Archive for February, 2014

Asset Management: American Capital (NASDAQ:ACAS), The Blackstone Group …

American Capital Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACAS) Director Philip R. Harper unloaded 120,000 shares of the company’s stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 20th. American Capital Ltd. (NASDAQ:ACAS) stock opened at $15.79 in last session, and closed at $15.76, while the day range of ACAS stock is $15.75 – $16.24. The stock showed a positive weekly performance of 6.06%.

Singapore sovereign wealth fund, GIC Private Limited, and the Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) are in key discussions to purchase a minority stake in Kronos Inc. worth US$ 750 million for approximately 44% in equity. The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) stock opened at $32.12, in last session and closed at $32.06, by gaining 1.14%. The 52 week range of BX is $18.21 – $33.41. Company’s market capitalization is $18.11billion.

The Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE:BK) on Friday appealed a New York judge’s decision to exclude loan modification claims when she approved Bank of America Corp.’s $8.5 billion settlement with institutional mortgage-backed securities investors. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK) stock advanced 0.55% and finished the last session at $31.35. The EPS of the stock remained 1.74. Company’s market capitalization is $35.81billion.

Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ) PowerShares announced that it will be shutting down 4 ETFs that had failed to gain traction in order to make way for new funds. Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ) stock opened the session at $33.68, and closed the session at $33.54. The 52 week range of the IVZ stock remained $25.46 – $36.88 and the day range was $33.31 – $33.74.

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Monday, February 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Larsen and Toubro top pick: Ambareesh Baliga

Ambareesh Baliga

Managing Partner, Edelweiss Securities

Expertise : Equity – Fundamental ,IPO

More about the Expert…

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Monday, February 24th, 2014 EN No Comments

Wealth management and capital markets expected to drive Canadian bank profits

OTTAWA – Canada’s big banks are facing a tougher market for retail banking as the housing market slows and consumers look to reduce debt.

However, the wealth management and capital markets businesses are expected to pick up the slack as the country’s big financial institutions prepare to report their first-quarter earnings this week.

“I think wealth management is going to drive earnings within Canada,” said Stan Wong, director of wealth management and portfolio manager at ScotiaMcLeod.

Wong said there also has been a pickup in merger and acquisition deals that will help the investment banking operations at the banks.

“That might help boost some of the revenues on the capital markets side,” he said.

The country’s big banks are coming off record annual profits last year and big gains for their stock, but analysts have downplayed the prospects of a repeat performance.

CIBC analyst Robert Sedran said things may still not be great for the Canadian banks, but they are looking better.

“With the better tone to the capital markets during the quarter, combined with the fact that the first quarter of the year is typically a seasonally strong one for those revenues, we look for a solid start to the year from the group,” Sedran wrote in a note to clients.

Retail banking has been the bread and butter for Canadian banks in recent years, but it isn’t expected to continue to be where the growth will come from going forward.

Home sales in Canada on a month-over-month basis have slipped lower for five consecutive months and Sedran suggested mortgage growth is expected to be in the low single-digit range.

CIBC also forecast that non-mortgage consumer lending is expected to be roughly flat.

Barclays analyst John Aiken said while he does not expect a dramatic decline in earnings in the domestic retail business, the pressures are likely to persist.

“We anticipate further moderation in consumer lending volumes, but do expect some relative stability in overall margins.

“Lower levels of expenses may help lift earnings, however we continue to believe that significant positive operating leverage will be difficult to achieve in 2014 as revenue growth slows.”

Aiken suggested dividend increases may be possible for CIBC, Royal Bank and TD Bank with a possible stock split by CIBC, which has seen its shares pass the $90 mark.

Sedran expected increased dividends from TD Bank, Royal Bank, Scotiabank and CIBC.

National Bank will be the first of the big banks to release its first-quarter results when it reports after the close of markets on Monday. It is expected on average to earn $1.05 per share, according to the average analyst estimate as compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) follows on Tuesday. Analysts on average expect a profit of $1.53 per share.

Royal Bank (TSX:RY), which is expected to report a profit of $1.43 per share, follows with its results on Wednesday, while TD Bank (TSX:TD) and CIBC (TSX:CM) report Thursday. They are expected to earn $1.04 and $2.15 per share respectively.

Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) reports March 4. The average estimate calls for a profit of $1.33 per share from Canada’s most international bank.

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Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 EN No Comments

PNC Bank names 2 to executive posts

PNC Bank has named John Banitt senior vice president and senior investment adviser of wealth management in Palm Beach County. He will be relocating from Vero Beach to Palm Beach. Banitt has 17 years of investment experience in estate planning, banking services and trusts. Previously, he served as a senior client adviser for PNC Institutional Investments and as portfolio manager for Mercantile Trust Co.

In addition, James M. Peppelman was appointed senior vice president and wealth director of PNC Wealth Management in Palm Beach County. Peppelman, a certified financial planner, was senior vice president of wealth management at PNC Bank in Doylestown, Pa. He had the same role at Wachovia Bank and was a vice president at National City Bank.

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Philanthropy officer — The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter has named Kristin Lidinsky senior philanthropy officer for Florida. She was formerly director of development for the Dreyfoos School of the Arts Foundation. A University of Florida graduate, she received her credential as a certified fundraising executive in 2006.

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Regional directorPaul C. Kalafatis has been appointed regional director of Bessemer Trust’s Palm Beach office. He will oversee client services and initiatives. He is a CPA and has a master’s degree in business administration from New York University.

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Women on the move Ann Paton has joined the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation as development consultant. In addition, Elaine Meier Associates was named as its public relations agency. Meier worked for 25 years in marketing and public relations in New York and Boston before returning to her Florida and creating her own agency.

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Flagler Rotary ClubNammie Ichilov, headmaster of the Arthur I. Meyer Academy, will speak on “Education Today” at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday at The Chesterfield hotel. Tickets are $20. For information, contact Colleen Grear at 236-7198.

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Palm Beach Rotary ClubNancy Gallinaro of Palm Beach Gardens will speak on “A Place of Hope” at noon Thursday at The Breakers. The cost is $45, including complimentary valet parking. For information, contact Colleen Grear at 236-7198.

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Greater South County Road Association — Dr. Earl Campazzi will speak on “Your Healthy Heart” at 7:45 a.m. Friday at The Chesterfield hotel. Contact Patti Sans, president, at 838-8979 for reservations.

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Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 EN No Comments

QNB wins 6 prestigious Awards in Euromoney Private Banking & Wealth …

Feb 22 2014

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Building upon its strong credentials in Private Banking

Doha, 22 February 2014 – QNB, The World’s Strongest Bank, has received a leading endorsement for its Private Banking capabilities and performance by winning no fewer than 6 trophies at the prestigious Annual Euromoney Private Banking Awards Dinner held in London on Thursday 13th February 2014.

All of The Awards, as part of Euromoney’s Private Banking Wealth Management Survey 2014, were received for QNB’s domestic performance in Qatar and included: Best Overall Private Banking Service, Best Range of Advisory Service, Best Net-Worth Specific Services for Super-Affluent Clients, Best Fixed Income Portfolio Management, Best Real Estate Investment and Best Private Equity Investment.

The strong performance review by Euromoney was based upon comprehensive certified qualitative and quantitative criteria and standards across a range of measures. QNB consistently rated highly with the Judges and was complimented on the levels of service provided to clients.

Winning up to 6 Awards at an event of this caliber shows the impressive performance being made by QNB’s Private Banking to cater to the evolving and diverse needs of its growing client base. The Bank is keen to continue to be the best provider in Private Banking.

Euromoney is both a leading international magazine and industry analyst that has in-depth knowledge of key financial markets and trends. The Private Banking Awards Dinner is a prestigious event in the Annual Financial Events Calendar and attendance is drawn from a diverse and influential range of Financial Institutions.

-Ends-

About QNB Group
Qatar National Bank (QNB Group) was established in 1964 as the country’s first Qatari-owned commercial bank, has an ownership structure split between the Qatar Investment Authority (50%) and the private sector (50%).

QNB Group has steadily grown to be the largest bank in the Middle East and North Africa Region and is by far the leading financial institution in the country with a market share exceeding 45% of banking sector assets.

Bloomberg Markets, the leading provider of Business, Financial and Economic news has ranked QNB as the World’s Strongest Bank in its 2012 ranking. The 78 banks in Bloomberg’s ranking list included some of the largest and most renowned financial institutions in the world, with QNB being the only bank from the MENA Region.

The Group recorded net profit, for the nine months ended 30 September 2013, of QR7.1 billion, up by 14.1% compared to the same period last year. This was driven by operating income, including the share of results of associates, which increased to QR10.9 billion, up by 29.0% compared to September 2012, demonstrating QNB Group’s success in achieving strong growth across the range of revenue sources. Total assets increased by 24.5% since 30 September 2012 to QR437 billion, the highest ever achieved by the Group.

QNB Group continued to witness robust international expansion as the Group successfully completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Egypt’s NSGB amounting to 97.12% during Q1, 2013. The Group has also extended its regional reach by acquiring stakes in various financial institutions including 35% stake in the Jordan-based, the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF), 40% in Commercial Bank International (CBI) based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 99.96% of QNB-Tunisia, 51% in the Iraqi-based Mansour Bank, 49% of the Libyan based Commerce Development Bank and 20% stake in Al Jazeera Finance Company in Doha. QNB Group also retains 51% stake in QNB-Syria and a 70% stake in QNB Kesawan in Indonesia.

QNB Group opened a representative office in China and established a fully owned subsidiary in India under the name of “QNB (India) Private Limited”.

With the addition of the new subsidiary in India and the new office in China, the Group’s presence through its subsidiaries and associate companies increased to 26 countries providing a comprehensive range of advanced products and services. The total number of staff is almost 13,500 operating from over 570 locations, with an ATM network of over 1,200 machines.

The Group provides an array of investment banking services through its subsidiary, QNB Capital, to corporate, government and institutional clients within Qatar and globally. QNB Capital has one of the best corporate finance teams in the GCC region offering extensive transaction experience and in depth advisory – including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets, and project financing advisory. The Group also offers brokerage services through its subsidiary, QNB Financial Services (QNB FS), the first independently regulated, licensed brokerage company launched by a bank in Qatar. QNB FS offers a multi-market, multi-currency trading platform with access to several markets.

QNB Group is among the highest rated regional banks from leading credit rating agencies including Standard Poor’s (A+), Moody’s (Aa3), Fitch (A+), and Capital Intelligence (AA-). The Bank has also been the recipient of many awards from leading international specialized financial publications.

Based on the Group’s continuous strong performance and the expanding international presence, the bank is currently ranked as the most valuable brand in the MENA region, with a current world ranking of 120 in 2013.

QNB Group has an active community support program and sponsors various social, educational, and sporting events.

For further information, please contact QNB’s Public Relations Department at (+974) 44975704, Fax (+974) 44252589, email: PR@qnb.com.qa or visit QNB’s website www.qnb.com.qa

© Press Release 2014


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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 EN No Comments

Park Sterling Corporation Expands Wealth Team and Adds Chief Marketing Officer

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February 21, 2014 —

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Park Sterling Corporation (Nasdaq:PSTB), the holding company for Park Sterling Bank, today announced the hiring of three additional bankers for the bank’s Wealth Management team, now headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and directed by Michael Williams, Head of Wealth Management. In addition, the company has hired a new Chief Marketing Officer, also based in Richmond.

George Meyls joins Park Sterling as Senior Vice President and Head of Private Banking. Meyls, who was most recently Private Banking Director at StellarOne Bank, has over 20 years of Wealth Management and private banking experience including positions at Paine Webber, Smith Barney, and Wells Fargo Bank. Meyls holds a B.A. in Economics from Roanoke College and is a Certified Financial Planner. In this newly created role, Meyls will have company-wide leadership responsibility for private banking across the company, in addition to building this line of business in Virginia.

Russell Carter, most recently a Trust Advisor at Union First Market Bank in Richmond, joins Park Sterling as a Trust Advisor. Based in Richmond, Carter brings with him nearly 20 years of experience in the Trust area including roles at J.P. Morgan Chase, SunTrust Bank, and StellarOne. He holds a B.A. from Howard University and a J.D. from Touro Law School in New York.

Alan Smith joins Park Sterling as a Trust Advisor based in Charlotte. Smith has seven years of banking experience, most recently with PNC Bank, where he was a relationship manager in Wealth Management and with Bank of America as a client manager. He received his B.A. from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte and his MBA from Indiana University.

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Angela Ross joins Park Sterling as Chief Marketing Officer. A 30-year marketing veteran, Ross was most recently Chief Branding Officer at StellarOne, and held senior roles at La-Z-Boy, Inc. and Circuit City. She earned her B.A. at the University of Virginia and an MBA at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

“We are delighted to continue to enhance our Wealth Management team under the astute direction of Michael Williams and to strengthen these capabilities in the critical Charlotte and Richmond metro markets,” stated James C. Cherry, Chief Executive Officer. “We are especially pleased to increase our management presence in Richmond with the addition of Angela Ross as Chief Marketing Officer and George Meyls as Head of Private Banking. Their impressive experience and skill sets are a perfect fit for our rapidly expanding company. Our commitment to building a significant presence in Virginia is further demonstrated by the fact that company-wide leadership of Wealth Management, Private Banking, Mortgage Banking, and Marketing is all now based in Richmond, creating a solid foothold for growth in Virginia and throughout our footprint.”

About Park Sterling Corporation

Park Sterling Corporation, the holding company for Park Sterling Bank, is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Park Sterling, a regional community-focused financial services company with approximately $2 billion in assets, is the largest community bank headquartered in the Charlotte area and has 43 banking offices stretching across the Carolinas and into North Georgia, as well as a loan production office in the Greater Richmond region. The bank serves professionals, individuals, and small and mid-sized businesses by offering a full array of financial services, including deposit, mortgage brokerage, cash management, consumer and business finance, and wealth management services. Park Sterling prides itself on being large enough to help customers achieve their financial aspirations, yet small enough to care that they do. Park Sterling is focused on building a banking franchise that is noted for sound risk management, strong community focus and exceptional customer service. For more information, visit www.parksterlingbank.com. Park Sterling Corporation shares are traded on NASDAQ under the symbol PSTB.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements about future dividends that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those anticipated, including without limitation future results of operations and financial condition, approval of the declaration of any quarterly dividend by Park Sterling’s Board of Directors and the precautionary statements included in Park Sterling’s filings with the SEC, including without limitation the “Risk Factors” section of its Form 10-K. Park Sterling undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: For additional information contact:
Jim Cherry
Chief Executive Officer
(804) 614-7437
jim.cherry@parksterlingbank.com


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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 EN No Comments

PNC firm sued, accused of improperly liquidating account

Two Midvalley businessmen sued PNC Wealth Management, accusing the bank’s investment arm of improperly liquidating an investment account that was pledged as collateral for a loan.

Robert P. Arvonio and Robert Rossi had several PNC Bank loans and lines of credit for their real estate business, Robert Rossi Co. Realty of Olyphant. The men pledged their investment accounts, administered by PNC Wealth Management, as collateral for the loans.

By Oct. 1, 2008, the investment accounts were valued at $3.9 million. The plaintiffs say they were not in default of their loan payments, yet PNC Wealth Management liquidated the investment into cash over several months from 2008 to 2009.

Seeking $1M-plus

Mr. Arvonio and Mr. Rossi, who are accountants, are suing for the difference in value of the investments at the time of the liquidation and the projected current value of those accounts had they not been cashed out. They are seeking in excess of $1 million, said their attorney, George A. Reihner of Scranton.

The bank claims it acted within the terms of the loan and pledge agreements with Mr. Arvonio and Mr. Rossi. PNC says the men were properly notified of activity with their investment account. The bank cited several loan agreement amendments signed through 2010 that include releases and waivers of liability of the bank and its officers. But Mr. Reihner said the his clients were never notified and did not give their consent.

Counts thrown out

The bank earned a victory with the dismissal of several counts, including conversion, trespass to chattels, gross negligence, and civil conspiracy. That leaves breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty with the only remaining counts.

Mr. Rossi and Mr. Arvonio are trying to show that PNC Wealth Management is a separate entity from PNC Bank and not covered by the waiver. The bank challenges that notion and what it views as far-reaching requests as the case moves into discovery. The bank’s attorney, Michael J. Donohue, of Scratnon, could not be reached for comment.

It is not uncommon for banks to divest of investments that are put up for loan collateral, said Bert Ely, an independent bank consultant based in Alexandria, Va.

“To an extent, a bank is obliged to protect the collateral or to act when the collateral falls below the amount required by the loan agreement,” he said. “This is particularly the case with stocks or investments, which can lose value rapidly. Whether or not the loan is current really isn’t the issue.”

The divestment into cash coincided with the steep decline in the stock market in the early months of the Great Recession and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September of 2008 which sent a scare through the markets.

Mr. Ely said the case will likely depend upon the judge’s interpretation of the loan agreements and how the investment officials gave notice.

Contact the writer: dfalchek@timesshamrock.com

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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 EN No Comments

Sutton Coldfield IFA in UK Elite

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Gemini Wealth Management

Gemini Wealth Management

I’ve been an independent financial adviser for 22 years and being recognised as a Top Rated Adviser in the UK is an amazing feeling.

Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands (PRWEB UK) 22 February 2014

Amanda Reid, of Gemini Wealth Management based in Sutton Coldfield, has been voted one of the Top Rated Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) in the UK on consumer ratings site VouchedFor.

Amanda was featured in The Times, Independent and Mail on Sunday as a result of her achievement.

The accolade, which was awarded to Amanda thanks to support from her satisfied clients, is great news for locals looking for help planning their finances.

Amanda comments: “I’ve been an independent financial adviser for 22 years and being recognised as a Top Rated Adviser in the UK is an amazing feeling. Financial advice is all about helping people to make the most of their hard earned money. In today’s testing times it is more important than ever that people plan for the future. Speaking to an adviser can save you thousands, be that getting the right mortgage, pension, annuity or making the right decision with your savings. Is being dependent on the incredibly low rates offered by high street banks a good idea?”

Comments Adam Price, Founder of VouchedFor: “Selecting a financial adviser to trust with your finances is a big decision. You need to trust them implicitly. With over 7000 independent financial advice firms in the UK, and over 20,000 advisers the choice can seem overwhelming. Having a Top Rated adviser like Amanda on the doorstep is undeniably a great asset but don’t just take our word for it. There is a raft of positive feedback about Amanda on VouchedFor. Read what her clients have to say and see for yourself!”

Amanda was selected as a result of clients reviewing and rating her services on consumer ratings website VouchedFor.co.uk. The site, which enables people looking for financial advice to find a recommended IFA, works like TripAdvisor. You can search for an adviser free of charge based on location and services provided. Advisers are then listed based on client reviews giving those seeking advice confidence that the adviser can be trusted.

To read more information about Amanda take a look on VouchedFor.

About Vouchedfor.co.uk

VouchedFor.co.uk lets consumers find, rate and review Independent Financial Advisers. It clearly displays IFAs’ qualification levels, and ensures all IFAs are authorised by the FSA (or FSA-regulated firm).

VouchedFor.co.uk is an independent service and reviews come entirely from IFAs’ clients. All reviews are subject to strict anti-fraud processes.

Adam Price, formerly of Barclays Wealth, founded VouchedFor.co.uk in 2011 because despite working in the investment industry, he didn’t know where to direct friends to find the right financial adviser.

For more information on Gemini Professional Financial Group – please visit http://www.gemini-pfg.com.

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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 EN No Comments

Utilico halves fees…until performance improves

Utilico halves fees...until performance improves

The £387 million Utilico Investments trust has slashed its management fee until its lacklustre performance turns.

The fee paid to its adviser, Ingot Capital Management, has been cut from 0.5% of gross assets to 0.25% until the fund’s net asset value (NAV) passes 284.81p. The current NAV is 148.29p. With the trust trading at 107.3 pence, it represents a 27.7% discount to NAV.

Utilico claimed that over the full year the reduction would result in savings worth £600,000.

Over the past three years Utilico, which invests in both its highly performing sister fund Utilico Emerging Markets and directly in listed firms, has lost 24% in share price terms and seen a 23.3% fall in NAV.

Ewan Lovett-Turner, an analyst at Numis Securities, argued that the lower fee may not be enough to impress investors.

‘In theory, the fund’s unconstrained global mandate is appealing. However, the fund has a concentrated portfolio of illiquid holdings and has substantial gearing through the zero dividend preference shares (ZDPs),’ he said. These ZDPs mean that Utilico is 166% geared.

Excluding the debt from the trust’s assets, Lovett-Turner noted that the management fee was still equivalent to 0.7% of shareholders’ funds. Utilico’s ongoing charges ratio is 1.7%.

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Friday, February 21st, 2014 EN No Comments

Wealth Adviser: Embracing ETFs Over Index Mutual Funds

A morning briefing on coverage of special interest to wealth managers, financial planners and other advisers.

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Friday, February 21st, 2014 EN No Comments