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Samsung’s new $2000 smartphone doesn’t go on sale until next week but there are already reports that the phone is breaking. Yahoo Finance's tech editor Dan Howley joins the Final Round to discuss.
Samsung’s new $2000 smartphone doesn’t go on sale until next week but there are already reports that the phone is breaking. Yahoo Finance's tech editor Dan Howley joins the Final Round to discuss.
The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs on Thursday as easing inflation concerns boosted demand for richly valued technology stocks, while upbeat earnings reports and strong March retail sales raised hopes of a broader economic rebound. The S&P information technology and communication services indexes, which include Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc, led gains after underperforming last month.
(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.
(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.
* Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E (Adds schedule for Biden remarks on Russia, details on U.S. data, comments from Fed's Daly, euro context, updates prices) By Karen Brettell NEW YORK, April 15 (Reuters) - The dollar index was little changed on the day on Thursday as investors balanced bullish data showing U.S. retail sales rose by the most in 10 months in March against a continued drop in U.S. Treasury yields. Dollar strength was capped, however, as Treasury yields dropped to one-month lows, reducing the relative attractiveness of the U.S. currency. The dollar index earlier on Thursday hit a one-month low of 91.487, before rebounding to 91.608, unchanged on the day.
(Bloomberg) -- The physical crude market in Asia has been reinvigorated amid a rise in buying by a Chinese mega-refiner as well as some Japanese oil companies, boding well for improved consumption.Rongsheng Petrochemical Co. came to the market early this month to snap up about 7 million barrels of Middle Eastern varieties for June-July delivery. That’s up from 5 million barrels bought in March, and puts it on course for the biggest monthly purchase since October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In addition, spot differentials of Russia’s ESPO cargoes have started off stronger, trading $1 above the last reported deal.The pick-up in activity across the key Asian market comes amid a flurry of signs that global oil consumption is improving as economies including the U.S. shake off the impact of the pandemic. This week, both the International Energy Agency and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries issued positive outlooks, even as the cartel and its allies plan to ease supply curbs. So far in 2021, Brent futures have soared 30%, and last traded near $67 a barrel.In Asia, traders had been waiting for further signs of improved demand across the region after buying of spot cargoes by China was muted in March, weakening the overall Asian physical market. That retreat of Chinese buyers coincided with its bigger intake of U.S.-sanctioned Iranian crude, and as higher prices and the backwardated market structure incentivized local de-stocking.While the spot crude purchases of China’s smaller independent refiners will be observed in the coming days, the nation is clearly leading the global recovery in oil consumption. Its refineries processed near-record volumes of crude last month, contributing toward record economic growth in the first quarter.See also: China’s March Apparent Oil Demand Rises 22.5% Y/yRongsheng’s Singapore unit purchased 6 million barrels of Abu Dhabi’s Murban and Upper Zakum, along with a further 1 million barrels of Qatar’s Al-Shaheen for delivery to Zhoushan, according to traders who asked not to be identified.Rongsheng is not alone, with Japanese refiners also out early to secure Middle Eastern supplies. In addition, other processors such as Thailand’s PTT Pcl and Japan’s Fuji Oil Co. issued tenders on Friday to purchase sour grades from the Persian Gulf, of which results will most likely surface next week.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.
The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs on Friday after Morgan Stanley wrapped up quarterly earnings reports from the big U.S. banks with a profit surge, while optimism about a solid economic rebound put the main indexes on course for weekly gains. Nine of the 11 S&P indexes were trading higher, with only the communication services and information technology indexes edging lower after outperforming in the previous session. Wall Street's three main indexes have bounced this month as upbeat economic data, a solid start to the first-quarter corporate earnings season and the Federal Reserve's pledge to keep interest rates low despite higher inflation boosted demand, particularly for richly valued technology stocks.
Knighthead and Certares have proposed taking control of Hertz with backing from some existing shareholders of the rental firm and private-equity company Apollo Global Management Inc, which has agreed to supply up to $2.5 billion in preferred equity financing, the report said https://www.wsj.com/articles/hertz-bankruptcy-bidding-war-heats-up-with-new-counteroffer-11618573271?mod=latest_headlines, citing people familiar with the matter. Last month, Knighthead and Certares agreed to buy a majority stake in Hertz for $4.2 billion to help it ride out of bankruptcy by early- to mid-summer. But their offer was eclipsed by a rival bid earlier this month by private investment firms Centerbridge Partners, Warburg Pincus and Dundon Capital Partners.
(Bloomberg) -- Russian markets trimmed losses as investors speculated that the impact of long-awaited U.S. debt sanctions would be milder than feared.Benchmark ruble bonds pared declines, leaving the yield up the most since September. The White House barred U.S. financial institutions from buying new Russian bonds, a step that potentially leaves the secondary market unaffected. The ruble and stocks also clawed back losses.The growing threat of bond sanctions had been weighing on investor confidence in Russia for months and Thursday’s announcement came after a massive troop buildup on the border with Ukraine. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cited Russia’s spiraling tensions with the West as one of the reasons for cutting its recommendation on emerging-market currencies to underweight.“Some of the uncertainty has gone,” said Dmitry Polevoy, an analyst at Locko-Invest. “Ultimately, it all depends how it’s interpreted by the compliance departments of U.S. banks and, more importantly, investors in other jurisdictions.”A senior Russian official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters that aren’t public, called the new debt restrictions the least painful option since they don’t affect the secondary market.Despite a sharp selloff when markets opened in Moscow, the ruble and local bonds are still stronger in the week. Markets rallied after U.S. President Joe Biden proposed a face-to-face meeting in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.Russian officials have long said debt curbs won’t seriously hurt the government’s ability to fund itself as local banks and non-U.S. investors could step in to replace those forced to sell. State lender VTB Bank PJSC bought more than 70% of the local notes on offer in Wednesday’s debt sales, which saw a record placement equivalent to almost $3 billion.Foreigners now hold about a fifth of the so-called OFZ debt, worth roughly $37 billion.By targeting the primary market for government ruble debt, the U.S. has found “a way to test the waters,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington.“There is a lot of plumbing we do not understand, so even if there is a plan to move to the secondary market, one wants to do so gradually”Market Snapshot:Yields on Russia’s 10-year ruble bonds were up 13 basis points at 7.17% as of 4:31 p.m. in Moscow, set for the biggest increase since SeptemberThe ruble traded 0.9% weaker at 76.5350, paring a drop of as much as 2.1%Russia’s benchmark MOEX stock index retreated 0.7%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.
(Bloomberg) -- Brevan Howard Asset Management is preparing to start investing in digital assets, becoming the latest money manager seeking to exploit the cryptocurrency boom.The firm led by Aron Landy will begin by investing up to 1.5% of its $5.6 billion main hedge fund in digital assets, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The initial allocation will be overseen by Johnny Steindorff and Tucker Waterman, co-founders of crypto investment firm Distributed Global, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.A spokesman for Jersey-based Brevan Howard declined to comment.The move is the latest signal that cryptocurrencies are going mainstream as Brevan Howard joins the likes of billionaire hedge fund managers Paul Tudor Jones and Marc Lasry in betting on digital assets. Only on Wednesday, crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. went public and hit a valuation above $112 billion.Brevan Howard’s fund will bet on the rising values of digital assets, and will focus on a wide range beyond just Bitcoin, the person said.Familiar GroundBrevan Howard is no stranger to digital assets. Co-founder Alan Howard invests his personal money into cryptocurrencies and the firm recently acquired a 25% stake in One River Asset Management, a $2.5 billion firm whose cryptocurrency funds are backed by Howard.The billionaire has been an investor in Distributed Global since early 2018, the person said. That firm also runs a crypto venture capital fund in partnership with Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte. All trading will take place through Elwood Asset Management, an affiliate platform started by Howard four years ago, the person said.Bitcoin has more than doubled this year, boosting the market for cryptocurrencies past $2 trillion, while the entry of big financial institutions into the space has been one of the biggest trends in the industry over the past few months. Tesla Inc. now accepts Bitcoin for its electric vehicles, and the company disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in the currency earlier this year.Both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have also announced plans to offer clients access to crypto investments.On its part, Brevan Howard had been developing its digital trading technologies and assessing the sector’s suitability for investors for the last few years, according to the person. It decided in the fourth quarter of last year that the industry had matured enough for it to deploy a small part of clients cash.Brevan Howard, best known for its macro trading prowess, is in expansion mode following a record year of gains. Investors who abandoned the firm amid years of mediocre returns are coming back: Assets that collapsed by over 80% from their peak to about $6 billion two years ago have since rebounded to above $13 billion.The firm’s main fund is run by a group of traders including Howard himself, Fash Golchin, Alfredo Saitta and Minal Bathwal. It gained 27.4% last year in its best annual return since 2003.(Updates with industry background in 8th paragraph)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.
Citibank has hinted there won't be any possible layoff and closure of physical branches in the countries it is exiting.
The IRS chief tells Congress the child tax credit payments will arrive on time after all.
Warren Buffett's famous economic measurement shows Orman might be onto something.
(Reuters) -Citigroup Inc trounced first-quarter profit expectations, thanks to a rebound in the broader economy and a jump in investment banking activity, and said it will exit some overseas businesses as new chief executive Jane Fraser starts to make her mark on the country's third-largest lender. Citigroup's share price was broadly flat in afternoon trading. "Our first impression is the incoming CEO Jane Fraser is striking the right cord on messaging a sense of urgency to undertake strategic changes that enhance the profitability profile," UBS analyst Saul Martinez wrote in a note.
China has given domestic and international banks permission to import large amounts of gold into the country, five sources familiar with the matter said, potentially helping to support gold prices after a months-long decline. China is the world's biggest gold consumer, gobbling up hundreds of tonnes worth tens of billions of dollars each year, but its imports plunged as the coronavirus spread and local demand dried up. With China's economy rebounding strongly since the second half of last year, its appetite for gold jewellery, bars and coins has also recovered, and since January domestic prices have been higher than global benchmark rates, making it profitable to import bullion.
The IRS sent out COVID-19 relief checks to nearly 2M more Americans, including over 700,000 'plus-up' payments for people eligible for more money.
Bitcoin fell early on Friday, after Turkey’s central bank decided to ban cryptocurrency payments from the end of the month.
Lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing the president to take immediate action.
China's GDP expanded by a dizzying 18.3% in the first three months of 2021 from a year earlier, sealing its status as COVID-19's "first in, first out" economy. It was the only major economy that showed an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) last year after successfully controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic at home. HOW BIG IS CHINA'S FIRST-QUARTER GDP GROWTH EXACTLY?
Federal tax returns are due May 17, but many people still need to pay their first quarter 2021 estimated tax payments April 15. Plus more tax tips.
It’s not a good sign that wide divergences between the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) have become almost commonplace. Consider the number of trading sessions in which there is at least one percentage point spread between the returns of these two indices. On Tuesday, the Nasdaq rose 1.1% while the Dow fell 0.2%.