The Malta Independent 25 November 2017, Saturday

Wake Up Call

Monday, 20 March 2017, 10:11 Last update: about 9 months ago

This morning has already brought news about a huge merger in the telecommunications industry, as Vodafone's India unit will be merging with Idea Cellular Ltd. The new company will be worth upwards of $23 billion and boasts more than twice the subscribers of AT&T.

Vodafone will own 45.1% of the company while 26% will be taken by holding companies answering to Indian billionaire Kumar Birla whose company famously offered free phone calls in a fiercely competitive industry. The deal is expected to be finalised in 2018.

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The wires also picked up news of Uber's President Jeff Jones calling it a day at the ride-sharing company. His resignation comes after Uber became embroiled in multiple workplace scandals such as sexual harassment and an excessively competitive - read toxic - work culture to the behaviour of CEO Travis Kalanick. Uber has also been accused of undermining a taxi strike against US President Donald Trump's first immigration ban in January, and CEO Kalanick stepped down from Trump's business advisory council after the hashtag #DeleteUber began gathering steam.

Week in Review

Last week ended with markets slightly on the up overall after a choppy session which saw a selloff in the first few days of the week, a rally on Wednesday and consolidation thereafter. The major highlights included the Federal Reserve of New York raising rates by 25 basis points as widely anticipated and the Dutch elections which saw 'Dutch-Trump' Geert Wilders' party fare worse than expected much to the relief of many pro-EU watchers.

The incumbent government still needs the support of other parties to form a majority coalition having got only 33 of the 150 available seats, but a coalition which involves the far-right is now highly unlikely. As far as European elections go, it's one down and two to go as Euro-watchers are now setting their targets on France.

Data Front

It's going to be a pretty quiet week on the data front, as relatively little planned economic releases should jolt the market too much. What can shift momentum is the slew of European Purchasing Managers Indices due to be released on Friday. A string showing (keep in mind most indices are at multi-year highs) would re-enforce the self-sustaining recovery story which, ceteris paribus, should put pressure on inflation, bond prices and maybe, just maybe, the ECB to act somewhat sooner-than-expected.

 

This article was issued by Andrew Martinelli, Trader at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

 


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