Royal Bank of Scotland reports £2bn loss

1RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) has reported a loss of £1.98bn loss for 2015, its 8th year of annual losses. The deficit is partly due to £3.6bn for litigation costs, including £600m to cover claims over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance. The bank, which is still 73% government owned, set aside £2.9bn for restructuring.

Once these costs are stripped out, RBS posted a £4.4bn underlying profit, down from £6bn a year earlier. RBS said the fall in underlying profits was due to lower income from interest payments, Chief executive Ross McEwan told the BBC’s Today programme: “Low interest rates do hurt banks and its very clear interest rates will stay lower for much longer now.

Head of “Rusal” Oleg Deripaska predicted 100 rubles per dollar and offered to settle Moscow

1The head of “Rusal” suggests that the price of oil could fall to $18 per barrel, and the capital called too high a burden on the economy.

The boss of “Rusal” Oleg Deripaska today at the plenary session as part of the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum made ​​a statement on the ruble exchange rate, oil prices and Moscow’s settlement.

Speaking at the Siberian forum, the businessman said that he was not surprised by the price of a barrel of black gold at $18, as well as the dollar exchange rate of 100 rubles. “It is impossible to pray and wait, looking at the quotes, the best will be gone. It must be understood that the structural overproduction of a long time, can see the price of oil and $18 – do not die, and we can see the rate of 100 rubles – is not going to die. We need to move, realizing that it would be”, – quoted by Tass businessman.

US Fed member says banks are still too big to fail

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The newest US Federal Reserve member has called for banks to be broken up, and says post-financial crisis safety measures do not go far enough. Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed, said banks should be separated into “smaller, less connected, less important entities”. The former Goldman Sachs executive urged Congress to go further than the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

2Mr Kashkari also questioned the tools for winding down troubled banks. He said in a speech: “I am far more sceptical that these tools will be useful,” and cautioned that “we won’t see the next crisis coming”. Mr Kashkari, a key figure at the US Treasury under Secretary Henry Paulson during the financial crisis, said: “Now is the right time for Congress to consider going further than Dodd-Frank with bold, transformational solutions to solve this problem once and for all.”

Japan’s economy contracts in 4th quarter

3Japan’s economy contracted in the final three months of 2015, adding to a string of setbacks for the government’s economic reform policy. Between October and December, it shrank by 0.4% compared with the previous quarter, official figures show. Expectations for the numbers were for a quarterly contraction of 0.3%.

Weaker domestic demand, together with slower investment in housing, contributed to the disappointing numbers. On an annualised basis the economy contracted 1.4% during the period. That compares with expectations for an annualised contraction of 1.2%. The annualised figure is the rate at which the economy would have contracted over a full 12 months had the December quarter been a reflection of the entire year.

India outpaces China in 2015 economic growth

1India’s economy grew at an average rate of 7.5% in 2015, faster than the 6.9% growth in China, official figures show. In recent history it has been unusual, but not unprecedented, for India to grow faster than China. According to the IMF it happened in 1981,1989,1990 and 1999, and 2015 was the first instance in this millennium.

India’s government said growth in the October to December quarter was 7.3%, a slight drop on previous quarters which were revised sharply higher. Even though the economy lost steam in the last quarter, its pace of expansion was faster than the growth posted by China in the same quarter. India measures its economy over a fiscal rather than a calendar yr.

Google boss becomes highest-paid in USA

1The chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, has been awarded $199m (£138m) in shares, a regulatory filing has revealed. It makes him the highest-paid chief executive in the US.

Mr Pichai became chief executive of the search engine giant following the creation of its parent, Alphabet. The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have amassed fortunes of $34.6bn and $33.9bn, according to Forbes. Mr Pichai was awarded 273,328 Alphabet shares on 3 February, worth a total of $199m, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Warren Buffett’s $1 million risk on oil

1Oil cost get plunged this yr, but Warren Buffett isn’t scared. He’s bet nearly a $1 billion on the sector since the start of the year. That’s how much Phillips 66 stock Berkshire Hathaway has bought since Jan. 3, according to company filings, the most recent of which was fabricated Wednesday.

Berkshire already owned 61.5 million shares of the oil refining giant, and has recently spent $964 million to buy an additional 12 million shares of the company. Buffett’s firm now owns 14% of Phillips 66 shares, making it Bershire’s sixth largest holding. As an oil refining company, Phillips 66 is in the one aspect of the oil industry that can benefit from falling oil prices.