1. Deutsche Bank CEO scraps TV appearance for IIF talks

    IIF officials have gathered in Brussels, a person familiar with the matter said.”Because of talks held in Brussels, Mr. Ackermann is unfortunately unable to meet this (TV) commitment,” a Deutche Bank spokesman said on Monday. Ackermann was scheduled to give an interview on public-sector broadcaster ARD on Tuesday to talk about the euro zone crisis.European Union leaders were set to discuss the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis on Sunday.Charles Dallara, a lead negotiator for the IIF, told Reuters that bigger writedowns could only happen if policymakers addressed broader sovereign debt issues in Europe.”If the official community is interested in asking the private sector to take another look at Greece then it will have to be only as part of a broader process of addressing the full range of sovereign debt issues in Europe,” Dallara said.Greece’s overall debt is forecast to climb to 357 billion euros ($491 billion) this year, or 162 percent of annual economic output — a level economists say is unsustainable.To reduce this mountain, euro zone leaders have been trying to convince banks to accept voluntary writedowns of up to 50 percent on their sovereign holdings. At the same time, they are trying to agree on a blueprint for recapitalising financial institutions at risk from the deepening crisis. ($1 = 0.727 euro)

  2. Credit agencies settle suits with Connecticut

    Oct 14 (Reuters) - Connecticut’s attorney general announced Friday that he had reached a settlement with the three major credit-rating agencies over allegations that they underrated public bonds compared with their corporate counterparts.The deal ends a three-year battle between Connecticut and the agencies over the rating of public bonds.It requires Moody’s Investors Service, Inc, part of Moody’s Corp ; Standard & Poor’s, a unit of McGraw Hill ; and Fimalac SA’s Fitch to pay roughly $900,000 to the state to defray the cost of securing future credit ratings on sales of state bonds.Connecticut sued the agencies in July 2008, accusing them of violating the state’s unfair trade practices law by assigning lower ratings to public bonds compared with corporate debt.The lower ratings forced cities, towns and school districts to pay higher interest rates on the bonds or purchase unnecessary bond insurance to improve their ratings, the suits said.In addition to seeking monetary damages, Attorney General George Jepsen said the actions sought to make sure the agencies clearly defined the meaning of their rating symbols and applied the symbols consistently across all securities. These are now requirements of the Dodd Frank Act, which was enacted by Congress in July 2010.The settlement does not extend to separate suits Connecticut brought in 2010 against Moody’s and S&P over claims they misrepresented the analysis of structured finance securities.Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s did not immediately return calls for comment.A spokesman for Fitch said in a statement that the settlement “reflects our strong belief that Fitch’s ratings were fair and transparent.”

  3. UPDATE 1-U.S., allies see urgent need for action on Libya missiles

    Andrew Shapiro, U.S. assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, said Libya had an estimated 20,000 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles when the war against Muammar Gaddafi began this year.He said thousands were thought to have been destroyed during the NATO bombing campaign, but there was an urgent need to account for the rest.”We are very concerned about the threat that’s posed,” Shapiro told a media briefing after meetings with EU and NATO officials in Brussels. “In the wrong hands these systems could pose a potential threat to civil aviation.”“There was broad consensus about the urgency of this threat and the need to take urgent action to address it,” he said.”We know that terrorist groups have expressed interest in obtaining these weapons. The possibility that these weapons might cross borders is an area of considerable concern.”Shapiro said the U.S. State Department was planning to allocate an additional $25 million to help deal with the problem and to send more technical experts to Libya, and was seeking contributions from other countries as soon as possible.”Our allies in Europe understand and share our urgency and are eager to work with us,” he said.Teams in Libya were working to assess the extent of the problem and destroy stockpiles, he said.The United Nations sees the proliferation of weapons in Libya as a major concern and says its new rulers need to establish a proper police force and army to replace hundreds of militias made of up of mainly volunteers.Libya’s southern neighbour Niger has called the risk of cross-border arms trafficking “explosive”. Algeria, which shares a border with Libya, says it is worried that al Qaeda militants will exploit disorder in the country to acquire weapons.Britain said on Monday that British military experts had helped disarm a number of surface-to-air-missiles in Libya and identified a number of places in the North African country where the weapons may be located.NATO expressed concern earlier this month about reports that thousands of surface-to-air missiles had gone missing in Libya, and said it was the responsibility of the new authorities there to ensure weapons stocks were properly controlled.Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine has reported that the head of NATO’s military committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, told German lawmakers in a confidential briefing last week NATO had lost track of 10,000 surface-to-air missiles that had been in Libyan army hands.

  4. US lawmaker urges action against solar panel imports

    He warned that without government intervention there could be no American-made solar panels within five years.Levin also urged the Obama administration to depart from past practice and formally label China a currency manipulator in a semi-annual report due by Saturday.”I think they should, but I’m not sure of the timing,” he said, noting the report is often delayed.

  5. UPDATE 1-Encana inks deal to boost natural gas production

    * Says plant capacity expansion scheduled to come on stream in late-2013Oct 14 (Reuters) - Encana Corp , Canada’s largest gas producer, has entered into an agreement with Pembina Pipeline Corp as it looks to triple liquids-rich natural gas production in the Alberta deep basin.Pembina, which operates several conduits that transport crude oil and gas liquids to major pipeline hubs, will invest about C$230 million to expand the processing and liquids extraction capacity of the Resthaven plant.The Resthaven area, located in west central Alberta, is known for its prolific liquids rich natural gas supply.In the first of the two-phase expansion, Encana expects to boost extraction of natural gas liquids (NGLs) at Resthaven to about 8,000 barrels per day (bpd) from about 1,000 bpd.The second phase is expected to add another 4,000 barrels per day of extracted NGLs from Encana’s liquids-rich natural gas production in the region.Encana, which has been looking to divest $1-$2 billion worth of non-core assets, sold some natural gas midstream assets in Colorado and its Barnett Shale natural gas assets in North Texas to cut back on spending and cope with weak natural gas prices.”Over the next number of years, we expect our NGLs extraction to triple from about 10,000 barrels per day to about 30,000 barrels per day,” said Renee Zemljak, Encana’s executive vice-president, marketing, midstream & fundamentals.Encana is looking at production of 12,000 bpd at Resthaven, about 5,000 bpd at Musreau and more than 3,000 bpd at Gordondale, representing an incremental growth of about 20,000 bpd of NGLs.The plant capacity expansion is scheduled to come on stream in late-2013.While Encana shares closed at C$20.77 on Thursday, Pembina closed at C$25.50 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

  6. India cbank: rupee slide pushes up import costs

    The rupee had fallen 5.9 percent in September.The RBI, which has raised rates a dozen times since mid-March 2010, is set to review policy on Oct. 25.

  7. UPDATE 1-EU Commission calls for action on Greece and banks

    BRUSSELS Oct 12 (Reuters) - The president of the European Commission called on Wednesday for EU leaders to bring forward the introduction of a permanent rescue mechanism for states to mid-2012 from mid-2013 and called for more rigorous capital standards for banks.”The roadmap charts Europe’s way out of the economic crisis,” Jose Manuel Barroso told lawmakers in the European Parliament, outlining a plan ranging from the early introduction of the permanent European Stability Mechanism to “decisive action on Greece”.He called on heads of state to back his five-point plan when they meet in Brussels on Oct 23.Barroso also said there should be “a fully coordinated approach to strengthen Europe’s banks”, based on a stricter assessment of bank health using a “temporary significantly higher capital ratio of highest quality capital”.The head of the EU executive also spelt out how weak banks could be helped, saying national governments should provide support if investors cannot be found.If states were not able to step in, banks could get assistance from the temporary euro zone bailout scheme, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), he said.”Confidence can be restored through an immediate deployment of all the elements needed to solve the crisis,” Barroso said.The proposals also called for extra powers for the European Commission and the European Council - the body that hosts meetings of EU ministers - to intervene in the preparation of national budgets and in monitoring their execution.”Only in this way we will be able to convince our citizens, our global partners and the markets that we have the solutions that measure up to the challenges all economies are facing,” Barroso said.

  8. UPDATE 1-IMF says Cyprus must act fast to avoid crisis

    * Sees 2011 growth at a standstill, contraction in 2012* Govt has opportunity to avert problem getting worseNICOSIA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Cyprus must take swift action to shore up its economy, the IMF warned on Wednesday, saying it faced strong economic headwinds and substantial downside risks which were likely to persist.”We think the situation at the moment is very serious. The fact that the government cannot access the capital markets is very serious and the risks to the banking sector compound that,” said Erik Jan de Vrijer, assistant director of the IMF’s European Department.”The first priority for Cyprus is to do all it can to avoid that these problems get out of hand.”Worries have grown that Cyprus’s tiny economy would be the fourth in the euro zone to need a bailout since a July munitions explosion crippled its largest power plant. De Vrijer was responding to a question on whether it could at any point require such aid.”I think that there is time, and there is opportunity for the government to take decisive action to avert the possibility of these problems getting worse and worse,” he said.Cyprus’s credit ratings have suffered from exposure of its banking sector to Greek debt and fiscal slippage domestically, pushing up the cost of it borrowing on financial markets.Last week, the island’s cabinet said it had given its finance minister the go-ahead to take a 2.5 billion euro loan from Russia to refinance maturing debt.De Vrijer said the best way authorities could restore confidence was to make a “large upfront reduction” in their fiscal deficit next year.Measures to achieve fiscal savings should focus mostly on expenditure reductions, which experience has shown provide more durable savings than tax increases, the IMF said.The Fund expected “little if any growth” this year, and to register a small contraction in 2012, it said.In February, the IMF had issued a markedly more upbeat scenario of growth of between 1.5 and 2.0 percent for this year.Asked what had prompted the radical revision, De Vrijer said a July 11 munitions blast which destroyed Cyprus’s largest power station had an impact. “But far the most important one is the financial turbulence in Europe and the diminished growth prospects in North America and Europe (which) are having an impact on Cyprus.”

  9. Snap Analysis: Gene sequencers edge away from Illumina’s woes

    "They’re all saying ‘Don’t sell my stock on (Illumina’s) news," Leerink Swann analyst Dan Leonard said.Illumina shares lost almost a third of their value, in more than 10 times their normal trading volume, after the company forecast weak third-quarter revenue and suspended its full-year outlook, on the back of uncertainty related to research funding in the United States and Europe.The S&P 500 Life Sciences Tools & Services sub-index dropped more than 7 percent."Illumina stock price has come down because even though it says it didn’t see the slowdown in the second quarter," its peers were more realistic, Robert W Baird analyst Quintin Lai said.Companies that make gene sequencing devices — like Illumina, Affymetrix and Life Technologies — see a large portion of their revenue from academic researchers, who have stepped back from starting new projects in light of uncertain funding.Funds available from the National Institute of Health (NIH) are set to reduce in 2012, once the stimulus money authorized by the Obama Administration for two years expires.However, Fluidigm Corp tried to calm jittery investors by reaffirming its 2011 forecast, and Bruker Corp said it expects to top its own quarterly revenue forecast of about $400 million."If you are worried about spending on capital equipment in academia, Illumina has about 25 percent exposure (to federal funding), while Affymetrix has 12-13 percent and Life Technologies has just over 10 percent exposure," said Mizuho Securities USA analyst Peter Lawson.PerkinElmer, Waters, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Mettler-Toledo are also part of the pool of genetic analysis tool makers. However, these companies face lower risk from funding woes as they are more diversified in their product offering.Also, analysts do not see much more room for trimming academic funding, as larger cuts to NIH’s budget may risk a slowdown in innovation."Right now is the Nobel Prize season, (academics) want to publish papers, so even with decreased amount of funding they are still on the cutting edge of research," Baird’s Lai said.