THE European Commission has launched an investigation into the market for Credit Default Swaps (CDS), better known as bondholder insurance. The Commission said it will examine whether 16 investment banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan as well as Markit, the leading provider of CDS data, have colluded or abused a dominant position. It will also examine whether the banks colluded with ICE Clear Europe, the main clearing house for CDS. The CDS market is reckoned to be worth $583trillion (€393trn).
Jobless rate in Spain tops 21pc
THE unemployment rate in Spain, already the highest in the EU, rose to a 14-year peak of 21.29pc in the first quarter, official data showed yesterday. Inflation in Spain, which is fighting weak growth and high debt, also rose in April to 3.5pc from 3.3pc in March, the highest figure since October 2008. The figures come against a background of severe strains on the Spanish economy arising from depressed economic activity and high public deficits and debt.
Microsoft now trails Apple on profit
US giant Microsoft posted a more than 30pc rise in quarterly net profit but pocketed less than gadget-maker Apple for the first time in two decades. Microsoft said net profit increased 31pc to $5.23bn in the third quarter of its fiscal year while revenue rose 13pc to $16.43bn in what the company called a 'mixed' market for personal computers. Earnings per share of 61c were better than the 56c forecast by Wall Street analysts. Apple reported quarterly net profit of $5.99bn last week on revenue of $24.67bn.
CES Energy wins Saudi contract
AN IRISH Company has won a major Saudi contract to supply power, cooling and heating requirements to 'The Headquarters' -- said to be one of Saudi Arabia's most prestigious commercial developments in Jeddah. Dublin-based CES Energy, which provides on-site generated power, cooling and heating solutions, was awarded the contract worth $150m (€101m), which will be delivered by its newly formed company in Jeddah. The project also qualifies for the UN carbon credit scheme.