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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: financial news roundup (February 28- March 7, 2013)

QFINANCE: financial news roundup (February 28- March 7, 2013)

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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Thursday March 7

Bank of Japan has rejected calls for monetary easing today after leaving its Y101tn ($1.1tn) asset-purchasing program unchanged, Reuters reported today.  Following the meeting that ended on Thursday, the bank noted some brighter signs in the economy, which it said had “stopped weakening”.

Related Blog: Is Japan and her economy moving forwards or towards an abyss?

The European Central Bank will hold its interest rates at the record-low of 0.75% according to Reuters. As the monthly meeting takes place today the ECB is expected to keep its growth and inflation forecasts largely unchanged.

Wednesday March 6

In India, parliament announced that the share of merchandise exports in the GDP rose to 17.7% in 2011-12 from 13.9% only in 2009. The Times of India reported that minister of state for commerce and industry D Purandeswari said that exports play a crucial role in the development of the country.

Related Blog: The Reserve Bank of India is taking quite a gamble with India’s economic future

George Osborne was defeated at the ECB on Wednesday as the 26 other EU finance ministers imposed curbs on bankers' bonuses, The Guardian reported. Osborne had travelled to Brussels “in a vain attempt” to block proposals to set limits on bankers’ bonuses, protecting the City.

Tuesday March 5

Spain has reported a new unemployment record, reaching 5.04 million after another 60,000 rise in the jobless count in February, The Independent reported on Tuesday.

Related Viewpoint: Austerity vs Stimulus in the Context of the EU Crisis

In the UK, retail sales grew at their fastest rate in more than three years in the past month, according to the British Retail Consortium. The BBC reported that sales rose by 2.7% in February 2013, the fastest rate since December 2009.

Monday March 4

In the US, Ernst & Young has agreed to pay $123 million in a settlement with criminal prosecutors, The Guardian reported on Monday. The group admitted some of its tax partners were involved in tax avoidance schemes between 1999 and 2004.

Related Viewpoint: Goldman Sachs, the Symbol and Essence of What Went Wrong with Western Capitalism

In Switzerland, a referendum voted new rules governing executive pay, backing proposals to impose some of the world’s strictest controls, The BBC reported on Monday. Almost 68% of the voters supported the plans to give shareholders a veto on compensation and ban big payouts according to the article.

Friday March 1

Stephen Hester has sent the strongest signal yet that The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) could be ready for re-privatization in the coming year. The BBC reported that the 80% public RBS announced losses of just over £5bn for last year, caused by settling mis-selling claims and fines related to the Libor scandal.

Related Checklist: Trading in Government Bonds: Why and How

In the US, estimated growth has been revised to 0.1% in the final quarter of 2012. The Department of Commerce had initially estimated a contraction, The Daily Telegraph reported, but had to revise its market expectations.

Thursday February 28

David Cameron insisted he will go “further and faster” in reducing the deficit, after the UK lost its AAA credit rating, The Guardian reported on Thursday. Opposition leader Ed Miliband commented that the country now had a "downgraded government, a downgraded chancellor and a downgraded prime minister".

Related Blog: Is Britain going Bust?

Mongolia has suspended the licences for a major portion of the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, The Financial Times reported on Thursday. This comes in the course of escalating dispute between Rio Tinto and the Mongolian government over costs, revenues and taxes.

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

Tags: banking , central banks , China , economic recovery , EU , European Central Bank , eurozone , financial crisis , IMF , sovereign debt , UK , US
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