Gulf Arab banks set to boost lending in 2012
GULF Arab banks will have an opportunity to boost their lending in 2012, as they enjoy relatively healthy capital ratios compared with their international peers, though growth in their loan books will be contained by
|Chinese bank loans rose to $101.5bn in December |
|BEIJING CHINESE banks ramped up lending at the end of 2011, official data showed on Sunday, after Beijing relaxed credit restrictions and ordered banks to boost support for small businesses.
China's state-owned lenders issued 640.5 billion yuan ($101.5 billion) in new loans in December, compared with 562.2 billion yuan in November, the People's Bank of China said in a statement.
The late surge in lending takes the total value of new loans handed out last year to 7.47 trillion yuan, the central bank said.
The full-year figure was below the 7.95 trillion yuan in 2010 as Beijing hiked interest rates and increased the amount of money banks must keep in reserve as it battled to rein in inflation and soaring property prices.
The broadest measure of money supply, M2, rose 13.6 percent year-on-year in December, accelerating from 12.7 percent in November.
The value of new loans beat analysts' expectations for 580 billion yuan, according to a Dow Jones Newswires forecast, and came after policymakers in November cut the amount of money banks must keep in reserve.
|Olympus eyes $1.2bn suit, president may resign |
|TOKYO SCANDAL-TAINTED Olympus Corp is considering suing current and former executives for compensation totalling about 90 billion yen ($1.2 billion), while its new president is considering resigning, a source familiar with the matter said.
The endoscope maker is preparing a suit to help cover damages from a $1.7 billion accounting fraud that has savaged the 92-year-old firm's finances, market cap and reputation, the source said.
The suit is likely to include current executives who failed to spot the 13-year cover-up or question exorbitant advisory fees made for acquisitions, he said.
Olympus said in a statement that it would announce the contents of any suit on Tuesday. It declined to comment on whether its president Shuichi Takayama planned to step down.
Takayama, who took the helm of the medical device maker in October, had resisted calls that he resign. He has said he was not involved with hiding losses, and that his first responsibility was to rebuild the company's business after the scandal wiped out 60 percent of its market capitalisation.
|Eurozone debt crisis response fell short: Rompuy |
|BRUSSELS THE European Union has often responded to the debt crisis plaguing its common currency area with too little too late, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said in an interview released by Belgian broadcaster RTBF on Sunday.
But the euro "as a currency has never been in danger," the former Belgian prime minister also said.
"What we have is a sovereign debt crisis in some countries of the eurozone," he said.
"We had hoped that we would have found solutions much faster. We often acted a little bit too late and our decisions have been a little bit too weak - I say this openly." "But in most of the cases, we worked in the right direction and little by little, step by step, we will go very far." Van Rompuy said he was "optimistic" about the long term and "determined" to overcome the crisis, which has already resulted in the bailouts of three eurozone member states and worries about some of its biggest economies, such as Italy.
"I am absolutely convinced ... that at the end we will put this crisis behind us, but it will take more time than we had hoped," he said.