Koutons plan for debt lifts its shares

Wednesday, 29 December 2010
FashionUnited Top 100 started the last week of the year with a slight descent but with its hopes lying on the upcoming months and keeping the rift with other international benchmarks such as the Hang Seng or Nikkei indexes.

U.S. indexes showed early strength after holiday retail sales rose more than expected. Apparel and jewelry sales drove the holiday purchases and higher discounts attracted more shoppers online. In the meanwhile, the European indexes climbed after French GDP rose 0.3% in the third quarter. German industry group lifted German industrial sector growth forecast for 2011. Swiss UBS consumption indicator fell and Swedish retail sales slackened in November. Alcatel-Lucent agreed to pay $137 million to settle U.S. bribery cases.

At the other side of the Globe, Tokyo benchmark index declined following weakness in the Chinese stock markets and a stronger yen. Industrial production rises in November for the first time in six months, while unemployment rate stays unchanged. Consumer price index dropped for the 21st month in a row in November.

Apparel maker, Koutons Retail India is planning to sell 15% stake to raise funds to pay debt and revive its operations. Private equity players like TPG Capital and Banyan Tree Finance, and a Mumbai-based apparel firm are in talks with the founders of Koutons for a deal. The Indian retailer is also in talks with lenders to recast its debt in line with the current business environment. Withing the international fashion index, Koutons crowned the top 5 performances, with a final gain Tuesday of 4.69%.

According to Zacks Investment Research last update by relative performance, Polo Ralph Lauren ranks first with a gain of 1.05%; Lululemon Athletica ranks second with a gain of 0.74%; and Jones Apparel ranks third with a gain of 0.45%. Carter's follows with a gain of 0.03% and Coach rounds out the top five with a loss of 0.04%.

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