Sat, Jan. 24, 4:48 PM
- The financial sector is off to a worse start to the year than even the energy names, with the XLF down 3.9% YTD vs. the XLE's 3.2% decline. The S&P 500 is roughly flat. The SPDR KBW Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KBE) is off 7.5%, and the Regional Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KRE) is lower by 6.9%.
- Q4 earnings results haven't been wonderful, but financial names had been savaged well before those reports started coming out. Instead there's a difficult regulatory regime that won't quit, and - for now - it's looking like "wait'll next year" for the rising interest rates that were supposed to drive profit margins higher. The 10-year/2-year spread - already pretty low at 150 basis points to start the year - has narrowed to 137 bps.
- A partial roll call of banks: Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) -12.1% YTD, Citigroup (NYSE:C) -10.1%, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) -9.4%, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) -9.4%, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) -14.7%, KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) -4.5%, PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) -5.4%, Bank of New York (NYSE:BK) -9.1%, Capital One (NYSE:COF) -6%, Discover (NYSE:DFS) -13.6%.
- Other spread-starved sector names: MetLife (NYSE:MET) -9.8%, AIG (NYSE:AIG) -8%, Prudential (NYSE:PRU) -10.8%, Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) -9.9%.
- Some of what's working in financials: Blackstone (NYSE:BX) +6.7%, E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) +1.2%, WisdomTree (NASDAQ:WETF) +12.3%, Legg Mason +2.8%.
Thu, Jan. 22, 1:14 PM
- "The pace of change has been surprising," says Igor Rozenblit, the SEC's co-head of private-funds compliance, noting P-E firms have put a stop to some of their worst violations, but still have room for improvement.
- The SEC last May said it found illegal fees or severe compliance shortfalls in more than half the P-E firms it reviewed starting in 2012.
- Firms including Blackstone (BX +2.9%) and KKR (KKR +2.9%) have ended the collection of certain fees, begun disclosing previously hidden charges, and refunded some bills to investors.
- A report in the WSJ from last night, says KKR refunded money to investors in some of its buyout funds after the SEC found they had been overcharged.
- ETFs: PSP, PEX
Thu, Jan. 22, 11:13 AM
- Trading in CRH (CRH +2.9%) is halted after Reuters reports that the Irish building materials company and a consortium led by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) will battle for the assets which Lafarge (OTC:LFGEF) and Holcim (OTCPK:HCMLF) must sell ahead of their planned merger, Reuters reports.
- A source reportedly considers CRH the front runner after placing the highest offer for the assets with a €6B bid ($6.9B).
- France's Lafarge and Swiss peer Holcim announced merger plans last year that would create the world's biggest cement maker with $44B in annual sales.
Tue, Jan. 20, 10:58 AM
- The deal with Praedium Group is for 36 properties containing about 11K units, reports Bloomberg, and will boost the number of apartments owned by Blackstone's (BX -0.7%) LivCor unit to about 43K.
- LivCor was formed in 2013 with assets acquired from a GE unit in a $2.3B deal comprising 71 properties in Texas and the Southeast.
- The new deal reportedly has about half of its buildings in California, D.C., and Boston, and would make LivCor roughly half the size of the country's multifamily giants - Equity Residential and AvalonBay.
Tue, Jan. 13, 11:24 AM
- Taking advantage of a nice run since Brixmor Property Group's (BRX -2.3%) IPO a bit more than a year ago, Blackstone (NYSE:BX) sells another 17.5M shares for gross proceeds of $458M (suggesting a sale price of $26.17 per share).
- After the sale, Blackstone will no longer be the majority owner of the company, and one of its designees expects to resign from the board so that Blackstone no longer has a majority of director seats.
- Source: Press Release
Fri, Jan. 2, 11:49 AM
- It was less than a month ago when Blackstone (BX +0.3%) Chairman Steven Schwarzman told a conference the time was nearing to put a lot of money into energy, and today his firm's GSO Capital Partners committed up to $500M to help fund oil and gas development for Linn Energy (as that company slashed capex and the dividend).
- Under the non-binding deal with Linn, GSO would provide the funding for drilling programs in return for an 85% working interest in the wells. If the projects produce a 15% annualized return for Blackstone, its stake will drop to 5%.
- Blackstone's credit arm, GSO has $70B in assets and produced 9.5% of the P-E firm's profits in the first nine months of 2014.
Dec. 22, 2014, 9:49 AM
- More than a dozen buyout firms - Blackstone (NYSE:BX), Apollo Global (NYSE:APO), and Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) among them - have lost a combined $11.7B in 27 publicly traded oil producers since June, according to Bloomberg.
- Apollo - the largest investor in EP Energy, for instance - has $5B invested in energy debt and equity. Carlyle has 10% of its $203B in assets in the industry, and Blackstone is the 2nd-largest shareholder in Kosmos Energy, and backs drilling projects off Ghana's coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
- "It could be worse from here," said Greg Beard, who oversees Apollo's energy investments, at his firm's investor day on Dec. 11. "When the market has been in excess like it is now, you see price declines. With a change in the stance of OPEC from one of price protection to the protecting of market share, we're in excess for at least the next 12 months."
- Previously: Blackstone's Schwarzman licking his chops over energy (Dec. 12, 2014)
Dec. 15, 2014, 10:56 AM
Dec. 12, 2014, 8:00 AM| Dec. 12, 2014, 8:00 AM | 6 Comments
Dec. 10, 2014, 4:51 PM
- Hoping to put off having to pay capital gains taxes from the sale of the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) is in talks to take the proceeds and buy four other properties from Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and others, according to Bloomberg.
- The purchases include one hotel in San Francisco, one in Orlando, and two resorts in Key West, say sources.
- Blackstone has cut its stake in Hilton, but remains a majority owner.
Dec. 8, 2014, 7:44 AM
- The 26 office buildings were part of the Equity Office Properties Trust which Blackstone (NYSE:BX) acquired for $39B in 2007. They are being sold to Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE:HPP) for $3.5B, with Hudson is paying just $1.75B, and making Blackstone a 48% owner of the company.
- HPP -0.7% premarket
Dec. 4, 2014, 10:19 AM
- In private-equity, Blackstone (BX +1.4%) and KKR & Co. (KKR +0.9%) post gains after being initiated with Overweight ratings, while Carlyle Group (CG -1%) and Oaktree Capital (OAK -0.5%) are started at Equal Weight.
- Moving onto traditional asset managers, Invesco (IVZ -0.5%) is rated Overweight, while T. Rowe Price (TROW -0.3%), Legg Mason (LM -1.5%), Franklin Resources (BEN -0.9%), and BlackRock (BLK -0.2%) are all started at Equal Weight.
Dec. 1, 2014, 5:59 PM
- Blackstone (NYSE:BX) has reached a binding deal to sell its IndCorp Properties portfolio of U.S. industrial property to a venture including GIC and Global Logistic Properties for $8.1B, WSJ reports.
- BX had been considering selling the company via an IPO, but apparently decided instead to sell into the hot commercial real estate market, which is seeing both domestic and foreign investors pay up for property.
- The sale would be one of the largest-ever sales of industrial property.
Dec. 1, 2014, 1:06 PM
- Noting the U.S.-listed REIT index remains 15% below its 2007 peak, Blackstone's (NYSE:BX) property arm chief Jon Gray says the private-equity firm is on the lookout for REITs to take private.
- It wouldn't be the first time for Blackstone, which busily bought up real estate - Sam Zell's Equity Office Properties in 2007 being notable - prior to the financial crisis, and made a fortune despite the crash.
- ETFs: IYR, VNQ, WPS, VNQI, DRN, RWX, URE, SRS, ICF, RWR, SCHH, RWO, IFGL, DRV, KBWY, DRW, REK, FRI, GRI, FTY, FFR, RWXL, PSR, EMRE, WREI, REET
Nov. 21, 2014, 6:49 AM
- Sysco (NYSE:SYY) is in talks to sell some assets to a food company owned by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) in order to win regulatory approval for its acquisition of US Foods, reports the New York Post.
- Sysco said in December 2013 that it would buy US Foods for about $3.5B, merging the two biggest U.S. food distributors.
- Previously: FTC questions Sysco, US Foods merger
Nov. 20, 2014, 4:08 PM
- The business owns and operates more than 200 residential properties consisting of more than 10K units. Blackstone (NYSE:BX) is paying just north of ¥190B (about $1.6B).
- GE Capital Real Estate has global assets of $36B, and the Asia-Pacific unit has $5.1B.
- Francois Trausch, CEO – Asia-Pacific at GE Capital Real Estate: “This transaction supports our global strategy to reduce our equity book as we continue to build our global debt operations."
- Source: Press release
BX vs. ETF Alternatives
Blackstone Group LP is an alternative asset manager. It also provides financial advisory services, including corporate and mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services.
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