Global stock markets were mostly lower Wednesday as investors waited for an update on the U.S. economy from the Federal Reserve.
Investors were waiting to see if the Fed, which wraps up a two-day policy meeting later in the day in Washington, will make changes to its strategy of super-low interest rates and easy money that is helping to shore up the U.S. economy. Any change is likely to ripple through stock markets.Full Story
Russia's central bank has uncovered a network of shell companies that illegally funneled staggering sums of money abroad.
Outgoing central bank chief Sergei Ignatiev told lawmakers Wednesday that 173 "one-day firms" smuggled at least 760 billion rubles ($23.5 billion). So-called one-day firms are shell companies that have been a favored money-laundering technique in Russia.Full Story
The International Monetary Fund says recession-wracked Spain is making progress but is urging policymakers both within the country and in Europe to take "urgent action" to slash the country's crippling 27 percent unemployment rate.
An IMF report released Wednesday praised Spain's reforms for stabilizing the economy, particularly its public finances, but said unemployment was "unacceptably high and the outlook difficult."Full Story
Bankers found guilty of reckless misconduct in Britain could end up in prison and be stripped of bonuses, under draconian proposals to clean up the City of London published on Wednesday.
The radical penalties were put forward by an official commission which said that a string of scandals in British finance had caused an "enormously damaging" loss of trust.Full Story
Foreign direct investment into Arab states rose by 9.8 percent last year despite unrest in some of them but remained well below its level in 2010, when the Arab Spring erupted, a report said on Tuesday.
Arab states attracted FDI worth $47.1 billion (35.4 billion euros) in 2012 compared with $42.9 billion the previous year, the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corp said in its annual report.Full Story
Common banking supervision under the auspices of the European Central Bank will begin several months later than previously thought, a senior ECB official said Monday.
"Current plans envisage that common supervision will commence in the second half of next year," said Yves Mersch, a member of the ECB's Executive Board, at a financial conference in the northern German city of Hamburg.Full Story
The OECD provided ammunition Tuesday for an expected G8 offensive against tax evasion in a report outlining how to bring about automatic sharing of financial information that would shoot a hole through banking secrecy.
Prepared at the request of G8 leaders meeting in Northern Ireland, the report outlines how to swiftly achieve their goal of tightening the noose of information exchange around tax havens.Full Story
Lebanon has long suffered with some of the slowest Internet speeds in the world, but a new crop of online entrepreneurs believes their country is primed for a tech start-up boom.
In the upscale Hamra district of Beirut, start-up "accelerator" Seeqnce has a second-floor office with a vibe and style that recall 1990s Silicon Valley.Full Story
U.S. charitable giving rose modestly in 2012, fueled by a jump in corporate gifts and concerns about possible tax changes which could limit future deductions, a survey showed Tuesday.
Overall charitable contributions from American individuals, corporations and foundations rose 3.5 percent to $316.23 billion in 2012, according to the annual survey by Giving USA Foundation and Indiana University's school of philanthropy.Full Story
The Co-operative Bank in Britain said on Monday that it was planning to increase its capital cushion by £1.5 billion ($2.4 billion, 1.8 billion euros) to secure its future but without resorting to state aid.
The bank, which as a mutual is owned by its 4.7 million customers, said it would raise the new capital by issuing shares and bonds in exchange for existing debt, as well as from selling assets.Full Story