Prudential Financial Inc : PREI Acquires Class A office tower in Atlanta - 4-traders (press release) Prudential Financial Inc : PREI Acquires Class A office tower in Atlanta - 4-traders (press release)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prudential Financial Inc : PREI Acquires Class A office tower in Atlanta - 4-traders (press release)

Prudential Financial Inc : PREI Acquires Class A office tower in Atlanta - 4-traders (press release)

Fund adds well-leased property in successful business district

ATLANTA, May 30, 2012 - Prudential Real Estate Investors has acquired Ten Peachtree Place, a 20-story, Class-A office tower in Atlanta's midtown submarket. PREI, acting on behalf of a German institutional investor, is the real estate investment management and advisory business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU).

PREI acquired the building from a venture managed by Cousins Properties, Inc. Cousins, a real estate investment trust, will continue to manage the property.

"This acquisition provides the rare opportunity to invest in a high quality, institutional grade asset, in one of Atlanta's true transit-oriented, urban environments," said Barry Howell, a principal with PREI. "The location, in Atlanta's vibrant Midtown submarket, offers unparalleled access to transit, retail, restaurants, hotels, residential and premier cultural offerings. We expect this investment to provide long-term stability and value for our client."

Originally built in 1989, Ten Peachtree Place is fully leased and is the corporate headquarters of AGL Resources, Inc., one of the largest natural gas distributors in the United States. The property includes the 20-story office building, an adjacent annex building with more than 3,000 square-feet of rentable space and a 4.23-acre gated parking lot. The building underwent a $30 million renovation in 2002 and is currently undergoing a $1.2 million renovation to achieve LEED Silver status.

PREI is a leader in the global real estate investment management business, offering a broad range of investment vehicles that invest in private and public market opportunities in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Latin America. Headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., PREI has other offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Miami, London, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo. In addition, PREI has representatives in Milan and is establishing a presence in Sydney (pending regulatory approval). As of December 31, 2011, PREI managed approximately $49.1 billion in gross real estate assets ($31.1 billion net) on behalf of more than 490 clients worldwide. For more information, visit

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $943 billion of assets under management as of March 31, 2011, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management. In the U.S., Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century.

Financial reporting limitations impacting businesses' bottom lines - CIO UK

Research out from Oracle and Accenture has found inefficient financial reporting could lead to unnecessary costs which would be taken out of more transformational projects.

According to the report, Challenges of Corporate Financial Reporting, less than half of the 1,123 financial staff surveyed had invested in financial reporting systems in the last three years.

On the whole, spreadsheets and emails are still being used as the core tools to record and distribute financial information used in regulated financial reporting processes.

According to Accenture Finance & Enterprise Performance Consulting Group executive director Scott Brennan, enterprise organisations typically spend as much as 1.5 per cent of yearly earnings on financial reporting processes.

He advocates more embedded financial data management through an ERP system, to break down the siloes in reporting.

He said: “The current practices are having a significant impact on investor confidence when companies cannot articulate their financial results clearly. Any improvement on financial reporting systems will go straight through to the bottom-line.”

According to the report, over two thirds of respondents admitted that they have inadequate visibility of reporting processes. Over four fifths of finance managers reported that they find it difficult to control the quality of financial data across the course of their reporting.

Business Law: Competition law applies to small firms too, warns Victoria Judge of Gotelee Solicitors - East Anglian Daily Times

YOU might think that competition law only applies to large business and does not affect your business. But you might be wrong.

Whenever your business deals with its competitors, there are competition law issues that you need to consider.

Competition law applies to all companies and is designed to ensure that companies compete fairly with each other. Failure to comply can have serious implications for your business, including large fines. Certain serious breaches of competition law may also expose an individual to the risk of criminal prosecution. Businesses can also be exposed to claims that may exceed any fines imposed on them.

All forms of cartel activity are strictly prohibited regardless of the size of your business. A “cartel” describes any organisation or arrangement between at least two competitors that is designed to reduce competition between them and so increase prices or profitability beyond the level that could be achieved competitively. The main examples of cartel activity are:

n Price fixing. Any understanding or agreement about price levels or increases can constitute price fixing. Even a statement to a competitor like “we intend to increase prices next year”, can constitute unlawful price fixing.

n Bid rigging. This is when companies agree the outcome of a tender or pitch process amongst themselves. Bid-rigging eliminates fair competition from the process, removes the customer’s free choice and will almost certainly lead to the customer paying higher prices.

n Market sharing. This may involve an agreement to allocate particular customers or sales territories to individual cartel members.

Your business must not agree to share confidential or commercially sensitive information with competitors such as prices, customers or sales information.

Some forms of information exchange may be permissible, for example if the information provided has no value in predicting future commercial behaviour, or is anonymised, aggregated, etc.

Sales or production quotas are often used to control the market position of cartel participants and maintain artificially high prices.

To be safe, always take legal advice before any co-operation with competitors that may reduce competition and breach competition law. Competition law is easy to fall foul of. If you become aware that your business is involved in any cartel activity, or you are approached by a competitor to participate, you should take legal advice immediately.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX tumbles on global growth fears, RIM - Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.

US STOCKS-Wall St off 1 pct as Europe worries grow - Reuters UK

Wed May 30, 2012 4:24pm BST

* Energy shares weakest of the day, utilities up

* Spanish, Italian yields rise on euro zone concerns

* European Commission calls for banking union

* U.S. shares of Research in Motion tumble

* Indexes off: Dow 1.1 pct, S&P 1.2 pct, Nasdaq 1.2 pct (Updates to midday trading)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell 1 percent on Wednesday as spiraling fears about the euro zone prompted investors to sell sectors tied to economic growth.

"We're being held hostage by Europe, by the increasing tensions in Spain," said John Kattar, chief investment officer at Eastern Investment Advisors in Boston, which manages $1.7 billion. "We're back to a risk-off mode, with cyclical sectors getting hit really hard. For the moment this seems to be the dominant trend."

Of the 10 S&P 500 sectors, only utilities were in positive territory, with the defensive group rising 0.1 percent. The biggest decliners on the day were energy, which tumbled 2.6 percent alongside a drop in crude oil prices, and consumer discretionary stocks, off 1.7 percent.

Europe's fiscal woes sent the yield on the safe-haven 10-year U.S. Treasury note to the lowest in 60 years and the euro to its lowest level in 23 months against the dollar. U.S. equities have been closely tethered to the currency's fortunes, with a 50-day correlation between the euro and the S&P 500 index at 0.91.

Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds moved closer to the 7 percent level, a point at which other nations in the bloc were forced to seek a bailout.

Spain is expected to issue new bonds shortly in an effort to fund its troubled banks despite the increased borrowing costs.

Adding to the concern, Italian 10-year yields topped 6 percent for the first time since January at a bond sale, raising concerns the region is vulnerable to a contagion. European shares dropped 1.7 percent.

The CBOE Volatility index jumped more than 11 percent, the biggest spike for the "fear index" since mid-April.

The PHLX oil service sector dropped 3.4 percent while crude fell 3.2 percent. Halliburton dropped 3.7 percent to $30.82.

There was momentary cause for optimism earlier in the day after the European Commission outlined a strategy to stabilize its banking system and boost growth, but that was dashed by the latest voting polls from Greece, which showed more support for the leftist SYRIZA party. Many analysts view next month's national parliamentary election as a major factor in whether Greece stays in the euro zone.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 136.99 points, or 1.09 percent, at 12,443.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 15.94 points, or 1.20 percent, at 1,316.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 34.30 points, or 1.19 percent, at 2,836.69.

U.S. economic data showed contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell 5.5 percent in April to a four-month low, dealing a blow to more recent optimism the housing sector may have hit a bottom.

U.S. shares of Research In Motion Ltd tumbled 8.5 percent to $10.27 as the biggest percentage decliner on the Nasdaq 100 index. The company hired bankers for a far-reaching strategic review and to look for partnerships as the BlackBerry maker warned it would likely report a shock fiscal first-quarter operating loss.

Apple Inc slipped 0.2 percent to $570.81 after Chief Executive Tim Cook, speaking at the All Things Digital conference said technology for televisions was of "intense interest" but stressed the company's efforts would unfold gradually.

Macy's Inc reported better than expected May same-store sales on Wednesday, helped by its growing e-commerce business. Shares slipped 1.7 percent to $38.34.

Pep Boys-Manny, Moe & Jack plunged 21 percent to $8.73 after the automotive parts and service chain said the sale of the company to private equity firm Gores Group has been called off. (Editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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