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News In Brief

 

    Hyundai Motor reaches a tentative wage deal with South Korean union

    Seoul: Hyundai Motor on Friday reached a tentative wage deal with its South Korean labour union, a company spokesperson said. 

    The agreement needs to get approval from its union members. The over 50,000-member union in early July voted for strike action, but it said it aimed to reach a wage deal before the summer holidays which start late July.

    (Reuters)

    GE CEO says China tariffs could cost conglomerate up to $400 million

    New York: General Electric Co, a major buyer of Chinese goods, estimates new tariffs on its imports from China could raise its costs by $300 million to $400 million overall before steps to lessen the impact, Chief Executive John Flannery said on Friday. 

    In comment on the tariffs set up by President Donald Trump, Flannery said GE imports about $2.9 billion worth of goods annually from China, roughly 10 percent of total its imports. The cost of the tariffs “could be $300 to $400 million at a gross level before any mitigating factors,” he said.

    (Reuters)

    Russia's Putin says he doesn't like pension reform plans: RIA

    Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he did not like any of the proposed options for raising the retirement age, a reform being discussed by parliament that has dented his approval ratings, RIA news agency reported. 

    Putin said no final decision had been taken on raising the retirement age, a day after Russian lawmakers backed the proposal in a preliminary vote as the government looks for extra money for the budget.

    (Reuters)

    Oil storage blast in central Iran injures two, one missing: Tasnim

    Ankara: An explosion at an Iranian oil storage facility in the central industrial zone of Khomein on Friday injured two people, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

    “Rescuers and firefighters are trying to control the fire ... Tanks with oil products are still burning ... the cause of the blast is under investigation,” Tasnim reported, adding that one person was also missing. Fatollah Haghighi, deputy governor of Markazi province, told Tasnim that one of the injured had been transferred to hospital.

    (Reuters)

    Putin says Russia could bid to host future summer Olympics games: Agencies

    Moscow: President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia could stake a claim to host future summer Olympics games, but had not yet lodged a formal bid to do so, Russian news agencies reported.

    Russia hosted the winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014 and has just finished hosting the FIFA soccer World Cup. The International Olympic Committee has already chosen the hosts for the next three summer Olympics up to 2028.

    (Reuters)

    Fed will be unaffacted by Trump's comments: Bullard

    Washington: The Federal Reserve will remain unaffected by President Donald Trump’s comments on U.S. monetary policy and is focused on achieving the goals set for it by Congress, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Friday. 

    “The (Fed’s policy-setting) committee has a mandate to keep inflation low and stable and obtain maximum employment for the U.S. economy, so people can comment, including the president and other politicians, but it’s up to the committee to try to take the best action we can to achieve those objectives,” Bullard told reporters following an event in Glasgow, Kentucky.

    (Reuters)

    China's central bank issues guidance on financial firms' asset management products

    Singapore: China’s central bank on Friday issued guidance notices to regulate financial institutions’ asset management business, such as valuation methods of some products and the investment scope of publicly offered asset management products. 

    The central bank, or the People’s Bank of China, said on its website that publicly offered asset management products can also invest in non-standardised debt-related assets.

    (Reuters)

    Trump digs in on criticism of Fed interest rate rises

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday reinforced his criticism of the Federal Reserve’s policy on raising interest rates, saying it takes away from the United States’ ‘big competitive edge’ and could hurt the U.S. economy. 

    Trump, in posts on Twitter, also accused the European Union and China of manipulating their currencies, adding: “As usual, not a level playing field.”

    (Reuters)

    Injuries, some serious, after suspected knife attack on German bus: Newspaper

    Berlin: At least 14 people were wounded, two of them seriously, in a suspected knife attack on a bus in the northern German city of Luebeck, the local Luebecker Nachrichten newspaper reported on Friday. 

    Earlier, police in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where Luebeck is located, tweeted that there was a major police deployment underway in the city. “There is currently a major police deployment in Luebeck,” the police force wrote. “We are examining the situation and will give more information later.”

    (Reuters)

    Russia sends Syrian refugee proposal to Washington after Helsinki summit: RIA

    Moscow: Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Friday it had sent detailed proposals to Washington on organising the return of refugees to Syria after agreements reached by President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, the RIA news agency said. 

    Trump and Putin met at a summit in Helsinki on Monday, although it is unknown what they discussed at a one-on-one meeting there. The Defence Ministry said that over 1.7 million Syrian refugees would be able to return to Syria, RIA reported.

    (Reuters)

    Wall Street opens lower on renewed trade war fears

    New York: U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Friday as industrial stocks fell on worries of an escalation in trade war after President Donald Trump toughened his stance against China, but gains in Microsoft capped losses. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 23.36 points, or 0.09 percent, at the open to 25,041.14. The S&P 500 .SPX opened higher by 0.06 points, or 0.00 percent, at 2,804.55. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC gained 17.78 points, or 0.23 percent, to 7,843.08 at the opening bell.

    (Reuters)

    TIM Participacoes CEO resigns, airline executive to replace him

    Sao Paulo: TIM Participacoes SA Chief Executive Stefano de Angelis has resigned and will be replaced by Sami Foguel, an executive at airlines Azul SA and TAP Transportes Aereos Portugueses SGPS SA, Brazil’s third-largest wireless carrier said.

    The company, a unit of Telecom Italia SpA, said in a securities filing that De Angelis had stepped down “due to the expiration of his two-year expatriate agreement.” Foguel has served as the vice president of customer operations at Azul since 2014 and as chief operating officer at TAP since 2017, TIM said. He will assume the CEO position on July 23. De Angelis will remain on the board, TIM said.

    (Reuters)

     

     

    Social media platforms must take responsibility for content: Merkel

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that social media platforms needed to take responsibility for the content on their networks. 

    “Everyone who operates such big platforms should be responsible for certain standards being adhered to on them,” Merkel told a news conference.

    (Reuters)

    India's UPL Corp to buy Platform Specialty's agrochemical business Arysta for $4.2 billion

    India’s UPL Corp on Friday said it would buy the agrochemicals business of Platform Specialty Products Corp for $4.2 billion in cash. The deal is part of chemicals maker Platform’s plan to separate Arysta LifeScience and its performance solutions businesses. 

    Platform will rename itself as Element Solutions Inc following the deal’s close, and use the sale proceeds to pay down debt. UPL Corp said bit.ly/2LnR8nE the deal is expected to add 10 rupees to 12 rupees per share to its FY2020 earnings. Arysta was acquired by Platform Specialty Products in 2015.

    (Reuters)

    British white paper constructive, questions remain: Barnier

    Brussels: Several elements in a British government white paper on the future relationship with the European Union will open up constructive discussions but many questions remained, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday.

    “As I told the ministers, there are several elements in this white paper that open the way to a constructive discussion regarding the political declaration on our future relationship”, Barnier told a news conference in Brussels following a meeting of EU ministers. However, Barnier added many questions remained and the proposals in the white paper needed to be workable and should not create more bureaucracy.

    (Reuters)

    Ireland says EU reaction to Brexit white paper lukewarm: Minister

    Dublin: Ireland’s foreign minister said on Friday reaction from EU capitals to Prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit white paper was lukewarm but said there was agreement it formed the basis for negotiations. 

    “There has been a response that has been lukewarm to the British white paper coming from Brussels but also other member states. They are anxious to get the British negotiating team into serious and detailed negotiation,” Simon Coveney told Ireland’s RTE radio following a meeting with chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and EU foreign ministers.

    (Reuters)

    Platform Specialty Products to sell agrochemical business for $4.2 billion

    Chemical company Platform Specialty Products Corp (PAH.N) on Friday said it would sell its agricultural solutions business to UPL Corp Ltd for $4.2 billion in cash. 

    The deal is part of Platform’s plan to separate its agrochemical business and its performance solutions businesses. Platform’s agricultural solutions business consists of Arysta LifeScience and its units.

    (Reuters)

    Steinhoff's creditors support debt lock-up, key to saving retailer

    Johannesburg: Steinhoff’s (SNHJ.J) (SNHG.DE) creditors agreed to hold on their debt claims for three years, the embattled retailer said on Friday, throwing a lifeline for the South African retailer caught in the throes of an accounting scandal. 

    The parties will now seek to implement the restructuring within three months, the retailer said in a statement. Steinhoff’s shares initially rose 3 percent in response to the news, but later pared its gains to trade down 1.69. It is fighting for survival after revealing multi-billion euro holes in its balance sheet that wiped more than 90 percent off its market value and forced it to sell assets to fund working capital.

    (Reuters)

    Turkey says working to avoid negative impact from US sanctions against Iran

    Ankara: Relevant authorities are working to prevent Turkey from being negatively impacted by U.S. sanctions against Iran, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Friday after a U.S. delegation held talks in Ankara on upcoming sanctions. 

    In a statement following a visit by a U.S. delegation of Treasury and State Department officials, the ministry said Iran was an important neighbour for Turkey and that Ankara would continue to monitor the U.S. sanctions within this framework. President Donald Trump in May pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and ordered tough sanctions on Tehran. Washington has also asked its allies to cut imports of Iranian oil by November, a senior State Department official said last month - a call which Ankara has publicly resisted.

    (Reuters)

    Syrian rebels, civilians start to evacuate Golan frontier: Witness, monitor

    Beirut: The evacuation of Syrian rebels and civilians from the border area with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights began on Friday as buses started to depart the area, according to a witness and the war monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 

    The buses are headed towards rebel-held areas of the north under an agreement that will restore President Bashar al-Assad’s control of the frontier.

    (Reuters)

    US dollar ends sharply lower against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar ended sharply lower against the rupee at 68.84/85 per dollar but the pound sterling finished higher at Rs 89.80/82 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 68.84/85 US Dollar 68.8458 Pound Sterling 89.80/82 EURO 80.3114 Euro 80.25/27 Japanese yen (100) 61.26/28.

    (PTI) 

    rbitration court overturns UEFA ban on AC Milan

    Milan: The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday overturned a decision by European soccer body UEFA to ban AC Milan from next season’s Europa League competition, saying the Italian club’s finances had improved after a recent ownership change.

    UEFA said last month that AC Milan did not meet a break-even requirement under its Financial Fair Play regulations, adding the club had not provided sufficient evidence of its financial stability.

    (Reuters) 

    Russia summons Greek ambassador in Moscow amid diplomatic row

    Moscow: Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday it had summoned Greece’s ambassador in Moscow to register its protest over “anti-Russian” statements made by Athens amid a diplomatic row that has strained relations. 

    Greece 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.

     (Reuters) 

    Italian government has reached agreement on CDP nominations: Source

    Rome: The Italian government has reached a deal on who should take charge of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), a government source said on Friday, ending weeks of tension over the sensitive appointments. 

    The source said the accord was reached following a meeting between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria and the undersecretary to the prime minister, Giancarlo Giorgetti. However, the source gave no details on who would take the reins of the powerful CDP, which traditionally plays a vital role in Italian corporate politics and is often called in when national strategic interests are deemed to be at stake.

    (Reuters)

    White House adviser: China offering 'no options' on trade: Axios

    Washington: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow blamed Chinese President Xi Jinping for a lack of progress over U.S-China trade talks, and warned that U.S. President Donald Trump was “not going to let go” of the issue, Axios reported on Friday.

    “The problem here is Xi. He doesn’t want to move, and they’ve offered the U.S. absolutely ... no options regarding the issue of (intellectual property) theft and forced technology transfer,” Kudlow said in an interview with the news outlet.

    (Reuters) 

    Turkey, Netherlands agree to normalise ties: Turkish foreign ministry

    Ankara: Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalise ties, Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

    The decision was reached in a phone call between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok, it said. “During this telephone conversation, the ministers agreed to normalize the diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey. To that extent the ministers agreed to reinstate ambassadors in Ankara and The Hague shortly,” the ministry said in a statement.

    (Reuters)

    Lloyds Bank says experiencing difficulties with Faster Payments

    Lloyds Bank is experiencing difficulties with its Faster Payments service, the lender said on Friday.

    “We are currently experiencing difficulties with Faster Payments and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We are working to fix this and will update you as soon as we can,” Lloyds Bank said in a Twitter post. Its subsidiary Halifax Bank issued the same statement on Twitter.

    (Reuters)

     

     
     

    Dutch, Turkish governments restore formal diplomatic relations: ANP

    Amsterdam: The Dutch government has restored formal diplomatic ties with Turkey after withdrawing its ambassador in February, the Netherlands’ ANP News reported on Friday, citing the country’s foreign minister. 

    A diplomatic row between the NATO allies has been going on since March 2017, when the Netherlands barred members of President Tayyip Erdogan’s government from campaigning among the Turkish diaspora in the Netherlands at the same time the Netherlands was holding its own national elections. Diplomatic relations had been conducted via only charges d’affaires since February.

    (Reuters)

    SC Collegium reiterates recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph as apex court judge. PTI

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium on Friday reiterated recommendation to elevate Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice K M Joseph as apex court judge.

    (PTI) 

    After migration row, Merkel says politicians should choose words carefully

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the row within her conservative party alliance on migration policy had been necessary but warned that politicians should take care to avoid being excessively confrontational.

    “Language is an expression of thought, and so one has to be very cautious,” she said. “But reconciliation within a society can only be achieved by talking about differences of opinion. But the style of that discussion could be improved.” Merkel’s government was brought to the brink of collapse this month over strident demands from her Bavarian allies that Germany’s migration policy be tightened up.

    (Reuters)

    Merkel says ThyssenKrupp structure is a commercial matter

    Berlin: The structure of German submarines-to-lifts conglomerate ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE) is a commercial matter, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday. 

    The company’s chairman and chief executive both resigned this month following pressure from activist shareholders demanding a restructuring of the conglomerate. “In the end it is a commercial decision,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.

    (Reuters)

    Effects of Greek bailout will extend beyond August: Merkel

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday the effects of Greece’s bailout package would not end on the day that the programme itself ends. 

    Eurogroup chairman Mario Centeno said last week that euro zone countries were set to disburse a final 15 billion euro ($17.48 billion) bailout loan to Greece in August. “It will be an important day in August when this programme ends but the ongoing effects of this programme won’t end on that day,” Merkel told a news conference.

    (Reuters)

    Italian government has reached agreement on CDP nominations: Source

    Rome: The Italian government has reached a deal on who should take charge of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), a government source said on Friday, ending weeks of tension over the sensitive appointments. 

    The source said the accord was reached following a meeting between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, Economy Minister Giovanni Tria and the undersecretary to the prime minister, Giancarlo Giorgetti.  However, the source gave no details on who would take the reins of the powerful CDP, which traditionally plays a vital role in Italian corporate politics and is often called in when national strategic interests are deemed to be at stake.

    (Reuters) 

    Trump says meeting with Putin 'not always conciliatory': CNBC

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump defended his efforts to build a relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a television interview broadcast Friday, saying their conversation was not always agreeable. 

    “So I had a meeting that lasted for more than two hours. It wasn’t always conciliatory,” Trump told CNBC in an interview recorded on Thursday. “We discussed lots of good things for both countries, frankly.”

    (Reuters)

    Germany's Merkel vows to see out full term in office

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Friday to serve a full term in office through to the end of the current legislative period - which ends in 2021 - despite infighting in her ruling coalition over immigration policy.

    Asked whether she had thought about resigning, Merkel told a news conference: “No, No. If I am in the middle of an important discussion, I must concentrate my efforts on it.”

    (Reuters) 

    Glad Montenegro is part of NATO's mutual defence umbrella: Merkel

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that NATO’s mutual defence doctrine applied to all member states and added that she was pleased Montenegro was part of that.

    U.S. President Donald Trump had suggested that the small Balkan country was not worth defending against attack.

    (Reuters)

    Merkel says transatlantic ties with Trump 'crucial for us'

    Berlin: Germany’s relationship with the United States is crucial, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump last week accused Berlin of being a “captive” of Russia due to its energy reliance. 

    Asked about her working relationship with Trump, Merkel told a news conference: “One can say that the values, or our usual framework, are under strong pressure at the moment.” “However, the transatlantic working relationship, including with the U.S. president, is crucial for us and I will carry on cultivating it,” she added.

    (Reuters)

    Trump ready to put tariffs on $500 billion of Chinese imports: CNBC

    Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday said he was poised to place tariffs on $500 billion of imported goods from China, threatening in an interview with CNBC to escalate the current trade clash with the Asian nation. 

    “We’re down a tremendous amount,” Trump said in the interview, which was recorded on Thursday, about trade imbalances with China. “I’m ready to go to 500.”

    (Reuters)

    UK PMI data suggests Q1 weakness was temporary: BoE's Tenreyro

    London: A recovery in business surveys suggests that weakness in Britain’s economy in the first three months of 2018 was related to unusually cold and snowy weather, a Bank of England rate-setter said in a newspaper interview published on Friday. 

    “The PMIs on output were positive and confirm in some sense the assessment that we had in our central forecast that the soft patch was snow-related,” Silvana Tenreyro told London’s Evening Standard.  Asked if she was getting close to voting for a rate hike at the BoE’s next meeting in August, she said: “I will watch very closely the data we have in the coming weeks and I don’t want to say more than that.”

     (Reuters) 

    AXA IM: Real Assets names Frederick Widl country head, Switzerland

    AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets, the real estate portfolio and asset manager and part of an AXA Group (AXAF.PA) unit, has appointed Frederick Widl as country head, Switzerland, effective February 2019.

    Widl joined the company in 2011 and would replace Ernst Schaufelberger, who is set to retire in January.

    (Reuters) 

    BNP Paribas Asset Management hires sustainability head

    BNP Paribas Asset Management, the investment management arm of BNP Paribas SA (BNPP.PA), said it had appointed Jane Ambachtsheer as global head of sustainability, effective Aug. 27. 

    Ambachtsheer, who would be based in Paris, was previously partner and chair of responsible investment at Mercer, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos Inc (MMC.N).

    (Reuters)

    Merkel: Glad Montenegro is part of NATO's mutual defence umbrella

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that NATO’s mutual defence doctrine applied to all member states and added that she was pleased Montenegro was part of that.

    U.S. President Donald Trump had suggested that the small Balkan country was not worth defending against attack.

    (Reuters) 

    Airbus says Pratt & Whitney catching up on engine delays

    Farnborough, England: European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Wednesday that supplier Pratt & Whitney (UTX.N) was catching up on engine delays and there would be an improvement especially in the second half of the year. 

    Airbus has faced a backlog of up to 100 A320neo jets sitting on the ground outside factories without their engines due to delays in deliveries, mainly from U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney. Airbus is holding an investor meeting on day three of the Farnborough Airshow near London.

    (Reuters)

    India's Wipro first-quarter profit beats estimates

    India’s third-largest software services exporter Wipro Ltd reported a two percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Friday, beating estimates, helped by higher revenue from its Banking, Financial Services and Insurance business (BFSI). 

    Net profit for the three months to June 30 rose to 21.21 billion rupees ($307.55 million) from 20.77 billion a year earlier, the Bengaluru-headquartered said in a statement on Friday. That topped the 19.52 billion rupee profit expected by analysts, Thomson Reuters data showed.  Revenue from IT services grew by about 5 percent to 137 billion rupees while the BFSI business grew 17.5 percent to 41.1 billion rupees.

    (Reuters)

    Baker Hughes revenue rises 2.4 percent

    Baker Hughes, the oilfield services company controlled by GE, reported a 2.4 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by a jump in service orders. 

    The company reported adjusted net income of $41 million, or 10 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 30. Total revenue rose to $5.55 billion from $5.42 billion.

    (Reuters)

    Italy deputy PM denies demanding economy minister resignation

    Rome: Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio on Friday denied newspaper reports that he had demanded the resignation of Economy Minister Giovanni Tria if Tria did not back government nominees to head key companies. 

    Italian bond yields rose and equities sold off after local media reported tensions within the coalition government and a newspaper interview with a lawmaker raised fresh concerns about Rome’s commitment to the euro.

    (Reuters)

    IT firm Wipro to buy US-based Alight's India operations for $117 million

    India’s third-biggest software services exporter, Wipro Ltd, said on Friday it would buy U.S.-based Alight Solutions’ India operations for $117 million in cash. 

    Wipro said here it would buy Alight HR Services India Pvt Ltd, which is Alight Solutions' captive operations in India. The deal is expected to be completed in the quarter ending September.

    (Reuters)

    PM calls on EU to evolve its position on Brexit

    London: Prime Minister Theresa May called on the European Union to evolve its position in response to her new plan which has outlined a blueprint for the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the bloc. 

    “It is now for the EU to respond, not simply to fall back on previous positions which have already been proven unworkable but to evolve their position in kind,” May said in a speech in Belfast on Friday.

    (Reuters)

    RBS hires HSBC's Fletcher as new chief risk officer

    London: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) has hired Bruce Fletcher as its new group chief risk officer, the lender said on Friday. 

    Fletcher will join from rival bank HSBC, where he was the risk officer for its retail banking and wealth management business, RBS said. The move comes after HSBC last month hired RBS’s Ewen Stevenson as its new finance director.

    (Reuters)

    Merkel says U.S. auto tariffs a threat to the prosperity of many

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she thought U.S. tariffs on imported cars would be against World Trade Organisation rules and endanger the prosperity of many people.

    The European Union was working on countermeasures but these would be by far the worst solution, she added.  “We see these potential tariffs not only as a violation of WTO rules, but also as a real threat to the prosperity of many in the world,” Merkel told a news conference.

    (Reuters) 

    Merkel says Europe can't rely on US to impose world order

    Berlin: Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she was right to say a year ago that Europe could no longer rely on the United States to impose order on the world, and that it needed to take matters close to home into its own hands. 

    “We can’t rely on the superpower of the United States,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.

    (Reuters)

    GE quarterly profit drops 28 percent

    U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric Co reported a 28 percent drop in quarterly profit on Friday, as weakness in its power business offset gains in aviation and healthcare businesses.

    Earnings from continuing operations attributable to GE shareholders fell to $736 million in the second quarter ended June 30, from $1.03 billion a year earlier. Earnings per share from continuing operations fell to 8 cents from 12 cents, the company said. On an adjusted basis, GE earned 19 cents per share. Total revenue rose to $30.1 billion from $29.1 billion.

    (Reuters)

    WTO panel to examine US complaint on Canadian wine sale restrictions

    Geneva: The World Trade Organization (WTO) set up a dispute panel on Friday to rule on a U.S. complaint against restrictions in Canada’s province of British Columbia on wine sales in grocery stores, a WTO official said. 

    In line with WTO rules, the decision was taken after Canada made its second request at a closed-door meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body. No further details were available.

    (Reuters)

    GE quarterly profit drops 28 percent

    U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric Co reported a 28 percent drop in quarterly profit on Friday, as weakness in its power business offset gains in aviation and healthcare businesses.

    Earnings from continuing operations attributable to GE shareholders fell to $736 million in the second quarter ended June 30, from $1.03 billion a year earlier.  Earnings per share from continuing operations fell to 8 cents from 12 cents, the company said. On an adjusted basis, GE earned 19 cents per share.  Total revenue rose to $30.1 billion from $29.1 billion.

    (Reuters) 

    PM calls on EU to evolve its position on Brexit

    London: Prime Minister Theresa May called on the European Union to evolve its position in response to her new plan which has outlined a blueprint for the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the bloc.

    “It is now for the EU to respond, not simply to fall back on previous positions which have already been proven unworkable but to evolve their position in kind,” May said in a speech in Belfast on Friday.

    (Reuters) 

    Merkel says neo-Nazi murder case a dark spot in German history

    Berlin: Sentences handed down last week to members of a neo-Nazi gang were justified but the group’s killing spree was a very dark spot in German history and the punishments alone will not heal the wounds, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

    (Reuters)

    Trump says meeting with Putin 'not always conciliatory': CNBC

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump defended his efforts to build a relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a television interview broadcast Friday, saying their conversation was not always agreeable.

    “So I had a meeting that lasted for more than two hours. It wasn’t always conciliatory,” Trump told CNBC in an interview recorded on Thursday. “We discussed lots of good things for both countries, frankly.”

    (Reuters)

    Ireland could not stop UK flights from crossing its land: May's spokeswoman

    London: It is wrong to claim that Ireland can stop British flights flying over the country if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to agree a deal to leave the European Union, her spokeswoman said on Friday.

    “It is wrong to claim that Ireland could simply stop the UK from flying over its land as a result of Brexit ... because over-flight rights are not guaranteed by the EU but rather by a multilateral treaty which both ourselves and Ireland have signed up to,” she told reporters.  “Regardless of this, we are confident that we’ll reach an agreement which maintains our aviation access.”

    (Reuters) 

    China issues long-awaited bank wealth management product rules

    Beijing: China’s banking and insurance regulator on Friday released long-awaited draft rules to strengthen regulations of commercial bank’s wealth management businesses, part of Beijing’s broader efforts to fend off systemic financial risks. 

    The regulator said wealth management products should be managed based on their net value and banks must standardize the management of their fund pools to prevent shadow banking risk, according to an online statement.

    (Reuters)

    Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day due to lack of quorum

    New Delhi: Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day due to lack of quorum on Friday.

    (PTI)

    Irish residential property slows in May

    Dublin: Irish house prices grew 12.4 percent in the year to May, down from 13.5 percent in the year to April as Central Bank rules limit leverage levels. 

    The Irish Central bank limits mortgages at 3.5 times income.  Month on month, house prices rose by 0.6 percent, down from growth of 1.1 percent in April, the Central Statistics Office said.

    (Reuters) 

    Merkel welcomes Trump's invitation to Putin to meet in U.S.

    Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet in Washington this autumn.

    “I think it should become normal again for Russia and American presidents to meet,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin.  On transatlantic ties, she said history showed Europe and the United States had been at odds many times “but it is always worth resolving these conflicts.”

    (Reuters) 

    FBIL sets rupee reference rate at 68.8458 against dollar

    Mumbai: The Financial Benchmarks india private limited (FBIL) today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 68.8458 against the US dollar and 80.3114 for the euro. The corresponding rates were 68.8331 and 80.1153, yesterday.

    According to an FBIL statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 89.6671 and 61.27 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) 

    U.S. custodian bank State Street to buy Charles River for $2.6 billion

    U.S. custodian bank State Street Corp said on Friday it would buy Charles River Development, a privately held investment management firm, for $2.6 billion in cash.

    The deal is expected to be financed through the suspension of $950 million share repurchases in the second quarter and issuance of equity, the bank said.

    (Reuters)

     

    Russell Investments names Rick Smirl chief operating officer

    Seattle-based asset manager Russell Investments named Rick Smirl chief operating officer, effective July 30.

    Smirl joins the firm from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board and will report to Chief Executive Officer Michelle Seitz.

    (Reuters)

    China to permit offshore foreign currency bonds as collateral for interbank lending

    Shanghai: China on Friday said that it will soon allow the use of overseas foreign currency bonds as collateral for interbank lending.

    The China Foreign Exchange Trade System said on its website that it would introduce the use of such bonds for collateral on its trading platform on July 23.

    (Reuters)

    Transporters call indefinite strike against rising diesel, toll prices

    New Delhi: Freight rates were not available as transporters unions across the country went on an indefinite strike from today over a slew of demands, including slashing of diesel prices and highway tolls.   

    The strike has been called by the All-India Motor Transport  Congress (AIMTC), which identifies itself as the apex body of transporters in the country.

    (PTI) 

    UN calls for safe passage for 140,000 trapped in southwest Syria

    Geneva: The United Nations refugee agency appealed to all sides in Syria on Friday to provide safe passage for 140,000 civilians displaced by fighting in the southwest so that they can receive aid and shelter. 

    The UNHCR also said it was ready to discuss with Syria and Russia their plan to set up centres for returning Syrian refugees. It stressed that any returns must be safe and voluntary in line with international standards. Nearly 13,000 Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries returned to their homeland in the first half of 2018, along with 750,000 internally displaced, UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic told a Geneva news briefing.

    (Reuters)

    Macron to fire bodyguard caught on camera beating protestor: Elysee

    Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron has decided to fire the bodyguard who was caught on camera hitting a May Day protestor after “new facts” emerged about the alleged misdemeanour, the president’s office said on Friday. 

    “New facts that could constitute misdemeanour by Alexandre Benalla were brought to the president’s attention,” an official at the Elysee palace told Reuters. “As a result... the presidency has decided to start Alexandre Benalla’s dismissal procedure,” the official added.  Benalla was being questioned by police, a judicial source said separately.

    (Reuters)

    Russian security service searches space agency over suspected treason: TASS

    Moscow: Russia’s Federal Security Service has searched a research facility controlled by the country’s space agency Roskosmos over the suspected leaking of secrets about new hypersonic weapons to Western spies, the TASS news agency reported on Friday. 

    TASS cited the space agency as saying it was cooperating with FSB officers, who were investigating a case of suspected treason.

    (Reuters) 

    China to launch financial innovation schemes in Chongqing, Zhejiang

    Beijing:  China financial regulators said on Friday it will launch pilots schemes on innovations around financial standards in the city of Chongqing and the province of Zhejiang.

    The schemes will “explore new models and new experience” to regulate systemically important financial institutions and financial infrastructures in the two regions, according to an online statement released by the People’s Bank of China. The central bank will examine the results of the schemes in the fourth quarter of 2020, it said.

    (Reuters)

    Russia ready to discuss new Putin-Trump meeting in White House - Ifax

    Moscow: Russia is ready to discuss a proposed new meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, as saying on Friday.

    The White House said on Thursday that Trump had invited Putin to visit Washington this autumn, a daring rebuttal to a torrent of criticism in the United States over Trump’s summit with Putin in Helsinki this week.

    (Reuters)

    Lok Sabha adjourned amid uproar by treasury benches over Rahul's remarks during no trust debate

    Nerw Delhi: Lok Sabha was adjourned briefly amid uproar by treasury benches over Rahul Gandhi's remarks during no trust debate.

    (PTI)

    SC agrees to hear CBSE plea challenging Madras HC order awarding grace marks to NEET students

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear CBSE plea challenging Madras High Court order awarding grace marks to NEET students.

    (PTI)

    Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi over Rafale deal

    New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday attacked PM Narendra Modi over Rafale deal, asking him to explain why a particular businessman was allegedly favoured.

    (PTI)

    CMA says Experian-ClearScore deal may hurt competition

    UK’s competition regulator said on Friday Experian Plc’s deal to buy fellow credit data provider ClearScore may reduce competition in the market.

    Experian and ClearScore - the top two providers of free credit score checking in the UK - have until next Friday to offer solutions to resolve the concerns, Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said. If CMA’s concerns are not resolved, the 275 million pound deal will be referred for an in-depth second round of investigation.

    (Reuters)

    U.S. lawmakers planning new Russia visit - Ifax cites Russian envoy

    Moscow: A group of U.S. lawmakers are planning to visit Russia again following a rare trip to Moscow by Republican members of Congress this month, Interfax news agency cited Russia’s ambassador to the United States as saying on Friday.

    Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov was cited by Interfax as saying there was little chance of a trip by Russian lawmakers to the United States before congressional elections in November.

    (Reuters)

    Ireland open to 'better' Northern Ireland border backstop: Finance minister

    Dublin: Ireland is open to the possibility of an alternative “backstop” deal between Britain and the EU to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland so long as it is better than the EU’s current proposal and is legally operable, its finance minister said.

    “The Irish government is very clear that the Irish backstop must be retained for any future agreement between the EU and the UK to be put in place,” Paschal Donohoe told RTE radio on Friday.  “The only thing that could replace this current form of a backstop is, No. 1 something which is better; No. 2 something which is agreed and No. 3 something that would be legally operable. This is the view of the Irish government and the European Union.”

    (Reuters) 

    China's Suning Sports raises $600 million from Alibaba, Goldman Sachs

    China’s Suning Sports, the owner of Italian soccer giants Inter Milan, said it has raised $600 million (461 million pounds) in a series A funding from firms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Goldman Sachs.

    A spokeswoman for the company, part of retail giant Suning Holdings, told Reuters on Friday that the funding round did not include or impact Inter Milan. She added the firm would soon start a series B fund raising. Suning Sports had on Thursday announced it was raising funds from e-commerce giant Alibaba and Goldman Sachs, among others, but had not released any financial details.

    (Reuters)

    PM to visit Rwanda, Uganda, S Africa next week: MEA

    New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa next week, the Ministry of External Affairs said today.

    Modi will visit the three countries from July 23-27, it said. He will attend the BRICS Summit in South Africa. The BRICS grouping comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

    (PTI) 

    Beazley's first-half profit hurt by rising U.S. interest rates

    Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley Plc BEZG.L reported a 64 percent fall in its first-half pretax profit on Friday, as its investment returns were hurt by the impact of rising U.S. interest rates on its bond portfolio.

    The underwriter, which provides marine, casualty and property insurance and reinsurance, said its pretax profit rose to $57.5 million, for the six months ended June, from $158.7 million a year earlier.Gross premiums written, however, rose 15 percent to $1.32 billion, helped by Beazley’s property division, where rates have risen sharply after the heavy catastrophe losses suffered by insurers and reinsurers last year.

    (Reuters) 

    Singaporean company director charged for supplying luxury goods to North Korea: Report

    Singapore: A Singaporean company official has been charged in court for allegedly supplying luxury goods to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions, Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper reported on Friday. 

    Ng Kheng Wah was charged on Thursday for shipping goods such as musical instruments, wine and perfume to North Korea in violation of Singapore’s United Nations Act, the Straits Times said.  Singapore’s Attorney General’s office could not immediately confirm the charges.

    (Reuters)

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