Tag Archives: Barclays

As Canadian M&A Soars on Oil, Goldman Sachs Becomes Top Adviser, edging out JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays and Citigroup

Mergers and Acquisitions Conference 2015 New York City

Mergers and Acquisitions Conference 2015 New York City

Goldman Sachs was the top investment banking adviser on Canadian mergers and acquisitions in 2014, as oil and gas and cross-border deals drove takeovers to a seven-year high.

According to Bloomberg, Canadian firms were involved in $229 billion worth of transactions through Dec. 29, the highest annual tally since 2007 and up 45 percent from last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Goldman advised on $61.6 billion worth of those deals, its highest ever in Canada, and narrowly edging out JPMorgan Chase, which advised on transactions valued at $61.3 billion. Royal Bank of Canada slipped to third spot after three consecutive years at No. 1, while Barclays and Citigroup rounded out the top five. The figures and rankings are based on announced date and subject to change as more deals are recorded.

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London Gold Fix Calls: Draw Scrutiny Amid Heavy Trading

According to Bloomberg,

Every business day in London, five banks meet to set the price of gold in a ritual that dates back to 1919. Now, dealers and economists say knowledge gleaned on those calls could give some traders an unfair advantage when buying and selling the precious metal.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority is scrutinizing how prices are set in the $20 trillion gold market, according to a person with knowledge of the review who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The London fix, the benchmark rate used by mining companies, jewelers and central banks to buy, sell and value the metal, is published twice daily after a telephone call involving Barclays Plc (BARC), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) and Societe Generale SA. (GLE)

The process, during which gold is bought and sold, can take from a few minutes to more than an hour. The participants also can trade the metal and its derivatives on the spot market and exchanges during the calls. Just after the fixing begins, trading erupts in gold derivatives, according to research published in September. Four traders interviewed by Bloomberg News said that’s because dealers and their clients are using information from the talks to bet on the outcome.

“Traders involved in this price-determining process have knowledge which, even for a short time, is superior to other people’s knowledge,” said Thorsten Polleit, chief economist at Frankfurt-based precious-metals broker Degussa Goldhandel GmbH and a former economist at Barclays. “That is the great flaw of the London gold-fixing.”

Gold Capital

Barclays and HSBC Holdings Headquarters in London (Bloomberg)

Barclays and HSBC Holdings Headquarters in London (Bloomberg)

The U.K. capital is the biggest center for gold trading in the world, according to the London Bullion Market Association, which said more than $33 billion changed hands there each day in 2012, exceeding the $29 billion of futures traded on Comex, the New York commodities exchange, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Financial instruments including cash-settled swaps and options are priced off the London fix, according to the LBMA website.

In private meetings this year, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates derivatives, discussed reviewing how gold prices are set, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. The FCA review is preliminary and not a formal investigation, another person said. The people wouldn’t say what’s being looked at or if regulators suspect wrongdoing.

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Report: Hedge fund industry growth stagnant as larger players dominate

Report: Hedge fund industry growth stagnant as larger players dominate

Elite hedge fund titans are having a tough time maintaining star status in the investing world.

The hedge fund business is growing at a slower pace with fewer, larger players in the market, according to a Barclays report on Monday. Assets under management are hitting an all-time high but fewer hedge funds are being launched, an indication of the industry’s maturation.

Hedge funds are seeing fewer funds flowing in and growth is now being driven primarily by market share, said the report.

–– Net inflows now represent 2 – 3% of the industry assets under management vs. 11% pre-2008.

–– Managers with more than $5 billion in assets under management control two-thirds of all industry assets (up from 56% in 2008).

–– Turnover among the Top-20 managers has historically been very high, pointing to difficulty in staying at the top.

–– The Top-20 share of industry assets under management has declined since 2008.

“Hedge fund managers looking to grow their assets under management today can no longer take inflows for granted,” said Harry Harrison, head of prime services, rates, securitized products and municipals trading at Barclays. “This challenging capital raising environment requires them to have a clear growth strategy involving the choice of a business model that supports their growth ambitions.”

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Investors Pull More Money Away From Hedge Funds

Investors took more money away from hedge funds in July when they asked for $7.4 billion back, underscoring their frustration with an industry that has long promised to make money in all markets but is currently delivering only middling returns.

Reported by Svea Herbst-Bayliss, July’s redemption requests were up sharply from the $4.2 billion pulled out in June, according to data released by BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research on Tuesday.

That leaves hedge funds industry assets at roughly $1.87 trillion, down 23 percent from their peak four years ago before the financial crisis hit, the research report found.

“We’ve seen a notable reversal in hedge fund industry fortunes during the past year,” said Sol Waksman, founder and president of BarclayHedge.

This is troubling news in an industry dwarfed in size by the mutual fund industry but able to attract some of the world’s savviest investors with the promises of big paychecks and more investing freedoms. Similarly big name investors including pension funds and wealthy individuals have long been attracted to hedge funds because their managers can short, or bet against a security, thereby having more tools at their disposal to deliver better returns.

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Knight Is Said To Have Spurned $500 Million Citadel Loan

Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG) rejected a last-minute, $500 million rescue-loan offer from Citadel LLC on Aug. 5 as it worked on a competing plan from a group of investors, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

The loan terms would have given Citadel a minority stake inJersey City, New Jersey-based Knight’s stock and an interest in the market maker’s HotSpot foreign-exchange subsidiary, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private. Citadel, the $12.5 billion hedge fund run by billionaire Ken Griffin, competes with Knight’s market-making and electronic-trading business.

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RBS’s CEO Blames Libor-Manipulation On ‘Handful’ Of Individuals

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester sought to limit the damage from the Libor-rigging scandal, blaming a “handful” of employees for attempting to manipulate the benchmark rate.

RBS dismissed four employees for trying to influence the individual responsible for Libor submissions following an internal investigation, the bank said today, without identifying the staff involved. Hester said it is too early to estimate the potential cost of fines and litigation linked to rate-rigging.

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Standard Life’s Grimstone Says Libor Scandal Is Hurting London

London’s reputation as a global financial center has been marred by the Libor-rigging scandal, said Gerry Grimstone, chairman of Standard Life Plc (SL/), Scotland’s largest insurer.

He was speaking on Bloomberg TV’s “The Pulse” show with Maryam Nemazee in London.

On London’s reputation after the Libor scandal:

“I’ve been in the financial services for 30 years and I’ve never known a time like this. It’s been terrible. Some of the language people use has been terrible. I’m concerned that the public don’t really understand it. The public talks about hanging bankers. We shouldn’t use words like cesspit to describe the City of London.”

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