilities shown in their accounts...Read More

Posted Apr 25, 2007

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