The sale of a 20-year horseracing gambling license to a subsidiary of the Greek-Czech company Opap for €40.5 million has been completed. It’s the first sale of a state asset under the Syriza government, which came to power four months ago on the campaign of not selling off state assets. In 2015, Greece hopes to raise €1.5 billion from privatizations as part of an economic plan to please its creditors.
One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC is considering moving its headquarters out of London due to tougher banking rules, BBC reported Friday. "The question is a complex one and it is too soon to say how long this will take or what the conclusion will be; but the work is under way," HSBC Chairman Douglas Flint said. Bank profits dropped 17 percent in 2014 following $2.4 billion in fines and settlements related to foreign exchange manipulation and mis-selling of payment protection insurance. HSBC employs 266,000 people worldwide including 48,000 in Britain, has been facing a wave of new regulations following the 2008 financial crisis.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich has ordered the Ministry of Economic Development and a number of other ministries and agencies, Sberbank and regional authorities to develop a support plan for a new restaurant brand called Eat at home!, Izvestia said Friday. The $18 million restaurant chain is intended to rival McDonald’s and provide Russians with “an alternative to Western fast-food.” The idea has been proposed by Russian film maker Nikita Mikhalkov and his brother Andrey Konchalovsky. Earlier this month, they asked President Vladimir Putin to help with the project. Dvorkovich then promised to consider it with Russian ministries.
The Nasdaq index hit a record closing high of 5,056.06 Thursday spurred by corporate earnings, high oil prices, and a boost in energy stocks. The index reached its highest level since March 2000. In October 2002, the NASDAQ Composite Index hit a record low of 1,108.49 after the dotcom bubble burst. It includes 100 biotech, tech, and healthcare companies, as well as consumer electronics giant Apple.
The forward-looking German GfK consumer sentiment index is set to rise to 10.1 points in May from 10.0 points in April, market research group GfK said Thursday. The May data is the highest value since October 2001, when the indicator was 11.0 points, GfK said. The numbers comes as another signal Europe’s biggest economy is gaining momentum. The inflation data released in late March showed that the danger of a deflation was no longer imminent, as prices grew 0.2 percent during the month.
Russian Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev said Russia's GDP will grow by 2.3 percent in 2016, and by 2.5 percent in 2017 and 2018, TASS reported Wednesday. He expects the recession to end this year, and economic growth in 2016. “Recession will continue in the third quarter but then improvement will start in the fourth quarter,” he said. Russia will return to the pre-crisis level of economic development in 2017-2018, the minister added. Ulyukaev also expects a gradual decline in capital outflows “within three years by 60-50-40 billion dollars, based on a repayment schedule of borrowers in foreign markets, and on a revival of interest in the Russian stock and bond market.”
The ECB increased the funds available to Greek banks under the Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) scheme by about €1.5 billion, the German financial daily Handelsblatt said Wednesday. The increase takes the ELA ceiling to €75.5 billion following the extra €800 million extension by the ECB earlier this month. The decision was made during a confidential teleconference of ECB’s Governing Council. Greece and its EU creditors meet to discuss a new framework agreement for the terms of a new loan on April 24. The EU has been pressing Greece to introduce more reforms in exchange for a €7.2 billion, while, Athens want the new deal and austerity measures to be less felt by the public.