Archive for August, 2011

Asia to add 1.66 million millionaires by 2015: study

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Finance News

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asia will add 1.66 million dollar-millionaires by 2015, taking the total number of wealthy to 2.82 million as the world's fastest-growing major economies of China and India continue to mint millionaires, a report from Julius Baer said on Wednesday.

The Swiss wealth manager forecast that the wealth of high networth individuals (HNIs), those with $1 million or more in investable assets, would nearly triple to $15.8 trillion in the five years to 2015.

China alone would be home to nearly half of the millionaires in Asia with combined wealth of $8.8 trillion. The world's most populous nation had 502,000 million HNIs with investable assets totaling $2.6 trillion, the report said.

India would more than double the number of HNIs to 403,000 by 2015, while Indonesia would see the highest growth rate in the number of wealthy, up by a quarter to 99,000, the first such report from Julius Baer said.

The wealth manager forecast that China and India would collectively contribute 40 percent to global growth for 2011 and 2012.

RANKS OF THE RICH BY 2015

Country No of HNIs (1,000) Wealth of HNIs ($bln)

China 1378 8764

India 403 2465

Indonesia 99 487

Philippines 38 164

Thailand 128 609

South Korea 310 1074

Malaysia 68 329

Taiwan 136 593

Hong Kong 131 711

Singapore 129 616

Total 2820 15812

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Chris Lewis)

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U.S. small business borrowing growth eases: PayNet

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Finance News

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Small U.S. businesses in July moderated what had been a blistering pace of borrowing, held back by uncertainty over U.S. economic growth and the debt crisis.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the overall volume of financing to U.S. small businesses, gained 13 percent in July from a year earlier, PayNet said on Wednesday. That followed a revised 22 percent gain in June, and a 27 percent gain in May.

As measured from a month earlier, the index declined 7 percent, and is now just above the level reached in April. The setback illustrates the "saw-toothed" pattern of the current recovery, said William Phelan, PayNet's president and founder.

"It's two steps forward, one step back," Phelan said in an interview. "It's really an indication of the slow growth of activity."

Uncertainty about the economic outlook surged as July drew to a close, as U.S. lawmakers appeared at an impasse over a deficit-cutting deal that if not reached could have put the U.S. into its first ever sovereign default. In early August a deal was reached, but worries remain over the nation's will and ability to bring its long-term debt problem under control.

Signs that the U.S. recovery was faltering also grew in July, with manufacturing slowing and job growth anemic.

Against that background, the fact that small businesses borrowing continued at the pace it did suggests there is no risk of recession, Phelan said.

Borrowing by small businesses is seen as a harbinger for the broader economy because they account for as much as 80 percent of new hiring.

The Federal Reserve earlier this month promised to keep rates exceptionally low for another two years to support the ailing recovery.

The loans PayNet tracks are typically used to buy or update plants and equipment, and on average are for four-year projects.

Separate data showed small business health was improving.

Accounts in moderate delinquency, or those behind by 30 days or more, fell in July to 1.78 percent from 1.82 percent in June, PayNet said.

Accounts 90 days or more behind in payment, or in severe delinquency, fell to 0.52 percent in July from 0.55 percent in June.

Accounts behind 180 days or more, or in default and unlikely to ever get paid, fell to 0.71 percent of total receivables in July, from 0.73 percent in June, according to PayNet, which provides risk-management tools to the commercial lending industry.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet small business lending index is correlated to developments in the overall economy, with changes in the index preceding changes in the overall U.S. economy by two to five months.

PayNet collects real-time loan information, such as originations and delinquencies, from more than 250 leading U.S. capital equipment lenders. (More on Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index is available at http://financial.thomsonreuters.com/economic_indicators)

(Editing by Andrew Hay)

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U.S. stock futures advance

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Finance News

LONDON (Reuters) – Stock index futures pointed to a higher open for equities on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.3-0.8 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association was set to release its Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended August 26 at 1100 GMT (7 a.m. ET). The index read 699.1 and the refinancing index was 3,850.1 in the previous week.

At 1215 GMT (8:15 a.m. ET), Automatic Data Processing (ADP) will release its August employment report. Economists expected 100,000 jobs were created in August, versus 114,000 created in July.

U.S. authorities have been investigating whether business software maker Oracle's (ORCL.O) deals in Africa violated federal anti-bribery laws, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc will release at 1130 GMT its report on job cuts for August. Challenger reported 66,414 layoffs in the prior month.

The Institute for Supply Management-New York will release at 1230 GMT its August index of regional business activity. In the previous month, the index read 538.8.

Bank of America (BAC.N) is looking to sell its correspondent mortgage business and the unit's employees could be notified as soon as Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

At 1345 GMT, the Institute of Supply Management Chicago releases August index of manufacturing activity. Economists forecast a reading of 53.5 in the month compared with 58.8 in July.

The Commerce Department releases July factory orders at 1400 GMT. Economists forecast a rise of 1.9 percent, compared with a 0.8 percent drop in the prior month.

Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and Rosneft (ROSN.MM) signed an agreement to extract oil and gas from the Russian Arctic, in the most significant U.S.-Russian corporate deal since U.S. President Barack Obama began a push to improve ties.

The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3) index of top European shares rose 1.1 percent, extending the previous session's steep gains, on hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve will act soon with stimulus measures to boost the struggling economy, and ahead of a raft of data.

U.S. stocks rose for a third straight day on Tuesday in a volatile session after the Fed minutes. The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) was up 20.39 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,559.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) was up 2.80 points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,212.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) was up 14.00 points, or 0.55 percent, at 2,576.11.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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