Tag Archive | Banking

Dubai World agrees debt deal with key banks

Today Dubai World said that it had reached an agreement “in principle” with most of its bank lenders to restructure debt worth $23.5bn (£16.4bn). It would be left with debts of $14.4bn after the restructuring.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem

But the deal must still be approved by other banks that were not involved in the negotiations. The terms of the restructuring, include converting $8.9bn of government debt into equity.

The government of Dubai and Dubai World had tabled this offer to bank lenders in March 2010 after three months of negotiations.

Dubai World (Arabic: دبي العالمية‎) is an investment company that manages and supervises a portfolio of businesses and projects for the Dubai government across a wide range of industry segments and projects that promote Dubai as a hub for commerce and trading.

It is the emirate’s flag bearer in global investments and has a central role in the direction of Dubai’s economy. Assets include DP World which caused a storm when trying to take over six US ports, and Nakheel, its property arm, which built The Palm Islands and The World developments, and Istithmar World, its investment company. It is chaired by Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.

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ATM inventor dies at 84

The man credited with inventing the world’s first automatic cash machine has died.

John Adrian Shepherd-Barron was born in Shillong, Assam (now Meghalaya), India. Educated at the University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge, he went on to work for De La Rue Instruments in the 1960s and came up with the concept of a self-service machine which would dispense paper currency with 24/7 availability.

This was the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), the first machine was established outside an Enfield, north London, branch of Barclays Bank in 1967, when he was Managing Director of De La Rue Instruments; according to the ATM Industry Association, there are now more than 1.7 million installed worldwide.

He received the Order of the British Empire in the 2005 New Year’s Honours list for services to banking as “inventor of the automatic cash dispenser”. Shepherd-Barron told the BBC that he was inspired by chocolate vending machines.

Goldman Sachs accused of fraud by SEC

US bank Goldman Sachs has been accused of fraud by the American regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to the SEC, Goldman Sachs failed to inform investors of a conflict of interest in the banks’ marketing of sub-prime mortgage investments, which were being sold at a time of uncertainty in the US housing market.

The SEC says that a Goldman subsidiary, Paulson & Co, had been involved in the selection of securities included in the mortgage investments. It had not been disclosed to investors that Paulson had bet that the value of the investments would fall, benefiting Paulson but not those who bought the investments. Read More…

American UBS client wins appeal in US tax case

An American client of Switzerland-based bank, UBS, has won an appeal in Swiss court on Friday against providing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States with relevant information about his offshore accounts.

The Swiss court ruled that the man’s failure to complete an IRS tax form, no matter how much money it pertained to, was not in itself fraudulent behavior. The case calls into question an agreement made between Switzerland and the United States last year in which Swiss tax authorities would supply the IRS with information on nearly 4,500 suspected tax evaders and their respective accounts. Read More…

Obama proposes financial reform

Speaking Thursday in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, United States President Barack Obama presented new proposals for financial reform.

“While the financial system is far stronger today than it was a year one year ago, it is still operating under the exact same rules that led to its near collapse,” said President Barack Obama.

“My resolve to reform the system is only strengthened when I see a return to old practices at some of the very firms fighting reform; and when I see record profits at some of the very firms claiming that they cannot lend more to small business, cannot keep credit card rates low, and cannot refund taxpayers for the bailout. It is exactly this kind of irresponsibility that makes clear reform is necessary.” Read More…

Bank of England holds interest rates at record low

The Bank of England has held UK interest rates at 0.5% for another month. The rate is the lowest ever, and has remained in place since March last year as part of the central bank’s response to the global financial crisis. Most analysts had predicted the rate to go unchanged.

Bank of England in London

Quantitative easing, also begun in March 2009, will continue in January. This involves the Bank purchasing a total of £200 billion in assets.

In a brief statement released today, the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said it expected the programme to take another month to complete.

The decision will be revisited in February, when more official economic data and forecasts are available.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank has been responsible for setting the UK’s official interest rate each month since 1997. Prior to this the base rate was controlled by the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Bank of America reports losses

The Bank of America Corporation, the second-largest bank in the United States, has announced that it lost US$2.24 billion in the third quarter of this year, mainly due to increases in loan losses.

According to the bank, the losses are equal to 26 cents per share, worse than most economic analysts had forecast. In the same period a year earlier, Bank of America had gained $704 million, or fifteen cents per share. Read More…