Monthly Archives: July 2012

US imposes sanctions on Iran oil industry

The Obama administration announced new sanctions on the Iranian oil industry and on a Chinese and an Iraqi bank on Tuesday, saying “defiance” by the Iranian government would lead to “increasing consequences”. The new measures come as Congress is also getting close to approving a new sanctions law, and after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed the White House was…

Tullett Prebon suffers as Asia slows

Tullett Prebon, the interdealer broker, said on Tuesday it had been “surprised” by a continued slowdown in Asia as investors demonstrated their lack of appetite for trading . The London-based group reported lower market activity in both Tokyo and Singapore as broking revenue from Asia fell by a tenth in the first half. An expected rebound in business in Japan,…

ENRC secures Congo mine licence for $102m

Eurasian Natural Resources Corp can press ahead with production at a controversial mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after the London-listed mining group secured a new licence from the government for $101.5m. The Frontier processing plant was among the assets that ENRC acquired in January in a $1.25bn settlement with First Quantum, after a legal battle over mines confiscated…

Switzerland is ‘new China’ in currencies

There is a “new China” active in the currency markets, according to analysts, as Switzerland’s battle to weaken the franc inflates its stockpile of foreign currency reserves. The Swiss National Bank was forced to buy tens of billions of euros in May and June after the eurozone crisis worsened, creating strong haven demand for the franc and threatening the ceiling…

BP chief on defensive as earnings plunge

©Bloomberg BP’s chief executive was forced to deny the group had lost its way after it unveiled disappointing second-quarter earnings hit by falling production, a big writedown of its US shale gas assets and tax issues in Russia. The UK oil company said its underlying earnings dropped 35 per cent in the second quarter, a result worse than analysts expected….

Finmeccanica upbeat as core profits rise

A 10 per cent rise in core profits at Finmeccanica has been presented by Italy’s troubled defence and industrial group as evidence that its restructuring and cost-cutting programme is on track to meet year-end targets. Giuseppe Orsi, promoted as the new broom chief executive and chairman last year after a series of corruption investigations into the group amid heavy losses,…

Swiss face up to cost of franc defence

Switzerland is facing the consequences of a vow to keep the franc weak. Figures released by the Swiss National Bank on Tuesday show that its euro holdings have ballooned in the second quarter of the year, as the bank battles haven demand from investors and struggles to maintain a ceiling of SFr1.20 against the single currency. Click to enlarge Switzerland…

Oil falls $2 a barrel on investor caution

Oil prices fell nearly $2 a barrel as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of a series of crucial central bank meetings and economic data. Benchmark ICE September Brent crude fell as much as $1.68 to a low of $104.52 a barrel. The move reversed some of the sharp 20 per cent rebound in prices in the past month, helped…

Push to shed light on muni market

Regulators are pushing to enhance disclosure for investors in municipal bonds, often criticised as one of the most opaque areas of US finance. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced recommendations on Tuesday designed to shed greater light on the $3.7tn municipal securities market. The muni market is highly complex with one million different municipal bonds outstanding that have been issued…

Our opt-in opt-out solution for the euro

The distressed countries in Europe’s southern periphery fear exiting or being expelled from the currency union, partly because they believe they would lose all the euro’s advantages permanently. This fear could be laid to rest by making the eurozone an open currency union. The core idea is to offer exiting countries the status of associated member, allowing them to adopt…