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QFINANCE: financial news roundup (August 4 - 7, 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.

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Thursday August 7

India has approved plans to open up its defense and railways industries to foreign investment, according to the Straits Times. This continues a stream of reforms by the country’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a bid to inject some life back into the stagnating economy.

Related article: Modi's neoliberalism may come as a shock to India

Germany announced that its industrial output rose by only 0.3% in June, Reuters reported, with some export firms becoming more cautious amid the Ukraine crisis. This is lower than many economists forecast, and is fanning fears that Europe’s largest economy is slowing considerably.

Wednesday August 6

“Italy has fallen back into recession,” the BBC announced, as the country recorded a GDP drop of 0.2% in the second quarter of this year, its second consecutive contraction.

Related article: Leveraged Buyouts and Recession

UK manufacturing and industrial output has grown in the past month, indicating that the country’s economy is still dominated largely by the services sector, the BBC reported.

Tuesday August 5

In Portugal, the rescue of Banco Santo Espirito “left taxpayers on the hook,” the Telegraph reported, showing signs that Europe’s tough regime for banks might be failing.

Related concept: Testing Times: Global Banking Regulation

In the UK, house prices are still soaring with a 10.2% increase in July from a year earlier, the BBC reported. This is the first time since 2007 that the annual change has exceeded 10%.

Monday August 4

In China, for the first time, investment banks are making more money from helping private companies than from the country’s large number of state-owned companies, the Financial Times reported.

Related article: China’s Fragile New Prosperity

With the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee meeting coming up, economists are predicting the first strong official pressure for a rise in UK interest rates, the Guardian reported.

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

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