Ondrej Pluhacek

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January’s Market Volatility: Blip or Omen?

January was an unusual and exciting month for financial markets.<p>Volatility returned to the equity markets. To use a rather unsophisticated measure, …

Europe Should Call Greece's Bluff

In November 2011, I hosted a dinner for senior German bankers that was dominated by heated debate over the continuing Greek financial crisis. They …

Europe

Alibaba's Ma says IPO of Ant Financial unlikely in 2015 | Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Jack Ma, chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.N), said on Monday he hoped the company’s financial affiliate would list in Asia at some point, but that no decision on the timing or location had been made.<p>The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the …

Syriza Shouldn't Underestimate Merkel

It's widely assumed that the European Union will cave to Greek demands to write off some of Greece's debt. What, however, if it doesn't? A Greek exit …

UK house prices: BoE to rein in property market as government grants more power

Britain's property prices are set to be reined in after the government confirmed it would grant more power to the Bank of England to curb and tighten …

UK confirms to give Bank of England greater powers

LONDON (Reuters) - Chancellor George Osborne confirmed on Monday that he would give the Bank of England formal powers to limit mortgage lending and tackle excess leverage in the banking system.<p>The Bank of England is seen, with a statue in the foreground, in the City of London December 16, 2014. …

China brokers scout for talent as profits soar | Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s brokerages are on a broad-based hiring spree to capitalize on booming local stock markets and a surge in new clients and trading activity that is giving their profits a big boost.<p>An investor looks at information displayed on an electronic screen at a brokerage house in …

Now absolutely everyone can invest in China’s risky, fraud-ridden stock market

HONG KONG – It’s been a bumpy ride beset by delays and last-minute clarifications, but today marks the start of trading in the much-anticipated Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, or as it’s known colloquially, “the through-train.”<p>This landmark agreement between the Shanghai and Hong Kong Stock …

Will Ebola infect the financial markets?

The spread of Ebola has already been deadlier than the widespread SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic of 2003.<p>With new cases reported …

What’s the deal with… the Alibaba IPO?

Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave over the past few months, it has been impossible to avoid the hype surrounding the initial public offering (IPO) …

China and Qatar buying London properties

China, Qatar and Kuwait are snapping up London properties.<p>The city's real estate has attracted four times more capital than New York -- the Number 2 choice of foreign governments.<p>Sovereign wealth funds, forked out $8.9 billion for properties in London in the past year. London alone made up 44% of …

Inside Alibaba’s war room on the world’s biggest online shopping day

HANGZHOU, China—At Alibaba’s headquarters here, one man is commanding the world’s largest day of online shopping: China’s “Singles Day.”<p>“This is my war room,” Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s chief operating officer, said to Quartz from behind a small faux wooden desk. In front of him is a Macbook and three …

UK, U.S., Swiss close in on forex settlement with top banks

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - British and U.S. regulators are poised to levy hefty fines on leading banks in a landmark settlement after a year-long global investigation of allegations of collusion and manipulation in the foreign exchange market.<p>The Canary Wharf financial district is seen at dusk …

ECB door remains open to QE despite doubts over impact | Reuters

FRANKFURT/PARIS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank’s drip-feed stimulus is taking it closer to large-scale government bond purchases with new money but its weapon of last resort may not be the silver bullet markets are hoping for.<p>After a policy meeting on Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi …

John Maynard Keynes Is the Economist the World Needs Now

Is there a doctor in the house? The global economy is failing to thrive, and its caretakers are fumbling. Greece took its medicine as instructed and …

GOLDMAN: We Disagree With The Fed

It was confirmation that the days of the financial crisis are behind us and that the US economy is returning to normal.<p>"Labor market conditions improved somewhat further, with solid job gains and a lower unemployment rate," the Fed said in its FOMC statement on Wednesday. "On balance, a range of …

What Do Changes to the U.K. Leverage Ratio Mean?

What's a leverage ratio?<p>It’s is a measure of the financial resilience of a bank. It is calculated by dividing the amount of capital the bank has available for absorbing losses by all the loans and other financial assets it has on its books. The bigger the number, the more able it should be to …

Kuroda Surprises With Stimulus Boost as Japan Struggles

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda led a divided board to expand what was already an unprecedentedly large monetary-stimulus program, boosting …

Xiaomi Aims To Raise At $40 Billion And Become World's Most Valuable Private Tech Firm

Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics manufacturer and fourth-largest smartphone maker in the world, is exploring the option of raising funding that could value the company at more than $40 billion.<p>Multiple sources confirmed to FORBES that the Beijing company is considering raising more money and …

China Is Very, Very, Very, Very Big

Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett have written a paper predicting a Chinese growth slowdown. In 2013, Barry Eichengreen, Donghyun Park, and Kwanho …

Fed calls time on QE in the US - charts and analysis

It’s the end of an era. The Federal Reserve has called time on its $4.5tn quantitative easing programme on Wednesday after more than five years. It was a radical departure for monetary policy, designed to steer the world’s largest economy through the depths of the financial crisis. As the US …

World Bank Urges China to Lower 2015 Growth Target to 7%

Lower 2015 economic growth target will not hurt China's labour market.<p>China can lower its economic growth target to 7% in 2015 without hurting its …

FTSE rises ahead of Fed; Next suffers from profit warning

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s top equity index rose to its highest level in nearly three weeks on Wednesday as expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will signal it is in no rush to raise interest rates buoyed stock markets.<p>Workers speak above an electronic information board at the London Stock …

UK mortgage approvals fall to lowest since July 2013 in September

LONDON (Reuters) - British lenders approved the fewest mortgages in more than a year last month, adding to signs that previously rapid growth in Britain’s housing market and the broader economy is slowing.<p>Houses are reflected in the door handle of a property in central London in this August 18, …

OPEC's Badri sees little output change in 2015, says don't panic on oil drop | Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC’s oil production is unlikely to change much in 2015 and there is no need to panic at the crude price drop, OPEC’s secretary general said on Wednesday, adding to indications the exporter group is in no hurry to cut output.<p>OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri listens to a …

ECB covered bond buying plan starts with a whimper | Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank spent 1.704 billion euros last week on covered bonds under a new purchase program with which it hopes to foster lending to businesses and thereby support the euro zone economy.<p>People stand at the entrance of the headquarters of Bank of Greece in …

European energy policy – time to start again

The deal reached at last week’s European summit on climate change will satisfy no one. The non-binding Europe-wide targets place no responsibility on …

Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect delay hits bourse shares

<b>Shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing have tumbled by as much as 5% to a six-month low after a landmark scheme to connect it with Shanghai's stock market was delayed indefinitely.</b><p>Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index also fell by more than 1% because of uncertainty around the postponement.<p>The …

Rousseff will struggle to restore Brazil's economic good times | Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) - President Dilma Rousseff narrowly won re-election by spending heavily and promising to extend the fight against poverty but she will need to restore order to public finances in her second term to get Brazil’s stalled economy back in gear.<p>Brazil's President and Workers' Party …