Japanese telecoms business SoftBank has made a high-speed deal to buy British smartphone chip company ARM Holdings for $32 billion, as the company targets the ‘internet of things’ technology market. Negotiations were incredibly swift, resulting in a $22-cash-per-share offer – significantly above ARM’s previous closing price – following hard on the heels of a brief round of talks. Larger-than-life CEO of the Japanese group, Masayoshi Son, approached ARM bosses Simon Segars and Stuart Chambers informally for discussions, before concluding the final offer within just two weeks. Read more…
Following the publication of the Panama Papers there’s a growing call for increased transparency in the tax affairs of politicians and multinational companies. With this in mind, European Union (EU) regulators have recently announced proposals to make multinationals disclose profits earned and taxes paid in Europe’s 28 member states, as well as in tax havens. The new rules will affect all corporations with a significant presence in Europe and will put high-profile companies like Apple and Starbucks back into the spotlight over the issue of taxes. Read more…
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel didn’t become the most powerful leader in Europe by being a pushover. Merkel’s government is dominating European politics at the moment, so you might wonder what response Greek Prime Minister, Alex Tsipras, was expecting to his demands for Nazi war reparations at their meeting this week. One can only imagine that Frau Merkel delivered a frosty ‘Nein’, before going on to say that ‘in the view of the German government, the issue of reparations is politically and legally closed.’
Making your dollar go even further
If you’re hankering after a trip to Europe – exploring the ancient architecture of Rome, climbing the dizzy heights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris or visiting London’s fashion hot-spots, this may be the best time to go.The strength of the dollar is already impacting the price of foreign travel, helping US travellers stay and play for up to 20% less than in recent years. Read more…
In the footsteps of Vikings
It’s often said that ‘you are what you eat’ – if it’s true then new evidence suggests that rather than aiming to imitate the southern Europeans in their Mediterranean-style diet, we should, instead, be eating like Vikings. The Scandinavians already have our admiration for their model prisons, schools and healthcare system – not to mention gritty noir thrillers – but they’re now grabbing the attention of nutritionists who believe that following the New Nordic Diet could help us all to lead healthier, longer lives. Read more…
What price customer service?
It’s a small world – and bad news travels fast. Out of the billions of transactions that take place globally every day, it’s inevitable that some will go wrong and complaints will surface. As an increasing number of these transactions occur online, customers often don’t have the opportunity to resolve problems face-to-face and are likely to take to social media with their grumbles. So what’s the best way for a business to handle complaints and should we be putting our faith in review sites for a fair evaluation of a company’s reputation? Read more…
When is whisky not scotch? When it’s Japanese, of course!
Traditional scotch-lovers, avert your eyes! In a move that’s sure to baffle Scottish producers, Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 is the first Japanese whisky to win the Whisky Bible top spot, displacing the Scottish whisky brands that have previously dominated the rankings. Scottish whisky has led historical sales of the spirit with recent winners in Jim Murray’s annual ‘Whisky Bible’ including seriously good malts from Old Pulteney and Glenmorangie. But this year Scottish producers are eating humble pie with all of the top five positions going to non-Scottish brands. Why? Read more…
We are wrapping up a wonderful third quarter tomorrow with large US stocks up over 16% YTD. Sure, Europe and Emerging Markets were not as stellar, but diversification is as important as ever. Tech stocks are leading the way which should be no surprise–the bull market is getting long in the tooth and dividend tax rates could jump come 2013.
Why should we expect a great Q4? There are as many dour econo-headlines as upside surprises coming at us, you say. We agree. But look no further than 2004 as your guide. A controversial President went up against a lackluster opponent and won. The status quo brought positive market returns before and after the election. 2008 reared its ugly head a lot later. Obama is a different case study compared to Bush. The current President may try to sunset the 2003 tax cuts depending on how the Senate race turns out. That’s probably the more exciting election to watch. Stocks won’t like that, plain and simple. We look forward to the debates to prove Romney isn’t Kerry, but we are not holding our breath. Meanwhile, remember that Obama has the Fed at his disposal to juice economic indicators long enough to at least last through the November vote.
We should see large US stocks return over 20% as a group this year. The prospect of hitting 1560-1570 on the S&P 500 is very real simply through peer pressure alone. The 2007 high is on every trader’s radar and the technical picture is all clear for stocks to at least touch these levels soon. This is a bit like reading tea leaves, but psychology is an important component of short-term market returns. Bringing the market back to pre-recession levels is a wonderful story I see grabbing headlines as the election approaches. Maybe Obama will then release a secret tape where he says “You’re welcome one percenters, now go home, pretend you have a fever and forget to vote.”. The reality is that managers will be chasing returns as Q3 comes to a close and that is powerful stimulus in itself to give this rally afterburners. Anybody who thinks 20%+ returns are unicorns forgot the 1990s.
Don’t expect an October without some bumps in the road, but a bountiful harvest awaits investors when all is said and done.
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