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US Supreme Court seeks middle ground between Argentina, creditors on access to foreign assets

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be searching for a middle ground Monday in the decade-long battle between Argentina and holders of its defaulted bonds. The justices heard arguments on a relatively narrow aspect of the issue, the question of whether a sovereign nation can be forced to reveal assets around the world so plaintiffs can collect on U.S. court judgments.

Foreign investment up in February by $6.1 billion, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says foreign investment in Canadian securities grew by $6.1 billion in February and this was matched by Canadian purchases of $6 billion in foreign securities. It says non-residents bought $2.2 billion in Canadian bonds, following two straight months of divestment. Foreigners invested $2.3 billion in the Canadian money market, with purchases diversified across all sectors, except the federal government. Foreign investors also put money into the Canadian stock market in February, buying $1.6 billion worth of equities.

Puerto Rico bonds sink as commonwealth hires restructuring experts

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prices of Puerto Rico's newly issued $3.5 billion debt sank in heavy trade late on Friday, hitting the lowest price ever at the end of a week when the indebted U.S. commonwealth hired additional teams of debt restructuring experts. Adding to concerns that the islands could be preparing to restructure its debt, Puerto Rico's Government Development Bank, the commonwealth's financing arm, on Thursday hired a third company with restructuring expertise as it tries to balance its budget while jump-starting a struggling economy.

Greek market return, Fed minutes spur periphery debt rally

By Emelia Sithole-Matarise and John Geddie LONDON (Reuters) - Fervent demand for Greece's first bond sale just two years after it defaulted buoyed investor appetite for other lower-rated euro zone sovereign debt on Thursday. Belief that a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve might not come as soon as some had feared further spurred the relentless rally in euro area debt, sending borrowing costs back towards multi-year lows in many of the zone's most vulnerable countries.

Pakistan re-enters global bond market after seven years

Pakistan has re-entered the international bond market after a seven-year gap, the finance ministry said Wednesday, raising $2 billion to boost dwindling foreign exchange reserves and shore up the rupee. "The transaction represents the largest ever international bond offering by Pakistan," a finance ministry spokesman said in a statement. Pakistan raised $750 million and $500 million in its last bond issues in 2007, which were offered with a 7.75 percent mark-up and a 10-year term.

Individuals' holdings of stocks, bonds on decline: data

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- The portion of stocks and bonds held by South Korean individuals to their financial assets declined for the fourth consecutive year in 2013 as demand for risky assets weakened, data showed Tuesday. According to the Bank of Korea, individuals held a combined 2,641 trillion won (US$2.5 trillion) worth of financial assets at the end of last year, some 25 percent, or 659 trillion won, of which were stocks and bonds. Individuals refer to households, small business owners and nonprofit organizations.

Greece in no rush to tap bond markets, finance minister says

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece does not need to return to debt markets imminently, the country's finance minister said on Monday, reiterating that Athens' first bond sale in four years will take place sometime in the first half of 2014. "There is absolutely no rush, nor is it a precondition, to do this before Easter (April 20)", Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said in an interview on Greek radio station Vima.

NPS cuts portion of top conglomerates in stock investment

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's national pension operator reduced the portion of top business groups in its stock holdings in 2013, market data showed Sunday, in an apparent move to hedge against the market's volatility by diversifying its portfolio. The National Pension Service (NPS) said shares in the affiliates of South Korea's top four conglomerates -- Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG and SK -- took up 52.5 percent of its stock investment portfolio at end-December 2013, down 6.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

US stocks edge higher ahead of Friday jobs report

US stocks rose modestly in early trade Thursday as investors digested a series of economic data ahead of Friday's big jobs report for March. About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 17.54 points (0.11 percent) to 16,590.54. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.63 (0.09 percent) to 1,892.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index tacked on 4.60 (0.11 percent) to 4,281.05.

Greece sees 'trial and error' bond foray, full return in 2016

By Lefteris Papadimas and Deepa Babington ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's first foray into bond markets after a four-year exclusion will be on a "trial and error" basis but the nation expects to fund itself unaided in 2016, its finance minister told Reuters on Wednesday. Buoyed by bond yields at a four-year low and a long-awaited deal with EU/IMF lenders that has unlocked more aid, Athens says it could issue debt as early as within the next three months.
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