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Mr Clarke warned against "distractions" in the EU talks - BBC

Ken Clarke has warned Tory eurosceptics not to expect powers to be returned from the EU at this week’s summit.

The justice secretary said the prime minister should focus on resolving the eurozone crisis and talk of “wider structures” would be a distraction.

David Cameron has said he will not agree to any EU treaty change “that fails to protect our interests”.

Germany and France are pushing for treaty changes enshrining new budget rules for eurozone members by March.

Mr Clarke, the most pro-European Conservative cabinet minister said in an interview with the Financial Times it would be a distraction to open up discussions about the “wider structures of the union”.

“We’re not going to renegotiate any transfers of powers, in my opinion,” he said.

He said Britain should be prepared to accept “proper” financial regulation from Brussels but he rejected the idea of an EU “Tobin tax” on financial transactions.

“It’s the devil’s own job to collect,” he said, and added that New York and Hong Kong would not follow suit.

read more at BBC

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European Central Bank President - Mario Draghi

European stocks fell and the euro slipped against the dollar after comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were laced with caution, tempering the positive sentiment following Wednesday’s coordinated liquidity moves by central banks.

Draghi, speaking to the European parliament on the joint measures by banks, warned that downside risks to the economic outlook have increased and he also cautioned that dysfunctional government bond markets in several euro-area countries are hampering single monetary policy. In addition, the ECB’s president said the central bank’s bond purchases can only be limited.

Newedge economist Annalisa Piazza said, “The ECB stands ready to act to face the current challenges, both with standard and non-standard measures. However, Draghi said the importance of the creation of a commonly shared fiscal consolidation. In a nutshell, we see the ECB to continue to provide support in the direction of reducing the current imbalances. However, its independence is re-affirmed.”

By 0910 GMT, the Stoxx Europe 600 index was down 0.7% at 238.40. This follows a gain of 3.6% on Wednesday, the biggest percentage gain since Aug. 12. London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.3% to 5489.11, Frankfurt’s DAX declined 0.8% to 6041.70 and Paris’s CAC-40 was 0.9% lower at 3125.85.

Cyclical stocks were leading the declines, with investors taking advantage of the strong gains in the previous session and taking profits. The Stoxx Europe 600 construction and materials sector was down 1.6%, the basic resources index was 1.4% lower and the insurance index was down 1.3%. Cyclical sectors, which are sensitive to the economy, all rose strongly on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank agreed to lower the pricing on existing temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap arrangements by 50 basis points.

However, despite the action, the underlying issues affecting the European sovereign debt crisis remain unsolved. Indeed, Goldman Sachs said in the near term, it expects European equity markets to fall further as recession is priced in and earnings downgrades accelerate. The investment bank announced a more defensive stance in its portfolio, downgrading the banking, industrial goods and services, basic resources, food and beverages, and autos sectors. It upgraded technology and health care.

Meanwhile, euro-zone purchasing managers index manufacturing data were in line with expectations, confirmed at 46.4 in November. The index is at its lowest level since June 2009 but still 13 points higher than its record low. The data had little bearing on markets.

Earlier, Asian stock markets surged Thursday following the moves by major central banks Wednesday to lower dollar funding costs for European banks and after the People’s Bank of China cut its reserve requirement ratio for the first time in over three years.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 5.6%, while China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 2.3%. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.9%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.9%, and South Korea’s Kospi Composite jumped 2.3%.


Facebook, the world’s largest Internet social network, is preparing for a initial public stock offering next year, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Facebook is exploring raising $10 billion, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday. It hopes the offering will value the company at more than $100 billion, according to WSJ, which first reported the story.

Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer, David Ebersman, had discussed a public float with Silicon Valley bankers but founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had not decided on any terms and his plans could change, the Journal said.

The social network, which now claims more than 800 million members after seven years of explosive growth, has not selected bankers to manage what would be a very closely watched IPO. But it had drafted an internal prospectus and was ready at any moment to pull the IPO trigger, the Journal cited people familiar with the matter as saying.

At $100 billion valuation, the company started by Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room would have double the valuation of Hewlett-Packard, the Journal said.

A formal S-1 filing could come before the end of the year, though nothing was decided, the newspaper added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment.

Silicon Valley start-ups have this year begun to test investor appetite for a new wave of dotcoms. If it does debut in 2012, Facebook’s IPO would dwarf that of any other dotcom waiting to go public.

“Farmville” creator Zynga has filed for an IPO of up to $1 billion. In November, daily deals service Groupon debuted with much fanfare, only to plunge below its IPO price within weeks.

LinkedIn and Pandora are now also trading significantly below the levels their stocks reached during their public debuts earlier this year.

Facebook has become one of the world’s most popular Web destinations, challenging established companies such as Google Inc and Yahoo Inc for consumers’ online time and for advertising dollars.

Facebook does not disclose its financial results, but a source familiar with the situation told Reuters earlier this year that the company’s revenue in the first six months of 2011 doubled year-on-year to $1.6 billion.

Eric Feng, a former partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who now runs social-networking site Erly.com, said that the cash Facebook will get in an IPO would allow them to make more acquisitions and refine or work on new projects, such as a rumored-Facebook phone or a netbook.


A man checks stock indexes on a screen of a bank in Milan, Italy, Monday, Nov. 28, Photo By Luca Bruno, 16 hrs ago. AP

European leaders rushed Monday to stop a rampaging debt crisis that threatened to shatter their 12-year-old experiment in a common currency and devastate the world economy as a result.

One proposal gaining prominence would have countries cede some control over their budgets to a central European authority. In a measure of how rapidly the peril has grown, that idea would have been unthinkable even three months ago.

World stock markets, glimpsing hope that Europe might finally be shocked into stronger action, staged a big rally. The Dow Jones industrial average in New York rose almost 300 points. In France, stocks rose 5 percent, the most in a month.

More relevant to the crisis, borrowing costs for European nations stabilized. They had risen alarmingly in recent weeks — in Greece, then in Italy and Spain, then across the continent, including in Germany, the strongest economy in Europe.

The yields on benchmark bonds issued by Italy and Germany rose, but only by hundredths of a percentage point. The yield fell 0.1 percentage point on bonds of France, 0.14 points for those of Spain and 0.22 points for Belgium.

Allowing a central European authority to have some control over the budgets of sovereign nations would create a fiscal union in Europe in addition to the monetary union of the 17 countries that share the euro currency.

Some analysts have said that would be a leap toward creating a United States of Europe. More delicately, it would force the nations of Europe to swallow their national pride, cede some sovereignty and agree to strengthen ties with their neighbors rather than fleeing the euro union during the crisis.

The common currency has the problem that the monetary policy is joint, but the fiscal policy is not,” Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, said in a meeting with foreign reporters in Berlin.

The monetary union has existed since the euro was created in 1999, but the European Union, which includes the 17 euro nations and 10 others that use their own currencies, has no central authority over taxing and spending.

Countries like Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy overspent wildly for years and racked up annual budget deficits that have left them with monstrous debt. Italy holds €1.9 trillion in debt, or 120 percent of the size of its economy.

via AP.


Despite the global economic challenges, IT spending in India by enterprises will increase by 9.1 per cent in 2012, according to a report from research firm Gartner.

IT spending in India is projected to total $79.8 billion in 2012, against $73.1 billion in 2011. And this is being attributed to the fast paced growth in India’s burgeoning telecommunications space and the growing adoption of devices such as smart-phones and tablet computers, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, a Gartner analyst said.

“A lot of new IT infrastructure is being bought in tier-2 and tier-3 cities both in the enterprise and retail segments…moreover, the 2G spectrum scam has not had any sizeable impact on IT spending in the space,” he added.

Largest segment

The telecommunications market is the largest IT segment in India with IT spending forecast to reach $54.7 billion in 2012, followed by the IT services market with spending of $11.1 billion.

The computing hardware market in India is projected to reach $10.7 billion in 2012, while software spending will total $3.2 billion, Gartner said.

It may be recalled that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has pegged India’s mobile teledensity at 72.12 per cent or 86.57 crore wireless subscribers as of August.

According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending will reach nearly $3.7 trillion by current year end. Of this, emerging economies such as India, China, Brazil and others will account for $1.013 trillion.

Speaking at the inaugural Gartner Symposium here in Mumbai, Mr Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice-President at Gartner, said two-thirds of Chief Executive Officers surveyed by Gartner believe that IT’s contribution to their industry in the next 10 years will be greater than in any prior decades.


Global branded tablet PC shipments in the fourth quarter are not expected to see growth creating concerns among market watchers whether the tablet PC market has already reached saturation, but Digitimes Research senior analyst James Wang believes that the zero-growth in the fourth quarter is the joint effect of Japan’s earthquake on March 11 and the global economic downturn, which should not become an obstacle that restrains the tablet PC market’s growth in the future.

 

Since the global economy in 2012 will not be as bad as expected; demand for mobile devices is growing steadily; tablet PCs’ performance/price ratio is rising; and Android tablet PC’s hardware and software designs are improving, the four major drivers will help global branded tablet PC shipments reach 95.1 million units with a growth of 60% on year.

 

In the next three years, smartphone shipments will reach as high as one billion units, and taking smartphones as a base, tablet PC shipments in 2014 are estimated to reach 170 million units, a volume about 70% of the estimated total notebook shipments.

 

Combined shipments of tablet PCs and notebook (including netbook), a new category named mobile computing devices, will enjoy a CAGR of 17.3% from 2011-2014.


Market research firm Infonetics Research today released excerpts from its Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers report, which analyzes telecom carrier capital expenditures (capex), operational expenses (opex), revenue per user, and subscriber trends by operator, operator type, region, and telecom equipment segment.

The near-6% increase in global telecom carrier capex we expect in 2011 over 2010 is due in large part to AT&T’s ramping LTE deployments, HSPA+ upgrades, and investments in WiFi hotspots for traffic offload

In the EMEA region, a capex hike in Africa is partially offsetting delays in telecom investment in Greece, Italy, and Hungary; Asia Pacific remains stable; and in the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA), América Móvil and Telefónica, the two telecom giants that control 75% of mobile subscribers there, are preparing their infrastructure to host the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016,” asserts Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure at Infonetics Research.

Report Highlights

 

  • In the 10 years from 2005 to 2015, telecom service provider revenue has shown and will continue to show year-over-year growth every year except in 2009

 

  • Following a 4.1% increase in 2010 over 2009, telecom service provider revenue will grow 7.6% in 2011, to US$1.86 trillion

 

  • Telecom carrier revenue is forecast by Infonetics to grow to US$2.17 trillion in 2015, driven by mobile broadband

 

  • Infonetics expects global telecom carrier capex to total $310.8 billion in 2011, up 5.8% over 2010

 

  • Service provider spending on every type of next-gen telecom equipment except TDM voice is up in 2011, as expected

 

  • The fastest-growing investment areas among telecom carriers in 2011 are WiMAX equipment (+27.5%) and video infrastructure (+20.7%)

 

  • The largest investment areas remain non-telecom/datacom equipment (software, real estate, labor, etc.) and mobile infrastructure, global spending for which is growing 7% and 8.6%, respectively, in 2011 over 2010

 

  • Asia Pacific will continue to be the largest telecom carrier capex region through 2015, driven by China Mobile, which ended 2010 as the world’s largest mobile operator by revenue

 

  • Wireless pure-play operators will grow to account for nearly 1/3 of all telecom carrier capex by 2015

 

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