Financial News from AFP

  • Rio Tinto ships more iron ore as prices surge AFP - 10 hours ago
    Rio Tinto ships more iron ore as prices surge

    Mining giant Rio Tinto reported Tuesday a ramp up in iron ore shipments on surging prices, but copper output disappointed amid production issues at its global mines. Prices in key commodities such as iron ore have soared in recent months, supporting producers, with shares in Rio Tinto jumping more than 60 percent from a year ago. Rio said iron ore shipments rose by three percent to 327.6 million tonnes last year compared to 2015, in line with guidance.

  • HSBC funding Indonesian forest destruction: Greenpeace AFP - 11 hours ago
    HSBC funding Indonesian forest destruction: Greenpeace

    Greenpeace on Tuesday accused banking giant HSBC of helping to arrange billions of dollars in financing for companies whose palm oil operations have been blamed for destroying vast swathes of Indonesian rainforest. The environmental group said the British bank had broken its own guidelines which ban supporting palm oil companies involved in unsustainable practices as it was part of syndicates that had arranged $16.3 billion of loans since 2012. "HSBC claims it's a respectable bank with responsible policies on deforestation.

  • Asian traders on edge ahead of May, Trump events AFP - 13 hours ago
    Asian traders on edge ahead of May, Trump events

    Asian investors moved warily Tuesday as they look ahead to a crucial week for two of the world's top economies as Britain outlines its plans for leaving the EU and Donald Trump is sworn in as US president. Britain's pound remains stuck at three-decade lows against the dollar after weekend reports Prime Minister Theresa May intends to push for a clean break from the EU, including the single market at customs union. Friday sees Trump's inauguration, which many are eyeing with uncertainty.

  • Poor Mexico workers fear Trump trade effect AFP - 14 hours ago
    Poor Mexico workers fear Trump trade effect

    In a rocky desert of northern Mexico, impoverished villagers fear they may be the first people in the world to suffer the impact of US President-elect Donald Trump's trade crackdown. In the town of Villa de Reyes stand the square white skeletons of two huge buildings: an unfinished Ford car factory. The $1.6-billion plant was expected to bring thousands of jobs to the area, but Ford abruptly called off the project this month in the state of San Luis Potosi.

  • Italy in talks with EU over budget deficit: sources AFP - 20 hours ago
    Italy in talks with EU over budget deficit: sources

    Italy is in discussions with the European Commission to try to prevent Brussels imposing penalties over Rome's management of its public finances, sources close to the talks said Monday. Italy was one of eight eurozone countries warned in November that they could face fines and restricted access to funds from Brussels over their failure to stick to the EU's Stability Pact rules. The daily La Repubblica said Monday the European Commission last week asked the government to find 3.4 billion euros (3.6 billion dollars), or 0.2 percent of GDP, in order to avoid the start of an infringement procedure.

  • Multinationals act on ocean-clogging plastics AFP - 22 hours ago
    Multinationals act on ocean-clogging plastics

    Forty of the world's biggest companies assembled in Davos agreed on Monday to come up with cleaner ways to make and consume plastic as waste threatens the global eco-system, especially in oceans. The plan was announced at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort, where powerful executives are gathering just days ahead of the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president, who views concern about such environmental issues with suspicion. The planet's dangerously polluted oceans will contain more plastic waste than fish by 2050 if urgent action isn't taken, the companies warned.

  • IMF boosts US growth estimate on expected stimulus AFP - 23 hours ago
    IMF boosts US growth estimate on expected stimulus

    The International Monetary Fund on Monday boosted its estimates for US growth on expected stimulus spending by the incoming Trump administration, but kept the forecast for global growth unchanged. The IMF's quarterly World Economic Outlook (WEO) however said the forecasts for 2017 and 2018 are beset by uncertainty and risk, including signs of rising protectionism. It sees world growth of 3.4 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2018, unchanged from the October report, as concerns about slowing in major developing economies were offset by the recovery in advanced economies and China.

  • Stocks retreat as pound tanks on Brexit fear AFP - 23 hours ago
    Stocks retreat as pound tanks on Brexit fear

    The pound slumped Monday on reports British Prime Minister Theresa May was ready to take the country out of the European Union in a so-called "hard Brexit". Sterling's weakness sent London's FTSE 100 index to a fresh record high, although the index later fell back and closed with a slight loss, ending a record 14-session winning streak. "The main action today has been on the currency market with the pound sliding to its lowest levels since the October flash crash, below 1.2000 against the US dollar, as markets price in further uncertainty ahead of tomorrows scheduled speech by UK Prime Minister Theresa May about how the UK intends to conduct its Brexit negotiations," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

  • Ford recalls 4,500 cars in S.Africa after fires AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 5:28 PM AEDT
    Ford recalls 4,500 cars in S.Africa after fires

    US motor giant Ford on Monday recalled 4,500 1.6-litre Kuga cars in South Africa after nearly 40 incidents in which vehicles were reported to have burst into flames. Over recent years, the SUV model has been the focus of repeated accounts in South Africa of spontaneous fires taking hold while the car was being driven. "We are now announcing a voluntary safety recall of the Kuga 1.6," Ford South Africa chief executive Jeffrey Nemeth told a press conference in Pretoria.

  • Yukos, Moscow lawyers back in court in $50bn appeal case AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 4:37 PM AEDT
    Yukos, Moscow lawyers back in court in $50bn appeal case

    Former shareholders of defunct Russian oil giant Yukos were back in a Dutch court Monday as Moscow's lawyers pressed judges for a quick resolution of a complex appeals case. The claimants, led by the former main shareholder GML, in July last year appealed a Dutch court's decision to overturn a ruling ordering Moscow to pay them a record $50 billion in damages. "The Russian Federation has a significant interest in an expedient and concentrated conduct of this appeal," Russian Federation representative Albert Jan van den Berg told judges at The Hague's Appeals Court.

  • Pound drops as Trump backs Brexit AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 4:25 PM AEDT
    Pound drops as Trump backs Brexit

    Prime Minister Theresa May won endorsement from US President-elect Donald Trump over her Brexit course but sterling plunged on Monday on fears that Britain could be on a collision course with its EU allies. Trump said Britain leaving the EU would "end up as a great thing" and promised to work for a trade deal with post-Brexit Britain "quickly and done properly", speaking in an interview with The Times newspaper. Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson hailed the comments as he arrived at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

  • Ford announces recall of Kuga cars in S. Africa after fires AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 4:22 PM AEDT
    Ford announces recall of Kuga cars in S. Africa after fires

    US motor giant Ford announced Monday the recall of 4,500 1.6-litre Kuga cars in South Africa after nearly 40 incidents in which vehicles were reported to have burst into flames. Over recent years, the SUV model has been the focus of repeated accounts in South Africa of spontaneous fires taking hold while the car was being driven. "We are now announcing a voluntary safety recall of the Kuga 1.6," Ford South Africa chief executive Jeffrey Nemeth told a press conference in Pretoria.

  • Mozambique says will miss $60 million interest payment AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 4:19 PM AEDT
    Mozambique says will miss $60 million interest payment

    Mozambique, caught between a scandal over hidden debt that has prompted an aid cut-off and a commodity price slump, said Monday it would miss a $60 million interest payment. The country is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over resuming support that was suspended in April due to the hidden debt scandal. "The deteriorating macroeconomic and fiscal situation of the Republic has severely affected the country's public finances," the finance ministry said in a statement in Maputo.

  • Saudi carrier flynas signs deal for 80 Airbus planes AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 3:22 PM AEDT
    Saudi carrier flynas signs deal for 80 Airbus planes

    Low-cost Saudi carrier flynas on Monday signed an $8.6-billion deal with European plane manufacturer Airbus to purchase 80 A320neo single-aisle jets. Flynas chairman Ayed al-Jeaid said at a ceremony in Riyadh that the deal includes an option for 40 more of the short to medium-haul planes, to cater for what airline executives described as a growing domestic market. Bander al-Mohanna, the chief executive of NAS Holding, of which flynas is a division, signed the agreement with Fouad Attar, Middle East director for France-based Airbus.

  • Essilor and Luxottica create lenswear giant with $49 bn merger AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 1:31 PM AEDT
    Essilor and Luxottica create lenswear giant with $49 bn merger

    French lensmaker Essilor has agreed to buy Italy's luxury eyewear maker Luxottica in a bid to create a new global giant in the sector, the two groups announced Monday. Shares in Essilor, the world leader in corrective lenses, surged by 13.8 percent on the Paris stock exchange and Luxottica shares were up 8.2 percent in Milan on the news as of 1100 GMT. The combined group will have a market capitalisation of around 46.2 billion euros ($49 billion), based on both companies' closing share prices on Friday.

  • Sterling tanks on Brexit fear AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 1:12 PM AEDT
    Sterling tanks on Brexit fear

    The pound slumped Monday on reports British Prime Minister Theresa May was ready to take the country out of the European Union in a so-called "hard Brexit". Sterling's weakness sent London's ...

  • Essilor and Luxottica create lenswear giant AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 1:09 PM AEDT
    Essilor and Luxottica create lenswear giant

    French lensmaker Essilor has agreed to buy Italy's luxury eyewear maker Luxottica in a bid to create a new global giant in the sector, the two groups announced Monday. Shares in Essilor, the world leader in corrective lenses, surged by 13.8 percent on the Paris stock exchange and Luxottica shares were up 8.2 percent in Milan on the news as of 1100 GMT. The combined group will have a market capitalisation of around 46.2 billion euros ($49 billion), based on both companies' closing share prices on Friday.

  • Pound drops after Brexit backing from Trump AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 11:38 AM AEDT
    Pound drops after Brexit backing from Trump

    Prime Minister Theresa May won endorsement from US President-elect Donald Trump over her Brexit course but sterling plunged on Monday on fears that Britain could be on a collision course with its EU allies. Trump said Britain leaving the EU would "end up as a great thing" and promised to work for a trade deal with post-Brexit Britain "quickly and done properly", speaking in an interview with The Times newspaper. Britain's foreign minister Boris Johnson hailed the comments as he arrived at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday.

  • Germany defends car industry after Trump assault AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 11:33 AM AEDT
    Germany defends car industry after Trump assault

    German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Monday warned US President-elect Donald Trump not to slap punitive tariffs on imports from carmakers like BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen. "The ...

  • Eight men own same as poorest half of world: Oxfam AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 11:04 AM AEDT
    Eight men own same as poorest half of world: Oxfam

    Eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world's population, a level of inequality which "threatens to pull our societies apart", Oxfam said on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum opening in Davos. Picked from Forbes' billionaires list, they include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg who co-founded Facebook, and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. Oxfam pointed to a link between the vast gap between rich and poor and growing discontent with mainstream politics around the world.

  • S. Korea prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 10:19 AM AEDT
    S. Korea prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir

    Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, is already reeling from the international debacle over its Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled after some devices caught fire. Prosecutors investigating the corruption scandal said they asked a court to issue an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-Yong, the only son of Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-Hee. The Seoul Central District Court said it would rule on the request on Wednesday.

  • Pound tanks on Brexit fear as Asia markets retreat AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:44 AM AEDT
    Pound tanks on Brexit fear as Asia markets retreat

    The pound struggled at 32-year lows against the dollar in Asia on Monday after reports said British Prime Minister Theresa May was ready to take the country out of the European Union in a so-called "hard Brexit". Sterling's retreat came with losses on most Asian stock markets as investors nervously await Donald Trump's inauguration speech on Friday, having been left disappointed at his lack of detail on economic policy at a news conference last week. A number of Sunday newspapers in the UK said May was willing to pull out of the single market, the European customs union and the European Court of Justice, in order to regain control of immigration.

  • China's troubled tech firm LeEco wins $2.2 bn lifeline AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:31 AM AEDT
    China's troubled tech firm LeEco wins $2.2 bn lifeline

    Cash-strapped Chinese tech firm LeEco secured a $2.2 billion investment from a group led by property developer Sunac China Holdings, but shares in the rescuer plunged Monday on news of the deal. Hong Kong-listed Sunac said Friday it would plough 15.04 billion yuan into the sprawling LeEco empire, which has interests in various sectors including self-driving cars, smartphones, film making, and TV-set manufacturing. The deal will make Sunac the second-largest shareholder of LeEco, with 8.61 percent equity in LeShi Internet, 15 percent in LeShi Pictures, and 33.5 percent in the TV unit Leshi Zhixin, Sunac said in an announcement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

  • French group Essilor to buy Ray-Ban maker Luxottica AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 9:30 AM AEDT
    French group Essilor to buy Ray-Ban maker Luxottica

    French lensmaker Essilor said on Monday it has agreed to buy Italy's Luxottica, maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, in a bid to create a new global giant in the sector. The news sent Essilor shares up by more than 14 percent on the Paris stock exchange and Luxottica shares upo more than 13 percent in Milan. The combined group will have market capitalisation of around 46.2 billion euros ($49 billion), based on both companies' closing share prices on Friday.

  • Sterling hammered on Brexit reports, Asia markets sink AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 8:15 AM AEDT
    Sterling hammered on Brexit reports, Asia markets sink

    The pound struggled at 32-year lows against the dollar in Asia on Monday after reports said British Prime Minister Theresa May was ready to take the country out of the European Union in a so-called "hard Brexit". Sterling's retreat came with losses on most Asian stock markets as investors nervously await Donald Trump's inauguration speech on Friday, having been left disappointed at his lack of detail on economic policy at a news conference last week. A number of Sunday newspapers in the UK said May was willing to pull out of the single market, the European customs union and the European Court of Justice, in order to regain control of immigration.

  • S.Korea prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 8:00 AM AEDT
    S.Korea prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir

    South Korean prosecutors on Monday sought the arrest of the heir to giant conglomerate Samsung for bribery in connection with a political scandal that has seen President Park Geun-Hye impeached. Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, is already reeling from the international debacle over its Galaxy Note 7, which was recalled after some devices caught fire. In a statement, prosecutors investigating the political scandal said they asked a Seoul court to issue an arrest warrant for Lee Jae-Yong, the son of the Samsung group chairman Lee Kun-Hee.

  • The global chain that produces your fish AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 6:29 AM AEDT
    The global chain that produces your fish

    The salmon may have been raised in Scotland -- but it probably began life as roe in Norway. It may even have travelled halfway around the world to China to be sliced. Globalisation has changed the world in many ways, but fish farming is one of the starkest examples of its benefits and hidden costs.

  • S.Korea prosecutors seek to arrest Samsung heir in bribery scandal AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 5:52 AM AEDT
    S.Korea prosecutors seek to arrest Samsung heir in bribery scandal

    South Korean prosecutors asked a court Monday for the arrest of the heir to giant conglomerate Samsung for bribery in connection with a political scandal that has seen President Park Geun-Hye impeached. ...

  • Australian energy group backs Li Ka-shing takeover AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 4:51 AM AEDT
    Australian energy group backs Li Ka-shing takeover

    Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure on Monday moved a step closer to a more than Aus$7 billion (US$5.2 billion) takeover of Australian energy group Duet after a recommendation from the energy group's board. Duet chairman Doug Halley said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange. Duet owns the primary gas transmission line in the state of Western Australia and has electricity and gas lines in Victoria.

  • First lady Melania and the political fashion police AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 4:14 AM AEDT
    First lady Melania and the political fashion police

    "It's hard to find a great dress for this inauguration," Donald Trump told The New York Times, trying to present the event as a society sell-out, though whether that is true remains to be seen. From Mamie Eisenhower's pink peau de soie gown to Michelle Obama's white Jason Wu confection in 2009, inaugural gowns worn by America's first ladies have wound up in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Not only is she the only first lady to come from the fashion world, she succeeds one of the most stylish and beloved first ladies of all.

  • Sterling tumbles on 'hard Brexit' reports AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 3:42 AM AEDT
    Sterling tumbles on 'hard Brexit' reports

    Sterling dropped Monday on reports Britain may be headed for a clean break with the EU, a so-called "hard Brexit", just ahead of a key speech by Prime Minister Theresa May. Britain's currency has since recovered some ground to sit around $1.2030 at 11:00am (0200 GMT), still down from $1.2197 Friday. The pound took a hit after weekend reports fuelled worries about Britain's exit from the European Union.

  • In Detroit, Shinola is 'Made in USA' success story AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 3:41 AM AEDT
    In Detroit, Shinola is 'Made in USA' success story

    From the outside, there's nothing much to say about this nondescript, hulking building in downtown Detroit, once the cradle of American industry. Watches, handbags, appointment books and other accessories carrying the "Made in Detroit" label are turned out here, while the bikes -- made from parts designed in neighboring Wisconsin -- and turntables, a new product, are assembled at the flagship store located nearby. Detroit suffered hugely from the decline of US manufacturing and especially the difficulties facing the "Big Three" -- auto giants General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

  • Eight men own half the world's wealth: Oxfam AFP - Mon, Jan 16, 2017 1:12 AM AEDT
    Eight men own half the world's wealth: Oxfam

    Eight men own the same wealth as half the world's population, a level of inequality which "threatens to pull our societies apart", Oxfam said on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum opening in Davos. Picked from Forbes' billionaires list, they include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg who co-founded Facebook, and Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. Oxfam pointed to a link between the vast gap between rich and poor and growing discontent with mainstream politics around the world.

  • Trump hails 'great' Brexit and backs speedy UK trade deal: Times AFP - Sun, Jan 15, 2017 11:50 PM AEDT
    Trump hails 'great' Brexit and backs speedy UK trade deal: Times

    US President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday hailed Brexit as "a great thing" and backed a speedy trade agreement with Britain, in an interview with The Times newspaper. "Brexit is going to end up being a great thing," Trump said of Britain's referendum vote last June to leave the European Union. The president-elect said a trade deal with Britain would be "good for both sides".

  • Not enough investment in renewables: IRENA AFP - Sun, Jan 15, 2017 7:04 PM AEDT
    Not enough investment in renewables: IRENA

    Money invested in renewable energy is not enough to reach a climate goal of limiting global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius, an Abu Dhabi-based green energy organisation said Sunday. Investment in renewables has increased dramatically in the last decade, but "the rate of growth is not sufficient yet to meet the climate goals", Adnan Amin, the head of renewable energy agency IRENA said.