Business Digest, September 17, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2012, 2:15am

Beijing to release plan on financial reform

A deputy governor of China's central bank said at the weekend that the country would "soon" release a five-year plan on financial reform for 2011-15. The paper would lay out plans for areas including marketisation of interest rates, liberalisation of exchange rates and internationalisation of the yuan, said Pan Gongsheng, the deputy governor of the People's Bank of China. The reform plan also would touch on areas such as reforms of direct and indirect financing in the country's financial structure and the development of micro financial organisations, Pan said at an academic symposium in Beijing. Xinhua

Top banks probed over money laundering

JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are among several US banks under investigation for breaches that may have let money flow to terrorists or drug dealers. Officials told The New York Times they had launched one of the most aggressive crackdowns on money laundering in decades. Federal and state authorities were looking into the banks for their failure to monitor cash transactions through their branches that could have allowed the criminals to engage in money laundering, the paper reported, citing several anonymous sources. AFP

Lawrence Ho tightens his grip on Melco

Casino and entertainment firm Melco International Development said yesterday that its chairman, Lawrence Ho Yau-lung, and his related parties had tightened their grip on the company by converting HK$1.03 billion loan notes into new shares. Ho, the son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, and related parties exercised an option to convert the loan notes at HK$3.93 per share, Melco said. After the conversion, their shareholding in the company increased to 47.25 per cent from 36.02 per cent. Ho and the parties intended to convert the remaining HK$141 million loan notes at the same price per share, it said. Sophie Yu