The Athens Stock Exchange General Index has returned 19% over the last year (but lost 85% since 2007); Australian interest rates are lower than that of the US for the first time in 18 years

The Greek stock market has been one of the best performing markets in the world over the past year. The Athens Stock Exchange General Index has returned 19% over the last year. But it has lost 85% (5334.5 to today’s close at 781.14) in value since October 2007. Continue reading “The Athens Stock Exchange General Index has returned 19% over the last year (but lost 85% since 2007); Australian interest rates are lower than that of the US for the first time in 18 years”

Spotify’s direct listing (and comparison to Netflix); ECB sells bond after spotting an error after 2 years; Nomura to hire fewest graduates in five years as it spends more on robots

Spotify’s direct listing

As reported earlier, Spotify listed directly on the NYSE today at an opening price of $165.90, the stock ended the first day of trading in New York at $149.01, up from the reference price of $132 set yesterday by the NYSE.

Spotify has offered a streaming service since 2008 and has 159 million monthly active users including 71 million paid subscribers globally. It generated €4 billion (about $5billion) in revenues last year, up over 40% from 2016, and a €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) net loss compared with about €542 million ($664 million) in 2016. The company’s average revenue per user has declined from €6.84 in 2015 to €5.32 in 2017 as it promotes its “Family Plan” which allows several users to share one account. Analyst reckon that Apple Music will overtake Spotify in terms of paid subscribers in under 2 years, yet the company is now valued at $28 billion (5.6 times revenues). Continue reading “Spotify’s direct listing (and comparison to Netflix); ECB sells bond after spotting an error after 2 years; Nomura to hire fewest graduates in five years as it spends more on robots”

The problem Asset Managers have is that they have money that must be invested

The 10 largest asset managers in the world, a list that includes BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, Allianz, UBS and JP Morgan Asset Management have some $32 trillion assets under management (at the end of 2017). The entire space of asset managers have around $65 trillion of assets under management.

Fund managers have over $3 trillion of new inflows a year, primarily down to private pensions (governments keep pushing it given the looming state pension crisis). These fund managers get paid as long as they invest the money. There lies the problem – they have to invest it. It isn’t as simple as it sounds. Continue reading “The problem Asset Managers have is that they have money that must be invested”

Not an April Fools’ Day joke – this really is how the US Dollar has performed against each currency of the world over the past one year

Here is the performance (1-year % change) of the US Dollar (USD) mapped against currencies and countries around the world (the data set is after the map),

USD 1-year change mapped (data as of 31-March-2018)
USD 1-year change mapped (data as of 31-March-2018)

Continue reading “Not an April Fools’ Day joke – this really is how the US Dollar has performed against each currency of the world over the past one year”

Alphabet (the parent company of Google) spent the most as a company on Lobbying. Facebook’s spend on lobbying increased 5500% since 2009. They spent most lobbying on changes to … data privacy.

Alphabet Inc. spent the most as a company (not an association or business group) on lobbying in 2017. Amazon and Facebook too saw an increase in lobbying spend in 2017.

Amount Spent on Lobbying in 2017 sorted in descending order
Amount Spent on Lobbying in 2017 sorted in descending order

Continue reading “Alphabet (the parent company of Google) spent the most as a company on Lobbying. Facebook’s spend on lobbying increased 5500% since 2009. They spent most lobbying on changes to … data privacy.”

UK households’ saving ratio falls to the lowest ever on record as mortgage and consumer credit outstanding hits the highest ever

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Bank of England (BoE) both released UK data on March 29 and the data doesn’t look good. Key highlights include:

  • The households’ saving ratio fell to an annual record low of 4.9% in 2017 (since comparable records began in 1963) as growth in households’ spending exceeded the growth of households’ income.
  • Consumer Lending Outstanding (seasonally adjusted) excluding student loans hit a new record high £209.45 billion, higher than even before the financial crisis.
  • Total Mortgage Outstanding (seasonally adjusted) hit a new record high of £1.38 trillion.
  • Households accumulated slightly more debt in the form of loans in 2017 than they did financial assets for the first time since records began in 1987.

Continue reading “UK households’ saving ratio falls to the lowest ever on record as mortgage and consumer credit outstanding hits the highest ever”

What we have learnt in 75 days of this site – Part 2: Advertising this website online

Thanks again to everyone reading this and contributing to the success of this website. We have had an amazing first 75 days and would like to share what we have learnt, and we hope you will learn something new from what we learnt.

In part 1 of this series, we covered visitors and visitor interaction. You can read part 1 here.

In part 2 we cover our experience of advertising this website online. It has been quite a learning and very surprising. Continue reading “What we have learnt in 75 days of this site – Part 2: Advertising this website online”

On Equities – Do as they say, not as they do? On Bond Yields – some things from the FOMC minutes

Goldman Sachs computer model warns a bear market is near, but the firm’s analysts don’t believe it (read here). So, if a bear market arrives – they were right (well their computer model was), no bear market – they were still right.

JP Morgan has said investors are ‘overreacting’ and investors should buy the market dip for a big rally ahead (read here). How big? 13%. Which would just about take us back to the highs the market hit at the end of January. Will they do as they say? Who knows.

Meanwhile, 10-year US bond yields have fallen 12 bps (to 2.78%) in the past week since the 0.25% Federal Funds rate target increase. As the Federal Reserve pares back its bond holdings, the US government is bringing more to market, yet yields have been falling.

Here are some interesting things from the FOMC releases (text in italics are our comments), Continue reading “On Equities – Do as they say, not as they do? On Bond Yields – some things from the FOMC minutes”

The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP

The European Central Bank (ECB) is by far the biggest holder of European bonds and the biggest (possibly the only) buyer of the weaker Eurozone (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) countries debt.

ECB bond purchases
Asset purchase programme monthly net purchases, source ECB

Bond yields are being held artificially low by the buying programme. Continue reading “The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP”