FINANCE October 11, 2011 | 5:46 PM
The Belgian government has agreed to buy the local lending unit of Dexia for €4 billion ($5.4 billion) as part of a wider rescue package for the struggling Franco-Belgian bank. The bailout plan comes after an earlier rescue package for the bank during the financial crisis and includes plans for a €90 billion ($121 billion) guarantee for the next 10 years.
Belgium will put up 60.5% of the funds and France 36.5%, with Luxembourg providing the remaining 3%. Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme said these steps were necessary to protect the local retail arm and to reassure Dexia’s shareholders that that their money was fully secured.Read more »
WORLD October 11, 2011 | 5:23 PM
The United Nations is considering extending the Kyoto Protocol without Canada, Japan and Russia. UN talks are scheduled to take place in South Africa in November to determine how to replace or extend the treaty, which set greenhouse gas emissions limits to be respected by 2012.
Canada, Russia, and China have refused new Kyoto targets unless they apply to all major economic players; around 200 nations will still need to agree during the talks in Durban for the extension to go ahead. The EU will agree to the extension on the condition all major economies comply with a separate treaty that would be legally enforceable.Read more »
WORLD October 11, 2011 | 5:20 PM
US firm Odyssey Marine Exploration has discovered a UK shipwreck laden with 20 tons of silver worth around $18 million. A German submarine sank the steamship Mantola in the North Atlantic off the coast of Ireland in 1917.
Odyssey sighted the Mantola while using a tethered robot in its search for another ship, and is contracted by the British Department for Transport to recover the silver. Odyssey stands to gain 80% of the silver’s worth, with the remainder going to the UK government. As private companies come up with the capital to cover expensive sea exploration projects with no guarantee they will yield favorable results, it is customary practice to divvy up any eventual profits.Read more »
FINANCE October 11, 2011 | 10:47 AM
Top French bank BNP Paribas SA said the newspaper claim that it may look to generate $9.4 billion in capital is untrue. The Journal du Dimanche report had also stated that Societe Generale SA might similarly attempt to increase its capital by $5.5 billion as part of a joint move with Germany, which would see the banks in both countries seek to grow capital.
In September, both banks announced plans to avoid depending on US dollar capital and to boost investor confidence. BNP is aiming for a Tier 1 capital ratio of 9%, in accordance with Basel III rules, by 2013. Reaching this rate of financial stability would entail different moves, including reducing its corporate and investment banking segment by $82 billion.Read more »
FINANCE October 10, 2011 | 2:43 PM
Moody's Investors Service has reduced credit ratings for twelve British lenders due to fears that the British government may not provide support for the financial sector. Moody's cut five major banks including Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Santander UK, Co-Operative Bank, Nationwide Building Society and seven smaller British banks.
The two other major lenders, Barclays and HSBC, were unharmed. RBS was cut two levels from Aa3 to A2, while Lloyds was cut by one notch from Aa3 to A1.Read more »
FINANCE October 10, 2011 | 12:20 PM
The Occupy Wall Street protests against corporate power and social inequality in the United States have spread to over a dozen cities across the country. The movement began as a loosely organized handful of people who began camping out in Zuccotti Park in New York’s financial district on September 17. Now it has spread through ten states, with new groups adding their voices to the movement.
Protesters are angry about corporate greed, corruption in the government and the growing gap between the rich and poor in America.Read more »
WORLD October 10, 2011 | 12:15 PM
Sales figures from Sotheby’s Autumn auction in Hong Kong suggest the roaring Asian art market may be slowing as gloomy economic forecasts send stocks plummeting worldwide.
The New York-based auction house was selling mainly 20th century Chinese and contemporary Asian art, and pulled in good prices for early works from renowned artistes like Zhang Xiaogang.Read more »
BUSINESS October 10, 2011 | 11:59 AM
Sony is looking to step up its smartphone campaign by buying out Ericsson’s share of its mobile phone joint venture, according to sources close to the situation.
Sony manufactures tablet PCs, PCs, handheld game consoles and other consumer electronics devices but all smartphone operations are controlled by Sony Ericsson, the sixth-largest mobile phone making entity in the world.Read more »
BUSINESS October 7, 2011 | 3:38 PM
British Broadcasting Corporation director general Mark Thompson announced the BBC will cut its budget and slash 2,000 jobs between now and April 2017. The cuts are in reaction to the 2010 government decision to freeze the broadcaster’s television licensing fee through 2016-2017. It also comes after more than £1 billion in cuts since 2008.
Thompson said the cuts will resolute in a small, reshaped BBC.Read more »
FINANCE October 7, 2011 | 2:24 PM
The Bank of England has announced it will plough $116 billion into Britain’s economy to protect the country from the ripple effect of the EU debt crisis and to ease the State’s austerity measures, buying government bonds over a four-month period.
The move leads on from an earlier asset purchases initiative that boosted the British economy $310 billion over the 11-month period ending January 2010. It is hoped that a cash injection from selling government bonds will allow the banks to redirect money to cash-strapped individuals and businesses.Read more »
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