Italy’s Treasury signs off on decree to sell Monte dei Paschi: sources By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign of the Monte dei Paschi bank is seen in Rome

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By Giuseppe Fonte

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri has signed off on a government decree listing options to sell Italy’s controlling stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MI:), two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

Rome rescued Monte dei Paschi in 2017, spending 5.4 billion euros ($6.4 billion) on a 68% stake which under the terms of the bailout negotiated with European Union competition authorities must be sold next year.

Gualtieri’s signature paves the way for final approval by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the two sources said, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Italian Treasury declined to comment.

Although Italy’s co-ruling 5-Star Movement wants the state to delay its exit from Monte dei Paschi, sources have told Reuters the Treasury is working to find a buyer by the end of the year.

The goal is to combine a merger with a complex scheme to free the bank of its remaining problem loans, sources said.

While Banco BPM (MI:) is seen by the Treasury as a good partner, the Milan-based bank has repeatedly denied any interest in a tie-up with Monte dei Paschi.

The decree, obtained by Reuters, authorises the Treasury to help Monte dei Paschi shed 8.1 billion euros in problem debts through a deal with state-owned bad loan manager AMCO.

This clean-up “is essential to give the bank the prospect of a lasting return to profitability … and pave the way for the economy ministry to sell its holding,” the decree states.

Rome also lists ways the government can liquidate its holding, which include a share offerings, a public tender or negotiating a merger.

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Rocket Internet Signs off in the Usual Style By Investing.com


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By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — One of Europe’s most high-profile incubators for startups is abandoning the stock market.

Rocket Internet (DE:), which can count online fashion house Zalando (DE:), Delivery Hero (DE:) and meal kit company HelloFresh (DE:) among its success stories, said on Tuesday it will delist from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, saying it didn’t need public investors any more, thank you very much.

“The significance of capital markets as a financing source has diminished,” it said in a statement. “A delisting will permit Rocket Internet to pursue a long-term approach in its strategic decisions.”

It added that “adequate access to capital is secured outside the stock exchange.”

It had better be. The Samwer brothers haven’t made many friends among retail investors in the six years since they listed Rocket: the shares that listed at 42.50 euros are now worth only 44% of that (share buybacks in the last couple of years mean that total returns are somewhat less awful than the share price alone indicates).

Normally, founders take their listed companies private when they think they are undervalued, demonstrating their conviction by offering a premium to the prevailing price. The Samwers, by contrast, are offering 18.57 euros a share, 2% below Monday’s close. A clearer one-fingered salute to free shareholders is hard to imagine.

Short-term financial pressures on its remaining portfolio companies – almost all of which are still loss-making – appear likely to have played a significant role. Rocket had already swung to a loss in the first quarter after having to slash the valuation of its portfolio in response to the first wave of the virus. Although the market has treated many loss-making startups indulgently since then (even going so far as to propel Delivery Hero into the ), Rocket’s last update hinted heavily that some of its investments wouldn’t survive the downturn.  

The Samwers made a point of building Rocket around copycat sites – Zalando, its best-known project, was based on Zappos.com while HelloFresh and Delivery Hero were modelled on the likes of Blue Apron (NYSE:) and GrubHub (NYSE:). Consequently, a bet on Rocket was always more of a bet on the Samwers’ ability to execute, rather than on their vision.

The 50% drop in the share price over six years suggests that they have been found wanting on that score.  Even allowing for the nature of venture capital, a business that requires regular exits before an investment develops its full potential, the operational performance and the share price performance of HelloFresh, Delivery Hero and Zalando have improved conspicuously as Rocket withdrew from them. That suggests a little more than just unfortunate timing on behalf of the venture capitalist.

Likewise, the failure of one of its biggest holdings, Global Fashion Group, to turn a profit, and the inability even of Alibaba (NYSE:) to make a success of e-commerce platform Lazada since buying it also point to deeper-rooted problems with the Samwer model.

Shareholders can console themselves that – by taking one last modest hit –  they won’t have to worry about it for much longer.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Dow Advances on Apple-Infused Rally Amid Signs of Growing iPhone 12 Demand By Investing.com


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By Yasin Ebrahim

Investing.com – Wall Street moved higher Friday, as an Apple-infused rally in tech and positive earnings helped offset weakness in energy as oil prices fell.

The rose 0.55%, or  151 points. The rose 0.18%, while the gained 0.19%. 

Apple (NASDAQ:) surged 3% to offset losses in other big tech names such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:), Facebook (NASDAQ:), and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:) as investors digested signs of higher demand forecasts for the tech giant’s upcoming slate of new 5G- enabled iPhones.

“Our recent Asia supply chain checks conducted by our TMT team show a discernible uptick in forecasts for iPhone 12, which bodes well for demand trends heading into this highly anticipated October launch,” Wedbush said in a note.

Energy, however, proved an exception to the move higher as oil prices slipped on concerns that a slower pace of economic recovery could hurt demand.

But not every sector of the economy is flagging a potential slowdown. Housing remains robust, while a survey on business activity also surprised to the upside.

The Commerce Department said existing home sales in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of units., topping forecasts for a 14.7% rise.

“Given the continued plunge in mortgage rates, there is probably further upside for demand in August,” Jefferies (NYSE:) said.

IHS Markit data showed flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ index of 54.7 for August, above forecasts of 51.3.

Upbeat quarterly corporate earnings also supported investor sentiment on stocks.

Deere  (NYSE:) advanced more than 5% after the company reported fiscal third-quarter results that beat on both the top and bottom lines.

Foot Locker (NYSE:) also delivered quarterly results for the second quarter that topped analysts’ consensus, sending its share price up 1%

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Hit by COVID-19, Thyssenkrupp sees early signs of stabilisation By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG is seen on an escalator at Frankfurt’s main railways station in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Ailing conglomerate Thyssenkrupp (DE:) on Thursday said some businesses were stabilising in the current quarter after suffering a heavy blow due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group said its fiscal third-quarter adjusted operating loss from continuing operations, which strips out the elevator business it recently sold, came in at 679 million euros ($800 million), less than the up to 1 billion it had flagged in May.

“We have worked hard to keep our costs under control and secure liquidity,” Chief Executive Martina Merz said. “As a result we came through the crisis slightly better than initially feared in the third quarter overall.”

The company, which sold its elevator unit to a private equity consortium for 17.2 billion euros, said most businesses were stabilising or even improving quarter-on-quarter, with the exception of its struggling steel division.

Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe, the continent’s second-largest player after ArcelorMittal (AS:), is expected to rack up a 1 billion euro adjusted operating loss in the fiscal year to September, the company said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Saudi Aramco’s profit plunges, sees signs of oil market recovery By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Aramco is seen as security personnel walk before the start of a press conference by Aramco at the Plaza Conference Center in Dhahran

By Saeed Azhar and Rania El Gamal

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi state oil group Aramco (SE:)’s profit plunged 73% in the second quarter of the year, as a slump in energy demand and prices due to the coronavirus crisis hit sales at the world’s biggest oil exporter.

All major oil companies have taken a hit in the second quarter as lockdowns to contain the coronavirus limited travel, which reduced oil consumption and sent prices tumbling to levels not seen in nearly two decades.

Aramco, which listed in Riyadh last year in a record $29.4 billion flotation, said the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally had significantly reduced demand for , and petroleum products.

“The COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything the world has experienced in recent history and we are adapting to a highly complex and rapidly changing business environment,” CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement on Sunday.

“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies,” Nasser said.

Aramco reported a 73.4% fall in second-quarter net profit, a steeper drop than analysts had forecast, and said it expected capital expenditure for 2020 to be at the lower end of a $25 billion to $30 billion range.

Net profit fell to 24.6 billion riyals ($6.57 billion) for the quarter to June 30 from 92.6 billion riyals a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a net profit of 31.3 billion riyals in the second quarter, according to the mean estimate from three analysts, provided by Refinitiv.

“Aramco figures are healthy compared to other global peers,” Mazen al-Sudairi, head of research at Al Rajhi Capital, said. “This was the worst quarter in the modern history of oil industry, and surviving it with healthy figures points to a very positive outlook.”

Aramco shares were up 0.4% in early trade. The group is currently the world’s second most valuable publicly traded company after Apple (NASDAQ:) which overtook the oil group to take the number one slot in terms of market value earlier this month.

Aramco said it would distribute a dividend of $18.75 billion for the second quarter of this year, in line with its plan to pay a base dividend of $75 billion for 2020.

The group’s dividends play a critical role in helping the Saudi government to manage its fiscal deficit.

BP (NYSE:) earlier this month cut its dividend for the first time in a decade after a record $6.7 billion second-quarter loss, while Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) in April cut its dividend for the first time since World War Two.

Aramco’s free cash flow stood at $6.1 billion in the second quarter and $21.1 billion for the first half of 2020, respectively, compared to $20.6 billion and $38.0 billion for the same periods in 2019.

Aramco’s gearing ratio was 20.1% at the end of June, mainly reflecting the deferred consideration for the acquisition of Saudi Basic Industries Corp and the consolidation of SABIC’s net debt on to Aramco’s balance sheet.($1 = 3.7501 riyals)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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