July 6, 2013

Briefcase

(Continued from page 1)

Benchmark crude for August delivery rose $1.98, or 2 percent, to finish at $103.22 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the highest closing price since May 2, 2012.

S&P downgrades Nokia after buyout of Siemens

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Friday downgraded Nokia Corp.'s credit rating further into junk territory, citing the deal this week to buy out Siemens from its Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture for $2.21 billion.

The agency lowered the Finland-based company's long-term corporate credit rating to "B+" from "BB-," warning that its strong balance sheet will weaken as a result of the acquisition.

S&P also affirmed Nokia's "B" short-term corporate credit rating, with a stable outlook, and cut the issue rating on Nokia's senior unsecured debt to "B+" from "BB-."

Fitch Ratings downgrades Egypt's credit after coup

Fitch Ratings is downgrading Egypt's credit after the country's military overthrew the civilian government, saying the political situation could get worse and further damage the national economy.

The firm said Egypt's political situation could become even more unstable, hurting its economy and its creditworthiness and making it harder for the country to make reforms that are needed to secure International Monetary Fund assistance.

On Wednesday the Egyptian military ousted President Mohammed Morsi and suspended the Islamist-drafted constitution.

Sweeping changes in China may include private banks

China on Friday promised sweeping changes to its state-run banking system -- including allowing the creation of private lenders -- to support its credit-starved entrepreneurs and curb what regulators worry are growing financial risks.

Analysts including the World Bank said an overhaul of a Chinese banking system that lends little to the private sector is urgently needed to keep economic growth strong. Communist leaders who took power last year have promised to support entrepreneurs who generate new jobs and wealth in China but have yet to make significant changes.

Friday's statement outlined an array of areas where Beijing is promising action but gave no details.

- From news service reports

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