Hints that U.S. regulators could veto Comcast Corp's proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc have investment bankers worried about whether they will get paid, with smaller advisory firms particularly on edge. Boutique investment banks such as Allen & Company, Centerview Partners and Paul Taubman's PJT Partners have limited resources compared to their larger brethren, and they use them to win mandates on a few big deals. Yet it is megadeals such as the Comcast-Time Warner Cable buyout, that carry the most regulatory risk.
By Hideyuki Sano and Vidya Ranganathan TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks were firm on Tuesday after China's latest step to prop up its faltering economy lifted global equities, while the euro was pressured on growing worries a cash-strapped Greece may default on its debt. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.3 percent, with the dollar's gains against some Asian currencies offsetting a rise in stock prices in local currency terms. China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves in its latest attempt to spur lending and combat a slowing economy. "China's action undid the damage caused by the crackdown (on speculative buying in Chinese stocks on Friday)," said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.
By Anil D'Silva and Avik Das (Reuters) - Wall Street investment bank Morgan Stanley reported its most profitable quarter since the financial crisis on Monday, boosted by higher revenue from trading bonds and equities. The bank's trading business, like those of its main rivals, got a boost in the quarter after the Swiss central bank scrapped a cap on the franc, the European Central Bank announced its quantitative easing program and the U.S. Federal Reserve took steps toward tightening monetary policy. Morgan Stanley capped a mostly strong quarter for the big U.S. banks with its 60 percent rise in net profit, followed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, whose profit jumped 41 percent. "We did not dial up risk to generate these earnings," Chief Executive James Gorman said on a call to discuss what he described as the bank's "strongest quarter in many years." Morgan Stanley is focusing less on bond markets and more on managing money for the rich as a way to free up capital and meet stricter regulatory rules imposed since the financial crisis.
(Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp reported a 12 percent fall in first-quarter revenue as the technology company continues to shed unprofitable businesses to focus on cloud-computing initiatives. It was the 12th straight quarter that the Armonk, New York-based company reported a drop in quarterly revenue, including the effects of currency. IBM's revenue has been shrinking for three years now as the company sheds low-profit businesses such as cash registers, low-end servers and semiconductors and focuses on emerging areas such as security software and cloud services, but the new businesses have so far failed to make up for revenue lost to divestitures. Some top shareholders have sought help from activist investors to shake up the company, Reuters reported earlier this month IBM did say that it has generated $7.7 billion in total cloud revenue over the past 12 months, up sharply from the year before.
The talks with Wells Fargo underscore GE's urgency in looking to dismantle its GE Capital business and free itself from the financial regulatory pressures that come with it. GE earlier this month unveiled plans to exit the bulk of GE Capital over the next few years to focus more on industrial manufacturing. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Bornstein told analysts on the company's quarterly conference call last week that GE was seeing "incredible" interest in the GE Capital assets.