** FT News **

* Shadow trading signals financial crisis in Ukraine | Calls for international bailout as Russian pressure and plunging currency create a toxic mix for Kiev

* China rate cut puts pressure on lenders | Only a handful of small Chinese lenders have set deposit rates in line with a higher ceiling authorised by the central bank Read more

Enrique Pena Nieto, governor of the state of MexicoIt was hard to miss the massive demonstrations in Mexico City on Thursday night: tens of thousands of people marched to the main square, the Zócalo, many waving flags with Mexico’s green and white stripes turned black. They were demanding justice in the wake of the apparent murder of 43 students in September that has convulsed the nation. Many chanted from one to 43, then shouted the word “justice”.

Enrique Peña Nieto, the president, clearly heard the call: at a justice forum on Friday, he said: “One of the principal demands of Mexican society is to count on better results in the procurement and implementation of justice.

 Read more

Timothy AshBy Timothy Ash of Standard Bank

The media will be focusing on the one year anniversary of the Maydan, what has changed, and whether it was all really worth it. Here is my two penneth worth.

It it easy to be critical and say little has really changed. But Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its intervention in eastern Ukraine have provided a cruel head wind. Most Ukrainians, I would wager, would argue that these developments were not of their making and, as a sovereign and independent country now since 1991, i.e. for 23 years, they have a right to self determination and to not be bullied by east or west over their choices of geopolitical orientation. Read more

By Melissa Stark, Accenture

A lot has been written about the shale gas and oil boom in the US and why that model cannot be replicated in other countries with plentiful potential resources. In fact, this does not have to be the case.

We have done extensive analysis on the potential for shale development outside of the US, from Western to Eastern Europe, across Asia Pacific, Latin America and even South Africa. The biggest advantage that countries like Argentina, Saudi Arabia and China have over the others is a strong, government-backed national oil company (NOC). Read more

** FT News **

* Demand for Alibaba’s bonds hits $55bn | Chinese ecommerce group raises $8bn from maiden debt sale

* Chinese SUV sparks JLR claims of copycat | Landwind’s X7 bears a striking resemblance to Jaguar Land Rover’s wildly successful Evoque Read more

Beyondbrics recently warned that spiralling interest payments on hard currency bonds might yet cause EM corporates a big headache. The pain may be drawing closer: the recent slide of Asian currencies against the dollar looks even worse when you strip out the renminbi, which is holding its own, and the Japanese yen.

There could be a serious knock-on effect on domestic banks if firms are forced to loot cash deposits to meet debt repayments. Read more

** FT News **

* US blasts banks’ commodities operations | Senators say Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan exposed to catastrophic financial risks

* Eurozone recovery slows to 16-month low | Purchasing managers’ index suggests activity will remain weak Read more

** FT News **

* Batista trial a landmark for Brazil | Former billionaire accused of using Twitter to encourage share buying in bankrupt OGX

* China and Russia to build military ties | Countries say they will strengthen military ties to counter US influence in Asia-Pacific region Read more

An article in today’s FT quotes some new research in which economists at the IMF and the World Bank warn that – in the parlance of our headline writers – the world may have reached ‘Peak Trade’.

So what are they talking about? Read more


Last week was a bad week for us sceptics of global governance, or so it seemed. The US and China struck a deal on reducing carbon emissions that some fairly serious people found not to be meaningless. (Others demurred.) The same two countries also agreed to update the Information Technology Agreement, a plurilateral trade deal that has not been reformulated since a decade before the release of the iPhone. Finally, the US and India made an apparent breakthrough in resolving a spat over food subsidies that had brought already desultory progress in the World Trade Organization to a halt.

But before the multilateral bunting is strung across the streets of Geneva in recognition of the US-India achievement, some caution is in order. For one, the “breakthrough” is a minor clarification over what a particular paragraph in an agreement means. Second, if the deal is used to lever open past WTO agreements on farm subsidies, it will turn out to be a very poor trade-off indeed. Read more

** FT News **

* Shell wins $3bn India tax court case | Ruling follows string of battles between multinational companies and revenue authorities

* Five killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack | Netanyahu vows Israel will respond with a ‘heavy hand’ to action praised by Hamas Read more

Brazil and Mexico, Latin America’s two biggest economies, are engulfed in high-profile scandals that have involved their presidents and also touched on investor interests. So far, Dilma Rousseff has made a better fist of handling the fallout in Brazil than Enrique Peña Nieto has in Mexico – although that could easily change. Read more

** FT News **

* Space junk or Russian satellite killer? | Mysterious object launched by military perplexing astronomers

* Turkey’s age-old grievances re-emerge | Ankara’s rhetoric has become more anti-western since protests against the government last year Read more

** FT News **

* Under-fire Putin in early exit from G20 | Departure follows two days of warnings from fellow leaders over the crisis inUkraine

* US confirms Isis has killed US hostage | Kassig death is the fifth such murder of a westerner Read more

By Bill Banks of EY

This year I was honored to take part in the Business 20 (B20) summit in Sydney, an event which enabled common views from the international business community to be put forward to G20 leaders this weekend in Brisbane. As a member of the Infrastructure & Investment taskforce, my colleagues and I found that one of the primary barriers to increasing private infrastructure investment has been the small number of properly assessed investment-ready projects. This isn’t due to one single factor, but rather, a range of different issues.

Although robust economic scrutiny is critical to the success of any infrastructure project, there is too often inadequate project selection and prioritization, which is frequently driven by political considerations rather than a sound cost-benefit assessment that would reassure policymakers their investments will deliver maximum impact. We also found there to be weak project preparation and execution capabilities, including inadequate funding arrangements, inappropriate risk allocation, and inefficient procurement policy and procedures, especially in emerging markets. Read more