Corporate direct financing in South Korea in the first half of the year rose 13% from a year before during a time in which the central bank's policy rate reached a record low. Meanwhile, stock sales were down 23.9% from a year before.
South Korea's central bank left its policy rate at a record low of 2% for the fourth month running as policymakers gathered more data points on the effects of its latest cuts, notably on household borrowing. That debt, already at high levels, rose by 1.4 trillion won in January.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the UN chemical weapons fact-finding team is ready to go to Syria within two days' notice. The team's mission is to determine whether chemical weapons were used.
Vaccines free people from disease, helping "unlock immeasurable human potential," write United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and philanthropist Bill Gates. That is why a major focus of the Millennium Development Goals is ending inequities, they write.
China responded today to criticism that it is shielding North Korea and its controversial nuclear program by urging dialogue, adding that the responsibility for security on the Korean peninsula falls also to other regional and world powers. South Korea, Japan and the United States are reluctant to resume talks after the recently shelling by North Korea recently of a South Korean island.