ITALY’S next government, a coalition between the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right Northern League, is giving investors plenty to worry about. Leaked plans, hastily abandoned, suggested it might want to leave the euro or ask the European Central Bank to forgive €250bn ($292bn) of Italian debt. But less attention has been paid to what it might mean for Italian banks, and in particular for their biggest burden: non-performing loans (NPLs). Over €185bn of NPLs were outstanding at the end of 2017, the most for any country in the European Union (see chart).By comparison with Greece, where NPLs are 45% of loans, Italy looks manageable, with just 11.1%. And it has made progress: in late 2015 NPLs were 16.8% of loans. But any wild policy lurches would put that progress in question. The clean-up of banks’ books has relied on openness to foreign investors. Huge volumes of NPLs (€37bn in 2016 and over €47bn in 2017, according to Deloitte, a consultancy) have been sold by banks, often to...Continue reading
Dockless electric scooter company GOAT has launched in Austin after receiving official permits from the city’s transportation department for its pilot program. Unlike what’s happened in San Francisco with startups Bird, Lime and Spin, GOAT says it wants to work in tandem with city officials in Austin. GOAT is currently bootstrapped, but says it plans […]
KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): The FBM KLCI was up 0.83% at mid-morning today but struggled to breach the 1,800-point level as regional markets stayed weaker in fragile sentiment.
At 10.05am, the FBM KLCI was up 14.98 points to 1,790.64.
Gainers led losers by 328 to 227, while 281 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 600.09 million shares valued at RM411.36 million.