Following the Federal Reserve’s downbeat forecast, markets duly gave up some of the gains they have enjoyed in the past few trading sessions since the US Employment figures of last week Equity markets were down and the S&P after close in Europe by 5% which bodes badly for the end of the week in Asia and Europe, Oil fell back to $38, USD improved markedly across the board. Incoming and helmets on, as we used to say at the German bank I once worked at!
Amazon’s takeover of Deliveroo is still ongoing or rather it will be once the UK Competition Authority opines on the Competition Rules governing that deal. But yesterday the take out market was electrified by Amsterdam based Just Eat Takeaway agreeing a USD 7.3 Billion price tag to acquire US company Grubhub. Analysts were chewing on their pencils rather than their pretzels on this one as they cannot make it worth more than USD 6 Billion and so Just Eat Takeaway shares duly declined by 13%. This may all seem out of this world, but the move towards further home delivered food and the increased valuation of any company in that sector with distribution and brand is another wave to catch.
It is not just Covid but it certainly has speeded up the requirement to achieve further efficiencies and cost savings across the financial world. Santander is already ahead of the banking average in terms of its overall level of efficiency but have announced a couple of eye catching targets: First:Cost savings of EUR 1.2 Billion worldwide of which EUR 1 Billion to be in Europe. Second: Recruiting 3000 I.T professionals worldwide of which 1000 to be in Europe. Readers with enquiring minds will query the apparent dislocation of these two targets, but the answer is that Santander already has a very significant I.T. Department in Spain. What is clear is the inexorable drive to automate and digitise financial services even more widely.
SGM-FX I.T. guru and cactus lover Michael had a gleam in his eye and a spring in his tone of voice as he reported this trend towards I.T. Nirvana (his words) during yesterday’s in house daily Video Conference.
This marks the 17th anniversary of the establishment of T20 or Twenty Twenty in the cricket world. Purists of the game may shudder but most cricket fans whether players or spectators welcomed what was essentially a marketing ploy in 2003 to create a resurgence in interest in what had become a flagging sport. It worked and has given joy and excitement to crickets of all generations.
Have a great, sunny and healthy weekend!
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder
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