De goudproductie van Zuid-Afrika was in januari 8,1% lager dan een jaar geleden, zo maakte het Zuid-Afrikaanse bureau voor de statistiek bekend. De productie van platina-groep metalen steeg met 1,9%. Het land dat ooit met afstand de grootste producent ter wereld was neemt nu de vijfde plek in op de wereldranglijst.
Bedrijven die nieuwe investeringen willen doen financieren deze steeds vaker met vreemd vermogen. Door de bijzonder lage rente en de vraag naar bedrijfsobligaties kunnen bedrijven zeer goedkoop geld lenen. In 1999 en 2000 werden nieuwe investeringen vrijwel uitsluitend met nieuwe aandelenemissies gefinancierd, omdat toen de aandelen erg populair waren onder beleggers.
Update: Just as we predicted - Cyprus president Anastasiades to tell Eurogroup he lacks support and votes to pass levy - Antenna
Moments ago the state-run CYBC media reported perhaps the most material news ahead of tomorrow's Cyprus parliamentary vote, which at this point will likely be rescheduled once more, for the simple reason that yet another key Cypriot party, DIKO, has come out and decided to vote against the depositor-loss law on the Parliament's docket tomorrow. This is notable because while yesterday JPM, in its "bazooka" assessment speculated that DIKO would vote for the law which made sense previously as DIKO had supported president Anastasiades in his election bid, which gave a pro-bailout vote a one vote margin. As a result of today's flip, the party's 9 votes will now be aligned with the "anti" votes of AKEL and EDEK, whose combined 33 votes mean the proposed bailout law has no chance of passing as they have the needed 29 votes to block any bail-in out proposal! The Eurogroup better come up with some very convincing adjustments to the deposit haircut scheme in its ongoing conference, or else tomorrow's vote will be quite painful for the Fed's "wealth effect creation vehicle", once upon a time known as the S&P 500.
For the first time, a mainland Chinese company has defaulted on its bonds. SunTech Power Holdings has been clinging on by its teeth but after failing to repay $541mm of notes due on March 15th - and following four consecutive quarters of losses through the first quarter of 2012 and since then having failed to report quarterly earnings - owed to Chinese domestic lenders, the firm is restructuring. As Bloomberg reports, Chinese solar companies are struggling after taking on debt to expand supply, leading to a glut that forced down prices and squeezed profits - and most notably were unable to renegotiate its liabilities and obtain “additional flexibility” from creditors. This is highly unusual and perhaps is the beginning of a trend for Chinese firms. We already know the little discussed but gargantuan size of China's corporate bond market (which dwarves the US relative to GDP) as the mis-allocated credit tsunami of the last few years begins to hit its lending limit - just as Chinese corporate leverage is surging. If Suntech, the world’s largest solar-panel maker as recently as 2011, could not renegotiate its loans, we humbly suggest there are more problem firms out there about to find their friendly local banker a little less enthusiastic - just as Marc Faber warned recently.
BUENOS AIRES -- Hemmed in by the global financial squeeze and commodities slump, Argentina's leftist government has seemingly found a novel way to find the money to stay afloat: cracking open the piggybank of the nation's private pension system.