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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: News Briefing (July 25– 31, 2012)

QFINANCE: News Briefing (July 25– 31, 2012)

Each week brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with latest topics.

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Wednesday July 25

Following the Barclays £290m fine last month by UK and US regulators after the bank was accused of benchmark borrowing rate manipulations, investigations on the Libor were launched last week. Top FSA official on the case Martin Wheatley commented on Wednesday that the rate "used globally for trillions of dollars worth of financial contracts" had to urgently be reformed (more on The Telegraph). Meanwhile in troubled Europe, German business confidence was reported to have considerably dropped says Reuters, reaching its lowest point in the past two years.

Thursday July 26

After a long anticipated IPO and deceptive early days on the market, Facebook’s first earning report was made public on Thursday reporting a significant slowdown in revenue growth and a drop of its shares. Following global fears about its ability to increase advertising, Facebook did not offer any financial forecast to help limit the fears which resulted in a fall of more than 11% of its shares, as reported in The Finance Pages.  In Spain, Santander bank announced on Thursday a 93% drop in profits in Q2. The figures were down to 100m euros down from 1.304bn euros a year ago for the largest bank in the eurozone by market value, reported Investment Europe.

Friday July 27

Brazil is expected to grow at 4% a year in the second half as Alexandre Tombini, central bank governor, told the Financial Times last Friday. “We’re not saying this is the start of a downward trend but the situation has stabilized,” Mr Tombini said. Meanwhile the banking scandals and consequences go on in Europe as Lloyds group reported a half-year loss of £439m and declared to have raised provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) claims by £770m, according to the BBC. In Japan, Nomura bank’s top two executives resigned on Thursday following an insider trading scandal, as reported in the New York Times’ Dealb%k.

Monday July 30

European business confidence followed the German on Monday as the Financial Times reported a considerable of the Commission’s “Economic Sentiment Indicator” from 89.9 last month to 86.2 in July. The banking scandals go on as HSBC’s laundering accusations have led the bank to apologize for “shameful” system breakdowns and declared to have set aside $700m (£445m) for probable fines to come in the US and another £1.3bn for mis-selling financial products in the UK, as reported in The Guardian. Apart from that, the bank seemed to have been doing pretty well this year as pre-tax profits for the first half of the year was up 11% from the previous 6 month, reaching $12.7bn.

Tuesday July 24

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained interest rates unchanged on Tuesday reported Reuters, trying desperately to reduce very high inflation despite deterioration of the economical climax.  RBI maintained reserve ration for banks at 4.75% while the repo rate froze at 8%. Meanwhile the Libor scandal continues with the ongoing investigations in Europe and the US. UBS boss insisted that the bank “is not in the center of anything,” at a press conference in Zurich reported by Bloomberg. Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, apologized according to the BBC, admitting that a "limited number" of the bank’s staff was involved in the rate-rigging affair.

Come back next week for another report on the world of business and finance.

Tags: banking , Brazil , BRICs , central banks , economic recovery , European Central Bank , European Monetary Union , eurozone , Federal Reserve , financial crisis , global imbalances , Greece , Greek debt , IMF , India , International Monetary Fund , RBI , RBS , regulation , Reserve Bank of India , sovereign debt , Spain , stocks and shares , transparency , UK , US , US economy
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