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Feb 6, 2013

BBC News | Asia Business (7 February 2013 Last Update at 04:04 GMT:).: Dreamliner probe result 'weeks away'

7 February 2013 Last updated at 04:04 GMT

Dreamliner probe result 'weeks away'Damaged battery of the Japan Airlines 787 plane

A US regulator says it may take "weeks" for it to complete its probe into battery problems that hit two of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner planes.

Solar panels in IndiaUS and India in solar cell dispute New

The US has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against India's national solar policy saying it "discriminates" against US products.

NYT | Global Update (February 6, 2013).: Killing of Tunisian Opposition Figure Sets Off Protests

The New York Times International Herald Tribune
February 6, 2013
Compiled 21:45 GMT

Global Update


Killing of Tunisian Opposition Figure Sets Off Protests

Thousands of protesters gathered on Wednesday in Tunis after Chokri Belaid, a fierce critic of the Islamist-led government, was killed by gunmen outside his home.

United States Announces New Iran Sanctions

The United States blacklisted several organizations in Iran, widening the American effort to pressure the government over its nuclear program and human rights abuses.

R.B.S. to Pay $612 Million Over Rate Rigging

The Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday settled with American and British authorities over accusations that it manipulated rates.

DealBook P.M. Edition Top Story (February 6, 2013).: White Collar Watch: A How-To Guide for Banks Facing Libor Settlements

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
White Collar Watch: A How-To Guide for Banks Facing Libor Settlements Peter J. Henning says that now that a third bank has settled a case involving manipulation of Libor, other firms ensnared have a guidebook on what to expect when negotiating their own agreements.
A branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh.
R.B.S. to Pay $612 Million Over Rate Rigging The Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday settled with American and British authorities over accusations that it manipulated rates.

MarketWatch | Wall Street at Close Report (February 6, 2013).: Stocks edge up on earnings; Nasdaq falls

By Wallace Witkowski and Polya Lesova, MarketWatch 

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)U.S. stocks eked out modest gains Wednesday after earnings from Time Warner Inc., Wyndham Worldwide Corp. and others reinforced a theme of steady improvement for consumer companies. The Nasdaq Composite ended lower. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.05% ended a choppy trading day up 7.22 points, or 0.1%, at 13,986.52. It had fallen as much as 66 points during the session. 

What chance for Berlusconi?
Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, may be down in the polls but remains the best-known face of Italian politics. . 

BIV Today's Business News February 6, 2013).: Politics and Policy: Exclusive: City of Surrey furious over parody T-shirts :

Politics and Policy

Exclusive: City of Surrey furious over parody T-shirts

Surrey city hall has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a website selling hoodies and T-shirts that

NYT | Opinion Today February 6, 2013).: The Cosmetics Wars

The New York Times

February 6, 2013

Opinion Today

The Cosmetics Wars

The Cosmetics Wars

We're all being used as guinea pigs in the test of new product safety.
 When Can the U.S. Kill One of Its Own?
Room for Debate

When Can the U.S. Kill One of Its Own?

Are targeted killings depriving U.S. citizens of constitutionally protected due process rights?
Political Intelligence
Opinionator | The Conversation

Political Intelligence

Brooks and Collins on a few suspicious signs that we might actually be headed in the right direction.

Money Show | Investors Daily Alert (February 6, 2013).: Global State of the Union: What Changes and Where Is Value Now?, Frank Trotter


Jim Jubak on
Today's Featured Videos & Exclusive Interviews
Stocks or ETFs in 2013?, Louis Navellier

MarketWatch | Europe Stock Markets at Close Report (February 6, 2013).: Italian fears send European stocks lower

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch 

LONDON (MarketWatch)Worries over the political situation in Italy hurt sentiment across European markets on Wednesday, as the renewed popularity of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stoked fears of financial chaos in his country. 

Investors also stayed on the sidelines ahead of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting on Thursday. Read: Draghi unlikely to take up arms in currency war. 
The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP -0.36% lost 0.4% to close at 284.52, after putting in the best daily performance since early January on Tuesday.

The Best Way to Finish the Job of Deficit Reduction: The White House Washington (January 6, 2013).

The White House

The Best Way to Finish the Job of Deficit Reduction
Yesterday, in a statement from the Briefing Room, President Obama explained that while our economy is headed in the right direction, looming automatic budget cuts will cost jobs and slow down our recovery. Those deep, indiscriminate cuts aren't the best way to meet the $4 trillion in deficit reduction needed to stabilize our debt.
The best way to finish that job of deficit reduction? A "balanced mix of spending cuts and tax reform," the President said.
President Obama Makes a Statement on the Sequester

Money Show Traders Daily Alert (February 6, 2013).: Is the Euro's Rally Over?, Yohay Elam : Is the Euro's Rally Over?

Traders Daily Alert

Tips for Traders

Options Idea

Charts in Play

Currency Corner

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin (February 6, 2013).

ADVFN III World Daily Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Wednesday, 06 February 2013

US Market
Stocks Move Back To The Downside In Early Trading

After showing a strong upward move over the course of the previous session, stocks have moved back to the downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major averages have slid into negative territory, although selling pressure has remained relatively subdued.

The major averages have climbed off their lows for the young session but currently remain in the red. The Dow is down 41.61 points or 0.3 percent at 13,937.69, the Nasdaq is down 5.65 points or 0.2 percent at 3,165.93 and the S&P 500 is down 3.56 points or 0.2 percent at 1,507.73.

The early weakness on Wall Street is partly due to lingering uncertainty about the financial situation in Europe ahead of Thursday's monetary policy announcement from the European Central Bank.

RTTNews Morning Market Briefing (February 6, 2013).

Commentary February 6, 2013

Stocks may move back to the downside in early trading on Wednesday after showing a notable rebound over the course of the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 49 points. (Feb 6, 2013) Full Article 

Economic News

Retail sales in Australia were down a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in December, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, standing at A$21.420 billion. (Feb 6, 2013) Full Article

China unveiled reforms to its income distribution mechanism that included boosting minimum wages and social welfare funds in order to bridge the wealth gap. The plan approved by the Cabinet calls for increasing the minimum wages to 40 percent of average salaries and lifting the percentage of profit contribution by state-owned companies' to the treasury by 5 percentage points by 2015. (Feb 6, 2013) Full Article

ETF Trends | New Selected articles (February 6, 2013).: Dividend ETF Targets Lower-Risk, High-Yield Stocks... and more


The explosion of dividend ETFs in recent years in a low-rate market for bonds has made it much easier for investors to buy diversified stock funds for yield. However, the wide array of ETF options can make it a bit difficult to choose the best fund to fit an investor’s particular needs and goals. The iShares High Dividend Equity Fund (HDV) isn't among the largest five dividend ETFs but it still holds assets of more than $2 billion. Read More

As Unit Pleads Guilty, R.B.S. Pays $612 Million Over Rate Rigging | Dealbook Alert (February 6, 2013).

DEALBOOK ALERT Wednesday, February 6, 2013 8:17 AM EST
The Royal Bank of Scotland on Wednesday struck a combined $612 million settlement with American and British authorities over accusations that it manipulated interest rates, the latest case to emerge from a broad international investigation.

DealBook Today's Top Headlines (February 6, 2013).: Documents in S.&P. Case Show Alarm | R.B.S. Approaches Settlement Over Rate-Rigging | Debevoise Drops Trusts and Estate Practice | Rescuing the Twinkie

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
DOCUMENTS IN S.&P. CASE SHOW ALARM Documents included in the Justice Department's lawsuit against Standard & Poor's provide a glimpse at the company's inner working in the run-up to the financial crisis. "Tensions appeared to be escalating inside the firm's headquarters in Lower Manhattan as it publicly professed that its ratings were valid, even as the home loans bundled into mortgage-backed securities, or M.B.S., were failing at accelerating rates," Mary Williams Walsh and Ron Nixon write in DealBook. "Together, the documents show a portrait of some executives pushing to water down the firm's rating models in the hope of preserving market share and profits, while others expressed deep concerns about the poor performance of the securities and what they saw as a lowering of standards."

Some of the documents also showed some of the snark among the rank-and-file over the impending crisis. One analyst in March 2007 borrowed from the Talking Heads, creating new lyrics to "Burning Down the House," according to the complaint: "Subprime is boi-ling o-ver. Bringing down the house." In a confidential memo reproduced in the complaint, one executive said: "This market is a wildly spinning top which is going to end badly."

Gold Mineweb Daily News (February 6, 2013).: New Gold sees 12% increase in gold output for 2013, decline in silver

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TOP STORIES | Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013                                                     

New Gold sees 12% increase in gold output for 2013, decline in silver

During an Investor Day conference call, New Gold officials highlighted the company’s 6% gold production growth in 2012 as well as a 236% increase in copper production.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Gold retreats below $1,670 as US dollar, stocks rise

Prices retreated below $1,670 on Wednesday as caution ahead of an ECB meeting pressured the euro against the US dollar.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Vale and Silver Wheaton announce $1.9bn gold stream deal

As Vale downsizes its steel division and reviews its nickel and silver assets, a $1.9 billion deal with Silver Wheaton will put the silver company solidly into the gold stream business.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

RTTNews | US Market Commentary (February 6, 2013).: Wall Street Stays Afloat Amid Risk Appetite

RTT News: Global Financial Newswires

US Market Commentary

Wall Street Stays Afloat Amid Risk Appetite

2/6/2013 6:37 AM ET

Wall Street's momentum has not deserted it amid its optimism about the global economy, as reflected by the U.S. index futures, which point to a higher open on Wednesday. Undeterred by the extended rally, the major averages have been relentlessly climbing. Earlier in the day, Japanese Nikkei 225 average climbed to fresh multi-year highs, as the yen sagged further. European stocks are also advancing, although amid some volatility. In the absence of any major domestic economic catalysts, traders may focus on a handful of key earnings.

As of 6:30 pm ET, the Dow futures are adding 18 points and the S&P 500 futures are up 1.40 points, while the Nasdaq 100 futures are rising 0.75 points.

U.S. stocks rebounded on Tuesday post the previous session's sell-off, as traders focused on the positive tidings on the corporate earnings and economic front.

On the economic front, the Treasury is due to make announcements concerning the auction of 3-year and 10-year notes and 30-year bonds at 9 am ET.

MarketWatch | U.S. Stock Market Indications (February 6, 2013).:

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch 

MADRID (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock-market futures mostly rose on Wednesday, taking some inspiration from a rally out of Japan, as an empty data calendar leaves investors with room to question whether momentum and risk appetite will continue to build after a rout early in the week. 

The earnings calendar includes Time Warner Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. among a handful of key companies reporting premarket. 

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJH3 +0.30%  rose 14 points to 13,924. Futures for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index SPH3 +0.11%  rose 0.9 point to 1,506.80. 

Those for the Nasdaq 100 index NDH3 +0.12%  edged down 0.8 point to to 2,748.50. 

Stocks shrug off Monday's slide
U.S. stocks snapped back from a day-earlier tumble, led by technology shares, as investors eyed corporate earnings and steady economic readings in the U.S. and Europe. 

Wall Street stocks bounced back on Tuesday to recoup from a prior-day rout, with confidence lifted by a deal to take Dell Inc. DELL +1.13%  private — the biggest leveraged-buyout deal in years. 

The Dow industrials DJIA +0.71%  rose 99.22 points, or 0.7%, to 13,979.30. On Monday, that average sank nearly 130 points on political unease out of Europe. Read: U.S. stocks rebound on buyout hopes 

MarketWatch | Asia Markets at Close Report (February 6, 2013).: Japan stocks soar to four-year highs, lead Asia

By Sarah Turner and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch 

HONG KONG (MarketWatch)Japanese stocks soared Wednesday to end at their highest level in more than four years as the yen skidded amid hopes the country’s central bank may adopt aggressive easing measures following Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa’s planned early departure. 

Most other regional markets ended with modest gains in the wake of upbeat economic data from the U.S. and Europe a day earlier. 

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 +3.77%  jumped 3.8%, the most since March last year, to finish the day at 11,463.75, a level it hasn’t seen since September 2008. 

The U.S. dollar USDJPY +0.0159%  briefly topped 94 yen and the euro climbed as high as ¥127.69 — a high neither currency has seen since 2010. The yen’s fall against them came after Gov. Shirakawa late Tuesday said he would step down from his post on March 19, a few weeks ahead of the expiration of his term, to coincide with the departure of two deputy governors. Read more about yen’s drop versus the dollar and the euro. 


Why Chinese banks are eager to lend again
China's banks have recently been exceeding their lending limits. May Yan of Barclays explains why this may be a sign of economic recovery in the country.

Analysts said the news likely means an accelerated and potentially more wide-ranging policy-easing plan will emerge from the Japanese central bank.

ADVFN III Morning Euro Markets Bulleti (February 6, 2013).

ADVFN III Morning Euro Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial news Wednesday, 06 February

London Market Report
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Stocks undaunted ahead of central banks

    Market Movers
    techMARK 2,299.12 +0.56%
    FTSE 100 6,316.00 +0.53%
    FTSE 250 13,377.66 +1.02%
The Footsie has begun the day with a moderate move higher, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street and in Tokyo.

The latter came in response to news that Bank of Japan Governor, Masaaki Shirakawa, will step down on March19th, almost three weeks ahead of schedule, which some observers interpreted as favouring the new Prime Minister’s calls for a more aggressive monetary policy.

All of the above comes ahead of tomorrow’s testimony by Mark Carney before the
Treasury Select Committee and policy meetings at the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

Not to be lost sight of, investors are also watching what appear to be signs of division between France and southern Europe, on the one hand, and Germany and the UK on the other, ahead of tomorrow’s European Council. European leaders are expected to try to find an agreement on the European Budget for 2014-2020.

Back in the UK, the Halifax house price survey this morning showed that house prices fell slightly in January, by 0.2% month-on-month, after reporting strong increases during the previous two months.

Overall shop price inflation fell to 0.6% year-on-year in January after a reading of 1.5% in December, the lowest shop price inflation since November 2009, when it was 0.2%.
FTSE 100: Keep the coming says Hargreaves
In UK company news, financial service company Hargreaves Lansdown on Wednesday posted record revenues and profits for the last half of 2012 driven by a boost in client numbers.

FTSE 100-listed metal mining company Eurasian Natural Resources has acknowledged that its aluminium division operated below capacity in the fourth quarter of the year, whilst production of saleable copper declined against the corresponding period in the previous year. Notwithstanding the above, the majority of Eurasian Natural Resources’ business areas saw growth in production and operating performance.

Shares of Schroders are rising strongly following an upgrade out of analysts at Morgan Stanley, to overweight.

Unilever, on the other hand, is leading losers this morning after going ex-dividend.

ARM Holdings is off a tad following yesterday’s surge and after at least three brokers (Investec, UBS and JP Morgan) opted to retain their ‘neutral’ rating on the stock.

RBS has announced that it is in late stage settlement discussions with regulators and that it will update the market ‘shortly’, although it sees significant penalties and sanctions.
FTSE 250: WS Atkins trading 'in line'
Engineering and product management consultancy Atkins on Wednesday said it was trading in line with expectations despite challenging market conditions. The FTSE 250 company has faced difficult trading conditions over the past three months, particularly in North America, according to a business update.

International home emergency business HomeServe has reported that it expects its New Markets segment to report a fiscal year 2013 operating loss of approximately £5.5m, representing a 61.8% rise compared to the fiscal year 2012, when the business reported a £3.4m loss.

AIM/Small Cap Report
FTSE 100 - Risers
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 784.50p +6.81%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 359.80p +4.53%
Schroders (SDR) 2,002.00p +3.04%
Weir Group (WEIR) 2,075.00p +2.67%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 220.10p +2.32%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 741.00p +2.14%
TUI Travel (TT.) 306.70p +2.10%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,088.00p +1.97%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 52.36p +1.71%
IMI (IMI) 1,201.00p +1.61%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Unilever (ULVR) 2,567.00p -1.16%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 923.00p -0.86%
BP (BP.) 466.25p -0.52%
Rexam (REX) 465.90p -0.45%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 972.50p -0.26%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 170.90p -0.20%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 331.00p 0.00%
SABMiller (SAB) 3,185.50p +0.13%
Smiths Group (SMIN) 1,223.00p +0.16%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 252.30p +0.16%

FTSE 250 - Risers
ICAP (IAP) 363.90p +7.41%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 485.20p +4.01%
Homeserve (HSV) 245.00p +3.77%
Tullett Prebon (TLPR) 261.00p +3.74%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 271.10p +3.67%
Lonmin (LMI) 379.70p +3.24%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 75.55p +3.14%
easyJet (EZJ) 977.00p +3.00%
Man Group (EMG) 93.45p +2.98%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 112.00p +2.94%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Victrex (VCT) 1,503.00p -2.21%
Aberforth Smaller Companies Trust (ASL) 745.00p -1.65%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,005.00p -1.15%
RPS Group (RPS) 236.60p -0.92%
Inmarsat (ISAT) 656.50p -0.68%
Workspace Group (WKP) 326.30p -0.64%
BH Macro Ltd. EUR Shares (BHME) € 19.52 -0.61%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 1,352.00p -0.59%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 723.00p -0.55%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 40.55p -0.54%

UK Event Calendar
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FTSE 100EuronextDax perfCAC 40
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Hargreaves Lansdown

Ashtead Group, Halma, Vodafone Group

Cohort, Daejan Holdings, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 1, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 1 'C' Shares, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 1 'D' Shares, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 1 E Shares, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 1 F Shares, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 2, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 2 'C' Shares, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 2 'D' Shares, Ingenious Entertainment VCT 2 F Shares, Mattioli Woods, Penna Consulting, Puma High Income VCT , Puma Vct 8, Puma Vct VII, Stagecoach Group, Tricorn Group

IBM Corp., JPMorgan Claverhouse Inv Trust, Unilever

PMI Construction (GER) (08:55)

Canaccord Financial Inc.

GlaxoSmithKline, Virgin Media Inc., Wolfson Microelectronics

GlaxoSmithKline, New Europe Property Investments, Virgin Media Inc., Wolfson Microelectronics


Rensburg AIM VCT

Blackrock Income And Growth Investment Trust, LED International Holdings Ltd (DI), Redhall Group

BRC Shop Price Index (00:01)
New Car Registrations (09:30)

Edinburgh Worldwide Inv Trust

Noble Investments (UK), Victrex

US Market Report
Stocks Move Back To The Upside After Monday's Sharp Pullback

After moving sharply lower over the course of the previous session, stocks showed a strong move back to the upside during trading on Tuesday. The gains nearly offset Monday's losses, although the major averages remained below last Friday's closing highs.

The major averages pulled back off their best levels going into the close but remained firmly in positive territory. The Dow rose 99.22 points or 0.7 percent to 13,979.30, the Nasdaq jumped 40.41 points or 1.3 percent to 3,171.58 and the S&P 500 surged up 15.58 points or 1 percent to 1,511.29.

The rebound by stocks came as some traders saw the sharp pullback that was seen on Monday as an opportunity to get into the markets following the recent rally.

Buying interest was also generated by a private survey showing that growth in China's services sector hit a four-month high in January.

The survey by HSBC and Markit Economics showed that the index of Chinese service sector activity rose to 54.0 in January from 51.7 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

A separate report from the Institute for Supply Management showed that activity in the U.S. service sector continued to expand in the month of January, although the pace of growth slowed compared to the previous month.

The ISM said its non-manufacturing index edged down to 55.2 in January from a revised 55.7 in December, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector.

Paul Dales, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the modest drop by the non-manufacturing index was probably a result of the drag on retail spending from the payroll tax hike.

"But this blow has been small and cushioned by stronger demand in other sectors, namely construction," Dales said. "This explains why the headline index is still consistent with a rebound in annualized GDP growth from the 0.1% fall in the fourth quarter to around a 2.5% rise in the first."

News on the merger-and-acquisition front also contributed to the rebound by stocks, with Dell (DELL) moving to the upside after the computer giant agreed to be acquired by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake.

Dell said the terms of the agreement call for its shareholders to receive $13.65 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, resulting in a transaction valued at approximately $24.4 billion.

Additionally, shares of Virgin Media (VMED) moved sharply higher after the British cable company confirmed that it is in talks with John Malone's Liberty Global (LBTYA) regarding a possible takeover. Virgin Media surged up by 17.9 percent on the day.

Sector News

health insurance stocks saw considerable strength throughout the trading session, resulting in a 2.4 percent gain by the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index. With the gain, the index reached a ten-month closing high.

Centene (CNC) turned in one of the health insurance sector's best performances, advancing by 5.8 percent despite reporting a sharp drop in fourth quarter earnings.

Significant strength was also visible among natural gas stocks, with the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index rising by 1.7 percent to its best closing level in over a year. A notable increase by the price of natural gas contributed to the strength in the sector.

Banking stocks also turned in a strong performance on the day, driving the KBW Bank Index up by 1.6 percent to a nearly two-year closing high. Bank of America (BAC) helped to lead the sector higher, jumping by 3.5 percent.

Semiconductor, biotechnology, brokerage, and retail stocks also posted strong gains, reflecting broad based buying interest.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region came under pressure on Tuesday following the overnight sell-off on Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei 225 tumbled by 1.9 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index plunged by 2.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries pulled back after ending the previous session notably higher. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 4.3 basis points to a nine-month closing high of 2.016 percent.

Looking Ahead

Amid a lack of major U.S. economic data, reaction to earnings news is likely to drive the markets during trading on Wednesday.

Disney (DIS) is among the companies releasing their quarterly results after the close of today's trading, while Time Warner (TWX) is among those due to report before the start of trading on Wednesday.

Wednesday newspaper round-up
RBS, Virgin Media, BP...
Royal Bank of Scotland was today expected to announce that the head of its investment bank, John Hourican, will leave the company and give up rights to around four million pounds-worth of share options. Hourican had been brought in to rescue the investment arm after the bank was bailed out by the UK government in 2008. A restructuring of the division, which employs 16,000 people, has paved the way for Hourican’s widely-expected departure after more than four years at the helm. [The Scotsman]

The American billionaire known on Wall Street as the “swamp alligator” has confirmed his assault on the British market, announcing a takeover of Virgin Media worth $23.3 billion. The deal, which was announced earlier this morning, transforms John Malone’s Liberty Global into the world’s largest cable provider. The US cable giant said the agreement will create “the world’s leading broadband communications company” with 25 million customers in 14 countries. It a statement Liberty Global said the stock and cash merger, subject to shareholder approvals, was valued at approximately $23.3billion dollars (£15billion). The acquisition was expected to cost the American company at least £13 billion, including Virgin Media’s £5.5 billion of debt. [The Times]

BP has been hit by a new $34bn (£21.7bn) claim for alleged economic losses and punitive damages resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico . The latest demand comes from local and southern state governments, including Louisiana and Mississippi, hit hard by the pollution that followed the blowout on the BP-operated Macondo well in April 2010. BP described the methodology for calculating the claims as "seriously flawed" and the oil company said it was confident it would not have to make additional financial provisions. [The Guardian]

Marks & Spencer is planning to open standalone food stores in France after customers in Paris snapped up its British biscuits, jams and ready meals. Marc Bolland, chief executive, told investors at a presentation in Istanbul he had been “encouraged” by food sales in M&S’s two Paris flagship shops and that the British retailer is now in talks with potential franchise partners interested in expanding its Simply Food stores across France.[The Telegraph]

China has pledged to increase minimum wages and force state-owned companies to hand over more of their revenues to the public as part of a push to tackle growing inequality. The chasm between China’s rich and poor is seen by analysts as a significant threat to political stability, with discontent over inequality spilling over into angry online comment and, on occasion, street protests. Unveiling a long-awaited 35-point income distribution plan on Tuesday, the State Council, or cabinet, said it wanted to lift as many as 80m people from poverty by 2015. It pledged to raise minimum wages to 40 per cent of average salaries, boost spending on education and public housing, and force state-owned companies to pay out an additional five percentage points of their revenues in dividends by 2015. [Financial Times]

Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland is "in limbo" and should have been fully nationalised when it was rescued in the financial crisis, Business Secretary Vince Cable has said. Instead, the present government was saddled with the "worst of all worlds - responsibility without control" of a bank bailed out with £45bn of state money, Cable said in advance extracts of a speech released by his office. Cable, due to make the remarks at a London event, was expressing his exasperation at RBS, 82pc owned by the state but independent of ministerial control under the governance structure managing the state's investment. [The Telegraph]

Claims management firms last year pocketed £7.4m of the compensation awarded to victims of the PPI mis-selling scandal who turned to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) because the firm they dealt with has gone bust. The FSCS said that consumers have needlessly handed £22m to claims firms since the scandal erupted, with the average person paying £960 of their compensation. In 2012, three-fifths of claims came from managers, despite the fact that consumers can claim direct for free. [The Independent]

Bank chiefs could be forced by the Government to name and shame branch managers who refuse to lend cash to struggling small businesses. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will today challenge the banks to publish weekly information about their lending levels – right down to individual branches. And he will warn that ministers are prepared to legislate to require banks to release the information if they fail to do so voluntarily. [The Independent]

Mineweb Top Stories Top Stories (February 6, 2013).: Vale and Silver Wheaton announce $1.9bn gold stream deal

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FEATURED PODCAST                                                     

Quest for higher resource rents a decade too late – Davies

Frontier Advisories CEO, Martyn Davies says that as Chinese growth moderates and changes, the issue is less the scale of growth and more the size of the economy.

TOP STORIES | Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013                                                     

Vale and Silver Wheaton announce $1.9bn gold stream deal

As Vale downsizes its steel division and reviews its nickel and silver assets, a $1.9 billion deal with Silver Wheaton will put the silver company solidly into the gold stream business.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

SA worries leave intl. investors cold – Froneman

According to Sibanye CEO, Neal Froneman, international investors are trying to see the positives in South Africa but, the country needs to start doing more to stop causing damage.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

New Gold sees 12% increase in gold output for 2013, decline in silver production

During an Investor Day conference call, New Gold officials highlighted the company’s 6% gold production growth in 2012 as well as a 236% increase in copper production.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Pan African looks to dice up Evander

While the group is yet to complete its R1.5bn acquisition of Harmony Gold’s Evander mine, CEO Jan Nelson, has already got firm views on which sections of the asset it wants to develop.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

Contentious mining legislation not to burden companies - Shabangu

SA Mines Minister Susan Shabangu says contentious proposals for changes to the mining legislation remain up for debate and are not designed to burden companies.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

Northland nixes $375m financing - now what?

A funding solution to Northland Resources' woes - a $425 million shortfall as it ramps up the Kaunisvaara iron ore project to production - is off the table.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

Sesa Goa to spend $2.4b to develop Liberian assets

With estimates of nearly three times more iron ore reserves than earlier estimates of 1 billion tonnes, the Vedanta group company pushes for growth overseas as the ban at home continues.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Mongolia to grill Rio Tinto over Oyu Tolgoi mine costs

According to government sources, the state wants Rio Tinto to explain a spike in costs at the giant Oyu Tolgoi mine which have escalated to $6.6 billion.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

South Africa faces tax dilemma as mining costs surge

While the mines ministry is committed to working with the industry, the ruling ANC wants the country to derive greater benefit from its minerals.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Argentina rejects Vale’s $2 billion tax break plea

Argentina has rejected the tax deferrals, which Brazil’s Vale requested after costs for its $5.9 billion Rio Colorado project rose to “complicated” levels.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Escondida’s 2012 copper output jumped 31.6%

The world’s largest copper mine saw its output rise 31.6% last year as processing work and higher ore grades boosted production.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Mali’s gold production unaffected by war - mines minister

The war in Mali has spared its gold mines as 98% of the operations are in the south and away from any fighting, says Mines Minister Amadou Baba Sy.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Zambian investor asks Glencore, Vedanta units for higher dividends

State-controlled investor ZCCM wants the companies in which it has shareholdings to alter their dividend policies to improve transparency and increase payouts.    Wednesday , 06 Feb 2013

Anglo American could bring in partner for Minas Rio project

Outgoing CEO Cynthia Carroll says the company is considering bringing in a partner into its Minas Rio iron ore asset in Brazil.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

Hong Kong 2012 net gold flow to China hit record high

Hong Kong’s total gold shipments to China in 2012 jumped 94% from the 2011 total to over 832 tonnes.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

Yesterday's top story: Officials bet on Jamaica’s REE future with the Red Mud Pilot Plant

Japanese and Jamaican officials believe their nations will benefit from Red Mud Pilot Plant Project; a "historic" rare earths project they hope will significantly boost Jamaica’s export earnings.    Tuesday , 05 Feb 2013

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PODCASTS / RADIO                                                     

Exploration should be SA's focus - Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton's Stephen Kilfoil says both the private and the public sector should be doing more to bring mining exploration back to the South Africa.

Gold equities' relationship to bullion and African-focused miners

Investec Securities' Marc Elliot says the correlation between gold bullion and equities has begun to reassert itself.

Diamonds, diversifieds and the importance of 2013

Kieron Hodgeson looks at the prospects for the diamond sector this year and how the major diversified miners are seeing the sector.

The gold market's cash cost conundrum - Aldis

US Global's Ralph Aldis discusses the recent trend towards better disclosure of costs by gold companies but, maintains there is still a long way to go.