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Ex-Volkswagen CEO Winterkorn charged in U.S. over diesel scandal

WASHINGTON/FRANKFURT ( ) – The United States has filed criminal charges against former Volkswagen AG boss Martin Winterkorn, accusing him of conspiring to cover up the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating, in a rare attempt to prosecute a CEO for company actions.

The indictment reopens the question of whether other senior Volkswagen (VW) executives knew about the scandal, which has dogged Europe’s biggest automaker for more than 2-1/2 years and led to a regulatory crackdown that is threatening thousands of jobs as customers increasingly shun diesel-powered cars.

The indictment, filed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) in secret in March, was unsealed in a U.S. district court on Thursday as VW (VOWG_p.DE) held its annual meeting in Berlin.

Winterkorn, 70, is charged with four felony counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud and violating the Clean Air Act from at least May 2006 through November 2015, after VW admitted using illicit software that allowed diesel cars to emit excess pollution without detection.

Winterkorn resigned within days of the scandal becoming public in September 2015, but other senior executives who were on the company’s management board at the time continue to hold senior positions within the group.

Hans-Dieter Poetsch, who was finance chief, is now chairman of the supervisory board. Herbert Diess, now group CEO, joined the company on July 1 2015 as head of the VW brand, only weeks before authorities divulged its cheating on Sept. 18, 2015.

Rupert Stadler, who was head of the Audi brand in 2015, has been given additional responsibilities for group sales in a revamp announced by Diess last month. Bernd Osterloh, the company’s powerful labor chief who also sits on the VW supervisory board, is still in place.

VW has said the decision to install illegal “defeat device” software was taken in 2006 below the management board level.

“None of the members of the board of management had, at that time and for many years to follow, knowledge of the development and implementation of this software function,” VW said in its 2017 annual report.

A lawyer for Winterkorn in Germany did not immediately comment. Winterkorn in January 2017 told German lawmakers he had not been informed of the cheating early, and would have halted it had he been aware.

A VW spokesman in Germany said the company “continues to cooperate with investigations” but does not comment about probes of individuals.”

Winterkorn is unlikely to face U.S. authorities. Germany’s Federal Justice Ministry said on Friday it does not extradite German nationals to countries outside the European Union.

Winterkorn is currently in Germany is unlikely to travel to a jurisdiction that might extradite him to the United States, a source familiar with his thinking said.

VW shares, which were trading ex-dividend on Friday, were 0.3 percent higher at 172.62 euros at 1204 GMT.

‘A HEAVY PRICE’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt and other senior Trump administration official issued statements criticizing VW with the indictment.

“If you ,上海夜生活男人好去处Hallie,try to deceive the United States, then you will pay a heavy price,” Sessions said.

Related CoverageBraunschweig probe of ex-VW CEO unaffected by U.S. indictment: prosecutionGermany declines to comment on U.S. indictment of ex-VW CEOSee more stories

In contrast with VW, no individuals were charged at Toyota Motor Corp in connection with its sudden unintended acceleration scandal or at General Motors Co for the cover-up of a deadly ignition switch defect.

The federal government’s decisions not to prosecute senior banking industry executives over the 2007-2009 financial crisis has also drawn fire from advocates of tougher measures to deter corporate wrongdoing.

VW has been fighting to move on from the scandal. It settled criminal charges with the U.S. DoJ in 2017 by agreeing to a $4.3 billion payment, and has pledged to spend billions on new electric vehicles.

In total, it has agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers.

But prosecutors in Germany and the United States are continuing investigations into what senior executives at VW and its Porsche and Audi brands knew. They have also opened investigations into BMW, Mercedes-Benz and FiatChrysler related to their diesel emissions.

VW has also offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles. Many are now stored in parking lots around the United States.

‘ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP’

VW has never commented on when individual management board members learned about the defeat devices.

The filing with the U.S. district court said Winterkorn was briefed about the consequences of being caught using an illegal emissions device on July 27, 2015.

VW disclosed to U.S. authorities that it had used illegal software in its cars on Sept. 3, 2015, and did not inform investors until the U.S. EPA alerted the public on Sept. 18.

VW chose not to disclose the i,上海足浴夜网联系方式Jacob,ssue earlier because it felt the matter could be resolved amicably with U.S. authorities, its annual report said.

Sessions said in a statement that the charges against Winterkorn showed “Volkswagen’s scheme to cheat its legal requirements went all the way to the top of the company.”

The indictment describes how VW employees presented PowerPoint slides to Winterkorn and “other senior VW AG management at an in-person meeting at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg.” The meeting provided a “clear picture” of how the company was deceiving U.S. regulators about software used to rig emissions tests of VW diesel vehicles, it said.

The indictment also alleges that VW employees recommended the company seek to get approval for 2016 diesel models from U.S. regulators without revealing the existence of the cheating software. Winterkorn agreed to the plan, the indictment said.

The indictment also states Winterkorn was informed of the emissions cheating by a memo sent in May 2014. Winterkorn has said he did not learn of the cheating until late August 2015.

At its annual meeting, VW’s new CEO Herbert Diess vowed to make the carmaker “more honest”, but investors called for outside vetting of steps to restore its reputation.

VW had initially suggested only lower-level executives knew of the cheating. But the indictment alleges Winterkorn agreed with other senior VW executives “to continue to perpetrate the fraud and deceive U.S. regulators.”

In total, nine people have been charged and two former VW executives have pleaded guilty in the case and been sentenced to prison terms. One Italian citizen, former Audi manager Giovanni Pamio, is in Germany awaiting extradition.

Six former VW executives charged, including Winterkorn, are believed to be in Germany and ,上海夜生活群Kai,have av上海夜生活论坛oided facing U.S. prosecutors.

Clinton visits Atlantic City boardwalk to hit Trump on casino…

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. ( ) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton visited the famous boardwalk in Atlan,上海夜生活怎么玩Fabi,tic City on Wednesday to highlight Republican rival Donald Trump’s casino bankruptcies, warning he would bring the same cutthroat approach to managing the U.S. economy.

Clinton, standing next to the shuttered Trump Plaza casino that Trump once owned, said the real estate developer routinely profited from the financial ruin of workers in the economically depressed seaside resort town.

“The people he’s trying to convince to vote for him are the same people he’s been exploiting for years – working people, small-business people,” Clinton said.

Clinton said Trump’s casino bankruptcies and numerous complaints against him by contractors showed he cannot be trusted to set economic policy from the White House.

“He makes over-the-top promises and says if people trust in him, put their faith in him, he’ll deliver,” she said. “Then everything falls apart, people get hurt, and Donald gets paid.”

The Trump Plaza was one of four casinos Trump once owned in Atlantic City. He left the city after his last bankruptcy.

Related CoverageClinton campaign to focus on key states in election: memo

Clinton frequently uses criticism of Trump’s business record to illustrate a principle campaign theme – that the wealthy New Yorker is only interested in boosting his financial bottom line, and not concerned about the economic struggles of working Americans.

Clinton reminded supporters who gathered on the boardwalk under a boiling sun, within steps of the city’s beach, that Trump had promised to “do for the country what I did for my business.”

She said Trump intentionally ran up hundreds of millions of debt on his companies, borrowed at high rates, defaulted on the loans, and left in the lurch the workers and contra上海夜生活网ctors who relied on his casinos for income.

“That says everything you need to know about Donald Trump,” Clinton said. “It’s not about what he can build. It’s about how much he can take.”

ECONOMIC STRUGGLES

Atlantic City has struggled economically in recent years as a series of casinos have closed. The city’s 10 percent unemployment rate is nearly double the national average, and closed buildings pockmark its boardwalk.

In an emailed statement, Trump defended his bankruptcy filings on casinos and other projects as a commonly used practice to restructure a business and ultimately save jobs.

“I created thousands of jobs and made a lot of money in Atlantic City, which was what, as a businessman, I am supposed to do for my company and my family – and as President I will make America rich again,” he said.

“Nobody understands the economy like I do and no one, especially not Crooked Hillary Clinton, will do more for the economy than I will.”

After the speech, Clinton drove a few blocks to shake hands with dozens of striking workers outside the Trump Taj Mahal, another of the casinos that Trump once owned.

Her attack on Trump’s business dealings came as the presumptive Republican presidentia,夜上海419龙凤论坛Tamara,l nominee blasted her integrity following an FBI report that criticized her use of private email during her tenure as secretary of state.

Clinton did not address the email issue during her stop in Atlantic City.

On Tuesday,,上海夜生活去哪玩Nala, FBI Director James Comey said the agency would recommend no criminal charges against Clinton for her use of private email servers. But Comey rebuked her for what he said was “extremely careless” handling of classified material on her email servers, and contradicted her claims that she never transmitted or received classified material on that email system.

Republican lawmakers criticized Comey for what they saw as lax treatment of Clinton, and on Wednesday, committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican, announced that Comey will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday to explain the bureau’s “surprising and confusing” recommendation.

The FBI has been investigating whether Clinton broke the law as result of personal email servers kept in her Chappaqua, New York, home while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, including whether she mishandled classified information on the servers.

ConocoPhillips profit tops estimates on rising oil prices, cost cuts

HOUSTON ( ) – ConocoPhillips (COP.N), the world’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production company, posted a bigger-than-expected first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by rising crude prices CLc1 and cost cuts.

Results at Conoco, like many of its peers, have steadily improved in recent quarters alongside commodity prices and as better technology makes operations more efficient.

Conoco’s stock has risen as the company has prioritized cost cuts and asset sales over production increases. The Houston-based company generated more cash in the first quarter than its capital budget and shareholder payouts, an accomplishment feted by analy,上海夜网千花Qirin,sts.

Shares are up about 21 percent so far this year, outpacing the S&P 500 Ener,上海夜玩网论坛Fabi,gy Index .SPNY, which has gained about 3 percent since January. The stock’s biggest increase came after the company boosted its share buyback and dividend in February.

Conoco’s stock closed 2.9 percent higher at $66.97.

“We’re maintaining our discipline and following our game plan,” Chief Financial Officer Don Wallette told investors on a conference call.

Earnings rose to $888 million, or 75 cents per share, compared to $586 million, or,上海夜生活怎么玩Pamela, 47 cents, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 96 cents per share, exceeding the 73 cents expected by analysts, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

Doug Terreson, an oil industry analyst with Evercore ISI, said the results reflected a “positive surprise” and were an indication that energy companies can generate healthy profits even when prioritizing shareholder r上海夜生活eturns.

Production fell 23 percent to 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) as a result of recent asset sales.

Conoco’s U.S. shale operations, which made money after losing cash for more than a year, are now profitable at oil prices CLc1 under $45 per barrel, more than $20 below current levels.

“We’re seeing the earnings power of our unconventional operations driving our overall portfolio,” Wallette said.

Conoco kept its 2018 capital budget at $5.5 billion, but raised its production outlook slightly and now expects to pump 1.2 million to 1.24 million boe/d this year.

Conoco said on Wednesday an international arbitration court ordered Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA [PDVSA.UL], to pay it $2.04 billion for early dissolution of two joint ventures.

“We intend to be aggressive and persistent” in recovering the award, Wallette said. “It’s something that’s going to take time to recover, the value that we lost.”

Rivals Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) report results on Friday.

U.S. top court puts some limits on contractor fraud lawsuits

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday imposed some limits on the kind of fraud claims that can be brought against federal,上海夜网推油Macauly, contractors in a case involving a suit against one of America’s largest hospital operators over a woman’s death at one of its facilities.

But the 8-0 ruling was not the broad victory for business sought by the company, Universal Health Services, and other healthcare providers fearful of suits under the U.S. False Claims Act, which lets individuals make claims that the federal government has been defrauded.

The justices threw out a 2015 appeals court ruling that had allowed the parents of Yarushka Rivera to sue Universal Health Services under the F上海夜生活网alse Claims Act, but sent the case back to a lower court, meaning the suit could potentially still proceed.

Rivera suffered a fatal seizure in 2009 at age 19 a mental health facility owned by the company in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The lawsuit said the facility provided “gravely inadequate treatment” and used “unsupervised and unqualified pe,上海夜生活论坛Earl,rsonnel.”

The ruling represented a partial victory for the business community because it rejected the lower court’s expansive view of a company’s liability under the False Claims Act.

Roy Englert, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services’ lawyer, said he was pleased the justices threw out the appeals court ruling and set a “new rigorous standard” for determining if the claims can move forward.

Rivera’s parents, Julio Escobar and Carmen Correa, accused the company of defrauding the government because it was getting federal Medicaid funding to provide treatment to low-income people and did not comply with personnel regulations at the Lawrence facility.

The ruling “accepts the basic notion that fraudsters can’t provide shoddy services to the government and expect payment without incurring significant liability,” said David Frederick, the lawyer for Rivera’s family.

Businesses had hoped the justices would put more limits, or disallow completely, lawsuits based on a federal contractor’s failure to meet certain legal or regulatory requirements not specifically outlined in a government contract.

The court instead sai,上海夜生活网交流Radley,d such lawsuits can be filed as long as they are relevant to the government’s decision to make the payment to the company.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the court, said the parents “may well have adequately pleaded a violation” of the fraud law, but added that the False Claims Act “is not a means of imposing treble damages and other penalties for insignificant regulatory or contractual violations.”

The Obama administration had backed the parents.

Exclusive: China seeks trade firewall with U.S. allies in rush of…

BEIJING/BRUSSELS ( ) – China’s international trade representative held a series of meetings with the ambassadors from major European nations last week to ask them to stand together with Beijing against U.S. protectionism, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

So,上海夜生活去哪玩Fabi,me of the western diplomats involved in the meetings with Fu Ziying, who is also a vice-commerce minister, have viewed the approaches as a sign of how anxious Beijing is getting about the expanding conflict with Washington, the sources said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese imports to the U.S. to punish China for what U.S. government officials regard as its predatory industrial policies and abuse of U.S. intellectual property. Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

Amid the rapidly rising tensions between the two sides, China has sought to seize the moral high ground as a defender of the multilateral trade system, even as U.S. allies express shared concern with Washington over Beijing’s highly restricted market.

The rush of meetings last Thursday and Friday with ambassadors from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and the European Union, may be a signal that China is trying to build a firewall against Trump’s aggressive trade measures, the severity of which some foreign diplomats said Beijing had miscalculated.

The individual meetings, which were called by Fu, were generally “non-confrontational” as China sought support in countering the United States, a European diplomat with knowledge of the discussions told . There were, though, some “subliminal threats” about consequences for foreign companies, this person said.

“The message was that we have to stand together against U.S. prot上海夜生活ectionism in favor of free trade,” the diplomat said.

China InsightTake a deep dive with into the mechanisms of Chinese political and economic life.

“China is showing confidence, but internally they appear quite concerned. They have apparently underestimated Trump’s resolve on trade,” the diplomat said, adding that Beijing is nervous about China’s major trading partners siding with Washington.

Three other diplomatic sources, and three embassies, confirmed that the meetings occurred.

An Italian embassy spokeswoman said its ambassador met with Fu on April 12, and that while the U.S.-China trade dispute was discussed, the meeting was mostly about bilateral issues.

A British embassy spokeswoman also confirmed that its ambassador met with Fu last week as part of regular discussions with the ministry that touched on “bilateral and multilateral trade issues”.

An EU Delegation spokesman said its ambassador attended a meeting with Fu, but did not elaborate.

A German embassy spokesman declined to comment, and the other embassies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

China’s C,夜上海419龙凤论坛Octava,ommerce Ministry also did not respond to a request for comment.

“SMACKS OF DESPERATION”

The Chinese government’s top diplomat Wang Yi, during a visit to Tokyo on Monday, urged Japan to work together with China to oppose protectionism, though foreign officials say that China is not naive enough to think that it could fully drive a wedge between Washington and its allies.

One senior EU diplomat in Brussels who confirmed the meetings said the EU was not in the business of taking sides, and that its goal was to get the multilateral process back on track, referring to efforts to resolve trade disputes through the WTO.

“I think it also smacks of desperation because China also knows that the European Union is not going to confront its biggest ally,” the EU diplomat said of the meetings.

“China has been very effective at making the most of the free-trading rule book. I don’t think anyone in the West is going to leave it to China to set new ones,” the Brussels-based diplomat said.

Trade policy for members of the EU is handled by the European Commission, not by individual member states.

Another western diplomat in Beijing, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said China’s outreach to European countries had be,上海夜网后花园Idaleen,gun even before Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese industrial technology, transport and medical products in early April.

When Beijing responded within hours with its intention to levy similar duties on $50 billion worth of U.S. soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals, Trump then escalated the dispute by instructing his administration to identify another $100 billion worth of Chinese goods to penalize.

None of these threatened duties have yet gone into effect.

U.S. business groups argue that Trump should form a coalition with the EU, Japan and other western nations to push China to open its economy. They say that these countries share Washington’s consternation over Chinese market restrictions and its policies to produce national champion companies in key industries at the expense of foreign competitors.

However, instead of reaching out to its European allies, Washington has alienated them with its protectionist moves, including its targeting of European countries with tariffs on steel and aluminum exports to the U.S.

The EU has said the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs are unjustified and is seeking compensation from the United States at the World Trade Organization.

Toys ‘R’ Us sets up $156 million fund for trade claims: lawyer

( ) – Toys ‘R’ Us w上海夜生活论坛ill set aside about $156 million to pay vendors for toys and merchandise shipped after the U.S. retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last September, a lawyer for the company said on Tuesday.

The vendor reserve fund will be carved out of a broader budget meant to cover some expenses as the retailer winds down its business in the largest-ever U.S. retail liquidation, Toys ‘R’ Us lawyer Joshua Sussberg said at a hearing at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia.

However, the amount fails to cover total trade claims worth roughly $760 million, lawyers who represent trade vendors said ,上海夜网官方网站Kaiden,at the hearing.

Vendors ranging from heavyweights such as handicraft company Crayola to smaller toy manufacturers have said in court papers that they were taken by surprise when Toys ‘R’ Us announced the largest-ever U.S. retail liquidation in March, putting payments at risk.

Many vendors believed that payment for shipments after the Sept. 18 Chapter 11 filing would be covered by a $3.1 billion bankruptcy loan, but that loan gives priority to lenders and other expenses such as legal fees, lawyers said on ,上海夜网推油Barney,Tuesday.

“It’s a really hard pill to swallow,” said Erika Morabito, a lawyer who represents a group of trade vendors. At the hearing, she said vendors remain in a “dire” situation even after laying off employees and closing stores.

More than a dozen executives, specialists and lawyers have told that many small vendors are at risk of bankruptcy due to the disappearance of Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us in the United States.

In a court filing late Monday, Morabito said that absent a more comprehensive settlement, the group’s members and other vendors will likely pursue litigation “against the persons or entities responsible for the severe losses suffered.”

Both Morabito’s group and an official committee of unsecured creditors are pushing for reserve funds to be paid on a pro rata basis.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Keith Phillips ,上海夜哪里艳遇Kade,approved the proposed wind-down budget at the hearing.

Phillips also authorized the sale of Toys ‘R’ Canada to Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for $237 million. The company has said it is in talks over the sale of its Asian and Central European businesses.

China’s ZTE delays earnings amid confusion over U.S. ban

SAN FRANCISCO/,上海会所夜网Dalton,NEW YORK ( ) – China’s ZTE Corp on Wednesday postponed the release of quarterly earnings, saying it needs time to assess the impact of a U.S. order that bans American companies from selling it parts, which could undermine its ability to manufa,上海仙霞路夜生活Easton,cture equipment.

ZTE (000063.SZ), a maker of telecommunications equipment and smartphones, was due to release results on Thursday.

It announced the delay as components makers, wireless carriers, retailers, telecommunications firms and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, developer of the Android operating system, sought to clarify how they will be affected by the order, announced on Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department.

“There are a lot of companies around the world scrambling to find out what this means,” said Washington lawyer Tim O’Toole, a sanctions specialist whose clients include companies that have done business with ZTE. “It’s rare that you go from A-OK to no transactions overnight.”

Under the order American companies are banned from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years. The action followed ZTE’s violation of an agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran.

ZTE said its board postponed a meeting to approve the results while it reviews the order. Trading in its shares has been suspended in China since Tuesday.

American companies are estimated to prov,上海夜网官方网站Jacklyn,ide 25 percent to 30 percent of the components used in ZTE’s equipment.

ZTE has not responded to requests to describe how it intends to respond to the ban, which a senior U.S. Commerce official told is unlikely to be lifted.

“I never say never,” the official said earlier this week. “We’re going to have to see how this unfolds. But there is no provision currently for that to occur.”

The Co上海夜生活论坛mmerce Department initially banned U.S. companies from selling to ZTE in 2016 after the Chinese company was caught shipping equipment with U.S. components to Iran in violation of U.S. export controls.

ZTE then received a special temporary general license that was extended several times, until it pleaded guilty to the charges in March 2017 and Commerce suspended the ban through March 2018.

Washington has not included any “off ramp” under the terms of this week’s order, the official said.

The Commerce Department has an appeals process for companies to try to get off the list, but it is unclear whether that would be available to ZTE because the case had been previously subject to a settlement.

Even so, ZTE would have little recourse in the near term because appeals would have to be approved by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, the same agency that issued the ban.

Companies must submit appeals to a committee that would issue a ruling within 30 days, according to the agency’s website.

ANDROID UPDATES

One key area of concern is whether ZTE will be able to continue to sell phones running Google’s widely used Android operating system.

ZTE and Google have been discussing the impact of the ban, a source familiar with those discussions told on Tuesday. ZTE shipped 46.4 million smartphones last year, placing it seventh among Android-based manufacturers, according to research firm IHS Markit.

Google declined comment and ZTE did not respond to requests to comment.

Officials at two U.S. wireless carriers said on Wednesday that they were still assessing how the ban would affect their customers. They declined comment on how they would respond if ZTE is unable to provide Android software updates for phones already used by their customers.

At least one U.S. technology company said the ban would not affect its business with ZTE.

New York-based software firm Taboola Inc, which this month announced it would supply ZTE with technology to personalize news feeds on phones, told it expects the deal to move forward.

“After careful review of the new U.S. policy, we believe that our relationship with ZTE does not fall within the prohibited activities,” Taboola Chief Executive Officer Adam Singolda said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely.”

The United States is ZTE’s top smartphone market, accounting for 46 percent of its shipments, followed by China at 24 percent, according to research firm IDC. Most ZTE phones sell for below $300, a low-end segment of the U.S. market, ZTE’s mobile chief executive, Lixin Cheng, told in January.

The company has spent billions of dollars licensing technology from U.S. partners, he said.

MetLife CFO John Hele retires, treasurer to succeed him

( ) – U.S. insurer MetLife Inc (MET.N) said on Tuesd,上海夜生活论坛Nadine,ay John Hele has retired as chief financial officer and will be succeeded by the company’s treasurer John McCallion.

McCallion, 44, takes over as CFO on Tuesday, a day before MetLife is to report first-quarter 2018 earnings. Hele, 59, is expected to stay at MetLife as senior adviser until September.

In 2017 MetLife disclosed two key financial reporting errors, including payments it failed to make to pensioners whom it could not locate after taking over their plans from private companies.

MetLife cut Hele’s total 2017 compensation by 6.4 percent, to $5.3 million from $5.7 million, a change that reflected the insurer’s “performance in managing financial matters, including material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting,” the company said in an April 26 proxy statement..

A MetLife spokesman declined to comment on whethe上海夜网r the errors had spurred Hele’s retirement. He had been with the company for nearly 10 years.

“I want to thank John Hele for his service as CFO and for bringing a sharper focus on the true economics of the business we write,” MetLife Chief Executive Steven Kandarian said in a statement.

In March, MetLi,上海晚上耍女人的地方Lance,fe said it uncovered a reserve miscalculation for a Japanese annuity product during a review it launched in late 2017 and completed early this year.

McCallion joi,上海夜生活去哪玩Easton,ned MetLife in July, 2006. He has served as head of investor relations and CFO for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, among other roles. McCallion has also worked at the insurance audit practice of PwC.

MetLife, also on Tuesday, named Stephen Gauster as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Gauster joined the company in 2016.

Disney plays up local ties in China amid trade standoff

SHANGHAI ( ) – Shanghai Disneyland should be viewed as a local company in China, Walt Disney (DIS.N) said on Thursday, shrugging off concerns that U.S.-China trade tensions could affect visitor numbers or import costs for the $5.5 billion theme park.

Bob Weis, President of Walt Disney Imagineering, addressed the trade issue at the opening of Toy Story Land, a new extension modeled after the Disney-Pixar film series and the park’s first major expansion since it opened in 2016.

Shanghai Disneyland is a joint venture with state-owned Shendi Group, which has a 57 percent stake. Shendi is a consortium controlled by Shanghai Media Group, hotelier Jin Jiang International, supermarket-to-department store oper上海夜生活论坛ator Bailian Group and developer Lujiazui Development Group.

“The way to think about us in terms of projects like this is that we are a local company,” Weis said, when asked whether the company’s costs could be ,上海仙霞路夜生活Caden,impacted if retaliatory tariffs threatened by Beijing against U.S. goods were put in place.

“In the case of this you can look at … toys or airplanes, everything here, they are built and made in China. We are really local in where we source things,” he told reporters.

Weis, who oversaw construction of the park, said he was not worried about attendance falling due to the trade tensions. He said the park would keep expanding and come up,上海021夜网Falkner, with new ideas to attract visitors.

“Expansion is definitely in our planning,” Weis said.

Disney has emphasized its Chinese links since the park opened. Shanghai Disneyland’s attractions include a Chines,上海凤楼夜网Octava,e-style Wandering Moon tea house, a Chinese Zodiac-themed garden and a Tarzan musical featuring Chinese acrobats.

However, since early April companies in the United States and China have worried about a potential trade war between the two countries which could see tariffs slapped on their products and raise costs.

China-based U.S. executives have expressed concerns that American brands could see a backlash similar to that faced by South Korea last year after Seoul deployed a U.S.-made missile defense system despite Beijing’s strong objections. [nL5N1RH1B1]

U.S. lawmakers seek more money, authority for derivatives regulator

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Commodity Futures Tradi上海夜网ng Commission would have stronger policing powers over the derivatives market, along with a boosted budget, under legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

The bill, introduced by Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Mark Warner in the Senate and Elijah Cummings in the House of Representatives, also would add new tasks to the regulator’s rulemaking agenda.

“The only way to make sure that derivatives can never lead to a financial crisis and taxpayer bailouts again is to put in place clearer rules and stronger oversight,” Warren said in a statement.

The bill likely will fizzle in the Republican-led Congress. It could also become part of this year’s election fights, as the relationship between Wall Street and Washington frequently moves to center stage in presidential and congressional campaigns.

Democrats such as Warren, who is ca,上海夜生活论坛Hadleigh,mpaigning for her party’s presumptive nominee, Hillary C,上海夜生活乌托邦Ebba,linton, regard the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law passed after the 2007-09 financial crisis as crucial for preventing another massive meltdown. That law greatly expanded the CFTC’s reach, as swaps and derivatives had played a key role in the breakdown of banks and other firms.

They also seek further regulation, saying vulnerabilities persist in the financial system.

The presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, real estate developer and television star Donald Trump wants to repeal Dodd-Frank. Many in the party say the law has gone too far, drying up liquidity and freezing capital.

The proposed legislation “gives the CFTC a stable funding stream and the tools necessary to help deter future illegal acts by permitting penalties large enough to impact the bottom lines of even the largest financial firms,” Cummings said,上海夜生活群Nadia,.

The CFTC currently is funded through annual appropriations from Congress, unlike the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is backed by user fees and fines.

CFTC Chair Timothy Massad has sought a change, saying millions of dollars more in funds would help the agency keep up with technology advancements in the markets it oversees and with “high-powered defense teams” in its enforcement cases.

Republicans in Congress say the funding process keeps the agency accountable to elected leaders.

The Democrats’ bill would move the CFTC to the same model as the SEC. It would also put certain foreign exchange swaps under CFTC jurisdiction, change how derivatives are treated in bankruptcy, require posting initial margin in inter-affiliate swaps, and require regulators to review derivatives clearinghouses.

GM Korea delays vote on bankruptcy protection to Monday as talks fail

SEOUL/DETROIT ( ) – General Motors’ (GM.N) South Korean unit delayed a decision to file for bankruptcy protection until Monday afternoon, after the automaker failed to reach a wage deal with its labor union in time to meet a Friday deadline.

The U.S. automaker shocked South Korea in February when it unveiled a major restructuring plan for its money-losing unit, which involved shuttering one of its four plants in the country and voluntary redundancies for 2,600 workers.

GM has sought wage concessions from the union as well as government funding and incentives to save its remaining three South Korean factories.

The automaker said its Korean unit, which employs 16,000 people, would likely file for bankruptcy if no restructuring agreement was reached by Friday.

After failing to reach a tentative agreement with the company by the deadline, GM Korea’s labor union requested an extension to continue talks, aiming to conclude a tentative agreement by 5 p.m. local time on Monday, April 23.

GM Korea held a board meeting on Friday evening to discuss filing for a court-led rehabilitation, but it delayed a decision until Monday evening.

“Government officials will engage in the negotiations over the weekend in an effort to help reach a tentative labor agreement between the company and the union by 5 p.m. Monday,” GM said in a statement.

Earlier, the union said the two sides would continue talking until Monday afternoon.

The Korea Development Bank told this week it may sign a preliminary agreement by April 27 to provide financial support for the business should an interim due-diligence report due on Friday turn out to be satisfactory. ,上海夜生活去哪玩Balthazar,

The U.S. automaker owns 77 percent of GM Korea, while KDB owns a 17 percent stake. GM’s main Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS), controls the remaining 6 percent.

OVER 150,000 JOBS THREATENED

In a statement after talks fell apart on Friday, South Korea’s government,上海会所夜网Hallie, urged GM Korea and the union to “reach an agreement swiftly through genuine dialogue.”

If they fail to reach an agreement, more than 150,000 jobs at GM and suppliers will be “under threat,” the government said.

GM Korea’s restructuring also poses a challenge for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has attached the utmost priority to jobs ahead of local elections scheduled for June.

GM Korea’s future is important for South Korea as it accounts for some 13 percent上海夜生活网 of the nation’s auto industry jobs and 16 percent of auto exports in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.

A union official previously said the thorniest issue was job security for 680 workers at the Gunsan factory, which is due to close by May.

“We don’t want a disaster. We still have to keep in mind the worst situation,” he said prior to the talks, declining to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the talks.

Over the past three years, GM has sought to focus on profitable markets, mainly the United States and China, and new technologies such as electric and automated vehicles.

Although the South Korean unit has been hobbled by labor costs and hurt by GM’s decision to pull its Chevrolet brand from Europe, a key export market, any decision on whether to pull the plug on the unit will not come easy for GM Chief Executive Mary Barra.

The unit was once the backbone of its Asian strategy and still makes more than 1 million a,上海夜生活怎么玩Pamela,ssembled or partially assembled vehicles for the U.S., European and emerging markets.

It is also an engineering and design source for GM’s small vehicles and electric vehicles, as well as home to some of GM’s top-ranked suppliers globally.

Rubio seeks re-election to Senate, says Trump ‘worrisome’

WASHINGTON ( ) – Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio will seek re-election to his U.S. Senate seat, he announced on Wednesday, reversing a pledge not to run and saying the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency worries him.

The first-term Florida senator said the Senate can be frustrating, but that it is also a place where policy advances can be made and one that can counteract the power of the White House.

“But as we begin the next chapter in the history of our nation, there’s another role for the Senate that could end up being its most important in the years to come: The Constitutional power to act as a check and balance on the excesses of a president,” Rubio said in a statement.

The 45-year-old lawmaker, a proven fund-raiser who is well known nationally, had been under intense pressure to run, especially given the cost of contesting an important election swing-state where campaign advertising is expensive.

Republicans are more likely to retain his seat if he is a candidate in the N,上海夜生活论坛Gabi,ov. 8 general election, as they face a tough fight to preserve their majority in the Senate. He could also rally Republican voters to head to the polls in a state that is critical in the presidential race.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, took Florida by just a one percentage-point margin in 2012 over Republican Mitt Romney.

This year, Republicans must defend 24 of the 54 seats they now hold in the 100-member Senate, compared with just 10 the Democrats have to fight to retain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said ,上海夜生活服务Dalton,it would be a “terrific outcome” if Rubio de上海夜生活cided to run.

Rubio had harsh words for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, predicting her election would mean four more years of what he termed Obama’s “failed” policies.

TRUMP ‘WORRISOME’

But he said the prospect of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump winning the White House was also “worrisome,” citing Trump’s statements about women and minorities and noting that many of the likely Republican nominee’s positions on important issues are unknown.

“If he is elected, we will need Senators willing to encourage him in the right direction, and if necessary, stand up to him,” Rubio’s statement said.

Still, he pledged to vote for Trump, a real estate mogul and political neophyte who has shaken the Republican establishment.

“It’s not the choice I wanted … and it’s not the choice a lot of people are comfortable with, but it’s the choice we have,” he told CNN in an interview.

His announcement did not mention the massacre last week at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, but he had said in recent days he ,上海夜玩网论坛Hal,was reconsidering his decision not to run because of his concern about serious events in the country, including the mass shooting.

The decision reversed a campaign pledge Rubio made a year ago to retire from the Senate if his presidential bid failed. He ended his bid for the nomination in March after losing the primary in his home state to Trump following a harsh war of words.

The Cook Political Report said Rubio’s announcement “breathed new life” into Republican chances of holding onto the seat but still rated the race as a toss-up, citing his poor Senate attendance record and the senator’s remarks during his presidential campaign that he was “frustrated” with the upper chamber.

Republican U.S. Representative David Jolly, who had been seeking the Senate seat, opened the door for Rubio to run when he stepped aside last week.

After Wednesday’s announcement, Florida Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera, a friend of Rubio, and Republican U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis also scrapped plans to seek the seat. Other Republicans, however, have not announced plans to quit ahead of Florida’s Aug. 30 primary.

U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy, a leading Democratic challenger, accused Rubio of first abandoning his constituents, and now “treating them like a consolation prize.”

Credit Suisse fully compliant on sanctions: CEO

ZURICH ( ) – Swiss bank Credit Suisse complies with sanctions regimes wherever i,上海夜网邀请码Oakley,t does business, Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said after two U.S. senators demanded big banks disclose any links to rich Russians.

“I can’t comment on,夜上海论坛Kai, the (senators’ request). But what I can tell you is we are in full compliance with every regulation in every jurisdiction we are present in,” Thiam told reporters at the bank’s quarterly results news conference on Wednesday.

“When there are sanctions, we are fully compliant with the sanctions, of course, and we have invested a lot of resources in continuously upgrading our ability to monitor.”

Swiss banks practically never comment on individual clients given confidentiality laws that helped make Switzerland the world’s biggest center for managing offshore wealth.

The neutral country has now begun to exchange information on bank clients with foreign tax authorities.

Two Democratic senators have written to U.S.-based Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank as,上海夜网推油Pablo, well as European groups Barclays, Deutsche Bank, UBS, HSBC and Credit Suisse.

The Trump administration announced sanctions on Russia on April 6, responding to what U.S. int上海夜网elligence agencies say was Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and other adversarial actions by Moscow. Russia denies meddling in the election.

UBS Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said this week U.S. sanctions on Russians were having only a limited impact on its business. UBS is the world’s biggest wealth manager.

Written by shyw on January 15, 2017 Categories: ikmtzwgs Tags: , , ,

German business leaders fear U.S. tariffs after Merkel-Trump talks

BERLIN ( ) – German business leaders voiced disappointment on Saturday over the outcome of talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump, saying they feared he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The United States imposed import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 perc,上海夜生活怎么玩Caden,ent on alumin,上海夜生活服务Eden,um in March, but it provided a temporary exemption until May 1 for the European Union. Trump will decide then whether to make the exemption permanent.

“I regret the fact that the chancellor’s visit to Washington produced no palpable progress on the contentious issues between Germany and the United States,” said Dieter Kempf, president of the BDI industry body.

Merkel and Trump aired differences over trade and NATO on Friday at a White House meeting where they tried to put on a show of warmth and friendship.

During a joint news conference, Trump lamented his country’s trade deficit with the EU. Merkel said any decision on whether to exempt the bloc from tariffs permanently was now in the president’s hand.

“The threatened tariffs remain a major burden on transatlantic relations,” added Kempf.

French President Emmanuel,上海夜生活男人好去处Jackson, Macron also pressed Trump on trade during a three-day state visit in the same week as Merkel’s quick trip. Neither leader appeared to have made progress convincing Trump to make the exemptions permanent.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t look lik上海夜生活e the EU will be exempted from the unfair U.S. tariffs,” said Volker Treier of the DIHK industry and commerce chambers.

Qualcomm easing licensing terms in bid to strike deals

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Qualcomm Inc’s earnings call on Wednesday showed just how far the company is willing to go to preserve one of its core busine,上海仙霞路夜生活Gabriella,ss practices of taking a cut of the selling price of phones.

The San Diego-based chipmaker posted quarterly profit and revenue that topped Wall Street forecasts, suggesting that a slowdown in the global smartphone business might be less severe than feared after a string of weak forecasts from other industry suppliers.

But Qualcomm’s other line of business – licensing a trove of patents that help make smart phones work – has traditionally driven most of its profits. And that business has dropped sharply over the past year, as revenue attributable to Apple Inc iPhones is withheld amid a legal dispute.

Qualcomm gave two indications on Wednesday it was prepared to accept lower revenue in exchange for maintaining the business structure and avoiding future customer disputes.

Most Qualcomm licensing revenue is calculated as a percentage of the selling price of a smartphone. That so-called device-level licensing model has been at the center of regulatory disputes in China, Korea and the United States and also in its disputes with Apple.

On Wednesday, Qualcomm said it would cap the phone pr上海夜生活论坛ice that is the basis of the revenue calculation at $400. More expensive phones, which can sell for $1,000, would still be treated as $400 for the purpose of the Qualcomm license fee.

That move follows a Qualcomm decision in November to license some patents that are required for connecting to so-called 5G networks, the next generation of mobile data networks, at a rate of 3.25 percent,上海夜生活网419Fabian,.

The net effect is that Qualcomm keeps its device-level licensing model and likely accepts less revenue, said Summit Insights Group analyst Kinngai Chan.

“It’s cheaper for most people,” Chan said. “What Qualcomm is trying to do is … get everyone to sign a lice,上海021夜网Octavien,nsing agreement with them so they don’t have to worry too much.”

When Qualcomm executives were asked directly by an analyst on the post-earnings conference call whether the company would receive less revenue from 5G patents, they disputed the notion.

“We’re not getting paid less for it,” said Alex Rogers, Qualcomm’s licensing chief. “I think the best way to think about this is building a foundation for long-term stability” for Qualcomm’s licensing business.

Chan said that a recent deal with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd also appeared to show that the rate was lower. In February, Qualcomm said it had amended a 2009 Samsung agreement with a new licensing rate as part of a deal to settle a regulatory dispute in Korea.

Qualcomm cut its licensing forecast by $300 million for the third quarter and Chief Financial Officer George Davis said just under half of the change was due to changes in arrangements with Samsung and other moves. That, said Chan, indicated a cheaper deal for Samsung.

Samsung mentioned the late-January cross-licensing deal amendment with Qualcomm in earnings call on Thursday Asian time, but said it could not reveal any monetary figures due to confidential agreement. Samsung said that “the effect will be limited to future revenue, and there were no one-off reversals of provisioning (during the first quarter).”

HSBC’s $2 billion buyback fails to cheer investors as spending surges

HONG KONG/LONDON ( ) – HSBC’s (HSBA.L) new chief executive sought to mollify investors with a share buyback of up to $2 billion, as the bank reported on Friday an unexpected 4 percent drop in first-quarter pre-tax profit due to a surge in spending.

Europe’s biggest bank by assets said that this would likely be the only share buyback this year, as CEO John Flint looks to invest instead in the bank’s twin homes of Britain and China in a bid to boost returns.

The bank’s shares fell 2.5 percent in London by 0750 GMT, in a sign of immediate in上海夜生活网vestor scepticism that the bank’s new investments will pay off after years spent focusing on cutting unprofitable parts of the business.

“For us to get to a 10 percent return on equity, we will have to grow the business, it’s very hard to get there just by shrinking the cost base,” Flint told analysts on a conference call.

HSBC also took a surprise $897 million in provisions against expected settlements for past misconduct cases, which it said included a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into its sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities.

The provision is a sign the bank has advanced its talks with the U.S. ,上海夜生活Pablo,authority, as it and others including Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) inch towards settling their involvement in the sale of the products during the buildup to the 2007-2008 crisis.

In 2017, HSBC returned a total of $3 billion to shareholders through share buybacks and paid more in dividends than any other major European or American bank, while maintaining its capital buffers as revenue grew.

That came on the back of its restructuring strategy unveiled in 2015, which included boosting its presence in Asia, to turn around performance that had suffered from the consequences of a pre-2008 era of excessive empire-building.

The bank’s pre-tax profit of $4.76 billion for the three months ended March 31 compared to $4.96 billion in the same period a year ago, and was well below the $5.76 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank.

The bank’s profit shrank mainly as a nearly 13 percent rise in operating expenses outpaced revenue growth of 5.5 percent. HSBC said the rise in costs was due to investment in its retail banking businesses in its core markets of Britain and China.

HSBC said in Britain it had increased the number of intermediaries that it sells mortgages through from 23 to 30 as it boosts its share of home loans.

Flint plans to double down on HSBC’s “pivot” to Asia and China in particular, despite some setbacks in the plan launched in June 2015. [nL3N1RM3B9]

The main pillar of that strategy is centered around the fast growing Pearl River Delta region in southern China that borders Hong Kong. HSBC seeks to make it its gateway to the world’s second-largest economy.

The bank made over 75 percent of its profits in Asia in 2017.

NO QUICK FIX

The biggest que,上海夜生活网交流Rae,stion for HSBC investors looking forward is what strategy Flint will adopt to boost growth after years of restructuring and shrinking.

One of the biggest decisions he will have to make is over,上海足浴夜网联系方式Cadence, HSBC’s perennially underperforming U.S. business, which has been barely profitable in recent years as it suffers from being sub-scale relative to domestic rivals.

Flint said on Friday the bank would not look to acquire a domestic business in the United States to increase its scale there, contrary to media reports earlier this year.

“There is no straightforward inorganic solution, there’s no quick fix,” he told .

Written by shyw on January 11, 2017 Categories: hvbabhyu Tags: , ,

No read-across to Airbus from Rolls engine problems on Boeing 787s:…

PARIS ( ) – European planemaker Air,上海夜网Ida,bus (AIR.PA) said there was no read- across to engines made by Rolls-Royce (RR.L) to power its A330neo planes from the durability problems with Rolls engines installed on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jets.

“I’m not aware that there’s commonality of a problem between 787 and the A330neo engine, so it’s separate,” Airbus CFO Harald Wilhelm told analysts on a first-quarter results call when asked whether the issue could infect the Rolls engines it has ordered.

Rolls-Royce is working to fix problems with its Trent 1000 engines on 787s, where turbine blades have worn out sooner than expected, forcing airlines to disru,上海夜玩网论坛Jackson,pt their schedules to allow for the engines to be inspected more regularly.

Airbus will use Rolls’s Trent 7000 to power the A330neo jet which is due to enter service later this year. The Trent 7000 is derived from the Trent 1000-TEN product which is used on some ,上海夜生活Gabe,Dreamliners.

Wilhelm said Airbus was talking to Rolls to make sure it was focused on the A330neo project.

“We send remind上海夜生活论坛ers…to the wide body engine guys (Rolls-Royce and rival engine-maker GE (GE.N)) to be on spot and that means in the case obviously of the A330 to be on spot for an entry to service in 2018,” he said.

Shire willing to back $64 billion Takeda bid, market signals doubts

LONDON/NEW YORK/TOKYO ( ) – Rare disease specialist Shire said on Wednesday it was willing to recommend a sweetened $64 billion offer from Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co to shareholders, in what would be the biggest acquisition of a drug company since 2000.

But Takeda’s shares extended recent loss上海夜生活es, tumbling 7 percent as investors fretted over its ability to buy a company twice its size, raising doubts about whether Shire shareholders will accept a bid that is 56 percent in new Takeda shares.

The stock slide – 18 percent since the news of a possible bid broke – makes the cash-and-share deal less appealing to Shire shareholders, some of whom may be reluctant or unable to hold Takeda shares.

“The chances are UK shareholders in particular are not going to want Takeda shares, so there’s going to be a forced discount because some people are going to sell it,” said Neil Dwane, global strategist at Allianz Global Investors, which holds 1.1 percent of Shire, Thomson data showed.

Shire shares ended 2.8 percent down at 38.20 pounds, well below Takeda’s 49 pounds offer, signaling scepticism about the deal as Takeda’s falling stock price erodes the bid’s $64 billion headline value.

Without a deal, Shire shares could fall back to mid-March levels of 30-32 pounds, pressuring management to find other ways to realize value. Prior to Takeda’s approach, Shire was already considering divestments and a split in its operations.

It is now four weeks since Takeda first revealed it was considering a bid and the absence of firm interest from rivals means investors see only a low chance of an interloper emerging.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc ruled itself out of the running for Shire on Wednesday, after reporting quarterly results.

The latest development, first reported by , comes after London-listed Shire rejected four previous offers from Takeda.

The fifth offer is worth 49.01 pounds per share, comprised of 27.26 pounds per share in new Takeda shares and 21.75 pounds per share in cash. That represents a 4.3 percent premium to Takeda’s fourth proposal on April 20 and an 11.4 percent premium to its first approach on March 29.

SURGE IN DEALMAKING

Dealmaking has surged in the drug industry this year as large players look to,上海夜网千花Jacob, improve their pipelines. A Takeda-Shire deal would be the sector’s second largest ever, ranking only behind Pfizer’s purchase of Warner Lambert, which was completed in 2000. Including Shire’s debt, it is worth $80 billion, according to Thomson data.

Shire, a member of Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 stock index, said its board agreed to extend a Wednesday regulatory deadline to May 8 so Takeda can conduct more due diligence and firm up its bid. Shire added the deadline may be extended further if needed.

Any deal is subject to the resolution of several issues, including completion of due diligence by Shire on Takeda, the Dublin-based company said.

A deal would significantly boost Takeda’s position in gastrointestinal disorders, neuroscience, and rare diseases, including a blockbuster haemophilia franchise.

If successful, it would be the largest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company and propel Takeda, led by Frenchman Christophe Weber, into the top ranks of global drugmakers.

Weber, who became Takeda’s first non-Japanese CEO in 2015, has said publicly it was looking for acquisitions to reduce its exposure to a mature Japanese pharmaceutical market.

The combined company would have its primary listing in Tokyo and also offer American Depository Receipts – a move that would give Shire investors an opportunity to cash out more easily.

But the transaction would be a huge financial stretch, and Takeda investors have been skeptical about the merits of a Shire deal, given the size of the potential purchase and concerns that a large share issue will be needed to fund it.

Moody’s said the deal would pile up debt and hit Takeda’s credit ratings. “This huge acquisition bodes a spike in leverage that could result in a multi-notch downgrade,” said analyst Yukiko Asanuma.

Ambitious cost cutting is also seen as necessary to make the deal pay, and the uncertainties facing an enlarged group would spell a big change in the investment case for holding Takeda.

“Takeda’s shares have been valued for their stability and relatively high dividend,” said Daiwa Securities analyst Kazuaki Hashiguchi, adding this made them attractive even to investors without s,上海夜网官方网站Cade,pecialist knowledge of the drug sector.

Takeda, now worth $33 billion by market value, had 466.5 billion yen ($4.3 billion) in cash and short-term investments as of end-December. It said on Wednesday it intended to maintain its dividend policy and investment-grade credit rating following the deal.

CHALLENGES AT SHIRE

Shire has long been seen as a likely takeover target.

Botox-maker Allergan Plc said last week it was considering making a rival offer, only to scrap it hours later due to pushback from shareholders. Shire was also nearly bought by U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc in 2014, until U.S. tax rule changes caused the deal to fall apart.

Shire traces its roots back to 1986, when it began as a seller of calcium supplements to treat osteoporosis, operating from an office above a shop in Hampshire, southern England. Since then, it has grown rapidly through acquisitions to gene,上海夜生活Larissa,rate revenues of about $15.2 billion last year.

But it has been under pressure in the past 12 months due to greater competition from generic drugs and debt from its $32 billion acquisition of Baxalta in 2016, a widely criticized deal.

It announced last week a sale of its oncology business to unlisted French drugmaker Servier for $2.4 billion.

($1 = 0.7170 pounds)

($1 = 108.8200 yen)

Written by shyw on January 9, 2017 Categories: 上海夜生活 Tags: , , ,

U.S. trade deficit narrows on exports; jobs market tightening

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in March as exports increased to a record high amid a surge in deliveries of commercial aircraft and soybeans, bolstering the economy’s outlook heading into the second quarter.

While other data on Thursday showed a modest increase in new applications for jobless benefits last week, the number of Americans receiving unemployment aid fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to tightening labor market conditions.

Wage growth is also rising, with hourly compensati上海夜生活on accelerating in the first quarter. Strengthening wage growth should put upward pressure on inflation and keep the Federal Reserve on a gradual path of monetary policy tightening.

The U.S. central bank on Wednesday left interest rates unchanged and said it expected annual inflation to run close to the Fed’s 2 percent target over the medium term.

“The good news is that we are exporting more, but with the labor markets incredibly tight, labor costs are accelerating as well,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. “The rise in labor costs will undoubtedly factor into policymakers’ thinking when they meet again in June.”

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit tumbled 15.2 percent to a six-month low of $49.0 billion in March. The trade gap widened to $57.7 billion in February, which was the highest level since October 2008.

March’s decline ended six straight monthly increases in the trade deficit. The politically sensitive goods trade gap with China dropped 11.6 percent to $25.9 billion, which will probably do little to ease tensions between the United States and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened tariffs on up to $150 billion worth of Chinese goods to punish Beijing over its joint-venture requirements and other policies Washington says force American companies to surrender their intellectual property to state-backed Chinese competitors.

China, which denies it coerces such technology,夜上海419龙凤论坛Tabitha, transfers, has threatened retaliation in equal measure, including tariffs on U.S. soybeans and aircraft. A U.S. trade delegation arrived in China on Thursday for trade talks.

Trump, who claims the United States is being taken advantage of by its trading partners, has already imposed broad tariffs on imported solar panels and large washing machines.

He recently slapped 25 percent import duties on steel and 10 percent on aluminum. But the tariffs and standoff with China are eroding business confidence. The Institute for Supply Management said on Thursday its national nonmanufacturing index fell for a third straight month in April.

From construction to mining, finance and professional services, businesses complained about the administration’s protectionist measures, which they said made “folks nervous,” and would “cause unintended consequences on all industries.”

The Trump administration argues that the perennial trade deficit is holding back economic growth. The economy grew at a 2.3 percent annualized pace in the first quarter, slowing from the October-December period’s 2.9 percent rate.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies while prices for U.S. Treasuries rose. Stocks on Wall Street were trading lower.

BRIGHTENING PROSPECTS

Away from the trade uncertainty, prospects for the economy are brightening. In a separate report, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended April 28.

Claims remained near a more than 48-year low of 209,000 touched during the week ended April 21. The labor market is considered to be near or at full employment. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, close to the Fed’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.

The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 77,000 to 1.76 million in the week ended April 21, the lowest level since December 1973.

Labor market strength is likely to be underscored by April’s employment report which is scheduled for release on Friday. Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 192,000 jobs last month, according to a survey of economists, after rising only 103,000 in March.

With labor conditions tightening, wage growth is picking up.

Another report from the Labor Department showed hourly worker compensation accelerated at a 3.4 percent rate in the first quarter after rising at a 2.4 percent pace in the October-December period.

“The tight labor market is putting some upward pressure on wages, and this should continue as we look for the unemployment rate to trend lower,” said Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

In March, exports of goods and services increased 2.0 percent to an all-time high of $208.5 billion, lifted by a $1.9 billion increase in shipments of commercial aircraft. There were also increases in exports of soybeans, corn and crude oil. Real goods exports were the highest on record.

Exports to China jumped 26.3 percent in March.

Imports of goods and services fell 1.8 percent to $257.5 billion, in part as the boost from royalties and broadcast license fees related to the Winter Olympics fade,上海021夜网Ida,d. There were decreases in imports of capital, consumer goods and crude oil. Imports from Ch,上海夜网邀请码Idris,ina fell 2.1 percent in March.

Another report from the Commerce Department showed new orders for U.S.-made goods rose more than expected in March, boosted by strong demand for transportation equipment and a range of other products, but business spending on equipment appeared to be slowing.

Ultimate frontier market? Amid thaw, Chinese eye North Korea real…

BEIJING ( ) – Chinese property speculators are starting to bet on a rapid improvement in relations between North Korea and the rest of the world, pushing up prices in the border city of Dandong and even spurring buying interest in the world’s most isolated country.

Last week, online Chinese real estate investment platform Uoolu.com released a guide for Chinese buyers interested in North Korean real estate, while popular accounts on the mobile messaging app WeChat have been posting articles about the country’s housing market in recent weeks.

“Recently we’ve had many inquiries about investing in North Korea’s property market,” said Huang Xiaodan, founder and CEO of Uoolu.com, which specializes in helping Chinese buy property overseas.

Actual cross-border investment has yet to materialize.

“Venturing into a new frontier requires policy support and time to cultivate the market,” said Huang. “At the moment, we’re just paying close attention to what’s going on.”

North Korea has long been largely shut to foreign investors, an isolation that deepened when the United Nations ratcheted up sanctions last year in an effort to curb its development of nuclear weapons.

But a dramatic improvement in relations between Pyongyang and China, with a secretive Beijing visit by the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late M,上海夜生活群Oakley,arch, followed by last week’s historic inter-Korean summit and an upcoming meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, has caught the notice of some opportunistic investors.

“I’ve had several inquiries from Chinese interested in purchasing properties in Pyongyang, Won,上海夜网后花园Oakley,san and Sinuiju,” said the founder of INDPRK, a travel company in Dandong that runs tours to North Korea, who goes by the name Griffin Che.

“There are a lot of speculators on the market right now but, at the moment, only locals can buy property in North Korea.”

PROPERTY PRICES JUMP ON CHINESE BORDER

There are no such restrictions in Dandong, the main gateway into North Korea in northeastern China, where listed prices of apartments in some projects seen as most likely to gain from an economic opening up of North Korea have jumped by as much as 50 percent since Kim’s Beijing visit in late March, according to five real estate agents and three local residents.

“Rising property prices are due to North Korea,” Mr. Zhao, an official in Dandong’s real estate registration office, told , declining to give his full name or further details.

The Dandong New Zone – which was planned in anticipation of the opening of the New Yalu River Bridge connecting Dandong with Sinuiju in North Korea – has been attracting the most interest from prospective buyers. The dual-carriageway bridge was slated to open in November 2015 but today sits abandoned.

“We’re all hopeful the bridge will open soon,” said Zhao Bin, a Chinese trader who does business with North Korea and considered buying property in Dandong last week.

INDPRK’s Che, who has a prominent social media presence, said Dandong New Zone transaction prices had risen from about 4,000 yuan per square meter to 5,500 to 6,000 yuan, which he attributes to the improving situation on the Korean peninsula. He warned that Dandong prices were so frothy they may have even peaked.

“I was keen to buy but I think it’s too late now,” he said.

OUT-OF-TOWNERS BOOST SALES

Around one-third of buyers over the recent Labor Day weekend holiday were from out of town, taking advantage of time off to scout properties, according to Mr. Liao, an agent at Go上海夜生活论坛ld Key Real Estate in Dandong, who also declined to give his full name, whereas locals made up the vast majority of buyers in much of April.

Sales of residential properties rose almost 30 percent in Dandong’s of Zhenxing District, which includes the New Zone, last month from March, according to data from the local housing authority. A total of 967 apartments were sold in April, it posted on the official website.

Average home prices in Dandong rose nearly 1 percent in April from March, according to data from the China Real Estate Association, compared with a 0.5 percent decline in the same period a year earlier, although city-wide averages tend not to fully reflect big price fluctuations at individual projects.

Dandong’s real estate registration office released a statement last week saying it was unable to keep up with the sudden rise in people,上海仙霞路夜生活Tabitha, registering apartments so people needed to make an appointment to visit the office ahead of time, according to state-owned Securities Times newspaper.

A woman answering the phone at Dandong’s real estate registration office said the new system was not connected to North Korea, but because several projects had recently been completed so more people were purchasing apartments.