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Factbox: Big U.S. auto dealers have significant import exposure

NEW YORK ( ) – Several U.S. auto dealers derive a significant portion of their revenue from imported vehicles, which could be affected if tariffs are imposed on auto imports.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday that it would investigate whether vehicle and auto parts imports were threatening the health of the U.S. auto industry, including its ability to develop new technologies. The investigation could lead to tariffs similar to the ones imposed on ,上海夜生活网交流Kai,steel and aluminum.

Shares of auto dealers, several of which have underperformed the S&P 500 .SPX since early February, were mostly higher on Thursday. Risks to dealers’ performance may be partially priced in, said Ali Faghri, managing director of Guggenheim Securities in Los Angeles. “But there,上海夜网Earl,’s nothing that suggests (dealers) would be insulated,” Faghri said, noting that higher auto prices resulting from tariffs could temper demand.

Auto dealers typically break out their vehicle sales into three categories: domestic, import and luxury. Most auto brands classified as luxury, such as Mercedes-Benz (DAIGn.DE) and BMW (BMWG.DE), are imported. The import category includes mid-range brands such as Toyota (7203.T) and Honda (7267.T).

Here are revenue breakdowns by segment of five of the largest publicly traded U.S. auto dealers.

AUTONATION

For the,上海会所夜网Sabina, 2017 fiscal year, AutoNation Inc (AN.N) had $12.2 billion in revenue from new vehicles. Import sales made up 34.2 percent of that total, and luxury sales accounted for 31.5 percent.

On Thursday, AutoNation shares fell 0.1 percent.

LITHIA MOTORS

Lithia Motors Inc (LAD.N) reported r上海夜生活论坛evenue of $10.09 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, excluding corporate losses. Of that total, 43.9 percent came from its import segment and 17.9 percent came from its luxury segment.

Lithia Motors shares were up 0.7 percent on Thursday.

SONIC AUTOMOTIVE

For the 2017 fiscal year, Sonic Automotive Inc (SAH.N) reported new vehicle revenue of $5.3 billion, of which 54.6 percent came from luxury sales and 34.2 percent came from import sales.

Sonic Automotive shares moved up 0.6 percent on Thursday.

ASBURY AUTOMOTIVE

Asbury Automotive Group Inc (ABG.N) had new vehicle revenue of $3.56 billion for the 2017 fiscal year, according to its SEC filing. Of that total, 54.6 percent came from luxury sales and 34.2 percent came from import sales.

On Thursday, shares of Asbury Automotive rose 2.4 percent.

GROUP 1 AUTOMOBILE

Group 1 Automobile Inc’s (GPI.N) annual report breaks out the company’s new vehicle revenue by automotive brand rather than by domestic, import and luxury segments.

Of its $6.15 billion in new vehicle revenue, 76.5 percent came from non-domestic brands. Toyota accounted for 21.1 percent of new vehicles Group 1 sold in 2017, according to the company’s SEC filing.

Group 1 shares ticked up 1.0 percent on Thursday.

Germany grills Daimler boss over extent of Vito van emissions fix

BERLIN/FRANKFURT ( ) – Germany’s Transport Ministry quizzed Daimler (DAIGn.DE) Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche on Monday over how many Mercedes-Benz vans and cars need to be fixed after a regulator said it had found illegal software in one of its models.

The luxury carmaker was summoned to a closed-door meeting to answer questions about software devices found in Mercedes-Benz vans by Germany’s KBA motor vehicle authority.

Daimler was last week ordered by KBA to recall Vito vans fitted with 1.6 liter diesel engines because it said they breached emissions rules. Daimler has said it will appeal against KBA’s decision to classify the software as illegal and contest its findings in court if necessary, although it said it was cooperating fully.

German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said Daimler had been given until June 15 to come up with a solution to the Vito delivery van’s emissions issues following “an in-depth exchange about highly complex technical questions”.

“At a further meeting in 14 days, concrete results will be on the table,” Scheuer added in a statement.

Asked how the meeting went, Zetsche told : “It was a good discussion. We will see each other again in 14 days.”

Global carmakers are facing a regulatory clamp-down since Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) admitted to deliberately cheating diesel emissions tests in 2015.

Regulators are now focusing on narrowing the g,夜上海419龙凤论坛Qirin,ap between pollution levels “on the road” when compared to exhaust emissions measured during testing.

Germany’s Transport Ministry said the Vito had been equipped with a software device which manipulated the an emissions filtering system which relies on injecting a urea-based liquid to help neutralize nitrogen oxide emissions in exhaust fumes.

CRIMINAL INQUIRY

Some Mercedes-Benz models, including the Vito, use diesel engines supplied by Daimler’s partner Renault (RENA.PA). French prosecutors opened a probe into Renault in January 2017 after the country’s consumer watchdog DGCCRF found engine software deactivated anti-pollution functions.

Daimler has previously said Mercedes vehicles being scrutinized by KBA were fitted with a Renault supplied OM622 engine, which had been used in around 1,000 Mercedes-Benz Vito tourer models in Germany.

Under European rules, carmakers rather than suppliers are responsible for the legality of road certification of each model they sell, even if engines and software were supplied by third party.

Daimler and Robert Bosch, which supplies engine management systems, are both being investigated by criminal prosecutors in Stu,上海夜网推油Queena,ttgart.

Asked whether French prosecutors were being briefed as part of the Mercedes probe, the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office said only that it was in touch with foreign authorities.

Renault declined to comment.

Daimler said on Monday that no diesel engines supplied by Renault were used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in the United States, where the discovery of illegal software devices carries far higher penalties than in Europe.

European rules on using software ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Babette,to manage exhaust emissions filtering systems are more lax than in the United States, allowing carmakers greater leeway to switch off exhaust filtering systems if “engine damage” can be reduced as a result.

German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, without citing sources, said regulators are probing around 40,000 Mercedes-Benz Vito vans and 80,000 C-Class models for possible software that allowed them to emit excess pollu上海夜网tion without detection.

European carmakers had invested heavily in diesel engines, which produce less carbon dioxide but more of other pollutants blamed for causing respiratory disease than petrol engines.

However, German cities are now entitled to ban older diesel vehicles from streets to bring air pollution levels in line with European Union rules.

After a year of nice, Trump brings Trudeau to brink of trade war

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec ( ) – In the end, the long charm offensive by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to avoid the ire of U.S. President Donald Trump failed just hours after success seemed closest, with Trump raining insults as Trudeau closed what seemed like a triumphant global summit.

Besides the escalated risk of a trade war, Trump’s blistering personal attack on Trudeau poses domestic economic and political risks for the Canadian prime minister, who has stuck to a conciliatory stance in the face of U.S. threats on NAFTA and other bilateral trade cases.

“PM Justin Tr上海夜生活论坛udeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ‘US Tariffs were kind of insulting’ and he ‘will not be pushed around.’ Very dishonest & weak,” Trump tweeted as he flew to a Singapore summit on North Korea.

The attack shattered any hope that Canada could avoid U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum or renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement by virtue of the charm, patience or measured response it has extended to Trump since he took office.

Trudeau’s office, reeling from the abrupt Trump reversal hours after the two men had joked and smiled their way through a fractious G7 meeting, said only that Trudeau had said nothing in his news conference that he hadn’t said before. [L2N1TB0FL]

“Canadians are polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” Trudeau had told reporters as he reiterated that Canada would retaliate against U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, adding Trump’s rationale had been insulting.

While the two men have had several seemingly congenial meetings and phone calls since Trump took office, they could not be more different in terms of policy, with Trudeau a progressive liberal, outspoken on feminism and the merits of diversity and who was close to former president Barack Obama.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau had sniped about Trump’s late appearance at a women’s empowerment breakfast, referring to “stragglers”.

Trump’s about-face sparked dismay and anger among Canadian and American free trade advocates alike.

“To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pr,上海夜生活网419Lake,o-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t,” U.S. Republican Senator John McCain tweeted after Trump on Saturday.

Trudeau’s former foreign policy advisor, Roland Paris lashed out at the U.S. president.

“Big tough guy once he’s back on his airplane. Can’t do it in person, and knows it, which makes him feel weak. So he projects these feelings onto Trudeau and then lashes out at him,” Paris tweeted.

Trade experts who have watched Trump negotiate with tough words on Twitter before said the bark of Trump’s tweets often exceeds the bite of his policy – but that this time, Canada might struggle to respond.

“The rhetoric has far outpaced the implementation,” said Geoffrey Gertz, trade analyst with Brookings think tank in Washington. “Now we might be at a turning point … (Canadians are) a little bit at a loss right now to figure out what to do.”

But while Trudeau’s months-long effort to reach out to U.S. politicians and business leaders at every jurisdiction and level may not have won over Trump, it may pay dividends if Trump’s attack finally spurs support from business groups or Congress.

Republicans worry the dispute with Canada could,上海夜生活去哪玩Octava, become an issue in trade-dependent farm states ahead of November congressional elections.

“There’s some movement within Congress now to rein in Trump on trade policy,” Gertz said.

During the summit, Trump had ch,上海凤楼夜网Macey,anged the photo on his Twitter page to the “family photo” taken with other G7 leaders. Somewhere over the Atlantic, minutes after attacking Trudeau, he swapped that for a photo with soldiers saluting during the national anthem.

KPMG fined $4.3 million in Britain over audit of Quindell

LONDON ( ) – Britain’s accounting watchdog fined KPMG 3.2 million pounds ($4.3 million) on Monday for failings in its audit of Quindell Plc, after the legal services firm twice restated its accounts leading to heavy losses.

KPMG and its employ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Lance,ee William Smith, who was fined 84,000 pounds, both failed to ensure that Quindell’s financial statements for 2013 and 2014 were free from material mis-statement, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said.

KPMG apologized in a statement on Monday for failing to press Quindell’s management harder over the company’s accounts.

“We accept the FRC’s findings that in two specific areas of the audit, our challenge for the year ended 31 December 2013 should have gone further,” a spokesman for KPMG said.

The fine in Britain comes as the global network of accounting firms that make up KPMG is under pressure. It is facing an inquiry in Britain over its audit of failed outsourcer Carillion and scrutiny of its South African arm’s work for a company owned by the Gupta family.

The ‘big four’ accounting firms, including KPMG, are facing calls to break up into smaller parts from lawmakers in Britain who allege t上海夜生活网heir dominance of the market means they do not sufficiently challenge clients’ claims about their accounts.

THe FRC is also investigating KPMG’s auditing of the collapsed construction and outsourcing firm Carillion.

Once ,上海夜网官方网站Cade,close to being one of Britain’s blue chip financial firms, the AIM-listed Quindell saw its mar,上海夜网推油Hal,ket value collapse in 2015 after regulators launched probes into its financial accounts.

Quindell, which has since been rebranded as Watchstone, is still being probed by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and the FRC over its business and accounting practises.

KPMG’s fine was discounted from an original 4.5 million pounds and Smith’s from 120,000 pounds because they chose to settle the case, the FRC said.

U.S. jury awards Apple $539 million in Samsung patent retrial

( ) – After nearly five days of deliberations, a U.S. jury on Thursday said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should pay $539 million to Apple Inc for copying patented smartphone features, according to court documents, bringing a years-long feud between the technology companies into its final stages.

The world’s top smartphone rivals have been in court over patents since 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit alleging Samsung’s smartphones and tablets “slavishly” copied its products. Samsung was found liable in a 2012 trial, but a disagreement over the amount to be paid led to the current retrial over damages where arguments ended on May 18.

Samsung previously paid Apple $399 million to compensate Apple for infringement of some of the patents at issue in the case. The jury has been deliberating the case since last week.

Because of that credit, if the verdict is upheld on appeal it will result in Samsung making an additional payment to Apple of nearly $140 million.

In a statement, Apple said it was pleased that the members of the jury “agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.”

“We believe deeply in the value of design,” Apple said in its statement. “This case has always been about more than money.”

Samsung did not immediately say whether it planned to appeal the verdict but said it was retaining “all options” to contest it.

“Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages,” Samsung said in a statement. “We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.”

The new jury verdict followed a trial in San Jose, California, before Judge Lucy Koh that focused on how much Samsung should pay f,上海夜生活男人好去处Fabian,or infringing Apple patents covering aspects of the iPhone’s design. The jury awarded Apple $533.3 million for Samsung’s violation of so-called design patents and $5.3 million for the violation of so-called utility patents.

Apple this year told jurors it was entitled to $1 billion in profits Samsung made from selling infringing phones, saying the 上海夜网iPhone’s design was crucial to their success.

Samsung sought to limit damages to about $28 million, saying it should only pay for profits attributable to the components of its phones that infringed Apple patents.

Jurors in the earlier trial awarded $1.05 billion to Apple, which was later reduced.

Samsung paid $548 million to Apple in December 2015, including $399 million for infringement of some of the patents at issue in this week’s trial.

Apple’s case against Samsung raised the question of whether the total profits from a product that infringes a design patent should be awarded if the patent applies only to a component of the product, said Sarah Burstein, a pro,上海夜网推油Fabiana,fessor of patent law at the University of Oklahoma.

The verdict appears to be a compromise betwee,上海仙霞路夜生活Hallie,n Apple and Samsung’s positions and does not offer much clarity on that question, said Burstein, who predicted Samsung would appeal it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

“This decision just means we are going to have more uncertainty,” Burstein said. “Smart tech industry players are waiting to see what the Federal Circuit does. This is just one jury applying one test.”

Sony’s push into entertainment aims for stability, not splashiness

TOKYO ( ) – Sony Corp’s (6758.T) new chief executive is embracing entertainment content, but for now appears to be steering clear of direct competition with tech giants such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O).

The company last week announced a $2.3 billion deal for EMI Music Publishing, and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said he would focus on collecting stable profits from existing music, movies and other intellectual property.

The deal made Sony the world’s largest music publisher in an industry that has found new life on the back of streaming services such as Spotify (SPOT.N).

But for now, Sony is doing little to step up its game in Hollywood, where it is lagging behind bigger studios and where Apple, Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and Netflix are battling to become dominant streaming platforms.

“I don’t think we should aim to build platforms of their level or compete with them,” he told reporters last week. “A key pillar of our strategy is, how can we survive, how can we actually shift the turf.”

His s,上海仙霞路夜生活Nadia,trategy is good news for longtime investors, who have watched Sony extract itself from loss-making projects in the past few years. In 2017, Sony wrote nearly $1 billion off the value of its movie business.

Trying to find safer ground to fight on is an extension of Yoshida’s numbers-focused approach. As former chief financial officer, he is credited with turning around the consumer electronics giant using cost cuts and a focus on seemingly bland but highly profitable sensors.

Sony also recently took a 39 percent stake in Peanuts Holdings, of Snoopy fame, for $185 million. In movies and TV, the company wants to further leverage film rights to its old franchises rather than investing in new star-studded movies and TV shows.

Examples would fall along the lines of last year’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which unexpectedly grossed more than $900 million. The studio plans to release another film based on the 1995 classic “Jumanji” in late 2019.

Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Dami上海夜生活论坛an Thong said the new strategy meant “lower cost, faster decision-making, greater synergies, and a potential turning point in theatrical film margins.”

THE RIGHT NOTES

Yoshida has said that rather than trying to make all of Sony’s divisions complement each other, it was important for each to be profitable on its own.

Investors have also speculated that he may be less averse to the idea of putting the movie studio up for sale than his predecessor, Kazuo Hirai, who fought off activist shareholder Daniel Loeb’s recommendation to partially spin off the entertainment division.

Yoshida has not suggested a sale, but he made no secret that Sony’s new emphasis on intellectual property favors music over movies.

Consumers listen to songs more than once but don’t often watch the same movie twice. Similarly, they demand larger song libraries while b,上海夜网官方网站Hadley,eing satisfied with just a few shows on a platform such as Netflix, he said.

One decision he may have to make is what to do with the company’s struggling internet TV service PlayStation Vue, which is struggling to gain subscribers after launching in the United States in 2015.

With the exception of the PlayStation video game console, Sony has had little success at offering an entertainment platform since losing out to Apple’s iPod and iTunes music store a decade ago.

Walt Disney and cable operator Comcast, meanwhile, are battling for 21st Century Fox Inc’s entertainment assets, while AT&T is trying to persuade the U.S. Justice Department to allow it to buy Time Warner Inc.

Sony’s Hollywood studio, which lags behind Buena Vista, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros, could become an even smaller player ahead thanks to the rapid rise of Netflix as a content provider.

“The movie industry requires scale to some extent, so perhaps it isn’t absolutely necessary for Sony to remain independent there,” said Atsushi Osanai, a former Sony official who is now a professor at Japan’s Waseda University Business School.

Anthony Vinciquerra, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said the company was happy to sit out the current round of mergers.

“In the longer term, as these companies begin to consolidate and form their ecosystems, we will be developing alliances somewhere along the way. We don’,上海会所夜网Sabia,t know with whom yet, because we don’t know what the landscape is going to look like. But we are very confident,” he told investors last week.

($1 = 109.1600 yen)

Google tries to ease tensions on eve of new EU privacy law

SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Alphabet Inc’s Google sought to ease online publisher concerns on Thursday about the effects European data privacy rules going into effect in just a few hours will have on their ad business.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the biggest overhaul of data privacy laws in over 20 years, organizations must have transparent justification for processing personal data, starting Friday.

The rules threaten fines of as much as 4 percent of company revenues for violations, although attorneys and European Union officials have cautioned there will be a grace period.

But that has not prevented an anxious scrambling this week as companies seek and interpret last-minute counsel from consultants, business partners and regulators.

Google officials, speaking on Thursday to 70 media and advertising firms at its New York City office and on a private telecast, described compl上海夜生活iance efforts as a work in progress and said the company would release additional tools to assist publishers in June and August, according to a person with direct knowledge of the discussion.

Internet companies that track users online, whether for shopping, banking or other reasons, are set to face significant scrutiny.

The new rules require that they have specific justification, such as consent, for using personal information.

The worst case for Google and advertisers would be users refusing to allow sharing of their per,上海夜生活怎么玩Ida,sonal data. Some ads they encounter would no longer be personalized to their interests, and if clicked on less, could cut industry spending.

British attorney Gabriel Voisin, whose firm Bird & Bird revised 500 online privacy policies over the last two years to check their GDPR compliance, said on Wednesday that his team was still working overtime with 50 websites in “a flurry of last minute adjustments.”

Sovrn Inc, which has developed a permission-gathering tool that websites can use as part of GDPR compliance, said it had a flurry of clients for the service in the last week.

Though GDPR has been a decade in the works, many businesses began detailing their compliance efforts only in the last month. In the online advertising industry, which Google dominates through various services, the company’s interpretation has trickle-down effects for partners such as publishers and small advertising companies.

Google now requires that online publishers obtain consent and take on legal risk on its behalf to track users online, a move it made,上海夜网官方网站Macey, in response to the GDPR that has proved unpopular with publishers.

Some publisher associations, including the European Publishers Council, reiterated a demand this week that Google publicize its rationale. They are keen for regulators to pay attention.

Mobile app developers also expressed concern that Google software they will rely on to comply with its GDPR-linked consent policies was not released until this week, leaving them little time to work out kinks. Jonathan Hillebrand, who makes ad-supported travel and education apps, said by email that he had to develop his own tool for now because Google “came to the party late.”

Google has said its GDPR strategy is in line with guidance it has received from European authorities.

O,上海021夜网Sabina,n Thursday, Google said it would potentially change some of its new GDPR-inspired policies if European authorities revise their instructions about what constitutes compliance, according to meeting documents seen by .

Dave Grimaldi, executive vice president at the Interactive Advertising Bureau trade body, said in a tweet that, though productive, the meeting “highlighted challenges of complying with a law when so little guidance is available.”

Britain’s small banks ripe for takeover as CYBG and Virgin Money…

LONDON ( ) – Shares in lender CYBG rose as much as 3 percent on Monday after it announced a revised bid for rival Virgin Money VM.L, increasing the likelihood of a deal that would create a new competitor to Britain’s biggest banks.

CYBG, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, and Virgin Money, founded almost 25 years ago by British entrepreneur Richard Branson, would combine to create Britain’s sixth-largest bank by assets, albeit one still dwarfed by rivals such as Lloyds (LLOY.L) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L).

The revised offer values Virgin Money at around 1.6 billion pounds ($2.14 billion) based on Friday’s closing share price.

The CYBG-Virgin deal comes at a time when mid-sized banks like them in Britain face competition from both the incumbents with their bigger branch networks and technology budgets, and nimbler digital-only rivals like Monzo, Starling and Atom.

CYBG (CYBGC.L) said on Sunday it had improved its all-share offer上海夜网 for Virgin Money by raising the exchange ratio by 7 percent, an increase which analysts said should be enough to get the deal over the line.

“With Virgin Money management clearly showing less enthusiasm for the fight than we believe is warranted… we suspect that the deal will go through on these revised terms,” said Edward Firth, analyst at KBW.

“A clear home-run for CYBG; a reasonable return for Virgin Money shareholders who have had some years of frustration.”

Under the terms of CYBG’s revised proposal, Virgin Money shareholders would own about 38 percent of the combined group compared with the original 36.5 percent offer.

MORE DEALS

While the combined CYBG and Virgin would have assets of around 84 billion pounds, based on the most recent company data, that pales in comparison to rivals like RBS an,上海仙霞路夜生活Eden,d Lloyds with assets of 739 and 805 billion pounds respectively.

CYBG/Virgin would have around 250 branches, compared with 893 for RBS and 1,795 for Lloyds.

Analysts said that the combined banks could, once merged, go hunting for further acquisitions to achieve scale, in a banking landscape where increasing regulatory and technology costs mean sub-scale players are likely to wither.

Co-operative Bank could be the next target, analyst J,上海夜网推油Ida,ohn Cronin at Irish broker Goodbody said on Monday, as it was rescued last year by hedge funds that are unlikely to be long-term owners and it has an attractive customer base.

Shares in Virgin Money rivals Metro Bank (MTRO.L) and OneSavingsBank (OSBO.L) rose,上海夜网千花Jacob, on May 8 when Virgin confirmed the CYBG bid, in a sign that investors consider those lenders possible acquisition targets.

CYBG now has until June 18 to make a firm offer.

How the world’s biggest private equity oil and gas industry bid…

MELBOURNE ( ) – Blame it on Trump, Iran or Venezuela. Rising oil prices combined with a heavy debt load killed the world’s biggest private equity oil and gas industry deal last week.

Harbour Energy left Australia empty-handed after a year of chasing gas producer Santos Ltd (STO.AX), missing out on Santos’ stakes in three liquefied natural gas projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea as it sought to become a major LNG player.

The U.S. firm, backed by EIG Global Energy Partners, was forced to bid against itself five times, including twice over one weekend, until it made a final offer of $10.8 billion, up more than 50 percent from its first approach last August,上海夜生活乌托邦Pamela,.

“The grievance runs deep and it’s heartfelt,” said a person in the Harbour camp.

Harbour Chief Executive Linda Cook, a former senior executive at Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), was on a plane last Tuesday when she heard Santos had rejected its sixth offer, worth about A$6.95 a share. She declined to comment for th上海夜生活is story.

Harbour’s disappointed chairman, Blair Thomas, was already back in Washington, DC, and didn’t mince words.

“There was insufficient engagement with Santos on valuation, no meaningful attempt by Santos to discuss a realistic price which could supported by any reasonable set of technical and commercial assumptions, and an unwillingness by their Board to explore means of closing the gap between the o,上海夜生活群Octava,ffer and their expectations,” he said in a two-page statement.

Thomas believed by the end of a weekend of back and forth between advisers on both sides that he had a deal with Santos Chairman Keith Spence, a person in the Harbour camp said.

Harbour’s team were parked in Sydney, where Harbour’s backer EIG has an office and advisers at JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Highbury are based, according to people involved. “A couple of hundred” people were involved in analyzing data and conducting due diligence, they said.

Cook and Thomas met Kevin Gallagher and Keith Spence, their counterparts at Adelaide-based Santos, on May 18. They felt encouraged the board would facilitate an offer going to shareholders, people in the Harbour camp said.

People on both sides said talks were cordial the whole time, but the Santos board was firm on value, and Harbour failed to offer enough of a premium as oil prices marched higher.

Crude prices climbed from around $52 a barrel when Harbour made its first approach in August to $80 last week, their highest since late 2014, as U.S. President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Venezuela and pulled out of a nuclear arms control deal with Iran, both key oil producers.

What hurt Harbour was the $7.75 billion in debt they had lined up from JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, which required oil price hedging against 30 percent of Santos’ oil-linked LNG sales, making the deal complex, Santos, investors and bankers said.

“The problem is when you get high-leverage deals there are a lot of terms and conditions you have to meet and it makes it inflexible,” said a veteran Australian investment banker not involved in the bid.

Santos balked when Harbour tried to force the company to lock in the hedges, in order to cut costs for the banks and allow Harbour to raise its offer.

Santos said it was “resilient” to the oil price fall, as it has slashed costs to be cash flow breakeven at $36 a barrel.

The value of the Harbour bid was “simply not compelling enough” compared with Santos’ own growth plan, the risks associated with the hedging and the reliance on Santos’ balance sheet to help fund the deal, a Santos spokeswoman said.

FURIOUS CHINESE

Not only was Harbour jilted at the altar, but the biggest shareholders in Santos, Chinese gas distributor ENN Ecological 60003.SS and private equity firm Hony Capital missed out on more than doubling their combined stake to up to 40 percent in a privatized Santos.

Sources said ENN and Hony were as furious as Harbour.

“They’re deeply disappointed and angry and frustrated,” a person close to ENN said. “They feel that the outcome didn’t reflect some of the conversations with senior Santos people.”

However in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange last week, ENN, which has a director on the board of Santos, said: “The company’s future cooperation with Santos is not affected.”

A Santos spokeswoman said ENN is part of a united Santos board, and the company’s strategic relationship with ENN and Hony remains in place.

Hony said it “will closely follow the further development”.

Swiss energy and commodities trader Mercuria, which was set to contribute 10 percent of the bid, was thwarted in its ambition to use Santos to get into LNG trading, where its rivals Glencore, Gunvor, Trafigura and Vitol are already active.

“A lot of time and money went into this…so it is annoying,” said a person familiar with Mercuria’s thinking.

Mecuria declined to comment.

Harbour’s first approach last August was swiftly rejected by the board under then-chairman Peter Coates, who had also rebuffed a $5.1 billion takeover offer two years earlier when Santos was wallowing in debt as oil prices collapsed.

The August approach was only disclosed by Santos in November after a newspaper outed Harbour. It took Harbour until March to line up funding from JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley and equity from Mercuria, ENN and Hony in order to make another approach.

Top 10 shareholder Argo Investments said the deal was too complex and would have involved Santos taking on too much risk when there was a lot of uncertainty around whether it would be approved.

Shareholders have faith in CEO Gallagher, who slashed costs and cut debt faster than expected over the past two years.

“It’s fair to say that he’s done a,上海夜生活网419Mabel, pretty good job,” said Argo Investments Managing Director Jason Beddow.

“The proof will be in the pudding as to how Santos looks in a year or two’s time – which is somewhat dependent on the oil price.”

PSA production move wins deal with German unions, angers French

PARIS ( ) – French carmaker PSA Group (PEUP.PA) said on Wednesday it will move production of the Opel Grandland X model from France to Germany under a deal with Opel unions, drawing immediate criticism from domestic workers’ representatives.

PSA, which bough,上海会所夜网Kade,t Opel and sister brand Vauxhall from General Motors (GM.N) last year, agreed to build the SUV in Eisenach under a broader deal with Opel workers.,上海夜生活怎么玩Idaia,

On Wednesday it confirmed that Grandland assembly would end in Sochaux, eastern France, but said new overflow production of the Peugeot 5008 model would make up for some lost volume.

France’s moderate CFTC union decried the move as “bad news for the plant” and demanded more information from management on the distribution of work between PSA and Opel plants.

“As long as we don’t have a clear picture of 5008 volumes, the Grandland’s departure will be a concern,” said Christelle Toillon, an official with the CFE-CGC, another centrist union.

PSA had been locked in a standoff with Germany’s IG Metall union until the deal was struck on Tuesday, .

Tensions among national unions were already in evidence during the protracted talks, which saw German workers hold out for a 4.3 percent pay rise even as group sites in the UK, Spain and several other countries matched earlier French labor concessions including wag上海夜生活论坛e restraint.

Under the Opel deal, which includes new production investments at other German sites, workers,上海晚上耍女人的地方Earl, received five-year job guarantees in return for postponing the nationally negotiated pay hike until 2020. The agreement also validated 3,700 voluntary job cuts already underway at Opel.

Nestle, under pressure, combines key R&D units

LONDON ( ) – Food giant Nestle plans to combine its scientific research operations into a single unit in an attempt to speed up development of new products at a time when competition from smaller rivals is intensifying.

The world’s biggest packaged food maker, with brands including Nescafe coffee and Perrier water, has been struggling with slowing sales growth for years. Now it is also under pressure from activist shareholder Daniel Loeb to increase investor returns.

To better compete, the Swiss company told it would merge its Nestle Research Center and Nestle Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) into one organization called Nestle Research.

The new entity, to be announced later on Thursday, will continue to be based in Lausanne, Switzerland and will employ around 800 people.

The reorganization, effective July 1, will not involve job cuts or the closure of facilities, a spokesman said.

By linking the “blue-sky” research done at NIHS with the more commercially focused Research Center, it hopes to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into marketable products.

It also hopes this will help it compete with smaller, nimbler rivals who have been eating away at the market share of Nestle and other big firms like Danone, Unilever, Kraft Heinz and Kellogg.

Nestle Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer acknowledged earlier this month that his company had to keep pace with rising demand for goods that are organic, gluten-free or vegan.

“Big trends are embraced by smaller companies a bit more actively than the big companies,” Palzer told before Nestle’s streamlining plans had been finalised.

“We are adjusting our portfolio, doing many innovations and renovations to make the portfolio more relevant and to address those trends, but smaller companies are more agile.”

In the United States – the world’s biggest packaged food market – small challenger brands could account for 15 percent of a $464 billion sector in a decade’s time, up from about 5 percent last year, Bernstein Research predicted last year.

SP上海夜网EEDING THINGS UP

The combination of research units is the latest move by Palzer aimed at speeding up development and ensuring research ef,上海夜网Hadley,forts are commercially viable.

Palzer, who took over Nestle’s innovation and research and development operations in January, is also supplementing long-term research projects with incremental product launches made faster by experimenting with new ideas more quickly.

Last month, for example, Palzer and colleagues got the idea for a vegetarian or vegan food product while on a business trip.

“Thursday we had an idea, Friday we returned to Switzerland and Monday evening I was able to taste the first prototype,” Palzer said. “Wednesday, this prototype was shown to the executive board, and Friday it was in the global pipeline.”

He declined to give more details of the product, except to say it is currently being assessed by the operations team to see how long it will take to produce and on what machinery.

Other steps include efforts to apply specific developments to more products, such as Nestle’s recent designer sugar crystals launched in low-sugar Milkybars in March, which will go into other products in the future.

The importance of agility was underlined by Nestle’s recent struggle to capitalize on resurgent demand for frozen foods.

The company says it reformulates one third of its product portfolio every year.

LACK OF IDEAS CAN BE COSTLY

Nestle spent 1.72 billion Swiss francs ($1.73 billion) on R&D last year, down slightly from 2016 but up 22 percent from 2012. The company’s sales fell 2.6 percent over the same period.

As a percentage of sales, its expenditure has fluctuated only a little, but demands on the unit have increased.

Wells Fargo analyst John Baumgartner said that across 10 large publicly traded U.S. food companies, median expenses for R&D and advertising have declined 20 percent over the past five years.

“As voids of ideas and marketing have emerged, start-ups have been more responsive to consumer needs, won the culture and created the emotional connections that drive sales,” he said in a recent note.

Palzer said some industry peers had been outsourcing innovation to cut costs, relying on acquisitions of small brands or partnerships with suppliers.

But he said it was critical for Nestle to maintain scientific expertise in-house to keep its own portfolio fresh and to be an attractive part,上海夜生活男人好去处Qirin,ner for collaboration with others. Nestle does R&D around the world, involving around 5,000 people.

Fundamental scientific research will remain key at Nestle, Palzer said, but he also highlighted the value of external partnerships and acquisitions that can bring in new research or capabilities more easily.

Scientific research and,上海晚上耍女人的地方Hadley, innovation itself is not necessarily the reason why big breakthroughs tend to be rare for multinational companies, said Shaun Browne, investment banker at Houlihan Lokey, who advises food companies on deals.

“They often don’t have the patience or passion that is really required,” Browne said. “Often these things are one individual who is just totally determined and passionate about their product and sees it through.”

Exclusive: China Inc tightens reins on debt, raises specter of…

SHANGHAI/BENGALURU ( ) – Debt growth for Chinese companies has slowed to the lowest rate in more than a decade, according to analysis, which could provide relief for policymakers worried about the fallout from years of loose lending practices across the economy.

But thi,上海高端夜生活在那里Fabiana,s growing caution about taking on new debt, along with tighter profit margins and slowing revenue growth, could point to rising risks facing the world’s second largest economy amid fears of a slowing growth.

The overall debt levels of Chinese companies grew three percent in the first quarter of this year, according to analysis by of 1,843 firms listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen, the slowest pace in at least 13 years.

Combined total debts -,上海夜生活怎么玩Dakota, including borrowing via loans and bond issuances – amounted to 13.2 trillion yuan ($2.1 trillion) at the end of March, the slowest pace of growth year-on-year since at least 2005, the analysis showed.

That amount was down 6.2 percent from the fourth quarter, a steep drop after companies ramped up leverage during 2017.

For a graphic on China firms’ net profit margin, click reut.rs/2Lnvddc

Revenue growth, meanwhile, more than halved to 12.3 percent in the first three months of 2018 from 26.7 percent a year ago. Net profit margins were also squeezed to their lowest level in two years, with sectors like information technology particularly hard hit.

“What it says to me is that many of these companies are quite cautious in terms of expansion and taking on new debt,” said Christopher Lee, Hong Kong-based managing director for corporate ratings at S&P Global, referring to the data.

“The side effects will be slower industrial growth and slower GDP growth than what was achieved in 2017,” he added.

The signs of slowing revenue growth in the analysis adds to a series of data pointing to vulnerabilities in China’s economy, even as policymakers try to navigate debt risks and defuse a trade row with the United States.

Despite stronger-than-expected first-quarter economic growth, economists polled by still expect a gradual slowdown to around 6.5 percent this year from 6.9 percent in 2017, as rising borrowing costs weigh on consumption and investment.

China saw fixed asset investment grow at its slowest rate since 1999 in April, while retail sales growth hit a four-month low. Home sales have also slowed as the government tightens controls in order to fight speculation and tame property prices.

For a graphic on China firms’ revenue growth, click reut.rs/2LjtJB3

Firms, meanwhile, are worrying about higher financing costs, as the government cracks down on riskier lending practices.

“As soon as we have the cash then we’ll make repayments because if our debt-to-asset ratio is too high then our costs are also high,” said an official at Xinjiang Youhao Group, which runs supermarkets and malls. “We need to think about financing costs.”

The retailer’s total debt of 1.3 billion yuan is at its lowest level since 2012.

The slower growth could put credit in the spotlight. Cutting debt l上海夜生活网evels has been Beijing’s aim, but any signs that this may have gone too far – risking a broader drag on the economy – could prompt a rethink about financial tightening.

“The stronger-than-expect,上海夜网官方网站Kai,ed credit slowdown since December 2017 has led policymakers to take some action towards easing,” Oxford Economics said in a report this week, pointing to overall credit growth slowing more than expected this year.

Borrowing costs are on the rise. The weighted average lending rate for non-financial firms, a key indicator reflecting corporate funding costs, rose 22 basis points in the first quarter.

The proportion of loans priced above the benchmark borrowing rate also jumped by 9.9 percentage points to 74.4 percent in the first quarter, the highest since China started releasing such numbers in 2004, according to Nomura.

Creditors and investors have also become more picky about where they put their money as credit risks have climbed, making it harder for some corporate issuers to raise funds.

Last month, 81 Chinese bond issues worth 47 billion yuan were postponed or canceled, according to data compiled by . That followed 47.4 billion yuan of bond issues that suffered a similar fate in March.

Beijing Orient Landscape & Environment Co Ltd this month attracted just 50 million yuan for a bond issue that was meant to raise as much as 1 billion yuan.

A spate of bond defaults hasn’t helped, with 11 companies in China defaulting on bond payments since January.

For a graphic on China listed companies’ total debt, click reut.rs/2LmhoMb

Beijing is already working to reduce business costs, cutting electricity prices twice in recent months, and is trying to channel more bank funding to smaller firms, which hasn’t done much yet to ease concerns over rising costs.

“Because of rising defaults many investors are taking another look at the market and are becoming much more cautious in committing new investment,” said S&P’s Lee.

“Many investors now realize this deleveraging campaign and liquidity tightening is affecting a much broader number of companies than was initially thought.”

Wall Street rises on economic data, easing trade worries

NEW YORK ( ) – Wall Street indexes rallied on Wednesday with help from financial stocks as investors eyed strong economic data and trade war fears took a back seat while the Nasdaq registered its third straight record closing high.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late in the trading day that U.S. President Donald Trump will meet French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a G7 summit this week.

While he said Trump is not backing上海夜生活论坛 down from the tough line he has taken on trade, the comments appeared to calm investors.

Earlier reports citing sources said U.S. officials were weighing an offer by China to import an extra $70 billion of American goods over a year as Beijing tries to defuse a potential trade war.

“The trade rhetoric has once again dialed back,” said Mona Mahaja,上海夜生活桑拿会所Tamara,n, U.S. Investment Strategist, Allianz Global Investors, New York. “It’s the on-again off-again threat of protectionism. It’s off again.”

Trump last week pushed on with imposing tariffs – 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum – on Canada, the EU and Mexico, with Mexico retaliating by putting tariffs on American products such as steel, pork and bourbon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 346.41 points, or 1.4 percent, to 25,146.39, the S&P 500 gained 23.55 points, or 0.86 percent, to 2,772.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 51.38 points, or 0.67 percent, to 7,689.24.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to a near two-week high after data showed that the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly fell to a seven-month low in April, supporting the view of an acceleration of domestic economic growth in the second quarter. [US/]

The S&P financial sector, which rose 1.8 percent, was the S&P’s biggest boost as bank stocks ros,上海夜玩网论坛Fabian,e along with Treasury yields. Higher interest rates tend to help bank profits. The bank index rose 2.3 percent as the sector was also helped by a rise in mortgage applications for the first time in seven weeks.

Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois cited economic data and trade news as reasons for the broader market’s advance.

Nasdaq’s biggest boost was from Comcast Corp, whose shares rose 3.8 percent. Tesla shares jumped 9.7 percent after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk reassured shareholders that building 5,000 of its mass-market Model 3 cars per week by the end of June was “quite likely”.

While the technology sector reversed earlier losses to end the session with a 0.5 percent gain, it lagged the broader S&P as well as sectors such as financials.

“That to me smacks of a rotation to value from growth,” said Oakbook’s Sampson.

The utilities index was the only one of the S&P’s 11 major sectors in the red, with a 2.1 percent decline.

Facebook was the biggest drag on the tech sector with a 0.8 percent drop after the social networking company confirmed it collaborated with at least four Chinese companies on sharing user data.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the ,上海夜哪里艳遇Sabrina,NYSE by a 1.83-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.54-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 57 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 278 new highs and 24 new lows.

On U.S. exchanges 6.88 billion shares changed hands, compared to the 6.64 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

Tight security to keep protesters far from G7 summit

QUEBEC CITY ( ) – Quebec’s forested Charlevoix region has begun to look more like a fortress than a resort as organizers of this week’s G7 summit gear up to shield seven world leaders from outside disturbances.

Protesters are unlikely to startle any world leaders during the June 8-9 meeting. A security force of some 10,000 police and military personnel will make sure they are kept far from the sum上海夜生活网mit at Manoir Richelieu, a l,上海凤楼夜网Pablo,uxury resort with dramatic views of the St. Lawrence River.

The G7 groups Canada, the United States, Japan, Britain, Italy, France and Germany, and the EU also attends.

Authorities have urged demonstrators to congregate in an official protest zone in a parking lot in La Malbaie, a town about 5 km (3 miles) from the French-style castle resort.

Any tension at the summit site is most likely to come from leaders worried about a burgeoning trade war with the United States, and not from outside protests. That dynamic has prompted some to refer to the meeting as the “G6 plus Trump” summit.

No protest groups have announced plans to congregate in La Malbaie. They instead are organizing a series of events focused on global trade, migration, the environment, aboriginal rights and other issues in the provincial capital of Quebec City, a two-hour drive from Manoir Richelieu.

“We are ready for the worst-case scenario,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Inspector Christian Roy said at a recent news conference.

There may be more tension in Quebec City, where a group calling itself the Anti-G7 Resistance Network has urged supporters to hold a “day of disruption.”

The group has told protestor to avoid La Malbaie, describing it as “a trap.” It has announced a rally on Friday, but provided no details.

A coalition is organizing “a mass demonstration against the G7, capitalism, patri,上海夜生活怎么玩Earl,archy, colonialism, racism and borders” on Thursday, according to a Facebook invite.

A second coalition plans to hold an alternative summit outside the provincial legislature building in Quebec City, where issues expected to come up at the summit will be discussed.

In anticipation of protests, Quebec’s legislature has canceled sessions planned for Thursday evening and Friday.

Quebec City Police Chief Robert Pigeon has said he sees a “moderate” risk the protests will turn violent, but has promised to respect the rights of protesters.

Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec has seen its share of protests.

Quebec City became a flashpoint in the spring of 2001, when tens of thousands of people rallied to protest the Third Summit of the Americas, prompting police to use massive quantities of tear gas to control crowds.

One issue that organizers of this week’s G7 summit will not have to deal with is complaints about the smell of fertilizer.

Quebec’s agriculture ministry last week asked farmers to refrain from spreading liquid manure on their fields in the days leading up to the su,上海夜玩网论坛Idaleen,mmit.

As election looms, Trump says he is ‘last chance,’ Clinton sees…

MANCHESTER, N.H./STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN ( ) – As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton criss-crossed the United States on Sunday in a final, frenzied burst of campaigning, the Republican said he was the “last chance” to fix a broken country while his Democratic rival said a “moment of reckoning” had arrived.

The two candidates in Tuesday’s presidential election presented starkly different views of the nation and evoked similarly disparate reactions from crowds gathered to hear them speak.

In Iowa, Trump said he was the “last chance” to fix immigration and trade. Outside Minneapolis, he said the Somali refugee population there was a “disaster.” Supporters near Pittsburgh booed a song by musician Bruce Springsteen, who is set to campaign with Clinton on Monday night.

Chants of “lock her up” came in waves even as news broke that the FBI again said Clinton should not face prosecution for her email practices while secretary of state.

As rocker and guitarist Ted Nugent warmed up a Trump rally in a Detroit suburb, he grabbed his crotc,上海夜生活论坛Gabriella,h. “I’ve got your blue state right here,” Nugent said, referring to states that typically vote for Democratic candidates, including Michigan.

“By the way, my language is much, much cleaner, as you know, than Jay Z,” Trump said at the sam上海夜生活网e event.

Trump has criticized crude language in a Friday night concert that rapper Jay Z and his wife, Beyonce, held for Clinton in Cleveland.

“The most filthy language you’ve ever heard,” Trump said at the Minnesota rally. One of his supporters there wore a t-shirt that said: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some Assembly Required.”

Clinton began and ended Sunday with renditions of “America the Beautiful.” The first was at a black church in Philadelphia, the second time performed by folk singer James Taylor at a get-out-the-vote rally in New Hampshire, where the crowd swayed and sang along, linking arms.

Clinton walked onto the stage with Khizr Khan, whose son was a slain Muslim U.S. soldier. Khan addressed the Democratic National Convention in July, criticizing Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country and offering to loan him a U.S. Constitution. Some in Manchester held up miniature Constitutions in tribute.

“In a race that has been marked by ugly suspicion,上海夜网千花Nadia, and insults and attacks of all kinds against immigrants, Muslims and so many others, Mr. Khan, I think, reminded all of us that we are Americans,” Clinton said.

Clinton called Tuesday a “crossroads election” and a “moment of reckoning,” echoing her earlier statements at a Cleveland rally with Cavaliers player LeBron James.

“Our core values as Americans are being tested,” ,夜上海论坛Qirin,she said.

Online shopping boom keeps hopes high for air freight profits

SYDNEY ( ) – An explosion of e-commerce demand is buoying the air freight business, boosting profit at some major airlines despite global trade tensions and underscoring robust consumer confidence.

Air freight demand is expected to rise 4 percent this year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said at its annual meeting this week in Sydney.

Top beneficiaries will be freight-heavy carriers like Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, Dubai’s Emirates, Germany’s Lufthansa and Korean Air Lines.

The growth in e-commerce is also a boon for parcel firms su,上海夜生活网419Qirin,ch as UPS and FedEx as well as seco,上海夜生活乌托邦Idaia,nd-hand jet traders and an army of pilots known as “freight dogs.”

“The cargo environment is very strong,” Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Germany’s Lufthansa, the world’s seventh largest cargo airline, told on the sidelines of the IATA talks.

He added that planes were full on both the outbound and return legs of their trips thanks to the export-driven German economy on one end and goods sold online on the other.

“Inbound and outbound, I’m looking at probably the best environment I have seen in years,” he said.

Although trade tensions are rising, most notably between the U.S. and China and Europe, the industry is counting on e-commerce continuing to soar, with more people buying products online for quick delivery.

“Air freight may be impacted by the trade tensions, but it could be supported by GDP continuing to be relatively strong, and also by e-commerce,” Mylene Scholnick, principal at consultancy ICF, told .

Cathay Pacific CEO Rupert Hogg said higher consumer spending is driving demand for high-end goods such as electronics.

“Definitely the retail map is changing and e-commerce is just growing and growing and with it the movement of small parcels. I don’t see that changing at the moment. That is beginning to form a baseload,” he said. Cathay’s home airport, in Hong Kong, is the world’s biggest cargo hub.

Business and consumer confidence are rising and tax cuts in the U.S. alongside loose monetary policy have spurred a cyclical revival in world trade, IATA economists say.

Airline leaders said growing protectionism could put that at risk, but only if it escalates into an all-out economic battle.

Although steel and aluminum are in the cross hairs of U.S. tariffs, those goods tend not to be shipped by air.

“The worry would be if this escalates and generally puts up trade barriers and makes it more difficult to facilitate. But at the moment, it’s not affecting air cargo,” said IATA chief economist Brian Pearce.

Lufthansa’s Spohr agreed.

“Looking at the current outlook in cargo, I am more concerned about a trade war as a European than I am concerned about a trade war as CEO of Lufthansa,” he said.

CONSUMER DEMAND

Air cargo rose 9.7 percent in 2017, when companies turned to speedy air freight to refill inventories after unexpectedly good economic growth. Although that trend isn’t expected to continue this year, e-commerce is softening the blow.

And even this year’s softer growth is better than the freight downturn that hit early in the decade, caused partly by a surplus of belly space in the increasing numbers of passenger planes.

“Consumers need to get products and this is happening cross-border now. E-commerce is really supporting growth to a much greater extent than before,” IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said. Time-sensitive pharmaceuticals is also helping.

Air freight supports an ecosystem of jets, either sold brand-new as freighters or adapted from passenger planes late in life once they become too costly.

Boeing 747s, which pound the global freight lanes via transit points such as Anchorage, Alaska, are being brought out of retirement and saved from scrap, experts say. By contrast, early examples of Airbus’s biggest jet, the A380, face the axe with no freighter version available.

Boeing is also increasing production of its mid-sized 767 aircraft to an average of three per month by 2020, up from 2.5, thanks to demand for the freighter version.

It has won new orders for the freight variants of its 747 and 777 from UPS, Lufthansa, Japan’s ANA Holdings and Qatar Airways, helping to support fragile output.

“If the market grows between 4 and 5 percent in terms of cargo, that helps support the production of about two big widebody freighters a month. We are starting to see that demand come back,” said Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice-president of marketing.

All this risks repeating a chronic industry pattern: airlines must not add too much capacity, said Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

Last year, capacity grew slower than demand, meaning planes flew with more cargo, helping support profits.

“Now capacity is growing at about the same or even edging slightl上海夜网y ahead, so load factors have stabilized. That is a warning sign to keep an eye on capacity,” he said.

(This version of,上海夜生活群Pamela, the story refiles to correct typo in the 20th paragraph.)

Highlights of Merkel interview on Europe

BERLIN ( ) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her most detailed response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to reform the euro zone in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper published on Sunday.

The following are highlights of what she said on major issues:

ITALY

– Merkel appeared to rule out the idea that the European Central Bank could grant Italy significant debt relief. She said she wanted to work with the new Italian government instead of speculating about its intentions. “Solidarity among euro partners should never lead to a debt union, rather it must be about helping others to help themselves.”

THE EURO ZONE RESCUE FUND

– The European Stability Mechanism, which provides financial assistance, should be turned in,上海夜生活论坛Nadine,to a European Monetary Fund, which could offer short-term loans of 5 years. These must be tied to conditionality, be capped in terms of size 上海夜生活论坛and be repaid in full. EMF should have the capacity to evaluate the economic situation in member states on its own. Also to assess debt sustainability – and have the instruments needed to restore this if necessary. It should be intergovernmental, with national parlia,上海夜生活网交流Rachel,ments retaining their rights. Together with the Commission, two pillars to ensure stability in the euro zone.

“I can imagine the possibility of a credit line that is short-term, five years for example. As such, we would be able to take under our wing countries that get into difficulties because of extraordinary circumstances.”

FISCAL CAPACITY

– Backs investment budget in the low two-digit billions of euros that would be introduced step by step and evaluated over time. Could be in current EU budget or outside. Need to talk about parliamentary control. This should be used to address structural weaknesses in some member states, not acute difficulties.

EU BUDGET

– EU budget for post 2021 period should be agreed before the European elections. All net payers will have to pay more into it. ,上海夜生活去哪玩Sabine,Says there is an “urgent need” to reduce bureaucracy in agricultural policy. Says European Commission’s ideas go “very far”. Describes German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz’s 1 percent proposal as “starting position”.

ASYLUM

– Describes border control, a common asylum policy and combating the reasons for migration as “existential questions” for Europe. Need for common asylum standards in Europe, a common procedure at the external borders, Frontex must become European border police force that can act independently. There is need for a European migration body and a Marshall Plan for Africa. Calls for “flexible system” in which each country makes comparable contribution to the common task. With higher flexibility, can overcome blockade from countries that won’t accept refugees. Not sure that EU will reach deal on asylum by the June summit. Better to give it a few more weeks.

DEFENSE

– Merkel said she had a “positive view” of Macron’s intervention force initiative. “In the future we will have to react to the challenges that we are faced with,” she said. In the medium-term, non-permanent seats of European countries on the UN Security Council should become European seats. She can also envision a European Security Council with rotating seats.

EU INSTITUTIONS

– Fewer EU commissioners. Big countries should also be ready to rotate in and out. Spitzenkandidat process has established itself. But ultimately Spitzenkandidat must be based on transnational lists.

White House’s Navarro says ‘three strikes you’re out’ for ZTE

WASHINGTON ( ) – Chinese technology company ZTE Corp will be “shut down” in the United States if it engages in one more bad activity, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro warned on Sunday.

ZTE last week agreed to pay a $1 billion fine to the United States and to overhaul its leadership in order to end a crippling ban on the Shenzhen-head,夜上海论坛Eden,quartered firm from buying parts from U.S. suppliers and allowing it to get back into business.

The ban, which traces back to a breach of the U.S. embargo on trade with Iran, had prevented China’s second largest telecoms equipment maker by revenue from buying the U.S. compone,上海夜生活服务Jacob,nts it relies on to make phones and other devices.

“It’s going to be three strikes you’re out on ZTE. If they do one more additional thing, they will be shut down,” Navarro told Fox, adding that everyone within the administration understood this was the policy.

Navarro was speaking as President Donald Trump arrived in Singapore for a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whose regime is heavily dependent upon neighboring communist ally China.

The United States introduced the ban in April because ZTE broke the terms of an agreement it had entered into with the U.S. government after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by shipping U.S. goods to Iran.

The ZTE sanctions became a key focus in trade talks between Washington and Beijing, and a deal to lift the ban was struck as Trump sought concessions from China in order to avoid a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Prominent U.S. Democratic and上海夜生活论坛 Republican lawmakers last week introduced legislation to try to overturn the deal, saying ZTE posed a threat to America’s national security.

On Sunday, Navarro said Trump’s decision to allow ZTE to continue operating in the United States was a gesture to help build goodwill with China.

“The President did this as a personal favor to the president of China as a way of showing some good will for bigger efforts such as the one here in Singapore,” said Navarro, referring to the summit between Trump and Kim.

He added that ZTE was a “bad actor” but that the deal included safeguards, such as requiring the company to retain a compliance team select,上海高端夜生活在那里Hal,ed by the Commerce Department for 10 years. The company already has a U.S. court-appointed monitor.

Illinois attorney general appeals bar on Election Day voter…

CHICAGO ( ) – The Illinois Attorney General has appealed a federal judge ruling that blocks same-day registration at polling places in the state’s most populous counties, a spokeswoman for the office said on Wednesday.

The appeal submitted by the state’s Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, seeks to reverse a ruling that bars Election Day voter registration at polling places in counties with populations of 100,000 or more. Such registrations were allowed under a state law enacted last year.

The appeal was filed on Tuesday evening, according to court,上海夜生活Dalton, documents and Maura Possley, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office.

The ruling, issued Tuesday by Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan of the Northern District of Illinois, resulted from a federal court lawsuit brought in August against the state law by a group aligned wi,上海夜生活网交流Nala,th a conservative think tank and came six weeks before the Nov. 8 election.[nL2N1C321W]

The Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center, which filed the lawsuit, argued that the population thresho上海夜网ld unconstitutionally discriminated against voters in less populated counties and boosted Democrats in,上海夜生活桑拿会所Talon, heavily Democratic Cook County, where Chicago is located.

In his ruling, Der-Yeghiayan wrote that the law provided an advantage to urban voters over their rural counterparts.

The law, passed in late 2014 by the Democratic-led legislature and signed into law in early 2015 by former Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, allowed Election Day voter registration for the first time, including at polling places.

But the section of the law regarding polling place registration pertained only to counties with populations of 100,000 or more.

Mexico firms eye workaround on U.S. metals tariffs; consumers in bind

MEXICO ,上海夜生活网交流Octava,CITY ( ) – Mexican firms will need to cut deals with suppliers and consider buying goods elsewhere once a conflict over U.S. steel and aluminum import tariffs starts to bite, even as consumers are seen ultimately picking up the tab from any higher prices.

Company executives are braced for increased costs, while holding out hope that U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs are more of a negotiating tactic to pressure Mexico and Canada in talks to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Of course, it’s a very serious distortion in the industry, because all the supply chains that use these types of materials are impacted every time they cross the border,” said Jose Ramon Elizondo, chairman of manufacturer Vasconia Group.

One of Vasconia’s units produces aluminum sheets, more than half of which are exported to the United St上海夜生活论坛ates.

“We’re going to have a series of negotiations and discussions with clients ,上海夜玩网论坛Caden,who have to absorb this tax,” Elizondo told .

Japanese auto safety products maker Ashimori Industry Co Ltd, whose plant in the central city of Silao in Mexico’s automotive heartland makes seat belts and air bags for the likes of Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Subaru, is in a similar bind.

“We aren’t aluminum manufacturers but we are in the industry, so at some point we’re going to have to absorb the price increases,” said Hiroyuki Namba, president of Ashimori Mexico. “I hope the (measures) aren’t definitive.”

Critics of the U.S. move say the escalating dispute could drive firms in Mexico to buy steel and aluminum elsewhere.

“Once we hit them and close U.S. imports, we will have to source from third markets,” said a Mexican official, who asked not,上海夜网官方网站Jacklyn, to be named.

Mexico’s government said it would retaliate with targeted tariffs on pork legs, apples, grapes and cheeses, plus steel.

The Mexican official said once the retaliatory measures were put in place, the situation could backfire for Trump and end up hurting American producers.

It is “economics 101 for dummies,” the official added.

Mexico expects to publish the list of specific U.S. products it will hit on Tuesday or Wednesday, the Economy Ministry said.

Trump’s tariffs are aimed at allowing the U.S. steel and aluminum industries to increase capacity utilization rates above 80 percent for the first time in years. Still, Mexico already has a trade deficit in those metals with the United States.

Alfredo Arzola, head of the automotive industry cluster in the central state of Guanajuato, said many auto parts makers in Mexico could be exempt from the U.S. tariffs because their steel and aluminum imports from the United States are temporary.

“The steel and aluminum that stays in the domestic market for sale will be affected and the (higher) prices will be passed on to the consumer,” said Arzola.

But most auto parts makers import metals to turn them into value-added products that are shipped back to the United States as part of automakers’ cross-border value chains.

If those products comply with regional content rules under NAFTA, they are exempt from the tariffs, Arzola said.