JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd. ADS, Each Representing Five Ordinary Shares (MM) (NASDAQ:JASO)
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International companies trading in New York ended lower Friday as investors anticipated credit downgrades of a number of euro-zone countries that were announced after the close.
The Bank of New York index of ADRs declined 1% to 121.21.
During Friday's session, France's finance minister said S&P had notified the French government of its decision to downgrade the country's credit rating to AA+ from AAA. After the close, S&P confirmed the cut to France while announcing that it also gave one-notch ratings cuts to Austria, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia, while it made two-notch downgrades to its long-term ratings on Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
France's big banks tumbled during Friday's session on the statement from France's finance minister. Credit Agricole SA (CRARY, ACA.FR) lost 3.3% to $2.64, and Societe Generale SA (SCGLY, GLE.FR) declined 1.4% to $4.21.
The European index fell 1.2% to 111.39.
Dutch financial services company ING Groep NV (ING, INGA.AE) may sell more of its banking assets if it is to repay the state aid it received during the financial crisis, Chief Executive Jan Hommen said Friday. ING Groep also said it will take more time to repay state aid as it seeks to protect its capital base during market turmoil and, in another sign of worsening conditions, scaled down the financial targets for its banking unit. Shares of ING Groep closed 4.1% lower at $7.66.
Norwegian energy company Statoil ASA (STO, STL.OS) said late Thursday it shut down production at its Snohvit gas field in the Barents Sea and the production of liquefied natural gas at its Melkoya plant outside Hammerfest, Norway due to a ruptured fire water line that happened Wednesday. Shares were down 2% to $25.
The Latin American index lost 1.1% to 348.60 and the emerging-markets index slipped 0.8% to 288.17.
Heavy rains in Brazilian mining areas in the past several weeks have slowed mineral-ore output and will hurt Vale SA's (VALE, VALE5.BR) results, Deutsche Bank said. It estimated the company has lost two million metric tons of production, resulting in a first-quarter earnings hit of some $115 million. Shares of Vale finished 2.9% lower at $22.61.
Shares of Mexico's biggest broadcast and media company Grupo Televisa (TV, TLEVISA.MX) fell 4.1% to $20.70 as concerns lingered that the country's antitrust regulator could be preparing to reject its tie-up with Mexican mobile phone company Grupo Iusacell. A decision by the Federal Competition Commission, or CFC, on whether to approve the partnership is expected within the coming weeks.
The Asian index declined 0.3% to 117.99
Private equity firm TPG Capital made contact with a series of Japanese technology firms about a potential joint investment in some of Olympus Corp.'s (OCPNY, 7733.TO) businesses, people familiar with the matter said Friday. The contacts between TPG and potential partners come as the scandal-hit maker of cameras and medical imaging equipment desperately seeks capital to shore up its balance sheet, which has been deeply hit by a $1.5 billion loss-hiding scandal. Shares of Olympus were down 2.9% to $16.02.
Declines in the market also hurt the shares of Chinese solar companies. JA Solar Holdings Co. (JASO) shares tumbled 9.9% to $1.82, Hanwha SolarOne Co. (HSOL) fell 8% to $1.84 and Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL, K3KD.SG) closed 7.3% lower to $9.57.
-By Maya Pope-Chappell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3670; Maya.firstname.lastname@example.org