Monday, October 24, 2016

Industry Slowdown Prompts Big Merger of Discount Brokerages

Scottrade customers may be seeing changes to the discount brokerage services they receive,such as higher fees,by the end of September 2017,as TD Ameritrade,America's largest discount brokerage by trade volume,purchases the privately held Scottrade Financial Services for four billion dollars.In turn,TD Bank,Toronto Dominion Bank's US subsidiary,will then buy Scottrade Bank for 1.3 billion.
TD Bank owns nearly 42% of TD Ameritrade.*
Although based in St.Louis today,Scottrade derives its name from the fact that it was founded in Scottsdale,Arizona.Founder and CEO Rodger Riney,who suffers from multiple myeloma blood cancer,will become a member of the TD Ameritrade board post-merger.Mr.Riney has become a familiar face to Americans by appearing in several TV adverts for his company.*
The deal is expected to realise cost savings of about 450 million dollars annually for TD Ameritrade,and more than 300 million in additional longer-term opportunities.As a result of the merger,TDA will grow to 600 retail branches,but intends to slim down to about 450.*
The discount brokerage business has been hurt by intense competition and the trend of switching to passive investing rather than the day trading model,making organic growth more difficult.*
TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD)

UK PM Theresa May Attends First EU Summit | CNBC

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F1 2016 USA Official Race Highlights

Monday, October 17, 2016

Orbital ATK Rocket Launch Rescheduled - new ISS crew to follow

Yesterday's planned launch of the Orbital ATK Antares rocket from the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility,Virginia,was postponed about 24 hours because of a fault detected in a ground support equipment cable (GSE) during a pre-launch checkout,the company said.They have spares on hand and rework procedures are now in process.There are no technical issues with the rocket or Cygnus spacecraft.The launch has been rescheduled for tonight,17 October at 7:40 p.m. EDT.*
The Cygnus spacecraft is carrying cargo for the International Space Station.On Wednesday 19 October,a replacemet crew for the ISS is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome,Kazakhstan.Expedition 49's Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko will be joined by NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough and launched in the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft at 4:05 p.m. EDT.They will take two days to test upgraded equipment on the Soyuz,docking at the ISS Poisk module at 5:59 a.m. EDT.The launch has been postponed since 23 September because of a technical issue with the Soyuz that Roscomos repaired.They will return in late February having carried out hundreds of experiments in biology;biotechnology;physial science and Earth science.*
Orbital ATK is an aerospace manufacturer and defence contractor formed from the merger in 2015 of Orbital Sciences Corp. and Alliant Techsystems.It is based in Dulles,Virginia.*
Orbital ATK Inc (OA)

Monday, September 12, 2016

VIDEO:The address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Consecration of Archimandrite Bartholomew Samaras to the Episcopacy as Bishop and Metropolitan-elect of Smyrna at the Patriarchal Church of St.George in Constantinople/Istanbul;he will be enthroned in Smyrna/Izmir,Turkey in about two weeks' time as the first Metropolitan of Smyrna in nearly a century and Archimandrite Kirill Sikis will be consecrated as his auxiliary bishop Η ομιλία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη στην στη χειροτονία του Μητροπολίτη Σμύρνης Βαρθολομαίου|

VIDEO: Η ομιλία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη στην στη χειροτονία του Μητροπολίτη Σμύρνης Βαρθολομαίου| Δείτε το βίντεο με την ομιλία του Οικουμενικού Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίου στον Πατριαρχικό Ναό του Αγίου Γεωργίου κατά τη χειροτονία του Μητροπολίτη Σμύρνης Βαρθολομαίου.

HP Acquires Samsung Printers,Patents

HP was spun off from Hewlett-Packard to sell personal computers,printers,ink and toner,being the leader in the desktop printing industry.Now HP wants to enter the higher growth market for large A3 printer-copier combinations.These devices are geared toward high volume office work group customers.HP is paying 1.05 billion dollars for Samsung's A3 business and thousands of patents.*
Besides the A3 line of business,HP will acquire the ability to manufacture essential mechanisms within laser printers,so they won't have to buy them from other firms anymore.Control of this core technology will help HP to shape the evolution of its laser printers,as well as raise its profit margins.*
The deal brings with it to HP more than 6500 Samsung printing patents and 6,000 Samsung employees-among them,about 1500 engineers.*
HP Inc (HPQ),Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (LSE:SMSN)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pfizer Seeks Quick Profits From Cancer Drugs

The world's largest drugmaker,Pfizer,has purchased Medivation for 14 billion dollars,or about 81.50 a share.It's expected to be immediately accretive,adding about .05 a share in the first full year after close with additional accretion and growth anticipated thereafter,Pfizer said.It may vault the New York-based firm into a leading position in oncology.*
The addition of Medivation will strengthen Pfizer's Innovative Health business and accelerate its pathway to a leadership position in oncology,one of our key focus areas,which
we believe will drive greater growth and scale of that business over the long-term,said Pfizer CEO Ian Read.*
The big prize for Pfizer was Medivation's drug XTANDI,an androgen receptor-which blocks multiple steps in the androgen reception signaling pathway within the tumour cell of advanced metastatic prostrate cancer,XTANDI has generated about 2.2 billion in worldwide net sales the past four quarters.Other Medivation prospects in the pipeline include two development stage oncology assets,tulazuparib for breast cancer and pidilmizumab for large B cell lymphoma and other blood cancers.*
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and in the top 10 of killers worldwide,Pfizer pointed out.*
Meivation (MEDI);Pfizer (PFE)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Retail Megadeal:Should Walmart Buy

What does Walmart have to do with aviation,one might have been excused for asking when this morning's news of its record-setting 3.3 billion dollar purchase of came across.Yet on visiting the relatively obscure's website,you immediately see what Walmart's reasoning isn't named for aircraft,but for jets as a means of transporting its merchandise.* sells a full line of groceries,including fresh meat from Rastrelli Market and Kirkland brand dairy products from Costco.As you shop, deducts your savings from your balance.Two day delivery is standard for their groceries.*
Rastrelli Market has eight retail locations and has expanded into food processing,warehousing and distribution,building a vertically integrated enterprise that is key to their quality assurance.With direct ownership or proprietary partnerships,Rastrelli Foods Group,of South Jersey,provides hand-trimming,processing and packing of an extensive line of gourmet meats,seafood,heat and serve meals,dessert and gift packages.For example,they own their own Black Angus cattle.The vertical integration ensures the quality and safety at all points of distribution,resulting in safer,higher quality products for the consumer.*
Besides groceries, sells books,baby products,furniture,appliances,electronics,clothing and sporting goods.Looking over the pleasant,efficient website with discount to moderate pricing and astute,branded partnerships,one begins to sense Walmart made the right move toward improved competitiveness in this age of online merchants that we are in.*
Walmart Stores (WMT)

Monday, August 1, 2016

GE Begins Headquarters Relocation Process Soon

After 42 years at its Fairfield,Connecticut home,General Electric will begin moving to its new global headquarters in Boston later this month.Its executives will head for temporary offices on Farnsworth Street in the Fort Point Channel neighbourhood where the project will take shape;the bulk of the 800 headquarters staff will not arrive until 2018.Two extant brick buildings will be rehabilitated on the 2.4 acre site beginning later this year;while a new 12-storey building with 293,000 square feet of office space will be constructed there as well.A bridge and walkway will connect the three buildings.*
The new campus is to be a global epicenter of innovation,according to Ann R. Klee,GE head of Boston operations and development.Our headquarters is designed to engage and leverage the talent,technology and work ethic of Fort Point and greater Boston,while also giving back to the community through investment,rehabilitation and an inviting public space.GE expects our new headquarters will transform the existing unused site into a limb of technology,innovation and intellectual stimulation as well as become a new meaningful destination on the the city's Harbor Walk,Ms.Klee's statement said.*
The first floor and part of the second will feature a museum of GE's history and future.It will also offer a visitors' reception area and co-working space open to the public,plus a coffee bar.*
General Electric (GE)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Verizon Goes for the Core in Yahoo Purchase - transforming itself in the process

Verizon Communications has purchased Yahoo's operating business for 4.83 billion in cash.Yahoo Japan and Yahoo's stake in Alibaba Group Holding are excluded from the deal.Verizon had agreed to raise its bid last week.Believed to be strongly behind the move was Verizon AOL CEO and Chairman Tim Armstrong,who has long sought Yahoo for its digital advertising business-even before the Verizon offer came along.Verizon had made a major transformative move when it purchased AOL last year for 4.4 billion.*
By purchasing the assets,Verizon gains access to Yahoo's advertising technology tools,BrightRoll and Flurry,as well as its email,search and messenger platforms;and content such as Yahoo News and Yahoo Sports.Verizon is looking to enhance its mobile video and advertising portfolios so as to make up for the slowing wireless business now at a saturation point.They also want Yahoo's scale,which will then drive the company's audience from millions to billions.*
The remainder Yahoo will become a publicly traded holding company with a different name.It will keep its Alibaba Group Holding Ltd 15% stake and 35% of Yahoo Japan,plus its convertible notes and some minority investments.The new Yahoo will be permanently structured to hold these legacy assets.Yahoo had been pressured by activist investor Starboard Value LP to jettison the core business.*
On Verizon's side,its head of product innovation and new business,Marni Walden,will become CEO of the combined firm.*
Verizon Communications Inc (VZ),Yahoo Inc (YHOO)

Shop Talk:Vacation Time Once More

Dear Readers,
Now it's peak vacation season,and maybe you've headed out with the kids in the back seat asking if you're there yet;but at this blog,the labouring never stops.The news and videos just keep pouring through the symbolic letter slot in the door,and it has to be digested and put into the proper form for the readers.*
Won't you take a moment and click on an advert for our sponsors?It would help to make for a successful July at this publication founded in January 2007 if you do-and ensure that it adds even more years to it history.
Have a safe and successful rest of the summer.
Andrew Taylor

Monday, July 4, 2016

Merger of Middle East Banking Powerhouses

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi is set on merging with FGB (First Gulf Bank) to create a 175 billion dollar institution.It will be the biggest bank in the Middle East and North Africa.The combined bank will be larger than Germany's Deutsche Bank.*
Both banks are substantial holdings of the royal families of the UAE.The deal is the first big merger since Abu Dhabi made an effort to diversify away from oil and its declining value.The merger,involving a share swap,could result in a cost savings of about 30%.The mammoth transaction,resulting in the most sizeable lender in the Middle East,could spur more financial mergers and acquisitions in the region.*
Wisdom Tree Middle East Dividend Fund (GULF)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit and the Investment After Effects

Financial mavens and governments immediately went to work Monday morning on understanding the aftermath of the UK's choice of the Brexit option.
Obviously this is a shock,said Jurrien Timmer,head of Global Macro at Fidelity Investments in Boston.The UK economy needs to adjust;the stock market and banks need to deal with this new reality.It's not surprising the financial sector is taking the brunt of the hit here.Somebody threw a bunch of sand into the gears.It's a period of reassessing where the growth is,how trade pacts and other agreements are going to be rewritten.*
The S&P 500 has been stuck on 1800-2100 for about a year-and-a-half.Now we have a negative catalyst that I think will lead to revaluation of US and world equities.We may see some form of stagflation,which is really more consistent with a 15x multiple.It's pretty orderly;it's just the market needs to rerate based on a new fundamental.Bascally it depends on how systemic a Brexit is.For the US investor,it's somewhat systemic.I think some degree of rerating is in order.We're a somewhat closed economy.The 15x multiple will lead to basically the lower edge of the range,but no farther.*
The Lehman moment was a liquidity crisis,a funding crisis.With central bank policy over-accommodative here,that's not going to be an issue.I don't see it necessarily as a crisis,unless the euro comes under attack,and it's too early to see that.If the Fed moves to the side,that's definitely an offset.I do think we're going to go into fiscal stimulus in the UK.The UK government could basically fund pretty aggressive stimulus.Even without a shock,some US focus on fiscal stimulus is likely in the election season.*
If we're moving into a mild stagflation environment,we could see less growth with more inflation,so some inflation-protected investing would be in order,Mr.Timmer advised.*
Responding to the Brexit vote,S&P lowered the UK's credit rating from AAA to AA with a negative outlook.*
Investors will be looking into Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities,or TIPS,a type of government bond suitable for buffering portfolios in a stagflation environment.The TIPS bonds' principal is indexed to the Consumer Price Index and rises and falls accordingly;while the TIPS bonds' coupon rate remains steady,yielding more when multiplied by the rising CPI in inflationary conditions. *
iShares TIPS Bond ETF (TIP)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Day One of the Holy and Great Council - Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Of...

Chairman Congressman Royce Commends Historic Orthodox Christian Churches Meeting | Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle - Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Chairman Royce Commends Historic Orthodox Christian Churches Meeting | Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle - Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Approaching the Brexit Vote,Hopes For Action in Europe

I'm hoping for a Sputnik moment-the collective realisation that,if we don't do something now,something bad is going to happen,said Mohamed El-Erian,referring to the Soviet Union's launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957 that triggered the Cold War space race with the United States.Mr.El-Erian,chief economic advisor at Allianz,was commenting following the latest UK poll,which showed Britons leaning against approving the Brexit,the prospective British leaving of the European Union that goes to referendum on Thursday.*
If Brexit were to occur,it would add institutional instability and accelerate the journey to the neck of the T-junction of the global markets and the economy.Imagine this chair with one-and-a-half legs.Monetary union is complete;banking union halfway.We need to complete the regional architecture in Europe,and we need a lot better global policy engine.*
Mr.El-Erian is a native of Egypt and formerly headed the Harvard Endowment.He was most recently co-CEO and co-CIO at PIMCO.*
Allianz SE (Milan:ALV)

Monday, June 13, 2016

BNP Paribas Cash Management University 2016

In early June,the ninth annual BNP Paribas Cash Management University was held in Paris.The delegates were polled about what keeps them awake at night:
1.the current political situation,53%;
2.a new sovereign debt crisis,17%;
3.the ECB's struggle to lift Europe out of deflation,14%;and
4.China's slowing economic growth,10%.*
Alain Papiasse,Group Chief Deputy Chief Operating Officer at BNP,said that the global economic outlook had clouded since the previous CMU last year,with the IMF making several downgrades.Only the US was doing better,and there are fears even about its growth cycle.Europe's modest GDP growth had improved a bit,but not sufficiently to dispel fears it was becoming a second Japan with anaemic growth and near-zero inflation for over 25 years.*
Negative interest rates threaten to become more than a temporary phenomenon,creating a dilemma for companies carrying excessive cash of whether to buy back shares or increase dividends.Digitisation would change the world dramatically over the next five years,and the ways BNP Paribas works with its clients.It also affects corporate treasurers' current areas of concern:
1.reporting and regulating compliance; to invest prudently in a low interest environment;and
3.cyber security's increasing importance.*
There were 260 delegates from 20 countries at the CMU.BNP Paribas is a French multinational that was ranked as the world's third largest bank by assets in 2012.*
BNP Paribas (Paris:BNP)