Irish boss says UK Brexit proposals are ‘not realistic’

Ireland’s biggest business group has described the UK’s proposals for the Irish border post-Brexit as “not realistic”, in the latest sign of Dublin’s frustrations over UK prime minister Theresa May’s approach to the region.

In a Brexit position paper published on Wednesday, the UK government said it was opposed to any physical infrastructure — including customs posts or cameras — being installed at the Irish border, even after the UK leaves the European customs union.

The paper contains no proposal for how to stop EU nationals from crossing the 310-mile land border into the UK illegally. It instead emphasises deterring migrants by “controlling access to the labour market and social security”. It suggests that untested tracking mechanisms could be used to ensure imports are correctly taxed.

Ian Talbot, chief executive of business group Chambers Ireland, said: “It’s not realistic for the UK government to say they are content to have an open border, when they know that cannot be facilitated within EU law.”

He added that the EU and the UK appeared to “have very different ideas of what is workable, with Ireland caught in the middle”.

The Irish government has said it will study the UK’s position paper. Dublin has become increasingly impatient with the vagueness of the UK’s proposals for the border, where any police or customs checks would bring uncomfortable reminders of violent periods in recent decades.

Leo Varadkar, the recently-elected Taoiseach, said last month that Ireland would not “design a border for the Brexiteers”.

Both Ireland and the EU

Article source: https://www.ft.com/content/0ef1b2a6-8272-11e7-a4ce-15b2513cb3ff

Hedge Funds Bought High-Flying Tech Stocks in Second Quarter

U.S. hedge fund managers were active in the FAANG group of high-flying tech stocks in the second quarter, with Third Point increasing its stake in two of the companies and Omega Advisors trimming stakes in three, regulatory filings showed.

The group comprises Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet Inc., each of which have roughly followed broader U.S. indexes including the benchmark SP 500, Dow Jones industrial average, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite to record highs in recent months.

Daniel Loeb’s Third Point increased its stake in Alphabet by 120,000 class A shares to 575,000 and increased its position in Facebook by 500,000 class A shares to 3.5 million in the quarter ended June 30, according to the filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors took a generally bearish stance overall and cut its stake in Facebook by 26,700 class A shares to 236,200. It also cut its stake in Netflix by 12,700 shares to 65,000 shares and trimmed its stake in Amazon by 8,900 shares to 10,500 shares. Omega kept unchanged its stake in Alphabet of 158,835 class A shares.

Cooperman told CNBC last week that Alphabet was his biggest position and that his investment in the company’s shares amounted to about 4-4.5 percent of his fund.

Barry Rosenstein’s Jana Partners, while not a holder of any of the FAANG stocks at the end of the second quarter, showed that it increased its stake in upscale grocer Whole Foods Market Inc. over the three-month period by 9 million

Article source: http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/Headline/Facebook-Apple-Amazon-Google/2017/08/14/id/807576

Buffett’s Berkshire Sheds GE, Adds Synchrony

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Monday said it has taken a 17.5 million share stake in Synchrony Financial and shed its investment in the financial services company’s former parent, General Electric Co.

In a regulatory filing detailing its U.S.-listed stock holdings, Berkshire said it owned about $521 million of Synchrony shares as of June 30.

It also reported no holdings of GE, after having reported a roughly $315 million stake as of March 31.

Investors follow Berkshire’s stock holdings closely to determine what has won or lost Buffett’s favor. Smaller equity investments at Berkshire are normally made by Buffett’s deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler.

Article source: http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/Headline/13F-Berkshire-Hathaway-Warren-Buffett-GE/2017/08/14/id/807619

Euro prospects on the rise

Before the French elections in April, people were worried about a potential breakup of the euro. But just a few months later, the single currency has been gaining in strength significantly. So why is that? Well, to help answer that question, I’m joined today by Roger Hallam, who’s Currency Chief Investment Officer at JPMorgan Asset Management. Thanks for joining us, Roger.

Good morning.

So first question, what’s been going on with the euro?

I mean, the euro’s rallied strongly so far this year against the dollar. I think there’s been two things driving that. The European economy has continued to make progress with strong growth rates. We’ve seen an improvement in politics in the region.

At the same time, the Trump administration has faced a number of challenges. Has been unable to push through its reforms from either the health care or the tax side of things. And of late, we’ve also seen some very soft inflation prints out of the US, which has driven down expectations of Fed tightening, both this year and next.

Right. So we’ve got a stronger euro against the dollar. Is the euro still a good value for investors, do you think? We’ve got a chart here on this.

I think that depends on your time horizon. Certainly, it’s rallied a lot in the last couple of weeks and we’re seeing a little bit of position congestion over the last few days. But I think when you look at these charts, when you look at

Article source: https://www.ft.com/content/ff8ddb8f-f183-4a17-b662-1ece077071f9