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News In Brief

 

    Canada plays down Trump comments on NAFTA, sees trilateral deal

    Ottawa: Canada on Thursday played down U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he might seek separate trade deals with NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, noting he has made similar comments before. 

    David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, said he was confident that talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement would maintain the trilateral natures of the pact. MacNaughton made his remarks during a news conference in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.

    (Reuters)

    Blackstone still analyzing merits of possible C-Corp switch: COO

    New York: Blackstone (BX.N) is still considering whether to convert to a corporation from a partnership and has been impressed by the stock performance of rival KKR & Co (KKR.N) since it made the switch, President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Gray said on Thursday. 

    “We’ve been impressed by KKR’s recent stock performance post-conversion announcement. We continue to analyze this option but it’s a very significant decision for our shareholders so we will be thoughtful and deliberate,” Gray said in a call with reporters for the firm’s second-quarter earnings.

    (Reuters)

    Govt shoots-off second notice to WhatsApp

    New Delhi: The central government on Thursday shot-off second notice to WhatsApp; seeking more effective solutions on curbing fake news beyond labelling forwards.

    (PTI)

    Mild earthquake felt in Mexico City as residents evacuate buildings

    Mexico City: A 5.7 magnitude earthquake was felt in Mexico City on Thursday morning as buildings shook mildly and some residents evacuated homes and office buildings. 

    There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The epicenter of the quake was near the town of Huajuapan de Leon in southern Oaxaca state at a depth of 34 miles (55 km), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

    (Reuters)

    Explosion at Pennsylvania army facility injures at least four

    At least four people were injured early on Thursday in an explosion at a U.S. Army facility in rural Franklin County, Pennsylvania, local emergency officials said.

    (Reuters)

    Wall Street slips at open as trade tensions weigh

    New York: U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday on declines in financial and industrial stocks and renewed trade tensions on news that the European Union may retaliate if the United States slaps tariffs on EU cars.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60.14 points, or 0.24 percent, at the open to 25,139.15.The S&P 500 opened lower by 6.25 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,809.37. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 24.64 points, or 0.31 percent, to 7,829.80 at the opening bell.

    (Reuters)

    Trump says he looks forward to second meeting with Putin

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he looked forward to his second meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that the first meeting was a success despite howls of criticism at home and abroad.

    “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more,” he wrote on Twitter.

    (Reuters)

    U.S. general - no new orders on Russian military in Syria since summit

    Washington: U.S. General Joseph Votel, who oversees military operations in Syria, said on Thursday he had received no new directions about relations with the Russian military since the summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

    Votel, the head of the U.S. Central Command, told reporters the United States continued communications on deconfliction with the Russian military in Syria, but there had been “no new guidance for me as a result of the Helsinki discussions as of yet.”

    (Reuters)

    Lok Sabha approves fugitive economic offenders bill

    New Delhi: India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, approved a bill on Thursday empowering the authorities to seize assets of super-rich fugitives whose economic offences or crimes involve sums over 1 billion rupees ($14.47 million). 

    The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill would replace an earlier executive order, introduced by the government to initiate seizure of assets of Mumbai jewellers Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, who have fled the country, after being accused of an over $2 billion bank fraud.

    (Reuters)

    Britain dismisses news report on Skripal poisoners as 'wild speculation'

    London: Britain’s security minister on Thursday dismissed a report that police have identified several Russians who were behind the poisoning of former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal as “wild speculation”. 

    “I think this story belongs in the ‘ill informed and wild speculation folder’” Ben Wallace said on Twitter, in response to the Press Association report.

    (Reuters)

    Comcast drops pursuit for Fox assets

    Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) has dropped its pursuit of a group of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (FOXA.O) on which it was bidding against Walt Disney (DIS.N), and instead will focus on its offer for UK TV group Sky (SKYB.L), the company said on Thursday. 

    “Comcast does not intend to pursue further the acquisition of the Twenty-First Century Fox assets and instead will focus on our recommended offer for Sky,” the company said.

    (Reuters)

    Cleric Sadr backs Iraq protests, calls for delay in government formation

    Baghdad: Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc won Iraq’s May 12 election, called on all politicians to delay efforts to form a new government until the demands of protesters seeking better services in the south are met. 

    “The winning political parties in the election have to suspend all political dialogues for forming coalitions and until they meet protesters’ rightful demands,” Sadr tweeted, in his first public comments on unrest which has swept the south.

    (Reuters)

    Commerce secretary: 'too early' to say if US will impose auto tariffs

    Washington: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday it is “too early” to say if the United States will impose import tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported cars and parts — a suggestion that has been met with harsh criticism from the industry. 

    The department opened a probe in May into whether imported autos and parts pose a national security risk and is holding a hearing on the investigation on Thursday, taking testimony from auto trade groups, many foreign governments and others.

    (Reuters)

    Spain declines extradition of former Catalan leader from Germany

    Madrid: Spain’s Supreme Court said on Thursday it had decided to decline the extradition of former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont from Germany on the charge of misuse of public funds linked to his organisation of a banned referendum on independence.

    A German court ruled one week ago that Puigdemont could be extradited for alleged misuse of public funds but it rejected a request to send him back to answer a more serious charge of rebellion.

    (Reuters)

    WDM witnesses trade worth Rs 870.00 cr on NSE

    Mumbai: Wholesale debt market segment of the National Stock Exchange today witnessed a total turnover of Rs 870.00 crore in 17 trades.

    Top securities (nn-repo) traded at the WDM were: The 8.12 per cent Government security maturing in CG2020 traded value of Rs 150.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.62 per cent, the 7.80 per cent Government security maturing in CG2020 traded value of Rs 150.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.54 per cent and the 7.80 per cent Government security maturing in CG2021 traded value of Rs 150.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.71 per cent, an NSE release said.

    (PTI) 

    Boeing says sold 528 planes at Farnborough

    Farnborough, England: Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Thursday it had won 528 new orders and commmitments at the Farnborough Airshow this week, buoyed by demand for freighters as air cargo markets rebound. 

    Airbus (AIR.PA) said earlier it had won 431 new orders and commitments, including 60 for its newly rebranded A220, the former Bombardier CSeries.

    (Reuters)

    US dollar ends sharply higher against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar ended sharply higher against the rupee at 69.05/06 per dollar and the pound sterling also finished higher at Rs 89.69/71 at the close of the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here today.         

    Following are the Interbank forex and FBIL rates : (In Rs per unit) Unit  Interbank  FBIL Reference US Dollar 69.05/06 US Dollar  68.8331 Pound Sterling 89.69/71 EURO 80.1153 Euro 80.05/07 Japanese yen (100) 61.12/14.

    (PTI) 

    Putin warns that U.S.-Russia nuclear treaty will expire unless action taken

    Moscow: President Vladimir Putin warned of the dangers of Moscow and Washington failing to mend ties on Thursday, saying the START strategic arms reduction treaty would expire in a year and a half unless work on extending it started now.

    (Reuters)

    Putin says forces in U.S. trying to derail success of Trump summit

    Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that certain forces in the United States were trying to undermine the success of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, but that the meeting had nevertheless been a positive start.

    Putin, who met Trump at a summit in Helsinki on Monday, said it would be naive to expect years-old problems to be resolved in the space of several hours, but that the path to improve bilateral ties had begun.

    (Reuters)

    Ethiopian Airlines says in talks to purchase stake in Eritrean Airlines

    Asmara: Ethiopian Airlines is in talks to take a stake in Eritrean Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines, said in an interview on Thursday, adding that a study would be conducted to determine the size of the stake.

    “We are assessing the situation of Eritrean Airlines right now,” Tewolde said. “I spoke with the CEO yesterday. They have one leased airplane - a (Boeing) 737. We have started discussions,” said Tewolde during a visit to the Eritrean capital Asmara.

    (Reuters)

    Trump thanks Novartis, Pfizer for not raising drug prices

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump thanked two major drug companies on Thursday for not raising their prices and said his administration was working toward substantially cutting prescription-drug prices. 

    “Thank you to Novartis for not increasing your prices on prescription drugs. Likewise to Pfizer. We are making a big push to actually reduce the prices, maybe substantially, on prescription drugs,” Trump said in a tweet. Earlier this month Trump was able to persuade Pfizer CEO Ian Read to defer the company’s planned price hikes, explaining in a call the company had complicated the administration’s drug pricing plans.

    (Reuters)

    Trump's tariffs not as disruptive as headlines suggest: White House's Navarro

    Washington: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Thursday told CNBC that U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade strategy with China, which includes levying new tariffs that have sparked concerns of a trade war, is not as disruptive as many describe.

    “We got two economies that add up to around $30 trillion (£23.1 trillion) in annual GDP. The amount of trade we’re affecting with the tariffs is a rounding error compared to that,” he said during an interview at the White House. “My point is that it’s much less disruptive than these headlines would suggest and it’s much more constructive as we see the adjustments made in terms of where investment is going to go and where we’re going to build.”

    (Reuters)

    CBI files supplementary charge sheet in Aircel-Maxis case

    New Delhi: CBI files supplementary charge sheet in Aircel-Maxis case against ex-finance minister P Chidambaram, son Karti named as accused, says an officials.

    (PTI)

    Trump says he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling

    Washington: President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    “Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes,” Trump told CBS News in an interview.

    (Reuters)

    DWS adds executives to institutional client team

    Asset manager DWS Group GmbH & Co (DWSG.DE) said it made three senior appointments to its institutional client team across Europe. Gareth Davies joined as head of UK institutional clients while Alexia Giugni joined as head of institutional clients southern Europe and Shalin Bhagwan as head of UK pensions advisory.

    Davies has previously worked with Hermes Investment Management and BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), while Giugni has worked with JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N). Bhagwan was earlier with Ashburton Investments and AXA Investment Managers, the asset management unit of AXA SA (AXAF.PA).

    (Reuters)

    AirAsia expands Airbus A330neo order

    Farnborough, England: AirAsia Group expanded an order for A330neo passenger jets, adding 34 aircraft to an existing order to bring the total to 100 long-haul wide-body jets worth $30 billion at list prices. 

    The budget carrier’s AirAsia X long-haul unit announced the deal, which includes a long-awaited confirmation of an order for 66 planes, at the Farnborough Airshow. The deal follows a fierce contest between Airbus and Boeing (BA.N) after AirAsia threatened to defect to the Boeing 787 model.

    (Reuters)

    EU Commission calls on members to step up Brexit preparations

    Brussels: The European Commission on Thursday called on EU countries to increase preparations for all outcomes in Brexit negotiations, saying Britain’s withdrawal from the bloc was likely to cause disruptions. 

    “Today’s text calls on member states and private parties to step up preparations and follows a request by the European Council last month to intensify preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes,” the EU executive said in a statement. “While the EU is working day and night for a deal ensuring an orderly withdrawal, the UK’s withdrawal will undoubtedly cause disruption – for example in business supply chains – whether or not there is a deal,” the Commission added.

    (Reuters)

    Australia's Tabcorp pays $51 million to exit UK JV Sun Bets

    Australia’s Tabcorp Holdings (TAH.AX) said on Thursday it would pay its Sun Bets partner News UK 39.5 million pounds to exit their underperforming wagering and gaming joint venture.

    Sun Bets will cease trading in the coming days, Tabcorp said after disclosing it was in talks for the sale last month.

    (Reuters)

    South Sudan's president Kiir says ready to accept peace deal

    Juba: South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said he is ready to accept a peace deal to end a civil war and set up an inclusive new government. 

    The deal being negotiated in Sudan would give the country five vice presidents and also covers security and power sharing.

    (Reuters)

    EU Commission steps up legal battle with Hungary over migration rules

    Brussels: The European Commission decided on Thursday to step up its legal battle against Hungary over its refusal to respect European Union immigration and asylum rules. 

    The EU executive said in a statement that it referred Hungary to the EU Court of Justice “for non-compliance of its asylum and return legislation with EU law”. It also said Hungarian legislation, which criminalizes activities that support asylum and residence applications was not in line with EU rules and had to be changed.

    (Reuters)

    Brexit progress suggests no deal with EU is unlikely: PM's spokeswoman

    London: The progress Britain has made in talks to leave the European Union suggests that the country will not crash out of the bloc without a deal, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday. 

    “On ‘no deal’, we have always said that that isn’t something we want or hope for, and the progress of talks so far suggests that is not where we will end up,” the spokeswoman told reporters.

    (Reuters)

    Hymans Robertson names Gary Evans head of TPA practice

    Hymans Robertson, the pensions and risk consultancy, said it had appointed Gary Evans to be head of its third-party administration (TPA) practice.

    Evans previously held positions at Mercer, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc (MMC.N), PwC and Willis Towers Watson (WLTW.O)

    (Reuters) 

     
     
     
     

    Russia GDP growth slows to 1.1 percent in June from 2.2 percent in May

    Moscow: Russia’s gross domestic product grew 1.1 percent in year-on-year terms in June after expanding 2.2 percent in May, the Economy Ministry said on Thursday. 

    .The Russian economy saw retail sales rising in June on the back of the soccer World Cup, while output in construction, agriculture and industrial sectors declined, the ministry said in a monthly report. The ministry earlier reported that GDP was up 2.1 percent year on year in May.

    (Reuters)

    FBIL sets rupee reference rate at 68.8331 against dollar

    Mumbai: The Financial Benchmarks india private limited (FBIL) today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 68.8331 against the US dollar and 80.1153 for the euro. The corresponding rates were 68.5652 and 79.7163, yesterday.

    According to an FBIL statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 89.9300 and 61.01 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The SDR-rupee figure will be based on this rate, the statement added.

    (PTI) 

    Norway wealth fund buys logistics real estate in California

    Oslo: Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, has bought a logistics property in the U.S. state of California with its property partner Prologis, it said on Thursday.

    The fund paid $25.4 million for a 45-percent stake in the property. Prologis will hold the remaining 55 percent. The seller was Barings.  The two companies have also sold a logistics property in Dallas, Texas, to Kohler for which the fund will receive $31 million, it added.

    (Reuters) 

    Russia pushes back Lavrov's Greece visit after diplomatic row: TASS

    Moscow: The timing of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s planned visit to Greece this autumn is no longer suitable, Russia’s ambassador to Athens said on Thursday, the TASS news agency reported. 

    Athens said last week it had expelled two Russian diplomats and barred two other people from entering the country for trying to bribe officials and foment demonstrations to thwart a deal to allow Macedonia to join NATO. Greece last month invited Lavrov to visit in September, but relations have since become strained over the diplomatic row.

    (Reuters)

    Eritrean troops withdraw from Ethiopia border: Eritrean Press

    Asmara: Eritrea has pulled troops back from the heavily militarized border with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation” with its giant neighbour and long-time foe, the pro-government Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page. 

    “It is imperative for all those who care about the long-term stability and economic viability of the region to do everything they can to help the two countries move beyond the senseless war that wrought so much suffering on both people,” the agency said.

    (Reuters)

    VietJet places provisional order for Airbus A321neo jets

    Farnborough, England: Vietnamese budget carrier VietJet VJC.HM signed a provisional deal to buy 50 A321neo Airbus (AIR.PA) aircraft worth $6.5 billion at list prices at the Farnborough Airshow on Thursday. 

    The deal came a day after the same carrier ordered 100 737 MAX 10 aircraft from Airbus’s U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N).

    (Reuters)

    Kenyan court temporarily suspends 'Robin Hood' tax on bank transfers

    Nairobi: Kenya’s High Court has temporarily suspended a “Robin Hood” tax on bank transfers of over 500,000 shillings (£3,818), which was imposed at the beginning of this month, the Kenya Bankers Association said on Thursday. 

    Finance Minister Henry Rotich introduced the so called “Robin Hood” tax of 0.05 percent in his budget speech last month. It was introduced on July 1.

    (Reuters)

    Syrian rebels agree surrender terms in al-Quneitra: Hezbollah-run news service

    Beirut: Syrian rebels in al-Quneitra province have agreed to accept a return of state rule or to leave to the rebel-held Idlib province in a surrender deal with the government, a military news outlet run by Lebanon’s Hezbollah reported on Thursday. 

    The agreement would mark a major victory for President Bashar al-Assad, restoring his control over the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Under the agreement, two Syrian army brigades will deploy into positions that were held by the Syrian army prior to 2011, when the Syrian crisis erupted, according to a report on the Hezbollah-run military news outlet.

    (Reuters)

    Fiat Chrysler CEO could miss second quarter presentation: Media

    Milan: Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is recovering from a shoulder operation, may not be present to discuss the company’s second-quarter earnings with analysts on July 25, Italian website Lettera43 said, without attributing the information. 

    Fiat Chrysler (FCA) declined to comment. Marchionne underwent an operation to his right shoulder, the carmaker said earlier this month, adding that a short recovery period was foreseen for the chief executive. The 66-year-old, who also heads luxury carmaker Ferrari and serves as chairman at trucks and tractor maker CNH Industrial, is due to step down from his post at FCA in April next year.

    (Reuters)

    British fraud office seeks Euribor retrial of ex-Barclays trio

    London: The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is seeking a retrial of three former Barclays (BARC.L) traders accused of plotting to rig global interest rates after a jury was unable to reach a verdict last week. 

    A lawyer for the SFO told a London court on Thursday that Carlo Palombo, 39, Sisse Bohart, 41, and 61-year-old Colin Bermingham would face a second trial on charges they conspired to defraud by dishonestly manipulating Euribor rates between January 2005 and December 2009. They deny wrongdoing.Two co-defendants, former Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) star trader Christian Bittar and one-time Barclays (BARC.L) trader Philippe Moryoussef, are due to be sentenced later on Thursday.

    (Reuters) 

    Kobe Steel says it has been indicted over data tampering scandal

    Tokyo: Kobe Steel Ltd said on Thursday it has been indicted by prosecutors over a data tampering scandal that shook the company last year.

    The company has been charged by Tokyo prosecutors for allegedly violating Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act, it said in an emailed statement.

    (Reuters)

     

    AirAsia set to confirm and expand A330neo order: Sources

    Farnborough: Malaysia’s AirAsia is set to confirm and expand an order for A330neo long-haul passenger jets, according to sources, handing European planemaker Airbus a last-minute boost at the Farnborough Airshow on Thursday.

    The confirmation of an order for 66 planes, plus an additional order for around 30 A330neo jets is expected to be announced by AirAsia co-founder Tony Fernandes later on Thursday, people familiar with the matter said. Other sources identified SaudiGulf as the airline behind an order for 10 A320neo reported by Airbus as an undisclosed customer earlier on Thursday.

    (Reuters)

    Shiv Sena will vote in favour of Modi government during the no-trust motion

    New Delhi: Shiv Sena will vote in favour of Modi government during the no-trust motion tomorrow, says source close to party chief Uddhav Thackeray. 

    (PTI)

    Syrian state media says deal reportedly reached over Quneitra

    Beirut: The Syrian state news agency SANA said on Thursday there are reports that a deal has been reached for rebels in al-Quneitra province to leave to the opposition-held province of Idlib in the northwest or to accept to accept a return of state rule.

    The province of al-Quneitra is located at the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and is a target of a Russian-backed government offensive that has forced rebels to surrender across much of the southwest in the last month. The Syrian state news agency SANA, citing its correspondent, said the deal stipulated a return of the Syrian army to positions it held prior to 2011, when the Syrian conflict erupted.

    (Reuters)

    Airbus says unnamed buyer signs provisional deal for 10 A320neo

    Farnborough: Airbus said on Thursday it had won a provisional order from an undisclosed customer for 10 A320neo planes worth $1.1 billion at list prices.

    The announcement, coming shortly after Boeing said it had won an order for 100 737 MAX planes worth $11 billion from an unidentified buyer, brought to almost $50 billion a string of anonymous orders at the largest industry event this year.

    (Reuters)

    SC asks Speaker of Puducherry Assembly to allow nominated members to function as MLAs

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Speaker of Puducherry Assembly to allow nominated members to function as MLAs.

    (PTI) 

    SC refuses to stay Madras HC order upholding nomination of 3 BJP members as MLAs in Puducherry

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay Madras High Court order upholding nomination of three BJP members as MLAs in Puducherry Assembly.

    (PTI) 

    China says it's clear who is right and wrong in trade row with U.S.

    Beijing: China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday flip-flopping by the United States on trade is well-recognised and it is clear who is right and who is wrong in an escalating trade row between the two countries.

    Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing in Beijing that China has made the utmost efforts to avoid an escalation of trade frictions.

    (Reuters)

    Trump says he holds Putin personally responsible for election meddling

    Washington: President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he holds Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible for Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    “Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes,” Trump told CBS News in an interview.

    (Reuters)

    Ethiopia appoints ambassador to Eritrea - Fana TV

    Addis Ababa: Ethiopia has appointed its first ambassador to Eritrea in two decades, the latest sign of the Horn of Africa neighbours restoring relations a generation after a brutal border war, the state-affiliated Fana news agency said on Thursday.

    An online report from Fana said Redwan Hussien, formerly Ethiopian ambassador to Ireland, had become Addis Ababa’s representative in Asmara.

    (Reuters)

    SSE loses customers on pricing competition

    SSE Plc (SSE.L), Britain’s second-largest energy supplier, lost 320,000 customer accounts in the first quarter, hurt by competition from newer, smaller rivals. 

    Total customer accounts fell to 7.45 million as of June 30 from 7.77 million as of June end last year, the company said.Unusually warm weather and persistently high gas prices hurt adjusted operating profit by about 80 million pounds in the quarter, SSE said.

    (Reuters) 

    AO World on track after first quarter UK revenue grows 8 percent

    London: Online retailer AO World said its first-quarter revenue rose 8 percent in the UK reflecting a strong start to its year in April and May, although it said demand weakened in June. 

    The company, which sells domestic appliances like washing machines and ovens, said on Thursday that the result kept it on track to meet its expectations for the year.  It also said its newer European business was growing in line with its plan, with revenue in constant currency up 46 percent.

     (Reuters) 

    Babcock lowers full-year revenue outlook

    London: British engineer Babcock (BAB.L) lowered its full-year revenue growth target on Thursday due to a temporary slowdown in its defence and marine work. 

    Babcock, which provides specialist support and services to groups including Britain’s defence ministry, said it now expected to see low single digit underlying revenue growth for the full year, compared with a previous forecast of “low mid-single digit” growth.It reiterated its underlying earnings guidance.

    (Reuters) 

    Sweden's SKF second quarter profit beats forecast, sees higher demand in third quarter

    Stockholm: Sweden’s SKF (SKFb.ST), the world’s biggest maker of industrial bearings, reported a bigger than expected rise in quarterly operating earnings on Thursday and forecast higher year-on-year demand for the third quarter. 

    The Gothenburg-based company said second-quarter operating profit rose to 2.93 billion Swedish crowns ($330.67 million) from a year-ago 2.32 billion, beating a mean forecast of 2.76 billion in a poll of analysts.The rival of Germany’s Schaeffler (SHA_p.DE) reported organic sales growth of 9.0 percent in the quarter, higher than the 7.3 percent seen by analysts.

    (Reuters) 

    Syria negotiating to buy MS-21 airliners from Russia: RIA

    Moscow: Syria is in talks with Russia on buying Russia’s new MS-21 jet airliner, Russia’s ambassador to Syria Alexander Kinshak said on Wednesday, RIA state news agency reported.

    (Reuters) 

    Evacuation of two pro-Assad Syrian villages complete: Ikhbariya TV

    Beirut: The evacuation of all civilians from two loyalist Syrian villages that were besieged by rebels in the northwest is complete, Syria’s Ikhbariya television said on Thursday.

    Ikhbariya said all buses had left al-Foua and Kefraya by Thursday morning, making the two Shi’ite villages “empty of civilians”. More than 100 buses arrived on Wednesday to transport residents and fighters from the villages to nearby government-held territory in Aleppo province.

    (Reuters)

    Truckmaker AB Volvo's second-quarter profit tops forecast

    Stockholm: Truckmaker AB Volvo (VOLVb.ST) beat second-quarter profit expectations on the back of strong demand for both trucks and construction equipment on Thursday, but warned that the strong market would mean continued bottlenecks in the supply chain. 

    The Swedish group saw its operating profit jump to 12.3 billion Swedish crowns (£1.06 billion) from 8.4 billion a year ago, coming in well ahead of the 10.8 billion forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.AB Volvo, which makes trucks, construction equipment, buses and engines, maintained its previous forecasts for the truckmarkets in North America and Europe.

    (Reuters) 

    Skripal Novichok poisoning suspects identified: Press Association

    UK investigators believe they have identified the suspected perpetrators behind the Novichok attack on the Skripals, the Press Association reported on Thursday.

    Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were struck down with the Novichok poison in March. The Skripals subsequently recovered.

    (Reuters) 

    Thailand should not rush to raise interest rates: Finance minister

    Bangkok: Thailand should not rush to increase interest rates as inflation has just returned to the central bank’s target range, and any impact from a trade war is expected to be small, the finance minister said on Thursday. 

    Capital outflows and a weak baht THB=TH are good for the Thai economy, particularly the farm sector, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong told reporters.  Thailand can withstand any impact as its economy is strong and the country has high international reserves, he said.  The central bank has left its policy rate THCBIR=ECI unchanged at 1.50 percent since April 2015. 

     (Reuters)

    Thai June export growth seen slowing to 9.5 percent year-on-year: Poll

    Bangkok: Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports may have risen 9.50 percent in June, a Reuters poll showed, slowing from a 11.44 percent increase in the previous month.  Imports in June probably jumped 14.27 percent from a year earlier, after rising 11.72 percent in May, according to the poll. 

    Thailand likely recorded a trade surplus of $1.28 billion in June, after May’s $1.20 billion surplus.  Exports - the key driver of Thai growth - are expected to rise 9 percent this year, but a trade war is a risk, Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said last week  Last year, exports rose 9.9 percent.

     (Reuters)

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