Stark slams bond buying
The European Central Bank’s (ECB) outgoing chief economist, Juergen Stark, again criticized the bank’s bond-buying program as a way of resolving the eurozone debt crisis, in an interview published on Saturday. “Don’t ask too much of the central bank,” Stark told the German weekly Wirtschaftswoche. “We have since May 2010 bought about 210 billion euros [US$273 billion] of bonds ... We can’t keep expanding our budget sheet with no limit.” Stark had previously spoken out against the program, saying it would not tackle the root problems of Europe’s debt crisis. His surprise announcement in September was widely seen by analysts and ECB watchers as a consequence of his opposition to the bond-buying program. In the interview, Stark said that the outcomes of the Dec. 8 summit of European leaders in Brussels should be implemented as soon as possible.
Financing dries up
Trade finance is drying up amid the financial crisis, threatening jobs and economic growth, trade sources warned on Saturday. Banks like Credit Agricole and BNP Paribas — two of the 25 financial institutions most active in such financing — have recently reduced their trade financing business, said a trade source on the sidelines of a WTO ministerial conference. More than 90 percent of commercial transactions in the world require trade credit, but the crisis is forcing banks to hold on to capital and liquidity, as a result of which the lending market is drying up and credit becoming more expensive.
Iran, Russia to ink deal
Iranian and Russian companies could reach an agreement today to develop the Zagheh oil field in southwestern Iran, Mehr news agency reported, without citing its sources. National Iranian Oil Co and OAO Tatneft, an oil producer based in Russia’s Tatarstan Region, could sign a contract valued at US$700 million in Tehran, the agency said. The field would start by producing about 7,000 barrels of heavy crude a day, with output rising later to 55,000 barrels a day, Mehr said in the report published yesterday.
Flooding will not affect baht
The nation has recorded about US$2 billion of inflows stemming from insurance claims related to this year’s floods, central bank Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said. Those inflows had been balanced by outflows linked to overseas investment by local firms and the sale of emerging market assets by overseas investors, Prasarn told reporters yesterday. Companies affected by the flooding would start buying replacement machinery in the first quarter, boosting capital outflows, Prasarn said. The impact on the baht would be limited as some companies have opened foreign currency deposit accounts for insurance claims, and those funds would not be converted into baht. Other claims could be paid to parent companies outside the country, he said.
Budget avoided Greek fate
The nation would have ended up like Greece had the government not pushed through a 30 billion euro (US$39 billion) emergency budget, Deputy Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli told Il Sole 24 Ore in an interview published today. Without the package, “Our future was Greece,” Sole cited Grilli as saying. Prime Minister Mario Monti and Development Minister Corrado Passera “are now working on a package of measures” to spur economic growth, Grilli told the newspaper.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion