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April 24, 2015 11:09
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov (RIA Novosti / Natalia Seliverstova)
Russia and China to increase finance cooperation - minister
Russia is interested in developing Chinese investment and cooperation, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Cooperation has been recently growing, as Western markets are now closed for Russia.
Minister of Finance of Greece Yanis Varoufakis (R) and Minister of Finance of Spain Luis de Guindas Jurado speak before Eurogroup tour-de-table during informal meeting of Ministers for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) in Riga, Latvia, April 24, 2015 (Reuters / Ints Kalnins) On the #Gredge: Greece and EU finance ministers fail to reach deal in Riga
Grexit? Gredge? Graccident? Grimbo? Each clever hashtag to describe Greece defaulting and leaving the eurozone is becoming more a reality, after talks between Greece and its EU creditors to unlock €7.2 billion for Athens to pay off its IMF debt failed.
RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov Ruble now ‘excessively’ strong - Russian Finance Minister
The Russian ruble has strengthened to a point where it is actually too strong, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Friday during a lecture in St. Petersburg.
Kuveyt Turk head office in Istanbul (Reuters / Murad Sezer) First Islamic bank in Germany to open in July
Germany is to get its first fully operational Islamic bank on July 1. Opened by the Turkish finance group Kuveyt Turk it will provide Sharia compliant banking services.
Traders work at their screens in front of the German share price index DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt April 23, 2015 (Reuters / Stringer) Deutsche Bank hit with record $2.5bn fine for rate-rigging
Germany’s biggest lender has been fined $2.5 billion by US and UK regulators for manipulating market key rates including Libor, the benchmark for interest rates on trillions of dollars of financial contracts.

Business snaps

Sale of first Greek state asset under Syriza government goes through 

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.

HSBC to move headquarters from UK due to regulatory pressure 

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.

Russia’s patriotic Eat at home! restaurants get govt push 

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.

Nasdaq hits 15yr high 

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.

German consumer confidence highest since 2001 - GfK 

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.

Russia’s GDP to grow 2.3% in 2016 - economic development minister 

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.”

ECB raises lifeline cap for Greek banks to €75.5bn - media 

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.

A tower with a Brazilian flag representing an oil rig is pictured during a protest in front of the Petrobras headquarters in Rio de Janeiro (Reuters / Sergio Moraes) Petrobras loses $2.5bn in bribery, promises ‘recovery’
The new CEO of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras, Aldemir Bendine claims the $2.5 billion the company lost through corruption was “recoverable”. Petrobras is currently engulfed in the largest financial scandal in Brazil's history.
RIA Novosti / Konstantin Chalabov Heineken to brew non-alcoholic Kvass as Russian beer market fades
Dutch brewer Heineken is to start production of the traditional Russian kvass brewed beverage in four factories across Russia. The company is using spare capacity as Russia’s beer market is shrinking.
April 23, 2015. Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner during a meeting in the Kremlin. (RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin) ​Russia and Argentina seal energy package, $3bn in deals
Russia plans to invest $2 billion in Argentinian nuclear power plants, and Russia's Gazprom has signed a deal to explore oil and gas fields in Argentina, a project worth another $1 billion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow April 23, 2015 (Reuters / Alexander Nemenov) Russia and Argentina to discuss using local currencies in trade - Putin
Russia and Argentina will consult on using national currencies in mutual trade settlements, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a news conference with his Argentinian counterpart Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Reuters / Bogdan Cristel Bulgaria to build new $236mn ‘gas corridor’ with Romania and Greece - media
Bulgaria has reportedly inked a deal on a new “gas corridor” with Romania and Greece which will be completed in 2018, and is expected to cut the country’s almost total dependency on Russian natural gas.
Reuters / China Daily China manufacturing at 1yr low
China’s economic dominance is showing more cracks, and in April, the indicator of manufacturing activity, the purchasing managers’ index (PMI), fell to a one-year low.
Reuters / Peter Andrews UK trader accused of 2010 'flash crash’ granted £5mn conditional bail
A futures trader accused by US authorities of contributing to the huge crash in the US stock market in 2010 known as the ‘flash crash’, wiping billions off US companies’ share prices, appeared in the Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
Reuters / Ricardo Rojas Global drug market approaching scale of $4trn oil & gas industry – Russian drug czar
The dark underworld of drug trafficking will soon be bigger than the world’s $3.7 trillion oil and gas market, and is already bigger than the global auto industry, the director of Russia’s drug control agency said.
President Vladimir Putin (R) and Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov (RIA Novosti / Michael Klimentyev)
Putin urges to fill Russian market with domestic food quickly
Russian President Vladimir Putin has tasked the new Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachyov with strengthening the sector and solving import substitution goal quickly. Western food imports have been banned following the US and EU anti-Russia sanctions.


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