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/ 14 April 2008

World stocks dampened by dim earnings

Asian stocks tumbled on Monday followed by losses across European and United States markets on concern over company earnings and increasing gloom about prospects for the global economy, analysts said. Wall Street stocks opened lower as Wachovia bank, one of America’s largest retail banking groups, announced a net loss of $350-million.

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/ 27 March 2008

Commodities: boom or bust?

Gold, oil, diamonds, metals: commodities have been booming. But as prices hit record highs, is the bubble about to burst? Turmoil in financial markets has, some analysts say, pushed prices well above fair market value across energy, metals and agricultural goods as investors take flight to supposed ”safe plays”.

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/ 30 January 2008

Crisis inflicts fresh wounds, UBS cut deepest

Fresh write-offs at big European and Japanese banks on Wednesday drove investors’ attention firmly back onto the credit crunch after days gazing at Société Générale’s stunning losses, which it blames on a junior trader. With the Federal Reserve expected to cut interest rates for the second week running, Swiss bank UBS illuminated the depth of the crisis.

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/ 22 January 2008

Power cuts may spook investors

An electricity shortage that has led to frequent power disruptions in South Africa could chase away investors, denting growth and portfolio inflows and weakening the rand. Economists estimate the cost to the economy has run into hundreds of millions of rands, adding to the woes brought on by the falls in financial markets.

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/ 16 January 2008

China’s booming budget hotels profit from no frills

German engineer Michael Bosch is not fazed by the lack of a gym and other creature comforts at his budget hotel in a converted Shanghai office building. He’s stayed at such hotels on nearly a dozen trips to Chinese cities. ”All I need is a clean, warm place to sleep. I don’t care so much about service,” the 32-year-old said as he waited for 10 minutes for a distracted receptionist to attend to him at a Motel168 on the edge of Shanghai’s financial district.

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/ 4 November 2007

Citigroup CEO Prince to resign

Citigroup chief executive Charles Prince plans to resign this weekend, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday, as the widening subprime mortgage crisis brings to an end the reign of Sanford Weill’s troubled successor. The largest United States bank by assets plans to hold an emergency board meeting on Sunday, at which Prince will step down.

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/ 29 October 2007

Merrill Lynch board weighs fate of CEO

As Merrill Lynch’s board deliberates the fate of chairperson and chief executive Stan O’Neal, a leading contender for the job on Sunday said he is not aware of being a candidate. Meanwhile, Merrill’s board has reached a broad consensus to remove O’Neal as chairperson and CEO, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

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/ 12 October 2007

Virgin eyes bid for Northern Rock

Britain’s Virgin Group, controlled by entrepreneur Richard Branson, is in talks to take over troubled bank Northern Rock, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday. The group could lead a consortium including Middle East and United States investors that would inject cash in exchange for a controlling stake.

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/ 4 September 2007

GDF, Suez agree new energy merger

Gaz de France and Suez on Monday agreed to create the world’s third-largest listed power and gas company after President Nicolas Sarkozy stepped in to prevent the 18-month old deal from collapsing. The politically charged ”merger of equals”, delayed by disputes over valuation and control, will be on the basis of 21 Gaz de France shares for 22 Suez shares.