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January 7, 2013
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  Top Stories 

  • U.S. economy on steady but uninspiring course
    The picture of the U.S. economy that's emerging at this late date in the recovery is one of 2% annual growth in both GDP and wages and not enough job growth to make much progress on those fronts. This is the new normal for at least the first half of the year, economists predict, but the second half might see some improvement. MarketWatch (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fed is urged to focus on inflation, not recoil from a little deflation
    Keeping a sharp eye on inflation should be the U.S. Federal Reserve's primary mission, said Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser, and a "small but steady deflation is not something we should ... be terrified of." Financial stability, on the other hand, should be addressed via other means through the Fed's "regulatory and supervisory power," Plosser said. The Wall Street Journal (1/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • China may raise debt ceiling for 2013
    Changes in China's tax code and planned increases in government spending mean that Beijing might raise its debt cap to about 2% of GDP this year, according to Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science under the Ministry of Finance. Among the spending goals will be measures to curb the rich/poor gap and continued efforts to upgrade infrastructure. Jones Newswires (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Germany's Ifo predicts 0.7% growth, 1.6% inflation
    With other estimates ranging between 0.3% and 0.8% for German growth this year, the Ifo economic research institute leans toward the upper end with a forecast of 0.7%, albeit with a caveat of high uncertainty. Ifo also projects inflation of 1.6% and unemployment averaging 6.9%. MarketWatch (1/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K.'s Cameron de-emphasizes importance of credit rating
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    The U.K.'s credit standing ultimately rests with the markets and not with agencies, Prime Minister David Cameron said in a BBC interview. Cameron was referencing the country's AAA rating, currently better than that of the U.S. but perhaps headed for a downgrade if the country slips into a third recession. Bloomberg (1/6) , Reuters (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Market Activities 
  • U.S., European markets end week on up note, but focus will shift
    Relief over the U.S. budget deal that helped lift U.S. and European shares over the past week is likely to give way this week to more pedestrian matters such as corporate earnings reports and the lingering problems besetting the eurozone. On Friday, the Stoxx Europe 600 ended with a 0.35% gain for the day at 287.83 and the S&P 500 was up 0.49% at 1,466.47. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (1/7) , Reuters (1/5) , Bloomberg (1/4) , CNNMoney (1/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japan gains as other Asian markets ease
    Japanese shares surged Friday, building momentum on a declining yen. But concern over indications of a possible end to the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond buying put a lid on other Asian markets. The Nikkei jumped 2.82% to 10,688.11 while the Hang Seng edged down 0.29% to 23,331.09, the Kospi lost 0.37% to 2,011.94 and the S&P/ASX slipped 0.36% to 4,723.80. MarketWatch (1/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • Reform is deemed indispensable to China's growth
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    Maintaining China's growth rate of 7% to 8% over the next several years will require the new government under Xi Jinping to pursue reform that breaks up state-owned monopolies and opens the way to easier financing for small companies, says Pang Yang, chief of the financial-service advisory unit of Shanghai Alliance Investment. "China needs to find one or two drivers to sustain its growth. Reforms of big state-owned enterprises such as breaking big ones apart and introducing competition can unleash a lot of value," Pang said in an interview. Bloomberg (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Hong Kong private sector remains strong in December
    Hong Kong's private sector was a bit less buoyant in December than in the previous month but still firmly on the upswing with a reading of 51.7 on HSBC's purchasing managers' index. Fewer order inflows from the mainland were noted but attributed in part to a slowdown after a rush of Christmas orders. China Daily (Beijing) (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • External factors weigh on India's economy
    A surge in India's current account deficit to 5.4% of GDP in the second quarter of its fiscal year and a US$20 billion rise in external debt reveal the inability of government to address key economic factors outside its range of influence. This leaves India more dependent than ever on foreign institutional investment, which recently has been strong but can reverse. The Hindu (India) (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • South Korean job outlook, corporate finance numbers bleak
    South Korea's employment situation looks increasingly problematic, with rising numbers of unemployed and employment contracts becoming a thing of the past. The situation at the dawn of 2013 means the new government is likely to face pressure to urge businesses to hold on to the workforces they have. Separately, in another sign of stress, the business survey index on corporate finance for the current quarter registered 86, remaining well below the 100 benchmark for the seventh quarter in a row. The Korea Times (Seoul) (1/6) , Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 

  • Pilot program brings overseas yuan to mainland PE market
    Shanghai is designated the pilot city for a Renminbi Qualified Foreign Limited Partnership (RQFLP) program in which yuan raised abroad will be repatriated to the mainland to invest in unlisted companies through private-equity investment vehicles, according to the Finance Office of Shanghai. The RQFLP quota is reported to be about 1 billion yuan. The overseas yuan, however, will still be treated as foreign currency attributes. China Daily (Beijing) (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • Mizuho Financial launches Japan's 4th-largest securities firm
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    Japan's fourth-largest securities firm, Mizuho Securities, made its debut Friday, merging two previous Mizuho entities. "By integrating a bank and a securities company, we aim to offer services that other financial institutions cannot," said Yasuhiro Sato, president of parent Mizuho Financial Group. Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan) (1/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Indian regulator to be more aggressive, proactive
    The goal is deterrence rather than cleaning up after the fact as greater powers are invested in India's Serious Fraud Investigation Office this year. One key to effective enforcement will be adding the necessary staff. SFIO "needs a pool of people with different backgrounds and with experience in areas like investigation, regulation, taxation, accountancy, forensic auditing, capital markets and information technology," said Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot. The Economic Times (India)/Press Trust of India (1/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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