Welcome to the morning roundup. Here’s a look at what’s news in banking and finance this morning.‘Near-shoring’ moves jobs. Big banks are increasingly moving mid-level jobs from centers like new York City and London to lower-cost locations, including RTP in North Carolina, The new York Times reports. Known as “near-shoring,” the practice targets jobs that need to stay in the U.S. but don’t necessarily need to be in the big cities, like accounting, human resources and legal support. Low-level jobs have already moved overseas.Living wills due today. The “living wills” the country’s largest banks are required to submit outlining how they could be broken apart if necessary are due today to the FDIC. a version of the reports for the nine largest banks — including Bank of America — will be made public tomorrow, Bloomberg says. The wills are required under Dodd-Frank, and a total of 125 banks will have to submit them by the end of 2013.Barclays chairman resigns. Barclays chairman Marcus Agius announced his resignation this morning in the wake of the Libor-fixing settlement that cost the British bank $450 million, CNN reports. The bank’s CEO, Bob Diamond, is also under pressure to resign, and the pair will face questions from parliament this week.Can women save banks? former Bank of America Merrill Lynch head Sallie Krawcheck has a new op-ed, this time touting women’s skills in interpersonal relationships, risk-averse nature and long-term goal setting and how these qualities could serve the banking industry. she writes that a true conversation on diversity hasn’t taken place in finance.States changing foreclosure rules. Bills are pending in half of U.S. states to change the rules for how foreclosures can proceed, the Wall Street Journal reports, as a reaction to the practices exposed in the $25 billion national mortgage servicing settlement. One bill, in new York, would make it a crime to forge foreclosure paperwork.Chinese banks most profitable. China’s banks accounted for a third of global banking profit in 2011, CNBC reports, and three of the country’s banks were the world’s most profitable, according to rankings from The Banker magazine. JPMorgan chase was the most profitable U.S. bank and came in fourth. Bank of America came in first in The Banker’s ranking of banks most able to lend on a large scale.Malaysia boom. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are among the banks cashing in on the boom in investment banking activity in Malaysia, Reuters reports. The country’s share of Asian mergers and acquisition activity has doubled this year.
“This is the biggest reinvention of the iPod nano since its debut in 2005, and we think users are going to love it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Replacing the click wheel with our Multi-Touch interface has enabled us to shrink the iPod nano into an amazingly small design that is instantly wearable with its built-in clip.”
It’s rougly half the size and weight of the previous generation and features a built-in FM radio (with live pause), pedometer and also supports Nike + iPod®. available in 8GB or 16GB sizes in silver, graphite, blue, green, orange or pink.
Also be sure to check out the latest iPod Shuffle, iPod Touch (with FaceTime, HD video recording, etc.) and Apple TV updates.
Further iPod Nano imagery follows.
Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC’s Kayla Tausche. Following is a link to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000096320.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
TAUSCHE: WELCOME BACK TO SQUAWK ON THE STREET I’M KAYLA TAUSCHE WITH SOME BREAKING NEWS. TAKE a LOOK AT QUEST SOFTWARE IT’S IN THE MIDDLE OF a BIDDING WAR TODAY ANNOUNCING IT GOT a SUPERIOR PROPOSAL TO THE PREVIOUS DEAL IT HAD WITH INSIGHT VENTURE PARTNERS a BUYOUT LET BY CEO VINNY SMITH. BUT IT MIGHT GET ONE BETTER SOURCES TELL ME INSIGHT IS LIKELY TO INCREASE ITS BID ITS CURRENTLY WORKING ON a REVISION TO ITS PREVIOUS OFFER OF $23 a SHARE OR AROUND $2 BILLION FOR QUEST. THE COMPANY IS TRADING THROUGH THE NEW $25.50 OFFER PRICE BY AN UNNAMED BIDDER WHICH MANY EXPECT TO BE DELL BUT IS UNCONFIRMED AND THAT’S AN EXPECTATION OF a HIGHER DEAL. QUEST HAD 60 DAYS AFTER THE MARCH 9TH ANNOUNCEMENT OF ITS FIRST DEAL WITH INSIGHT TO SOLICIT ADDITIONAL OFFERS AND THIS NEWS COMES OUTSIDE THAT PERIOD BUT EVEN SO INSIGHT’S PREVIOUS OFFER AT $210 MILLION IN EQUITY AND OVER a BILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT BUT ITS RECEIVED a FINANCING COMMITMENT TO RAISE ITS OFFER SHOULD IT CHOOSE TO DO SO UNDER THE CURRENT AGREEMENT QUEST GIVES INSIGHT a THREE DAY GRACE PERIOD TO WORK ON a REVISION. INSIGHT DECLINED TO COMMENT AND QUEST COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT BUT THE STOCK TELLS THE STORY TODAY.About CNBC:With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD+, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news providing real-time data, analysis and information to more than 390 million homes worldwide. the network’s 16 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC.com and CNBC Mobile Web (mobile.cnbc.com) offer real-time stock quotes, charts, analysis and on-demand video.Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/
A year ago almost to the day, we posted that BlackBerry smartphones were the top selling phones in the UK. this year the same holds true once more. the same data group that gave us this news last year, GfK, released its latest results which sees BlackBerry dominate the mobile phone market for the second year running. it took 26.7% of the December sales and averaged 27.7% during the whole of 2011.
With a lot of negative press about BlackBerry, more so in North America, this is great news for RIM, who currently has a new CEO at the helm. the entry level Curve models are a great starting point for many wanting to own a BlackBerry and have always been a popular choice in the UK.
The UK is certainly looking forward to whatever RIM brings this year. Keep reading for the full press release.
the latest results from data firm GfK show that BlackBerry® was the #1 selling smartphone in the British market for the second year running. it continues to dominate the market, grabbing 26.3% of December sales and averaging 27.7% through 2011.
the BlackBerry® global subscriber base grew 35% year on year in December to 75 million. the UK customer base is going from strength to strength with over eight and a half million active subscribers by the end of 2011.
BlackBerry® launched its latest operating system, BlackBerry® 7, in August 2011 introducing a portfolio of stylish new smartphones including the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9790, Torch 9860, Torch 9810, Curve 9380 and Curve 9360.
the update to BlackBerry® 7.1, announced earlier this month, will be rolled out in the coming months. this software update builds on the strengths of BlackBerry 7 to further enhance the mobile experience on BlackBerry®. it includes BlackBerry® Tag, the latest innovation in near Field Communication (NFC), which allows users to share contacts, photos and files by tapping their devices together. Friends can be added to BBM, contact information exchanged, documents shared as well as multimedia content, all in an instant. another key feature of 7.1 is that you can now turn your BlackBerry into a mobile hotspot that can be shared by up to 5 Wi-Fi®-enabled devices, including laptops and tablets such as the BlackBerry PlayBook.
PlayBook 2.0 was announced at this year’s CES show and will be available in February. the new software will allow customers to stay even more connected and productive in their personal and professional lives. Key features include native email with integrated social network messaging capabilities. Updates from popular social networking sites such as Twitter® and LinkedIn® will all appear in the integrated inbox. it also brings a wealth of apps with thousands more to choose from across gaming and lifestyle to business and productivity including Angry Birds, cut the Rope, Groupon, Thomson Reuters, Zinio and many more.
Source: Tracy and Matt
It may not be music to the ears of diehard Phoenix fans but new chairman Rob Morrison does not believe the club should aim to win the A-League every year.
Rather, Morrison believes the Wellington side should focus on trying to reach the play-offs each season, as it is simply not affordable to fund a title-chasing squad year on year.
his theory might be unpopular among Yellow Fever-ites but Morrison, who is also CEO of Kiwibank among an impressive business portfolio, is a long-time student of the science of sporting economics.
“I’d like to see the Phoenix be a self-sustaining, profitable club,” Morrison told the Herald on Sunday. “You can’t build a team or invest profitably in a franchise that is actually going to win a competition every year.
“We are not going to spend money to try and win the [A-League] every year. that is not a self-sustaining model.
“We want to build a squad that is capable of challenging for it every year – but it won’t just be about spending the most money.”
Morrison cites the examples of the Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar as ones to follow. he points out that both teams, who have been consistent performers over the past few seasons, are spending “at or within their salary cap and a lot less – probably 50 per cent less – than the Melbourne Victory or Sydney FC spend.
“We are going to develop and spend sensibly so we have a really competitive squad capable of getting to the play-offs every year and, once there, you are then capable of going on to win it. But it won’t happen every year and we are not going to spend money that way.”
Morrison also uses examples from baseball, many cited in the 2003 book Moneyball (since made into a movie starring Brad Pitt) to illustrate the differing approaches to running a professional sports organisation.
“The New York Yankees pay for a squad that is capable of winning the World Series every year; they pay salaries based on trying to win it every year but obviously they don’t and over the last decade they haven’t.
“In contrast, the Oakland as work on the basis that their squad should be capable of getting to the play-offs then it is up to the vagaries of the play-off system. They have consistently run with the lowest or second lowest salary cap in the MLB but at one point had made the play-offs more times than any other team except the Yankees.”
Despite a severely limited budget, the Oakland as made the play-offs five times between 2000 and 2006. The Yankees made the play-offs every year during that period but have won just one World Series since 2001.
“When you get to the play-offs it comes down to knock-out games, different variables and different pressures; you need to fund a team that is capable of making the play-offs and of course you absolutely want to win it. The distinction is whether you try to give yourself more of a cast-iron guarantee that you will win it.
“The Yankees, and teams like Chelsea and Manchester City, say that if we spend enough money, we will win it more times than we don’t – but it is not a sustainable model. those models rely on a mega-rich benefactor who is happy to lose plenty and they are clubs that often lose money.”
one issue with the comparison with England, and especially the US, is that fans in those countries can be loyal to their clubs almost regardless of the results. The best example is the Chicago Cubs, famously still waiting to win a World Series after more than a century but their tickets remain in hot demand. Leeds, Norwich and Brighton are recent British examples of clubs that have maintained a good following despite a series of poor results.
Kiwis, in contrast, tend to be ‘sunshine supporters’; there is less of a concept of following your team and more of an inclination toward supporting winners.
Morrison’s core principles at the Phoenix centre around turning the franchise into a successful, sound business off the field as well as a good team on it.
“There is a relatively common view [in New Zealand] that you can’t run professional sports organisations as businesses. Our view is that you have to run them as a business in order to be sustainable. We don’t want to be a Leeds United or a Portsmouth.”
“I think at times we are a little bit dewy-eyed about our sports [here] and don’t understand the need to have good structures in place, be business-oriented and ensure that you spend what you earn.”
After the financial uncertainty of the past two seasons, Morrison and the Welnix consortium have recently finalised the budgets for the rest of the season. They are also not far away from appointing an operational board and have put a five year plan in place.
They have begun the search for assistant and goalkeeping coaches for next season and will increase investment in sports science and sport medicine. Coach Ricki Herbert has also identified players to be targeted for the January window and beyond.
“We need to look at strengthening the squad in various places. Some of that may happen this month but certainly we are mainly looking towards the start of the next season.”
a key plank of the five year plan is additional Phoenix teams – Morrison believes it is not sustainable long term to be a one-team club. he hopes to have a feeder team up and running by next season, playing against domestic teams, much like the ASB Challenge series that was run last season. Morrison is confident an extended academy system can be put in place over the next few years and he would also like to see a women’s side playing under the Phoenix banner by 2016.
There have been concerns that operationally Welnix could be unwieldly, with the nine owners all wanting a say before a decision is made but Morrison dismisses that.
“My background, along with the others, is one where you had to make lots of big decisions, sometimes involving very large sums of money, quickly. I don’t think there is any issue around that.”
a lifelong Liverpool fan, Morrison’s playing involvement extends to social football with Miramar, while he has also coached his daughter’s school team. But he does ‘walk the walk’ when it comes to sporting endeavours, having completed the Coast to Coast and, late last year, a gruelling 210km adventure race in Nepal.
By Malcolm Burgess | Email Malcolm