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The cost of living in a bubble: $455m
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>If you are into unique properties, then look no further than “Palais Bulles”, the French Riviera estate of Italian-born designer Pierre Cardin that has just gone on the market.</p> <p>Looking like a terracotta cluster of bubbles, the $455 million property (insert joke about frothy real estate valuations here) is found atop a cliff in Massif de L’Esterel, a volcanic mountain range by the Mediterranean Sea.</p> <p>Designed by Antti Lovag, the estate spans 13,000 square feet and consists of 28 spherical rooms including 10 suites with round beds. It also has three swimmings pools, several gardens, and a 500-seat amphitheater. Forbes reports that the style is typical of the Hungarian architect who believed the straight line to be “an aggression against nature,” given its rare appearance in the organic world. </p> <p>The property is famous for hosting countless star-studded bashes over the course of  Cardin’s 20-year residency, including James Bond’s 40th Birthday Party.<br /> Photo: Alamy</p>
Asia challenges North America as most active continent for venture capital deals in Q3
Venture Capital
<p>Venture capital deals in Asia comprised 38% of the global number, and 45% of global deal value in the quarter, while North America represented 44% of both global number and value</p> <p>The venture capital industry in Asia has seen strong growth over the past year, and in Q3 the aggregate value of deals was comparable to the total value of deals in North America. India and China, the largest part of the Asian industry, marked 709 financings in the quarter, worth a combined $16.9bn. There were 932 venture capital deals in North America in the same period, worth an aggregate $17.5bn. Asia’s share of global deal flow has increased by seven percentage points from Q2 to Q3 2015, and its share of deal value has increased by nine percentage points. At the same time, the North American market share of the number of deals dropped by six percentage points from Q2, while the aggregate value that the region contributed to the global total fell by nine percentage points from 53% in Q2 to 44% in Q3.</p> <p>Other key venture capital deal market facts:</p> <p> Worldwide Figures: Globally, there were 2,121 venture capital financings in Q3 2015, worth a combined $39.8bn. Although this marks a 9% drop in deal numbers from Q3 2014, the aggregate value is 88% higher than the same period last year.<br /> European Decline: Europe witnessed 297 deals in Q3, a 7% drop from last quarter. In 2015 YTD, 980 deals have been seen in the region, a 25% decrease from the 1,307 deals in the first three quarters of 2014.<br /> Chinese Growth: In Q3 2015, the aggregate value of deals in Greater China increased 88% from Q1. In that quarter, there were 252 deals worth a combined $6.9bn, while in Q3 there were 437 deals, worth $13bn.<br /> Financing Rounds: Angel and seed investments comprised 22% of venture capital deals in Q3, unchanged from Q2. Series A deals comprised 20% of the number of deals, and series B comprised 10%. Add-on deals decreased from 8% of the number of deals in Q2 to 5% in Q3.<br /> Average Deal Size: The mean value of venture capital deals has increased across all financing stages from 2014 to 2015 YTD. Average series A deal value has increased 35%, from $7.9mn in 2014 to $10.7mn for 2015 YTD. Average venture debt deal size was stable in 2013 and 2014, at $9.7mn and $9.6mn respectively, but has now increased to $40.9mn in 2015 YTD.<br /> Biggest Deals: The two largest investments in Q3 2015 were both in Chinese transport technology firm Didi Kuaidi. The company received $2bn in July, and a further $1bn in September, from a consortium of investors including Alibaba and CIC. The next largest financing was $1bn to Uber Technologies Inc., from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Times Internet. Nine of the ten biggest venture capital deals in Q3 were based in Asia.<br /> Dry Powder: The unspent capital available to venture capital firms currently stands at $143bn globally, up slightly from the $141bn in dry powder recorded at the end of last quarter.</p>
Weekend Scan: US equities, bonds rally despite ugly jobs report
Capital Markets
<p>Good morning everyone. After dipping into the red shortly after the disappointing jobs report, U.S. markets staged a mid-day rally largely thanks to a spike in oil prices. The S&amp;P gained 1.4%, the Dow jumped 1.2%, while the Nasdaq soared 1.7%. The biggest moves however were in the U.S. bond markets, where the 10-year Treasury yield sank to a five-month low of 1.98% after returning 2.042% just the day before. 30-year bond yields meanwhile fell to 2.826%, while Fed funds rate futures – after indicating a 14% chance of an October rate hike earlier in the day – saw that chance slip to 5% shortly after the report. I wonder if the Fed feels the same way.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Russia, Saudi Arabia to keep foot on the gas. Despite the massive decline in oil prices, Russia and Saudi Arabia – the world’s largest oil producers – will be keeping the pedal to the metal as far as oil production is concerned. Russia apparently pumped an average of 10.74 million barrels a day in September, a figure unseen since the Soviet era. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>World Cup sponsors demand Sepp Blatter’s head. With the Fifa president officially under criminal investigation, three of the World Cup’s largest sponsors – McDonald’s, Budweiser, and Coke – are all demanding for his resignation. Blatter’s lawyer however, had this to say: “Mr. Blatter respectfully disagrees with its position and believes firmly that his leaving office now would not be in the best interest of Fifa nor would it advance the process of reform and, therefore, he will not resign.” Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>Civilian police worker shot in Australia. The man was murdered as he left work Friday. The gunman, who was shot and killed by police, fired shots at police officers leaving a police headquarters near Sydney. CNN</p> <p>Mudslide kills nine in Guatemala. Up to 600 people are also missing after heavy rains moved sludge and rock outside the capital city. Reuters</p> <p>At least 10 dead after Oregon shooting rampage that targeted Christians. A gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, lining up victims and shooting those who said they were Christian. The suspect was killed. CNN</p> <p>Pope met with gay ex-student in Washington. Critics have slammed the pope for meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during his visit to the U.S. Davis has taken a public stance against gay marriage. The Vatican says that the pope’s visit with Davis does not mean an endorsement of Davis’ views. The pope also had a “real audience” with his former student Yayo Grassi. Grassi, a gay man, brought his partner of 19 years to meet the pope. New York Times<br /> You won’t believe this…<br /> Want a date? Use proper grammar. Grammar snobbery has become prevalent on dating sites, and is a “permissible prejudice.” Dating site users rank good grammar above a person’s confidence and teeth in</p>
People Moves: Temasek International lands its first CEO
Asset Management
<p>Temasek International appoints CEO. Lee Theng Kiat, the 62-year old former president and CEO of ST Telemedia, has been named CEO of Temasek Holding’s management arm, Temasek International. Here’s what the firm had to say about Lee's responsibilities:<br /> “As CEO of TI, Mr Lee will be responsible for Temasek’s role as an active investor and shareholder. He will oversee Temasek’s commercial strategies and portfolio, and build up the management and operational capabilities at TI to support the next phase of Temasek’s development and deliver sustainable long term returns.”<br /> Lee joined Temasek back in 2011, and was most recently Temasek International’s president. He will report Ho Ching, Temasek Holdings’ Executive Director and CEO. Temasek</p> <p>For Capital Markets moves, click here.<br /> Photo: Luke Ma</p>
Stefano Potorti’s top 7 Italian restaurants in London
Lifestyle, 4:01
<p>With more than 1,000 Italian restaurants to choose from in the City, finding the most authentic and best spot can be a challenge. Stefano Potorti, an Italian native and long-time Londoner and Managing Director of Sagitter One a boutique hospitality consultancy, gives us his top 7 picks.</p> <p>Stay away from any menu that has pasta and Alfredo sauce, or spaghetti costoletta alla Milanese – these aren’t Italian dishes, and the restaurant probably isn’t either.</p> <p>Potorti, who is originally from the most southwest region of Calabria, the mountainous and coastal region that composes the toe of Italy’s boot on a map, has lived in London for 12 years. He consults clients on various culinary projects, but because of his Italian roots, he is always asked about his favourite Italian restaurant in London. Here is his list:</p> <p>1) Cacio e Pepe</p> <p>46 Churton Street, London,<br /> Monday to Saturday 11:00am – 11:30pm</p> <p>I like this new stylish place in Pimlico for its regional cuisine from Lazio. It has a nice modern bar for an Aperitivo or light dinner on the ground floor and tables with comfy sofas in the basement where you can have some private space for a group of people. My favourite thing on the menu is their signature Roman pasta made with fresh tagliolini Cacio &amp; Pepe style in a parmesan basket – it’s very simple, beautiful and delicious! The outdoor seating will also let you soak in the last few days of Indian summer in London.</p> <p>2) Osteria dell’Angolo</p> <p>47 Marsham Street, Westminster<br /> Monday to Friday 12:00pm – 3:00pm<br /> Monday to Saturday 6:00pm – 10:30pm</p> <p>Located behind the Westminster Cathedral, this is a nice place for lunch and dinner in a quiet yet central part of London. I like their spacious space and classy tables. When they open windows and full walls on a warm day, you are instantly transported to the South of Italy. The bar is very inviting and I hardly pass by without an Aperol Spritz in hand. They also have a private dining room with dark wood furniture downstairs next to the wine cellar. I like their whole menu because the chef is from Naples and likes cooking seasonal dishes from the area. If I had to choose, I would go for their traditional pasta from Sorrento with fresh crab meat and courgettes.</p> <p>3) Princi</p> <p>135 Wardour St, London<br /> Open 24 hours/day</p> <p>This Milanese-style bakery is one of the buzziest places in Soho and it is open from 8:00am to midnight. It has a nice modern interior and you can have your meal either standing or seating – very Italian. All the bread, cakes and pastries are made in the spacious kitchen downstairs and served to you over the stone and glass counter by enthusiastic staff. They have warm croissants and brioches for breakfast, filled focaccias and colourful salads for lunch, hot dishes for dinner and, of course, amazing bread to take home! My usual order there is a warm focaccia with mortadella – it reminds me of one I used to live in Italy.</p> <p>4) Zafferano</p> <p>15 Lowndes St, London<br /> Monday to Sunday 12:00pm – 11:00pm</p> <p>Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, in the summer their terrace is perfect for an Aperitivo and in winter, the red brick interior makes for cosy dinners. The atmosphere is great, the service is very attentive. The meal there is a real treat. If you have important guests coming from Italy – take them to Zafferano and they will love you! My fav</p>
The Trans-Pacific free-trade charade
Capital Markets
<p>NEW YORK – As negotiators and ministers from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries meet in Atlanta in an effort to finalize the details of the sweeping new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), some sober analysis is warranted. The biggest regional trade and investment agreement in history is not what it seems.</p> <p>You will hear much about the importance of the TPP for “free trade.” The reality is that this is an agreement to manage its members’ trade and investment relations – and to do so on behalf of each country’s most powerful business lobbies. Make no mistake: It is evident from the main outstanding issues, over which negotiators are still haggling, that the TPP is not about “free” trade.</p> <p>New Zealand has threatened to walk away from the agreement over the way Canada and the US manage trade in dairy products. Australia is not happy with how the US and Mexico manage trade in sugar. And the US is not happy with how Japan manages trade in rice. These industries are backed by significant voting blocs in their respective countries. And they represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how the TPP would advance an agenda that actually runs counter to free trade.</p> <p>Click here to read more</p> <p>© Project Syndicate</p> <p>This story originally appeared in Advisor Perspectives.<br /> Photo: International Monetary Fund</p>
Investments that pay when Korean workaholics play
Capital Markets
<p>The notoriously workaholic South Koreans are starting to kick back and take life a bit easier—and it’s already fostering brisk growth across a wide swath of consumer-centric businesses. Investors, take note.</p> <p>South Koreans are still the world champs of hard work. They took only seven of their allowed 15 days of vacation in 2014, well below the 24-nation average of 19.5 days, according to online travel agency Expedia’s most recent Vacation Deprivation study. All told, South Koreans worked nearly 25% longer than their developed-world counterparts that year. But those hours of toil have been declining steadily for the past several decades, and are now 25% below where they were in the mid-1980s (Display).</p> <p>Time to Take It Easy</p> <p>Expect them to continue trending lower. Both the government and large Korean companies have launched campaigns to encourage workers to take more time off, prompted by signs that this excessive industriousness was taking a heavy societal toll. Long hours have not translated into greater labor productivity: South Korean productivity is well below developed-world levels despite much faster GDP growth. Overwork has also been linked to the country’s high rates of suicide and industrial injury.</p> <p>It is also important to note that fewer work hours haven’t meant smaller paychecks. According to government statistics, the average full-time Korean worker earned 3.4 million won (US$3,229) a month in 2014, up 36% from 2.8 million won in 2008, despite a 4% drop in hours worked. More cash to spend on fun.</p> <p>The cultural impact has been striking. A recent study found that South Koreans are sleeping more (up 9% since 1999), taking longer to eat (up 25%) and devoting more time to personal care and healthy activities (up 35%). Spending on entertainment (such as moviegoing, hobbies, sporting events, books and travel) has risen at a 4.4% annual clip since 2004, outpacing the 3.8% annual increase in overall consumer spending.</p> <p>World Travelers</p> <p>We see plenty of ways that investors can capitalize on these trends. The most obvious beneficiaries are travel-related businesses. The number of South Koreans flying to international destinations has grown exponentially, from 6 million in 2001 to 16 million in 2014. Unlike travelers in other parts of the world, Koreans much prefer packaged tours to non-packaged alternatives, as they don’t like being caught making vacation plans too far in advance. Spending on these tours has been climbing 12% annually since 2004. Interestingly, studies found that less than 40% of adults have ever traveled abroad. But as more Koreans take advantage of their time off, we expect such trips to lure a broader cross-section of the population.</p> <p>Arguably the best barometer of the country’s more laid-back lifestyle is the soaring attendance at Lotte World, a major recreation complex in Seoul that consists of the world’s largest indoor theme park, shopping malls and a luxury hotel. It received 7.6 million visitors in 2014, nearly double the levels only five years earlier.</p> <p>Coffeeholics and Chicken Addicts</p> <p>South Koreans are also spending more on eating out. Among the fastest-growing segments are coffee and beverage shops, where annual sales have been growing at twice the pace of restaurant sales overall (Display). A recent government survey reported that South Koreans consume coffee nearly as often as they do the traditional side, dish kimchi, and twice as frequently as they do white rice. South Korea now ranks fourth among countries with the largest numbers of Starbucks locations per person.</p>
People Moves: JPM makes two senior IB hires; HSBC appoints new DCM deputy chief
Capital Markets
<p>JP Morgan bolsters its Chinese investing banking bench with two new hires. Xueqian Pu, an old hand in the Chinese investment banking scene, has been named vice chairman of global investment banking for China by the U.S. bank, JP Morgan. Pu joins the firm after seven years at Rothschild, were his most recent role was head of China investment banking. He also held senior roles at UBS, and also led strategy at the Chinese conglomerate, China Merchants Holdings. Joining him at the American firm is Kelvin Cho, a Hong Kong-based ECM heavy. Cho was previously BAML’s Greater China director for ECM, and had served various roles in BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse before that. He will continue to be based in Hong Kong. Financial News</p> <p>HSBC names new deputy chief for Asia-Pac DCM. Sean Henderson, a 10-year HSBC veteran, has been named deputy head of debt capital markets, Asia-Pacific and head of capital financing, Singapore, by the British firm. Henderson was previously HSBC’s head of capital financing for Australia and New Zealand, and worked in various roles within the firm’s DCM syndicate prior to that. He will continue to be based in Singapore, and will report to Alexi Chan, HSBC’s global co-head of DCM and head of DCM for Asia-Pacific. Reuters</p> <p>Liquidnet bags quant chief from BNP Paribas. Tony Cheung, a long-time veteran of the quant trading arena, has been appointed head of quantitative analytics by the institutional trading network, Liquidnet. Cheung joins Liquidnet from BNP Paribas, where he was most recently head of product management for electronic trading. Prior to that, he built and deployed algorithms for Royal Bank of Canada in New York. He will be based in Hong Kong, and will report to Lee Porter, Liquidnet’s head of Asia Pacific, as well to Akis Georgiou, the firm’s New York-based head of quantitative sales and analytics. Asia Asset</p> <p>For Asset Management moves, click here.<br /> Photo: Wendy</p>
Daily Scan: Stocks bounce back after morning fall; Joaquin is coming
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>October 2</p> <p>Good evening.  It's jobs day, and the results were disappointing. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 142,000 in September, falling short of hopes and expectations of 200,000. Adjustments for July and August knocked down the jobs numbers for those two months as well. The jobless rate remained unchanged at 5.1%.  Stocks knee jerked, falling hard with the markets open, but slowly creeped back up. The Dow rose 1.2%, recovering from a more than 1% drop in the morning. The Nasdaq gained 1.7%, and the S&amp;P 500 added 1.4%. If you're on the East Coast this weekend, bring an umbrella. The eastern U.S. is being pummeled by heavy rain as Hurricane Joaquin makes its way through the Bahamas to the Atlantic Coast. Several U.S. governors have ordered a state of emergency in preparation for flash floods and rough storms.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Civilian police worker shot in Australia. The man was murdered as he left work Friday. The gunman, who was shot and killed by police, fired shots at police officers leaving a police headquarters near Sydney. CNN</p> <p>Mudslide kills nine in Guatemala. Up to 600 people are also missing after heavy rains moved sludge and rock outside the capital city. Reuters</p> <p>Pope met with gay ex-student in Washington. Critics have slammed the pope for meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during his visit to the U.S. Davis has taken a public stance against gay marriage. The Vatican says that the pope's visit with Davis does not mean an endorsement of Davis' views. The pope also had a "real audience" with his former student Yayo Grassi. Grassi, a gay man, brought his partner of 19 years to meet the pope. New York Times</p> <p>U.S. Education Secretary to step down. Sec. Arne Duncan will step down in December, the White House announced Friday. Former New York state commissioner John King will replace him. King has been working as deputy secretary for the last few months. Duncan was one of the few members of President Obama's original cabinet still in office. Politico</p> <p>At least 10 dead after Oregon shooting rampage that targeted Christians. A gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, lining up victims and shooting those who said they were Christian. The suspect was killed. CNN</p> <p>Williams expects a 2015 rate hike. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said that he expects a rate hike coming this year, adding that last month’s decision to stay pat was “a very close call.” He's keeping an eye on the labor market though, saying that any number “above 100,000 or 150,000 would be good to me.” Nasdaq</p> <p>The U.S. Treasury has had it up to here with Congress’ brinkmanship. In a letter to John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew kindly asked Congress to get its act together, saying “we have learned from previous debt limit impasses that faili</p>
People Moves: Brevan Howard loses partner; Ex-Google engineer moves to hedge fund
Hedge Funds
<p>Brevan Howard partner steps down. Mark Hillery has stepped down from his role at the hedge fund, according to a regulatory filing. Hillery joined the firm in 2009. He previously worked at Tudor Capital. Reuters</p> <p>Ex-Google engineer becomes hedge fund CTO. Alfred Spector joined Two Sigma, a $28 billion quantitative hedge fund, as chief technology officer. Spector worked as v.p. of research and special initiatives at Google for eight years before leaving this year. Financial Times</p> <p>Deimos names new portfolio manager. Deimos Asset Management named James Warner III managing director and portfolio manager, with a focus on companies in the financial services sector and related technologies. Warner previously worked at The Citadel Group and Carlson Capital. eVestment<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo<br /> &nbsp;</p>