Philadelphia officials announced Friday that several restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eased as infection rates continue to fall and vaccination rates climb.
Philadelphia officials announced Friday that several restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eased as infection rates continue to fall and vaccination rates climb.
Citibank has hinted there won't be any possible layoff and closure of physical branches in the countries it is exiting.
ANKARA (Reuters) -Turkey's central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets to purchase goods and services, citing "irrepairable" possible damages and significant risks in such transactions. In legislation published in the Official Gazette overnight, the Central Bank of Turkey (CBRT) said cryptocurrencies and other such digital assets based on distributed ledger technology could not be used, directly or indirectly, as an instrument of payment. "Payment service providers will not be able to develop business models in a way that crypto assets are used directly or indirectly in the provision of payment services and electronic money issuance, and will not be able to provide any services related to such business models," the bank said.
(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. sold $13 billion of bonds Thursday, the largest deal ever by a bank, taking advantage of some of the cheapest borrowing costs in years to boost its capital after the Federal Reserve let pandemic relief measures lapse.The deal, which followed the bank’s best quarter ever, hit the market as corporate borrowers continue to see heavy demand for debt that provides a decent premium over Treasuries. Order books grew to about $26 billion, allowing JPMorgan to trim the interest on the debt from the relatively high spreads it initially offered, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.The jumbo offering may have been related to recent changes in regulatory relief for banks, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Arnold Kakuda.Treasuries liquidity disappeared in March 2020. In response, the Fed told banks they didn’t have to factor in Treasuries or deposits when calculating their supplementary leverage ratios, which tells them how much capital to set aside to back up their holdings. That exemption went away two weeks ago.Banks were left in the position of needing to sell Treasuries or add capital, and JPMorgan’s sale of unsecured debt will help it meet total loss-absorbing capacity, or TLAC, requirements, and put the ratio back in balance, Kakuda said.The bank signaled Wednesday that it would do something. “We have levers to manage SLR and we will,” Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Piepszak told analysts on a quarterly earnings call. The company declined to comment further on Thursday.Including today’s sale, JPMorgan has raised $22 billion in the U.S. dollar investment-grade bond market this year, more than any other major U.S. bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Banks are always going to be hefty issuers, which lends a certain opportunism to tapping the markets especially when funding is still so cheap,” said Jesse Rosenthal, a senior analyst at CreditSights.The longest portion of the five-part offering, a 31-year security, will yield 107 basis points above Treasuries, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a private transaction. The sale follows strong first-quarter earnings, including a 15% increase in fixed-income, currency and commodity trading revenue and a $5.2 billion release from its credit reserves. Rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also sold bonds Thursday.The previous largest bond sale by a bank also came from JPMorgan, a $10 billion offering in April 2020, the Bloomberg-compiled data show. JPMorgan is the sole bookrunner of the sale, and the proceeds are marked for general corporate purposes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Gold jumped to its highest in over a month on Thursday as the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields retreated despite better-than-expected U.S. economic data, pushing more investors to bullion as a refuge against possible inflation ahead. Spot gold rose 1.7% to $1,766.13 per ounce by 11:07 a.m. EDT (1507 GMT), having earlier risen to $1,767.60, its highest since Feb. 26. "A massive amount of inflation is certainly on the horizon and gold is just the best asset to own as we start to see what I would consider some historic levels of inflation," said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.
Major global stock indexes scaled new peaks on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. and European earnings pointed to a strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, while the dollar dipped to three-week lows as Treasury yields held below recent highs. High-flying growth stocks declined on Wall Street, sending the benchmark S&P 500 and Nasdaq lower in afternoon trade, while underpriced value stocks rose, lifting the Dow to a new record. U.S. import prices increased more than expected in March, lifted by higher costs for petroleum products and tight supply chains in the latest data to show inflation is heating up as economies reopen.
An HSBC representative said the bank has “limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from virtual currencies.”
U.S. gasoline stocks rose 309,000 barrels in the week to 234.9 million barrels, less than analysts’ expectations for a 786,000-barrel rise.
(Bloomberg) -- British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta’s companies seemed to be prospering until his main lender, Greensill Capital, imploded last month. But long before Greensill collapsed, several banks had cut off the commodity trading business of Gupta’s Liberty House Group.Four banks stopped working with Gupta’s commodity trading business, starting in 2016, after they became concerned about what they perceived to be problems in bills of lading – shipping receipts that give the holder the right to take possession of a cargo – or other paperwork provided by Liberty, according to interviews with 18 people directly involved in the trades, as well as internal communications seen by Bloomberg News. The banks include Sberbank PJSC, Macquarie Group Ltd., Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ICBC Standard Bank. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. also stopped working with Gupta’s companies around that time.In 2018, Sberbank sent a team to scour the brightly colored containers stacked in the port of Rotterdam, looking for the ones full of nickel that the bank had financed on behalf of Liberty. Yet each time investigators located one of the containers, they found it had already been emptied, according to two people involved in the matter. After checking about 10 of them, they gave up, the people said. Sberbank confronted Gupta at a meeting weeks later. He promised that his company would pay back the roughly $100 million it owed, the people said.“At some point certain discrepancies were spotted within documentation and logistical data, which made Sberbank discontinue all operations with the company,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “The issue was settled in pre-trial format. Thanks to the existing control systems, we incurred no financial losses through these operations and managed to unwind all transactions in the spring of 2019.”GFG Alliance, which is made up of the companies controlled by Gupta and his family, including Liberty, said in an emailed statement sent by a spokesman that it refutes any suggestion of wrongdoing.“An internal investigation was conducted in 2019 by Liberty Commodities Limited (LCL)’s external legal advisors following enquiries regarding alleged rumours of double pledging,” GFG Alliance said in the statement. “The investigation found no evidence to substantiate the rumours, nor was LCL ever subject to further complaints or proceedings.”Double pledging is the practice of improperly raising funds more than once using the same collateral. As several banks dropped Gupta’s commodity trading unit, GFG Alliance came to rely more on Greensill Capital for loans – ultimately racking up debts of nearly $5 billion to Lex Greensill’s trade finance company by March 2021, according to a presentation seen by Bloomberg News. Gupta’s commodity trading business alone has $1.04 billion of debt, of which $846 million is owed to Greensill, according to the presentation. “LCL has ongoing banking relationships with separate financial institutions,” GFG Alliance said in the statement. “Its reliance on Greensill was a natural consequence of the competitive nature of the trade finance market, which has been hugely challenging for all but the very largest commodities traders in recent years.”Now, with Greensill in insolvency and its German subsidiary under a criminal complaint after the regulator said it found irregularities in how the banking unit booked assets tied to GFG Alliance, Gupta is trying to find new financing. But it’s been tough. After Gupta searched for would-be financial backers for weeks, Credit Suisse Group AG – which became a major lender to Gupta’s companies by buying debt packaged by Greensill – moved last month to push Liberty Commodities Ltd. into insolvency. Gupta said in interviews on BBC Radio 4 and Sky News on April 1 that the action made no sense and that he’d litigate it if needed.Lending RisksTraders in the world of commodities have long relied on banks to help finance the flow of goods on their journey from origin to destination. From the banks’ point of view, this type of financing is generally considered low risk. Should the trader run into financial difficulties, the bank can seize its collateral – the cargo – and easily recoup its money. That holds true so long as the shipping paperwork used, such as a bill of lading, is accurate.ICBC Standard Bank stopped financing Liberty’s commodity trading unit by early 2016, after discovering it had presented the bank with what seemed to be duplicate bills of lading, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia pulled the plug on lending to Gupta’s trading business the same year after the bank financed a cargo of metal for Liberty, only to be presented with what appeared to be the same bill of lading a short time later by another trader seeking a loan, according to three people directly involved.Then, in late 2016, Goldman Sachs, which had extended a credit line of about $20 million to Liberty to finance its nickel trade, stopped dealing with Gupta’s trading company after being warned of alleged paperwork problems by a contact in the warehousing industry, according to three people familiar with the matter.Spokespeople for Goldman Sachs, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ICBC Standard Bank all declined to comment.“No financial institution has been left out of pocket as a result of lending money to LCL,” GFG Alliance said in the statement, referring to Liberty Commodities Ltd. “On the contrary, they have received substantial commercial returns.”By 2016, Liberty had already become one of the world’s largest traders of nickel, according to an interview with Gupta in Metal Bulletin. Still, Liberty’s containers of nickel would sometimes take an unusually long time to travel between Europe and Asia – instead of the normal sailing time of about one month, the voyage would take several months, stopping off at ports along the way for weeks at a time, six people said.Metals trader Red Kite Capital Management, which also cut ties with Liberty, did so because it had become “uncomfortable” with some of the trades, said Michael Farmer, the company’s founder who is also a member of the U.K’s House of Lords. “It was difficult to work out the commercial sense of some of the shipments, which resulted in our decision to err on the side of caution and discontinue such trades,” said Farmer, who is one of the world’s best-known metal traders. “We had no proof of any misdoings.”Savior of SteelGupta was born in Punjab, India, the son of a bicycle manufacturer. He moved to the U.K. as a teenager to attend boarding school and set up Liberty House, his commodities trading business, in 1992 while he was still an undergraduate student at Trinity College, Cambridge. He first hit the headlines in Britain in 2013 when he bought a troubled steel mill in Newport, South Wales, and restarted production at a time when many other steel plants were being closed down. He went on to buy a string of other struggling steelworks, earning him the nickname “the savior of steel.”Gupta’s GFG Alliance isn’t a consolidated group, but a loose conglomerate of more than 200 different entities. The common thread running through both sides of his business, according to six former employees, was a chronic shortage of cash and intense pressure to find new ways to generate financing.On the industrial side of the business, that meant buying one asset after another in rapid succession, including unloved aluminum and steel plants in Yorkshire, England, northern France and South Australia, then borrowing against the business’s own inventory, equipment and customer invoices, often from Greensill.On the trading side of the business, that often meant nickel. Used as an alloying element in the production of stainless steel, nickel is among metals deliverable on the London Metal Exchange, which means that its price can easily be hedged and that banks are usually willing to lend against it; and nickel is expensive, meaning a relatively small amount of space in a ship can hold a valuable cache of metal.The commodity trading business grew rapidly. Revenue rose to $8.41 billion in the 15 months to March 2019, from $1.67 billion in 2012, according to the accounts of Liberty Commodities Group Pte, a Singapore holding company for the trading operations.Delayed DeliveryMacquarie became concerned about the paperwork underpinning some of Liberty’s trades some four years ago, according to four people with direct knowledge of the events as well as written communications seen by Bloomberg News.In one instance, the bank realized that nickel that it was supposed to have received in Antwerp, according to the shipping documentation, wasn’t at the port, according to two people. Liberty eventually delivered the nickel to Macquarie, but at a different port and about two weeks later than was listed in the paperwork.It wasn’t the only time Macquarie’s team had discovered discrepancies in Liberty’s paperwork, the people said.At a meeting in Macquarie’s London offices, executives from the bank grilled Gupta and his top lieutenants about the inner workings of the commodity trading business, three of the people said. Macquarie remained unsatisfied with the explanations, and by mid-2017, the bank had made the decision to stop all financing for Liberty, the people said.A spokesman for Macquarie declined to comment on the matter.After that banking relationship ended in acrimony, Gupta’s companies turned to Sberbank. When that link, too, soured, they became even more reliant on Greensill.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Euro zone politicians, courts and policy hawks will pose a stiff challenge this year to the ECB's resolve to pin down the bloc's borrowing costs, precisely at a time when higher U.S. Treasury yields are tempting investors away from European markets. The European Central Bank has held sovereign debt yields low through bond purchases, and recently increased buying in its 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.22 trillion) emergency stimulus scheme, known as PEPP. And it is no longer battling alone to support the euro economy, as the pandemic induced governments to spend more and to create an 800 billion-euro Recovery Fund, seeded by joint European Union borrowing.
(Bloomberg) -- The European Union is poised to ban artificial intelligence systems used for mass surveillance or for ranking social behavior, while companies developing AI could face fines as high as 4% of global revenue if they fail to comply with new rules governing the software applications.The rules are part of legislation set to be proposed by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, according to a draft of the proposal obtained by Bloomberg. The details could change before the commission unveils the measure, which is expected to be as soon as next week.The EU proposal is expected to include the following rules:AI systems used to manipulate human behavior, exploit information about individuals or groups of individuals, used to carry out social scoring or for indiscriminate surveillance would all be banned in the EU. Some public security exceptions would apply.Remote biometric identification systems used in public places, like facial recognition, would need special authorization from authorities.AI applications considered to be ‘high-risk’ would have to undergo inspections before deployment to ensure systems are trained on unbiased data sets, in a traceable way and with human oversight.High-risk AI would pertain to systems that could endanger people’s safety, lives or fundamental rights, as well as the EU’s democratic processes -- such as self-driving cars and remote surgery, among others.Some companies will be allowed to undertake assessments themselves, whereas others will be subject to checks by third-parties. Compliance certificates issued by assessment bodies will be valid for up to five years.Rules would apply equally to companies based in the EU or abroad.European member states would be required to appoint assessment bodies to test, certify and inspect the systems, according to the document. Companies that develop prohibited AI services, or supply incorrect information or fail to cooperate with the national authorities could be fined up to 4% of global revenue.The rules won’t apply to AI systems used exclusively for military purposes, according to the document.A European Commission spokesman declined to comment on the proposed rules. Politico reported on the draft document earlier.“It’s important for us at a European level to pass a very strong message and set the standards in terms of how far these technologies should be allowed to go,” Dragos Tudorache, a liberal member of the European Parliament and head of the committee on artificial intelligence, said in an interview. “Putting a regulatory framework around them is a must and it’s good that the European Commission takes this direction.”As artificial intelligence has started to penetrate every part of society, from shopping suggestions and voice assistants to decisions around hiring, insurance and law enforcement, the EU wants to ensure technology deployed in Europe is transparent, has human oversight and meets its high standards for user privacy.The proposed rules come as the EU tries to catch up to the U.S. and China on the roll-out of artificial intelligence and other advanced technology. The new requirements could hinder tech firms in the region from competing with foreign rivals if they are delayed in unveiling products because they first have to be tested.Once proposed by the commission, the rules could still change following input from the European Parliament and the bloc’s member states before becoming law.Tudorache said it was critical that the final version of law doesn’t stifle innovation and limits bureaucratic hurdles as much as possible.“We have to be very, very clear in the way we regulate - when, where and in which conditions, engineers and businesses have to actually go to regulators to seek authorization and to be very clear where it’s not,” he said.(Updates with reaction from MEP in 12th, 16th paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
HOUSTON (Reuters) -Exxon Mobil Corp and a small activist hedge fund are waging a more than $65 million proxy fight over board seats, with the largest U.S. oil producer marshalling executives, TV appearances, social media and websites to rebut the challenge. The David-and-Goliath fight has Exxon determined to block Engine No. 1's four nominees at its May 26 shareholder meeting, while urging shareholders reject proposals to split its chairman and chief executive roles, and block climate-related reports sought by other groups. Exxon has out-gunned its tiny rival's $30 million budget with spending the company expects will be about $35 million above its usual proxy solicitation costs, according to regulatory filings.
(Bloomberg) -- Lai Xiaomin, former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., was found guilty of accepting $277 million in bribes, as well as bigamy, crimes serious enough to see him summarily executed in January.Such extreme behavior -- and consequences -- are rare in any country. But in China, more modest but still flagrant mismanagement is common in the $54 trillion financial industry.In 2020 alone, the country’s top banking regulator issued almost 3,200 violations against institutions and 4,554 against individuals ranging from senior executives to rank-and-file staff; it levied fines totaling 2.3 billion yuan ($352.2 million). In the U.S., which has a much longer history of bank regulation, the Federal Reserve took 58 enforcement actions in total.Among the infractions, Chinese investigators found fabricated financial statements, executives’ nannies and chauffeurs installed as controlling shareholders, and favorable rates and sweetheart deals for investors and relatives.The state has also bailed out three poorly-run small lenders and merged dozens more since its first crackdown three years ago. Still, out of 4,400 financial institutions, 12.4% are designated at high risk for failure by the central bank. Now, the government is rewriting the commercial banking law and will have “zero tolerance” for transgressions.“Poor governance is obviously a risk for financial stability,” said Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia economist of Natixis SA. If it’s contained within the country’s smallest institutions, the potential for damage is minimal, she added.“The issue is that we don’t really know whether governance problems are really contained and this is the big risk.”The past week offered a fuller picture of the costs of mismanagement and unchecked corruption. Huarong, which has around $42 billion in outstanding debt at home and abroad, delayed its earnings report in early April, beginning a spiral that’s seen its bonds fall to a record low of about 52 cents on the dollar. Its shares are down 67% since the 2015 debut and currently suspended.A China Huarong spokesperson said Thursday the company “learned the lesson from Lai Xiaomin’s case, firmly implemented central government policies, continued to eliminate the toxic influence, restored our corporate governance, accelerated business transformation and management reform, and enhanced corporate governance to move toward stable and better development.”It’s the second time in two years that creditors have been left at the mercy of bad actors. In 2019, China jolted global markets with a surprise seizure of Baoshang Bank Co., once seen as a model for funding regional economies. Triggered by the misappropriation of funds by its controlling shareholder, the takeover and eventual bankruptcy of Baoshang also called into question long-held assumptions of a perpetual government backstop.In general, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has placed the blame for problems in the financial system on bank directors, shareholders and executives, saying in a December statement that “ineffective corporate governance is the root cause.”In one example, a rural bank lent the equivalent of 95% of its net capital to its shareholders and affiliates, according to the CBIRC, which didn’t name the bank. Most of those loans defaulted or are non-performing.The largest shareholder at one bank inflated revenues by 80 million yuan to make the institution look profitable. Elsewhere, one person and 22 of what the regulator described as his “shadow affiliates” held stakes in 17 banks, far exceeding the limits on banking ownership.The regulator has also identified bad behavior in its own ranks, putting its official in charge of oversight of the rural banks under investigation for severe disciplinary and law violations.Social media, too, has allowed employees to air grievances and reports of wrongdoing. Earlier this year, a whistle-blower at China Life Insurance Co. claimed on the social network Sina Weibo that the branch head fabricated client signatures and pocketed millions of dollars of non-existent marketing expenses. Following a CBIRC investigation, the company said in a statement that it was fined 510,000 yuan for inadequate internal controls broadly and pledged to enhance compliance education.In response to the rising risks, the central bank is revising its commercial bank law. The proposed changes include a new chapter on corporate governance, which for the first time specifies the responsibilities of shareholders and the key role of the board of directors. It also bars entities from using borrowed money to invest in banks and prohibits directors from holding posts at more than one affiliated institution.Unlike in the U.S. and Europe where misconduct and mismanagement often lead to public outcry, regulatory probes, and even high-profile firings, top leaders have been so far insulated in China. Senior executives are rarely held responsible for branch-level violations, and the financial penalties pale compared with the 1.9 trillion yuan of profit the industry earned last year.“This is work in progress,” said James Stent, author of China’s Banking Transformation and a former banker who’s spent more than a decade on the boards of two Chinese lenders. “Governance is generally good at priority large banks, but problems remain at lower level financial institutions. Addressing them will take time, and governance will always be imperfect.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Upon its completion, the facility will be the largest Filecoin distributed storage infrastructure project in China.
(Bloomberg) -- A senior Bank of Japan official played down the potential for China’s digital yuan to threaten the dollar’s position as the world’s main reserve currency.“The dollar’s status as the key global currency won’t change so easily,” said Kazushige Kamiyama, head of the BOJ’s payment systems department and the person in charge of looking into a virtual Japanese currency. “In fact, the dollar’s advantage may strengthen further if the U.S. goes with digitalization.”A report earlier this week showed the Biden administration is increasing its scrutiny of China’s progress toward a digital yuan amid concern it could kick off a long-term bid to displace the dollar.The People’s Bank of China has moved closer to becoming the first major central bank to launch a virtual currency, rolling out a trial for consumers and businesses in cities across the country.The PBOC has been working on a digital currency since 2014 and its moves have heightened interest among central banks and policy makers, while the spread of cryptocurrencies has added to a sense that competitors to regular cash could change how the financial sector operates.The pandemic has also accelerated the use of cashless payments, even in Japan where banknotes and coins are still used in a majority of transactions.Kamiyama said the BOJ had no specific plans for a pilot test at this point, but he denied that the central bank was lagging its peers.“The BOJ isn’t behind” in the study of a digital currency, Kamiyama said.The BOJ started the first phase of its own technical experiments on digital currencies last week and is participating in group studies on them with the Bank for International Settlements and six major central banks including the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.The group in October said the introduction of digital currencies shouldn’t undermine the stability of the current financial system.“No single digital currency from a central bank is likely to conquer the world as long as everyone continues to work on improving their settlement systems,” Kamiyama said.(Updates with more comments from Kamiyama)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Investor David Einhorn said on Thursday that prominent venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya and entrepreneur Elon Musk threw "jet fuel" on the GameStop Corp trading frenzy in January when the video retailer's shares rose by 2,000% and later prompted a hearing in U.S. Congress. Einhorn, who runs hedge fund Greenlight Capital, also said U.S. lawmakers seeking answers to how day traders were able to wrest control of GameStop's share price from established hedge funds should probe regulators instead of investors.
NINGBO, China/BEIJING (Reuters) -Chinese automaker Geely, owner of Volvo Cars, on Thursday launched a high-end electric vehicle (EV) brand named Zeekr, targeting China's growing appetite for premium EVs that has boosted sales for Tesla and Chinese peer Nio. Parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Geely Automobile said last month they would jointly invest 2 billion yuan ($306 million) in the new venture, seeking to position Zeekr as a startup under Geely group, also known overseas for its 9.7% stake in Germany's Daimler AG. The price tags for Zeekr cars will be around 300,000 yuan, and Flynn Chen, Zeekr's vice president, said the brand will explore new sales and marketing methods, including allowing customers to subscribe to car-using rights and offering a stake in the company to car buyers.
Grab’s record-breaking deal to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) will raise an eye-popping $4.5 billion in cash. A quick recap: Singapore-based Grab is poised to have a market value of around $39.6 billion after it combines with a SPAC called Altimeter Growth. Altimeter is basically a $500 million pot of money listed on Nasdaq that was looking for a target to merge with (which is why SPACS are sometimes called “blank check” companies).
(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe is considering penalizing domestic banks, telecommunications operators and other businesses over what the government describes as profiteering off the hard currency it makes available at auctions.Lenders could face fines and suspensions, while companies that charge a premium for foreign exchange may be banned from participating in the auctions, central bank Governor John Mangudya said in a phone interview from the capital, Harare.“All the malpractices will be targeted,” he said. “There’s no need to chase foreign currency as if it will run out.”President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday threatened unspecified actions against “sharks in the financial sector,” according to the state-owned Herald newspaper, which said unidentified entities are profiteering at the public’s expense. The president’s comments were made during a wide-ranging interview he gave to state-owned television that will be aired on April 17 on the eve of Independence Day celebrations, the paper said.Exchange ClosedMnangagwa has previously issued warnings to private companies he blames for undermining his efforts to turn around an economy plagued by annual inflation of 241% and foreign-currency shortages.Last year, his government closed the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for five weeks and singled out the largest mobile operator, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd., for undermining the nation’s currency through its mobile-money service. Econet denied the allegations.The impending action is an attempt to prevent manipulation of the foreign-currency auction system, according to the Herald. The system has provided over $800 million to companies since its introduction in June, though high demand for U.S. dollars by importers means that there is only a limited supply.Monetary authorities met with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe on April 12 to discuss “due diligence and know-your-customer requirements” in order to ensure economic stability, Mangudya said.Ralph Watungwa, president of the Banker’s Association of Zimbabwe, didn’t immediately answer two calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.Zimbabwe reintroduced its own currency in 2019 after a 10-year hiatus and has been battling bouts of high inflation and shortages of everything from foreign currency to food. The local unit, which was pegged at parity to the U.S. dollar as recently as February 2019, has plunged to 84 per U.S. dollar.The gap between the official exchange rate and parallel market has widened by 36%, with a U.S. dollar selling for 115 Zimbabwean dollars on the streets of Harare.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Gold may have risen following the release of the CPI data, but it was not because of concerns over inflation.
Stocks traded mixed Wednesday afternoon, with traders digesting a slew of earnings results from big banks that largely topped expectations. The Dow set a fresh record high as shares of Goldman Sachs advanced after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly results.