Representatives of the Finance Ministries of Russia and Ukraine may meet in Germany to discuss Ukraine’s debt, TASS quoted Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying on Wednesday. “We hope to postpone a meeting and look forward to holding it in the territory of the intermediary – Germany,” Siluanov said. He did not mention the exact date of the meeting. A representative of Ukraine’s Finance Ministry said earlier it is ready to discuss the issue of its debt to Russia worth $3 billion through the pre-trial process.
A deal worth over $100 billion to combine the world’s two biggest beer companies cleared its last major hurdle Wednesday when the shareholders of SABMiller approved the takeover by Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch Inbev. SABMiller shareholders approved the $103 billion deal despite opposition from some investors. AB InBev shareholders also backed the transaction. Regulators around the world have already approved the deal, which AB InBev says will create “the first truly global brewer.” The takeover is expected to be formally completed on October 10, AB InBev said. (AP)
Six of the world’s biggest container shipping companies were raided by South African authorities on Wednesday on suspicion of colluding to inflate rates between Asia and South Africa, the country’s Competition Commission said. The six companies raided comprise local subsidiaries of Denmark’s Maersk, Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Company, France’s CMA CGM Shipping, Germany’s Hamburg Sud, Singapore-based Pacific International Line and Maersk unit Safmarine. An oversupply of vessels has weighed on shipping rates, prompting top-ranked A.P. Moller-Maersk to restructure and forcing South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd into receivership, stranding an estimated $14 billion in cargo on its ships. (Reuters)
European banks and firms should use their influence in the US to speed up the implementation of financing projects with Iran, the Islamic Republic’s central bank chief said on Wednesday. “We expect European banks and companies to help us explain to US authorities that they must keep their side of the nuclear deal,” Valiollah Seif said in an interview with Austrian news agency APA in Vienna, where he is meeting his Austrian counterpart on Wednesday. (Reuters)
A survey shows German consumer confidence has dropped slightly amid concerns over Britain’s decision to leave the EU and extremist attack threats. The GfK research group said Wednesday its consumer climate index fell to 10.0 points for October from 10.2 points in September. The group said that “it looks as if the Brexit decision from June has now started to have an impact.” Moreover, GfK said, consumers are feeling more unsettled due to greater public awareness of terror threats following a series of attacks in the summer. Some 2,000 consumers were surveyed for the report on behalf of the European Commission. (AP)
The French government is presenting its 2017 budget, including €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in tax cuts that are expected to benefit 5 million low and middle-income households. The budget detailed at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday is based on expected economic growth of 1.5 percent both this year and next. The International Monetary Fund forecasts only 1.2 percent growth next year. The government vows to bring the deficit to 2.7 percent of GDP, which would be within the EU limit of 3 percent for the first time since 2007. The economy is expected to be a major concern for French voters ahead of the presidential election in April-May 2017. Unemployment has been hovering around 10 percent for years. (AP)
A rise in Deutsche Bank shares helped push European stocks higher on Wednesday, easing concerns over Germany’s financial sector that had hit equities in Asia and drove investors into safe-haven government bonds and the dollar. The stock rose more than 3 percent in early deals, helping push the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 1.2 percent, led by banks. Beyond banking sector worries, investors were looking ahead to US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s appearance before a Congressional committee, a speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and a meeting of oil producers in Algiers. Sentiment towards riskier assets was also improved by data on Tuesday showing US consumer confidence this month hit its highest since 2007. (Reuters)