So HSBC shares take a big hit, while Lloyds posted better than expected results, Unilver shakes off a takeover attempt. UK plc continues onwards and upwards. Lloyds Bank Plc have put a final £1 billion in PPI repayments aside, topping them out, at over £17 billion in payments to the UK public. Also the bank has seen its profits soar £4.2 billion before tax. The annual report makes interesting reading.
OK interesting for those interested, Lloyds highlights include, lending £39 billion in mortgages, to UK homeowners. Plus £1.2 billion in lending to manufacturing, which is listed in their annual report separately, I take it that is they lent other monies to industry and commerce as well, even so this is down on 2015, which was £1.4 billion to manufacturing. This is not a criticism of Lloyds per se, but I’m noting that monies being saved by the British public, is not rising.
not good for UK Plc
It should be, but the impetus must come from H.M. Treasury, a bank can only reflect what the Government intends. Lloyds Bank motor finances roared ahead, which was good for Lloyds and Lloyds shareholders, but not good for UK Plc, which saw large imports of cars, and they are a retail good, just like batteries or toothpaste from a pound shop?
Although UK builds and exports more cars than it imports, those cars are not the expensive Mercs, Porsches, Beemers etc. One could buy five or more Honda Civics, for the price of certain German luxury cars. One of the problems here is the price of the Euro, which should be at least 20% higher than it is, to bring Germany inline with the Pound, in fact 30% wouldn’t be an unrealistic figure. But Germany via the Euro, exports its un-employment to Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, the so called PIGS countries, and the Euro continues so low, which gives Germany a competitive edge for exporting to the rest of the World, USA included. As a consequence it can also export its luxury cars to UK at knock down prices.
Lloyds Bank meanwhile has cut back its staffing levels, introduced more technology to help improve efficiency, and finally it is seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel that is the PPI mis-selling scandal. The share price on the FTSE 100 however, was still shy of 70p at close of trade Wednesday 22nd Feb 2017, it had been trading just short of 74p last may. The price took a big hit on 24th June last, when the results of the #Brexit vote came through, but Lloyds has delivered a dividend increase. 1.7p is the final payment bringing the year’s total to 2.55p, thus making the future dividends look bright.
friendly Mexican drug barons
suitcases full of cash.
HSBC Bank Plc, weathered the 2007/08 credit crunch very well, and was not one of the banks that needed bailing out, neither was it hit very hard by the PPI mis-selling. It has though had its own scandal, wich has knocked its branding image, namely money laundering on a large scale. All those nice friendly Mexican drug barons who only murder when it suits them, not every day, needed to wash their money somewhere, and where better than the largest bank outside the USA. HSBC really should have cleared out its own Augean stables, in the form of Money Laundering, and it didn’t need some modern day Hercules to do so. Just good housekeeping and watching who walks through the doors with suitcases full of cash. HSBC being a bank, means it uses different language, poor branding, is called goodwill impairment, same result, it givees a bad image of the company.
Basically it thought it could get away with the Money laundering scam, well HSBC, you couldn’t and the authorities have caught up.
There is also the case of the missing Chinese customers, namely why has HSBC such low numbers for China. Its full title is ‘Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Bank Plc’. Having the word Bank twice is overkill but hey everyone refers to it as HSBC, so I suppose it doesn’t matter that much. So China is where it’s supposed to be strong. As far as I can make out, in China, it’s a tiddler in the Peoples Republic of that ilk. Fair enough it was based in Hong Kong, which was a British former colony, but that should have given it a head start when looking for new business in the whole of the former Middle Kingdom.
loans to industry and commerce
HSBC’s decision to keep its headquarters in London will have helped reduce its costs in the last year, because it is Sterling based, these have become more competitive with the fall of the pound post #Brexit. But its reduced overheads have still not been enough to keep its profits up. A helping hand from the UK Chancellor in the form of increasing interest rates, wouldn’t go amiss here. Plus from a UK Plc perspective, it gives the added bonus to all UK banks of increasing deposits so raising the number of loans to industry and commerce. This automatically gives all the banks a chance to increase their profits while boosting UK trade, even if fewer people buy expensive German cars and invest their do$h in UK businesses, via their Bank deposits.
Chancellor Hammond please note?
This blog was originally to be about Kraft Heinz takeover of Unilever Plc, and how it was not a good deal. The takeover fell through, so 500 words already written out of the window.
But Unilever was given a slight price boost, even after the takeover was aborted and it fell back, the price was higher. It also made me take a closer look, at Unilever as a company, and also the Directors of Unilever took a closer look, at why they were not bringing in the profits that this upstart behometh Heinz Kraft could manage. I hadn’t run the old slide rule over its performance in years, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that what I thought was a rickety juggernaut, turns out to be a fairly nifty giant, able to keep pace with some more fleet footed mid sized competitors, on growth, but needed to sharpen up its act on profits, it will only do that by being more efficient, and efficiency pays wages, as well as increased dividends, Unilever is looking like a long term buy proposition.
The FTSE 100 is still hovering around 7,300 with UK plc, bringing home the dividends. The FTSE 100 will fall at some point, but #Brexit still has not brought the tears that were foretold by the #Remain camp. Ex P.M. Tony Blair weighing in with his lies, hardly helps the #Remoaners, but gives the #Brexit camp something to laugh about, when he obviously falls flat.
the standard of debate was unusually high
We now just await the House of Lords decision, the standard of debate was unusually high, with many of the 191 Baronesses and Lordships who wished to speak, conceding that they must not block Article 50 bill and the will of the people, but make sure it is fit for purpose, to support in the best way the UK Citizens vote for the exit door from EU, going as smoothly as possible.
UK plc is onwards and upwards.