#AceFinanceNews – TURKEY – March 28 – Turkey has sacked Murad Bayar, Defence Ministry under-secretary for the state-run defence industries, Reuters said.
The ministry did not give a reason for the decision, but Bayar had been influential in Turkey’s negotiations with China over the procurement of a missile defence system.
NATO allies voiced concern when Ankara said in September, it had chosen China’s FD-2000 missile defence system over rival offers from the Franco/Italian Eurosam SAMP/T and US-listed Raytheon Company.
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – March 24 – World grain prices continue to rise because of unfavourable weather conditions in the United States, as well as due to the importers’ apprehension over the possible drop in grain shipping from Black Sea ports in connection with the in-stable situation in Ukraine, Russia’s Agriculture Ministry said in a monitoring report on the situation on the agro-industrial markets.
Over the third week of March, soft wheat average prices in the United States rose by 5% to 300 US dollars per tonne.
The previous week, the prices had already gone up by 10 dollars (3.6%) to 286 dollars per tonne.
Meanwhile, the Russian grain export in 2013-2014 agricultural year (since the beginning of July 2013) reached 19.7 million tonnes, increasing by 41% compared with the previous similar period.
Russian Commodity News
#AceFinanceNews – EUROPEAN UNION – European lawmakers are calling into question the ability of the Troika to effectively deal with the crisis, and many are attacking its methods.
An investigation report due in April will look at the handling of the Greek sovereign debt debacle.
The probe by the European Parliament on how the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the European Commission (EC) monitored and helped to solve the euro debt crisis, which started in 2008, triggered by the US financial collapse.
“The Troika acts like a governor and visits it’s colonies in the south of Europe and tells them what to do. The measures that they come up with though are not always very effective,” Derk Jan Eppink, an MEP from Belgium who initiated the probe into the Troika, told RT.
The IMF has admitted it made mistakes in the handling of Greece’s first international bailout, but some EU lawmakers want more answers.
Findings are expected to be published in April 2014, a month before the next EU Parliamentary elections.
RT – Finance News and Media Sources
#AceFinanceNews – UNITED STATES – The US government made enough profit from student loans in the last year to provide full Pell Grants of over $5,600 to 7.3 million students.
But, like many government financial issues, accounting methods complicate the story.
The $41.3 billion student-loan profit for the 2013 fiscal year – which ended on Sept. 30 – is actually down by $3.6 billion from 2012, but still enough to out-profit all but two global companies, ExxonMobil and Apple.
The numbers give pause since estimates show more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt exists in the US, more than Americans owe on credit cards.
Yet officials and experts point out that there are various ways of accounting for how the US Department of Education runs the student loan program, and that calling this pure profit is misleading.
RT – US Media and News Sources
#AceFinanceNews – Australia – March 22 – The authorities are considering extradition to the US of an alleged moderator of Silk Road, a website that used to connect those who wanted to buy illegal goods, such as drugs, and pay for them with digital currency, like Bitcoin.
Last December, three men involved with the Silk Road website were charged with conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, hacking and money laundering.
Extradition of one of them, native Australian Peter Phillip Nash, 41, from Queensland state, has been demanded by the US.
#AceFinanceNews – Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to open an account in Russian bank Rossiya which came under US sanctions.
Putin has made a statement at a meeting of the Russian Security Council after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s report on introduction of US sanctions against Russia.
“As far as I understand, this is a middle-size bank,” Putin noted. “I do not have an account there, but I will compulsorily open an account there on Monday,” he pledged.
MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has ordered the opening of an account with Russia Bank included in the United States’ sanctions list.
“The decision over the sanctions with respect to the bank shows it is a reliable bank, if the U.S. does not like it. So I’ve ordered an account to be opened with the bank immediately to have my salary transferred to the card,” Kadyrov wrote on Instagram.
The Chechen leader also said he decided to offer to the bank’s top management to open a branch in his republic.
“I am certain Russia Bank, of which few have known until recently, will see its business perk up,” Kadyrov added.
Russian News – Interfax – Media
#AceWorldNews – Moscow – March 22. – Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko has sold his stake in global commodity trading company Gunvor to his partner Torbjorn Tornqvist, the company stated on its website on Friday. Timchenko was put on US sanction list on Thursday.
The company’s stake belonging to Gennady Timchenko was sold to Torbjorn Tornqvist on March 19, the company’s website said. As a result of the deal Tornqvist became owner of an 87% controlling stake, and Timchenko has sold his whole stake in the company, Gunvor stated.
The other 13%of Gunvor’s stock is owned by other officials of the company.
#AceFinanceNews Russia’s biggest billionaire has bought shares in big Chinese internet retailer Alibaba, after selling his stakes in US tech giants Apple and Facebook.
The deal comes as the West imposes sanctions on Russia, that could spread from politics to business.
Usmanov, 60, a founder of Russia’s iron ore Metalloinvest Holding Company, has an estimated fortune of $18.6 billion as of March 2014 and is increasing his bet on China, while selling American assets.
“Chinese companies account for about 70 percent to 80 percent of the portfolio of our foreign internet investments,” Ivan Streshinskiy, head of Usmanov’s asset-management company USM Advisors LLC, told Bloomberg in an interview in Moscow.
#AceFinanceNews US President Barack Obama and European Union leaders will promise to remove all tariffs on bilateral trade at their summit on March 26, Reuters reported, citing a draft statement.
The joint declaration is likely to overcome tensions following Washington’s offer to cut its duties by less than the Europeans had hoped for.
Also, Brussels pledged to remove almost all of its own tariffs.
“The EU and the US are firmly committed to concluding a comprehensive and ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment (TTI) .
#AceFinanceNews The government of Japan is considering imposing sanctions on Russia over the situation in Crimea, Nikkei reported, citing officials.
The sanctions could be similar to those mulled by the US and European countries, it said. Seiji Maehara, former president of the Democratic Party of Japan, and a senior opposition lawmaker urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government to impose sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.