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  • HKMA steps up supervision of banks' credit risk management

    Reuters - 2 hours 8 minutes ago

    By Jacqueline Poh HONG KONG, April 16 (RLPC) - The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is stepping up its supervision of Hong-Kong-based banks' credit risk management by asking banks to show stable funding requirements and agree to regular onsite examinations of credit underwriting processes and stress-testing, the HKMA said in a statement. These measures come after a steep rise in offshore lending to Chinese mainland companies by Hong Kong-based banks. Chinese onshore companies borrowed HK$2.276 trillion of customer loans at the end of 2013, excluding HK$313 billion of trade finance loans, according to the HKMA. "The increase in Hong Kong banking sector's mainland-related lending is a natural consequence of the growth of the mainland economy and development of mainland corporates," said HKMA, which reinforces Hong Kong's role as a significant international financial center. More »HKMA steps up supervision of banks' credit risk management

  • Two incompatible gun ballot measures lead in Washington state

    Reuters - 3 hours ago

    By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Two incompatible ballot measures on background checks for gun buyers in Washington state enjoy majority support in a poll released on Tuesday, but the one advancing stricter gun controls is more popular. They are the latest touchstones in a longstanding fight over background checks on gun buyers. The debate hinges on whether their expansion constitutes a common-sense approach to keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally unstable or a first step in broader restrictions on gun ownership. Initiative 594 would require all firearm sales, including those at gun shows and conducted online, to be predicated on a background check of the buyer. More »Two incompatible gun ballot measures lead in Washington state

  • Yahoo's growth anemic as turnaround chugs along

    Reuters - 4 hours ago

    By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc again posted anemic quarterly revenue growth as the Internet company's advertising business continues to lag its rivals, nearly two years into Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer's comeback effort. Yahoo reports the Chinese company's financial results one quarter later than its own. More »Yahoo's growth anemic as turnaround chugs along

  • Twitter buys social data provider Gnip, stock soars

    Reuters - 7 hours ago

    Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it bought social data provider Gnip for an undisclosed amount, signaling that it would take on a new role of packaging and selling data, a service in demand by business and government. The social media company said separately that it hired a Google executive to lead its consumer product development, filling a position that had been vacant since January. Investors reacted positively to the news, sending Twitter shares up more than 11 percent, the biggest gain since the day it went public in November. Twitter said in a blog post that the Gnip deal allowed it to burrow more deeply into the 500 million tweets sent daily on its network. More »Twitter buys social data provider Gnip, stock soars

  • New CEO Nadella pushes data culture at Microsoft

    Reuters - 8 hours ago

    Microsoft Corp needs a "data culture" to thrive in the new computing environment, according to chief executive Satya Nadella, in his third public appearance in three weeks putting his imprint on the software company. Nadella, who took the helm in February, is seeking to push Microsoft further toward mobile and 'cloud,' or Internet-connected, computing. That marks a shift from his predecessor, Steve Ballmer, whose world view was more tied to personal computers and the Windows operating system. "Every aspect of Microsoft's business is being fundamentally transformed because of data," said Nadella at a presentation in San Francisco on Tuesday. More »New CEO Nadella pushes data culture at Microsoft

  • Pakistan's long awaited 3G, 4G auction draws dismal response

    Reuters - 10 hours ago

    By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A dismal response in this week's auction for next-generation cellphone spectrum licenses means cash-strapped Pakistan will struggle to fund its budget this year, finance and IT ministry officials and telecom industry executives told Reuters. Pakistan is set to hold long-awaited auctions for 3G and 4G network licenses on April 23, a step the government projects will raise $2 billion to boost foreign reserves. But officials said there has been scant interest in Monday's bidding process and estimate Pakistan will raise no more than $850 million. ... More »Pakistan's long awaited 3G, 4G auction draws dismal response

  • Scarce land could blunt recovery for U.S. homebuilders

    Reuters - 10 hours ago

    A resurgent U.S. housing market has created an unforeseen land shortage that could take the shine off an otherwise promising year for homebuilders. If they don't, he said, the rate of increase could be half his original estimate. More »Scarce land could blunt recovery for U.S. homebuilders

  • Zebra Tech to buy Motorola Solutions' enterprise business

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    Barcode printer maker Zebra Technologies Corp said it would buy Motorola Solutions Inc's enterprise business, which makes rugged mobile computers, tablets and barcode scanners, for $3.45 billion in its biggest deal ever. The deal will allow Zebra, whose products help companies such as Amazon Inc track inventory and supply chains, to enhance its portfolio through a range of Internet-connected devices. Zebra's shares fell 11 percent to $60.77 on the Nasdaq on concerns the company's borrowings to fund the deal would be as big as its market value of $3.44 billion as of Monday's close. Zebra will finance the deal through a combination of $200 million cash on hand and $3.25 billion in debt, comprising a credit facility and issuance of debt securities. More »Zebra Tech to buy Motorola Solutions' enterprise business

  • France arrests former Egyptian finance minister on Interpol warrant

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali was arrested in France this week on an international warrant over corruption charges from his time in Hosni Mubarak's government, the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday. Boutros Ghali was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison for corruption and abuse of power following the uprising that unseated Mubarak in 2011. The Egyptian state press agency Mena reported that Ghali had been arrested on Monday upon arrival in Paris from London. "We confirm the arrest on April 14 of Youssef Boutros Ghali following a request by Interpol," a foreign ministry spokesman said, without providing any further details. More »France arrests former Egyptian finance minister on Interpol warrant

  • Russia's Ukraine tactics sharpen EU split on sanctions

    Reuters - 14 hours ago

    By Paul Taylor and Adrian Croft PARIS/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Russia's tactics of fostering instability in Ukraine without further overt military intervention are sharpening divisions in the European Union over whether to impose economic sanctions, making an early decision to get tough very unlikely. EU foreign ministers decided on Monday to expand their list of 33 individuals targeted with asset freezes and visa bans for their roles in Moscow's seizure and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in February. But that agreement masked deeper differences over what would trigger a third phase of sanctions against Moscow, moving from largely symbolic diplomatic measures and personal restrictions to broader curbs on trade, energy and finance with Russia. Despite a statement by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that EU leaders could meet as early as next week to adopt new sanctions, diplomats said there was little prospect of such a special summit because positions were so far apart. More »Russia's Ukraine tactics sharpen EU split on sanctions

  • Carrefour to revive Brazil e-commerce business: CEO

    Reuters - 15 hours ago

    By Dominique Vidalon PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, plans to revive its e-commerce operations in Brazil this year after shutting the business down in 2012 as part of a broader group restructuring. Chief Executive Georges Plassat revealed the plan at the annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. He also told investors that Carrefour wanted to boost its local profile in Brazil, its second-largest market after France and an emerging country it has earmarked for expansion. ... More »Carrefour to revive Brazil e-commerce business: CEO

  • Debenhams to cut back promotions after profit drop

    Reuters - 18 hours ago

    By Neil Maidment LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's No.2 department store operator, Debenhams , said it would cut back on criticized promotions, improve its online business and boost ranges with retailer tie-ups to try to reverse a slide in profits. The firm has endured a tough 12 months, issuing its second profit warning in less than a year in December and losing its finance chief after a long-held strategy of slashing prices failed to boost its crucial Christmas sales. ... More »Debenhams to cut back promotions after profit drop

  • Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

    Reuters - 19 hours ago

    By Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Twitter will close some accounts in Turkey but will not for now set up an office there as the government wants, a senior Turkish official said late on Monday after talks over a dispute which saw the government ban the site for two weeks. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted 11 days ago after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey. More »Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

  • Nigeria pledges massive security for World Economic Forum event

    Reuters - 20 hours ago

    ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will mount a massive security operation to protect a World Economic Forum on Africa planned in Abuja next month, following the bomb attack by suspected Islamist militants on the capital's outskirts on Monday, the event's Nigerian hosts said. "Our security planning for the World Economic Forum on Africa (scheduled for May 7-9) is already well under way and will be the largest security operation ever mounted in this country for an international summit," Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a statement sent to forum participants and seen by Reuters. ... More »Nigeria pledges massive security for World Economic Forum event

  • Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

    Reuters - 20 hours ago

    ANKARA (Reuters) - Social media firms operating in Turkey must open representative offices in the country, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday after Ankara held talks with Twitter aimed at resolving a dispute which led to a two-week ban on the site. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter temporarily in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains blocked. ... More »Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

  • Former Egyptian finance minister detained in France: report

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 5:17 PM EDT

    Former Egyptian finance minister Youssef Boutros Ghali was detained in Paris on Monday on an international warrant over corruption charges relating to his time in former President Hosni Mubarak's government, the state news agency reported. Boutros Ghali was sentenced in absentia to 30 years in prison for corruption and abuse of power following the uprising that unseated Mubarak in 2011. The Egyptian state news agency MENA said the Interior Ministry in Cairo would pursue steps necessary to secure his extradition. Boutros Ghali, nephew to former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, was detained after arriving in Paris from London. More »Former Egyptian finance minister detained in France: report

  • Congo militia chief 'Morgan' killed in army firefight: government

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 4:08 PM EDT

    By Peter Jones KINSHASA (Reuters) - A militia leader accused of kidnap, rape and cannibalism in Democratic Republic of Congo was killed on Monday alongside four other people during a firefight as he sought to escape his army captors, the government said. Paul Sadala, a poacher-turned-militia leader known as "Morgan" who operated in Congo's Orientale province, surrendered on Saturday with around 40 of his followers. He was being brought by the army to the town of Bunia when he attacked the soldiers escorting him, government spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters. "He caused a shootout which resulted in the deaths of two army soldiers and two of his own men. More »Congo militia chief 'Morgan' killed in army firefight: government

  • Observers give Guinea-Bissau vote clean bill of health

    Reuters - Mon, Apr 14, 2014 3:41 PM EDT

    By Bate Felix BISSAU (Reuters) - Observers from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS on Monday said Guinea-Bissau's weekend election was free and fair, and called on international donors to restart cooperation suspended in the wake of a 2012 coup. Bissau-Guineans flocked to the polls in large numbers on Sunday to vote in long-delayed legislative and presidential polls meant to bring stability to the former Portuguese colony after years of putsches and political infighting. No elected president has completed a five-year term in Guinea-Bissau, which has become a major transit point for smugglers ferrying Latin American cocaine to Europe. The last election in 2012 was aborted when troops under army chief Antonio Indjai stormed the presidential palace days before a presidential second-round vote was due to take place, plunging the country into chaos. More »Observers give Guinea-Bissau vote clean bill of health

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