Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AIG Makes Strong Effort;AIA Spinoff Prospers

We are now putting in a concerted effort to reestablish AIG throughout the world,said CEO Robert Benmosche.We have AIU and American Home in Japan,as well as Lexington on the commercial side.
The US government was an excellent partner.It was only difficult when we dealt with compensation.We always are looking at market data.You want to be competitive.We've had a very good relationship with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
We are attracting and keeping talent.In property casualty 2012,we didn't achieve our profit goals.We made great progress,but were down moderately from target.Sales of fixed annuities came down.They came in at the mid-eighties,rather than one.
I think I make a lot of money-about 10.5 million.It pays the bills.It's good.Pay didn't cause the crisis.When you lose 100 billion,you're entitled to take those losses and offset future taxes.That's the law-nothing special for AIG.
We are hiring and we are going to continue to hire.We want to be able to take a lap internally.We have centers set up around the country and world in low cost locations.We see our headcount going up,and our expenses going down.
All along ,we've been thinking about business continuity,hardening our technology and where we put our people.New York is a huge center of capabilities around data mining to help us underwrite our insurance better.
I'm feeling very good,although my diagnosis was pretty rough and the initial chemo didn't work.They found a targeted pill.I'm still negative.They're surprised and pleased,but I still run 3-4 days a week 3 miles at a time.
We'll go through 2014 and they'll take a look at it.I'll be 70,and if I still have the energy to stay on and they want me to,I'd be happy to do it,Mr.Benmosche indicated.
There was a better than expected 89% increase in 2012 net profit at AIA Group Ltd,which was spun off from AIG in October 2010,on market value gains and product improvements.New business was up 27% to a record 1.19 billion dollars.AIA is the third largest Asia-based insurer by market value.
American International Group(AIG),AIA Group Ltd(AAIGF:US)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Global Investing Survey 2013

The banks' balance sheets in terms of deleveraging are pretty convincing,according to George Greg,head of international investing at William Blair and Company.The banks move to adjust their strategy where they can make themselves strong-in the human resources area.The capital and cost questions are being addressed.
In the long run,we're gonna have to ask what is the normalised ROE here in relation to industrials.
As for Japan,overwhelmingly on the mind of investors is what the Bank of Japan will do next,the effectiveness of monetary policy going forward.We favour the major financials;global industrials;and consumer stocks with a lot of vibrancy in the small cap end.
In Europe,we like industrial capital goods;global luxury and consumer brands;and cars.Spain has already made great strides in productivity and unit labour costs,and will be more competitive going forward.
There are still plenty of good opportunities in the US,though it is more expensive than Europe.
Portugal's GDP contracted for the ninth straight quarter on declining exports,and the Euro Area GDP fell the most since 2009 in Q4 2012.
British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in India with the largest business delegation ever,representing 100 companies,including BAE Systems;HSBC;and Rolls Royce.He called India the partner of choice.
William Blair International Growth N Fund(WBIGX),William Blair International Equity Class I Fund(WIEIX)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ford's Next CEO;World's Best Internet Banks

Mark Fields,who became Ford Motor Company's Chief Operating Officer on December 1,2012,is believed to the likely successor to CEO Alan Mulally when he retires in 2014.Fields,51,had been Executive Vice President and President of the Americas at the multinational automaker.He made frequent business television appearances in that role.
Global Finance magazine's World's Best Internet Bank Awards recognise banks that are innovating and prospering online.The 2012 Global Winners were as follows:
Best Overall Internet Bank:Citi
Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank:Citi
Best Consumer Internet Bank:Standard Chartered
The award winners are leading the way in mobile banking services;online payments;cash management;social media;Web design and integration;attracting new clients in growing markets;strengthening ties with existing clients;and boosting information security.
Rajesh Yohannan,head of Citi Asia Pacific eBusiness and global mobile,said the team has worked hard to introduce innovative features such as mobile and tablet-based location services;real time click-to-chat;electronic delivery of statements/advices;and global view of accounts.We will continually strive to raise the bar with more innovations in the Internet and mobile space to serve our customers better.
Standard Chartered has been able to attain full straight-through processing for opening credit cards;personal loans;and deposit accounts on the Internet.It allows customers to complete application forms online and submit supporting documentation through the same medium,according to Infosys.Therefore it enables the entire verification and processing for various products online.It has also boosted product cross-selling by delivering customised marketing messages based on customer behaviour,such as browsing patterns.
Citigroup(C),Standard Chartered(STAN:London),Ford Motor Company(F)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The China Trade:Outlook For Equities

The last four years,stocks have done pretty well,but with volatility,according to Chris Blum,head of Global Equities at JP Morgan Private Bank.The volatility will be much less than in the last couple of years.Global coordinated central bank action will lower volatility and get people into equities.
People expect a 15-20% pullback,but those days are history.They will be in the mid-single digits.The key is that people have rules and follow them when things get tough.
We like China.That equities market has lagged the US by 30%.China has a much better balance sheet as a country.They are deficient in human rights.As it relates to fostering growth,I think it is a fantastic system.They reach decisions behind closed doors and implement them.
Citigroup says Chinese stocks will beat those of the G20 in 2013.The Shanghai stock index has risen 3.4%,the most since June 2012.
China is burning as much coal as the rest of the world combined,notes The Washington Post.The HSBC China PMI shows manufacturing expanding at the fastest pace in two years.
iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fund(FXI)