LSE.L - London Stock Exchange Group plc

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
7,624.00
-22.00 (-0.29%)
As of 2:15PM GMT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close7,646.00
Open7,694.00
Bid7,618.00 x 0
Ask7,624.00 x 0
Day's range7,580.00 - 7,706.00
52-week range1,656.00 - 7,922.00
Volume216,638
Avg. volume654,129
Market cap26.664B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.60
PE ratio (TTM)56.14
EPS (TTM)135.80
Earnings date28 Feb 2020 - 03 Mar 2020
Forward dividend & yield0.40 (0.53%)
Ex-dividend date22 Aug 2019
1y target est4,810.83
  • This is how much £1k invested in LSE shares 10 years ago would be worth now
    Fool.co.uk

    This is how much £1k invested in LSE shares 10 years ago would be worth now

    LSE shares have increased in value over 1,000% and did exceptionally well in 2019. Can this trend continue? The post This is how much £1k invested in LSE shares 10 years ago would be worth now appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

  • Reuters

    Smart meter firm Calisen confirms London IPO plan

    Smart meter provider Calisen confirmed on Thursday it will seek a listing on the London Stock Exchange next month, with a 300 million pounds ($391.08 million) share offer that could set a 1.5 billion valuation on the private equity-owned firm. The offering, which will comprise of new shares and existing shared owned by KKR and other manager investors, follows a weak year for equity capital raising in London, with IPOs falling to to their lowest level in a decade in 2019, Refinitiv data showed. The final offer price will be determined following a book-building process, with admission currently expected in February.

  • International investors own record £1tn of UK stocks
    Yahoo Finance UK

    International investors own record £1tn of UK stocks

    International investors own a record high of 55% of all UK-listed shares by value, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

  • Bloomberg

    Citadel Securities Says GSA Stole Data While Recruiting Trader

    (Bloomberg) -- A British hedge fund’s attempt to hire a senior trader from Citadel Securities has landed it in a London lawsuit filled with allegations that it obtained a secret trading strategy while using texts and Whatsapp messages to hide all traces of the plan.GSA Capital LLP accessed confidential information on a crucial automated trading model that cost Citadel more than $100 million to develop, the U.S. market maker said in a London court filing. In the latest case to highlight how far financial firms will go to protect trading ideas, Ken Griffin’s firm is seeking to block GSA from ever using the algorithm.GSA’s attempted recruitment of Vedat Cologlu was marked by the fund’s strict instruction to the trader to avoid emails and stick to Whatsapp messages and texts, Citadel said in its account of his hiring. Cologlu was to be a key part of GSA’s plan to set up a new high-frequency trading business.But Citadel claims the fund wanted more. GSA asked for sensitive information on his equity-trading including his profits and the speed of the trades. And then Cologlu handed over a plan that Citadel argues was based on its own confidential model, including the way the algorithm made predictions.The case, filed last month, lays out the steps that funds will take to protect automated strategies where companies deploy computing power to identify trades promising the biggest mismatches or largest payoffs with the least amount of risk. British quantitative research fund G-Research pursued a years-long case against a former analyst, seeing him sentenced three times for stealing confidential strategies.GSA was spun out of Deutsche Bank AG in 2005 and manages around $7.5 billion. Citadel’s legal filing names GSA founder and majority owner Jonathan Hiscox as a defendant, alongside other officials including the chief technology officer. It has yet to file its formal defense, but said Wednesday it rejects the claims and plans to vigorously defend itself.‘ABC Strategy’At the center of this case is Citadel’s “ABC Strategy,” a closely-guarded algorithm that was generating more than $50 million a year trading stocks in the U.S. and Europe. Cologlu helped operate and administer the models, and as they stepped up hiring plans GSA officials were told that the returns were notably high given the low level of risk it took on.GSA officials must have been aware of the need for secrecy, Citadel argued, because they regularly sought to keep details of the courtship out of emails where they could be easily discovered. In May 2019, GSA’s head of recruitment Douglas Ward emailed a junior employee saying that the job interview questions be “Kept off e-mail.”“GSA well knew that Mr. Cologlu’s responses would contain or would be derived from Citadel’s confidential information and hoped to conceal their wrongful conduct,” Citadel’s lawyers said in the filing dated Dec. 16.Trading firms and hedge funds, who have for long used fat pay checks to lure employees, are engaged in an intense battle to hire and retain talent. The latest front line is to recruit technologists who are seen as key to future-proof trading strategies.Cologlu, who earned more than $700,000 in 2018 as a quant researcher, was looking for a move after 11 years at Citadel. The firm cited messages saying Cologlu was keen to build out his own business and believed there was a market to trade European stocks. GSA for its part dubbed the plan “Project High Speed Rail” and was making moves to enter the high-speed algorithmic trading business by joining the Turquoise trading facility run by the London Stock Exchange, according to the lawsuit.‘Called Out’But by June, Citadel learned that Cologlu sent the trading plan to his work email account and began investigating. The GSA recruiter speculated Cologlu had “been called out by Citadel.”It was an accurate guess. Cologlu told Citadel’s legal team that he’d provided GSA with the trading strategy plan. According to the lawsuit, Cologlu has been suspended, but a person familiar with the situation said he has left the company.Citadel says that after GSA was confronted about its meetings with Cologlu, an internal lawyer agreed to cooperate and shredded the hard copies of Cologlu’s trading plan.In addition to damages, Citadel is seeking an injunction to stop GSA from using any of its confidential information. It has also asked a judge to order GSA to destroy all paper and computer copies of the information.(Updates with GSA preparing to join Turquoise facility in eleventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Alex Verge and Nishant Kumar.To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Chris BourkeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • EU watchdog says can meet deadline for UK clearers after Brexit
    Reuters

    EU watchdog says can meet deadline for UK clearers after Brexit

    Assessing if UK-based derivatives clearing houses can get access to European Union investors after Brexit can be done by June, but a final decision will hinge on broader EU-UK trade negotiations, the EU's markets regulator said on Thursday. The London Stock Exchange's LCH unit clears the bulk of euro-denominated swaps contracts, which are widely used by companies and banks across the EU to hedge against adverse moves in interest rates. The comments from the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) provide a clear sign that UK financial services will not automatically have access to the EU after Brexit, even if Britain maintains most EU rules.

  • Boris Johnson, Ursula Von Der Leyen Set Out Rival Red Lines for Post-Brexit
    Bloomberg

    Boris Johnson, Ursula Von Der Leyen Set Out Rival Red Lines for Post-Brexit

    (Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen set out rival red lines for their visions of a post-Brexit deal in the first clash of a negotiation set to be thornier than the fraught talks to secure Britain’s divorce from the bloc.At their first face-to-face meeting since von der Leyen took office as president of the EU Commission Dec. 1, the prime minister stressed that Britain won’t extend the country’s post-Brexit transition period beyond the end of the year, and that he wants to broker a Canada-style free trade accord, his office said.Crucially, Johnson said that “any future partnership must not involve any kind of alignment” with EU rules and standards or be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Earlier, von der Leyen had set out the EU’s stall, saying it will be “impossible” to get a full deal before Johnson’s year-end deadline, adding that every decision taken would come with a “trade-off.”“Without the free movement of people, you cannot have the free movement of capital, goods and services,” von der Leyen told an audience at the London School of Economics. “Without a level playing field on environment, labor, taxation and state aid, you cannot have the highest quality access to the world’s largest single market.”The remarks set the scene for a fraught year of negotiations after nearly three years of bad-tempered talks on the U.K.’s EU withdrawal. There will be just 11 months left to finalize the partnership deal before the status quo transition period runs out at the end of December, leading potentially to another threat of a cliff-edge change in trading rules at the start of 2021.Time Is TightThe time is “very, very tight,” von der Leyen said at the LSE. “It’s not all or nothing, it’s a question of priorities,” she said.While Johnson’s desire is for a free trade deal along the lines of one already negotiated by the EU with Canada, his time-line makes the goal problematic. According to the EU, the Canadian agreement was its most ambitious ever trade deal but took seven years to negotiate. Under its provisions, 98% of goods traded between the two are free of tariffs, and there is also some trade in services and convergence of certain standards.For now, Johnson told von der Leyen that his “immediate priority” is to get the Withdrawal Agreement passed into law and implemented by Jan. 31. On Wednesday, the House of Commons held the second of three days of debate on the bill, with the government, buttressed by the 80-seat majority won by Johnson’s Conservatives in last month’s election, successfully defeating several attempts to amend the legislation.Once the separation is complete, negotiations will formally open on the future trading relationship, with Johnson telling von der Leyen he wants to start them “as soon as possible after January 31.”Red LinesBut the negotiations could be even trickier than settling on the terms of Britain’s divorce proved to be. They’ll cover areas as diverse as the trade in goods and services, security cooperation, data sharing, fishing quotas and the rules under which European nationals can work in Britain.The U.K. premier laid out some further red lines. He told the commission chief that Britain will maintain control of its fishing waters and immigration system. He also reiterated a pledge that the country would maintain “high standards” on workers’ rights, animal welfare, agriculture and the environment, even while refusing to be aligned to the EU.Johnson’s press secretary told reporters Wednesday that the U.K. doesn’t want to negotiate under the principle of “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” which characterized the first phase of talks. This suggested a phased approach is possible, potentially leading to a slimmed down trade agreement.Speaking on the edge of the City of London’s financial center, the commission president made a point of singling out how Johnson’s negotiating position will impact the U.K.’s financial services industry’s easy access to European markets.“This is over,” she said. “All will change.” Instead, she said, British firms may get more limited access on a sector-by-sector basis.Despite the differences, Johnson’s office described the meeting as “positive,” while von der Leyen said the EU is ready to broker a partnership that is “unprecedented in scope.”“We are ready to design a new partnership with zero tariffs, zero quotas, zero dumping,” she said. “We should be optimistic.“To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • London Stock Exchange denies it was hit by cyber attack
    Yahoo Finance UK

    London Stock Exchange denies it was hit by cyber attack

    Authorities have denied they are concerned about a possible cyber attack at the London Stock Exchange, after a report that officials were investigating.

  • Should we be worried about London Stock Exchange's Quality Rank (LON:LSE)?
    Stockopedia

    Should we be worried about London Stock Exchange's Quality Rank (LON:LSE)?

    Good quality companies can offer a lot of comfort to investors. They tend to be strong, stable, profitable firms that deliver predictable returns, have pricing8230;

  • The Shanghai-London Connect Was Always Just a Pipe Dream
    Bloomberg

    The Shanghai-London Connect Was Always Just a Pipe Dream

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s always easier to put up a barrier on an empty road than a busy highway.That's worth remembering in light of recent reports that China has temporarily suspended cross-border listings between the Shanghai and London stock exchanges. The halt is a response to the U.K.’s stance on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the matter, and any resumption would depend on how diplomatic relations proceed.On Friday, China denied the reports that the link had been halted. The China Securities Regulatory Commission, the country's securities watchdog, said operations at the link had been "normal" since its launch in June.The pipeline between these two major financial hubs launched with the aim to allow companies listed on one exchange to issue shares on the other. The program was feted as a vote of confidence in a shrinking U.K. IPO market: 2019 marked one of London’s worst years in a decade for new listings, as companies worried about Brexit delayed their capital-raising plans. As recently as September, optimism remained intact. The London Stock Exchange even cited the Connect program as a better way to forge ties with China when it snubbed a bid by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. last year.But interest has been minimal. Seven months in, just one mainland firm has used it: Huatai Securities Co., which raised $1.7 billion in a U.K. IPO in June. While its stock has surged, volumes were thin. (Huatai’s shares tumbled as much as 11% Thursday in London.) In December, an average of 123,914 London-listed shares changed hands daily, compared with 106 million for their Shanghai counterparts, and well below an October peak of 381,976, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. SDIC Power Holdings Co. was set to be the second Chinese company to list there, yet it postponed plans in December, citing market conditions. On the other end of the link, not a single British company went public in Shanghai. Talk that HSBC Holding Plc(1) would be London's first candidate have gone ominously quiet since the U.K. lender entered Beijing's bad books for providing information that led to the arrest and prosecution of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co.The Shanghai-London Connect never made much sense for Chinese firms from a capital-raising perspective, as I’ve written. Unlike New York, London doesn’t have a deep bench of institutional players eager to get their hands on mainland startups. In most markets, investors are biased toward stocks they recognize. And while the pipe enabled Chinese and British companies to raise money in each other’s markets, investors weren’t allowed to trade between exchanges, as they do with similar links between Hong Kong and the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges.It’s worth noting that China hasn't blocked its firms from going public in the U.S., which has also shown support for Hong Kong’s protesters. Mainland companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have a current market value of about $1.5 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Given that China Pacific Insurance Group Co. and SDIC Power were slated to raise offshore money from listings in London through this pipe, the real losers of a prolonged suspension might be mainland companies. If that's the case, the link could very well be reinstated at some point.\--With assistance from Irene Huang. (Updates to include China’s response.)(1) The fact that mainland investors can buy HSBC's Hong Kong-traded shares through the Shanghai or Shenzhen Connect also probably made a Shanghai listing a lot less urgent.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at ngopalan3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Puts U.K. on Guard as Johnson Ponders His Huawei Decision
    Bloomberg

    China Puts U.K. on Guard as Johnson Ponders His Huawei Decision

    (Bloomberg) -- China’s decision to suspend a tie-up between the Shanghai and London stock exchanges is less a blow for markets than a warning shot to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he readies the U.K. for Brexit.According to people familiar with the matter, the Chinese government has temporarily halted the Shanghai-London Stock Connect on political grounds. One person said that Britain’s stance on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong is one of the issues that prompted the move, and that how relations with the U.K. proceed will determine whether the link is restored.The timing is unlikely to be a coincidence, as Johnson seeks to strengthen trading ties with China after the U.K. leaves the European Union this month, and with a decision looming on whether to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co. to play a role in future British broadband networks.Though the link between the two exchanges -- designed to allow companies listed on one venue to issue shares on the other -- has so far underwhelmed, its suspension is the latest indication of how ties have deteriorated. “This break is pretty symbolic because the reality is our business practices do not align,” said Tom Tugendhat, a ruling Conservative lawmaker who chaired the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in the last Parliament. “China’s political response really speaks to a growing reality -- their economic model is not aligned to a free market based on the rule of law.”Sending a MessageChinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he’s “not aware of the specifics” of the stock exchange case. “I would just like to stress that we hope the U.K. will provide a fair and just and open, non-discriminatory environment for Chinese businesses to invest there,” he told reporters in Beijing on Thursday. “We hope it will create fair conditions for practical cooperation between the two countries.”The China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Shanghai Stock Exchange did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while representatives for the London Stock Exchange and U.K. Treasury declined to comment.“China has a fairly extensive track record in putting up informal barriers to trade or harming business relations as a way for the Chinese government to wield more influence over other governments,” said William Nee, a business and human rights analyst at Amnesty International’s Hong Kong office. “Beijing has been particularly sensitive to criticism of its conduct in Hong Kong.”The U.K.-China relationship is now a far cry from the “golden era” imagined by former Prime Minister David Cameron, who wanted to reboot ties to Beijing via trade and investment. Tensions over the disputed South China Sea have played a part, but it’s events in the former British colony of Hong Kong that have done the most damage.The two sides have been engaged in a prolonged spat over Beijing’s handling of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which the U.K. returned to Chinese rule in 1997 on the agreement that the territory’s independent courts, capitalist system and democratic institutions would be maintained.Despite calls from the protesters to intervene more, the British government initially limited itself to demands for authorities to show restraint and urging dialog to defuse tensions -- though even these interventions triggered an angry response from Beijing.Read a Quicktake on the U.K.-China market link planBut Johnson’s government raised the stakes when it accused China of torturing a former employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab summoned the Chinese ambassador in London.The Chinese government warned at the time that further interference in Hong Kong “will eventually harm U.K. interests.”A long-delayed decision on whether Huawei access to the U.K.’s so-called 5G communications networks has the potential to fuel further tensions if Johnson succumbs to U.S. pressure to ban the Chinese company on security grounds.IntelligenceThe Financial Times reported last week that President Donald Trump’s administration has stepped up the pressure to block Huawei, citing an interview with U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. The U.S. has warned allies that the Chinese government could gain a backdoor to communications networks, and has threatened to withdraw intelligence sharing.The decision is fraught with risk, and Johnson has hinted the U.K. could follow some of its international security allies including Australia and New Zealand by restricting or banning the company -- though he could seek a compromise by allowing Huawei to participate only in so-called non-core elements of the network.“The hidden state subsidies to firms like Huawei, which are also said to cooperate with the human rights violations we’re seeing in Xinjiang, mean it is hard for our markets to trade on the same basis,” Tory MP Tugendhat said. “Cooperation is important to both China and the U.K. but that has to be based on reality.”UnderwhelmingFor now, China’s decision to suspend the stock exchange tie-up has more symbolic than financial significance. Only Chinese company, Huatai Securities, has listed in London since the program launched last year, while no U.K. companies have come to the Shanghai bourse.Huatai’s global depositary receipts tumbled 11% in London following the news the link was suspended.According to Pang Zhongying, a member of the Beijing-based Academic Committee of Pangoal Institution think tank, Brexit provides Johnson -- who won a large majority in last month’s election -- with an opportunity to reset ties with China.“Britain needs to renegotiate a new trade and investment pact with its major business partners including China and U.S. in the post-Brexit era, and that creates new opportunities for both countries,” he said. “As the world knows, the British government’s main focus is on Brexit and Hong Kong is absolutely not their priority.\--With assistance from Amy Li, April Ma, Viren Vaghela, Alex Morales, Dandan Li and Iain Marlow.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at yyu263@bloomberg.net;Steven Yang in Beijing at kyang74@bloomberg.net;Heng Xie in Beijing at hxie34@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Flavia Krause-JacksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    A Decade of Market Wins for Hindsight Capital LLC

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Another decade is in the books. As the 2010s draw to a close, it is once again time to visit my friends at Hindsight Capital LLC, a very special hedge fund.For the uninitiated, Hindsight Capital, a figment of my imagination, is the most successful hedge fund of all time, and uses the one strategy guaranteed to beat all others, all of the time: hindsight. It places its trades in full knowledge of how they will end up.The ability to predict the future could deliver infinite profits, so I put some limits on them. No trading is allowed, and no leverage, and no single stocks. Hindsight’s managers also must show that there was a rationale for the trade at the time that they made it — they cannot, for example, use their ability to foresee market-moving natural disasters such as the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011. They can, however, bet on stocks to fall by selling short.The 2010s took most of us by surprise. U.S. stocks rallied all decade long, emergency-era monetary policy persisted throughout the decade, and yet neither inflation nor a convincing economic recovery ever occurred. The fate of incumbent politicians over the last few years shows just how most of us feel about the post-crisis world. But boy, was there money to be made just by sitting in U.S. equities; and there was vastly more money to be had for the managers at Hindsight Capital. All they needed, as the decade dawned, was to grasp a few simple truths: The shock to the global economy was so severe that inflation wouldn’t come back; the Federal Reserve wouldn’t allow asset prices to fall and had the power to make sure it didn’t happen; the euro zone and its banking system were fatally flawed and bound to suffer; China’s economy was in transition and would no longer underpin mad rises in commodity prices; and disbelief and disillusion with monetary policies that seemed manifestly unfair to the poor would spark the younger generation into a desperate search for something better.Here then were the trades Hindsight Capital put on as 2009 gave way to 2010, and their returns as of Dec. 20:A Wager on the Immaterial WorldA weak global economy ensured problems for raw materials, particularly energy. The surfeit of production inspired by the panic before the financial crisis about “peak oil” and the search for alternatives would damage energy prices further. Meanwhile, the growth and power of the internet economy had much further to go. Hindsight couldn’t invest in Facebook Inc. or the social media companies, because they weren’t yet public in 2009, but the S&P 500 Software Index returned some 470%, led by the renaissance of Microsoft Corp. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg Commodity Energy index dropped 71%. So $100 in a long software/short energy trade would have turned into $1,971 by decade’s end, with dividends reinvested, and $1,783 on a price-only basis. A Flier on the Fed, and the DollarIt was obvious to Hindsight Capital that the Fed wouldn’t let asset prices fall, and would leap in whenever necessary. So in a very simple trade, it bought the S&P 500 Index. Meanwhile, the weakness of oil offered a simple way to juice the profits. Hindsight moved to Oslo, the capital of Norway, and home to the decade’s weakest currency among developed markets (I turned down Hindsight’s pleas to move to Buenos Aires and denominate in Argentine pesos as just being greedy). Falling oil prices meant a weak krone and a stronger dollar, and thereby made for fantastic performance by the S&P 500 when denominated in krone. It turned NOK 100 into NOK 550 over the course of a decade, the 450% growth eclipsing by far the 250% that the S&P returned in dollars.A Bet Banks Will Recover in the U.S., But Not the Euro Zone By the end of 2009, the U.S. authorities had done enough to save their banks. The euro zone had not; it was burdened by banks far more bloated than their American counterparts, and by the hopeless straitjacket of the euro, which required that very different economies should all have the same monetary policy. The European Central Bank had been created to defend the euro, Europe’s politicians were desperate for it to do so, and so there was no doubt that the euro would survive. But the measures to do that would mean dreadful suffering for the banking sector. And so Hindsight Capital bought the KBW index of large U.S. banks (which rose 164%), financing it with a short position in the FTSE-Eurofirst euro zone banks index (down 61.5%). That would have turned $100 into $695 over the course of a decade ($550 when dividends are taken into account). A Gamble That Crypto Is the Future ...As the decade began, a generation had lost all faith in markets, the dollar, and anything to do with banks, or governments, or almost anyone in power. Economic collapse beckoned. Traditionally, gold might have been the answer to the prayers of this distrustful generation. But technology expanded horizons. So Hindsight Capital bought Bitcoins. If it had put $100 into Bitcoin at the beginning of the decade and held it (or hodled it as Bitcoin aficionados would say) it would now be worth some $9 million. Had Hindsight been allowed to sell at the top, it would have made $23.3 million. Hindsight also offered conservative clients an opportunity to increase their gold holdings for the future. One hundred grams of gold put into the cryptocurrency a decade ago would have yielded enough Bitcoin today to buy 7.2 million grams of the precious metal. Or, in imperial weights, the alchemy of Bitcoin turned a quarter of a pound of gold into almost 8 tons. In the unlikely event that someone out there actually put this trade on a decade ago, I would recommend taking profits. Blockchain may well prove to be transformative technology, but such gains aren’t sustainable.(In the chart, the purple line along the bottom shouldn’t be confused for the X-axis; it is the S&P 500 Index. In comparison to Bitcoin, this decade’s great bull market looks like a flat line).… And So Is Passive Investing To be clear, nobody should expect anyone to make the kinds of gains that are open to someone operating with the benefit of hindsight. In the real world, you have to guard against the possibility that you are wrong. But Hindsight’s returns show what was possible. Meanwhile, a wholly sensible plan for an American in 2009 would have been to put 60% of their money into an S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (SPY), which returned 250%, and 40% into a long-dated Treasury bond fund (TLT), which returned 103%. The oldest and most boring trade in the book would have turned $100 into $298.As for real hedge funds, they didn’t put on trades anything like Hindsight’s, largely because of repetitive and unsuccessful bets that rates were at last going to rise. Most of them could only dream of the returns made by passive ETFs. Equity hedge funds, investing only in equities, and Macro hedge funds, able to switch between asset classes, were trounced not only by SPY, but even by TLT:With hindsight, it would have been best to avoid hedge funds. Hindsight Capital, of course, foresaw the growth of passive investing, and worked out that by far the best way to invest was through the companies that draw up the indexes. Three quoted companies dominate the indexing industry: the London Stock Exchange (owner of FTSE and Russell), S&P Global (owners of S&P and Dow Jones indexes) and MSCI. (Bloomberg LP is also a major player in indexing, but isn’t publicly quoted). Hindsight commissioned an equal-weighted index of these three companies, and it turned $100 into $999.54 (or $1,000 if we are rounding up).For the future, as passive funds grow, the entire fund management industry has many questions to answer. It is often pointed out, quite correctly, that markets couldn’t function if all funds were passive. But if the active management industry keeps performing like this, the future doesn’t look bright.Finally, for those of us who didn’t match the stellar returns of Hindsight Capital in this decade, the issue now moves on to the ‘20s. Unfortunately, Hindsight Capital wouldn’t tell me the trades they are putting on for the next decade.To contact the author of this story: John Authers at jauthers@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.John Authers is a senior editor for markets. Before Bloomberg, he spent 29 years with the Financial Times, where he was head of the Lex Column and chief markets commentator. He is the author of “The Fearful Rise of Markets” and other books.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The top 10 finance search terms in 2019 on Yahoo Search
    Yahoo Finance UK

    The top 10 finance search terms in 2019 on Yahoo Search

    Everything from gold and house prices to Thomas Cook and Brexit was on the minds of Yahoo users this year.

  • Brexit uncertainty drives big drop in London IPOs
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Brexit uncertainty drives big drop in London IPOs

    The London Stock Exchange suffered a 60% fall in the number of companies listing on its markets.

  • LSE's Borsa Italiana is not up for sale - LSE board member to paper
    Reuters

    LSE's Borsa Italiana is not up for sale - LSE board member to paper

    London Stock Exchange does not plan to shed any assets after its deal with Refinitiv and considers its subsidiary Borsa Italiana strategic, LSE board member and Borsa Italiana CEO Raffaele Jerusalmi told newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Friday. Last month London Stock Exchange (LSE) agreed to buy data provider Refinitiv for $27 billion (£20.67 billion), triggering speculation about the possible sale of assets to gain antitrust approval and to fund the deal. One suitor possibly interested in Borsa Italiana could be European stock market operator Euronext , Italian newspapers speculated some weeks ago.

  • Two FTSE 100 stocks up more than 1,000% in a decade!
    Fool.co.uk

    Two FTSE 100 stocks up more than 1,000% in a decade!

    Every investor dreams of making multi-bagger returns on their investments but rarely do companies make 1,000% gains.

  • Forget an index tracker. I like these FTSE 100 stocks that rose 130%, 93% and 85% in 2019
    Fool.co.uk

    Forget an index tracker. I like these FTSE 100 stocks that rose 130%, 93% and 85% in 2019

    Roland Head asks if these FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) top performers can keep delivering in 2020.

  • Bloomberg

    Banks Are Impossible for Anyone to Understand

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A simple lesson we should have learned from the financial crisis is that complexity begets abuse, and undermines stability. Yet the key measure we use to determine banks’ health is so fiendishly difficult to understand that outsiders have no choice but to accept what we’re told by the lender.That’s the conclusion of a broad U.K. government review of the audit industry unveiled this week. Donald Brydon, the former chairman of London Stock Exchange Plc who ran the review, considered whether accountants should be brought in to verify how banks calculate the all important “risk-weighted asset” measure. Alarmingly, he concluded that there was no point because even trained auditors would struggle to get their heads around these calculations, unless banks employed an army of them. If that’s true, then what hope for ordinary shareholders or bank supervisors?After all, we’re talking here about the figure that lenders and their regulators use to assess how much capital they need to hold against the risks they’re taking. Worries about divergences in how banks work out risk-weighted assets have already prompted new rules to limit the degree to which they can use their own models. The world’s leading financial regulators have urged the audit profession to help , as has the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.Unfortunately, Brydon believes that getting auditors involved is simply not viable. Tucked into his 138-page report, the City grandee concludes that because the models on which risk-weighted asset calculations are based “can run to many hundreds of pages of explanation,” getting auditors to provide opinion on their truth and fairness would "involve a disproportionate additional cost.” And at a practical level, “the depth of skills necessary to undertake such separate assurance are not obviously widespread and readily available,” in the accounting profession, says Brydon. His alternative solution is to get the U.K. banking supervisor, the Prudential Regulation Authority, to issue a letter of comfort as it already reviews the banks’ risk-weighted asset models. But given his admission that this task is beyond the audit profession, it’s not clear why just writing a letter would make bank calculations any more transparent.Moreover, Brydon’s conclusions beg a number of questions. Isn’t the complexity of risk-weighted calculations precisely the reason they should be reviewed externally? If auditors lack the skills, where else is the expertise? Ultimately, shouldn’t we be striving to make these fundamental measures accessible to a wider pool of experts? How can we trust that banks are as safe as they claim to be, and aren’t just gaming the system?This year alone there have been a number of examples of dubious risk-weighted asset calculations. The U.K.’s Metro Bank Plc is being probed by regulators for assigning a weighting that was too low for some assets, an error that — once fixed — led to the bank raising capital. Citigroup Inc. was fined in Britain for inaccurately reporting its capital and liquidity in part because the firm underestimated its risk-weighted assets. Most recently, Coventry Building Society, a U.K. lender, corrected risk weights that inflated its financial strength for years. (The firm was still comfortably above regulatory requirements).While none of these incidents has threatened the viability of any one company, let alone the financial system, institutions are tripping up on an essential reporting requirement that’s too complicated to unpack. As regulatory failings go, this one might easily have dangerous consequences.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at emartinuzzi@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.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Elite Mayfair boutique pays three partners £48m
    Yahoo Finance UK

    Elite Mayfair boutique pays three partners £48m

    Robey Warshaw employs fewer than 20 people but worked on Comcast's blockbuster $39bn takeover of Sky last year.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-London Stock Exchange opens consultation on shorter trading hours

    The London Stock Exchange published a consultation paper on Tuesday asking market participants if they wanted shorter trading hours to help improve staff diversity and the mental wellbeing of traders. The consultation paper sought feedback on five options: four covering shorter hours, and a fifth on making no changes to the trading day that currently starts at 0800 local time (0700 GMT in summer) and ends at 1630. It also proposes cutting the number of "auctions" during the trading day from five to three.

  • London Stock Exchange opens consultation on shorter trading hours
    Reuters

    London Stock Exchange opens consultation on shorter trading hours

    The London Stock Exchange published a consultation paper on Tuesday asking market participants if they wanted shorter trading hours to help improve staff diversity and the mental wellbeing of traders. The consultation paper sought feedback on five options: four covering shorter hours, and a fifth on making no changes to the trading day that currently starts at 0800 local time (0700 GMT in summer) and ends at 1630. It also proposes cutting the number of "auctions" during the trading day from five to three.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Barclays head of corporate broking Kunal Gandhi has left -sources

    Barclays head of corporate broking, Kunal Gandhi, has left the British bank, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. Gandhi led the British bank's broking business, an advisory role unique to investment banking in the country which involves advising companies on strategy and acting as intermediaries between boards and shareholders. Gandhi ran some of the bank's relationships with top British blue-chip companies, including the London Stock Exchange , according to past Barclays internal memos.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-Cboe buys EuroCCP to bolster Dutch EU base after Brexit

    Cboe Global Markets said on Tuesday it would take full control of EuroCCP, Europe's largest clearing house for stock trades, to bolster its post-Brexit base in Amsterdam and diversify into derivatives. It is the latest deal in a rapidly consolidating market where the Swiss Exchange has bid for its Madrid counterpart and the London Stock Exchange is buying financial market data company Refinitiv. Cboe, the biggest pan-European share trading platform, already owns 20% of EuroCCP.

  • How Much Would You Pay to Work Less?
    Bloomberg

    How Much Would You Pay to Work Less?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Companies from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Monsanto Co. have gotten serious about making work more flexible. Thanks to apps and gadgets, you can easily tap away from a living-room couch, the bleachers at your son’s soccer game or huddled over a coconut on your Christmas vacation. There’s a hidden cost to all this for women, though – and it isn’t just the prospect of being available around the clock.A recent working paper from the International Monetary Fund measured how much salary Japanese employees would be willing to forgo to enjoy a healthier work-life balance. It found that earners making 3 million yen ($27,600) a year would give up nearly half of their income to avoid putting in 45 hours or more of overtime per month. That outcome was roughly consistent with higher-wage workers, too.The most obvious takeaway would be that companies should do everything they can to keep hours reasonable. It doesn’t take an MBA to see that lower salaries would improve the bottom line, with the added upside of happier and possibly more productive workers. There’s an important caveat, however: Women are much more eager than men to give up money for time. That mostly comes down to deeper feelings of guilt, according to the paper, not just for child-rearing but also general household responsibilities such as cooking and caring for aging parents.While this conclusion isn’t revolutionary, the policy implications are stark. For every woman who is willing to accept less money for more flexibility, there’s someone out there inclined to put in that 14-hour day at a desk. This suggests that companies eager to give women more choice by offering a four-day week or shorter hours, may wind up inadvertently deepening gender pay gaps. The better way to protect work-life balance, then, is to make sure all employees – male, female, young, old, parents and the childless – are spending fewer, more productive hours on the clock. There’s ample research to show that working more doesn’t necessarily produce better results. In fact, productivity drops off when employees work more than 50 hours a week, according to a Stanford University study. Whether you work 70 hours or 56 hours, output is roughly the same.Despite Japan’s reputation for burning the midnight oil, Americans work even more: 1,786 hours per year compared with 1,680, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Germany works the fewest at 1,363. Yet Germany is the most productive of the three, as measured by gross domestic product per hour, followed by Japan, then the U.S.The good news is that employers are starting to respond. In August, Microsoft Corp. tested out a four-day work week in its Japan locations. Productivity rose 40% from a year earlier. One local-government office in downtown Tokyo resorted to shutting off the lights at 7 p.m. to force people to go home. And in Europe, financial industry groups are pressing the London Stock Exchange to cut its trading day by 90 minutes.All this awareness is a good thing; employers and policymakers just need to recognize the pitfalls. The most troubling element of the IMF paper may have been women’s willingness to make less in a country where the pay gap is already so wide. The median income for Japanese men is 24.5% higher than for men and women. That compares with an average of 13.5% in the OECD and 18.2% in the U.S. Flexible working can mean a lot of things: telecommuting, shorter work weeks, or even the ability to set a fluid schedule, so long as you hit a certain number of hours. These options benefit men and women alike. I can’t think of a single parent who doesn’t appreciate the ability to stay on top of emails while sitting in the waiting room at the pediatrician.But what if all that multitasking only adds hours and stress? At a previous job, when my son was a baby, I was able to leave the office early to put him to bed. Yet I recall many nights spent staring into the white halo of my iPhone, crafting emails with one finger, and nursing him in the crook of my spare arm. I probably would have been willing to give up a fair chunk of salary to guiltlessly complete that work in the morning – and could have finished it quicker, to boot. Many women are wary of flexible schedules for this precise reason: They know they’ll end up working for free. Even companies with the best intentions will have difficulty accounting for an evolving definition of what constitutes time spent on the job.That’s why flexible HR policies are meaningless if culture doesn’t evolve more quickly. Japanese employees get some of the most generous family-leave packages in the world, yet few fathers take advantage of them, as my colleague Anjani Trivedi has noted. People there are literally working themselves to death with 100-hour weeks.Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic Corp. and business-management guru, said you should think of your career as a “three-day chore” — that is, approach simple tasks with the sincerity of a lifelong occupation. It’s about time we bring as much commitment to protecting our well-being. To contact the author of this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Rachel Rosenthal is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. Previously, she was a markets reporter and editor at the Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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