Financial

  • Greek milestone helps EU move from crisis AAP - 8 hours ago

    Europe's debt crisis is receding farther behind in the rear view mirror. Confirmation from the European Union (EU) that Greece has recorded a primary budget surplus was a key requirement for the country to get more debt relief from international creditors. For more than four years, the eurozone has been grappling with a loss of investor confidence stemming from out-of-control public finances in several countries, such as Greece and Spain. However, the tough austerity medicine that involved big spending cuts and tax rises appears to have stabilised the situation.

  • New Zealand Reserve Bank lifts rates for second straight meeting ABC - 9 hours ago
    New Zealand Reserve Bank lifts rates for second straight meeting

    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has raised interest rates for the second month in a row, in a foretaste of what may be to come for Australia within the next year. The RBNZ raised its overnight cash rate target by 25 basis points to 3 per cent, as was almost universally expected by market economists. Only two months ago, New Zealand's cash rate was the same as Australia's at lows of 2.5 per cent, but rising inflation, strong dairy prices and a housing boom have all combined to persuade the central bank that rates need to be higher to keep inflation in check. The RBNZ's governor Graeme Wheeler says New Zealand's economy is likely to be growing at about 3.5 per cent per annum, ahead of Australia's most recent growth reading of 2.8 per cent in the December quarter.

  • Final Glance: Insurance companies Associated Press - 11 hours ago

    Shares of some top insurance companies were mixed at the close of trading: ACE L rose $.44 or .4 percent, to $101.48. Aflac Inc. fell $.08 or .1 percent, to $62.70. American International Group rose $.64 ...

  • Ex-CEO admits stealing from prominent NYC charity Associated Press - 14 hours ago

    The politically connected former CEO of a prominent city charity admitted Wednesday he helped steal more than $9 million from the organization in an insurance scheme that authorities linked to campaign ...

  • Midday Glance: Insurance companies Associated Press - 15 hours ago

    Shares of some top insurance companies are mixed at 1 p.m.: ACE L rose $.43 or .4 percent, to $101.47. Aflac Inc. fell $.18 or .3 percent, to $62.60. American International Group rose $.65 or 1.3 percent, ...

  • Greek milestone helps Europe put crisis in past Associated Press - 16 hours ago
    Greek milestone helps Europe put crisis in past

    Europe's debt crisis is receding farther behind in the rear view mirror. Led by good news from Greece, the eurozone on Wednesday notched up several key milestones that together indicate stronger government ...

  • My Herbalife short is looking much better: Ackman CNBC - 17 hours ago
    My Herbalife short is looking much better: Ackman

    Bill Ackman tells CNBC that his losses from betting against Herbalife have been "more than cut in half" based on the recent downturn of the company's stock.

  • Early Glance: Insurance companies Associated Press - 18 hours ago

    Shares of some top insurance companies are mixed at 10 a.m.: ACE L rose $.49 or .5 percent, to $101.53. Aflac Inc. fell $.23 or .4 percent, to $62.55. American International Group rose $.20 or .4 percent, ...

  • I did not front-run Allergan stock, Ackman says CNBC - 19 hours ago
    I did not front-run Allergan stock, Ackman says

    Activist investor Bill Ackman also tells CNBC that Allergan's adoption of a poison-pill defense does not necessarily make the takeover bid more difficult.

  • Greece hits milestone, opens way for debt relief Associated Press - 20 hours ago
    Greece hits milestone, opens way for debt relief

    Greece has reached a major financial milestone that its creditors demanded as a precondition for being granted more debt relief, the European Commission said Wednesday. Additional help from its bailout ...

  • Yields fall sharply in Portuguese debt auction Associated Press - 20 hours ago
    Yields fall sharply in Portuguese debt auction

    Portugal's chances of ending its three-year bailout program without requiring more help have increased after interest rates fell steeply in a 10-year bond auction Wednesday. The government debt agency ...

  • Greece reaches milestone, opens way for assistance Associated Press - 21 hours ago

    Greece has reached a major financial milestone that its creditors demanded as a precondition for being granted more debt relief, the European Commission said Wednesday. Additional help from its bailout ...

  • Government finances improved across Europe in 2013 Associated Press - 23 hours ago

    Governments across the 18-country eurozone made further headway in 2013 in reducing their deficits, official figures showed Wednesday in a further sign that spending cuts and the nascent economic recovery ...

  • Expensive surprise with reverse mortgage Bankrate.com - 23 hours ago

    When I applied for a reverse mortgage in May 2013, my home was appraised at $252,000. I had a mortgage balance of about $142,963. Within six months, the loan ballooned to $162,000, with interest totaling about $2,557 along with a mortgage insurance premium for $6,129. I'd like to know more about why you sought a reverse mortgage in the first place.

  • TD Ameritrade reports fiscal 2Q earnings Wednesday Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 7:03 PM AEST

    Online brokerage TD Ameritrade will release its fiscal second-quarter earnings report Wednesday morning. The Omaha, Nebraska, based company is likely to report positive news because investors have been ...

  • Economists focus on CPI data AAP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 5:25 PM AEST

    Economists focused on the March quarter inflation figures this week. The responses by economists to the consumer price index figures on Wednesday confirmed that. The figures showed inflation at 2.9 per cent, less than most economists had tipped. "Today's inflation report was weaker than both our and the RBA's expectations," Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Alex Joiner said in a report.

  • Benign inflation good news for borrowers AAP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 4:08 PM AEST
    Benign inflation good news for borrowers

    Lower than expected inflation will allow the Reserve Bank of Australia to keep the cash rate at a record low 2.5 per cent. The lower than expected figures, which followed surprisingly high inflation in the December quarter, would allow the RBA to keep the cash rate low, ANZ chief economist Ivan Colhoun said. The figures showed inflation was well and truly in check, said CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian. "At present inflation is not a threat to the economy, meaning that the Reserve Bank can comfortably keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels over the near term," he said.

  • Forex: Aussie Dollar Sinks on Soft CPI, Euro May Fall on PMI Data DailyFX - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:47 PM AEST

    Forex: Aussie Dollar Sinks on Soft CPI, Euro May Fall on PMI Data

  • Eurozone deficits improve but debt mounts: data AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:21 PM AEST
    Eurozone deficits improve but debt mounts: data

    Eurozone public finances improved in 2013 as the economy finally turned the corner on a record recession but total debt levels remained dangerously high, official data showed on Wednesday. That was in line with the European Union ceiling and down from 3.7 percent in 2012, the Eurostat statistics agency said. The overall figures are broadly in line with growing signs that the worst of the eurozone debt crisis, which at one point threatened to destroy the euro, is over although several member countries will be applying budget rigour and deep economic reforms for years to come. Public finances in bailed out Greece and Portugal sent signals of marked improvement on Wednesday, Spain signalled faster recovery, and France -- seen as lagging on reforms -- detailed new policies to put its economy in shape.

  • Shorten blasts timing of audit release AAP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:00 PM AEST
    Shorten blasts timing of audit release

    The federal government will release its commission of audit within days, but Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the timing is all about politics rather than the interests of Australians. Mr Shorten said the government had deliberately not released the report before the South Australian and Tasmanian elections, and the West Australian Senate election re-run. "I am deeply sceptical about when the government releases the commission of audit that it is all to do with politics and nothing to do with the interests of Australians," he told ABC radio.

  • Lower inflation good news for borrowers AAP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 12:01 PM AEST
    Lower inflation good news for borrowers

    Lower than expected inflation means the Reserve Bank of Australia can keep the cash rate at its current low. The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, rose 2.9 per cent in the year to March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. The headline CPI was expected to rise by 0.8 per cent in the March quarter for an annual rate of 3.2 per cent, according to an AAP survey of 12 economists. The lower than expected figure would allow the RBA to keep the cash rate low, said ANZ chief economist Ivan Colhoun.

  • Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 10:43 AM AEST

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45.6 billion. If an ...

  • Eurozone deficits improve, debt mounts: data AFP - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 9:33 AM AEST
    Eurozone deficits improve, debt mounts: data

    Eurozone public finances improved in 2013 as the economy finally turned the corner on a record recession but total debt levels remained dangerously high, official data showed on Wednesday. The overall figures are broadly in line with signs that the causes and impact of the eurozone debt crisis, which at one point threatened to destroy the euro, are fading. Total accumulated debt, however, increased to 92.6 percent of gross domestic product, up from 90.7 percent, rising even further above the European Union 60-percent limit. The continued increase in debt levels reflects the high cost of the economic slump and debt crisis as governments borrowed heavily in an effort to stabilise their economies.

  • After a rough year Bill Ackman is the comeback kid CNBC - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 4:50 AM AEST
    After a rough year Bill Ackman is the comeback kid

    Virtually every Pershing Square Capital investment appears to have made money this year.

  • Valeant / Allergan: Crow's feet Financial Times - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 2:14 AM AEST

    Contact lenses make wrinkles visible; Botox makes them disappear. Valeant, cleverly, wants to sell you both. On Tuesday, it announced a bid for Allergan, maker of the wrinkle-smoother, worth about $46bn ...

  • Allergan contests details of $45.6bn Valeant bid Financial Times - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:57 AM AEST

    A takeover battle at the top of the world's drugs industry emerged on Tuesday after Allergan, the maker of Botox, claimed to have had no warning about an unsolicited $45.6bn bid from rival pharmaceutical ...

  • Sales of US existing homes slip to a 20-month low Associated Press - Wed, Apr 23, 2014 1:15 AM AEST
    Sales of US existing homes slip to a 20-month low

    Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in March to their lowest level since July 2012 as rising prices and a tight supply of available homes discouraged many would-be buyers. The National Association of ...

  • Valeant, Ackman make $45B Allergan bid Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:06 PM AEST

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45 billion. Each Allergan ...

  • $28b 'hole' in Qld asset sale plan: Labor AAP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 5:23 PM AEST

    Labor says it has found a $28 billion hole in the Newman government's proposal to pay down Queensland's debt. A new website launched by Treasurer Tim Nicholls claims that just over a third of the state's $80 billion debt would be wiped if the private sector funds infrastructure upgrades for Powerlink, Ergon and Energex in return for a slice of equity. Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the plan will result in future savings, but it won't result in a $28 billion chunk of cash to retire debt. "Clearly that course of action does not lead to the reduction in debt in Queensland," he said.

  • $28 b 'hole' in Qld asset sale plan: Labor AAP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 2:29 PM AEST

    Labor says it has found a $28 billion hole in the Newman government's proposal to pay down Queensland's debt. A new website launched by Treasurer Tim Nicholls claims that just over a third of the state's $80 billion debt would be wiped if the private sector funds infrastructure upgrades for Powerlink, Ergon and Energex in return for a slice of equity. Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the plan will result in future savings, but it won't result in a $28 billion chunk of cash to retire debt. "Clearly that course of action does not lead to the reduction in debt in Queensland," he said.

  • Botox maker Allergan draws bid from Valeant Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 2:03 PM AEST

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals is teaming up with activist investor Bill Ackman in a bid for Botox maker Allergan that could be worth about $40 billion. Valeant said Monday that it intends to propose a merger ...

  • Valeant in $45 bn bid for Botox-maker Allergan AFP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 1:54 PM AEST
    Valeant in $45 bn bid for Botox-maker Allergan

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals, backed by activist shareholder William Ackman, Tuesday offered to acquire Botox-maker Allergan for more than $45 billion. Valeant, proposing a combination of stock and cash to buy Allergan, said the acquisition would enable huge cost savings and create a leader in opthalmology, dermatology, aesthetics and other growing health fields. "Together we can capitalize on the inherent strengths and complementary portfolios of our two companies, while achieving significant synergies by applying Valeant's unique operating model to a combined set of assets," Valeant chief executive J. Michael Pearson said in a letter to Allergan chief executive David Pyott. The offer comes less than 24 hours after Valeant and Ackman disclosed that they established a joint venture to bid for Allergan.

  • Valeant offers to buy Allergan for more than $45 bn AFP - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 1:53 PM AEST
    Valeant offers to buy Allergan for more than $45 bn

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals, backed by activist shareholder William Ackman, Tuesday offered to acquire Botox-maker Allergan for more than $45 billion. Valeant, proposing a combination of stock and cash to buy Allergan, said the acquisition would enable huge cost savings and create a leader in opthalmology, dermatology, aesthetics and other growing health fields. "Together we can capitalize on the inherent strengths and complementary portfolios of our two companies, while achieving significant synergies by applying Valeant's unique operating model to a combined set of assets," Valeant chief executive J. Michael Pearson said in a letter to Allergan chief executive David Pyott. The offer comes less than 24 hours after Valeant and Ackman disclosed that they established a joint venture to bid for Allergan.

  • Valeant to bid for Botox maker Allergan Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 10:08 AM AEST

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals has teamed up with activist investor Bill Ackman in a bid for Botox maker Allergan that could be worth about $40 billion. Valeant said Monday that it intends to propose a merger ...

  • USDA establishes rural business investment program Associated Press - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 7:57 AM AEST

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday a new $150 million program designed to provide investment capital to help small agriculture-related business in rural areas with cash needed to expand. ...