BARC.L - Barclays PLC

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
151.32
-1.90 (-1.24%)
As of 1:54PM BST. Market open.
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Previous close153.22
Open152.76
Bid151.30 x 423300
Ask151.34 x 350000
Day's range150.86 - 153.52
52-week range145.00 - 197.50
Volume9,052,761
Avg. volume34,423,444
Market cap26.081B
Beta (3Y monthly)0.21
PE ratio (TTM)7.84
EPS (TTM)19.30
Earnings date1 Aug 2019
Forward dividend & yield0.07 (4.24%)
Ex-dividend date2019-02-28
1y target est221.84
  • Bond Traders Have the Fed Firmly on Their Side
    Bloomberg18 hours ago

    Bond Traders Have the Fed Firmly on Their Side

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Faced with an extraordinarily difficult situation, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell gave bond traders exactly what they wanted in the central bank’s latest monetary policy decision.While the Fed left its benchmark lending rate unchanged in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, changes to language in the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement, like removing the word “patient” and pledging to “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” pointed to reducing interest rates in the near future. One voting member, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, even dissented in favor of a cut. On top of that, the “dot plot” showed the median projection among policy makers was for lowering interest rates at some point before the end of 2020. The reaction in the world’s biggest bond market was swift, even though a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey released Tuesday found that being long U.S. Treasuries has become the world’s most-crowded trade for the first time ever. Two-year U.S. yields dropped 10 basis points after the announcement to 1.76%. The day of the Fed’s last meeting, it was 2.3%. Benchmark 10-year yields also fell toward the 2% level, which hasn’t been breached since around the time Donald Trump was elected president. The yield curve steepened sharply.On top of validating dovish wagers among bond traders, who had priced in 2.5 cuts for 2019 ahead of the decision, the Fed’s latest shift is also a victory for Trump, who has been pounding the table for lower interest rates and whose White House, as Bloomberg News reported, in February explored the legality of demoting Powell. (He said “let’s see what he does” when asked later on Tuesday if he still wants to demote him.)This is probably not the outcome that Powell wanted but the one he felt he had little choice but to deliver. Just consider what has happened since the last Fed member spoke on June 7, before its blackout period began.June 7: The May jobs report showed nonfarm payrolls rose 75,000, missing all estimates in a Bloomberg survey, with the unemployment rate steady at 3.6%. June 7: Trump tweeted that tariffs on Mexican goods, which sparked a massive flight-to-quality trade in Treasuries, were “indefinitely suspended.” June 12: Consumer price index data missed estimates. June 14: Retail sales were stronger than expected, while the University of Michigan's gauge of expected inflation fell to an unprecedented low. June 17: The New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Index plunged in June by the most on record. June 18: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi promised that officials are ready with stimulus if needed. June 18: The S&P 500 came within 0.8% of a record high.This is a decidedly mixed bag. The labor market remains strong but is slowing from its breakneck pace. Inflation is at risk of persistently undershooting the Fed’s target. Business confidence is weakening, though consumers are resilient. And central banks around the globe are shifting to easier policy in anticipation of slower growth ahead. The Fed’s own updated projections reflect this murky outlook: Growth is now seen as higher in 2020, at 2%,  while officials predict inflation will be lower than they thought in the coming year and a half. Powell took the path of least resistance. Just as the first rule of bond trading is “don’t fight the Fed,” one mantra of heading up the central bank could well be summarized as “don’t fight the markets.” He made abundantly clear that officials have had a “significant” change in their outlook relative to earlier this year, as evidenced by the adjusted FOMC statement. I wrote earlier this week that this Fed decision would show if the markets broke Powell. It’s possible that already happened in late December, when stocks were in freefall and Trump privately discussed firing his pick to lead the central bank. In what’s known as the “Powell pivot,” in early January he backed off from his previously firm stance that the balance-sheet runoff would continue on “automatic pilot” and went from shrugging off “a little bit of volatility” to assuring investors that he was attuned to the market’s concerns about downside risks.Bond traders, meanwhile, can quickly move on from debating whether the Fed will lower interest rates this year to when those cuts will begin. Policy makers left themselves some room to maneuver, but not much. In fact, the updated 2019 dot was close to forecasting an interest-rate reduction. After capitulating to markets this time, it would seem as if July is definitely in play. Fed funds futures indicate a cut next month is a near certainty.“They’re delivering on and above market expectations,” Jeffrey Rosenberg, systematic fixed-income senior portfolio manager at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg TV. “The markets will now expect action in July,” added Michael Gapen at Barclays Plc.It’s regrettable that Powell didn’t show more backbone. Sure, his overarching goal is to sustain the economic expansion, and it’s clear that the data isn’t as strong as it was during the zenith of the tightening cycle. But that’s to be expected at this point, a decade after the recession ended and amid some self-inflicted pain on the trade front.This is a crucial time for the Fed and for monetary policy in general. Given that the ECB and Bank of Japan haven’t managed to wean their economies off extraordinary stimulus measures, it raises tough questions about whether central banks are doing more harm than good with what appears to be a tendency to prop up markets at every turn. Powell did a better job than his predecessor at staying the course, but he has proved willing to capitulate at most turns in 2019.Powell has advantages that his counterparts don’t, including a stronger domestic economy and a policy rate that has increased eight times since December 2016. He at least has a bit of room to try an “insurance cut” to keep the good times going.But fractionally lower interest rates aren’t going to magically fix the U.S.-China trade tensions nor provide the spark needed to lift inflation or encourage vast business investment. It serves mostly as a signal to Wall Street that the Fed knows its cues. Powell can only hope that the short-term high will be worth it in the long run.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • ‘As Close as They Could Come to Cutting’: Wall Street Reacts to the FOMC
    Bloomberg19 hours ago

    ‘As Close as They Could Come to Cutting’: Wall Street Reacts to the FOMC

    (Bloomberg) -- While the Federal Reserve held rates steady Wednesday, investors said evidence is building for a reduction later in the year. The deletion of the pledge by policy makers to stay “patient” before economic data and estimates from eight of 17 members that the Fed funds rate would fall in 2019 supported risk assets including stocks.Here’s what investors and strategists had to say:Ellen Hazen, senior vice president and portfolio manager for F.L. Putnam“Reading the tea leaves, both they and the market are setting up for cuts to happen within the next few meetings. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw it next meeting and they’re laying the groundwork in both the speeches and the language of the statement today.”Mike DePalma, managing director at MacKay Shields:“They pretty much did what the market was expecting. They removed the word ‘patient’ from the statement, which is what everyone thought they would do. That would be the way to signal dovishness. And Powell seems to have repeated everything he said in his speech two weeks ago. So frankly, I don’t think there’s any surprises here at all. If there is a surprise, it’s that there’s some differences of opinion on the Fed -- so they didn’t all vote the same way but eight of them thought rates would be lower by the end of the year. So that’s a lot.”Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance:“It looks like the Fed gave the market what it wanted by removing the word patient from the statement. It also showed with the dots that they are leaning very dovishly and July is absolutely on the table as the market was predicting.”Michael Gapen, Barclays Plc economist:“This is about as close as they could come to cutting today and in fact the fate of the members are forecasting it by at least year end. It’s walking it right up to the point and the markets will now expect action in July. Yes, the outcome of the G-20 meeting matters.”Ilya Feygin, senior strategist at WallachBeth Capital LLC:“The market had a slightly dovish reaction, liking the fact that ‘patient’ was removed, ‘act as appropriate’ was inserted. Eight officials support a cut by the end of the year, and nine by 2020, and importantly the long term neutral rate comes down 30 bps, and Bullard dissents to say ‘cut it now.’ The Fed also capitulated and lowered its PCE inflation forecasts. However, this does not change the overall picture too much.”\--With assistance from Elena Popina.To contact the reporters on this story: Vildana Hajric in New York at vhajric1@bloomberg.net;Sarah Ponczek in New York at sponczek2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Chris NagiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barclays names Gruber as chemicals head for Europe and Middle East: source
    Reuters23 hours ago

    Barclays names Gruber as chemicals head for Europe and Middle East: source

    Barclays has named Gabriel Gruber as the new head of its chemicals banking team for Europe and the Middle East as it seeks to win more business after advising the likes of Evonik on their recent disposals, a source familiar with the matter said. Gruber has 15 years of experience covering clients in the chemicals sector and was promoted to managing director last year. Barclays has been in the driving seat on several high profile chemicals transactions, advising Air Liquide on its purchase of Airgas in 2015 and also representing Evonik and Total on the recent disposals of their respective chemicals units.

  • Reuters - UK Focus23 hours ago

    Barclays names Gruber as chemicals head for Europe and Middle East - source

    Barclays has named Gabriel Gruber as the new head of its chemicals banking team for Europe and the Middle East as it seeks to win more business after advising the likes of Evonik on their recent disposals, a source familiar with the matter said. Gruber has 15 years of experience covering clients in the chemicals sector and was promoted to managing director last year. Barclays has been in the driving seat on several high profile chemicals transactions, advising Air Liquide on its purchase of Airgas in 2015 and also representing Evonik and Total on the recent disposals of their respective chemicals units.

  • Reuters - UK Focusyesterday

    RPT-UPDATE 2-Britain's Clydesdale bank commits to Virgin Money rebrand, more cost cutting

    Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group has laid out plans to challenge Britain's big banks, betting that a re-brand as Virgin Money and growth in business banking will help it shake up the market. The bank pledged to cut further costs and package up offers with other Virgin companies on holidays and flights after its 1.7 billion pound ($2.13 billion) all-share takeover of rival lender Virgin Money last year. At CYBG's capital markets day in London on Wednesday, the firm also pledged to make an additional 50 million pounds in annual savings from the Virgin Money deal, taking the total saved by 2022 to 200 million pounds ($251.16 million).

  • Reuters - UK Focus2 days ago

    UPDATE 1-Wells Fargo parent is dismissed from lawsuit by Philadelphia, Baltimore

    Wells Fargo & Co was dismissed as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore, which accused large banks of conspiring to inflate interest rates for variable-rate demand obligations (VRDO), a type of tax-exempt bond. Other Wells Fargo entities remain defendants. Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co were previously dismissed from the case, though affiliates of those banks remain defendants, according to court records.

  • Reuters - UK Focus2 days ago

    Wells Fargo is dismissed from municipal bond lawsuit by Philadelphia, Baltimore

    Wells Fargo & Co was dismissed as a defendant in a lawsuit by the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore, which accused large banks of conspiring to inflate interest rates for variable-rate demand obligations, a type of tax-exempt bond. The dismissal came after Wells Fargo represented that it did not remarket, provide letters of credit for, or manage money market funds that invested in the bonds, according to a Tuesday filing in Manhattan federal court. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Fifth Third Bancorp were previously dismissed as defendants.

  • Business Wire2 days ago

    Barclays Appoints Daniel Zimbaldi as a Managing Director in Financial Institutions Group (FIG) M&A

    Barclays announces the appointment of Daniel Zimbaldi as a Managing Director in Financial Institutions Group (FIG) M&A. Mr. Zimbaldi will be based in New York. Mr. Zimbaldi joins Barclays with close to 15 years of experience in banking, most recently as a Managing Director at Evercore in the Depositories and Specialty Finance Group.

  • Investing.com2 days ago

    Sterling at 2019 Lows on Brexit Fears, Aussie Slides

    Investing.com - The British pound was trading near its lowest levels of the year on Tuesday as fresh fears over the prospect of a no-deal Brexit weighed, while the Australian dollar was pressured by growing expectations for another rate cut by the country’s central bank.

  • Facebook's Answer to Bitcoin Poses a Double Threat
    Bloomberg3 days ago

    Facebook's Answer to Bitcoin Poses a Double Threat

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Regulators will be watching closely when Facebook Inc. unveils its cryptocurrency project this week. Their vigilance is warranted.Mark Zuckerberg, the social network’s founder, isn’t going to gamble with what remains of his public image by replicating the worst excesses of the Bitcoin craze. He’s not trying to create a speculative currency; a potential wave of mom-and-pop investment losses is the last thing he needs. He just wants a digital medium of exchange for use on his apps. Nevertheless, his bid to launch an online payments revolution carries plenty of risks, from antitrust concerns to the threat that it might pose to financial stability.Weekend media leaks suggest that Facebook’s “Libra” project will be a continuation of its past efforts to expand its payments business and keep customers within the walled garden of its social media apps by creating their very own money.While Zuckerberg is poised to unveil a team of partners – reportedly including eBay Inc., Farfetch Ltd., Spotify Technology SA, Uber Technologies Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc – so far this feels very much like Facebook’s baby. Tellingly, it’s not one that the big banks or the other Silicon Valley and Seattle giants seem ready to adopt quite yet, unless Zuckerberg surprises us with some bigger names at the launch. The target customer base for these new digital tokens looks certain to be the 2.6 billion-strong users of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.While Facebook will no doubt assure us that this project is all about making the lives of its customers ever easier, giving them the ability to actually buy stuff in a way that Bitcoin has rarely offered, it’s hard to square it away with the political effort to curb Big Tech’s monopolistic tendencies (regardless of that roster of launch partners and their $10 million participation fees). It’s crucial that Libra doesn’t become a protective glue that binds Zuckerberg’s social networks even more closely together at a time when many regulators want to break them up. Libra will be presented as an open-source partnership whose benefits are available to all, but to what extent will it really be held at arm’s length from the Zuckerberg empire? Indeed, if the financial and business benefits of using Libra accrue mainly to Facebook, it will merely enshrine its market dominance.As such, regulators must find out who will own the giant new datasets. They might even want to push the case that this kind of data should be made available to governments or rivals to avoid the problems of the past, where a handful of companies ended up owning all of the information about our online activities.While Facebook barely makes any money from its payments business today – with payments and other fees accounting for less than 2% of last year’s $55.8 billion of revenue – some analysts reckon Libra could change things. Barclays is reportedly predicting $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021 if the tokens gain traction. Libra is scheduled to launch across a dozen countries in 2020. That’s a lot of potential data and new sources of revenue.Financial stability is a worry too and regulators should ask for transparency on how Libra is structured. The token is expected to be a “stablecoin,” which is pegged to existing fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar or the euro. That will damp price volatility, unlike the free-wheeling Bitcoin, whose price in the past five years has gone from $600 to $19,000, and now to $9,000. Regulatory oversight of which currencies are held in reserve to back the Libra coin would go some way to building faith in Facebook’s capacity to redeem tokens when customers ask for it.While no one wants to choke innovation unnecessarily, Facebook hasn’t exactly done much to earn everybody’s trust in recent years. Any chance to put the necessary controls in at the beginning, rather than firefighting down the road, should be grabbed by the regulators.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Did the Markets Break Jerome Powell? We’re About to Find Out
    Bloomberg3 days ago

    Did the Markets Break Jerome Powell? We’re About to Find Out

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- This week’s Federal Reserve decision will be the most consequential one yet under the leadership of Chair Jerome Powell.Sure, Fed officials will almost certainly leave interest rates unchanged, and they won’t do anything with the central bank’s balance sheet beyond what they have previously indicated. But the move in financial markets has been so swift, with traders so convinced that policy makers will lower interest rates imminently, that every change in their statement’s wording, every syllable uttered by Powell during his press conference, and any tweak in the “dot plot” will be scrutinized as much as ever. After all, vast sums of money (not to mention strategists’ reputations) are riding on a decidedly dovish shift.It truly seems as if bond traders have gone too far and are setting themselves up for disappointment. They have priced in a 92% chance of a quarter-point rate reduction in July and 2.75 cuts by the end of the year. Barclays Plc strategists would say that’s too conservative — they’re calling for a 50-basis-point cut next month and an additional 25 basis points in September in one of the more aggressive Wall Street forecasts. Basically, as Michael Purves at Weeden & Co. put it, markets are “almost taunting the Fed.”Make no mistake, Fed officials have a number of reasons for caution. While President Donald Trump tabled threatened tariffs on Mexico, a potentially drawn-out trade war with China looms large. U.S. inflation continues to fall short of the central bank’s stated 2% target, while the University of Michigan's gauge of expected price changes fell to an unprecedented low late last week. And the bedrock of this rate-hiking cycle — a seemingly unstoppable labor market — is showing early signs of slowing, with American companies adding just 75,000 workers in May, missing estimates for a 175,000 gain.All of this lines up with Powell’s pivot since the end of last year, from signaling further interest-rate increases and keeping the balance sheet runoff on “automatic pilot” to being patient and winding down the bank’s “quantitative tightening.” He and other policy makers have clearly indicated this is as far as they’ll go in tightening monetary policy this time around.That’s not the same thing as saying they’re ready to begin easing.The problem is, bond traders (and, admittedly, financial journalists) don’t care about that nuance. Conviction that the Fed is done hiking, by definition, means that the next move in interest rates will be lower, making it a matter of “when,” not “if.” After Powell said earlier this month that “as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” it was perceived as opening the door to cutting interest rates, even though he didn’t really say that. RBC Capital Markets had a brilliant report that noted the “weak” May jobs number was actually perfectly consistent with the Fed’s outlook. No matter; traders scurried to wager on easing sooner rather than later in the wake of the payrolls data. So here we are, with markets brazenly taunting the Fed. Will Powell dare to defy them?Unfortunately, recent history doesn’t provide a clear answer. In January, I wrote that the Fed was officially at the market’s mercy, given a decision that was seen as giving in to the late-2018 equities tantrum. Two-year Treasury yields fell about 12 basis points in the following 27 hours. In March, it was more of the same, with central bankers managing to beat traders’ lofty dovish expectations by shifting the dot plot to show zero interest-rate increases in 2019, compared with two in December. Again, two-year yields tumbled, ending the week 15 basis points lower than they were before the decision.Things went differently last month. After what looked like another bond rally in the making, Powell managed to entirely reverse it, and then some, by highlighting “transitory factors” keeping inflation subdued. “Our baseline view remains that with a strong job market and continued growth, inflation will return to 2% over time,” he said. Two-year yields climbed eight basis points in the next 27 hours, to 2.35%, a level that almost exactly aligns with the current effective fed funds rate. In other words, bond investors were more or less on board with the idea of a “patient” Fed holding rates where they are.Obviously, the outlook has changed since then, but not nearly to the extent that market pricing would indicate. As one example, Citigroup Inc.’s U.S. economic surprise index is at the same level it was on May 1, the day of the Fed’s most recent decision. The persistently negative reading is hardly a cause for celebration — it signals data have been worse than expected — but it could just as likely indicate that forecasters have to come to terms with the expansion turning 10 years old and serve as an early warning that the economy is rolling over. As RBC’s Tom Porcelli and Jacob Oubina noted, it’s all about the narrative.Given all that, which Powell will investors get? The one who gives them what they want and more, or the one who is willing to push back? I believe that deep down, Powell would strongly prefer to keep interest rates where they are and only begin easing when he and other officials observe clear and persistent signs of weakness. The U.S. economy is not at that point yet. It doesn’t help that Trump continues to pound the table for lower rates, in what has become a now-commonplace break from recent presidential history, while simultaneously trumpeting the “tremendous potential our Country has for GROWTH.”If I had to guess, the dot plot will turn flat, with the current 2.375% median fed funds rate extending through at least 2021. That’s the definition of patience. Then, Powell will reiterate in his press conference that the Fed stands ready to act as appropriate. In doing so, he preserves the option to lower interest rates as soon as July or September, without making any sort of explicit commitment. If that’s seen as insufficiently dovish, as some rates strategists suggest, then tough.Powell, at the helm of the world’s most influential central bank, can afford to be more deliberate than traders looking to get ahead of the next big move. At the same time, the cacophony of calls for rate cuts is tough to shut out. Should he capitulate entirely, he will be permanently viewed as a Fed chair who was broken by bond traders. To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Trump Rattles Emerging Markets With Threat of China Tariffs
    Bloomberg3 days ago

    Trump Rattles Emerging Markets With Threat of China Tariffs

    (Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market currencies halted a three-week advance last week on heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf and doubts about a trade deal after President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on China again. Stocks moved in the opposite direction, extending gains for a third week amid bets of easing monetary policy in both developed and emerging economies in response to lower-than-expected growth.Read here, our emerging-market week ahead story.Listen to the emerging-market weekly podcast, here.The following is a roundup of emerging-markets news and highlights for the week ending June 16.Highlights:President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese goods again if President Xi Jinping doesn’t meet with him at the Group-of-20 summit in Japan at the end of JuneLater in the week, Trump said he’s personally holding up a trade deal with China and that he won’t complete the agreement unless Beijing returns to terms negotiated earlier in the yearHis economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Trump is still waiting for a response from Xi about meeting to restart trade talksOn Friday, Trump said “it doesn’t matter” if Xi agrees to meet with him later this month to restart negotiations because the U.S. is collecting billions of dollars in tariffs on goods from the countryThe U.S. blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the entrance to the Persian Gulf as fears rise that high-stakes diplomatic efforts won’t avert a military confrontation between the U.S. and IranAmerican officials released images they said show that Iran was involved in the attack Trump slammed the Federal Reserve for high interest rates in a tweet, complaining the euro and other currencies were “devalued” against the dollarU.S. stores and factories reported a pickup in activity last month, suggesting the economy is humming along without an urgent need for the Fed to cut interest rates, spurring a rally in the dollarChina’s chief trade negotiator said that the “external pressures” the nation is facing now can help it open up the economy to the outside worldIndustrial output growth slowed to the weakest pace since 2002, highlighting the headwinds that the economy is facingImports tumbled in May and a surprise rise in exports wasn’t enough to dispel concerns that the economic dispute with the U.S. will intensify and damage the global economyInflationary pressures in the economy continued rising in May as supply shocks pushed up food costs. The consumer price index rose 2.7% last month from a year ago, while factory prices gained 0.6%Trump upped his criticism of Germany on Wednesday as he threatened sanctions over Angela Merkel’s continued support for a gas pipeline from RussiaRussia’s central bank shifted solidly to monetary easing, saying its first interest rate cut in more than a year on Friday could be followed by two more in 2019, as inflation slows and growth sputtersA meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump could be organized on the eve of the G-20 summitTurkey needs to work on a “new and fair” approach to managing the exchange rate that better suits the country’s economy and its people, according to a key ally of President Recep Tayyip ErdoganBank Indonesia will likely join other central banks in easing monetary policy to counter a global economic slowdown, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati saidAsia:China extended its gold-buying spree, adding to reserves for a sixth straight month. Foreign-currency holdings resumed rising in May, countering outflow concerns amid a stronger dollarThe country will ease restrictions on how local governments can spend money raised through sales of so-called special bondsSouth Korea said its economic growth faces prolonged downside risks as uncertainty surrounding external conditions grow more than expectedThe Bank of Korea will closely monitor external uncertainties including China-U.S. trade tensions and the semiconductor cycle, responding “appropriately” to economic changes, Governor Lee Ju-yeol saidCentral government debt increased 5.5 trillion won ($4.6 billion) to 675.8 trillion won in April from March, the finance ministry saidThe stock exchange is reviewing high-frequency trades made by Citadel Securities via Bank of America Corp. on the nation’s tech-heavy Kosdaq market, months after local investors filed petitions against such transactionsIndonesia’s inflation accelerated in May to the fastest pace since April last year, with the core inflation rate climbing to its highest level in almost two yearsIndia’s inflation remained below the central bank’s target for the 10th straight month. Consumer prices rose 3.05% in May from a year earlierChina has taken initial steps to address issues related to trade imbalance with India and will take further measures to encourage imports from the country, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale saidThe Philippines Bureau of the Treasury is likely to offer less than 300 billion pesos ($5.8 billion) worth of debt in the third quarter on slower-than-planned spending in the first half, Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said Exports unexpectedly increased in April from a year earlier and the Southeast Asian country posted a smaller-than-expected trade deficit during the monthCurrent account deficit widened to $1.2 billion in the first quarter of the year from about $300 million a year ago as the trade gap swelledMalaysia’s foreign reserves fell to $102.3 billion as of May 31 from $102.8 billion as of May 15Foreign ownership of Malaysian government and corporate bonds and bills fell 2.3% on the month to 175.9 billion ringgit ($42 billion) in May, the lowest since December 2011Taiwan’s exports decreased 4.8% in May from the year earlier versus the estimate of a 3.5% declineEMEA:Turkey left interest rates unchanged for the ninth month as the central bank moves closer to resuming cuts amid a slowdown in price-growth President Erdogan accused the U.S. of arming Kurdish militants in Syria as part of an effort to topple his government, elevating tensions already strained over a Turkish missile deal with RussiaOfficial comments appeared to confirm the purchase of the missile-defense system Current-account gap in April narrowed to almost a quarter of the deficit a year earlier, as a decline in the lira and weak consumer demand curbed importsMoody’s Investors Service lowered the nation’s long-term issuer rating to B1 from Ba3, on par with Jordan, Greece, and UzbekistanSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa has until June 21 to answer anti-graft ombudsman questions after being implicated in a probe into a donation his campaign received from a company linked to a bribes scandalPlatinum producers are preparing for significant wage demands as workers eye windfall earnings from a rally in metal pricesBusinesses expect trade conditions over the next six months to improve from last month’s record low, while remaining negativeBusiness confidence stayed locked at the lowest level in two years in the second quarter as a slump in economic output raises the risk of a second recession in successive yearsUkraine sold its first international, benchmark-sized bond offering since October, joining a handful of eastern European nations looking to benefit from falling borrowing costsThe country is considering entering a new program with the IMF at the end of 2019Lithuania and Croatia are both offering euro bonds, marking the beginning of a run of sovereign deals from central and eastern EuropeRussia ordered the release of an investigative journalist whose arrest on drug charges triggered a wave of protests about pressure on the media, in a rare Kremlin reversal in the face of mounting public opposition While Russia is researching a digital currency overseen by the central bank, it’s wary the technology involved is still too raw, Governor Elvira Nabiullina saidEgypt’s inflation accelerated even before expected fuel subsidy cuts go into effect, raising the likelihood that the central bank will take more time before reducing interest rates again Nigeria’s central bank said it made no change to its naira policies, after a revision on its website led some analysts to speculate that it was ending a system of multiple exchange ratesNamibia held its benchmark interest rate at the lowest since August 2017 as the Monetary Policy Committee sees the economy remaining weak this yearGhanaian consumer-price growth decelerated for the first time in four months in May Tanzania’s central bank cut the minimum capital requirement for lenders to 7% from 8% as it seeks to increase credit extended to the private sector and boost economic activityA missile fired by Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels hit a Saudi airport on Wednesday, wounding 26 people and ratcheting up regional tensions just as international efforts to avert escalation get underwaySaudi Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman said the targeting of Abha Airport by Houthi militia is “a continuation of their immoral and criminal behavior that is in line with the malign behavior of their patrons” Now that Saudi Aramco has revealed itself as the world’s most profitable company, it’s preparing to host its first earnings call in August to discuss half-yearly results Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that his country would not return to the negotiating table as it has no confidence the U.S. would stand by its commitmentsLatin America:Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri chose Senator Miguel Angel Pichetto, an opposition leader, as his running mate in October’s vote, potentially broadening his appeal and boosting his chances of re-electionInflation cooled in May for a second straight month amid a stable currency and new price control measures by the governmentCentral Bank president Guido Sandleris said tight monetary policy is needed due to the Presidential election uncertainty and trade warBrazil’s rapporteur of the pension reform presented changes to the original bill proposed by Jair Bolsonaro’s government that would end up producing savings of 913.4 billion reais ($237 billion) over 10 yearsSavings could reach 1.1 trillion reais in the same period if it includes a provision to allow resources from a fund managed by the government known as FAT to finance payment of pensionsEconomy Minister Paulo Guedes criticized lawmakers’ changes to his pension overhaul proposal, accusing them of giving in to public servants’ pressureBolsonaro fired his government secretary, a moderate general who repeatedly clashed with the president’s most radical supporters, including one of his sonsJustice Minister Sergio Moro is facing growing calls to step down after the publication of messages he allegedly exchanged with prosecutors of the so-called Carwash task forceA key gauge of Brazil’s economic activity fell for the fourth straight month in April reflecting growing headwinds including slower global growth and uncertainty over domestic reformsRetail sales fell more than expected in April as the central bank faces pressure to cut borrowing costs to buttress increasingly weak demandBolsonaro said in tweet that Brazil may cut tech equipment import tax from current 16% to 4%Mexico shouldn’t start cutting interest rates while threats by Trump to slap tariffs on the nation’s goods persist, deputy central bank governor Jonathan Heath saidTrump said that if Mexico doesn’t cut migration to the U.S. under a deal the two countries reached earlier this month, they’ll enter “phase two,” which he described as “a much tougher phase”Mexico has started deploying National Guard troops at its border with Guatemala as it increases the staff in the area to handle migrants’ requests, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard saidPeru took advantage of near-record low borrowing costs to sell its first U.S. dollar bonds since 2015The central bank held borrowing costs unchanged at their lowest level in over eight years as global trade tensions curb copper exports and the country’s growth outlook deterioratesGovernment intends to start a tender offer to buy back 2023 PEN local notes known as soberanos, and Euro notes due 2026 and 2030, according to SEC filingPresident Martin Vizcarra’s popular support surged after he won a confidence vote in Congress over measures designed to stamp out political corruptionColombia’s 2018 tax reform will boost economic growth by more than one full percentage point, and return the country to the growth rates it hasn’t seen since the oil and mining boom ended five years ago, according to Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla\--With assistance from Colleen Goko, Selcuk Gokoluk and Philip Sanders.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at yteso1@bloomberg.net;Netty Ismail in Dubai at nismail3@bloomberg.net;Aline Oyamada in Sao Paulo at aoyamada3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tomoko Yamazaki at tyamazaki@bloomberg.net, Karl Lester M. YapFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus6 days ago

    Bank of England says new lenders could be ill-prepared for downturns

    Many of Britain's fast-growing fledgeling banks have little experience of downturns and could underestimate potential loan losses if markets turned sour, a Bank of England review of 20 lenders showed. Britain has encouraged many new lenders to compete in a market dominated by HSBC, Barclays, RBS and Lloyds, known as the Big Four. Over the past year the central bank has been reviewing the business models and activities of 20 "fast-growing" smaller lenders that have balance sheets of at least 750 million pounds ($945.5 million).

  • Reuters - UK Focus7 days ago

    UPDATE 2-UK digital bank Monzo takes first steps into U.S. market

    NEW YORK/LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - Fast-growing British digital bank Monzo is launching in the United States through a limited rollout of its app-based checking account and connected debit card, it said on Thursday. Monzo will make available a few thousand cards at in-person sign-up events over the next weeks in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, as it seeks to replicate the word-of-mouth support that boosted its UK launch, it said. It hopes to attract an engaged early-user base which will provide feedback to help tailor the company's offering to the U.S. market, Chief Executive Tom Blomfield said in an interview.

  • Will Woodford Debacle Decide Carney's Replacement?
    Bloomberg8 days ago

    Will Woodford Debacle Decide Carney's Replacement?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The race to succeed Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England has already taken one twist, with Theresa May’s resignation making it likely that the current Chancellor of the Exchequer won’t be in office to make the appointment. The downfall of fund manager Neil Woodford has cast a shadow over the leading candidate’s chances of landing the prestigious job.Andrew Bailey has been the head of the Financial Conduct Authority for almost three years. The regulator’s role in the chain of events that led to Woodford freezing redemptions from his flagship fund last week is being questioned by Nicky Morgan, the U.K. lawmaker who chairs Parliament’s Treasury Committee.With about 3.8 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) of cash now trapped in Woodford’s fund, Morgan has written to Bailey asking him to detail by June 18 how much “supervisory contact” the FCA had with the investment firm. Bailey’s answers may determine whether or not he becomes head of the U.K. central bank.According to a survey of economists, he had been the front-runner, ahead of rivals such as former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan, and BOE Deputy Governors Jon Cunliffe, Ben Broadbent and Dave Ramsden.(1)But the embarrassment of having one of the U.K.’s most storied stock pickers drop the gate on a big equity fund on his watch won’t help Bailey’s chances.My colleagues at Bloomberg News have reported that Woodford Investment Management makes about 65,000 pounds a day in fees from the shuttered fund. On Tuesday, Bailey told the BBC the fund manager “should consider his position” on those payments. A spokesman for Woodford later rejected that call, saying “the company will continue to charge the fee as the fund remains actively managed.”That’s not a good look when investors are still paying for the privilege of having their money trapped in a fund that’s frozen indefinitely. It’s even worse when the regulator tries to ease their pain, only to be rebuffed by the very people it oversees.Woodford isn’t the only implosion occupying Bailey’s in-tray. The FCA is investigating how Metro Bank Plc misclassified assets on its balance sheet, a revelation that drove shares in the so-called challenger bank to a record low in February and prompted it to tap investors for additional money.The pressure is on the FCA to show it can act tough when justified. That certainly wasn’t the case a year ago, when a 12-month probe into Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley’s attempts to unmask a whistle-blower led to the executive being fined rather than dismissed – an outcome that seemed at odds with the FCA’s insistence that protecting informants is paramount to prevent misconduct in the industry.And the FCA has yet to explain how vigilant it was – or wasn’t – over the alleged misdoings of Tim Haywood, a fund manager at GAM Holding AG, which were reported to it by a company whistle-blower. GAM was also forced to halt redemptions  in his fund, and has taken a year to offload its illiquid holdings to repay investors.In the Woodford case, Morgan has asked Bailey to clarify how long investors are likely to have to wait to get their money back. That may be impossible for the FCA chief to say. What he will need to specify, however, is why the watchdog didn’t act as soon as Woodford started listing some of the fund’s privately held investments on the Guernsey International Stock Exchange to sidestep a limit on how much of the pool could be allocated to illiquid assets.“Simply listing an unquoted company overseas doesn’t in itself make the stock more liquid,” Bailey wrote in an article published by the Financial Times earlier this week under the heading The “Woodford episode raises issues for financial regulators.”That’s absolutely correct. So where was the FCA when Woodford started rearranging the deckchairs of his illiquid assets?It’s impossible for any regulator to prevent blow-ups from happening on their patch. After all, that’s why they exist in the first place. But the Woodford debacle has been brewing for such a long time that Bailey will need to show that his agency wasn’t asleep at the wheel – otherwise whichever politician ends up responsible for picking Carney’s replacement is likely to choose anyone but Bailey.(1) Since that poll was taken, Ofcom chief Sharon White was named chairman of retailer John Lewis Partnership Plc at a salary of 990,000 pounds, more than twice the stipend available at the central bank.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at magilbert@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis 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.

  • Barrons.com9 days ago

    Inside BlackRock’s ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Deal With Barclays, 10 Years Later

    The U.S. asset manager’s landmark acquisition of Barclays Global Investors looks like a masterstroke by CEO Larry Fink.

  • The Barclays share price is dirt cheap. Here’s what I’d do now
    Fool.co.uk13 days ago

    The Barclays share price is dirt cheap. Here’s what I’d do now

    Harvey Jones cannot believe just how cheap Barclays plc (LON: BARC) has become, but these things don't happen without a reason.

  • Reuters - UK Focus13 days ago

    UPDATE 2-UK watchdog shakes up 'dysfunctional' bank overdraft market

    Britain's banks and building societies will have to charge the same amount for all overdrafts from April 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday, in a radical change that will raise questions about the future of free in-credit banking. It said the changes would make overdrafts simpler, fairer and easier to manage, protecting the millions of consumers, and particularly the more vulnerable ones, who use overdrafts. "The overdraft market is dysfunctional, causing significant consumer harm," FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey said in a statement.

  • Reuters - UK Focus14 days ago

    LIVE MARKETS-Will Italy repay its 10-year bonds at par and in euros?

    * European shares flat * ECB pushes back rate hike as outlook darkens * ECB reveals TLTRO details but banks slide * Renault tumbles after Fiat Chrysler withdraws merger offer * German property stocks fall on report of Berlin rent cap * Wall Street ekes out gains at open on rate cut hopes June 6 - Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni.

  • Reuters - UK Focus14 days ago

    LIVE MARKETS-Fiat/Renault: What's under the hood?

    * European shares rise after sluggish open, up 0.7% * All eyes on ECB meeting, measures for banks * Renault tumbles after Fiat Chrysler withdraws merger offer * German property stocks fall on report of Berlin rent cap June 6 - Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Renault shares are tanking, but rest of the sector is pretty stable.

  • Bloomberg14 days ago

    Banks Fined $91 Million Over FX as Essex Express Rides Again

    Barclays was fined 27 million francs, Citigroup 28.5 million francs and JPMorgan Chase & Co. was hit with a 9.5 million-franc penalty, Switzerland’s Competition Commission said Thursday. UBS Group AG avoided a fine because it helped reveal the existence of the cartel.

  • Reuters - UK Focus14 days ago

    LIVE MARKETS-UK stocks discounting a harder Brexit

    * European shares rise after sluggish open, up 0.6% * All eyes on ECB meeting, measures for banks * Renault tumbles after Fiat Chrysler withdraws merger offer * German property stocks fall on report of Berlin rent cap June 6 - Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Danilo Masoni. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: danilo.masoni.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net UK STOCKS DISCOUNTING A HARDER BREXIT (0936 GMT) Uncertainty over Britain's next Prime Minister has resulted in a sluggishness descending over UK markets, with sterling hardly budging as traders are reluctant to place bets on a crowded field of candidates.

  • Barclays and RBS fined by Switzerland for currency rigging
    Sky News14 days ago

    Barclays and RBS fined by Switzerland for currency rigging

    Authorities in Switzerland have fined five banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Barclays, for fixing foreign exchange trading through cartels dubbed "Three Way Banana Split" and "Essex Express". Its statement said: "Traders of Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, RBS and UBS (listed in alphabetical order) participated in the 'Three way banana split' cartel from 2007 to 2013.

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