上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛 - Powered by December 2017

SMBC urges jetmakers to erase production snags before raising output

PARIS ( ) – The head of one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies has told leading planemakers to “get their house in order” and wipe out manufacturing delays before pushing already record production rates to even higher levels.

SMBC Aviation Capital’s chief executive, Peter Barrett, urged caution over production increases as he confirmed a new order for 65 Airbus (AIR.PA) A320neo-family aircraft to secure the Japanese-owned leasing company’s growth well into the next decade.

“We have been consistent with both manufacturers (Airbus 上海夜生活and Boeing) in,上海夜生活网419Octavia, saying get deliveries right today … get your production and delivery systems up to scratch,” Barrett told .

Airbus and Boeing (BA.N) are within reach of production rates at or close to 60 aircraft a month for their best-selling narrow-body models but have struggled with late deliveries.

Both have,上海夜生活去哪玩Sabine, begun exploring future output of about 70 jets a month to meet strong demand, but some of their engine makers are reluctant to back the move immediately, given difficulties experienced in switching to a new generation of fuel-saving engines.

The cautious tone on future production reflects recognition that manufacturers must first “get their house in order” and improve the timing and quality of aircraft already being delivered, Barrett said.

Aircraft lessors who control about half the world’s fleet are traditionally cautious about production increases, fearing that a glut would knock values of assets they already own. But they have also been increasingly vocal about supply disruptions.

SMBC Aviation, the world’s fourth-largest leasing company, has said the order for 65 planes first reported by inclu,上海夜生活群Jace,ded 15 Airbus A321neos, the largest medium-haul model.

Barrett said SMBC also had the option to upgrade A321neos to the longer-range A321LR version and that it is monitoring possible plans by Airbus for a longer-range A321XLR.

Industry sources have said Airbus has stepped up pre-marketing for a 101-tonne A321XLR, which would expand the use of narrow-body jets for longer transatlantic trips. It is expected to launch it by mid-year to pre-empt Boeing proposals for a new mid-market jet with 220-270 seats.

Barrett said SMBC would look at the possible new Boeing jet but its price and performance would be critical.

Aircraft financiers are meeting in Dublin this week against the backdrop of a sector concerned that a decade-long boom is faltering as uncertainty creeps into the global economy and interest rates rise.

SMBC is watching developments in China and uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union for any wider economic impact but says overall demand for leased jets remains solid.

Goldman Sachs CEO apologises for ex-banker’s role in 1MDB scandal

( ) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Ex,上海夜生活网交流Ebba,ecutive Officer David Solomon on Wednesday apologised to the Malaysian people for former banker Tim Leissner’s role in the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB scandal, but said the bank had conducted due diligence before every transaction.

Goldman is being investigated by Malaysian authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion (£5 billion) for 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

U.S prosecutors last year charged two former Goldman bankers for the theft of billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Leissner, a former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“It’s very clear that the people of Malaysia were defrauded by many individuals, including the highest members of the prior government,” Solomon said on conference call discussing the bank’s fourth-quarter results.

Solomon said that Leissner denied the involvement of any of Goldman’s intermediaries in transactions with 1MDB.

An attorney representing Leissner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia at the request of U.S. authorities and is expected to be extradited, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecution.

The DOJ has said that $4.5 billion was misappropriat,上海夜网邀请码Qirin,ed by high-level officials of the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2014.

As part of Goldman’s due diligence efforts,上海夜网 Solomon said the bank sought and received written assurances from 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) that no third-parties were involved in the first two bond sales.

Abu Dhabi’s IPIC had co-guaranteed the 1MDB bonds when they were issued in 2012.

In the final offering, the Malaysian government itself, along with 1MDB, represented that no intermediaries were involved, he said.

“All these representations to Goldman Sachs have proven to be fal,上海夜网后花园Jacklyn,se,” Solomon said.

Goldman Sachs did not disclose any other information about its involvement with 1MDB, but said the impact on its client franchise had been “de minimis.”

Shares of the bank, which reported strong fourth-quarter results earlier in the day, have fallen over 25 percent in the last three months, after headlines about its involvement with the sovereign wealth fund emerged.

The Malaysian government said in December it was seeking up to $7.5 billion in reparations from Goldman over its dealings with 1MDB.

ConocoPhillips beats profit estimates on higher production, prices

( ) – ConocoPhillips beat quarterly profit estimates on Thursday as the world’s largest independent oil producer sold more oil at higher prices, sending its shares up more than 2 percent.

Total production, excluding Libya, rose 94,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to 1.31 million boe/d in the fourth quarter.

The company also said it received $85 million from Venezuela’s state-run oil firm PDVSA in the fourth quarter as part of a $2 billion arbitration agreement the company received last year with the embattled producer.

The $85 million brings the total payout under the agreement to $430 million, the company said, below the expected $500 million in 2018. Conoco has said that if上海夜生活论坛 PDVSA does not continue to meet its obligations, it would renew its efforts to seize the company’s assets around the world.

PDVSA has compiled with the terms of the settlement and has said it intends to continue making quarterly payments, Conoco finance chief Donald Wallette said in a conference call with analysts on Thursday. The Houston-based company said it has ex,上海夜网邀请码Fabi,isting permission from the U.S. government to accept the payments, he said.

Analyst Scott Hanold of RBC Capital Markets said the company was likely to cover any shortfall in the payout “in kind”, taking oil to sell to the market.

At home, Conoco, like its peers, has been riding a surge in crude production in the U.S. shale basins. The country’s output has reached record levels, overtaking that of Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the top world producer.

Conoco said total realized price per barrel was $53 in the fourth quarter, compared with $46.10 per barrel a year earlier.

“The combination of production and price realizations drove the outperformance,” analyst Hanold said.

In the first quarter of 2019, ConocoPhillips expects to produce 1.29 million boe/d,上海夜生活群Fabian, to 1.33 million boe/d.

The company said adjusted net income rose to $1.31 billion, or $1.13 per s,上海夜生活去哪玩Cadence,hare, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $540 million, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of $1.01 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares of the company were up 2.5 percent at $67.33 in afternoon trading.

China posts scant rise in outbound investment in 2018 amid outflow…

BEIJING ( ) – China’s overseas investment rose only marginally in 2018 as the yuan weakened and regulators cracked down on deals that were suspected to be skirting controls on moving money out of the country.

China’s non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) in 2018 rose 0.3 percent 上海夜生活网from a year earl,上海夜生活去哪玩Quaid,ier to $120.5 billion, the Ministry of Commer,上海夜生活服务Barbara,ce said on Wednesday.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said there were no new overseas investment projects in real estate, entertainment and sports sectors last year. It als,上海夜生活Jackson,o said “irrational” outbound investment has been effectively curbed.

A key exception was investment in countries involved in China’s Belt and Road initiative, an extensive infrastructure plan meant to link Asia with the Middle East and Europe. That totaled $15.64 billion in 2018, up 8.9 percent from a year earlier.

Belt and Road deals accounted for 13 percent of total investments in 2018, up 1 percentage point from a year earlier.

The yuan fell more than 5 percent against the dollar last year — its fourth annual loss in five — as U.S. tariffs added pressure on the slowing Chinese economy, reviving worries about capital outflows.

The ministry said China will strengthen policy guidance and prevent risks in outbound investment in 2019, without giving details.

Investment by Chinese firms was once a significant driver of global asset prices from property to mergers and acquisitions. But it has fallen sharply since Beijing tightened capital controls in 2016, prompting a sell-off in assets by acquisitive Chinese conglomerates from HNA to Wanda.

In 2017, China posted its first decline in outbound investment since it began publishing the data in 2003.

Amazon sales outlook falls short after record holiday quarter

( ) – Amazon.com Inc on Thursday forecast first-quarter sales below Wall Street estimates, warning that new regulations in India had created uncerta,上海夜生活网交流Tallulah,inty around one of its key growth markets and saying it would step up investments in 2019.

Shares of the company fell 5 percent to $1,635 after the bell.

The outlook overshadowed Amazon’s record sales and profit during the holiday season. Fast and free shipping helped the world’s largest online retailer boost revenue by 20 percent. A lucrative cloud computing business, as well as fees that merchants pay Amazon to ship and advertise their products, has fattened the company’s once-thin profit margin.

Net income jumped 63 percent to $3 billion for the fourth quarter, ahead of analysts’ estimates.

Yet investors focused their attention on Amazon’s international operation, where the company has long lost money in the hopes of future profit. Though its international operating loss shrunk to $642 million in the quarter from $919 million a year earlier, new regulations in India are poised to take a toll. The rules seek to protect local businesses by prohibiting foreign e-commerce companies from selling products via vendors in which they have an equity interest.

Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said on a call with reporters that the “situation in India is a bit fluid right now.”

The company began removing a wide array of products from its India website late on Thursday to comply with the new foreign investment curbs that kick in on Feb. 1, reported.

Still, Olsavsky said, “India remains a good long-term opportunity.”

Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Baird Equity Research, said, “The issues in India are taking a toll on the Q1 outlook, even as growth overall slows domestically. Not a bad report, but there are enough questions where (the) stock will likely be under pressure.”

HIGHER SPENDING

The company forecast net sales of between $56 billion and $60 billion for the first quarter, missing analysts’ average estimate of $60.77 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The guidance includes two percentage points of negative impact from changes in currency exchange rates.

Olsavsky said that investments would increase this year. The company had little need to splurge in 2018 thanks to prior spending on warehouses, headcount and other areas, boosting profit. But this year investments will rise, though Olsavsky did not detail where or how much.

“As a result, the profit story in ‘19 may not be as good as it was in ‘18,” said Tom Forte, analyst at D.A. Davidson, adding that this might not be a bad thing.

“If they are stepping on the accelerator, that means they like what they’re seeing, and it’s worthy of more investment,” he said.

Amazon forecast operating income will be between $2.3 billion and $3.3 billion this quarter, compared with $1.9 billion a year earlier.

A large chunk of the company’s hiring has gone to Amazon Web Services, its lucrative business selling data ,上海夜生活上海夜生活论坛群Falkner,storage and computing power in the cloud. Revenue for the unit surged 45.3 percent to $7.43 billion, beating an average estimate of $7.26 billion.

Overall, net sales for the fourth quarter were $72.38 billion and beat analysts’ average estimate of $71.87 billion on the back of a strong holiday season, which includes the major U.S. shopping eve,上海夜网千花Talon,nt Black Friday.

The results demonstrate that Amazon continued its “relentless assault” on other retailers over Christmas, Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

Amazon said tens of millions of shoppers signed up for its loyalty club Prime during the season – more than in any prior quarter – helping boost revenue from subscription fees 25 percent to $4.0 billion. The company said last year it has more than 100 million Prime members globally.

This expansive customer base has lured merchants to sell goods on the company’s marketplace, to the point where more than half of products sold on Amazon come from third-parties.

Making Amazon more profitable still are ad sales. The company now ranks alongside Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc as titans in marketing, letting these same merchants pay for high placement in Amazon’s search results.

Ad sales and “other” revenue jumped 95 percent to $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter.

Bombardier says on track to solve Swiss train problems: paper

ZURICH ( ) – Bombardier (BBDb.TO) is making progress resolving problems with double-decker passenger trains which have drawn criticism from buyer Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), the company’s Swiss country chief has told a local newspaper.

SBB, in its largest ever order for rolling stock, in 2010 agreed to pay around 1.9 billion Swiss francs ($1.91 billion) for 62 trains. The project had been delayed for four years, however, and just 12 have been delivered.

A “dissatisfied” SBB last week apologized to customers for repeated cancellations and delays affecting the new trains and demanded improvements from Bombardier.

Stephane Wettstein, who runs Bombardier’s Swiss business, told the Aargauer Zeitung that the trai,上海夜生活群Cain,ns’ reliability had improved considerably in recent weeks. “In a few weeks a large part of the problems will be gone,” he told the newspaper in an interview.

He acknowledged that more testing could have helped add,上海新夜网龙凤Radcliff,ress the problems but dismissed calls,上海仙霞路夜生活Sabrina, from Swiss politicians for compensation.

“At the moment compensation payments are not a topic at all. For this a contractual claim must arise and this is not the case,” he said.

He said the technical issues primarily concerned doors and sliding entry platforms, 上海夜生活which did not pose safety issues, while the partners were working on how to reduce turbulence at low speeds.

Germany considers barring Huawei from 5G networks

BERLIN ( ) – The German government is debating whether to follow the United States and allies like Australia in restricting China’s Huawei Technologies from accessing its next-generation mobile networks on national-security grounds.

Some Western countries have barred Huawei [HWT.UL] from their markets after U.S. officials briefed allies that Huawei is at the beck and call of the Chinese state, warning that its network equipment may contain “back doors” that could open them up to cyber espionage. Huawei says such concerns are unfounded.

While no concrete steps have been decided upon, business daily Handelsblatt reported on Thursday that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration was actively considering stricter security requirements and other ways to exclude Huawei.

Officials were discussing setting security standards that Huawei could not achieve, effectively blocking its participation. Changes to the German telecommunications law were also under consideration as a last resort, the paper said, citing government sources.

No decisions have yet been taken, according to a written answer by the Interior Ministry to a question from lawmaker Katharina Dr,上海夜生活桑拿会所Cain,oege of the opposition Greens party.

“The process of reaching a common view on concrete steps has not been completed,” said the Interior Ministry’s response, which was seen by .

Europe has become a crucial battleground in a struggle between Beijing and Washington that analysts say could determine which of the two superpowers achieves technological supremacy in the 21st century.

Huawei, once a fast follower of Nordic firms Nokia and Ericsson, is now a $93上海夜生活 billion global market leader in an industry where there is no U.S. champion.

U.S. LEGISLATION

In Washington, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced bills on Wednesday that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei, ZTE Corp or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws.

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom announced in December that it would review its vendor strategy and France’s Orange said it would not hire the Chinese firm to build its next-generation network in France.

Tensions have been heightened by the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer in Canada for possible extradition to the United States.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, in a rare public appearance this week, said his company had never received a request from a government to transmit information in violation of any regulations.

The deliberations in Berlin mark a shift from the German government’s position in October, wh,上海夜哪里艳遇Caden,en it told lawmakers it saw no legal basis to exclude any vendors from an upcoming 5G auction following warnings from Wa,上海新夜网龙凤Idaleen,shington.

In a statement, Huawei welcomed Berlin’s push to verify and standardize technology solutions which it has supported by opening an information lab in Bonn to help regulators scrutinize its gear.

“We are very optimistic that we can completely fulfill all security requirements for 5G networks,” Huawei said. “We see no rational grounds to exclude Huawei from the construction of 5G networks in any country around the world.”

Trump, meeting with Republican leaders, says welfare reform may…

CAMP DAVID, Md. ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders said after talks on Saturday that they would make an election-year push this year for an immigration overhaul and infrastructure spending but that welfare reform may have to wait for later.

Trump was joined for two days of talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and other top Republicans to sketch out a legislative agenda during a year in which they will battle to keep the U.S. Congress in Republican control in November elections.

Taking questions from reporters after the talks, Trump said he planned an active year on the campaign trail on behalf of Republican candidates.

“They want me to be involved, and very involved,” Trump said of Republican leaders. “We have to have more Republicans … So I will be actually working for incumbents and anybody else that has my kind of thinking.”The party that controls the White House typically loses seats in the first c上海夜生活网ongressional election after a presidential election, and Trump’s relatively low approval rating could increase the chances of Republican losses.

Trump and party leaders face a Jan. 19 deadline on passing legislation to prevent a government shutdown. The White House has said its next top priorities are a plan to invest in roads, bridges and other infrastructure,上海新夜网龙凤Landon,.

Republicans also want to reach an agreement on immigration policy, including addressing protections for hundreds of thousands of young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as childre,上海夜生活网交流Kai,n.

Welfare reform, a priority for Ryan and other House Republicans, appeared to be waning as a Trump goal for this year.

He said “we are looking at it” but that the goal was to get a bipartisan deal on welfare reform. If that is not possible, the effort might be left to do later, he said.

Trump called his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, to the microphone to say he planned to stay in the administration. Cohn’s status has been in doubt since a tax overhaul was approved and his departure could rattle stock markets that have soared in recent months.

“Yes, I’m happy,” Cohn said. “How’s that?”

“Gary hopefully will be staying for a long time,” Trump said.

Trump said he also wants a bipartisan agreement on an immigration overhaul but the ,上海高端夜生活在那里Hadleigh,reality is that both sides are far apart on an agreement. Democrats do not want to fund the border wall that Trump has long sought and Republicans want any agreement to protect the “Dreamer” children of illegal immigrants to include increased border security.

Exclusive: PG&E to tap restructuring chief in final bankruptcy…

( ) – California utility owner PG&E Corp is preparing to name a restructuring chief as it finalizes preparations for a bankruptcy filing expected to come as soon as early Tuesday morning, people familiar with the matter said.

PG&E plans to file for bankruptcy protection in a San Francisco federal court, the sources said, in part to address liabilities it expects to top $30 billion stemming from catastrophic wildfires in the last two years that have killed more than 100 people and destroyed numerous homes.

The San Francisco-based utility owner, which carries debt exceeding $18 billio,上海夜生活桑拿会所Quaid,n, is in the final stages of discussions to appoint longtime turnaround specialist James Mesterharm as its chief restructuring officer to help the company navigate bankruptcy proceedings, the sources said.

The company is pressing on with its bankruptcy p上海夜生活lan, which it announced earlier this month, even as some of its creditors proposed last-ditch rescue-financing packages to prevent such a move, some of the sources said.

The sources asked not to be identified discussing internal company developments and cautioned that Mesterharm’s appointment was still in the process of being finalized Monday evening. A PG&E spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Monday, the California Public Utilities Commission approved PG&E’s plans to tap up to $6 billion in so-called debtor-in-possession financing to help it operate while under bankruptcy protec,上海夜生活怎么玩Faith,tion.

VETERAN FROM KODAK, ZENITH

Mesterharm, a managing director at turnaround and consulting firm AlixPartners LLP, previously served as restructuring chief at Eastman Kodak Co during its bankruptcy proceedings. Other companies he has advised on restructurings include mall owner General Growth Properties and Zenith Electronics. He has advised PG&E in the weeks leading up to its anticipated bankruptcy filing, the sources said.

An AlixPartners spokesman had no immediate comment.

PG&E debtholders in recent days delivered separate multibillion-dollar rescue proposals to the company, people familiar with the offers said. The proposals, also shared with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, each offered financing in exchange for debt that can later be converted into shares when PG&E’s stock trades at a certain price, the sources said.

A Newsom spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a ,上海凤楼夜网Lark,request for comment.

A group comprising investment firms Apollo Global Management LLC, Citadel, Davidson Kempner Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners LP proposed between $3 billion and $5 billion of financing, the sources said. Another team of Elliott Management Corp and Pacific Investment Management Co offered $4 billion, they said.

The debtholders either declined to comment, had no immediate comment or didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The financing proposals came on the heels of state investigators clearing PG&E of liability in a 2017 fire that tore through wine country and killed 22 people.

PG&E still faces scrutiny over its equipment’s role in a November blaze that ignited in the northern California mountain community of Paradise, killing at least 86 people in the most catastrophic wildfire in state history.

PG&E has pointed to extensive litigation and a deteriorating financial situation leading up to its expected bankruptcy filing. In a securities filing earlier this month, PG&E said obtaining additional financing to avoid a bankruptcy filing, though possible, would be expensive, complicated and fail to address the company’s fundamental problems.

At least one shareholder, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, has criticized the plan as harmful to investors and has launched an effort to oust PG&E’s entire board.

Oil drops nearly 3 percent on rising supplies, China slowdown

HOUSTON ( ) – Oil prices fell 3 percent on Tuesday over concerns the world’s stumbling economy could pinch fuel demand as U.S. crude output climbs to new heights and cuts by Saudi Arabia and its allies are smaller than advertised.

Gl,上海足浴夜网联系方式Nadia,oomy new global growth forecasts by the International Monetary Fund and signs of a spreading slowdown in China weighed on crude prices as traders worried about supplies rising in 2019 despite lower prices.

Brent oil futures LCOc1 were down $1.82, or 2.9 percent, at $60.92 a barrel by 1:45 p.m. EST (1845 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 fell $1.57上海夜生活网, or 2.9 percent, to $52.23.

Data from Saudi Arabia on Monday showed its crude exports in November rose to 8.2 million barrels per day from 7.7 million bpd in October, as production climbed to 11.1 million bpd.

U.S. government data last week showed the nation’s crude production reached a record 11.9 million bpd.

“They weren’t expecting that (nearly 12 million bpd production record) for a few months,” said Tariq Zahir, managing member at Tyche Capital in New York. “We saw a very large drop in (U.S. oil drilling) rigs on Friday, but it comes down to whether Saudi Arabia is really going to do these cuts.”

Market concerns over the depth of production cuts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, were also driving prices lower on Tuesday, analysts said.

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak will not fly to Switzerland to attend the Davos world economic forum due to changes in his schedule, an energy ministry spokeswoman said.

Novak had previously said he would meet his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih in Davos, if the minister were to attend.

Falih, who has criticized Russia’s output cuts as being slower than expected, was also unlikely to visit, according to a Bloomberg report.

“There’s speculation those two might not see eye to eye,” said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “The Russians are not cutting with the same enthusiasm that the Saudis are.”

The United States has topped Russia,上海夜生活论坛Queena, and Saudi Arabia as the largest producer in the world, growing production by almost 2.4 million bpd over the past year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Seventy percent of the senior energy industry executives plan to boost or maintain capital spending this year, compared with 39 percent in 2017, a survey by advisor DNV GL showed this week.

“Despite greater oil price volatility in recent months, our research shows that the sector appears confident in its ability to better cope with market instability and long-term lower oil and gas prices,” said Liv Hovem, who heads DNV’s oil and gas division.

DEMAND CONCERNS

The International Monetary Fund on Monday warned the risk of a pronounced global slowdown has risen because of constrained international trade, an,上海夜生活乌托邦Nadia,d it trimmed its 2019 global growth forecast to 3.5 percent, from 3.7 percent in last October’s outlook.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in Davos that the slowing growth does not signal an impending recession, but said the risk of “a sharper decline” in global growth has increased.

China reported the lowest annual economic growth in nearly 30 years on Monday and its state planner warned on Tuesday that falling factory orders point to a further drop in activity and more job losses.

Singapore-based tanker brokerage Eastport said China’s slowing manufacturing activity is likely weighing on demand.

“There’s a lot of concern in the oil market about China’s weaker economic data,” said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. “It’s economic expansion is the weakest since 1990.”

China GDP growth vs oil & gas imports – tmsnrt.rs/2HpviiP

Hedge fund prepares proxy fight to oust embattled PG&E’s board

( ) – PG&E Corp shareholder BlueMountain Capital Management LLC said on Thursday it is preparing a challenge to the embattled utility owner’s board, arguing its plan to file for bankruptcy in the wake of catastrophic wildfires in California is harming investors.

The hedge fund, which owns about 2 percent of PG&E, said it is trying to rally support from other shareholders to replace all 10 of the company’s board members at this year’s annual meeting expected in May.

BlueMountain’s chances of success are remote, given that PG&E has said its bankruptcy filing may come as early Jan. 29. However, the maneuvering could end up giving BlueMountain a bigger role in any bankruptcy negotiations.

“As we noted in our letter today, shareholders retain their corporate governance rights in bankruptcy,” a BlueMountain spokesman said.

The hedge fund and other shareholders could potentially be in line to sit on a so-called equity committee that a bankruptcy judge would be empowered to appoint as part of PG&E’s court proceedings.

Such a committee would have the ability to l,上海晚上耍女人的地方Rae,itigate during PG&E’s bankruptcy case and gain leverage to improve financial recoveries as the company develops a reorganization plan.

“We expect to announce the new slate no later than February, 21, 2019,” BlueMountain said in an open letter here to PG&E shareholders on Thursday.

“In order to rebuild essential relationships and restore trust, the company needs an entirely new board,” the ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Radcliff,letter said. This is the second time the hedge fund has run a proxy contest and it did not identify its intended nominees in the letter.

PG&E is reeling from potentially crushing liabilities associated with deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018 that ripped through California communities, killing dozens of people and destroying homes.

The company forecasts its liabilities from the blazes could exceed $30 billion. The utility owner is facing scrutiny over the role of its equipment in the fires. 

With a new board and f,上海夜网千花Fabiana,resh oversight, the hedge fund forecast that the company’s share price could trade at $50 in the future. PG&E shares were down 1 percent at $7.91 in morning trading in New York on Thursday, giving the company a market capitalization of $4.2 billion.

“When sound governance is restored, and structural issues addressed, the company will resolve its financial issues,” the hedge fund wrote.

BlueMountain’s move, while a potential distraction for PG&E during its expected debt restructuring, would need additional support fro上海夜生活网m other shareholders, like hedge funds Baupost Group, D.E. Shaw and Hound Partners, among others, to succeed.

PG&E, the biggest U.S. power utility by customers, provides electricity and natural gas to 16 million customers in northern and central California.

‘UNNECESSARY BANKRUPTCY’

BlueMountain has publicly challenged PG&E Corp’s plan to file for bankruptcy protection as early as next week, which the company revealed to employees earlier this month in part due to a California law requiring such notification.

The board’s “intention to file a voluntary, costly, and unnecessary bankruptcy … in our view, violates their fiduciary duties to the company and to you,” the hedge fund said in its letter.

Board members failed to roll up their sleeves and are ready “to concede defeat and pass the buck to a bankruptcy judge,” the hedge fund wrote.

PG&E said in a securities filing it could potentially raise more money and avoid seeking bankruptcy protection, but argued such a move would be complex, uncertain and expensive.

PG&E’s chief executive recently resigned and Chairman Richard Kelly said the company is committed to “further change” and searching for a new leader with “extensive operational and safety expertise” while its general counsel helms operations on an interim basis.

Most companies filing for bankruptcy protection have nearly worthless stocks that result in shareholders being wiped out while creditors seek to recover as much as possible from a financially-strapped firm.

U.S., China face deep trade, IP differences in high-level talks

WASHINGTON ( ) – The United States and China launch a critical round of trade talks on Wednesday amid deep differences over Washington’s demands for structural economic reforms from Beijing that will make it difficult to reach a deal before a March 2 U.S. tariff hike.

The two sides will meet next door to the White House in the highest-level talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed a 90-day truce in their trade war in December.

People familiar with the talks and trade experts watching them say that, so far, there has been little indication that Chinese officials are willing to address core U.S. demands to protect American intellectual property ,上海新夜网龙凤Fabiana,rights and end policies that Washington says force U.S. companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms.

The U.S. complaints, along with accusations of Chinese cyber theft of U.S. trade secrets and a systematic campaign to acquire U.S. technology firms, were used by the Trump administration to justify punitive U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Trump has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of goods to 25 percent from 10 percent on March 2 if an agreement cannot be reached. He has also threatened new tariffs on the remainder of Chinese goods shipped to the United States.

“Clearly on the structural concerns, on forced technology transfer, there remains a significant gap if not a wide chasm between the two sides,” a person familiar with the talks told .

Chinese officials deny that their policies coerce technology transfers.

They have emphasized steps already taken, including reduced automotive tariffs and a draft foreign investment law that improves access for foreign firms and promises to outlaw “administrative means to force the transfer of technology.”

China is fast-tracking that new law, with the cou,上海夜生活怎么玩Landon,ntry’s largely rubber-stamp parliament likely to approve it in March.

A crucial component of any progress in the talks, according to top administration officials, ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Naia,is agreement on a mechanism to verify and “enforce” China’s follow-through on any reform pledges that it makes. This could maintain the threat of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods long term.

TEMPERED EXPECTATIONS

Some business groups watching the talks were tempering expectations for a breakthrough this week.

With a month to go before the deadline, it was unlikely that the best offers from either side would be put on the table in the next two days, said Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

“I don’t think there’s going to be any big outcome,” Ennis said of the talks scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. “Hopefully they make some good progress that will set them up to be able to get to completion at the end of the 90 days.”

But the Chinese side, led by Vice Premier Liu He, would likely have to bring to the table a new offer that goes significantly beyond its previous offers to significantly increase purchases of U.S. goods, including soybeans, energy and manufactured goods.

People familiar with the talks said manufactured goods, a key priority for the Trump administration, were among the largest components of Chinese purchase pledges aimed at significantly reducing the U.S. trade deficit with China. But here, too, there are “no guarantees” that Beijing would follow through on these pledges, one of the people said.

Also hanging over the talks are 上海夜生活网U.S. indictments against Chinese top telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co, accusing it of bank and wire fraud to evade Iran sanctions and conspiring to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile US Inc.

MNUCHIN UPBEAT

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one of the Trump administration’s strongest advocates for a deal with China, made upbeat comments about the talks for a second day in a row on Tuesday.

Mnuchin said on Fox Business Network that he expects “significant progress” on market access and technology transfer issues. He insisted that the Huawei case and trade talks were “separate issues.”

Related CoverageFactbox: Tariff wars – duties imposed by Trump and U.S. trading partners

Meanwhile, earnings warnings from U.S. companies hit by the slowdown in China’s economy – due in part to the tariffs – are piling up. 3M Co joined Caterpillar, Nvidia and Apple to blame weakening Chinese demand for revenue and profit shortfalls.

It will get worse for both U.S. and Chinese firms and financial markets if Washington and Beijing cannot show enough progress to at least delay the March 2 tariff deadline, said Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow and China trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“Given the weakness in the Chinese economy and the fact that the U.S. will certainly be slowing down, that’s not a pretty picture,” Lardy said.

Stocks seesaw, dollar off; global, U.S. worries weigh

NEW YORK ( ) – The MSCI global stock index ended Wednesday’s choppy trading session with a small gain as worries over U.S. politics, global economic growth and trade tensions were countered by a boost from quarterly earnings reports. ,夜上海论坛Kade,

However, the U.S. dollar and oil prices declined.

U.S. Treasury yields climbed but analysts expect the $15.6 trillion market to be confined within a tight trading range due to a dearth of fresh economic data amid the longest-ever U.S. government shutdown.

The U.S. dollar edged lower against a basket of currencies as uncertainty over trade and the global economy clouded the greenback’s near-term outlook and restricted it to tight trading ranges against other major currencies.

“The trade conflicts and tensions, the (U.S. government) shutdown and certainly more chatter about global growth in 2019, those are the factors that need to be hashed out before we get a clear direction,” said Minh Trang, senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.

After falling more than 1 percent in the previous day’s session, Wall Street indexes zig-zagged.

Strong quarterly reports from Procter & Gamble, Comcast Corp and International Business Machines helped the Dow show the biggest gains of the day.

But U.S. political uncertainty weighed heavily on investors.

White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said in a CNN interview the United States could see zero growth in the first three months if the partial government shutdown is extended for the whole quarter.

“What we’re seeing here is a very indecisive market and a market that’s very sensitive to headline news on trade and the shutdown,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York referring to Hassett’s comment.

And, according to Cardillo, it didn’t help investor mood that U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued publicly over whether Trump can deliver the annual State of the Union address in the House chamber during the shutdown.

“The longer the bickering goes on the longer the shutdown goes on and everyone gets affected,夜上海419龙凤论坛Oakley, if the economy slows,” he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 171.14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,575.62, the S&P 500 gained 5.8 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,638.7 and the Nasdaq Composi上海夜网te added 5.41 points, or 0.08 percent, to 7,025.77.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose 0.1 percent, after the pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.06 percent.

Investors also kept a close eye on China on hopes more economic stimulus measures would ease worries over slow progress in trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

Trump told reporters on Wednesday that the United States was doing well in trade talks and that China “very much wants to make a deal.”

The day before his advisers had said he would not soften his position that Beijing must make real structural reforms, including how it handles intellectual property, to reach a trade deal.

“The market is shadow-boxing with speculation about trade,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co. in New York.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus the euro, yen, sterling and three other currencies, was down 0.2 percent at 96.127. The index has risen nearly 1 percent ove,上海夜网千花Tamara,r the last two weeks.

The greenback was up 0.22 percent against the yen after the Bank of Japan on Wednesday kept its stimulus program in place.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.7462 percent, from 2.732 percent late on Tuesday.

Oil prices slipped as the European Union sought to circumvent U.S. trade sanctions against Iran and on weaker U.S. gasoline prices. [O/R]

U.S. crude settled down 0.74 percent or 39 cents at $52.62 per barrel. Brent crude futures settled at $61.14 per barrel, down 36 cents, or 0.59 percent.

Written by shyw on December 11, 2017 Categories: wkrpepdc Tags: , , ,

Apple lowers some iPhone prices outside U.S. to offset strong dollar

( ) – Apple Inc plans to cut the price of some of its flagship iPhones for only the second time in the device’s 12-year history, pegging its retail value to past prices in local currencies outside the United States instead of the rising U.S. dollar.

The move is an attempt to stem weak sales of the iPhone, particularly in overseas markets such as China, where a 10 percent rise in the U.S. dollar over the past year or so has made Apple’s products – which already compete at the top end of the market – much pricier than rivals.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook disclosed the plan on Tuesday after the company reported the first-ever dip in iPhone sales during the key holiday shopping period. The company has only once before cut iPhone prices, shortly after it debuted in 2007.

Apple did not say in which countries it would adjust iPhone prices. Resellers in China already began cutting iPhone prices earlier this month after Apple lowered its sa,上海凤楼夜网Dakota,les forecast for the quarter ended in December.

The company priced its new iPhone XS, which was released in September, at $999, the same price in U.S. dollars as its predecessor, 2017’s iPhone X.

That worked for U.,上海夜生活服务Lake,S. consumers, but in countries such as China and Turkey the local currency had fallen so much against the surging U.S. dollar, it made the phone significantly pricier than its predecessor a year before. Apple had essentially asked the consumer to bear the cost of the strengthening doll上海夜生活ar.

On Tuesday, Cook said Apple will adjust foreign prices in some markets by resetting them at or close to what they were one year before in local currencies. Effectively that means Apple will absorb the cost of the strengthening dollar.

“We’ve decided to go back to (iPhone prices) more commensurate with what our local prices were a year ago, in hopes of helping the sales in those areas,” Cook told in an interview.

RISING DOLLAR HURTS APPLE SALES

In the company’s quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, Cook also highlighted the impact of foreign exchange problems in Turkey, where he said the local lira had depreciated by 33 percent against the dollar and Apple’s sales were down by $700 million from the previous year. In November, Apple also cited currency pressure on its prices in Brazil, India and Russia.

Apple has not said when or how often it might reset its prices because of foreign currency changes.

Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said the price adjustm,上海夜生活群Ebba,ents may not extend to its services business, which includes Apple Music and the App Store.

While that unit beat analyst expectations with $10.8 billion in sales in the quarter ended in December, growth has slowed compared to previous years.

Maestri said slower growth was partly because prices rose for users in non-U.S. markets.

“Roughly 60 percent of our services business is outside the United States, and as you know, the U.S. dollar has appreciated in recent months,” Maestri said. “And in general, we tend not to reprice our services for foreign exchange on a very frequent basis.”

Aramco’s rating ambitions face Saudi economic curb

DUBAI ( ) – Saudi Aramco is pushing for a top credit rating ahead of its first international bond sale, but Saudi Arabia’s sluggish economy may curb the state-owned oil firm’s ambitions.

Aramco intends to issue its first U.S. dollar-denominated bonds, expected to be at least $10 billion, in the second quarter to help finance the acquisition of a stake in SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals maker.

Chief Executive Amin Nasser said last week that Aramco was talking to credit rating agencies ahead of its debut on the international capital markets, which comes after it last year pulled what would have been the biggest ever stock flotation.

Credit ratings allow investors to compare and assess the credit quality of bond issuers and their debt securities and are important in determining how much borrowers have to pay.

As the world’s top oil producer, Aramco expects to match the ratings of Exxon and Shell, a source familiar with the matter told . Exxon is rated triple-A by agency Moody’s and AA+ by its rival S&P, putting it on par with the rating of the United States.

But this would put Aramco, which declined to comment, four to six “notches” above Saudi Arabia itself, creating an unprecedented gap between a state-owned firm and its government.

Bond market investors expect Aramco to have a similar, if not lower, rating than Saudi Arabia, meaning its bonds will have to offer a higher yield than government debt to attract buyers.

“We wouldn’t buy Aramco’s bonds if they were yielding lower than Saudi Arabia’s sovereign bonds of similar maturity,” Charles de Quinsonas, Co-Fund Manager, M&G (Lux) Emerging Markets Income Opportunities Fund, said.

Moody’s and S&P declined to comment on Aramco, while a third agency Fitch did not respond to a request for comment.

SAUDI RATING

As a standalone business, Aramco could outweigh its international peers, but mo,上海夜哪里艳遇Gabriella,st of its assets are in Saudi Arabia and it is tightly linked to ,上海夜玩网论坛Talon,Saudi Arabia’s economic policies. And national oil companies are generally rated at the same level as or slightly lower than their governments.

Several investors said they expect Aramco’s rating to be in line with the country’s sovereign rating as a result, even though its full-year accounts for 2016, seen by , show that cashflow from operations put it well above Exxon, the world’s largest listed oil firm and Aramco’s nearest rival.

“We would anticipate that the group as a whole, at face value, would have a credit rating equivalent or slightly below that of the sovereign,” Ehsan Khoman, head of MENA research and strategy at MUFG, said.

Saudi Arabia is trying to diversify its revenues away from oil and stimulate a sluggish economy bruised by a price slump in the past few years. The Aramco IPO, which has been pushed back to 2021, was a cornerstone of its reform plans.

HIGHER YIELDS

When it comes to what Aramco will have to pay investors, the oil firm may have to offer higher yields than the government.

“One would expect Aramco, as an entity that is less core than the sovereign per se, to trade wider than sovereign bonds,” MUFG’s Khoman said.

While Aramco’s revenue stream depends on hydrocarbon sales, which are cyclical and subject to international supply-demand fundamentals, the state has access to more diversified wealth buffers to meet its contractual obligations.

Almost 70 percent of state revenues are set to come from oil this year and Aramco is the sole holder of Saudi oil concessions and the country’s most important source of foreign currency.

“There is not a clear fundamental advantage (to buy Aramco, rather than Saudi bonds), but the spread concession to the sovereign could make it the more attractive investment when considering the relative credit risk profile,” Janelle Woodward, head of income at BMO Global Asset Management, said.

A spread differential of 20 to 30 basis points when comparing quasi-sovereign entities with their sovereigns was typical for highly-rated entities, Woodward said, adding that this would be the case with Aramco, which she expects will be,上海晚上耍女人的地方Lake, rated at par with the k上海夜生活论坛ingdom.

In Argentina crisis, firms do everything to cut costs – except fire…

BUENOS AIRES ( ) – Like many Argentine businessmen, Marco Meloni is doing everything he can to avoid laying off staff at his textile factory despite a slump in sales, mo,上海仙霞路夜生活Hallie,re than 70 percent interest rates and soaring utility bills.

The reason? He doesn’t have the money to fire anyone.

A little-reported and unusual feature of the economic crisis gripping Latin America’s third-largest economy is the absence of many workers losing their jobs.

Small businesses, the biggest employer in Argentina, have been hardest hit by inflation that is nearly 48 percent, a tumbling peso, and major cuts to subsidies for public utilities that have sharply increased companies’ operating costs. But the unemployment rate has barely budged from 9 percent.

interviews with business owners in textile, plastic, clothing and paint industries, government officials and union leaders show that many firms are adopting different strategies to try to survive until the economy begins to recover, which the International Monetary Fund expects to begin in the second quarter.

Firms are reducing working hours, halting production on some days, cutting shifts and making workers take their vacations now in anticipation of more customer demand once the economy lifts.

The workforce contracted by just 120,000 registered workers between October 2017 and October 2018, the latest government data reviewed by shows. That represents about 1 percent of the 12 million-strong labor force.

In contrast, the United States lost about 6 percent, or some 8.7 million peop上海夜生活le, of its workforce during the two years of the 2007/08 Great Recession as companies laid off workers to stay afloat.

Argentina has some of the world’s most generous labor laws and they are making it more difficult for small business owners like Meloni to adapt to an economy now ,上海夜网Dallas,in recession. Typically in a tough economic climate a company might be expected to reduce its workforce to cut costs. But in Argentina taking that step could dramatically increase costs and potentially push a company into bankruptcy.

Introduced by successive populist Peronist governments since the 1940s, the labor laws make the country one of the most expensive in Latin America to employ, or fire, a worker.

Argentine companies are required to pay workers laid off a month for every year of service plus at least one additional month simply for informing them they are being fired. And crucially, there is no cap on how much a company needs to pay.

In contrast, neighboring Chile has a cap on severance pay. Layoff costs in Argentina are among the highest in the world, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business project, which measures business regulations in 190 economies.

GIVING NOTICE

The Argentine labor laws have helped to contain what could have been a big increase in the unemployment rate. In addition, President Mauricio Macri, a free marketer who wants to reform the country’s rigid labor system to encourage foreign investment, is taking steps to dissuade companies from firing workers.

He announced on Nov. 13 that companies must give 10 days’ notice of any plans to lay off workers so that the government can help find ways to keep them employed. Macri wants to expand an existing program that helps to subsidize salaries of workers at companies that can show they are in financial straits.

The government has not yet issued any regulations to enforce its announcement, so it is not clear whether companies are informing them of pending dismissals.

Like many small businessmen, Meloni has found himself caught in a vice. Sales from his plant in the town of Quilmes, 30 km (19 miles) outside the capital Buenos Aires, shrank by just over one third last year as Argentina’s economy sank deep into recession.

“It was not a storm,” said Meloni, a reference to how the country’s president has described the economic crisis. “It was a tsunami. The tsunami kills.”

Meloni said the plant, which makes fabrics, used to operate 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday but now just operates 16 hours a day, five days a week. Like many other businesses, Meloni advanced the holidays to his roughly 100 employees with the hope that once summer ends in March, demand will pick up.

Daniel Funes de Rioja, the head of one of Argentina’s biggest labor law firms, said a major issue for companies was the seniority of many workers. Many, especially in low-skilled industries, stay in the same job for years, so paying them severance becomes very expensive.

“There’s a cultural custom for Argentines to remain in their jobs but also, as it has been always very expensive to fire people, that has extended the length of service of the workers in the companies,” explained economist Camilo Tiscornia, from Buenos Aires-based C&T consultancy.

Production Minister Dante Sica said companies were also reluctant to fire workers because of forecasts showing an economic recovery around the corner.

“They prefer to suspend and not fire because of the cost of layoffs, plus the cost of hiring is costly,” Sica said in an interview.

The unemployment rate in Argentina fell to 9 percent in the third quarter from 9.6 percent in the second quarter. Year on year, it increased only 0.7 basis points from the third quarter of 2017, when the economy was growing at an annual rate of 3.8 percent.

While workers are staying in their jobs they are earning less because of the shorter hours and fewer shifts. Some have resorted to taking second jobs, working for Uber, the ride hailing app, for example, according to anecdotal reports.

“We are not happy with these measures at all (fewer shifts, shorter hours), but the last thing we want is layoffs,” said Jose Minaberrigaray, head of Setia, a textile workers union that represents 25,000 workers. “But we have to choose what is bad and what is worse,” he told .

FORCED VACATIONS

Macri has pushed for labor reforms to make it easier for companies to hire and fire, but his government has delayed implementing them after protests in December 2017. Sica, the production minister, has said they will try again in 2019 but it will be difficult to get political support for the reforms in an election year.

Tiscornia, the economist, said the difficulty in firing workers ultimately hurt the competitiveness of Argentine companies.

“Making it easie,上海新夜网龙凤Pamela,r to fire people or to reduce salaries improves the economy efficiency and the companies’ capacity to adjust to different situations,” he said.

“In the U.S. it’s tremendously easy to fire but at the same time they are at the lowest historic jobless rate because that market has very strong flexibility. That favors the creation of new companies. Here if you start a business and it doesn’t work, you are stuck with the employees, so you don’t even try.”

At the metallurgical company where Pablo Mansur, 31, works, production has fallen 30 percent over the last 12 months. To keep busy, workers are painting, cleaning and doing repairs, Mansur said. Workers were also told to take their vacations in December, a period when production would be low any way because of public holidays.

He said workers agreed to this because “we are aware of the reality. It is not a whim,” he said.

Jorge Göttert, president of Göttert, a 75-year-old company that makes production line systems for the wood and auto sectors, says he has tried not to lay off workers because of his memories of what happened during the country’s worst financial crisis in 2001.

Then, the company laid off half of its staff to try to survive. When the economy rebounded, however, it “became very difficult for us” as it took time to rebuild its workforce, training new workers to operate the specialized machinery.

“We think this crisis will be shorter this time.”