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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

March 11, 2014: News Updates

** EU Finance Ministers Claim Progress on Bank-Failure Fund

Mar 11, 2014 12:25 AM GMT+0100
European Union finance ministers claimed “good progress” after talks in Brussels as they worked to break a deadlock on a euro-area bank-failure law urgently sought by the European Central Bank.

***Losing Crimea Could Sink Ukraine's Offshore Oil and Gas Hopes

By Carol Matlack March 11, 2014
Without Crimea, Ukraine looks set to lose an important piece of its economic and energy future: valuable undersea oil and gas fields that lie just offshore the Crimean peninsula. Exploiting those Black Sea fields could help reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Russian gas imports.
And Big Oil had been interested: Before the overthrow of former President Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine was on the verge of signing a deal with a group, including Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B), that was prepared to spend $735 million to drill two wells off Crimea’s southwest coast. “Exxon and Shell are now in a legal limbo,” Chris Weafer of Moscow investment group Macro Advisory told Bloomberg News. If Crimea votes in a March 16 referendum to secede from Ukraine, the government in Kiev “may soon no longer have jurisdiction over the region.”

Libyan prime minister ousted by parliament

Associated Press
By MAGGIE MICHAEL 1 hour ago
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's parliament ousted the prime minister in a Tuesday vote of confidence, after his government was embarrassed this week when a militia controlling an eastern port defied Tripoli's authority by trying to sell oil.

The chamber named the defense minister, Abdullah al-Thinni, as an interim prime minister until a replacement for the embattled Ali Zidan is found.;_ylt=AwrBTzhlWx9TDV4A12ZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0NG8zaWZvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1NNRTQyM18x

North Korean Tanker Burning In Libya After Navy Opens Fire

Tuesday, 11 March 2014 (51 minutes ago)
The *Libyan defense minister took over duties as prime minister this morning* as the Libyan parliament voted "no confidence" in the current prime minister after a North-Korea-flagged tanker broke the "blockade" from a rebel-held port. The ouster of the PM appears to have bolstered confidence in the anti-rebel oil-stealing that we discussed yesterday, and resulted in
The oil tanker - The Morning Glory - had at least 234,000 barrels of oil aboard but is now "under complete control" of Libyan government authorities. However, as Bloomberg reports, *the North Korean tanker is said to be on fire after being hit* by a missile.

 Loonie Hedges Signal Bulls in Worst Start Since ’72: Currencies

By Ari Altstedter Mar 11, 2014 10:36 AM GMT+0100
After the worst annual start in more than four decades for Canada’s dollar, recent moves by the nation’s money managers suggest it may be about to turn around.
TD Asset Management, which oversees Canada’s second-biggest bond fund, Sprott Asset Management LP and Franklin Bissett Investment Management say they’re putting on hedges that would protect against the currency strengthening. That marks a switch from earlier in the year, when they unwound, or let lapse, positions in futures contracts or swap agreements as the local dollar plummeted versus its U.S. counterpart.

Lloyds Currency Trader Front-Ran Himself

3 Mar 11, 2014 12:24 PM ET
By Matt Levine
Here is the story of how a high-ranking trader at Lloyds Banking Group allegedly led a shadowy cabal of global currency dealers in a sinister scheme to rip off Lloyds Banking Group. Wait hang on. What?
    The Lloyds’s dealer, Martin Chantree, alerted the other trader on Jan. 31, 2013, that his desk had received instructions from the bank’s treasury department to swap more than 300 million pounds ($499 million) for dollars and that they would continue selling regardless of price movements, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified amid a probe into alleged rigging of the currency market. The recipient of the tip worked for oil company BP Plc, the other two people said.
    In the seven minutes between the communication at 10:53 a.m. and the time Lloyds began executing the order, the pound fell 16 basis points against the dollar, or 0.16 percentage point, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As the U.K. currency tumbled, costing Lloyds an estimated $750,000, Chantree told colleagues that maybe he shouldn’t have shared the information, two of the people said.

Brokers flee HSBC for Chinese investment banks in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 11:44am
People familiar with the situation told the South China Morning Post about 50 former employees of HSBC's Asian securities unit in the bank's office in the city had signed new offers with BOC International (BOCI), the Hong Kong-based offshore investment banking arm of Bank of China, one of the Big Four state-run lenders headquartered in Beijing.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen of the brokers' former staff had joined the Hong Kong office of China Merchants Securities, said the sources, who declined to be named.

"Magic" Collateral: A Frank Look At The Sheer Credit Horror About To Be Unleashed In China

march 11/14
While the world is terrified about what China - where corporate bond defaults are now permitted - may be about to unleash on the world, most are all too happy to remain in a state of delightful ignorance. We decided to take a peek behind the scenes.

Witnesses at Crimea base: 'No fighting or shooting like reported on TV'

Published time: March 11, 2014 11:31
Recent reports from Western media say Russian troops have allegedly seized control of the naval base near the Crimean city of Bakhchisaray on Monday, with “shots being fired in the air.” However, the sailors at the base deny all these reports.
“We were never ambushed or beaten. That’s just nonsense,” Aleksandr Gubenko, a seaman at the Crimean naval base, told journalist Ryan O’Neill.

 Tesla Stores May Be Closed After N.J. Blocks Direct Sales

 Mar 11, 2014 8:56 PM GMT+0100
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car company that doesn’t have franchised retail dealers, may be forced to close stores in New Jersey after a state commission voted to bar automakers from selling directly to customers.

Duke Energy CEO: Customers will foot bill to clean up toxic coal lagoons

Published time: March 11, 2014 01:15
Duke Energy faces a $1 billion price tag to clean its coal ash waste pits in North Carolina after the company leaked around 35 million gallons of toxic coal slurry into the Dan River last month. Who will pay the bill? Customers, says Duke's CEO.

US to give Israel $429 million for its Iron Dome missile system

march 11/14
The United States and Israel have signed an agreement under which $429 million of American taxpayers’ money “will be transferred immediately to Israel” to fund its Iron Dome missile system.
The pentagon says the agreement was signed last week in a bid to “continue support of the production of the Iron Dome weapon system” and provide opportunities for US industry to “receive meaningful co-production opportunities for Iron Dome components.”

Colorado made $3.5 million in pot tax in first month

21 hours ago
Los Angeles (AFP) - Marijuana sales in Colorado brought in $3.5 million in tax revenues and fees in the first month retail pot outlets were allowed, the western US state said Monday.
The figure included $2.9 million in taxes for recreational and medical marijuana in the month of January, and nearly $600,000 in fees, said Colorado's Department of Revenue.

Clashes erupt between protesters, police in Turkey

Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:29PM GMT
Clashes have broken out between the protesters and riot police in Turkey following the death of a teenager wounded during mass anti-government protests last year.
On Tuesday, protesters threw stones at police vehicles in Istanbul after 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who had slipped into a coma after being hit in the head by a police tear gas canister during last summer's demonstrations, died at the city’s Okmeydani Hospital.

Hundreds gather for anti-fracking march in Manchester (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Edited time: March 11, 2014 06:32