Europe

As the eurozone official in charge of shutting down failed banks, Elke König is leading a revolution in how Europe handles financial catastrophe, the Financial Times reported. For years a major bank failure in the eurozone seemed an unlikely possibility that could be safely left to national regulators. But the panic that spread through the financial system a decade ago — and the €1.6tn of taxpayer support that EU governments provided to try to quell the turmoil — changed that.

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The engineering arm of Monarch Airlines, the holiday carrier that collapsed in 2017, has been put into administration with the immediate loss of 408 jobs, the Financial Times reported. Administrators KPMG were called in after Monarch Aircraft Engineering, the last remnant of Monarch Airlines and which provides aircraft maintenance services and has a training academy, ran into financial difficulties and failed to find a buyer. The engineering business had been bought by Greybull Capital, the private equity group, after the collapse of Monarch.

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Emerging markets were a boon for bankers after the 2008 crisis, when resource-rich Africa and Asia seemed to have definitively decoupled from the debt-laden economies of the U.S. and Europe. Yet as lawsuits over alleged corruption and bribery pile up, an uglier side of those glory days is emerging — and taxpayers and investors will be left to pick up the tab, a Bloomberg View reported. Credit Suisse Group AG’s dealings in Mozambique, where about half the population lives in poverty, are the latest to be thrust in the spotlight by U.S. prosecutors.

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Three former Credit Suisse bankers were charged by US prosecutors alongside Mozambique’s former finance minister over alleged fraud connected to the southern African nation’s $2bn hidden loans scandal, the Financial Times reported. A spokesperson for the US attorney’s office for the eastern district of New York said that three former employees of the Swiss investment bank were arrested in London on Thursday and their extradition was being sought over alleged money laundering and defrauding of US investors in the loans.

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Asia is finally succumbing to the global property slowdown that’s jolted homeowners and investors from Vancouver to London, with markets in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia showing fresh signs of softening, Bloomberg News reported. The economic ramifications could be serious. Lower house prices and higher mortgage rates will not only dent consumer confidence, but also disposable incomes, S&P Global Ratings said in a report last month. A simultaneous decline in house prices globally could lead to “financial and macroeconomic instability,” the IMF said in study released in April.

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The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) expects to return a surplus of €3.5 billion to the exchequer by the time it completes its work in 2020 or 2021, The Irish Times reported. An update from the agency on Thursday shows it has generated €44 billion from its operations since it was established in 2009, largely from asset and loan sales as well as rental receipts from properties controlled by debtors and receivers. Some €3.3 billion in cash was generated last year, according to Nama. Its remaining portfolio of assets had a carrying value of €2.3 billion at the end of last year.

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Euro zone manufacturing activity barely expanded at the end of 2018 in a broad-based slowdown, according to a survey which showed scant signs for optimism as the new year begins, Reuters reported. The disappointing survey comes just after the European Central Bank ended its 2.6 trillion euro asset purchasing scheme and is likely to make uncomfortable reading for policymakers.

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Ireland is likely to issue an increasing number of authorisations for financial groups seeking to move operations to Dublin from London ahead of Britain’s March 29 departure from the EU, as worries grow about a no-deal Brexit, the Financial Times reported. Dublin wants to become a hub for previously UK-based institutions to service EU clients and the shift by financial services companies has been accompanied by similar moves by groups in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and the law.

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Eurozone supervisors have appointed temporary administrators to troubled Italian lender Banca Carige after a majority of its board members resigned on Wednesday. The European Central Bank announced the decision to appoint three temporary administrators and a surveillance committee to replace Banca Carige’s board of directors and “take charge” of the lender, after executives quit and the mid-sized bank missed a deadline to shore up its financial health, the Financial Times reported.

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Uncertainty is hanging over the investments of 14,000 customers who put their money into a UK company promising 8 per cent returns after the financial regulator banned it from paying out any interest over concerns about its marketing, the Financial Times reported. London Capital and Finance, which claimed as much as £214m was invested in its individual savings accounts, or ISAs, has been barred from touching any money in its bank accounts after the Financial Conduct Authority launched an investigation.

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