Archive for December, 2010

Chrysler recalling trucks and SUVs

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Finance News

WASHINGTON – Chrysler is recalling nearly 150,000 trucks and SUVs to address several problems, including steering, air bag issues and the potential for trucks to stall.

The recalls were posted Thursday on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.

Chrysler is conducting three separate recalls to fix the problems. The first one covers about 22,000 Dodge Ram trucks from the 2008-2011 model years to address steering problems. The second involves about 65,000 2009 model year Dodge Journey SUVs to fix side air bags that might not deploy.

The last includes about 57,000 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks from the 2011 model year to fix components in rear axles that could cause the trucks to stall.

Chrysler says owners can call (800) 853-1403 for more information.


Dollar share of world reserves slips, total rises

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar's share of known global currency reserves slipped in the third quarter, while total central bank holdings hit a record $9 trillion, International Monetary Fund data showed on Thursday.

Between July and September, the U.S. dollar's share of the roughly $5 trillion of world reserves of which the composition is known fell to 61.3 percent from 62.1 percent in the prior quarter.

Overall reserve accumulation rose for a sixth straight quarter, soaring to a record $9 trillion as of September 30. The composition of roughly $3 trillion of that is unknown but thought to be heavily concentrated in U.S. dollars.

The euro saw a modest boost in its share of known reserves to 26.9 percent from 26.5 percent and the yen's share rose to 3.6 percent from 3.3 percent.

Central banks have long been underweight the yen in their reserve portfolios.

The share of "other currencies," which excludes the dollar, euro, yen, sterling and Swiss franc, rose to 4 percent from 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2010.

Interest has grown in currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars, which have risen in value this year along with commodity prices, and some central banks have talked of increasing allocation to these currencies as well as the yen.

In the third quarter of 2009, the share of "other currencies" in known global reserves stood at 2.9 percent.

Valuation effects were also responsible for some of the allocation shift; the U.S. dollar lost more than 11 percent against the euro and about 5.5 percent against the yen in the third quarter of this year.

Worries about a euro-zone sovereign debt crisis eased in the third quarter, resurfacing only in November, while falling U.S. bond yields pushed the dollar down against the yen.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)


U.S. losing IPO pole position: survey

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Finance News

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States is losing its appeal as leading global center for stock market flotations, hit by restrictive regulations and competition from other financial centers, a survey of American lawyers showed on Thursday.

Just over 70 percent of a 50-strong sample of transaction attorneys, whose firms advised on three-quarters of initial public offerings (IPO) listed on major U.S. exchanges this year, said the country is losing its attraction as IPO venue of choice.

"The simple fact is that as the U.S. regulatory environment has become more restrictive, other global exchanges have become more sophisticated and liquid and therefore have gained market share," said Joshua Ford Bonnie, a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Companies considering an IPO in the United States will have to come to terms with the so-called Dodd-Frank financial reform, which affects among other things the governance and disclosure landscape.

The new environment aims at reducing systemic risks by establishing claw-back policies and the exposure of corporate fraud through whistleblower protection and incentives.

However, the regulatory regime will not deter Chinese companies, which all the respondents to the KCSA Strategic Communications poll saw as strong drivers of U.S.-based IPO activity in 2011.

"We expect that Chinese companies will, at least in the near term, continue to list on U.S. exchanges due to the more clearly defined listing rules and regulations and the perceived stability and prestige of the U.S. markets," said Colin Diamond, partner at law firm White & Case.

Lawyers are also expecting companies based in other emerging economies to contribute to IPO traffic, with 37 and 30 percent of respondents naming Brazil and India respectively as countries that will drive global IPO issuance.

Despite concern over the U.S. position as a global IPO hub, sentiment for next year's IPO market was positive, with 77 percent of those surveyed anticipating a stronger IPO market in 2011.

Private equity-backed companies will dominate the IPO landscape in 2011, according to 74 percent of attorneys surveyed, with technology and life science as the top two sectors driving issuance.

(Editing by Raji Menon and David Holmes)