Guinness has a plan to take on craft beer — and it’s working

#AceFinanceNews – Featured Report: July.30: Guinness has a plan to take on craft beer — and it’s working

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) gives a thumbs-up as he celebrates St. Patrick's Day with a pint of Guinness during a stop at the Dubliner Irish pub in Washington, March 17, 2012.

Diageo, the alcohol giant behind the likes of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, and Captain Morgan, just put out its full-year results and one of the few bright spots is Guinness.

The iconic Irish stout has an association with history and heritage, but Diageo is trying to reinvent it as “innovative” — and the plan is working.

Here’s Diageo:

Innovation remained a key performance driver with net sales up 30% [in this category], driven by successes such as ‘The Brewers Project’ which helped put Guinness back in growth in both Great Britain and Ireland.

“The Brewers Project at St James’s Gate” is a branding and marketing campaign tied to the launch of new Guinness beers, all trying to make the Dublin brewery look like a “craft” beer maker of the type springing up across Britain right now.

Last year Guinness brought out its first new drinks in years in the UK, launching two porters and, most incredibly, a golden ale. Their success helped Diageo’s beer sales rise 2% in Britain.

In North America too Guinness sales were up thanks to the launch of a Guinness branded Blonde American Lager.

All of this is in response to the rising tide of “craft” beer that’s gaining in popularity across North America and the UK. Consumers are willing to spend more on more adventurous and complex styles of beer, but are less interested in “traditional” drinks.

While Diageo will be pleased with Guinness’s performance in the west, sales declines in Africa and Asia mean globally sales fell by 2%.

That pretty much sums up performance across the whole company. Sales of most spirits are falling, with tequila and North American whiskey the only big bright spots, as the table below shows:

diageoDiageo reported a 5% rise in sales to £10.8 billion ($16.85 billion), while profit rose 3% to £2.8 billion ($2.37 billion). Shares are down 0.18% 20 minutes after trade started in London.

CEO Ivan Menezes says in Thursday’s results statement that the performance “reflects the challenges we have seen on top line growth” but says he’s optimistic about the year ahead.


Original Article:


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NEW YORK: ‘ Bloomberg Markets magazine release top 10-strongest banks – Hang Seng tops list ‘

#AceFinanceReport – NEW YORK, July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Bloomberg Markets magazine released its annual ranking of the world’s strongest banks. Hong Kong-based Hang Seng tops the list for the second year in a row, followed by Norinchukin Bank (Japan) and Oversea-Chinese Banking (Singapore).

Bloomberg’s Alfred Liu and Elena Logutenkova write, "The invigorating powers of snake soup aside, Hang Seng is benefiting from rising wealth in Hong Kong and mainland China. It’s one of six Asian banks in Bloomberg’s top 20–five of them in the top 10. Japan’s Norinchukin Bankrepeats in second place, after having tied for that spot a year ago. Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking is No. 3 in our fifth annual ranking of lenders whose assets total $100 billion or more. Two other Singapore banks are ninth and 10th.

Across Asia, the International Monetary Fund expects gross domestic productgrowth to average 5.6 percent this year, triple the European Union’s 1.8 percent. And Asia’s rich are getting richer. The 4.69 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific area with at least $1 million in assets boosted their combined wealth 11 percent last year to a total of $15.8 trillion, the fastest pace in the world, Royal Bank of Canada and Cap Gemini say. "Asian banks stand out because of the huge wealth creation in the region," says Arthur Kwong, head of Asia-Pacific equities at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Hong Kong. "A lot of the banks are well capitalized."


1. Hang Seng (Hong Kong)
2. Norinchukin Bank (Japan)
3. Oversea-Chinese Banking (Singapore)
4. National Commercial Bank (Saudi Arabia)
5. Desjardins Group (Canada)
6. Capital One Financial (U.S.)
7. Qatar National Bank (Qatar)
8. OP Financial Group (Finland)
9. DBS Group Holdings (Singapore)
10. United Overseas Bank (Singapore)

-NORTH AMERICA: The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is the only North American bank to appear in the rankings every year. The U.S. has three entries: newcomer Capital One Financial in McLean, Virginia, at No. 6; No. 14, Citigroup; and No. 15, Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T, the ninth-largest U.S. commercial bank by assets. New York-based Citigroup, the world’s twelfth-largest bank in terms of assets in the ranking period, is the only large global lender among the 20 strongest. The biggest U.S. banks by assets, led by JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, didn’t make the list.

-ASIA: Four Asian banks have appeared on the list every year: Hang Seng Bank (Hong Kong), Oversea-Chinese Banking (Singapore), DBS Group Holdings (Singapore) and United Overseas Bank (Singapore).

-EUROPE: Europe tied Asia with six lenders in the top 20–thanks primarily to Nordic banks. Sweden’s regulator has been raising capital requirements for the biggest banks since 2011.

To identify the world’s strongest banks, Bloomberg evaluated public and private banks with total assets of $100 billion or more as of June 1. The banks were evaluated in five categories. The ratio of a bank’s Tier 1 capital to its risk-weighted assets accounted for 40 percent of each bank’s overall score. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets got a weighting of 20 percent, as did the ratio of reserves for loan losses to nonperforming assets. The ratio of deposits to funding accounted for 15 percent of the score. And the efficiency ratio, which compares costs with revenues, received a 5 percent weighting.

SOURCE Bloomberg


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GERMANY: ‘ Unemployment rises to highest figures since May 2014 ‘

#AceFinanceNews – July.30: BERLIN (Reuters) – German unemployment unexpectedly rose in July and posted its biggest increase since May last year in a setback for domestic demand, which is expected to drive growth in Europe’s largest economy this year.

The Federal Labour Office reported on Thursday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment total rose by 9,000 to 2.799 million. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a fall of 5,000.

The jobless rate remained at 6.4 percent for the fourth straight month. That is the lowest since German reunification in 1990.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Caroline Copley)

German unemployment posts biggest rise since May 2014


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JAPAN: ‘ Taxpayers pay increased #Fukushima compensation bill though #TEPCO profits rise ‘

#AceFinanceNews – JAPAN:July.29: Japan on Tuesday approved an increase in compensation payments for the Fukushima disaster to 7.07 trillion yen ($57.18 billion), Reuters said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station, will receive 950 billion yen more in public funds, on top of the 6.125 trillion yen agreed earlier, according to the utility and the government.

The increase was agreed after a request by Tepco, and it adds to the bill for taxpayers for the disaster in March 2011.

Tens of thousands of evacuees still remain in temporary housing.


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What a China selloff may mean for U.S. investors

Article: No need for us to confirm, WSJ’s 1MDB articles are clear enough, Dow Jones tells PM ’s lawyers

#AceNewsReport – July.29: No need for us to confirm, WSJ’s 1MDB articles are clear enough, Dow Jones tells PM’s lawyers:


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#GREECE: ‘ Bourse to reopen Wednesday or Thursday after ECB approval – regulator

#AceMarketsReport – July.29: ATHENS (Reuters) – The Greek stock market will reopen on Wednesday or Thursday after a month-long shutdown but with restrictions on trading by local investors at the request of the European Central Bank, the Greek securities regulator chairman told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) has been shut since June 29, after the government closed its banks and imposed capital controls to prevent them from collapsing in the face of mass withdrawals.

Greece sent a first proposal to the ECB last week to reopen the stock market as soon as possible because it risked its place in global securities indexes if it remained closed for too long.

But the process was delayed because the ECB wanted assurances that Greek investors would not pull money out of banks to convert them to shares or bonds, putting a further strain on the country’s struggling lenders which depend on the ECB’s emergency funding (ELA) to remain afloat.

On Tuesday, Greece gained the European Central Bank’s approval to reopen its stock market with no restrictions for foreign investors but with limitations for local ones.

“The commission will convene tomorrow morning to decide if the Athens Stock Exchange will reopen on Wednesday or Thursday,” the chairman of Hellenic Capital Market Commission Konstantinos Botopoulos told Reuters.

A ministerial decree on the bourse’s operations is expected to be issued, opening the way for trading.

Greek regulators on Monday offered the ECB two plans for the re-opening: one allowing unrestricted trading, the same as proposed last week, and a second that imposed restrictions on trading by Greek investors to prevent capital fleeing banks, sources said earlier.

Botopoulos said the ECB approved the second plan. “What we have won in the negotiations is that the restrictions will last for a limited period of time,” he said.


A European official said the process for the reopening of the market was delayed due to fears that it could result in a crash, as well as continued uncertainty about Greece’s political future and that of its banks.

“What nobody knows is what happens if you reopen. Is there going to be dumping of Greek assets? No one can say that everything is under control,” the official said.

A senior official at the regulator said local investors would be allowed to buy shares by using existing cash, such as that stored at home for security in the face of the crisis or money transfers from abroad, and not by withdrawing money from their Greek bank accounts.

Some market participants had warned that unlimited trading for domestic investors would have posed a serious risk for lenders.

“The problem is that if the trading starts without restrictions, then many Greeks could withdraw their deposits and turn them into shares or bonds,” Takis Zamanis, chief trader at Athens-based brokerage Beta Securities, told Reuters.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said a ban on the short selling of Greek shares, as requested by the Greek securities regulator, would remain in place. The ban, which also affects electronic trading of Greek government bonds, is set to stay in effect until Aug. 3.

Greece’s main equity index was down 16 percent from its 2015 peak, hit in February, when the bourse was shut down.

FTSE Russell, which compiles indexes across major asset classes, said last week it was retaining Greece securities in its indices for another 10 business days to see if the Greek bourse reopened.

(Additional reporting by John O’ Donnell and John Geddie; Writing by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Greek bourse to reopen Wednesday or Thursday after ECB approval – regulator


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MARKETS: ‘ Asia stocks edge up, markets hushed for Fed ‘

#AceMarketsNews – SYDNEY (Reuters) July.29: Asian shares clung to modest gains on Wednesday on hopes that Beijing could stem the rout in its markets without damage to the economy, while caution ruled elsewhere ahead of a policy decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The major European markets were also expected to open higher, while the calmer mood prompted a bounce in some hard-beaten commodities including copper.

While China’s main indexes could not sustain an early rally neither were they much lower, a relief after Monday’s 8 percent plunge. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen was off 0.7 percent, while the Shanghai Composite slipped 1 percent.

Sentiment has been soothed a little by pledges from Chinese regulators to buy shares to stabilise stocks if needed and hints of more policy easing from the central bank.

The steadier tone was enough to lift Australia’s main index 0.9 percent, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei eased 0.3 percent, hit by sharp falls in Fanuc Corp and Tokyo Electron. [.T]

On Wall Street, the Dow had ended on Tuesday with gains of 1.09 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 1.24 percent and the Nasdaq 0.98 percent. [.N]

Not faring so well was Twitter, which sank 11 percent in extended trade after the microblogging company said its monthly average users grew at the slowest pace since it went public in 2013.

The Fed ends a two-day policy meeting later on Wednesday with markets divided on whether it will take a hawkish or dovish stance, while some suspect it might chose to do neither. No move on rates is expected this week.

In recent congressional testimony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen neither ruled out a September hike nor guided the market toward thinking it was a done deal.

“We think the upcoming FOMC statement will reflect this non-committal approach,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.

“In other words, there will be no explicit tweak to the guidance signalling a hike is imminent.”

At most, the Fed might sound a little more positive on the economy and describe risks to the outlook as balanced rather than “nearly” balanced, Porcelli added.

In currency markets, investors seemed to decide it was safer not to be actively short of the U.S. dollar ahead of the policy statement at 1800 GMT.

That kept the dollar steady at 123.45 yen, from a low of 123.04 on Tuesday, while the euro softened to $1.1052.

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was off 0.1 percent at 96.716.

In energy markets, oil prices were subdued ahead of official data on U.S. stockpiles. [O/R]

Brent futures were down 24 cents at $53.06 a barrel and near their lowest since February. U.S. crude futures slipped 22 cents to $47.76 a barrel.

(Editing by Kim Coghill and Jacqueline Wong)

Asia stocks edge up, markets hushed for Fed


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TWITTER ‘ Revenue on Tweeting Tweets by TwitterIR ‘

fD89GawL_normal.png TwitterIR (@TwitterIR)
28/07/2015 21:16
Q2’15 rev: $502M; adj. EBITDA: $120M; non-GAAP net income: $49M. Key info:… #TWTRearnings $TWTR


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@thehill ‘ Pelosi pushes for $15-minimum wage @AceNewsServices

#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:July.28: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday endorsed a $15 minimum wage, joining a growing chorus of liberals on and off Capitol Hill pushing to more than double the current $7.25 rate.

“Twelve dollars may be what can pass, but I’m for $15 per hour,” Pelosi said as she headed into the weekly Democratic Caucus meeting in the Capitol, according to her office.


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#capitol-hill, #democratic-caucus, #minimum-wage, #nancy-pelosi, #pelosi