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Home > Blogs > QFINANCE Editor > QFINANCE: financial news roundup (March 7 - 13, 2014)

QFINANCE: financial news roundup (March 7 - 13, 2014)

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 13

Markets in Asia fell on the news that China's industrial output rose 8.6% in January and February, the BBC reported. Fixed-asset investment expanded 17.9% as fears of a slowdown increased.

Related article: China slowdown sends mixed signals

Japanese electronics firm Panasonic has said it will pay its employees working in China a premium to compensate them for the country's high pollution.

Employees sent overseas typically receive hardship pay increases, but Panasonic is the first firm to explicitly pay more due to China's air quality problems.

Panasonic has announced it will pay its staff in China a premium to compensate for the country's high level of pollution, the BBC reported. The Japanese group confirmed this was due to China's air quality problems.

Wednesday March 12

The Bank of Thailand cut its benchmark interest rate down to 2%, its lowest in the past three years, the BBC reported. This is the second rate cut since November, amidst continuing political turmoil.

Related article: New dawn for Thai economy: has one of the most chaotic democracies turned the corner?

Copper fell to a near four-year low, Reuters reported. This has aggravated concerns in China over its economic slowdown, where the commodity is often seen as a proxy for the country’s fortunes.

Tuesday March 11

Consumer inflation and industrial output data in India are not likely to offer hope of “a respite from high inflation and weak economic growth”, Reuters reported on Tuesday. The country’s economy is still trying to recover from a stagflation-type situation; according to the report, economic growth has been “stuck below 5 percent for the past seven quarters”.

Related article: The Case for India

In China, ten companies have been selected to pilot a new private banking scheme, the BBC reported. Each bank will be co-sponsored by at least two investors and will be geared towards servicing small businesses and residential communities – a move analysts are welcoming as a step towards opening up the country’s financial sector.

Monday March 10

India has been “scoring over its peers in the BRICS group of nations”, according to Business Standard. Regular inflow of Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) money in the country has made valuations of Indian markets double those of other BRICS nations.

Related article: Bearish BRICs: Have the BRIC Nations lived up to the Hype?

A poll of 100 Scottish businesses revealed that 36% of companies would consider moving outside Scotland if the country gained independence, the Guardian reported.

Friday March 7

The US Labor Department announced the addition of 175,000 new jobs in February, the BBC reported, but the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.7%.

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

Tags: banking , central banks , China , financial crisis , India , regulation , UK , US economy
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