Greece to get IMF, EU loan
Greece will receive all of a long-awaited 34.3 billion euro (US$45.2 billion) loan tranche from the EU and the IMF by today, a Greek official said yesterday, hours after an initial payment was carried out. “The full amount should arrive by Wednesday,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “A payment of 7 billion euros was made on Monday. There will be another 11.3 billion euros for debt buyback, plus 16 billion euros to recapitalize Greek banks,” he added.
Growth to surpass forecasts
The economy will likely grow more than government forecasts this year and pick up over the next two years, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said yesterday. He told a year-end economic briefing that GDP would exceed 6 percent for this year, well above the 5 to 6 percent expansion tipped by officials in Manila. The foundation was set with growth of 6.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, Balisacan said, adding: “We forecast growth in 2013 to be between 6 to 7 percent and in 2014, between 6.5 to 7.5 percent.”
Bank keeps rate on hold
India’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on hold yesterday due to inflation concerns, despite calls from business for a cut in lending costs to boost the sharply slowing economy.
The Reserve Bank of India kept its main lending rate at 8 percent, and the percentage of deposits banks must keep with the central bank — the so-called cash reserve ratio — also unchanged.
Property prices increase
The cost of new homes increased in more Chinese cities last month than in the previous month, official figures showed yesterday, despite efforts from the government to keep the market in check. Prices in 53 out of 70 cities tracked by the government rose month-on-month, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement, up from 35 cities in October and 31 cities in September. Prices of new homes dropped in 10 cities and stayed unchanged in the remaining seven cities, the bureau said.
AIG sells stake in AIA
Insurance company American International Group Ltd (AIG) sold its remaining stake in Asian life insurer AIA Group for US$6.4 billion, the Hong Kong based-company said yesterday. AIG sold nearly 1.65 billion shares, which represented AIG’s remaining stake of approximately 14 percent, at HK$30.30 each, AIA Group Ltd said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The selling price was a 4.3 percent discount to Friday’s closing price of HK$31.65. AIG sold US$6 billion in AIA Group stock in March and US$2 billion more in another sale in September.
Firm to drop stake in guns
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management yesterday said it will immediately begin selling its investment in gunmaker Freedom Group in light of last week’s school shooting in Connecticut. Cerberus acquired Bushmaster in 2006 and later merged it with other gun companies to create Freedom Group, which reported net sales of US$677.3 million for the nine months ending September, up from US$564.6 million in the same period a year ago. Bushmaster is the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used by the shooter in the Newtown killings that claimed 27 lives, including 20 school children.