Allied Irish Banks promotes head of wholesale banking to CEO

DUBLIN, Dec 14 () – Allied Irish Banks named its head of wholesale and institutional banking as its new chief executive on Friday, replacing Bernard Byrne who joined an exodus blamed by the bank on a government-imposed pay cap. Byrne will be succeeded by Colin Hunt, who joined the bank in 2016 after holding a number of senior positions in Macquarie Capital, Goodbody Stockbrokers, Bank of Ireland and NatWest, as well as serving as a government advisor. AIB surprised investors in late October with the news that Byrne was leaving…

UPDATE 6-« Who are you calling ‘nebulous’? » May presses testy EU for Brexit help

BRUSSELS () – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday further assurances on her Brexit deal were possible after European Union leaders told her they would not be renegotiating the treaty and scorned her stilted defense of Britain’s departure. But EU leaders showed no sign of budging, saying it is up to May to sort out her problem getting a deal through parliament in the new year, or face the consequences of failure. With the British parliament deadlocked, the ultimate destination of the Brexit project remains unclear, with possible…

UPDATE 1-Euro zone takes step to deeper integration, key issues unresolved

BRUSSELS () – European Union leaders took a step toward deeper euro zone integration on Friday to help prevent future crises, but deep disagreement left key issues like a euro zone budget and a deposit guarantee scheme unresolved. General view of the hall during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. Stephane Lecocq/Pool via Leaders of all EU countries except Britain, which is to leave the bloc in March, endorsed an agreement reached earlier by their finance ministers to give some new powers to the euro…

Ex-CFO of failed bank BES sues Bank of Portugal, KPMG for $4.9 bln

LISBON () – Banco Espirito Santo’s former finance director is suing the Bank of Portugal and KPMG, demanding they pay the state 4.3 billion euros ($4.9 billion) for allegedly falsifying its accounts before the bank’s 2014 collapse. Amilcar Morais Pires filed the lawsuit at the Lisbon Administrative Court on Friday, alleging in papers seen by that the central bank and KPMG “imposed inflated losses,” on Banco Espirito Santo (BES). The Bank of Portugal and KPMG both declined to comment on the action by Morais Pires in which he alleges that…

UPDATE 2-South Africa’s Eskom evaluating bids for mortgage business

JOHANNESBURG () – South Africa’s cash-strapped power utility Eskom is evaluating bids for its mortgage lending business, a spokesman said on Friday, as the company works to shore up its balance sheet against a backdrop of operational woes. State-run Eskom is struggling to keep the lights on in Africa’s most advanced economy, and has been implementing frequent controlled power cuts to prevent the grid from collapsing under the weight of electricity demand. “Eskom is currently evaluating bids for the sale of its non-core subsidiary Eskom Finance Company (EFC),” the utility’s…

Brazil prosecutors charge former Trafigura executives with corruption

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 () – Brazilian federal prosecutors on Friday filed corruption charges against two former executives of the oil trader Trafigura for allegedly paying at least $1.5 million in bribes to employees of Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro. Prosecutors said in a written statement that the charges filed against Mariano Marcondes Ferraz, a former Trafigura top executive, and Marcio Pinto Magalhaes, a local country representative, were the first of many to come against the world’s largest oil traders. Vitol SA, Glencore PLC and Mercuria Energy Group are…

Lebanon’s central bank will continue financial operations in 2019 -governor

LONDON, Dec 14 () – Lebanon’s central bank will stick to its financial operations in 2019, central bank governor Riad Salameh told , adding a rise in global interest rates is concerning policymakers in the heavily indebted country. Lebanon – which has the world’s third highest debt-to-GDP ratio and suffers from stagnant growth – has faced increasing pressure in recent months amid a political stalemate that has prevented the formation of a government since elections some seven months ago. Over the past three years, the central bank has carried out…

S.Korea imports no Iranian crude for November -customs

SEOUL, Dec 15 () – South Korea did not import crude oil from Iran in November, compared with 1.3 million tonnes imported a year ago, preliminary data from Korea Customs Service showed on Saturday. The world’s fifth-largest crude buyer imported a total 12.7 million tonnes of crude last month against 12.6 million tonnes imported a year ago, the data also showed. Final data for South Korea’s crude oil imports last month will be published by state-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) later the month. The KNOC data is considered the…

LSE names Experian’s Donald Robert as next chairman

Dec 14 () – London Stock Exchange Group Plc said on Friday Chairman Donald Brydon would be replaced by Donald Robert, chairman of the world’s biggest credit data firm Experian Plc. Robert has been appointed as a non-executive director and will take over from Brydon after the company’s annual general meeting in May, LSE said. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)Our Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.

Carlyle Group names manager for U.S. crude export terminal project

HOUSTON () – Lone Star Ports LLC will lead development and operation of a Carlyle Group-backed crude export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas, that can fully load supertankers, according to a statement from the project leaders on Friday. The logo of the Carlyle Group is displayed at the company’s office in Tokyo, Japan October 17, 2018. /Issei KatoCarlyle Group (CG.O) and the Port of Corpus Christi Authority in October jointly proposed building a $1 billion crude export terminal on an island controlled by the authority. The partners have said they…

Investors sell record $39 billion of stocks in past week: BAML

FILE PHOTO: United States one dollar bills are seen on a light table at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014. /Gary Cameron/File PhotoLONDON () – Investors cashed out of equity funds at a record pace over the past week, with redemptions hitting $39 billion, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) said on Friday. Investment grade bond fund outflows also touched a record high of $8.4 billion up to Wednesday, in what was a “capitulation out of stocks, investment grade (and) financials,” according to BAML. U.S.…

Canada’s Imperial Metals hires BMO to speed up restructuring -sources

LONDON () – Canadian copper producer Imperial Metals (III.TO) has hired Bank of Montreal (BMO) to speed up a restructuring process that could include the sale of the company for up to $1 billion, two sources familiar with the matter said. Imperial Metals, backed by Canadian billionaire Murray Edwards, earlier this year set up a special committee to identify strategic alternatives including joint ventures and a total or partial sale of the business. It has now mandated the Canadian investment bank to start a formal process, the sources said. Imperial…

Colombia court fines Odebrecht consortium $250 mln for graft

BOGOTA, Dec 14 () – A Colombian tribunal fined a consortium led by embattled Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht $250 million and banned it from state contracts for 10 years, saying the group used corruption to win infrastructure contracts. Odebrecht has been at the center of Latin America’s biggest graft scandal, acknowledging in 2016 that it bribed officials in a dozen countries. The company paid some $30 million in bribes in Colombia, according to the attorney general’s office. The consortium was tasked with the construction of the 528-km (328-mile) Ruta del…

UPDATE 4-UK PM May remonstrates with EU as her Brexit plea is cast as humiliation

BRUSSELS () – British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that further assurances on her Brexit deal were possible after European Union leaders told her they would not be renegotiating the agreement and scorned her stilted defence of Britain’s departure. With the British parliament deadlocked, the ultimate end of the Brexit project remains unclear, with possible outcomes ranging from a disorderly departure with no deal to another referendum on European Union membership. May, who on Wednesday survived a plot in her party to oust her, asked EU leaders at…

Fitch downgrades Pakistan citing fiscal « deterioration »

Dec 14 () – Global credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Pakistan’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’, citing a rise in external financing risk from low reserves and high external debt repayments, along with a continued deterioration in the economy’s fiscal position. Pakistan’s rating outlook is stable, Fitch Ratings said on Friday. Inflation in the country has risen due to a significant rupee depreciation and higher energy prices, Fitch noted. Last month, Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund failed to agree on a bailout package during…

UPDATE 3-UK PM May remonstrates with EU as her Brexit plea is cast as humiliation

BRUSSELS () – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s failure to win legally binding assurances from the EU on her deal to quit the bloc was cast as a humiliation by opponents on Friday after she exasperated other leaders with a stilted defense of Brexit. With the British parliament deadlocked, the ultimate outcome of the Brexit project remains unclear, with possible outcomes ranging from a disorderly departure with no deal to another referendum on European Union membership. May, who on Wednesday survived a plot in her party to oust her, asked…

UPDATE 2-Poles’ trust in state low after bribe scandal – survey

(Recasts with potential political implications of scandal) WARSAW, Dec 14 () – A survey taken after a corruption scandal suggests that Poles have little trust in the state – a warning sign for the Law and Justice (PiS) party, which won power in 2015 partly on pledges to fight graft and has extended state control over media and judiciary. Last month, the Gazeta Wyborcza and Financial Times papers said the owner of the loss-making Getin Noble Bank (GNB) had formally accused the ex-head of the KNF banking regulator of asking…

Vietnam’s Vingroup targets global markets with smartphones in tech shift

HO CHI MINH CITY () – Vingroup, Vietnam’s top listed firm by market value, underlined its technology ambitions on Friday with the launch of its first smartphones, which it plans to sell around the world. Once a real estate and retail focused conglomerate, Vingroup became Vietnam’s first fully-fledged domestic carmaker two months ago with a business called Vinfast. Its four Vsmart phone models are being made in its factory in Vietnam’s northern city of Haiphong, with a capacity to produce 5 million phones a year in the first stage. “If…

UPDATE 1-Russian oil refinery gets Sberbank credit line, resumes loadings

(Recasts with Sberbank credit line) MOSCOW, Dec 14 () – Oil loadings have resumed at Russia’s Afipsky refinery, pipeline monopoly Transneft said on Friday, after top lender Sberbank provided a credit line to the Afipsky and Antipinsky refineries. Transneft also said it expected to resume loadings to the Antipinsky refinery soon, Interfax news agency reported. Sberbank said on Friday that it had provided additional credit lines to the refineries to support production, allowing them to fully resume activity. It did not reveal the terms of the credit lines. (Reporting by…

UPDATE 1-ECB takes over supervision of two banks leaving UK due to Brexit

The logo of the European Central Bank (ECB) is pictured outside its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, April 26, 2018. /Kai PfaffenbachFRANKFURT () – The European Central Bank said on Friday it will take over supervision of the European operations of Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) after they moved some businesses to Ireland from Britain because of Brexit. The two banks’ Irish subsidiaries have previously been supervised by Irish authorities but their bigger size means they will now come under the ECB’s watch. Bank of America announced this…

Northern Irish DUP tells PM May: stand up to EU on Brexit

LONDON, Dec 14 () – The Northern Irish party which props up Prime Minister Theresa May’s minority government gave her a blunt warning on Friday: stand up to the European Union on Brexit. “The Prime Minister has promised to get legally binding changes. The reaction by the EU is unsurprising. They are doing what they always do,” Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster said. “The key question is whether the PM will stand up to them or whether she will roll over as has happened previously.” (Reporting by Costas Pitas;…

UPDATE 2-SoftBank telco IPO sees strong demand despite Huawei, network disruption

TOKYO () – Domestic investors have sought nearly double the number of shares offered by SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) soon-to-list wireless unit, two sources from a lead IPO underwriter said, underscoring strong demand for Japan’s third-largest telco. FILE PHOTO – A woman using a mobile phone walks past the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo May 11, 2015. /Toru HanaiOverseas institutional investors have sought more than three times the number of available shares, the sources said on Friday on condition of anonymity as they are not authorized to disclose the…

UPDATE 1-Russia c.bank raises rates, plans to resume FX buying

(Adds detail, c.bank statement, market reaction) By Andrey Ostroukh and Maria Kiselyova MOSCOW, Dec 14 () – The Russian central bank raised its key interest rate to 7.75 percent on Friday, responding to rising inflation and pressure on the rouble that is set to grow after the bank announced it would resume purchases of foreign currency for state reserves. In a poll, the majority of experts had said they expected the central bank to keep the rate unchanged this week, though a significant majority forecast an increase. “The decision taken…

Philippines to post wider c/a deficits in 2018, 2019 – c.bank

MANILA, Dec 14 () – The Philippines’ current account deficit is not going to spiral out of control, the central bank said on Friday, even as it forecast the gap will widen further in 2018 and 2019. This year’s current account deficit is expected to reach $6.4 billion, or 1.9 percent of gross domestic product, the central bank said, more than double its earlier forecast, and higher than the previous year’s $2.2 billion gap. The deficit is expected to balloon to $8.4 billion in 2019, or 2.3 percent of GDP.…

ECB to supervise Irish units of Barclays, BofAML

The logo of the European Central Bank (ECB) is pictured outside its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, April 26, 2018. /Kai PfaffenbachFRANKFURT () – The European Central Bank will begin to supervise Barclays Bank Ireland and the Irish subsidiary of Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) from next year as they are expected to grow in size following Brexit, the ECB said on Friday. It added it would no longer supervise Permanent tsb Group Holdings plc (IL0A.I) as it did not meet any of the significance criteria for three consecutive calendar…

UPDATE 1-Shares in troubled Polish bank rise on plan to find investor

(Adds background and context) WARSAW, Dec 14 () – Shares in Poland’s troubled Getin Noble Bank (GNB) rose 11 percent on Friday, after it said it would look for a financial investor. GNB said on Thursday it planned to find a private equity fund that could pump money into the loss-making bank or the bank that could emerge from a tie-up with its sister lender Idea Bank . GNB’s problems stem from a portfolio of foreign currency-denominated mortgages that became a burden for the lender after the Swiss franc rose…

Britain to force broadband providers to tell customers their best deals

LONDON () – Broadband providers in Britain will have to tell customers about their best deals under planned new rules from telecoms regulator Ofcom aimed at tackling a ‘loyalty penalty’ that makes it difficult for long-standing customers to get the cheapest package. Ofcom said on Friday it would review broadband companies’ pricing practices to examine why some customers paid more than others, and whether vulnerable customers needed extra protections to ensure they got a good deal. Its proposed new rules would make broadband companies – as well as mobile, landline…

FOCUS-Jet Airways’ survival may rest on founder Goyal leaving the cockpit

* Any rescue deal would involve founder ceding control – sources * An airline has to evolve beyond one leader or family – analyst * Airline management is a fully empowered team – Jet spokeswoman * Jet in talks with shareholder Etihad, Tata for money – source * Jet has lucrative slots at Mumbai, other international airports By Aditi Shah NEW DELHI, Dec 14 () – Jet Airways Ltd’s 69-year-old founder Naresh Goyal, who started out as an assistant in a travel agency, wove together charm, persistence and consummate dealmaking…

Shares in troubled Polish bank rise on plan to find investor

WARSAW, Dec 14 () – Shares in Poland’s Getin Noble Bank, which has been at the centre of the country’s biggest corruption scandal in years, rose 11 percent on Friday, after it said it would look for a financial investor. Getin Noble said on Thursday it planned to find a private equity fund that could pump money into the loss-making bank or the bank that could emerge from a tie-up with its sister lender Idea Bank. (Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Mark Potter)Our Standards:The Thomson Trust Principles.

UK PM May’s plea for EU help on Brexit cast as failure at home

LONDON () – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempt to win assurances from the European Union on her Brexit deal was cast by opponents on Friday as a humiliating failure that did nothing to ease the parliamentary deadlock over Britain’s departure from the bloc. British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 13, 2018. /Francois LenoirEU leaders all ruled out new legally binding accords to amend the package, though they assured her that it should not bind Britain forever to EU rules.…