Business

Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways speaks during a news conference in Mumbai
Naresh Goyal, Chairman of Jet Airways speaks during a news conference in Mumbai, November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

May 25, 2019

(Reuters) – Indian carrier Jet Airways (India) Ltd founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal were stopped from leaving India on Saturday at Mumbai airport, according to an airport official who asked not to be named.

The couple were taken into custody by immigration officers, the Indian Express reported, citing sources.

The airport official did not confirm that the couple had been detained.

It was not immediately clear why the couple had been prevented from traveling, or whether it was related to reported regulatory probes into the airline.

It was not immediately possible to reach either the Goyals or Jet for comment late Saturday.

Local media said the Goyals had been traveling to Dubai for a connecting flight to London.

Local media, citing sources, reported earlier this month that the ministry of corporate affairs had been looking into Jet’s books and had asked for a corporate fraud investigation into the airline, suspecting that its promoters siphoned off funds.

Jet said at the time that it had complied with all regulations. The Goyals did not comment on the reports at the time.

Once one of India’s largest carriers, Jet was forced to ground all flights last month after running out of money and failing to secure funds, crippled by mounting losses as it attempted to compete with low-cost rivals.

The carrier is saddled with some $1.2 billion in bank debt, and Goyal and his wife stepped down from the airline’s board in March amid the crisis.

(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath, Rajendra Jadhav, and Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sign is seen at its U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan
FILE PHOTO: A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sign is seen at its U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S. May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

May 25, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler is in advanced discussions to forge extensive ties with Frances’s Renault, the Financial Times reported on Saturday, citing multiple people informed on the talks.

The paper said the carmakers were seeking to join forces to tackle structural challenges facing the global auto industry.

An agreement might ultimately lead FCA to join the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in the future, some of these people added, while also warning that this outcome would mean taking a complicated path that would involve winning over Japan’s Nissan.

The paper cited Renault and FCA as declining to comment and said a spokesman for Nissan did not reply to a request for comment.

Renault spokespeople did not return phone calls seeking comment.

(Additional reporting by Inti Landauro in Paris; Writing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

Illustration picture showing U.S. dollar and China's yuan banknotes
A U.S. dollar banknote featuring American founding father Benjamin Franklin and a China’s yuan banknote featuring late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong are seen among U.S. and Chinese flags in this illustration picture taken May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration

May 25, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States has called on China to curb the development of its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), a demand that China sees as an “invasion” on its economic sovereignty, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday.

Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated sharply earlier this month after the Trump administration accused China of having “reneged” on its previous promises to make structural changes to its economic practices.

Washington later slapped additional tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate.

As trade talks stalled, both sides have appeared to be digging in. China has denied it had walked back on its promises but reiterated it would not make concessions to “matters of principles” to defend its core interests, although no full details were given.

“At the negotiating table, the U.S. government presented a number of arrogant demands to China, including restricting the development of state-owned enterprises,” Xinhua said in a commentary.

SOEs in China enjoy not only explicit subsidies but also hidden benefits such as implicit government guarantees for debts and lower interest for bank loans, analysts and trade groups say.

“Obviously, this is beyond the scope of trade negotiations and touches on China’s fundamental economic system,” Xinhua said.

“This shows that behind the United States’ trade war against China, it is trying to invade China’s economic sovereignty and force China to damage its core interests.”

The commentary added the United States has made unfounded accusations including that Beijing had forced technology transfers from foreign firms operating in China, saying this is all evidence that the U.S side is “forcing China to change its development path.”

(Reporting by Yawen Chen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

A view shows the company logo of Caixa Economica Federal bank in downtown Rio de Janeiro
A view shows the company logo of Caixa Economica Federal bank in downtown Rio de Janeiro August 20, 2014. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

May 25, 2019

By Tatiana Bautzer

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian state lender Caixa Economica Federal has picked investment bank Morgan Stanley as co-advisor to help it find insurance partners, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Morgan Stanley will manage the process alongside Caixa’s investment banking unit, the source said. Caixa Seguridade Participacoes, the insurance unit of the state lender, on Friday launched four processes to select insurance partners to sell health, dental, assistance and large risk policies.

Caixa had already sent invitations to insurers to offer other kinds of policies on May 10.

The insurance partners will have the right to underwrite policies for 20 years and sell them to Caixa’s 93 million clients through its more than 4,000 branches.

The bank intends the deals to increase Caixa Seguridade’s revenue before its initial public offering. The planned IPO is part of Caixa’s plan to raise up to 100 billion reais from the sale of assets it owns or manages.

Caixa and Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

Boxes of Nike shoes are pictured in the warehouse of local footwear retailer
Boxes of Nike shoes are pictured in the warehouse of local footwear retailer “Pomp It Up” in Bussigny near Lausanne, Switzerland 24 Aprill, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

May 25, 2019

(Reuters) – Sportswear giant Nike will waive performance-based targets for 12 months for any of their pregnant athletes after several runners revealed they had their payments frozen, according to a New York Times report on Friday.

American middle distance runner Alysia Montano and British distance runner Jo Pavey both said earlier this month that Nike had stopped their sponsorship payments while pregnant.

Sponsorship agreements with athletes typically include clauses that reduce payments if they do not reach performance-based targets.

The company told Reuters on May 16 it still had performance-based payment reduction clauses in their agreements, but they had changed their policy last year so that no female athletes would be “penalized financially for pregnancy”.

The New York Times added on Friday that Nike would waive performance-pay reductions for 12 months for athletes who have a baby and said they could do more.

“We’ve recognized Nike, Inc., can do more, and there is an important opportunity for the sports industry collectively to evolve to better support female athletes,” Sandra Carreon-John, a Nike spokeswoman, said in a emailed statement to the newspaper.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Source: OANN

Volkswagen Group's annual general meeting in Berlin
FILE PHOTO: Board Member of Procurement Stefan Sommer speaks ahead of Volkswagen Group’s annual general meeting in Berlin, Germany, May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

May 25, 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Volkswagen is intensifying talks with Swedish startup Northvolt on plans to jointly build up battery cell production in Salzgitter, near its headquarters in Lower Saxony, one of its board members told a German newspaper.

Volkswagen earlier this month pledged to spend 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) on the project, which it says depends on certain economic pre-conditions, such as subsidized electricity.

In an interview published on Saturday, Volkswagen board member Stefan Sommer told Boersen-Zeitung he was confident that battery cell production in Salzgitter would be realised.

“We will intensify our talks over the next weeks with regard to a more detailed planning,” he was quoted as saying, adding Volkswagen was also looking at other locations in Europe for potential battery cell production, not specifying further.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 25, 2019

By Sinéad Carew

(Reuters) – The escalating U.S.-China trade war has sent dividend-rich sectors like utilities higher, but investors don’t need to get all defensive just yet, according to strategists who say there are plenty of growth stocks with some insulation from China.

Some investors are seeking safety in domestic U.S. growth stocks ranging from software and online advertising to aerospace and recruitment since President Donald Trump’s May 5 tweets showed that U.S. talks with China were in trouble.

While the prospect of a prolonged trade war has shaken the market, investors are also trying to protect themselves from the risk that they could miss out on gains in the event that the United States and China reach a surprise agreement.

Because of the difficulty handicapping the chance of a U.S.-China deal, John Praveen Portfolio Manager at QMA in Newark, New Jersey, said he would not “completely sell out” of stocks. But he said: “if I was 5% overweight stocks, I might reduce it to 3 pct and see if I could reduce exposure to semiconductors and technology.”

“If you’re looking to avoid the pure dividend play and avoid the China trade narrative, you have to look at stocks that are a pure play on the U.S. economy,” said Peter Kenny, founder, Kenny’s Commentary LLC in New York.

Broadly speaking, investors have been raising their defenses. While the S&P has fallen roughly 4% since Trump announced his plan to raise tariffs on Chinese goods in early May, utilities – a low-growth sector with reliably high dividends – has risen more than 2%.

But growth-hungry investors are seeking more nimble companies with little exposure to overseas sales or Chinese imports even in the beaten down technology sector, where semiconductor stocks have lead the recent declines.

Online advertising platforms and cloud software are two technology segments that would not be directly affected by China tariffs, according to Daniel Morgan, portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.

In online advertising, Morgan favors Twitter, Facebook and Snap Inc over Google parent Alphabet, which suspended business with China’s Huawei this week as a result of the trade battle.

He also likes software providers such as Salesforce.com, which derives 70% of its revenue from the Americas and only 10% from Asia-Pacific. However, Salesforce.com has fallen more than 5% since the Trump tweets.

Another option is Workday Inc, which has risen about 4% since May 5 and derives 75% of its revenue from the United States.

Steve Lipper, senior investment strategist at Royce & Associates favors U.S.-facing companies offering services such as recruiting and merger advice due to a strong U.S. labor market and solid merger activity.

But while U.S.-facing recruitment firms such as Kforce and ASGN Inc may not be hurt directly by the trade war, Robert W. Baird analyst Mark Marcon notes that they would suffer if tariffs caused the economy to weaken.

Instead, Marcon favors domestic payroll software companies such as Automatic Data Processing Inc and Paychex Inc, which tend to do better than recruiters in a downturn. But even if their fundamentals remain strong, payroll companies like Paycom and Paylocity could be vulnerable in a selloff due to relatively high valuations, Marcon said.

In industrials – a sector with heavy exposure to China – Burns McKinney, a portfolio manager at Allianz Global Investors in Dallas likes defense stocks such as Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, which could benefit if U.S.-Iran hostilities keep intensifying.

Since sectors like utilities have risen so much, Royce’s Lipper is favoring less obvious safe choices.

“Be wary when the consensus view is already reflected in valuations,” said Lipper, but he added: “The U.S. economy is so diverse that there are always areas that are insulated from whatever you have a concern about.”

(Reporting By Sinéad Carew; Editing by Alden Bentley and Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch pad 39A prior to the uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral
FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch pad 39A prior to the uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

May 24, 2019

(Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised more than $1 billion in financing in the last six months as it aims to roll out an ambitious high-speed internet service by using a constellation of satellites to beam signals from space.

The company raised https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1181412/000118141219000004/xslFormDX01/primary_doc.xml $486.2 million in an equity offering, starting December, and another https://bit.ly/2W1QMJD $535.7 million in an offering that began in April, its regulatory filings on Friday showed.

The rocket company on Thursday launched the first batch of 60 small satellites into low-Earth orbit for Musk’s new Starlink internet service.

Musk sees the Starlink venture as an important new revenue stream for his California-based company, whose launch service income he expects to top out at around $3 billion a year.

At least 12 launches carrying similar payloads are needed to achieve constant internet coverage of most of the world, Musk said. For now, Starlink is only authorized for U.S. operations.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A330 of Avianca airline takes off at the Simon Bolivar airport in Caracas
FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A330 of Avianca airline takes off at the Simon Bolivar airport in Caracas, Venezuela October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Marcelo Rochabrun and Sanjana Shivdas

(Reuters) – United Airlines launched a management overhaul at Colombia’s Avianca Holdings on Friday, removing top shareholder German Efromovich from controlling the cash-strapped airline, according to regulatory filings.

United, which is proposing a three-way joint business agreement with Avianca and Panama’s Copa, said the move follows a default by Efromovich’s holding company BRW Aviation on a $456 million loan it made six months ago.

The Chicago-based airline, part of United Continental Holdings Inc, is seeking a deeper foothold in Latin America, which is considered ripe for air travel growth.

United’s loan was backed by Efromovich’s 51.5% stake in Avianca. However, the U.S. airline’s contract with its pilots restricts the company from majority ownership in another carrier. As a result, United is ceding voting rights to Kingsland Holdings, the Colombian carrier’s second-largest shareholder.

Kingsland is controlled by Roberto Kriete, who was embroiled in a long and bitter legal fight with Efromovich over the best strategy for heavily indebted Avianca.

Another Efromovich carrier, Avianca Brasil, filed for bankruptcy protection in December and its operations were suspended on Friday by Brazil’s civil aviation regulator ANAC.

United said it was willing to loan up to $150 million to Avianca Holdings.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru and Marcelo Rochabrun in Sao Paulo,; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions about a major bus accident in North Korea, during a news conference in Beijing
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang answers questions about a major bus accident in North Korea, during a news conference in Beijing, China April 23, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

May 24, 2019

By Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday accused U.S. officials of lying to the public about their trade war, as rising tensions between the world’s two largest economies kept financial markets in a state of unease.

Talks to end the trade dispute collapsed earlier this month, with the two sides in a stalemate over U.S. demands that China change its policies to address a number of key U.S. grievances, including theft of intellectual property and subsidies for state enterprises.

Washington has slapped higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to retaliate, and effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s largest telecom network gear maker.

“Domestically in the United States there are more and more doubts about the trade war the U.S. side has provoked with China, the market turmoil caused by the technology war and blocked industrial cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

U.S. officials “fabricate lies to try to mislead the American people, and now they are trying to incite ideological opposition,” he said, when asked about U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent criticism of Huawei.

In an interview with CNBC on Thursday, Pompeo said Huawei was connected to the Chinese government, dismissing Huawei chief executive Ren Zhengfei’s assertions that his company would never share user secrets.

“The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk,” Pompeo said.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

Pompeo said he believed more American companies would cut ties with the tech giant, while the United States has been rallying its allies to persuade them not to use Huawei for their 5G networks.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that U.S. complaints against Huawei might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese company “very dangerous.”

Lu said he did not know what Trump was talking about.

“Frankly, I’m actually not sure what the specific meaning of the U.S. leader, the U.S. side, saying this is,” he said.

World equity markets rebounded on Friday from heavy selling in the previous day’s session. The U.S. dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies and prices of safe-haven U.S. government debt fell. [MKTS/GLOB]

NO TALKS SCHEDULED

With no further talks between Washington and Beijing scheduled, investors are nervously eyeing the prospect of an escalation in the tit-for-tat tariffs the two countries have slapped on each other’s products.

The seeds of the current impasse were sowed when Chinese officials sought major changes to the draft text of a deal that the Trump administration says had been largely agreed.

Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda, has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25% on an additional list of Chinese imports worth about $300 billion.

Meanwhile, China’s move to impose higher tariffs on a revised $60 billion list of U.S. goods is set to go into effect on June 1.

Financial markets fear the trade war could badly damage global supply lines and prompt a further slowdown of the world economy. Economists say the tariffs will curb growth in the United States and China, two of the more solid economies.

China can maintain healthy, sustainable economic growth even as it suffers some impact from the trade friction, a senior official from China’s state planner told state television on Friday.

“China’s healthy, steady and sustainable growth can be maintained in the medium- and long-term,” said Ning Jizhe, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The Trump administration says it is monitoring any possible impact of tariffs on U.S. consumers. It also announced this week a new aid package of about $15 billion to help U.S. farmers, exceeding the up to $12 billion that was rolled out last year.

American farmers, a key Trump constituency, have been among the hardest hit in the trade war. Soybeans are the most valuable U.S. farm export, and shipments to China dropped to a 16-year low in 2018.

(Reporting by Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Boeing is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Boeing is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

May 24, 2019

(Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is probing whether Boeing Co provided sufficient disclosures about issues related to its 737 MAX jets, which have been grounded worldwide after two deadly accidents, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The SEC declined to comment and Boeing was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the LABACE fair in Sao Paulo
FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition fair (LABACE) at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aug. 14, 2018. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

May 24, 2019

(Reuters) – Shares of Boeing Co rose as much as 3% to more than a two-week high on Friday after Reuters reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to approve 737 MAX jets to return to service as soon as late June.

Shares of the world’s biggest planemaker have fallen nearly 15% since the fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jet in March, erasing about $40 billion in market value.

The stock has also been among the worst performers on the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The benchmark index is up about 3% during the same period, while the Dow has risen by a marginal 0.2%.

If the aircraft is cleared to fly by June, its operators, including Southwest Airlines Co, American Airlines Group Inc and United Continental Holdings Inc, would likely not have to extend costly cancellations that they have already put in place for the peak summer flying season.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed inside the company's post on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed inside the company’s post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

May 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs raised its probability of a no-deal Brexit to 15% from 10% on Friday as Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation potentially opened the way for a more hardline politician to lead the UK to exiting the European Union.

Goldman Sachs economist Adrian Paul said ratification of a Brexit deal would no longer be possible in the second quarter. “We pencil in an orderly EU withdrawal in late 2019 or early 2020, but our conviction is low,” he wrote.

The new Prime Minister will face the same constraints May grappled with in negotiating a deal, Paul added, saying they will eventually return to parliament with a close variant of the current withdrawal agreement.

“We revise up our probability of “no deal”… not because this Parliament (or indeed the next) is likely to coalesce in favor of its pursuit, but because the recent performance of the Brexit Party and the Eurosceptic credentials of the next Prime Minister may strengthen the case for including “no deal” on the ballot in a second referendum to unlock the impasse.”

(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Marc Jones)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 24, 2019

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set to open modestly higher on Friday after a sell-off, on cautious optimism after President Donald Trump predicted a swift end to the tariff war with China and a resolution to complaints against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

Trump said on Thursday that Huawei could be included in the U.S.-China trade deal. However, no high-level talks have been scheduled since the last round of negotiations in Washington two weeks ago.

Trump will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting next month in Japan.

Earlier this week, while Washington temporarily relaxed its ban on Huawei, there were reports that it was planning a similar ban on another Chinese firm, making investors worry that such moves would have a lasting effect on the global technology supply chain.

“I don’t see enormous amounts of positive news out there although there is optimism about the trade discussions,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

Industrial bellwethers Boeing Co, Caterpillar Inc and 3M Co rose in premarket trading.

Boeing shares rose 1.1% after Reuters reported the Federal Aviation Administration expects to approve Boeing’s 737 MAX jet to return to service as soon as late June.

“We’ve had a turbulent week. Investors are stepping back at these levels, assessing opportunities entering the long weekend,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“The trade talks are not going as smoothly as one would have liked, but there is going to be some short covering as well.”

At 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 110 points, or 0.43%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 12.75 points, or 0.45% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 25.25 points, or 0.35%.

Markets shrugged off data that showed new orders for U.S.-made capital goods fell more than expected in April, further evidence that manufacturing and broader economy were losing steam.

The daily exchanges between the United States and China have kept investors on edge, putting the S&P 500 index on track to post its biggest monthly decline since the December sell-off.

Following a sell-off on Thursday, the S&P 500 is now 4.7% off its all-time high hit on May 1.

Among other stocks, Foot Locker Inc dropped 9.4% after the footwear retailer missed quarterly profit and same-store sales estimates.

Autodesk Inc fell 7.6% after the software maker reported quarterly earnings below expectations.

Total System Services Inc jumped 4.9% after Bloomberg reported Global Payments Inc has held preliminary tie-up talks with the payment solutions provider. Global Payments’ shares rose 1.4%.

U.S. equity markets will be shut on Monday on account of Memorial Day.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

Workers are seen near the booth of Huawei Technologies Co under construction at the venue of China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang
Workers are seen near the booth of Huawei Technologies Co under construction at the venue of China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, China May 22, 2019. Picture taken May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

May 24, 2019

By Sijia Jiang and Josh Horwitz

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Huawei, hit by crippling U.S. sanctions, could see shipments decline by as much as a quarter this year and faces the possibility that its smartphones will disappear from international markets, analysts said.

Smartphone shipments at Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by volume, could tumble between 4% and 24% in 2019 if the ban stays put, according to Fubon Research and Strategy Analytics.

Several experts said they expect Huawei’s shipments to slide over the next six months but declined to give a hard estimate due to uncertainties surrounding the ban.

The U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods last week amid its escalating trade spat with China.

The ban applies to goods and services with 25% or more of U.S.-originated technology or materials, and may, therefore, affect non-American firms.

Tech companies including Google and SoftBank Group-owned chip designer ARM have said they will cease supplies and updates to Huawei.

“Huawei may be wiped out of the Western European smartphone market next year if it loses access to Google,” said Linda Sui, director of wireless smartphone strategies at Strategy Analytics.

She predicts Huawei handset shipments will decline another 23% next year but believes the company could survive on the sheer size of the China market.

Fubon Research, which previously forecast Huawei would ship 258 million smartphones in 2019, now expects the company to ship just 200 million in a worst-case scenario.

Huawei commands nearly 30% of the global market according to industry tracker IDC, and shipped 208 million phones last year, including half to markets outside China. The company counts Europe as the most important market for its premium smartphones.

WHO WINS?

Huawei has said it has been developing the technology it needs to be self-sufficient for years.

But experts are not buying the company’s claim.

They said key components and intellectual property needed in Huawei’s devices are not available outside the United States.

Huawei would potentially need to lay off thousands of people and “disappear as a global player for some time,” said Stewart Randall, who tracks the chip industry at Shanghai-based consultancy Intralink.

Potential buyers of Huawei’s phones are likely to switch to high-end devices from Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc, and also buy mid-end phones from domestic rivals OPPO and Vivo, analysts said.

“It leaves an amount of share in its wake that can get picked up by competitors, particularly Samsung given its strength in regions like Europe,” said Bryan Ma, who researches the global smartphone market at IDC.

Huawei handsets are already drawing fewer clicks from online shoppers since the United States blacklisted the company, according to PriceSpy, a product comparison site that attracts an average of 14 million visitors per month.

“Over the last four days, Huawei handsets have slumped in popularity – receiving almost half as many clicks as they did last week in the UK and 26% less on the global stage,” PriceSpy said.

The export ban on Huawei could also delay China’s 5G rollout, Jefferies analyst Edison Lee said. Huawei has said it signed 5G contracts with 40 clients around the world.

(Reporting by Sijia Jiang in HONG KONG and Josh Horwitz in Shanghai; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; editing by Louise Heavens)

Source: OANN

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he is presented with a garland by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the election results in New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he is presented with a garland by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the election results in New Delhi, India, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

May 24, 2019

By Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Foreign companies in India have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election victory for the political stability it brings, but now they need to see him soften a protectionist stance adopted in the past year.

Modi’s pro-business image and India’s youthful population have lured foreign investors, with U.S. firms such as Amazon.com, Walmart and Mastercard committing billions of dollars in investments and ramping up hiring.

India is also the biggest market by users for firms such as Facebook Inc, and its subsidiary, WhatsApp.

But from around 2017, critics say, the Hindu nationalist leader took a harder, protectionist line on sectors such as e-commerce and technology, crafting some policies that appeared to aim at whipping up patriotic fervor ahead of elections.

“I hope he’s now back to wooing businesses,” said Prasanto Roy, a technology policy analyst based in New Delhi, who advises global tech firms.

“Global firms remain deeply concerned about the lack of policy stability or predictability, this has sent a worrying message to global investors.”

India stuck to its policies despite protests and aggressive lobbying by the United States government, U.S.-India trade bodies and companies themselves.

SMALL HURDLES

Modi was set to hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet after election panel data showed his Bharatiya Janata Party had won 302 of the 542 seats at stake and was leading in one more, up from the 282 it won in 2014.

After Modi’s win, about a dozen officials of foreign companies in India and their advisers told Reuters they hoped he would ease his stance and dilute some of the policies.

Other investors hope the government will avoid sudden policy changes on investment and regulation that catch them off guard and prove very costly, urging instead industry-wide consultation that permits time to prepare.

Protectionism concerns “are small hurdles you have to go through”, however, said Prem Watsa, the chairman of Canadian diversified investment firm Fairfax Financial, which has investments of $5 billion in India.

“There will be more business-friendly policies and more private enterprise coming into India,” he told Reuters in an interview.

TECH, HEALTHCARE AND BEYOND

Among the firms looking for more friendly steps are global payments companies that had benefited since 2016 from Modi’s push for electronic payments instead of cash.

Last year, however, firms such as Mastercard and Visa were asked to store more of their data in India, to allow “unfettered supervisory access”, a change that prompted WhatsApp to delay plans for a payments service.

Modi’s government has also drafted a law to clamp similar stringent data norms on the entire sector.

But abrupt changes to rules on foreign investment in e-commerce stoked alarm at firms such as Amazon, which saw India operations disrupted briefly in February, and Walmart, just months after it invested $16 billion in India’s Flipkart.

Policy changes also hurt foreign players in the $5-billion medical device industry, such as Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson, following 2017 price caps on products such as heart stents and knee implants.

Modi’s government said the move aimed to help poor patients and curb profiteering, but the U.S. government and lobby groups said it harmed innovation, profits and investment plans.

“If foreign companies see their future in this country on a long-term basis…they will have to look at the interests of the people,” Ashwani Mahajan, an official of a nationalist group that pushed for some of the measures, told Reuters.

That view was echoed this week by two policymakers who said government policies will focus on strengthening India’s own companies, while providing foreign players with adequate opportunities for growth.

Such comments worry foreign executives who fear Modi is not about to change his protectionist stance in a hurry, with one offical of a U.S. tech firm saying, “I’d rather be more worried than be optimistic.”

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah; Additional reporting by Euan Rocha and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Martin Howell and Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he is presented with a garland by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the election results in New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he is presented with a garland by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the election results in New Delhi, India, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

May 24, 2019

By Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Foreign companies in India have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election victory for the political stability it brings, but now they need to see him soften a protectionist stance adopted in the past year.

Modi’s pro-business image and India’s youthful population have lured foreign investors, with U.S. firms such as Amazon.com, Walmart and Mastercard committing billions of dollars in investments and ramping up hiring.

India is also the biggest market by users for firms such as Facebook Inc, and its subsidiary, WhatsApp.

But from around 2017, critics say, the Hindu nationalist leader took a harder, protectionist line on sectors such as e-commerce and technology, crafting some policies that appeared to aim at whipping up patriotic fervor ahead of elections.

“I hope he’s now back to wooing businesses,” said Prasanto Roy, a technology policy analyst based in New Delhi, who advises global tech firms.

“Global firms remain deeply concerned about the lack of policy stability or predictability, this has sent a worrying message to global investors.”

India stuck to its policies despite protests and aggressive lobbying by the United States government, U.S.-India trade bodies and companies themselves.

SMALL HURDLES

Modi was set to hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet after election panel data showed his Bharatiya Janata Party had won 302 of the 542 seats at stake and was leading in one more, up from the 282 it won in 2014.

After Modi’s win, about a dozen officials of foreign companies in India and their advisers told Reuters they hoped he would ease his stance and dilute some of the policies.

Other investors hope the government will avoid sudden policy changes on investment and regulation that catch them off guard and prove very costly, urging instead industry-wide consultation that permits time to prepare.

Protectionism concerns “are small hurdles you have to go through”, however, said Prem Watsa, the chairman of Canadian diversified investment firm Fairfax Financial, which has investments of $5 billion in India.

“There will be more business-friendly policies and more private enterprise coming into India,” he told Reuters in an interview.

TECH, HEALTHCARE AND BEYOND

Among the firms looking for more friendly steps are global payments companies that had benefited since 2016 from Modi’s push for electronic payments instead of cash.

Last year, however, firms such as Mastercard and Visa were asked to store more of their data in India, to allow “unfettered supervisory access”, a change that prompted WhatsApp to delay plans for a payments service.

Modi’s government has also drafted a law to clamp similar stringent data norms on the entire sector.

But abrupt changes to rules on foreign investment in e-commerce stoked alarm at firms such as Amazon, which saw India operations disrupted briefly in February, and Walmart, just months after it invested $16 billion in India’s Flipkart.

Policy changes also hurt foreign players in the $5-billion medical device industry, such as Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson, following 2017 price caps on products such as heart stents and knee implants.

Modi’s government said the move aimed to help poor patients and curb profiteering, but the U.S. government and lobby groups said it harmed innovation, profits and investment plans.

“If foreign companies see their future in this country on a long-term basis…they will have to look at the interests of the people,” Ashwani Mahajan, an official of a nationalist group that pushed for some of the measures, told Reuters.

That view was echoed this week by two policymakers who said government policies will focus on strengthening India’s own companies, while providing foreign players with adequate opportunities for growth.

Such comments worry foreign executives who fear Modi is not about to change his protectionist stance in a hurry, with one offical of a U.S. tech firm saying, “I’d rather be more worried than be optimistic.”

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah; Additional reporting by Euan Rocha and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Martin Howell and Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he is presented with a garland by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the election results in New Delhi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he is presented with a garland by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the election results in New Delhi, India, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

May 24, 2019

By Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Foreign companies in India have welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election victory for the political stability it brings, but now they need to see him soften a protectionist stance adopted in the past year.

Modi’s pro-business image and India’s youthful population have lured foreign investors, with U.S. firms such as Amazon.com, Walmart and Mastercard committing billions of dollars in investments and ramping up hiring.

India is also the biggest market by users for firms such as Facebook Inc, and its subsidiary, WhatsApp.

But from around 2017, critics say, the Hindu nationalist leader took a harder, protectionist line on sectors such as e-commerce and technology, crafting some policies that appeared to aim at whipping up patriotic fervor ahead of elections.

“I hope he’s now back to wooing businesses,” said Prasanto Roy, a technology policy analyst based in New Delhi, who advises global tech firms.

“Global firms remain deeply concerned about the lack of policy stability or predictability, this has sent a worrying message to global investors.”

India stuck to its policies despite protests and aggressive lobbying by the United States government, U.S.-India trade bodies and companies themselves.

SMALL HURDLES

Modi was set to hold talks on Friday to form a new cabinet after election panel data showed his Bharatiya Janata Party had won 302 of the 542 seats at stake and was leading in one more, up from the 282 it won in 2014.

After Modi’s win, about a dozen officials of foreign companies in India and their advisers told Reuters they hoped he would ease his stance and dilute some of the policies.

Other investors hope the government will avoid sudden policy changes on investment and regulation that catch them off guard and prove very costly, urging instead industry-wide consultation that permits time to prepare.

Protectionism concerns “are small hurdles you have to go through”, however, said Prem Watsa, the chairman of Canadian diversified investment firm Fairfax Financial, which has investments of $5 billion in India.

“There will be more business-friendly policies and more private enterprise coming into India,” he told Reuters in an interview.

TECH, HEALTHCARE AND BEYOND

Among the firms looking for more friendly steps are global payments companies that had benefited since 2016 from Modi’s push for electronic payments instead of cash.

Last year, however, firms such as Mastercard and Visa were asked to store more of their data in India, to allow “unfettered supervisory access”, a change that prompted WhatsApp to delay plans for a payments service.

Modi’s government has also drafted a law to clamp similar stringent data norms on the entire sector.

But abrupt changes to rules on foreign investment in e-commerce stoked alarm at firms such as Amazon, which saw India operations disrupted briefly in February, and Walmart, just months after it invested $16 billion in India’s Flipkart.

Policy changes also hurt foreign players in the $5-billion medical device industry, such as Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson, following 2017 price caps on products such as heart stents and knee implants.

Modi’s government said the move aimed to help poor patients and curb profiteering, but the U.S. government and lobby groups said it harmed innovation, profits and investment plans.

“If foreign companies see their future in this country on a long-term basis…they will have to look at the interests of the people,” Ashwani Mahajan, an official of a nationalist group that pushed for some of the measures, told Reuters.

That view was echoed this week by two policymakers who said government policies will focus on strengthening India’s own companies, while providing foreign players with adequate opportunities for growth.

Such comments worry foreign executives who fear Modi is not about to change his protectionist stance in a hurry, with one offical of a U.S. tech firm saying, “I’d rather be more worried than be optimistic.”

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Aditi Shah; Additional reporting by Euan Rocha and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Martin Howell and Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

A Huawei company logo is seen at the security exhibition in Shanghai
A Huawei company logo is seen at the security exhibition in Shanghai, China May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

May 24, 2019

By Michael Martina

BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday denounced U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for fabricating rumors after he said the chief executive of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd was lying about his company’s ties to the Beijing government.

The United States placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world’s largest telecom network gear maker and escalating a trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

Pompeo, speaking on Thursday, also dismissed Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei’s assertions that his company would never share user secrets, and said he believed more American companies would cut ties with the tech giant.

“Recently, some U.S. politicians have continually fabricated rumors about Huawei but have never produced the clear evidence that countries have requested,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, when asked about Pompeo’s remarks.

The United States has been rallying its allies to persuade them not to use Huawei for their 5G networks, citing security concerns.

Lu said the U.S. government was provoking suspicion in the U.S. public to confuse and instigate opposition.

“Domestically in the United States there are more and more doubts about the trade war the U.S. side has provoked with China, the market turmoil cause by the technology war and blocked industrial cooperation,” he added.

U.S. politicians continue to “fabricate lies to try to mislead the American people, and now they are trying to incite ideological opposition”.

U.S. President Donald Trump also said on Thursday that U.S. complaints against Huawei might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous”.

Lu said he didn’t know what Trump was talking about.

“Frankly, I’m actually not sure what the specific meaning of the U.S. leader, the U.S. side, saying this is,” he said, adding that if reporters were interested they should ask the United States to clarify.

Lu reiterated that the United States should stop using its national power to suppress and smear other countries’ companies, adding that China wanted to resolve differences between the two countries through friendly dialogue and consultation.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN

An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton
FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

May 24, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – The China Air Transport Association (CATA) on Friday said it expects losses at Chinese airlines caused by the grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX aircraft to be around 4 billion yuan ($579.32 million) by the end of June.

CATA in a statement on its website said it hopes Boeing will attach great importance to compensation requests made by Chinese airlines.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Google's communications manager Moroney plays table soccer with a Google employee at a recreational area of their Singapore office
FILE PHOTO: Google’s communications manager Robin Moroney plays table soccer with a Google employee at a recreational area of their Singapore office, Singapore July 8, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Aradhana Aravindan, John Geddie and Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – San Francisco-based investor Paul Bragiel said he needed to be asked three or four times before he accepted an invitation from Singapore to come check out its tech scene.

He made the 8,000-mile trip, but said that back then – in 2010 – the city-state’s prospects to become a leading Asia tech hub were “bleak, to say the least.”

But he saw some promise, and like many other investors and tech companies since then, was attracted by generous terms from government agencies.

“They gave us a very aggressive deal. Very few countries would have matched it,” added Bragiel, who had considered Hong Kong and Tokyo for an Asian expansion before co-founding venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures in Singapore in 2011. He declined to say what the terms of his deal were.

Armed with lucrative grants and incentives, Singapore has been ramping up its efforts to lure tech firms and investors, including global players like Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Dyson, companies and government officials say.

But now the focus is shifting toward attracting talent, and even the government says its work is not done.

Chng Kai Fong, managing director of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), the government agency tasked with negotiating some of those deals, said he is now gunning for “Jedi Masters” he hopes can finally elevate Singapore into a global tech hub.

The secretive nature of the deals means it is unclear how much the country spends to attract such companies and whether it pays off.

Manufacturing, finance and insurance made up more than a third of Singapore’s $356 billion economy in 2018. The information-communications sector, into which tech firms would largely fall, was about 4%.

But it is growing faster than any other sector, data on Tuesday showed. Info-comm expanded at an annualized 6.6% in the first quarter of this year, while the next fastest of the nine sectors Singapore tracks was finance and insurance at 3.2%.

Challenges remain: some tech companies have expressed concern about a recently passed fake news law in Singapore, which critics say could hinder free speech. Google said it was worried the law would stifle innovation and the growth of the digital information ecosystem.

And Singapore only has one local “unicorn” – a startup worth over $1 billion – in ride-hailing firm Grab, according to research firm CBInsights.

Neighboring Indonesia has four: taxi app Go-Jek, travel site Traveloka, and market places Bukalapak and Tokopedia. Hong Kong has two, in online travel agency Klook and logistics firm Lalamove.

‘JEDI MASTERS’

Details on the deals negotiated with the EDB are hard to come by because the government makes firms sign nondisclosure agreements, companies, advisors and officials said.

Lengthy tax holidays, hefty grants for research and development, co-funding for investments and land and rental deals are among the incentives from different agencies, they added.

Such deals have attracted some of the world’s biggest tech companies. Google, for instance, now has more than 1,000 employees in the city-state. It started its Singapore operations in 2007 with 24 people.

Facebook last year opened an office in Singapore that can accommodate 3,000 people, up from 10 employees in 2010, and unveiled a $1 billion investment in its first Asian data center.

With Britain’s departure from the European Union looming, Dyson has moved its headquarters to Singapore and announced plans to build an electric car.

“Singapore is very successful; it has a great reputation for its ease of doing business and its links to the wider region,” said Britain’s trade commissioner for Asia Pacific, Natalie Black. “Many UK tech companies are already here and many more are exploring the opportunity.”

The EDB has six offices in the United States, six in Europe, and locations in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. It says 80 of the world’s top 100 tech firms have operations in Singapore.

Although multinational companies are attracted by low corporate tax rates, political stability, a robust legal system and strong infrastructure, software developers and data scientists often prefer the buzz of Silicon Valley or London.

“We have to be quite clear when we are chasing the Googles and Facebooks,” Chng said. “We want engineering. We want to be a place where you’re creating new products and services for Asia.”

Chng said he hopes attracting top talent will help nurture domestic startups, which has so far been difficult.

“I need that generation of Jedi Masters to sort of come to train future young budding Jedis,” said Chng, a former director of communications at the Prime Minister’s Office.

He said Singapore is also missing billion-dollar exits, which typically come when a tech start-up is acquired or publicly lists on a stock exchange. That would create a virtuous circle of private investment, allowing the government to step back.

An EDB event in San Francisco last month to promote Singapore as a tech hub drew so much interest that 400 people were turned away.

“There is a war for senior tech talent,” said Daljit Sall, Singapore-based director at recruitment firm Randstad. “We are seeing big demand for data scientists, full stack developers, cyber security experts and solution architects.”

KEY LOCATION

In 2012, the co-founders of online marketplace Carousell won a Singapore startup competition. The prize was three months of free office space in a former factory.

“We landed there on day one and realized everyone there also got their office space for free,” said Quek Siu Rui, Carousell’s chief executive. “The government ran an experiment shoving startups, former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, incubators all in one spot.”  

Now valued at over $550 million, Carousell counts Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten’s fund among its investors and has expanded abroad.

Lawyers said Singapore’s regulations are attractive for tech firms.

“The approach in Singapore is very much to encourage data-intensive businesses to locate there because they have the benefit of, among other things, a more relaxed standard of compliance in terms of data,” said Mark Parsons, a Hong Kong-based Asia tech, media and telecoms partner with law firm Hogan Lovells.

At a time of simmering tension between the United States and China, Singapore is also seen as neutral ground while still enjoying free trade with both. Last year, it added a free trade deal with the European Union.

Geographically, Singapore sits at the center of the fast-growing and internet-obsessed Southeast Asian region.

Internet users in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia spend four hours or more every day on mobile internet, according to a 2018 study by social media platform Hootsuite.

Political ructions also threaten to pull rival Hong Kong further into China’s sphere of influence, which one banker in discussions with tech firms said gives Singapore an advantage.

For Bragiel, any reservations he had about Singapore nearly a decade ago are long forgotten.

“Silicon Valley attracts the whole world; Singapore is catching up,” he said.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan, John Geddie and Anshuman Daga; Additional reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Chinese businessman Zhang Shiping attends a meeting in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: Chinese businessman Zhang Shiping attends a meeting in Beijing, China, March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

May 24, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Zhang Shiping, who oversaw the rise of China Hongqiao Group into the world’s biggest aluminum producer, died on Thursday at the age of 73, the company said.

Zhang, who in 1994 took over the predecessor company to Hongqiao, a textiles firm in eastern China’s Shandong province, branched out into aluminum in 2002.

As chairman of Hongqiao, he turned the company into an aluminum giant that produced more metal than state-run rival Aluminum Corp of China Ltd, often known as Chalco. In 2015, Hongqiao overtook Russia’s United Company Rusal as the world’s top aluminum producer.

It currently has just under 6.5 million tonnes of smelting capacity, but has found further expansion in China restricted in recent years due to supply-side reform and an environmental protection campaign.

Zhang made an “invaluable contribution to the success of the group during his tenure”, Hongqiao said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange late on Thursday. It did not give a cause of death.

Based in the city of Binzhou, Hongqiao was listed in Hong Kong in 2011, although Zhang still controlled around 70% of its shares, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Forbes estimates Zhang’s net worth at $4.7 billion, putting him in 484th place in its Billionaires 2019 list.

“(Hongqiao) will convene a board meeting to elect the chairman of the board as soon as possible,” the statement added. Zhang’s son, Zhang Bo, serves as chief executive officer.

Zhang was also a non-executive director of Weiqiao Textile Co Ltd.

The websites of Hongqiao and Weiqiao Textile were reduced to black and white on Friday, the traditional colors of mourning in China.

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A man is reflected in an electronic board showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of the TOPIX outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A man is reflected in an electronic board showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of the Tokyo Stock Price Index (TOPIX) outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Tomo Uetake

Tokyo (Reuters) – Asian shares hobbled near four-month lows on Friday and crude oil plunged on worries the U.S.-China trade spat was developing into a more entrenched strategic dispute between the world’s two largest economies, pushing investors to safe-haven assets.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stood flat, hovering near its fresh four-month low marked on Thursday, and was on track for a third straight weekly loss, down 0.9% so far on the week.

Japan’s Nikkei average dropped 0.6%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1%, the S&P 500 lost 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.6%, as traders dumped cyclical names on fears that the escalating U.S.-China trade war would stymie global economic growth. [.N]

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Washington’s complaints against Huawei Technologies might be resolved within the framework of a U.S.-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant “very dangerous.”

Washington last week effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms network gear maker, citing national security concerns.

As flight-to-safety plays dominated the global markets, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield hit 2.292%, the lowest level since mid-October, 2017, with the key parts of the yield curve inverted.

Chotaro Morita, chief fixed income strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities said big falls in U.S. manufacturing survey appear to reflect expectations of a breakdown in the U.S-China trade talks.

“In the last couple of years, the PMI has had a very small gap with hard data, such as industrial output. So if that holds true this time, we could see factory production plunging into negative levels (compared to a year ago).”

“Since the global financial crisis, U.S. output has fallen only once: from 2015 to early 2016 when the shale industry was badly hit. Markets could start to fret over a global slowdown as they have done late last year.”

The greenback at one point hit its highest level in two years against a basket of six major currencies and the euro slumped to levels last seen in May 2017 as a recovery in euro zone business activity was weaker than expected.

The dollar hit a high of 98.371 against a basket of six major currencies overnight. The index was last quoted at 97.880, unchanged on the day. The euro fetched $1.1182.

Sterling weakened again on Thursday as pressure mounted on British Prime Minister Theresa May to name a date for her departure after backlash over her last-ditch plans for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

It was last traded at $1.2662, little changed on the day. The pound suffered its 14th consecutive day of losses against the euro on Thursday, its longest losing streak on record. It stood at 0.8830 pound to the euro.

Other major currencies were relatively calm, with the safe-haven yen still supported but not aggressively so.

The dollar was holding at 109.68 yen, almost flat on the day.

In commodity markets, oil prices plunged on Thursday, with WTI crude losing nearly 6% as trade tensions dampened the demand outlook, putting the crude benchmarks on course for their biggest daily and weekly falls in six months. [O/R]

In early Asian trade, U.S. crude rebounded 0.6% to $58.25 a barrel, after Thursday’s 5.7% fall that too it to the lowest in two months. Brent crude futures also bounced back 0.4% to $68.05 per barrel, after falling 4.6% in the previous session.

(File Photo: Asian stock markets – https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4)

(Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary
FILE PHOTO: An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil markets stabilized on Friday amid OPEC supply cuts and tensions in the Middle East, after posting their steepest falls since the start of the year earlier in the week on the back of a global economic slowdown and swelling fuel inventories.

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $68.05 per barrel at 0044 GMT, up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 36 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $58.27 per barrel.

“Multiple supply risks remain, as tension continues between Iran and the U.S., which could turn disruptive,” ANZ bank said on Friday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has led supply cuts since the start of the year aimed at tightening the market and propping up prices.

ANZ said U.S. sanctions on Iran’s and Venezuela’s oil industries would likely further reduce crude exports from OPEC, of which both countries are members.

But Friday’s firmer prices could not make up the much bigger slumps from earlier in the week, which have put crude futures on track for their biggest weekly losses this year.

From mid-week, rising oil inventories in the United States started weighing on prices.

“Increasing (oil) inventories and slumping U.S. manufacturing activity exacerbated trade related concerns about global demand,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Australia, said in a note, pulling WTI below $60 per barrel and Brent below $70 per barrel.

And the glut has spread beyond North America. Struggling to cope with oversupply from fuels, Asian refinery margins this week fell to their lowest seasonal levels since the financial crisis a decade ago, triggering plans for refinery run cuts.

“In China, gasoline stockpiles at seaports were seen rising to a multi-year high, this can shrink the margins for refiners and lead to softer oil demand from China,” ANZ bank said on Friday.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California
FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California, U.S., March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Tracy Rucinski

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Once regulators approve Boeing Co’s grounded 737 MAX jets for flight, each aircraft will likely require between 100 and 150 hours of preparation before flying, officials from the three U.S. airlines that operate the MAX told Reuters.

The estimate, provided to Reuters by American Airlines Group Inc, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines Co officials, is the first indication of the time needed to bring the jets out of storage following a worldwide grounding in March spurred by deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

The preparations were discussed at a meeting between Boeing and MAX customers in Miami earlier this week, and include a list of items ranging from fluid changes and engine checks to uploading new 737 MAX software. The estimated time frame does not include pilot training, they said.

Southwest is the world’s largest MAX operator with 34 jets, followed in the United States by American Airlines with 24 and United with 14. All three have dozens more on order, meant to service booming air travel demand.

Boeing did not comment on the airlines’ MAX maintenance estimate, but spokesman Paul Bergman said the company’s maintenance and engineering teams have been working with customers to determine how to efficiently stage work once regulators approve the fleet’s return to service.

The process has included work with Boeing’s supply chain to ensure key parts “are available for current maintenance tasks and the fleet’s transition from storage and preservation activities to operational flight,” he said.

Airline officials stressed that jets would only be removed from storage once regulators approve Boeing’s software update, meant to fix a system called MCAS that played a role in both crashes, which together killed 346 people.

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration Chief Dan Elwell, who is meeting with global regulators in Texas on Thursday, said on Wednesday there is no time table to approve the plane for flight.

Boeing has yet to formally submit the fix to the FAA.

Officials said it usually takes 80 hours to put one jet into storage. For removal, the process is reversed and requires additional maintenance work and testing. For the MAX, it will also include uploading and testing the software fix.

PILOT TRAINING

The allotted 100 to 150 hours of jet preparation comes on top of the hours needed for pilot training. Regulators are still debating whether pilots should test the crash scenarios in a simulator, which would cost airlines more time and money than Boeing’s proposed computer-based training.

Boeing has said that simulator training is not necessary for the 737 MAX, and is recommending a mandatory computer-based audio course that explains MCAS and could be completed at a pilot’s home in about an hour, according to pilot unions.

The planemaker has also offered supplemental training that includes a video on emergency checklists, though some regulators and pilots are pushing for either immediate or continuing simulator training.

Ultimately each airline will be responsible for developing its own training regime based on its different needs.

So far U.S. airlines have canceled MAX flights into July and August, taking a hit to revenues during the busy summer travel season, and will need to decide soon whether to extend cancellations given the uncertain regulatory timeline, officials said.

Southwest has parked its MAX jets at a facility in the California desert, while American has parked 14 of its 24 jets in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it plans to prepare the jets for flight once regulators give the green light.

Boeing will also have to ready roughly 30 MAX jets that it is storing across the Seattle area, with wheels and engines wrapped in plastic, before delivering them to customers.

The planemaker is also storing MAX jets at a maintenance base in Texas. Deliveries were halted following the worldwide grounding.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; additional reporting Eric M. Johnson; editing by Edward Tobin)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle
FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives told members of the United Nations’ aviation agency they expect approval of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets to fly in the United States as early as late June, three people with knowledge of the matter said, although there is no firm timetable for the move.

FAA and Boeing representatives briefed members of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) governing council in Montreal on Thursday on efforts to return the plane to service.

The three people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private briefing.

The MAX was grounded worldwide in March following two crashes involving the model that killed a combined 346 people.

FAA officials who briefed the council said they expected the ungrounding would take place in the United States as early as late June, but it was not clear when other countries would clear the flights, said two of the sources.

Canada and Europe said on Wednesday they would bring back the grounded aircraft on their own terms.

The FAA declined to comment on Thursday, referring to acting administrator Dan Elwell’s statement on Wednesday that he does not have a timetable for making a decision.

“It’s taking as long as it takes to be right,” he said. “I’m not tied to a timetable.”

Boeing did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares pared earlier losses to close down 0.6% at $350.55.

The ICAO gathering comes as the FAA is meeting with international air regulators in Texas to discuss what steps are needed to return the 737 MAX to service, while the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is hosting MAX airline operators from across the world in Montreal.

Montreal-based ICAO cannot impose binding rules on governments, but wields clout through its safety and security standards which are approved by its 193 member states.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago, David Shepardson in Fort Worth, Texas and Eric Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Bill Rigby)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle
FILE PHOTO: An aerial photo shows several Boeing 737 MAX airplanes grounded at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) – U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) representatives told members of the United Nations’ aviation agency they expect an ungrounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX jets in the United States as early as late June, three people familiar with Thursday’s briefing said, though there is no firm timetable for the move.

FAA and Boeing representatives were briefing members of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) governing council in Montreal on Thursday.

The briefing was made by two FAA officials, one of the sources said.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source: OANN

Shipping containers are seen at a port in Lianyungang
FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers are seen at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China September 8, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

May 23, 2019

By Doina Chiacu and Stella Qiu

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States and China had a heated exchange on Thursday, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing the chief executive of Huawei Technologies of lying about his company’s ties to the communist government and Beijing saying Washington must end its “wrong actions” if it wants trade talks to continue.

The United States placed Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world’s largest telecom network gear maker and escalating a trade battle between the world’s two biggest economies.

World shares fell sharply on Thursday as concerns grew that the China-U.S. trade conflict was fast turning into a technology cold war.

Pompeo told CNBC the chief executive of China’s Huawei Technologies was lying about his company’s lack of ties to the Beijing government, and he believed more U.S. companies would cut ties with the tech giant.

“The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk,” Pompeo told CNBC in an interview.

   “If you put your information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, it’s de facto a real risk to you. They may not use it today, they may not use it tomorrow.”

U.S. lawmakers also moved Wednesday to provide about $700 million in grants to help U.S. telecoms providers with the cost of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, and to block the use of equipment or services from Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE in next-generation 5G networks.

China hit back.

“If the United States wants to continue trade talks, they should show sincerity and correct their wrong actions. Negotiations can only continue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a weekly briefing.

“We will closely monitor relevant developments and prepare necessary responses,” he said, without elaborating.

No further trade talks between top Chinese and U.S. negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended on May 10, when U.S. President Donald Trump sharply hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and took steps to levy duties on all remaining Chinese imports.

With no resolution in sight, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $16 billion aid program to help U.S. farmers hurt by the trade war, with some funds to be used to open markets outside China to U.S. products.

Farmers have been among those hardest hit by the U.S.-China trade war, although retailers are also warning that the latest round of potential tariffs will raise prices for many of their consumers.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has embraced protectionism as part of an “America First” agenda aimed at rebalancing global trade, is due to discuss the aid program in remarks scheduled for 3:15 p.m. EDT (1915 GMT) at the White House.

Washington this month hiked existing tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10%, prompting Beijing to retaliate with its own levies on U.S. imports.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25% on an additional list of Chinese imports worth about $300 billion, but his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said he was hopeful the two sides could resume negotiations.

Trump is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Japan June 28-29.

Two U.S. Navy ships also sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in a move that prompted Beijing to lodge what Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang called “stern representations” with the United States.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey in Washington, and Stella Qiu and Kevin Yao in Beijing; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A 737 Max aircraft is pictured at the Boeing factory in Renton
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A 737 Max aircraft is pictured at the Boeing factory in Renton, Washington, U.S., March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By David Shepardson

FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration is meeting with international air regulators Thursday from around the world to assess the status of the grounded Boeing Co 737 MAX and what steps are needed to return it to service.

Senior FAA officials will give detailed descriptions of the findings to date from the two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia which occurred within five months of each other and killed a combined 346 people. The agency will summarize the status of three major ongoing reviews of the 737 MAX and give an update of the recertification process and shed light on Boeing’s proposed revisions to its software and pilot training.

Nearly 60 air regulators from 33 governmental agencies, including from China, Brazil, Australia, the European Union, France, Ethiopia, Indonesia and South Korea are attending the meeting at an FAA office in Texas.

The agency came under criticism in March for failing to ground the Boeing 737 MAX as quickly as China, Europe and other countries.

One of Thursday’s sessions is titled “Data mapping to accidents: safety actions and changes to the 737 MAX training requirements.”

Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell told reporters on Wednesday the FAA would share the agency’s “safety analysis that will form the basis for our return to service decision process.”

Some air regulators have said they will conduct independent reviews of the Boeing 737 MAX. Elwell was asked by a reporter on Wednesday if he would delay ungrounding the plane in order to have “peace” with other regulators.

“We have peace with other regulators,” Elwell said. “We’re talking to them constantly. You want to make this like, ‘We at war with the other countries over this.’ We’re not.”

The FAA is still asking Boeing questions about a proposed software upgrade and training revisions and has not decided whether to require simulator training. Elwell repeatedly declined to provide a time frame for how soon the agency might approve the airplane’s return to service or say if it was realistic that airlines could resume flights by August as some have suggested.

“If it takes a year to find everything we need to give us the confidence to lift the (grounding) order, so be it,” Elwell said.

The FAA will not unground the plane until it obtains the findings from a multi-agency Technical Advisory Board reviewing the software fix. It consists of experts not involved in any aspect of the Boeing 737 MAX certification.

Boeing said last week it had completed development of the software update on the 737 MAX to prevent erroneous data from triggering an anti-stall system known as MCAS that is under scrutiny following the two disastrous nose-down crashes. It must still formally submit the upgrade for approval and conduct a certification flight before the FAA can act.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Fort Worth, Texas; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann speaks during a news conference on media day at the Paris auto show, in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann speaks during a news conference on media day at the Paris auto show, in Paris, France, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

May 23, 2019

By Tina Bellon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A company working to make open-source self-driving software reliable enough to be used in commercially available vehicles said it had hired a former German car boss as it seeks to expand its reach.

Palo Alto, California-based Apex.AI has added Karl-Thomas Neumann, an industry veteran who in the past served as the chief executive of Continental AG and led Volkswagen AG’s China business, to its board.

“Karl-Thomas is a great fit for us as we’re trying to learn off what worked in the past and reach out to more industry players,” Apex.AI co-founder Jan Becker told Reuters in an interview this week.

The U.S. firm is expanding to Europe, opening an office in Munich, Germany in July.

Founded by Becker and Dejan Pangercic, two longtime self-driving car engineers formerly at automotive technology supplier Bosch Corp, Apex.AI plans to make a safer and more reliable version of the so-called Robot Operating System, or ROS.

That software is used by scores of labs and companies in their self-driving car and robotics efforts, including Intel Corp, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc.

The software is open source, meaning that anyone can adopt it and use it free of charge, but it has so far mainly been deployed in research settings.

Apex.AI aims to create a robust, failproof version of the software that can be deployed by carmakers in later stage commercial applications to guarantee safety-critical driving functions.

It hopes to finish the software by the end of the year and submit it to German inspection firm TÜV for approval in early 2020. Once certified, the software could then be deployed by carmakers worldwide, Becker said.

The company wants to license the software and charge for support services, with the exact pricing model currently under discussion, Neumann said.

Apex.AI to date has raised $15.5 million in venture capital funding, including from the venture arms of Airbus SA and Toyota Motor Corp. Becker said the company was well-funded into 2020.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: CEO Narasimhan of Swiss drugmaker Novartis addresses the company's annual news conference in Basel
FILE PHOTO: CEO Vas Narasimhan of Swiss drugmaker Novartis addresses the company’s annual news conference in Basel, Switzerland January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

May 23, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis could reach its main drugs business’s margin target “a little sooner” than 2022, as it now forecasts, as it cuts costs and as new drugs including gene therapy accelerate, Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan told investors.

“Our goal right now is to get to the 35%, and make sure that’s a sustainable 35%,” Narasimhan said at a U.S. event. “That could happen a little sooner, we’ll see based on how the launches go. If they did (launch well), I think we would get there sooner, and our goal would be then to continue to push beyond that.”

Hitting the target would mark an increase from the first quarter of 2019, when the Swiss drugmaker’s core operating income of $2.92 billion rose to 33.3% of sales, from 31.3% in the year-earlier period.

(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

May 23, 2019

By Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures slid on Thursday, as investors worried that the U.S.-China trade war could spiral into a technology cold war between the two countries, with no signs of resolution in sight.

Beijing said Washington needs to correct its “wrong actions” for trade talks to continue after the United States blacklisted Huawei Technology Co Ltd last week.

Although the Trump administration temporarily eased curbs on the Chinese telecoms gear maker, tensions again mounted following reports on Wednesday that the United States was considering sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision.

Investors now fret that tit-for-tat tariffs and other retaliatory actions by the world’s two largest economies will be a drag on global growth, especially hitting the high-growth technology sector.

Apple Inc shares fell 1.7% in premarket trading, while those of chipmakers, which have a higher revenue exposure to China, also declined. Intel Corp, Micron Technology Inc and Qualcomm Inc slipped between 1.7% and 3.6%

Tepid data from the eurozone added to the downbeat tone. A private survey showed business growth accelerating at a slower-than-expected pace this month, weighed down by a deepening contraction in the bloc’s manufacturing industry.

At 7:06 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 223 points, or 0.87%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 25 points, or 0.87% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 88 points, or 1.18%.

The prolonged U.S.-China trade war has rattled financial markets, knocking the benchmark S&P 500 index 3.4% off its record high hit on May 1. The index is now on track to post its worst monthly decline of the year.

Investors on Wednesday largely shrugged off the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, in which officials agreed that their patient approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place “for some time.”

Tesla Inc fell 3.3%, set to add to a six-day slump, which has pushed its closing price to below $200 for the first time since 2016.

Hormel Foods Corp fell 2.3% after the packaged meat producer cut its full-year earnings forecast.

In a bright spot, L Brands Inc jumped 12.4% after the retailer reported better-than-expected earnings, helped by sales at its Bath & Body Works business.

A Commerce Department report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show new home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 675,000 in April, after having risen to 692,000 units in March.

A separate report due later is expected to show Markit’s purchasing managers survey of manufacturing activity edged down to 52.5 in May from 52.6 in the previous month.

(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Source: OANN

Company logo is seen on a Best Buy store in Westminster
A company logo is seen on a Best Buy store in Westminster, Colorado January 16, 2014. Best Buy Co shares tumbled about 30 percent on Thursday after the world’s largest consumer electronics chain reported disappointing holiday sales and warned of a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating margins. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES – Tags: BUSINESS LOGO)

May 23, 2019

(Reuters) – Best Buy Co Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly same-store sales on Thursday, as the consumer electronics retailer sold more wearables and tablets and signed up more people to its subscription-based tech support services.

Best Buy’s overall same-store sales rose 1.1% in the first quarter ended May 4. Analysts on average had expected a 0.9% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue rose to $9.14 billion from $9.11 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

Company logo is seen on a Best Buy store in Westminster
A company logo is seen on a Best Buy store in Westminster, Colorado January 16, 2014. Best Buy Co shares tumbled about 30 percent on Thursday after the world’s largest consumer electronics chain reported disappointing holiday sales and warned of a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating margins. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES – Tags: BUSINESS LOGO)

May 23, 2019

(Reuters) – Best Buy Co Inc beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly same-store sales on Thursday, as the consumer electronics retailer sold more wearables and tablets and signed up more people to its subscription-based tech support services.

Best Buy’s overall same-store sales rose 1.1% in the first quarter ended May 4. Analysts on average had expected a 0.9% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Total revenue rose to $9.14 billion from $9.11 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

A Starbucks logo is seen on an espresso machine in a store inside the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles
A Starbucks logo is seen on an espresso machine in a store inside the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, United States, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

May 23, 2019

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp said on Thursday that a company controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and a Hong Kong-based firm had won an exclusive deal to operate and develop its retail business in Thailand.

The agreement, which it expects to close this month, is with Coffee Concepts, a joint venture between Hong Kong-based Maxim’s Caterers Limited and F&N Retail Connection Co. Ltd, a company owned by Chareon’s Thai Beverage Pcl.

Thai Beverage, known for its pale lager Chang beer, has non-alcoholic drinks portfolio that includes carbonated drinks and green tea.

Starbucks began operations in Thailand in 1998 and has 372 stores in the market.

Maxim’s Caterers has been Starbucks’ partner in Hong Kong since 2000 and also operates stores in Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam. Under the agreement, Maxim’s Caterers will oversee the retail operations and new store development in Thailand.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

Source: OANN

A Starbucks logo is seen on an espresso machine in a store inside the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles
A Starbucks logo is seen on an espresso machine in a store inside the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, United States, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

May 23, 2019

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp said on Thursday that a company controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and a Hong Kong-based firm had won an exclusive deal to operate and develop its retail business in Thailand.

The agreement, which it expects to close this month, is with Coffee Concepts, a joint venture between Hong Kong-based Maxim’s Caterers Limited and F&N Retail Connection Co. Ltd, a company owned by Chareon’s Thai Beverage Pcl.

Thai Beverage, known for its pale lager Chang beer, has non-alcoholic drinks portfolio that includes carbonated drinks and green tea.

Starbucks began operations in Thailand in 1998 and has 372 stores in the market.

Maxim’s Caterers has been Starbucks’ partner in Hong Kong since 2000 and also operates stores in Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam. Under the agreement, Maxim’s Caterers will oversee the retail operations and new store development in Thailand.

(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

Source: OANN

The Bosch logo is reflected in a semiconductor wafer in Reutlingen
FILE PHOTO: The Bosch logo is reflected in a semiconductor wafer in the company manufacturing base in Reutlingen, Germany, June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

May 23, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – Automotive supplier Bosch has agreed to pay a 90 million euros ($100.21 million) fine for lapses in supervisory duties which enabled carmakers to engage in emissions cheating, German prosecutors in the city of Stuttgart said on Friday.

The auto industry’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, where carmakers used engine management control software to throttle back real-world pollution levels during tests, was made possible with the help of Bosch technology, prosecutors said.

Privately-held Bosch, the world’s biggest automotive supplier, delivered around 17 million technical devices equipped with engine management software, prosecutors said in a statement.

Bosch has accepted the fine and will not appeal the decision, they added.

Prosecutors imposed a 2 million euros fine for a “regulatory offense” and a further 88 million euros to penalize “economic benefits,” Bosch said in a statement on Thursday.

Bosch said, “With the issue of the notice of fine, the investigations conducted by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Stuttgart against Bosch as a supplier of engine control units for diesel engines has been completed.”

Volkswagen used Bosch software elements to help the carmaker mask illegal pollution in diesel-engined vehicles. Engine management software was used to measure the steering wheel angle to gauge whether the car was on a test bench.

Volkswagen has borne the brunt of penalties and fines for emissions cheating since carmakers, rather than suppliers are responsible for certifying that cars meet clean air rules.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Edward Taylor and Thomas Escritt)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Nissan logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show
FILE PHOTO: A Nissan logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Naomi Tajitsu

YOKOHAMA (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co is not considering the possibility of a merger with top shareholder Renault at the moment, and none of the nominees to the Japanese automaker’s board are pressing to make it an issue now, an external director said on Thursday.

As Nissan ponders its future without former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who orchestrated its financial rescue two decades ago, French partner Renault SA has been quietly maneuvering for merger talks, sources at both automakers have previously told Reuters.

France’s government has also weighed in, saying on Wednesday that the status quo was weakening the alliance and could not continue.

But given Nissan’s current focus on improving corporate governance and recovering from a run of poor results, Keiko Ihara, who has been overseeing efforts to overhaul governance, told Reuters in an interview that the issue of a merger was not on the table at the moment.

“We don’t have time to feel any of the pressure which appears to be coming externally,” she said.

“We’re not aware of any director nominee who wants to make this an official topic of discussion at the moment.”

Ihara, who also chairs a provisional council for an external nominations committee to be set up next month, said the process to find eventual successors to CEO Hiroto Saikawa and other executives would begin soon after the group is formed.

Saikawa, a protege of Ghosn, has come under pressure to lift Nissan’s dismal operational performance just as Renault has been looking at ways to merge the two companies, a move opposed by Saikawa and some of his colleagues.

Ihara also said that Nissan has a lot of internal talent from which it can choose its next generation of executives after an exodus of top-level officials following the ouster of Ghosn.

Nissan is overhauling its board structure and the way it appoints top executives and determines their pay as it seeks to improve its corporate governance after it accused Ghosn of financial misconduct.

Ghosn denies all charges against him.

Last week, Nissan announced a list of 11 nominees for its expanded board of directors, which include Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard and CEO Thierry Bollore, to be voted on by shareholders next month.

It also decided that Saikawa would stay on as chief executive though Renault had earlier pushed for a change in Nissan’s leadership.

“Once the nominations committee is up and running, it will start considering a succession plan,” Ihara said. She said the provisional council believed there were “dozens of people” within the company who could eventually take over as CEO, chief operating officer or other management positions.

“Nissan is a global company so it has a wealth of people who have deep global experience and expertise,” Ihara said.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Nokian tyre is on display at a tyre assembling centre and shop in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: A Nokian tyre is on display at a tyre assembling centre and shop in Moscow, August 8, 2014.REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Anne Kauranen

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish tire maker Nokian Tyres expects its new U.S. factory in Tennessee to help it double its sales in North America, especially by expanding its all-season tire sales in the region, the company said on Thursday.

The company, which has previously concentrated mostly on winter tire sales in Russia and Europe, said the new facility would allow it to seek growth in the significantly larger all-season tire market in North America.

Two years ago Nokian, which currently has a large plant in Russia and a smaller one in Finland, announced an investment of $360 million in the new production facility in Dayton, Tennessee, set for startup in the latter half of this year.

“Our goal is to double our sales in North America within five years,” the company’s chief executive Hille Korhonen told reporters in Helsinki.

Last year, Nokian’s North American sales amounted to 194.5 million euros ($217 million), a little over 12 percent of its total sales.

The new factory is expected to cut delivery times in North America to weeks and eliminate the need to hold large inventories, Mark Earl, Vice President in charge of Americas, said.

“Our current 120 to 180 day lead time from our Russian factory to North America is difficult to manage,” Earl said.

Previously the company sold only winter tyres in North America, mainly in Canada and some northern U.S. states, but has gradually ramped up its all-season tire sales.

Earl said the total retail tire market amounted to 240 million units a year in the United States alone, with Nokian holding just a 1% share at the moment.

“There is a lot of room in the market for a company like us,” Earl said, adding the plan was to concentrate on larger tire sizes and models for premium cars.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

Rally of European nationalist and far-right parties ahead of EU parliamentary elections in Milan
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini gestures as he speaks, during a major rally of European nationalist and far-right parties ahead of EU parliamentary elections in Milan, Italy May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

May 23, 2019

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s ruling League party is ready to back a state rescue of Carige in the absence of private investors willing to plug in a capital shortfall at the ailing bank, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini was quoted as saying.

“The League is ready for a state rescue if new, real, trustworthy capitals fail to come forward quickly,” League leader Salvini told local newspaper Il Secolo XIX in an interview published on Thursday.

Carige is running out of time to find a buyer after U.S. asset manager BlackRock this month dropped a potential bid for the Genoa-based lender, following a similar move by Minnesota-based fund Varde Partners.

Sources have told Reuters that European bank supervisors think Carige should be closed if it can’t find a buyer, contrary to Rome’s plan for a state rescue.

(Reporting by Valentina Za)

Source: OANN

The logo of Huawei is pictured at a mobile phone shop in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Huawei is pictured at a mobile phone shop in Singapore, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

May 23, 2019

By Stella Qiu and Tony Munroe

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing said Washington needs to correct its “wrong actions” for trade talks to continue after the U.S. blacklisted Huawei, a blow that has rippled through global supply chains and battered tech shares as investors feared a looming technology cold war.

Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Corp on Thursday joined the growing list of global companies which have said they are disengaging with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world’s second-largest seller of smartphones and the largest telecom-gear maker, saying it had stopped shipments of some components.

Its move came a day after British chip designer ARM said it had halted relations with Huawei to comply with the U.S. supply blockade, potentially crippling the Chinese firm’s ability to make new chips for its future smartphones. Huawei uses ARM blueprints to design the processors that power its smartphones.

“If the United States wants to continue trade talks, they should show sincerity and correct their wrong actions. Negotiations can only continue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a weekly briefing.

“We will closely monitor relevant developments and prepare necessary responses,” he said, without elaborating.

Japan’s Toshiba Corp said it had resumed some shipments to Huawei after temporarily suspending shipments to check whether they included U.S.-made components.

“What we are witnessing is a potential reconfiguration of global trade as it has stood since World War II … investors should begin thinking about how sensitive their portfolios are to global supply chain-exposed shocks,” Saxo Bank’s head of equity strategy, Peter Garnry, wrote in a note titled, “Are you ready for a cold war in tech?”

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei told Chinese financial magazine Caixin on Thursday that he did not see ARM’s decision to suspend business with Huawei as having an impact on the company.

He said that Huawei had a long-term agreement with ARM and speculated that the British firm had made such a move because its parent, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, was waiting for U.S. approval for the merger of Sprint Corp, which it owns, and T-Mobile US Inc.

Industry experts have questioned Huawei’s claims minimizing the impact of moves that make it hard for the company to do business with American firms.

No further trade talks between top Chinese and U.S. negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended on May 10, the same day U.S. President Donald Trump sharply increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and took steps to levy duties on all remaining Chinese imports.

China retaliated with its own levies on U.S. imports, but it was Washington’s subsequent move against Huawei that took the trade war into a new phase, stoking fears about risks to global growth and knocking financial markets.

The United States has accused Huawei of activities contrary to national security, an accusation Huawei denies. The Trump administration softened its stance slightly this week by granting the firm a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19 to minimize disruption for customers.

(Reporting by Stella Qiu, Se Young Lee; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

A dump truck carries copper ore out of Chuquicamata open pit copper mine
FILE PHOTO: A dump truck carries copper ore out of Chuquicamata open pit copper mine, which is owned by Chile’s state-run copper producer Codelco, near Calama city, April 1, 2011. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

May 23, 2019

By Fabian Cambero

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Codelco’s giant Chuquicamata mine is set for a 40% drop in production over the next two years, an internal forecast seen by Reuters shows, pointing to the sharp challenge facing the world’s top copper miner as it scrambles to maintain output.

The giant open-pit mine, set to be the Chilean state-run miner’s biggest by output this year, is undergoing a complex $5 billion-plus transformation into an underground shaft mine in a bid to extend the century-old prospect’s lifespan.

Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera is expected to formally cut the ribbon on the revamped copper mine, often referred to as ‘Chuqui’, in coming months.

This year, ores from the new project will be added to the existing open-pit operations, giving Chuqui overall production of 459,000 tonnes – its highest since 2010 – the previously unreported 2019 forecast shows.

But as Codelco scales down and ultimately shutters open pit extraction next year, while the underground project still ramps up, output will drop sharply, the figures show – down 182,000 tonnes by 2021 versus 2019.

That will drive overall Codelco production down 4% by 2021, according to the long-term business development plan. That would be steeper were it not for a planned production hike at the miner’s Radomiro Tomic prospect.

Codelco declined to comment on the forecast data, saying the numbers were confidential.

The changes at Chuqui underscore the risk to Codelco’s global dominance amid a $39 billion overhaul of its key operations to try and counteract rapidly falling ore grades that are hitting top copper exporter Chile more broadly.

“We’re going to see a lengthy process to bring production to a level similar to that of the pit,” said Juan Carlos Guajardo, head of consultancy Plusmining. The above-ground ‘pit’ is the size of over 3,000 American football fields.

Guajardo projected a seven-year “ramp up” period. The internal presentation seen by Reuters shows production at Chuqui dropping sharply to 277,000 tonnes by 2021 before climbing back to a peak of 416,000 tonnes in 2024.

Graphic: Codelco’s Chuqui braces for drop (https://tmsnrt.rs/2ErDXNJ)

“SCISSOR HANDS”

Chuqui is also facing a battle with simmering worker tensions and technical delays, hampering prospects at the mine.

Plans for the underground project were drawn up early in the decade when copper prices were hitting all-time highs, then scaled back by chief executive Nelson Pizarro, known as “scissor-hands” for his focus on costs.

Copper prices are now being hit by a whipsawing trade standoff between the United States and China. They have fallen for five straight weeks and are near several-month lows.

“The challenge remains to ensure future viability, modifying the work culture and applying new work practices and technology,” Pizarro told Reuters in a recent interview, adding Codelco needed to improve productivity without lifting costs.

That could mean pain for Chuqui workers, with some 1,700 expected to lose their jobs in coming years, putting Codelco’s powerful unions on edge.

A January negotiation round on the layoffs ended in an impasse and differences still loom large during an ongoing second round of talks with top unions. Some fear the conflict will provoke strikes, further hitting production.

Unions at Chuqui rejected on Sunday a management proposal for a quick end to contract negotiations.

“The old workers of Chuqui have benefits that are above the rest of the entire company and the cost is immense,” said Gustavo Lagos, a Santiago-based professor at the mining center of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Graphic: Codelco’s copper outlook (https://tmsnrt.rs/2WYXZ9x)

MUTED START

The first extraction of copper ore from the underground mine, a major milestone for the project, was announced in April via a brief statement, a low-profile start sources at or close to the firm said was due to the tough environment at Chuqui.

An automated conveyor belt system to transport the extracted material to a concentrator plant will only be ready by the last quarter of 2019, according to Pizarro, forcing the firm to use slower trucks to move the ore.

With the lower output at Chuqui, Codelco’s total copper production is expected to fall to 1.66 million tonnes in 2021, from the 1.73 million expected this year, the firm’s internal forecast shows. Only by 2027 would it again top 2019 levels.

The forecast also showed that Codelco’s short-term estimate for the period 2019-2025 had slipped versus its outlook in 2018, though it had raised its longer term production estimate.

Barbara Mattos, an analyst at ratings agency Moody’s, said the overhaul was nonetheless key for Codelco to support its levels of production and ensure “the viability of the company as a relevant actor in the copper industry in the long term.”

Graphic: Short-term pain, long-term gain? (https://tmsnrt.rs/2WkLmIQ)

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Christian Plumb; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne, Switzerland April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

May 23, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss food group Nestle SA and New Zealand’s dairy producer Fonterra Co-operative Group said they would review strategic options for their Dairy Partners Americas (DPA) joint venture in Brazil, which could include a potential sale.

Nestle is currently streamlining its portfolio and has divested several underperforming businesses, including its skin health unit.

The review should ensure the long-term growth and success of the business that posted sales revenue of 1 billion Brazilian reais ($247.5 million) in 2018, both companies said in a joint statement late on Wednesday, adding the review was expected to be ready by the end of 2019.

The two partners created DPA as a 50:50 joint venture (JV) in 2003 to manufacture and commercialize chilled and liquid dairy products in Latin America. The JV was realigned in 2014 to focus on chilled dairy in Brazil, with Fonterra taking a 51% stake and Nestle holding remaining 49%.

($1 = 4.0403 reais)

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by James Emmanuel)

Source: OANN

The headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are photographed early evening in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Germany’s Deutsche Bank are photographed early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

May 23, 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Investors in Deutsche Bank are gathering on Thursday for an annual meeting that is expected to be dominated by questions over the bank’s strategy and leadership just days after shares hit a record low.

Major investors over the past week have called for Deutsche to scale back its sprawling global investment banking unit.

Top shareholders have also said that the bank’s chairman, Paul Achleitner, should step down before his term ends in 2022.

Deutsche Bank shares hit record lows on Monday and Tuesday. They are down 36% since last year’s shareholder meeting.

In recent years, Deutsche Bank has been plagued by failed regulatory tests, ratings downgrades, big fines and management reshuffles. It posted its first profit in four years in 2018.

The bank was already facing a potential rocky ride at this year’s gathering after two advisory groups to shareholders – Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis – urged them to issue a vote of no confidence in management.

One small but vocal investor last month added to the meeting’s agenda a vote to oust Achleitner because the bank “remains trapped in an unbroken downward spiral”. The supervisory board issued a statement backing its chairman.

In an interview published in a German newspaper ahead of Thursday’s meeting, the bank sought to fend off some of the expected criticism.

The bank will remain present in the U.S., which is primarily part of the investment bank division, finance chief James von Moltke said in an interview with Boersen-Zeitung published Thursday. But Deutsche was regularly looking for alternatives to lift growth and cut costs at the investment division, he said.

(Reporting by Tom Sims; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

Source: OANN

The headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are photographed early evening in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Germany’s Deutsche Bank are photographed early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

May 23, 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Investors in Deutsche Bank are gathering on Thursday for an annual meeting that is expected to be dominated by questions over the bank’s strategy and leadership just days after shares hit a record low.

Major investors over the past week have called for Deutsche to scale back its sprawling global investment banking unit.

Top shareholders have also said that the bank’s chairman, Paul Achleitner, should step down before his term ends in 2022.

Deutsche Bank shares hit record lows on Monday and Tuesday. They are down 36% since last year’s shareholder meeting.

In recent years, Deutsche Bank has been plagued by failed regulatory tests, ratings downgrades, big fines and management reshuffles. It posted its first profit in four years in 2018.

The bank was already facing a potential rocky ride at this year’s gathering after two advisory groups to shareholders – Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis – urged them to issue a vote of no confidence in management.

One small but vocal investor last month added to the meeting’s agenda a vote to oust Achleitner because the bank “remains trapped in an unbroken downward spiral”. The supervisory board issued a statement backing its chairman.

In an interview published in a German newspaper ahead of Thursday’s meeting, the bank sought to fend off some of the expected criticism.

The bank will remain present in the U.S., which is primarily part of the investment bank division, finance chief James von Moltke said in an interview with Boersen-Zeitung published Thursday. But Deutsche was regularly looking for alternatives to lift growth and cut costs at the investment division, he said.

(Reporting by Tom Sims; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

Source: OANN

CEO Vas Narasimhan of Swiss drugmaker Novartis addresses the company's annual news conference in Basel
FILE PHOTO: CEO Vas Narasimhan of Swiss drugmaker Novartis addresses the company’s annual news conference in Basel, Switzerland January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

May 23, 2019

ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis has 25 potential blockbuster treatments in development, the company said ahead of a management event in the United States on Thursday.

“Our pipeline is industry-leading with more than 25 potential blockbusters and this pace of innovation positions Novartis well for the future”, said Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan in a statement.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: New Honda CR-V's sit on a dealer's lot in Silver Spring
FILE PHOTO: New Honda CR-V’s sit on a dealer’s lot in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S. June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/File Photo

May 23, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Honda Motor Co said on Wednesday it is recalling 137,000 new sport utility vehicles (SUVs) following reports of three injuries tied to sudden air bag deployments in the United States.

The Japanese-based automaker said it is recalling the 2019 CR-V to replace steering wheel wire harnesses and supplemental restraint system cable reels after six unexpected driver air bag deployments that occurred without a crash. There are so far no reports of related crashes, the automaker said.

The recall includes 118,000 vehicles in the United States and 19,000 in Korea and Canada.

Metal burrs on the interior surface of the steering wheel may result in damage that could lead to a short circuit and overheating of components, Honda said.

The issue is separate from a series of recalls Honda has conducted over the last decade to replace more than 21 million defective Takata air bag inflators in about 12.9 million U.S. vehicles that Honda has said are responsible for 14 U.S. deaths.

Honda also said it was recalling 19,000 U.S. vehicles that may have had Takata inflator replacement kits that were improperly installed before May 2018.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by G Crosse and Anshuman Daga)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A man riding on a bicycle looks at an electronic board showing the Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A man riding on a bicycle looks at an electronic board showing the Japan’s Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares carved out a four-month trough on Thursday amid worries the Sino-U.S. trade conflict was fast morphing into a technology cold war between the world’s two largest economies.

Late Wednesday, Reuters reported the U.S. administration was considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision over the country’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, according to a person briefed on the matter.

After the United States placed Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, British chip designer ARM has halted relations with Huawei in order to comply with the blockade.

“For China, the key risk is that the combined effects of investment restrictions, export controls, and tariffs will rewire supply chains and weaken manufacturing investment, particularly in the technology sectors driving growth,” ratings agency S&P warned in a special report.

Shanghai blue chips shed 1.5% in response to be near their lowest since February. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 0.9% to reach its lowest in four months.

Japan’s Nikkei lost 1%, while South Korea shed 0.7%. Also feeling the pain, E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dropped 0.5%.

Minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting out on Wednesday underlined its readiness to be patient on policy “for some time” given the uncertain global outlook.

The chance of a rate cut seemed to diminish as many Fed policy makers saw recent weakness in inflation as “transitory”, though the latest escalation in the trade war means markets are still wagering on an eventual easing.

Yields on two-year Treasuries of 2.237% are also well below the current effective funds rate at 2.39%.

There remains no end in sight to the trade dispute. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said it would be at least a month before the U.S. would enact proposed tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports as it studies the impact on American consumers.

The mood on Wall Street was cautious with the Dow ending Wednesday down 0.39%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.28% and the Nasdaq 0.45%.

Shares in chipmaker Qualcomm Inc dived 10.9% after a federal judge ruled the company illegally suppressed competition in the market for smartphone chips by threatening to cut off supplies and extracting excessive licensing fees.

MORE BREXIT CHAOS

In currencies, constant trade friction saw the safe haven yen in demand again as the dollar dipped to 110.20 yen and away from the week’s top of 110.67.

The dollar fared better on the euro at $1.1151 and was steady on a basket of currencies at 98.111.

Sterling was the main mover, sliding to a four-month low at $1.2625 before steadying at $1.2651 in Asia. [GBP/]

British Prime Minister Theresa May came under intense pressure after her latest Brexit gambit backfired and fueled calls for her to quit.

Prominent Brexit supporter Andrea Leadsom resigned from the government on Wednesday and British media reported May could announce her departure date as early as Friday.

“Uncertainty is the only clear certainty in the near term,” said Westpac macro strategist Tim Riddell.

“The risk of a hard-Brexit replacement for May has increased the risks of a hard Brexit result or even a forced no-deal exit,” he added. “Such an event would likely force GBP lower, increase risks of assets sliding and BOE (Bank of England) taking counter action to support assets.”

In commodity markets, spot gold edged up a touch to $1,274.10 per ounce.

Oil prices added to losses suffered overnight after an unexpected build in U.S. crude inventories compounded investor worries about demand.

U.S. crude was last down 44 cents at $60.98 a barrel, while Brent crude futures lost 45 cents to $70.54.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of IKEA is seen above a store in Voesendorf
FILE PHOTO: The logo of IKEA is seen above a store in Voesendorf, Austria, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo

May 23, 2019

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – IKEA, the world’s largest furniture seller, will open its first store in Mexico next year and plans to launch other stores around the country, the company said on Wednesday, as it expands in Latin America to counter growing competition in its core U.S. and European markets.

The Swedish chain known for its modern and inexpensive designs plans to open a store in eastern Mexico City in the fall of 2020 and also sell its products online, Malcolm Pruys, the country retail manager for IKEA Mexico, said at an event in the capital.

IKEA also plans to target a number of other cities of varying sizes throughout the country, he added in an interview. “We’re setting a reasonably aggressive expansion plan,” he said.

The first store will be medium-sized, offering 7,500 products and a restaurant able to seat more than 650 people, with a warehouse off-site for e-commerce.

IKEA’s traditional model has called for vast warehouses on city outskirts packed with goods. But the retailer has recently developed compact formats, allowing it to branch into smaller cities, Pruys said.

IKEA has 427 stores across 52 markets. Stores in Europe and the United States drive the majority of sales for Inter IKEA Group and its franchisees, but rival retailers, especially online, are increasingly vying for shoppers.

Late last year, IKEA announced plans to enter Latin America, including Chile, Colombia and Peru.

The plans to launch in Mexico began four years ago. On Wednesday, several IKEA executives met with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was pleased by Ikea’s confidence in Mexico, Pruys said.

“There is great movement in Mexico around cleaning up corruption,” he said. “We think there’s a big opportunity for Mexico’s economy to continue to grow.”

IKEA is working on plans for a variety of payment options for online shopping, aiming to reach Mexico’s vast unbanked population, he added.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; editing by Julia Love, Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Logo of taxi company Uber is seen on the roof of a private hire taxi in Liverpool
FILE PHOTO: The Logo of taxi company Uber is seen on the roof of a private hire taxi in Liverpool, Britain, April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

May 22, 2019

By Tyler Choi

TORONTO (Reuters) – Ride-hailing apps like those of Uber Technologies and Lyft Inc are expected to alter the state of car ownership toward subscription-based services and shared ownership, auto industry experts said at a conference on Wednesday.

At the annual Collision Conference, speakers said ride-hailing apps are also set to play a role in testing automation for safety.

“Your phone will be your car,” said Andre Haddad, CEO of Turo, a peer-to-peer car-sharing company that enables users to rent their cars out to others.

Haddad said that while car sales have never been higher globally, people are realizing that owning a vehicle is increasingly becoming unaffordable due to car payments, insurance, and parking.

“Many more are realizing they can share their car when they’re not using it or rent it out to recover the big costs of ownership,” he added.

Uber said it is the largest ride-hailing firm in the world with 91 million users globally and a 65 percent market share in North America.

Both Uber and Lyft went public this year, but are trading well below their offer prices.

Haddad said that car ownership among young adults was on the decline, with fewer adults under the age of 25 purchasing cars.

At the same time, he said the demographics would stabilize and demand for cars for events like weekend trips or vacations would maintain their interest.

Scott Hempy, CEO of Filld, a mobile gas delivery service, said labor trends like working remotely or from home had contributed to the reduced interest in cars, and that ride-sharing would change the insurance industry to per mile charges, rather than a flat fee.

Ride-sharing fleets and taxis are expected to be the testing ground for automation, according to Zaki Fasihuddin, the CEO of Volvo Cars Technology. Fasihuddin said ride-sharing cars would be the first practical applications for autonomous vehicles, at the ultimate goal of reducing all fatalities.

“Give consumers the choice,” said Fasihuddin. “Ride-sharing is a viable option. Nowadays people take that for granted, and that’s a valid mode of transportation.

(Reporting by Tyler Choi; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN


Current track

Title

Artist