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25 February 2013
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  Top Stories 
 
  • Kuroda reportedly will be nominee to head Bank of Japan
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will nominate Haruhiko Kuroda, head of the Asian Development Bank, to be the next governor of the Bank of Japan, government sources said. Kuroda is known to share Abe's view that aggressive monetary easing will help reverse Japan's deflation. The lower house of parliament is expected to formally receive the nomination this week. The Japan Times/Kyodo News (25 Feb.), Bloomberg (25 Feb.), Reuters (24 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Markets watch Italy's vote for clues to next government
    Investors braced for the growing possibility that the results of Italy's general election will be divided and no major party will be able to form a stable government in the eurozone's third-biggest economy. The center-left Democratic Party, led by Pierluigi Bersani, likely will win a slender victory at best, according to opinion polls. Just before voting began, the European Commission said Italy's economic contraction this year will be twice as severe as predicted in November. Reuters (24 Feb.), Adnkronos International (Italy) (22 Feb.), EuroNews.net (France) (24 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
 
  • Asian-Pacific markets rise, with Japan posting biggest gains
    Asian-Pacific markets rose Monday, with Japan leading the advance. Traders were encouraged by reports that Asian Development Bank head Haruhiko Kuroda could be the Bank of Japan's next governor. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.4%, closing at its highest level since September 2008. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 finished up 0.8%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 0.2%. China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.5%. Bucking the trend, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5%. India's Sensex was up 0.1%. MarketWatch (25 Feb.), The Economic Times (India) (26 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Walter sees investors returning to public markets
    Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Elisse Walter said the agency saw a 22% increase in money raised through public debt and equity last year, the first such increase since the financial crisis. "It's important that we embrace a regulatory agenda that is consistent with continued growth in public offerings," Walter said. Reuters (22 Feb.), InvestmentNews (free registration) (22 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Economics 
  • Eurozone economic contraction is expected to continue
    The European Commission says the eurozone economy will contract 0.3% this year, bringing a second year of recession. The forecast contrasts with an earlier estimate of 0.1% growth. Meanwhile, the average budget deficit decreased by 1.5% last year, to 3.5% of gross domestic product, still higher than the eurozone's 3% goal. EUObserver (Brussels) (22 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Central banks try fresh approach to boosting growth
    After four years of buying bonds and holding short-term interest rates at or close to zero, central banks of developed countries are taking a different direction to stimulate their economies, according to The Economist. "[T]he central banks of America, Britain and Japan are experimenting with a shift in approach: coupling monetary action with commitments designed to alter the public's expectations of interest rates, inflation and the economy," the magazine notes. The Economist (tiered subscription model) (23 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • European bodies clash over transparency rules for dark pools
    The European Commission disagrees with part of the latest draft of the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. The Council of the EU has proposed that trades of less than €6,000 be exempt from price-transparency rules. The commission is against the waiver, saying it would undermine efforts to rein in dark trading. Meanwhile, the council's discussions about MiFID II are expected to be postponed, sources say. The Trade News (U.K.) (22 Feb.), The Trade News (U.K.) (22 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ban on credit card surcharge might spread across U.S.
    Ten U.S. states prohibit merchants from charging shoppers extra for paying with a credit card, but that could change. Legislation to ban the surcharge, sometimes called a checkout fee, is under consideration in 11 states. CNBC (22 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. regulator focuses on banks' risk assessment
    Banks are concerned that the U.K. Financial Services Authority will become overenthusiastic in policing banks that seek to tailor risk assessment to avoid higher capital requirements. Applying a universal system is one possible solution, but that could unfairly punish banks and require them to hold more capital than necessary, hurting economic growth, experts say. Reuters (25 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Brokerages permitted to borrow Chinese shares for short selling
    Eleven brokerages will be allowed to borrow from 90 pre-approved, high-quality stocks for short selling, the China Securities Journal reported. Although the stocks are likely to be only a fraction of the market, they will give institutional investors a way to use the voluminous stock holdings of state-owned entities. Reuters (23 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • IndexIQ ETFs would target firms ripe for growth, innovation
    IndexIQ has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch two exchange-traded funds focused on rapid growth and innovation. The IQ Fastest Growing Companies ETF would hold stocks of 50 high-growth companies. The IQ Innovation Leaders ETF would invest in 100 companies considered "highly innovative." IndexUniverse.com (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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