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News : International Last Updated: Feb 9, 2011 - 5:19 AM


Markets News Afternoon: US charges 3 hedge fund mangers in big insider trading probe; China hikes interest rates; Jobs cut at Shannon
By Finfacts Team
Feb 8, 2011 - 5:17 PM

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Insider Trading: The Wall Street Journal reports that US officials will unseal charges against three hedge-fund portfolio managers and a technology analyst in a large insider trading probe, prosecutors said. The charges against two of the portfolio managers also include obstruction of justice, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said.

The Journal said one of the three portfolio managers against whom charges are to be announced includes Samir Barai, who founded New York-based Barai Capital Management in 2008 after leaving Citigroup’s hedge-fund unit, a person familiar with the situation said.

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara and Robert Khuzami, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s director of enforcement, are scheduled to announce the charges at noon in Manhattan.

China: China's central bank announced Tuesday that it would hike its benchmark deposit and lending rates by 0.25 percentage point each effective Wednesday, in its latest effort to curb credit growth.

The People's Bank of China said it will raise the one-year yuan lending rate to 6.06% from 5.81%, and the one-year yuan deposit rate to 3.00% from 2.75%.

The PBOC began raising rates for the first time in nearly three years in Oct and moved again in Dec.

Shannon Jobs: A financial services firm based at Shannon plans to cut a quarter of its 300-strong workforce.

Lloyds Banking Group, the owner of the St Andrew's Group, confirmed plans to cut 200 jobs at different locations across its insurance division and that 80 of those cuts will be at its Shannon operation.

The company manages insurance claims and customer service on behalf of various brands, such as MBNA, Sainsbury's Bank and AA Personal Finance.

Last July, the company cut 21 positions.

Discussing whether protests that organized in Tunisia and Egypt will spread to Saudi Arabia, and what impact that could have on oil production in the region, with Ambassador Ed Walker:

Mayo Jobs: Allergan Inc., the maker of Botox, today announced that it will locate the manufacture of its newest medical technology, SeriScaffold, at its manufacturing facility in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland. Allergan said "SeriScaffold is a bioresorbable silk-based surgical scaffold for use in tissue generation in numerous therapeutic areas, including breast reconstruction."

Preparation for the transfer of the manufacturing process will commence in 2011 and represents a $10m at the Westport site. Full commercial production will relocate to Ireland from Boston in late 2013, creating approximately 20 new jobs at the Allergan, Co. Mayo facility.

Allergan Pharmaceuticals in Ireland currently employs approximately 860 people at its manufacturing facility in Westport and at its European Support Centre in Dublin.

INM: Independent News and Media is reported to be planning to have Associated Newspapers Ireland expelled from the industry representative group National Newspapers Ireland.

Associated Newspapers Ireland publishes the Irish Daily Mail and the Irish Mail On Sunday.

INM's move follows the Irish Mail On Sunday's decision to print some of its weekend editions with a coversheet designed to look like the front page of the Sunday Tribune.

INM is a 29.9% shareholder in the Tribune, which is in receivership.

Robert Parker, senior advisor at Credit Suisse, says prospects of a weaker yen and low price-to-book ratios for Japanese corporates will benefit the country's equity market this year. He tells CNBC's Martin Soong & Saijal Patel that he's forecasting positive inflation in Japan by mid-year:

US Markets

In New York Tuesday, the Dow rose 36 points or 0.29% to 12,197.

The S&P 500 has risen 18% and the Nasdaq has added 0.03%.

Live US Indices

European Markets

The pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 has slid 0.15% Tuesday.

In Dublin the ISEQ has dipped 0.66%.

CRH which accounts for about 27% of the Dublin market's capitalisation, is down 0.48%; Elan has climbed 1.98% after publishing its 2010 results today; BoI has slipped 4.47%.

European benchmarks

Irish share prices

Euribor Interest Rates

Commodities

Crude oil for March delivery is currently trading on the Chicago York Mercantile Exchange (CME/Nymex) at $87.81 per barrel up 33 cents from Monday's close. In London, Brent for March is trading on the International Commodities Exchange at $99.86.

Currencies

The euro is trading at $1.3679 and at £0.8499.

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