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December 12, 2012
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  • U.S. leaders edge nearer budget accord; trade gap widens
    President Barack Obama no longer is accusing Republicans of holding tax cuts hostage, and House Speaker John Boehner now refrains from accusing the White House of wasting time as the two sides show new signs of resolving their budget differences. The outlines of an accord appear to be emerging that can avert automatic spending cuts and tax boosts. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported the U.S. trade deficit grew 4.9% in October, as a decline in exports outpaced a decline in imports. MarketWatch (12/11) , Bloomberg (12/11) , The Wall Street Journal (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Extended Greek bond buyback is estimated a success
    Greece appeared Tuesday to have come close to fulfilling its bond-buyback plan after falling a bit short as of Friday's original deadline. "Greek banks have contributed almost all of the bonds they had left," a senior bank executive said minutes after the Tuesday deadline passed, estimating offers for as much as €31.5 billion. Meanwhile, in another troubled periphery country, Spain's economy minister estimated his country's economy will end the year with a contraction of 1.3% to 1.4%. Reuters (12/11) , (China) (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • German investor outlook improves
    Investors registered stronger-than-expected confidence in a ZEW index, with a 6.9 reading that was up sharply from a minus 15.7 in November. "Although the cooling down of the economic activity will last until the beginning of 2013, Germany will not have to face a recession. However, this only applies if the crises in the eurozone do not deepen once again," said ZEW President Wolfgang Franz. MarketWatch (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. leading index takes a downward turn
    Slack business confidence in the U.K. economy helped drive down the Conference Board's leading economic index for October for its first decline in four months. Over the six months ended in October, the leading indicator fell 1.4% and the board's coincident index rose 0.9%. "The six-month growth rate of the index has now fallen further into negative territory, and it's becoming increasingly uncertain whether an economic recovery will continue, even at a slow pace, in the near term," said Conference Board economist Brian Schaitkin. RTT News (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • State-owned companies resist as China addresses income gap
    China's state-owned companies appear to be standing in the way of ambitious plans to reduce the gap between the nation's richest and poorest. "The policy's target is to reduce enterprise income and give more money to labor. But monopoly companies and state-owned banks don't want to give more profit to the country and let the government redistribute it," said Qi Jingmei, a research fellow for the State Information Center, a government think tank. The Wall Street Journal (12/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Investment professionals are cautiously optimistic about the global economy in 2013, but ethical culture within financial firms needs to be addressed. Click here to view and download the full report.
  Market Activities 
    European investors were heartened Tuesday by new signs of business confidence in industrial powerhouse Germany, and U.S. investors looked forward to anticipated easing by the Federal Reserve as shares rose on both sides of the Atlantic. The Stoxx Europe 600 ended the day 0.34% higher at 280.49, and the S&P 500 rose 0.65% to 1,427.84. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (12/12) , The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (12/11) , CNNMoney (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian shares finish generally stronger
    Asian investors had their eyes on the U.S. on Tuesday, anticipating the Federal Reserve's next policy meeting and political movement in budget negotiations. Shares were generally higher, with the Hang Seng up 0.21% at 22,323.94, the Kospi adding 0.37% to 1,964.62 and the S&P/ASX rising 0.40% to 4,576.01 while the Nikkei edged down 0.09% to 9,525.32. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Moody's: Central banks to tighten as Asian economies improve
    Stronger economies and tighter central bank policies are in store across Asia next year, Moody's says, as the region emerges from the global downturn in good fashion. "Central banks will shift into neutral territory around midyear as growth recovers; some banks will start to unwind ultra-accommodative policies later in the second half," Moody's Analytics said. Business World (Philippines) (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Moody's is upbeat on India for 2013
    Movement on India's political front promises brighter economic prospects for 2013, Moody's says. "With a new finance minister, the withdrawal of an obstinate coalition partner and a flurry of pro-business reforms designed to lift the economy from its funk ... these moves are working," Moody's says in a report. The Hindu (India)/Press Trust of India (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • 3% growth is forecast for Taiwan in 2013
    With a nod to potential difficulties, including an uncertain outlook for China's economy, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is predicting improved growth of 3% for Taiwan's economy next year. That would nearly double the expected 1.65% growth this year, ANZ said, noting "a cautiously optimistic view on Taiwan's economy." The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • Asian institutional investors find there's no place like home
    Asian institutional investors are staying closer to home these days, including nearby markets where higher returns can be found than elsewhere in the world, notes Peter Ryan-Kane, head of Asia-Pacific portfolio advisory services at Towers Watson. The problem for some investors is that strictly defined home markets might be too small, which is why they're searching a little more broadly and expanding into subregions. (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taiwan might widen opening for Chinese QDIIs
    Taiwan regulators may soon open the door to stock investment by Chinese banking qualified domestic institutional investors, broadening the current opening that applies only to Chinese securities QDIIs. The move by the Financial Supervisory Commission would be part of a wider plan to clear the way for mainland investors in Taiwan and inject new life into the stock market. China Economic News Service (Taiwan) (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • China's risky wealth-management products notch huge growth
    Chinese investors have been boosting the growth of risky wealth-management products nationwide by 100% a year recently, and over this year's first three quarters they've accounted for 18% of total social financing, according to Du Jinfu, the disciplinary head of China's banking regulator. The lightly regulated shadow banking system under which some of these products fall has raised concerns after customer protests and the detention of several people said to be involved in illicit sales at Huaxia Bank. Caijing Magazine online (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • U.K. authorities arrest 3 in Libor case
    A former trader at UBS and Citigroup is reported to be one of three British nationals detained by U.K. authorities for questioning in connection with Libor rigging. The arrests extend the investigation beyond the dozen-plus banks already being probed by several nations. The Wall Street Journal (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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