Tag Archives: Finance (TRBC)

Soccer-Italia Serie A opposes the decision to sell shares in the media business | Instant News


MILAN, 30 July (Reuters) – Italian Serie A soccer league has postponed the decision on the project to sell minority shares from its media business, because representatives from the country’s top clubs have asked for more time to assess the proposal for private equity funds.

Looking for ways to increase revenue and overcome the coronavirus crisis, Serie A has asked investors to bid to buy up to 15% of shares in newly created media companies that will control broadcast rights.

But sources close to the matter told Reuters several Serie A clubs were reluctant to accept losing their power over this vital business.

Private equity firms CVC, Bain Capital and Advent International have submitted bids for shares in the business, while the credit arms of Apollo, Fortress and Blackstone GSO have made proposals for offering debt or hybrid financing, the source said.

Moreover, Chinese media companies Wanda Sports and Mediapro have submitted separate proposals to create a special Serie A broadcast channel that will distribute more than a number of platforms, the source added.

“We need to judge what is the best way,” Serie A president Paolo Dal Pino told reporters after meeting with top executives from 20 clubs on Thursday.

“We decided to take more time, until August 25, to assess all the opportunities we have at our table,” he said.

Serie A, which relies on broadcast rights for more than half of its income, lags behind the financial heavyweights of the English Premier League, La Liga in Spain and the German Bundesliga. (Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Mark Potter)

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The UBI Intesa Agreement sounds an appeal to Italian banks | Instant News


MILAN (Reuters) – Intesa Sanpaolo’s (ISP.MI) victory battle for UBI rivals (UBI.MI) has sent shock waves through the fragile Italian banking sector as investors try and find out who will be the next in a mature industry for consolidation.

FILE PHOTOS: Italian bank logo Intesa Sanpaolo seen in Milan, Italy, January 18, 2016. REUTERS / Stefano Rellandini / Photo File

The unsolicited offer, the biggest banking agreement in Europe in a decade, has set the stage for further mergers in fragmented sectors with increasing losses caused by a pandemic, adding to the current lender’s struggle with negative interest rates and the need to adapt to rapid changes digital world.

Analysts say the European Central Bank’s support for UBI’s offer and the use of Intesa’s “bad intentions” – buying UBI at a discount for net book value and pocketing gaps as profits – could encourage more banks to pursue ties as a way to cut costs.

“The Intesa Agreement has ushered in a new phase,” said an Italian banker. “We now know that a hostile banking takeover is not only possible but can succeed.”

What is not clear is who will make the purchase. By picking up the second-most healthy lender, Intesa has removed candidates who are scheduled to lead the long-awaited agreement among a handful of mid-market players who are most at risk from the threats facing the sector.

However, Alberto Nagel, chief adviser to Intesa Mediobanca, said Thursday’s talks were intensified when the CEO tried to position their bank for a potential M&A scenario.

Citi analysts expect adjusted returns on tangible equity of only 2% for Italian banks this year, with only “a few signs of recovery” in 2021-2022.

“The Italian banking system must move from sub-partial profitability from the last decade,” Scope Ratings Executive Director Marco Troiano said.

TAKE RISK

The clearest candidate to take risks in the future is Banco BPM, the third largest bank in Italy formed three years ago when Banca Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare joined. Operating in Northern Italy where the combined Intesa-UBI will be increasingly dominant, sources with knowledge of the issue told Reuters that it had come under pressure from the Italian finance department to buy Monte dei Paschi in Siena, the troubled child of Italian banking now 68% owned by the state.

Banco BPM has repeatedly refused interest. Bankers say it could instead become a target for France’s Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) or BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), both of which are present in Italy and can cut costs through a merger.

A source familiar with the matter said the possibility of a French bid for Banco BPM had raised concerns among several domestic investors of the Milan bank, who would be better off seeing ties with Italy’s biggest lender UniCredit (CRDI.MI) which replicates the Intesa-UBI agreement.

A second source confirmed that such a combination would please the shareholders of the Banco banking foundation BPM.

But UniCredit, under CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, in recent years distanced himself from his home territory by spilling domestic assets and reducing exposure to Italy’s 2.5 trillion euro ($ 2.9 trillion) public debt heap.

Mustier has ruled out M&A activity but the first source said the bank’s strategy could change if the French banker, who earlier this year turned down a top job at HSBC, would leave after overseeing a successful restructuring.

The Intesa-UBI Agreement will also enhance the role of BPER Banca (EMII.MI), which bought 532 branches from a joint group to enable Intesa to win antitrust approval.

FILE PHOTOS: UBI bank headquarters seen in Brescia, Italy, March 9, 2016. REUTERS / Alessandro Bianchi / Photo File

BPER, whose main shareholder is the insurance company UnipolSAI (US.MI), had discussed the merger with UBI just weeks before Intesa launched its offer.

CEO Alessandro Vandelli said BPER would look to play an active role in banking consolidation after integrating branches purchased from Intesa.

Representatives for Banco BPM, UniCredit, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas declined to comment on this story.

Additional reporting by Gianluca Semeraro in Milan and Maya Nikolaeva in Paris, edited by Rachel Armstrong, Kirsten Donovan

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The UBI Intesa Agreement sounds an appeal to Italian banks | Instant News


MILAN (Reuters) – Intesa Sanpaolo’s (ISP.MI) victory battle for UBI rivals (UBI.MI) has sent shock waves through the fragile Italian banking sector as investors try and find out who will be the next in a mature industry for consolidation.

FILE PHOTOS: Italian bank logo Intesa Sanpaolo seen in Milan, Italy, January 18, 2016. REUTERS / Stefano Rellandini / Photo File

The unsolicited offer, the biggest banking agreement in Europe in a decade, has set the stage for further mergers in fragmented sectors with increasing losses caused by a pandemic, adding to the current lender’s struggle with negative interest rates and the need to adapt to rapid changes digital world.

Analysts say the European Central Bank’s support for UBI’s offer and the use of Intesa’s “bad intentions” – buying UBI at a discount for net book value and pocketing gaps as profits – could encourage more banks to pursue ties as a way to cut costs.

“The Intesa Agreement has ushered in a new phase,” said an Italian banker. “We now know that a hostile banking takeover is not only possible but can succeed.”

What is not clear is who will make the purchase. By picking up the second-most healthy lender, Intesa has removed candidates who are scheduled to lead the long-awaited agreement among a handful of mid-market players who are most at risk from the threats facing the sector.

However, Alberto Nagel, chief adviser to Intesa Mediobanca, said Thursday’s talks were intensified when the CEO tried to position their bank for a potential M&A scenario.

Citi analysts expect adjusted returns on tangible equity of only 2% for Italian banks this year, with only “a few signs of recovery” in 2021-2022.

“The Italian banking system must move from sub-partial profitability from the last decade,” Scope Ratings Executive Director Marco Troiano said.

TAKE RISK

The clearest candidate to take risks in the future is Banco BPM, the third largest bank in Italy formed three years ago when Banca Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare joined. Operating in Northern Italy where the combined Intesa-UBI will be increasingly dominant, sources with knowledge of the issue told Reuters that it had come under pressure from the Italian finance department to buy Monte dei Paschi in Siena, the troubled child of Italian banking now 68% owned by the state.

Banco BPM has repeatedly refused interest. Bankers say it could instead become a target for France’s Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) or BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), both of which are present in Italy and can cut costs through a merger.

A source familiar with the matter said the possibility of a French bid for Banco BPM had raised concerns among several domestic investors of the Milan bank, who would be better off seeing ties with Italy’s biggest lender UniCredit (CRDI.MI) which replicates the Intesa-UBI agreement.

A second source confirmed that such a combination would please the shareholders of the Banco banking foundation BPM.

But UniCredit, under CEO Jean Pierre Mustier, in recent years distanced himself from his home territory by spilling domestic assets and reducing exposure to Italy’s 2.5 trillion euro ($ 2.9 trillion) public debt heap.

Mustier has ruled out M&A activity but the first source said the bank’s strategy could change if the French banker, who earlier this year turned down a top job at HSBC, would leave after overseeing a successful restructuring.

The Intesa-UBI Agreement will also enhance the role of BPER Banca (EMII.MI), which bought 532 branches from a joint group to enable Intesa to win antitrust approval.

FILE PHOTOS: UBI bank headquarters seen in Brescia, Italy, March 9, 2016. REUTERS / Alessandro Bianchi / Photo File

BPER, whose main shareholder is the insurance company UnipolSAI (US.MI), had discussed the merger with UBI just weeks before Intesa launched its offer.

CEO Alessandro Vandelli said BPER would look to play an active role in banking consolidation after integrating branches purchased from Intesa.

Representatives for Banco BPM, UniCredit, Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas declined to comment on this story.

Additional reporting by Gianluca Semeraro in Milan and Maya Nikolaeva in Paris, edited by Rachel Armstrong, Kirsten Donovan

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Australian shares close higher on Fed pledges, technology shares shine | Instant News


(Update to close)

By Arundhati Dutta

30 July (Reuters) – Australian shares closed higher on Thursday as investors welcomed the Federal Reserve’s statement that they would use “various tools” to support a virus-stricken US economy, with an increase in technology stocks ahead of a series of key US earnings.

The S & P / ASX 200 index closed 0.74% higher at 6,051.1, halting two consecutive sessions of decline.

Fed policymakers reiterated pledges to keep interest rates near zero for as long as needed to recover from a coronavirus pandemic, but warned that “the economic path will be highly dependent on the path of the virus”.

“The fact that the US Federal Reserve has some pretty dovish comments gives investors little confidence that there will be support, even though we continue to see large COVID cases in Australia,” said James Tao, a market analyst at Commsec.

Australia reports a record jump in COVID-19 new cases with at least 13 deaths and more than 700 new infections mainly in the state of Victoria.

“We have lower US futures at the moment, so we can see the US market giving back some of the recent gains … that might lead to a softer start for Aussie stocks tomorrow,” Tao said.

However, he said, “That is one situation where you cannot look too far ahead with much certainty.”

Most major sub-indices closed higher, with gold stocks the only drag after the gold price fell.

Technology shares led gains by 2.4%, marking their best session in more than a week, after Facebook, Apple and Alphabet’s Google closed higher overnight ahead of their earnings.

Among the top gainers, Afterpay Ltd and WiseTech Global rose 1.6% and 5.9% respectively.

Energy stocks closed 1% higher, helped by heavyweights Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index rose 0.8% to 11,692.02, with main gainers Mainfreight Ltd and A2 Milk Co. each up nearly 3%. (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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Britain says the first round of New Zealand trade talks is “positive and productive” | Instant News


PHOTO FILE: State Secretary for International Trade and British Minister for Women and Equality Liz Truss seen outside Downing Street, as the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, in London, England March 17, 2020. REUTERS / Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) – The first round of UK trade negotiations with New Zealand is positive and productive, trade minister Liz Truss said on Wednesday.

“We are one step closer to reaching a comprehensive trade agreement with like-minded friends and allies,” Truss said in a statement.

“The first round talks are positive and productive, with the common goal of being very ambitious in fields including digital commerce and sustainability.”

The next round of talks is planned for October.

Reporting by William James; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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