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Credit Suisse stresses value in investment bank after break-up call

Thursday, November 2 2017

Credit Suisse stresses value in investment bank after break-up call

Credit Suisse stresses value in investment bank after break-up call Credit Suisse stresses value in investment bank after break-up call Source : 19:05 hrs By Joshua Franklin ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse's chief executive underlined his determination to keep the group's investment bank in the face of a campaign by a hedge fund investor to split up Switzerland's second-biggest lender. Now more than half way through a major restructuring, CEO Tidjane Thiam hailed third-quarter results on Thursday as evidence Credit Suisse's "integrated model" of a core wealth management business supported by two investment banking divisions was the right way forward. "We just started the second half and we're going to play hard until the end of 2018 to achieve our targets," Thiam, whose three-year plan includes growing wealth management, cutting costs and settling legal cases, told a news conference. After 6.56 billion Swiss francs ($6.56 billion) in losses in 2016 and 2015, Credit Suisse's chalked up a third consecutive quarter in profit the three months to Sept. 30, a first since Thiam joined the bank in July 2015. "The bank proved... it is on the right track, although the pace of improvement is somewhat slowing down," said analysts at broker Mirabaud Securities. Third-quarter net income attributable to shareholders was 244 million francs. This lagged a forecast of 264 million francs in a Reuters analyst poll but was ahead of the bank's own consensus estimate for 184 million francs. The bank kept a cautious outlook for the year ahead due to political and monetary policy uncertainties. Shares were up 4.4 percent at 1215 GMT, well ahead of the European banking sector index. MORE TO DO Though earnings rose significantly, Credit Suisse still has some way to go to deliver the returns investors expect from a top bank. By comparison, rival UBS last week reported quarterly net profit of 946 million francs. Key to higher earnings will be the bank's ongoing efforts to wind down its so-called Strategic Resolution Unit, a huge source of losses which is selling out of businesses the bank no longer wants to be in. Swiss hedge fund RBR Capital Advisors went public last month with a campaign to split Credit Suisse into three parts, including spinning off the investment bank, a proposal it claims could double the bank's value. Thiam said there was nothing new in the fund's proposals. "All the ideas that are being discussed were discussed and looked at in great detail, even by my predecessor. They are not new," said Thiam, who still plans to meet RBR chief Rudolf Bohli next week. RBR launched its campaign after spending 100 million francs to buy roughly 0.2 percent of Credit Suisse and has said it wants to increase its investment to 1 billion francs. CAPITAL CUSHION Credit Suisse's common equity Tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of balance sheet strength that Thiam has sought to improve over the past two years, dipped to 13.2 percent from 13.3 percent in the second quarter. Net new money inflows -- a closely watched indicator of future earnings in asset management -- totalled 10.4 billion francs across its three wealth management businesses, up 8 percent year on year. Assets under management grew 12 percent to a record 751 billion francs. Fixed-income revenue was down 8 percent year on year. U.S rivals on average saw a 22 percent fall in FICC (fixed income, currencies and commodities) operations in the quarter. ($1 = 0.9993 Swiss francs) (Writing by John O'Donnell and Joshua Franklin; Editing by David Goodman and Keith Weir) SEARCH

65,000 crore commited so far in Food processing says Badal

Thursday, November 2 2017

65,000 crore commited so far in Food processing says Badal

65,000 crore commited so far in Food processing says Badal 65,000 crore commited so far in Food processing says Badal Source : SIFY 14:25 hrs According to Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Union Minister for Food processing, the food processing industry in India has so far received nearly Rs 65,000 crore in investments.The minister was speaking at a conference and suggested that the sector would revive more, during the ongoing three day global food event commences organized in the national capital.She added that domestic players such as ITC have added more than 40% to the investment, and helped create over 10 lakh new jobs in the country. She was quoted in an unverified news report commenting that better ease of doing business index resulting from transformation measures undertaken by the government have helped in raising this capital over the past three years. Speaking on investments, the minister suggested that an online system, namely 'Nivesh Bandhu', the online portal has been beneficial for investors, and very soon a portal for food regulations is anticipated to be launched. Badal who was speaking from a CII organized conference suggested that food standards, along with better ease of business, and transformation measures will help the Indian food sector. Investors from over 40 countries are participating in the event. Smriti Irani, the Union minister for textiles and Information and Broadcasting wished the industry support while suggesting that the developments are in line with PM Narendra Modi's vision of doubling farmers income. SEARCH

Apple X factor: China buyers rapt by new iPhone, but will they buy?

Thursday, November 2 2017

Apple X factor: China buyers rapt by new iPhone, but will they buy?

Apple X factor: China buyers rapt by new iPhone, but will they buy? Apple X factor: China buyers rapt by new iPhone, but will they buy? Source : Adam Jourdan, Cate Cadell 17:49 hrs SHANGHAI/BEIJING: Gu Xiaomeng, a 24-year-old primary school teacher in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, says she's excited about the new iPhone X, set to go on sale on Friday. The challenge for Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is to persuade her to actually buy one."I'm definitely interested, but don't currently plan to get one," said Gu, whose monthly salary of a little over 6,000 yuan ($905.36) is less than the anniversary model's starting price in China of 8,388 yuan.For Apple, which is looking to rev up sales in China after several quarters of declining revenue there, the test is that Gu is not alone. While interest in the phone is high, that won't necessarily translate into sales. "Price appears to be a major constraint on iPhone X demand, particularly in China," Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said in a recent report that showed three-quarters of Chinese respondents were excited by the upcoming launch, but only a quarter said they planned to buy one.Investors are keen to gauge Chinese demand for the iPhone X, as it is key to reviving Apple's fortunes in the world's biggest smartphone market where it has lost some of its sparkle - and market share - as local phone makers have advanced.The cheaper iPhone 8, which hit the market in September, has faced sluggish sales, but Apple has said that pre-orders for the iPhone X have been "off the charts".Apple, due to announce quarterly earnings on Thursday, said it had no immediate comment. Chatter online on popular Chinese social media platform Weibo (WB.O) also signaled high levels of interest in the new model, though still generally behind levels around the 2014 launch of the very successful iPhone 6. APPLE "GEEKS" Xiao Ming, 32, who works for a blockchain start-up in Beijing, stayed up half the night when pre-sales of the iPhone X opened last week. He has also bought the iPhone 8."I always try to be one of the first to buy any new iPhone," he said, adding he likes the new phone's augmented reality and facial recognition features. "I'll be very disappointed if I don't get one on the first day."While he plans to buy the new phone, he noted many of his friends were less fussed. "Before, I think a lot of people would try to get it somehow, now it's mostly the geeks," he said."My friends don't mind so much if they have an iPhone 8 or a 6, for example, because it looks similar and the price (of the iPhone X) makes you feel nervous."Re-sellers and iPhone accessory makers generally agreed there was a buzz about the iPhone X, Apple's first phone to have a full-screen display and functions such as facial recognition security."People are really anticipating this phone because it's the 10th anniversary version and it has more changes and modifications," said Gary Yiu, manager of the iGeneration smartphone shop at one Hong Kong mall.Yiu and three other phone re-sellers there said they had seen strong demand for the phone from mainland clients.A merchant at the Huaqiangbei electronics hub in Shenzhen, who was offering an iPhone look-a-like called the "E-Feng X" from 1,599 yuan, said sales volumes were "very good".Some Chinese re-sellers, however, said they already canceled pre-orders for the iPhone X, concerned there wouldn't be enough of a supply bottleneck to allow them to charge a steep premium - despite some worries about long waits."I saw many friends were posting pictures of themselves successfully ordering the iPhone X, so I canceled mine," said Tony Tong, 29, a product manager at a tech firm in Beijing, who said he had ordered four phones in the hope of re-selling them for a profit. "The environment is bad for scalpers."Apple will hope payment plans and easy access to online credit in China will convince people to buy.Wang Hao, a 24-year-old engineer in the northeastern port city of Dalian, said he ordered the new phone despite the high price tag. His last phone was an iPhone 6S."The cost is about a month's salary for me," he told Reuters. "But I'm just used to it now, and there wasn't really anything to make me choose another brand." SEARCH

ICICI, first to effect remittances through Apple's Siri

Thursday, November 2 2017

ICICI, first to effect remittances through Apple's Siri

ICICI, first to effect remittances through Apple's Siri ICICI, first to effect remittances through Apple's Siri Source : SIFY 19:03 hrs Mumbai: ICICI bank, the largest private sector bank by consolidated assets has launched a first voice-based international remittance service to enable NRI to send any money to any bank in India. According to an official release form the bank, a simple voice command to Apple's virtual voice assistant, Siri, on Apple devices will suffice to initiate a remittance. Vijay Chandok, the bank's Executive Director suggested that this product was made in mind the growing needs of customers, and underlines the bank's commitment to offer innovative products. "We are the first in India and among few banks globally to enable customers to initiate a cross border remittance with just a simple voice command," he said. The customer needs to simply speak out the ‘nickname’ of the registered payee in the Money2India (M2I) app to whom he/she wants to send the money to and the amount to be sent. For example, a customer can say “Send $100 to Mom with Money2India”. Siri converts this voice into a command and makes the transaction. The customer is no longer required to enter the payee name or amount to be transferred, since he/she would be using a voice command to provide instructions to Siri. SEARCH

Bank of England hikes rates for first time in a decade, sees only gentle rises ahead

Thursday, November 2 2017

Bank of England hikes rates for first time in a decade, sees only gentle rises ahead

Bank of England hikes rates for first time in a decade, sees only gentle rises ahead Bank of England hikes rates for first time in a decade, sees only gentle rises ahead 17:43 hrs By David Milliken and William Schomberg LONDON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The Bank of England raised interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years on Thursday and said it expected only "very gradual" further increases would be needed over the next three years. The BoE said its nine rate-setters voted 7-2 to increase its benchmark Bank Rate to 0.50 percent from 0.25 percent, reversing the emergency cut made in August 2016, shortly after the shock decision by British voters to leave the European Union. It was the first time that the BoE increased borrowing costs since 2007, before the eruption of the global financial crisis, which tipped Britain into its deepest recession in decades. The two Monetary Policy Committee members who voted to keep rates steady, deputy governors Jon Cunliffe and Dave Ramsden, shared the widespread view among economists outside the BoE that wage growth is too weak to justify a rate rise now. But most MPC members, including Governor Mark Carney, decided it was time to start to tighten policy, despite the British economy's sluggish performance this year. "The MPC now judges it appropriate to tighten modestly the stance of monetary policy in order to return inflation sustainably to target," the BoE said in a statement. "All members agree that any future increases in Bank Rate will be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent," it said, repeating its previous signals on what is likely to happen to borrowing costs. The BoE said debt servicing costs paid by British households and companies would remain "historically very low" despite Thursday's hike. At its previous meeting in September, the Monetary Policy Committee had voted 7-2 in favour of keeping rates on hold. But it warned then that rates could rise "over the coming months". Economists polled by Reuters had overwhelmingly predicted a hike at November's meeting, although nearly three-quarters of them thought it was too soon to make such a move, given the deep uncertainties about Brexit and weak wage growth. The split on the MPC reflects the dilemma facing the central bank. On the one hand, Britain's economy has grown only slowly this year as a jump in inflation caused by the slump in the value of the pound after the Brexit vote pinched spending by consumers. Also, companies are offering sub-inflation pay increases to their staff. The central bank said the decision to leave the EU was already having a "noticeable impact" on the economic outlook. But it downgraded its estimate of how fast the economy could grow without generating excess inflation, justifying its decision to raise rates. Consumer price inflation hit a five-year high of 3 percent in September - mostly due to the fall in the value of the pound - and the BoE said it expected it to peak at 3.2 percent in October. The lowest unemployment rate since the 1970s and an expected improvement in lacklustre productivity growth suggested pay growth was about to rise, the BoE added. The BoE said it expected inflation to fall back to close to its 2 percent target only if Bank Rate rose in line with the "gently rising" path implied in financial markets. This would mean rates hit 1 percent by 2020, with one increase of a quarter of a percentage point likely next year, according to detailed forecasts in the Inflation Report. The BoE will be following the path taken by other central banks. The U.S. Federal Reserve has already raised rates from their post-crisis lows and the European Central Bank is signalling a shift away from its huge stimulus for the euro zone economy. The BoE said it now expected Britain's economy would grow by 1.6 percent next year and by 1.7 percent in 2019, unchanged from its forecast made in August and in line with a new, slower, sustainable rate. Before the financial crisis, Britain's economy typically grew by more than 2 percent a year. Carney is due to give a news conference to explain the Bank's latest Inflation Report at 1230 GMT. (([email protected]; +44 20 7542 5109)) SEARCH

Threats to NAFTA cast doubt over Mexico's oil tenders, investment

Thursday, November 2 2017

Threats to NAFTA cast doubt over Mexico's oil tenders, investment

Threats to NAFTA cast doubt over Mexico's oil tenders, investment Threats to NAFTA cast doubt over Mexico's oil tenders, investment 18:05 hrs By David Alire Garcia MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Uncertainty about the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and investor protections it guarantees could crimp future investment in Mexico's oil industry, including a high-stakes January deepwater auction. Ahead of a fifth round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City in mid-November, Washington's tough demands that partners Canada and Mexico resist has clouded the future of the 23-year-old pact President Donald Trump has threatened to quit if he cannot get a better deal. The January deepwater tender of 29 blocks holding some 4.2 billion barrels of prospective reserves, could suffer if concerns about NAFTA's future persuaded oil majors such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil Corp to sit out the auction, oil executives and former government officials say. So far, 17 companies have begun the process of pre-qualifying for the auction. "Future investment without those investment protections of NAFTA will take into account the higher level of risk of any dispute not being settled in a more fair manner," Tim Callahan, Mexico country manager for Australia's BHP Billiton, told Reuters. Energy firms worry the end of NAFTA could eliminate the so-called Investor State Dispute Settlement, which allows such conflicts to be settled via international arbitrators, overriding contractual clauses that only reference local courts. Last December, BHP Billiton won a 60 percent stake in the $11 billion Trion field in the Gulf of Mexico, the flagship deepwater project of state-owned oil company Pemex. That same day, eight of 10 blocks were awarded in the deepwater auction, yielding investment commitments worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the first few years of the contracts alone by firms like U.S.-based Chevron and Murphy Oil. The auctions are part of a 2013 energy reform that ended Pemex's monopoly on oil and gas production. So far, the reform has secured investment pledges that will eventually be worth about $80 billion, the government says. Callahan, who heads the Mexican oil producer association's NAFTA committee, pointed to longstanding nationalist sentiment toward oil and a lack of legal precedents during the 75-year Pemex monopoly. "I don't think any of us want to be the first to test in the Mexican courts how they're going to rule on any disputes when it comes to oil," he said. Threats to NAFTA may force some U.S. oil firms to opt out of January's tenders, said former deputy energy minister Lourdes Melgar, an architect of the auctions. Some deem the investor dispute mechanism "essential" to protect investments, she added. Some of the biggest investments to date were made only after the government assured firms behind closed doors that any expropriation or administrative withdrawal of contracts could be appealed using the NAFTA resolution mechanism, said Carlos Pascual, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico now at IHS Global Energy. The assurances were made before Trump's surprise election win and company concerns over investor protections lasted "up until the last minute" before bids were submitted, Pascual said. Without NAFTA, investment disputes could fall to Mexican courts, which unsettles some firms concerned that local judges are often susceptible to bribes or intimidation, oil company executives and former officials say. "It's a fight for the oil and gas dollar now, and if the companies aren't treated fairly, then there's lots of other places to go," said Craig Steinke, head of Canada-based Renaissance Oil Corp , a company that has won five onshore contracts in Mexico. Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell told Reuters that even without NAFTA protections, respect for due process was embedded in Mexico's legal system. He added that Mexico has more than a dozen other bilateral investment treaties with similar protections as NAFTA, a point that several oil executives who have spoken to Reuters in private also make. "I don't think the industry should be worried," Coldwell said. However, leftist presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has led early polls for next July's election, has a different message. Lopez Obrador promises to review signed oil contracts and his top energy advisor Rocio Nahle said foreign companies should not bank on bypassing local courts. "They need to be careful ... and respect Mexico's laws because this is Mexican territory," Nahle, who also leads Lopez Obrador's party in the lower house of Congress, told Reuters. (Additional reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Tomasz Janowski) SEARCH

U.S. third-quarter productivity fastest in three years

Thursday, November 2 2017

U.S. third-quarter productivity fastest in three years

U.S. third-quarter productivity fastest in three years U.S. third-quarter productivity fastest in three years 18:23 hrs WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. worker productivity increased at its fastest pace in three years in the third quarter, holding down labor costs, but the trend in productivity growth remained moderate. The Labor Department said on Thursday that nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rose at a 3.0 percent annualized rate. That was the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2014. Growth in second-quarter productivity was unrevised at a 1.5 percent rate. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast productivity rising at a 2.4 percent pace in the July-September quarter. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama) SEARCH

UK city Brighton renews Uber licence for 6 months as it monitors London dispute

Thursday, November 2 2017

UK city Brighton renews Uber licence for 6 months as it monitors London dispute

UK city Brighton renews Uber licence for 6 months as it monitors London dispute UK city Brighton renews Uber licence for 6 months as it monitors London dispute 19:05 hrs By Costas Pitas LONDON (Reuters) - Brighton has renewed Uber's licence to operate in the southern English city for six months while the local authority follows the outcome of London's move to strip the taxi app of its licence. "The decision on the length of the extension was taken to allow the council to monitor the outcome of the Transport for London Uber decision, and consider whether any of the information arising from the case had direct implications," Brighton and Hove council said in a statement on Thursday. London's transport regulator shocked Uber in September by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its licence, citing the firm's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers. Uber's 40,000 drivers in the British capital can continue to take rides there until an appeals process is exhausted, which could take months or years. Uber only has around 40 drivers in the Brighton area out of a total of around 50,000 in Britain. The council said it would use the next few months to negotiate with Uber on a number of proposed conditions for operating in the city. "While there was no evidence to suggest that public safety had been compromised, there are a number of concerns, and Uber are working with the council to address these and reassure residents and visitors about their safety," it said. Uber, valued at around $70 billion with backers including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, has said it wants to make things right in London and welcomed Brighton's decision on Thursday. "More choice and competition is good for consumers as it raises service levels across the board. Uber has been embraced in Brighton with around 10,000 riders using the app in the city every week," said the firm's UK Head of Cities Fred Jones. (Editing by Paul Sandle and Mark Potter) SEARCH

BoE's Carney says two more rate increases over next three years are needed

Thursday, November 2 2017

BoE's Carney says two more rate increases over next three years are needed

BoE's Carney says two more rate increases over next three years are needed BoE's Carney says two more rate increases over next three years are needed 19:05 hrs LONDON (Reuters) - Two more 25 basis point increases in interest rates are needed over the next 3 years in order to get inflation down towards the Bank of England's 2 percent target, BoE governor Mark Carney said on Thursday. "We in fact need those two additional rate increases in order to get that return of inflation to target and in fact if you look closely at the forecast, inflation approaches the target, it doesn't quite get there, and the economy is likely to be in a position of excess demand," Carney told a news conference. (Reporting by David Milliken and William Schomberg, writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison) SEARCH

'Streamlining taxation will help India reach top 50 in ease of doing business'

Thursday, November 2 2017

'Streamlining taxation will help India reach top 50 in ease of doing business'

'Streamlining taxation will help India reach top 50 in ease of doing business' 'Streamlining taxation will help India reach top 50 in ease of doing business' Source : Last Updated: Thu, Nov 02, 2017 17:20 hrs New Delhi : Streamlining taxation along with healthy competition among states to attract domestic and global investors will help India break into the top 50 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C.R. Chaudhary said on Thursday. "We need to think about providing incentives to the industry and we have been simplifying the procedures," Chaudhary said here while inaugurating an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) Ease Doing Business Summit. He said that it is due to the efforts of all the stakeholders that India leaped 30 spots to 100th rank in the World Bank's latest global rankings. "Our target is to come at 50th place and that will happen when we facilitate industrialists and investors. "Without encouraging the manufacturing sector and without foreign direct investment (FDI), we cannot develop and come in the category of developed countries," he added. He urged the industry to take steps to improve the quality of their products thereby adhering to "zero defect and zero effect" policy. "We need to maintain quality otherwise it will become very difficult for us to sustain in the international markets." In this regard, he referred to the European Union's ban on India's basmati rice exports because of certain "technical points". "We had sought time in our last meeting with representatives of France, President of Czech Republic as we need to spread awareness among farmers about not to sprinkle such pesticides. "It is a very positive thing for our private players and entrepreneurs who are now directly collaborating with foreign companies and getting investments in the country which has been facilitated through ease of doing business," Chaudhary said. Lauding the government's efforts in attracting a record $60 billion worth of FDI in a single year, he invited the domestic and global investors to reap dividends by investing in the infrastructure and logistics sector that provide huge scope. He also said that the government's main focus is on enhancing production of quality material, attracting domestic and foreign investments in large numbers, enhancing exports and creating more employment opportunities. SEARCH

VW says IPO of trucks business among options: Manager Magazin

Thursday, November 2 2017

VW says IPO of trucks business among options: Manager Magazin

VW says IPO of trucks business among options: Manager Magazin VW says IPO of trucks business among options: Manager Magazin Source : 15:24 hrs FRANKFURT: Volkswagen could list its trucks business as a way to achieve its goal of turning the unit into a "global champion", a board member for the carmaker was quoted as saying in an interview. "A stock listing is among our options," trucks chief Andreas Renschler told Manager Magazin Online, adding that no decisions had been made on the matter. He also said that expanding in Russia or Southeast Asia were other possible strategic paths. Volkswagen in July said that an initial public offering of its trucks business had no priority at the moment, adding the group's focus was on boosting synergies among its truck brands. SEARCH

Equities close flat; new intra-day highs for Sensex, Nifty50

Thursday, November 2 2017

Equities close flat; new intra-day highs for Sensex, Nifty50

Equities close flat; new intra-day highs for Sensex, Nifty50 Equities close flat; new intra-day highs for Sensex, Nifty50 17:13 hrs Key Indian equity indices on Thursday provisionally closed on a flat-to-negative note on the back of broadly negative global cues, coupled with heavy selling pressure in automobile, FMCG and oil and gas stocks. According to market observers, an upsurge in healthcare stocks, with index heavyweights like Lupin, Sun Pharma and Dr. Reddy's Lab in the lead, helped trim losses. The broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange scaled a fresh intra-day high of 10,453 points and the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE of 33,657.57 points. On a closing basis (at 3.30 p.m.), the Nifty50 fell by 16.75 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 10,423.75 points. The BSE Sensex provisionally closed at 33,573.22 points -- down 27.05 points or 0.08 per cent. The BSE market breadth was bearish -- 1,420 declines and 1,337 advances. On Wednesday, the benchmark indices closed at record highs as positive global cues, coupled with a strong rupee and robust buying activities in banking, metals and FMCG stocks, gave a boost to investor sentiments. The Nifty50 closed at a fresh high of 10,440.50 points, while the BSE Sensex closed at a new high of 33,600.27 points. SEARCH