Author: admin

XTX Markets made a record profit last year, solidifying the UK trading firm’s position at the heart of financial markets and generating a multimillion pound payout for owner Alexander Gerko.London-based XTX made £667mn in net profits in 2021, a record for the six year old company, compared with £470mn in 2020 as it benefited from turbulent, pandemic-hit markets, according to figures seen by the Financial Times that have been filed at Companies House.The figures represent earnings from XTX’s UK entities, which includes its markets division.The company, founded by Russia-born mathematician Gerko, who has a 75 per cent stake in the…

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It’s a well-researched oddity of the past few decades is that as technology gets faster, people get slower. Digitisation of the workforce has failed to do what it promised and there’s no agreement as to why. Economist Robert Solow summarised the problem in 1987, saying: “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Data keep on proving his point. All measures of IT spending have kept trending higher yet since 2005, rates of labour productivity growth at least halved in the US, UK, Japan, Germany and France. This paradox (sometimes called the productivity puzzle 2.0, in…

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Dave Calhoun became chief executive of Boeing at its very lowest ebb two years ago. His mission was to restore confidence in the company after revelations that Boeing had misled regulators to speed up certification of the flawed 737 Max jet, with deadly consequences. Today, it may take the departure of Calhoun himself, or some of his senior management, to achieve that goal.In recent weeks the heads of Ryanair, Emirates Airlines, leasing companies Avolon and Air Lease Corporation have all openly called for a change in the company’s performance, its culture, strategy or even leadership. Michael O’Leary of Ryanair this…

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Cash holdings among global fund managers have risen to their highest level since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US in a shift that reflects large investors’ worries about the deteriorating outlook for stock markets.Cash balances have swelled to 6.1 per cent on average across the portfolios of global asset allocators according to Bank of America, which canvassed views from 288 investment professionals that together oversee assets of $833bn for pensions plans, insurance companies, asset managers and hedge funds.The shift into cash — which is typically in vogue during periods of heightened risk aversion — coincides with a significant weakening…

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One thing to start: JPMorgan Chase shareholders have voted against the bank’s executive pay plan, delivering a stinging rebuke to chief executive Jamie Dimon and his management team. Jamie Dimon © Bloomberg Welcome to Due Diligence, your briefing on dealmaking, private equity and corporate finance. This article is an on-site version of the newsletter. Sign up here to get the newsletter sent to your inbox every Tuesday to Friday. Get in touch with us anytime: [email protected] Bank enlists an unexpected dealmaker after a decade of chaosFor a lender that has spent the last 10 years battling scandals and shrinking assets,…

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Private lenders including Blackstone and Apollo joined public loan investors to bolster Peloton’s balance sheet with $750mn of new debt on Tuesday, a sign of how lines are blurring between two distinct capital markets.Peloton, known for its web-connected exercise bikes, announced plans for the financing deal last week as it revealed widening losses and dwindling cash on its balance sheet. The transaction, led by JPMorgan Chase, concluded quickly thanks to early support from a handful of private lenders that joined traditional investors in the corporate loan market. Orders for the $750mn of debt reached $1.5bn, said people familiar with the…

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Tulo, an African refugee in the UK, is living in challenging circumstances. She relies on state benefits and uses a local food bank. As inflation soars, bringing higher fuel and food bills, her financial situation is likely to worsen. Yet how is it she has one of the happiest dispositions of anyone I know?An active member of her local church community group, Tulo (not her real name) has a wide circle of friends. The emotional support she gains from her social network sustains and enriches her in a way that money, beyond a basic level of sustenance, never can. She…

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US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen is stepping up talks with EU and G7 allies on a potential price cap or tariff on Russian oil, as Brussels struggles to reach a consensus among its member states on a full import ban. Yellen raised the Biden administration’s ideas during a visit to the European bloc’s leaders this week and was expected to present them at a gathering of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors in Germany that starts on Wednesday. “We discussed a wide range of options. We’re not trying to tell them what’s in their best interest, but [ . . . ] we…

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The Twitter board did the smart thing. Now it must do the right thing. On Tuesday, the US social network filed an initial proxy statement that will guide shareholders when voting whether to approve Elon Musk’s $44bn buyout. Directors say they quickly realised the initial offer at $54.20 per share would be a good deal given the company’s prospects. The board then negotiated a legal clause that forces Musk to fund his equity commitment and complete the transaction when all other closing conditions are met. That means the electric vehicles tycoon has no easy exit if he gets cold feet.His…

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We can safely say the past few weeks have been stressful for investors. We’re now just a smidgen away from a bear market, with the S&P 500 benchmark US index down about 18 per cent between January 3 and May 12 (most observers regard a bear market as starting at a loss of 20 per cent). But this number hides massive variation. On my blog I’ve been crunching the dispersion of returns over the year to date and the numbers are hugely revealing. Of the stocks in the S&P 500, 129 have recorded gains while 175 stocks have already recorded losses…

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