Junk-bond prices point to bulls return
The junk-bond market is sending a bullish signal for the global economy in 2013, with investors in US high-yield securities earning higher returns so far this year than those who have bought investment-grade debt. High-yield bonds are an acute barometer of risk appetite and rises in their prices have often signalled a turn in sentiment.
Austerity gives drinkers bitter taste
Britain’s favourite pint of bitter is being watered down as austerity continues to bite and taxes rise. John Smith’s Extra Smooth, billed as “no nonsense beer” , is being reduced from 3.8 per cent alcohol to 3.6 per cent in response to rising costs and reduced beer consumption.
EU berates China over steel subsidies
The European Commission has concluded that China is providing illegal subsidies to its steel manufacturers, paving the way for European companies to seek higher import tariffs on a wide range of Chinese products. A report obtained by the Financial Times said organic coated steel makers could buy materials at a low rate.
Bold new era for capital shopping
From next month Britain’s biggest owner of shopping centres would like to be known as “Intu”. Capital Shopping Centres is changing its name after a year-long project at a cost of £7m, aided by Landor Associates, a branding agency with clients such as Smirnoff and Citroen.
Seven-runway airport at Beijing
China’s political and military leaders have given the green light to a new seven-runway international airport for Beijing.
The Daily Telegraph
British banks admit poor lending
Britain’s largest banks privately admit they are in a “downward spiral” of poor lending decisions and have a “computer says no” attitude to small businesses, according to the former chairman of HSBC Lord Green, who is now the government’s trade minister.
Iberdrola shelves Scottish Power sale Spanish power giant Iberdrola has shelved a plan to sell off part of its Scottish Power division. Iberdrola had mulled a sale of a stake in its UK regulated power business.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A blame game for forint’s fall
Hungary’s economy ministry blamed Nouriel Roubini’s research firm for sparking a slide in the country’s currency. Roubini’s firm pointed to the minister’s own comments that hinted the government would prefer a weaker forint.
France to pay EDF $6.57bn
The French government has agreed to pay state-controlled power utility Electricite de France €4.9bn (£4.1bn) to cover subsidies for green energy and the poor.