Europe

Benchmark German bond yields fell for the first time in five sessions on Thursday as money markets slightly pulled back their bets on rate hikes this year, Reuters reported. Germany's 10-year yield, the benchmark for the euro area, had risen above 0% for the first time in nearly three years on Wednesday but was trading back in negative territory on Thursday. Money markets pared back bets on rate hikes from the European Central Bank this year slightly, pricing in a 80% chance of 10-basis point rate hike by September, down from a 100% chance on Wednesday.
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Romelectro, the company that designed a large part of Romania's energy system during the communist regime and carried out projects abroad, mostly in the Middle East, is asking for insolvency, Romania-Insider.com. This happens precisely when the country needs the most engineering companies able to develop major projects in the energy generation sector, Ziarul Financiar daily comments.
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Investors who lost money from investing in Wirecard AG shares can’t make Germany’s financial regulator Bafin compensate them, a Frankfurt court ruled, Bloomberg News reported. The tribunal on Wednesday threw out four suits by shareholders who claimed they lost between 3,000 euros ($3,404) and 60,000 euros after the former payment company went bust in Germany’s biggest accounting scandal. Bafin isn’t liable to individuals even if the regulator made blunders, so they cannot sue, the court said in a statement.
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The European Central Bank is facing an intensifying stand-off with financial markets over when it will begin raising one of the world’s lowest interest rates, Bloomberg News reported. Despite insistence by officials that a hike is very unlikely in 2022, money markets now see a 10-basis-point increase to the deposit rate to minus 0.4% as early as September. They’re also betting borrowing costs exit sub-zero territory by the end of next year for the first time since 2014. After the ECB last met in December, euro-area inflation numbers for that month came in stronger than expected.
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Europe’s biggest satellite companies are soon to be armed with a massive warchest and are expected to play a major role in the continuing wave of satellite deals, Bloomberg News reported. Intelsat SA and SES SA, both headquartered in Luxembourg, are set to receive as much as $8.8 billion over the coming years for selling airwave rights to the U.S. government for 5G wireless communications. The first tranche of that money is due imminently.
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Prices in Britain rose at their fastest pace in 30 years in December, according to the national statistics agency, stoking concerns about the strain on household budgets with inflation still months away from its expected peak, the New York Times reported. The annual rate of inflation was 5.4 percent, up from 5.1 percent in November. That’s the highest since March 1992, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, based on data modeling for the period before official records were collected.
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The U.K. audit regulator said it expects to pursue more enforcement cases and increase its budget as it looks to tackle new responsibilities and fold into a new regulatory body, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Financial Reporting Council on Tuesday unveiled a three-year plan covering its strategy and priorities during a pivotal transitional period. The FRC is in the process of folding into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, which the U.K. government announced in 2019. The new regulator is expected to begin its work in 2023. The U.K.
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Moby SpA, the ferry company that connects Italy’s mainland with its islands, filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. as it seeks to complete a troubled restructuring process at home, Bloomberg News reported. Moby, owned by the Onorato family, has been under pressure from increasing regulation, tougher competition and weak freight traffic volumes in the last years, and was further hit by the pandemic travel restrictions. In June 2020, the company petitioned a court in Milan for a court-supervised restructuring procedure, but its revenue grew above expectations this summer.
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In a warehouse tucked under two railway arches in southeast London is a treasure trove of Greek delicacies, including barrel-aged feta, fresh oregano, Cretan olive oil and cases of nearly a hundred different wines destined for the city’s top restaurants and discerning home cooks. But as Britain phases in Brexit-required customs rules with the European Union, the tempting variety at Maltby & Greek is under threat, the New York Times reported.
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Britain’s biggest energy companies can’t agree on what the U.K. needs to do to soften the blow of soaring bills for customers, making it harder for the government to tackle a cost-of-living crisis, Bloomberg News reported. Octopus Energy Ltd., Britain’s fifth-largest gas and power supplier, is leading the push for a fund to help companies cope with the increase in wholesale costs. While the move is backed by some, several firms including Centrica Plc prefer instead actions including a tax cut, according to people familiar with the talks between the companies and the government.
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