ABB, seen with other infrastructure and engineering groups as a bellwether of global economic conditions, has posted profits and sales up in the third quarter, benefitting from acquisitions, foreign exchange (FX) movements, and cost cutting and in spite of price pressures. Revenues showed a slight increase after acquisitions FX were taken into account. The order backlog […]
European regulators are seeking to introduce new rules for ratings agencies. Ratings would be suspended for countries undergoing bailouts. (But what counts as a ‘bailout’, and how would the EU prevents ratings being applied by entities outside the EU?) The issuers of financial products would be forced to change the ratings agency they use, possibly […]
Strikes at mines in Indonesia and Peru have led to the price of copper for three month delivery on the London Metal Exchange rising more than one percent. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/91ced962-f8a6-11e0-ad8f-00144feab49a.html
GAP has announced that it will close 21% of its 889 US stores over the next two years, and triple its number of outlets in China by the end of 2012.
Globalisation of the world’s money markets has taken a big step forward as stock exchanges in Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, India, South Africa announced they will cross-list each others’ stock index futures and contracts for index options.
There has been a near-doubling in the number of companies worth more than $1bn who have come under pressure from “activist shareholders” to rethink their strategies and corporate governance. The result is that these companies are engaging earlier and more carefully with shareholder groups in order to avoid fights at AGM voting time. Focus is […]
Although US grain production was hit by bad weather, global production of wheat, rice and corn have risen on the back of higher market prices — by around 10%-40% in the past 11 years. Russia is still imposing an export cap, the Thai government is stockpiling rice, and grain supplies remain “on a razor’s edge” […]
The Twin Towers attack of 9/11 led to a downturn in demand that led to a consolidation in the manufacturers of the nuts bolts rivets and washers used to hold aeroplanes together. The uncertainty in demand then led to shortages, which became a serious problem for Boeing as it attempted to develop the Dreamliner 787.
Large institutional investors believe that iron ore prices are unlikely to drop, even if the world enters a double-dip recession. The London Metals Index is down just over 20% this year, but iron ore has fallen less than one percent. In part, this is because the market in iron ore derivatives is relatively young (just over […]
Cargill is the world’s largest agricultural trader, so you might expect them to be able to weather the financial crisis. Especially given the record prices being experienced in beef and corn. Profits, however, are down 66% on last year. Despite their “advantage in trading because they are involved in the physical markets”, they were wrong-footed […]