The United Nations’ 3rd Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction has estimated direct economic losses from disasters so far this century as being at 50 per cent higher than previous calculations, about US$2.5 trillion. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the disaster risks can only be reduced in partnership with the private sector.
UK commercial real estate investors may be unable to refinance about half of their 198 billion pounds (US$303 billion) of bank loans as property values fall, Bloomberg reports, citing a survey by De Montfort University. About 92 billion pounds of remaining bank loans are “likely to be unrefinancable on terms available in today’s lending market,” the survey of 78 lenders by the England’s Leicester University showed. The amount of the loans is too high compared with the real estate backing them.
Dell Inc reported that its first-quarter earnings dropped 79%. Global PC shipments in the first quarter of 2013 fell 13.9% from last year to 76.3 million units. The third largest PC maker is expected to become private for $24.4 billion, transforming into a provider of enterprise computing services.
The biggest landowner in Russia is sugar company Prodimex, Vedomosti daily writes on Friday, citing a rating by the BEFL consulting firm. Prodimex is Russia’s leading supplier in agricultural products and controls 20 per cent of sugar-producing market in the country. It has 480,000 hectares of land, the paper reported. Rusagro, placed second in the rating, has 452,000 hectares of land.
Vladimir Golubkov, head of Societe Generale's Russian unit Rosbank, allegedly received a bribe from former municipal lawmaker Andrey Kovalyov, media reports say. Golubkov was charged with bribery on Thursday, after police seized money from Golubkov, saying it was part of a total payment of $1.5 million that the banker had extorted from a group of businessmen to lower the interest rate and extend the repayment term on a loan with Rosbank. Kovalyov at the moment of bribery was a deputy head of real estate company Avto Prestizh 1.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is once again the world's richest man thanks to a recent stock surge, according to Bloomberg. He has not held the title since 2007. Gates' fortune is now worth $72.1 billion, which puts him about $550 million ahead of the former No. 1, Mexico's Carlos Slim. Gates' wealth has jumped 10% this year as Microsoft's shares have risen.
Moody’s Investors Service has said that it lifted Turkey’s government bond ratings by one step to Baa3, the lowest investment grade, from Ba1. The move puts Turkey’s credit rating at the same level as Spain, Colombia and India, Bloomberg reported. The outlook was set at stable. The ratings boost reflects “recent and expected future improvements in key economic and public finance metrics,” Moody’s said, citing Ankara’s “progress on structural and institutional reforms.”