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Today's Top Market Headlines – Aug 21, 2017
China's Great Wall confirms interest in Fiat Chrysler

China’s Great Wall Motor Co Ltd (SS:601633) is interested in bidding for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) (MI:FCHA), a company official said on Monday, confirming reports it is pursuing all or part of the owner of the Jeep and Ram truck brands.

There has been speculation over Chinese interest in FCA since Automotive News reported last week that an unidentified “well-known Chinese automaker” made an offer earlier this month, triggering a jump in FCA’s Milan-listed shares.

“With respect to this case, we currently have an intention to acquire. We are interested in (FCA),” an official at Great Wall Motor’s press relations department told Reuters by phone. He declined to give his name and gave no further details.

FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is seeking a partner or buyer for the world’s seventh-largest automaker to help it manage rising costs, comply with emissions regulations and develop technology for electric and self-driving cars.

By Brenda Goh and Norihiko Shirouzu

Source: http://bit.ly/2fYwHjc

Total boosts North Sea business with $7.5 billion Maersk Oil deal

Total is buying Maersk’s oil and gas business in a $7.45 billion (5.79 billion pounds) deal which the French energy major said would strengthen its operations in the North Sea and boost earnings and cash flow.

For Danish company A.P. Moller Maersk, the sale of Maersk Oil, with reserves equivalent to around 1 billion barrels of oil, fits with a strategy of focusing on its shipping business and other activities announced last year.

The world’s top oil companies have been back on the takeover trail over the last year, helped by signs of a recovery in the oil market.

Total expects its biggest oil deal since it acquired Elf in 2000 to generate financial synergies of more than $400 million per year, in particular by combining assets in the North Sea.

By Bate Felix and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

Source: http://bit.ly/2uXAdRB

Financial squeeze on UK households eases from three-year peak - Markit

The squeeze on British households’ financial situation eased this month as slowing inflation and greater job security improved conditions from a three-year low recorded in July, a consumer survey showed on Monday.

IHS Markit said its monthly Household Finance Index rose to 43.5 from a three-year low of 41.6 seen in July. Both figures are well above the survey’s average reading of 40.4 since it began during the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, but are below the 50 mark that would indicate households felt richer.

Source: http://bit.ly/2wgqXrp

Sempra Energy to buy Oncor for $9.45 billion in blow for Berkshire

Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE) said it will buy Oncor for $9.45 billion (7.34 billion pounds) in cash after Energy Future Holdings Corp, which indirectly owns Oncor, abandoned a deal to sell the power transmission company to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc . (NYSE:BRKa)

San Diego-based Sempra expects to own about 60 percent of a reorganized Energy Future after the transaction that is valued at $18.8 billion, including Dallas-based Oncor’s debt, it said late on Sunday.

The development represents a rare blow for Buffett, who avoids bidding wars for companies and had swooped in two months ago to buy Oncor after two previous attempts by Energy Future to sell it were blocked by Texas regulators.

Source: http://bit.ly/2fYjGG5