Asian shares extended losses on Wednesday after Greece failed to form a coalition government, says the FT. The MSCI Asia Pacific index shed 0.7 per cent with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Exchange off 0.5 per cent, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 down 1.3 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite index 1 per cent lower. Fears over a potential Greek exit from the eurozone continued pushing German, UK and US bond yields to or near fresh record lows.
In Greece, depositors withdrew €700m from local banks on Monday alone, according to the national bank of Greece, the WSJ reports. Although this is an escalation in the pace of capital flight, it falls short of “bank run” territory.
The US DoJ has opened a preliminary investigation into JP Morgan’s $2bn loss, which will be led by the FBI, reports the FT.
Japan’s machinery orders fell 2.8% in March, less than economists anticipated, and are forecast to rise this quarter, says Bloomberg.
Some of Europe’s top banks are looking at how to foil the dominance of the three big credit agencies, with a private meeting of finance directors from up to 20 big institutions scheduled being held in Frankfurt, the FT reports. Some of the banks want to change the culture of information disclosure, perhaps giving standardised information to all agencies, said one person familiar with the talks.
Facebook is planning to increase the number of shares in its IPO by about 25% in a move that could value its upcoming offering at as much as $18.5bn, says CNBC, citing someone familiar with the matter.
The EU’s top financial regulator has outlined plans to give shareholders a binding say in bank executive pay, reports the FT. The initiative from Michel Barnier, the EU’s top financial services regulator, would hand bank investors the voting power to curb “morally indefensible” pay and limit the gap between the lowest and highest paid.
Chesapeake has raised to $4bn from $3bn the size of a short-term, high-interest loan it took out with Goldman Sachs, the FT reports. The loan was first announced on Friday.
Activist investor Relational Investors has bought a $600m stake in PepsiCo and wants the company should consider spinning off its beverage business in the next year, says the FT, citing people close familiar with the thinking of the fund’s chief, Ralph Whitworth.
GE agreed to buy Australia-based mining-equipment maker Industrea Limited for about $A700m, reports Dow Jones.
COMMENT AND CURIOS
– The credibility the models describe is impossible in a democracy, says John Kay. (Financial Times)
– How Keynes would solve the eurozone crisis by Skidelsky. (Financial Times)
– Jamie Dimon softened his description of the trade as a “hedge”. (Wall Street Journal)
– If Greece goes… what happens to the core? (Financial Times)
– Obama has $500,000 – $1m in JP Morgan accounts. (Reuters)
– Here we go, again: Default on the table in Congress. (Financial Times)