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More shadow than sunshine – Findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Europe for the second quarter of 2013

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Discussions in the European Union (EU) continued to be dominated by the financial crisis in the second quarter of 2013. As a result, the start of Croatia’s EU membership on 1 July was almost disregarded. The debates are increasingly focusing on the matter of how the immense debt mountains can be reduced. On this issue, there have so far been two rather different, irreconcilable opinions. On the one hand, Germany and other Northern European countries are arguing for a continued stringent austerity and consolidation course. On the other, Southern... Read More »

President Bill Clinton sees impact of ‘Banking on Change’ Programme in Tanzania

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Barclays made the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action when launching Banking on Change at the CGI Annual Meeting in New York in 2009. The commitment was to improve the quality of life for poor people by enhancing, innovating and accelerating sustained access to savings and other financial services. Banking on Change is the world’s first savings-led microfinance programme that combines the deep understanding of two leading NGOs with the financial expertise of a global bank to encourage extremely poor people to begin their pat... Read More »

The Netherlands, human rights an important issue for the World Bank

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‘The World Bank has extensive internal monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure that human rights are upheld,’ the minister said. ‘The report by HRW makes clear that these paper mechanisms are not always adequate in practice. The World Bank is currently revising its internal monitoring practices. The Netherlands is engaged in a dialogue with the Bank on this issue in its role as a shareholder. The recommendations contained in the HRW report are in line with our efforts on this front.’ In late 2012 the Netherlands facilitated a dialogue with ... Read More »

GSK launches $50 million venture capital fund to invest in pioneering bioelectronic medicines and technologies

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GlaxoSmithKline today announced the launch of Action Potential Venture Capital (APVC) Limited, a new $50 million strategic venture capital fund that will invest in companies that pioneer bioelectronic medicines and technologies. The fund’s first investment will be in SetPoint Medical, a California company considered a trailblazer in creating implantable devices to treat inflammatory diseases. The fund complements the work of GSK’s Bioelectronics R&D unit, which was established in 2012 after a two-year effort to seek out and engage the mo... Read More »

Small audit departments find technology critical to success

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"Audit Technology Insights 2013" features conversations with more than 16 audit leaders from small audit departments, those with 10 staff members or less, across multiple industries and organizations. The report highlights how small audit departments are leveraging technology to overcome a number of obstacles. These range from available time, funding, and skills constraints to the need to master new technologies and retain acquired knowledge. "For small audit shops, the use of technology is an imperative, not a luxury, and is the only way to... Read More »

774% difference in phone call prices across the EU

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European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "As these numbers clearly show, the 28 national telecoms markets in Europe today are not benefitting consumers like a single market would. It is critical for the whole EU to move quickly to build a real single market to achieve a truly connected continent." There are much smaller price differentials in other categories of basic goods and services in the European single market. For example a litre of milk can be bought for between €0.69 and €0.99 wherever they are in the EU, a price differ... Read More »

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights: Customs detain €1 billion worth of fake goods at EU borders in 2012

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Today’s report also gives statistics on the type, provenance and transport method of counterfeit products detained at the EU's external borders. Cigarettes accounted for a large number of interceptions (31%), miscellaneous goods (e.g. bottles, lamps, glue, batteries, washing powder) were the next largest category (12%), followed by packaging materials (10%). Postal and courier packages accounted for around 70% of customs interventions in 2012, with 23% of the detentions in postal traffic concerning medicines. Algirdas Šemeta, Commissioner fo... Read More »

VTB Bank issues RUB 2.1 billion loan to Eurosib

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Within this limit, VTB will sign general agreements with the group’s companies on providing banking guarantees for tax authorities and for paying for the services of Russian Railways. Guarantees totalling RUB 800 million will be provided until September 2014. The bank previously opened the company a RUB 550 million credit limit for replenishing its working capital. The money was issued in the form of a non-revolving credit line for two years and as a one-year overdraft facility. In late 2012, VTB loaned RUB 778 million to Eurosib Group fo... Read More »

June 2013 compared with May 2013 Industrial producer prices stable in both euro area and EU27

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In June 2013 compared with June 2012, industrial producer prices rose by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU27 . Monthly comparison In June 2013, compared with the previous month, prices in total industry excluding the energy sector remained stable in both the euro area and the EU27. In both zones, intermediate goods fell by 0.2%, durable consumer goods remained stable and non-durable consumer goods increased by 0.3%. Prices for both the energy sector and capital goods remained stable in the euro area and rose by 0.1% in the EU27.... Read More »

BNP Paribas Securities Services fully geared up to help clients transition to AIFMD compliance

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Philippe Ricard, Global head of AFS products, comments: “BNP Paribas Securities Services has significantly invested to ramp up our solutions, and today, we provide the largest depositary network in Europe, having already implemented AIFMD compliant processes across all jurisdictions. “We are fully set up to support our early mover clients and congratulate those pioneering AIFMs who have already successfully navigated their way to AIFMD compliance. We also encourage those who are yet to start the journey – it’s not as daunting as one might th... Read More »

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