Brics bank to issue 5-year bonds in yuan
MOSCOW • The board of the New Development Bank (NDB) established by the Brics group of emerging nations has approved the issuance of five-year bonds in the yuan, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said yesterday.
The Brics - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - officially grouped together in 2009 to press for a bigger say in the global financial order.
The NDB started work last year as part of that effort to challenge the West's grip on the global financial system.
The bank, which aims to fund infrastructure projects in the emerging world, has US$1 billion (S$1.36 billion) in capital and its board could approve its first batch of loans this year, Mr Siluanov said.
7-Eleven Japan's head set to be promoted
TOKYO • Seven & i Holdings Co is a step closer to promoting Mr Ryuichi Isaka, head of its 7-Eleven Japan convenience store unit, to president of the holding company after activist investor Dan Loeb intervened to stop an attempt to oust him.
The Seven & i nomination committee has endorsed Mr Isaka in a meeting yesterday, and its board of directors will vote to confirm the decision on Tuesday, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Seven & i's board last week came one vote short of passing a plan by chairman and chief executive officer Toshifumi Suzuki to remove Mr Isaka, 58.
The parent company is now losing its top executive of more than a decade, with Mr Suzuki saying that he will resign.
Taiwan firm plans to buy RBS' Malaysian assets
TAIPEI • Taiwan's CTBC Financial Holding said it plans to buy the Malaysian assets of Royal Bank of Scotland Group for US$314 million (S$427 million), marking another step in the British bank's retreat from its overseas operations.
The board approved the purchase of Royal Bank of Scotland Bhd for US$189.7 million, CTBC said in a statement yesterday.
The company's banking subsidiary will also buy RBS' offshore banking unit in Labuan for US$123.9 million.
An agreement has yet to be signed and the deal requires regulatory approval, CTBC said.
Container freight rates plunge 78% this year
COPENHAGEN • Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to northern Europe have plummeted 78 per cent this year, after posting another drop this week, sources from the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index said.
Rates fell 6.9 per cent to US$271 per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) in the week ended yesterday, down from US$1,232 at the beginning of the year.
It was the second consecutive week of falling freight rates on the world's busiest route and the current level is widely seen as a loss-making level for container shipping companies.