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Barclays to Sell UAE Retail Business; Nothing Says ‚??Economic Truth‚?Ě Like KFC‚?¶ Even in China; Sugar High on the Horizon, Investors Sweet on Higher Prices

Barclays Plc., England‚??s fourth-largest bank by market value, is currently downsizing its United Arab Emirates (UAE) retail banking business, which could be in preparation for a sale of that unit.

Barclays to Sell UAE Retail Business (Reuters)

Barclays Plc., England‚??s fourth-largest bank by market value, is currently downsizing its United Arab Emirates (UAE) retail banking business, which could be in preparation for a sale of that unit. Already under a cost-cutting directive from Chief Executive Anthony Jenkins, the banking concern is eliminating 3,700 jobs, reducing salary for senior bankers and closing offices. And now, in the UAE, with competition increasingly fiercely, and domestic banks not held accountable to the same stringent risk-law that Barclay‚??s is, a sale of this unit makes sense on numerous fronts‚?¶ even to investors.

Nothing Says ‚??Economic Truth‚?Ě Like KFC‚?¶ Even in China (YahooFinance)

Reports of an uptick in the Chinese manufacturing front notwithstanding, sales reported by YUM brands in China slid 13 percent for the month.¬† A number of factors could have contributed to the poorer-than-expected performance, including a Bird Flu scare and the hottest summer in 140 years. But ultimately, as one internal analyst for YUM reported, ‚??We worry that the miss confirms a tougher competitive environment and more cautious consumer spending.‚?Ě And that‚??s no small concern for the Kentucky-based YUM, as it generates more than half of its overall operating profit in China, where it has more than 6,000 KFCs. If chicken grows cold in China, it‚??ll be even chillier for investors.

Sugar High on the Horizon, Investors Sweet on Higher Prices (Bloomberg)

Brazil‚??s cold weather sends sugar prices to a six-week high, with cocoa spiking as well. Freezing temperatures in the south-center of Brazil last month damaged some of the crop and signaled the potential for a price hike. But the cold front that lands this week is expected to further diminish the supply. In anticipation of this, New York‚??s ICE saw sugar futures have risen to their highest point since June 27, 2013. So does this mean sugar investors will be lining their pockets? Not just yet, as investments were still net-short on sugar. Judy Ganes-Chase, of J.Ganes Consulting, LLC, reported yesterday that, ‚??This could cause some further disruptions to the harvest, but I don‚??t see it as a need to wave bull flags yet.‚?Ě So, how do you play it? Well, unless you have a Brazilian meteorologist friend who you trust implicitly, consider letting the market shake out.

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