Wires

  • SHANGHAI, Jan 20- China has allowed its five biggest banks to temporarily lower the amount of money that they must hold as reserves to relieve pressure in its financial system as demand for cash surges ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The People's Bank of China has cut the reserve requirement ratio for the...

  • DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 20- Russia's economy could grow by 2 percent in 2017 as long as there are no external shocks such as a renewed fall in oil prices, Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Oreshkin said Russia would not abandon a free-floating rouble, which was one of the moves taken by the Russian central bank...

  • SEOUL, Jan 20- South Korea's special prosecutor's office said on Friday it has summoned a Samsung Electronics Co Ltd executive for questioning amid a widening graft scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

  • BEIJING, Jan 20- China issued 4.96 trillion yuan of new mortgages to individuals in 2016, the People's Bank of China said on Friday. Outstanding mortgages held by individuals rose 35 percent year-on-year to 19.14 trillion yuan as of end-December, PBOC said in a fourth quarter report posted on its website. China's outstanding real estate loans rose 27 percent...

  • LNG to Asia at huge profits. SINGAPORE, Jan 20- U.S. liquefied natural gas exporters are sending tankers to Asia to fill a gap in the region's demand as markets have tightened more-than-expected on surging consumption in China and Pakistan, and because of Australia's struggles to ramp up production. Benefiting from the Panama Canal expansion last year that...

  • *Colony Capital sells entire stake in Edenred. PARIS, Jan 20- Shares in French voucher and prepaid card provider Edenred slid lower on Friday after its second-largest shareholder Colony Capital sold its entire 11.2 stake in the company. Colday E, a vehicle of private equity firm Colony Capital, said 5.53 percent of the capital had already been sold off-market to...

  • LONDON, Jan 20- The dollar inched down on Friday before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, as further comments from Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen were perceived as less hawkish than what she said the previous day. After a week of volatile moves that have seen investors question the fate of the greenback under Trump, both the dollar and...

  • TOKYO, Jan 20- Japan's Canon Inc is considering investing in Toshiba Corp's chip business, Kyodo news agency reported on Friday. The report, which did not cite any sources, comes as Toshiba begins preparations to sell a minority stake in its core chip business, aiming to raise funds ahead of an upcoming multi-billion dollar writedown. A representative for Canon...

  • NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, Thailand, Jan 20- First came drought, then came floods. Thailand accounts for nearly 40 percent of the world's natural rubber, most of which is used in car tires. Thailand is one of the world's most important exporters of agricultural commodities- including rice and refined sugar.

  • LONDON, Jan 20- Borrowing costs in the euro area pulled further away from one-month highs on Friday, as caution. crept in before Donald Trump's inauguration as U.S. president. The European Central Bank's decision on Thursday to maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy and play down a recent rise in inflation supported regional bond markets.

  • DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 20- Leaders of the global pharmaceutical industry, blasted by incoming U.S. President Donald Trump for "getting away with murder" on drug prices, are putting a brave face on the challenges in their biggest market. The following are comments from chief executives on U.S. pricing prospects, based on Reuters interviews at this week's World...

  • PARIS, Jan 20- Recent production problems at Zodiac Aerospace partially influenced the French seatmaker's decision to agree to be taken over by aero engines group Safran, a leading Zodiac shareholder said. A cash pile left by Safran's decision last year to sell its security business also facilitated the 9.7 billion-euro deal, reached more than six years after...

  • *Citi's Asia wealth biz added up to 12 pct new customers in 2016. *Citi's top wealth mkts in Asia include Hong Kong, Singapore. *Total household wealth in Asia rose 4.5 percent in 2016- report.

  • *JPMorgan downgraded Indonesia at time of uncertainty- finmin. *Indonesia says bond dealers must avoid conflicts of interest. JPMorgan published a research report on Nov. 13 that gave Indonesia an underweight assessment, just as Southeast Asia's biggest economy was seeing an outflow of funds along with other emerging markets after Donald Trump's victory in...

  • Jan 20- Hong Kong stocks ended a thinly-traded week down and snapped three weeks of gains on Friday, as investors were wary ahead of Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th U.S. president later in the day. The external risk of China is obviously heightened, at the same time how Fed will move policy rates in the U.S, "said Raymond Yeung, chief economist of Greater China...

  • BEIJING, Jan 20- China's central bank said on Friday it will provide temporary liquidity support for several major commercial banks for 28 days, according to a notice posted on its official microblog.

  • *China Q4 GDP growth faster than expected, boosted by housing. BEIJING, Jan 20- China's economy grew a faster-than-expected 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, boosted a tailwind heading into what is expected to be a turbulent year. China's debt to GDP ratio rose to 277 percent at the end of 2016 from 254 percent the previous year, with an increasing share of new credit...

  • PARIS, Jan 20- Shares in French voucher and prepaid card provider Edenred fell by around 3 percent on Friday after major shareholder Colony Capital sold its entire 11.2 percent stake in the company. Colday E, a vehicle of private equity firm Colony Capital, said 5.53 percent of the capital had already been sold off-market to an unnamed investor, and it would sell...

  • SINGAPORE, Jan 20- A surge in piracy to the west of the Philippines is forcing shipowners to divert vessels through other waters, stoking their costs and extending the time it takes to transport goods such as Australian iron ore to key Asian destinations. The International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur has also warned of the rising...

  • *Shanghai crude futures were to give China global pricing power. SINGAPORE/ BEIJING, Jan 20- China's plans to create a new crude futures contract to compete with global pricing benchmarks have been shelved due to market resistance, five sources with knowledge of the matter said, dealing a blow to Shanghai's ambitions to be a leading energy trading hub.