The week in investor relations: Data providers target corporates, Macquarie scales back equities business and European stocks see inflows
– Financial data providers are targeting listed companies as potential clients as their traditional audience of traders declines, according to an article in the Financial Times (paywall). ‘Chief technology officers need to become more efficient more quickly. Our fastest-growing segment is corporates, business development and investor relations,’ says Philip Snow, CEO of FactSet, in the article. Data providers once had a reliable client base of investment professionals at banks and fund managers, reports the FT, but this situation is quickly changing as firms cut back staff and automate processes.
– Australian bank Macquarie is scaling back its equities business in Europe and the US, reports Reuters. The bank will focus its attention on the Asia-Pacific region amid tough trading conditions. During the transition, French broker Kepler Cheuvreux will support Macquarie’s European clients with trading and research under a ‘co-operation’ deal. ‘It has been very challenging for Japanese, Canadian, Australian banks and so on in European cash equities – even top 12 banks have struggled,’ says Amrit Shahani, a research director at Coalition, in the article.
– European stocks have seen big inflows – the largest since early 2008 – following the agreement of a deal between the UK and the European Union on the terms of Brexit, reports Bloomberg. Mid-October saw the first week of inflows after 16 consecutive weeks of outflows, according to a research note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The inflows could be driven by optimism for the UK’s and EU’s future, notes the article. It adds that UBS Global Wealth Management ‘has closed its underweight position on British stocks’, due to attractive valuations and reduced risk of a no-deal Brexit.
– Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, will ‘soon’ list on the stock market, reports the BBC, citing comments by the Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. The minister was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Aramco would not comment on a press report by Reuters that it plans to start the listing process on November 3 and is thinking about a floatation of a 1 percent-2 percent stake, according to the BBC. ‘The company is ready and timing will depend on market conditions and be at a time of the shareholders’ choosing,’ says Aramco, according to the article.
– Euronext is eyeing a potential bid for Borsa Italiana, the Italian stock market operator owned by London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), according to an Italian press report, says Morningstar. Italian newspaper Milano Finanza reported that LSEG could be open to selling Borsa Italiana after completing its acquisition of data provider Refinitiv. Morningstar notes, however, that LSEG chief executive David Schwimmer travelled to Italy last week ‘to reassure Italian securities regulator Consob and the Italian Ministry of the Economy on future plans for Borsa Italiana’.
– An automotive mega-merger is on the cards after Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group announced plans to join forces, reports CNN Business. The combined group would be the world’s third-largest carmaker. Car companies need to tie up as they invest in electric and driverless vehicles, says industry analyst Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds. ‘The electrified, autonomous future everyone is waiting for just isn’t feasible without automakers merging and forming strategic alliances to share research and development costs,’ she says in the article.