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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: News Briefing (November 7-13, 2012)

QFINANCE: News Briefing (November 7-13, 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.

If you have any views on how we can improve this service or new areas you would like to see covered, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Wednesday November 7

European reports published on Wednesday predicted a 7.7% Chinese growth for the coming years and similar expansion for 2013 and 2014 according to The China Daily. This would still be a slow-down for China as the GDP increased 9.2% in 2011 and officials recently reported the slowest rate in the past three years.

Related Viewpoint: Matthew Gertken looks into the challenges facing China in the near future and the testing maintenance of stability

In Britain, concerns about the impact of new nuclear plants on consumer bills have lead John Hayes, energy minister to say that he would walk away from talks with French EDF Energy if the burden became too heavy on UK consumers. The government is discussing a guaranteed price for electricity from the plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset with the giant French group according to The Daily Telegraph.

Thursday November 8

Following Barack Obama’s victory on Wednesday, concerns are still raised about the budgetary impasse, as The Financial Times’ front page title mentioned “New battle looms”.  The White House and US congress are dealing with a crisis on the so-called fiscal cliff and the series of tax rises and cuts that will be in effect in January. In his victory speech, the president promised to reduce the deficit and reform the tax system.

Related Viewpoint: Oonagh McDonald looks into the “affordable housing” ideology that wrecked the American mortgage market

Following a considerable drop in the group’s profits, Dutch group ING Groep NV announced last Thursday plans to cut 2,350 jobs. According to The Telegraph, the bank and insurance company’s net profits fell to £488m from £1.3b last year.

Friday November 9

UK international development secretary Justine Greening declared on Friday that the country would end financial aid to India by 2015. The BBC reported that support worth about £200m will be reduced between now and 2015 as Britain will focus efforts on technical assistance. "Aid is the past and trade is the future", Ms Greening commented.

Also in the UK, the Bank of England’s emergency bond-purchasing program was suspended, The Financial Times reported on Friday. This move raises doubts about the highly criticized quantitative easing and the effect it could have on boosting the economy.

Related Viewpoint: The rate of interest has a pivotal role across the economy says John A. Morrison. Looking into Quantitative Easing and the Yield on the Ten Year Gilt

Monday November 12

The Japanese economy has shrunk considerably in the last quarter as anti-Japan protests in China hit the country’s exports The BBC reported on Monday. With a passive domestic consumption, the economy contracted by 0.9% in comparison to the previous three months according to newly published figures.

Related Viewpoint: John Vail looks at the lessons for Europe and the US that can be taken from Japan’s past stagnation

Also in Asia, India's industrial output was reported to have dropped in September, increasing concerns on the economy’s slowdown, AFP reported on Monday. From last year, factory output dropped 0.4% while a lot of analysts expected a rise of 2.8%.

Tuesday November 13

Following negotiations on the Greek crisis in the past week, Euro finance chiefs have decided to give the country two extra years to solve its budget deficit. Bloomberg Businessweek reported that creditors decided to keep money flowing to Greece rather than risk a default that could lead to an exit from the euro and affect the single-currency bloc.

Related Viewpoint: Sovereign debt: Patricia Gabaldon on the advantages and difficulties of cuts and spending

In an interesting analysis of the Chinese economy and political system, BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson says that “no-one, not even the self-appointed experts, knows what is going to happen”.  Following concerns around the country’s economic slowdown recently, Simpson draws a parallel with the old Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, and affirms that “all we do know is that a new leadership is about to take over”.

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

Tags: banking , central banks , China , ECB , economic recovery , EU , European Central Bank , eurozone , Greece , IMF , India , Japan , regulation , transparency , UK , US , US economy
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