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Barclays PLC (BCS)

  • Jun. 23, 2014, 7:54 AM
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  • Jun. 3, 2014, 7:38 AM
    • Jobs cuts across Barclays' (BCS) investment bank are set to begin this week, reports Bloomberg, with about 100 jobs going in Asia, plus cuts in London and New York.
    • Things are just getting started as management has promised 7K reductions by 2016. "The problem is when you cut heads you cut the associated revenues with that head in investment banking," says analyst Sandy Chen. "The strategic challenge they have is really how to cut the costs without cutting off the associated revenue.”
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  • May 30, 2014, 3:36 PM
    • "The market has permanently shrunk," says RBC's Gerard Cassidy of fixed-income trading business at banks. FICC income of $22B in Q1 was off 37% from a year ago, and updates recently from the likes of Citigroup (C +0.6%), JPMorgan (JPM -0.5%), and Goldman Sachs (GS -0.4%) suggest Q2 could be worse.
    • Of the two reasons - a new regulatory regime putting the squeeze on bank business practices and the absence of volatility, one may go away, but the other isn't.
    • The new regime has banks cutting staff and restructuring units - especially from the likes of European players like Barclays (BCS +0.2%), Credit Suisse (CS +0.3%), and UBS (UBS -0.7%).
    • “What these companies have decided to do, some more dramatic more than others, is restructure their business,” says Cassidy. “You just have to manage your business differently by realigning your cost structure to the new level of revenues due to the changes form rules, regulations and laws."
    • ETFs: IAI, KCE, KBWC
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  • May 23, 2014, 4:31 AM
    • Barclays (BCS) has received a fine of over £26M from the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over attempts to manipulate the price of gold.
    • The regulator said Barclays, which is one of four banks to set the price of bullion twice a day, failed "to adequately manage conflicts of interest between itself and its customers, while the bank was also responsible for "systems and controls failings."
    • The fine adds to penalties Barclays has received for Libor manipulation, although the punishment for gold is unlikely to move the needle on the bank's bottom line. (PR)
    • Meanwhile, Barclays has approached potential suitors about buying the firm's Spanish retail bank, Reuters reports. A sale would be part of Barclays' strategy to refocus its operations, particularly on its U.K. business.
    • Barclays has already said that it intends to put its retail operations in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal in a "bad bank." The company would then divest the assets in that bank.
  • May 15, 2014, 12:53 PM
    • Redburn Partners upgrades Barclays (BCS -1%) to Buy.
    • Boenning & Scattergood upgrades Beneficial Mutual Bancorp (BNCL +0.1%) to Outperform with $15 PT.
    • Fidelity Southern (LION -2.5%) is upgraded to Outperform with $16 PT by KBW.
    • Ladenburg Thalmann upgrades Spirit Realty Capital (SRC +1.3%) to Buy alongside its downgrade of Realty Income.
    • Morgan Stanley pulls its Buy rating on Columbia Property Trust (CXP -7%).
    • Fifth Street Finance (FSC +0.3%) is boosted to a Buy at Gilford Securities
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  • May 15, 2014, 7:36 AM
    • Ahead of the major shakeup in Barclays' (BCS) investment bank comes another high-profile departure, with the NYT reporting Asia investment bank chief Matthew Ginsburg as stepping down.
    • Ginsburg - who joined Barclays from a similar role at Morgan Stanley in 2009 - is reportedly looking at other senior roles within the bank. Andrew Jones co-CEO for Asia-Pacific at Barclays will take Ginsburg's slot on an interim basis.
    • Previously: The Street still loves a good chainsaw; Barclays soars
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  • May 12, 2014, 1:27 PM
    • FBR upgrades Pac West Bancorp (PACW +3.7%) and TCF Financial (TCB +3.1%) to Outperfom and sets price targets of $47 and $18 respectively.
    • KBW upgrades First Interstate Bancsystem (FIBK +1.7%) to Outperform with $32 PT.
    • Double upgrades are in order for Essent Group (ESNT +2.5%), from Compass Point and KBW, after last week's Q1 earnings.
    • Stifel Nicolaus upgrades Cousins Properties (CUZ +1.4%) to Buy with $13PT after the company beats estimates by $0.02.
    • Guggenheim upgrades Travelers Companies (TRV +1.1%) to Buy and sets a $117 PT.
    • Responding to weakish earnings last week from Barclays (BCS -1.5%) coupled with the plan for an overhaul at the investment bank, RBC Capital and BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to Sector Perform.
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  • May 9, 2014, 12:53 PM
    • Goldman Sachs (GS -0.2%), Barclays (BCS -1%), and Credit Suisse (CS -1.2%) are among the banks NY Attorney General Schneidermann has requested information from about their use of dark pools, reports Dow Jones.
    • Dark pools are systems set up by the banks to allow clients to trade large blocks of stock outside of the major exchanges.
    • Earlier this year, Goldman sent out checks to clients after discovering errors in trades in its Sigma X dark pool - the world's largest -  from back in 2011. It was also reported that Goldman was considering selling Sigma X, a move management has denied.
    • Previously: Goldman considers shuttering dark pool
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  • May 8, 2014, 10:44 AM
    • Plans to gut its investment bank (7K job cuts), park £400B of assets in a "bad bank", and cut another 12K positions from the rest of the company light a fire under Barclays (BCS +7.8%). The lender's current workforce is 139.6K strong, and the 19K in cuts announced today stands against a plan of just 12K expected earlier this year.
    • Barclays' reshaped investment bank will concentrate on the core markets of the U.S. and the U.K., and the top 1K clients who generated more than 75% of revenues last year. The investment bank will now account for 30% or less of risk-weighted assets, down from 50% now.
    • Talking a different line than JPMorgan's (JPM +0.4%) Jamie Dimon, Barclays boss Antony Jenkins says the evaporation of trading revenue is indeed secular, not cyclical.
    • Previously: Cyclical or secular? JPMorgan warns again on trading business
    • Previously: Barclays plans to axe 19,000 jobs
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  • May 8, 2014, 9:16 AM
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  • May 8, 2014, 3:27 AM
    • Barclays (BCS) intends to slash 19,000 jobs over the next three years, including 7,000 at its investment bank, where operating profit halved in Q1.
    • Barclays will cut 14,000 positions this year, above an expected 12,000-14,000.
    • The U.K. company also plans to create a "bad bank" that will incorporate £115B ($195B) worth of risk-weighted assets from the investment bank, as well as the firm's retail banking operations in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. The aim is for the investment bank to account for no more than 30% of the company's risk-weighted assets vs 50% now.
    • Barclays will give greater focus to its retail activities in Britain, its Barclaycard credit card division, and its African business.
    • The company will book £800M in costs as part of the overhaul, adding to £2.7B that was announced in February 2013.
    • However, within two years, Barclays aims to increase its dividend payout to up to 50% of adjusted earnings vs current guidance of 40%.
    • Shares are +3.4% in London. (PR)
  • May 6, 2014, 11:12 AM
    • Charles Schwab (SCHW +0.2%) is upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse with a $32.00 PT.
    • Macquarie upgrades Essent Group (ESNT +0.8%) to Outperform.
    • Numis Securities downgrades Barclays (BCS -3.6%)  to Hold after Q1 results today.
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  • May 6, 2014, 7:09 AM
    • Behind the decline in income at Barclays (BCS) in Q1 was a 49% dive in income at the investment bank as business evaporates in fixed income, currencies, and commodities. Traditionally, the largest source of revenue for the investment bank, FICC income fell 41% to £1.2B.
    • "A lot weaker than expected," says Shore Capital's Gary Greenwood of the FICC number. "The key questions are: What are they doing with their investment-banking business and how are they going to stem these declines?”
    • Later this week, CEO Antony Jenkins will present details of an overhaul of the investment bank. Ahead of the presentation has been a rash of top-level management exits.
    • "We are obviously going through a number of changes as part of our strategic review and that may or may not have prompted some people to move on,” says Finance Director Tushar Morzaria on a reporter conference call. He notes the bank's difficulties in FICC have continued in Q2.
    • Shares -3.1% premarket
    • Previously: Barclays reports Q1 results
    • Previously: More high-level departures at Barclays
  • May 6, 2014, 6:47 AM
    • Barclays (BCS) Q1 adjusted profit before tax decreased 5% to £1.69B.
    • Statutory profit before tax rose 18% to £1.81B.
    • Adjusted income fell 14% to £6.65B sighting a reduction in Investment Bank.
    • Shares -2.7% premarket.
    • Press Release (.pdf)
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  • May 5, 2014, 5:30 PM
  • May 5, 2014, 7:09 AM
    • The news continues to fly fast on Barclays (BCS) amid the strategic review of its investment bank which is to be unveiled on Thursday. The weekend's news:
    • Investment banking chief Ros Stephenson is joining UBS, where he'll be global chairman of corporate client solutions.
    • The bank's head of M&A - Paul Parker - is expected to quit ahead of Thursday's presentation, bringing to four the number of high-level bankers exiting ahead of the big day. A source, reports the FT, says Parker - a former Lehman banker - is being eased out as part of the management changes.
    • The bank may put its retail operations in continental Europe up for sale, reports The Telegraph.
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Company Description
Barclays PLC is a financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management. It operates in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.