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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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South Korea central bank cuts rates

Category : Business, World News

South Korea’s central bank cuts its key interest rate in a surprise move aimed at boosting growth and countering a weak Japanese yen.

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Allianz SE (AZSEY: OTCQX International Premier) | Allianz to redeem its 2 billion US-dollar 8.375% undated subordinated callable bonds

Category : Stocks

Allianz SE announced today that it intends to call for redemption effective June 15, 2013 (the “Redemption Date”) all of its 2,000,000,000 US-dollar 8.375% undated subordinated callable bonds (CUSIP: 018805200; ISIN: US0188052007) (the “Bonds”).

The Bonds will be redeemed in accordance with their terms and conditions. The redemption price for the Bonds will be the principal amount plus any interest accrued to and including the Redemption Date and will be paid in cash on Monday, June 17, 2013.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

Forward-looking statements
The statements contained herein may include prospects, statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

Such deviations may arise due to, without limitation, (i) changes of the general economic conditions and competitive situation, particularly in the Allianz Group’s core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets (particularly market volatility, liquidity and credit events) (iii) frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the Euro/U.S. Dollar exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration issues, and reorganization measures, and (xi) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. Many of these factors may be more likely to occur, or more pronounced, as a result of terrorist activities and their consequences.

No duty to update
The company assumes no obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information required to be disclosed by law.

Originally posted here: Allianz SE (AZSEY: OTCQX International Premier) | Allianz to redeem its 2 billion US-dollar 8.375% undated subordinated callable bonds

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Australia cuts rates to record low

Category : Business, World News

Australia’s central bank lowers its benchmark interest rate to 2.75% from 3%, in an attempt to counter slowing growth in the country’s mining sector.

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Allianz SE (AZSEY: OTCQX International Premier) | Allianz key figures for the first quarter of 2013

Category : Stocks, World News

For the first quarter of 2013, Allianz Group achieved total revenues of around 32 billion euros,

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UK services sector growth speeds up

Category : Business, World News

The UK’s services sector, which accounts for around 75% of the economy, grew by its fastest rate in eight months in April, new data suggest.

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ECB meets under pressure to cut rates

Category : Business

Rate cut expectations are running high as the European Central Bank gathers for its monthly meeting Thursday.

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Apple readies for record bond sale

Category : Business, Stocks

The company plans to sell an undisclosed amount of fixed and floating-rate notes with maturities ranging from 3 years to 30 years. Goldman and Deutsche Bank are the underwriters.

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VIDEO: Protests over Spain unemployment figures

Category : Business

Spain’s unemployment rate soared to a new record of 27.2% of the workforce, prompting demonstrations.

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Homebuyers turn to five-year fixed-rate mortgages

Category : Business

The number of five-year fixes has increased 73% in the past year as two-year deals lose popularity with mortgage borrowers

Would you fix your mortgage for five years, seven or even 10? A few years ago the vast majority of people would have said no, opting instead for a cheaper, shorter-term two-year deal. But the tide has turned and increasing numbers of borrowers want the certainty of a longer-term commitment, say brokers – and lenders are offering more, and better, deals.

Tomorrow HSBC is launching the lowest ever five-year fixed rate at 2.49% for those with a 40% deposit or the equivalent equity (be warned; the fee is a whopping £2,000).

This is the first time a five-year fix has dropped below 2.5% – but it’s not just HSBC getting in on the act. In the last year, the number of five-year fixed-rate deals has increased by 73%, says data provider Moneyfacts. By comparison, the traditionally popular two-year fixes have only increased by 33%.

Sylvia Waycot, editor at said: “Five-year fixed-rate mortgages have traditionally been a bit too expensive to be the first choice for most of us. However, thanks to lenders enjoying cheap loans from the government this is changing.”

The government announced last week that it is extending its Funding for Lending scheme, which has been widely credited with bringing mortgage rates down for borrowers.

Experts believe rates on all mortgage terms could become more competitive in the year ahead. So, with all these cheap deals around, should you look to fix at all and if so, for how long?

Consider the base rate

Borrowers deciding whether to fix will undoubtedly want to take into account the widespread speculation that interest rates are unlikely to rise any time soon. “Our view is that we won’t see a rise in the 0.5% base rate until 2016,” says Rob Harbron, economist from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). “Expectations for continued low rates are a result of our outlook for the economy – weak growth conditions are expected to remain the ‘new normal’ for the next few years.”

Economist Ian Kernohan from Royal London Asset Management adds that as the UK is still in post-crisis recovery mode, this means disappointing growth and low interest rates for at least a few years. “We have pencilled in the first rate rise for late 2015 at the very earliest,” he says.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, adds that as interest rates look set to remain at the same level for the rest of the year, this offers a compelling reason for some borrowers to stay on tracker rates.

“However, a fix provides absolute certainty about the cost of monthly repayments,” he says.

Robin Barter, 44, and his wife, Tracey, 46, are among those who have just remortgaged on to a five-year fix for the first time. The couple live in a four-bedroom house in Oxfordshire with their three children: Scott, nine, Luke, seven, and Hugh, four.

Prior to remortgaging, the Barters had held tracker mortgages with Halifax for 14 years but have now switched to NatWest. “Initially, I thought we’d go for another tracker, as I’m familiar with this kind of deal,” says Robin, an account director. “But when we contacted broker London & Country, they came back with the same conclusion that I was starting to reach, that in the current economic climate we’d be better on a fix.

“Given that the base rate is only going to go up at some point, we decided to go for a five-year fix with NatWest.”

This was priced at 2.99% and came with a £995 fee; the deal also offered both free valuation and legal work. “Locking into a low five-year fix now gives us peace of mind that our payments are protected for longer,” says Robin.

“It also means we won’t have to pay fees to remortgage again in a few years, as we would with a shorter deal.”

Beware sky-high fees

For some borrowers, choosing a rock-bottom mortgage rate may be a false economy, according to Andrew Montlake from broker Coreco.

“Having to remortgage and pay high arrangement fees every two years may not be the best way to go,” he says.

“For example, while borrowers may like the sound of HSBC’s two-year fix at 1.89%, at up to 60% loan-to-value (LTV), the fee of £1,999 adds roughly 0.5% to the rate spread over the two years. As a result, Norwich & Peterborough’s fix with a slightly higher rate of 1.99% at up to 60% LTV and a fee of £995 could be a better option over two years.” The key is to factor in the product fee as well as the headline rate. “This will determine whether you are better off paying a higher fee and taking the very lowest rate, or opting for a slightly higher rate with a lower arrangement fee,” says Montlake.

Is two years long enough?

With little expectation of the base rate climbing in the near term, brokers say borrowers are increasingly turning to deals that protect their payments for longer than two years.

After the new HSBC five-year fix, the lowest on rate alone is Yorkshire building society at 2.59% at 60% LTV. Again, this comes with a £1,475 fee. Norwich & Peterborough building society has a five-year fix at 2.74% at 60% LTV with a much lower fee of

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VIDEO: US economy growth reaches 2.5%

Category : World News

The US economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the first three months of the year, helped by the strongest consumer spending figures in two years.

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