Carney: UK is ‘investment banker for Europe’

The governor of the Bank of England has repeated his calls for a “smooth and orderly” UK exit from the EU, saying that a transition out of the bloc will happen, it was just a case of “when and how”. Responding to the BoE’s latest bank stress tests, where lenders overall emerged with more resilient […]

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China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

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Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

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Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

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China stock market unfazed by falling renminbi

China’s renminbi slump has companies and individuals alike scrambling to move capital overseas, but it has not damped the enthusiasm of China’s equity investors. The Shanghai Composite, which tracks stocks on the mainland’s biggest exchange, has been gradually rising since May. That is the opposite of what happened in August 2015 after China’s surprise renminbi […]

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Categorized | Banks

Greybull Capital in steelworks rescue

Posted on April 22, 2016

This file photo taken on March 31, 2016 shows the sun rising above Tata Steel's blast furnaces at their Scunthorpe Plant in north east England. The British government on April 21, 2016 offered "hundreds of millions of pounds" in financial support for potential buyers of crisis-hit Tata Steel's UK operations and said it could even buy up to a quarter of the company.©AFP

Greybull Capital: British fabrication

City Insider

The news that Greybull Capital is swooping to the rescue of one of the UK’s biggest steelworks was cheered by staff in the sector. Tata Steel of India has agreed to offload its struggling European long products unit, which is based in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, to the family investment firm. Not only does the deal offer a lifeline to 4,800 mostly UK-based employees. Greybull has also pledged to resurrect the British Steel name — spawned almost 50 years ago to unite and nationalise Britain’s 14 big steelmakers. That’s a slick marketing wheeze. But the workers at Scunthorpe are about the only British thing about the rescue. Greybull is the family office of the French-born Meyohas family, who made their fortune in finance, and the Swedish Perlhagens, who made their money in medicines. Greybull itself is named after a town near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. A tad more glamorous than the chimneys of Scunthorpe.

António Horta Osório, Group Chief Executive (CEO) of Lloyds Banking Group, addresses delegates at the British Chambers of Commerce in central London on February 10, 2015.©AFP

António Horta Osório: Next challenge

At HSBC’s annual meeting on Friday, succession planning tops the agenda for shareholders. Douglas Flint is expected to be replaced as chairman within a year, and the bank is likely to seek a successor to CEO Stuart Gulliver the following year. Gulliver, the boss since 2011, has said he plans to see through his “pivot to Asia” strategy to the end of 2017. After that, pressure from investors may mean it breaks with its tradition of plotting succession internally. Henri de Castries, Axa’s outgoing boss, joined HSBC as a non-executive director last month. He’s the favourite to succeed Flint. As far as the CEO succession goes, might António Simoes, the European head and an option for the role if it was to go to an insider, give way to a rival António. City Insider hears fellow Portuguese banker António Horta Osório, currently head of Lloyds and a popular figure among investors, may see 2018 as a good time to move to his next challenge.

Britain's ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould visits the site where a Grad rocket fired by Palestinian militants hit in a residential area in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2011 as two Grad rockets fired by Gaza militants slammed into Beersheva, a day after two deadly Israeli raids killed eight Gazans.©AFP

Matthew Gould: Cyber man

The hazy world of cyber security is all the murkier when government gets involved. Last August, the Cabinet Office appointed high-flying diplomat Matthew Gould — until then UK ambassador to Israel — to the role of cyber security director. The job made him a key go-between linking government cyber policy to the City of London and the broader business world. Over the past year or two, cyber has overtaken the likes of credit risk and market risk as a key concern for financiers, though of late has been upstaged by Brexit fears. How appropriate, then, that Gould moved — barely six months into his cyber job — to head the anti-Brexit “referendum unit”. City Insider hears Gould, dubbed the government’s Scaremonger General, will not return to the cyber job. So it’s official. Brexit risk beats cyber risk even after June’s poll.

Chris Saul: Legal high

To the Saatchi Gallery, where Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May threw a party last Thursday for popular retiring senior partner Chris Saul and his successor, Steve Cooke. As a backdrop for the evening, Saul, a rock fan and inveterate festival goer, had picked Exhibitionism: an immersive exhibition with over 500 original Rolling Stones artefacts. In Keith Richards’ autobiography “Life”, the star recalls that “for many years I slept, on average, twice a week. This means I have been conscious for at least three lifetimes.” The legal eagles admired his stamina. One partygoer joked: “He ought to have been a corporate lawyer.” Keith must be kicking himself.