GS - The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
+7.47 (+3.44%)
At close: 4:00PM EST

224.00 -0.61 (-0.27%)
Pre-market: 9:14AM EST

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Previous close217.14
Bid224.03 x 1000
Ask224.20 x 1100
Day's range218.82 - 225.40
52-week range151.70 - 225.40
Avg. volume2,365,482
Market cap79.531B
Beta (3Y monthly)1.37
PE ratio (TTM)10.04
Earnings dateN/A
Forward dividend & yield5.00 (2.30%)
Ex-dividend date2019-11-29
1y target estN/A
  • Oil Slips as Trade Deal Impact Counters Surprise Saudi Cut

    Oil Slips as Trade Deal Impact Counters Surprise Saudi Cut

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil fell from the highest close in almost 12 weeks as the effects of the U.S.-China trade war countered Saudi Arabia’s surprise move to take additional crude barrels out of the market.Futures in New York slipped 1.1% after climbing 1.3% on Friday. The kingdom voluntarily pledged to pump 400,000 barrels a day less than mandated by OPEC and its allies, translating to total overall curbs for the group of 2.1 million barrels a day. However, there was some gloom on the demand side with data showing Chinese exports fell unexpectedly in November. Hedge funds had slashed bullish wagers on West Texas Intermediate leading up to last week’s OPEC meeting .“Last week ended on a high with the bullish outcome of the OPEC meeting, so it may just be a correction lower from a strong starting point,” said Jens Naervig Pedersen, a senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, referring to Monday’s oil price. It also “looks like the market is a bit anxious with no U.S.-China trade deal in place yet.”Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its 2020 Brent forecast following the OPEC+ deal, saying the group was aiming to tackle the market’s short-term imbalances. Still, the prolonged U.S.-China trade war continues to hang over the market as traders await news on whether Washington will go ahead with a planned hike on Chinese imports later this month.See also: Saudi Prince’s First OPEC Outing Brings Last-Minute Oil SurpriseWest Texas Intermediate for January delivery fell 57 cents to $58.63 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:31 a.m. local time. The contract closed at $59.20 on Friday, the highest since Sept. 17.Brent for February settlement dropped 54 cents, or 0.8%, to $63.85 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange. The contract rose 1.6% on Friday and ended the week 3.1% higher. The global benchmark crude traded at a $5.32 premium to WTI for the same month.Grueling TalksSaudi Arabian Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman promised to take the kingdom’s production down to levels not seen on a sustained basis since 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show. After two days of grueling talks in Vienna that focused on adjusting OPEC+ quotas, Russia, Iraq, Kuwait and U.A.E. were among the nations that took the largest cuts other than the Saudis.Chinese exports to the U.S. fell 23% last month from a year earlier, the most since February. When Beijing and Washington agreed to work on a “phase-one deal” in October there was hope that it would lead to a quick resolution of at least some issues. Since then, however, negotiations have stretched out and a fresh set of U.S. tariffs is set to start on Dec. 15.“The soft Chinese numbers have outweighed the OPEC+ cuts, once again reinforcing the heavy focus on demand at present,” said Howie Lee, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. “With just a week left before a fresh set of U.S. tariffs kick in, there’s also a bit of apprehension in the market.”\--With assistance from James Thornhill.To contact the reporters on this story: Sharon Cho in Singapore at;Rakteem Katakey in London at rkatakey@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at, Rakteem Katakey, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 2-U.S. agencies looking into Goldman-1MDB settlement below $2 bln - Bloomberg

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc could end up paying less than $2 billion to resolve criminal and regulatory probes over its role in raising money for scandal-ridden Malaysian investment fund 1MDB, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing three people familiar with the negotiations. The Justice Department and other federal agencies have weighed seeking penalties between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, which is less than what some analysts have signaled Goldman might have to pay, Bloomberg reported. Malaysia has charged Goldman and 17 current and former directors of its units for allegedly misleading investors over bond sales totaling $6.5 billion that the U.S. bank helped raise for sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

  • U.S. agencies looking into Goldman-1MDB settlement below $2 billion: Bloomberg

    U.S. agencies looking into Goldman-1MDB settlement below $2 billion: Bloomberg

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc could end up paying less than $2 billion to resolve criminal and regulatory probes over its role in raising money for scandal-ridden Malaysian investment fund 1MDB, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing three people familiar with the negotiations. The Justice Department and other federal agencies have weighed seeking penalties between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, which is less than what some analysts have signaled Goldman might have to pay, Bloomberg reported. Malaysia has charged Goldman and 17 current and former directors of its units for allegedly misleading investors over bond sales totaling $6.5 billion that the U.S. bank helped raise for sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

  • Goldman Sees Alibaba Jumping 31% in Hong Kong in Next Year

    Goldman Sees Alibaba Jumping 31% in Hong Kong in Next Year

    (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was among the many Wall Street banks that missed out on underwriting Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Hong Kong share sale. Now, its analysts are showering China’s largest company with compliments.Goldman stock analysts just initiated coverage of the shares with a buy rating, predicting they can rally another 31% in the city over the next year. Reasons include its “experienced senior” management team and reach in China’s digital economy.Alibaba can capture nearly a third of China’s retail payments this year, analysts led by Piyush Mubayi wrote in the report. It also has the potential to surpass core growth, Goldman added.Shares of the Chinese technology firm rose 2.7% to HK$197.50 on Friday, extending the advance since their Nov. 26 debut to 12%. The company raised about HK$88 billion ($11.2 billion) in its share sale, the biggest equity offering in the financial hub since 2010.Alibaba may see about $5 billion of mainland inflows over the next three years if it’s included in the trading links with Shanghai and Shenzhen, the bank added.Some investors have cautioned against unrealistic expectations on the stock, saying certain restrictions may curtail trading in the Hong Kong shares.Still, Goldman says that around 8% to 10% of Alibaba’s stock should eventually trade in Hong Kong as U.S. investors should be able to convert their American shares into Hong Kong ones and vice versa. The stock could have a free-float market capitalization in the city of about $48 billion.Analysts at Jefferies Group LLC initiated the stock with a buy rating.(Updates prices in fourth paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Livia Yap in Shanghai at lyap14@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at, Philip Glamann, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Saudi Aramco Raises $25.6 Billion in World’s Biggest IPO

    Saudi Aramco Raises $25.6 Billion in World’s Biggest IPO

    (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Aramco raised $25.6 billion from the world’s biggest initial public offering, closing a deal that became synonymous with the kingdom’s controversial crown prince and his plans to reshape the nation.The state-owned oil giant set the final price of its shares at 32 riyals ($8.53), valuing the world’s most profitable company at $1.7 trillion. It received total bids of $119 billion.For Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, pulling off the sale could help get his ambitious plan to overhaul the economy back on track. It’s been derailed by problems at home, including the backlash against his purge of the elite, and abroad by the outrage over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.But the deal ended up being very different from what the prince had envisaged when he first floated the idea in 2016 with an ambition to raise as much as $100 billion. Aramco offered just 1.5% of its shares and opted for a local listing after global investors balked at its hopes of valuing the company at $2 trillion.Instead, Aramco relied heavily on local investors and funds from neighboring Gulf Arab monarchies. In the offering for individuals, almost 5 million people applied for shares. The institutional tranche closed on Wednesday and attracted bids totaling 397 billion riyals.The kingdom’s richest families, some of whom had members detained in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel during a so-called corruption crackdown in 2017, are expected to have made significant contributions. Global banks working on the deal were sidelined after Saudi Arabia decided to focus on selling the shares to local and regional investors.Still, Aramco will become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company once it starts trading, overtaking Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. The pricing was at the top of the marketed range of 30 to 32 riyals. The mean valuation estimate from institutional investors surveyed by Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. was for $1.26 trillion, it said in a note Thursday.The deal opens up one of the world’s most secretive companies, whose profits helped bankroll the kingdom and its ruling family for decades, to investors and Saudi individuals. Until this year, Aramco had never published financial statements or borrowed in international debt markets.It will also mean the company now has shareholders other than the Saudi government for the first time since it was nationalized in the late 1970s.Saudi Arabia had been pulling out all the stops to ensure the IPO is a success. It cut the tax rate for Aramco three times, promised the world’s largest dividend and offered bonus shares for retail investors who keep hold of the stock.Goldman Sachs Group Inc., acting as share stabilizing manager, has the right to exercise a so-called greenshoe option of 450 million shares. The purchase option can be executed in whole or in part at any time on or before 30 calendar days after the trading debut. It could raise the IPO proceeds to $29.4 billion.Funds from the sale will be transferred to the Public Investment Fund, which has been making a number of bold investments, plowing $45 billion into SoftBank Corp.’s Vision Fund, taking a $3.5 billion stake in Uber Technologies Inc. and planning a $500 billion futuristic city.The sale is the first major disposal of state assets since Prince Mohammed launched a much-touted plan to reduce the economy’s addiction to oil revenue in 2016.The last major government privatization, the 2014 IPO of National Commercial Bank, received $83 billion in subscriptions from investors.(Updates with pricing range in seventh paragraph)\--With assistance from Nour Al Ali, Claudia Maedler, Bruce Stanley and Archana Narayanan.To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Martin in Dubai at mmartin128@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stefania Bianchi at, Alaa Shahine, Shaji MathewFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    ‘Fake Ebitda’ to Worsen Next Slump, $33 Billion Debt Maven Warns

    (Bloomberg) -- Alan Waxman was just 31 when he made partner on a Goldman Sachs team that bet the firm’s own cash for wild profits. He later co-founded TPG Sixth Street Partners and helped build it into a $33 billion force in credit markets.Now he’s raising alarms about those same markets.In a private conference earlier this week, Waxman, 45, warned investors there’s an epidemic of fake earnings projections that will be exposed in the next economic slump and may even exacerbate it. Too many companies are addicted to making creative accounting adjustments that bump up operating profits known as Ebitda -- and investors are turning a blind eye, he said, according to a person with knowledge of his comments.“It’s not normal, as a lender, to lend money against fake Ebitda and fake collateral,” he said in the presentation.In theory, lenders focus on Ebitda -- an acronym for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- to get a clear sense of a company’s financial health before it pays down its debts. Yet suspicions have mounted in recent years that some executives are padding their projections for Ebitda. In 2017, one Moody’s analyst coined a new definition for Ebitda: Eventually busted, interesting theory, deeply aspirational.Much of the consternation focuses on adjustments known as “add-backs,” in which companies exclude certain expenses from future earnings. A traditional add-back, for example, could account for the expected savings from a cost-cutting program. But some companies have resorted to creative or aggressive items with descriptions that can be difficult to understand. Last year, a Federal Reserve official called out the use of add-backs as an area of mounting concern.Inflating Ebitda distorts the loan-to-value ratio that guides the $2.9 trillion market for junk bonds and loans in the U.S. and Europe, he said. Part of the problem, Waxman said in his presentation, is that investors have tolerated so much deviant behavior that it has become normalized.Some companies and their private-equity owners are goosing projections and presenting assumptions about returns that are more aggressive than their own internal models, he said. One alarming stat he points to: More than half the companies that were part of a leveraged buyout in 2016 missed their earnings projections by more than 25% last year. And that’s in a growing economy.The result is that in many cases creditors actually have a smaller cushion between the last dollar of risk they take and the real value of the company to which they lend, he said. There’s also a risk investors are committing capital based on an available pool of collateral that could disappear because of the lack of restrictive covenants that have historically protected lenders -- “fake collateral”, as Waxman put it.“The sacred lending principle of loan-to-value integrity is the single most important thing in credit investing,” he said. “When it is severely compromised, as it is now, credit stops being credit. It’s just cheap capital.”Waxman helped start his firm in 2009, a year after leaving Goldman Sachs Group Inc., with $2 billion from buyout fund TPG and much of his old team from Goldman. At the time, it was called TPG Opportunities Partners. Now often referred to as TSSP, the firm has returned 20% annualized, before fees, over the last decade.One prominent example of a company whose figures have confounded investors in recent times was office-sharing firm WeWork, which became known for its reliance on an unconventional accounting metric known as “community-adjusted Ebitda.” The company said it captured the profitability of WeWork locations, excluding general and administrative expenses. But the benchmark was questioned by analysts after it first came up in financial documents tied to a 2018 bond sale. It surfaced again in early drafts of the company’s S-1 filing for a public stock debut, only to be omitted from the final version.“The party will go on in the leverage finance markets until we have a catalyst,” Waxman told investors.The catalyst will most likely come from the BBB-rated credit market, where 43% of debt is levered over 4 times, according to Waxman. About 70% of that universe is at risk of losing its investment grade status, he said. Once that happens, the quantity of debt will overwhelm the high-yield market and create substantial dislocations, he said.A $1 Trillion Powder Keg Threatens the Corporate Bond Market\--With assistance from Davide Scigliuzzo.To contact the reporters on this story: Sridhar Natarajan in New York at;Katia Porzecanski in New York at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at, ;Sam Mamudi at, David Scheer, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Fear of an Inverted Yield Curve Is Still Alive for 2020

    Fear of an Inverted Yield Curve Is Still Alive for 2020

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- About a year ago to the day, the U.S. yield curve inverted for the first time during this business cycle. Sure, it wasn’t the part that has historically predicted future recessions, but it foreshadowed the more consequential inversion —  the part of the curve from three months to 10 years — which happened in March and lasted for much of the rest of the year through mid-October.This wasn’t much of a shock to Wall Street. Even in December 2017, many strategists saw an inverted yield curve as largely inevitable, with short- and longer-dated maturities meeting somewhere between 2% and 2.5%. That’s just what happened. It was enough to spur the Federal Reserve into action. The central bank proceeded to slash its benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points in just three months. Now the curve looks positively normal again.“Inverted Yield Curve’s Recession Flag Already Looks So Last Year,” a recent Bloomberg News article declared. Indeed, the prospect of the curve steepening in 2020 is drawing money from BlackRock Inc. and Aviva Investors, among others, Liz Capo McCormick and John Ainger reported. Praveen Korapaty, chief global rates strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., told them the spread between two- and 10-year yields will be wider in most sovereign debt markets. PGIM Fixed Income’s chief economist Nathan Sheets said “the global economy has skirted the recession threat.”Yet beneath that bravado, the fear of another bout of yield-curve inversion remains alive and well on Wall Street.John Briggs at NatWest Markets, for instance, predicts the curve from three months to 10 years (or two to 10 years) will invert again, possibly for a couple of months, because the Fed will resist cutting rates again after its 2019 “mid-cycle adjustment.” “I see the economy slowing to below trend growth, the market seeing it and recognizing the Fed needs to do more, especially with inflation low, but the Fed will be slow to respond,” he said in an email. Then there’s Societe Generale, which is calling for the U.S. economy to fall into a recession and for 10-year Treasury yields to end 2020 at 1.2%, which would be a record low. Even though the curve doesn’t invert in the bank’s quarter-end forecasts, it’s quite possible during a bond rally, according to Subadra Rajappa, SocGen’s head of U.S. rates strategy.“Over time, if the data weakens, the curve will likely bull flatten and possibly invert akin to what we saw in August,” she said. “If the data continue to deteriorate and the economy goes into a recession as per our expectations, then we expect the Fed to act swiftly to provide accommodation.”To be clear, another yield-curve inversion is by no means the consensus. The prevailing expectation is that the economy is in “a good place” (to borrow Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s line) and that Treasury yields will probably drift higher, particularly if the U.S. and China reach any kind of trade agreement. In that scenario, central bankers will be just fine leaving monetary policy where it is.Bank of America Corp.’s Mark Cabana summed up the bond market’s base case at the bank’s year-ahead conference in Manhattan: There will probably be no breakout higher in U.S. economic growth (capping long-term yields) but also no need for the Fed to cut aggressively (propping up short-term yields). That should leave the curve range-bound in 2020.That range, though, is not all that far from zero. Ten-year Treasury yields are now 20 basis points higher than those on two-year notes, and 22 basis points more than three-month bills. At the end of 2018, those spreads were nearly the same — 19 basis points and 31 basis points, respectively. That is to say, it’s not much of a stretch to envision the curve flattening in a hurry if anxious bond traders clash with a patient Fed.For now, traders seem to be pinning their hopes on resilient American consumers powering the global economy, using evidence of strong holiday shopping numbers to back their thesis. My colleague Karl Smith isn’t so sure that’s the best strategy, given that the spending is actually weakening relative to 2018, plus it usually serves as a lagging indicator anyway. Markets are also on alert for any cracks in the U.S. labor market, which has been the bastion of this record-long recovery. November’s jobs numbers will be released Friday.As for the Fed, its interest-rate moves are a clunky way to fine-tune the world’s largest economy. But that’s not the case for addressing angst around the U.S. yield curve. If the central bank doesn’t like its shape, it has the policy tools to directly and immediately bend it back.It comes down to which scenario Fed officials consider a bigger risk in 2020: Allowing the Treasury curve to remain flat or inverted, or moving too quickly toward the lower bound of interest rates? Judging by dissents around the more recent decisions, this is very much an open question.To get another inversion, “you’d need a Fed that wants to hold policy constant through a period of economic weakness: front end remains anchored near current levels due to policy expectations, long end drops due to diminishing growth/inflation forecasts,” said Jon Hill at BMO Capital Markets. “Not impossible by any means.” An inversion would probably come in the first or second quarter of 2020, fellow BMO interest-rate strategist Ian Lyngen said, though that’s not his base case.That sounds about right. Fed officials seem satisfied with dropping rates by the same amount as their predecessors did during other mid-cycle adjustments. Now they want to wait and see how lower interest rates trickle into the economy, perhaps making them more entrenched over the next several months. It’s hard to say for sure, though, given that Treasury yields have behaved since the central bank’s last meeting. The market simply hasn’t tested the Fed’s resolve.Relative calm like that rarely lasts, particularly when one tweet on trade sends investors into a tizzy. The path forward is almost never as linear as year-ahead forecasts make it appear.The same is true for the yield curve. We might very well be past “peak inversion,” but ruling out another push below zero could be a premature wager.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©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Japan Leans on Fiscal Stimulus to Keep Recession at Bay

    Japan Leans on Fiscal Stimulus to Keep Recession at Bay

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced stimulus measures to support growth in an economy contending with an export slump, natural disasters and the fallout from a recent sales tax increase.The total stimulus package amounts to around 26 trillion yen ($239 billion) spread over the coming years, with fiscal measures around half that figure, according to a government document released after a cabinet meeting Thursday evening. The stimulus will boost growth in the economy by about 1.4 percentage point, the document said.“We shouldn’t miss this chance, this is exactly when we should accelerate Abenomics and overcome our challenges,” Abe said, shortly before the cabinet meeting approving the measures. End of Line for BOJ Leaves Kuroda Talking Up Fiscal FirepowerThe extra spending comes amid a rising awareness around the world that more government help is needed to keep economies growing in the face of a global slowdown that is exposing the limits of relying on central banks to do the heavy lifting of economic management.“In any country, the positive impact of extra monetary stimulus is limited, which is especially true in Japan and Europe where rates have turned negative. You have no effective choice but to execute fiscal measures to support growth,” said Harumi Taguchi, Tokyo-based principal economist at IHS Markit.Earlier in the day, Abe described the stimulus as a three-pillared package designed to aid disaster relief, protect against downside economic risks and prepare the country for longer-term growth after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.He said the stimulus would be funded by a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending in March, and special measures in the following year. The package outlines 4.3 trillion yen in funding for the measures in an extra budget this fiscal year.While the package was slightly larger than expected, the fresh spending measures of under 10 trillion yen left markets largely unimpressed. The officially released figures at the end of the day all matched the numbers contained in a draft seen by Bloomberg News earlier Thursday.Economists, meanwhile, cast doubt on whether the extra spending really packed the punch claimed in the draft. They said the government could have timed the tax increase better, but also asked if a perfect time for a tax hike exists.Bond Traders Shrug Off Japan’s $239 Billion Bid to Boost EconomyWith the package, Abe looks intent on minimizing the risk of a recession that would tarnish the record of his Abenomics growth program, while shoring up his own political support after recent scandals. To that end, an array of measures with a large price tag that can be paid for with the bare minimum of extra borrowing would fit the bill for a country with the developed world’s largest debt load.The package earmarks spending to improve the country’s resilience to extreme weather, to extend a rebate system for cashless payments and to put a tablet or device on every school child’s desk through the end of junior high school.“The size of the package is pretty big considering the official government assessment of the economy is that it remains on a recovery trend,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo. “We’ve heard a lot about preventive interest rate cuts, but these are preventive fiscal measures.”Extra government spending gives the Bank of Japan welcome breathing space to keep its monetary easing policy on hold as fiscal policy takes the driving seat in propping up growth.Barclays Changes BOJ Call, Expects No Easing Through FY2021Ahead of the announcement of the plan, some economists had already switched their forecasts on the BOJ’s policy stance toward a holding pattern rather than additional action, taking into account the likelihood of the stimulus package and the central bank’s lack of extra ammunition.The BOJ has already piled up assets worth more than the size of Japan’s entire economy in its bid to support growth and inflation. But the mounting side effects of its easing program on the banking sector and a perceived lack of effectiveness of taking yet more action are keeping the bank on hold unless absolutely necessary.Japan’s economy kept growing in the first three quarters of 2019 despite an export slump exacerbated by the U.S.-China trade war, but it is forecast to shrink 2.7% in annualized terms this quarter. The sales tax hike and typhoon damage, combined with weak exports are the factors set to push the economy into reverse.The package aims to get Japan’s economy up and running again to avoid any further deterioration in global demand triggering a recession early next year.Punching PowerStill, economists were skeptical that the measures would boost growth by the 1.4 percentage point set out by the government.Based on rough calculations following the news, Masaki Kuwahara, senior economist at Nomura Securities Co., saw a boost of around 1 percentage point over time from the package. More specifically, he said the economy would get a 0.6 percentage point gain over the next two fiscal years.Takashi Shiono, economist at Credit Suisse Group AG, said the kick from the spending would be up to 0.2 percentage point in the coming year.“That’s probably smaller than the consensus view, but we think the budget for public spending can’t be spent so quickly because of labor shortages and already solid demand for construction companies,” Shiono said.What Bloomberg’s Economist Says“Japan’s fiscal stimulus package appears to be a marginally larger than expected, going by the size of the planned extra budget and actual spending in the draft reported by Bloomberg News. This is clearly positive for growth -- likely helping avert a recession -- but it won’t be sufficient to prevent a significant slowdown in 2020.”\--Yuki Masujima, economistClick here to read more.(Updates with official confirmation of figures, comment from Prime Minister Abe)\--With assistance from Emi Urabe and Emi Nobuhiro.To contact the reporters on this story: Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at;Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at;Takashi Hirokawa in Tokyo at thirokawa@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at, Paul Jackson, Jason ClenfieldFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Mobile-Gaming Billionaires Are Buying Rivals Instead of Selling Out

    (Bloomberg) -- Playrix Holding Ltd., a mobile-game developer that made billionaires of its Russian founders, has bought into about a dozen studios to take on the likes of Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc.Brothers Igor and Dmitry Bukhman said in an interview that by 2025 they want Playrix’s sales to catch up with those of the U.S. gaming giants. Over the past year they’ve spent more than $100 million on acquisitions and are planning to more than quadruple their portfolio of titles from about four that are available now.While the gaming industry is awash in investors from KKR & Co. to Zynga Inc., the Bukhman brothers are determined to go it alone. They told Bloomberg News in April that while Wall Street dealmakers such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had been in touch, they wanted to expand the business themselves.Since then, the brothers haven’t been persuaded of the merits of giving up control over Playrix in favor of a bigger pot of cash to spend. They prefer to leverage their understanding of the industry to act as a consolidator and nurture smaller players.“Many firms are seeking acquisition targets to add to their revenue and show growth to investors,” Igor said. “We don’t have this pressure and are taking a more long-term approach -- we are helping our portfolio companies to grow. We are sharing our experience and playing a role in their growth.”Playrix said 2019 revenue is likely to reach $1.5 billion, as much as 30% more than the previous year’s, from sales of existing games including Gardenscapes. It was the ninth-biggest publisher last year, according to independent gaming data provider App Annie.New TitlesThe Bukhman brothers are betting their new titles, to be released over the next two years, will push sales into the realm of rivals such as Activision, which reported $7.5 billion in revenue for 2018.“Within five years, we are seeking to join the same league as Activision Blizzard or NetEase Inc., but in the European region,” said Igor, without specifying a revenue target.Playrix’s purchases include studios in Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Croatia and Armenia, and the 600 people added boost its headcount by more than 50%. The investments range from 30% holdings to controlling stakes in companies that will continue to operate independently. These include Nexters, based in Cyprus and one of Europe’s 10 top-grossing game developers, and Vizor Games, based in Belarus.The brothers are valued at about $1.4 billion each by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. They landed in the rankings by creating a new variety of match-3 games, which involve completing rows of at least three elements to progress through an animated storyline. The latest acquisitions will allow expansion into gaming genres such as hidden object and simulation.The mobile gaming business is set to exceed $68 billion in revenue this year, according to researcher Newzoo, and have been attracting attention from investors. Playrix will have to compete against these deep-pocketed players if it’s to achieve its goals.Zynga acquired Finnish developer Small Giant Games for $560 million last year, while Israeli Playtika Ltd bought Germany’s Wooga and Austria’s Supertreat. KKR-backed AppLovin invested in Belarusian developer Belka Games and two other firms in September.“Capturing lightning in a bottle twice is the true challenge for a creative firm,” said Joost van Dreunen, managing director of SuperData, Nielsen’s game research arm. “With the popularity of Gardenscapes, Playrix has finally established itself as a force to be reckoned with. However, to build a legacy it will need to repeat this trick.”(Adds analyst comment in last paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at;Alex Sazonov in Moscow at asazonov@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at, Jennifer Ryan, Thomas PfeifferFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Delay in U.S.-China Trade Deal Hits 10-Year Treasury Yield

    Delay in U.S.-China Trade Deal Hits 10-Year Treasury Yield

    President Trump's latest hints at a delay in the U.S.-China trade agreement causes the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury note to hit the lowest in the last four months.

  • Is The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) An Attractive Dividend Stock?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

    Today we'll take a closer look at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) from a dividend investor's perspective...

  • Oil Ekes Out a Gain as OPEC, Allies Gear Up for Key Convocation

    Oil Ekes Out a Gain as OPEC, Allies Gear Up for Key Convocation

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil rose for a second day as investors focused on the upcoming OPEC+ meeting that could lead to deeper supply cuts by some of the world’s biggest crude producers.Futures edged higher in New York on Tuesday to the highest settlement in almost a week. Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are sending conflicting signals about whether tougher supply caps are imminent as the cartel and its allies prepare for key meetings later this week. Iraq’s oil minister reiterated his view that the group should make deeper cuts.Crude also bounced above its 50-day moving average and the U.S. greenback declined, bullish indicators for chart-watching technical traders.“With the OPEC meetings coming up, there are expectations that not only will there be an extension of the existing cuts but also a further production cut,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates LLC in Houston.During preparatory discussions on Tuesday, cartel delegates said deepening or extending supply cuts hadn’t been discussed. Earlier in the day’s trading session, futures fell after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was willing to wait another year to sign a trade deal with China.Iraq’s oil minister Thamir Ghadhban said in Vienna that an additional cut of about 400,000 barrels a day may be needed to offset slowing demand. The American Petroleum Institute reported a 3.72 million-barrel decline in U.S. crude inventories, according to people familiar with the matter, more than double what analysts were predicting.West Texas Intermediate for January delivery were up 42 cents at $56.36 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:40 p.m. local time. The contract settled at $56.10.Read our OPEC+ Reality Check: Deal Extension Likely, Compliance in FocusBrent for February rose 14 cents to $61.06 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe Exchange, after settling at $60.82. The global benchmark crude traded at a $4.78 premium to WTI for the same month.To contact the reporter on this story: Sheela Tobben in New York at vtobben@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at, Mike JeffersFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • California's Fintech Startups Are Invading New York

    California's Fintech Startups Are Invading New York

    (Bloomberg) -- When two Irish brothers started Stripe Inc. together in 2010, there was little question about where they should put their headquarters. It had to be California.Now, though, Stripe is leaving the tech mecca of San Francisco, awash in tech talent and investor cash, and is in the process of moving its main office about 10 miles to neighboring South San Francisco. What’s more, the company—whose $35 billion valuation makes it one of the world’s most valuable startups—is currently building up its staff in another state altogether: New York.In September, Stripe opened an office near Wall Street the company told Bloomberg, and plans to add several hundred employees there in the coming years. The startup’s planned New York growth is on track to outpace its headquarters’.The city has long been a hub for finance, and more recently for tech. “New York is a global leader,’’ said David Singleton, Stripe’s chief technology officer. “It’s just an important market for entrepreneurialism and startups.”Stripe is one of many Bay Area-based fintech companies now building up a New York presence. Plaid Technologies Inc., which connects various apps to customers’ bank accounts, has relocated or hired more than 100 people in the city over the last year, or about a quarter of its staff. Affirm Inc., the lending startup founded by former PayPal Holdings Inc. co-founder Max Levchin, also recently opened up a Manhattan office that has about 50 employees, the company said. And Brex Inc., the business credit card startup most recently valued at $2.6 billion, has permanently relocated its chief financial officer to Midtown, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing information that’s not yet public.In some ways, the moves are natural for tech startups with financial ambitions. Despite the growing success of fintech upstarts hailing from San Francisco, Wall Street institutions remain on top of the financial world, and New York offers an appealing pool of potential hires. Uber Technologies Inc., for example, announced the creation of a new unit called Uber Money in October, and will be shopping for fintech talent in and around Manhattan, according to a CNBC report. At Affirm, the company’s New York employees’ resumes are littered with names like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.Often, financial technology companies that are just getting started set up shop in San Francisco to be close to tech workers with experience designing products at big companies, said Mark Goldberg, a partner at Index Ventures. San Francisco's resident tech giant include Uber, Lyft Inc., Twitter Inc. and Airbnb Inc. But “what they don’t understand is the industry,” he said, adding that eventually, many fintech companies look eastward for hiring. “What I think happens is that companies that start on the West Coast end up recognizing that they want to compliment that DNA with capital market expertise, and with people that have been in and around banks.”Meanwhile, tech epicenter San Francisco has become less hospitable for some companies. Last year, voters passed a new tax on businesses that will go to fund homelessness relief efforts, and taxes financial services companies at a higher rate than other types of businesses. Stripe’s decision to leave the city was widely regarded by local officials as related to the passage of the new tax. The company, which strongly opposed the measure, denied that taxes were a major factor in the decision to move.Stripe instead pointed to the limited office space in San Francisco. The city’s asking prices for commercial rent, which are the highest in the nation, climbed 7% over the last year to record levels in the third quarter, according to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. And adding to the region’s woes: In recent months fires caused widespread power outages in homes around the Bay Area.Still, none of fintech unicorns Bloomberg spoke to have plans to move their headquarters away from the West Coast. Stripe, while hiring a few hundred people in New York, currently has more than 1,000 employees in Silicon Valley. Affirm’s San Francisco office is many times larger than its Manhattan outpost. And New York-based financial services startups tend to have stubbornly lower valuations than their high-flying West Coast counterparts.For Plaid, New York is a homecoming of sorts. The startup left the city in 2013 after winning TechCrunch’s Disrupt New York Hackathon, and, seeking proximity to engineers and investors, moved its headquarters to San Francisco. “Us coming back and building a really big presence is a strong signal for NYC tech, which has made huge strides in terms of client base, talent, and funding,’’ said Charley Ma, Plaid’s New York City growth manager, who moved from the West Coast for the job last fall. Plaid’s chief executive officer, however, will remain in San Francisco.(Corrects location of early headquarters in first paragraph.)To contact the author of this story: Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • U.S. Yields Will Sink to 1.2% as Recession Hits, SocGen Says

    U.S. Yields Will Sink to 1.2% as Recession Hits, SocGen Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Treasury 10-year yields may slide to a record low 1.2% by the end of next year as the U.S. enters a recession, according to Societe Generale SA.Benchmark 10-year Treasuries will probably rally as the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a full percentage point in the first half of 2020 to spur inflation, strategists including Subadra Rajappa wrote in a note.“The market is pricing in a Fed hold, but 10 years into this expansion, we see the Fed leaning toward a more accommodative stance,” the analysts wrote. “We expect a steady decline in Treasury yields in 2020.”Treasuries have led a global bond sell-off since September as the U.S. and China edged toward a partial trade deal, and expectations for the Fed to add to its three rate cuts this year fade. SocGen joins others, including Japan’s Asset Management One Co., in arguing that the recent optimism is misplaced.Asset Management One said last month that the Fed will end up lowering its interest rates toward zero due to structural changes in the economy and low inflation.Others are less certain yields will keep falling. JPMorgan Chase & Co. sees 10-year yields rising to 2.05% next year as global economic growth ramps up. Goldman Sachs Inc. is forecasting yields to hit 2.25% by end 2020.Rates markets are pricing in one 25 basis point Fed rate cut by the end of 2020, swaps data shows.Yield ReboundYields on 10-year Treasuries have rebounded about 40 basis points since touching a three-year low of 1.43% in September.They were up 1 basis points to 1.834% Tuesday. They had risen as much as 8 basis points on Monday on better-than-expected China factory data, before paring after a miss on U.S. manufacturing data.“Beyond the trade war noise, structurally, we see the risk of lower yields outweighing the risk of higher yields,” according to SocGen’s strategists. “‘We recommend investors remain on high alert and retain long duration positions in bonds outright and as a hedge against risk-asset exposure.”(Adds bank forecasts in sixth paragraph, swaps pricing in seventh)\--With assistance from Cormac Mullen.To contact the reporter on this story: Ruth Carson in Singapore at rliew6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at, Joanna OssingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Exclusive: Former Honeywell CEO in bid talks for Vertiv - sources

    Exclusive: Former Honeywell CEO in bid talks for Vertiv - sources

    Cote's firm, GS Acquisition Holdings Corp , is a so-called special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which raised $690 million in an initial public offering last year to buy a company without telling investors in advance what that would be. GS Acquisition could use the money it raised in the IPO, in addition to debt financing, to acquire Vertiv from private equity firm Platinum Equity.

  • Grocery-Packing Robots Are Aiming For World Domination

    Grocery-Packing Robots Are Aiming For World Domination

    Ocado Group Plc’s new deal in Japan is appetizing, but it’s probably bitten off more than it can chew.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The online grocer that’s specialized in automating how orders are filled said on Friday that it will provide Aeon Co. with its technology, initially in the region around Tokyo. It hasn’t put a value on the deal, but Ocado expects the contract to cover sales of about 1.5 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) by 2025, rising to about 7 billion pounds by 2035.To achieve that, analysts at Bernstein estimate that it will need to build about 20 automated warehouses, the same number envisaged in Ocado’s biggest deal to date with U.S. supermarket group Kroger Co.It’s not surprising that Ocado Chief Executive Officer Tim Steiner has been tantalized by licensing the company’s software in Asia. Japan is the world’s fourth-biggest grocery market, according to industry researcher IGD. There’s also potential in other parts of Asia.But Ocado already has a lot on its plate, not least the Kroger partnership, where success is crucial to enhancing its credibility with clients and investors alike. The shares slumped earlier this month on concerns that its roll-out at one of the U.S.’s biggest traditional grocery retailers was progressing slower than expected. Ocado is also facing a new challenge from startup Takeoff Technologies. Like Ocado, which was started by three former Goldman Sachs bankers, its executives have Wall Street as well as grocery industry experience. But, rather than building giant state-of-the-art warehouses, it concentrates on making the process of picking groceries directly off of supermarket shelves for home delivery more efficient. This model has also been favored by Tesco Plc in the U.K.Ocado sought to reassure investors recently that the relationship with Kroger was on track, announcing the sixth location for what in industry jargon is called a fulfillment center. But given the importance of this contract, the fact that the U.S. is still the world’s biggest grocery market and that the group had been chasing tie-up there for years, it would have been better to keep it as its priority.When it comes to the capital available for investing in these big international partnerships, shareholders can take heart. Ocado’s sale earlier this year of a 50% stake in its U.K. online grocery business to Marks & Spencer Group Plc for up to 750 million pounds, boosted its coffers.Ocado said it had 1 billion pounds of headroom. With each warehouse costing about 30 million pounds, it has scope to build 30. Even with all the recent contract wins, it doesn’t expect to have to build more than 30 distribution centers, so it should have enough capital for its current commitments. Management bandwidth is another story. Next year, Ocado will be juggling the Kroger contract, getting Aeon off the ground and overseeing the transition to M&S becoming its grocery supplier in the U.K. That’s a lot to do. And let’s not forget its other contracts with Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA in France, Sobeys Inc. in Canada and Coles Group in Australia.The Aeon contract will also require yet more developers to prepare the technology too. Ocado estimates it will need to take on an extra 400 people to get the job done.Investors shrugged off any such concerns on Friday, with the shares rising as much as 15%. But Ocado has a history of unexpected items in its bagging area, from not having enough capacity in its warehouses to a fire at one of its robotic fulfillment centers in the U.K. earlier this year. Over-filling its delivery box increases the risk of more unpleasant surprises.((Corrects scale to trillion in first chart.))To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Goldman Makes Biggest Mexico Fintech Bet With MercadoLibre Loan

    (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to lend $125 million to Mercado Credito, the bank’s third loan to a Latin American fintech this year and the biggest ever in Mexico.The borrower, a unit of MercadoLibre Inc., plans to use the money to triple in about one year its $100 million working-capital portfolio provided to small and midsize companies in Mexico, Martin de los Santos, a senior vice president, said in a phone interview.The goal is to “democratize financial services,” by lending to firms that don’t have access to other financing, he said.MercadoLibre dominates Latin American e-commerce with an almost 25% market share and 40 million unique monthly visitors, Julie Chariell, a senior analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in a November report. It’s based in Argentina, but almost two-thirds of its $603 million in third-quarter net revenue came from Brazil, according to the company’s financial statements. Its market value more than doubled this year to $29 billion.The Mercado Credito unit was launched in 2016 to provide credit to clients of its parent company and to customers using its online payment platform, MercadoPago, in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The company, which develops proprietary credit-risk models, has granted more than $610 million in working-capital credit lines to more than 270,000 companies in Latin America. It also offered around $200 million in consumer loans.The Goldman loan won’t be used to finance lending in Brazil, where Mercado Credito raised 245 million reais ($58 million) from investors including Inter-American Development Bank, or in Argentina, where the firm finances itself in the capital markets, Santos said. Before the Goldman deal, Mercado Credito was using its own capital to finance loans to firms in Mexico.“We wanted not only Goldman’s capital but also the experience the bank has on this type of transactions throughout Latin American,” Santos said. “I hope to work with the bank in the future to finance other portfolios, including consumer operations in Mexico and other markets.”Latin American retail e-commerce is expected to increase 13% to 16% annually over the next five years, with penetration at just 2.4% of total retail sales in the region, Chariell said in a June report.Mercado Credito has a unique way of getting capital flowing to businesses that have traditionally lacked access to financing, according to Santiago Rubin, a managing director at Goldman Sachs who’s head of technology, media and telecommunications for Latin America.But higher delinquency rates are a concern for analysts. “Credit quality deteriorated significantly in Brazil,” analysts at Banco Itau BBA SA said in a Nov. 1 report that pinned part of the blame on consumer credit and lending to merchants that use mobile-card acceptance machines.Santos said he is not preoccupied. The lending portfolio to consumers in Brazil is less than 8% of the total, and brand new, having started only 9 months ago, he said.The Goldman deal follows a $750 million investment by PayPal Holdings Inc. and $100 million by Dragoneer Investment Group that were part of an $1.85 billion equity offering Mercado Libre did earlier this year.Goldman’s loan is being done through the New York-based company’s structured finance, investment and lending business, headed by Ram Sundaram, the same one that in August provided a secured credit facility of as much as $100 million to Mexican fintech Konfio Ltd. Also this year, the special-situations group agreed to provide Mexico’s Credijusto Inc. with a $100 million facility.The bank’s special-situations group also did a loan to Brazilian credit-card lender Nu Pagamentos SA, widely known as Nubank. The loan was of 200 million reais in 2016, and in August 2017 was expanded to 455 million reais in a deal with Fortress Investment Group. The entire loan has been repaid.“We look forward to keep supporting MercadoLibre across the region as their lending footprint grows,” Sundaram, who also oversees the emerging markets and commodities business at Goldman Sachs, said in a statement.\--With assistance from Felipe Marques and Vinícius Andrade.To contact the reporter on this story: Cristiane Lucchesi in Sao Paulo at clucchesi5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at, Steve Dickson, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Premarket London: Ocado Issues Convertible Bonds to Fund Expansion -- Here is a summary of regulatory news releases from the London Stock Exchange on Monday, 2nd December. Please refresh for updates.

  • Nintendo Will Prove the Switch’s Longevity This Holiday Season

    Nintendo Will Prove the Switch’s Longevity This Holiday Season

    (Bloomberg) -- Nintendo Co.’s Switch console is poised for its best holiday shopping season yet.The company will probably sell 9.46 million units of Switch hardware and 64.73 million units of software in the quarter ending December, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. While the forecast console numbers mark only a slight improvement on last year’s results, it’s games that deliver most of Nintendo’s profit, and software sales may climb about 23%.Achieving those numbers could prompt Nintendo to revise its conservative earnings outlook for the year ending March 2020. The Switch’s performance in its third holiday season will also hold clues for the console’s longevity in an industry where hardware is typically overhauled every five years and rivals Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are already planning new machines for the end of 2020.“This is typically where sales begin to peak out, but it looks like the Switch may have a longer life cycle,” said Kazunori Ito, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Services in Tokyo. “With a desktop console and a portable player in a single machine, Nintendo has a very effective platform for selling game software.”Nintendo designed the console so that it can be used on the big living room screen as well as on the go, and in September it also introduced a cheaper Switch Lite focused on expanding the mobile market. Combined sales have already topped 40 million units since launch in March 2017 and many analysts expect the Switch will last long enough to reach the 100 million record set by the Nintendo Wii.There’s More to Nintendo’s Game Than Gadget Sales: Tim CulpanThe Kyoto-based company has stuck with a conservative forecast for operating profit of 260 billion yen ($2.4 billion) on 1.25 trillion yen in revenue for the year ending March 2020. That’s short of analysts’ expectations of 308.8 billion yen and 1.28 trillion yen, respectively.Nintendo also expects to sell 18 million Switch units and 125 million new software titles this fiscal year. That compares with the average of four analysts’ estimates for 19.07 million, and the 147.43 million average of nine estimates.“Last year’s holidays is a high hurdle to clear,” said Masaru Sugiyama, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “But there is a good chance for year-on-year growth.”The 2018 lineup included a Pokemon double-issue that sold a combined 10 million units in a month and a half to the end of the year. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launched on Dec. 7 and raked in sales of over 12 million units. Nintendo sold 9.42 million Switch consoles in that holiday quarter and a total of 52.5 million units of software.This year, Nintendo is again targeting the Pokemon fan base with two new titles -- Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. The games, which debuted on Nov. 15, have come under criticism from fans unhappy with the quality of graphics and animations and the lack of the full stable of “pocket monsters.” Still, sales exceeded 6 million units during the launch weekend, making it the fastest-selling Switch game to date.“It’s a Pokemon title, so unless you are giving up on the franchise, it’s hard to imagine fans not buying it,” said Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. “Pokemon Sword and Shield will probably end up being the single largest game in terms of launch year revenue, probably bigger than Smash Bros.”In October, Nintendo released Ring Fit Adventure, an $80 exercise game that comes with a flexible plastic ring that tracks the player’s motion by slotting in one of the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers and having the user strap the other to their leg. With that basic motion-capture setup, gamers wage heroic battles and clear stages by jogging and doing squats.Nintendo is looking to repeat the success of the Wii Fit -- the exercise game that broke new ground when it was introduced in 2012 along with a Balance Board peripheral. It sold more than 50 million units and was key to broadening the appeal of the Wii console to new audiences. Ring Fit Adventure is off to a promising start, as Nintendo on Friday apologized for being unable to keep up with overwhelming demand.The Wii went on to sell over 101 million units of hardware and 900 million games, setting a high standard of success that Nintendo has struggled to live up to since. The company’s share price hit its peak in the year following the Wii’s 2006 launch and the stock now trades about 40% below its 2007 record.So far, the Switch has held its own against its storied predecessor and has even done better in hardware sales during its first two holiday seasons.“The Switch can sell 20 million units annually for the next three years,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. “So it should easily get to 100 million.”Not everyone agrees. Macquarie’s Thong thinks a lot of the casual gamers that helped power the Wii’s runaway success have moved on to free-to-play games on smartphones, such as Nintendo’s own wildly popular Mario Kart Tour. There is also a lot more competition for people’s free time from social media and streaming video. Still, Nintendo’s prospects remain bright in the near-term.“The focus is the game, not the console itself,” Thong said. “2021 might be an even bigger year for title launches. There is a new Zelda game and it will be time for a mid-cycle refresh for all major Nintendo titles.”To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at;Yuki Furukawa in Tokyo at yfurukawa13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    EU watchdog tells banks to get a grip on costs, merge or close

    Banks in the European Union could close branches, merge or leave the market to reverse a "bleak" outlook for profitability, the bloc's banking watchdog said on Friday. The European Banking Authority's (EBA) sixth annual dive under the bonnet of top banks found that the average capital ratios for lenders - a key measure of financial health - was 14.4% in June, little changed from the previous year. "There are hardly any clear catalysts for an improvement in bank profitability that appear on the horizon," the EBA said in its report.

  • Apple’s AirPods Fire Up One of Asia’s Top Stocks in 2019

    Apple’s AirPods Fire Up One of Asia’s Top Stocks in 2019

    (Bloomberg) -- Luxshare Precision Industry Co. has more than tripled this year, outperforming virtually every major stock traded in the Asia Pacific and underscoring the importance of a certain Apple Inc. product the Chinese company assembles: AirPods.Commanding a 50% share of the nascent true wireless earphones market -- defined by earbuds that have no wired connection between each other or to the music source -- Apple’s AirPods have quickly become an important growth driver for the Cupertino, California company. Wearables are Apple’s fastest-growing category, up 41% in 2019, and are filling in for the iPhone as the company’s growth driver for hardware sales, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst John Butler said.In 2019, AirPods are expected to double to 60 million, rising to 90 million in 2020 and 120 million in 2021, according to Credit Suisse analyst Kyna Wong. Luxshare stands to be the biggest beneficiary of that increase in production demand. It’s the fifth-best performer this year in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index and the fourth biggest gainer on the MSCI China Index. Rival GoerTek Inc. has also surged, climbing more than 180% this year on optimism over stronger demand for AirPods.Read more: Apple AirPods Shipments Are Said to Double to 60 Million in 2019“Annual shipments of AirPods will rise to as many as the iPhone’s in the future,” said Jeff Pu, analyst at GF Securities. “AirPods are expected to be the biggest earnings growth driver among Apple’s hardware devices in the coming years.”Luxshare typically produces basic tech accessories and components, such as cables, chargers and antennas. The AirPods stand out as a higher-value item, which contributed 26% of Luxshare’s revenue in 2018, according to HSBC analyst Frank He. He forecasts that share to grow to as high as 50% in 2020. He also notes that Luxshare is the sole supplier of Apple’s upgraded AirPods Pro model, launched in October, which he estimates will make up as much as 25% of AirPods shipments next year.While Luxshare has grabbed the largest slice of the pie so far, rivals like GoerTek are continually upgrading and vying for more of the lucrative AirPods business. The company’s exclusivity as sole AirPods Pro supplier is unlikely to last, and so it’s not guaranteed to capture all of the demand growth that’s expected. Luxshare’s unprecedented rally also means it’s now trading at a two-year blended forward price-earnings ratio of about 32, well above the roughly 24 sector average.Both Wong and He have recently upgraded their earnings estimates for Luxshare through 2021, citing the increased AirPods demand and improved average selling price. In a research note from Nov. 18, Goldman Sachs analysts including Verena Jeng agreed, saying “The higher ASP coupled with strong market demand from a low base make AirPods Luxshare’s major revenue and gross profit contributor.”(Updates share moves from the second paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Cindy Wang in Taipei at;Lee Miller in Bangkok at lmiller@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Deutsche Continues Overhauling, Sells Bad Assets to Goldman

    Deutsche Continues Overhauling, Sells Bad Assets to Goldman

    Deutsche Bank (DB) vends bad assets worth $50 billion to Goldman Sachs as part of its broader restructuring efforts to restore profitability.

  • In Deutsche Bank’s Giant Yard Sale, Goldman Is Eager Buyer

    In Deutsche Bank’s Giant Yard Sale, Goldman Is Eager Buyer

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Deutsche Bank AG has found a willing partner in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as the German lender tries to quickly offload billions of euros worth of unwanted assets.The U.S. bank bought securities with a notional value of about 40 billion pounds ($51 billion) from the German firm, people briefed on the matter said. It’s at least the second time Goldman Sachs has taken advantage of the sweeping deleveraging effort underway since Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing unveiled a new turnaround plan in early July.In September, the U.S. investment bank purchased the Asian portion of a portfolio of equity derivatives that the German lender had put up for sale, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Barclays and Morgan Stanley each bought a portion too, the people have said. And BNP Paribas previously agreed to take over the hedge fund business.The assets bought by Goldman in the latest deal are tied to emerging market debt and were previously housed in Deutsche Bank’s wind-down unit, one person said. They asked not to be identified discussing the private deal. Representatives for Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs declined to comment.Deutsche Bank shares rose as much as 1.9% on the news, paring this year’s decline to about 4.4%. That compares with an increase of about 5% for the wider industry.Deutsche Bank’s wind-down unit is a cornerstone of the July revamp under Sewing. Its goal is to release tied-up capital by reducing assets quickly while avoiding deep write-downs on them. Ultimately, that’s expected to help the bank replenish its capital buffers, which the CEO is currently drawing down to cover the costs of the restructuring.For Goldman, it’s an opportunistic move that allows the firm to help burnish its brand and could aid in its expansion of market share. The move isn’t designed to be a major profit driver but allows Goldman to expand its scale and take advantage of a competitor shrinking its trading presence. Large, established trading desks at the big banks have been benefiting from some of their smaller competitors ceding ground to increase their dominance.Sewing has vowed to cut the leverage exposure -- a regulatory measure of risk -- in the wind-down unit to 119 billion euros ($131 billion) at the end of the year, from 177 billion euros at the end of September.The unit trading emerging-market debt had a weak third quarter, though momentum picked up at the end of the period, the bank said in late October. Deutsche Bank plans to maintain a “robust, broad-based” emerging markets debt-trading platform, it said. The portfolio just sold to Goldman Sachs was moved into the wind-down unit in July, one person said.It’s not clear how much the latest sale will contribute to Sewing’s goal since an asset’s notional value says little about its impact on the balance sheet.(Adds Goldman context in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Sridhar Natarajan.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Carrigan in Dubai at;Steven Arons in Frankfurt at sarons@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at, Ross LarsenFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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