Headlines

Europe’s financial centre is splitting up, possibly for the better. Dublin has gained a lot of new business from London’s exodus, becoming the top choice of firms seeking higher ground post-Brexit, The Irish Times reported. Now Ireland must decide whether it wants to be a leader or a counterweight in Europe’s financial future. With the departure of the UK as the financial industry’s primary voice, the EU will have a chance to redefine how it approaches its banking and capital markets.

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Greece's new prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, vowed Wednesday to make government more efficient and to legislate for tax cuts later this month despite concerns raised by the country's creditors over economic promises made during the election campaign, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. Although Greece no longer relies on funds from international bailouts, its economy is still under strict supervision and its partners in the 19-country eurozone have made clear that the fiscal goals agreed to by the previous government must be adhered to.

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The European Commission cut its euro-area growth and inflation forecast for next year as trade tensions and policy uncertainty weigh on the region, strengthening Mario Draghi’s case for further stimulus measures, Bloomberg News reported. The latest warning comes just two weeks before the European Central Bank’s next policy meeting, where it may lower interest rates or signal that action is imminent. The fallout from slower global demand was already laid bare this week when German chemicals giant BASF SE shocked investors with a huge downgrade to its profit outlook.

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Before being detained by police in Shanghai, Lo Ching was lauded as the new-age Hua Mulan, the legendary female Chinese warrior. Now the downfall of Lo, chairman of a Hong Kong-listed conglomerate, has become a parable of the dangers of investing in China, a Bloomberg View reported. Noah Holdings Ltd., one of China’s largest wealth managers catering to high-net-worth individuals, is among the first to find out. The U.S.-listed asset manager has filed a lawsuit against Camsing International Holding Ltd.

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Indian car sales fell by nearly a quarter last month — marking one of the industry’s worst slumps in more than a decade — as a credit crunch squeezes consumption across the country, the Financial Times reported. Car sales of 139,628 for June were down 24 per cent on the same period last year, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, extending a run of three months of declines of 20 per cent or more. Sales fell 26 per cent in May. At the heart of the pain is a liquidity squeeze whose effect has started to show up in India’s industrial and economic data.

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Banking officials are warning Cypriot authorities to not dilute legislation aimed at helping banks on the east Mediterranean island nation from getting to grips with their huge bad loan problem, the International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. A source familiar with the situation, who isn't authorized to speak publicly, said Wednesday that proposed amendments "point in the direction" of some watering down to the recently passed legislation that has enabled banks reduce their bad loans.

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Bosnian aluminium smelter Aluminij will file for bankruptcy after closing on Wednesday, putting at risk some 10,000 jobs, including contractors and those at the processing firms it supplies, Reuters reported. The smelter was disconnected from the power grid just after midnight over debts incurred because of high electricity and alumina prices, officials said. The asset is one of Bosnia’s biggest exporters, employing 900 workers in the southern town of Mostar.

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The European Commission has warned that the bloc’s economy faces a “host of negative risks” in the second half of the year, even as it kept its growth projections for 2019 unchanged. Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s economy commissioner, said that surprisingly strong euro area growth in the first quarter of 2019 “will be entirely offset by a weakening during the rest of the year”, as a recovery in German auto sales fizzles out and one-off factors cease to apply, the Financial Times reported.

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The IMF has been accused of ignoring big debts owed by Congo-Brazzaville as it contemplates a bailout for Africa’s third-largest oil producer, the Financial Times reported. Commisimpex, a construction company owned by a UK national, has sued the central African nation, also known as the Republic of the Congo, over unpaid bills worth €1.2bn. It has written to the IMF to demand recognition of its claims alongside Chinese lenders and oil traders before the fund releases cash for the government of President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

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The number of German corporations going insolvent is expected to rise for the first time since the 2009 economic crisis, Bloomberg News reported. In the latest sign that Europe’s biggest economy could be on the verge of recession, German credit rating agency Creditreform says the trend for company closures is hitting a turning point. The rate of corporate insolvencies sank by just 0.4% in the first half of the year -- 9,900 corporations have already become insolvent -- and a total of 20,000 are expected by the end of 2019.

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