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Macro chatter: Yuan bond set for London debut

Around the world today in business and economics. Need to know, want to know, and strange but true.
warren buffett prostate cancerEnlarge
Billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett revealed on April 17, 2012 that he had been diagnosed with stage 1 prostate cancer and would undergo treatment starting in July. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Need to know:
London’s about to get a new type of dim sum.

HSBC today is planning to issue London's first offshore yuan-denominated bond, nicknamed a dim sum bond, Reuters said.

Reuters estimates the bond is worth nearly $80 million, a level that makes it a "good-sized deal" considering China's tight grip on the currency

HSBC's bond would be the first offshore yuan-denominated bond issued in London, which is battling Hong Kong for a greater share of the yuan trade. It also would be the first time a yuan-denominated bond was sold outside of London or Hong Kong.

Meanwhile in China, home prices fell in more than half the cities tracked by the Chinese government, Bloomberg said

Want to know:
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett quickly disclosed to shareholders that he has stage 1 prostate cancer.

“The good news is that I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way,” Buffett said in a letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

Buffett was diagnosed April 11. An MRI Tuesday showed the cancer hadn’t spread. The 81-year-old said he feels great, as if he were in his “normal excellent health.” Buffett said he would let shareholders know immediately should his health change.

"Eventually, of course, it will; but I believe that day is a long way off," he wrote.

Dull but important:
Spain’s government isn’t quite as deeply in debt as Greece or Italy’s, but its households aren’t doing so well. Gross household debt in Spain now stands at 126 percent of income, my colleague Paul Ames writes. Pre-recession, that figure was at 80 percent.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government is busy finding ways to cut spending and deal with higher borrowing costs. Many experts believe a Spanish bailout is inevitable, Reuters said. Their only question is when. 

Spain's next bond auction is Thursday. 

Just Because:
Tupac Shakur has come back to life – well sort of, anyway.

Nearly sixteen years after his death, Tupac appeared on stage at the Coachella music festival alongside Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. YouTube has the video to prove it. 

The late rap star’s resurrection is the result of some crazy cool visual effects, and a virtual Tupac tour, with Snoop and Dre, could be on the way, the Wall Street Journal said.

Strange but true:
The Wall Street Journal also has found
the one standalone BlackBerry store that has been able to withstand America’s shift away from its CrackBerrys.

That “lonely BlackBerry store” is in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills and is RIM’s last in North America. It opened in 2007, six years after the first Apple store.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/macro-chatter-0418