Emerging vs. Developed Countries — 2013’s Expected Winner (CNBC)
In 2012, emerging market and developed market equities finished in a virtual dead heat in terms of profitability. Both earned double-digit percentage gains. But looking into 2013, emerging markets should be the clear winner, according to CNBC. At least, that’s the consensus opinion of experts monitoring the flow of funds into global investments. Of the $22.2 billion invested so far this year, $7.4 billion of it went to emerging market plays — the largest percentage since 2007. And while these same experts expect more volatility from emerging markets, they’re more than willing to accept that risk for higher returns. That’s a choice you’ll have to make for yourself.
Spain Hits Record in Bad Bank Loans (AP)
In a report released today, Spain’s central bank claims that non-performing loans totaled more than $191 billion euros ($256 billion dollars) last November — up more than $2 billion euros from October. That performance means 11.39 percent of all Spanish-bank loans are non-performing — a new record in futility — and makes 17 consecutive months that bad loans have grown in the recession-torn country. Combine that situation with a 25 percent unemployment rate, and Spain’s running a close second to Greece in terms of economic chaos in Europe… Investors beware.
AT&T Places Emergency Call to Investors (YahooFinance)
AT&T investors probably would have welcomed a prank call instead of the news they got yesterday regarding the telecom titan’s fourth quarter performance. The communications giant announced it actually will record a $12 billion charge in Q4 2012 due to actuarial losses in its pension plan, but that figure will be offset by about $1.9 billion in asset gains. An unnamed spokesman went onto say the company doesn’t expect this pension loss to hurt operating results or margins. Yet, he followed that comment with an announcement that AT&T was lowering its 2013 performance expectations. Perhaps you should make your own call on how to view that announcement.