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Archive for September, 2012

PARIS/FRANKFURT The bosses of EADS and BAE Systems sought to reassure investors over the benefits of their planned $ 45 billion merger amid what they described as “myths and misconceptions” over the creation of a pan-European defense giant. BAE Systems chief executive Ian King and Tom Enders, his counterpart at Airbus parent EADS, said in a joint newspaper article that the plan to join forces was born out of “opportunity, not necessity,” and would create growth. “With the necessary political will and support, management determination and proper governance, BAE Systems and EADS can produce a whole that is greater than […]

FRANKFURT French car maker Renault is considering the complete closure of factories because of the dire state of the European automobile market, the company’s chief operating officer was quoted as saying on Sunday. “We will see. We are currently talking to the unions and explaining to them how big the gaps are in our competitiveness,” Carlos Tavares told German trade newspaper Automobilwoche. “We have a competitiveness problem in western Europe and France.” The European market’s prolonged decline is even starting to make previously impervious car makers, such as Volkswagen , feel vulnerable. “We’re bracing for more negative surprises in 2013, […]

FRANKFURT France and Germany have agreed a common strategy for the planned $ 45 billion merger of Airbus parent EADS and Britain’s BAE Systems , a German magazine reported on Sunday. The plan foresees France and Germany each holding a 9 percent stake in the merged entity, which would be the world’s largest defense and aerospace company, Der Spiegel magazine reported, citing high level civil servants. The Franco-German agreement would form the basis for their negotiations with the British government in talks this week, the magazine added. A spokesman for German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler declined to confirm or deny […]

NEW YORK Fund managers are increasingly eyeing riskier exotic assets, some of which haven’t been in fashion since the financial crisis, as yields on traditional investments get close to rock bottom. Returns from investments in “junk” bonds, government guaranteed mortgage securities and even some battered euro-zone debt are plunging in the wake of global central bank policies intended to suppress borrowing costs. In particular, the Federal Reserve’s latest move to juice the U.S. economy by purchasing $ 40 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities every month is forcing some money managers who had previously been feasting on those securities to get […]

LONDON Talks between BP and the U.S. government over a settlement for the 2010 oil spill have stalled because the U.S. is insisting that the British oil giant pay at least $ 18 billion, British newspaper the Sunday Times reported. A settlement deal may not happen until early next year, the newspaper quoted sources close to the company as saying. A settlement between $ 18 billion to $ 21 billion is near the level which BP would be required to pay should it be found grossly negligent under the Clean Water Act, said the paper. BP, which declined to comment […]

KABUL Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s biggest non-state oil company, has not yet accepted an offer to look over a new Afghan oil concession in the country’s north, possibly indicating a fading appetite to invest in the conflict-wracked country. As Afghanistan’s government finalizes new laws designed to attract more foreign mining investment, Mining Minister Wahidullah Shahrani told Reuters that Exxon had not turned up for a site tour which closes on Sunday, despite being shortlisted with eight other firms for the Afghan Tajik tender near Mazar-e-Sharif. “Hopefully at some point they (Exxon) will visit the area. But that visit is […]

MANCHESTER Britain’s Labour opposition leader launched an offensive against banks on Sunday ahead of his party’s annual conference, promising a “real separation” of retail and investment banking and to raise the top rate of personal income tax. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has said it will implement the recommendations of an independent review by Oxford University economist John Vickers into how banks should be structured in the wake of the global credit crisis. But critics, including Vickers, have lamented the watering down of some of the proposals – including the definition of the ring fence between retail and investment arms […]

MADRID Spain’s Banco Popular has called a board meeting to approve a capital increase of up to 2 billion euros ($ 2.57 billion), newspaper El Pais reported on Sunday. The bank was highlighted in an independent audit by Oliver Wyman as one of the banks that would need extra capital to ride out a serious economic downturn. The report on Friday said that Spanish banks will need a total of 59.3 billion euros in extra capital in such a scenario. The board meeting would examine the capital increase and suspension of dividend payments, El Pais said without citing a source. […]

NEW YORK Chinese manufacturing contracted in September for an 11th month, according to a purchasing manager’s index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics, reports said. The index found overall factory activity shrank last month, even though the 47.9 final level was just ahead of the initial projection of 47.8. Readings above or below 50 separate expansion from contraction. “Beijing should step up easing to support growth and employment,” HSBC’s chief economist in Hong Kong, said in a statement released late Friday, according to reports.

BERLIN Greece will receive its next tranche of international aid despite budget shortfalls and slow progress on reforms because the euro zone does not want the country to leave the common currency, two German magazines reported on Saturday. Athens will resume talks with the ‘troika’ of international lenders next week on a tranche worth 31 billion euros ($ 39.88 billion) needed to avert bankruptcy and a possible euro zone exit. The Greek government needs a deal so it can push an austerity package through parliament before the next meeting of Eurogroup finance ministers on October 8. “The Greeks will receive […]

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