HONG KONG EXCHANGE HIT BY HACKERS
Computer hackers forced the Hong Kong stock exchange’s website to crash, prompting the bourse to suspend trading in the shares of seven companies including HSBC and the exchange operator itself. The cyberattack, which deprived investors of important announcements from listed companies, came just hours before Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, the world’s largest by market capitalisation, announced its interim results.
VODAFONE FINDS INDIA INVESTOR
Vodafone has found a new local investor for its Indian mobile phone business. The move should ensure the UK telecoms group does not breach the country’s foreign ownership rules. Vodafone also said it was considering the case for an initial public offering in Vodafone Essar, its Indian business.
FACEBOOK LAUNCHES MESSENGER APP
Facebook has launched a new instant-messaging application for smartphones to compete with similar services such as WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger, as the booming market for chat apps threatens mobile operators’ traditional revenues. RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger leapt to prominence after it emerged as a tool used by rioters and looters in London, due to its popularity among teenagers and ability to send private messages to large groups of friends.
TRADING VOLUMES HIT RECORD LEVELS
Trading in equities and derivatives has hit record levels this week as investors traded frantically in response to a tumult of factors such as the US Federal Reserve’s decision to stick with near-zero interest rates until 2013, fears over the US’s credit rating and the eurozone debt crisis. Trading in currencies and gold, seen by many investors as a “safe haven” alternative to dollars, have spiked.
TURKEY CALLS FOR SYRIA CALM
Syrian tanks and troops stormed towns near the border with Turkey yesterday as the Turkish Prime Minister made his most outspoken demand yet for an end to bloodshed against protesters. In another sign of tension between the two neighbours, Turkey deployed surveillance drones along their common frontier, local media reported.
CATHAY BLAMES COSTS FOR PROFIT DIP
Cathay Pacific reported a 59 per cent fall in first-half profits after a 49.5 per cent increase in fuel costs. The Hong Kong-based carrier said that after a strong 2010, profits had fallen to HK$2.81bn (£222m) on revenues up 13.2 per cent to HK$46.79bn. Christopher Pratt, the chairman, said: “High fuel prices are increasing costs and recovering them through higher tariffs may affect demand.”
The Daily Telegraph
US AND TALIBAN TALKS COLLAPSE
Secret exploratory peace talks between the United States and the Taliban leadership have broken down after details of the negotiations were leaked, Western diplomats have told The Daily Telegraph. The breakdown in the talks at such an early stage has led to recriminations and claims that the details of the meetings and the identity of the Taliban's chief negotiator were deliberately leaked by 'paranoid' Afghan government figures.
OIL IS RIDING A BIG DIPPER, SAYS ENERGY WATCHDOG IEA
Oil is riding a “big dipper”, with prices plunging again on uncertainty about debt levels in the West, signs of a slowdown in emerging markets and political paralysis, the IEA said yesterday. The group has cut demand forecasts for the year, following the US energy agency’s footsteps earlier in the week.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
ABP TROUBLED BY MARKET TURMOIL
One of the world’s largest pension funds became the latest victim of the recent market turmoil, warning Wednesday that its capital position has sharply deteriorated in just a few days. The Netherlands’ ABP, a pension fund for civil servants and teachers, said the market slump is having a substantial impact on its funding ratio, which measures its assets relative to its liabilities.
FRENCH INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT WEAKENS
French industrial production posted a larger than expected fall in June, reinforcing fears the Eurozone’s second-largest economy is slowing. Industrial output fell 1.6 per cent from the previous month, as the country’s industries churned out less goods. Economists had expected the indicator to show a 0.6 per cent contraction.