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    The Dutch government agency overseeing the privatisation of ABN Amro named eight banks on Thursday to participate in the bank's initial public offering of shares. ABN Amro, nationalized in 2008 during the financial crisis, is preparing for an IPO later this year under the auspices of the Netherlands Financial Investments agency.

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    The Dutch government agency overseeing the privatisation of ABN Amro on Wednesday named eight banks to participate in the initial public offering of shares. ABN Amro, nationalised in 2008, is preparing for an IPO later this year under the auspices of the Netherlands Financial Investments agency.

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    Some venture-backed private companies have been taking their sweet time to going public lately, but with the recent market roller coaster, will they now rush toward an exit? Onlookers have marveled for months at the eye-popping valuations coming out of the venture capital industry.

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    Brazilian insurer Caixa Seguridade Participações SA and reinsurer IRB Brasil RE SA on Tuesday filed plans for initial public offerings that their shareholders expect to raise a combined 13 billion reais should an across-the-board market rout ease in coming weeks.

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    Brazilian state-controlled bank Caixa Econômica Federal's insurance unit filed on Tuesday for an initial public offering, the first in a wave of offerings anticipated by state firms this year. Caixa will pursue a secondary offering of the Caixa Seguridade Participações SA unit, according to a prospectus filed with securities industry regulator CVM on Tuesday.

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    IRB Brasil RE SA, Brazil's largest reinsurer, filed on Tuesday a plan for an initial public offering in the São Paulo Stock Exchange. Shareholders including BB Seguros Participações SA, Bradesco Auto RE and Itaú Seguros, all three part of Brazil's top-three commercial lenders, will sell some of their stakes in IRB Brasil as part of the IPO plan, according to a prospectus on the transaction.

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    Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) rebounded Tuesday morning, moving its shares back above the price commanded in its record-breaking initial public offering. The Chinese e-commerce giant opened with a 5.4% jump at $68.84 Tuesday, a day after. Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang earlier Tuesday, writing, "Do not let the fog cloud your vision; broaden your horizons to see the bigger picture."

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    Twitter Inc. (TWTR) opened at $26.27 Tuesday, above its initial public offering price of $26. Shares of Twitter were up 2% in early market trade. Twitter fell below its IPO price for and opened below its IPO price Aug. 21 and on Monday, when the stock plummeted 17%. Shares of Twitter have fallen 3% in the past week compared to the S&P 500' s loss of 2%.

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    After shares slide lower than IPO price, Zhang says,' Put your mind at peace'. A day after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.' s stock price dipped below its initial public offering price for the first time, its chief executive in an open letter told employees to forget the company's share price. "Do not let the fog cloud your vision; broaden your horizons to see the bigger picture," Daniel Zhang wrote in the letter issued Tuesday.

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    Apple chief Tim Cook sure sounded like he was spooked Monday.After a steep plunge in China's stock market and as Apple's stock prepared to nosedive ahead of the open of U.S. markets, he took the unusual step of sending an e-mail to CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer saying that Apple was going to be okay."I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August," Cook wrote, noting he gets daily updates on Apple's business in China.That Cook, head of the world's largest company by market capitalization, would take the time to pen such a missive seemed to perfectly capture the depth of panicky concern hitting the markets Monday, especially in a tech sector struggling to weather China's economic storm. At the same time, the jittery markets stoked fears that a host of tech start-ups preparing to go public would delay their plans.Cook's brief letter, which was shared on Twitter by Cramer's CNBC colleague Carl Quintanilla and then read on-air, appeared to calm market jitters, even as it raised eyebrows. As Cook's note was being shared widely, Apple's stock -- which initially plummeted as much as 13 percent -- made up most of those losses and ended down 2.6 percent. The reversal helped lift the rest of U.S. markets, as well.The wild gyrations of Apple and U.S. markets highlighted a deepening concern that the tech sector may be saying goodbye to a years-long boom. More than in other industries, the sky-high stocks of Apple, Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) are built on the assumption of future growth and the ability to exponentially expand sales of gadgets and acquisition of new subscribers outside the United States.For a while, the potential for growth looked spectacular, driving share prices up. But any hint that global sales of smartphones or other services may fall short makes those stocks fall even harder.Shares of leading tech companies were among the hardest hit early Monday, with Facebook (FB) down as much as 13 percent and Google down 4 percent at one point. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down as much as 5.1 percent before closing down 3.82 percent to a 10-month low of 4526.25."The tech industry is a barometer of economic progress and innovation. Therefore its success is an indicator of general economic progress, which eventually translates into growth," said Cristian Tiu, a professor of business at the University of Buffalo School of Management.But what's really terrifying executives and investors in the technology sector is the chilling effect a global markets slide could have on the many richly funded start-ups that aren't even trading yet on exchanges.With so much uncertainty and market volatility, Silicon Valley firms could postpone initial public offerings, cooling a white-hot market for venture funding that has fueled the most lucrative environment for start-ups in history.Already, executives at RainDance Technologies, a firm that makes genomic tools to detect cancer and other diseases, announced Monday they have pulled their plan to go public, according to Reuters.And the big question is what will happen to the hundreds of start-ups -- a record 131 are valued at more than $1 billion -- that are now all dressed up for IPOs but with no place to go.One prominent venture capitalist in Silicon Valley is warning of casualties. Benchmark Capital partner Bill Gurley, who has invested in start-ups including Uber and GrubHub (GRUB), wrote in a series of tweets last week that the stock market movements will directly affect the start-up environment."Tech stocks have been getting crushed the past 6 weeks. Many names are down 25-50% from their highs. Today was very tough," Gurley wrote in a tweet last week. "One might reasonably assume that this would have an adverse impact on late stage private market liquidity and valuation. I certainly do. If so, we may be nearing the end of a cycle where growth is valued more than profitability. It could be at an inflection point."Known as "unicorns," the venture-funded firms with valuations of more than $1 billion have exploded in number to 131 companies valued at a total of $485 billion, according to venture capital research firm CB Insights. The sheer quantity of unicorns has for months caused concern of a start-up bubble, with investors racing to put money into bleeding-edge innovators and their many imitators, when logically not all will thrive or even survive.Among the most anticipated start-ups are Uber, valued around $51 billion; AirBnB, valued at $25 billion; and Snapchat, valued at $16 billion.None of those valuations is really a problem if the markets are steady -- or, even better, continuing to rise. These tech start-ups aren't profitable and are spending heavily on their expansion into global markets. Some haven't shown a path to profit but are built on the promise of future growth.Many, including Uber and AirBnB, have attracted massive investments by venture capital firms with the promise they will expand into China, India and other emerging markets.After early investments from seed and venture capital firms, the way to continue growing and to raise capital for expansion is typically through two paths: initial public offering on stock markets or acquisition.Now, with stocks in turmoil, the fates of these companies are in question. They will have to rely on venture investments for their expansion plans. Venture capital investors will be more cautious about their bets. If China's growth continues to slow and global markets stay in a slump, eventually the funding of venture capital firms could soften."It's worrying for companies who were planning to go IPO and are now forced to stay private," said Matthew Wong, a research analyst at CB Insights. "Those big funding rounds in the last year or two will be crucial to moving forward because the IPO window is closed right now."Related:






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     Alibaba (BABA) stock is declining by 2.60% to $66.40 on heavy trading volume on Monday afternoon, after the Chinese stock markets dropped the most since 2007. Shares of Alibaba (BABA) fell below its initial public offering price of $68 for the first time as a weaker Chinese economy and increased competition weigh on the China-based e-commerce company, Bloomberg reports.

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    Alibaba (BABA) and Twitter also trading below their IPO issue price. Wall Street's rookies are getting a rough lesson in the potential volatility of the stock market. Some of the biggest initial public offerings of recent vintage are suffering even more than the overall market in the rout of the past week, with more than half of 2015 IPOs trading below their debut prices, according to Renaissance Capital.

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    RainDance Technologies Inc, a maker of gene-based tools to detect cancer and inherited diseases, said it planned to withdraw its initial public offering due to adverse "market conditions". The move by RainDance, which filed for an IPO of up to $60 million in February, comes on the day of a sell-off in global equities following a slump in Chinese stocks.

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    RainDance Technologies Inc, which makes genomic tools to detect cancer and inherited diseases, said on Monday it plans to withdraw its initial public offering, citing "market conditions". The move by RainDance, which had filed for an IPO of up to $60 million in February, comes on a day when all three major Wall Street indexes moved into correction territory.

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    Genomics-reseach tool maker RainDance Technologies Inc. on Monday withdrew its initial public offering, citing market conditions. The Massachusetts company is the latest to withdraw IPO plans this month, amid sharp selloffs in global equities spurred by concerns over Chinese growth. Others to recently drop plans to go public on U.S. exchanges include financial- software firm SunGard, ship company Poseidon Containers Holdings Corp. and oil and gas firm Expro Oilfield...

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    Alibaba Group Holding LTD. (BABA) fell below its initial public offering price for the first time Monday, in a trying time on Wall Street. The Chinese e-commerce giant, which set records for valuation and money raised in its September 2014 IPO, commanded $68 for its initial batch of shares, and closed at an all-time low of $68.18 Friday. In yet another plunge at the open of trading Monday morning, Alibaba (BABA) shares fell as low as $58, less than half the company's high of$ 120..

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    RainDance Technologies Inc. has withdrawn its initial public offering, effective immediately. The company, which manufactures medical devices in the genetic testing space, attributed the withdrawal to poor market conditions, with Dow futures plunging 600 points on Monday. The Dow entered correction territory on Friday, falling 10% from its May peak, after suffering.

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    Alibaba Group Holding's (BABA) stock tumbled 6.5% in premarket trade Monday, putting it on track to open well below its $68 IPO price for the first time. The Chinese e-commerce giant's stock had climbed as much as 75% to close at$ 119.15 on Nov. 10, but trended steady lower since then, losing 43% to close at a record low of $68.18 on Friday. The stock was trading at $63.78 ahead of the open.

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    Welcome to Main Street Morning, The Washington Post’s daily collection of news affecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses with a special focus on policy and government.Here’s what’s affecting my small business my clients and other entrepreneurs today.The EconomyInvestor optimism has remained below its historical average for the 24th week in a row, the longest streak since 1993.Some traders are girding for the worst as the Fed “loses its grip” on debt.A strong Philly Fed survey counters the gloom from New York’s data.Home sales near an eight-and-a-half-year high.The ElectionsHillary Clinton proposes a major expansion of AmeriCorps and is faring poorly against the GOP in swing states.There’s new evidence that she’s also paying a price for her email scandal.A New Jersey woman’s words from the grave: “Don’t Vote for Hillary Clinton.”How a once flamboyant Trump evolved into a cautious businessman.These are details behind Rand Paul’s tax reform plan.A “Bad Lip Reading” video pokes fun at the recent GOP debate.“Deez Nuts” is polling at nine percent in North Carolina.Bernie Sanders continues to push hard for employee ownership of businesses. StrategiesHow Netflix and others tackled markets that didn’t exist.These are six ridiculous lemonade stand busts.Twitter falls below its IPO price as concerns mount over its CEO and growth.Angie’s List is facing tougher competition.PeopleHere are four big ideas to keep the conservative and liberal extremists at bay when the topic of the minimum wage comes up.JP Morgan plans to start mining employee emails…and doesn’t explain why.Twenty-five percent of moms return to work two weeks after birth, according to a new report.ManagementResearchers link longer work hours and stroke risk.Michael Jordan is very serious about protecting his trademark.A compliance scam targets business owners.More and more baby boomers are ready to sell their businesses to the next generation.How the cloud is helping manufacturers get to the root of lean management.ProductivityWhy napping at work can be so exhausting and why bicycle desks are a good idea.Maybe it’s time to rethink the way your firm measures productivity?EntrepreneursHow this entrepreneur persuaded Silicon Valley that the framing industry was sexy.The U.S. is seeing a spike in black and Hispanic women entrepreneurs.The ever-expanding craft brewing industry is causing some to consider cashing out.The story of the $800 million family that’s selling art degrees and false hopes.RetailTwo armed thugs pick the wrong store to rob and pay a massive price for it.RestaurantsWhat restaurants need to know about customers who eat out with their kids.Sales & MarketingThe best email marketing software applications for small businesses in 2015.Research reveals that emails from “black” names are more likely to be ignored by public officials.Eight great ways to get more subscribers for your email list.TravelAirport stores in New York and New Jersey agree to stop selling drones after a plea from the Port Authority.Start-upsA mobile marketing automation start-up raises $45 million to grow its platform.A doctor-booking app is now the third-most valuable start-up in New York City.A start-up gets $100 million in funding to make 3-D manufacturing a reality.Five questions that reveal whether a job candidate is start-up material.Research shows that it’s slowly getting easier to be an LGBT small business owner.TechnologyTen simple Microsoft Word hacks everyone can do.A new app gives employees a place to vent about work.A research firm says worldwide smartphone sales recorded their slowest growth rate since 2013.IdeasA self-driving golf cart aims to beat Google (GOOG) to market.Online Evidence of infidelities spreads online in wake of the Ashley Madison hack (and sorry but no, you can’t hire a hacker to erase you from the data).The data breach could have a ripple effect on small businesses too.A Web.com (WWWW) hack reveals the credit card details of 93,000 customers.Bing beats Google Now to system-wide contextual search.Payments processor Stripe now supports Alipay, a service connecting Western companies with Chinese consumers.Social MediaSocial networks aren’t growing much among American adults, according to a report.Twitter expands its program for outside ads.McDonald’s is taking its ad campaign to…hold on…Tinder? Around the CountryA San Diego business owner is victimized by a fake electrician.Rhode Island business owners who were charged for an electricity tax by mistake will get a refund.A California hotel owner takes the unusual step of filing an inverse condemnation lawsuit to force the state to acquire her 200-room motel.A Pennsylvania business owner complains about his high taxes.Around the WorldThe world’s weirdest businesses.A hurricane forms in the Atlantic Ocean.July 2015 was the warmest month ever recorded.A hungry Venezuela eyes a $40 billion offshore discovery in Guyana.This has been a breakout year for Cuban entrepreneurs.India now has an airport powered completely by solar energy.Gene Marks owns the Marks Group,  a Bala Cynwyd  PA  consulting firm that helps clients with customer relationship management. Follow Gene Marks and On Small Business on Twitter.News we should know about? Email us here.






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    With the initial public offering market heating up recently, companies may want to focus more on how their CEO looks in front of investors. They could have just 30 seconds to make a good first impression.A new paper highlights a link between higher-priced public offerings and how well people rate the appearance of the company's CEO in videos of their investor presentation before going public—even with the CEO's words obscured and no facts or figures shared. The paper, which has yet to be published, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.Written by professors at the business schools of Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the study tests the idea of "thin-slicing," which Malcolm Gladwell made famous in his book Blink. They used 30-second video clips of real CEOs speaking in their investor "roadshows," the financial meetings executives have with current or potential investors before a public offering.Their goal: To get a sense of how investors, who already know plenty about the company's strategy and financial figures, size up management through the demeanor and mannerisms of the CEO—and how that then affects pricing. "Investors in general like to focus on objective information," says Bradley Hendricks, an assistant professor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler School of Business. "But it's not only objective information [that guides investors]. It's people making investment decisions."The researchers asked more than 900 randomly selected people in the United States to rate video snippets of CEOs' roadshow presentations from more than 200 companies that went public between 2011 and 2013. They were rated on three traits: competence, attractiveness and trustworthiness.The idea was to focus on body language and the general appearance and demeanor of the CEO, so the videos were filtered. The actual words spoken by the CEOs were not intelligible, obscuring the content of their presentations, but the cadence and sequence of their words was maintained.What they found, after controlling for a number of factors, was that higher overall perception of CEOs—particularly on the traits of competence and attractiveness—was associated with a higher market value for the public offering. The study also found a link between those higher perceptions and better quality underwriters, a higher proposed share price, and a greater change from that proposed price to the closing price on the firm’s first day of trading."When we present this study, we find that there seem to be an equal number of people that are completely shocked by the result as there are that find the result entirely unsurprising," Hendricks wrote in a follow-up email. "Most people agree that first impressions influence our behavior but there seems to be some uncertainty about whether those impressions will matter in the stock market."Of course, these were not investors watching the silent video clips but randomly selected people chosen through Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, an online labor market. Though the researchers controlled for factors like age and education, and only selected US-based participants, they're admittedly not seasoned investors putting their own money (or their clients') at risk. "We’re capturing a subconscious behavior we have, and people’s impressions are shared across different demographics," Hendricks said. "But we can’t get professional investors to sit in a room with us and watch this. W e don’t know if professional investors would be significantly different."  There's yet another reaction Hendricks hears when he shares the research—this time from psychologists. "They'll say, 'why did you need 30 seconds?' In the thin-slicing literature, they go all the way down to seven seconds. Even inferences of those seven-second videos are predictive of behavior."Read also:New study examines the possibility of a leadership geneHow stock options lead CEOs to put their own interests firstLike On Leadership? Follow us on Facebook (FB) and Twitter, and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.