World Stocks Fall Due To Growth Fears

Stocks have fallen on fears over the health of the global economy, after last week’s weak US jobs data and persistent fears over the eurozone.

Figures released on Friday by the US Labor Department showed the smallest growth in employment in five months. The US economy added 120,000 jobs during March, less than the 200,000 widely predicted by analysts. Investors in Europe were given their first chance after the Easter break to react to Friday’s disappointing US jobs data. The figures raised fears about the strength of the recovery in the US economy.

Meanwhile, the interest rate on Spanish bonds traded in the secondary market continued to rise. The yield on 10-year bonds hit 5.99%, up from 5.74% on Monday, indicating that investors are getting increasingly concerned about Spain’s ability to repay its debts.

Investors in Europe also had an eye on Chinese data showing a rise in exports but a sharp fall in imports, while a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also gave mixed messages. It identified a “potential turning point in economic activity in the euro area and regained momentum in other major economies”, particularly the US and Japan.

But the report also talked of “diverging” economies in Europe, with Germany and the UK showing a “positive change in momentum” but France and Italy displaying “continued sluggish activity”. Analysts noted general caution ahead of the first quarter reporting season in the US, beginning later on Tuesday with aluminium giant Alcoa.

Source: BBC News

Image: Asia Bizz

Saudi Prince Invests Millions in Twitter

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said Monday that he and his investment firm, Kingdom Holding Company, are purchasing a $300 million stake in Twitter. The billionaire prince said the investment was made after “several months of negotiations” and would represent “a strategic stake” in the microblogging service.

The prince’s Twitter shares were bought on the secondary market, according to Fortune reporter Dan Primack — which means that Twitter didn’t directly receive any of the cash. While it’s unclear how much control Alwaleed’s investment will provide, the prince’s investment firm looks to become long-term investors in its portfolio investments and “seeks to work closely with the management of those companies and participate in strategic decisions,” according to its site.

With a reported net worth of $21.3 billion, Prince Alwaleed has topped Arabian Business’s Arab Rich list for eight consecutive years. Alwaleed’s investment firm, KHC, owns a 7% stake in News Corporation along with a host of high-profile investments, including a 29.9% stake in Saudi Research and Marketing Group. KHC’s other investments include CNNMoney parent company Time Warner, Apple and Citigroup. Alwaleed also has plans to launch a privately owned news channel.

The Saudi prince is the latest power player to bet that fast-growing Twitter will transform itself into a profitable business. Twitter, along with Facebook, is being closely watched for signs that it may look to file for an initial public offering.



Image: NY Daily News