Tag: Markets

MSFT Stock: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Is Keeping Its Head in the Cloud #markets, #msft,

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Stock Is Keeping Its Head in the Cloud

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT ) has finally shed the last vestiges of the software monopoly it was in the 20th Century.

Now, it is an integrated tech firm in its truest sense. Granted, some of its divisions cast a longer shadow than others, but the fact is, it finally has built diverse divisions that are leaders in their respective sectors and that is being reflected on the top and bottom line.

What s more, MSFT is executing on its vision and it is integrating its platforms across its divisions so that most divisions add value to the products in other divisions.

The Importance of Cloud to MSFT Stock

While its software business is still its main driver, its Azure cloud business is growing at nearly triple-digit rates, and is a worthy competitor to Amzon.com, Inc. s (NASDAQ: AMZN ) AWS Amazon Web Services dominance.

Few players in the cloud space can compete with AWS on price, but given Microsoft s $125 billion cash hoard, it has the war chest to go after Amazon in this arena. Also, MSFT s Azure can scale down easily to attract smaller businesses, which make up a much larger percentage of the economy.

Its most recent acquisition, social-media-for-professionals site LinkedIn. is actually growing, which is a pleasant surprise. It isn t yet clear how MSFT is going to monetize its 500 million users and add them to the MSFT revenue stream, but so far, so good.

Its new Surface line of tablets is getting generally solid reviews, but we ll have to wait how sales develop over the next couple of quarters. From reviews, these machines have what it takes to give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL ) a run for its money. That is quite a statement.

The phone division is still almost a year away from building a truly Microsoft phone, but it is on track and focused, which is more than we could usually say about it in recent years.

Its gaming division will release a new version of the Xbox the Xbox One X later this year as it gears up for the release of its augmented reality HoloLens headset. MSFT has by most accounts the best gaming box on the market, and as augmented reality games and multiplayer online games grow, MSFT is set to reap the rewards.

On the innovation front, Office 365 now has a dictation function, called of course, Dictate. It supports 20 languages and translates 60 in real time. It also replaced its Office 365 Video with Stream, which comes with Office commercial versions. Stream comes with real-time transcription, which also means you can search a video by phrases.

All these advances make it understandable why just this week, Morgan Stanley raised its price target from $72 to $80 with an overweight rating.

It respectable 2.2% dividend is a reminder that MSFT stock is built for the long haul and rewards dedicated shareholders. The stock is up 13% year to date but plenty of excitement awaits in the latter half of the year.

Richard Band sProfitable Investing advisory service helps retirement savers outperform the market without losing a minute of sleep along the way. His straightforward style and low-risk value approach has won seven Best Financial Advisory awards from the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Foundation.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2017/06/microsoft-corporation-msft-stock-head-cloud/.

2017 InvestorPlace Media, LLC





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RT – News – Business, Finance, Economy, Markets, Stocks Shares #online #business #classes

#business news

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02 Sep Exchequer returns for August show a significant fall in revenues collected during the month.

02 Sep US employment growth slowed more than expected in August after two straight months of robust gains and wage gains moderated.

02 Sep Tech giant Samsung has said it is suspending sales of its latest flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 7, as reports of exploding batteries threaten to damage the reputation of the South Korean electronics giant.

02 Sep Telecoms firm Eir has recorded its first year of annual revenue growth since 2008.

02 Sep Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has claimed that the EU Commission’s ruling over Apple’s tax operations in Ireland was an “attack on our corporate tax regime”.

02 Sep Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar has said it could lay off about 2,000 employees at a plant in Belgium, as it considers shifting production to other facilities as part of a restructuring programme announced last year.

02 Sep Irish Residential Properties REIT, or I-RES, is seeking planning permission for 492 apartments as well as retail space in Sandyford in Dublin.

02 Sep Peer-to-peer lending platform Linked Finance says 21 SMEs raised €600,000 in funding during the first two weeks of its new fixed rate loan offering.

02 Sep Activity in the services sector rose by 0.5% between June and July, with wholesale and retail trade seeing a 6.1% surge during the month.

02 Sep Currency movements have hit Fyffes’ banana business, according to the company’s first half results.

02 Sep Crude prices have risen today after losses of more than 3% yesterday, with investors treading cautiously ahead of key US employment data.

02 Sep RTÉ’s Europe Editor Tony Connelly looks at the Apple ruling and the possible impact of a similar case involving Spanish bank Santander.

02 Sep The Irish Times reports telecom firms have hit out at Eir for raising wholesale broadband prices for the second time in 14 months.

02 Sep Telecoms firm Eir has recorded its first year of annual revenue growth since 2008.

01 Sep Up to 250 jobs could go at US multinational Caterpillar’s plants in Northern Ireland, a spokesman has said.

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Grafton Chief Executive Gavin Slark discusses the builders’ merchant and DIY retailer’s double-digit growth in percentage terms in revenue and profit in H1

Bord Gáís Energy Managing Director Dave Kirwan said the firm is reducing its residential electricity prices by 5% and its residential gas prices by 2%

Just Eat Managing Director for Ireland Amanda Roche Kelly discusses the brand’s presence at the upcoming Electric Picnic festival





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Online finance courses, e-Learning tutorials and CPD for Accountants, Banking, Finance and Business #cpd,

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Online management, finance and business courses to suit you’re learning needs, budget and schedule. As well as the merit of their content, courses can count as structured verified, CPE / CPD for accountants.

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Offer practical and in-depth learning opportunities for accountants, legal professionals, managers, bankers, those in financial services and others.

Have been chosen by many members of ACCA. ICAEW. ICAI and other accountancy bodies.

Can count as CPE / CPD for most professional accountants.

Offer unlimited access for up to 365 days.

Are available for individual purchase as well as a through a number of discount packages .

Are competitively priced.

online finance courses and online CPD courses with cpdwise.com help you:

Maintain and enhance your core finance and business skills

Gain new knowledge to broaden the range of services you can offer your clients

Access learning materials in time for that important meeting

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Making the most of your CPD hours, CPD units and the time you spend learning

Saving valuable customer contact time

Making your CPD training budget last

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Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015 #business #lawyer

#small business finance

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Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015/16

The Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015/16 shows that the market for small business finance is improving, however a number of challenges remain:

  • A lack of businesses scaling-up is hampering UK productivity – there remains a need to stimulate a greater volume of scale-up businesses and SME exporters to counteract the UK’s lagging productivity. OECD data shows that Britain is near the bottom of the table for the percentage of businesses that grow to more than 10 employees after three years.
  • A need to delivery further diversity in the small business finance market – there is an ongoing need to accelerate the evolution of a diverse and accessible range of finance options to drive competition and choice for smaller businesses. The four largest banks still account for 80% of the small business loan market in 2014, with many small businesses not looking at alternative finance options beyond their main bank.
  • Supporting growing SMEs across all UK regions – the finance landscape remains uneven across the UK. To help rebalance growth, an increased availability of finance for smaller businesses across the UK is required. 71% of total SME equity investment is accounted for by London and South East based companies.

DOWNLOADS

2015 Business Finance Survey: SMEs

This survey, undertaken by BMG Research for the British Business Bank, follows on from the previous 2012 and 2014 “SME Journey” surveys to explore SME awareness of different types of external finance and their experience of raising finance. We have extensively used the findings from this survey within our new Small Business Finance Markets 2015/16 report to assess how finance markets have changed.

Amongst the findings, this survey shows a continued increase in business awareness of alternative finance types, including peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. The research also shows that a higher proportion of SMEs are aiming to grow in the next 12 months (56%), compared to 46% in the previous 2014 survey.

2015 Business Finance Survey: Mid-caps

This survey, undertaken by BMG Research for the British Business Bank, assesses the characteristics of mid-caps (businesses with £25m-£500m annual turnover) and their experience of raising external finance. The survey finds that mid-cap businesses are more likely to use and seek external finance compared to SMEs, and are also more likely to obtain finance. In addition, a high proportion of mid-cap businesses (79%) are aiming to grow in the next 12 months.

Methodology Consultation: Assessing the Unmet Demand for SME debt finance

The British Business Bank would like to consult with interested stakeholders on appropriate methodologies for assessing the unmet demand for SME debt finance. The consultation seeks views on our proposed methodology and suggestions for alternative methodologies or additional data sources.





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What You Need to Know About Stock Markets Today #bank #business #loans

#financial markets today

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What You Need to Know About Stock Markets Today

By Anne Kates Smith | October 2010

Thanks to electronic trading, the stock market is wilder than ever.

Editor’s Note: We are re-featuring this guide to understanding the markets in light of the announcement on February 15 that the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has agreed to merge with Deutsche Boerse. The merger would create the world’s largest operator of financial markets. Deutsche Boerse shareholders would own 60% of the merged company; NYSE Euronext shareholders, 40%. The text below has been updated since publication in the October 2010 issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and the data is as of February 16, 2011.

1. There’s no “there” there. You may picture a bustling exchange, where commerce begins and ends with the clang of a bell. But the “stock market” is an increasingly fragmented collection of more than 50 trading platforms, almost all electronic, with various protocols, rules and oversight.

2. The Big Board has shrunk. Images of the New York Stock Exchange still dominate business-news broadcasts. But, in fact, just 34% of the trading volume in stocks listed on the NYSE actually occurs on the exchange, down from 79% in 2005. Nasdaq, the first electronic exchange, accounts for about one-fifth of all U.S. stock trading. Newer exchanges, such as Direct Edge, in Jersey City, N.J. and BATS Exchange, in Kansas City, Mo. each account for about 10% of trading volume. About 30% of U.S. trading volume takes place off exchanges.

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3. ECNs are the new matchmakers. Electronic communication networks match up buy and sell orders at specified prices for institutional investors and brokers. This is where “after-hours” trading occurs. In addition, hundreds of broker-dealers execute trades internally, filling orders out of their own inventory.

4. Some trades are shrouded in mystery. You’ve heard of dark stars. Now there are dark pools — private networks, sponsored by securities firms, where professionals trade without displaying price quotes to the public beforehand. Such dark pools account for more than 10% of stock-trading volume. The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make dark pools more transparent to avoid a two-tier market that denies the public important pricing information.

5. You’re sure to get the best price — most days. According to an SEC rule, your trade is supposed to be routed to the platform with the best price at that moment. But when some venues aren’t functioning as normal, exchanges may override the rule. The rule didn’t apply during the “flash crash” of May 2010, when an intentional slowdown on the NYSE caused orders to be routed elsewhere, at lower prices.

6. There are fewer traffic cops. In the old days, specialists and market makers kept markets liquid by stepping up to buy — or sell — when a stampede of investors headed the other way. Now, not all exchanges require market makers. High-frequency traders, who program computers to profit from minute price discrepancies and can execute trades in milliseconds, were supposed to fill the void. But they don’t have to, despite the fact that they often account for 50% or more of total trading volume.

7. Stoplights are coming. A pilot plan, recently extended until April, calls for stock-by-stock circuit breakers that would be applicable across all trading platforms. The plan currently applies to stocks in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the Russell 1000 index and certain exchange-traded funds, and calls for a trading pause if the share price changes by 10% within a five-minute period. Since December, market makers in exchange-listed securities have been required to maintain continuous buy and sell quotes within a certain range of a security’s most recent share price, putting an end to occasionally ridiculous quotes, far removed from prevailing prices, that were never meant to be executed.





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Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U #business #consulting #firms

#bond market news

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Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U.S. Yields Turn Negative

For Kaoru Sekiai, getting steady returns for his pension clients in Japan used to be simple: buy U.S. Treasuries.

Compared with his low-risk options at home, like Japanese government bonds, Treasuries have long offered the highest yields around. And that’s been the case even after accounting for the cost to hedge against the dollar’s ups and downs — a common practice for institutions that invest internationally.

It’s been a “no-brainer since forever,” said Sekiai, a money manager at Tokyo-based DIAM Co. which oversees about $166 billion.

That truism is now a thing of the past. Last month, yields on U.S. 10-year notes turned negative for Japanese buyers who pay to eliminate currency fluctuations from their returns, something that hasn’t happened since the financial crisis. It’s even worse for euro-based investors, who are locking in sub-zero returns on Treasuries for the first time in history.

For a detailed description of how this index was created, click here.

For an analysis of hedging costs for Japanese investors, click here.

That quirk means the longstanding notion of the U.S. as a respite from negative yields in Japan and Europe is little more than an illusion. With everyone from Jeffrey Gundlach to Bill Gross warning of a bubble in bonds, it could ultimately upend the record foreign demand for Treasuries, which has underpinned their seemingly unstoppable gains in recent years.

“People like a simple narrative,” said Jeffrey Rosenberg, the chief investment strategist for fixed income at BlackRock Inc. which oversees $4.6 trillion. “But there isn’t a free lunch. You can’t simply talk about yield differentials without talking about currency differentials.”

DIAM’s Sekiai has been shunning Treasuries since April, a month after foreign holdings of U.S. debt hit a record. Instead, he favors bonds of France and Italy because they “offer some degree of yield and the currency-hedging costs are cheap.” That shift lines up with the latest available Treasury Department data, which showed that demand from non-U.S. investors in April and May was the weakest in a two-month stretch since 2013.

The fact that yields on 10-year Treasuries are still way higher than those in Japan or Germany is part of the reason foreigners are having such a hard time actually profiting from the difference. Negative interest rates outside the U.S. have caused a surge in demand for dollars and dollar assets, pushing up the cost to get into and out of the greenback at the same exchange rate to levels rarely seen in the past.

Ten-year yields in the U.S. are currently about 0.23 percentage point below a basket of bonds from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland on a hedged basis, versus 1.4 percentage points above on an unhedged basis, according to data compiled by BlackRock. At the start of the year, hedged Treasuries yielded over a half-percentage point more.

In Japan, where 10-year government bonds yield less than zero, the advantage for Treasuries has dwindled from a percentage point at the start of the year to less than 0.1 percentage point now. Without much added value for overseas investors, it’s harder to see foreign demand driving Treasuries to new records, especially as the Federal Reserve moves toward gradually raising rates.

Since falling to a record 1.318 percent on July 6, yields on 10-year notes have backed up as a string of economic reports such as last week’s jobs data bolstered the case for higher rates. They were at 1.58 percent today.

For a large swathe of institutional investors, especially those with conservative mandates, hedging is the norm when they go abroad. It eliminates the need to worry about the daily ebbs and flows in exchange rates and how that might affect their returns. When it comes to Treasuries, overseas buyers usually lock in a fixed exchange rate on the interest payments they get in dollars.

Conversion Costs

In that trade, the cost to convert payments from one currency to another is determined by the cross-currency basis swap. Take Japanese insurers as an example. Under normal circumstances, they would swap their yen for dollars and get interest on the yen they loaned out over the course of the contract.

But now, because the rate has turned negative, they’re effectively paying interest to lend the yen, which eats into their bond returns. That’s on top of the Libor rate they’ll need to pay for borrowing the dollars, which currently stands at 0.79 percent over three months.

The basis, as it’s known, was at minus 0.6425 percentage point for yen-based investors, which is close to the most expensive in five years. For those with euros, the basis is minus 0.43 percentage point. That’s more than twice as costly as the average over the past three years.

In a perfectly efficient market, none of this would matter. Differences in interest rates would be perfectly offset by the cost of exchanging two different currencies over time. But in the real world, things are far messier.

As unconventional monetary policies in Japan and Europe pushed yields lower and lower in recent years, demand for dollars has soared in tandem with the currency’s appreciation. Banks responded by demanding stiffer terms to swap into dollars as supply diminished, cutting into profits on the “carry trade” in Treasuries.

Treasuries will remain a better alternative for many overseas investors as long as an advantage exists, no matter how small the hedged yield pickup has become, according to Ralph Axel, a bond analyst at Bank of America Corp.

“They’ll just keep buying,” Axel said. Because of forces like negative rates and quantitative easing outside the U.S. “you clearly have a long-lasting bid.”

Of course, there’s the flip side. The overwhelming demand for U.S. currency is proving to be a boon for American investors and foreign central banks sitting on billions of dollars. Pacific Investment Management Co. also says there’s profit to be made by getting paid to swap dollars into yen.

Interest-Rate Swaps

Overseas money managers, though, have had to turn to more novel solutions to avoid the onerous hedging costs. Jack Loudoun, who helps oversee about $88 billion for Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich, says he prefers interest-rate swaps and futures on Treasuries to get exposure to the U.S. market because lower upfront costs help reduce foreign-exchange risk.

“We’re using derivatives to get access,” he said. “If you’re worried about hedging cost, swaps and futures are the avenues to go down.”

Whatever the strategy, there’s little debate over how important foreign demand is for the $13.4 trillion market for Treasuries.

“We’re at a point now where investors have to start thinking about this,” said Sachin Gupta, a foreign-bond fund manager at Pimco, which oversees $1.51 trillion. “As the cost of hedging rises to such an extent, there’s no extra carry to be had. That itself will slow down the demand — and, at some point, even reverse the demand — for Treasuries.”

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Markets Data Center Mobile – Company Data, Indexes, Stock Quotes – More – Wall

#stock market prices

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Footnotes

Stocks: Real-time U.S. stock quotes reflect trades reported through Nasdaq only; comprehensive quotes and volume reflect trading in all markets and are delayed at least 15 minutes. International stock quotes are delayed as per exchange requirements. Indexes may be real-time or delayed; refer to time stamps on index quote pages for information on any delays. Source: SIX Financial Information

Bonds: Bond quotes are updated in real-time. Source: Tullett Prebon.

Currencies: Currency quotes and charts are updated in real-time. Source: Tullett Prebon.

Commodities & Futures: Futures prices reflect electronic trading and are delayed 10 minutes. Futures quotes show contract month with the highest level of open interest, except crude oil, which always shows the “front month” contract (the contract that will expire soonest). Change value during the period between open outcry settle and the commencement of the next day’s trading is calculated as the difference between the last trade and the prior day’s settle. Change value during other periods is calculated as the difference between the last trade and the most recent settle. Source: SIX Financial Information.

Data are provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only and is not intended for trading purposes. SIX Financial Information (a) does not make any express or implied warranties of any kind regarding the data, including, without limitation, any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use; and (b) shall not be liable for any errors, incompleteness, interruption or delay, action taken in reliance on any data, or for any damages resulting therefrom. Data may be intentionally delayed pursuant to supplier requirements.

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Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015 #online #business #classes

#small business finance

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Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015/16

The Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015/16 shows that the market for small business finance is improving, however a number of challenges remain:

  • A lack of businesses scaling-up is hampering UK productivity – there remains a need to stimulate a greater volume of scale-up businesses and SME exporters to counteract the UK’s lagging productivity. OECD data shows that Britain is near the bottom of the table for the percentage of businesses that grow to more than 10 employees after three years.
  • A need to delivery further diversity in the small business finance market – there is an ongoing need to accelerate the evolution of a diverse and accessible range of finance options to drive competition and choice for smaller businesses. The four largest banks still account for 80% of the small business loan market in 2014, with many small businesses not looking at alternative finance options beyond their main bank.
  • Supporting growing SMEs across all UK regions – the finance landscape remains uneven across the UK. To help rebalance growth, an increased availability of finance for smaller businesses across the UK is required. 71% of total SME equity investment is accounted for by London and South East based companies.

DOWNLOADS

2015 Business Finance Survey: SMEs

This survey, undertaken by BMG Research for the British Business Bank, follows on from the previous 2012 and 2014 “SME Journey” surveys to explore SME awareness of different types of external finance and their experience of raising finance. We have extensively used the findings from this survey within our new Small Business Finance Markets 2015/16 report to assess how finance markets have changed.

Amongst the findings, this survey shows a continued increase in business awareness of alternative finance types, including peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. The research also shows that a higher proportion of SMEs are aiming to grow in the next 12 months (56%), compared to 46% in the previous 2014 survey.

2015 Business Finance Survey: Mid-caps

This survey, undertaken by BMG Research for the British Business Bank, assesses the characteristics of mid-caps (businesses with £25m-£500m annual turnover) and their experience of raising external finance. The survey finds that mid-cap businesses are more likely to use and seek external finance compared to SMEs, and are also more likely to obtain finance. In addition, a high proportion of mid-cap businesses (79%) are aiming to grow in the next 12 months.

Methodology Consultation: Assessing the Unmet Demand for SME debt finance

The British Business Bank would like to consult with interested stakeholders on appropriate methodologies for assessing the unmet demand for SME debt finance. The consultation seeks views on our proposed methodology and suggestions for alternative methodologies or additional data sources.





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What Are the Best International Bond Markets? #writing #business #plan

#bond market news

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What Are the Best International Bond Markets?

What Are the Best International Bond Markets?

With low interest rates in the U.S. and outright negative rates in some overseas markets, the bond market probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind when investors are looking for yield.

But experts are pointing to some niches of the international bond arena that are yielding well above what can be had domestically, albeit with more risk.

Both high-quality and lower-quality bonds have been performing well in terms of price. High-quality developed market bonds have rallied with demand from risk-averse investors, such as those worried about Britain voting to leave the European Union .

But of course as bond prices rise, their yields decline. So, needing to make money, investors have also been turning to lower-quality emerging market bonds. That also drives their price up, but these bonds simply yield more because they are riskier.

It can be tempting to stay within the U.S. in terms of bonds, says Richard Lawrence, senior vice president of portfolio management at Brandywine Global Investment Management, which is a subadvisor for the Legg Mason BW Global Opportunities Bond Fund (ticker: GOBIX ). But that would be eschewing higher yields in emerging markets and some developed world bonds.

“You have to look beyond the headlines,” he says.

Emerging markets can be a good place to look for yield, but that’s because they are associated with certain risks, says Eric Stein, co-director of global income at Eaton Vance Management, which has the Global Macro Absolute Return Fund (EIGMX ), the Emerging Markets Local Income Fund (EEIAX ) and the Emerging Markets Debt Opportunities Fund (EIDOX ). The three main risks for foreign bonds are currency, interest rates and default, he says.

International bonds also move in step with the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasurys. If the Fed raises rates, that would cause bond yields elsewhere to rise, meaning their value would fall in the short term. This would only create a headwind for international bonds if the Fed raises rates more than expected and Treasurys sell off, Stein says.

If U.S. rates rise more quickly than expected, this could strengthen the U.S. dollar and cause some emerging market currencies to weaken.

Demand from China is also a risk as many emerging market countries are commodities producers and China is a large consumer, he says. A sell off in the Chinese currency can also send shockwaves through global risk markets, he says.

Oil prices are also a risk, since many emerging market countries are oil exporters, he says.

With the top five global bond issuers – the U.S. France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan – all yielding low or negative rates, emerging market countries are “last bastions of yield,” says Meb Faber, a co-founder and chief investment officer of Cambria Investment Management.

Rising interest rates in the U.S. would lead to higher rates elsewhere. So in the short term, that would cause international bond prices to decline and their yield to go up, Faber says.

Whether international bonds will face a strong headwind as the Fed raises rates depends on how the market reacts to the pace of the hikes, Lawrence says.

A strong dollar acts as a headwind for investors in international bonds unless they hedge that currency exposure, he says, but this year, declines in the U.S. dollar have made it more sensible to buy securities denominated in other currencies.

Stein thinks the Fed will raise rates a little more than expected over the next two years, providing a slight headwind to some emerging market currencies.

For those looking for yield, Lawrence points to Brazil, where the 10-year bond is yielding around 12 percent. He also likes Mexico because of its correlation with the slowly improving U.S. economy and its Treasury market but much higher yield. South Africa is also attractive, with its 10-year bonds yielding about 9 percent and a slowly improving fiscal picture.

Both Lawrence and Stein point to Indonesia because of its reform agenda.

They also cite New Zealand as a niche of the developed world economies where investors can get higher yields without taking a lot of credit risk. However, Stein is bearish on the New Zealand dollar.





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Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015 #printing #business #cards

#small business finance

#

Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015/16

The Small Business Finance Markets Report 2015/16 shows that the market for small business finance is improving, however a number of challenges remain:

  • A lack of businesses scaling-up is hampering UK productivity – there remains a need to stimulate a greater volume of scale-up businesses and SME exporters to counteract the UK’s lagging productivity. OECD data shows that Britain is near the bottom of the table for the percentage of businesses that grow to more than 10 employees after three years.
  • A need to delivery further diversity in the small business finance market – there is an ongoing need to accelerate the evolution of a diverse and accessible range of finance options to drive competition and choice for smaller businesses. The four largest banks still account for 80% of the small business loan market in 2014, with many small businesses not looking at alternative finance options beyond their main bank.
  • Supporting growing SMEs across all UK regions – the finance landscape remains uneven across the UK. To help rebalance growth, an increased availability of finance for smaller businesses across the UK is required. 71% of total SME equity investment is accounted for by London and South East based companies.

DOWNLOADS

2015 Business Finance Survey: SMEs

This survey, undertaken by BMG Research for the British Business Bank, follows on from the previous 2012 and 2014 “SME Journey” surveys to explore SME awareness of different types of external finance and their experience of raising finance. We have extensively used the findings from this survey within our new Small Business Finance Markets 2015/16 report to assess how finance markets have changed.

Amongst the findings, this survey shows a continued increase in business awareness of alternative finance types, including peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. The research also shows that a higher proportion of SMEs are aiming to grow in the next 12 months (56%), compared to 46% in the previous 2014 survey.

2015 Business Finance Survey: Mid-caps

This survey, undertaken by BMG Research for the British Business Bank, assesses the characteristics of mid-caps (businesses with £25m-£500m annual turnover) and their experience of raising external finance. The survey finds that mid-cap businesses are more likely to use and seek external finance compared to SMEs, and are also more likely to obtain finance. In addition, a high proportion of mid-cap businesses (79%) are aiming to grow in the next 12 months.

Methodology Consultation: Assessing the Unmet Demand for SME debt finance

The British Business Bank would like to consult with interested stakeholders on appropriate methodologies for assessing the unmet demand for SME debt finance. The consultation seeks views on our proposed methodology and suggestions for alternative methodologies or additional data sources.





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