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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: News Briefing (October 17–23, 2012)

QFINANCE: News Briefing (October 17–23, 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 the latest topics.

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Wednesday October 17

China is still slowing down for the seventh quarter in a row, newly published reports showed on Wednesday. The BBC reported that the annual rate of growth was down from 7.6% to 7.4% in the third quarter as crisis in the US and Europe is affecting the country’s demand for goods.

Citigroup chief executive Vikram Pandit resigned on Wednesday following clashes with the board over a series of missteps by the bank, the FT reported.

Thursday October 18

Chief executive of Russian oil company Rosneft Igor Sechin flew to London on Thursday to finalize a deal with British BP, the FT reported. Looking to acquire 50% stake in its Russian joint venture TNK-BP, the deal could be worth around $28bn according to a person familiar with the discussions.

In the US, the housing market is picking up with housing starts jumping 15% to its highest level in four years. Bloomberg reported that home constructions had risen last month to 872,000 annual rate, the fastest growth since July 2008 according to surveys.

Friday October 19

Banking group Barclays was forced to reserve additional £700m to refund customers affected by the defaulted selling of payment protection insurance in recent years, the FT reported on Friday. The final PPI bill for the whole industry should top approximately £10bn according to recent calculations.

Morgan Stanley moved back to $1bn loss over Q3, The Independent reported last Friday. Despite the jump of its losses though, the US investment bank beat market hopes with an increase of its net revenues to $7.6bn according to newly published figures.

Monday October 22

Japan is fighting a triple crisis of crashing exports, a very strong currency and a recession, The Telegraph reported on Monday, suggesting that the country might soon join the world’s currency wars. Japanese exports dropped 10.3% in the past year as exports to Europe crashed 21%. The dispute over the Diaoyu-Senkaku islands has also led to a drop of 14% in shipments to China.

In Europe, Angela Merkel is to warn the UK of a potential cancelation of next month’s EU budget summit if Britain insists on a veto to any other deal than a complete freeze of the Union’s spending. Merkel is urging David Cameron to support the German plan that would cap EU spending at 1% of the EU Gross domestic product, the FT reported.

Tuesday October 23

Following a key visit to London last week, Russian group Rosneft has doubled up the bet on BP’s joint venture willing to pay $55bn for 100% of the oil producer. The FT reported that such a deal would make the group the world’s largest publicly traded energy company and would tighten the Kremlin’s grip on the country’s energy sector.

Coffee group Starbucks declared a quarter of its 600 UK stores were running at a loss following accusations over tax avoidance last week. In an interview with the Financial Times, chief financial officer Troy Alstead said: “I look forward to the day when we pay a lot more tax … We did a little bit of a land grab and we made a lot of mistakes.”

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

Tags: banking , central banks , China , economic recovery , European Central Bank , European Monetary Union , eurozone , financial crisis , Japan , UK , US , US economy
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