- The Greek Debt Swap deadline has passed, and unofficial reports indicate that there was at least an 85% participation rate. The final result will be released later today. But if the participation rate is correct, no collective action clauses, no CDS trigger, and no default this time. Link: 85% participation rate.
- The ECB (European Central Bank) left its interest rates unchanged yesterday, but ECB President Mario Draghi indicated that there will be some retraction on the stimulus-drive stance of the ECB. In reaction to the debt crisis, the ECB has poured liquidity into the market through the acquisition of bonds. However, with the Greek Debt Swap concluded, Draghi has said that the ECB will now focus on the risk of inflation in the Eurozone, which is projected to be above the targeted 2% for the current year. This would be accomplished by increasing interest rates. Many analysts, however, suggest that these statements are really just meant to mollify the Germans (the Bundesbank – the German Central Bank – has formally notified the ECB of its concern over the risk attached to its bond purchases). But right now, it’s just talk. Link: ECB rate kept constant.
- Iceland is prosecuting its former PM, Geir H. Haarde, for his role in the Iceland banking crisis of 2008; and using the moment to change laws surrounding politician liability. It’s interesting that the former prime minister is the only political target up for attack – the former Central Bank Governor and the former Finance Minister have had the charges against them dropped. Haarde is being accused of failing to protect Iceland from grave financial danger, and for letting the island’s three largest banks accumulate debt that was greater than 10 times the size of the economy. Now if we could just skip across the Atlantic and prosecute the Texan power ranger for also being an idiot, that would be rad. Link: Iceland seeks retribution law against politicians.
- And the Africa Business News in brief. Link: ABN Briefs. The highlights:
- Despite the price of cocoa dropping by a third from last season, Ghana is still intending on purchasing the current year cocoa crop from its farmers at almost double the price of what it should.
- Kenya’s Stanbic Bank is looking to move into South Sudan in the second half of the year.
- The Zimbabwean Government announced that it had accepted an “irrevocable” offer from Impala Platinum to cede a 29.5% stake in its Zimbabwean operation. Implats denied making such an offer. I think Implats needs to get used to Zimbabwean euphemism.
- Standard Bank has announced an earnings increase of 21% for the year.
- Sanlam announced a 2% decrease in its normalised headline earnings per share.
That’s all for now.
Have a great Friday.