China Boosts Yuan Swaps, Store Payments as Dollar Concern Grows



April 2 (Bloomberg) — China’s leaders, increasingly concerned about the nation’s $740 billion of U.S. Treasuries, are making it easier for trading partners and consumers to do business in yuan. Continue reading

Bank of China Drops Rothschild Deal as Second Deadline Passes


April 2 (Bloomberg) — Bank of China Ltd., the world’s third-largest by market value, said it scrapped a planned 236 million-euro ($313.3 million) investment in La Compagnie Financiere Edmond De Rothschild after a second deadline for getting government approval expired.

“The agreement has expired and has automatically become invalid,” Bank of China spokesman Wang Zhaowen said in a telephone interview from Beijing today. “We may in the future seek cooperation in other areas” with the French firm.

Bank of China was forced to extend an original Dec. 31 deadline for the deal, announced in September, by three months after failing to get state approval. The Chinese bank had agreed to purchase a 20 percent stake in the Paris-based asset manager.

By Zhang Dingmin

Global Economic Slide May Be Easing as G-20 Gathers



April 2 (Bloomberg) — Leaders of the most powerful nations meet today amid signs that the world economy is stabilizing after months of freefall.

The Group of 20 summit convenes in London as some reports suggest the pace of decline is easing. U.S. durable-goods orders and home sales rose in February, Chinese urban investment surged 26.5 percent in the first two months of the year, and German investor confidence in March reached its highest level since July 2007. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index last month rallied the most in seven years. Continue reading

Obama Meets Hu as Stimulus Plans May Heat Clashes



April 1 (Bloomberg) — Presidents Barack Obama and Hu Jintao meet for the first time today to discuss a global economic crisis each is trying to combat with policies that may further complicate U.S.-China relations.

As they meet ahead of a gathering in London with other leaders from the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies, the two presidents are directing a combined $1.4 trillion of stimulus spending. Continue reading

Google launches free music site in China



Chinese internet users will be able to download more than 1m music tracks for free after Google launched a new web service with the world’s four largest music labels.

Pulling the L-plates from a service that launched in trial mode a year ago, the downloads service marks an aggressive move by Google to take on the Chinese search site, which has more than twice the market share of the California-based technology giant. Continue reading

5,000 cuts coming to IBM




* Latest round hits more than 4 pct of U.S. workforce


* Job cuts mostly in IBM’s global services business


* Shares close down 0.42 pct (Adds analyst comment, details on IBM’s recent results)


NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) – IBM (IBM.N) will cut about 5,000 jobs in the United States, adding to similarly large cuts in the past few months, sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. Continue reading

Peace conference ‘postponed’ after Dalai Lama refused visa


A conference celebrating South Africa’s emergence as a multi-racial society after decades of white minority rule has been called off after the Pretoria government refused to give a visa to a principal guest, Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

The peace conference bringing together South African Nobel Peace Prize laureates and international advocates of peaceful reform was due to be held in Johannesburg on Friday as a prelude to South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup of soccer next year. Continue reading