Europe biz: LVMH in talks to buy Tiffany, HSBC restructuring plans
Catherine Newman

UK to release more mobile airwaves in auction 

The UK is to release more mobile airwaves in an auction in 2020. Regulator Ofcom said it aims to improve mobile services and provide increased access to next generation 5G networks for people and businesses. 

Ofcom said the auction would involve companies bidding for spectrum in two different frequency bands one of which wll support 5G.

Four of Britain's biggest phone companies - EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three have launched 5G this year and, according to Ofcom, these new airwaves will help to increase the capacity and quality of mobile data services. 

Ofcom is no longer including coverage obligations in its auction but is still planning to implement a 37% cap on the overall spectrum that any one mobile phone company can hold after the auction. 

HSBC interim chief executive Noel Quinn said there was "scope" for potential cuts (Credit: HSBC)

HSBC interim chief executive Noel Quinn said there was "scope" for potential cuts (Credit: HSBC)

HSBC warns of restructuring plan

HSBC reported in its 2020 profit target a sharp fall in earnings and forecasted costly restructuring, as interim chief executive Noel Quinn looks to find solutions to these problems in his bid for the full-time role. 

Quinn said the lender's performance in Europe and the United States was "not acceptable" and also mentioned that investors will have to wait until early next year to hear full plans to "remodel" Europe's biggest bank by assets. 

HSBC reported pre-tax profit of $4.8 billion for the third quarter on Monday, compared with the $5.3 billion average of analyst's forecasts. 

Jewellery has been one of the fastest areas for growth in the luxury sector (Credit: Associated Press)

Jewellery has been one of the fastest areas for growth in the luxury sector (Credit: Associated Press)

LVMH in talks to take over jewellers Tiffany

French luxury brand Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy (LVMH), which owns brands such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Celine said on Monday it was in preliminary talks to take over US jewellers Tiffany, but also mentioned that there was no certainty that they would be successful. 

AFP reported from a source close to the talks that LVMH had made a $14.5 billion bid for Tiffany at the start of October but the US company had yet responded to the offer.

At the close of Wall Street trading on Friday, Tiffany's stock market value stood at $11.9 billion. 

In a statement on Monday, LVMH said, "Following recent market rumours, the LVMH group confirms having started preliminary discussions about a possible operation with Tiffany."

Brexit spooked 

Brexit is front and center in European markets with traders remaining hyper-vigilant. The EU may have agreed to the reluctantly requested extension, but the time-frame of that might depend on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party and whether or not they want an election first. 

The Liberal Democrats and the SNP, two British opposition parties proposed on Sunday an even earlier election date than Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered, trying to force his government to delay a final decision on its European Union divorce deal. 

All this reflects a volatile political landscape which has seen the pound fade lower.

Earnings interest and Oil Optimism

This week will be a crowded week of earnings with reports from three of the large US companies that have contributed to the current economic downturn: Apple, Exxon Mobil and Facebook.

Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst at Oanda, said, "large profit declines in the first half of the year put them in the top-five contributors to the earnings recession, as Apple dealt with a tough sequel to iPhone X sales, Facebook accounted for billions of dollars in government fines and Exxon suffered from a lagging chemicals business." 

Meanwhile, Brent Crude moved back above $60 - its highest point in a month after more eternal optimism from US President Donald Trump on the trade war.

Following a phone-call between US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump stated "we're doing very well with China" and that the Chinese "want to make a deal very badly."

Bitcoin surge

President Xi Jinping has said China should "seize the opportunity" that blockchain technology offers.

Team that with a cryptography law that outlines a new regulatory framework due to kick in at the start of next year, the stage is set for cryptocurrency in China and the hype has sent Bitcoin surging higher and briefly breaching the $10,000 mark.

Monte Safieddine, market analyst at IG, said, "putting it all together, the current technical overview is volatile to say the least."