The Shanghai Stock Exchange has secured approvals from regulators to set up an international trading center in the free-trade zone, the chairman of the bourse said on Saturday. The move could pave the way for more foreign investors to tap the world's fourth-largest stock market by capitalization and also for foreign companies to issue shares in the world's second-largest economy. Gui Minjie, chairman of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said significant progress has been made in recent years allowing Chinese firms to list on overseas markets. However, no foreign companies are allowed to issue shares on Chinese bourses.
By Kevin Yao and Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China's exports unexpectedly tumbled in February, swinging the trade balance into deficit and adding to fears of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy despite the Lunar New Year holidays being blamed for the slide. A resilient Chinese economy is good news for the world, particularly for major commodity exporters such as Australia.
Anjin said on Friday a fall in the quality of the diamonds at its mine in eastern Zimbabwe was causing financial problems for the company. The ore we are mining we are recovering low-grade diamonds, which are not fetching much on the market," Anjin board member Munyaradzi Machacha told a parliamentary committee. We are really in serious financial problems. Our primary objective at the moment is to make sure the company survives." Half owned by China's Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, Anjin is the biggest diamond miner in Marange.
By Alexandra Alper and Tomas Sarmiento MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's telecoms regulator on Friday declared two of billionaire Carlos Slim's major financial and industrial companies "dominant" in telecommunications, but has yet to slap the tag on Slim's flagship telecom company. It is widely expected that Slim's telecom company America Movil will be declared dominant, or having an outsized share in its market, although a spokesman said the company has not yet been notified. Mexico is trying to spur competition in its tight-knit phone and TV industries through a wide-ranging telecoms overhaul passed last year. The newly empowered Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) deemed Slim's bank Inbursa and conglomerate Grupo Carso, which both have direct or indirect stakes in America Movil, dominant in telecoms given their "economic interests," the companies said on Friday.
By Emily Flitter NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are investigating whether two French banks violated anti-money laundering rules and economic embargoes on countries like Iran, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Regulators in New York and Washington are looking at potential violations by Credit Agricole and Societe Generale of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the countries, the source said. In addition to the Iran sanctions violations, the investigation is looking at whether the banks broke embargoes against Cuba and Sudan, according to the source. The agencies involved include the U.S. Treasury Department, the Justice Department, the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Manhattan District Attorney's office, the source said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit grew in January but was held back by a contraction in credit card usage that could be a negative sign for the economy. Total consumer credit rose by $13.7 billion to $3.1 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise by $14 billion in January. Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, fell by $226 million during the month. Revolving credit figures can be volatile. ...
By Jonathan Spicer NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is not about to back off its highly accommodative policy, though investor predictions of a rate rise by midway through next year are reasonable, an influential U.S. central banker said on Friday. New York Fed President William Dudley outlined some bright spots in the long U.S. recovery from recession, calling U.S. economic prospects "reasonably favorable." But Dudley, a key Fed decision-maker alongside Chair Janet Yellen, stressed that the labor market is still hobbled, saying in a speech he would like to see faster economic growth and more rapid progress in lowering unemployment and raising inflation. Dudley did not comment specifically on the Fed's bond-buying policy.
Mexican Tycoon Carlos Slim's conglomerate Grupo Carso said on Friday it had been declared dominant in the telecoms sector by a new watchdog, which cited the firm's "economic interests". Slim's telecom giant America Movil, which has about 80 percent of Mexico's fixed-line business and some 70 percent of the mobile sector, is expected to be told it is dominant in its market by the new Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) as well.
Mexican Tycoon Carlos Slim's financial arm Inbursa said on Friday it had been declared dominant in the telecoms sector by a new watchdog, which cited the financial group's "economic interests". Slim's telecom giant America Movil, which has about 80 percent of Mexico's fixed-line business and some 70 percent of the mobile sector, is expected to be told it is dominant in its market by the new Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) as well.
It is reasonable for investors to predict that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sometime around mid-2015, New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday. Market expectations are for the Fed to raise interest rates "sometime toward the middle of 2015," he said at Brooklyn College. "I think those are a very reasonable set of expectations based on what we know today, and our economic forecasts." Most market participants who closely follow the Fed, he noted, are expecting a rate rise when the unemployment rate falls to around 6 percent.
Investors worldwide poured $7.5 billion into stock funds in the week ended March 5 on reassuring signs the U.S. economy was on firm footing and reduced geopolitical tensions, data from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report showed Friday. "People are growing sanguine about global growth," said Chris Konstantinos, head of international portfolio management at RiverFront Investment Group in Richmond, Virginia. The net inflows into stock funds showed investors' conviction that stocks, which hit record highs over the weekly period, could continue to rally on a stronger U.S. economy. Meanwhile, investors pulled $3.8 billion from emerging market stock funds, extending those funds' record outflow streak to 19 weeks.
By Louise Egan OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian economy unexpectedly lost 7,000 jobs in February, giving little reason for the Bank of Canada to change its neutral stance on interest rates after strong hiring in January had raised hopes of renewed vigor in the labor market. Statistics Canada's employment report, released on Friday, was mixed, showing a sizeable increase in full-time jobs which was offset by the disappearance of even more part-time positions. The services sector was hardest hit. The unemployment rate held steady at 7.0 percent.
South African stocks ended a see-saw session virtually unchanged on Friday, pulling back from record high set earlier in the day as investors digested the widely watched U.S. jobs data. But Sanlam, which posted a 39 percent jump in annual earnings this week, surged after several brokerages, including Barclays Capital, gave upbeat comments about its prospects. Shares in the nation's biggest insurer climbed 1.8 percent to 53.19 rand, making it the top gainer on Johannesburg's main stock index Overall, investors were largely cautious as they digested the U.S. jobs data that reassured them about the health of the world's biggest economy but also reinforced worries the U.S. will rein its economic stimulus programme. Job numbers are better than expected ... What's not in doubt is that the taper will continue as is" said Marcus Bullus, trading director of MB Capital.