上海夜生活,上海夜生活网,上海夜网论坛 - Powered by January 2019

Chinese EV carmaker NIO raises $650 million via convertible bond

HONG KONG ( ) – Electric carmaker NIO Inc, one of the main rivals to Tesla in China, raised $650 million in a five-year convertible bond on Thursday, aiming to use the proceeds to fund expansion.

The Shanghai-based carmaker’s move to raise capital via an equity-linked bond – only four months after it listed in New York – mirrors that of China’s Netflix-like video platform iQiyi, which sold a $750 million convertible bond in November after going public last year, highlighting the growing appeal of convertibles for high-growth companies in need of cash.

Convertible bonds are a cheaper funding avenue due to their lower coupons in exchange for giving the bondholder the option of converting the debt into company shares at a set price in future. The equity link gives investors fixed returns and the prospect of profiting from a rise in the issuer’s share price.

NIO sold a five-year convertible bond with a conversion premium of 27.5 percent and a coupon of 4.5 percent, according to a press release from the company.

The startup could raise as much as $750 million if a greenshoe, o,上海夜网Jace,r over-allotment option, is exercised within 30 days.

The company’s shares closed at $7.46 on Wednesday and were up about 24 percent since they started trading in September.

Louis Hsieh, NIO’s chief financial,上海新夜网龙凤Easton, officer, told investors on a call on Wednesday that part of the reason for selling a convertible bond was to make up the difference between what the company raised in its IPO and what it had originally sought to raise.

NIO raised $1 billion in its U.S. IPO but it had earlier aimed for $1.8-$2 billion, Hsieh said.

Asked about the timing, Hsieh said the convertible bond market was receptive to a deal and he did not want to wait until March or April and risk a possible worsening in U.S.-China trade tensions.

Convertible bonds are booming in Asia, hitting their highest volumes last year since the financial crisis, with $35.5 billion raised, according to Refinitiv data.

Their appeal is growing at a time when interest rates are rising, driving up borrowing costs when companies in Asia face almost $500 billion in maturing dollar-denominated bonds over the next two years.

For tech companies or startups, which can have more volatile stock 上海夜生活prices and are often unrated, convertible bonds also represent a cheaper funding alternative than straight debt.

China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing market for new-energy vehicles (NEVs), a category comprising electric battery cars and plug-in electric hybrids, but competition is fierce as Beijing looks to rein in subsidies that led to a huge array of EV contenders entering the market.

NIO’s revenue and deliveries of its electric SUV soared in the third quarter of last year.

It plans to use the proceeds of the convertible bond for research and development, development of manufacturing facilities and sales and marketing.

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings and Hillhouse Capital Management – NIO’s existing backers – will buy $30 million and $5 million of the convertible bond, respectively, acco,上海夜玩网论坛Falkner,rding to the press release.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS are joint bookrunning managers for the deal.

Factbox: Trump on Twitter (Jan 18) – Mexico wall, NAFTA, Rick…

The following statements were posted to the verified Twitter accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump, @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS.

The opinions expressed are his own.  has not edited the statements or confirmed their accuracy.

@realDonaldTrump :

– The Wall is the W,上海夜玩网论坛Gabe,all, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived o,上海夜网推油Rae,f it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water….. [0515 EST]

– ….The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is “peanuts” compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke! [0525 EST]

– Will be going to Pennsylvania today in order to give my total support to RICK SACCONE, running for Congress in a Special Election (March 13). Rick is a great guy. We,上海夜网官方网站Tabitha, need more Republicans to continue our already successful agenda! [0753 EST]

– We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world. If there is no Wall,上海夜网 there is no Deal! [0816 EST]

– CHIP should be part of a long term solution, not a 30 Day, or short term, extension! [0937 EST]

– A government shutdown will be devastating to our military…something the Dems care very little about! [0949 EST]

— Source link: (bit.ly/2jBh4LU) (bit.ly/2jpEXYR)

Exclusive: Kazakhstan urgently looking for bank to take over…

ALMATY ( ) – The Kazakh authorities are urgently looking for a bank to take over no. 2 lender Tsesnabank as they believe it needs new financing to prevent a collapse, three sources familiar with the discussions told .

Officials from the government and central bank have approached at least three other Kazakh banks and hope to tie up a deal in February, the sources said. They are offering financial incentives for any bank prepared to take it over.

The authorities want to avoid liquidating the bank, which has over $1 billion in retail deposits and received a $1.8 billion state bailout in September, because of the impact on the wider economy, the sources said.

They want to move quickly to prevent a run on deposits. Also, some analysts say a presidential election could be called in the spring. A spokesman for the election commission could not be reached for comment. President Nursultan Nazarbayez would almost certainly be reelected but the authorities would be keen to tie up a takeover before any poll.

The state-owned “bad bank” said on Friday it planned to buy some of Tsesnabank’s assets. One of the sources said this was part of the plan to mak,上海夜生活去哪玩Ebba,e the troubled bank more attractive to another bank.

“The scheme is simple – an investor puts his own money into the bank and the state helps them clean up its loan book,” one of the sources said.

Spokesmen for the central bank, the government, Tsesnabank, and its main shareholder, former Nazarbayev chief of staff Adilbek Zhaksybekov, did not reply to requests for comment.

The “bad bank”, the Non-Performing Loan Fund (NPLF), said in a bourse announcement on Friday it planned to sell 604 billion tenge ($1.59 billion) in domestic bonds next week in order to finance asset purchases from Tsesnabank.

The approach raises more questions about the health of the oil exporter’s banking system after Nazarbayev declared in April that bailouts worth nearly $10 billion for several banks in 2017 would be the last.

Tsesnabank’s September bailout came in spite of that promise. The authorities said it was a move to support indebted farmers, who are clients of the bank, and would help an otherwise healthy bank bridge a short-term liquidity gap.

BAD LOANS

But some bankers told that Tsesnabank’s financial reports indicate that it is in distress due to bad loans.

The authorities have also now decided that the balance sheet is so unhealthy that it would be easier for another bank to take it over than to liquidate or bail it out, the sources say.

Chief executive Ulf Wokurka said the balance sheet problems were to do with,上海会所夜网Caitlin, “worsening asset quality”. His deputy, 上海夜生活Dmitry Li, said in a written reply to queries that it reflected “seasonal cash flows of borrowers in the agricultural sector”.

The banking sector was hit hard by a fall in oil prices and subsequent tenge devaluation in 2015 because many banks lent in dollars. Customers then found it hard to repay the debts.

More than half of Tsesnabank’s loan book was denominated in foreign currency, mostly dollars, at the end of 2017.

Although oil prices have recovered, economic growth has slowed and some non-oil sectors are in crisis, such as farming where several large companies have defaulted on their debt.

The central bank also says some banks have been poorly managed and large bailouts have already drained billions of dollars from state coffers.

The IMF said in December “the recent additional financial support for Tsesnabank raises concerns”.

It said state support was justified only for “systemic, viable banks.” The only bank considered by economists to be of systemic importance to the financial system in Kazakhstan is Halyk which is fiv,上海凤楼夜网Nala,e times larger than Tsesnabank and accounts for a third of total banking sector assets.

Nevertheless, economists said a collapse of Tsesnabank could be a headache for the authorities if they were forced to compensate the large number of depositors from the deposit insurance fund.

DISTRESS

Tsesnabank showed first signs of distress when it reported a sharp liquidity drop in the second quarter last year. In September, the central bank provided a 150 billion tenge ($407 million) liquidity support loan, later increased to 200 billion tenge.

Shortly afterwards, the central bank and the government said Tsesnabank would sell agricultural loans worth 450 billion tenge ($1.2 billion) to the NPLF. The loans, a quarter of Tsesnabank’s overall loan book, were sold at face value so it did not book a loss, the bank said.

While the bank reported either growing or stable total interest income in its income statements for 2016, 2017 and 2018, interest income in its cash flow report was declining, according to the publicly available accounts.

The discrepancy means that Tsesnabank either extended long-term loans that were not expected to generate cash flow for some time or booked interest income from loans even though that interest had not been paid by the borrower, bankers say.

The gap between Tsesnabank’s accrued and received interest income grew from 12 percent in 2015 to 36 percent in the first half of 2018, the accounts show.

The central bank told in an email in November that “generally, a declining ratio of received interest to accrued interest is being observed at certain banks, which is linked to the worsening financial situation of borrowers whose loans are denominated in foreign currency”.

($1 = 379.3700 tenge)

Three named to En+ voting trust as Deripaska looks to reduce stakes

MOSCOW ( ) – Russian conglomerate En+ Group (ENPLq.L) on Friday named three Americans who will form a voting trust to help Oleg Deripaska reduce his stake in the company in exchange for a waiver from U.S. sanctions.

Deripaska has agreed to reduce his stake in London-listed En,上海足浴夜网联系方式Octavia,+ to 44.95 percent from 70 percent and assign any voting rights above 35 percent to a voting trust.

D. J. Baker, David Cr上海夜网ane and David Knower will, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, exercise the voting rights attached to certain shares of En+, which manages the energy and aluminum businesses of Deripaska, it said in a statement.

The company did not provide further details about the three individuals or the process of their selection. It was not also clear whether more people would join the voting trust.

The U.S. Treasury has agreed to remove sanctions against En+, aluminum producer Rusal (0486.HK), in whi,上海夜生活Fabian,ch En+ owns a 48-percent stake, and power firm EuroSibEnergo, if they restructure to reduce controlling stakes held by Deripaska, who is to remain on Washington’s blacklist.

His deal with the U.S. Treasury includes Swiss commodities trader Glencore (GLEN.L) swapping shares in Rusal for a stake in En+.

VTB Bank (VT,夜上海419龙凤论坛Octavia,BR.MM), Russia’s second-largest lender, will also take over a block of Deripaska’s shares in En+ pledged as collateral for outstanding obligations.

Deripaska will also donate part of his stake to a charitable foundation. Several shareholders with professional or family ties to him will also assign their voting rights to an independent third party.

GSK Chairman Hampton to step down ahead of split

( ) – GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) Chairman Philip Hampton will step down after more than three and a half years in the role, as Britain’s biggest drugmaker prepares to split its business into two.

The announcement comes a month after GSK’s Chief Executive Emma Walmsley announced her boldest plans yet – to split the company into two businesses — one for prescription drugs and vaccines, the other for over-the-counter products.

Walmsley, who took the helm in 2017, announced in December that GSK and Pfizer (PFE.N) would combine their consumer health businesses in a joint venture with sales of 9.8 billi,上海021夜网Talon,on pounds ($12.7 billion), 68 percent-owned by the British company, in an all-equity transaction.

“Following the announcement of our deal with Pfizer and the intended separation of the new consumer business, I believe thi,上海夜网Kailani,s is the right moment to step down and allow a new Chair to oversee this process through to its conclusion over the next few years,” Hamp,上海凤楼夜网Kai,ton said in a statement.

Hampton, aged 65, was paid a sum of 700,000 pounds ($900,550), of which he elected to take 25 percent in GSK shares, according to the company’s 2017 annual report.

He took the top job at GSK at a testing time – just after a profit warning in 2014 due to weak sales of its core respiratory drugs.

The Briton was tasked with helping steer the drugmaker back to sustainable growth. Shares of GSK have, however, remained flat after peaking about 17 percent during his tenure.

They were little 上海夜网changed in early trading on Monday.

GSK, whose consumer products include Sensodyne toothpaste and Panadol painkillers, has lagged rivals in recent years in producing multibillion-dollar blockbusters and it largely sat out a spate of dealmaking by rivals under previous CEO Andrew Witty.

Seeking to reassure investors of its financial strength, GSK extended its guarantee on the dividend by stating it expected to pay unchanged dividends of 80 pence per share for 2019.

Before joining GSK, Hampton was chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS.L) and J Sainsbury plc (SBRY.L).

He was parachuted in to help rescue RBS following its 45 billion pounds bailout during the financial crisis and led the bank through a turbulent period of transition.

GSK, which has been looking to buy early-stage assets and partner with companies, said it had started the search for a successor.

Written by shyw on January 20, 2019 Categories: trlixvgg Tags: , ,

Harley sees 2019 shipments slump, shares drop; will boost Thai…

( ) – Harley-Davidson Inc reported worse-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday and forecast a slump in global shipments of its motorcycles in 2019, sending its shares down 5 percent.

Still, to avoid the fallout of a tariff war waged by U.S. President Donald Trump, the American company said it would boost investment,上海足浴夜网联系方式Ida, at its Thailand plant to serve European markets. Such a move would allow its motorbikes to avoid retaliatory tariffs by the European Union on U.S. imports.

The news on the Thailand facility was made public hours after Harley-Davidson reported a fourth straight year of declines in worldwide sales. The company has been struggling to revive demand in the United States, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of total sales.

The company expects to ship up to 222,000 motorcycles globally in 2019, the lowest number since 2010.

Shares closed $1.85 lower at $34.76. The stock of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company has fallen about 30 percent since the be上海夜网ginning of 2018.

The motorbike maker said tariffs alone, including import duties imposed by the European Union on its motorcycles, would amount to between $100 million and $120 million in 2019 and contribute to a 6-percentage-point drop in operating margins in the first quarter of this year.

Operating margins in the fourth quarter declined 6.2 percentage points, in part due to the tariffs. Operating margins measure how much profit a company makes on a dollar of sales.

The company will invest $15 million to expand the Thai facility in the city of Rayong, and shipments to Europe will begin by the end of 2019. The plant was originally intended to serve Southeast Asian and Chinese markets.

The decision to shi,上海高端夜生活在那里Talon,ft production out of the United States for European markets was announced last summer after the EU slapped tariffs on U.S. imports in response to Trump’s duties on steel and aluminum imports from the trading bloc.

Trump had blasted Harley’s decision and publicly backed a boycott of the company.

His comments have compounded financial troubles in the United States for the company, as its core customers grow older and outreach efforts to lure younger riders have yet to show results.

A survey published last week by market research firm YouGov found that Trump’s attack led to an erosion in Harley’s brand impression among its core customers.

Harley-Davidson reported an adjusted profit of 17 cents per share in the ,上海夜玩网论坛Eden,fourth quarter, lower than the 28 cents estimated by analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Global retail sales fell 6.1 percent year-on-year. In the United States, sales dropped 10.1 percent in the quarter, more than the 8.3 percent decline expected by analysts.

French government calls for Renault board meeting to replace Ghosn

PARIS ( ) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday the government had requested a Renault (RENA.PA) board meeting in coming days to replace the company’s scandal-hit Chairman and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.

The company needs a change of governance, Le Maire said in an interview with French TV station LCI, confirming an earlier report that France wanted a new Renault leadership.

“We have to move to a new phase,” the minister said.

The government, Renault’s biggest shareholder, had publicly supported the company’s decision to keep Ghosn in office while he awaits trial in Japan for alleged misconduct at Nissan (7201.T), the French carmaker’s alliance partner which he also chaired until his,上海夜网Lark, dismissal in November.上海夜生活论坛

Behind the scenes, however, the state had begun seeking candidates to replace Ghosn in November and December, sources familiar with the matter previously told .

Renault’s nominations committee is now expected to meet on Jan. 20, a source,上海夜哪里艳遇Babette, with knowledge of the matter said, followed by a full board meeting as soon as Monday under the interim chairmanship of Philippe Lagayette.

Headhunter Korn Ferry has been advising Renault management on succession matters, with Emeric Lepoutre & Partners acting for the government.

Ghosn has been charged over allegations he failed to disclose close t,上海新夜网龙凤Mabel,o $80 million in additional compensation for 2010-18 that he had arranged to be paid later. Nissan director Greg Kelly and the company itself have also been indicted.

Both men deny the deferred pay agreements were illegal or required disclosure, while former alliance boss Ghosn has denied a separate breach of trust charge over personal investment losses he temporarily transferred to Nissan in 2008.

Jean-Dominique Senard, who is soon to step down as CEO of tyre maker Michelin, is likely to replace Ghosn in his chairman role, according to sources.

The French state and its advisers are also considering candidates for the CEO job currently occupied on an interim basis by Ghosn’s deputy Thierry Bollore.

Others under consideration include senior Toyota (7203.T) executive Didier Leroy and Elior (ELIOR.PA) boss Philippe Guillemot, a person involved in the discussion said.

Elior has denied Guillemot was a candidate, but acknowledged he may have been considered.

Le Maire endorsed Senard as a “great industrialist” when asked about his potential candidacy.

The move to replace Ghosn follows a Tokyo court decision to deny his request for release on bail, increasing the likelihood he will remain in jail for months.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said in an interview on Monday he expected Renault to back the Japanese carmaker’s ouster of Ghosn when its board of directors were finally given full access to the findings of its internal investigation.

Factbox: Women who have accused Trump of inappropriate conduct

( ) – Three of the women who have accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct called on Monday for a congressional probe of his behavior amid similar accusations against powerful men in Hollywood, the media and politics.

Over the past two years, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them long before he entered politics. Trump has denied the accusations, and the White House has accused the women of lying.

Among his accusers are a Miss Utah beauty pageant winner, a businesswoman, a reporter and a receptionist.

The following are the three women who on Monday renewed their call for action:

** Jessica Leeds recounted in a video interview posted on The New York Times website in October 2016 that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt on a flight on which she was traveling to New York in or around 1980 when she was a 38-year-old businesswoman.

** Rachel Crooks, formerly a receptionist at a real estate firm in Trump Tower, told The New York Times in a report published in October 2016 that Trump “kissed me directly on the mouth” in 2005 at Trump Tower in Manhattan when she was 22.

** Samantha Holvey, the 2006 Miss North Carolina and a former contestant in the Miss USA pageant, told NBC’s “Today” program on Monday that Trump walked into the pageant dressing room in 2006 while contestants were naked and in bathrobes. She told CNN in an October 2016 report that Trump personally inspected each woman prior to the contest, “eyeing us from head to toe like we were meat, we were sexual objects.”

Here are other women who have made accusations against Trump:

** Summer Zervos, a contestant on Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” in 2006, told an October 2016 news conference that Trump tried to get her to lie down on a bed with him when she met him in 2007 to discuss a possible job. Zervos said she complied with a request to sit next to Trump and, “He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.” Trump has denied the allegation.

Zervos sued Trump in January, contending that his denials of her accusations amounted to false and defamatory statements and that being “branded a liar” by Trump has harmed her and her business.

** In a video posted on The Washington Post website in October 2016, Kristin Anderson accused Trump of putting his hand up her skirt in a crowded New ,上海夜哪里艳遇Oakley,York nightclub in the early 1990s in an unwanted advance. “He did touched my vagina through my underwear, absolutely,” Anderson said in the video interview.

** Lisa Boyne said in a short film titled “16 Women and Donald Trump” that she met Trump in the early 1990s at a dinner party he hosted in New York. Boyne said that Trump picked up her and another person in his limousine, and he made inappropriate remarks about famous actresses. “He asked us to rate them from 1 to 10,” Boyne said.

Boyne said that at the party, Trump “used his table as a ‘casting couch,’ instructing women who attended to model above the table. He then looked under the dresses of each women and made comments of what he saw.”

** Jessica Drake, an adult film actress, told a news conference in Los Angeles in October 2016 that Trump pressured her to have sex with him 11 years ago when they met at a golf tournament. Trump’s campaign said the accusations were false.

** Jill Harth, a former Trump beauty pageant business associate, filed a $125 mil,上海021夜网Qirin,lion lawsuit in 1997 against Trump alleging that on Jan. 24, 1993, at Trump’s Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, Trump “forcibly removed plaintiff to a bedroom, whereupon defendant subjected plaintiff to defendant’s unwanted sexual advances.” A Trump spokesperson was quoted by The New York Times in October 2016 as saying, “Mr. Trump denies each and every statement made by Ms. Harth.” The lawsuit was dropped in May 1997.

** Cathy Heller said that in 1997 Trump tried to kiss her during a Mother’s Day brunch at Mar-a-Lago. Heller, her husband, her three children and her in-laws attended the event. When she was introduced to Trump, “He took my hand, and grabbed me, and went for the lips,” she told The Guardian newspaper in October 2016. She said she turned he,上海夜生活服务Jacob,r head and Trump kissed her on the side of the mouth.

** Ninni Laaksonen, a former Miss Finland, accused Trump of groping her in 2006 when she was representing her country in the Miss Universe beauty contest. Laaksonen told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper in October 2016 that he had grabbed her behind before she appeared on a television show in New York with other contestants. “He r上海夜生活论坛eally grabbed my butt. I don’t think anybody saw it but I flinched and thought: ‘What is happening?’,” she was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

** In October 2016 Mindy McGillivray told the Palm Beach Post that she was a 23-year-old photographer’s assistant at a Jan. 24, 2003, event at Mar-a-Lago when Trump grabbed her buttocks.

** Natasha Stoynoff, a reporter, wrote a first-person account that described Trump kissing her without her consent in December 2005 at Mar-a-Lago while she was working on an article about him and his third wife, Melania, for People magazine. In the account published by People in October 2016, Stoynoff said “he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”

** Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah, said Trump twice kissed her on the lips while she was a contestant for the Miss USA pageant in 1997 when she was 21 years old. “What he did made me feel so uncomfortable that I ended up cutting my trip short, bought my own plane ticket, flew home and never spoke to him again,” Taggart said at an October 2016 press conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred.

** At an October 2016 news conference, yoga instructor Karena Virginia said Trump approached her outside the U.S. Open tennis tournament in 1998 when she was 27 years old. She alleged that Trump commented on her legs and then touched her breast before she was able to get into a car and be driven away.

On the autofarm: China turns to driverless tractors, combines to…

Xinghua, China ( ) – A brand new combine harvester buzzes up and down a field in eastern China without a driver on board, chopping golden rice stalks and offering a glimpse of what authorities say is the automated future of the nation’s mammoth agricultural sector.

The bright green prototype was operating last autumn during a trial of driverless farm equipment as the government pushes firms to develop within 7 years fully-automated machinery capable of planting, fertilizing and harvesting each of Chin,夜上海419龙凤论坛Cade,a’s staple crops – rice, wheat and corn.

That shift to automation is key to the farming sector in the world’s No.2 economy as it grapples with an ageing rural workforce and a dearth of young people willing to endure the hardships many associate with toiling on the land.

Other countries like Australia and the United States are taking similar steps in the face of such demographic pressures, but the sheer scale of China’s farming industry means the stakes are particularly high in its drive to automate agriculture.

“Automated farming is the way ahead and demand for it here is huge,” said Cheng Yue, general manager of tractor maker Changzhou Dongfeng CVT Co Ltd, which provided an autonomous vehicle that was also used at the trial in the rice field in Xinghua, a county in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

However, the road to automation is long and littered with obstacles such as high costs, the nation’s varied terrain and the small size of many of its farms.

“I have heard of driverless tractors. But I don’t think they are practical, especially the really large ones,” said Li Guoyong, a wheat farmer in China’s northern Hebei province.

Most farms in his area are only a few hectares in size, he said by phone.

GOING LOCAL

To try to achieve its ambitious 7-year goal, Beijing is supporting trials of local technology across the country organised by industry group Telematics Industry Application Alliance (TIAA).

Members include state-owned tractor maker YTO Group, navigation systems producer Hwa Create and Zoomlion Heavy Industry Science & Technology Co Ltd, which helped develop the combine harvester used in the Xinghua trial along with Jiangsu University.

The next trials are slated for the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and for the hills around the southwestern city of Chongqing in the first half of this year.

Those come after a string of automated developments in the sector.

YTO developed its first driverless tractor in 2017 and is aiming to start mass production soon, depending on market demand, said Lei Jun, an executive at the firm’s technology center, without giving a more detailed timeline.

Lovol Heavy Industry Co Ltd signed a deal with Baidu in April to apply the tech giant’s Apollo automated driving system to its agricultural machinery.

上海夜生活网China is expected to climb the autonomous technology lad,上海夜生活Tamara,der very quickly, mainly because Chinese companies can access the local navigation satellite system, which gives them an advantage over their international peers,” said Alexious Lee, Head of China Industrial Research at Hong ,上海会所夜网Idaia,Kong brokerage CLSA.

He was referring to China’s ‘Beidou’ homegrown satellite navigation system, a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS).

Beijing has included agricultural machinery in its ‘Made in China 2025’ campaign, meaning the vast majority of its farm equipment should be produced at home by that time.

Semi-automated technology is already fairly common on farms in places such as the United States, but fully-automated tractors and combines have yet to be mass-produced anywhere.

TOO SMALL

But with many Chinese farms still too small for a regular tractor, driverless ones that could be as high as four times more expensive at around $90,000 will be a long way out of reach for many in the short-term.

More than 90 percent of farms in China are less than 1 hectare, while in the United States nearly 90 percent are larger than 5 hectares.

“It is not about whether you have the product. It is about the entire system. It is about commercializing agriculture,” said Lee.

Although analysts and industry officials said that the underlying trend would be for farms to get larger as ongoing reforms to land rights should allow farmers to lease more space.

Sensors in equipment that help monitor crop conditions also need to be improved so that machines can adjust more quickly to different situations, said Wei Xinhua, deputy director of the school of agriculture equipment engineering at Jiangsu University.

China’s $60 billion farm machinery industry has been burdened by overcapacity and low profit-margins after a years-long subsidy scheme to promote mechanization in farming led to mass production of low-quality tractors. Analysts said it was too early to say how much the automated farming machinery sector could eventually be worth.

Automated farming machines are also useful in recording data on details such as volumes of fertilisers or other materials used in churning out crops, potentially helping farmers target consumers demanding higher-quality produce as some of that information could be included on food labels.

“Take a bowl of rice. I want to know exactly how it was planted, and how much fertilizer or pesticide was applied to it,” said Cheng at Changzhou Dongfeng.

($1 = 6.8450 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Written by shyw on January 15, 2019 Categories: koalttsm Tags: , ,

U.S. govt shutdown threatens rollout of new car models – automakers

WASHINGTON ( ) – The partial U.S. government shutdown is threatening to delay the roll-out of new vehicle models in the United States by stalling required certifications from the Environmental Protection Agency, automakers said.

The shutdown, at 34 days the longest in history, has left over 800,000 federal agency workers without pay and had an impact on everything from access to national parks to airline security screening to the release of economic data.

Some 95 percent of EPA staff has been furloughed, including those at the lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, responsible for verifying emissions data for new automotive models to ensure th,上海夜生活乌托邦Fabiana,ey comply with clean air laws.

GM has not yet had any vehicle launch delays but “like other automakers, we are currently awaiting decisions in the certification process for a few model year 2019 and 2020 vehicles,” spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley said at the Detroit Auto Show last week that the shutdown had delayed final certification of FCA’s new RAM 3500 heavy-duty pickup truck, one of its most pr上海夜生活论坛ofitable segments.

Ford Motor Co officials said some vehicles could be delayed if the government shutdown goes another 30 days.

“As the shutdown continues, these certification delays will affect U.S. vehicle production. Consumers will also not have access to the latest technologies and sales ,上海新夜网龙凤Caden,could decline as a result,” industry trade group Global Automakers told .

The EPA declined to comment.

Former acting administrator of the EPA, Stanley Meiburg, noted the agency’s certification process was central to discovering Volkswagen’s past efforts to cheat on emissions.

Automakers tend to seek certifications well in advance of releasing them to the market – meaning a delayed certification does not always impact the roll-out schedule. But the issue could become more serious if the shutdown lingers for much longer, Meiburg said.

“Any disruptions to this part of the process will disrupt the entire supply chain,” he said.

Republican President Donald Trump ,上海夜网官方网站Octavia,has refused to sign any legislation to fund an array of government agencies unless it includes $5.7 billion for his proposed wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democrats argue that a wall is costly, and there are better ways to shore up national security and curb illegal immigration.

Congress votes to avert shutdown, sends Trump stopgap spending bill

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Congress on Thursday averted a government shutdown just one day before federal funding was due to expire, sending President Donald Trump a bill to provide just enough money to keep agencies operating through Jan. 19.

With lawmakers eager to begin a holida,上海夜哪里艳遇Idaline,y recess until Jan. 3, the House of Representatives and Senate scurried to pass the hastily written bill by votes of 231-188 and 66-32, respectively.

When Congress returns, lawmakers will immediately have to get back to work on appropriating more money for a fiscal year that already will be three months old. They will try to pass an “omnibus” spending bill to fund the government from Jan. 19 through Sept. 30.

Negotiators have been stru,上海夜网官方网站Sabia,ggling for months over thorny issues such as the amount of defense-spending increases versus increases for other domestic programs, including medical research, opioid treatment and “anti-terrorism” activities.

Related CoverageTrump urges Congress to pass short-term spending billFactbox: Big-ticket items at center of Congress spending bill

Fiscal hawks, meanwhile, are angry that Congress is again moving to bust through spending caps that had been designed to tamp down mounting federal debt.

But some of those same lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Congress earlier in the week voted for a sweeping tax bill that will add $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years to a national debt that already stands at $20 trillion.

With the clock ticking toward a deadline of midnight on Friday when government funding would run out, Democrats in the House and Senate made a strong pitch for including protections for young immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, popularly known as “Dreamers.”

In the end, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and immigration advocacy groups failed. But nearly all of the House’s 193 Democrats and 29 of the Senate’s 46 Democrats voted no, in part to protest the lack of action on the immigration measure.

Shortly before the House and Senate votes, Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez told reporters, “We’re really tired of tomorrow,” referring to years of failed attempts in Congress to protect Dreamers from deportation, allow them to legally work in the United States and get on a path to citizenship.

They will resume their fight in January, aiming to win on the next spending bill or a separate measure.

Trump has eliminated Obama-era temporary protections for Dreamers, but has asked Congress to come up with a permanent solution by March. In the meantime, about 122 Dreamers a day are becoming vulnerable to deportation while Congress bickers.

Also on Thursday, the Senate put the brakes on another bill that passed the House, which would provide $81 billion in new disaster aid to help Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and several states hit by this year’s hurricanes or wildfires.

The temporary spending bill did, however, give Trump a modest increase of $4.7 billion for the Department of Defense to be used for missile defense and ship repair.

The bill includes $2.85 billion to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program through March and funding for community health centers 上海夜生活and the Indian Health Service.

The plan also would extend the National Security Agency’s expiring internet surveillance program, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillanc,上海夜生活网419Pablo,e Act, through Jan. 19.

Other provisions address funding for veterans, the Coast Guard and flood insurance.

Most government programs would be temporarily extended until Jan. 19 at fiscal 2017 levels.

Guaido versus Maduro: Who is backing Venezuela’s two presidents

( ) – The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil exports on Monday, a major escalation in its support for opposition leader Juan Guaido’s bid to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Like many i,夜上海论坛Gabrielle,n the opposition and international community, Guaido says the May 2018 vote in which Maduro won a sec,上海夜网千花Easton,ond term was a sham. He says the presidency is vacant as a result, and on Jan. 23 declared himself president, promising free and fair elections, winning support from the United States and others.

While Maduro faces growing international criticism for undermining democracy, he retains support from key stakeholders both at home and abroad, including Russia and China.

Guaido, who a decade ago participated in protests against late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, is promising a transition to a new government through free and fair elections and an amnesty for military officers who disavow Maduro.

Below is a summary of the support enjoyed by each leader.

MADURO

** The top brass of Venezuela’s military has shown no sign of leaving Maduro’s side. Defense Mi,上海高端夜生活在那里Fabiana,nister Vladimir Padrino reaffirmed support for Maduro in a tweet on Jan. 2上海夜生活网3, saying Venezuela’s armed forces disavowed any self-proclaimed president.

** Russia and China, which are major investors in Venezuela’s oil industry and significant creditors to the indebted government, have stood by Maduro and criticized U.S. interference. The two blocked a push for the United Nations Security Council to back Guaido.

** The Supreme Court, stacked with Maduro loyalists, has remained solidly behind the socialist leader, ruling last week that all actions taken by the congress – led by Guaido – are null and void.

** State oil company PDVSA, which accounts for most of Venezuela’s export earnings, stood by Maduro. “We have no other president” besides Maduro, PDVSA President and Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo, a career military officer, said in a Jan. 23 statement.

** A few left-leaning governments in the region, including Cuba and Bolivia, continue to back Maduro. Mexico, where leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office last year, has dropped the previous government’s opposition to Maduro and said it will follow a policy of non-intervention.

GUAIDO

** The United States recognized Guaido shortly after he proclaimed himself president on Jan. 23, saying it would use its “economic and diplomatic power” to restore democracy in Venezuela.

** Numerous right-leaning Latin American governments, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina, also recognized Guaido. Britain, Germany and France all said on Jan. 26 they would recognize Guaido as president if Maduro failed to call fresh elections in eight days.

** Australia, Canada, Israel also recognize the young leader.

** Venezuela’s top military envoy to the United States, defense attache Colonel Jose Luis Silva, said he was splitting with Maduro and recognized Guaido as the “only legitimate president.”

** There are some signs that support for the opposition is expanding beyond its traditional middle- and upper-class areas. Several protests against Maduro broke out in working-class neighborhoods last week, while many former Chavez and Maduro supporters came out to the massive Jan. 23 opposition march.

** Some low-ranking military officers have expressed discontent with the government. The government on Jan. 21 said it suppressed a military revolt after a group of officers stole weapons, kidnapped officers, and demanded Maduro’s removal.

Hyundai Motor to cut China jobs after sales slump

SEOUL/BEIJING ( ) – Hyundai Motor said its Chinese joint venture (JV) is accepting voluntary retirements and reviewing various “optimization plans” at its factories following a slump in car sales in the key market.

China s上海夜生活网aw its first auto sales contraction in more than two decades in 2018 as pressure from a crippling trade war with the United States and the phasing out of tax cuts on smaller cars pummeled business in the world’s biggest car market.

A bleak outlook as China’s economy slows has prompted many automakers, such as Nissan, to cut production in the country or, as with Suzuki Motor, even exit it.

For Hyundai, troubles have been exacerbated as it is also just recovering from a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing that had slammed demand for South Korean products in China.

Hyundai, which with its affiliate Kia Motors was the No.3 automaker in China until 2016, turned in sales that were only half of its total production capacity last year.

“Hyundai Motor is reviewing various optimization plans to enhance facility efficiency around the Chinese New Year holidays,” it said in a statement on Friday.

Chinese financial magazine Caixin reported that Hyundai’s local joint venture ex,上海021夜网Mace,pects 1,500 spare working roles in the first quarter, and has asked staff to choose to stay or leave, citing an internal document.

A spokeswoman for Hyundai said no decision had been made on the number of voluntary retirements.

Hyundai’s China sales sank 23 percent in the fourth quarter amid a lack of attractive models and strong branding in the face of competition from both Chinese and global car makers.

For the year, Hyundai’s sales stayed nearly flat at 790,000 vehicles in China from a year earlier, compared with its total capacity of 1.65 mi,上海仙霞路夜生活Daisy,llion vehicles.

IDLING

Hyundai has idled Chinese factories for a number of days since November because of rising inventories, a source familiar with the automaker’s operations in the country said.

Late last year, its factory utilization rates hovered below 50 percent, except for at its Beijing Hyundai Motor Company Plant 3, he added.

“We are agonizing over how to improve our competitiveness in China. It is a very tough situation, but we are trying to turn around China operations next year,” another source with direct knowledge of Hyundai’s China operations told .

The weaker demand in China, as the economy grows at its slowest pace in about three decades, has also hurt other foreign players. In September, Suzuki Motor said it would exit the Chinese market, while, a source says, Nissan plans to produce fewer vehicles in the country in the months ahead.

At Hyundai’s China JV, two workers said they were told in a briefing the plant was not be,上海夜网Rachel,ing shut down, but being turned into a production line for new energy vehicles (NEVs).

The Hyundai spokeswoman declined to comment on NEV plans.

Hyundai has offered to move employees from its Beijing No.1 factory to Cangzhou, Chongqing – where it has one plant each – and to its two other plants in Beijing, three people briefed on the matter told .

Netflix shares fall as weak forecast dampens investor optimism

( ) – Shares of Netflix Inc fell nearly 5 percent on Friday, as investors looked past its record subscriber numbers and instead focused on its lower-than-expected revenue forecast for the first quarter.

The video streaming pioneer’s shortfall in revenue expectations disappointed investors looking for a bigger payoff from the company’s recent decision to raise prices as much as 18 percent for its U.S. customers.

“Many investors we spoke with in recent days expected the price increase to flow through to improved free cash flow guide. That didn’t happen,” Bernstein analysts wrote in a note to clients.

Even so, Netflix remains the best performing FAANG stock this year with more than a 30 percent surge. Its shares recently traded at about 83 times expected earnings for the next 12 months. Stocks trading at high earnings multiples are more prone to sell off if growth targets are missed.

While investors seemed a bit disappointed, Wall Street analysts remained unfazed by the shortfall in the company’s forecast.

At least 14 analysts raised their price targets, with RBC Capital Markets pushing its estimate by $30 to $480, well past the stock’s median target of $410. 上海夜网

“Netflix offers a truly compelling value proposition with global appeal,” analyst Mark Mahaney wrote in a note to clients.

“(The company) still only accounts for perhaps 10 percent of all TV viewing hours in the U.S. This is growth d,上海夜生活桑拿会所Gabe,efined, in our view.”

Netflix has seen blistering growth in the past few years and has bet heavily on international subscriber additions, spending billions of dollars to bolster its original content.

It boasts of award-winning shows such as “Stranger Things” and “Wild Wild Country” that has helped it fend off intensifying competiti,夜上海论坛Gabriel,on from Amazon.com’s Prime Video service and Hulu. The company reported 139 million paid customers at the end of December.

But that growth has come at the cost of a rising debt pile – its long-term debt at the end of 2018 rose to a staggering $10.36 billion from $3.36 billion in 2016.

Wedbush analysts, however, said that if “Netflix is able to improve its free cash flow by $1 billion per year, it will see its debt peak at $13 billion, and will be debt free in 2026”.

The company said it expects free cash flow in 2019 to be similar to 2018, but sees improvement each year thereafter.

“Judging by recent moves, the rest of the media industry is more than happy to sell Netflix whatever they want as long as the bid is high enoug,上海新夜网龙凤Hadleigh,h and the check clears,” MoffettNathanson analysts said.

Shares of the company fell as much as 4.6 percent to $336.73 in early trading and were on track for its worst day in 2019.

Volvo recalls over 200,000 cars to fix fuel leak issue

STOCKHOLM ( ) – Volvo Cars, which is owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group [GEELY.UL], is voluntarily recalling about 200,000 cars after it found an engineering issue that could potentially cause fuel leakage in the engine compartment over time.

The group said its probe had identified that some vehicles may have small cracks inside one of the fuel lines in the engine compartment, which along with a pressurized fuel system may over time lead to fuel leakage in the engine compartment.

About 219,000 cars of 11 different models produced in 2015 and 2016 had been affected, the Swedish company said, with the highest number of impacted cars in Sweden, the UK and Germany. The Swedish recall was first reported by daily Aftonbladet.

Volvo sold 503,127 cars in 2015 and 534,332 cars in 2016.

“There are no reports alleging injuries or damages related to this issue. Volvo preventatively recalls the cars to avert any possible future problems,” Volvo said in its statement.

The company’s fortunes have been revived since Geely bought it in 2010 and its popular new premium models now compete w,上海夜生活桑拿会所Quay,ith larger rivals Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE). It sold a record 642,253 cars in 2018.

However, a prolonged U.S.-China trade war has inflated raw materials costs and resulted in a slowdown in Chinese demand for cars. That has forced Volvo to spend to re上海夜生活论坛tool its global factories to limi,上海夜生活Talon,t the negative tariff impact and led it to postpone ,上海夜生活网交流Idris,its plans to go public indefinitely.

This month, Geely Automobile (0175.HK), the main listed unit of the Geely empire which owns Volvo, forecast flat sales this year, as China’s most successful carmaker struggles with slowing economic growth and more cautious consumers.

A Volvo spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday on the cost of the latest recall.

The company made its largest recall ever in 2004, when it called back 460,000 cars to fix wiring in an electronic control module for the cars’ main cooling fan.

(This story has been refiled to remove extraneous apostrophe in lede)

U.S. senators rip Trump over his attacks on the media

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Flake castigated President Donald Trump on Wednesday for his attacks on the media, saying Trump had embraced the despotic language of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and inspired modern-day authoritarians.

In a rare intra-party rebuke from the Senate floor, Flake said Trump’s portrayal of the press as “the enemy of the people” and repeated White House references to “fake news” and “alternative facts” had spurred copycats such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Stalin, who led the 上海夜生活网Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until he died in 1953, used the phrase “enemy of the people” to describe those he wanted annihilated. Trump’s use of the phrase “should be a source of great shame,” Flake said.

Flake, 55, an Arizona conservative who has frequently feuded with Trump, described himself in October as out of step with his party and said would not seek re-election. His term ends in January 2019.

“Not only has the past year seen an American president borrow despotic language to refer to the free press, but it seems he has in turn inspired dictators and authoritarians. … This is reprehensible,” Flake said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, responding to Flake’s speech, said the senator was an attention-seeker. “He’s not criticizing the president because he’s against oppression,” Sanders said at a White House briefing. “He’s criticizing the president because he has terrible poll numbers and he is, I think, looking for some attention.”

Trump’s attacks on the media in response to critical stories about him have been a staple of his Twitter feed and he tweeted in February 2017 that “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people!”

That same month, Assad was quoted as dismissing charges of human rights violations at a military prison as “fake news.” In the Philippines, Duterte lashed out on Tuesday at a “fake news outlet” known for challenging his government.

Noting Trump had said he will give out awards for “the most corrupt and dishonest” media, Flake said: “It beggars belief that an American president would engage in such a spectacle.”

Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening that his “FAKE NEWS winners” could be found on the Republican National Committee website. The link, which was broken for 90 minutes, listed 10 stories by news outlets. An 11th item was coverage of “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” that Trump called a “hoax.”

In a second Twitter post, Trump said there were also “many great reporters I respect.”

CRITICISM FROM MCCAIN

The other Republican senator from Arizona, John McCain, aimed similar criticism at Trump on Wednesday in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.

“Trump continues his unrelenting attacks on the integrity of American journalists and news outlets,” wrote McCain, who is fighting aggressive brain cancer. “This has provided cover for repressive regimes to follow suit.”

In his clashes with Trump, Flake has called his behavior sometimes “reckless, outrageous and undignified” and criticized the president in a book that made the New York Times best-seller list last year.

On Twitter, Trump has referred to the senator as “Flake(y)” and said Flake dropped his re-election bid because he was doomed to lose. He also has called Flake ineff,上海夜生活网交流Tabitha,ective, “toxic” and weak on issues suc,上海夜生活Ida,h as crime and border security.

Still, Flake has voted for Trump’s policies. He supported Republican tax overhaul legislation last month and voted for unsuccessful bills to repeal and replace Obamacare, both efforts backed by Trump.

Flake laid some “official untruths” at Trump’s door on Wednesday and said the most vexing was his labeling as a “hoax” the investigation of alleged ties between Russia and Trump’s presidential campaign. “To call the Russia matter a ‘hoax’ … is a falsehood,” Flake said.

“We know that the attacks orchestrated by the Russian government during the election were real and constitute a grave threat,” he said. “It is in the interest of every Americ,上海夜网邀请码Faith,an to get to the bottom of this matter.”

Consumer confidence in focus as shutdown fears fade

NEW YORK ( ) – U.S. fund managers are continuing their retreat from consumer-related stocks and increasing their defensive bets out of concerns that the U.S. economy is slowing even though government leaders had reached agreement to end the longest shutdown ever.

While the S&P 500 index is up more than 5 percent since the start of January, money managers including Federated Investors, Baron Funds and Hodges Capital Management are bracing for a powerful knock-on effect on the consumer. The shutdown left roughly 800,000 federal workers without pay for 35 days, and U.S. consumer confidence fell in December by its largest amount in three years.

President Donald Trump said on Friday afternoon that he had reached a deal with Congress to end the partial shutdown and restore government funding for three weeks while talks continue on funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, one of Trump’s signature campaign promises.

Trump said that the government may shut down again on Feb. 15 or he will declare a national emergency if Congress does not appropriate money for a border wall.

“The market right now is treating this like a hurricane, where you know there will be an economic impact but you tend to discount any hit to the data because you know there will be some catch up,” said Steve Chiavarone, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors. “But here’s what’s dangerous about that approach: the sample size is zero for shutdowns this long.”

As a result, Chiavarone said he is becoming more cautious on consumer stocks. He noted that these probably saw revenue declines as government employees cut back and as that affected spending by owners or employees of restaurants, hotels, and retailers that depend on their business.

Shawn Kravetz, Esplanade Capital LLC’s chief investment officer, said he expected consumer stocks like Walmart Inc and dollar-store chains like Dollar Tree Inc to benefit as furloughed workers “trade down” into more value-oriented chains, leaving higher-end department stores and travel companies ripe for a slowdown.

“There’s no question that life is about cash flow. Even if you are h,上海夜网官方网站Barbara,ighly confident that you will eventually get paid, people will pull in their horns and hunker down,” he said.

PAST SHUTDOWNS

The benchmark S&P 500 has been little changed during past government shutdowns, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist of U.S. equity strategy at New York-based CFRA.

Each上海夜生活 of the more than 20 government shutdowns since the 1970s has lasted a week on average and left the S&P 500 essentially flat, he said. The longest, a 21-day shutdown from December 1995 to January 1996, saw the S&P 500 rise 0.1 percent during the shutdown itself and gain 4 percent in the month after it finished.

Michael Lippert, a portfolio manager at Baron Funds, said the shutdown is not likely to leave a lasting impact on portfolio holdings such as Amazon.com Inc that are still grabbing market share. Still, it could curtail investor enthusiasm for initial public offerings, he said.

“Sentiment affects stock prices in the short term and my bigger worry is what dysfunction in D.C. will do to market confidence,” he said. “Could we see a pullback on the magnitude of what we saw in December? It’s certainly possible.”

Eric Marshall, a portfolio manager at Dallas-based Hodges Capital Management, said the firm is underweight restaurant stocks in part because of the government shutdown and concerns about slowing economic growth.

Marshall expects to see more companies lowering guidance as they report earnings over the coming weeks. S&P 500 earnings are now expected to grow by 5.9 percent in 2019, ,上海夜网后花园Rae,compared to October estimates that earnings would grow by 10.2 percent, according t,上海021夜网Caden,o data from Refinitiv.

“You’re going to start seeing over the next couple of weeks whether companies factor the shutdown into their guidance, and whether it’s going to start to have some negative momentum in the economy,” he said.

Elliott-target Pernod pledges to further improve governance

PARIS ( ) – Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA), the family-backed French spirits group under pressure from activist investor Elliott, will continue to improve its governance, it pledged on Friday.

The statement to followed news reports the company was likely to make board changes, a move Jefferies analysts said would be an “early win” for Elliott. Pernod is due to hold a board meeting on Jan. 23.

Elliott, which has become more active in 上海夜生活Europe in recent years, said in December it had spent around 930 million euros ($1.1 billion) to build a stake of just over 2.5 percent in Pernod. Elliott has called on Pernod to raise profit margins and improve governance.

In particular, it believes Pernod’s 14-member board needs to be more diverse and have more independent voices, as many directors are linked to the Ricard family. Elliott does not have a board seat.

So far, the two camps have described contacts, including one on Jan. 15, as cordial and constructive.

A Pernod spokesman said on Friday that while “we have not needed any external input as regards our continuous drive to seek to improve our governance,… we will continue, at the appropriate moment, to announce further changes, once they have been proposed, discussed and adopted by the board and its committee.”

On Thursday, BFM Business reported that Pernod, which owns Absolut vodka and Martell cognac, planned to reshuffle its board in the coming weeks, with vice-chairman and former,上海夜生活服务Cain, Pernod CEO Pierre Pringuet among those who could step down.

Chief Executive Alexandre Ricard, who has already hired three independent directors and beefed up board expertise, is expected to present his new three-year strategy later this year, though some analysts expect Pernod to give some direction on margins alongside first-half earnings on Feb. 7.

There are, however, doubts that Elliott can change much as the Ricard family controls 15 percent of Pernod’s shares and 21 percent of voting rights, while long-time investor GBL owns a 7.5 percent stake and has said its supports the firm’s strategy.

The French state also warned in December it,上海夜生活网交流Talon, wanted “big French companies to have stable and long-term shareholders” and not to be “subject to pressure from shareholders who want short-term profitability,上海夜生活网419Faith,.”

One unknown is why Elliott is so far taking a less confrontational approach with Pernod than with some other investments.

Sources familiar with the activist’s thinking say Elliott could be testing a new template for negotiations with other French companies.

France is famous for protecting its companies against foreign takeovers. In 2005, it rushed to the support of food giant Danone (DANO.PA) in the face of a rumored bid from PepsiCo Inc PEP.N, which never actually materialized.

U.S. bank trade group, Accenture and others back fintech startup…

NEW YORK ( ) – Accenture Plc, SunTrust Banks Inc and the American Bankers Association, a trade group for U.S. banks, said on Friday that they had joined a $30 million investment round in Finxact, a startup that develops the back-end technology used by banks to process some transactions.

Existing investors, including Live Oak Ventures, First Data Corp, Woodforest National Bank and T.N. Incorporation Ltd of Thailand also,上海夜网后花园Daisy, participated in the round, the companies said.

Finxact plans to use the funding to develop its techno,夜上海论坛Jack,logy and grow its operations, Frank Sanchez, the company’s chief executive and founder, said in an interview.

The investment comes as banks of all sizes grapple with old technology infrastructure as they seek to offer more digital上海夜网 services to their customers. Many of these systems were built decades ago and are ill-equipped to handle services customers have come to expect in the internet age such instant peer-to-peer payments or real-time account balance updates.

Smaller banks often cite this issue as one of the biggest hurdles they face in competing with younger finan,上海新夜网龙凤Dakota,cial services providers or larger banks that can fund costly back-end replacements.

“I have heard from bankers across the country who wish they had more nimble and agile core processing platforms that allowed them to keep pace with customer demands,” ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said via email. “We understand that a bank’s ability to innovate is highly dependent on its core processing platform.”

This is the second significant technology investment since Nichols’ took over as the ABA’s chief executive in 2015.

Florida-based Finxact says its more modern cloud-based platform is built to enable banks to offer better digital services to their customers and is less expensive to run than older systems.

“It is substantially more efficient to operate,” Sanchez said.

The company targets regional and community banks but also works with neo banks, or large banks who plan to migrate their old systems, Sanchez said.

Written by shyw on January 2, 2019 Categories: zowywagu Tags: , , ,

Wall Street advances on Washington temporary shutdown deal

NEW YORK ( ) – Wall Street gained ground on Friday in a broad-based rally as investors were heartened by news that Washington would move to temporarily end the longest U.S. government shutdown in history.

All three major U.S. stock indexes advanced, with the Dow and the Nasdaq eking out their fifth straight weekly gains. But the S&P 500 posted its first weekly loss of the year, snapping a four-week run.

The indexes backed off their highs after President Donald Trump confirmed he and lawmakers agreed to advance a three-week stop-gap spending plan to reopen the government.

Investor sentiment had faltered in recent days in the face of revived jitters related to the shutdown and the prolonged U.S.-China tariff spat.

“As some of these uncertainties in the market start to diminish we’ll get a clearer picture as to where things are headed,” said Charlie Ripley, senior market strategist for Allianz Investment Management in Minneapolis. “And today’s news of the ending of the government shutdown certainly alleviates some of that overhang.”

“But most likely some uncertainty will linger as this is only a temporary measure to fund the government for now,” Ripley added.

Among these uncertainties, the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China continues to worry investors.

With the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, nearing its conclusion, business leaders have expressed worries over the tariff battles, saying they are “fed up” with Trump’s policies.

An escalation of the U.S.-China trade war would sharpen the global economic slowdown already under way, according to a poll of hundreds of economists worldwide.

Fourth-quarter corporate earnings season is in high gear, with more than 22 percent of S&P 500 companies having reported. Of those, 72.3 percent have beaten analyst expectations.

Earnings on Friday were a mixed bag.

Starbucks Corp also surpassed Wall Street consensus, reporting better-than-anticipated quarterly sales. The coffee chain’s shares advanced 3.6 percent.

Consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive Co reported fourth-quarter revenue that surprised to the upside but said it expects profit to decline in 2019. Its stock edged down 0.6 percent.

Intel Corp shares dropped 5.5 percent following the chipmaker’s disappointing fourth-quarter sales and current-quarter forecasts.

Still, the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index ended the session up 2.2 percent in the wake of a spate of positive earnings from other chipmakers.

DR Horton Inc’s quarterly results fell short of analyst expectations, underscoring persistent weakness in the U.S. housing market. The homebuilder’s shares fell 2.6 percent.

Western Digital Corp also disappointed, but its closed 7.5 percent higher after providing an upbeat forecast and saying it was committed to paying dividends.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 183.96 points, or 0.75 percent, to 24,737.2, the S&P 500 gained 22.43 points, or 0.85 percent, to 2,664.76 and the Nas,上海夜网千花[上海夜生活网随机符],daq Composite added 91.40 points, or 1.29 percent, to 7,164.86.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones o,上海晚上耍女人的地方Kade,n the NYSE by a 3.41-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.56-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 36 new highs and 20 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.55 billion shares, compared to t,夜上海419龙凤论坛Larissa,he 7.79 billion average over the last 20 trading days.