China National Nuclear Power said it would like to offer shares on the Shanghai stock exchange to raise money for five projects worth up to $27 billion. It would be one of China's largest initial public offerings if approved by securities regulators. China suspended the construction of nuclear-energy plants after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
Giovanni Perissinotto was ousted from his job as chief executive of Generali, one of Europe's biggest insurance companies. Generali's share price had fallen by a third since the start of the year, and investors are not happy. Perissinotto had held the job for 11 years, but his departure was swift; the board sacked him just days after disgruntled shareholders, led by Mediobanca, an Italian investment bank, called for him to go.
Chesapeake Energy, a big natural-gas producer, shook up its board in response to pressure from shareholders. Four new directors will be appointed by Chesapeake's largest backers, who include Carl Icahn, a veteran activist investor. Aubrey McClendon recently relinquished his role as chairman (he remains chief executive) after it emerged that he had borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars to buy personal stakes in the company's wells.
The Nasdaq stock exchange apologized for the technical mishaps that plagued Facebook's flotation on May 18. The glitches angered the brokers that underwrote the IPO, which say they have lost $100 million as a result. Many were not consoled by Nasdaq's offer of $40 million in compensation, the bulk of which would come in the form of discounts on future trades
The price of cotton fell to its lowest level in more than two years. There is a glut on the world market, caused in part by farmers expanding their production of the fiber last year when prices were high. But forecasts of a drop in global demand also are woven into falling cotton prices, especially in China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of the commodity.Political economy
The European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1 percent. There had been speculation that it would cut rates to provide a modicum of relief for the crisis-struck eurozone, but Mario Draghi, the central bank's president, warned recently that the ECB would not "fill the vacuum" created by political dithering.
China again delayed the imposition of stricter rules on the adequacy of its banks' capital holdings, until Jan. 1, 2013. Some observers feared that imposing the rules now would reduce lending in China's mellowing economy.
Brazil's economy grew by only 0.8 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, the weakest showing since the middle of 2009. A drought that hurt production in the country's mighty agricultural-exports industry was said to bear most of the blame.
Israel's Knesset rejected a bill that would have recognized illegal Jewish settler outposts on the West Bank in defiance of a Supreme Court ruling. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, already had said that he would respect the court's decision and threatened to sack anyone in the government who voted for the bill. But he placated vociferous criticism on the right by ordering 300 new homes to be built at an established settlement.
An opinion poll published in Reforma, a Mexican newspaper, found that Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution had moved into second place in the country's presidential campaign, just four percentage points behind the front-runner, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, traveled to China on a three-day visit. Top of the agenda was a meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, a group that includes Central Asian nations. They discussed involvement in Afghanistan's "peaceful reconstruction" as NATO forces prepare to withdraw.