The People’s Bank of China lifted restrictions on commercial interest rates, leaving lenders free to set the price of credit for the first time. By removing the floor on rates, previously set at 70% of the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, officials hope to increase competition among banks and spur lending to private companies.
The EU’s controversial Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive came into force. The AIFMD, which will be phased in over a year, aims to change the way hedge funds, buy-out firms and other alternative-investment companies in Europe deal with risk, market their funds and pay staff. The industry fears that the new rules will serve mainly to raise costs to investors.
The Financial Stability Board, which co-ordinates financial regulation for the G20, named nine insurers, including Allianz, MetLife and Prudential, as “systemically important”. The designation, hitherto reserved for big banks, entails closer regulatory scrutiny and higher capital requirements. The insurers argue that lumping them with lenders is unfair because of their fundamentally different risk profiles.
The G20 endorsed a roadmap drawn up by the OECD, a rich-country club, for reforming the current patchwork of cross-border tax rules and treaties. Its 15 proposals should make it harder for companies to exploit the existing system’s many loopholes.
America’s Securities and Exchange Commission charged Steven Cohen in a probe centred on his hedge fund, SAC Capital. The SEC did not accuse Mr Cohen directly of insider trading, but filed a civil suit against him for failing “reasonably to supervise” two underlings, who now await criminal trial for it. SAC vowed to fight the charge.
A federal appeals court upheld a verdict reached last year by a jury in Texas to invalidate two patents covering some of the internet’s basic interactive features. This put an end to a protracted legal battle which pitted a clutch of big web firms, including Amazon and Google, against the patents’ owner, Eolas Technologies, which was seeking damages of at least $600m.
Yahoo said it will buy back 40m shares, valued at $1.2 billion, from Third Point, a hedge fund headed by Daniel Loeb. Shares in the internet giant have almost doubled in value since the activist investor helped to boot out Scott Thompson and install Marissa Mayer as boss a year ago. Third Point will keep a stake of less than 2% in Yahoo, worth around $500m, but Mr Loeb and two directors he nominated will leave the board.
雅虎宣告要从Daniel Loeb领导的对冲基金Third Point回购4000万股股票，价值12亿美元
Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, a private-equity firm, raised their offer for the computer-maker Mr Dell founded by 10 cents, to $13.75 a share. A vote by Dell shareholders on whether to accept the buy-out bid, currently valued at $24.4 billion, was postponed for the second time.
Apple made a profit of $6.9 billion in the second quarter, down from $8.8 billion last year but higher than many analysts had expected, thanks to soaring demand for iPhones. The gadget-maker shifted 31.2m smartphones in the three months to June, 5.2m more than a year ago. Sales of its tablet computers, though, were disappointing: only 14.6m iPads were sold between April and June, down from 17m last year.
EasyJet flew 16.4m passengers in the three months to June, up 2.6% on last year. The budget airline’s revenue grew by 10.5% in the second quarter, to ￡1.14 billion ($1.75 billion), as frugal consumers snapped up cheap holiday flights well in advance.
SAP announced that it will not replace Jim Hagemann Snabe, one of its two joint chief executives, when he moves to the supervisory board in May 2014. That will leave Bill McDermott, an American, alone at the helm of the German software giant.
SAP公司宣布在Jim Hagemann Snabe于2014年五月调任到监事会后，将不会有人接任其首席执行官的职务
Caterpillar’s second-quarter sales fell to $14.6 billion, from $17.3 billion a year earlier, and profits sank by 43%, to $960m. The world’s biggest maker of earth-moving equipment benefited from a decade of insatiable demand for diggers in places like China but feels the pinch as growth in emerging markets slows.
Bentley Motors announced that it would invest ￡800m ($1.2 billion) in its factory in Crewe. The high-end carmaker, based in Britain but owned by Germany’s Volkswagen, plans to expand the plant to build its first sport-utility vehicle, which it says will be the “most luxurious and most powerful”, and probably most expensive, in the world.
Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s Canadian governor, picked Jane Austen, the inventor of chick lit, as the next face to appear on the back of new ￡10 notes.