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U.S. FCC chairman plans fast-track repeal of net neutrality: sources

WASHINGTON ( ) – The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is moving quickly to replace the Obama administration’s landmark net neutrality rules and wants internet service providers to voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet, three sources briefed on the meeting said Thursday.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday with major telecommunications trade groups to discuss his preliminary plan to reverse the rules, the sources said.

The FCC declined to comment but Pai previously said he is committed to ensuring an open internet but feels net neutrality was a mistake.

The rules approved by the FCC under Democratic President Barack Obama in early 2015 prohibited broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a “fast lane”, to certain internet services over others. As part of that change, the FCC reclassified internet service providers much like utilities.

Pai wants to overturn that reclassification, but wants internet providers to voluntarily agree to not obstruct or slow consumer access to web content, two officials said late Tuesday.

The officials briefed on the meeting said Pai suggested companies commit in writing to open internet principles and including them in their terms of service, which would make them binding.

It is unclear if regulators could legally compel internet providers to adopt open internet principles without existing net neutrality rules.

As part of that move, the Federal Trade Commission would assume oversight of ensuring compliance.

Three sources said Pai plans to unveil his proposal to overturn the rules as early as late April and it could face an initial vote in May or June.

Internet providers like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp have argued net neutrality rules would make it harder to manage internet traffic and investment in additional capacity less likely. Websites worry that without the rules they might lose access to customers.

AT&T and major trade groups sued the FCC in 2015 over the net neutrality rules.

Democrats and privacy advocates say net neutrality is crucial to keeping the internet open.

Pai in December predicted that net neutrality’s days were numbered. He told in February he believes “in a free and open internet and the only question is what regulatory framework best secures that.”

Pai and congressional Republicans have moved quickly to dismantle Obama-era telecommunications rules.

Trump on Monday signed a repeal of Obama-上海夜生活论坛era broadband privacy rules a victory for internet service providers and a blow to privacy advocates.

Politico Pro reported some details of the meeting with trade groups on Thursday.

Billionaire Schwartz makes $2.6 billion bet on Canada’s WestJet Airlines

( ) – Billionaire Gerry Schwartz pounced on Canada’s WestJet Airlines on Monday as his private equity firm Onex Corp offered to buy the struggling airline for C$3.5 billion ($2.6 billion), betting it can turn around its recent decline by taking the company private.

The surprise offer for C$31 a share, a 67% premium to their closing price on Friday, sparked a surge in WestJet shares, which closed up 60% at $29.61. If completed, it would be the biggest private equity deal ever for an airline, according to Refinitiv data.

If Onex obtains shareholder and regulatory approvals, the deal would help Schwartz get his hands on an airline two decades after he missed out on buying Air Canada, WestJet’s bigger rival. Air Canada shares rose more than 5%.

WestJet shares, which touched a record high of C$34.95 in December 2014, have recently been trading at almost half that level. The airline has reported declining net profit for each of the last three years, hurt by rising fuel costs, pressure on ticket prices and other issues.

Even before the global grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX jets in March, WestJet’s earnings had slipped as it worked to contain costs as its workforce unionized and was spending money on bold growth plans to expand international travel, introduce first class cabins and launch a budget carrier called Swoop.

Up to Friday’s close, WestJet shares had fallen 5.5% in the last 12 months while Air Canada shares gained 58%. American rival United Continental Holdings, the company that owns United Airlines, rose 28% in the same period.

“The ‘why now?’ is valuation,” said AltaCorp Capital analyst Chris Murray.

Onex, founded in 1984 by Schwartz who started out at Bear Stearns & Co in the 1970s, approached WestJet’s board in March. Neither Schwartz, nor any other Onex executive was available to comment.

WestJet Chief Executive Ed Sims said on BNN that the deal will allow the company to execute on its long-term growth strategy without the constraints of quarterly scrutiny. It is “a reaffirmation that the path we’re on is actually a path towards long-term profitability irrespective上海夜生活网 of the sort of headwinds that you refer to that we saw regularly in 2018.”

LONG HISTORY

With about $31 billion of assets under management, Onex is not new to investing in the aerospace industry. It bought Spirit AeroSystems from Boeing Co in 2005 and exited its investment in 2014 after making $3.2 billion.

Under Schwartz, who remains CEO, Onex tried to buy Air Canada in 1999 and merge it with now defunct Canadian Airlines, but that attempt failed. Onex shares closed up 4% in a broadly lower market.

Air Canada Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu declined to comment on the Onex deal, telling “it’s business as usual,” on the sidelines of the Air Transport Action Group conference in Montreal.

The Onex bid follows a deal last week where low-cost Latin American airline Viva Air received a $50 million investment from U.S. capital fund Cartesian Capital Group that it will direct toward expansion.

And the parent company of Montreal-based Air Transat has said it is in talks with more than one party regarding a potential transaction, although it is not yet clear what group might buy it.

Onex could “ultimately look” to also acquire Transat to “complement WestJet’s offering,” wrote Desjardins analyst Benoit Poirier in a note to clients. Transat AT stock was up 4 percent in afternoon trading.

The WestJet purchase will be led by Onex Partners, Onex’s private equity platform focused on larger investments. The airline’s board has urged shareholders to vote in favor.

The deal is subject to a number of conditions, including court and shareholder approval and receipt of certain regulatory approvals, including under the Canada Transportation Act.

In Ottawa, Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said at first glance the proposed takeover looked fairly standard in terms of an acquisition.

“I am not going to prejudge until I see the details whether there are any regulatory obstacles – at first glance it doesn’t seem to be anything special,” he told reporters.

NO CHANGE TO ‘COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE’

Alberta’s Premier said on Monday that WestJet and Onex have assured him the carrier’s headquarters will remain in Calgary after the deal.

Chris Rauenbusch, president of the union local representing WestJet flight attendants, said he supports the deal after being informed by company executives that it would not lead to any layoffs among the carrier’s 14,000 employees, while permitting the continuation of its growth strategy.

“We do not believe this transaction dramatically alters the competitive landscape, at least negatively,” Canaccord Genuity analyst Doug Taylor said.

A spokesman for Delta Air Lines said the proposed transaction does not impact plans to implement a U.S-Canada trans-border joint venture with WestJet.

The deal, which has a value of $5 billion including debt, is expected to close in the latter part of this year or early next year.

CIBC Capital Markets and BofA Merrill Lynch were the financial advisers to WestJet, while Barclays, Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets advised Onex.

Wall Street weekahead: U.S. funds focus on media stocks, banks to find value as mid-caps rally

NEW YORK ( ) – The S&P 400 Mid-Cap index has surged to its best start to a year since 1991, both rewarding fund managers and forcing them to work harder to seek out bargains in a group that is now the most expensive part of the U.S. market based on their historical averages.

The rally in mid-cap stocks – companies with a market valuation between $2 billion and $10 billion – has come during a broad rally in global stock markets as investors price in a resolution in the trade talks between the United States and China and fewer interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Mid-caps are up 14 percent for the year to date and sport an average price-to-earnings ratio of 16.9 times forward earnings, for their highest valuation premiums to small-cap stocks since 2017, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch research.

Yet fund managers from Janus Henderson, Hotchkis & Wiley, and Fairpointe Capital are among those who are still finding values by concentrating on financial, energy and media stocks and eschewing the high-priced real estate investment trusts and utility companies that make up nearly a fifth of the benchmark index.

“The window for the big bargain bin was the fourth quarter and that was about it,” said Kevin Preloger, a portfolio manager of the $3.3 billion Janus Henderson Mid Cap Value fund. “We’re looking for companies that have good balance sheets and good cash flow, but the tough part is reasonable valuations.”

Preloger’s fund i上海夜生活网s finding them in financial companies such as M&T Bank Corp and Hartford Financial Services Group Inc that are increasing their stock buybacks at the same time they have been beating analysts’ earnings expectations. Shares of M&T, for instance, are up 20.8 percent since the start of the year and trade at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.8.

“Financials are the cheapest sector in the space, and their earnings are also growing,” Preloger said.

Stanley Majcher, a portfolio manager of the $1.4 billion Hotchkis & Wiley Mid-Cap Value fund, is buying into overlooked financial and energy stocks because he considers them less risky than utility companies or REITs with higher valuations.

“Energy is very out of favor and there’s a perception that it’s a risky business because oil prices are likely to be low for a long period of time because of the market share war between OPEC and the U.S.,” he said. “But we see low volatility of demand and more discipline on the supply side.”

Among its largest holdings, Majcher’s fund has several energy companies, including Whiting Petroleum Corp, Kosmos Energy Ltd and Ophir Energy PLC, according to Morningstar data, with mixed results for the year to date. Shares of Whiting are up 12.4 percent year-to-date, while shares of Ophir are up nearly 53 percent over the same time.

Thyra Zerhusen, a portfolio manager of the $2.6 billion AMG Managers Fairpointe Mid Cap fund, said her fund is finding opportunities in media stocks such as broadcast company Tegna Inc, which was spun off of Gannett Co, magazine and local broadcasting company Meredith Corp, and New York Times Co, all of which should see a significant boost in revenues from the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, she said.

“With everybody running for president, the political advertising goes to these smaller market stations. Newspapers are almost non-existent now,” except for the New York Times, which continues to grow its digital subscriptions, she said.

She is also adding opportunistic positions in companies such as Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp, which completed its merger with the transportation unit of General Electric Co on Feb. 25. Shares of the company are up 2.9 percent year-to-date, and remain 35 percent below where they were trading six months ago.

“We’re trying to add stocks where there may be a short-term problem hitting the share price but the long-term outlook looks okay,” she said.

Libya agrees $34 billion budget for 2019 after months of disputes

TRIPOLI ( ) – Libya’s U.N.-backed administration agreed with the central bank and other players on a 2019 budget worth 46.8 billion dinars ($33.83 billion), it said on Monday after months of arguments.

The “financial arrangements”, as the budget is called officially, mark an increase from last year’s 42 billion dinars.

Libya has no proper budget as authority is divided between the U.N.-backed Tripoli government and a parallel administration allied to the internationally recognized parliament in the east, part of a conflict since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The central bank therefore agrees with Tripoli – with the tacit agreement of authorities in the east mediated by Western powers and international institutions — on a budget mainly covering public salaries and fuel subsidies for the whole country.

The Tripoli government and the central bank had been arguing over how to use funds raised by a 183 per cent fees slapped on hard currency transactions since autumn. 

The fees are aimed at bridging a gap between official and black market rate by moving the official rate to effectively 3.9 versus one dollar. Before it was 1.4.

The上海夜网 black market rate has fallen since then to around 4.1 from 6.

“After extensive discussion a total value of the financial arrangements (of) 46.8 billion dinars was agreed upon,” the government said in a short statement. It gave no details.

METALS-Copper steady as economic concerns jostle with China demand hopes

* LME copper stocks 30 pct below levels last August

* Zinc stocks d上海夜生活own nearly 80 percent since August

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates with official prices)

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, March 18 ( ) – Copper prices held steady on Monday, bolstered by expectations of seasonally strong Chinese demand in the second quarter and low stocks but capped by concern over the impact of continuing trade tensions on the global economy.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed little changed at $6,425 a tonne, down 0.1 percent, with prices having traded in a $200 range since the middle of February.

“The second quarter is normally the strongest in terms of physical activity; stocks are low and supply tightness is evident in metals like copper,” said Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar.

“Our concerns would be the macro overlay, slowing global growth and the unresolved U.S.-China trade dispute.”

CHINA: China accounts for about half of global demand for industrial metals, which increases in the April to June period because of restocking ahead of rising construction activity in the second quarter.

TRADE: Investor sentiment on trade has see-sawed on rumblings coming out of the negotiations between the world’s two biggest economies after the imposition of tit-for-tat tariffs.

“The uncertainty over U.S.-China trade could be decisive for industrial metals in the short term,” ANZ analysts said in a note.

“We see renewed supply issues in some of the metals, copper and zinc, which could widen the market deficit. This leaves little room for replenishing depleted inventories.”

STOCKS: Copper inventories of 183,825 tonnes in LME-approved warehouses are up from less than 112,000 tonnes last Tuesday but still more than 30 percent below levels last August. MCUSTX-TOTAL

Higher stocks have shrunk the premium for the cash contract over three-month copper to about $30 a tonne from $70 in early March. CMCU0-3

ZINC: Stocks of zinc under LME warrant are down nearly 80 percent since August to less than 60,000 tonnes, creating a large premium for the cash contract over three-month metal. MZNSTX-TOTAL The premium was last at $50 a tonne. CMZN0-3

In contrast, stocks in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange have climbed above 124,000 tonnes from around 20,000 tonnes at the end of last year. ZN-STX-SGH

Combined with an estimated 80,000 tonnes of zinc stocks in bonded warehouses in Shanghai, that takes the total in China to more than 200,000 tonnes.

PRICES: Aluminium closed 1.2 percent up at $1,920.50 a tonne, zinc dipped by 0.3 percent to $2,781, lead slipped by 1.1 percent to $2,040, tin added 0.5 percent to $21,175 and nickel firmed by 0.1 percent to $12,950.

Canada mulls setting rules for crypto platforms

( ) – Canadian regulators are looking to create new rules for crypto trading platforms, months after the death of the founder of digital platform Quadriga CX that led to about C$180 million ($135 million) in frozen cryptocurrencies.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) said bit.ly/2Fffz2V on Thursday they are considering a set of tailored regulatory requirements to address the “novel features and risks” of crypto platforms.

“We must adapt to innovation, and provide clarity to the market about how regulatory requirements might best be tailored and applied to these unique business models, while maintaining investor protection,” IIROC Chief Executive Officer Andrew Kriegler said in a statement.

The Quadriga situation highlighted a regulatory vacuum for the cryptocurrency industry in Canada and raised questions about上海夜网 who would be held accountable for any potential losses. The cryptocurrencies have been frozen in Quadriga’s user accounts since its founder Gerald Cotten, the only person with the password to gain access, died suddenly in December.

Canada’s biggest securities regulator, the Ontario Securities Commission, said in February it was looking into the platform given the “potential harm to Ontario investors”.

Preview: Southampton – Tottenham

The Sunday action from the Premier League will finish off with a match between two teams that going into this round of games are in different, but equally precarious positions just outside the relegation and the Champions League spots, respectively.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

This season is turning out to be a nightmare for many of the Southampton faithful. The club finally gave in to ‘bigger money’ and let their best defender leave for Liverpool (Virgil van Dijk), and find themselves lacking on several fronts on the pitch: the team has not won once in their last ten PL games!

Tottenham are, together with Liverpool, the league’s in form outfit and have gained points on Chelsea and Manchester United in recent weeks as well as pulling five points clear of their eternal enemies Arsenal. If they are to further climb, they will need all three points here.

Son Heung-min has one explanation as to why the team are in great form – they’re striving to be like Harry Kane! He recently said: “I want more, like Harry Kane. He beats every record and I want to beat every record as well. I want to try to be a top player”.

Players to watch: Hurricane Kane needs no introduction. With 20 PL goals to his name already, Kane is aiming for yet another top scorer title.Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We 上海夜网need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

With Charlie Austin still out injured, Southampton fans will hope that Shane Long can rediscover his goalscoring form – and fast. Besides Austin, no Southampton player has more than three goals this season!

Stat attack: Since 2012, Tottenham have won four out of five games at St. Mary’s, scoring two goals or more on each of the five (one draw). In total, Southampton have only won one of the last ten head to head matches.

1-2? Tottenham average precisely 2.0 goals scored per game this season, Southampton precisely 1.0.

Missing players

Southampton: C. Austin (thigh injury), M. Yoshida (thigh injury)

Tottenham: T. Alderweireld (thigh injury), D. Rose (knee injury), H. Lloris (doubtful), H. Winks (doubtful).

Gerrard’s remarkable managerial record

The Liverpool legend recently returned to the club as a coach in the youth formations and his record as a manager is more than impressive.

The Reds icon Steven Gerrard ended his career in the MLS before returning to Anfield in a different position from what most fans are used to seeing him. Steve G took on a coaching role in the youth system of the club in February 2017, trying to inspire and help youngsters develop and hopefully advance to the first team of Liverpool.

Even though Gerrard is relatively new to the profession, his record as a manager is quite impressive. After 21 games with the Under 18 formations, the Reds have topped the U18 Premier League, finished first in their U19 UEFA Youth League Group and lost just one game ever since his arrival.

Speaking to the club’s website ab上海夜生活论坛out the team he is leading, Gerrard revealed:Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“Credit to the lads, they have created an atmosphere and a spirit in the group where they are hard to beat, and the reaction and response to going a goal down was superb.

“They showed unbelievable character to come back, not just to equalise but to go on and win it in the way we did, the players deserve every single bit of credit.

“I thought my performance today was poor and I got certain things wrong as the game went on but the players bailed me out and I thought they were superb.”

Bernardo Silva comfortable with City rotations

The Portugal international is not a regular starter at the Etihad Stadium, but insists he enjoys life in England.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva is adamant he has no issues with the constant rotations at the Citizens. The 23-year-old joined Pep Guardiola’s team in the summer transfer window from AS Monaco in a £43.5m move.

Even though City paid a serious amount for his services, the Portuguese has not been part of the starting XI on a regular basis, mostly appearing as a substitute. Silva has started only five Premier League games so far, but insists he is happy to be involved with the Citizens squad and their project.

“It’s fantastic to be part of this group, and to be part of a team that wins so many games in a row and has been so successful so上海夜生活论坛 far.“ the 23-year-old told ESPN Brasil.Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

“The atmosphere in this club at the moment is fantastic, and like I said, it’s great to be part of this team.”

“We still have a game before the New Year, so we still have a game on the 31st against Crystal Palace. ” he added.

“Of course that’s a good difference. But in football everything is possible, we have to keep winning to keep the distance and not give a chance for our rivals to approach.” Silva concluded, urging his team-mates to not relax.

Clattenburg talks about Premier League leave

The 42-year-old revealed what caused him to quit his job in England and go through a change of scenery.

Mark Clattenburg insists he made up his mind to give up on being a referee in England following a game between Stoke City and Manchester United. After the final whistle, the Red Devils’ boss went to the officials’ dressing room and questioned Clattenburg’s penalty decision, which got to the Englishman.

The 42-year-old referee is now working as head for refereeing at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation after a 13-year spell in England.

While on the Men in Blazers podcast, Clattenburg spoke about his decision to leave the Premier League and start over somewhere else.

“I was refereeing the game when Wayne Rooney broke Bobby Charlton’s record and Mourinho came into my dressing room and he was unhappy about a handball penalty that I didn’t give.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

“I’d walked off that pitch at Stoke, which was always the coldest stadium, it was always wet and miserable, and refereeing Man United was never an easy match.

“To come off that match it felt immense that I’d actuall上海夜网y had a good performance, and for him to come into my dressing room and criticise my performance for a handball that I’d seen, that had clearly come off his chest, I knew that I was right but he’d put a seed of doubt into my mind.

“I drove home 250 miles thinking I’d made a big error, my wife knew my attitude had changed, and I thought to myself, ‘Do I really want to be a part of this anymore? Do I really want to referee?’

“And I went soul-searching, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to and I had to get out.”

Bellerin: Arsenal silenced doubters

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin claims the Gunners have silenced their critics when they defeated Tottenham in the north London derby at Emirates

Thanks to the goals of Alexis Sanchez and Shkodran Mustafi, Arsenal are now within one point of their local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League.

Not only the result, but the manner the Gunners showed in their victory is what silenced the naysayers, according to Bellerin.

“There’s always a lot of talk but I think it was one of those games where we showed what we could do. We shut some mouth as well,” Bellerin told Arsenal’s official website.

上海夜生活

“There are people who talk a lot and now, after watching that game at home, they’ll be thinking that these guys have a chance.”

Arsenal need to keep up the intensity against Burnley as they meet in next weekend’s Premier League clash.Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

“That’s what we’re trying to do. Sometimes, for different reasons, we haven’t been able to do it, but this is how we set the bar and show what potential we have,” Bellerin said.

“That’s what we’ve got to work hard to do every single week, week in, week out.”

This was the first north London derby defeat of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and it resulted in Spurs now being 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City.

“It’s a low, it’s a big hit for us,” Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen told the club’s official website.

Defender Ben Davies added: “We know we can do so much better than that. When their goal came it was a bit of a sucker-punch and to concede another before half-time was a bit sloppy and killed us. We were confident in ourselves.”

Arsenal will get a chance to take over Tottenham in the next fixture of the English top-flight, but the Gunners will need to do their best if they want to defeat Burnley, who are in great form currently.

Madrid: A change in formation

Real Madrid are trying to find a way to end their struggles, and the coachg staff are looking into a possible change in formation

The coaching team of Real Madrid are desperately searching for a solution to the current crisis at the club that includes back-to-back defeats, MARCA reports.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, assisted by David Bettoni and Lluis Lopis are trying to find a medicine for Real’s sickness.

They want to get their team back on track as Los Blancos suffer from poor form besides having tactical concerns, leaving open spaces for rivals to attack.

The solution that seems the easiest maybe would be to return to a 4-3-3 formation, one that fans could see in action, until Zidane could use it, with Gareth Bale being a key player in it.

Since the Welsh winger’s constant injuries however, Madrid changed to a 4-4-2, where Isco’s excellence could be used for their advantage.

The question is whether Zidane will change tactics against Las Palmas on Sunday, or will he wait until the next international break? It’s hard to tell, as Madrid is in desperate need of a redemption, but Bale is expected to return after the break, which could force the French manager to change his tactics once again.Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

It’s also possible that Zidane will look to revive the width of the side which has disappeared since Isco pla上海夜网ying centrally behind Ronaldo as a traditional centre forward in the middle, without drifting to the left.

This would allow Cristiano Ronaldo to find more space out wide just like he did most of his career, and hopefully rediscover his form.

Los Blancos have quite a few options to switch to a 4-3-3 even without Bale. Besides Ronaldo playing on the left wing and Benzema being the centre-forward, the right side could be occupied by Lucas Vasquez or Marcos Asensio, giving Madrid the width it requires.

It’s interesting to see that throughout the season, Los Blancos have always switched formations during the game. In fact, they often changed to a completely different one than what they have started with.

In their last two defeats, against Girona and Tottenham for example, the defense has ended the game with three actual defenders, and their full-backs played more like wing-backs.

Whatever the coaching team decides, they better get Los Blancos back to winning ways, as they are already behind Barcelona by 8 points.

Preview: Arsenal – Crvena Zvezda

Arsenal sit top of Group H with 9 points after winning all 3 of their opening games and will qualify for the first knockout round if they avoid defeat in this match.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Arsene Wenger will rest all of the players who featured in the 2-1 win at home to Swansea in the Premier League on Saturday and is expected to stick with the youthful team used throughout the competition so far.

The Gunners have scored at least 1 goal in 16 of their last 17 European matches and their last goalless draw was 29 games ago a上海夜生活论坛gainst Besiktas in the Champions League in August 2014.

There have been at least 4 goals in 2 of Arsenal’s last 3 EL matches, while there have been less than 3 goals in 7 of Crvena Zvezda’s last 9 games in the competition.Five things we learned from Man United’s draw vs Arsenal Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After a new Premier League match between Man United and Arsenal, we have to look at the five things we learned from this draw.Man…

Crvena Zvezda have lost just 2 of their last 12 EL matches, with 1 of those defeats coming at home to Arsenal in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, winning 6 and drawing 4 their other 10 games.

Missing players

Arsenal: S. Cazorla (Achilles tendon injury), S. Kolasinac (hip injury), D. Welbeck (muscle injury), K. Bielik (doubtful), C. Chambers (doubtful), A. Lacazette (doubtful), S. Mustafi (doubtful), D. Ospina (doubtful), M. Ozil (doubtful), A. Sanchez (doubtful).

Crvena Zvezda: B. Jovicic (injury), M. Rodic (red card), N. Milijas (doubtful), Ricardinho (doubtful).

Frustrated Sanchez lashes out at the press

The Chilean was having none of it following  a huge blow on his country’s chances to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Alexis Sanchez was highly upset with journalists following Chile’s 1-0 defeat to Bolivia in South America’s qualifiers for the World Cup.

The Arsenal player has had a horrible summer after his desired move to Manchester City fell apart and now Chile has suffered to defeats, which significantly lowers their chances of making it to Russia next year. The 28-year-old took it to social media to express his frustration with the situation.

“And there comes the time when you get tired,” he said on Instagram.

“You get tired when you are criticised with or without reason, you get tired when people want to see you defeated.Antonio Conte determined to find Alexis Sanchez’s brilliance Andrew Smyth – Antonio Conte is on a mission to help Alexis Sanchez rediscover his old brilliance, and promised the Inter Milan loanee more game time.

“You get tired to tell yourself ‘I will get up again’ after crying about a defeat, and you get tired telling the world and the people that are with you that everything is okay.

“And the worst thing is, no one ever realises how that makes you feel… I have Chile’s number 7 and it is a huge responsib上海夜生活网ility, that’s why it is a shame that journalists and bad people criticise without knowing.”

Iniesta denies Barcelona contract extension

The Spain international said the statement made by Barcelona‘s president claiming that t上海夜生活论坛erms have been reached is false.

Things are certainly not looking bright at Barcelona as Iniesta denied the claims made by the Catalans president Josep Maria Bartomeu saying terms have been reached. The club president recently said to Mundo Deportivo that Iniesta agreed terms about a contract extension and the deal should be finalised in the near future.

However, Andrés Iniesta has now come forward to disagree with that, simply adding up to the crisis within the Catalans.

“We already have a principle of agreement to renew and we hope to finalise it in the coming weeks,” Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo when asked about Iniesta’s future.

“We are waiting these days to continue talking but Iniesta is a player that we want to retire here, and to retire when he thinks he wants to retire.

“The idea is to have an indefinite contract where he automatically renews from year to year until he thinks he can retire or change.”Griezmann and Neymar questions infuriate Valverde George Patchias – Questions about the Antoine Griezmann fine, and the Neymar court case, infuriated Ernesto Valverde at his pre-match press conference.Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde face Getafe…

Despite those claims, Iniesta has denied those claims when asked by reporters if he has extended his contract, according to sports reporter Ignacio Miguélez.

Iniesta on arrival at Barcelona airport; -Can you confirm the principle of renewal agreement announced by Bartomeu?” -No

Spalleti happy with his current squad

The Italian coach insists he has ‘a perfect squad’ at his disposal.

Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti believes the team he is managing in great and promised they would show that. Despite a rather quiet transfer window for the Nerazzurri, their manager is more than happy with the players he is currently working with.

“We expected a different transfer market it’s true,” Spalletti confessed in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I was convinced I could cook with certain ingredients. No上海夜生活论坛w though I’m 100 per cent satisfied.

“When I said at Riscone that promises had been made and I’d speak out if they weren’t kept the transfer window wasn’t over and above all I still didn’t know all the players.Fabio Capello stands up for Antonio Conte, compares him to Mourinho Nedim Maric – Former Italian manager talked about the current prospects of Serie A, and Conte’s success at Inter so far.Inter look like a different team with…

“The quality of the lads is very high, I’ve found them to be available, motivated, and true professionals.

“Being a professional means having expertise and passion for what you do, and 55-60,000 people will come to the stadium on Sunday because they’re convinced by what the lads have done so far.

“We’re starting 29 points down on Juve, 25 on Roma and 24 on Napoli, so we need seven or eight more wins in the league [than last season].

“Everyone has to improve but I have a perfect squad, and we’ll show you. We signed people who fit the bill.”

Matip warns Premier League defenders

The full-back is 上海夜生活网happy he would not have to face Liverpool’s latest signing Mohamed Salah.

The Egypt international will leave defenders in despair during his first season in England, according to Joël Matip.

The former Chelsea and Roma winger, joined Liverpool last month for a fee of €50 million. The 25-year-old adds to an attacking group of players like Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firminho, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane. A number of players that Matip is glad not to play against.

Speaking to Omnisport, the defender praised Salah.

“Salah already played in England. He has high skills at dribbling, tempo and finishing and he makes defenders despair.Jurgen Klopp rates Pep Guardiola as his greatest rival Andrew Smyth – Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed that his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola is the best manager that he’s ever coached against.

There is so much quality in attack, the right pace and it will be hard for our opponents to stop them.”

Joël Matip also elaborated on his stay at Liverpool and the philosophy Jürgen Klopp is trying to establish in their ranks.

“From every player [Klopp wants] fast counter-pressing with direct attacks, but also a clean and structured build-up with specific position-play.

But of course, if we lose the ball, the first step is towards the ball and not back to defend at our box.We are defending very high. It begins with the strikers, who madly run [at] the opponent, putting in many meters and giving their all.

It is hard to describe [Klopp’s aura]. He is very affable and direct, even when it is about issues, he is straight but cordial. If you do something wrong he clearly tells you to do better but he stays affable.”

Claudio Ranieri might become the next manager of Nantes if French Football Federation approves the deal

French FF rule prevents clubs from appointing managers aged over 65Written by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 13, 2017.

Claudio Ranieri has agreed on a deal which can bring him back to football for the first time since he was sacked by Leicester City. However, the deal might not be approved by the French Football Federation due to his age.

The Italian is set to become the next manager of Ligue 1 club Nantes, who are awaiting a confirmation of the deal.

A rule states, that clubs cannot appoint managers who are over the age of 65, which is exactly the age that Ranieri turned in October last year.

Nantes president Waldemar Kita was confident that the deal will go through and expressed his interest in the experience that the Italian has.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

‘The league agrees, I believe that only the FFF is delaying the appointment a little, I do not know why.

‘What we are interested in is the experience of Ranieri as a footballer and coach, since we know that he has coached the biggest teams in Europe.’

Ranieri won the Premier League in his first season as a manager of Leicester City in 2015-16. However, he was sacked in February 2017 after series of disappointing results that left Leicester in relegation danger.

Ranieri’s experience includes managing Fiorentina, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus, Monaco and the Greece national team.

Now, he wan上海夜生活网ts to return to the French Ligue 1. Appointment of over 65 aged managers has been done before when Lens were allowed to appoint veteran coach Guy Roux.

Exclusive: PSA, Dongfeng to drop two China auto plants, halve workforce – document

BEIJING/PARIS ( ) – Peugeot maker PSA Group (PEUP.PA) and partner Dongfeng Group (0489.HK) have agreed to cut thousands of jobs in China and drop two of their four shared assembly plants, according to a document seen by , in a last-ditch bid to curb mounting losses as the world’s largest auto market loses steam.

Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (DPCA), the carmakers’ joint venture based in Wuhan, central China, will halve its workforce to 4,000 as it closes one plant and sells another under plans agreed last month between PSA boss Carlos Tavares and Dongfeng Chairman Zhu Yanfeng, the document showed.

Both carmakers declined to comment on details of their restructuring plans. “We are working with our partners to improve the overall performance of our business in China in all its dimensions,” a PSA spokesman said.

The agreement may avert a threatened withdrawal by PSA, according to two sources at the French carmaker who said their chief executive had signaled that PSA might otherwise exit the 27-year-old partnership with its 12.2% shareholder Dongfeng, or even leave China altogether.

“We’re just a whisker away from having to withdraw from China,” said one person close to the PSA board. “It really is that serious.”

PSA is attempting a reboot in adverse conditions. Once an auto industry cash cow, the Chinese market contracted last year for the first time since the 1990s and is expected to decline another 5% in 2019, squeezed by a worse上海夜生活ning U.S.-China trade war.

Many Western carmakers were already struggling before the downturn, as Chinese consumers abandoned their mid-market brands for increasingly assertive domestic rivals here including the global manufacturers’ own local partners.

PSA’s deep China problems go back even further, spanning four years of plunging sales and 400 million euros ($450 million) written off its DPCA stake, which is now valued at 500 million euros.

Its sales in the country shrunk almost threefold to 251,700 vehicles last year from a 2014 peak of 731,000.

“We’re not giving up,” a PSA spokesman said. “We are still pursuing our action plan to cut fixed costs.”

DPCA will now close its original assembly plant, Wuhan 1, and redevelop the site in a commercial partnership with the local government, according to the plans. The factory’s tooling and production will be transferred to the Wuhan 3 facility.

Headcount across DPCA will fall from 8,000 to 5,500 by the end of 2019 and to 4,000 within another three years, as it also sells off its idling Wuhan 2 facility, according to the document – which noted ongoing discussions with unidentified potential buyers.

Underperforming vehicles will be dropped as the Peugeot and Citroen lineups are streamlined around more profitable models, mirroring the European turnaround strategy now powering record margins in PSA’s home markets.

HURDLES

The carmakers’ dealings have often been fraught, and PSA executives including Tavares have voiced frustration with DPCA’s management. The French group’s shares briefly spiked on an Aug. 7 report that Dongfeng was preparing to divest its PSA stake, acquired in a 2014 bailout.

Questioned by analysts about China operations, Tavares pledged during PSA’s July 24 earnings call to “accelerate variable cost reduction, reduce fixed cost” and boost pricing.

“Our partner is in the same mindset,” he said of Dongfeng. “They also want to accelerate.”

The restructuring faces hurdles, not least the challenge of finding a Wuhan 2 buyer amid mounting uncertainty – although Chinese government restrictions on greenfield sites may help.

Over the past 18 months, Dongfeng’s Chairman Zhu tried repeatedly to persuade Honda (7267.T) or Nissan (7201.T) to take over one of the DPCA plants, reported on Aug 1.

China’s economy worsens in July, industrial growth at 17-year low as trade war escalates

BEIJING ( ) – China’s economy stumbled more sharply than expected in July, with industrial output growth cooling to a more than 17-year low, as the intensifying U.S. trade war took a heavier toll on businesses and consumers.

Activity in China has continued to cool despite a flurry of growth steps over the past year, raising questions over whether more rapid and forceful stimulus may be needed, even if it risks racking up more debt.

After a flicker of improvement in June, analysts said the latest data was evidence that demand faltered across the board last month, from industrial output and investment to retail sales.

That followed weaker-than-expected bank lending and gloomy factory surveys in recent days, along with the return of producer price deflation, reinforcing expectations more policy support is needed soon.

“China’s economy needs more stimulus because the headwinds are pretty strong and today’s data is much weaker than consensus,” said Larry Hu, head of Greater China economics at Macquarie Group in Hong Kong.

“The economy is going to continue to slow down. At a certain point, policymakers will have to step up stimulus to support infrastructure and property. I think it could happen by the end of this year.”

Industrial output growth slowed markedly to 4.8% in July from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, lower than the most bearish forecast in a poll and the weakest pace since February 2002.

Analysts had forecast it would slow to 5.8%, from June’s 6.3%. Washington had sharply raised some tariffs in May.

Infrastructure investment, which Beijing has been counting on to stabilize the economy, also dropped back, as did property investment, which has been a rare bright spot despite worries of potential housing bubbles.

Crude steel output fell for a second straight month, while production of motor vehicles continued to fall by double digits. Hi-tech manufacturing output rose by a slower 6.6%, and the country’s power output edged up just 0.6%.

The industry ministry said last month that China would need “arduous efforts” to achieve its 2019 industrial growth target of 5.5% to 6.0%.

INVESTMENT, RETAIL SALES GROWTH COOLS

China’s economic growth cooled to a near 30-year low of 6.2% in the second quarter, and business confidence has remained shaky, weighing on investment.

While officials have cautioned it would take time for higher infrastructure spending to kick in, construction growth has been more subdued than expected.

Fixed-asset investment rose 5.7% in January-July from the same period last year, lagging expectations of a 5.8% gain and dipping from the previous reading.

But readings by sector showed a more marked loss of momentum in critical areas at the start of the third quarter.

Infrastructure investment rose 3.8% in the first seven months from a year earlier, slowing from 4.1% in the first half despite massive local government bond issuance, mainly to fund road and rail projects and other civic works.

Data from Japanese construction equipment maker Komatsu Ltd. (6301.T) showed activity remained weak, with operating hours for its machines in China falling for a fourth straight month.

In a sign the housing market’s resilience may be waning as Beijing cracks down on speculation, property investment slowed to its weakest this year. It rose 8.5% in July on-year, from June’s 10.1%. Though home sales inched back to growth, new construction starts cooled.

Retail sales are also pointing to growing consumer caution, most evident in slumping auto sales but also in property-related spending on items such as home appliances and furniture.

Retail sales rose 7.6% in July, well off consensus of 8.6% and weaker than the most pessimistic forecast. Sales had jumped 9.8% in June, which many analysts had predicted would be temporary.

Job security worries may also be a factor. Nationwide survey-based unemployment edged up to 5.3% from 5.1% in June, though market watchers believe it could be much higher.

“We maintain our view that (economic) growth has yet to bottom out and expect Beijing to maintain its easing policy stance,” economists at Nomura said.

Nomura expects growth will slow to 6.0% in the third and fourth quarters, the bottom end of the government’s target range.

Authorities have already announced hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending and corporate tax cuts over the last year, and repeatedly cut bank’s reserve requirements (RRR) to free up more funds for lending and reduce borrowing costs.

But credit demand has been tepid, with companies in no mood to borrow or invest given the uncertain business outlook 上海夜生活网and banks wary of rising bad loans.

Sources told recently that more aggressive action such as interest rate cuts are a last resort, as it could fuel a rapid build-up in debt and financial risks.

Highlighting those concerns, the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the Communist Party, took the unusual step last month of announcing it would not use the property market as a form of short-term stimulus.

ESCALATING TRADE WAR

Recent months have been marked by a sudden escalation in the year-long U.S.-China trade war that has raised risks for both economies and sparked fears of a global recession.

A brief ceasefire was shattered earlier this month after U.S President Donald Trump vowed to impose a 10% tariff on more Chinese goods from Sept. 1.

China let its yuan currency slide to an 11-year low days later, prompting the U.S. Treasury Department to label Beijing a currency manipulator.

Some relief came on Tuesday, however, after Trump said he would delay duties on some Chinese imports including cellphones and other consumer goods, in an apparent effort to blunt tariffs’ impact on U.S. holiday sales.

Still, new tariffs will go into effect next month on about half of Washington’s $300 billion target list of Chinese goods, and analysts say the chance of any durable trade deal after the recent escalations has sharply receded.