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** FT News **

* Photo shows signs of missile hit on MH17 | Three experts confirm a photograph published by the FT over the weekend FT picture shows signs of shrapnel damage consistent with a missile strike

* Europe urged to harden Russia sanctions | UK-led group, including central and eastern European countries, wants to lay groundwork for an escalation to target entire sectors of economy Continue reading »

After what has felt like an endless waiting game, Mexico’s energy reform is finally entering the home straight.

This weekend Senate members approved key bills to govern the new-look hydrocarbons sector, as well as the energy sector and the state utility, CFE, and oil company, Pemex, that will lose their monopolies under the sweeping reform. There is just one section still to be passedContinue reading »

** FT News **

* Dutch PM warns Moscow over MH17 access | Mark Rutte says ‘all political, economic and financial options’ are on the table if access to the crash site of the downed airliner does not improve

* Kerry due in Cairo as Gaza death toll mounts | More than 60 Palestinians have been killed and thousands displaced in Gaza’s biggest city in the most intense fighting yet in Israel’s two-week-old offensive Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Putin handed ultimatum over crash site | Britain, France and Germany warn Russian leader he faces further sanctions this week unless he ensures air accident investigators have full access to crash site

* Israel intensifies ground war in Gaza | About 60 Palestinians killed and thousands displaced in Gaza’s biggest city in the most intense fighting yet in Israel’s two-week old anti-Hamas war Continue reading »

If EM investors were looking for a trigger for volatility, this must surely fit the bill. The downing of flight MH17, whoever is found to be responsible, appears certain to cause an escalation of geopolitical tensions already at a high level over Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine itself. Investors, whose attention has been focussed almost exclusively on the US Federal Reserve and the prospect of rising interest rates, must surely now put more political risk into their calculations.

But look at the reaction on markets and you have to conclude: not a bit of it. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* US says Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine | US believes jet with 298 on board was hit by a missile fired from the ground, which Kiev blames on pro-Russia rebels

* Israel orders Gaza ground offensive | Military bombards the northern Gaza Strip in attacks that lit up the night sky as naval vessels fired at the Palestinian territory from the sea Continue reading »

Investment in Mexico: it’s the real thing. Coca-Cola’s announcement that it will pour $1bn into the country every year until 2020 is just the latest in a string of recent big-ticket spends in a country where manufacturing is leading the country out of an untimely economic slump.

The US beverage maker, whose operations in Mexico include eight bottling groups in Mexico, juices and dairy as well as sodas and water, said it would invest more than $8.4bn from 2014-2020, bringing the total invested in Mexico during the decade to $12.4bn. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Russia stocks hit by US sanctions move | Shares in Moscow fall after the US levies sanctions against a group of four of Russia’s biggest companies, cutting them off from capital markets Continue reading »

By Mark Tierney of Crabtree Capital

The International Air Transport Association has just produced a terrific new report: Transforming Intra-African Air Connectivity. The study, according to Tony Tyler, IATA’s boss, “demonstrates beyond doubt the tremendous potential for African aviation if the [regulatory] shackles are taken off… The additional services generated by liberalization between just 12 key markets will provide an extra 155,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in annual GDP… Aviation is a force for good, and plays a major role in helping to reach the African Union’s mission of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.” Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Israel to investigate Gaza children deaths | ‘Humanitarian’ ceasefire called to allow access for aid agencies as death toll passes 200

* GSK admits to 2001 China bribery scandal | US extends investigation into pharma group’s activities and it could face stricter penalties of pattern of behaviour is found Continue reading »

Some things in life happen often enough that they take on a reassuring familiarity. Germany win the World Cup. Belgium struggles to form a government. And India throws stones at a deal at the World Trade Organisation.

Having already in effect pushed the demolition button on the Doha round of world trade talks in 2008, India is now being obstreperous over a tiny part of the deal that managed to crawl out of the wreckage – a “trade facilitation” agreement supposedly making it easier to do business across borders. It has threatened to block the agreement over a completely unrelated issue of particular interest to itself, a commitment to “food security” which will in effect hand Delhi yet another tool to enforce agricultural protectionism. Indeed, it was over a similar issue that hopes for Doha as a comprehensive deal died in 2008.

 Continue reading »

Since the Brics first came together for their first annual summit five years ago, it has sometimes been easier to define them by what they are against than by what they are for.

They are mostly against, for instance, interference in other nations’ sovereign affairs, particularly of the unilateral sort. Continue reading »

By John Calverley, Standard Chartered

Concern over rising inequality has increased in recent years. While inequality has fallen between countries, as rapid economic growth has helped emerging economies catch up with the developed world, there seems little doubt that inequality within countries has risen for most.

Technology is just one factor at play – along with globalisation, taxation and reduced union power – but its effect on economies is a key to understanding how income gaps evolve over time. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Gaza ceasefire proposal collapses | Egyptian initiative aimed at ending 8-day-old conflict rejected by Islamist group Hamas and hostilities continued between both sides overnight

* Yahoo agrees to fresh deal on Alibaba | Shares in web company fell 2% in after-hours trading after it narrowly missed earnings expectations in the second quarter Continue reading »

By Ousmène Jacques Mandeng, Pramerica Investment Management

Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are expected to ratify an agreement this week that would establish a Brics bank at the Brics summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Development finance is already crowded. Apart from the multilateral and regional institutions, there are several such sub-regional institutions as the Caribbean Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and myriad national development banks like China Development Bank and Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). BNDES is now much bigger than the World Bank in terms of gross disbursements; it even has branches in South Africa, the UK and Uruguay.

Overlap and duplication, conflicts between national, regional and multilateral interests are frequent and unavoidable – making the case for another development bank underwhelming. Continue reading »