|Bid||0.00 x 1100|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's range||199.10 - 203.33|
|52-week range||133.30 - 210.13|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.93|
|PE ratio (TTM)||37.93|
|Forward dividend & yield||1.20 (0.59%)|
|Ex-dividend date||13 Nov 2019|
|1y target est||N/A|
Top scientists, researchers and mathematicians will get fast-track entry to the UK under a new scheme announced by Boris Johnson. The so-called Global Talent visa opens on 20 February, less than a month after Brexit, due to take place on Friday. It replaces the old tier-one "exceptional talent" visa, which allowed applicants to be recommended by a number of science and research academies.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors continue to pour funds into passive investment products that aim to replicate the performance of benchmark indexes. They’re also increasingly keen that their money gets used to influence corporations to stop damaging the planet and improve social inclusiveness. Unfortunately, many of the products designed to achieve both objectives currently fall short on the goal of responsible investing.The shift in emphasizing environmental, social and governance issues puts pressure on the index providers to come up with benchmarks that more accurately reflect the concerns investors are attempting to express by allocating capital to ESG investment products. Currently, though, even dedicated ESG indexes have shortcomings that many investors are probably unaware of.The U.S. Vegan Climate exchange-traded fund, for example, tracks a $124 billion index created by Beyond Investing that excludes companies engaged in a laundry list of potentially harmful activities, including animal exploitation, human rights abuses and fossil fuels extraction. While the $14 million ETF’s top five holdings — Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc., Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. — may all meet those criteria, they’re hardly the first names that spring to mind when thinking about the words vegan or climate. And there are many other examples.BlackRock Inc.’s announcement this month that it plans to prioritize sustainability in its investment decisions highlights the issue confronting index trackers. With two-thirds of its $7.4 trillion of assets managed passively, the world’s biggest asset manager acknowledged that the bulk of its cash isn’t available to pursue those goals. Harnessing that firepower will become increasingly important if the passive industry is to meet the ESG aspirations of its growing customer base.It’s even likely to radically change the industry, and sooner than people realize. To that point, Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.6 trillion Global Pension Investment Fund, says the days are over when it’s enough for passive fund managers to compete simply on providing the lowest tracking errors at the lowest cost. Now they have to add value too. “The main battlefield among our passive managers is going to be in the stewardship area.” he told the Financial Times last month. BlackRock is far from alone in shifting to a more moral investing stance. A survey of 300 institutional investors, financial advisers and fund managers that use ETFs published on Monday by Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. showed that almost three-quarters of respondents expect to increase the amount allocated to ESG investments in the coming year.European participants in the BBH survey ranked ESG-themed products as the ETF category they would most like to see more supply of, while Chinese investors ranked the sector as their second most desired area of expansion, along with more funds designed to track core indexes.Money is flooding into the sector. ESG-designated assets were the fastest-growing category of ETFs listed on Deutsche Boerse AG’s Xetra market last year, with investments more than tripling to more than 23 billion euros ($25 billion). Globally, ESG ETFs have enjoyed net inflows for 52 consecutive weeks, taking in $30 billion in the past year and garnering almost $3.4 billion in the week ended Jan. 20, according to data compiled by Bloomberg LP, which competes in selling index data to investors.There are two main routes whereby ETF providers can meet the implicit demands of clients allocating money to passively managed ESG products. The first is to use their collective muscle to prompt index providers to increase the granularity of the benchmarks used to shape asset allocations. Improving the discrimination of ESG indexes would go a long way to ensuring investors aren’t being hoodwinked into products that aren’t as green or socially savvy as they first appear.The second is trickier. Excluding companies deemed to be damaging the environment or being socially irresponsibly isn’t enough to move the needle. Engaging with the boards of those firms and using the clout of a shareholding to force them to change their ways is much more effective.But that costs money, and the success of the ETF model has been founded in large part on its ability to charge ultra-low fees. If BlackRock and its peers are serious about taking their social responsibilities more seriously, investors will have to pay for the privilege — and the sellers of index trackers will need to be honest about the increased cost of that kind of activism. Let’s hope the buyers of the products decide it’s a price worth paying to do good.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gilbert at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering asset management. He previously was the London bureau chief for Bloomberg News. He is also the author of "Complicit: How Greed and Collusion Made the Credit Crisis Unstoppable."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Visa (V) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
(Bloomberg) -- Telecom giant Vodafone Group Plc left the Libra Association, becoming the latest company to exit the Facebook-led group trying to create a new global cryptocurrency.The Libra Association, which was finalized last October, once expected to have as many as 28 total members when the project was announced in June. It is now down to 20 following earlier departures from Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and others that had committed to the project but then left before the group signed an official charter.“Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association,” Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication for the association, said in a statement. “Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient. The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”The idea for Libra -- a global, digital currency intended to make cross-border money transfers as easy as sending a text message -- has faced opposition at every turn. Facebook, the world’s largest social network, first proposed the idea last June, along with a number of high-profile partners. Many of them are no longer involved, and Facebook has pledged to appease all U.S. regulators before launching the currency. It’s unclear how long that might take.Coindesk earlier reported news of Vodafone’s departure from the group.In a statement, U.K.-based Vodafone said it plans to focus on its own digital payments efforts instead. Vodafone partly owns Safaricom Plc, which operates the M-Pesa mobile-payments app in Kenya, where more people keep their money on their phones rather than in banks. The text message-based app is used by about 35 million people globally to spend, borrow and send money to friends and family.“We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future co-operation,” Vodafone spokesman Steve Shepperson-Smith said.\--With assistance from Jenny Surane and Scott Moritz.To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- As Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co. prepare to enter China for the first time, one of their biggest competitive threats will come from a company that doesn’t issue credit cards.Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, already the biggest player in China’s $27 trillion payments market, is leveraging its ubiquitous Alipay mobile app to mount a rapid expansion into consumer lending.Instead of issuing cards, Ant allows customers to borrow with a few taps on their smartphones. The loans are wildly popular among China’s army of mobile-savvy shoppers, who often lack formal credit histories but generate enough financial data via Alipay for Ant to make informed decisions on whether they’ll default. The company’s outstanding consumer loans may swell to nearly 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) by 2021, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analysts, more than triple the level two years ago.“The consumer loans business has been growing at breakneck speed, but there are so many untapped users,” Huang Hao, president of Ant’s digital finance operations, said in a phone interview outlining the company’s strategy.Ant’s push into China’s 10 trillion yuan market for short-term consumer loans will make it an even more formidable challenger to U.S. card companies, which are counting on the world’s second-largest economy as a source of long-term growth.Many Chinese consumers and businesses are ditching credit cards as Ant and its main competitor Tencent Holdings Ltd. make app-based spending, borrowing and investing increasingly user-friendly. In a Nielsen survey of more than 3,000 Chinese people born after 1990, nearly 61% said they use online consumer credit while only 45.5% had a credit card.“For credit card companies coming to China, the biggest challenge is how to attract people,” said Zennon Kapron, managing director of Singapore-based consulting firm Kapronasia. “A lot of Chinese millennials are digital first, used to using Alipay as their first platform for payments, loans and wealth management.”The card giants appear to be moving forward with their China plans despite the headwinds. AmEx’s application to start a bank card clearing business has been accepted by the country’s central bank, while Mastercard has called China a “vital” market and Visa has said it’s working closely with regulators for a license.As part of its phase-one trade agreement with the U.S., China said it won’t take longer than 90 days to consider applications from providers of electronic-payments services. Regulators are opening the industry to foreign competition amid an unprecedented push to give international firms access to the country’s financial sector.Read more: Visa, Mastercard, AmEx Win Easier Access to China MarketIn response to questions from Bloomberg on the threat posed by Ant, Visa said it sees significant potential to support the growth and evolution of digital payments in China and is approaching the market with a long-term focus. Mastercard said it would continue to work with regulators to advance its application and is committed for the long haul. AmEx declined to comment.Ant, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that’s widely expected to pursue an initial public offering in coming years, started its consumer-credit business in 2015. Its loans tend to be small: half the users of Ant’s Huabei (translation: “just spend”) service borrow less than $290 and usually pay it back within months.The Hangzhou-based company, which declined to disclose the value of its outstanding loans, keeps delinquencies in check by tapping into a trove of data amassed by Alipay and Alibaba.Many customers have been using the payments and e-commerce platforms for years -- handing over details from ID cards to addresses and spending habits. Once Ant extends a loan, it can track how the money is spent via Alipay. The result is a bad-debt ratio stands at about 1%, below the 1.24% national average for credit cards.Read more: China’s Gen Z, With Little Income, Gets Hooked on Easy CreditAnt keeps some of the loans on its own balance sheet, charging interest rates that range from about 5% to 18%, according to Huang. But most are passed on for a fee to banks and other financial institutions.“We’re set to continue to work with more banks and finance companies,” Huang said. “We are, at the end of the day, a platform.”The risk for Visa, Mastercard and AmEx is that a swathe of Chinese consumers and businesses will view credit cards as obsolete. About 60% of borrowers on Ant’s Huabei platform don’t have one, and many smaller merchants don’t accept cards because they find it’s cheaper and easier to use Alipay or Tencent’s WePay. The former, with more than 900 million users, is Alibaba’s preferred payments provider.“The competitive landscape is full of local players,” said Hang Qian, a partner at Oliver Wyman, a consultancy. “The key challenges are how to promote small merchants to accept credit cards and how to get e-wallet users to switch.”\--With assistance from Alfred Liu.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jodi SchneiderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Africa-focused fintech firm Flutterwave on Tuesday announced a $35 million fundraising round and partnerships with WorldPay and Visa as it targets expansion in northern and Francophone Africa. The startup, founded in 2016 by Nigerians and headquartered in San Francisco, specialises in individual and consumer transfers -- one of several fintech firms aiming to facilitate and capitalise on Africa's booming payments market. As part of the deal, Flutterwave will become the African payment provider for Worldpay's clients worldwide, making the company the latest African fintech firm to attract global cash and big-name partnerships.
Analysts expect earnings at S&P 500 companies to drop 0.8% in the fourth quarter, but forecast a 5.8% rise in the first quarter of 2020, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Billionaire David Tepper, who founded hedge fund Appaloosa Management, told CNBC that he remains bullish on U.S. equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17% to end at 29,348.1 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.39% to 3,329.62.
Analysts expect earnings at S&P 500 companies to drop 0.8% in the fourth quarter, but forecast a 5.8% rise in the first quarter of 2020, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Billionaire David Tepper, who founded hedge fund Appaloosa Management, told CNBC that he remains bullish on U.S. equities. At 2:42 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.08% at 29,321 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.22% to 3,323.95.
(Bloomberg) -- After last year’s deluge of financial technology megadeals, investors wondered if the boom could continue into 2020. This week, Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc. offered an answer: Yes. “Visa buying Plaid brings fintech from out in the wild to something more mainstream,” said Bain Capital Ventures’ Matt Harris. “It’s a ‘growing up’ moment for all of us,” he said, adding that the startup will now be part of the “critical infrastructure underlying the financial services industry.”Plaid’s rapid ascent—Square Inc. looked at buying it in 2018 for just a fifth of the eventual selling price—comes as large companies look to expand their offerings, and contend with fast-growing digital competition. In November, PayPal Holdings Inc. snapped up online coupon company Honey Science Corp. for $4 billion. Charles Schwab Corp. acquired TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. for $26 billion. And Fiserv Inc., Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Global Payments Inc. did a series of major deals in 2019 that remade the corporate landscape of payment processing.Today there are nearly 60 financial technology startups valued at more than $1 billion, according to data from CB Insights, a research firm. Many are now acquisition targets, analysts say. Those include smaller players like SoftBank Group Corp.-backed unicorn Kabbage Inc., as well as giants like Stripe Inc., most recently valued at $35 billion, a price tag that makes it one of the world’s largest startups. Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Harshita Rawat, said in a note that Fiserv and PayPal could be potential bidders for Stripe.Ryan Caldwell, chief executive officer of financial data company MX Technologies Inc., suggested the Visa deal could trigger a domino effect in the industry. “The space tends to heat up when there's been one acquisition,” Caldwell said, adding that larger companies were increasingly aware of fintech’s potential. “A lot of these players definitely need to partner,” he said.Satya Patel, a partner at venture capital firm Homebrew, which was a Plaid investor, said he didn’t expect a bonanza for VCs. “As an active fintech investor, I’d like to think that its acquisition is a sign of things to come,” but added that for every Plaid there will be many more startups that are bought for much less, or go out of business. While companies like Plaid and Stripe deal with the plumbing of fintech, would-be acquirers may also seek out consumer-facing financial startups. In the consumer world, “a re-bundling of financial products is underway,” Patel said. Analysts have speculated that future potential acquisitions could involve some of the new payment plan and lending services, such as Affirm Inc., Afterpay and Klarna Bank AB.“The alternative lending space feels ripe for consolidation,” said Lisa Ellis, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. These firms would make sense for “possibly PayPal or Square, since they have alternative lending businesses already and these would extend those, even banks like a Discover,’’ she said.The rising crop of digital-first alternative banks, or “neo-banks,” saw big investment last year, and may also see an uptick in deals. Digital banking startups like Chime Inc., Revolut Ltd., N26 and Dave Inc. fall into this category. Because many of them have similar business models, experts believe the industry could be ripe for buyouts.“The neo-bank space will probably consolidate at some point,’’ Ellis said. “Many firms are burning cash just trying to buy and acquire customers.” But that might not happen right away. Said Ellis: “The valuation bubble has to pop a bit for that group to be acquired.”(Adds investor quote in sixth paragraph. )\--With assistance from Jennifer Surane.To contact the author of this story: Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Extending its last year's rally, Dow Jones touched 29,000 for the second time in three days, suggesting strong complacency in the market.
The goal of this article is to teach you how to use price to earnings ratios (P/E ratios). We'll apply a basic P/E...
Plaid's technology lets people link their bank accounts to mobile apps such as Venmo, Acorns and Chime, with the San Francisco-based firm saying its systems have been used by one in four people with a U.S. bank account. The $5.3 billion price given in Monday's statement is double what Plaid was reportedly valued at during its last fundraising, when it took a $250 million Series C round that was announced in December 2018. It was later revealed by Plaid that both Visa and rival Mastercard Inc were investors in that round.
(Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc. grew into one of the world’s most valuable financial companies by serving as the pipes that help connect banks and merchants.Now, it’s making a major bet on doing the same for data between banks and financial startups.Visa agreed to pay $5.3 billion for Plaid, a fintech firm that connects popular apps like Venmo to customers’ data in the established banking system. The deal caps a meteoric rise for Plaid and aims to keep fueling Visa’s own ascent, which has seen its stock triple in the past five years. The sale price is double Plaid’s $2.65 billion valuation in a 2018 funding round.Plaid’s developer tools help power a range of popular financial apps -- such as Venmo, Coinbase Inc. and Acorns Grow Inc. -- by channeling the banking data they need for their apps and websites. Founded in 2012, the firm now has more than 200 million accounts linked on its platform, according to an investor presentation. That access underscores the demand from consumers to send their data to services that can move funds between accounts or into cryptocurrencies, give advice on personal finances or reimburse a friend after brunch.About a quarter of people with a U.S. bank account have used Plaid to connect to the roughly 11,000 financial institutions it works with, the companies said. At times, that’s put Plaid at the center of tensions between fintech disruptors and banks, which have expressed concerns about security and sometimes locked the outside parties out.Data Access“We don’t see changing Plaid’s model, we see helping them accelerate their growth,” Visa Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly said on a conference call about the way Plaid earns its fees.But the way data is shared probably will change, Visa President Ryan McInerney said in an interview. Visa will work with banking partners including JPMorgan Chase & Co. to ensure fintechs are collecting consumers’ data “appropriately,” he said. “We have deep relationships with most financial institutions and we intend to evolve” Plaid’s data practices, he said. As a benefit, fintechs may get more reliable connectivity.Plaid has attracted investments from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and venture capitalist Mary Meeker. Visa and Mastercard Inc. also are investors in the company, Plaid said last year in a blog post. Visa said it expects the takeover to close in the next three to six months with the acquisition adding 80 to 100 basis points to revenue growth in fiscal 2021.Longer-term, the deal will let Visa play a greater role in the financial industry’s tech-driven evolution, Kelly told analysts on a call. “We see this giving us options and growth potentials at least for the next decade,” he said.In 2018, Plaid had talks with Jack Dorsey’s Square Inc. about an acquisition that would have valued Plaid at about $1 billion. In early 2019, the firm announced that it was buying one of its competitors, Quovo, in a deal valued at about $200 million.Both Visa and Mastercard have been seeking to move beyond card payments in recent years to extend their rapid revenue growth. Mastercard bought a payments platform owned by Nets for $3.2 billion last year, using its biggest-ever acquisition to move further into so-called account-to-account payments.Plaid has struck data-sharing agreements with major banks including JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & Co. over the past few years, seeking to head off battles over whether consumers should give up their bank username and password to share data with financial applications.Visa’s move follows a year of frenzied consolidation in the fintech industry, as old-guard companies increasingly seek to compete with fast-growing startups. In November, PayPal Holdings Inc. snapped up online coupon company Honey Science Corp. for $4 billion. Also last year, Charles Schwab acquired of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. for $26 billion, and Fiserv Inc., Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Global Payments Inc. did a series of major deals in payment processing.Plaid’s takeover by Visa -- seen by some fintech disruptors as part of the more traditional banking industry -- will be watched closely by Silicon Valley for any signs that more consolidation is coming. Monday’s announcement included comments from JPMorgan and PayPal welcoming the merger.(Updates with comments from Visa’s president on data policies in the seventh paragraph)\--With assistance from Anne VanderMey.To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.com;Jenny Surane in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at email@example.com, ;Molly Schuetz at firstname.lastname@example.org, David Scheer, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Dow finance stocks - JPM, GS, V, AXP - are expected to continue witnessing bullish investor sentiments as several favorable factors bode well for earnings growth this year.