• Malaysia says auditor KPMG to pay $80 million in 1MDB settlement Link https://t.co/vxwjHoWFgX
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:46

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia said on Thursday audit firm KPMG has agreed to pay a 333 million ringgit ($80.11 million) settlement to resolve all claims related to their fiduciary duties on auditing of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) accounts from 2010 to 2012.

    The finance ministry said in a statement that the settlement will conclude a lawsuit filed against the auditor in July, and that KPMG will expedite the payment.

    KPMG confirmed to Reuters in an email that a settlement has been reached in the claim filed against a number of defendants including some partners of the audit firm.

    "This settlement represents a collective agreement by all the parties, including the Malaysian government," it said.

    The outcome, it said, will enable all involved to "move forward and focus on other important business, health and economic issues", and for the firm to focus on building public trust.

    The finance ministry said the settlement was valued at...

  • WATCH: Russia's market has had a strong run in this year driven by rising commodities prices. Marcelo Carvalho of BNP Paribas explains why he thinks the fundamentals of Russia's economy are solid despite some risks https://t.co/6QN40Qo9W4
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:41
  • General Motors said it will extend a shutdown of a Michigan assembly plant to mid-October in the aftermath of a new recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles over battery issues after 10 reported fires Link https://t.co/1t7SkpDvqU
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:41

    WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Thursday it will extend a shutdown of a Michigan assembly plant to mid-October in the aftermath of a new recall of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles over battery issues after 10 reported fires.

    The largest U.S. automaker said the extension of the production halt at its Orion Assembly plant will go through at least Oct. 15. GM also said it was cutting production at six other North American assembly plants because of the ongoing semiconductor chips shortage.

  • UK fashion group ASOS ties exec pay to new environmental goals Link https://t.co/AOLQ1rQmUt
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:31

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L) set out plans to cut its environmental impact and improve worker rights on Thursday, tying its success in cutting waste and carbon levels to future management pay.

    Joining a growing list of fast-fashion companies to open up its supply chain for external scrutiny, ASOS set out targets for improving recycling rates, cutting energy usage and increasing the diversity of its corporate leaders.

    Like Primark which produced a similar plan on Wednesday, ASOS must overhaul operations in Asia, Europe, the United States and elsewhere without threatening the ultra-low prices or rapid delivery times that have won over an army of young shoppers.

    The new mission statements follow calls from shareholders, governments and socially aware customers for companies to identify their environmental impact and then cut the use of water and chemicals, and reduce the millions of tonnes of throw-away clothing that end up in...

  • Four former employees of carmaker Volkswagen went on trial over the Dieselgate scandal in which illegal software was used to cheat emission tests Link https://t.co/36EvQup1FM
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:31

    BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Four former employees of carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) went on trial on Thursday over the Dieselgate scandal in which illegal software was used to cheat emission tests.

    The trial, being held in the city of Braunschweig, close to Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg, started without former CEO Martin Winterkorn, whose separate trial will take place at a later date.

    The four employees, who are accused of fraud, had been aware of the illegal software but failed to raise the issue, instead seeking to maximise profits for the carmaker and, as a result, their performance bonuses, Braunschweig prosecutors said.

  • How Wall Street’s hottest dealmaking trend fizzled over the summer, according to @Reuters interviews with more than a dozen capital market professionals and a review of market data Link https://t.co/DOmA47F4M6
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:21

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly made a lucrative offer last March that Sportradar Group AG (SRAD.O) founder and CEO Carsten Koerl could not pass up.

    He proposed a merger with his special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Horizon Acquisition Corp II that would have valued Sportradar at $10 billion. That was 110 times the adjusted cash flow of the Swiss sports gambling data company in 2020 of 76.9 million euros ($90.4 million). Most of its peers were valued at less than half that multiple.

    Yet Wall Street's mood was about to sour toward SPAC deals, then its hottest dealmaking trend. Sportradar instead went public this week through a traditional initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at just $8 billion.

    This account of the deal deliberations is based on interviews with four people familiar with the matter and on a Reuters analysis of Sportradar's financials. Spokespeople for Sportradar, CPPIB and Horizon did not...

  • Protesters taken away outside China Evergrande headquarters Link https://t.co/WB10p1wCY8
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:16

    SHENZHEN, China, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Security personnel in the Chinese city of Shenzhen on Thursday took away protesters who gathered outside the headquarters of cash-strapped real estate developer China Evergrande Group (3333.HK).

    The country's second biggest property developer is wrestling with a liquidity crisis, scrambling to raise funds as it teeters between a messy meltdown with far-reaching impacts, a managed collapse or a government bailout. read more

    Disgruntled Evergrande investors as well as vendors who say they are owed money have gathered this week at company headquarters in the southern city and reportedly elsewhere in China.

    "Every day we're here waiting for some sort of policy for us but nothing comes, so we have no choice but to stay," one protester said.

    Uniformed security could be seen detaining at least two among about two dozen protesters and forming a circle around those who remained, locking arms so that none could leave while...

  • RT @eculliford: NEW: Facebook's security experts, which do takedowns of influence campaigns using fake accounts, have been working to expan…
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:06
  • Fed's Powell orders sweeping ethics review after officials' trading prompts outcry Link https://t.co/yzMN8ozsdM
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:01

    WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has ordered a sweeping review of the ethics rules governing financial holdings and dealings by senior officials at the U.S. central bank, a Fed spokesperson said on Thursday.

    Powell ordered the review late last week, the spokesperson said in an emailed statement, following recent reports that two of the Fed system's 12 regional reserve bank presidents had been active investors during 2020, a notably volatile year for asset prices as the country battled the COVID-19 pandemic.Those revelations, originally reported by the Wall Street Journal, prompted senior U.S. lawmakers - including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts - to demand more stringent restrictions on such activities. read more

    "Because the trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission, Chair Powell late last week directed Board staff to take a fresh and comprehensive...

  • WATCH: Japan's exports rose 26.2% in August compared with the same month a year earlier, marking the sixth straight month of double-digit growth, although the pace of growth weakened Link https://t.co/bO4foUwqZJ
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:01

    TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Japan's exports extended double-digit gains in August, led by strong shipments of chip manufacturing equipment, although the pace of growth weakened as COVID-19 hit key Asian supply chains and slowed factory production.

    The trade growth is unlikely to dispel worries about the outlook for Japan's economy, which has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels after taking an enormous hit from a collapse in global trade in the first quarter of 2020.

    Exports rose 26.2% in August compared with the same month a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday, marking the sixth straight month of double-digit growth as strong demand for chip-making equipment offset slowing U.S and European Union-bound shipments of cars.

    However, the growth was slower than the 34.0% expected by economists in a Reuters poll and the 37.0% advance in the previous month.

    "Exports have been driving the economy. The recovery scenario for Japan's economy...

  • Stablecoin Tether says holds no Evergrande commercial paper Link https://t.co/csQsY8MoAv
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:46

    HONG KONG, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Tether, the world's largest 'stablecoin', said in a statement it does not hold any commercial paper or securities issued by embattled developer China Evergrande Group (3333.HK), as regulatory scrutiny into risks from this type of token grow.

    Evergrande, which has total liabilities of more than $300 billion, is also in the spotlight as it scrambles to raise funds, teetering between a messy meltdown with far-reaching impacts, a managed collapse or a government bailout.

    "Tether does not hold any commercial paper or other debt or securities issued by Evergrande and has never done so," the company said.

    "The vast majority of the commercial paper held by Tether is in A-2 and above rated issuers."

    Regulators are starting to pay greater attention to stablecoins - digital tokens which are pegged in value to other assets, often the U.S. dollar, and backed by a pool of assets - and some observers have raised concerns about the tokens'...

  • U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in August as a surge in online and furniture store purchases offset a continued decline at auto dealerships, which could temper expectations for a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the third quarter Link https://t.co/vpJxZbkjpE
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:36

    WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in August as a surge in online and furniture store purchases offset a continued decline at auto dealerships, which could temper expectations for a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the third quarter.

    The surprise rebound in retail sales reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday came as economists have been downgrading their gross domestic product estimates for the current quarter, citing plunging motor vehicle sales, which are the result of an acute inventory shortage.

    Sales last month were likely boosted by back-to-school shopping and child tax credit payments from the government.

    "Consumer spending will continue to lead the economic recovery going forward," said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Retail sales rose 0.7% last month. Data for July was revised down to show retail sales declining 1.8% instead of 1.1% as previously...

  • Foreign investors are growing more worried that Canada's federal election on Monday could result in a deadlock that hampers Ottawa's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and further slows the economic recovery from the crisis Link https://t.co/AdfeANrZS2
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:31

    TORONTO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Foreign investors are growing more worried that Canada's federal election on Monday could result in a deadlock that hampers Ottawa's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and further slows the economic recovery from the crisis.

    Polls show Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's center-left Liberals virtually tied with the opposition Conservatives ahead of the Sept. 20 vote, raising the prospect that no party will be able to form even a stable minority government. Adding to the uncertainty is an expected increase in mail-in voting that could delay the counting of ballots in some key electoral ridings. read more

    Financial markets generally view Canadian elections from the vantage point of which of the big parties would be most friendly for investors, but that tendency may take a backseat this time to the desire to have a government quickly in place in a crisis.

    The results of Canadian elections typically are known within hours of the polls...

  • Analysis: How Wall Street's hottest dealmaking trend fizzled Link https://t.co/XDkrirB9um
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:31

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly made a lucrative offer last March that Sportradar Group AG (SRAD.O) founder and CEO Carsten Koerl could not pass up.

    He proposed a merger with his special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Horizon Acquisition Corp II that would have valued Sportradar at $10 billion. That was 110 times the adjusted cash flow of the Swiss sports gambling data company in 2020 of 76.9 million euros ($90.4 million). Most of its peers were valued at less than half that multiple.

    Yet Wall Street's mood was about to sour toward SPAC deals, then its hottest dealmaking trend. Sportradar instead went public this week through a traditional initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at just $8 billion.

    This account of the deal deliberations is based on interviews with four people familiar with the matter and on a Reuters analysis of Sportradar's financials. Spokespeople for Sportradar, CPPIB and Horizon did not...

  • Wall Street set to open lower ahead of U.S. jobs and retail sales data Link https://t.co/QrHpBKicDV
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:16

    LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Global markets struggled to gain momentum on Thursday and U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly lower open for Wall Street, weighed by concerns about a possible slowdown in the economic recovery from COVID-19.

    European equities gained, bucking the trend from a weak Asian session. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped to its lowest level so far this year, and Chinese shares sank as investors dumped property and consumer stocks over fears that the liquidity crisis at China's Evergrande Group could affect the broader economy.

    The group's main unit, Hengda Real Estate Group Co Ltd, applied to suspend trading of its onshore corporate bonds following a downgrade. read more

    At 1114 GMT, the MSCI world equity index was down by around 0.1% . It has fallen by around 1.7% since it reached an all-time high on Sept. 7.

    Unexpectedly weak data from China on Wednesday reinforced investor bets that global growth is slowing due to COVID-19...

  • Asian shares fall on Chinese developers' woes Link https://t.co/XMVmCNfWWg
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:01

    HONG KONG, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Falls in Chinese property stocks pushed Asian shares down for a fourth day on Thursday, reversing initial gains, while the dollar was in the doldrums floating within its recent range.

    MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was last down 0.8%, and 2.8% lower on the week, while Japan's Nikkei (.N225) shed 0.71%, but after hitting a 31-year high on Monday.

    Futures suggested a mixed open for European equities, with the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.17% but FTSE futures were 0.04% lower. U.S. stock futures S&P 500 e-minis were 0.09% lower.

    In Asia, the Hong Kong benchmark (.HSI) led the declines, sliding 2.08% to its lowest since the end of October, as Chinese property developers' shares were hurt by the sense that the endgame for embattled developer China Evergrande Group's (3333.HK) was edging closer.

    The company, which has total liabilities of more than $300 billion and is...

  • Boom for banks as M&A and pandemic boost corporate FX needs Link https://t.co/x8ckKaDOgs
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:46

    LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - A boom in corporate dealmaking, surging input costs and a focus on short-term cash flows in the pandemic have sent companies rushing to hedge their currency exposures this year, giving a boost to banks that sell foreign exchange products.

    Corporate treasurers say the pandemic, which sent revenues tanking in 2020 before this year's sharp rebound, has encouraged many to hedge currency risks more frequently.

    Relentless supply chain pressures, and a sharp rise in raw material and other input costs that are mostly denominated in U.S. dollars, are reasons for companies to lock in prices too.

    And a surge in mergers and acquisitions as the recovery takes hold is also lifting corporate demand for foreign currencies. Global dealmaking is running at a record high this year, with $3.9 trillion of deals already transacted by early September, according to Refinitiv data.

    Multinational firms are among those to have increased their foreign...

  • Biofuel makers seeks changes to aviation fuel tax credit in Biden spending plan Link https://t.co/vpk4yLbIBQ
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:31

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Biofuel producers are seeking last-minute changes to a proposal to boost production of sustainable aviation fuel tucked in the Democrat's $3.5 trillion spending plan that they say will allow the nation's farmers to join the emerging multi-billion market.

    The changes center on how the carbon-saving benefits of producing the fuel are measured, and could force the White House to choose between environmental groups who believe using land and food supply for fuel squanders earth's resources, and farm and agribusiness groups hoping to benefit from the push to stop climate change.

    The White House said last week it wants to cut aircraft greenhouse-gas emissions by 20% by decade's end by significantly boosting the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Currently, less than 1% of the roughly 21.5 billion gallons of jet fuel burned each year in the United States is SAF, but the White House set a target of 3 billion gallons by 2030.

    It has backed a...

  • From @Breakingviews: @rob1cox and @LJucca discuss how the shares of hearing aid maker Amplifon have tripled in the past five years https://t.co/oRrPA8IYPh
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:31
  • China is cracking down on some of its largest companies, putting investors on alert over who may be next. These are some of the biggest companies affected so far. Read more here: Link https://t.co/ikeQMyGsqQ
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:21

    SHANGHAI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - China's regulatory crackdown has ensnared sectors from technology to education to property, wiping hundreds of billions off the market capitalisations of some of its largest companies and putting investors on alert over who may be next.

    Here are some of the largest names that have been affected so far:

    ALIBABA GROUP (9988.HK)

    The woes of China's biggest e-commerce company began in late 2020 when China abruptly suspended the record $37 billion stock market debut of its financial affiliate Ant Group and later fined Alibaba $2.75 billion for abusing its market dominance.

    The company's U.S.-listed shares have shed more than $400 billion in value since late October, when its founder Jack Ma made a speech that blasted China's regulatory system, which is widely regarded as the trigger for the government backlash that followed.

    Alibaba's sprawling empire of businesses has continued to face heat from regulators, over issues...

  • Futures pare losses after surprise rise in monthly retail sales Link https://t.co/m5b24GwpB0
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:16

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes were set to open flat on Thursday, with economically sensitive sectors likely to gain as retail sales rose more than expected, indicating resilience in economic recovery.

    S&P and Dow index futures pared losses after a report from the Commerce Department showed retail sales unexpectedly rose in August, heralding positive trends in consumer spending, which is a key factor in gauging economic strength. read more

    Data on Wednesday had also shown a dip in import prices, which coupled with a recent reading that showed consumer prices were slowing, implied that inflation had likely peaked and would fall to more manageable levels eventually.

    But stocks have struggled to hold on to record highs hit earlier this month due to seasonally weaker trends in September, as well as concerns that the economic recovery could lose steam towards the end of the year.

    Meanwhile, the labor market remained under pressure, with data on...

  • France to help limit financial hit to Naval Group from cancelled Australia deal Link https://t.co/LojgPdQLqI
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:01

    PARIS, Sept 16 (Reuters) - France will look to ensure any financial hit to Naval Group from a cancelled Australia submarine deal is limited, French Armed Forces Florence Parly said on Thursday.

    Parly did not rule out France seeking compensation from Australia.

    "We are studying all avenues," Parly told French radio RFI when asked whether France might seek compensation.

  • WATCH: British retailer Marks & Spencer said it would close all 11 franchise food stores it runs with partner SFH in France over the coming months Link https://t.co/ST9syx8V5H
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:01

    LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) said it would close all 11 franchise food stores it runs with partner SFH in France over the coming months after new trade rules in place since Britain left the European Union hammered product availability.

    The group said on Thursday that its remaining nine franchise stores, run with Lagardere Travel Retail (LAGA.PA), will continue to trade and the pair were working on a sustainable future business model.

    M&S Chairman Archie Norman has been complaining for months that the retailer has struggled to get goods into EU members Ireland and France since Britain left the EU's single market at the beginning of the year, due to the huge amount of additional paperwork that was required. read more

    "M&S has a long history of serving customers in France and this is not a decision we or our partner SFH have taken lightly," said Paul Friston, M&S' international director.

    "However, as...

  • As China Evergrande's debt crisis deepens, unpaid small business owners speak of despair Link https://t.co/8nuv3329uk
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 12:46

    SHENZHEN, China, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Wu Lei says his small construction company in central China has accepted commercial paper from property developer Evergrande (3333.HK) as payment for two years but with that paper's value now in doubt, his firm is on the verge of collapse.

    China Evergrande Group, saddled with more than $300 billion in total liabilities equivalent to 2% of China's GDP, is in the throes of a liquidity crisis that has it scrambling to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers.

    Wu, 35, was one of around a hundred protesters who descended on the headquarters of the country's No. 2 real estate developer in Shenzhen this week desperately seeking assurances of payment.

    "We were working for Evergrande, so our suppliers trusted us with the materials without us paying upfront. Now they're suing me, courts have frozen my property and I've sold my car. And I still have employees who need to be paid," he said.

    The plight of Wu and many...

  • Column: Social Security doomsayers are wrong again, but reform choices loom Link https://t.co/7Zpw4Z7YxP
    Reuters Business Thu 16 Sep 2021 12:31

    Sept 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. government recently released its annual report on the health of Social Security. Not surprisingly, that was met with a slew of doomsday forecasts from pundits and media.

    Social Security will soon be insolvent! Insolvency is coming years earlier than we thought! Benefit cuts are a real possibility!

    These panicky predictions appear every year when the trustees overseeing Social Security issue their report on the financial health of the program, and this year was no exception. The pandemic-induced recession of 2020 added a new twist, since many forecasters were predicting before the report was released that COVID-19 would dramatically worsen the financial outlook for Social Security.

    Guess what: it didn’t happen. But the U.S. Congress does need to address a long-range imbalance in Social Security finances - and lawmakers should expand benefits in a targeted way while they are at it.

    Last year, the dramatic fall in employment and...

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