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Money markets us cp market expands in latest week

NEW YORK, July 12 The U.S. commercial paper market expanded in the latest week, suggesting more corporate borrowing despite worries about a global economic slowdown, Federal Reserve data showed on Thursday. The size of the U.S. commercial paper market expanded by $9.4 billion to $981.9 billion in the week ended July 11 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest Fed data. The data shows there may have been increased risk taking after a large fall the previous week, when investors were expected to be reducing positions in order to tidy balance sheets for quarter end. The market had contracted by $35.7 billion the previous week. Outstanding volumes have largely stayed in the area between $900 billion to $1 trillion this year, and remain below year-end levels of $1.04 trillion at the end of 2010, the Fed data show.

The market size without seasonal adjustments also rose, by $24.4 billion to $995.6 billion in the latest week. Foreign banks' commercial paper outstanding increased $2.5 billion in the latest week to $130 billion on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the latest Fed data showed.

BANKS SLASH ECB DEPOSITS In Europe Banks slashed the amount of money they parked at the ECB after it stopped paying interest on overnight deposits on Wednesday, but there was no sign they were using it to lend more or buy the bonds of crisis-hit euro zone states.

Banks are reluctant to lend to each other for fear of not getting all their money back, so they have deposited back with the ECB much of the cash from the central bank's 1 trillion euros cash boost in December and February. ECB policymaker Josef Bonnici said the plunge in overnight deposits - to 325 billion euros from more than 800 billion a day earlier - was "encouraging" and said he expected to see a rise in loans to firms and consumers as a result. But ECB President Mario Draghi has said he expects little impact on what banks and other investors do with their spare cash - a view reinforced by them simply moving funds from the deposit facility to their current accounts at the central bank."It's just a shifting of cash from one place to another and ultimately it's a zero-sum game," said Simon Peck, rate strategist at RBS.

Money markets us rates futures weaker after fed officials remarks

NEW YORK Nov 18 U.S. interest rates futures were steady to lower on Wednesday as remarks from several top Federal Reserve officials reinforced the notion the central bank would raise interest rates at its policy meeting in December. Rates futures implied traders see a 72 percent chance of a rate lift-off in December, compared with 64 percent on Tuesday, according to CME Group's FedWatch program."I am now reasonably satisfied the situation has settled down... So I am comfortable with moving off zero soon, conditioned on no marked deterioration in economic conditions," Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart told a conference of bankers, traders and regulators at an event in New York.

The pace of rate hikes will likely be "relatively gradual or shallow," Lockhart said.

Rates futures suggested traders expect a 60 percent likelihood the Fed would increase rates again at its June 2016 meeting, compared with 54 percent on Tuesday.

Cleveland Fed chief Loretta Mester said the U.S. economy could handle a modest rate hike, while New York Fed President William Dudley said he doesn't expect "huge surprise" or a big market reaction when the Fed begins raising rates. Mester and Dudley were speaking at the same event as Lockhart.

Morocco hopes for islamic finance rules by end

Nov 25 Draft Islamic banking and insurance regulations have been prepared in Morocco and could be passed by parliament before the end of next year, an Islamic finance executive said on Monday."The draft laws have been finalised and submitted to the parliament," Said Amaghdir, chairman of the Moroccan Association for Participative Finance Professionals, an Islamic finance business association, told Reuters.

"We hope the validation of the law will be for an Islamic banking window and then for full-fledged takaful (Islamic insurance)," Amaghdir said on the sidelines of the Global Islamic Economy Summit in Dubai. Morocco has been seeking to develop Islamic finance for about two years, partly as a way to attract Gulf money and fund the huge budget deficit.

The government originally planned to issue its first sovereign Islamic bond this year but that plan appears to have been delayed by disputes within the government over other policies and a cabinet reshuffle in October.

The Islamic finance laws could clear the way for Morocco to see its first conventional bank with an Islamic window, as well as sukuk issuance by private firms, Amaghdir said. Two or three private firms could tap the market fairly quickly after the laws are passed, he said."We need a national sharia

Press digest australian business news march 12

Compiled for Reuters by Media Monitors. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW (this site)Ian Smith, the new head of chemical and explosives manufacturer Orica and a former chief executive of gold producer Newcrest Mining, yesterday said he does not expect that he will be forced to write down the value of its Minova mining consumables business. "I don't think there's a great expectation inside the company that there's an impairment issue there with Minova at the moment," Mr Smith said. Analysts are speculating that Minova could be sold off by Orica, having failed to meet the parent company's goal of 18 percent return on net assets. Page 17.-- Alison Watkins, chief executive of GrainCorp, yesterday played down speculation that the grains handler was at greater risk of being subject to a takeover offer after Canadian agri-business Viterra revealed that it had received "expressions of interest from third-parties". "That can occupy everyone's minds but we will just get on with the job," Ms Watkins said about the Viterra bid, adding that the company was more concerned with recent flooding in eastern Australia. Page 17.-- Steve Mallyon, former managing director of coal producer Riversdale Mining, yesterday said that a move by Mozambique to prevent global miner Rio Tinto from shipping coal down the Zambezi River by barge could damage the country's exporting capacity and the country's image for mining investment. "Unfortunately this new policy is going to result in an underperforming coal sector for some time," Mr Mallyon said. Page 19.-- The most popular imported beer in Australia, Corona, will be sold locally by Japanese brewer Lion for the first time in over two decades after the company secured a distribution contract with Mexican beverage manufacturer Grupo Modelo. The move comes after Modelo cancelled local beer maker Foster's Group's distribution contract on Friday. James Brindley, beer, spirits and wine managing director at Lion, said the agreement was an "exciting development". Page 19.-- THE AUSTRALIAN (this site)Figures collected by researchers Intierra for the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies lobby group has found that Australia's share of capital for mining ventures worldwide has sunk to 15 percent from 21 percent in 2008, despite the value of capital raisings domestically growing by A$200 million to A$4.5 billion over the same period. "When you look at the numbers, this really highlights that we are not the only country in the world with minerals," Graham Short, national policy manager at the association, said. Page 19.--

Craig Kipp, chief executive of locally listed Boart Longyear , the largest drilling contractor in the world, recently said he "started the year telling the market that we were going to put points on the board and deliver to the market, and that's what we did". The firm last week posted a 89 percent increase in profit to A$160 million, with Mr Kipp adding that the contractor was forced to recruit expatriates to meet local demand for drillers and skilled labour. Page 19.-- Rio Tinto's Bret Clayton last week told analysts at a conference that the global miner was not changing its optimistic view of the Chinese economy, despite Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announcing that growth would fall from 9.2 percent in 2011 to 7.5 percent this year. The miner's head of business support and operations said that the eastern state was experiencing "new problems" and that "prices high". Page 20.-- Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, yesterday said the competition regulator's investigations into the supermarket giants was concentrating on whether unilateral adjustments had been made to long-standing contracts with suppliers. However, the regulator admitted that the welfare of suppliers could conflict with consumers' wish for lower prices. "We don't have evidence yet of unconscionable conduct but what we do know is that it's worth looking at," Mr Sims said. Page 21.--

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (this site)Pressure is mounting on fund managers to declare how much they earn in exchange for managing the country's superannuation funds, with the industry set to gain A$9.4 billion in revenue from super fund members this financial year. "As a fund, you would want to know what the executives are being paid and whether they are aligned to you, the super fund," Fiona Reynolds, chief executive of the Australian Institute of Super Trustees representative body, said. Page B1.-- According to data due to be released today from the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, European lenders withdrew $7.56 billion from the Australian economy in response to the euro zone debt crisis. "Pressures on European banks to deleverage increased towards the end of 2011 as funding strains intensified and regulators imposed new targets," the Swiss bank will say in its quarterly review. Page B1.-- The New South Wales government has cut its women in business mentoring scheme alongside other support services for small businesses. Small Business Minister Katrina Hodgkinson yesterday said the Advisory Service, which offers mentoring and seminars to small companies, was no longer desired by the majority of small business owners. "Many small business operators indicated they are quite often unable to take extended time away from work," she said. The government will introduce a telephone advisory hotline in its place. Page B6.--

Olympic medallist Michael Klim, who will compete at the Australian swimming qualifiers for the London Olympics this week in South Australia, has revealed that he "always wanted to create a brand of some sort, probably in fashion or something like that". The swimming star established a male skincare line of products four years ago, with the Milk brand stocked in major retailers like Myer, Coles and Woolworths. Page B6.-- THE AGE (this site)Nicole Coughlin-Smith, managing director of social media training provider Institute of Online Business, said some businesses wanted to increase their number of "likes" on Facebook due to a school of thought that believes in a correlation between sales and "likes" on the social media hub. "I know from my own point of view if I go to a website page and I see 146,000 likes, I'm pretty much going to like it myself," Ms Coughlin-Smith said. Page B4.-- Robert Green, the recently appointed chief executive of VicForests, said he believes that "we will see some significant changes to the way timber is allocated". The state government body was founded eight years ago by the Labor Party to sell native timber at auction in a bid to return a revenue to the state. Mr Green's appointment follows the release of a report by consultant URS for Treasury into VicForests' first five years, which said the state body had been restricted by a lack of control over the section of native forest available to industry. Page B8.-- Recent office market figures from the Property Council of Australia have revealed a stark fall in vacancy rates in Victoria's Southbank to 6.4 percent in January, a fall of 34 percent over the last 18 months. Baird Mackie, associate director of office leasing at real estate group Savills Australia, yesterday said tenants' view of the area was different. "Eight years ago we had to drag tenants kicking and screaming from the other side of the river," he said. Page B9.-- According to a recent study by real estate group CB Richard Ellis, Sydney and Melbourne were the third and eight-most expensive cities in the world for renting retail space. "Retailers are unskilled and ill-prepared compared with landlords," Lee Trevena from online information systems service Synetek said. "Rent is the second biggest cost for a retailer after wages, but they don't have experts in the business," he added. Page B10.--

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