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Friday, 23 December 2016

Barclays refuses to settle with US DoJ over 'craptacular loans' | Business | The Guardian

Barclays refuses to settle with US DoJ over 'craptacular loans' | Business | The Guardian:
"Barclays is refusing to settle with the US Department of Justice over allegations it deliberately sold mortgage bonds to investors that it knew contained “craptacular loans”.

The DoJ’s legal filing outlines an array of colourful descriptions of the types of mortgages that it alleges were used by Barclays to package up in bonds – known as residential mortgage bond securities – which could be sold on to investors.

It accuses Barclays of selling investors RMBS “backed by loans it knew were made to borrowers who were not creditworthy and which were supported by house appraisals it knew were inflated”."

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Riyadh speeds reforms alongside energy price rises

Riyadh speeds reforms alongside energy price rises:

"Saudi Arabia will gradually link domestic energy prices to international benchmarks over the next few years as the kingdom seeks to deepen economic reform and balance its budget by the end of the decade.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the budget for 2017, Khalid al-Falih, energy minister, said that poorer Saudis hit hard by the end to subsidies on utilities and fuel would be compensated with monthly cash deposits.

Domestic price rises come after an initial round of subsidy reforms were announced a year ago. Along with a cut to public sector allowances, the measures have eased fiscal strain and allowed Riyadh to trim state expenditure by a quarter over two years."



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EU warns Trump not to destroy Iran nuclear deal

EU warns Trump not to destroy Iran nuclear deal:

"European governments are quietly warning the incoming Trump administration that the US will get the blame if any new economic sanctions on Iran lead to the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal.

European officials have told the Trump team and Republicans in Congress that there would be little appetite within the EU for a new campaign of international pressure on Iran if the US took steps that precipitated the end of the agreement.

The warnings underline the potential for the Iran deal to become a sharp point of contention between the Trump administration and its western European allies. France, Germany and the UK were all involved in the negotiations, which saw Iran receive sanctions relief in return for limitations on its nuclear programme."



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Energy poised to be year’s big winner in turnround

Energy poised to be year’s big winner in turnround:

"What a difference a year makes. Having ended 2015 as the worst performing sector on the S&P 500, energy stocks are on track to become this year’s biggest winners as this month’s rally in crude prices further extended the sector’s gains.

Despite falling 0.2 per cent on Friday, the S&P 500 energy index is still up more than 25 per cent this year, making it the top gainer among the 10 main sectors tracked on the S&P.

The index has jumped 12 per cent since early November after it appeared increasingly likely that Opec would be able to reach an agreement to cut oil production."



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Putin: Glencore, Qatar ‘complete deal’ for Rosneft stake

Putin: Glencore, Qatar ‘complete deal’ for Rosneft stake:
"Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund have completed their deal to buy 19.5 of Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft, Russian president Vladimir Putin announced.

Speaking at an annual press conference on Friday, Mr Putin said that “foreigners” had “transferred the money into the Russian budget in full.” The deal is worth Rbs700bn ($11.5bn).

The deal as announced two weeks ago would see Glencore and Qatar contribute EUR2.8bn of their own capital, with the rest to come from Italian bank Intesa and a consortium of Russian lenders."

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What We Learned From Interviews With Four Top Saudi Officials - Bloomberg

What We Learned From Interviews With Four Top Saudi Officials - Bloomberg: "Saudi officials followed the kingdom’s most detailed budget in recent history by briefings on key plans. Four top officials gave interviews to Bloomberg News in Riyadh. Here are some of the key comments:


Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan

The newly-appointed minister said the kingdom will “most likely” tap debt markets in the first quarter of next year after raising $17.5 billion in October in the biggest ever emerging market bond sale this year. The government has met with banks to discuss the potential sale of Shariah-compliant bonds, or sukuk, in the first quarter to help plug its budget deficit, according to five people familiar with the matter.
"

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U.S. crude settles at 17-month high after small, pre-holiday gain | Reuters

U.S. crude settles at 17-month high after small, pre-holiday gain | Reuters:
"U.S. oil prices closed at a 17-month high on Friday in quiet trade ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday week, even though the gain was small, as the market waits to see how OPEC manages its planned output cuts with Libya expecting to boost production.

Despite the 17-month high in U.S. futures, prices were little changed on Friday in a market that closed early for the Christmas holiday.

Brent LCOc1 futures gained 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to settle at $55.16 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 gained seven cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $53.02, its highest close since July 2015."

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World’s largest hedge fund to replace managers with artificial intelligence | Technology | The Guardian

World’s largest hedge fund to replace managers with artificial intelligence | Technology | The Guardian:
"The world’s largest hedge fund is building a piece of software to automate the day-to-day management of the firm, including hiring, firing and other strategic decision-making.

Bridgewater Associates has a team of software engineers working on the project at the request of billionaire founder Ray Dalio, who wants to ensure the company can run according to his vision even when he’s not there, the Wall Street Journal reported."

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US alleges Barclays mortgage securities fraud - BBC News

US alleges Barclays mortgage securities fraud - BBC News:
"The US Department of Justice is suing Barclays for alleged mortgage securities fraud.
It claims that Barclays misled investors about the quality of loans backing securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.
Barclays rejected the claims, saying they were "disconnected from the facts"."

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