* VW: profiting from early bets on EMs

* Luxury cars in China: overdrive

* Vale profits tumble as China slows

* Unilever passes costs on to consumers

* Pakistan PM guilty of contempt

* National champions shine in EM value hunt

* EU agrees to open IMF talks with Hungary

* Mexico launches Walmart investigation

* Russia, Italy’s Eni set Arctic-oil pact

* Bo’s brother quits China Everbright board

* Taiwanese nationals accused of trying to obtain US technology

* Markets: mainly up

VW: profiting from early bets on EMs
The early 2012 surge in global sales of cars and vans will slow – but demand will still grow, thanks largely to emerging markets. But the market for trucks and buses will be flat – even with the help of EMs, reports beyondbrics.

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/04/26/vw-profiting-from-early-bets-on-ems/

Luxury cars in China: overdrive
Despite a slowdown in the economy, and the odd jitter about China-focused luxury brands, there is at least one area where the charts are all point up: premium autos, according to beyondbrics.

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/04/26/luxury-cars-in-china-overdrive/

Vale profits tumble as China slows
Vale, the world’s second-largest miner by volume, has reported that its first-quarter profit nearly halved from a year earlier after slowing growth in China pushed down the price of iron ore, the group’s most important product, reports the FT.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c31aa6f4-8f2d-11e1-ab32-00144feab49a.html

Unilever passes costs on to consumers
The ability to pass on price increases to consumers has offset slowing growth in emerging markets and helped boost first-quarter sales at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate, reports the FT.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c81511c4-8f75-11e1-98b1-00144feab49a.html

Pakistan PM guilty of contempt
Pakistan’s top court on Thursday convicted the country’s prime minister of contempt of court for defying an order to reopen a corruption case against the president, escalating a political crisis that could trigger early elections, according to the FT.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/94a28d44-8f61-11e1-98b1-00144feab49a.html

National champions shine in EM value hunt
State-run economies may have gained adherents in the aftermath of the financial crisis, but many asset managers still eschew emerging market companies where the government is a big shareholder, says the FT.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c01fccc2-8ee2-11e1-ac13-00144feab49a.html

EU agrees to open IMF talks with Hungary
The EU removed a significant hurdle to a new international aid programme for Hungary on Wednesday, saying it now believed the country’s central bank has adequate protections from political interference, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/11c61d06-8ec5-11e1-aa12-00144feab49a.html

Mexico launches Walmart investigation
Mexico’s federal government has added to Walmart’s legal troubles by launching its own investigation into how the US retailer obtained permits at the centre of corruption allegations, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4e6ec5ae-8f20-11e1-ab32-00144feab49a.html

Russia, Italy’s Eni set Arctic-oil pact
Russian state oil company OAO Rosneft Wednesday signed a major offshore exploration deal with Italy’s Eni SpA – which the companies said could be worth as much as $100bn over many years – in the latest sign that the Kremlin’s efforts to woo foreign companies to its next-generation oil fields, mostly in the Arctic, are paying off, the WSJ reports.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303990604577365863998838438.html

Bo’s brother quits China Everbright board
The elder brother of Bo Xilai, the purged Chinese politician, has stepped down from the board of a Hong Kong-listed company in the first sign that the country’s biggest political crisis in decades is spreading to businesses related to the Bo clan, the FT reports.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fd62b63a-8ee7-11e1-ab32-00144feab49a.html

Taiwanese nationals accused of trying to obtain US technology
Two Taiwanese nationals who were arrested on drug charges earlier this year allegedly also were trying to acquire and export to China US military technology, including unmanned-drone and stealth technology, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said Wednesday, according to the WSJ.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304723304577366792799118620.html

Emerging Markets
MSCI Emerging Market Index up +0.39% at 1,015

Europe
FTSE up -0.01% at 5,718
RTS down -0.23% at 1,580
Warsaw Wig up +0.43% at 39,593
FTSE 300 Eurotop down -0.31% at 1,039

Americas
DJIA up +0.69% at 13,091
S&P 500 up +1.36% at 1,391
Bovespa down -0.36% at 61,750

Asia
Nikkei 225 up +0.01% at 9,562
Topix up +0.08% at 810.10
Hang Seng up +0.79% at 20,810
Shanghai Composite down -0.09% at 2,405
MSCI Asia ex-Japan up +0.51% at 514.29
S&P CNX Nifty Index down -0.25% at 5,189

Currencies
€/$ 1.32 (1.32)
$/¥ 80.82 (81.32)

Commodities
Brent Crude (ICE) up +0.11 at 119.23
Light Crude (Nymex) down -0.17 at 103.95
100 Oz Gold (Comex) unchanged 0.00 at 1,641

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