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** FT News **

* Russia widens crackdown on McDonald’s | The latest salvo subjects almost half of the US group’s outlets in Russia to regulatory probes

* Rousseff admits to Petrobras wrongdoing | Brazil’s president looks to put a corruption scandal at the state-owned oil company behind her Continue reading »

By Paul Hodges of International eChem

Two months ago, very few people believed that markets were about to tumble. But on 18 August we published our Great Unwinding analysis. Since then, its forecasts have begun to come true, as the impact of policymaker stimulus begins to unwind.

Oil and commodity prices are falling sharply as supply/demand once again becomes the key driver for prices; the US dollar is strengthening and liquidity is tightening across the world; equity markets risk sharp falls, as investors realise they have overpaid for future growth and rush for the exits; China’s economy is slowing fast as the new leadership implements the World Bank’s ‘China 2030’ plan; interest rates are becoming volatile as some investors seek a ‘safe haven’, while others worry that stimulus policy debt may never be repaid. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Abe weighs tax rise against economy | Japan’s PM says consumption levy would be ‘meaningless’ if it encouraged deflation

* Russia widens crackdown on McDonald’s | The latest salvo subjects almost half of the US group’s outlets in Russia to regulatory probes Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Moscow and Kiev agree to enforce Ukraine ceasefire | Clear breakthrough to end violence in east of country still elusive

* UN appeals for funds to fight Ebola | Only 1% of $1bn sought for response fund to fight disease raised from countries Continue reading »

By Riccardo Puliti of the EBRD

Until recently the Nabucco pipeline, just like the chorus in Verdi’s opera of the same name, was a symbol of freedom. It was designed as an alternative route for large quantities of natural gas coming into Europe, reducing the continent’s dependency on the Soviet-built pipeline system that runs from East to West.

But the Nabucco dream did not become reality, mainly because it would not transport enough gas to make it viable and especially because Turkmenistan, a big producer of natural gas, was not part of the project. However, this vision of independence could yet live on in another guise – but only if there is the political will to drive it forward. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* HK police clear protesters in surprise raid | Hundreds of police stage dawn raid to clear Mongkok area of demonstrators

* Russia takes EU to court over sanctions | Rosneft and Arkady Rotenberg launch legal challenges Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Missing climbers hits 85 in Nepal storms | Area lashed by heavy rain storms triggering mountain blizzards

* China Plenum to focus on rule of law | Officials are gathering for next week’s Plenum but investigators still answer to higher authority Continue reading »

With GDP growth in China slumping to a five-year low, it’s unsurprising that many fund managers have cut their positions in Chinese equities to less than the weighting suggested by the benchmark MSCI Emerging Markets index.

But if you are an active fund manager, how strong a position have you taken by going underweight if all the other fund managers are underweight, too? Continue reading »

As if to add substance to complaints from emerging market policymakers about being ignored, a matter mainly affecting middle-income countries became the subject of close global attention only when it emerged as a bone of contention between the US and Europe.

The snappily-titled “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) process, where companies have the right to sue governments for disadvantaging their businesses, has been the subject of deep controversy for years. But since the most vocal discontents were nations like Argentina and Venezuela that complain about more or less everything, it took well-organised campaigning and official German opposition to an ISDS chapter in the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to make it a central concern. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Global equities rout spreads to Asia | Japan’s Nikkei sinks beneath 15,000 to five-month low

* Isis makes big ‘gains’, says general | International coalition chief Allen says militants advancing in Iraq and Syria Continue reading »

African dollar bonds are increasingly gaining mainstream acceptance as the continent’s brisk economic growth and low interest rates in the developed world help buoy demand for high-yielding debt.

The size of Africa’s dollar-denominated debt market, not including South Africa, is now more than $20bn, accounting for 6 per cent of JP Morgan’s EMBI index. In sub-Saharan Africa, issuance of international sovereign bonds hit a record $6.9bn this year, with offerings from Kenya, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Zambia and South Africa.

But amid the excitement over Africa’s growing role in international capital markets, some are beginning to question just how healthy the dollar borrowing spree is. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* HK police accused of beating protester | Officers use pepper spray and arrest 45 in clearance of road tunnel

* Rousseff and Neves lock horns in debate | Brazilian president fends off challenger’s attacks in television contest Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Windfall for India as global growth slows | Stars align to provide economic boon unique among emerging markets

* Ebola cases in west Africa set to soar | WHO expects between 5,000 and 10,000 cases a week by December Continue reading »

Slowing productivity growth is holding back the economies of Asia, making them overly dependent on credit to sustain demand, says HSBC. And, because the root of the problem is structural, not cyclical, the only real panacea is domestic structural reform.

Things should be looking pretty good for Asia just now, said the bank in its quarterly review of the region’s macro economics, Losing Steam. Yet, positive developments – among them an uptick in growth over the summer, hopeful election results in India and Indonesia and mini stimulus measures in China, as well as growth in the US and a drop in the price of raw materials – had not removed a “nagging feeling”. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* N Korea announces Kim Jong Un’s return | Official news story follows weeks of speculation over his whereabouts

* Afren fires CEO for gross misconduct | Nigerian oil explorer also sacks chief operating officer and two directors Continue reading »