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Oct 11

Entrepreneurship rises rapidly

Posted by nicklord in Risk



A study of trends in corporate directorships in the UK has shown that the number of entrepreneurs has more than doubled in the last five years. Experian, the global credit information provider, analyzed details of the 4.3 million directors listed in its UK database.

Oct 06

UK mulls new solution to boost small business

Posted by nicklord in Finance


It has been reported that UK banks are in the process of setting up a pooled investment fund that would extend private equity finance to UK small businesses. The scheme is being overseen by the British Bankers Association and is understood to include most of the UK retail banking behemoths, such as RBS, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HBOS.

The final details of the scheme are likely to come out in the next 10 days or so. But initial reports suggest that the fund could be up to £250 million at launch. It would also be expanded over coming years to a final size of around £500 million.

Oct 03

UK small businesses want less support

Posted by nicklord in Tax



An intriguing report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in the UK suggests that 74 percent of small business owners want less government spending. And that includes spending on schemes to support small businesses.

Sep 29

Microsoft Milks Market Madness

Posted by nicklord in Deals


Microsoft's record breaking bond deal last week reveals much about the market. In particular it shows how clever corporate finance only available to the biggest companies can be used to gussy up shareholder value.

The $4.75 billion deal had tranches of three, five, ten and thirty years and broke many records. At the three year mark, it broke the record for the lowest ever coupon from a corporate issuer with a mark of 0.85 percent. At the 30-year end it matched the record lowest coupon of 4.5 percent.

Sep 26

The British are leaving, the British are leaving

Posted by nicklord in Tax



What do a building supplies company that began life as a maker of sheep shearing tools and Europe's largest bank have in common? Both have plans to leave the UK to escape what many companies see as an iniquitous tax situation.

Sep 21

Obama sparks RMB appreciation

Posted by nicklord in RMBObamaFXChinaCash


Who says politicians cannot move markets? Yesterday's town hall meeting by President Obama contained some tough language for the Chinese. The President said that the Chinese leaders were not doing enough to let their currency, the RMB, appreciate. In response the value of the RMB surged to its highest level since 1993.

The spot price of the dollar/RMB cross reached a high of 6.6987 while the price for one-year non-deliverable forwards for the RMB reached 6.5818 to the dollar. This was an increase of 50 basis points on the day and suggests that the currency will appreciate by nearly two percent over the next year.

Sep 18

Europe follows US path on derivatives clearing

Posted by nicklord in RiskeuropeDodd-Frankderivativescompliance


Companies in Europe have been largely spared being forced to clear all their derivative contracts on centralized exchanges. New regulations announced last week by the European Commission on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories largely focused on financial firms. But there was a significant space devoted to corporate users of derivatives.

The new regulations will create three categories of non-financial derivatives user: those who do not need to inform the authorities about their derivatives exposure; those that will have to inform the authorities but can still clear their trades OTC; and those who are such heavy users of derivatives that they will have to behave like banks and trade them on exchanges and have the contracts centrally cleared.

Sep 16

UK watchdog barks at auditors

Posted by nicklord in PwCKPMGErnst & YoungDeloitteauditing


The Financial reporting Council of the UK has released the annual results of its inspection of the big four accounting firms. Its verdict? Could do better.

Each of the big four - KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and Ernst & Young - were found to have been less than perfect. Each was found guilty of specific misdemeanors, but the common thread running through the report was that auditors faced too much internal pressure to do non-audit work, so that the quality and independence of the audits were in danger of slipping.

Sep 12

Happy days for hybrids

Posted by nicklord in SuezSSERWEhybrid capital



European CFOs are looking closely at issuing hybrid bonds after the success of a deal last week for UK utility Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). As many as four new issues could come this week from other utility companies including Suez Environment and RWE, which is starting road shows this Wednesday.

Sep 02

UK government toys with restructuring moratorium

Posted by nicklord in UKrestructuring


The UK government is seeking comments to a white paper it has issued on the idea of creating a restructuring moratorium. Such a moratorium would allow companies that face cash flow issues to seek a moratorium on their debts as they seek to restructure them. The move would add a new layer of flexibility to the existing bankruptcy and administration regimes.

The paper is a response to the £90 billion of private equity related leveraged loans that are due to mature between now and 2015.

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