22 February 2019 FT — Articles to Read

22 February 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what group of Americans will most likely see the largest tax refunds?


US insurers warned over vulnerability to risky debt after ‘stretch’ for yield – Pg. 11

–          US life insurers have loaded up on risky investments since the financial crisis with their search for yield drawing them into potentially treacherous places…

–          The shift leaves insurers vulnerable to downgrades in their own ratings in a recession, as their capital could be eaten up by losses in their portfolios

–          Before the crisis, A-rated bonds made up 69% of the insurers’ portfolios.  By the third quarter of last year, that had slipped to 61%

–          …holdings of triple-B rated bonds, which are the last notch before junk, have increased from 25% of the portfolio to 34%


Investors in India spooked by the shadow financiers – Pg. 19

–          Particular scrutiny has fallen on the companies behind aggressive property development in Mumbai, where the number of unsold homes rose 9% year-on-year in the second half of 2018, ….Average prices, meanwhile, dropped 7%


Leading US official paints gloomy picture for domestic soyabean farmers – Pg. 19

–          …record high stocks should weigh on prices even if America resolves its trade dispute with China

–          China resumed modest purchases volumes of US soyabeans after president Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed a 90-day trade truce late last year

–          …China needed to address the theft of intellectual property, a serious concern for western companies in the country, and address restrictions on biotech crops


Answer: Families with children