Capital flight, not debt, could shock China’s economy: BTIM’s Gor warns

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Capital outflows leading to the exhaustion of China’s foreign exchange reserves are a bigger trigger for a hard landing in the Chinese economy than its enormous pile of debt, warns one of Australia’s most prominent fund managers. WAtoday – Vesna Poljak, Senior Reporter China reported a lower-than-expected $US100 billion drop in the value of its foreign exchange reserves on Sunday, reducing its stockpile to $US3.23 trillion last month, the lowest level since May 2012, according to central bank figures. That rate of depletion is ... Read More »

China’s currency reserves plunged in January

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China’s foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January, the People’s Bank of China reported. BBC China has been running down its vast foreign currency reserves in an attempt to boost the value of its own currency and stem a flow of funds overseas. At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings. But that has declined by $420bn over six months and stands at the lowest level since May 2012. “While the remaining reserves ... Read More »

Why we’re not safe from Grexit yet

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Letter From Athens Between economic recovery and an escalating migration crisis, Greece faces a tumultuous year ahead. Politico – By Megan Greene ATHENS — A team of analysts from one of the main credit rating agencies smiled condescendingly across a boardroom table one recent afternoon, when asked about the likelihood of a Greek exit from the euro. It was clear they dismissed the idea. There is virtually no chance of Greece leaving the eurozone, they assured me. This is not the first ... Read More »

Centrica sells three wind farms in £423m deal with GIB

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Scottish Gas owner Centrica has sold its stake in an Aberdeenshire wind farm as part of a £423 million deal. The Scotsman – GARETH MACKIE The group, along with 50 per cent joint venture partner EIG Global Energy Partners, has sold the 26 megawatt Glens of Foudland site near Huntly, along with two offshore wind farms in Lincolnshire, to a consortium comprising the UK Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund and funds managed by BlackRock. Centrica said the enterprise value of ... Read More »

Montenegro approves concession contracts for hydrocarbons research

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Montenegrin Government approved the oil and gas research and exploitation concession contracts, which means that the preparatory process for hydrocarbons research in the Montenegrin coast has been completed. Balkans News The contracts with the selected bidder, the consortium of Italian oil company Eni and Russian energy company Novatek, will be forwarded to the Parliament of Montenegro for adoption and the project’s implementation is expected to start this year, Economy Minister Vladimir Kavarić told the press following the Cabinet meeting. The ... Read More »

Planning permission for €240m wind farm in Co Meath rejected

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Controversial development near Kells had been designated as strategic infrastructure The Irish Times Elaine Edwards Planning permission for a controversial €240 million wind farm development at in north Meath has been refused by an Bord Pleanála. Element Power had sought permission for the construction at Emlagh, near Kells, of three wind farm clusters of up to 46 wind turbines with a maximum tip height of up to 169 metres. An oral hearing last summer lasted for five weeks and heard ... Read More »

Portugal’s budget clears EU hurdle

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Commission gives green light to government’s plan, despite warning on eurozone non-compliance. Politico – By PAUL AMES LISBON — Portugal’s Socialist government avoided an embarrassing rejection of its 2016 budget by the European Commission Friday after its additional deficit-reducing measures eased some of Brussels’ concerns. “The Commission did not have to request a revised budgetary plan,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission vice-president for the euro. However, Dombrovskis warned the budget plan remains “at risk of non-compliance” with the eurozone’sstability and growth pact, asked the government ... Read More »

Push to stop Parliament ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Nearly 60 community organisations are calling for an independent assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Parliament is asked to vote on ratifying the agreement. The Age – Gareth Hutchens A large alliance of groups – from World Vision and the Public Health Association, to Greenpeace, the ACTU, Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network – have signed a letter warning the agreement poses “grave risks to the public interest” without being independently assessed. They want an organisation ... Read More »

Russia, terrorism drag down Turkey’s economy

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Turkey is paying a hefty price for incurring Russia’s wrath. After Turkish jets shot down a Russian jet in disputed airspace in November, Moscow responded with biting sanctions that have caused bilateral trade and tourism to plummet. Bluin News – by Michael Lerner in Middle East. Now, Russia’s latest move is to start looking for ways to transfer the manufacturing of spare auto parts for its major car producers from Turkey to Serbia, Deputy P.M. Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday. Turkish producers exported some $800 million worth ... Read More »

Russian-Turkish tensions are positive for Egyptian exports: Fresh Fruit Co. Chairman

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Central bank policies to curtail imports increased grain prices despite global decline, says El-Naggari Daily News Egypt – Basma Tharwat Fresh Fruit Co. aims to increase its exports this year to EGP 66m compared to approximately EGP 60m recorded in 2015, representing a 10% growth. Mostafa El-Naggari, Chairman of Fresh Fruit Co, said the company’s total exports increased by 9% last year, noting that opening the door to rice exports in 2015 was the main reason behind the increase in ... Read More »

Expect the War on Cash to Accelerate as Negative Interest Rates Come to the U.S.

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Like an ambush, it has to come by surprise… Whenever you hear a central banker or politician say something won’t happen, you can almost be certain it will happen. And probably soon. International Man – by Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor * Coming from a bureaucrat, the real meaning of “no, of course not” is “it could happen tomorrow.” It’s like the old saying: “Believe nothing until it has been officially denied.” These deceptions have a purpose: Politicians and central bankers have to surprise ... Read More »

Don’t Let Greek Pensions Threaten the Euro

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Greece is a small country, but for much of 2015 its problems were big enough to threaten the survival of the euro system. Bloomberg View – By Editorial Board Editorials are written by the Bloomberg View editorial board. Read more. A year after Alexis Tsipras took charge as prime minister, the government seems committed to meeting the obligations demanded by its creditors in return for further aid. Neither side should allow the remaining sticking point — pension reform — to ... Read More »

China cracks down on $10b Ezubao Ponzi scheme

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China has a $1.65 trillion Ponzi finance problem $18m fraud uncovered at Chinese bank Beijing:  Chinese police have arrested 21 people connected with an online finance company accused of fleecing more than $10 billion from investors in one of the world’s largest-ever Ponzi schemes. WAtoday – Philip Wen, China correspondent for Fairfax Media The enormous size of the Ezubao scam, which stole from more than 900,000 investors nationwide, casts a shadow on China’s lucrative but largely unregulated online and peer-to-peer lending industry, part ... Read More »

The West Is Reduced To Looting Itself

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I, Michael Hudson, John Perkins, and a few others have reported the multi-pronged looting of peoples by Western economic institutions, principally the big New York Banks with the aid of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Paul Craig Roberts Third World countries were and are looted by being inticed into development plans for electrification or some such purpose. The gullible and trusting governments are told that they can make their countries rich by taking out foreign loans to implement a Western-presented ... Read More »

China’s ‘hard landing’ may have already happened

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It’s the biggest question in the world of finance: how fast is China’s economy growing? And the biggest frustration is: what are the actual numbers? The Sydney Morning Herald – Jessica Sier, Reporter China’s lack of transparency – with murky data releases, opaque policy making and confusing announcements – is notorious among emerging-market watchers. But rarely do research firms or analysts use different figures to the official statistics. Until recently. The Conference Board, a widely respected and often-cited non-profit research group, used an ... Read More »

Canadian economic growth inches forward 0.3% in November: Statistics Canada

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OTTAWA — Canadian economic growth crawled back into positive territory in November, showing its first sign of life in the monthly data since the summer. Toronto Sun – ANDY BLATCHFORD, THE CANADIAN PRESS The latest reading for the country’s real gross domestic product showed that the economy expanded 0.3% in November, an increase after zero growth in October and a contraction of 0.5% in September, Statistics Canada said Friday. It was the first time the economy grew since August, when there ... Read More »