U.S. consumer confidence fell back more than expected in October, dampening optimism over the health the U.S. economy, industry data showed on Tuesday. The index had been on a big run-up for the past 5 months. In a report, the Conference Board, a market research group, said its index of consumer confidence fell to 98.6 this month from a reading of 103.5 in September, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 104.1. Analysts had expected the index to drop to 101.0 in September.
Italy will also get information on bank accounts abroad next year, thanks to agreements with Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The deal allows to the Italian tax authorities not to wait that taxpayers, with cash and assets deposited abroad, regularize their position. In order to hunt down the cash, the tax agency is preparing collective data requests. It means that the Italian authorities will ask and get the data of the Italian customers who have opened a foreign bank account. As pointed out by the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, authorities "won’t stop to Switzerland only, due to the fact that the agreements signed in 2015 will offer new opportunities."
HNA Group, the giant Chinese hotel and tourism company, agreed to buy about 25% of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc from Blackstone Group LP for about US$6.5 billion. HNA, controlled by Chen Feng, will pay US$26.25 a share in cash, or 15 per cent more than Hilton's closing price on Friday. Under the deal, HNA cannot reduce its 25% stake over the next two years or increase it without Hilton's permission. The deal, which is expected to go through in early 2017, will cut Blackstone's share in Hilton to 21%. This latest move by HNA is part of the group's efforts to become a "global tourism business," said the company's chief executive Adam Tan. HNA announced in April that it had agreed to acquire Carlson Hotels, which owns the Radisson and Park Plaza brands.
The new business plan, "signed" by Marco Morelli and approved yesterday by the Board of Directors of MPS, expected net profit of 1.1 billion Euros to 2019. The board of directors scheduled November 24 an extraordinary shareholders' meeting to approve the capital increase up to a maximum of € 5 billion. The new business plan then tip a net profit of €1,1 billion in 2019. And at that time also, the MPS plan foresees revenues of 4.5 billion, operating costs to $ 2.46 billion and an operating profit of €1,5 billion. The operating model, the bank explains in a note, it will be renovated and will point to a strong focus on efficiency, with a cost / income ratio of 55% in 2019 and allocated to the commercial activities of a higher proportion of employees from the current 62% to 71%.
In this last period, I read on many financial web sites some warning comments about the potential and imminent starting of a bear market on the S&P 500. The main point that these sites show graphically, is the rising trend of the index from 2009 and the price break of a short term trend line togheter with a medium term oscillator reversing (graph 1, A and detail in B). Other websites point out a downside breakout of a short term simmetric triangle (graph 1, C).
The Swiss pension system has lost positions in the world, according to consulting company Mercer's research. The survey, which analyzed 27 countries, ranked Switzerland in sixth place, two places lower down than the previous ranking. The deterioration in the ranking reflects the decline in the level of pensions in relation to earnings, says a press release today at Mercer. The Swiss system lost some rank even in the sustainability criteria, since the increase in life expectancy is not compensated by the contributions or from an age of higher retirement.
Syngenta and China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) have not submitted to the EU Antitrust grant proposals to get the go-ahead to the acquisition of $ 43 billion of the Swiss group of agro-chemicals and the news has caused the collapse of Syngenta, at Zurich stock exchange the swiss company lost more than 9%.
Britain's biggest banks are preparing to move out of the country in early 2017 because of fears over the impending Brexit negotiations as Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers Association, said in an interview published by The Observer on Sunday. The CEO cited fears the European Union politicians will want to erect trade barriers during the Brexit negotiation as a reason for the planned moves. So rather than risk weakening the strength of the City of London's financial prowess during negotiations, a number of companies are preparing to move wholesale.
The Hungarian financier George Soros would be interested in joining MPS, as reported by the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Besides Soros, also Qatar and US funds would be ready for subscrition of the capital, which in any case should be less than 5 billion initially indicated. The plan and the bank accounts will be approved today by the board and disclosed to the financial community tomorrow. The scheme, imagined by the MPS financial advisers would be to focus on the anchor investor that could cover the supply in the market with high amounts: some Qatari funds would be interested in investing €1.5 billion to €2.0 billion, while, the newspaper wrote just yesterday, another billion could come from two US large institutional investors: they would be, according to rumors in financial circles, George Soros and one of the kings of the US hedge fund, John Paulson.
The Markit/Nikkei flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in at 51.7 in October, up from a final September reading of 50.4. Analysts in a median estimate called for an increase to 50.6. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in economic activity. The October reading was the highest since July 2015, and followed the first expansion in headline PMI in seven months. Output, new export orders and employment increased at a faster rate this month, while new orders returned to positive territory.
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