#AceFinanceNews – SPAIN – June 25 – A Spanish court said on Wednesday it had formalized charges against Princess Cristina de Borbon and her husband in a corruption investigation, paving the way for a trial, Reuters said.
The princess is the sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI. The Palma de Mallorca court upheld charges of tax fraud and money laundering against her, one of the last steps before opening trial proceedings.
Princess Cristina’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, is accused of embezzling several millions of euro in public funds. The trial that could further damage the royal family would center on his business dealings.
#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES (New York) – When members of the House Transportation Committee trekked this morning to Manhattan for a roundtable discussion on private financing for public projects — also known as public-private partnerships, or P3s — with financiers from J.P Morgan and other firms, they got a message of both opportunity and caution.
“The focus on U.S. infrastructure from participants around the globe has never been at this high a point,” said Jamison Feheley, managing director and head of the public finance team at J.P. Morgan, which recently served as lead banker to the state of Washington on a $1.1 billion toll revenue bond financing program for building a new bridge across Lake Washington to replace an ageing span.
He cited reasons for the interest: “The attractiveness of U.S. assets, the stable political environment, and the long-term nature of the assets, the stable and predictable returns.” He told the panel “the amount of calls we field on a weekly basis from participants around the globe asking ‘how do we invest in U.S. infrastructure?’ – I’ve never seen anything like it.”
A convergence of forces is driving interest in P3s, including low interest rates, pension funds’ searching for predictable returns, and an unwillingness by Congress to increase gasoline taxes to finance infrastructure building. Or as Rep. Michael E. Capuano, D- Mass., put it, “because we in Congress don’t have the courage at the moment to actually do what we have to do on the Highway Trust Fund,” which is facing inadequate revenues from the gas tax ……………
Read More of this well written article from By Tom Curry @ Roll Call the Container
#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – June 25 – The EU is at a “crossroads” between accepting a long period of austerity and high unemployment or taking steps to boost an economic recovery, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has warned.
Speaking in national parliament on Tuesday (24 June), Renzi told deputies that “high priests and prophets of austerity” were stifling the European economy.
Renzi’s government takes control of the EU’s six month rotating presidency next week and has indicated that migration and the bloc’s stability and growth pact will be its main policy priorities.
The Italian prime minister has led calls for the pact’s rules on budget deficits to be interpreted in a way that encourages more public investment.
He told parliament that although Rome would “respect the rules,” most notably the requirement to keep Italy’s budget deficit within 3 percent of GDP, “there are different ways of approaching rules”.
“Either we accept that we share common values, or you can keep your currency and we’ll keep our values,” he told deputies.
The language is likely to inflame opinion in Berlin, where Angela Merkel and her finance minister Wolfgang Schuaeble maintain that the 3 percent threshold offers sufficient flexibility, but momentum to revise the implementation of the pact has gained pace in recent weeks.
#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – June 25 – The European Commission on Tuesday (24 June) laid out plans on how to boost the EU’s military and defence industries.
It wants to create a single market on defence, make it more profitable, and intensify and merge research with the civil sector.
Antonio Tajani, the EU industry commissioner, said greater defence collaboration is needed between member states to enable the EU to "adequately face its security challenges".
Tajani described the plan in terms of helping the EU pull itself out of the economic crisis.
"It is vital that the European defence industry remains a world-leading centre for manufacturing and innovation, creating highly qualified jobs and growth," he said in a statement.
The commission says budget cuts, the crisis, and a fragmented internal market are threats to the industry and the EU’s overall defence capabilities.
It notes the sector in 2012 employed 400,000 people and generated a €96 billion turnover.
The 14-page plan wants to expand on ‘dual-use technology’, in which equipment can be used for both civilian and military objectives.
The EU’s €80 billion Horizon 2020 research programme would be used to help fund dual-technology projects.
It also wants to develop a new programme to explore the potential benefits of EU-funded research projects.
Among the ideas is to create drones capable of carrying out both civil and military operations.