|Bid||218.85 x 214900|
|Ask||218.90 x 10000|
|Day's range||217.45 - 219.65|
|52-week range||181.92 - 225.90|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.96|
|PE ratio (TTM)||12.70|
|Earnings date||21 Feb 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||9.00 (4.14%)|
|Ex-dividend date||09 May 2019|
|1y target est||213.69|
(Bloomberg) -- For all the hand-wringing on Wall Street over spiraling U.S.-Iran tensions, two questions stand out: Why isn’t the sell-off worse, and just what would it take for markets to crater?The S&P 500 erased nearly all its earlier decline to trade little changed on Monday. The yen fell from a three-month high and 10-year Treasury yields turned higher, as calm returned to global markets just days after the shock U.S. killing of an Iranian general.While that has plunged the Middle East into a fresh crisis, some of the biggest money managers are keeping calm and carrying on. They’re eyeing pressure points like rising oil prices and falling cyclical shares before changing their allocation strategies.Speak to someone like Sebastien Galy, and it’s likely that the sanguine tone in markets can endure. The macro strategist at Nordea Asset Management, which has over $250 billion under management, reckons stress between Iran and America will peak in the next two weeks because the Islamic nation is too weak for a protracted confrontation.“For longer-term investors, there are no large implications aside from taking profit on their U.S. equity position,” he said. “For medium-term investors, it means increasing their long yen position as a global hedge.”Nordea is typical of a slew of asset managers that have taken recent geopolitical developments in their stride. At Allianz Global Investors, the firm considers Middle Eastern risks easily hedged, since they’re good for oil and bad for pretty much everything else.Right now the world can still cope with $70 per barrel oil, Allianz says, but at $80 it could start to meaningfully impact growth.“The question will be about how long this tension is sustained,” said Neil Dwane, a global strategist at the firm, which oversees 557 billion euros ($623 billion). “We will now have to watch some of these super-cyclical stocks and the optimism people still have around 2020 economic performance.”Oil’s WellOver at Aberdeen Standard Investments, portfolio managers are also on alert for steeper gains in the oil price that would ripple through markets and the economy. West Texas crude has surged 3% since the new year, buoying energy stocks worldwide.If the gains do continue, it could feed into headline price pressures. U.S. one-year breakeven rates, a market measure of inflation expectations, reached the highest since September on Monday before easing.For now though, the recent rise “has been too small to have a material effect on growth and inflation outcomes,” according to Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard. “Looking ahead, the key issue will be the ability of companies to deliver profits growth ahead of expectations -- or not.”RetaliationInvestors are in wait-and-see mode even as Iran vowed retaliation against the U.S. airstrike, and says it will defy limits on uranium enrichment. In a sign that the showdown may be widening, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel American troops from the country.While money managers have yet to panic, the new-year bull is in retreat. Classic defensive trades have returned after taking a backseat last quarter. High-beta shares are losing ground to comatose names. Emerging-market stocks are trailing again after reaching an 18-month high.Some of this may have to do with the state of assets on the way into this geopolitical flare-up. The escalation arrived in an equity market that some already considered frothy -- the S&P 500 was at an all-time high, hedging was near multi-year lows, and mom-and-pop traders were regaining their mojo. After major assets handed investors the best annual returns in a decade in 2019, investors are mulling whether to take profits before declines deepen.“We have been warning that a lot of good news has now been priced into financial assets,” said Milligan at Aberdeen Standard, which oversees $669 billion.Use ProtectionMark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Wealth Management, puts his own relative calm down to the lessons of history. Previous bouts of political turmoil have had only temporary impact on wider markets, he argues.“Individual geopolitical risks tend not to be sufficient to drive a sustained downturn in markets, and it is important for investors to retain a long-term focus,” he said. More lasting effects are “confined to local markets and assets that are directly impacted by the tension,” he said.He recommends staying invested but considering protection strategies, especially since the options market has remained relatively calm.The Cboe Volatility Index, a gauge of expected U.S. price swings known as the VIX, remains well below 20 -- a sign to Galy at Nordea that investors aren’t too worried just yet.“The question is whether the VIX market is correct in viewing it as a transitory shock,” he said. “We think this is a transitory shock as Iran is too weak for a full confrontation.”To contact the reporters on this story: Justina Lee in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Anchalee Worrachate in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org, Sid VermaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- You’d expect the world’s second-largest economy to have a bigger presence on the world stage. But in mergers and acquisitions, China’s presence has been shrinking for years, and 2020 is unlikely to be any better.In 2016, the country was the world’s largest acquirer of overseas assets after the U.S. It tumbled to eighth place this year, trailing Japan and even Singapore, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While the phase-one trade deal between Washington and Beijing may ease some tensions, frosty relations between China and many developed countries appear set to persist. Add tightened credit to this protectionist mix, and China’s acquisitions have little chance of regaining the heights of 2016, when state-owned China National Chemical Corp. agreed to pay a record $43 billion to buy Swiss agrochemical maker Syngenta AG.Washington turned more hostile to Chinese purchases of U.S. assets after Donald Trump gained the presidency, and since has become only more strict. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal panel that reviews acquisitions on national-security grounds, even started including purchases of data on American customers in its checks. The Trump administration has also sought to enlist U.S. allies in squeezing out Huawei Technologies Co. as a supplier of fifth-generation wireless equipment.Such actions have been seen as a clear shot at the Made in China 2025 plan, which set targets for the country to become a leader in critical technologies. Chinese venture capital investment in the U.S. fell 27% to $1.1 billion in the first half of 2019, from $1.5 billion in the July-December period last year, according to Rhodium Group LLC, an independent research firm.Europe, previously more receptive to Chinese investment, has turned a lot less welcoming on the sale of technology and infrastructure. Regulators took their time approving what could have been China’s largest overseas deal of 2019 — the 9.1 billion euro ($10.2 billion) takeover of Portuguese utility EDP-Energias de Portugal SA, prompting state-owned buyer China Three Gorges Corp. to pull out in April. Germany, meanwhile, is looking at putting tighter restrictions on Chinese buying following high-profile investments in companies such as Deutsche Bank AG and industrial robot maker Kuka AG in recent years. A push by lawmakers to ban Huawei from its 5G network threatens to further chill relations. Even President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, which prompted a wave of Chinese acquisitions in countries that have signed on to the trade-infrastructure campaign, has faced a backlash.Beijing’s drive to control debt has played a part in tamping down deals. After the ill-fated spending sprees of conglomerates such as HNA Group Co. and Anbang Insurance Group Co., now being unwound, companies have become more cautious. Chinese banks are less aggressive when it comes to lending for overseas purchases, according to Bee Chun Boo, M&A partner at Baker McKenzie’s Beijing office. The average size of China’s foreign acquisitions has shrunk by two-thirds since 2016 to $74 million, from $230 million (a figure that already strips out the Syngenta deal). Chinese buyers have stopped seeking controlling stakes to avoid raising protectionist hackles, and are searching out non-Chinese buying partners.Anta Sports Products Ltd.’s $5.2 billion purchase of Finland’s Amer Sports Oyj is an example of what the typical Chinese acquisition may look like in coming years. Anta led an investor group that included Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson, and the target — a tennis racket maker — was in a non-sensitive sector. With the environment souring in the U.S. and Europe, Chinese acquirers will look more within Asia. In September, China Telecommunications Corp.’s entered a $5.4 billion agreement to set up a third major Philippine telecom operator with two local partners.The home market may provide more promising action for China-focused bankers in the year ahead. Beijing is opening its financial sector, inviting more foreign banks, insurance providers and other companies to set up shop. In November, Chubb Ltd. paid $1.5 billion to boost its stake in Huatai Insurance Group, and Allianz SE forked out about $1 billion for part of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s stake in Taikang Life Insurance Co. Deal activity may accelerate in 2020, when foreign securities firms, futures businesses and life insurance companies will be allowed to fully own their Chinese units.As financial companies enter, others are leaving. Chinese buyers are picking up the pieces as Carrefour SA and Metro AG sell the bulk of their local operations, joining Tesco Plc and Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentacion SA in giving up on a tough retail market. Nestle SA is another international company considering options for its Chinese units.Advising on exits is a shrinking business by nature, though, and unlikely to compensate for the fall-off in China’s outbound deals. No China M&A banker is going to be partying like it’s 2016.\--With assistance from Yuan Liu and Elaine He. To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Today, we'll introduce the concept of the P/E ratio for those who are learning about investing. To keep it practical...
(Bloomberg Markets) -- Just 31 years after it was founded in China’s southern city of Shenzhen, Ping An Insurance (Group) Co. has grown into the world’s second-largest insurer by market value after Berkshire Hathaway Inc.—more valuable than Allianz SE and AIA Group Ltd. combined. A financial supermarket that offers insurance, asset management, banking, and trust services, Ping An (which roughly translates to “safe and well”) added a focus on technology in the wake of the financial crisis. Now it has five groups of internet platforms, which it calls ecosystems, focused on finance, property, automotive, health care, and services for the “smart city.” More than 576 million users and 100 Chinese cities are connected to at least one of those ecosystems. One of the businesses, Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co., which runs the health-care portal Good Doctor, has already listed separately. Shanghai Lujiazui International Financial Asset Exchange Co., the unit that manages the finance website Lu.com, postponed a planned public offering in 2016 when the government cracked down on peer-to-peer lending. Ping An has started licensing technology to peers at home and abroad. Below are excerpts from Bloomberg Markets’ September interviews about the company’s strategy, conducted separately with two of Ping An’s co-chief executive officers, Jessica Tan and Lee Yuan Siong. (Lee will be leaving at the end of January to become AIA Group CEO and president on June 1.)BLOOMBERG MARKETS: How will technology change Ping An in the next decade?JESSICA TAN: For technology, we have a three-step path. The first is to enable finance with technology, using technology to very aggressively innovate our business model from sales to risk control and operations, which we’ve been doing in the past 11 years. The second step is to use technology to enable the ecosystems, targeting either consumers or businesses and the government. Then it’s the ecosystems nurturing finance when they’ve reached a certain size, but that takes some time. That’s started, especially in terms of new-client acquisition, as it’s an area where we started out early. But the real benefits here have yet to show themselves.In 10 years we’ll just become a “technology-plus-finance” company. We’re already starting to show that. Technology’s contribution to revenue remains small to the company now, even though it’s already a big number—38.4 billion yuan [$5.4 billion] in revenue in the first half of this year from the 11 tech companies. But when we do better at the second and third steps, the contribution from technology will become bigger and bigger.BM: How does Ping An’s tech measure up with that of competitors around the world?JT: We now have 32,000 researchers, a combined 101,000 tech staff at the 11 tech units, more than 20,000 patents—96% are invention patents—and eight research institutes. In terms of input, our technology strength is unparalleled among financial institutions.Even compared to globally leading technology companies, we’re often even stronger in the area of finance. Some of our technologies are rarely seen or even impossible to find among financial institutions globally. Ping An OneConnect’s [fintech and cloud computing] products domestically are being used by 618 banks, 84 insurance companies, and nearly 3,000 other nonbanking financial institutions. In seven overseas markets, there are about 27 financial institutions using them, and most of them are relatively large financial institutions. So I believe we’re very competitive here.BM: What is the response to Ping An’s technology in the rest of Asia?JT: There’s a lot more demand than we expected. When OneConnect set up its overseas office [in Singapore] about one year ago, we thought a small office would do. Now it has more than 200 full-time employees [in Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand].At present, demand is particularly strong in three areas. One is SME [small and midsize enterprise] financing, which is a very hot topic at home and abroad. Our advantage here is that we have the technology to truly aggregate many data to create risk profiles of small and medium-sized businesses. And since we’re a financial company ourselves, financial companies believe our model can work. And even if you don’t trust me, I can do it myself with my own money.The second one is personal finance, another area with very, very strong demand. The third area is efficiency improvement. Asia, in many places, still depends on people for sales, but we have a lot of sales management tools.We’ve done this ourselves. I can improve the productivity of 1.4 million agents; we absolutely can improve it for your people. As long as financial institutions want to do it, we’re a very good partner.Many people are worried that we’re competing with the local financial institutions, because Ping An has a reputation domestically of being strong. I would say, “Look, I’m just an enabler.”“After moving online, you can accumulate massive data as every step leaves a data trail”BM: How many potential unicorns are there in the company’s incubator, and what do they do?JT: It’s hard to say. Whether it’s 11 or any other number is not important. What’s more important is we do our job around those five areas [finance, health, auto, property, and the smart city]. For finance, Lufax and OneConnect are the main ones. One serves clients directly and the other enables the entire market. I guess there won’t be new ones. OneConnect will have more modules, while Lufax will become more and more efficient, with its wealth management robot popularizing wealth management services.The reason we now have 11 tech units is a management decision. It’s actually very hard for a company as big as we are to keep innovating and stay nimble. We encourage the use of small teams to try things out while coordinating among themselves with clear positions for everyone.BM: How much more can the insurance business do to achieve cost savings, efficiency improvements, and other value creation from technology?LEE YUAN SIONG: Using new technology to empower our business is a never-ending journey. We started earlier than others, have done more, and gone further, but that doesn’t mean we’re already close to the end. What we need to do is to always keep ahead of peers—moving faster and further, with them chasing behind us.In terms of specific indicators, our life insurance business, including internal management, is already 93% online and paperless. We can hit 100% within a year, but being online and paperless is no end to the application of technology. The four main business lines of property insurance are about 90% online and paperless and could also achieve 100% within a year.After moving online, you can accumulate massive data as every step leaves a data trail. Then you can digitalize, with data guiding your decisions for business operations, management to services, sales, and risk control. The third step is using AI to make judgments and decisions. We’ve seen clearly the benefits, and we’re just taking action to realize them in every aspect of the business.We’re pushing the group as well as the business units to, within 18 to 36 months, achieve full digitalization—with data driving management decisions at every step. We’ve been employing artificial intelligence in various scenarios for intelligent management, such as in auto claims settlement, pricing of property insurance, as well as the interviews of agents.The value can be seen in many ways, from enhanced customer satisfaction to better risk management and higher efficiency. Our auto insurance combined ratio is 3 percentage points lower than the industry’s, which is a long-term and direct impact. The nonperforming ratio of our loans is also very low.BM: You’ve said Ping An is undervalued because investors are underestimating the value of your technology. Could there be risks that investors are seeing but you aren’t?LYS: We’ve been building an integrated financial-services model, which is different from the universal banking seen abroad and has achieved very good results. From the growth in the number of clients and profit per client, you can see it’s actually a very successful model. We’ve been telling the capital market to see our potential value in the growth of our clients and per-client profit. That’s starting to be accepted by the market.The ecosystems are an upgrade of our entire technology segment. That includes the listings of the units, the tech products, which create direct value. Besides that, when the ecosystems enable our integrated financial services, it creates additional value and should add a premium to the valuation of our integrated financial services.Almost one-third of our new clients come from the ecosystems, and that’s why our client number keeps rising, to 196 million. Profit per client keeps rising and the number of products per client keeps increasing, too.The ecosystems are not yet included in the valuation models in the capital market. The value of the integrated finance is partly reflected—so the value of the core business isn’t fully reflected, either. So every segment has room. As to how much room, I won’t give guidance. It’s up to the capital market to assess.BM: How will autonomous driving affect auto insurance?LYS: It will have a relatively big impact on the current business conditions of auto insurance, which we must admit. How it’s going to change depends on, firstly, the advance of technology, and secondly, how the legal environment adapts to autonomous driving: how to assign responsibility when accidents occur—who’s responsible and how big is the responsibility. It’s going to change auto insurance, but it’s also going to bring opportunities, such as liability insurance.BM: How does Ping An compete with online insurance offerings from tech companies?LYS: Indeed, a lot of interpersonal communications and transactions are now taking place online, and that’s why we are moving onto the internet. We have massive offline forces and networks, but we’ve already moved online.Our life insurance Jin Guan Jia [or “golden housekeeper”] app has 220 million users. The property insurance unit’s Ping An Auto Owner app has more than 70 million users, and even the small health insurance unit has 10 million app users, and Lufax has more than 40 million users. So while we have huge offline forces, we’re actually very much internet-based already, with communication and interaction between clients and our agents, service staff, and managers taking place online highly efficiently.We focus on finance and health, and have deeper understanding about client needs in those two domains than pure e-commerce, social, or news-oriented internet platforms do. With our huge internet presence, our offline service networks are actually an advantage.We’re changing every year. When younger generations born after 1990 and 2000 become the main consumers, financial institutions need to understand how to interact and communicate in ways they like. So we’re prepared for the competition. There was simply no other option.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dingmin Zhang in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Christine Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jon AsmundssonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
French buyout group Ardian has emerged as the leading bidder for a stake in EWE [LANDWE.UL], as the German regional utility's search for a new anchor investor is nearing the finishing line, two people close to the matter said. EWE is currently presenting only Ardian's proposal to its municipal shareholders and could announce that it is entering exclusive talks with the French group in the coming days, the people added. Ardian prevailed against a tie-up of German insurer Allianz and Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie , which had been seen as the likely winner of the auction due to their track record in energy deals, they said.
Many investors are still learning about the various metrics that can be useful when analysing a stock. This article is...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- European fund management companies spent 2018 watching their share prices steadily decline, battered by increased regulatory scrutiny, customers withdrawing money and the relentless squeezing of fees. They’ve rallied this year, but the industry’s biggest beast in the region is outpacing its peers by an astonishing margin.Investors in Amundi SA have enjoyed a total return of more than 60% in 2019, outpacing the Stoxx Europe 600 index by 35 percentage points. The stock has beaten the 32% gains at DWS Group GmbH and Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, the 39% return for Schroders Plc and Man Group Plc’s 19% rise.Amundi, 68 percent-owned by France’s Credit Agricole SA, recently announced record quarterly inflows of almost 43 billion euros ($48 billion) in the three months through September, breaking a streak of three consecutive quarters of client withdrawals. Its 1.6 trillion euros of assets under management — up from 952 billion euros when it listed on the stock market in November 2015 — make it Europe’s biggest money manager.The most impressive statistic, however, is the one element of Amundi’s financials over which it has most control: its costs.The company’s frugality has nudged its cost-to-income ratio lower in recent years; it fell to an industry-beating 51.1% at the end of the third quarter. By comparison, Deutsche Bank AG-controlled DWS aims to cut its ratio to 65% and doesn’t expect to achieve that until the end of 2021.What could knock Amundi off its perch? Well, DWS Chief Executive Officer Asoka Woehrmann told the Financial Times this month that he plans to challenge his rival’s dominance by finding a takeover or merger that would increase his firm’s 752 billion euros of assets. Earlier this year Switzerland’s UBS Group AG was reported to be considering strapping its fund management arm to DWS. Insurer Allianz SE was also said to be interested in the German investment firm. Any such deal would create a challenger with the scale to match Amundi.But the French fund giant’s CEO Yves Perrier is unlikely to just stand by if industry consolidation begins. Now that he’s finished absorbing Pioneer Investments, a fund management unit bought from Italy’s UniCredit SpA for 3.5 billion euros in 2017, the decks are clear. While these mega-mergers might not happen, Amundi is well placed if they do. With its shares trading at their highest in more than 18 months, Perrier has the currency to fund a deal.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
* On focus Natixis, Allianz and Richemont Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. Well, one thing's for sure, it's not because of great earnings, say DWS analysts who note earnings estimates for the S&P 500 have fallen by 8.6% compared to estimates of a year ago and that the fall is worst in cyclical export-oriented markets like Germany. This is not the basis for a sustained stock-market rally," writes Thomas Bucher, a DWS equity strategist.
* On focus Natixis, Allianz and Richemont Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. The recent rally has been dominated by gains in cyclical stocks, which have outperformed defensives by 10% since September.
A report that China and the United States had agreed to roll back tariffs on each other's goods as part of the first phase of a trade deal Initially that fuelled more exuberance, taking Asian shares to six month highs and helping Wall Street to another record high lose. Chinese markets too initially rose almost half a percent but have since closed half a percent lower and the yuan has eased off 3 month peaks versus the greenback.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Joice Alves. European futures are all trading in negative territory this morning after Asian stocks stepped back from highs reached overnight when Beijing said it agreed with the U.S. to cancel tariffs in phases. A Reuters report raising fresh worries about the outlook for a deal is now weighing on sentiment.
German insurer Allianz on Friday posted a better-than-expected 0.6% rise in third-quarter net profit, helped by investment result and a lower tax rate, and said 2019 operating profit would be in the upper half of its targeted range. Net profit attributable to shareholders of 1.95 billion euros ($2.16 billion) compares with a forecast of 1.84 billion euro by analysts in a Refinitiv poll and is up from 1.94 billion euros a year earlier. "We are ready to reach the upper half of our operating profit outlook despite a significant increase in external challenges," Chief Executive Officer Oliver Baete said.
LONDON/MADRID/PARIS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Some Britons living in the Europe Union are worried about losing access to free healthcare after Brexit, opening up a potentially lucrative new market for European health insurers. "I am indebted to France for my life," said Beryl Roberts from Pontivy, in the north west of the country, who has the French health service to thank for spotting her cancer. "However if there is no more healthcare after Brexit, I will be desperate," adds the 72-year-old, who is among more than a million Britons living in the EU and facing uncertainty.