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February 12, 2013
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  Top Stories 

  • Bank of Japan candidate hints at more aggressive policy
    One of the candidates for the new chief of the Bank of Japan says "additional" measures are available and could be justified to help meet the 2% inflation target set by the bank and new government. Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda also said the yen's recent decline is part of a "natural adjustment." Previously, Kuroda offered the opinion that the central bank should set a 3% inflation target. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bad news is expected for eurozone growth as finance chiefs gather
    Economists are predicting that the fourth quarter will be the worst for the eurozone since the Lehman crisis four years ago, with a 0.4% contraction as seven nations remain mired in recession. Meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers gathered Monday in Brussels to assess the increasingly uncertain situation, with new aid for Greece and Cyprus on the agenda amid signs of political disruption on the horizon in Italy and Spain. Bloomberg (2/11) , Bloomberg (2/11) , Reuters (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Spain prepares for ratings evaluation with deficit the key factor
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    Spanish deficit numbers are considered crucial as the country braces for evaluation by credit rating agencies, with downgrades possible. "A number near and certainly above 8% of gross domestic product in 2012 will raise the risk of a ratings downgrade, and while we expect near 7.5%, the regions have delivered late surprises in the last couple of years," said Harvinder Sian, a strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Germany sees a year of improvement
    The new year should be one of accelerating gains for the German economy, which already shows signs of turning to positive growth after a 0.5% contraction in the fourth quarter, the economy ministry said. Key to the brighter outlook is the global economy, which "seems to have reached its low point already. International indicators are once again increasingly sending positive signals," the ministry said. Reuters (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. business confidence plumbs new depths
    Several years of a stumbling U.K. economy appear to have taken a toll on business sentiment, with a BDO survey of confidence registering at a record low last month. "It seems the damaging effects on businesses of five years' zigzagging economic growth has left them wary of making concrete plans for expansion and resigned to the 'new normal' of economic stagnation. To end this cycle, it is imperative that the government implements plans to expedite growth," said BDO partner Peter Hemington. BBC (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Despite market buoyancy, U.S. companies lower expectations
    Despite a better-than-expected fourth quarter for U.S. corporate earnings and a soaring stock market, the outlook is less rosy, beginning with the current quarter, companies warn. Surveys of corporate leaders reveal caution over the domestic consumer market and the still-problematic eurozone as well as restrained plans for new investment. The Wall Street Journal (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • OECD sees little likelihood of broad global recovery
    With growth prospects for China, India and the eurozone looking less optimistic while the outlook for the U.S. and Japan improve, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says the world's leading economies will be on divergent paths in the near term, meaning a broad global recovery is unlikely. The OECD projects growth for its members this year to be about the same as last year's 1.4% before improving to 2.3% next year. The Wall Street Journal (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Reader Survey 
  • What is likely to provide Apple shareholders the highest risk-adjusted rate of return on the company's excess cash balances?
Common stock dividends, including a one-time or a series of special dividends
Share repurchases
Issuance of preferred stock, as proposed by hedge fund manager David Einhorn
Current capital investment policy

  Market Activities 
    A sharp decline in shares for Denmark's Novo Nordisk weighed on stocks Monday in Europe as investors kept an eye on eurozone finance ministers gathered in Brussels. In the U.S., the market was quiet after recent gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.60% to 285.62, and the S&P 500 barely budged, easing 0.06% to 1,517.01. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (2/12) , The Wall Street Journal (2/11) , CNNMoney (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Reining in Risk
CFA Institute report: Investors need better disclosure of derivatives and hedging activities

Read the Report
  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Indian central bank chief warns on current-account deficit
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    India's current-account gap, one of the two keys along with inflation that the central bank monitors, is likely to be greater in the fiscal year ending in March than a year before, warns bank Governor D. Subbarao. The remedy should come from "as much foreign direct investment as possible," Subbarao said. "We would not worry so much if the CAD is high ... if it was due to import of capital goods ... but because of import of oil and gold." The Hindu (India) (2/11) , The Economic Times (India)/Reuters (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Modest growth is seen for Hong Kong
    With prospects for economic gains in China this year as well as more stable markets in Europe and the U.S., Hong Kong's economy is likely to improve slightly in 2013, Financial Secretary John Tsang said in a blog post. The remark reveals a switch in sentiment from Tsang's warning in November that Hong Kong faced the possibility of recession, barring a change in the global outlook. Bloomberg (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Domestic, global factors are seen restraining Philippine economy
    Philippine GDP growth is expected to come down from last year's 6.6% to 6.1% in 2013 due to a still uncertain export market and domestic "bureaucratic bottlenecks," according to U.S.-based GlobalSource Partners. "Internally, remaining bureaucratic bottlenecks may again stall government spending, keeping a lid on investment ratios and souring investor moods," commented economists Romeo L. Bernardo and Marie-Christine Tang, GlobalSource's Philippine partners. Business World (Philippines) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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