Recent articles

Mar 01, 1996
A presumptuous (and presumably brave) Roman once took the Emperor Tiberius to task for drawing revenues from the public lavatories of Rome. The sensible potentate held a coin under his nose, sniffed and said, with eminent quotability, 'Non let.' Meaning, 'It doesn't smell.' Two thousand years later the charities and foundations of Britain and America are much more advanced. They think their money comes up smelling of roses. At least they did until recently; and they...
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Mar 01, 1996
The institutionalisation of retail investors through mutual funds is drawing increasing attention from equity issuers. With mutual fund assets in stocks, bonds and money market instruments zooming towards the $3 trillion mark, jumping almost $100 bn in the blockbuster month of November 1995 alone, this trend cannot be ignored. Funds of every description and proportion are lying in wait for global issuers, from the $54 bn Fidelity Magellan Fund to Morgan Grenfell's $1...
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Feb 01, 1996
If you're an investor relations agency thinking about the possibility of doing a bit of marketing on the Internet then Alan Bromley's advice is to slam together a home page as quickly as possible. Bromley is CEO of New York agency the Bromley Group and decided last August that he would experiment with a home page on the Web. He hired a 'college kid' to do the work quickly and get the information up on the Net - 'Before most of the big firms,' he adds. 'We put o...
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Feb 01, 1996
To hear one allusion to The Importance of Being Earnest can be amusing; to hear a dozen feels like tedium. Yet after the London Stock Exchange found itself without a chief executive for the second time in three years, almost everyone in the City with literary pretensions was citing Lady Bracknell. So it was no surprise that Jeremy said: 'To lose two might seem like carelessness,' when I raised the abrupt firing of the London exchange's CEO Michael Lawrence wit...
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Feb 01, 1996
The cover story of this issue concentrates on the attempt to increase employees' sense of involvement - and therefore their productivity - by making arrangements through Esops or other mechanisms to provide them with a stake in the companies for which they work. The stake is real enough, since it generally takes the form of a shareholding. But it's not normally something employees are given on a plate. Rather they acquire it, sometimes in exchange for reduced ...
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Feb 01, 1996
Every airline employee understands the ups and downs of the business. They know service and customer relations are key. Without employee and union support America's highest flyers could have trouble getting off the ground. In the past, major airlines have felt the brunt of employee anger. That's one reason why United Airlines sold a 55 per cent controlling stake to 59,000 of its 79,000 employees for wage concessions worth nearly $5 bn. This created the largest Employ...
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Feb 01, 1996
If there's one time when companies should be producing decent corporate literature it's when they've got their backs against the wall in a defence situation,' says a London-based designer in an exasperated tone. 'Unfortunately, the process is so often driven by the conservative fears of lawyers and merchant bankers that the important messages get lost along the way.' He's got a point. Let's face it, to a non-lawyer, the bulk of corporate finance literature is ...
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Feb 01, 1996
Tsukada Nakajima of the Itochu Corporation is one of those rare individuals who span the gap between Anglo-American and Japanese investment practices. The very nature of business at Itochu - one of the great sogo shosha, or trading companies, set up in 1858 to take advantage of the original opening up of Japan to foreign trade - means it has always had an outward looking perspective. Now Itochu is party to the opening up of Japan to western IR concepts. The mu...
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Feb 01, 1996
Investors worldwide waited by their screens for the results of the Quebec referendum on separation from Canada. With holdings in Canadian government and corporate debt surpassing the C$350 bn mark, billions of dollars in potential losses hung in the balance. For debt portfolio managers worldwide, it was as long a night as it was for the people of Canada. The final result (50.6 per cent voting to stay in Canada) came unusually late in the evening, but the numbers were...
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Feb 01, 1996
In 1995, foreign issuers were faced with the difficult task of trying to distract US investors away from high-rolling domestic US stocks, particularly in the high tech sector, and towards their own ADRs. It's a far cry from a few years back, when Wall Street returns paled in comparison to those of the emerging markets. But this kind of volatility is part of the risk ADR issuers face in opening up a new universe. Faced with the challenge, they are relying on inv...
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