Archive for May, 2008

HSBC says committed to KEB, but can’t wait forever (Reuters)

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 | Finance News

SEOUL (Reuters) - HSBC (HSBA.L) said on Monday it was
committed to a $6.3 billion takeover of South Korea's No. 6
bank, but warned it would not wait forever for approval of a
deal seen as a major test of the country's openness to foreign
investors.

A newspaper report the deal might fall through had pushed
shares in the target, Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) (004940.KS),
more than 2 percent higher on expectation that if HSBC pulled
out there might be a bidding war among domestic banks for KEB.

"HSBC is committed to the acquisition, but we can't wait
forever," the bank quoted the head of its South Korean
operations, Simon Cooper, as saying.

"We are hopeful that the government will take appropriate
action."

The London-based bank (0005.HK) extended the deadline in
April on its offer to buy a majority of KEB from U.S.
investment fund Lone Star (LS.UL) by three months to the end of
July, which awaits South Korean regulatory approval.

Lone Star's PR agency in Seoul and KEB declined to comment.

The new conservative government of President Lee Myung-bak,
which took office in February, has made clear it recognizes
that the KEB deal will be seen as a litmus test of its pledge
to opening up Asia's fourth largest economy far wider to
foreign investment.

But the deal has been held up by legal disputes over Lone
Star's 2002 KEB purchase and its involvement in controversial
decisions by the South Korean bank.

Chairman of the regulatory Financial Services Commission
(FSC), Jun Kwang-woo, told reporters in April that the
government was studying how to help seal the KEB sale, hoping
for a quick resolution.

But he said there was no change to its basic stand that a
final decision would have to wait for the legal disputes to be
settled in the courts.

Jun is due to meeting financial regulators and executives
of European banks on a trip to Paris and London this week.

Earlier, the Financial Times on its Web site (www.ft.com)
reported that HSBC may drop out of the delayed KEB purchase if
no progress is made within weeks.

"Sentiment is finely balanced but HSBC would likely look
... elsewhere if there is no movement," it quoted an unnamed
person familiar with the British bank's thinking as saying.

But some analysts said they expected the deal to go through
eventually.

"If the deal is pulled, that would not be good for the
growth of HSBC's business in Asia," said Y.K. Lee, an analyst
of Core Pacific-Yamaichi.

KEB shares were up 1.7 percent to 15,250 won by 0355 GMT,
after running up as much as 3 percent, against the wider
market's (.KS11) fall of 1.5 percent.

Han Jeong-tae, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities, said
that domestic banks would likely jump into the bidding if HSBC
quit.

"Their rising interest in KEB would make M&A momentum
stronger and in a consequence could be a favorable factor for
KEB shares," he added.

(Additional reporting by Park Ju-min and Lee Chang-ho in
Seoul and Tony Munroe in Hong Kong; editing by Jonathan
Thatcher)

Source

Australia’s IAG chief quits after rejecting QBE (Reuters)

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 | Finance News

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -
Insurance Australia Group Ltd
(IAG.AX), which last week spurned a takeover offer by rival QBE
(QBE.AX), said on Monday its Chief Executive Michael Hawker had
resigned with immediate effect, triggering a 3 percent jump in
its shares.

IAG shares slumped last week after it rejected as too low
an A$8.7 billion ($8.3 billion) takeover offer by rival QBE
Inurance Ltd (QBE.AX).

It did not put the offer to shareholders and some large
institutional shareholders including fund manager 452 Capital
said IAG did not give sufficient reason for rejecting the
offer.

IAG, the country's top home and car insurer, said Hawker
will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Michael Wilkins.

"I believe we are currently undervalued and our underlying
performance is improving, however, I also believe I have lost
the confidence of a number of our shareholders which is not
tenable for the company," Hawker said in a statement.

Chairman James Strong said IAG was conducting a review of
every aspect of its business in Australia and overseas and it
planned to brief the market on the results of the review in
early July.

QBE scrapped its revised offer on May 21, after offering a
10 percent premium to IAG's share price before the deal talks
were revealed in April.

QBE said the relatively low premium was justified in the
light of AIG's falling profits over the past three years and a
profit downgrade last month.

Analysts expect IAG, which controls about one-third of
Australia's general insurance market, to report a 55 percent
drop in profit this year.

IAG shares were up 2.0 percent at A$4.06 at 0018 GMT.

($1=A$1.04)

(Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; editing by Jonathan
Standing)

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ForexFace.com, a New Forex Trading Education Website, Goes Live

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 | Financial Press Release

ForexFace.com, a new independent and comprehensive forex trading education website, is now live. The website has forex basics, as well as more advanced trading education content, all written by expert traders, and approved by the ForexFace.com editorial team. Members can create profiles and post articles, enabling them to build their reputation, not only on ForexFace.com, but also in the larger forex trading community.

New York (PRWEB) May 18, 2008 -- ForexFace.com, a new forex trading education website, is now live. With a host of information and tools, ForexFace.com is a comprehensive forex training resource for beginners and for experienced traders alike. ForexFace.com features foreign exchange tutorials, articles written by experts in currencies trading, reviews of forex trading systems, and daily reports - in short, everything needed in order to become a successful face in the forex market. ForexFace.com is an independent venture, and aims to be a leading free forex education resource on the web.

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ForexFace.com has tools and information tailored to meet the needs of forex traders of varying levels of experience. Beginners will benefit from articles on forex basics, covering such concepts as Average Daily Range (AVDR), and the right way to read the forex charts. More experienced traders will be able to deepen and broaden their knowledge and understanding, with the aid of articles on system development and trader psychology.

"Forex is a rapidly expanding market, and there are a great deal of traders out there who will benefit greatly from a website offering comprehensive information and reliable forex trading education, and that's where ForexFace comes in,' said Mr. Daniel Katz, Editor in Chief at ForexFace.com. "We are committed to becoming a prime resource for forex traders, steering them toward success by teaching them about best practices in currencies trading, and by providing them with tools and techniques needed in order to turn knowledge into profit, while at the same time supporting the growth of the forex trading community."

Forex traders can create their own profile and post articles on ForexFace.com. Articles will be carefully reviewed by the editorial team, and scrutinized for the accuracy of the information and the relevancy to the members of ForexFace.com. Publishing articles on ForexFace will be a great way for traders to build a reputation among members of the ForexFace website, and in the larger forex trading community.

For more information, please visit www.ForexFace.com.

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