Monthly Archives: June 2012

ANC urges bigger state mining role

The African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, wound up a policy conference on Friday recommending that the state take a more active role in the mining sector as Africa’s largest economy struggles to combat high unemployment and poverty. But officials said the detail of what that would entail still had to be finalised, in an outcome that is likely…

CFTC offers concession on overseas swaps

Large US banks with overseas derivatives operations may be able to dodge new US swaps rules, potentially easing industry concerns that American law would apply all over the world. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, America’s top derivatives regulator, on Friday issued proposed guidance that call for foreign branches of US banks to be subject to derivatives rules in the countries…

Crude heads back towards $100

Oil rose back towards $100 a barrel yesterday in a furious rally triggered by relief over the latest deal to shore up European economies. The leading crude benchmarks each marked the biggest one-day gains since early 2009, when oil was bottoming amid the global financial crisis. Uncertainty about supplies persists as western sanctions tighten on Iranian oil exports. But analysts…

Californian city of Stockton files for bankruptcy

The California city of Stockton has filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to cut deals with creditors over crippling labour and borrowing costs, the largest bankruptcy of a US city in decades. “Our general fund resources are depleted and we cannot allow the city to spiral into uncontrolled default,” said Bob Deis, city manager on Thursday. “Bankruptcy stops a barrage…

The Long View: testing Spain and Italy defences

Thirty months of hurt never stopped me dreaming. As so often, football mirrors life. On Thursday night, hours after Italy surprisingly but convincingly defeated Germany in the semi-final of Europe’s football championship, Germany took another defeat at the EU summit. Judging by the market reaction, traders were hoping for a German defeat, but surprised that it happened. The result was…

Central banks reduce euro holdings in Q1

Central banks reduced their holdings of the euro in the first quarter of the year despite a period of relative calm for the eurozone, in the latest sign that global reserve managers have become more cautious on Europe. Global reserve managers cut euro holdings and added Japanese yen, British pounds and Swiss francs in the first three months of the…

The gathering storm

©EPA “We are being dishonest by definition and [we are] at risk of damaging our reputation in the market and with the regulators.” Thus wrote one Barclays banker, on December 4 2007, to “manager E”, according to regulatory documents published this week by the UK Financial Services Authority. Five years on it is clear that the subject of those prophetic…

MF Global creditors may get up to $3.2bn

MF Global UK’s administrator on Friday said it could return up to $3.2bn to creditors but warned it faces claims on the estate potentially totalling $3.9bn. KPMG said there could be $2.8bn-$3.2bn to hand to creditors as it outlined for the first time a range of possible financial outcomes from the insolvency of the failed futures broker. However, the sums…

Debt fears temper Europe euphoria

As rallies go, this was impressive. Friday’s rebound in European equity markets marked the biggest one-day gains this year for blue-chip stocks. Investors pumped money into equities, peripheral eurozone bonds and the euro as they gave their initial blessing to an EU summit outcome that delivered more than hoped. In short, investors welcomed plans to give the European Central Bank…

Coty tests appetite for public offering

Coty, the cosmetics group that failed in its $10.7bn bid for Avon this year, on Friday became the latest company to test equity investors’ appetite for new issues since Facebook’s weak debut. Four companies this week raised $616m in the first listings on US exchanges since Facebook’s initial public offering on May 18. Coty said it planned to raise up…