Brief world markets headlines of the day.

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China rebound is projected to lead 2nd-half Asia growth

Led by China and stimulus policies implemented by Beijing, Asia is poised for a recovery in the second half of the year, according to projections by HSBC. Separately, China's Ministry of Commerce said trade growth is experiencing a rebound. "Judging from a set of figures in export and business arena, the [current] situation should not be that bad," said ministry spokesman Shen Danyang. 

Germany restates opposition to EU debt plan

As eurozone officials weighed proposals for a master overseer of the region's banks as a condition for tying together the separate economies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her stern opposition to shared debt liability. Meanwhile, Spain braced for an expected downgrade to junk status by Moody's. 

S&P sees U.S. recession risk; consumer confidence falls

Standard & Poor's says the most likely scenario for the U.S. economy at this stage remains a slow recovery, but the agency warned there's a 20% chance of a double-dip recession. The dim outlook came as the Conference Board reported U.S. consumer confidence fell in June for the fourth straight month.

U.K. may not be halfway through crisis, BoE warns

With a baffling weakness on the supply side, Bank of England policymakers are revising downward their outlook for the U.K. economy only six weeks after their previous forecast. BoE Governor Sir Mervyn King also cautioned that the U.K. may not be even halfway through the downturn, which began five years ago. 

Market Activities


U.S. stocks fluctuated, but the Dow ended the day up 0.3% ahead of this week's European summit. European shares were down, however, amid pessimism over Spain's deteriorating situation and Germany's intransigence over the crisis as well as further indications of waning consumer confidence in the U.S. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indices.

Economic Trends & Outlook
Japanese think tanks see a mixed bag for business confidence

Business confidence among Japan's leading manufacturers is likely to be flat as reflected in a June survey, according to a poll of private think tanks. Strong domestic demand and stimulus from rebuilding projects are expected to be counterbalanced by sluggish export markets, a higher yen and concerns over the nation's power supply. 

Philippine budget turns to deficit as economy stays on track

The Philippines' April budget surplus turned to a deficit in May as Manila stepped up spending as part of a 2012 plan to buffer the economy from the global downturn. Separately, government officials said growth for the second quarter is on track to meet or exceed projections. 

Consumer confidence slips in S. Korea; 2012 growth is seen at 3.2%

South Korean consumer confidence has declined in June but remains barely positive despite gathering clouds in Europe and elsewhere, the Bank of Korea reports. Separately, the country's economic growth for the year is likely to come in at 3.2%, the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade said, citing the eurozone crisis as the largest restraining factor.

Indian business revenue growth appears headed for 6-quarter low

With domestic demand down, Indian business revenue growth is likely to hit a six-quarter low in the current period, according to Crisil Research. "While policy logjam and higher cost of capital have severely dented the investment cycle, persistent inflation, economic uncertainty and high retail lending rates are weighing on consumer sentiment, thereby affecting consumption growth," said Crisil President Mukesh Agarwal.

Investment floods into an unprepared Myanmar

The long-awaited economic opening in Myanmar has led to a flood of companies and investors that has yet to be matched by growth in the country's institutions charged with managing the influx. The disparity is leading to worries that long-term damaging mistakes will be made. "There is so much on [the government's] plate right now and so few people involved in evaluating all of this that I think they're getting to the point where they are overwhelmed," observes Craig Steffensen, the Asian Development Bank's chief on Myanmar and Thailand.
Capital Markets & Financial Products
As Murdoch drops opposition, News Corp. considers a split

A split of News Corp. into a publishing company and a far larger and more prosperous broadcasting company is no longer opposed by controlling shareholder Rupert Murdoch. Word that the division, long sought by many holders, is under active consideration sent News Corp.'s shares up 2.4% Tuesday. Under the envisioned separation, however, the Murdoch family would retain 40% control of both companies.

Ping An Russell targets wealthy investors with China fund

High-net-worth individuals are the target market as Ping An Russell Investments plans for a multi-manager fund for China. The MoM fund would be a first for the country. The idea is to provide access to the same domestic hedge fund managers that Russell Investment will tap for U.S. dollar investors through its planned QFII fund.

Proxy-fight speculation boosts Apex Equity shares

A surge in Apex Equity Holdings shares may be the result of speculation that a proxy fight could develop between leading shareholders. The price climb began after Executive Chairman Chan Guan Seng was ousted last week. Chan was reappointed by the board Monday.

Operating costs cut sharply into Korean investment advisers' profits

A jump in operating costs largely accounts for a nearly 57% fall in combined net profit for South Korea's investment advisers in the fiscal year ended in March, according to a report by the Financial Supervisory Service. Commissions for the year were basically unchanged at 181.4 billion won. 

China's South Beauty plans IPO for Hong Kong

Chinese restaurant group South Beauty is planning to raise $100 million to $200 million with an IPO on the Hong Kong Exchange. Deutsche Bank and UBS will be the major underwriters for the offering, which won approval for the Hong Kong market after being denied on the mainland market.

Global crisis creates a buying opportunity for Japanese companies

The eurozone crisis is prompting Japanese companies to buy up affiliates and businesses in Europe and the U.S. A relatively robust Japanese economy and the strong yen are setting up a bargain situation. "There are quite a number of offerings [from U.S. and European financial institutions and others], so Japanese firms are keeping their eyes open and making careful selections," noted a senior official at a major financial institution. 

Western private equity is seen shifting to Asia

As Europe works its way through another recession, private equity funds in the West are expected to shift a growing percentage of their funds to Asia. Coller Capital projects that 39% of limited partners in Europe will have at least 10% of their portfolios in Asia by 2015, more than doubling the share they now have allocated in the region.

Chinese banks fill lending void left by Europeans in Australia

With Europe's strapped lenders pulling out of Australia, Chinese banks are stepping in. So far this year, Asian banks account for 21% of new syndicated loan activity in Australia, up four percentage points from a year before.

Industry & Regulatory Update
India requires e-voting for leading companies

Electronic voting in place of postal ballots is now required for all listed Indian companies. The new rule from the Securities and Exchange Board of India is to be phased in, beginning with the "top 500 listed companies on the BSE and NSE based on market capitalisation," SEBI said in a news release.

Ethics & Standards
Nomura shareholders are likely to raise insider-trading questions

Tough questioning over Nomura Holdings' involvement in a major crackdown on insider trading is likely to be near the top of the agenda as shareholders meet today in Tokyo. CEO Kenichi Watanabe is expected to offer his first comments on the firm's confirmation that some employees were involved in past disclosures of privileged information. "The current insider-trading probe could weigh on our business if we continue to be excluded from underwriting deals such as Japan Tobacco," one Nomura banker said.
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