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Citigroup Executives Scored $2.2 Million Paper Profit Betting on Own Stock
March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Four Citigroup Inc. executives who bought the bank’s stock last week have already generated a $2.2 million paper profit, regulatory filings show.
The executives, including director Roberto Hernandez, benefited as the company’s stock climbed 47 percent since March 10, when Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said in a memo that the bank is having the best quarter since 2007. Their buying spree was the first by bank insiders since Jan. 14, filings show.
“You’re supposed to buy when everyone else is selling,” said Bruce Foerster, a former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. managing director who now runs South Beach Capital Markets in Miami. Banks have internal systems to monitor executive trades and prevent abuses, he said.
Pandit wrote in the internal memo that the company was profitable in January and February, leaving him “encouraged with the strength of our business so far in 2009.” The comments triggered Citigroup’s biggest one-day percentage gain since Nov. 24, spurring global markets.
Can anyone say..."Greedy"?
Barclays May Limit Asset Insurance to Avoid Handing Stake to Government
March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Barclays Plc may put about 90 percent fewer assets into a state insurance program than its closest competitors, as the U.K.’s third-largest bank by assets tries to avoid giving up a stake to the government.
Barclays will probably ask for state guarantees on 30 billion pounds ($41 billion) of risky assets, according to the median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That compares with 325 billion pounds for Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and 260 billion pounds for Lloyds Banking Group Plc, which are now state-controlled after two bailouts.
London-based Barclays has fallen 55 percent this year on concern it will report further credit losses as the recession deepens. Still, the bank posted a second-half profit of 2.66 billion pounds, 49 percent more than a year earlier, and has rejected government funds. That may give Barclays a stronger bargaining position in asset insurance talks.
“If Barclays do participate in this scheme then I would expect it to be to a much lesser degree than RBS and Lloyds,” said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas in London who has a “neutral” rating on the stock. “The pricing will have to be right, though, and if it’s wrong they will walk away.”
Analyst estimates for the assets to be insured ranged from 20 billion pounds to 81 billion pounds.
This is the stuff I'm watchin'...
China's Minmetals Seeking Metal Assets in South America, Southern Africa
March 12 (Bloomberg) -- China Minmetals Corp., buying OZ Minerals Ltd. for A$2.6 billion ($1.7 billion), is seeking metal assets in South America and southern Africa, taking advantage of seven-year low commodity prices to secure supplies.
China’s largest metals trader may also “do some domestic acquisitions” this year, President Zhou Zhongshu said today in Beijing. It is still waiting for approval from the Chinese government for its planned takeover of Australia’s OZ Minerals, he also said.
Chinese state-owned companies agreed to invest $22 billion in commodity producers last month, securing iron ore, zinc and copper mines. The global financial crisis has dried up funding options for indebted companies including OZ Minerals.
“We’re also looking at other areas such as in South America and southern Africa where we can purchase nonferrous metal assets,” Zhou said while attending Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
State-owned Minmetals has applied for permission to buy Melbourne-based OZ Minerals through China’s National Development Reform Commission, the country’s top planner, Zhou said. It plans to use OZ Minerals as a base for its overseas business and will “inject assets” into the company should the takeover be successful, he said.
Well...at least the Great Chefs of the world will still have some use for us...
At least we still have the worlds largest salt mines, for whatever that is worth.
Where is all the currency???
Japan's Funding Crunch Intensifies, Forces Firms to State Lender for Loans
Japan’s Funding Crunch Deepening, State Lender Says (Update2)
March 12 (Bloomberg) -- The funding crunch for Japanese businesses is intensifying as foreign-currency financing dries up, forcing larger firms to turn to the nation’s state policy bank for emergency loans, the head of the lender said.
“Not just automakers, but electrical and chip companies, and also other manufacturers, are coming to us in large numbers,” Hiroshi Watanabe, chief executive officer of the Tokyo-based Japan Bank for International Cooperation, said in a March 10 interview. As part of a government program, the bank is lending to “essentially blue-chip firms that are having trouble with cash flow.”
The bank, known as JBIC, has received requests for emergency loans totaling as much as $40 billion since the end of 2008, almost four times its original budget for the fiscal year that ends March 31, Watanabe said. Companies are struggling with a shortage of foreign-currency funding, he said.