July 22: News in pictures
July 22: News in pictures
Buildings under construction are seen along the Mumbai skyline
India is nearing the end of its credit tightening cycle, as 10 interest rate increases since March 2010 exact a toll on growth in a once-roaring economy, making Tuesday's expected rate rise potentially the last for the near future.
Growth rates are still expected to be around 8%, which means India is not heading for a sharp slowdown even if the road ahead is filled with speed-bumps and the country's economic engines are not firing on all pistons.
However, recent industrial output and manufacturing data was the worst in nine months, car sales are skidding and loan demand is slowing, even as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) readies yet another increase in interest rates.
India's dream of annual growth of 10% appears increasingly distant.
The rate increases have been needed to fight persistent inflation, which is running about 9% and some economists predict a return to double-
The MetLife building is seen in New York
MetLife, the largest life insurance company in the United States, has put its banking operations up for sale to avoid the "too big to fail" regulatory scrutiny that analysts have said was likely.
MetLife said on Thursday it may sell MetLife Bank's depository business, which includes savings and money market accounts. The company said it will still write home mortgages life insurers tend to like mortgages as part of a diversified investment portfolio.
MetLife has hired Deutsche Bank, which ran the recent sale process for larger online bank ING Direct USA, to handle the sale. One industry source said many of the companies that lost out on ING Direct may look at MetLife Bank, among them Ally Financial and CIT Group.
Ally and CIT declined to comment.
The News Corporation building in New York
In a further blow to Rupert Murdoch, a $2-billion takeover bid by an Australian pay-TV business part-owned by his News Corp is expected to be blocked by the country's competition watchdog.
The bid by Foxtel, in which News Corp has a 25% stake, for rival Austar will create a pay-TV monopoly, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said. Austar shares plunged as much as 20%.
The commission insisted its preliminary finding had nothing to do with the phone hacking scandal engulfing News Corp in Britain, which prompted Murdoch to abandon a separate pay-TV deal to fully take over British firm BSkyB.
A labourer works in an iron factory on the outskirts of Hyderabad
Sesa Goa, India's largest iron ore exporter, expects sales volume to slow down to 15 to 16% in the current fiscal as exports remain suspended from its operations in Karnataka, its managing director said on Friday.
"While the ban on exports has been lifted, the Karnataka government is not issuing permits for shipments," Prasun Mukherjee said on a conference call to investors.
Earlier this year, the company had forecast volume growth of up to 20% for the year ending next March.
Sesa said late on Thursday its net profit fell 35% in the June quarter profit in the absence of exports from Karnataka.
A visitor looks at his phone in front of the Vodafone stand in Barcelona
Vodafone reiterated its outlook on Friday after faster-growing markets such as India and Turkey helped the world's largest mobile company by revenue to withstand tough trading and increased regulation in Europe.
Vodafone posted first-quarter organic service revenue growth of 1.5%, down from the 2.5% recorded in the previous quarter.
The overall performance was pulled lower by the 1.3% fall in European organic service revenue, which was worse than the 0.8% fall in the fourth quarter.
Sector analysts had been braced for a slew of bad results from European telco companies, as regulatory changes eat in to margins and consumers struggle, but they had looked to Vodafone and Telenor to shine due to their presence in the fast-growing emerging markets.
Telenor did just that earlier this week.
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