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Chinese shares fall on IPO worries

Chinese stocks tumbled 1.52 percent Monday on fears of a possible market glut after authorities revealed a list of several firms planning initial public offerings (IPOs). The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 31.92 points to 2,065.83 on turnover of 81.7 billion yuan ($13.1 billion). The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, fell 1.34 percent, or 14.58 points, to 1,074.78 on turnover of 92.3 billion yuan. Hong Kong was closed Monday for a public holiday.

New EU law to help investors pick good corporate citizens

By Simon Jessop and Jemima Kelly LONDON (Reuters) - Investors looking for companies with good environmental, social and governance track records will find the job easier after European politicians ruled that thousands of firms must reveal their performance as corporate citizens. Trillions of dollars of pension fund, insurer and mutual fund money is already invested in companies that are screened for a range of ethical criteria because of evidence that such firms tend to be more profitable in the long term.

Spanish banks face tough rivalry in small companies bet

By Sarah White and Jesus Aguado MADRID (Reuters) - Across Spain, the message is hard to miss in office windows showcasing offers: banks want to lend to small companies again. After gorging on property lending in the run-up to a financial crisis, banks are looking to revive high-margin loans to businesses as the economy emerges from a prolonged slump and bond-trading income slumps.

U.S. insider trading cases face test at appeals court

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court is set hear a case whose outcome could make it harder for the government to prosecute insider trading and potentially jeopardize several high-profile guilty verdicts, including that of SAC Capital Advisors portfolio manager Michael Steinberg.

Former Soros team to start $150 million Hong Kong-based hedge fund

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A former Soros Fund Management team will start a Hong Kong-based hedge fund in the third quarter of 2014 with at least $150 million in initial capital including seed capital from HS Group, making it one of the biggest start-ups in the region this year. Co-founded by Kenneth Lee and Michael Yoshino, the long/short equity hedge fund firm, Pleiad Investment Advisors, will focus on investments in China and Japan.

A tough sell: insurance against a China financial crisis

By Vidya Ranganathan SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Selling insurance against a financial crisis should not be difficult, five years after the last one nearly wrecked the global economy. But when it comes to China, the world's second-largest economy, the probability of a full-blown crisis is apparently so remote that hardly anyone will buy an insurance policy against it, no matter how cheap.

China allows gold imports via Beijing, sources say, amid reserves buying talk

By A. Ananthalakshmi SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China has begun allowing gold imports through its capital Beijing, sources familiar with the matter said, in a move that would help keep purchases by the world's top bullion buyer discreet at a time when it might be boosting official reserves.

Listed firms' debt-repaying ability improves in 2013

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- The ability of South Korean listed companies to pay back their debts improved last year due mainly to a rise in their operating profits and lower financial costs, data showed Monday. The average interest coverage ratio of 613 firms listed on the main bourse came to 4.84 last year, compared with 4.23 tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange (KRX). The ratio, or a firm's operating profit divided by its interest costs, measures the company's ability to pay interest on outstanding debt.

Listed firms' debt-repaying ability improves in 2013

SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- The ability of South Korean listed companies to pay back their debts improved last year due mainly to a rise in their operating profits and lower financial costs, data showed Monday. The average interest coverage ratio of 613 firms listed on the main bourse came to 4.84 last year, compared with 4.23 tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange (KRX). The ratio, or a firm's operating profit divided by its interest costs, measures the company's ability to pay interest on outstanding debt.

Church of England still invested in payday lender

LONDON (Reuters) - The Archbishop of Canterbury said the Church of England still held an indirect investment in short-term loan company Wonga, even though he branded its activities "morally wrong" nine months ago. Archbishop Justin Welby, leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans, said last year he had been embarrassed to learn that the church's pension fund had invested a relatively small sum in a U.S. venture capital firm that led Wonga's 2009 fundraising.
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