CHINA TOLD PROPERTY RISK IS WORSE THAN IN US
The problems in China’s housing market are more severe than those in the US before the financial crisis because they combine a potential bubble with the risk of social discontent, according to an adviser to the Chinese central bank. Li Daokui, a professor at Tsinghua University and a member of the Chinese central bank’s monetary policy committee, said recent government measures to cool the property market needed to be part of a long-term push to bring high housing prices under control.
RAIFFEISEN UNVEILS €166M FIRST-QUARTER PROFIT
Raiffeisen International, one of emerging Europe’s biggest lenders, on Sunday posted first-quarter profits that beat expectations as it unveiled key valuation details of a planned merger with its mutually-owned Austrian parent. Pre-tax profits almost doubled to €166m (£140.5m) in the first three months of this year.
EUROPEAN FINANCIAL TURBULENCE HITS HITACHI
The fallout from Greece’s debt crisis is hitting Hitachi of Japan, in one of the first signs that Europe’s latest bout of financial turmoil is damaging the global industry. “To tell the truth, the financial confusion in Europe is affecting various parts of our business,” said president Hiroaki Nakanishi.
PAKISTAN COURT OVERTURNS FACEBOOK BAN
A Pakistan court yesterday lifted a ban on Facebook, two weeks after it was blocked when a member of the social networking site used it to host a competition to draw images of the prophet Mohammad. However, at least 1,000 web pages that were also blocked will remain inaccessible.
GREEN ENERGY LEVY WOULD ADD £20 TO BILLS
A proposed levy on power suppliers that could add £10-20 to a typical household’s annual electricity bill is being considered by the Treasury, The Times has learnt. Officials are attracted by the idea of an electricity tax that would help to create a fund to finance green power projects.
RED KNIGHTS’ MAN UTD BID ON ICE
The Red Knights consortium has shelved a £1bn takeover bid for Manchester United. The group of wealthy business people and United fans had been expected to lodge a formal offer for the football club before the start of the World Cup next month, but City sources say the plan has been put on ice. A statement on the future of the bid is expected this week after a meeting of the consortium in London.
The Daily Telegraph
HEDGE FUNDS “POSE SERIOUS RISK TO INVESTOR AND FINANCIAL SYSTEM”
Hedge funds pose a “serious” risk to investors and the financial system, according to new research by the European School of Management & Technology (ESMT). The research also raises concerns about investors’ ability to make the right investment choices. In a study of hedge fund performance, the research revealed that investors systematically reward investment “styles” that have performed well over the previous three quarters.
DARWIN PRIVATE EQUITY BUYS BABY FOOD COMPANY PLUM ORGANICS FOR £10M
Plum Organics, the baby food company, has been bought by Darwin Private Equity for £10m. The company is on track to achieve retail turnover of £15m in 2010.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
US TO PUSH EUROPE ON STRESS TESTS
The US intends to urge Europe to disclose publicly the results of bank stress tests as a way to calm jitters over the health of the Continent’s financial system, US officials said. Worries about Greece’s ability to repay its debt, and concerns about the stability of Spain and Portugal, provide a sobering backdrop at the gathering this week in Busan, South Korea, of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations.
STEEL OUTPUT SURGES, APPLYING PRESSURE TO PRICES
The world’s steel mills are ramping up production so quickly that prices in some markets are expected to fall five per cent or more in June, and inventories are growing. Mills in China and Eastern Europe are churning out record amounts of steel.