■ US economy
New law eyes rating firms
US President George W. Bush on Friday signed legislation under which the government will more closely monitor agencies that rate the credit worthiness of corporations with publicly held securities. Supporters described the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act as a significant component of congressional efforts tighten controls over the financial community following the corporate accounting scandals at the beginning of the decade. The bill takes steps to increase competition in a field now dominated by three Wall Street agencies -- Moody's Investors Service, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings.
Tokyo Electric may sell grid
Tokyo Electric Power Co, Asia's biggest power producer, said it may sell fiber-optic networks to KDDI Corp, Japan's second-largest mobile phone operator. KDDI has agreed to buy Tokyo Electric Power's fiber-optic communications business for about ¥100 billion (US$847.2 million) in shares, the Nihon Keizai newspaper earlier reported, without citing where it obtained the information. Both Tokyo Electric Power spokesman Kaoru Yoshida and KDDI spokesman Haruhiko Maede said the companies are still discussing ways to integrate their fiber-optic operations and haven't reached an official agreement.
Beijing to keep yuan stable
China will maintain "stability" in the yuan's exchange rate as well as the country's monetary policies, the central bank said yesterday. While the market will continue to play a "fundamental" role in setting the value of the yuan, the exchange rate will be maintained "basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level," the People's Bank of China said in a statement summarizes conclusions reached at the bank's third quarterly monetary policy meeting. The bank said it will keep draining funds from the financial system as it seeks to improve the yuan's managed float.
Amaranth says funds down
Amaranth Advisors LLC said that losses at its two main hedge funds continued in the past 10 days and they're now down as much as 70 percent from last month. The firm suspended redemptions scheduled for Sept. 30 and Oct. 31, preventing investors from withdrawing any money until at least the end of next month. "This temporary suspension of redemptions will enable the Amaranth funds to generate liquidity for investors in an orderly fashion," founder Nicholas Maounis said in a letter to investors Friday.