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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: financial news roundup (February 14– 20, 2014)

QFINANCE: financial news roundup (February 14– 20, 2014)

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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

Thursday February 20

Giant Facebook has acquired messaging app WhatsApp for the total value of $19bn (£11.4bn), the BBC reported. It is the group’s biggest acquisition to date after Instagram, which was bought for $1bn in 2012, according to the article.

Related sector: The Problem of Mobility and Facebook’s Battle for Revenue

Japan’s monthly trade deficit has “more thank doubled to a new record”, the BBC reported, following an increase in fuel imports due to a weakened currency. The country’s trade gap rose 71% to 2.79tn yen ($27.3bn; £16.4bn) in January from a deficit of 1.3tn yen in December.

Wednesday February 19

Danish private equity outsourcing group ISS and UK discount retailer Poundland have announced their upcoming IPOs, following the floatation of French engineering group GTT the day before. “Companies are racing to list their shares in a newly buoyant European market for initial public offerings”, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Related article: Price Discovery in IPOs

The UK Treasury has given Edinburgh permission to issue up to £2.2bn on the international bond markets, the Daily Telegraph reported, but warned that “it won’t be able to borrow at the UK's low borrowing rate”.

Tuesday February 18

Multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has retreated from electronic bond trading, the FT reported. The “quiet” move demonstrates the challenges investment banks face in revamping their struggling fixed-income trading businesses, according to the article.

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

Japan’s economy only grew 0.3% in the fourth quarter last year, Reuters reported, well below the median estimate for a 0.7% increase. This raises the stakes for Abenomics - the economic policies implemented by Shinzō Abe in 2012 based on fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms.

Monday February 17

The OECD warned that the future of the single currency might be at risk with Germany’s fears of inflation, the Daily Telegraph reported. The country has been urged to accept higher inflation to prevent large parts of the eurozone from being “sucked into a deflationary spiral”.

Related article: What if Germany were forced out of the euro?

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned that it would be “difficult, if not impossible” for an independent Scotland to join the EU, the FT reported, as it would require approval from all other EU member states.

Friday February 14

Bloomberg’s figures revealed that Google has made “more deals than any company in the world over the past three years”, overtaking Intel as world's biggest 'dealmaker', the Daily Telegraph reported.

Events of the week

Establishing a ’40 Act Alternative Fund- April 1 2014: Financial Research Associates’ conference on Establishing a ’40 Act Alternative Fund will cover the ins-and-outs of how to develop and nurture a successful liquid alternative fund. By attending this one-day course, you will learn everything you need to know to get into this space. Mention Code FMP172 during registration for 10% discount.

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3rd Annual Risk EMEA 2014- April 8 – 9, London: 40+ CROs and Heads of Risk presenting and discussing the critical challenges faced by risk managers in Europe, Middle East and Asia. Across two-days join 150+ senior risk professionals, hear 30 presentations and discussions across 3 streams plus 9 Keynote Plenary discussions and over 6 hours of networking. Plus, don’t miss the highly intensive and interactive Masterclasses on Stress Testing and the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book. Quote coupon code QFS14 for 15% discount.

CFP Events: or +44 (0) 845 680 5172

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

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Tags: banking , central banks , EU , European Central Bank , eurozone , IMF , regulation , sovereign debt , UK , US economy
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