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Lululemon hits record high on revamped stores

( ) – Lululemon Athletica Inc’s (LULU.O) shares hit a record high on Friday after the athletic apparel maker raised its full-year profit forecast as customers flocked to its revamped stores.

Shares of the Canadian company, which popularized “athleisure wear” by turning pricey women’s yoga wear into mainstream fashion, were up nearly 15.5 percent at $121.26 in morning trading.

Lululemon’s shares rose as much as 15.3 percent to $121.15, boosting the company’s market cap by about $3 billion to $17.26 billion.

The company’s recent push to renovate stores paid off in the latest reported quarter, with traffic rising in the mid-singl,上海夜网官方网站Hallie,e digit range.

Morgan Stanley analysts said the company was able to pull off positive sales both at its stores and online. A push by retailers to better compete online has sometimes cannibalized their brick-and-mortar sales.

“We are particularly impressed with Lululemon’s store performance given many retailers still cite negative traffic trend,” Cowen & Co analyst Oliver Chen said.

The Vancouver-based company raised its full-year profit forecast to be between $3.10 and $3.18 per share, up from its previous forecast of $3 to $3.08.

Direct-to-consumer revenue, which includes online sales, rose 62 percent in the first quarter, helping the,上海晚上耍女人的地方Hal, company record a profit of 55 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 46 cents, according to Thomson I/B/E/S.

At least 14 brokerages raised their price target on Lululemon’s stock, with Barclays being the most bullish.

The brokerage raised its price target by $50 to $150, saying they were “hard-pressed to find anything negative” in first-quarter numbers.

Morningstar analysts said strong performance at Lululemon’s men’s and accessories lines, showed its products continue to 上海夜生活论坛“resonate” with evolving consumer tastes.

In targeting men, Lululemon has jumped into an arena dominated by the likes ,上海夜网后花园Radcliff,of Nike Inc (NKE.N) and Under Armour Inc (UAA.N) and expects the division to reach a billion dollars in sales by 2020.

Lululemon was on track for $4 billion in revenue in 2020, COO Stuart Heselden said on a conference call on Thursday.

The company had announced the abrupt departure of CEO Laurent Potdevin in February on undisclosed charges of misconduct.

U.S. dollar-store shares marked down but specialty discounters thrive

NEW YORK ( ) – The shares of so-called dollar stores have suffered as U.S. shoppers have started spending more at bargain retailers with focused concepts and big discount chains.

Once thought to be insulated from the retail industry’s challenges, the dollar stores, which got the name because they try to price items for $1 or less, such as Dollar General Corp (DG.N), Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O) and Big Lots Inc (BIG.N) derive much of their sales from household staples.

But investors have been drawn to two growing mid-sized chains, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings Inc (OLLI.O) and Five Below Inc (FIVE.O), which have carved out distinct niches within the discount space focusing on discretionary items, analysts said.

Appealing to trend-watchers and bargain hunters has helped Ollie’s and Five Below stand out while other discounters face intensifying competition from new entrants such as German chains Aldi and Lidl, analysts and investors said.

Ollie’s sells brand-name overstock items from air conditioners to hair dye, and Five Below caters to teens.

“They’re differentiated concepts,” said Anthony Chukumba, managing director at Loop Capital in Chicago of Ollie’s and Five Below. “That’s one of the reasons they’re outperforming.”

Also, investors said, the strong U.S. economy and the federal tax overhaul have given discount shoppers customers more disposable income. As a result, some have shif,上海夜网邀请码Kaia,ted their spending to big-box retailers such as Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N).

Dollar Tree stock has fallen 24.1 percent this year, while shares of Big Lots have plunged 26.6 percent. Shares of Dollar General have risen 1.5 percent but still lag the S&P Composite 1500 Multiline Retail index .SPCOMMULR, which includes discount retailers and department stores and has advanced 9.0 percent in the same period.

Ollie’s, ,上海夜生活服务Hal,whose stores are located mainly on the U.S. East Coast, sells closeout and overstock merchandise at deeply discounted prices. The company’s shares have climbed 41.0 percent this year. Ollie’s shares were little changed on Wednesday after late Tuesday’s first-quarter results beat analyst estimates, while the company raised its sales and profit guidance for the 2018 fiscal year.

Gary Bradshaw, a portfolio manager at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas, was persuaded to buy Ollie’s shares after coming across the store on a visit to Pennsylvania l,上海夜网后花园Ebba,ast year. He compared his trip to Ollie’s to a treasure hunt.

“That was the neatest store,” he said. “I came back and bought the stock, and ever since, it’s gone up and up and up.”

Five Below Inc (FIVE.O), which has locations in 32 U.S. states and caters to pre-teen and teenage consumers with items below $5, has had its shares rise 22.6 percent year to date. The chain has found success capitalizing on teen-centered trends such as slime-making kits and mermaid-themed items, Chukumba said. Five Below is scheduled to report it上海夜生活论坛s first-quarter results after the market close on Wednesday.

Last week, shares of all three big dollar discount stores fell after the retailers’ quarterly results missed analyst expectations. Dollar Tree and Dollar General attributed their lower-than-expected same-store sales to unusually cold spring weather.

To be sure, they haven’t completely lost favor. Loop Capital has a “buy” rating for Dollar Tree, and Hodges owns both Dollar Tree and Dollar General shares. Even some investors who are less bullish on the discount segment say the dip in share prices may make them attractive buys.

“With the pullback in the stocks, they’re getting close to fair value,” said Arun Daniel, senior portfolio manager at JO Hambro Capital Management in Boston.

Dollar General and Dollar Tree each have some 15,000 stores throughout most of the United States. Five Below and Ollie’s combined have only about 1,000 stores. In Ollie’s earnings call on Tuesday, chief executive Mark Butler said the company, which currently has fewer than 300 stores, sees potential to expand to more than 950 locations.

“It’s a classic growth story,” Bradshaw said, in reference to Ollie’s. “Everybody loves to find a deal.”

Brent gains after touching one-month low on supply concerns

NEW YORK ( ) – Brent crude reversed losses on Tuesday, after hitting its lowest price in nearly a month following a report the U.S. government asked Saudi Arabia and other major exporters to increase oil output.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures rose 9 cents to settle at $75.38 a barrel, a 0.12 percent gain. It touched a low of $73.81, its lowest since May 8.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures rose 77 cents to settle at $65.52 a barrel, a 1.2 percent gain. Earlier, WTI hit a session low of $64.22, the lowest since April 10.

The premium for Brent to WTI hit a session low of $9.38, recovering slightly from last week when the spread reached $11.57, the widest since March 2015. That divergence was “overcooked,” prompting profit-taking, said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.

The U.S. government has unofficially asked Saudi Arabia and some other OPEC producers to raise oil output, three OPEC and industry sources said, although it has not requested a specific figure.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported the U.S. government had asked the producers to increase oil 上海夜生活production by about 1 million barrels pe,上海021夜网Caitlin,r day (bpd).

OPEC supply tends to more directly influence Brent, whereas U.S. crude futures are more closely tied to U.S. supply.

The request comes after U.S. retail gasoline prices surged to the highest in more than three years and President Donald Trump in April complained about OPEC policy and rising oil prices. The national average on Tuesday was $2.94 a regular gallon, according to AAA.

It also follows Washington’s decision to reimpose sanctions on Iran’s crude exports, which could disrupt global oil supply. Iran’s crude oil output could fall 1 million bpd as a result of renewed U.S. sanctions, according to a note from Standard Chartered.

“Markets are forward-looking. The fact that Russia, Saudi Arabia and OPEC more broadly have started discussing raising output levels, you’ve got this pretty swift correction,” said Tyler Richey, co-editor of the Sevens Report in Jupiter, Florida.

Saudi Arabia and Russia were already discussing raisi,夜上海论坛Jackson,ng OPEC and non-OPEC oil output by around 1 million bpd, sources familiar with the matter said on May 25.

Saudi Aramco has raised its July price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by 20 cents a barrel versus June to a premium of $2.10 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, it said on Tuesday.,上海夜网后花园Lake,

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets in Vienna on June 22 to decide whether the group and non-OPEC producers, including Russia, should raise output to make up for any supply shortfall from Iran and Venezuela.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 2 million barrels in the week to June 1 to 432.8 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 1.8 million barrels.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 1 million barrels, API said.

PetSmart taps advisers to trim $8 billion debt pile: sources

( ) – PetSmart Inc, the largest U.S. pet retailer, has hired restructuring advisers to explore ways to trim its debt pile of more than $8 billion as it conti,上海021夜网Sabrina,nues to face falling profits, according to people familiar with the matter.

The move comes as PetSmart’s debt trades at a deep discount to its full value amid concerns the brick-an上海夜生活网d-mortar retailer’s big bet on online commerce has yet to pay off. PetSmart told investors in its bonds on Monday it would move part of its ownership of e-commerce website Chewy Inc away from the reach of its creditors.

PetSmart is working with investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc (HLI.N) as it weighs its next steps, the sources said this week. While the company faces no significant debt maturities until 2022, it hopes to take advantage of the decline in the value of its bonds to trim its debt burden, the sources added, without specifying which specific course of action the company will take.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. PetSmart and Houlihan Lokey did not return requests for comment.

PetSmart’s woes come as the retail sector continues to struggle with the shift to online commerce and rapidly changing consumer tastes. More than 15 U.S. retailers, including Toys “R” Us Inc,上海夜网官方网站Cade,, filed for bankruptcy last year.

Private equity firm BC Partners Inc acquired PetSmart for $8.7 billion in 2014, as it sought to capitalize on consumers lavishing their pets with expensive treats and gear. However, the company quickly faced strong headwinds as ma,上海夜网邀请码Idaline,ny customers snubbed its stores for the convenience of online shopping.

In response, PetSmart acquired Chewy last year for $3.35 billion, the highest price ever paid for an e-commerce site. It was a bold move, with PetSmart adding $2 billion to its debt load to do the deal.

But Chewy has continued to lose money as it spends more on customer acquisition in order to boost its market share.

PetSmart’s bonds due in 2023 are now trading at about 55 cents on the dollar, according to Thomson data.

PetSmart moved 20 percent of Chewy to its private equity owners as a dividend, and another 16.5 percent to an unrestricted subsidiary, leaving existing creditors with a reduced claim on the e-commerce shop.

Debt-laden stressed retailers J. Crew Group Inc and Neiman Marcus Group Ltd have also moved collateral away from creditors as they try to slash their debt loads. J. Crew completed its debt restructuring out of court last year. Neiman Marcus has yet to address its debt.

Fed up with rising costs, big U.S. firms dig into healthcare

SAN JOSE, Calif. ( ) – At its Silicon Valley head,上海晚上耍女人的地方Landon,quarters, network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc is going to unusual lengths to take control of the relentless increase in its U.S. healthcare costs.

The company is among a handful of large American employers who are getting more deeply involved in managing their workers’ health instead of looking to insurers to do it. Cisco last year began offering its employees a plan it negotiated directly with nearby Stanford Health medical system.

Under the plan, physicians are supposed to keep costs down by closely tracking about a dozen health indicators to prevent expensive emergencies, and keep Cisco workers happy with their care. If they meet these goals, Stanford gets a bonus. If they fail, Stanford pays Cisco a penalty.

At the center of it all is a spacious clinic inside Cisco’s San Jose campus, the first point of contact for many employees and their families. They often see Dr. Larry Kwan, a Stanford Health general physician who rubs shoulders with workers in the cafeteria and company gym.

“I’m in their space. I’m actually where they work,” Dr. Kwan said. “I’m a bit of a village doc.”

Cisco said costs for Stanford plan patients are 10 percent lower than conventional coverage still used by most of its employees. Chipmaker Intel Corp told it is saving 17 percent on its workers enrolled in a similar plan, known as Connected Care. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co and Walmart Inc, the world’s largest retailer, have likewise hammered out health plans directly with providers.

The movement is small, just a few very large U.S. corporations that have signed up tens of thousands of workers so far. Their early efforts show the challenges of changing behaviors among patients and doctors.

But they speak volumes about corporate America’s frustration with inexorably rising medical costs and the traditional insurers that sell them coverage.

“Before they were simply saying ‘Okay, our vendor is going to help us with this,’” said John Jackson, who handles corporate programs like Cisco’s for Stanford Health. “Many are no longer willing to do that.”

Corporations help pay for healthcare for more than 170 million Americans, in most cases working with an insurer to handle everything from the price of treatments to medical claims.

These employers will spend an estimated $738 billion on health benefits in 2018, a figure that has been rising about 5 percent annually in recent years, according to federal data.

CUE AMAZON

Other big firms are watching closely. Amazon.com Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Berkshire Hathaway Inc said ,上海会所夜网Dalton,in January they will form an independent company to improve healthcare for their roughly 750,000 U.S. employees, prompting speculation that they would displace health insurers and other industry “middlemen”.

Amazon and partners say they will use big-data analysis and other high-tech tools to improve care and cut wasteful spending. The trio will study the new plans coming from Intel and other pioneers, a source close to the venture told .

If they do, they will find plenty of hurdles. interviews with executives at Cisco, Intel and Boeing and their health partners revealed similar challenges.

Chief among them is habit. Many workers will not stray from conventional plans because they like their doctors or worry about access to the best specialists.

To boost enrollment, all three companies have dangled sweeteners such as extra money for health savings accounts or lower monthly premiums and co-pays. The approach also requires employers to take a more hands-on role.

“It’s not something that you just turn the switch and not manage,” said Katelyn Johnson, Cisco’s senior integrated health manager for global benefits.

Cisco’s experiment began in 2008 when it opened the campus clinic for all of its employees there. Designed like a spa, the facility offered primary care in new-age sounding treatment areas: body, mind, heart and spirit.

The savings were notable: about 30 percent compared to an offsite doctor’s office. Cisco later brought in Stanford to develop a full-blown medical plan, which took effect in 2017. Stanford operates the clinic and provides more specialized services through Stanford University’s medical system.

Like a health maintenance organization, the plan requires enrollees to stick to a closed network of doctors. There is emphasis on primary care and fewer referrals to specialists. Treatment for back pain, for example, often begins with physical therapy at the clinic.

Cisco also mandates that Stanford track a dozen health measures, including glycemic levels for diabetics and blood pressure for those with hypertension.

Johnson said fewer than 1,000 people are enrolled, below Cisco’s goal of 1,300 for 2018. The plan has yet to make a dent in Cisco’s $500 million annual healthcare tab, which has been rising by 3 percent to 4 percent in recent years.

Still, Cisco is encouraged enough by the savings that it may expand the program to the company’s second-largest U.S. center, in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

“What we were doing in the past wasn’t really working,” Johnson said. “So this model … is worth it.”

CHIPPING AWAY AT CHALLENGES

Experts warn Cisco’s approach is not suitable for most employers.

For starters, companies need thousands of employees in one place, usually a city, said David Muhlestein, Chief Research Officer at healthcare consultancy Leavitt Partners in Washington D.C. Then their healthcare partner needs to be committed to improving patient health, rather than just offering a discount to win a big client.

“There are not a ton of providers who are really well positioned to make those changes,” Muhlestein said.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel says it has found such partners since it launched its Connected Care health plan five years ago. About 38,000 employees and dependents are now enrolled in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon.

Technology is critical to curbing costs. In Oregon, patients are encouraged to use video conferencing to speak with physicians when appropriate. At $49, the cost is one-third of an office visit.

Jennifer Leo, a 41-year old Intel project manager in Hillsboro, Oregon, chose Connected Care mainly because it covers 100 percent of her husband’s insulin, a drug whose U.S. retail price has more than doubled over the past five years.

Hospital network Providence Health & Services tracks her husband’s condition closely. But Leo said she, too, got personal attention when she came down with a sinus infection on a weekend.

She booked a quick video appointment with a d上海夜网octor, who prescribed an antibiotic. The next day, the office of her primary care physician reached out to “check that everything got taken care of,” Leo said.

Such follow-through has led to high patient satisfaction; Connected Care boasts a 95 percent enrollee retention rate, says Angela Mitchell, Intel’s head of U.S. healthcare delivery.

And it has curbed costs and boosted patient health, she said. Last year, for example, 78 percent of diabetics on the plan had their sugar levels under control, up from 69 percent in 2016, Mitchell said. Spending on people with the most complex health conditions was about 10 percentage points lower than on those with comparable issues outside the plan.

Intel spent nearly $700 million on healthcare last year, up about 1 percent from $690 million in 2016.

Still, Intel employees will sometimes ask Mitchell for help when they cannot see specialists quickly enough. In some cases, she will intervene and call the health system directly to make it happen.

“There are thousands of doctors in these networks. We’re not trying to act like it’s perfect every single time,” Mitchell said.

Boeing, too, has hit some snags with plans it negotiated directly with hospitals in four states covering 15,000 employees plus family members.

Doctors have willingly prescribed cheaper generic drugs, says Boeing global healthcare head Jeff White. But getting them to commit to, say, physical therapy first before sche,上海夜生活怎么玩Mabel,duling a costly knee replacement has been harder, he said.

White said direct arrangements have boosted quality and saved Boeing money; he declined to provide exact figures. The aircraft maker spends about $2.4 billion annually on healthcare for more than 120,000 U.S. workers and their dependents.

Some healthcare experts point to the inherent conflict for providers: If they prevent expensive health crises through better care, they also lose out on more profitable services, such as hospital admissions.

“That’s the challenge of trying to ask the health system to save money,” said Jack Hoadley, a health policy expert at Georgetown University.

China says it does not want U.S. trade frictions to escalate

BEIJING ( ) – China’s Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that the country does not want an escalation of trade frictions with the United States, and that some specific progress was made in the latest round of talks that concluded over the weekend.

China has said that it is willing to increase imports from America as part of negotiations to reduce the United States’ $375 billion goods trade deficit with the world’s second-l,上海夜网推油Eason,argest economy and defuse broader commercial tensions.

Sources have told that President Donald Trump has discussed with trade advisors a Chinese government offer to import an extra $70 billion in U.S. agricultural and energy commodities, but it is unclear if such as deal would be enough to avert a trade war.

Trump has threatened tariffs on up to $150 billion of Chinese exports as part of a separate dispute over Chinese intellectual property (IP) protections.

The administration has said that a final list of goods for a first wave of duties will be issued next week, and that U.S. Treasury Department plans to limit Chinese investment in the United States were also under way.

Commerc,上海夜生活论坛Landon,e Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said that talks on Sunday between U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing included in-depth discussions about agriculture and energy trade, but he did n,上海高端夜生活在那里Barney,ot confirm that China had made a $70 billion offer.

Gao told a weekly news briefing that the talks had made specific progress, and reiterated China’s willingness to import more from the United States, but he did not offer details.

“There were discussions regar上海夜生活论坛ding specific areas of cooperation, including in-depth talks on agriculture and energy. China is willing to increase imports from the U.S. (as part of negotiations),” Gao said.

China on Sunday warned that any agreements reached on trade and business between the two countries will be void if Washington implements tariffs and other trade measures.

Structural issues that for years have angered Washington, such as Chinese joint venture rules, market access restrictions, and policies that result in technology transfers, were not covered during Ross’ latest trip to Beijing, according to sources.

T-Mobile says ex-Trump campaign manager advising on Sprint merger

WASHINGTON ( ) – T-Mobile US (TMUS.O) said it is getting advice on its proposed $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp (S.N) from a lobbying firm whose staff includes several members of President Donald Trump’s election team such as former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Lewandowski is among those advising the No. 3 wireless company on its deal as it bolsters its defenses ah,上海新夜网龙凤Hal,ead of a what will ,上海夜生活Naia,likely be a tough regulatory review process, T-Mobile said in a statement last week.

T-Mobile US agreed in April to buy Sprint in an $26 billion, all-stock deal that will combine the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers.

Lobbying disclosure reports show T-Mobile has paid Turnberry Solutions LLC $100,000 since September 2017. T-Mobile told last week that work by Turnberry included advice on its merger with Sprint.

T-Mobile added that Lewandowski “is now affiliated with (Turnberry) and they have offered p,上海夜生活论坛Tabitha,erspective to T-Mobile on a variety of topics, including the pending transaction.”

According to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the U.S. Senate on April 20, Turnberry said it was providing “guidance and counsel on telecommunication issues” and had lobbied White House staff, among other agencies.

Among those lobbying on T-Mobile’s behalf from Turnberry include Mike Rubino, who oversaw Trump’s campaign in several states, Jason Osborne, a former senior adviser to the Trump campaign and Ryan O’Dwyer, a former Trump campaign aide, the disclosure report said.

T-Mobile said it hired Turnberry in August. In early August, Bloomberg News reported the company had resumed talks with Sprint about a potential merger. The companies in November said they had called off the talks and later resumed them.

Lewandowski, who was Trump’s first campaign manager, took on a role with Vice President Mike Pence’s leadership political action commi上海夜生活论坛ttee last month.

Lewandowski did not respond to a request for comment.

Lewandowski has worked as a lobbyist and a political consultant after a nearly six month stint leading the Trump campaign in 2016.

The Federal Communications Commission must determine if the merger is in the public interest, while the Justice Department must determine if the merger would harm competition.

Written by shyw on June 27, 2018 Categories: fvwemxpv Tags: , ,

Walmart launches order-by-text service to challenge Amazon Prime

BENTONVILLE, Ark. ( ) – Walmart Inc (WMT.N) is starting a new same-day delivery service where customers can place orders using a text message, another step in its effort to scale up its e-commerce offerings and compete with rival Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O).

The service, called Jetblack, allows shoppers to order items from Walmart.com and even websites of rival retailers. It is a part of Walmart’s internal start-up incubator, Store No. 8.

Jetblack has been launched in parts of New York City, with plans to roll it out to上海夜生活 the rest of the United States over time.

“The goal is to think about game-changing technologies that will change the way people shop,” said Jenny Fleiss, co-founder and chief executive of Jetblack, who also co-founded popular online fashion website Rent The Runway.

Fleiss said one of the technologies that will usher retail into the future will be the ability to have a personalized shopping experience through text messaging and online chat.

The U.S. retail giant is pouring billions of dollars into beefing up its e-commerce business and has recently announced partnerships with logistics companies to deliver groceries ordered online. Two such partnerships Walmart had struck with ride hailing services Uber and Lyft have ended, however, report,上海夜网后花园Barbara,ed earlier this month.

Jetblack, which is available with a monthly membership fee of $50, will o,上海夜生活桑拿会所Caitlin,ffer same-day and next-day delivery at no additional cost. The challenge for the service will be competing with other established membership services like Amazon Prime and Prime Now, which already enjoy wide adoption and are popular with urban co,上海021夜网Daisy,nsumers.

Fleiss said consumers who took part in a pilot were on average buying ten items per week from Jetblack. The service differentiates itself by sourcing everyday essentials from Walmart and Jet.com, while also allowing customers to order items from rival retailers like cosmetics retailer Sephora or local brands, she said.

Jetblack will also remind shoppers using text messaging if they are about to run out of a product they ordered. The service uses artificial intelligence to curate product suggestions, Fleiss said.

Exclusive: Late to teapot party, ExxonMobil breaks with tradition…

DONGYING, China ( ) – ExxonMobil Corp’s global oil marketing team stormed into China this week hoping to elbow aside rivals and gain access to the nation’s “teapot” refining market, executives told .

The push by Exxon, the world’s biggest oil and gas company by market value, to court the independent refiners, known as tea,上海夜生活男人好去处Ida,pots, illustrates the clout they are exerting on the global oil market since winning crude import licenses from the government in 2015. The refiners are big foreign crude buyers in a country that is now the world’s largest oil importer.

To make up for a late arrival, Exxon this week sent a dozen traders and marketers, including global crude marketing manager Thomas Martenak, to an oil trade show in Dongying, a hub for the independent refiners in the eastern province of Shandong.

The team included crude oil traders, products marketers and finance staff from Houston, Singapore, Thailand and Shanghai.

At a booth at the center of Dongying’s downtown exhibit hall, staff handed out gift bags containing backpacks emblazoned with the ExxonMobil logo, flanked by stands from Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional and France’s Total and about 20 local refiners.

On Monday evening, Exxon’s team wined and dined prospective customers 上海夜生活and traders at a dinner attended by around 200 guests, according to multiple people who attended. Goodie bags at the party contained flasks for travel use, they said.

The marketing blitz is a departure from Exxon’s traditional methods of peddling their crude such as one-on-one meetings.

“I have never seen ExxonMobil ever do this kind of thing in my whole career,” said Lau Kay Hoe, a delegate who retired recently after more than three decades working in shipping and trading at the company.

Exxon produces 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas that mainly supplies its own refining system.

The company push occurs amid a looming trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies. The two sides agreed in talks earlier this month that U.S. energy sales were crucial to offsetting the $335 billion trade deficit the U.S. has with China, its top trading partner. [nL3N1SS1VH]

Martenak, who flew in from Houston for the event, said the firm was drawn by the growing importance of China’s independent refiners in the regional market, rather than politics.

This was the first publicity push by the oil sales and supply team in the eight years since he took over the reins as the global marketing chief, he said.

“We probably are not as fast as some of the traders … We want to make it up quickly so we can become a major supplier in the region,” he told a seminar on Tu,上海凤楼夜网Eason,esday.

Martenak’s team has also met with potential teapot clients in private meetings this week, but their main purpose was to act as Exxon’s “ambassador” rather than cutting deals, he told at its booth.

New rules from the International Maritime Organization requiring ships to use low-sulphur fuel starting in 2020 will also likely boost China’s need for U.S. sweet, or low-sulphur, crude, he said.

CHARM OFFENSIVE

Exxon’s charm offensive is starting in Dongying, an oil town built in the 1960s on China’s second-largest oilfield. The city is now the country’s biggest refining center with more 32 refineries and total annual refining capacity of 69 million tonnes, or about 1.38 million bpd.

China has nearly 40 independent refiners and since winning their import quotas three years ago they now buy one-fifth of China’s crude oil imports of 9.6 million bpd.

Most of China’s teapots are in Shandong, sucking in crude from West Africa, Russia, Oman and Brazil.

Exxon’s late arrival means they face competition from global peers such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

Additionally, global traders, Vitol, Trafigura and Mercuria were among the early movers to the teapot market. Their China-based traders make monthly visits to Shandong, which often involve entertaining over drinks before discussing deals. reut.rs/2J25zgH

BP’s China marketing team in Beijing and Shanghai is the largest among the international oil majors, followed by Shell.

“ExxonMobil, like Chevron, are late comers in the Shandong market,” sai,上海夜网千花Idaia,d an independent refining executive at a plant in Dongying.

“They are very strong in global supply sources, but compared to traders like Mercuria, Trafigura and Vitol, their knowledge of the local market is not as deep.”

Germany urges European unity in face of trade tensions with U.S.

BERLIN ( ) – German Econom上海夜生活网y Minister Peter Altmaier called on Friday for Europe to remain unified in the face of rising trade tensions with the United States, saying it was unclear how a summit of the Group of Seven rich nations woul,上海夜生活Tamara,d end.

“We have a serious situation, not just since last night or this morning, but rather the entire last few weeks,” Altmaier told broadcaster ZDF.

He underlined the importance of European unity on free trade and economic interests, especially since domestic debate was continuing,上海夜生活论坛Gabriel, in the United States about punitive sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump on G7 allies like Canada, Japan and the European Union.

Leaders of G7 nations meeting in Canada from Friday are more divided than at any time in the group’s 42-year history, with Trump’s “America First” policies at risk of causing a global trade war and deep diplomatic schisms.

Trump has already imposed hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and threatened to do the same for cars. His decisions to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and ,上海夜哪里艳遇Idaia,a global climate change accord have also fueled tensions.

Altmaier said the EU had long resisted imposing tariffs of its own but had shown it would do so if left with no other choice.

European leaders remained committed to continuing the dialogue with the United States if both sides were willing to make concessions, he said, although there was no sign of that at the moment.

A business leader also expressed concern. Joe Kaeser, chief executive of the engineering group Siemens, warned against deepening the transatlantic trade dispute. “Escalation was never a good answer. That’s why we must try to find areas of agreement,” he said in Munich.

Germany’s BDI industry association said U.S. protective measures could hit exports from Europe’s largest economy and so reduce German growth by up to 0.25 percentage points, adding that if the situation escalated, a lot more would be at stake.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the United States remained Germany’s closest partner outside Europe. However, there were significant differences that could not be ignored, and Europe needed new partnerships, he told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

He took aim at Trump’s actions on the Iran deal, trade and climate change, saying the president was willfully ignoring the negative consequences that his decisions would have on Europe and focusing solely on U.S. interests.

“None of that will make the world better, safer or more peaceful,” he told the newspaper. “We were used to relying on what had been agreed. That has fundamentally changed.”

Maas called for creation of a European security council, an idea backed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and said ending the current requirement for unanimous decisions on foreign policy and security issues would make the EU more agile.

Maas also called for Europe to forge alliances with other regions, including countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Written by shyw on June 21, 2018 Categories: zpdmrxls Tags: , ,

Daimler says electric cars on target after report of launch delays

BERLIN ( ) – Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said planned launches of battery-powered luxury cars were on schedule on Monday following a report in Germany’s Handelsblatt that they were facing delays because of battery shortages and other technical problems.

The German business daily said that Daimler’s new “EQC” electric midsize sport-utility vehicle will not hit dealerships until June 2019, several months after originally planned.

But a spokesman at Daimler’s Stuttgart headquarters said it has not yet specified a launch date for the EQC model.

Handels上海夜生活blatt also reported that a battery-powered version of Mercedes’ redesigned S-Class flagship saloon wil,上海夜生活乌托邦Talon,l not be available until 2021, a year after the combustion engine ,上海021夜网Queena,model is due to come to market, citing unnamed Daimler sources.

The Daimler spokesman told that development of a plug-in hybrid versi,上海夜生活去哪玩Idaia,on of the new S-Class was going to plan.

“We are on target, there are no delays,” he said.

Battery production could become a major choke point for vehicle electrification as more automakers shift their model lineups to electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids.

By 2022, Mercedes plans to offer an electric version of every model it sells, with a total of at least 50 electric or hybrid models for sale. The Smart brand will stop offering cars with combustion engines altogether in 2020.

U.S. election largely peaceful, despite intimidation, glitches

WASHINGTON/PHILADELPHIA ( ) – Voters and civil rights groups reported long lines, isolated cases of malfunctioning equipment and some harassment at polling places in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election but fears of widespread violence at the polls did not materialize.

Nationwide, civil rights groups logged unusual levels of voter intimidation complaints, receiving about 35,000 calls through a national voter complaint hotline as of Tuesday evening. Democratic Party officials, however, said they did not see systemic voter suppression efforts.

Civil rights groups, who have enlisted 7,000 volunteers, said 40 percent of the calls they had received through the telephone hotline by early afternoon were from African-American and Latino voters.

Complaints of voter intimidation were especially prevalent in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Arizona with a disproportionate share coming from minority voters.

“We are hearing more complaints about voter intimidation than we have in presidential cycles from prior years,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly said the e上海夜生活lection would be “rigged” and called on his supporters to watch for signs of fraud in urban areas, raising fears they could clash with minority voters. Numerous studies have found that voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States.

VOTER INTIMIDATION

Absent on Tuesday were reports of the kind of hostile political displays, vandalism and violence that have cropped up regularly throughout the campaign. A polling station was locked down in Southern California after one person was killed and three wounded by gunfire but police saw no immediate indication the incident was linked to Election Day.

But isolated reports of voter intimidation and harassment flooded the voter c,上海夜生活Jacklyn,omplaint hotline run by a coalition of civil rights groups throughout the day.

An African-American voter called the hotline from Alabama’s Shelby County to report that a white poll worker had indicated she would have to wash her hands after handling the voter’s photo identification card.

Shelby County lawyers persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 to strike down a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act requiring states with a history of voter discrimination to get federal clearance for changes to their election laws.

Clarke said many voter complaints to the hotline came from states formerly covered by that provision.

Some voters in Florida reported a heavy, unexplained police presence at several polling sites around the state. A group of students in the state were told their votes would not count because their college dormitory was considered a hotel.

In Ohio’s Franklin County, the hotline received complaints that Somali-American voters were told they would have to vote provisiona,上海新夜网龙凤Nadia,lly because their addresses did not match their identification cards – and then were told that the polling site had run out of provisional ballots.

In Georgia’s DeKalb County, a group calling itself Defenders of Democracy was pressuring voters in line to fill out sample ballots and sign pledges that they would cast the same votes on the real ballot, according to reports received by the hotline.

The federal government reduced its election monitoring program in the wake of a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that weakened federal oversight of states with a history of racial discrimination. Revised voting laws and lengthy court battles in many states also have left voters uncertain about when and where they can cast their ballot and whether they will need to present photo identification.

A Nevada judge on Tuesday rejected a request from Trump for records from a Las Vegas polling place that his campaign said had improperly remained open last week to accommodate people who were lined up to vote. The judge agreed with a county attorney who argued that election officials already preserve records.

MACHINE GLITCHES

Malfunctioning machines dominated voter complaints out of Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, North Carolina and Virginia.

Trump cited reports that polling machines were switching votes for Republican candidates to votes for Democrats as cause for concern that the election outcome might not be valid, once again warning of a rigged system.

Speaking to Fox News, Trump provided no evidence to support the allegations or say where polling machines were breaking down, al,上海夜生活桑拿会所Ebba,though there were some problems in Pennsylvania.

Voters in at least four Pennsylvania counties said touch-screen voting machines were mistakenly switching votes. State officials, however, said they did not believe any ballots had been wrongly counted as a result of the machine malfunctions.

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that relies on electronic voting machines without a paper backup that would allow officials to double-check the outcome if it is challenged.

The machines can record votes incorrectly if they are not calibrated properly, a problem that is magnified as the screens degrade with age.

But ES&S, the company that makes the machines, said voters have a chance to confirm their choices before they cast their ballot, making it impossible for the machine to flip a vote from one candidate to another. Local officials test machines to make sure they are calibrated properly before each election.

The Philadelphia district attorney’s office, which monitors voting in the state’s largest city, said on Twitter it was not receiving any complaints out of the ordinary.

Electronic voting rolls in Durham County, North Carolina, malfunctioned early on Tuesday, prompting the county to ask the state board of elections to extend voting hours in eight precincts until 9 p.m., an hour and a half later than they were supposed to be open.

The state elections board on Tuesday evening agreed to extend voting hours in the precincts by between 20 and 60 minutes.

Written by shyw on June 16, 2018 Categories: yvrafybo Tags: , ,

U.S. job growth surges, unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, pointing to rapidly tightening labor market conditions, which could stir concerns about inflation.

The closely watched employment report released by the Labor Department on Friday also showed wages rising solidly, cementing expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month and boosting the probability of two more hikes later in the year. It renewed fears about the economy overheating.

“The strength of the labor market supports our forecast for the Fed to raise rates three more times this year,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “The Fed is going to get antsy that the labor market will blow too far past full employment.”

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 223,000 jobs last month as warm weather bolstered hiring at construction sites. There were also big gains in retail and leisure and hospitality payrolls. The economy created 15,000 more jobs than previously reported in March and April.

Last month’s one-tenth of a percentage point drop in the unemployment rate pushed it to a level last seen in April 2000. The jobless rate is now where the Fed forecast it would be by the end of this year.

Average hourly earnings rose eight cents, or 0.3 percent last month after edging up 0.1 percent in April. That pushed the annual increase in average hourly earnings to 2.7 percent from 2.6 percent in April.

The strong employment report added to a string of upbeat economic data, including consumer spending, industrial production and construction spending, that have suggested economic growth was regaining speed early in the second quarter after expanding at a moderate 2.2 percent annualized rate in the January-March period.

The Atlanta Fed is forecasting gross domestic product rising at a 4.8 percent pace in the second q,上海夜生活群Naia,uarter. The strength comes even as the stimulus from a $1.5 trillion income tax cut package and increased government spending is yet to be felt.

But there are dark clouds on the horizon. A decision this week by the Trump administration to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union has renewed fears of a trade war, causing financial market volatility. Trouble has also been brewing in Europe.

Some economists believe the political tensions in Europe and a protectionist domestic trade policy could dissuade the Fed from taking a more hawkish stance when policymakers meet on June 12-13. Traders, however, raised bets for four rate hikes this year.

The U.S. central bank lifted borrowing costs in March and forecast at least two more rate increases for this year. Inflation is running just below the Fed’s 2.0 percent target.

Related CoverageU.S. May payrolls gains higher than expected

U.S. Treasury yields rose and the dollar gained versus a basket of currencies. Stocks on Wall Street were trading higher.

BROAD JOB GAINS

Economists polled by had forecast nonfarm payrolls increasing by 188,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate steady at 3.9 percent.

Monthly job gains have averaged about 179,000 over the last three months, more than the roughly 120,000 needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population,上海夜生活怎么玩Dalton,. Though the labor market is viewed as being close to or at full employment, there is still some slack remaining.

The labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, fell to 62.7 percent last month from 62.8 percent in April. It has declined for three straight months.

Still, the labor market is getting tighter. A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, fell to 7.6 percent last month, the lowest since May 2001, from 7.8 percent in April.

With job growth expected to slow as employers struggle to find quali,上海会所夜网Dalton,fied workers, economists expect wage growth will pick up significantly. There is growing anecdotal evidence of worker scarcity.

A report from the Fed this week showed shortages of truck drivers, sales personnel, carpenters, electricians, painters, and information technology professionals.

“As labor becomes increasingly scarce, we expect to see further strengthening in average hourly earnings,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Well Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Job gains in May were across all sectors. Construction payrolls increased by 25,000 after rising by 21,000 jobs in April. A separate report from the Commerce Department on Friday showed construction spending surging in April.上海夜生活

Manufacturers added another 18,000 jobs last month on top of the 25,000 created in April. Further gains are likely, with a survey from the Institute for Supply Management on Friday showing a pickup in factory activity in May.

The survey suggested manufacturers, especially in the food, beverage and tobacco product industries, were starting to run into labor supply issues. There were also complaints about soaring prices, partially brought about by the steel tariffs.

Government payrolls increased by 5,000 in May, reversing April’s 3,000 drop. Retailers boosted employment by 31,100 jobs last month. Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector increased by 21,000 jobs.

BHP process to unload U.S. shale operations could take until 2019

NEW YORK ( ) – The planned exit of BHP Billito,上海夜生活去哪玩Quaid,n Ltd from its U.S. shale business has drawn oil companies and private equity firms into a competition that may have no clear winner until late this year or early next year, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

BHP, the world’s largest miner, said in August that it would exit its U.S. shale oil and gas business afte,上海夜生活服务Gabriel,r pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which owns a stake in the company and argued the unit was a drag on BHP’s value.

The Anglo-Australian company’s Houston-based BHP Petroleum unit holds more than 838,000 acres spread across four U.S. shale plays: Texas’ Permian and Eagle Ford basins and the Haynesville and Fayetteville formations of Arkansas.

A divestiture of all of that land would be among the largest shale acreage sales to date.

BHP is offering to sell off acreage in seven different packages spanning three formations; it has generated interest from oil companies that paired with private equity firms to bid on all the assets, as well as from companies looking at individual packages.

First bids were received last week, but no deal is expected until very late in 2018 or early 2019, according to two of the people familiar with the matter who, like all the sources, could not speak for attribution as the negotiations are not public.

It was currently unclear whether BHP may hold a second bid round with certain bidders or all of them, or it may opt to continue weighing the received bids toward securing a preferred deal.

The long delay can be explained by the sheer scale of the process and the number of parties involved, although bankers have also been critical of BHP’s approach which has been regarded as slow-moving throughout.

Bidders include consortiums of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Blackstone Group LP, advised by Jefferies; and Chevron Corp partnered with Warburg Pincus, the people familiar with the matter said.

Apollo Global Management LLC is bidding solo, while BP Plc Chief Executive Bob Dudley told last month that it could place a bid.

A BHP spokeswoman declined to comment on the details of the sale.

However, Chief Executive Officer Andrew ,上海会所夜网Barrett,Mackenzie said at a conference in Florida last month that there was “encouraging interest from potential bidders,” and that the higher oil prices and lower U.S. corporate tax rates than when the plan was first announced last summer were supporting the process.

BP, Shell, Chevron, Blackstone and Warburg Pincus declined to comment. Apollo did not respond to a comment request.

FAYETTEVILLE

BHP values the entirety of the acreage at $14 billion, but analysts have pegged the total value of the assets lower – at a maximum of $9 billion.

Bidding in consortiums would allow the integrated oil companies to focus on acreage that complemented their holdings, such as that in the Permian, while the private equity firms would take on gas-rich acreage in the Haynesville formation.

The acreage includes holdings that BHP acquired in its $12 billion takeover of Petrohawk Energy in 2011, as appetite for shale gas assets reached fever pitch. Shale gas assets have lost value as natural gas prices fell from about $4.50 in mid 2011 to a low of $1.60 in 2016. Prices have since recovered to about $2.93 per MMBtu.

Buyout houses are also dominant in the sale process for the gassy Fayetteville assets, the bid deadline for which was in late April, having been marketed separately from the rest of BHP’s shale portfolio.

Barclays Plc and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch are running the sale process. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs had also helped BHP research the potential spin-off of the unit into a new company, should上海夜生活 divestment prove unachievable, previously reported.

Yahoo scanning order unlikely to be made public: sources

WASHINGTON ( ) – Obama administration officials briefed key congressional staffers last week about a secret court order to Yahoo Inc YHOO.O that prompted it to search all users’ incoming emails for a still undisclosed digital signature, but they remain reluctant to discuss the unusual case with a broader audience.

Executive branch officials spoke to staff for members of the Senate and House of Representatives co上海夜生活网mmittees overseeing intelligence operations and the judiciary, according to people briefed on the events, which followed ’ disclosure of the massive search.[nL2N1C601L]

But attempts by other members of Congress and civil society groups to learn more about the Yahoo order are unlikely to meet with success anytime soon, because its details remain a sensitive national security matter, U.S. officials told . Release of any declassified version of the order is unlikely in the foreseeable future, the officials said.

The decision to keep details of the order secret comes amid mounting pressure on the U.S. government to be more transparent about its data-collection activities ahead of a congressional deadline next year to reauthorize some foreign intelligence authorities.

On Tuesday, more than 30 advocacy groups will send a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asking for declassification of the Yahoo order that led to the search of emails last year in pursuit of data matching a specific digital symbol.

“We believe such a massive scan of the emails of millions of people, particularly if it involves the scanning of email content, could violate (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), the Fourth Amendment, and international human rights law,” the coalition wrote in an advance draft of the letter that was shared with .

The Center for Democracy & Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Brennan Center, Human Rights Watch and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers are among the signatories.

The groups say that Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which sources said the order was issued, requires a f,上海夜网Dalton,inding that the target of such a wiretap is probably an agent of a foreign power and that the facility to be tapped is probably going to be used for a transmission. An entire service, such as Yahoo, has never publicly been considered to be a “facility” in such a case: instead, the word usually refers to a phone number or an email account.

The groups also pressed Clapper, who has pledged to be more transparent in the wake of controversial spying revelations, to explain how much authority the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has to order technical assistance from technology companies. reported that Yahoo had installed a special program that was hidden inside a Linux kernel module on its mail servers, where security staffers found it.

Representative Justin Amash, who does not sit on one of the relevant committees, recently asked that all of ,上海夜生活网交流Cain,Congress be briefed, given the significance of any change in interpreting foreign intelligence laws.

“The briefing should involve all members, be,夜上海论坛Dahlia,cause all members will within about a year have to vote on a significant part of FISA,” said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology, which circulated Tuesday’s letter among free speech and privacy advocates. “They should know what occurred so that they can decide whether to outlaw it.”

Also last week, Yahoo itself asked Clapper to declassify the secret order or at least describe it, so that the company could respond to news reports and criticism that it did not do more to protect its users’ communications.

The American Civil Liberties Union meanwhile filed a motion in the surveillance court asking that the Yahoo order and other significant ruling going back a decade be unsealed.

U.S. antitrust official says worries over limiting vertical deals…

NEW YORK ( ) – A top antitrust official at the U.S. Justice Department attempted to reassure investors on Thursday that worries that regulators would crack down on proposed combinations of two companies on a supply chain — known as vertical mergers,上海晚上耍女人的地方Caitlin, — were overblown.

Makan Delrahim, the assistant attorney general for antitrust, said that most proposed transactions were either good for consumers or neutral.

But the department’s decision in November to sue to stop AT&T Inc (T.N), which owns DirecTV, from buying Time Warner Inc TWX.N made investors question whether other vertical deals might also meet with skepticism from antitrust enforcers.

Delrahim said that was overblown.

“I understand that some journalists and obser,上海021夜网Mabel,vers have recently expressed concern that the antitrust division no longer believes that vertical mergers can be efficient and beneficial to competition and consumers,” he said.

Delrahim said that some of these point at the decision to sue to try ,上海夜网推油Macauly,to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner “as a supposed bellwether,” he said. “Rest assured these concerns are misplaced.”

Two ot上海夜生活her vertical deals under review are Cigna Corp’s (CI.N) plan to buy Express Scripts Holding Co ESRX.O for $52 billion and CVS Health Corp’s (CVS.N) planned merger with Aetna Inc AET.N for $69 billion.

Air India sale gets no bid, exposes hurdles for Modi’s divestment…

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s offer to sell a stake in Air India failed to 上海夜生活论坛draw a single bid by the Thursday deadline, underlining the challenges it faces in fixing the debt-laden state carrier and meeting a broader target of stake sales in government-held firms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced a plan in March to divest a 76 percent stake in Air India and offload about $5.1 billion of its debt.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Twitter on Thursday evening that it had received no bids, adding its next move on the stake sale would be decided “appropriately”.

India’s civil aviation secretary, R.N. Choubey, said on Wednesday the government was unlikely to further extend the May 31 deadline.

Earlier this month the government had eased some terms and extended the period to make bids, but still found no takers for the airline, which flies some lucrative routes but also has one of the industry’s highest employees-per-aircraft ratios.

Selling the state carrier had been seen as key to Modi’s plans to divest assets and help keep the fiscal deficit at 3.3 percent of GDP, a goal already under pressure from ,上海夜哪里艳遇Jack,giveaways to farmers and other welfare benefits ahead of a national election in 2019.

Renu Kohli, a Delhi-based independent economist, said the government would now need to step up elsewhere to meet its divestment target.

“Relative to what we are seeing this year … uncertainty in the financial markets, aggravated distress among banks and rising interest rates and oil prices, it does not seem like a very supportive time for people to come and buy such an asset,” Kohli said, adding that Air India needed large investment.

The government may look to raise a record 1 trillion rupees ($15 billion) from the sale of state assets in the current fiscal year that started on April 1, and Air India was expected to be a significant contributor.

While the government had not set any minimum price, banking sources had told the sale could have fetched between 80 billion and 100 billion rupees ($1.2 billion to $1.5 billion).

‘ONEROUS TERMS’

Air India, known for its Maharaja mascot, has some of Ind,上海夜生活群Gabriel,ia’s most lucrative international and domestic landing and parking slots that are key for airlines.

While a buyer would have got management control and gained access to more than 2,500 international slots and over 3,700 domestic slots, it would also have been required to take on Air India’s 27,000 employees, 40 percent of whom are permanent staff.

The terms had also stipulated that the government would have continued to hold a 24 percent stake, with the need for the bidder to abide by conditions, not yet detailed, designed to safeguard employee interests.

The government had also restricted merging the airline with the buyer’s existing businesses, but later relaxed the rule to allow some integration for business efficiency.

India’s IndiGo Airlines and Jet Airways (JET.NS), which had initially shown interest, opted out of the race for Air India after the initial terms were disclosed.

Steel-to-autos conglomerate Tata Group, widely seen as a potential suitor for Air India, had also decided not to bid as the terms were too onerous, sources told in April.

Tata already operates two airlines in India, including Vistara with Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI). Singapore Airlines had in the past said it was keeping an “open mind” about Air India, but sources close to the company have since said it was more focused on growth at Vistara than bidding for the carrier.

“Possibly the current condition is not conducive as the domestic airline industry at large is currently under pressure, driven mainly by the dual impact of rising fu,上海夜网官方网站Jacklyn,el costs globally and weakening currency,” said Arindam Som, analyst at India Ratings, a Fitch Group company.

Ahead of debate, Trump endorsed by U.S. immigration officers

NEW YORK ( ) – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump picked up the endo,上海足浴夜网联系方式Sabrina,rsement on Monday of the union representing 5,000 federal immigration officers, a boost of support for his immigration policy ahead of,上海夜生活论坛Hal, his first debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump has laid out a hardline position on illegal immigration, proposing to build a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico and take other steps to crack down on the flow of undocumented people crossing into the United States.

With immigration likely to be discussed at the debate, the Nation上海夜生活论坛al Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, a union representing 5,000 federal immigration officers and law enforcement support staff, announced it would support Trump, in what was described as its first endorsement of a candidate for elected office.

The union’s president, Chris Crane, outlined in a statement why his group is backing Trump, saying his union me,夜上海论坛Idaia,mbers are “the last line of defense for American communities” and that his members “are prevented from enforcing the most basic immigration laws.”

A CNN/ORC poll released on Sept. 7 said that among registered voters, 49 percent said they trusted Clinton to handle immigration, a slight advantage over Trump, who was at 47 percent.

Crane said the endorsement was conducted by a vote of the union’s membership and that Clinton received only 5 percent of the vote.

Europe up against Asian juggernaut in electric car battery drive

LONDON/FRANKFURT/STOCKHOLM ( ) – Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD (1211.HK) is looking at launching battery production in Europe, joining Asian rivals aiming to cash in on a green car revolution and threatening attempts by Brussels to nurture a home-grown industry.

Keen to capture a European car battery value chain that will be worth an estimated 250 billion euros ($290 billion) by 2025, the European Commission launched an alliance of local companies last year aiming to build 10-20 hu,上海夜生活桑拿会所Pablo,ge battery factories.

But only Sweden’s Northvolt have plans for large lithium-ion battery factories in Europe so far and some leading European carmakers have already struck deals with Asian suppliers setting up in Hungary and Poland.

“We are considering cell production outside of China and that includes Europe,” Julia Chen, Global Sales Director at BYD Batteries, told , speaking about the production of both automotive and home storage batteries.

BYD (002594.SZ), which also makes electric buses, cars and solar panels, said it was not clear where in Europe a battery site might be. “It would be possible wherever there’s a market.”

The company, which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), joins Korea’s SK Innovation (096770.KS), Japan’s GS Yuasa Corp (6674.T) and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) (300750.SZ) in looking to locate battery plants in Europe.

South Korea’s LG Chem (051910.KS), Samsung SDI (006400.KS) both have European factories due to open soon while China’s GSR Capital already produces battery cells at a UK plant it bought from Nissan (7201.T).

While Asian electric vehicle (EV) cell battery factories in Europe would bring jobs, Brussels is concerned companies in the bloc are missing out on a growth industry and risk becoming dependent on foreign technology.

“We have to move fast because here we are in a global race. We need to prevent technological dependence on competitors,” European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said at the launch of the European Battery Alliance’s action plan in May.

But some investors say they are wary of backing European EV battery suppliers after seeing local solar panel firms founder in the face of cheap Chinese imports over the past decade.

European battery companies would need billions in EU support to rival Asian firms that have received similar state subsidies and Brussels may be better off promoting next-generation solid-state EV batteries instead, investor,上海新夜网龙凤Cadence,s say.

“I don’t believe anyone in Europe can be competitive with the Asians,” said Gerard Reid, founder of Alexa Capital, which advises firms in the energy, technology and power infrastructure sectors.

For a graphic showing European EV battery supply and demand: tmsnrt.rs/2JnDSOX

‘GREEN’ BATTERIES

Electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to account for 30 percent of the global auto market by 2030, according to metal consultants CRU, up from 4 percent of the 86 million vehicles sold last year.

Global automakers plan to invest at least $90 billion in electric cars and batteries, the most expensive component in the vehicles, to finance hundreds of new models over the next five years.

For now, carmakers in Europe have been importing batteries from Asia, but as production ramps up that will become less viable. Setting up production in Europe would cut shipping costs by a quarter, consultancy P3 Group.

But some carmakers are not waiting for a European industry, instead signing contracts with Asian firms coming to the region.

German’s BMW (BMWG.DE) said it was not involved in the European alliance while Europe’s b,上海夜网后花园Easton,iggest automaker, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), said it plans to get batteries from LG Chem’s Polish factory due to open this year. Mercedes maker Daimler (DAIGn.DE) has awarded a contract to CATL.

Related CoverageFactbox: Plans for electric car battery production in Europe

The European Commission’s plan calls for 110 million euros in battery related research, help for projects from a 2.7 billion euro EU innovation fund and the development of an EU “green battery” trademark.

Supporters of the initiative argue Europe can carve out a niche by selling green batteries produced with renewable energy and ethically sourced raw materials.

FINANCING ROUND

Northvolt, which has held talks with European automakers, aims to launch its $5 billion gigafactory in late 2020 and produce 32 gigawatt hours of battery capacity each year by 2023.

But investors have been cautious about pouring money into new European battery ventures.

Northvolt’s first financing round, intended to raise 80 million euros to 100 million euros to help set up a test factory, took slightly longer than expected, a spokesman said.

In the end, the bulk of the financing was provided by the Swedish Energy Agency and the European Investment Bank, which provided a loan of up to 52.5 million euros.

Much of the profit from the battery value chain is generated by producers of raw materials, such as cobalt and lithium, and those who assemble cells into complex systems, experts say.

“There’s been a bit of imbalance in that value chain and that’s one of the reasons you see a limited amount of players in Europe,” said Northvolt founder and Chief Executive Peter Carlsson. “But we think that the model that we’re applying is changing this.”

Carlsson, who used to work for U.S. electric car pioneer Tesla (TSLA.O), says Northvolt can make a profit through economies of scale, by using cheap hydropower and controlling the processing of raw materials.

But Northvolt and TerraE will probably need 上海夜生活about $2 billion each in government funding to build their gigafactories – given the state support provided for similar projects in Asia and the United States, said Asad Farid, an associate director at private bank Berenberg who specializes in battery technology.

Four months after the European alliance launch the world’s biggest automotive supplier, Germany’s Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL] abandoned plans to make battery cells, saying it was too risky.

SOLID-STATE SOLUTION?

Investors are wary because of their experience with solar panel manufacturers as well as rapid advances in technology that are slashing the price of battery packs, which consultants Arthur D puts at $190-250 per kilowatt hour now.

“In battery manufacturing … it’s very much about scale. So the established producers in Korea, China and Japan have clear advantages over new entrants,” said Simon Webber, lead portfolio manager on the global & international equities team at Schroders .

Tim Crockford, who manages Hermes Investment Management’s Impact Opportunities Fund, said he was more interested in European firms researching cathode technology, areas with major barriers to entry in terms of research and development.

“The attraction of the industry decreases as you move further down the value chain. Things like battery manufacturers and the battery pack assemblers, it’s much more fragmented market with lower barriers to entry,” said Crockford.

While Hermes has avoided companies mass-producing EV cell batteries it has taken stakes in a lithium producer and a company that makes materials for battery cathodes, he said.

The lithium-ion batteries used now are also likely to be overtaken in a matter of years by so-called solid-state technology that is expected to produce even cheaper batteries with higher energy density.

“The development cycle and the speed of technology progress in batteries is so huge at the moment, there’s an opportunity for new and additional players to enter,” said Timo Moeller, head of the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility overview in Cologne.

Developers in Europe believe that gives the region an opportunity to catch up.

“Everybody is developing solid-state batteries so the gap (with Asia) will be narrower and narrower as we go along,” said Diego Pavia, CEO of InnoEnergy, a sustainable energy company that has invested in Northvolt.