Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Voices and Trends in European Business

Northern Europe is gonna do just fine because the US will have strong growth,and they will do well off that,according to Joseph McAlinden,Chief Investment Officer at Catalpa Capital.People are gonna feel wealthier and spend,which is good for the world economy.The US economy,the stock market is the buy on the gold seam right now.
French consumer confidence fell in March on the stalled economy.
US durable goods orders were up more than forecast.US home values are at their highest level since 2007.
An EU report says the employment outlook is very bleak across Europe.
UK banks must raise 38 billion dollars to make up for a capital shortfall,the Bank of England says.
London remains the world's top financial centre,says the Global Financial Centres Index.
VTB has the most exposure to Cyprus of the Russian banks,according to Standard and Poor's.The EU says the Cypriot bank tax is not a template for future bailouts.
Credit Suisse is to buy Morgan Stanley's Europe wealth management business.Erricson is in talks to buy Microsoft's IPTV business.
The euro has traded below 1.28 for the first time since November.
German plant and machine orders were unchanged in February on weak Euro-zone demand.
Credit Suisse(CS),Microsoft(MSFT),Morgan Stanley(MS),Erricson(ERIC)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Global and Regional Best Internet Banks

Global Finance Magazine has named the World's Best Internet Banks 2012,round two.They are forging leadership in mobile banking services,online payments,cash management,social media and Web design and integration,as well as in attracting new customers in growing markets,strengthening ties with existing clients and improving cyber security.
The winning banks are also quickly responding to customer demand for better service,state-of-the-art functionality and personalised service,testing new Internet tools with clients and analysing user experience to hone their product,said Infosys Technologies' Balaji Yellavalli.
The 220 bank entrants were evaluated by a judging panel from Infosys.
Global Winners
Best Overall Internet Bank:Citi
Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Bank:Citi
Best Consumer Internet Bank:Standard Chartered
Regional Winners
Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Banks
North America:Wells Fargo
Central and Eastern Europe:Bank Pekao
Latin America:Citi
Asia Pacific:Citi
Middle East/Africa:Citi
Best Consumer Internet Banks
North America:Scotiabank
Central and Eastern Europe:OTP Bank
Latin America:Scotiabank
Asia Pacific:Standard Chartered
Middle East/Africa:Standard Chartered
Infosys Ltd(INFY),Scotiabank(BNS),Citigroup(C),Standard Chartered PLC(STAN:London)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Global and Domestic Concerns:Inside US Strategic Command

A rare look into the world of  the US strategic forces was given in Washington recently.
Any future arms reductions with Russia should be bilateral and verifiable,said General Robert Kehler,US Air Force,Commander,US Strategic Command at a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing at the Capitol on Monday.We have been on a successful and deliberate path with them.It also provides transparency and engagement with Russia that is extremely valuable.
I would not go below the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty levels unilaterally.Working with the Russians has been a consistent theme.
We do not believe officially they are compliant with the Conventional Forces in Europe agreement,but are with the new START agreement.The Russians are very careful about their Command and Control.This is why we would like more transparency with China on a military-to-military basis.
I believe China is not seeking numeric parity with us or Russia.
With North Korea,we're looking to see if adjustments need to be made.Deterrence begins on the Peninsula from in-theater forces and extends all the way back to STRATCOM.Today we can make all the options available to the President of the United States.We are looking if we are on the right pathway for the future.I believe it's difficult to weigh their intentions.
It's about readiness for us.We participate with US Pacific Command exercises,demonstrating the credibility of our capabilities,and I believe that's important.We agree forcefully with the need to modernise and sustain the nuclear deterrent.
In some cases,conventional forces can produce a similar result.Strong conventional forces can contribute to deterrence,but nuclear deterrence continues to occupy a unique place.They are complementary.Increases in our conventional capabilities has made a difference,narrowing the role of our nuclear deterrence.
I believe our nuclear deterrent force is safe and secure and under the control of POTUS.It meets our needs today,but that will vary as the world situation changes.
All of this is sensitive to the budget decisions.There will be impacts across the board;we just can't predict what until we see the actual budget.The most troubling impact will be the impact on our civilian work force and readiness accounts.It is happening now;we will see the effects in coming months.
Today the civilians are senior leaders,integral to everything we do.They have expertise and experience we do not have in the uniformed force-highly technical.My concern begins with unintentional and intangible effects on our work force.People with college degrees are wondering if this is for them,General Kehler observed.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cosmetics and the Luxury Retail Market

Spain,Italy and Greece are not in any healthy condition,according to William Lauder,Executive Chairman of cosmetics titan the Estee Lauder Companies.Central Europe is OK,not bad.Eastern Europe is better still.Germany,France and the Benelux are pretty solid.
Asia's our fastest growing market;China is the fastest in Asia.Chinese consumers are shopping both at home and abroad.There's still an awful lot of growth going on there.We're building for the long term.
The female consumer's behaviour is influenced by her employment;her spouse's employment;and the housing market.
Most of our competitors are European or Asian-based,such as LVMH and L'Oreal.According to the comparables,we are the world's leading prestige market for beauty.A customer will spend 35-50 dollars for our products,versus 500 for a handbag or 50,000 for a necklace.
In California,there is strong Australian buying within a 20 mile radius of LAX airport.It is the major gateway of the Australians to the US;20-30% of area retailers' business is from Australians,given the strong Australian dollar.
Estee Lauder(EL)