上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛 - Powered by September 2018

Wall Street slides as healthcare drags but manages monthly gain

NEW YO上海夜网RK ( ) – Wall Street fell on Monday as healthcare stocks slid and investors worried about rising costs for companies as oil prices rose, although the major indexes eked out a gain in April to snap a two-month losing streak.

The healthcare sect,上海夜生活桑拿会所Oakley,or .SPXHC, which dropped 1.6 percent, weighed most heavily on the S&P 500, as shares of Allergan plc (AGN.N) and Celgene Corp (CELG.O) led the sector’s slide.

Some investors suggested that on balance, a strong earnings season has not been enough for U.S. stocks to break out of their recent trading range.

“The earnings are priced in,” said Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin, Texas. “There’s not a whole lot of reason to buy. We’re stuck in the mud right now.”

Oil prices rallied after Isra,上海夜网Paisley,eli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran had lied about not pursuing nuclear weapons after signing a 2015 deal with global powers.

Even as companies’ quarterly results have come in strong, their earnings calls have raised concerns that rising commodity prices may pinch profit margins in the future.

The possibility that temporary exemptions on steel and aluminum tariffs might expire for several U.S. allies also weighed on U.S. stocks. W,上海夜哪里艳遇Kai,ithout an extension from U.S. President Donald Trump, the exemptions will expire on Tuesday.

“That might be the most negative (news event) this week,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. “It’s not going to be viewed well by the market.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 148.04 points, or 0.61 percent, to 24,163.15, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 21.86 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,648.05 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 53.53 points, or 0.75 percent, to 7,066.27.

For the month, the S&P 500 rose 0.27 percent, the Dow added 0.25 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.04 percent.

Earlier in Monday’s session, U.S. stocks were helped by data on income and spending that kept broader inflation worries in check. U.S. personal income rose 0.3 percent in March, compared with expectations of 0.4 percent. On the consumption side, personal spending growth in February was revised lower to 0.3 percent, instead of the previously reported 0.4 percent.

McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) shares jumped 5.8 percent after the world’s biggest fast-food chain by revenue topped analysts’ forecasts for profit and sales.

Shares of Allergan fell 5.2 percent after the company’s chief executive said he was opposed to fundamental changes to the drug company’s business strategy.

Celgene shares fell 4.5 percent. Morgan Stanley said it expects a delay of up to three years for Celgene’s key multiple sclerosis drug, ozanimod.

Shares of T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Sprint Corp (S.N) sank on worries that the two companies’ $26 billion merger would face regulatory challenges. Sprint shares tumbled 13.7 percent, and T-Mobile shares dropped 6.2 percent.

Arconic Inc (ARNC.N) shares fell 20.6 percent after the aluminum products maker slashed its 2018 forecasts.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.74-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.99-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 22 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 55 new highs and 46 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 6.81 billion shares, compared to the 6.57 billion average over the last 20 trading days.

RBS to cut 792 jobs, close 162 branches in Williams & Glyn cull

LONDON ( ) – S,上海夜生活论坛Idaline,tate-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) is to cut around 792 jobs and shutter 162 branches following a review of its network in England and Wales, prompting criticism from customers and one of the unions representing the bank’s staff.

RBS said the redundancies and closures were necessary because many of its branches were too close to one anot,上海夜网千花Fabi,her – within 0.6 and 2.5 miles – and because changing consumer habits have caused a drop in footfall.

“We realize this is difficult news for our colleagues and we are doing everything we can to support those affected. We will ensure compulsory redundancies are kept to an absolute minimum,” the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.

The cuts follow the closure of 259 branches announced in December last year, which resulted in 680 job losses, and similar moves by Britain’s biggest mortgage lender Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L).

The two banks have cut around 3,600 jobs since December to cut costs and also as t,夜上海论坛Nadine,hey move business online amid rising demand for fintech products and digital and mobile banking.

But many customers still visit their local branch, and some affected by the closures took to Twitter to air their complaints.

“You are closing my local branch, in fact all the branches within a 20 mile radius,” said one, Mandy Baxter, in a tweet to RBS. “Please can you advise where I would pay in a check after the closures?”

Another customer asked via Twitter how best to close down his account as soon he would not have a branch nearby.

Union Unite criticized the planned closures and cuts, which will affect some of RBS’s Williams & Glyn branches, which the bank failed to spin off in 2016.

This was part of RBS’s overhaul that followed its taxpayer bailout during the financial crisis. The British government sti上海夜生活ll holds a stake of more than 70 percent in the bank.

The union said close to 60 percent of Williams & Glyn branches would be closed in what Unite said represented “shambolically poor management” of the business.

“Ending years of speculation Royal Bank of Scotland has effectively turned its back on the Williams and Glyn customers and staff,” National Officer Rob MacGregor said, adding the move would deprive customers of access to full banking facilities.

Chairwoman of Britain’s Treasury Committee Nicky Morgan, said financial exclusion could increase as a result of RBS’s decision, with vulnerable people and those in rural areas most at risk.

“If financial exclusion is increasing, the government may be required to intervene,” Morgan said in a statement.

RBS’s announcement to axe branches in December had already prompted fierce criticism from campaigners and lawmakers, forcing the bank to postpone some closures in Scotland.

The bank’s Chief Executive Ross McEwan and four other executives are set to appear before members of the Scottish Affairs Committee next week to discuss branch closures.

The closures in England and Wales will begin with of 109 branches in late July and August 2018. The closure of another 53 branches will follow in November.

Amazon to double down on groceries; foray deeper into fresh produce…

BENGALURU ( ) – Amazon.com Inc expects groceries and household products to account for over half of its business in India in the next five years, as it moves to broaden offerings in the segment and foray into areas such as fresh produce.

Am上海夜网it Agarwal, the India head of Amazon, said in an interview on Friday that groceries and goods such as creams, soaps and cleaning products, were already the largest product category on Amazon in terms of number of units sold in India.

“I would not speculate on when we would launch AmazonFresh but, absolutely, if you ask me the next five years of vision – from your avocados to your potatoes, and your meat to your ice cream – we’ll deliver everything to you in two hours,” he said.

AmazonFresh, which launched more than a decade ago in the U.S. market, is the company’s flagship fresh grocery delivery service. In India, Amazon currently offers some groceries via a service named Pantry. It has also tied up with local vendors in four cities for Amazon Now, which promises two-hour deliveries.

“Probably in the next five years groceries and consumables would be more than half of our business,” he told .

Agarwal said Amazon had already started experimenting with a few fresh groceries in India, already home to its largest active customer base outside of the United States.

India’s e-commerce market is tipped to grow to $200 billion in a decade, acc,上海夜生活服务Kaia,ording to Morgan Stanley, as cheap mobile data makes online shopping increasingly accessible.

And Amazon, which already has over 100 million registered users in India, is looking to cash-in on the opportunity.

“We want to get the next hundred million customers shopping with us,” said Agarwal, adding that Amazon plans to woo new clients with product exchange and staggered payment offerings.


With almost 500 million Indians using ,上海夜网后花园Dalton,the Internet in 2018, India, Asia’s No. 3 economy, is a huge e-commerce battleground.

Retail giant Walmart is inching closer to here buying a controlling stake into home-grown e-commerce player Flipkart, which is already backed by big name investors like SoftBank, Tencent and Microsoft. [nL3N1RX5C6]

“I feel,上海夜网推油Kai, extremely excited that e-commerce is attracting so much funding,” Agarwal said. “Otherwise, we’d have been wrong in going about it in such as big way.”

Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos told shareholders in a letter bit.ly/2qGKiOl last week that Amazon India is the fastest growing marketplace in the country. He said Amazon added more members to its Prime loyalty program in India in its first year, than any previous geography in Amazon’s history.

Still profitability in India is years away for Amazon, admits Agarwal, as logistics, payments and other infrastructure needed to address the long-term opportunity are still being built.

He said the $5 billion Bezos had committed (here) to investing in India was just a signal of intent, and the company was ready to invest significantly more to achieve its goals.

“Our ambition is so big it would be futile for us to think about anything other than to ensure we keep investing to bring the next 100 million customers online,” Agarwal said.

House panel claims oversight of state climate probes into Exxon

HOUSTON ( ) – A Republican-led congressional committee sought on Friday to assert oversight over inquiries that about 20 states are making into Exxon Mobil and climate change, reiterating demands to know more about state attorneys general’s consultations with environmental groups.

In a letter, some 17 members of Congress and ranking members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee said they have broad jurisdiction that allows them to review investigations carried out by states. The committee was pushing back against state officials who have said they are not subject to federal oversight.

The standoff is the latest in a high-stakes battle between the world’s largest publicly traded oil company and a coalition of state attorneys general who have said they would go after Exxon in a bid to force congressional action to tackle climate change.

About 20 state officials jointly said in March they would participate in inquiries into whether Exxon executives上海夜生活论坛 ,上海夜生活男人好去处Gabrielle,misled the public by contradicting research from company scientists that spelled out the threats of climate change.

Prior to that March announcement, some state officials met with a range of prominent environmental and investment groups that oppose fossil fuels.

The House committee has complained the inquiries risk stifling free speech and scientific inquiry, and that state officials were coordinating with special interest groups.

The House committee demanded for the second time since May that state officials hand over all records of communications between their offices and outside groups.

“Congress has a responsibility to investigate whether such investigations are having a chilling effect on the free flow of scientific inquiry and debate regarding climate change,” the letter said.

“People should be troubled by any attempt by members of Congress to silence or undercut basic investigatory authority by a state attorney general’s office,” said Cyndi Roy Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “Our office will not be intimidated by oil industry-backed members of the U.S. House of Representatives.”

Exxon, for its part, has said it has acknowledged the reality of climate change for years and communicated this to investors.

On Wednesday, Exxon asked a feder,上海夜生活服务Earl,al court to throw out a subpoena that would force it to hand over decades of docume,上海夜网千花Paige,nts on climate change to Healey’s office.

Trump’s opposition to trade deals fuels internal party opposition

WASHINGTON ( ) – Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s scathing criticism of his stance on trade, highlighting divisions within the Republican Party that threaten unity ahead of the Nov. 8 elec,上海夜网推油Octavien,tion.

At a campaign rally in Maine on Wednesday, Trump called the nation’s largest business association “controlled totally by various groups of people who don’t care about you whatsoever.”

He said new trade deals should be negotiated because foreign countries are taking advantage of America.

“Every country that we do business with us look at us as the stupid people with the penny bank,” Trump said Wednesday at the rally in Bangor, Maine.

The Washington-based lobbying group, which represents the United States’ largest companies and business interests, is typically a reliable backer of Republican policies.

But on Tuesday it took issue with Trump’s vocal opposition to trade deals, calling his proposals “dangerous” ideas that would push the United States into another recession.

Trump said the Chamber’s argument that his policies would cause a trade war were incorrect because the United States was already at a deficit.

“We’re already losing the trade war, we lost the trade war,” Trump said. “Nothing can happen worse than is happening now.”

In speeches on Tuesday, Trump called for renegotiating or scrapping the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, calling it a job killer, and reiterated opposition to the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. He also lambasted China’s trade and currency policies.

The Chamber has consistent上海夜生活论坛ly backed trade deals.

The public squabbling between the presumptive Republican nominee and the business group was unusual, one of a series of reminders that Trump still struggles to unite his party behind his campaign. The Republicans and many business leaders tend to share policy goals and work in lockstep, and many business leaders have traditionally been big donors to Republican candidates.

So far, the Chamber’s political action committee has donated $134,000 to federal candidates or their committees, with $127,500 of that total going to Republicans, according to U.S. government campaign finance records.

Billionaire Republican donor Paul Singer, who bankrolled an effort to try to defeat Trump during the campaign’s nominating phase, said on Wednesday that a Trump presidency and his trade positions would almost certainly lead to a global ,上海夜哪里艳遇Daisy,depression.

“The most impactful of the economic policies that I recall him coming out for are these anti-trade policies,” Singer said during a panel discussion at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, according to CNBC.

But opposing trade deals has proven a winning strategy for Trump among voters concerned about the loss of manufacturing jobs.

Art Laffer, an economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan who supports Trump, said he did not like the tone of Trump’s speech on Tuesday but thought it was an improvement over his past comments on trade.

“It’s not terribly alarming to me,” Laffer said. “I didn’t see any 45 percent tariffs across the board. …

“I saw negotiating better trade deals rather than throwing away all the trade deals we have now. He points out the flaws in these trades, and that’s all true,” Laffer said. “I don’t like the tone of it, but I dislike the tone less today than I did three weeks ago.”

Peter Navarro, a Trump trade policy adviser, defended the candidate’s position.

“Here’s the central point to understand: The White House has been utterly and completely soft on China’s illegal trade practices,” said Navarro, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. “The status quo is the worst of all possible worlds for the United States.”

Trump also took fire from for his positions on trade from Democrats.

In a call organized by rival Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, a former businessman and tech entrepreneur, said that while the country needed to do a better job protecting workers, more resources should be put into training them for a new economy.

He also noted that it was unusual to see a Republican standard-bearer and the Chamber divide.

“You’ve really got a special circumstance when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce” responded to Trump’s e,上海夜生活桑拿会所Barney,conomic plan with a “full-fledged onslaught,” Warner said. “No one could have predicted this kind of election season.”

Clinton held no public campaign events on Wednesday but did announce she would appear next week with President Barack Obama, the first time this year that he and his former Secretary of State have campaigned together.

Snap shares sink 16 percent as redesign weighs on results

( ) – Snap Inc fell short of Wall Street forecasts for revenue and regular users on Tuesday after a redesign of its Snapchat messaging app turned off some long-time fans and advertisers, sending its shares tumbling 16 percent.

Revenue growth will likely slow substantially in the second quarter, the company said, showing it still faces an uphill battle after an app overhaul meant to fend off bigger rival Facebook Inc as it adds Snapchat-like features.


The number of daily active users on Snapchat, crucial for generating advertising revenue, rose to 191 million in the quarter ended March 31, short of consensus expectations of 194.15 million, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

The figure was 15 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with growth of 18 percent in the previous quarter.

Snap shares plunged 16.5 percent to $11.77 in after-hours trading, extending a slide in the stock since February. Shares had surged 48 percent on Feb. 7, to $20.75, topping Snap’s IPO price of $17 for the first time in months, on hopes that the redesign was working. The stocks has mostly fallen since.

,上海凤楼夜网Dallas,“The redesign didn’t just make users unhappy, it also made advertisers more concerned,” said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson. “That’s not a good position to be in.”

On the plus side, Williamson said, “Snapchat loyalists are highly engaged, using the app multiple times pe,上海夜生活乌托邦Rachel,r day. And Snapchat’s ad formats are still among the most creative.”

For the quarter ended in March, total revenue rose 54 percent from the same period a year earlier to $230.7 million in what was Snap’s fifth quarterly earnings as a public company. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $244.5 million.

Company executives acknowledged that the new design hurt results but said they were sticking with the plan to keep content from friends separate from other publishers. The approach will propel growth in the long run, they said.

“The redesign lays the foundation for the fut,上海晚上耍女人的地方Quay,ure of both our communication products and our media platform, and we look forward to doubling down on both,” Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said on a conference call with analysts.

“As we have mentioned on our past two earnings calls, a change this big to existing behavior comes with some disruption.”

The redesign was meant to draw in a broader audience, but sparked criticism from users including celebrities Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen. The changes also created some “apprehension” among advertisers, Spiegel said.

Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan said the bad publicity surrounding the redesign made some advertisers rethink their use of Snapchat.

“When there is a lot of negative news in the press every day, it does give people pause,” Khan said, saying that Snapchat will counter that by providing better measurements of return on investment.

User growth at the company’s disappearing-message app has repeatedly fallen short of Wall Street’s expectations since its heavily hyped initial public offering in March last year.

The Venice, California-based firm posted a net loss of $385.8 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.21 billion, or $2.31 per share, a year earlier.

Snap’s adjusted loss per share of 17 cents was in line with analyst expectations.

Exclusive: China nears first Americas refining capacity as CNPC,…

RIO DE JANEIRO ( ) – Brazil’s state-run oil company is nearing a deal in which China National Petroleum Corp Ltd (CNPC) would invest in an oil refinery in e上海夜生活网xchange for crude oil, two people with knowledge of the talks told , potentially giving China its first refining capacity in the Americas.

Petról,上海夜生活论坛Qirin,eo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), or Petrobras, may give the state-owned Chinese firm stakes in oil fields it operates in the Campos basin, off the Rio de Janeiro coast, along with the right to use the new Comperj refinery, the sources added.

“We are going to have a deal, but it is complex. We should have an integrated solution,” said one of the sources, who requested anonymity because the negotiations are private.

The second source said talks with the Chinese intensified recently and a deal could be only a few weeks away.

Two other people familiar with the matter said the refinery needed about $3 billion of investment to reach an initial capacity of 165,000 barrels per day, adding that it was not clear if Petrobras would foot part of the bill.

Petrobras declined to comment. CNPC did not respond to a request for comment.

The talks highlight rising Chinese interest in the Brazilian energy sector, which has attracted billions of dollars from oil majors over the past year for rights to new exploration blocs as the government lowers barriers to foreigners.

Chinese state companies have also taken a central role in Brazil’s electric grid, acquiring rights to hydropower dams, major transmission lines and the country’s largest distributor.

The Comperj deal would not be the first in which Petrobras offered oil to attract Chinese funding. In 2016, it renewed a $10 billion credit line with China Development Bank, originally opened in 2009, that was guaranteed by Brazilian oil exports.

China has also provided more than $50 billion to Venezuela over the past decade under oil-for-loan agreements that helped Beijing secure energy supplies for its fast-growing economy.

CNPC and Petrobras signed a memorandum of understanding last year to reach a strategic partnership in oil exploration and production. CNPC has already partnered with Petrobras in the Libra field of the Santos basin, one of the largest discoveries in Brazil’s prolific pre-salt oil area.

The investment at Comperj would help to offset Brazil’s fuel imports and resolve a long-running headache at the complex, where Petrobras has little to show for some $13.5 billion in investments over the past decade.

The project was caught up in a corruption probe in recent years and Petrobras has booked some 6.5 billion reais ($1.9 billion) in writedowns there linked to overpriced works and services.

The company said it wants to finish Comperj, but preferably without pouring in any more money, so it is talking to potential partners. Petrobras Chief Executive Pedro Parente said last year that CNPC was in talks to invest in the refinery.

On Thursday, Petrobras announced plans to sell 60 percent stakes in four of its existing refineries, underscoring its willingness to give up a near monopoly on Brazilian refining.

Parente told journalists the Comperj project was not included in the plans because it is not yet a productive asset.

He said negotiations for a partnership at the Comeperj refinery were still underway.

Separately, Petrobras awarded a contract last month worth 1.95 billion reais to China’s Shandong Kerui P,夜上海419龙凤论坛Jackson,etroleum Equipment Co to build a natural gas processing unit at the Comperj complex.

The privately run Kerui Group partnered with mid-sized Brazilian engineering company Método Potencial Engenharia SA to build the plant in Itaboraí, about 50 kilom,上海新夜网龙凤Idaline,eters (30 miles) east of Rio.

Salesforce announces $2.2 billion French investment as Macron meets…

PARIS ( ) – U.S. software company Salesforce (CRM.N) will invest more than $2.2 billion in its French business over the next five years, it said on Tuesday, in another sign of America Inc’s new love affair with France since President Emmanuel Macron’s election.

The investment comes as Macron began a state visit to Washington, becoming the first foreign leader to be given the honor by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“In the context of his state visit to the United States, Salesforce announced to President Macron an investment of more than $2.2 billion in the company’s French business over the next five years,” Salesforce said in a statement.

A survey by the American Chamber ,上海会所夜网Nala,of Commerce last November showed that the election of Macron, who has pledged reforms to boost the French economy and help businesses, had,上海凤楼夜网Lake, caused American investors to上海夜生活 take a more positive view on France, with many planning to expand.

Salesforce said it was experiencing rapid growth in France and planned to significantly increase its headcount, real estate footprint and data center capacity.

The announcement follows similar decisions to invest in France by U.S. multinationals such as Google (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and General Mills (GIS.N).

Macron, a former investment banker, and his government are pushing through social and economic reforms to re-shape the French economy and restore France’s image among investors.

He has already made hiring and firing easier by easing labor regulation,上海夜玩网论坛Larissa,s, slashed a wealth tax, introduced a flat 30 percent tax rate on capital income and scrapped the highest bracket of payroll tax for banks.

Written by shyw on September 23, 2018 Categories: dfzakfsw Tags: , , ,

Sainsbury’s to top Britain’s Tesco with $10 billion swoop on…

LONDON ( ) – Sainsbury’s is to buy Walmart’s Asda for around 7.3 billion pounds ($10 billion) in a bold attempt to overtake long-time leader Tesco as Britain’s biggest supermarket group by market share.

If it gets regulatory approval, the biggest British deal in the sector for more than a decade will see the second and third-largest food retailers in the country join forces, sparking speculation of further consolidation.

Sainsbury’s and Asda aim to generate savings and buying power to better compete with 上海夜生活fast-growing discounters, Aldi and Lidl, a bigger Tesco after its recent 4 billion pounds purchase of wholesaler Booker, and the rise of online shopping, particularly the march of Amazon.

Monday’s cash and share deal also provides a potential exit for Walmart, as Asda, which it bought in 1999 for 6.7 billion pounds, has struggled over the last five years.(UK grocers’ market share: tmsnrt.rs/2cZQkWZ)

Analysts said the deal was a bet that seismic changes in retail would ease any regulatory fears and some speculated that Morrisons and the Co-operative, ,上海夜网Pamela,respectively Britain’s N,上海夜生活男人好去处Hadrian,o. 4 and No. 6 players, could respond.

“The most aggressive response by Morrisons would be a bid for Sainsbury’s,” Jefferies analyst James Grzinic said.

Although Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was likely to review the deal, Sainsbury’s shares jumped as much as 21 percent, hitting their highest since July 2014, and closed up 14.5 percent. Shares in Tesco and Morrisons closed down 1 and up 1.3 percent respectively.

Related CoverageSainsbury’s says Asda merger could result in some store sell-offsSainsbury’s move for Asda sees some hedge funds caught outSee more stories

Sainsbury’s said the deal would deliver a double digit rise in earning,上海夜网官方网站Radcliff,s by the second full year post-completion, generate synergies of at least 500 million pounds and enable prices to be lowered by about 10 percent on many products.(Britain’s biggest supermarket stocks: reut.rs/2JFk1qV)


Walmart will receive 3 billion pounds in cash and a 42 percent stake in the combined business, valuing Asda at 7.3 billion pounds on a debt-free basis. Sainsbury’s equity was valued at 6 billion pounds at Friday’s close.

Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe, who used to work for Asda, Chairman David Tyler and finance chief Kevin O’Byrne will retain their positions in the merged company. Asda CEO Roger Burnley, who worked at Sainsbury’s for a decade, will continue to run the Asda business, which will retain its brand.

Coupe said “the world has changed and there is more competition than ever,” since Morrisons’ takeover of Safeway in 2004 – the sector’s last mega deal.

“One thing I can say with certainty is that the CMA will not ask us to close stores. The CMA may or may not ask us to sell stores,” he said, adding they would be sold as trading entities.

Analysts said buyers could be hard to find. “We see no chance of it getting through the CMA without a major dismemberment of the combined business,” Peel Hunt analyst Charles Hall said, adding Morrisons was the only viable buyer of a large chunk.

The surprise decision by the CMA to unconditionally clear the Tesco/Booker deal has encouraged Sainsbury’s and Asda to believe they could get a viable transaction through and Coupe wants the CMA to fast track to a “phase 2” examination so that the deal can be completed in the second half of 2019.


Together, Sainsbury’s and Asda have around 2,800 stores, more than 330,000 employees and a combined market share of 31.4 percent versus Tesco’s 27.6 percent, according to market researcher Kantar Worldpanel.

The two have different cultures and appeal to different customers, with London-based Sainsbury’s strong in own-brand products, and Asda, headquartered in Leeds, northern England, focused on price. There is, however, a significant overlap in Northern Ireland.

Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne pointed to the execution risks, noting Morrisons-Safeway lost 28 percent of their sales through a combination of store sales, integration problems and culture clash when they merged.

Some 350 million pounds of the planned synergies would come from buying savings, and 75 million from putting branches of Sainsbury’s general merchandise specialist Argos into Asda stores. Sainsbury’s bought Argos in 2016 for 1.1 billion pounds.

After a two-year lock-up period, Walmart is allowed to reduce its stake in the combined group to 29.9 percent, and after four years could exit completely.

Walmart International boss Judith McKenna said the firm, which will take two seats on the board of the combined business, will be a long term partner.

The Qatar Investment Authority, currently the largest shareholder in Sainsbury’s with a 22 per cent stake, said it supported the deal.

A break fee equal to 1 per cent of Sainsbury’s market capitalization is payable on both sides.

Sainsbury’s also reported its full-year results, showing a first rise in profit in four years and expressed confidence in meeting analysts’ profit forecasts for 2018-19.

($1 = 0.7256 pounds)

Imperial Oil hikes dividend, buyback after profit jump

( ) – Canada’s Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO) on Friday reported a 55 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by strength in its refining and chemicals businesses, and the company boosted its dividend and repurchase program.

The company’s shares rose as much as 4.5 percent to C$40.47.

Desjardins analyst Justin Bouchard called the dividend hike a “pleasant surprise”, as it was almost double his estimate.

Imperial raised its quarterly dividend to 19 Canadian cents from 16 Canadian cents per share and the number of shares that may be repurchased to up to 5 percent of the outstanding float, from 3 percent.

The buyback increase was a positive move, showing confidence in the cash flow generating ability of the company, Bouchard said.

Imperial’s net income soared to C$516 million ($402 million), or 62 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31.

The results come at a time when constraints related to the export of Canadian heavy crude due to a lack of pipeline capacity and delays in shipping by rail have weighed on the industry.

“We had accounted for the pricing and transportation issues plaguing everyone in the industry. It was the downstream and chemicals that were the surprise, that outperformed versus our numbers,” Bouchard said.

Oil sands producer Cenovus (CVE.TO) posted a first-quarter loss, hurt by shipping bottlenecks on Wednesday. Low oil prices and a slow ramp up at its offshore Indonesia project saw Husky Energy (HSE.TO) cut its 2018 production on Thursda,上海夜生活上海夜生活群Earl,y.

Imperial, which is majority owned by Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), said total revenue and other income rose about 11 percent to C$7.93 billion.

The oil producer and refiner’s production fell to 370,000 gross oil-equivalent barrels per day from 378,000 a year earlier due to lower volumes at its,上海夜生活论坛Paisley, Cold Lake oil sands project in northeastern Alberta.

However, the company’s income from refining rose about 37 ,上海夜生活服务Barney,percent to C$521 million.

Incoming BASF boss rules out DowDuPont-style break-up

FRANKFURT ( ) – The incoming boss of BASF (BASFn.DE) has thrown his weight behind the chemical titan’s contentious strategy of keeping divergent businesses folded into one company, at a time when its major rivals such as DowDuPont are breaking themselves up.

The comments from Martin Brudermueller, who will take over as CEO on Friday, provide clarity on a key strategic issue that is dividing investors, in marked contrast to predecessor Kurt Bock who would not be drawn on which path he favored.

The German group has grown from a 19th century indigo dye workshop to a diversified juggernaut worth $95 billion. It is the only major Western chemicals player banking on an integrated value chain – which it dubs “Verbund” – where a company owns businesses throughout the production process.

“We often hear the Verbund getting criticized for being too rigid. That’s not true,” said 56-year-old Brudermueller.

“If you have everything,上海夜网官方网站Octavia, under one roof, you can coordinate things much better, that is the sense in which we will develop it further. You wouldn’t normally want to sell attractive businesses that are growing,” he told and other reporters in remarks released late on Tuesday.

At its Ludwigshafen headquarters and at five other hubs abroad, BASF runs close-knit networks of chemical reactors that churn out products as diverse as basic commodities, coatings, vitamins, drug ingredients and engineering plastics.

Bock, when asked in February whether BASF would continue to have diverse businesses under one roof or was considering other options, said the company might learn from what rivals did but did not say which path he favored.

Both strategies have potential advantages; break-ups can create more focused individual companies and allow stronger units to attract investors unshackled from weaker ones, while an integrated model can reduce costs.

U.S. rival DowDuPont DWDP.N is planning to break up into a Materials Science division that relies on in-house basic petrochemicals plants and a Specialty Products unit selling more differentiated and complex materials. A third spin-off will focus on agriculture.

In other recent separation deals in the industry, Bayer (BAYGn.DE) spun off its Covestro plastics unit and is now selling down the shares, Air Products spun-off specialty chemicals unit Versum (VSM.N) and coatings group Akzo Nobel (AKZO.AS) is selling its specialty chemicals division.


BASF competes with DowDuPont in areas such as pesticides, engineering plastics, nutrition, insulation foams and petrochemicals. Its rival’s three-way split will restore BASF’s position as the world’s largest chemical maker but some investors and analysts would rather see it lose that crown.

Patrick Jahnke, portfolio manager at Deka Investments, which owns BASF stock, said he favored the firm selli,上海夜生活服务Eason,ng its upstream petrochemical assets, saying the benefits of physical proximity to downstream operations could be shared with a new owner.

“You can sell the assets but the factory remains in place,” Jahnke said. “There are many who would pay a high price (for upstream,上海夜生活论坛Easton, BASF assets). Private equity would run the business with higher debt and optimized for cash flows and would arrive at a better profitability,” he added.

Upstream refers to basic petrochemicals, and downstream to more complex specialty chemicals.

A portfolio manager at a top 20 BASF shareholder, who declined to be named as they are not authorized to comment publicly on the investment, also saw the merits of a break-up.

“Downstream, speciality chems could work separately,” the manager said. “To de-clutter and reduce complexity … tends to increase multiples and returns, but German companies are not 上海夜生活well known for it.”

BASF has said that sharing logistics, excess energy and by-products within its chemical complexes saves it more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) per year.

There are also supporters of the integrated approach among BASF’s shareholders.

Arne Rautenberg, of Union Investment, said there was still a lot of value in the model.

“The results this year wouldn’t have been good without the basic chemicals assets,” he said. Any move to separating them from the rest “would very much surprise me and I wouldn’t be excited”, he added.


BASF has been a tale of two sectors over the past year.

Supply bottlenecks at rivals and strong industrial demand have flung BASF’s basic chemicals business into a surprise upward cycle. Meanwhile, margins of its more complex, specialty products, the group’s designated growth drivers, have been squeezed by higher raw materials prices.

“If upstream strength dissipates and the downstream margin struggles continue, then we think investor focus will turn to portfolio questions,” HSBC analyst Sriharsha Pappu said in a recent research note.

If allowed to strike out on their own, BASF units making construction chemicals, coatings and catalytic converters could bolster their earnings and fetch better trading multiples on the stock market, the HSBC analyst said.

Brudermueller, a BASF veteran, is currently chief technology officer and deputy CEO at the firm, which is due to report first-quarter results on Friday. He said that his focus would be on new technologies after taking over from CEO Bock, who by contrast had been the company’s finance chief before taking the helm and has a background in business administration.

The CEO-designate cited cathode materials for car batteries as one area of focus, and also using BASF’s new supercomputer to speed up discovery of new compounds.

“The fact that I have a background in technology and science will result in us having a change in perspective,” he said, adding that he would provide an update on BASF’s strategy towards the end of the year.

Hostile takeover? Daimler CEO says no fears about Chinese magnate…

BEIJING ( ) – German car maker Daimler AG’s (DAIGn.DE) boss said on Wednesd,上海021夜网Kai,ay there was no indication the firm’s largest shareholder, Chinese auto magnate Li Shufu, was planning a hostile takeover after he took a $9 billion stake in the firm earlier this year.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler’s chief executive, said Li, the head of Chinese carmaker Geely, had told the firm he had no intention to go beyond his current 9.7 percent stake in Daimler, which he announced in February.

Zetsche added that he was not concerned about the firm’s top shareholder wrestling further contro上海夜网l of the company, which owns carmaker Mercedes-Benz.

“We have no indication of plans for a hostile takeover, therefore we don’t need any specific plans (against one)”, he told reporters when asked about the matter during an event at China’s main auto show being held in Beijing.

Li’s deal for the stake in Daimler raised fears in Germany about the country’s most-prized assets falling into Chinese hands, especially because the deal had not triggered normal disclosure thresholds and so caught market insiders unaware.

Earlier this month Germany’s spy chief urged vigilance over increased moves by Chinese companies to invest in and acquire high-technology German companies, warning the loss of key technologies could harm the German economy.

Li, a well-connected entrepreneur, had used Hong Kong shell companies, derivatives, bank financing and carefully structured share options to,上海晚上耍女人的地方Rae, keep the plan under wraps until, at a stroke, he become Daimler’s single largest shareholder.

Zetsche added the firm was not currently considering cooperation with Li or his company Geely. Daimler already has a Chine,上海夜生活去哪玩Tabitha,se joint venture partner BAIC (1958.HK).

Li and his firm Zhejiang Geely Holding control Sweden’s Volvo Cars, London black-cab maker LEVC as well as its own Hong Kong-listed unit Geely Automobile Holdings (0175.HK). It has also agreed to buy a $3.3 billion stake in Volvo Trucks.

Several major deals last year raised German sensitivities about multi-billion euro foreign takeovers, notably Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group (000333.SZ) buying German robotics firm Kuka (KU2G.DE), and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing buying German metering firm Ista.

Weinstein Co selects Lantern Capital as winning bidder

( ) – Private equity firm Lantern Capital is the winning bidder for substantially all the assets of the Weinstein Company, the TV and film studio that filed for bankruptcy after co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault, the Weinstein Company said on Tuesday.

“Lantern’s bid clearly achieves the highest and best value for the estate and its creditors,” Ivona Smith, a member of The Weinstein Company board of representatives, said in a statement.

The company did not disclose terms of the offer.

Dallas-based Lantern is a buyout firm founded by Andy Mitchell, the former head of Ally Financial’s global special assets group.

The sale is subject to approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge.

Lantern Entertainment, an affiliate of Lantern Capital, said it is “honored” by Weinstein Co board’s acceptance of Lantern’s bid.

“Lantern Entertainment remains committed to providing premier content with a diverse workforce in a safe environment founded on a culture of respect and creativity.”

The Weinstein Company said it had received a letter of interest from Inclusion Media, a potential bidder backed by Broadway producer Howard Kagan, after the bid deadline.

The company said the letter “was a conditional indication of interest that contemplated substantially less value to the estate, and did not include a purchase agreement, a financing commitment, a deposit, or a number of other requirements for a qualified bid.”

It said “the Debtors concluded after discussio,夜上海论坛Sabia,ns with Mr. Kagan that the Inclusion letter was not a bona f上海夜生活论坛ide offer. Thus, in furtherance of its fiduciary duty, the Board selected the bid that offered, with certainty, the most overall value to the estate.”

According to documents provided to by Lorna Brett, a spokeswoman for a law firm suing Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, Inclusion Media LLC submitted a bid of $315 million in cash.

Brett does not represent Kagan or Inclusion, neither of which immediately responded to requests for comment.

The Inclusion bid topped an initial bid by Lantern Capital worth $310 million. Inclusion also provided a compensation fund for those with harassment claims against Weinstein.

The company has been trying to line up,上海夜网邀请码Faith, a buyer for months.

When the allegations against Harvey Weinstein became public in October, the company’s board fired him, and Hollywood heavyweights distanced themselves from the studio.

Combined with lawsuits filed by Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims, the company was an unappealing acquisition target.

Harvey Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most influential men, has been accused of sexual misconduct including rape by more than 70 women.

He has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone. It is unclear how much money his alleged victims will receive should a,上海夜生活男人好去处Hal, deal with Lantern go through.

Co-founded with Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother, the Weinstein Company produced and distributed critically acclaimed hits including “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” as well as TV’s fashion reality competition “Project Runway.”

With its bankruptcy filing, the Weinstein Company said it released anyone “who suffered or witnessed any form of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein” from nondisclosure agreements, contracts that prevented victims from speaking out.

Weinstein Co’s prized asset is its library of 277 feature films that have generated over $2 billion in aggregate box office receipts worldwide.

China’s Huawei Tech retrenches in U.S. after years of criticism

WASHINGTON ( ) – China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], viewed with suspicion in congress as a potential threat to U.S. national security, has laid off five employees at its Washington office and slashed lobbying expenditures, according to sources familiar with the matter and government filings.

Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, let go its vice president of external affairs Bill Plummer and four other people in the Washington office, sources said. The New York Times was first to report the shake-up.

The company also slashed lobbying expenditures to $60,000 in 2017 from $348,500 in 2016, according to Huawei filings.

“Like every company, we continually evaluate our organization and align our resources to support our business strategy and objectives,” a Huawei spokesman said. “Any changes to staffing size or structure are simply a reflection of standard business optimization.”

The retrenchment comes amid a steady drip of bad news for the Chinese telecommunications company prompted by concerns by U.S. national security experts and China hawks who are loath to see equipment made by a Chinese firm installed in the ,上海夜生活怎么玩Nala,U.S. telecommunications network.

In February, two Republican U.S. senators introduced legislation that would block the government from buying or leasing telecommunications equipment from Huawei or China’s ZTE Corp , citing concerns that the companies m,上海夜网官方网站Macey,ight use their access to spy on U.S. officials.

Such concerns have extended to handsets. In January, AT&T Inc was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers ,上海夜网邀请码Babette,Huawei handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators.

The United Stat上海夜生活网es this week banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE for seven years. Washington accused ZTE of violating an agreement on punishing employees after the company illegally shipped U.S. goods to Iran.

Despite being hampered in getting a foothold in the U.S. market, Shenzhen-based Huawei saw net profit rise to 47.5 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) in 2017, sharply up from a 0.4 percent increase in 2016. The rise was partly the result of a 85 percent drop in net financing expenses and partly due to higher revenue.

Keytruda sales power Merck to quarterly beat

( ) – Drugmaker Merck & Co (MRK.N) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, helped by a more than 150 percent rise in sales of blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda.

Shares dropped 2.8 percent to $57.22, however, on investor concerns that the company is,上海夜生活男人好去处Hadrian, becoming increasingly reliant on the drug, which is positioned to become the leading player in a new generation of oncology treatments.

Analysts said some investors were disappointed that the company said it does not plan to spin off its animal health business or do a large, transformational deal.

“While Keytruda continues to do fantastically well, investors are still clamoring for something else besides Keytruda to focus on – thus the push by investors to spin out animal health, and the continual probing about M&A,” Jefferies analyst Tim Anderson said in a research note.

The surge in Keytruda sales more than offset steep declines in sales for its shingles vaccine Zostavax and hepatitis C treatment Zepatier.

Keytruda had sales of $1.46 billion in the quarter, ahead of $1.40 billion estimated by analysts, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

Keytruda’s sales have nearly pulled even with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY.N) rival drug Opdivo, which also harnesses the body’s immune system to recognize and fight cancer cells. Industry experts give Merck’s drug the edge after results from trials for both treatments last month, and Merck said on Tuesday the drug could be its largest seller ever.

Revenue from the drug accounted for nearly 15 percent of Merck’s sales.

Merck CEO Ken Frazier said on the company’s conference call that while the company did not expect to do transformational deals, it was looking for opportunities to enhance its drug pipeline.

“We have a strong balance sheet. We have the power and the flexibility to do deals at any size and stage, and we’re going to continue to look for things that can drive long-term value and growth,” he said.

Merck raised its full-year forecast for adjusted earnings to $4.16 to $4.28 上海夜生活论坛per share from its previous forecast of $4.08 to $4.23 per share.

Net income fell 52.5 percent to $736 million, or 27 cents per share, hurt by a $1.4-billion charge related to a collaboration with Eisai Co Ltd, the company said.

Excluding items, Merck earned $1.05 per share, ahead of analysts’ e,上海夜生活服务Fabiana,stimates of $1 per share. Revenue rose 6.4 percent to $10.04 billion but missed ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Sabina,estimates of $10.11 billion.

Results soothe nerves over scandal-hit Facebook

( ) – Shares of Facebook Inc rose as much as 8.5 percent on Thursday morning after another blockbuster set of quarterly results calmed stock investors’ nerves about the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

Before the results on Wednesday evening, the row over the improper sharing of data had knocked 13 percent, or more than $70 billion, off the market value of the world’s biggest social network.

The first quarter numbers showed Facebook’s quarterly profit rose 63 percent, and revenue 49 percent, beating already upbeat analysts’ estimates on the back of growing ad sales.

“Facebook’s ad unit innovation, investment and focus on bringing new advertisers to the platform are driving this,” Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak said.

“This, to us, speaks to how Facebook (and Google, for that matter) can continue to post outsized ad growth and ea,上海夜生活论坛Queena,rnings power for years to come.”

Monthly act,上海夜生活网419Sabina,ive users also rose 13 percent to 2.2 billion, quashing worries that the data scandal and the launch of a #DeleteFacebook tag would lead to users leaving the social network.

As with Google parent Alphabet earlier this week, however, Facebook is also spending more to make data on its platform more secure. It said expenses this year will grow between 50 percent and 60 percent, up from a prior range of 45 percent to 60 percent.

Initially, at least, investors were judging that a sensible move rather than a big threat to the company’s bottom line.

“We believe this is a prudent move to secure the stabilization of user engagement, advertiser confidence and government relations,” Mizuho Securities analyst James Lee said.

At least eight brokerages raised their price targets on Facebook stock, while one cut its price on the stock.

Mizuho’s Lee was most bullish with a price target of $255. Facebook’s mean price target was $216.87 versus the $173 it was trading at on Thursday.

Barclays analyst lowered his price target on the stock to $190 from $225, saying he expects more tape-bombs in 2018 before se,上海会所夜网Jacklyn,ntiment eventually improves.

“We don’t think (the) first quarter marks the “all clear” for Facebook shares by any means, but given the drubbing over the past two months, we think it may start an overdue stabilization period,” Sandler wrote in a client note titled “Senator, w上海夜网e run ads.”

U.S. House Republican gun bill draws the ire of Democrats

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday introduced a measure intended to prevent gun sales to people on government watch lists, only to draw demands from Democrats for stronger proposals and a warning of possible new protests.

A week after Democrats ended a ,上海夜生活Pablo,25-hour sit-in on the House floor to call for gun legislation after the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, said lawmakers will vote next week on a measure giving government authorities three days to convince a judge that someone on a terrorism watch list should not be allowed to ob上海夜生活论坛tain a firearm.

“It is a responsible measure that co,上海夜生活网交流Caitlin,nfronts this threat while protecting the rights of law-abiding citizens,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.

But in a Friday conference call, House Democrats reached “a clear consensus” to oppose the measure, calling it the handiwork of the National Rifle Association, an aide said. Similar legislation, backed by the NRA, was blocked by Democrats in the Senate last week.

Democrats also called for two amendments: one to allow the U.S. attorney general to decide without court approval whether someone on a watch list could buy a gun and another to expand existing background checks to all commercial gun sales including those at guns shows.

Democratic Representatives John Lewis of Georgia and John Larson of Connecticut, who led last week’s sit-in, asked for a meeting with Ryan to request votes on the amendments, which consist of legislation originally sponsored by Republican Peter King of New York. Ryan agreed to meet with the Democrats next Tuesday, Republican and Democratic aides said.

“If these amendments are not allowed, then members will have further discussions about possible actions to take in response to this refusal to allow a vote on commonsense gun legislation,” said another House Democratic aide.

AshLee Strong, a Ryan spokeswoman, said the House speaker “looks forward to meeting with Congressmen Lewis and Larson to discuss the important action the House will take to prevent terrorist attacks.”

The new Republican proposal, which would apply to anyone who has been suspected of violent extremism within the past five years, would require authorities to show probable cause that a would-be buyer “will commit an act of terrorism” or violates existing prohibitions on undocumented immigrants, fugitives, convicts and people with mental illness.

The gun provisions were tucked into a bill aimed at stepping up efforts against terrorism, including what the legislation referred to as “radical Islamist terrorism.”

Some Republicans have criticized Democrats for avoiding such terms to describe events like the Orlando shooting, where a gunman pledging allegiance to Islamic State killed 49 people last month.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said recently that President Barack Obama should resign for not having used “radical Islam” in a statement responding to the Orlando massacre, in which police identified the shooter as a U.S. citizen born in New York to Afghan immigrants.

The NRA said it was reviewing the legislation, while the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said the legislation proposed,上海高端夜生活在那里Sabina, by House Republicans was a publicity stunt.

Starbucks to close 8,000 U.S. stores for one afternoon for…

( ) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) will close 8,000 company-owned U.S. cafes for the afternoon on May 29 so 175,000 employees can undergo racial tolerance training in response to protests and calls for boycotts after the arrest of two black men waiting in a Philadelphia store.

The company said in the Tuesday announcemen上海夜生活论坛t that it will also provide training materials for non-company workers at the roughly 6,000 licensed Starbucks cafes that will remain open in locations such as grocery stores and airports.

The announcement from world’s biggest coffee company comes as it tries to cool tensions after the Philadelphia incident last week sparked accusations of racial profiling at the chain, which is the subject of a boycott campaign on social media.

The controversy is the biggest public relations test yet for new Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson, who already was fighting to boost traffic to Starbucks amid competition from coffee sellers ranging from hipster cafes to fast-food chains and convenience stores.


“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution,” said Johnson, a former technology executive who took the helm about a year ago.

Even if the threatened boycott does not materialize, the 8,000 temporary store closures will almost certainly have an impact on sales. Starbucks did not say how many hour,上海会所夜网Fabi,s the stores would be shuttered on May 29, but the afternoon is the slowest time for Starbucks’ business.

Starbucks is one of the most high-profile and beloved brands in the world and its long-time CEO Howard Schultz was not one to shy away from difficult conversations over thorny issues such as gay marriage, gun control and Congressional gridlock.

However U.S. race relations have proven more challenging, eve,上海夜网后花园Cade,n for a company that touts its diverse workforce — minorities account for 18 percent of Starbucks executives with the title of senior vice president or higher and 43 percent of employees overall.

For example, the company’s 2015 “Race Together” campaign to foster a conversation on the topic following the high-profile police shootings of several unarmed black men stirred an intense social media backlash.

Johnson has apologized for the “reprehensible” arrests of the two men in Philadelphia on Thursday and took personal responsibility for the incident, which was captured in a customer video that was shared widely.

Starbucks attorneys said Johnson and the men, who were released without charges, have “engaged in constructive discussions about this issue as well as what is happening in communities across the country.”

Philadelphia Police late on Tuesday released the series of calls that led to their arrests.

It begins with a Starbucks employee reporting “two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave.” The manager who is believed to have made that call, no longer works for Starbucks.

In a subsequent call, an unidentified man said a “group of males” was “causing a disturbance” that required backup and a supervisor.

Philadelphia’s police commissioner over the weekend defended the arrests, saying his officers had to act after Starbucks employees told them the pair were trespassing.

“It’s good that Starbucks is giving all staff race trainings on May 29. But let’s not lose sight of the real problem which is police accountability,” Tiffany Dena Loftin, director of the youth and college division at NAACP, told .

Shares in Starbucks closed up 0.7 percent at $59.83 on Tuesday and are relatively unchanged in the week since the arrests.

Explainer: Ant Financial’s $150 billion valuation, and the big…

HONG KONG ( ) – Ant Financial’s rapid climb to become the world’s biggest super unicorn valued by some investors at around $150 billion showcases investor enthusiasm for the biggest Chinese tech companies and also how quickly valuations can shift. Just two months ago, bankers and investors were tentatively talking of a figure closer to $100 billion.


Ant’s biggest and best-known business is Alipay, the biggest player in China’s $17 trillion online payments market. Ant also sells wealth management products and offers small loans and credit scores, among other ventures. Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.N) controls Ant.

Analysts at Barclays estimate that online payments accounted for 55 per cent of Ant’s $8.9 billion revenue last year, but they expect that to fall to one-third by 2021 as the company focuses on encouraging its 600 million customers to use more of its other, higher-margin services.


At a valuation of around $150 billion, Ant will trail only the big four state-controlled banks and insurer Ping An among financial-focused firms in China. It will also be about 50 percent more valuable than Wall Street titans Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

Much of the rapid rise in its valuation is being attributed to the company’s disclosure of additional performance data, which although by no means its full financials, included some 2017 full-year figures that showed faster-than-expected growth. That helped investors and analysts tweak their financial models.

Ant’s status as one of the biggest tech groups in China is also boosting demand.

“It’s not very often to get a chance to invest in super unicorns like Ant, even in China where you’ve seen a tech boom for years,” said one existing investor in Ant. “If you miss this one, you don’t know when the next one comes.”


Robert Kapito, co-founder of U.S. asset manager BlackRock, this week described himself as “shocked” at Ant’s likely valuation but many analysts are not blinking.

Barclays analysts this month valued the company at $155 billion, based on multiplying their estimate of Ant’s 2019 net operating profit less adjusted tax (NOPLAT) by what they said was its conservative price/earnings ratio of 28.

NOPLAT is often used by analysts to measure companies’ operating efficiency because it strips out the impact of interest payments and other financing costs.

Other groups have used alternative means of valuing Ant. Jefferies analysts, who believe up to 70 per cent of Ant’s 2017 business came from online payments, used Paypal (PYPL.O) as a comparison and valued Ant at $133 billion, equivalent to seven times their estimate for its 2019 sales – in line with the multiple implied by PayPal’s share price.

Based on traditional price-earnings measures, $150 billion implies a price 71 times Ant’s 2017 pre-tax profits or 85 times its net profits, assuming a tax rate of 16 per cent – the average paid by Alibaba in recent years. Ant does not disclose actual profits and its pre-tax earnings of 13.2 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) are calculated from disclosures in filings by Alibaba, which is set to become Ant’s one-third owner soon.

Alibaba itself trades at 43 times last year’s profits as does rival Tencent (0700.HK), home of Alipay rival WeChat Pay.


Ant, expected to go public in the next two years, has vowed to reach 2 billion users worldwide in the next decade and it has been,上海021夜网Hal, investing overseas, buying a stake in Indian payment firm Paytm and Thai financial technology firm Ascend Money, among others.

“Ant has taken a very strategic view of international expansion – with highly-targeted investments, joint ventures, and partnerships across the region,” said James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific Fintech leader at EY. “While mainland China remains core, I wouldn’t underestimate the potential upside of their international endeavors.”

But it could be China itself that causes Ant problems. While Alipay holds 54 per cent of the country’s fast-growing mobile payments market, WeChat Pay holds 38.2 per cent, according to Jefferies. Both are keen to increase their dominance.

Beijing also has a history of unexpected rule changes whic上海夜生活论坛h can derail business plans. Last year regulators suddenly took steps to rein in the online lending market – a key growth engine for Ant – as part of its wider crackdown on easy credit.

“These things that Ant is doing are quite innovative and new. They may work this year, but stop working next year, depending on China’s regulations,” sai,夜上海419龙凤论坛Landon,d a Hong Kong-based equity analyst with a Japanese asset manager. “It’s hard to analyze their value.”

Federal judge rules Ohio can purge inactive voters

CLEVELAND ( ) – A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that Ohio’s secretary of state was within his rig,上海夜生活论坛Rae,hts to strip thousands of inactive voters from the rolls, rejecting a legal challenge by civil liberties activists who claimed that the purge disenfranchised minorities and the poor.

The decision by U.S. District Judge George C. Smith in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union could impact the presidential race in Ohio, a key swing state seen as potentially pivotal in the Nov. 8 election. No Republi上海夜生活网can has won the White House without carrying Ohio.

The ACLU charged in its lawsuit that Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s policy of removing from the rolls voters deemed inactive over a six-year period violated the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 because it targets minorities and lower-income voters who tend to favor Democrats.

Smith disagreed, finding that the policy was not illegal because it removed voters from the rolls only after they failed to vote and then did not respond to a change of address confirmation.

“Ohio’s procedures of maintaining the voter registration rolls ensure the integrity of the election process,” Smith wrote.

Husted has said that the policy has been in place since the 1990s under both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state.

“While today’s ruling reaffirms that the process Ohio has used for over two decades is constitutional and in line with state and federal law, the b,上海夜生活去哪玩Nadine,est n,上海凤楼夜网Eason,ews is that we can put another wasteful lawsuit behind us and focus on the important work of running elections in Ohio,” Husted said in a statement.