Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Today's Headlines

  • Ukraine Says It Makes Gains Against Rebels in Luhansk. The Ukrainian government said its forces took control of one of four districts in the pro-Russian separatist stronghold of Luhansk and are fighting in the city center as diplomatic efforts to end the conflict intensified. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Kiev on Aug. 23 for talks with President Petro Poroshenko. Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in an Aug. 26 Customs Union meeting in Minsk attended by Poroshenko, the Kremlin said in a statement today. Poroshenko is due to join an Aug. 30 European Union summit in Brussels and a Sept. 4 NATO summit in the U.K. 
  • Gaza Rockets Rupture Truce, Triggering Israeli Air Strikes. Renewed rocket fire at Israel from the Gaza Strip ruptured a shaky cease-fire, triggering Israeli military strikes across the Hamas-controlled territory and the yanking of Israel’s negotiators from truce talks. No group in Gaza took responsibility for the attack today, just hours before a 24-hour truce extension was to expire. The army said three rockets fell in open areas near the southern city of Beersheba without causing injuries or damage. The attack came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Cairo were trying to reach a more enduring cease-fire. A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the issue, said the Israeli team was ordered to return home. 
  • Bank of China Doubles Money for Bad Loans as Growth Slows. Bank of China Ltd. more than doubled its money set aside for bad loans as profit growth cooled to the slowest pace in five quarters on weakness in the economy. Provisions for potential soured debt climbed to 12.7 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) in the second quarter, up 116 percent from a year earlier, based on half-year figures released by the Beijing-based company yesterday. Net income rose 8.5 percent to 44.4 billion yuan, the earnings statement showed.
  • European Stocks Rise as Maersk, Imperial Tobacco Advance. European stocks advanced for a second day as A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and Imperial Tobacco Group Plc climbed after posting earnings. Maersk jumped 4.9 percent after the world’s biggest container-shipping line raised its full-year profit forecast. Imperial Tobacco added 2.3 percent after reporting a smaller sales decline than analysts had predicted. Balfour Beatty Plc gained 3.2 percent as Carillion Plc increased its offer for the builder. BHP Billiton Ltd. dropped 4.9 percent after the mining company posted annual profit that missed analysts’ estimates. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.6 percent to 335.49 at the close of trading, extending the rebound from its Aug. 8 low to 3.3 percent
  • Credit Swaps Polished in $19 Trillion Derivative Overhaul. The biggest overhaul to the $19 trillion credit derivatives market in more than a decade will seek to solve flaws that have stopped some contracts paying out as buyers anticipated. “The fact that the new contract will afford more protection will mean it will cost more as well,”said Sean Boland, a money manager at Cheyne Capital in London, which manages about $6.5 billion. “The past few precedents haven’t been too favorable. It’s extremely positive that as the market environment and regulatory environment changes, the CDS contracts are changing as well.”
Business Insider:
China Economic Weekly:
  • China Local Govt Debt May Exceed 30t Yuan. China local government debt may be more than 30t yuan because of hidden debt missed by last year's audit, citing Yin Zhongqing, deputy head of the National People's Congress finance and economic affairs committee.

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