STAN.L - Standard Chartered PLC

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
704.80
-13.20 (-1.84%)
At close: 4:36PM GMT
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Previous close718.00
Open716.00
Bid703.20 x 0
Ask703.40 x 0
Day's range703.20 - 718.40
52-week range573.80 - 742.60
Volume8644284
Avg. volume7,520,733
Market cap23B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.52
PE ratio (TTM)38.73
EPS (TTM)18.20
Earnings date29 Jul 2019 - 2 Aug 2019
Forward dividend & yield0.17 (2.38%)
Ex-dividend date2019-08-08
1y target est8.78
  • Thai Bank M&A Is About Coups and Condoms
    Bloomberg

    Thai Bank M&A Is About Coups and Condoms

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s only fitting that Thailand’s second-largest bank pipped a Japanese rival to buy a lender in Indonesia. The elixir of youth is a great attraction to those who no longer have it.Just like in Japan, the aging Thai population is propelling the economy into long-term stagnation, leaving the likes of Bangkok Bank Pcl with no choice except to seek their fortunes in younger societies bubbling over with credit demand at juicy yields. Hence, the $2.7 billion bid for 90% of Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata.At 1.8 times book value, the first major overseas acquisition by a Thai bank isn’t cheap. But the mid-tier Indonesian lender was a coveted asset. At one stage, Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. had weighed a bid. Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. had also shown interest in buying out the existing owners, Standard Chartered Plc and PT Astra International. Since Astra is Toyota Motor Corp.’s Indonesian partner and controls half of the car market, it seemed logical that a Japanese institution would want to get into the driver’s seat at Permata, a specialist auto financier.But Bangkok Bank decided to open its checkbook. And why not? When local businesses have been steadily funneling capital out of the country, how long can banks stay put at home? Since 2010, Thai companies have led or taken part in $83 billion of overseas M&A, including 18 deals of $1 billion or more. Billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont’s Charoen Pokphand Group Co., and Thai Beverage Pcl of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi have been the heavy hitters, fighting to acquire assets in China, Vietnam, the U.S., and wherever they can find them.As I’ve noted before, Thailand’s per capita income is a fifth of South Korea’s, 73% less than Taiwan’s, and a third lower than Malaysia’s, but its outbound-to-inbound investment ratio of 1.9 is higher than all three. Thai demographics are also among the worst in the world. With a fertility rate of 1.5 live births per woman, far lower than the replacement rate of 2.1, it now appears that the small-family drive begun by activists like Mechai Viravaidya, known as Mr. Condom, in the 1970s, has worked a little too well: The 68 million population is expected to shrink by a third by the end of the century. Apart from population, the other big driver is politics. The Thai overseas M&A wave picked up momentum as democracy was snuffed out in 2014 by the second military coup in eight years. Since then, private investment in the domestic economy has ebbed and flowed with global demand. Last year was good; this year is bad. Elections in March returned Prayuth Chan-Ocha, the former general who led the junta, as prime minister. But with efforts under way to break up the country’s most vocal opposition party, there’s little optimism about resumption of a real democracy in the Southeast Asian country. Bangkok Bank shareholders are a little miffed about the overseas shopping expedition. Their dividend checks could be at risk. But the draw of a young market where large banks still earn a 15%-plus return on equity, the best in Asia, is compelling. Permata is not in the league of a PT Bank Rakyat Indonesia or a PT Bank Central Asia, but as Japanese lenders like Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. know only too well, you try to get a foot in the door in Indonesia when it opens even a little.The pull of Indonesia adds to the push to expand beyond a moribund home market. Even with dirt-cheap money — Thai 10-year government bond yields of 1.6% are lower than even in the U.S. — loan growth in the domestic economy has collapsed to  3.8%. The prognosis isn’t cheery, either. A quarter of Thailand’s people will be over 60 by 2030. And unlike Japan, which managed to get rich before it got old, per capita national income of $6,600 last year is only half of the high-income threshold. Indonesia is an even lower $4,000, but there, the ratio of people 65 or older is half that of Thailand’s 12%.  Bangkok lenders have to seek out youth — from Indonesia to India and Bangladesh. Condoms and coups have left them with no choice. To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at amukherjee@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.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How Much Are Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) Insiders Spending On Buying Shares?
    Simply Wall St.

    How Much Are Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) Insiders Spending On Buying Shares?

    We've lost count of how many times insiders have accumulated shares in a company that goes on to improve markedly. The...

  • Bloomberg

    Bangkok Bank Buys StanChart Indonesian Bank for $2.7 Billion

    (Bloomberg) -- Bangkok Bank Pcl snapped up a controlling stake in Indonesia’s PT Bank Permata for about $2.7 billion in the first major purchase of an overseas lender by a Thai bank.The purchase of a near 90% holding from Standard Chartered Plc and a local partner fits with Bangkok Bank’s strategy of transforming into a regional lender with a larger presence in Southeast Asian markets, according to a filing. Indonesia is a “highly attractive and fast growing market,” it said.Standard Chartered’s disposal of its stake, which will net about $500 million, comes as no surprise after the bank signaled in February that Permata is no longer core. The funds may be used to extend the emerging-markets lender’s share repurchase program, which has already returned $1 billion. Its shares climbed more than 2% in London.The deal for Bangkok Bank is a shift in tactics for Thailand’s second-largest bank by assets, which has been viewed as conservative. The prospect of the purchase rattled investors, sparking a 4.4% slide in Bangkok Bank’s stock by the close Thursday to the lowest level since 2016.The acquisition at 1,498 rupiah per share implies a valuation of 1.77 times book value, and will be financed via a combination of internal resources and routine funding, Bangkok Bank said, adding it doesn’t expect to raise equity for the transaction.It expects to complete the deal in 2020 subject to approvals and anticipates conducting a tender offer for the remaining stake in the Indonesian lender.Thailand’s ChallengesThailand’s banking industry faces domestic challenges from an economic slowdown, elevated household debt, deteriorating asset quality and low interest rates. The Indonesian economy is expanding at more than twice the pace of Thailand’s.“The Indonesian banking sector is poised to continue delivering attractive growth while maintaining healthy margins,” Bangkok Bank President Chartsiri Sophonpanich said in a statement.The acquisition could diminish hopes for a higher dividend payout by the Thai lender, Citigroup Inc. analysts Kritapas Siripassorn and Robert Kong wrote in a note ahead of the official announcement. Bloomberg News earlier reported Bangkok Bank was in the running, along with Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc.Standard Chartered and Jakarta-listed PT Astra International each own about 44.6% of Bank Permata. Earlier this year, Standard Chartered named Indonesia among four countries where it’s focused on reducing costs.CapitalBangkok Bank has sufficient capital to buy the Indonesian lender, but could find it difficult to manage a mid-sized bank in a market dominated by the top four, the Citigroup analysts said.The fact that Bangkok Bank is prepared to take on the challenge points to the limited growth opportunities at home, said Kevin Kwek, a Singapore-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.Trade flows between Indonesia and Thailand aren’t large enough to justify the deal, and there isn’t much room for wealth operations in the country, Kwek said. “It says a lot about Thai opportunity, though, for a Thai bank to look to Indonesia for growth despite obvious challenges.”Bangkok Bank has operated in Indonesia since 1972. It has branches in Jakarta and sub-branches in Surabaya and Medan, according to its website.The lender also has operations in other Southeast Asian nations, East Asia, Europe and North America. Some 14% of its revenue came from overseas last year, the most among Thai banks, data compiled by Bloomberg show.The Thai government is trying to encourage domestic mergers to make banks bigger and more competitive. Two lenders, TMB Bank Pcl and Thanachart Bank Pcl, are combining under that initiative to create the country’s sixth-largest lender.Shares of Bank Permata rose 4.4% in Jakarta, outperforming the 0.7% drop in the country’s benchmark index.(Updates with details from Standard Chartered in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Suttinee Yuvejwattana and Harry Wilson.To contact the reporter on this story: Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Singapore at cchanjaroen@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Marcus Wright at mwright115@bloomberg.net, ;Sunil Jagtiani at sjagtiani@bloomberg.net, Ambereen Choudhury, Keith CampbellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-Bangkok Bank to buy Indonesian lender for $2.7 bln in overseas expansion

    Bangkok Bank Pcl, Thailand's third-largest lender by assets, said on Thursday it had agreed to buy an 89.1% stake in Indonesia's PT Bank Permata for about $2.7 billion, in the first major overseas acquisition for a Thai bank. Standard Chartered and Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International jointly controlled Permata, each owning 44.56% in the bank that operates about 330 branches across 62 cities in Southeast Asia's biggest economy.

  • Bangkok Bank Said to Near Deal to Take Over StanChart’s Permata
    Bloomberg

    Bangkok Bank Said to Near Deal to Take Over StanChart’s Permata

    (Bloomberg) -- Bangkok Bank Pcl. is nearing a deal to buy control of Standard Chartered Plc’s Indonesian bank, according to people familiar with the matter.An announcement could come as soon as Thursday, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations are private. The Thai lender was competing with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. in the final race for almost 90% of PT Bank Permata, a stake with a market value of about $2.3 billion, Bloomberg News reported earlier.Bangkok Bank is looking for a new market in the region as interest rates in Thailand remain low. Indonesia, where the economy is forecast to expand 5% in 2020, offers more growth potential for the Thai lender.A representative for Permata declined to comment, while representatives for Bangkok Bank, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo Mitsui and PT Astra International didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.Shares of Permata rose as much as 5.6% in Jakarta on Thursday, outperforming the country’s benchmark index, which slipped 0.7%. Shares of Bangkok Bank fell as much as 5.3% in its biggest intra-day decline since April 2018.Hopes that Bangkok Bank will increase dividend payments would likely be hurt if the lender acquires Permata, Citigroup Inc. analysts Kritapas Siripassorn and Robert Kong wrote in a note.“We expect a rather negative reaction from investors if this deal were to come through,” the analysts wrote. Bangkok Bank has sufficient capital to buy the Indonesian lender, but could find it difficult to manage a mid-sized bank in a market dominated by the top four, they added.Standard Chartered earlier this year said that its Permata investment is no longer considered core and named Indonesia among four countries where the bank is focused on reducing costs. Selling the Permata stake would free up cash for a stock buyback, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts wrote in November.Standard Chartered and Jakarta-listed Astra each own about 44.6% of Bank Permata, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Permata previously attracted interest from other potential suitors including Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and DBS Group Holdings Ltd., people familiar with the matter have said.(Updates to reflect that Bangkok Bank is nearing a deal to buy Permata)\--With assistance from Anuchit Nguyen, Fathiya Dahrul, Marcus Wright, Sunil Jagtiani, Suttinee Yuvejwattana, Tassia Sipahutar and Vinicy Chan.To contact the reporters on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Hong Kong at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net;Elffie Chew in Kuala Lumpur at echew16@bloomberg.net;Yuki Hagiwara in Tokyo at yhagiwara1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at fli59@bloomberg.net, ;Yuji Okada at yokada6@bloomberg.net, Ben ScentFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-S.Africa's Absa appoints new international head

    South African lender Absa said on Wednesday it had appointed Cheryl Buss as chief executive of its international division, to lead its expansion outside of its home market. Buss, who joined Absa in 2008 from Standard Chartered , will be based in London and report to Charles Russon, head of the lender's corporate and investment bank. Russon said Buss was the "perfect choice" to oversee Absa's international ambitions.

  • Forget buy-to-let property. I’d buy these 2 bargain FTSE 100 stocks
    Fool.co.uk

    Forget buy-to-let property. I’d buy these 2 bargain FTSE 100 stocks

    I think these two FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) shares could deliver higher returns than buy-to-let properties.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Big European banks face call to end funding for firms building coal-fired plants

    Some of Europe's biggest banks are being challenged by environmental groups to sever all lending to utilities which they say are still developing new coal-fired power plants. The call comes as some 190 countries meet in Madrid to assess progress on the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which demands a virtual end to coal power by 2050. A United Nations report last year said almost all coal-fired power plants would need to close by the middle of this century to curb a rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the level scientists say is needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

  • HSBC, StanChart Help Keep Coal Industry Alive, Says Greenpeace
    Bloomberg

    HSBC, StanChart Help Keep Coal Industry Alive, Says Greenpeace

    (Bloomberg) -- Four British banks have provided $31.8 billion of financing to coal companies in the past three years, even as they publicly moved away from doing business with some of the fossil-fuel industry, according to Greenpeace.The environmental group said Barclays Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc provided “life support” to companies with plans to build new coal plants, according to a report published Thursday.“The coal industry should be on its deathbed, but is being kept alive only by desperate and dirty funding from banks,” said Rosie Rogers, head of Greenpeace U.K.’s climate campaign.Greenpeace’s data tracked loans and underwriting of debt securities from the start of 2016 to Sept. 30 of this year. Since 2016, all four of the banks have said they’ve stopped lending to new coal-fired power plants. The banks have moved away from other hydrocarbon businesses: HSBC has said it won’t finance projects in Canada’s oil sands, for instance, and RBS has followed suit.When contacted by Bloomberg News for comment on Greenpeace’s data, all four banks’ press officers pointed to these policies and simultaneous efforts to finance renewable energy.Barclays, however, disputed some of Greenpeace’s methodology. The group’s data on coal lending would count a Barclays loan to a coal-producing conglomerate’s renewable division, for instance, even if the bank had no relationship financing coal production, according to a spokeswoman for the lender.Financial firms are under pressure from environmental groups to cut funding to businesses that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, such as coal plants, and instead support climate-friendly projects. Another source of pressure is the rise of green investing, where funds have an explicit mandate to avoid buying stocks in companies perceived to fund dirtier industries.Greenpeace’s data was provided by Urgewald, a non-profit environmental and human rights organization, and BankTrack, a Dutch not-for-profit group that campaigns against the financing of projects it deems environmentally or socially harmful.To contact the reporter on this story: Alastair Marsh in London at amarsh25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at tquinson@bloomberg.net, Keith Campbell, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Companies go 'speed dating' in race for Singapore digital bank licences - sources
    Reuters

    Companies go 'speed dating' in race for Singapore digital bank licences - sources

    About three dozen firms including ride-hailer Grab, Standard Chartered and Singapore Telecommunications are in talks to form consortiums that can meet tough entry norms to bid for Singapore's digital bank licences, sources said. Singapore's biggest liberalisation of its banking sector in two decades seeks to enable online-only banks that can operate at lower costs and therefore offer different services than those of incumbents including DBS Group and OCBC. "There is a lot of speed dating going on," said Varun Mittal, who heads the emerging markets fintech business at consultancy EY.

  • China Bohai Bank to Plan $2 Billion IPO Amid Waning Demand
    Bloomberg

    China Bohai Bank to Plan $2 Billion IPO Amid Waning Demand

    (Bloomberg) -- China Bohai Bank Co., a mid-sized lender part-owned by Standard Chartered Plc, has picked lead banks for a planned Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise more than $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.The Tianjin-based lender is working with ABC International Holdings Ltd., CCB International (Holdings) Ltd., CLSA Ltd. and Haitong International Securities Group on the share sale, said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The bank will probably list in the second half of next year, two of the people said.Bohai Bank joins a flurry of Chinese lenders seeking to raise capital at a record pace as they grapple with rising bad loans amid the slowest economic expansion since the early 1990s. Policy makers have called on banks to help revive the nation’s growth and boost loans to China’s cash-starved non-state sector, which would see them take on more risks.Bohai Bank, with 1 trillion yuan ($142 billion) of assets, saw its nonperforming loan ratio rise to 1.84% by the end of 2018 from 1.74% a year ago, with revenue declining 8.1%, according to its annual report. Standard Chartered held about 20% in the firm as its second-largest shareholder, while local government-backed TEDA Investment Holding owned 25%.The planned offering comes as investor appetite is waning after a spate of declines in freshly listed firms on the mainland. Postal Savings Bank of China Ltd., one of the nation’s largest state-owned lenders, drew the lowest demand from retail investors in almost half a decade for its listing in China. Shares of China Zheshang Bank Co. fell below its IPO price shortly after its debut. Meanwhile, Hong Kong-listed Chinese banks have lost an average of more than 10% this year, with some smaller lenders losing over half of their value. No final decisions have been made on Bohai Bank’s IPO, and details of the offering could change, the people said.A representative for the lender didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for ABC International, CCB International, CLSA, Haitong declined to comment or weren’t immediately available.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Carol Zhong in Hong Kong at yzhong71@bloomberg.net;Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.net;Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at yyu263@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, Jun Luo, Jonas BergmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Forget buy-to-let! I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 growth shares right now
    Fool.co.uk

    Forget buy-to-let! I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 growth shares right now

    These FTSE 100 growth shares look too cheap to pass up and could produce better returns than buy-to-let, says Rupert Hargreaves.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Barclays joins rivals with cuts to CEO pension perks

    Barclays is planning to cut the 396,000 pounds ($508,068) pension allowance it pays Chief Executive Jes Staley by around half, echoing moves by rivals who have pledged to rein in executive pension perks following a campaign by investors. The possible changes follow protests from investors and employee unions over the disparity between pension payouts offered to Britain's top bank bosses and their staff.

  • Private Equity Snaps Up Bargains in India’s Shadow Bank Crisis
    Bloomberg

    Private Equity Snaps Up Bargains in India’s Shadow Bank Crisis

    (Bloomberg) -- Private equity funds are picking through the rubble of India’s crisis-stricken shadow banking sector, even as other investors balk.The funds have invested about $2 billion this year in the country’s non-bank financing sector, which is worth some $40 billion. While that’s not enough to staunch the 16-month long cash crunch following the collapse of IL&FS Group, it is 50% higher than the average over the last four years and comes after a strong 2018, according to data from research firm Venture Intelligence.Investing in India’s shadow banks involves some serious risks. Slowing economic growth could drag more financiers into default. Altico Capital India Ltd., whose shareholders include Fiera Capital and Varde Partners, missed debt payments in September. The head of KKR & Co.’s lending business in India resigned last month amid rising defaults in the sector.There’s also concern liquidations could spread after major shadow lender Dewan Housing Finance Corp. was seized by authorities last week. Apollo Capital and Cerberus are eyeing a stake in Dewan Housing, the Economic Times reported, citing an unidentified person familiar with the development.But signs suggest private equity interest remains strong. PE adviser Vidura Capital is working on fundraising for six non-bank lenders, while Spark Capital Advisors India Pvt. is helping five, representatives for the firms said.Other types of investors have gotten cold feet.Mutual funds, which have been an important source of funds, cut their exposure to shadow bank bonds to the lowest in five years in October, Securities and Exchange Board of India data show.The share of money from insurers as part of NBFCs’ total funding has also declined to the lowest in at least two years, according to Reserve Bank of India data.Shadow banking is not a sector where anything you pick is good, said Skanda Jayaraman, managing director for investment banking at Spark Capital Advisors India, which last month advised Aptus Value Housing Finance India Ltd. on an equity raise. Still, “it’s a great time for private equity players to look at NBFCs as the valuations can be attractive.”NBFCs focused on financing micro-, small- and medium-sized firms have seen significant interest from private equity funds, according to Arpan Sheth, a partner at Bain & Co.Here are some of the biggest private equity investments in the sector in 2019:Source: Venture Intelligence(Adds information on Dewan Housing stake in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Rahul Satija in Mumbai at rsatija1@bloomberg.net;Baiju Kalesh in Mumbai at bkalesh@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Monahan at amonahan@bloomberg.net, Anto Antony, Beth ThomasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China’s Economy Slows for 7th Month, Early Indicators Show
    Bloomberg

    China’s Economy Slows for 7th Month, Early Indicators Show

    (Bloomberg) -- The earliest-available indicators of China’s economic performance point to a continued slowdown in November.Economic growth was already the slowest in almost three decades in the third quarter, and Bloomberg Economics’ gauge aggregating the earliest data from financial markets and businesses shows that continuing, with a worsening picture for trade, sales manager sentiment, and factory prices.While tensions with the U.S. have eased since the two sides announced talks toward a so-called “phase one” deal last month, a leading indicator for trade flows in Asia, South Korean exports, still contracted almost 10% in the first 20 days of November. That’s an improvement from September’s worst result in a decade, but it indicates that high-technology trade across the region is still struggling as the Christmas shopping season approaches.Profits at Chinese industrial firms fell the most on record in October, dropping 9.9% from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday. The decline in prices at the factory gate is one of the factors undercutting those profits and is expected to continue in November, according to a Bloomberg tracker of producer prices.The falling prices indicates domestic demand is weak. If those deflationary effects continue it will further hurt corporate profits at home and eventually drag down prices and profits overseas as well.Sales managers at Chinese companies reported the worst conditions on record, with the headline index and sub-indexes for manufacturing and services all below the 50 level that separates growth from contraction. Business confidence was at a 14-month low, and all the gauges for manufacturing dropped from recent months, suggesting widespread problems, according to World Economics, which compiles the data.SAIC Motor Corp., the biggest Chinese carmaker, has reported four consecutive quarters of falling profit as consumers have stayed away from showrooms. Auto sales have slowed in particular outside big cities, where less affluent consumers are more likely to be hit by the slowing economy. The carmaker cut its sales forecast in July, predicting the first annual decline in 14 years.Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co., China’s biggest maker of new energy vehicles, last month reported an 89% slump in third-quarter earnings and warned profit could fall as much as 43% this year. Electric-car maker BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co. forecast a 2019 loss in a grim earnings update.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say..“Given weak global demand and uncertainties over trade talk, China’s growth has to rely more on domestic demand. However, worryingly, China’s factory deflation continued and deepened for the fifth month.”Qian Wan, Bloomberg EconomicsYet there is some optimism among the parts of the economy most exposed to the global economy. Export-focused firms were more upbeat in a Standard Chartered Plc survey of smaller businesses.“Production activity accelerated as external demand rebounded” while the new orders sub-index for domestically focused smaller companies weakened, Hunter Chan and Ding Shuang from Standard Chartered wrote in the report. “The manufacturing sector outperformed, its performance index rising to a seven-month high, while that of the services sector dropped.”Iron ore prices have risen recently on optimism for domestic demand next year, with prices of steel rebar, which is used in construction, surging to their highest since May.Note on Early Indicators constructionBloomberg Economics generates the overall activity reading by aggregating the three-month weighted average of the monthly changes of eight indicators, which are based on business surveys or market prices.Major onshore stocks - CSI 300 index of A-share stocks listed in Shanghai or ShenzhenKey property stocks - All the constituents of CSI 300 Index that are in the real-estate industryIron ore prices - Spot price of iron ore for shipment to Qingdao portCopper prices - Spot price for refined copper in Shanghai marketSouth Korean exports - South Korean exports in the first 20 days of each monthFactory inflation tracker - Bloomberg Economics created tracker for Chinese producer pricesSmall and medium-sized business confidence - Survey of companies conducted by Standard Chartered BankSales manager sentiment - Survey of sales managers in Chinese companies by World Economics Ltd.(Updates with weak car sales from seventh paragraph.)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: James Mayger in Beijing at jmayger@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, James MaygerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China Plans Record Sale of Dollar Bonds With Possible $6 Billion Offering
    Bloomberg

    China Plans Record Sale of Dollar Bonds With Possible $6 Billion Offering

    (Bloomberg) -- China is planning a record sale of sovereign bonds in dollars, with a potential $6 billion offering, according to people familiar with the discussions.The Ministry of Finance is considering tenors of three years, five years, 10 years and 20 years, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the talks aren’t public. The ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.This marks the third straight year for China to issue dollar debt, and underscores the nation’s continued interest in building out an offshore market where its companies and local authorities can tap funding. The 20-year note will fill a gap between 10-year and 30-year securities issued in 2018.“It reaffirms China’s determination to develop an orderly offshore dollar bond market for Chinese issuers,” Anne Zhang, head of fixed income for JPMorgan Private Bank in Asia, said of the offering. “The new deal will further complete a sovereign curve,” she said.China’s sale is planned for as soon as Tuesday, the people familiar with the discussions said. It follows the country’s first euro bond in 15 years -- which saw blowout demand among investors eager to snap up securities with positive coupons amid a swathe of negative-yielding debt.A $6 billion dollar issue would be double the size of last year’s, and triple the amount sold in 2017, when China resumed issuing sovereign dollar debt for the first time since 2004.The Chinese dollar bond market now exceeds $740 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and is both a key source of funding for domestic borrowers and an outlet for investing Chinese foreign-currency deposits.Issuance dipped in 2018 after a record 2017, hurt in part by depreciation of the yuan as the U.S.-China trade war erupted. But sales have rebounded this year as U.S. Treasury yields came down. The yuan has also stabilized in recent weeks, following the resumption of Sino-American trade negotiations.Chinese borrowers have issued $195 billion of dollar bonds so far this year, a record pace, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The all-time high for a full year was $211 billion in 2017.Builder BingeInvestment-grade securities account for about 53% of Chinese dollar bonds, with high-yield notes at 38%. Property developers have racked up record issuance of $78.5 billion this year.While China has the world’s second-largest bond market, in some ways it remains relatively underdeveloped, according to Becky Liu, head of China macro strategy at Standard Chartered Plc in Hong Kong. The country is still building out a domestic institutional investor base such as the pension funds and insurers that are a major feature overseas. Banks are the main holders of bonds onshore.“There is a good number of companies that do not have a funding channel at home,” Liu said. That’s why even domestic-focused enterprises can tap the dollar-debt market, she said.The record China sale isn’t huge relative to some other sovereign issues. Italy sold $7 billion of dollar bonds last month. Argentina sold $9 billion in January 2018.China holds the fifth-highest investment grade rating at Moody’s Investors Service, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. That’s below South Korea, though on par with Japan, Moody’s and S&P scales show. China’s planned bond issue will be unrated.(Adds analyst comments starting in third-to-last paragraph.)\--With assistance from Tongjian Dong.To contact the reporters on this story: Annie Lee in Hong Kong at olee42@bloomberg.net;Rebecca Choong Wilkins in Hong Kong at rchoongwilki@bloomberg.net;Ina Zhou in Hong Kong at hzhou179@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Richard Frost at rfrost4@bloomberg.net, Christopher Anstey, Chan Tien HinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-Company logos vanish from Prince Andrew's website as sex scandal grows

    A scheme for entrepreneurs founded by Prince Andrew has taken down the logos of its corporate sponsors from its website, as firms and charities distance themselves from the British royal over a sex scandal. Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son, denies an allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a U.S. prison in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. The scandal has escalated since Andrew's rambling denials and explanations in a disastrous TV interview aired on Saturday left many viewers incredulous, and his apparent lack of compassion for Epstein's victims drew widespread condemnation.

  • Dollar Roadblock From Fed’s Balance Sheet Sets Up Euro Rally
    Bloomberg

    Dollar Roadblock From Fed’s Balance Sheet Sets Up Euro Rally

    (Bloomberg) -- It doesn’t look good for the dollar. Morgan Stanley sees a glut looming, while Standard Chartered Plc says the growing U.S. monetary base will undercut the greenback.There’s a rising tide of supply as the Federal Reserve pumps dollars into bank-funding markets in the wake of September’s upheaval. That has the potential to dent the yield advantage that U.S. markets offer just as a change of management at the European Central Bank could draw a line under monetary easing in the euro’s home region.“So far, the Fed’s liquidity-add has been absorbed by commercial banks’ year-end-related liquidity demand,” say Morgan Stanley strategists including Hans Redeker. “Once the year-end turn has passed, dollar scarcity may turn into a dollar glut.”That, coupled with stronger global growth outside of the U.S. and dwindling portfolio inflows, makes a decline in the value of the dollar one of Morgan Stanley’s top trends to watch next year. While the world’s gross domestic product growth may slow to 3.1% this year, that’s around a percentage point higher than the U.S., according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.Research from Standard Chartered analysts including Steve Englander shows that since 2011, a rapidly growing U.S. monetary base has been a good indicator of euro strength.Meanwhile, the uncertainty posed by a public impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump’s actions involving Ukraine and the 2020 American elections could hurt the dollar’s appeal, which may dim relative to the euro. The White House’s criticism of the Fed’s monetary policy returned to the fore in Washington, when Trump said he “protested” to Chairman Jerome Powell about interest rates, which the president considers to be too high relative to other developed countries. The shared currency held steady at $1.1070 Tuesday, after Monday’s gain of 0.2% trimmed its 2019 decline to 3.5%.Credit Agricole SA says the worst may be over for the euro-dollar cross because the economic downturn in the euro area may have bottomed out. Morgan Stanley sees the euro rallying in the first quarter because of “narrowing U.S.-Europe growth differentials” and improving political factors, while Deutsche Bank AG’s euro-area data-surprise indicator turned positive for the first time in 20 months.That makes euro-area purchasing managers’ indexes due Friday all the more important. A confirmation that the region’s economies aren’t as pressured as previously feared could boost the common currency.The caveat that most analysts point to is potential progress in trade talks between the U.S. and China. If there’s no deal, and more tariffs are imposed, then the dollar could win out and risks to global economic growth may ramp up.Questions over possible fiscal stimulus from Germany and uncertainty over the ECB’s path are also wild cards for the euro. Growth that continues to muddle along risks keeping calls for a fiscal boost in check and ECB accommodation in limbo, sapping support for the currency.“With the ECB racked by internal disagreement on monetary policy as the Christine Lagarde era commences, policy in the euro zone is as stalled and unclear as ever,” according to John Velis, a foreign exchange and macro strategist at Bank of New York Mellon Corp.(Adds detail on Trump’s meeting with Powell in sixth paragraph, updates euro price)\--With assistance from Alyce Andres.To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Hunter in London at mhunter72@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at delbaltaji@bloomberg.net, Benjamin Purvis, Anil VarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Aramco Failure to Win Foreign Money Makes IPO Local Event

    (Bloomberg) -- Two years ago, when the initial public offering of Saudi oil giant Aramco held the imagination of foreign investors, President Donald Trump felt compelled to publicly lobby for the share sale to happen in America.“Would very much appreciate Saudi Arabia doing their IPO of Aramco with the New York Stock Exchange,” Trump tweeted in November 2017.Today Saudi Aramco isn’t just shunning New York -- and other international exchanges -- as a listing venue, but has decided it won’t even market the IPO to American, Canadian, European or Japanese investors. Instead, Aramco plans to rely heavily on ultra-wealthy Saudis, many of whom have been pressed to invest, to get the deal done. Saudi banks are loosening lending regulations to allow locals to buy more shares.The IPO once was promoted as the strongest sign of economic change in Saudi Arabia: the deal that was going to attract tens of billions of foreign capital into the kingdom. Instead, a slimmed down share sale is starting to look more like a levy on the country’s economy as Saudi investors, large and small, take the place of foreign money managers.It may well still be the world’s largest IPO, perhaps raising about $25 billion and valuing the company at $1.6 trillion to $1.7 trillion, well above the biggest names of Silicon Valley. But that’s short of the $100 billion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he was hoping to raise when he first mooted the IPO in 2016. At that point, he targeted a valuation of at least $2 trillion.“Saudi Arabia has been moving the IPO toward becoming more focused on regional investors for a while,” Ayham Kamel, Middle East practice head at consultant Eurasia Group. “Western demand was going to be lukewarm given the valuation and the geopolitical risk.”So poor is the international appetite for the deal, even at the lower valuation, Saudi Aramco decided at the last minute against marketing the IPO in the U.S., Canada and Japan -- three markets traditionally seen as a must-go destination for any big Wall Street deal. Instead of the planned approach to American investors, using what lawyers and bankers know as the 144A rule of the U.S. Securities Act, Aramco decided on Sunday the tepid interest meant it wasn’t worth the trouble.The array of Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co, with mandates to sell the stock to international investors, were taken aback by the sudden decision, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing private conversations.Skipping the U.S. means saying goodbye to powerful American pension funds with billions of dollars managed from cities like Boston and Los Angeles.On Monday, Aramco’s banks told investors in London and other European cities that roadshow events planned for this week had been canceled.In a sign of Aramco’s shifting ambitions, the company published an English version of the updated prospectus more than 24 hours after the Arabic version posted the target price range early on Sunday.“The valuation range is higher than most institutional investors would consider attractive,” said Neil Beveridge, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. “Aramco’s price range would imply a premium valuation to western oil majors on almost every valuation metric.”The new valuation implies Aramco, which has promised a dividend of at least $75 billion next year, will reward investors with a dividend yield of between 4.4% and 4.7%, below what other oil majors pay. Exxon Mobil Corp. pays a dividend yield of just under 5%, while Royal Dutch Shell Plc pays 6.4%.The difference between local and foreign investors is that Prince Mohammed, the country’s day-to-day ruler, has leverage at home. Overseas, he has almost none.Many of the rich Saudi families that will now become key investors in Aramco learned the ruthlessness of Prince Mohammed during the crackdown that saw many arrested in the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh in 2017. Prince Mohammed also controls the local banking industry, which will lend billions of dollars to Saudi retail investors to buy shares.Despite the tepid interest overseas, the 34-year-old Prince Mohammed is all but sure to get the job done -- even if the result falls short of his original ambitions. As well as a lower valuation between $1.6 and $1.7 trillion, it won’t be the 5% of company’s capital he envisioned. Instead just 1.5% will be offered.The combination of a lower valuation and a smaller stake means that there will almost certainly be enough Saudi money to buy the shares – and perhaps guarantee reasonable post-IPO trading -- but the sale will be a long way from the seismic global financial event Prince Mohammed touted in back in 2016.(Adds publication of Aramco prospectus.)\--With assistance from Dinesh Nair, Jack Farchy, Matthew Martin, Archana Narayanan and Swetha Gopinath.To contact the reporter on this story: Javier Blas in London at jblas3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net, Amanda JordanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • UK lawmaker blames HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of Baroda in South Africa corruption
    Reuters

    UK lawmaker blames HSBC, Standard Chartered, Bank of Baroda in South Africa corruption

    Corruption under South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma was enabled by international banks, companies and governments which should now seek to recover the loot they helped to launder, British lawmaker Peter Hain told an inquiry on Monday. HSBC, Standard Chartered and India's Bank of Baroda as well as their senior directors were "directly culpable" in the looting of South Africa's treasury under Zuma, Hain said in his submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-UK lawmaker blames HSBC, Stanchart, Baroda in S.Africa corruption

    Corruption under South Africa's former president Jacob Zuma was enabled by international banks, companies and governments which should now seek to recover the loot they helped to launder, British lawmaker Peter Hain told an inquiry on Monday. HSBC, Standard Chartered and India's Bank of Baroda as well as their senior directors were "directly culpable" in the looting of South Africa's treasury under Zuma, Hain said in his submission to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-SMFG's chances of buying Permata improve after Singapore banks drop out-sources

    Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's (SMFG) chances of snapping up Indonesia's PT Bank Permata have improved after two key rivals dropped out of the race to buy the $2.4 billion-valued lender, sources said on Friday. One of the sources said SMFG was in advanced talks to negotiate terms for the purchase of the mid-sized bank, in which Standard Chartered and Indonesian conglomerate PT Astra International each own a 45% stake.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Japan's SMFG boosted after two rivals drop out from Bank Permata bidding-sources

    Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's (SMFG) chances of acquiring a majority stake in PT Bank Permata have improved after two key rivals dropped out of the race to buy the $2.4 billion-valued Indonesian lender, sources said. While Singapore lender OCBC Group Holdings and DBS Group Holdings Ltd had shown interest in the auction for mid-sized Permata, they are no longer pursing it, the sources, who declined to be named because they were not authorised to talk to the media, said. Reuters reported last week that SMFG and OCBC were working on competing offers and were seen as the frontrunners for Permata.

  • StanChart’s Brice Shifting to Focus on China Offshore Shares in 2020
    Bloomberg

    StanChart’s Brice Shifting to Focus on China Offshore Shares in 2020

    Dec.02 -- Steve Brice, chief investment strategist at Standard Chartered Private Bank, discusses his outlook for markets in 2020. He speaks on “Bloomberg Markets: China Open.”

  • Don’t Chase the Market at This Stage, Says StanChart Private Bank’s Brice
    Bloomberg

    Don’t Chase the Market at This Stage, Says StanChart Private Bank’s Brice

    Dec.02 -- Steve Brice, chief investment strategist at Standard Chartered Private Bank, discusses the potential for the Dec. 15 tariffs to go into effect and what it will mean for markets. He speaks on “Bloomberg Markets: China Open.”

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