Financial News from Reuters

  • Thin-film solar technology under scrutiny as China's Hanergy soars Reuters - 32 minutes ago

    The green energy potential of thin-film solar panels has propelled Li Hejun to the top of China's rich-list, but his Hanergy Holdings has yet to prove it can turn impressive laboratory research into commercially successful products. Hanergy and some analysts say the meteoric rise has been fuelled in part by Beijing's efforts to promote solar energy. Some experts, including a Hanergy sales executive, say the firm's products are not efficient or cheap enough and are far from ready to take any major market share from conventional panels made with crystalline silicons. "There's no real reason to switch to thin film unless the learning curve for thin film goes steeper," Christoph Flink, a solar specialist and senior director of JA Solar, a major U.S.-listed Chinese maker of conventional panels, told Reuters.

  • HIGHLIGHTS-IMF, World Bank 2015 spring meetings in Washington on Saturday Reuters - 4 hours ago

    The following are highlights of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings on Saturday in Washington, where finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials are gathering. Europe has sheltered itself from turbulence. "The fall in the value of the euro is very good news for all of Europe and in particular for France.

  • IMF, World Bank 2015 spring meetings in Washington on Saturday Reuters - 4 hours ago

    The following are highlights of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings on Saturday in Washington, where finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials are gathering. Europe has sheltered itself from turbulence. "The fall in the value of the euro is very good news for all of Europe and in particular for France.

  • France: euro's fall has been very helpful; at a good level now Reuters - 4 hours ago

    The euro's depreciation has been very helpful, but it is a good level now and stability is needed now, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Saturday. "The fall in the value of the euro is very good news for all of Europe and in particular for France. It's very good news," Sapin told reporters during meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They had needed to evolve, and that has happened thanks to the European Central Bank's policy of monetary easing.

  • Greece wants EU/IMF deal but impasse could bring referendum: deputy PM Reuters - 5 hours ago
    Greece wants EU/IMF deal but impasse could bring referendum: deputy PM

    Greece aims for a deal with its creditors over a reforms package but will not retreat from its red lines, the country's deputy prime minister told the Sunday newspaper To Vima, not ruling out a referendum or early polls if talks reach an impasse. Athens is stuck in negotiations with its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund over economic reforms required by the lenders to unlock remaining bailout aid. "Our objective is a viable solution inside the euro," Yannis Dragasakis told the paper. Greece is quickly running out of cash and in the next few weeks may face a choice of either paying salaries and pensions or paying back loans from the International Monetary Fund.

  • Europe is protected from possible Greek problems, France says Reuters - 5 hours ago

    It is Greece and not Europe which will be hurt by any problems stemming from the Greek financial situation, because Europe has built buffers to protect itself, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Saturday. So Europe is much stronger. Europe has sheltered itself from turbulence.

  • Global financial leaders speak at IMF, World Bank spring meetings Reuters - 5 hours ago

    For highlights of remarks by finance ministers, central bankers and other top officials gathering in Washington on Saturday for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, see ...

  • UK Conservatives plan to sell Lloyds shares to small investors - Sunday Telegraph Reuters - 5 hours ago

    British finance minister George Osborne plans to sell government shares in Lloyds Banking Group to small investors at a discount of at least 5 percent if his Conservative Party win the May 7 election, The Sunday Telegraph reported on Saturday. The Telegraph quoted Osborne as saying that a sale of Lloyds shares to small investors would give more people "a stake in our economy". So far the government has sold Lloyds shares only to institutional investors.

  • Russian cyber attackers used two unknown flaws: security company Reuters - 5 hours ago
    Russian cyber attackers used two unknown flaws: security company

    A widely reported Russian cyber-spying campaign against diplomatic targets in the United States and elsewhere has been using two previously unknown flaws in software to penetrate target machines, a security company investigating the matter said on Saturday. FireEye Inc (FEYE.O), a prominent U.S. security company, said the espionage effort took advantage of holes in Adobe Systems Inc’s (ADBE.O) Flash software for viewing active content and Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) ubiquitous Windows operating system. The same hackers are also believed to have broken into White House machines containing unclassified but sensitive information such as the president’s travel schedule. FireEye has been assisting the agencies probing those attacks, but it said it could not comment on whether the spies are the same ones who penetrated the White House because that would be classified as secret.

  • IMF nations point to exchange rate, geopolitical risks Reuters - 6 hours ago
    IMF nations point to exchange rate, geopolitical risks

    While economies in developed countries have strengthened, some emerging nations are being hit by weaker commodity prices and exports, the IMF's steering committee noted in a communique. With the United States poised to hike interest rates, the panel - speaking for the Fund's 188 member nations - said moves toward "policy normalization" needed to be effectively communicated to reduce adverse impacts on other economies. "I came out of this meeting with a sense of optimism," the chairman, Mexican Finance Minister Agustin Carstens, said. The spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, which conclude on Sunday, have taken place amid growing concerns cash-strapped Greece will fail to reach agreement with its European Union and IMF creditors on reforms that would unlock bailout cash and stave off default.

  • Risk of sharp reversal remains: global financial overseer Carney Reuters - 7 hours ago

    The world has adjusted well to divergent growth and monetary policy expectations but the risk of a "sharp and disorderly reversal" in financial markets remains, Financial Stability Board Chairman Mark Carney said on Saturday. "The risk of a sharp and disorderly reversal remains, given compressed credit and liquidity risk premia," Carney, whose FSB oversees the global financial system, said in a statement to the International Monetary Fund's steering committee. Carney, who is governor of the Bank of England, said market participants needed to be mindful of the risk of diminished market liquidity, asset price discontinuities, and contagion across markets.

  • BMW recalls 91,800 Mini Coopers to fix air-bag sensor Reuters - 7 hours ago
    BMW recalls 91,800 Mini Coopers to fix air-bag sensor

    BMW (BMWG.DE) is recalling 91,800 Mini Coopers in the United States to replace a defective sensor that may prevent the front passenger seat air bag from deploying in a crash, the German automaker said on Saturday. In documents posted on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, BMW said the recall of certain model year 2005 to 2008 Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S cars is expected to being on May 1. BMW said the front passenger seat air bag may not deploy because of a defect in the occupant detection mat.

  • China says to accelerate reforms to support yuan in IMF currency basket Reuters - 7 hours ago

    Beijing will accelerate reforms to the country's currency as part of a push for the yuan's inclusion in the International Monetary Fund's currency basket, China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Saturday. China has committed to further open its capital account and liberalize the way the exchange rate for the yuan, or RMB, is managed, including reducing currency market intervention. "China is not far from achieving its goal of RMB capital account convertibility," Zhou said. Winning approval for the yuan's inclusion in the IMF's currency basket could raise China's standing in the global financial system and mark an important step in Beijing's emergence as a global power.

  • Ghana's IMF program likely to free up other lending: Lagarde Reuters - 8 hours ago

    The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Saturday that a new IMF support program for Ghana would likely unlock lending from other bilateral institutions. "It clearly will have a catalytic effect," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told a news conference at the conclusion of a meeting of the IMF's steering committee. Earlier this month, the Fund approved a three-year $918 million financial assistance deal for Ghana aimed at restoring economic stability and boosting job growth.

  • Thousands in Germany protest against Europe-U.S. trade deal Reuters - 8 hours ago
    Thousands in Germany protest against Europe-U.S. trade deal

    Thousands of people marched in Berlin, Munich and other German cities on Saturday in protest against a planned free trade deal between Europe and the United States that they fear will erode food, labor and environmental standards. Opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is particularly high in Germany, in part due to rising anti-American sentiment linked to revelations of U.S. spying and fears of digital domination by firms like Google. A recent YouGov poll showed that 43 percent of Germans believe TTIP would be bad for the country, compared to 26 percent who see it as positive. The level of resistance has taken Chancellor Angela Merkel's government and German industry by surprise, and they are now scrambling to reverse the tide and save a deal which proponents say could add $100 billion in annual economic output on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • Russia denies German report it is ready to sign gas deal with Greece Reuters - 8 hours ago
    Russia denies German report it is ready to sign gas deal with Greece

    MOSCOW/BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia denied on Saturday a German media report suggesting that it could sign a gas pipeline deal with Greece as early as Tuesday which could bring up to five billion euros into Athens' depleted state coffers. German magazine Der Spiegel, citing a senior figure in Greece's ruling Syriza party, said the advance funds could "turn the page" for Athens, which is now struggling to reach a deal with its creditors to unlock new loans to avert bankruptcy. "No, there wasn't (any agreement)," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in comments made to Business FM radio and quoted by RIA news agency. Peskov reiterated that the Greeks had not requested financial assistance during talks in the Kremlin earlier this month between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Exclusive: Carlyle to shutter its two mutual funds Reuters - 9 hours ago
    Exclusive: Carlyle to shutter its two mutual funds

    Developing mutual funds has historically been challenging for private equity firms because the average buyout fund is illiquid, with a typical life span of 10 years. Next month, Carlyle will close Carlyle Global Core Allocation Fund, which has $50 million in net assets with a mandate to invest across equities, debt, real estate, commodities and currencies using exchange-traded funds, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Volkswagen board members came close to demanding chairman's resignation: paper Reuters - 9 hours ago

    Senior members of Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) supervisory board were prepared to demand Chairman Ferdinand Piech's resignation had he not agreed to a statement backing Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, a German newspaper reported on Saturday. Citing sources on board, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, said Piech, who sparked a leadership crisis at VW last week by openly criticizing Winterkorn, had initially resisted pressure from other board members to back the CEO during an emergency meeting on Thursday. Volkswagen declined to comment on the report. The statement by the six-member executive committee of the board was seen as an unprecedented defeat for Piech, the powerful 78-year-old chairman and patriarch of the family that founded Volkswagen.

  • China wants to follow rules on currency basket: IMF official Reuters - 9 hours ago

    China does not want to bend the rules in its favor to include the yuan in the IMF's basket of major reserve currencies, the No. 2 official at the International Monetary Fund said. The yuan's inclusion as the first emerging market currency in the basket would mark another stage in China's rise as a global economic player.

  • Iranian banks agree to cut rates after inflation plunge Reuters - 10 hours ago

    Iranian banks agreed on Saturday to cut deposit and lending rates, the head of Iran's largest commercial bank said, after a sharp fall of inflation gave policymakers more room to pursue faster economic growth. "The directors of state and private banks today agreed...to reduce the one-year deposit rate to 20 percent," the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Abdolnaser Hemmati, managing director of state-run Bank Melli, as saying. Lending rates were also cut by between 2 and 3 percentage points in response to the drop of inflation, statements by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the views of the economy minister and central bank governor, he said.

  • Bank of Canada decision pushed traders to catch up on C$ -Poloz Reuters - 10 hours ago

    The Bank of Canada's decision to hold interest rates steady last month, coming on the heels of rising oil prices, appears to have pushed hesitant foreign exchange traders to bid up the Canadian dollar, central bank Governor Stephen Poloz said. "I think that in the days leading up to the decision, oil prices were breaking out on the upside. Upon release of Wednesday's rate decision and the central bank's monetary policy report, the Canadian dollar rose from C$1.2522 to the U.S. dollar (79.86 U.S. cents) to C$1.2436 (80.41 U.S. cents) within minutes.

  • Ukraine meets with investors in effort to strike debt deal Reuters - 11 hours ago
    Ukraine meets with investors in effort to strike debt deal

    Ukrainian authorities met with investors in Washington on Friday as part of an effort to secure agreement on extending maturities of bonds issued by state-run Ukreximbank. In a news release issued following ...

  • Merck aims to quickly repay up to $5 bln in loans -CFO in Boersen-Zeitung Reuters - 11 hours ago

    Germany's Merck aims to quickly repay the up to $5 billion in bank loans it needed to fund the $17 billion acquisition of U.S. lab supplies company Sigma-Aldrich, its finance chief told daily Boersen-Zeitung. "We want to reduce the loans very aggressively within two to three years to stabilise our credit rating and to regain financial leeway for further acquisitions," Marcus Kuhnert told the paper in an interview published on Saturday. "Then we can talk about smaller and mid-sized acquisitions again," Kuhnert said.

  • Russia gas deal would not solve Greece's problems: Schaeuble Reuters - 12 hours ago

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday he was happy over a report that Greece was poised to sign a gas deal with Russia, though he added it would not solve the cash-strapped euro zone nation's economic problems. "I am happy about that for Greece," Schaeuble told journalists on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. German magazine Der Spiegel, citing a senior official in Greece's ruling leftist Syriza party, reported that Athens could sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday that could bring 3-5 billion euros into the Greece's depleted government coffers. It said that during a visit to Moscow earlier this month Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed interest in participating in a pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and Greece.

  • Taurus revamp debuts in China as Ford counters U.S. sedan slump Reuters - 12 hours ago
    Taurus revamp debuts in China as Ford counters U.S. sedan slump

    SHANGHAI/DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's (F.N) global premiere of its redesigned Taurus sedan in China underscores a shift in its U.S. home market from the big sedan to roomier, utilitarian crossover SUVs. There's a similar trend in China, the world's biggest car market, but there is still a decent appetite among Chinese buyers for large sedans while, in the United States, demand has stagnated. According to research firm IHS Automotive, China's market for large sedans has overtaken the United States, with sales of around 4 million last year, topping the 3.6 million sold in the U.S. By 2020, IHS expects that gap to have widened to 5.3 million large sedans in China and 3.7 million in the U.S. Ford unveiled the Taurus redesign, which it says is aimed specifically for the Chinese market and won't be for sale in the U.S., at a media event on Saturday ahead of the Shanghai autoshow.

  • Milestones in the reshaping of Deutsche Bank Reuters - 14 hours ago

    Following is a timeline of key developments in Deutsche Bank's business. Deutsche Bank is founded in Berlin by the banker Adelbert Delbrueck and politician Ludwig Bamberger, with Georg von Siemens serving as its first chief executive. After the end of World War Two, Deutsche Bank was broken up into 10 banks but was gradually reformed after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany. The successor banks merge to form Deutsche Bank AG, registered in Frankfurt, in 1957.

  • Factbox: Deutsche Bank looks to slash retail banking Reuters - 14 hours ago

    Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) will sell Postbank (DPBGn.DE) but keep its own-branded retail division under one of two strategic overhaul models currently favored by management, sources familiar with internal discussions said. This model would see Deutsche Bank broken in two, with all retail activities sold off, and Deutsche abandoning its so-called universal model. The group's Postbank (DPBGn.DE) division and its Deutsche Bank-branded retail network would be sold, possibly together in a stock market listing, allowing the group to focus on more profitable corporate activities. Postbank is one of the least efficient retail banks in Germany with a cost-income ratio of 81 percent compared with 67 percent at Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) .

  • Deutsche Bank leans toward limited revamp with Postbank sale: sources Reuters - 14 hours ago
    Deutsche Bank leans toward limited revamp with Postbank sale: sources

    Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) will sell Postbank (DPBGn.DE) but keep a pared back own-brand retail business in the overhaul plan currently favored by management, sources familiar with the internal discussions at Germany's biggest lender said. Only two management board members support dumping all retail activities, with the other six favoring just selling Postbank, the sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public. Seven years after the financial crisis started, Deutsche is looking to overhaul its business after falling far short of its return-on-equity targets and suffering a string of regulatory fines and legal challenges. The choice to keep most retail operations and offload only Postbank, which Deutsche bought in steps for about 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) starting in 2008, is a concession to credit rating agencies concerned a complete retail exit would raise Deutsche’s risk profile and cost of funding, the sources said.

  • Deutsche Bank leans towards limited revamp with Postbank sale - sources Reuters - 14 hours ago

    Deutsche Bank will sell Postbank but keep a pared back own-brand retail business in the overhaul plan currently favoured by management, sources familiar with the internal discussions at Germany's biggest lender said. Only two management board members support dumping all retail activities, with the other six favouring just selling Postbank, the sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is not public. Seven years after the financial crisis started, Deutsche is looking to overhaul its business after falling far short of its return-on-equity targets and suffering a string of regulatory fines and legal challenges. The choice to keep most retail operations and offload only Postbank, which Deutsche bought in steps for about 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) starting in 2008, is a concession to credit rating agencies concerned a complete retail exit would raise Deutsche's risk profile and cost of funding, the sources said.

  • UK's Labour pledges to tackle exploitation of migrant workers Reuters - 14 hours ago

    British opposition leader Ed Miliband said on Saturday that he would set up a new government unit to prosecute employers who exploit migrant workers if his Labour Party wins power in the national election on May 7. In a major speech on immigration -- a widespread concern among Britons that has bolstered the anti-EU United Kingdom Independence Party -- Miliband set out how Labour would try to ensure immigrants did not depress British wages. "We'll make it a criminal offence to undercut pay or conditions of local workers by exploiting migrant workers," he said in a speech in northwest England. The Conservatives and Labour are neck-and-neck in one of the closest elections in decades.

  • Britain's financial watchdog criticizes Deutsche Bank over Libor Reuters - 14 hours ago

    Britain's financial regulator has harshly criticized Deutsche Bank's top management for failing to cooperate in its probe of the rigging of benchmark interest rate Libor, German magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday. Britains Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) wrote a letter saying that Deutsche Bank's behaviour was unacceptable, the magazine said, adding that Deutsche Bank's board discussed the letter. Deutsche Bank is expected to settle with U.S. and British authorities as early as Thursday over allegations that it tried to rig benchmark interest rates. Spiegel wrote that some supervisors involved in the probe would seek to hold Deutsche Bank management accountable.

  • Greece poised to sign gas deal with Russia - Spiegel Reuters - 15 hours ago

    Greece is poised to sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday which could bring 3-5 billion euros into depleted government coffers, German magazine Der Spiegel reported, citing a senior figure in the ruling Syriza party. During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed interest in participating in a pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and Greece. Under the proposed deal, Greece would receive advance funds from Russia based on expected future profits linked to the pipeline. Greek government officials were not immediately available to comment on the Spiegel report.

  • Germany to raise growth forecasts next week - sources Reuters - 15 hours ago

    The German government is on the verge of raising its growth forecasts for this year and next, but its new projections will be more conservative than those published by leading economic institutes earlier this week, two government sources told Reuters. Although exports are no longer providing the robust support for German growth that they once did, private consumption has picked up in the face of record-low unemployment and generous wage deals. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is due to present the results of an expert commission on this subject on Tuesday.

  • Exclusive: SunGard to explore possible $10 billion sale - sources Reuters - 16 hours ago

    SunGard has asked investment banks vying for advisory mandates to prepare for interviews as early as next week, the people said. The company plans to simultaneously explore an outright sale as well as a potential initial public offering, the people added. Private equity-owned SunGard decided to explore a sale after it was approached by at least one other company about a potential takeover, one of the people added. One of the largest leveraged buyouts that preceded the 2008 financial crisis, SunGard is one of the longest-held investments in private equity history.

  • China fines Alibaba $129,000 for pricing violations Reuters - 18 hours ago
    China fines Alibaba $129,000 for pricing violations

    China's e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, has been fined 800,000 yuan ($129,000) by the price bureau in eastern Zhejiang province for violations by third-party sellers during promotions on its e-commerce platforms. Since Alibaba turned "Singles' Day", a November 11 Chinese response to Valentine's Day, into an online shopping festival in 2009, the event has grown to similar proportions as Cyber Monday and Black Friday in the United States. "The company has been fined 500,000 yuan ($81,000) for matters related to Singles' Day pricing by third-party sellers on our Tmall marketplace in 2013 and 2014 and 300,000 yuan($48,000) for pricing in other promotions in 2013 and 2015," Alibaba Group said in a statement on Friday. While pricing is handled by third parties, not directly by Alibaba, the group said, it would nevertheless reinforce pricing rules and regulations with sellers to protect consumers.