Financial News from AFP

  • New concepts but Paris car show losing va-va-voom AFP - 10 hours ago
    New concepts but Paris car show losing va-va-voom

    The Paris Motor Show opens this week with promises of groundbreaking electric concept cars from Volkswagen and Opel, but the shine appears to be wearing off what was once a must event for the industry. Ford, Mazda, Volvo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and Alpine are all staying away from the October 1-16 Paris show, which alternates with Frankfurt as the industry's top annual showcase in Europe. Many automakers now opt for social media to push their brands rather than taking an expensive stand at major shows, even though Paris attracted 1.25 million visitors last time it was held in 2014.

  • Veteran casino tycoon 'optimistic' over Macau growth AFP - 10 hours ago
    Veteran casino tycoon 'optimistic' over Macau growth

    Macau casino big-hitter Lui Che-woo says he sees light at the end of the tunnel for the embattled gambling enclave, although the days of high rollers are gone. The former Portuguese colony has struggled to recover its footing after coming under pressure from Beijing to diversify away from gambling in 2014 as part of a corruption crackdown by China's President Xi Jinping. Veteran Lui, 87, who founded Hong Kong-based casino firm Galaxy, says he now envisages stable growth for semi-autonomous Macau, the only part of China where gambling is legal.

  • China's Wanda in talks to buy Golden Globes producer AFP - 11 hours ago
    China's Wanda in talks to buy Golden Globes producer

    Chinese conglomerate Wanda is considering ramping up its push into Hollywood with the acquisition of the production company behind the Golden Globes, the US firm said. Eldridge Industries, which controls Dick Clark Productions, said discussions to sell the company to Wanda were part of a move to conduct a "strategic review" of its media holdings. "Dick Clark Productions and Beijing Wanda Culture Industry Group Co., Ltd., have agreed to enter into exclusive talks with the shared goal of finalizing a mutually satisfactory transaction," Eldridge said in a statement, released on Monday.

  • Asia growth holds stable thanks to China and India: ADB AFP - 11 hours ago
    Asia growth holds stable thanks to China and India: ADB

    The Asian Development Bank said on Tuesday that growth across the region was holding stable despite global headwinds, with resilience in China and India keeping it on track. GDP for developing Asia is predicted to grow 5.7 percent in 2016 and 2017, according to the bank's latest report -- down slightly from 5.9 percent in 2015. "Strong growth in the PRC (China) and India is helping the region maintain its growth momentum," said ADB's deputy chief economist Juzhong Zhuang.

  • China's Wanda eyeing Golden Globes producer: reports AFP - 13 hours ago
    China's Wanda eyeing Golden Globes producer: reports

    Chinese conglomerate Wanda is considering ramping up its push into Hollywood with the acquisition of the production company behind the Golden Globes, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. The report, and another in the Hollywood Reporter, said Wanda Group is in early talks with Dick Clark Productions about possibly buying it for a billion dollars or so. The Journal and the Reporter cited unnamed sources.

  • Global stocks falter as US presidential debate looms AFP - 14 hours ago
    Global stocks falter as US presidential debate looms

    Deutsche Bank's woes and the looming first debate between battling US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton helped send global markets broadly lower Monday. Banking shares in the US ...

  • Another ex-minister held in Brazil graft probe AFP - 15 hours ago
    Another ex-minister held in Brazil graft probe

    Brazilian police on Monday arrested former finance minister Antonio Palocci, the latest high-level suspect in the huge Petrobras corruption probe, prosecutors said. Palocci, 55, served as finance minister under former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and as chief of staff for his successor Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached this month. Palocci was also a key figure in the leftist Workers' Party.

  • Fed wants more capital at largest banks AFP - 15 hours ago
    Fed wants more capital at largest banks

    Shares of the largest US banks fell Monday after the Federal Reserve's main regulator proposed higher capital requirements for them. Stress tests for the banks -- to see how they could ride out extreme crises -- indicated that the largest eight so-called global systemically important banks (GSIB) need firmer capital buffers for systemic safety, Fed governor Daniel Tarullo said in a speech. The Fed would soon formally propose a "stress capital buffer approach" to replace a previous capital strength surcharge on large banks, he added.

  • US hits Chinese firm with sanctions over N. Korea trade AFP - 16 hours ago
    US hits Chinese firm with sanctions over N. Korea trade

    The United States moved to tighten the economic noose around North Korea Monday, charging and sanctioning a firm owned by a prominent Chinese businesswoman for extensive trade ties with the regime. In a move designed to choke-off North Korea's external economic lifeline, the US government targeted 44-year-old Ma Xiaohong and her vast conglomerate based in China's frontier city of Dandong. The firm, Dandong Hongxiang, and a host of officials are accused of making up a "key illicit network supporting North Korea's weapons proliferation," according to Treasury sanctions tsar Adam Szubin.

  • Disney considering bid for Twitter: report AFP - 17 hours ago
    Disney considering bid for Twitter: report

    The Walt Disney Company is evaluating a potential bid for Twitter, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Unconfirmed reports that Twitter is interested in selling itself buoyed the San Francisco-based company's shares at the end of last week, and the stock price rose around a percentage point on Monday as talk of Disney's interest spread. Twitter co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey is on the entertainment colossus's board, which could help the service with its push toward using the messaging platform for streaming live video.

  • Sharp rise in French unemployment in August AFP - 18 hours ago
    Sharp rise in French unemployment in August

    French unemployment rose sharply in August, reaching its highest level in years and dealing a serious blow to President Francois Hollande ahead of next year's election. The number of unemployed in mainland France grew by over 50,000, or 1.4 percent, to 3.56 million, according to the labour ministry. Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri said the new figures were "sharply less favourable than those for previous months".

  • Bank of America, Goldman cut Asia staff on merger slowdown AFP - 18 hours ago
    Bank of America, Goldman cut Asia staff on merger slowdown

    Bank of America will lay off 20 senior investment bankers in Asia due to slowing activity in the region, a person familiar with the matter said Monday. Goldman Sachs is also cutting staff in the Asian region due to a slump in deal-making according to published reports Monday. Bank of America employees affected by the layoffs work in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong, a person familiar with the move told AFP.

  • Ex-IMF boss Rato on trial over bankers' luxury sprees AFP - 18 hours ago
    Ex-IMF boss Rato on trial over bankers' luxury sprees

    Former IMF chief Rodrigo Rato went on trial Monday accused of overseeing a "corrupt system" that helped him and other executives misuse millions when he was the boss of a major Spanish bank. Protesters shouted "thief" and "fraud" at the former economy minister and ex-deputy prime minister as he arrived at the courthouse outside Madrid. Rato is standing trial with 64 other former executives and board members at Caja Madrid and Bankia, whose near-collapse sparked an EU bailout of Spain's financial sector.

  • Ex-IMF chief Rato is the fallen star of Spain's conservatives AFP - 19 hours ago
    Ex-IMF chief Rato is the fallen star of Spain's conservatives

    Former Spanish finance minister Rodrigo Rato was hailed for kicking off a golden decade of growth in Spain's economy from the late 1990s and later led the International Monetary Fund. Now the 67-year-old is on trial over alleged spending sprees on company credit cards by him and other ex-managers in the finance group Bankia, whose near-collapse sparked an EU bailout of Spain's financial sector in 2012. Rato has denied wrongdoing in both cases but for many Spaniards he is the face of Spain's financial crisis and the alleged rule-bending that preceded the 2012 collapse of large parts of the Spanish banking market.

  • Deutsche Bank shares hit historic low as bad news piles up AFP - 20 hours ago
    Deutsche Bank shares hit historic low as bad news piles up

    Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, sank to a historic low Monday after reports at the weekend that Berlin had refused state aid for the embattled lender. "Given the state of the news, people are selling almost in a panic," said analyst Michael Seufert of NordLB bank. Investors were blindsided by news earlier this month that US regulators were seeking a $14-billion fine from Deutsche Bank over its actions leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008.

  • Global stocks slide after Fed-inspired rally AFP - 21 hours ago
    Global stocks slide after Fed-inspired rally

    World stock markets slumped Monday as a crash in Deutsche Bank's shares offset a surge in German business confidence and the two US presidential candidates headed into their debut debate. Traders took ...

  • US lays criminal charges against Chinese firm tied to N Korea nukes AFP - 21 hours ago
    US lays criminal charges against Chinese firm tied to N Korea nukes

    The United States announced criminal charges and economic sanctions Monday against a Chinese company, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development, for alleged support of North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The Justice Department said Dandong Hongxiang and four Chinese company officials also named in an indictment had conspired to evade US sanctions on North Korea, violated US regulations against support for designated "weapons of mass destruction proliferators," and engaged in money laundering.

  • Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate' AFP - 21 hours ago
    Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'

    Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on Monday, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal. Stefan Knirsch had held the position for barely 10 months, replacing another top engineer who left after being suspended as part of an inquiry into the emissions cheating saga. Audi said Knirsch was "leaving in agreement with the supervisory board" but did not elaborate on his reason for quitting.

  • Brazil ex-minister arrested in Petrobras graft probe AFP - 21 hours ago
    Brazil ex-minister arrested in Petrobras graft probe

    Brazilian police on Monday arrested Antonio Palocci, a former finance minister and senior figure in the last two governments, as part of the Petrobras corruption probe, prosecutors said. Palocci, 55, served as finance minister under former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and as chief of staff for his successor Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached this month. Palocci was also a key figure in the leftist Workers' Party.

  • Israel-US consortium signs $10 bn gas deal with Jordan AFP - 21 hours ago
    Israel-US consortium signs $10 bn gas deal with Jordan

    The US-led consortium leading the development of Israel's offshore gas reserves on Monday announced a first deal to sell natural gas from its Leviathan field to neighbouring Jordan. US firm Noble Energy, the lead partner, said in a statement that the contract signed Monday with the National Electric Power Company of Jordan (NEPCO) was for "300 million cubic feet per day over a 15-year term". It includes an option to purchase a further 50 million cubic feet up to a total of 350 million daily.

  • Sales of new homes in US remain strong AFP - 22 hours ago
    Sales of new homes in US remain strong

    Sales of new houses in the United States remained strong in August, with pent-up demand continuing to absorb everything builders can offer, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Sales of single family homes last month ran at an annual rate of 609,000 units, down from July's 659,000, which was the strongest month in almost nine years.

  • Aldi discounts Brexit impact, ramps up UK expansion AFP - 23 hours ago
    Aldi discounts Brexit impact, ramps up UK expansion

    The British division of Aldi is ramping up plans for expansion, unaffected by the shock Brexit referendum, as the German discount retailer enjoys booming demand. Aldi UK announced on Monday that it will invest £300 million ($389 million, 346 million euros) to revamp its stores over the next three years. "Future capital expenditure plans are unaffected by the UK's decision to leave the EU," the company said in its a statement alongside its annual earnings.

  • Global stocks slide back after Fed-inspired rally AFP - 23 hours ago
    Global stocks slide back after Fed-inspired rally

    World stock markets slumped Monday as enthusiasm over a US Federal Reserve-inspired rally faded, while a crash in Deutsche Bank's shares offset a surge in German business confidence. Traders took profits ...

  • Equities slide back after Fed-inspired rally AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 11:43 AM AEST
    Equities slide back after Fed-inspired rally

    Stock markets slumped Monday, extending a pre-weekend drop that followed a Fed-inspired rally, while a crash in the share price of Deutsche Bank offset a surge in German business confidence. After last ...

  • Singapore scion buys 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 10:30 AM AEST
    Singapore scion buys 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone

    A Singapore firm headed by a scion of one of Asia's richest families has bought a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone, with plans to diversify the iconic magazine into new business including live events and merchandising. BandLab Technologies, a music and technology start-up headed by 28-year-old Kuok Meng Ru, bought the stake for an undisclosed sum and will partner current owners Wenner Media, the firms said in a statement late Sunday. Rolling Stone International, a new subsidiary to be headed by Kuok, will organise events including concerts, and develop merchandising and hospitality services, Bloomberg News reported.

  • German business confidence soars as Brexit fears 'disappear' AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 10:12 AM AEST
    German business confidence soars as Brexit fears 'disappear'

    German business confidence soared to its highest level in more than two years in September, the Ifo economic institute said Monday, recovering from a post-Brexit slump and signalling a rosier outlook for Europe's largest economy. "The German economy is expecting a golden autumn," Ifo president Clemens Fuest said in a statement. The figure is all the more surprising after the index suffered a steep fall in August, when Ifo said the German economy had fallen into "a summer slump" as companies worried about the fallout from Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

  • German chemicals firm Lanxess to buy US rival for 2.4 bn euros AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 10:08 AM AEST
    German chemicals firm Lanxess to buy US rival for 2.4 bn euros

    German speciality chemicals maker Lanxess has said Monday it plans to buy US rival Chemtura for 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in its push to become a global leader in the growing additives business. Lanxess said it was particularly drawn to Chemtura's "competitive position" in the market for industrial lubricants, which are used in power generation and aviation, as well as its role as a major provider of flame retardant additives. The deal, which marks Lanxess's largest acquisition to date, will see the German firm pay Chemtura $33.50 per share, nearly 19 percent more than the American company's closing price on Friday.

  • Hyundai car workers start first full strike in 12 years AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 9:55 AM AEST
    Hyundai car workers start first full strike in 12 years

    Tens of thousands of unionised workers at South Korea's Hyundai Motor staged their first full strike on Monday for more than a decade after negotiations over a wage increase stalled. Nearly 50,000 workers at Hyundai Motor's three plants across the country -- including the main one in the southern city of Ulsan -- walked off the job throughout Monday, said a spokesman for its labour union. The day-long stoppage is the first full strike at the company since 2004.

  • Markets drop as Fed rally vanishes AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 9:31 AM AEST
    Markets drop as Fed rally vanishes

    World markets dropped on Monday, picking up where they left off after last week's Fed-inspired rally ran out of steam. After a burst of enthusiasm on the back of the US central bank's decision to keep ...

  • German business confidence index soars in September AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 8:34 AM AEST
    German business confidence index soars in September

    German business confidence improved significantly in September, the Ifo economic institute said Monday, recovering from a post-Brexit slump a month earlier and suggesting a more positive outlook for Europe's largest economy. "The German economy is expecting a golden autumn," it said. The figure is all the more surprising after the index suffered a steep fall in August, when Ifo said the German economy had fallen into "a summer slump" as companies worried about the fallout from Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

  • Asian markets drop as Fed rally vanishes AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 7:05 AM AEST
    Asian markets drop as Fed rally vanishes

    Asian markets dropped at the start of the new trading week, picking up where they left off after last week's Fed-inspired rally ran out of steam. The stay of execution for easy money served also to bolster the Japanese yen, knocking the stuffing out of Tokyo which ended down 1.25 percent and adding to the gloom. A stronger yen tends to make Japanese stocks less desirable.

  • 'Real' French Camembert plays David to industrial Goliath AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 3:51 AM AEST
    'Real' French Camembert plays David to industrial Goliath

    It's a cheese maker's take on David and Goliath. Camembert, the village that gave its name to France's most famous -- and imitated -- cheese, has only one remaining traditional "fromagerie" still making the speciality. As they tend cows and ladle curdled raw milk into low, wooden cylindrical moulds, the Durand family and their employees don't look like militants in a Gallic culinary battle against globalisation.

  • Asian markets slip as Fed rally vanishes AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 3:34 AM AEST
    Asian markets slip as Fed rally vanishes

    Asian markets slipped at the start of the new trading week, picking up where they left off after last week's Fed-inspired rally ran out of steam. The stay of execution for easy money served also to bolster the Japanese yen, knocking some of the stuffing out of Tokyo on Monday, while other major indices also headed downwards. A stronger yen tends to make Japanese stocks less desirable.

  • France asks Switzerland to hand over 45,000 UBS accounts: report AFP - Mon, Sep 26, 2016 2:44 AM AEST
    France asks Switzerland to hand over 45,000 UBS accounts: report

    French tax authorities have asked Switzerland to hand over client information for some 45,000 bank accounts as part of a probe into alleged tax fraud, Le Parisien daily said Monday. Le Parisien on Monday published extracts from a letter dated May 11 from French tax authorities. "The assets of those listed totalled more than 11 billion Swiss francs (11 billion dollars), which could represent a several billion dollar shortfall for the French treasury," according to the letter written by French tax authorities, the report said.

  • Sudan needs swift reforms to revive ailing economy: World Bank AFP - Sun, Sep 25, 2016 4:33 PM AEST
    Sudan needs swift reforms to revive ailing economy: World Bank

    The World Bank on Sunday urged Sudan to undertake swift structural reforms to revive its ailing economy, which a top Sudanese official insisted had been adversely impacted by US trade sanctions. The decline comes on top of an economy already damaged by US trade sanctions imposed since 1997, making international banking transactions cumbersome when it comes to doing business with Sudan. "It is essential that Sudan undertakes a combination of institutional, macro-economic and sectoral reforms to reach a stable growth path," said a World Bank report released in Khartoum.