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Archive for July 24th, 2010|Daily archive page

Sanctions will draw strong physical response, DPRK says

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:18 am

The Democratic People of Republic Korea on Saturday said it would give a strong physical response to US sanctions, Pyongyang’s state media reported.

A foreign ministry spokesman attacked the United States for planning to hold joint naval drills with the Republic of Korea Sunday and for announcing new sanctions against the North over the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

“As the US has opted for military provocations and sanctions against us… we will strengthen our nuclear deterrence every possible way and take a strong physical response,” the Korean Central News Agency quoted the spokesman as saying.

The spokesman, however, did not elaborate on what the physical response would be.


Source: SGGP

Seven European banks fail financial stress test

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

Government leaders and the IMF on Saturday hailed stress tests on European banks which failed seven of the 91 institutions checked, but markets remained nervous about the credibility of the exams.

German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, five regional savings banks in Spain and ATEBank of Greece failed the test of whether they could resist a new financial shock.

The euro fell just after the release of the results but made up the lost ground. US stocks also ended slightly higher but European governments face a nervous wait for markets to reopen Monday to get the full global reaction.

German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, five regional savings banks in Spain and ATEBank of Greece failed the test of whether they could resist a new financial shock. All have been ordered to recapitalise or take state aid.

The Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS), which carried out the tests, said the seven banks would need about 3.5 billion euros (4.4 billion dollars).

The stress tests were intended to reassure markets over the health of the European banking system and political leaders and the head of the International Monetary Fund were quick to praise the tests and the results.

Many experts and economists were sceptical though.

The European Union’s Belgian presidency said: “The aggregate results of the tests show a high degree of resilience in the EU banking sector as a whole, reflecting the efforts undertaken over the last years by the banks and some governments to restore confidence in the European banking sector.”

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders, speaking for the EU, told AFP the results were “positive because we have been transparent and the tests were quite strict.”

Spain’s Finance Minister Elena Salgado insisted the results were “satisfactory” despite the failure of the five savings banks.

“The Spanish financial system has overcome the financial crisis very well,” she declared.

IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the tests were “a major undertaking and represent an important step toward improving transparency and bolstering market confidence.”

“The publication of the results and the actions that have been announced to address bank capital deficiencies promise to significantly strengthen the European financial system,” he added.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the EU “has made a significant effort to increase disclosure on the conditions of individual European financial institutions and enhance market stability.”

Some analysts however said the checks failed to shed much light on the real state of the banking sector.

The report spared all banks examined in debt-laden Portugal. Greece, which sparked fears for the stability of the entire eurozone and was rescued by an EU and IMF bailout, also got off lightly with just one bank failing.

Another focus of concern, Ireland, saw its banks also pass the CEBS capital ratio test, as did Italy. French and British banks likewise emerged with pass grades.

Neil MacKinnon, an economist at VTB Capital in London, said it “looks like a whitewash and the initial reaction is one of scepticism on the part of the markets.”

ING bank analyst Chris Turner said the CEBS announcement “does not appear to have uncovered any ‘skeletons in the closet’,” but added: “Whether it goes far enough remains to be seen.”

Vitor Constancio, vice-president of the European Central Bank and a CEBS member, insisted the stress tests were “a substantial and severe test, both in macroeconomic terms and in financial terms.”

The tests measured the banks so-called Tier One core capital and measured it against outstanding assets, such as loans. A key test was the effect a government debt crisis would have on balance sheets which hold large amounts of government bonds.

Banks must maintain a minimum ratio of 6.0 percent. The CEBS calculated the seven risk banks would see this ratio fall below six percent.

The CEBS estimated by the standard of its test that the total potential damage to balance sheets at the 91 banks — which account for 65 percent of the European banking market — would be 566 billion euros (727 billion dollars) over two years if certain tough conditions hit.

If markets judge the tests too weak, analysts have warned the result could be to undermine or even negate the exercise.

Britain’s influential Financial Times newspaper highlighted the nervousness in a commentary on Saturday and said the European exercise was “neither uniform, transparent or stressful enough, but it is a good step forward if treated with caution.”


Source: SGGP

Seven more US bank failures bring year’s total to 103

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

Seven more local and regional banks have closed their doors in the United States, bringing the total number of US bank failures to 103 this year, federal bank regulators announced.

The numbers released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation indicate that the failure rate in 2010 was quicker that the year before.

Only 64 banks went under in the United States by this time last year. A total of 140 bank failures were registered in all of 2009, according to the FDIC.


Source: SGGP

Obama praises Wall Street reform, rejects Republican plan

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

US President Barack Obama Saturday praised a Wall Street reform law enacted this week and rejected a Republican plan to jump-start the economy, saying it will take the country backward.

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement about the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington July 23, 2010. (AFP Photo)

“Wall Street reform is a key pillar of an overall economic plan we have put in place to dig ourselves out of this recession and build an economy for the long run — an economy that makes America more competitive and our middle-class more secure,” Obama said in his weekly radio address.

On Wednesday, the president signed into law the most sweeping reform of the US finance industry since the 1930s, promising US taxpayers would no longer get the bill for Wall Street excess.

The legislation, which some Republicans have pledged to repeal, introduces new consumer protections, checks the power of big banks and cracks down on deceptive practices by credit card firms.

Seeking to restore public confidence in his economic leadership as unemployment flirts with double digits, Obama said the bill would repair the fractures and abuses that produced the financial meltdown.

“It’s a plan based on the Main Street values of hard work and responsibility — and one that demands new accountability from Wall Street to Washington,” the president said in his address.

Obama also rejected an economic plan offered by House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, saying it would repeal health insurance reform and take away tax credits from millions of small business owners.

According to the president, the Republican plan would also permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans.

“These are not new ideas,” Obama said. “They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs, they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit, they will add one trillion dollars to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward.”


Source: SGGP

University entrance exam results announced

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 at 11:16 am

Universities nationwide on Friday continued to announce results of the university entrance exams this year. However, universities have planned for reducing their standard marks because of low results, aiming to create more chance for students to study in higher education.

Students of HCM City University of Natural Sciences at a class. Studying in higher education is a dream of every high school graduate. (Photo: Mai Hai) 

The national standard mark ruled by the Ministry of Education and Training is the minimum mark for university entrance. However, not all students who get marks higher than the standard marks may have a chance to study in higher education because every university or college regulates its own standard marks, depending on quality of students who apply for the school.

On the same day, plentiful universities in the north also published their results of entrance exams.

Student Duong Hoang Hung came first in the entrance exams of the National Economics University with 29.5 for three exam subjects of A group (mathematics, physics and chemistry).

To date, there are 20 universities announced their university entrance marks.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training, as many as 1.8 million candidates had registered for this year’s examination, of which 1.3 million had applied for universities and 500,000 for colleges.

Nearly 54 per cent of candidates chose to sit group A subjects, followed by group B (mathematics, chemistry, biology) 19.8 per cent, group D (literature, mathematics, foreign languages 15.2 per cent), group C (literature, history, geography) 8 per cent, and the other groups nearly 3.4 per cent.

Source: SGGP