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Germany says trade war could damage global recovery

BERLIN ( ) – Germany said on Thursday any escalation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariffs on metal imports into a full-blown trade war could cause tangible damage to the global recovery, although the tariffs themselves should have only a limited effect.

Trump last week ordered the imposition of duties on incoming steel and aluminum and threatened to levy a tax on European cars if the European Union did not remove “horrific” tariffs and trade barriers on a range of goods.

“The German economic upswing is continuing at the beginning of 2018. The global economic environment is still favourable,” the Economy Ministry said in its monthly report. But it said U.S. trade policies were creating a sense of uncertainty.

The tariffs on steel and aluminum will affect trade flows in some regions, but their overall implications for the global economy are likely to be manageable, it said.

“But a possible escalation into a trade war and rising uncertainty among market participants could cause tangible damage,” it added.

European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday urged the United States to revive trade talks rather than escalate a dispute over tariffs on metals and cars,上海夜哪里艳遇Sabina,.

Germany’s transatlantic coordinator Juergen Hardt also pushed for a quick resumption of negotiations between Brussels and Washington on a free trade agreement, known as TTIP.

“It was a big mistake not advancing this,” Hardt told lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

Germany favors the abolition of all tariffs and other forms of trade barriers between the United States and the EU, Hardt said, adding: “Our offer is TTIP and (U.S. Trade Representative Robert) Lighthizer is invited to come back to Brussels soon.”

“AT A CROSSROADS”

Germany’s new economy minister, Peter Altmaier, said Trump was challenging the multilateral trade system as defined by the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“We are at a very important crossroads,” Altmaier said, warning of a scenario in which countries could start a spiral of tit-for-tat trade restrictions.

“This is a really huge challenge with implications for all of us,” Altmaier added. He said consumers in all countries would end up footing the bill because tariffs would push up prices for many kinds of products.

The threat of a full-blown trade war will also be on the agenda of the G20 meeting in Argentina, where finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s 20 biggest economies meet from March 17 to 20.

Germany’s new finance minister, Olaf Scholz, will meet his U.S. counterpart Steven Mnuchin on Sunday or Monday on the sidelines of the meeting to discuss trade, banking regulation and other issues, senior German officials said on Thursday.

“The minister will have bilateral meetings with all G7 counterparts,” one of the officials said, on condition of anonymity, adding that multilateral trade would “certainly be a big topic” at the G20 meeting.

The taxation of profits from digital business and regulation of crypto currencies will also be in focus, the,上海高端夜生活在那里Idaleen, official added.

Swiss Nation,上海夜生活论坛Nadine,al Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said on Thursday U.S. protectionism could be a threat to the export-dependent Swiss economy and trigger safe-haven flows that would drive up the value of the Sw上海夜生活iss currency.

Puerto Rico may issue delayed audited 2014 statements in April

NEW YORK/SAN JUAN ( ) – Puerto Rico’s much-delayed audited financial statements for 2014 are expected to be finished and issued by April, the U.S. territory’s governor said in a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday.

The delay in completing the statements is due to the “complexities posed by our current financial crisis,” Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said in the letter, emailed by a representative for the commonwealth.

However, he added that there may be additional issues that arise that require an “adjustment to such timetable.” A draft of the fina,上海021夜网Easton,ncials, which cited “substantial doubt” about the government’s ability to c,上海高端夜生活在那里Quaid,ontinue as a going concern, was released last week, but did not include data from some agencies and has not been approved by auditors at KPMG.

The letter follows criticism from Republicans in Congress over the delay and a perceived lack of financial transparency from Puerto Rico. The island’s leaders are hoping for legislative help from Congress in tackling its $70 billion in debt, 45 percent poverty rate and dwindling population as locals flock to the mainland United States. Ryan has called on the Republican-led House to propose legislation by the end of March aimed at addressing ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Idris,Puerto Rico.

In Monday’s letter, Garcia Padilla gave a sense of what it might look like on the island if the government or its agencies failed to survive as going concerns — that is, became unable to meet financial obligations long term.

Entities subject to going concern assessments, Garcia Padilla wrote, include not only the government itself, but PREPA, the island’s sole power utility; HTA, which operates the island’s major roads; the Metropolitan Bus Authority, which transports thousands in the San Juan area; the Puerto Rico Medical Services Administration, the island’s main hospital and trauma center; and PRIHA, which oversees Medicaid benefits for 1.6 million poor residents.

Garcia Padilla also stressed 上海夜生活论坛that the Government Development Bank, Puerto Rico’s primary fiscal agent, may not be able to make debt payments in the last quarter of fiscal year 2016, and that the island may have to pass emergency legislation imposing a moratorium on GDB debt payments.

Global stocks get lift from oil prices; Fed bets boost dollar

NEW YORK, 2018 – A rise in oil prices to three-week highs helped lift equity markets worldwide on Tuesday, while the U.S. dollar jumped ahead of a meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers, who are ,上海夜生活男人好去处Kaia,expected to go ahead with the first of at least three U.S,上海夜生活网419Mabel,. rate hikes this year.

U.S. technology stocks lagged broader markets, continuing a sell-off sparked by reports of large-scale misuse of Facebook user data. Facebook Inc (FB.O) shares lost 2.5 percent, continuing a slide that took nearly 7 percent off their price on Monday. While stocks on Wall Street climbed, Facebook’s drop kept the gains in check.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 116.36 points, or 0.47 percent, to 24,727.27, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 4.02 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,716.94 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 20.06 points, or 0.27 percnet, to 7,364.30.

There were other tech-related problems, as well. An accident with an Uber test car UBER.UL on Monday that resulted in the first fatality involving a fully autonomous vehicle also weighed on Silicon Valley sentiment.

Shares in European chipmakers faced pressure, while Germany’s SAP (SAPG.DE) declined 0.5 percent, hit by a knock-on effect from U.S. business software peer Oracle, whose quarterly revenue missed analysts’ estimates.

“There certainly are some stocks where valuations look somewhat stretched… so we’re focusing our exposure within the technology sector on the cheaper end of the market,” said Mike Bell, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management.

“We’re a bit more cautious on the more expensive and some of the more popular names in the sector,” he added.

FOCUS ON THE DOLLAR

The U.S. dollar climbed to a one-week high against the Japanese yen as traders limbered up for the start of a two-day Fed Reserve meeting.

With a quarter-point hike – its sixth since the Fed began raising interest rates in late 2015 – baked into market prices, major currencies were largely moving in ranges.

“Euro/dollar is being buffeted by cross currents, especially as both central banks (Fed and the ECB) are normalizing policy, but it needs an unexpected policy action to jolt markets,” said Neil Jones, Mizuho’s London head of currency hedge fund sales.

Markets expect at least two more U.S. rate hikes after Wednesday this year, although analysts acknowledged that the central bank’s ‘dot plot’ could potentially point to as many as four.

The Fed bets kept long-term U.S. bond yields edging higher, with short-dated yields up too.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries was up at almost 2.89 percent US10YT=RR, 6 basis points below the four-year high of 2.957 percent touched a month上海夜生活论坛 ago. Two-year notes US2YT=RR hit a 9-1/2-year high of 2.33 percent.

Among major commodities, oil prices jumped in line with the dollar as investors remained wary of growing crude supply, although tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran provided some support. [O/R]

U.S. crude CLcv1 rose 2.24 percent to $63.52 per barrel and Brent LCOcv1 was last at $67.37, up 2 percent.

The potential for a trade war cast a shadow over export currencies after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum. The government is expected to unveil up to $60 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports by Friday.

U.S. businesses were alarmed, with several large U.S. retail companies, including Wal-Mart Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N), on Monday urging Trump not to impose massive tariffs on goods impo,上海晚上耍女人的地方Lark,rted from China.

The dollar index .DXY, tracking the greenback against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.74 percent, with the euro EUR= down 0.75 percent to $1.2241.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.42 percent versus the greenback to 106.54 per dollar, while sterling GBP= was at $1.3996, down 0.19 percent on the day.

United Airlines image bruised after latest round of PR fiascos

NEW YORK ( ) – United Airlines is struggling to repair its badly bruised public image after the death of a puppy onboard one of its flights reignited public debate about the airline’s customer service failures.

United faces possible action by the U.S. Congress, as well as federal and local authorities, along with criticism from passengers after the latest in a series of public relations blunders by the third largest U.S. air carrier.

The most recent incident involved the death of a French bulldog, Kokito, that died last week after a United flight attendant insisted that the puppy’s carrying case be stored in the ,上海夜生活网交流Oakley,plane’s overhead locker during a 3-1/2-hour flight.

Federal and local authorities are trying to determine if there are grounds for legal action in the dog’s death, and lawmakers have introduced a bill to Congress that would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to prohibit storing live animals in overhead compartments and establish civil fines for violations.

The district attorneys offices in Harris County, Texas, where the flight originated, and Queens County, New York, where the flight landed, are probing the incident. Both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Agriculture are also involved.

Social media users have threatened to boycott the airline, with thousands of tweets and re-tweets employing the hashtags #BoycottUnited and #BoycottUnitedAirlines to warn against flying on the carrier.

“You can’t talk your way out of a situation you behaved your way into,” Anthony D’Angelo, national chair of the Public Relations Society of America, said.

D’Angelo pointed to United’s immediate but short public apology to Kokito’s owners and other customer relations mishaps, including a mixup last week that led to a Kansas family’s dog being shipped to Japan, as evidence of the type of bad headlines that can lead to a reputational “death by a thousand cuts.”

“Unless there is a concerted and proactive effort… customers could start asking what’s going on. Stockholders could. Legislators could. The board could. At some point you could see some executive changes.”

Last April, the careers of some United executives looked in上海夜生活网 danger after video was published of Chicago O’Hare airport aviation police dragging a bloodied 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor from his seat and down the aisle of a parked United plane in order to make room for airline employees.

That incident, and a fumbled initial apology from United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz, prompted severe criticism of the carrier for its customer service shortfalls.

A Morning Consult poll at the time found that 40 percent of respondents said they would spend more time and money to avoid flying the airline.

Pressure has grown on Chief Executive Munoz in the months since to improve customer-carrier relations, and the negative headlines have revealed a number of customer complaints still to be addressed.

‘THINK TWICE’

These incidents have attracted the attention of federal legislators to a sector that has o,上海凤楼夜网Faith,perated fairly autonomously since the airline industry deregulation in the 1970’s.

After the incident involving the passenger being dragged from the plane, a bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress that would make it illegal for an airline to eject an already-boarded passenger from a flight and require airlines to promptly refund passengers if they do not receive the service they have paid for.

The death of the dog Kokito last week prompted two U.S. senators to introduce the “Welfare of Our Furry Friends Act”, or “WOOFF” bill that would impose civil fines for stowing animals in a plane’s overhead.

“I would think that anyone that has to travel with United is going to think twice now,” Dan Rene, senior vice president of Levick public relations firm, said.

While industry consolidation has limited the number of options U.S. customers have in choosing an airline, Rene warned that United’s repeated missteps could even turn cost-sensitive customers off its brand.

That could lead to severed partnerships with other corporations as fewer businesses want to associate with a brand they view as toxic.

“They have to show that they actually care about their customers, and in this case their customer could be on four legs instead of two,” Rene said. United needs to “own their current mistakes and talk about what they’re doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

After last year’s passenger ejection, United announced changes to the way it would compensate passengers who willingly give up their seats on overbooked flights.

And starting next month, United said it will issue brightly colored bag tags to passengers traveling with in-cabin pets to help flight attendants easily ide,夜上海论坛Sabine,ntify the animals.

United declined to comment further on the rash of incidents.

GSK buys out Novartis in $13 billion consumer healthcare shake-up

FRANKFURT/ZURICH ( ) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) is buying Novartis (NOVN.S) out of their consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion, taking full control of products including Sensodyne toothpaste, Panadol headache tablets, muscle gel Voltaren, and Nicotinell patches.

GSK’s biggest move since Emma Walmsley became chief executive last year follows the British drugmaker’s decision last week to quit the race to buy Pfizer’s (PFE.N) consumer healthcare business, endangering an auction the U.S. company hoped would bring in as much as $20 billion.

Consumer remedies sold over the counter have lower margins than prescription drugs, but they are typically well-known brands with customers.

“The proposed transaction addresses one of our key capital a,上海夜网推油Barrett,llocation priorities and will allow GSK shareholders to capture the full value of one of the world’s leading consumer healthcare businesses,” Walmsley said in a statement on Tuesday.

Although some pharmaceuticals groups have been keen to hold consumer care products, intense price competition online, mainly from Amazon (AMZN.O), as well as cheaper store-brand products, have led others to doubt their stable returns longer-term.

The British group’s shares jumped 6.1 percent, outperforming a 2 percent gain in the STOXX Europe 600 Health Care .SXDP.

GSK said that as well as ending the Novartis venture it would start a strategic review of Horlicks and other consumer nutrition products, spark上海夜生活ing another potential industry shake-up. The review will include an assessment of its majority stake i,上海夜生活网交流Eason,n India-listed GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GLSM.NS).

Related CoverageGSK says very confident about consumer margin goal of at least 20 percent

“The decision not to pay up for Pfizer’s consumer assets will have led GSK CEO Emma Walmsley to remove uncertainty by bringing all the consumer revenues in-house and assisting toward efficient capital allocation,” said Ketan Patel, co-manager of the Amity UK Fund at EdenTree Investment Management, who holds GSK shares.

“Long-term investors will welcome the greater clarity this brings to both companies.”

GSK said that the purchase would boost adjusted earnings and cash flows.

Pfizer has been struggling to sell its consumer healthcare business after GSK and Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L) both dropped out of the bidding, while differences in price expectations have also hobbled German drugmaker Merck KGaA’s (MRCG.DE) attempts to sell its consumer products unit.

And GSK’s call for bids for its consumer healthcare nutrition brands – with a regional focus on India – could detract attention from Merck’s asset, which relies heavily on sales of vitamins and dietary supplements in emerging markets.

NOVARTIS SHARES RISE

Barclays analysts said Glaxo was paying less than 17 times expected 2018 core earnings for the joint venture stake, whil,上海夜网邀请码Balthazar,e sources have told that both Merck and Pfizer had asked for up to 20 times for their respective assets.

Yet analysts at Baader Helvea welcomed the cash price fetched by Novartis as “excellent news” for the Swiss company, whose shares opened 1.9 percent higher.

Deutsche Bank analysts said the move decluttered Novartis’s portfolio, but cautioned that the Swiss group was being too vague about what it would do with the cash.

“The time is right for Novartis to divest a non-core asset at an attractive price,” Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said.

Novartis said the money would be used by Novartis to expand its business organically as well as for bolt-on acquisitions.

In an interview before the deal was announced, Narasimhan ruled out large acquisitions by the Basel-based company.

“We want to focus our M&A efforts on bolt on acquisitions that have either new technologies or products that fit into our core therapeutic areas,” he told CNBC in an interview recorded on Sunday.

For Narasimhan, a Harvard trained medical doctor, the disposal is among his first moves as CEO, a role he took on less than two months ago when he replaced Joe Jimenez.

He is now emphasizing the use of technology to boost returns on research investment but Novartis is currently also reviewing its Alcon eye care unit for a possible spinoff to shareholders, which could come in early 2019.

Under the 2014 deal to pool their consumer assets, Novartis had the right so sell its 36.5 percent stake to Glaxo from this month. The transaction is set to complete in the second quarter, subject to necessary approvals.

($1 = 0.7029 pounds)

Senator McCain wants hearing on possible F-16 sale to Pakistan

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senator John McCain on Thursday urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a hearing on the possible sale of Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, as more lawmakers expressed concern about the deal.

McCain, chairm,上海夜生活网419Eason,an of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters he was concer上海夜生活网ned about the timing of the Obama administration’s decision to approve the sale of the fighter jets to Pakistan, and the potential consequences for U.S. relations with India.

“I would rather have seen it kicked over into the next administration,” McCain said.

A hearing would help senators decide what to do about the proposed sale, he said, noting he was very “conflicted.”

The U.S. government announced on Feb. 12 that it had approved the sale to Pakistan of up to eight additional F-16 fighter jets, as well as radars and other equipment in a deal valued at $699 million.

The deal drew immediate criticism from India.

Separately, U.S. Senator Rand Paul said Thursday he had introduced a resolu,上海夜生活去哪玩Lake,tion of disapproval seeking to halt U.S. arms sales to Pakistan’s government. If passed, the measure would stop the F-16 sale.

U.S. lawmakers have until March 12 to block the sale. Such action is rare since deals are usually well vetted before any formal notification, and it remained unclear if lawmakers would thwart the deal.

State Department spokesman David McKeeby said the proposed sale of F-16s would assist Pakistan’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations and was in the interests of Pakistan, the United States, NATO and the region.

“Pakistan’s current F-16s have proven critical to the success of these operations to date. These operations reduce the ability of militants to use Pakistani territory as a safe haven for terrorism and a base of support for the insurgency in Afghanistan,” he said.

McKeeby said the department was aware of congressional concerns and would continue to consult and engage with lawmakers.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker allowed the Obama administration to proceed with the deal, but said he would not approve using U.S. funds to pay for the planes through the foreign military ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Hadleigh,financing (FMF) program.

Corker told Secretary of State John Kerry in a letter earlier this month that he was concerned about Pakistan’s ties to the Haqqani network, a militant group that U.S. officials have said is behind attacks in Afghanistan.

Cruz says would deport illegal immigrants, sharpens immigration stance

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz vowed to deport immigrants living illegally in the United States and ,上海夜网后花园Idaline,build a wall to keep others out, sharpening his stance on the issue a week before presidential contests in several southern state上海夜生活s.

Cruz’s comments on the eve of Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses came hours after the public firing of his main spokesman over misleading social media postings involving rival Marco Rubio.

Rubio won endorsements on Monday from prominent Republicans as he sought to become the party’s mainstream alternative to front-runner Donald Trump after Jeb Bush dropped out of the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Cruz was asked on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor” if he would round up the 12 million illegal aliens in the country, and how.

“Listen, we should enforce the law. How do we enforce the law? Yes, we should deport them. We should build a wall. We should triple the Border Patrol,” Cruz said. “And federal law requires that anyone here illegally tha,上海夜哪里艳遇Queena,t’s appr,上海夜生活网交流Idaleen,ehended should be deported.” 

Asked if he, like real estate tycoon Trump, would go out and look for them, Cruz replied, “Of course you would. That’s what ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) exists for. We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the laws.” 

The comments marked a shift from last month, when Cruz rejected sending authorities to find immigrants as “police state” tactics.

“I don’t intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America. That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime,” Mr. Cruz told CNN in an interview on Jan. 10.

Cruz has repeatedly criticized Rubio for having embraced a sweeping immigration reform bill he characterizes as amnesty.

Cruz and other Republican candidates vying to represent their party in the Nov. 8 presidential election have been under pressure to toughen their stance on immigration by Trump’s ferocious rhetoric on the issue.

Trump responded to Cruz’s comments with a trademark Twitter taunt on Tuesday, referring the U.S. senator from Texas’ third-place finish in South Carolina’s primary on Saturday.

“Ted Cruz only talks tough on immigration now because he did so badly in S.C. He is in favor of amnesty and weak on illegal immigration,” Trump said.

The New York billionaire has said he would deport all undocumented immigrants, build a wall and rescind U.S. President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

Thomson reports UK gender pay gap of 16.95 percent, big…

LONDON ( ) – Thomson (TRI.N) (TRI.TO), one of the world’s biggest news and information companies, on Tuesday reported a mean gender pay gap for its British entities of 16.95 percent and a mean bonus gap of 50.52 percent.

UK employers with more than 250 staff have to report their gender pay gap by April 4 to the Government Equalities Office, almost 50 years on from the passage of Britain’s equal pay act.

“At Thomson , we believe the strongest workforce is the most diverse workforce; the most competitive in the global economy,” said Mark Sandham, senior vice president and chief operating officer for human resources at Thomson .

“We will continue to champion gender equality and look forward to continuing to measure progress,” he said in a report.

The difference in earnings between men and women has provoked significant anger among many women in recent years and sparked a public debate in Britain over why pay is still so different for men and women.

The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average salary of men and women, calculated on an hourly basis.

Compared to other media companies, the Thomson mean pay gap was higher than at the British Broadcasting Corporation where it was 1,上海夜生活桑拿会所Dahlia,0.7 percent but lower than at the Financial Times Ltd where it was 24.4 percent or at Channel Four where the mean pay gap was 28.6 percent.

Thomson said men occupied 71 percent of its 上海夜生活论坛senior leadership roles, one of the reasons the bonus pay,上海足浴夜网联系方式Queena, gap was higher than some other media companies.

At the BBC, the mean bonus gap was 20.3 percent or the Financial Times where the mean bonus gap was 37.9 percent. Spokeswomen for the BBC and FT could not be reached for immediate comment.

“The bonus gap is also impacted by the senior leadership profile as these roles attract long term financial incentives which are included in the bonus gap calculations,” Thomson said.

Among financial companies, Goldman Sachs reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 percent and a mean bonus gap for the unit of 72.2 percent.

The Thomson data, submitted to the British government and published on its website http://www.gov.uk as well as on the Thomson website here was combined for all of its British legal entities.

At T,上海夜网Ebba,homson Professional UK Limited, the mean pay gap was 2.43 percent while at Limited the mean pay gap was 20.23 percent. The respective mean bonus gaps were 51 percent and 40.96 percent.

Thomson , controlled by Canada’s Thomson family, is the parent of News.

A Thomson spokesman declined further immediate comment.

United CEO acknowledges airline’s mistake in puppy’s death

CHICAGO ( ) – The head of United Airlines UAL.N acknowledged on Wednesday that the carrier had made a mistake last week when a French bulldog puppy died on a United flight after a cabin attendant forced the dog’s owner to stow it in an overhead bin.

“As hard as we try, it’s obvious we don’t always get it right,” United Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz said at a gathering of The Executives Club of Chicago.

The 10-month-old puppy, Kokito, was found dead on arrival by his distraught family after a 3-1/2-hour flight from Houston to New York.

“It should have never, ever happened. We take this deeply seriously,” Munoz said.

The dog’s death kicked off a weeklong上海夜生活网 rash of animal-related mishaps for the airline.

Following that incident, United reported two separate instances of shipping dogs onto the wrong flights, with one Kansas family’s dog ending up in Tokyo.

In another instance, a United flight carrying 33 passengers from Newark, New Jersey, to St. Louis was diverted to Akron, Ohio, after the airline realized that a p,上海夜哪里艳遇Barrett,et had been mistakenly loaded onto t,上海新夜网龙凤Balthazar,he wrong flight.

In reaction to those mix-ups, United said on Tuesday it was suspending the shipment of pets in airplane cargo holds until an unspecified date while it studies improvements. That does not apply to pets flying in the cabin.

Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday, Munoz said United was reviewing the program and would not be suspending it permanently.

“Doing away with something would be t,上海夜生活男人好去处Octava,he simplest thing to do,” Munoz said on CNBC. “That’s not what we’re going to do. That’s not what United’s about.”

U.S. senators urge NHTSA to accelerate Takata air bag recall

DETROIT/WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday renewed their call for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to accelerate the recall of potentially defective Takata Corp air bags.

The lawmakers cited a report on Tuesday by the Senate Commerce Committee alleging Takata “falsified data to cover up problems” with its air bags, and said the Japanese supplier might have lied to safety regulators for years.

On Wednesday, NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said the agency “has taken unprecedented efforts to address the Takata i,上海夜网推油Balthazar,ssue,上海夜玩网论坛Sabrina,, including the first use of the agency’s accelerated remedy authority,” and that it will “continue to use every tool available to make sure every American vehicle has safe air bags.”

reported on Monday that NHTSA continues to investigate whether the recalls of nearly 29 million defective Takata inflators in the United States should be expanded to include another 70 million to 90 million inflators with ammonium nitrate.

In a statement, Markey and Blumenthal described the additional air bags as “potentially lethal” and “ticking time bombs” and said the company showed a “pernicious disregard” for the safety of U.S. drivers.

NHTSA on Tuesday cited a consent order issued last November under which all Takata ammonium nitrate-based inflators must be recalled by 2019 “unless Takata can establish their long-term safety.”

The agency has said that some replacement inflators “may be effective for several years, but not for the full life of your vehicle, and therefore may also have to be replaced.”

On Wednesday, Takata said it has “dramatically increased” production of replacement parts and through its consent order with NHTSA is “committed to a comprehensive framework to address safety concerns with airbag inflators, including through service life testing of inflators not subject to recall.”

Former managers interviewed by described “chronic” quality fail上海夜生活网ures at Takata’s North American plants, an assessment reflected in dozens of company emails and documents dating to 2001. Those problems, the former managers said, make it difficult for the company and regulators to pinpoint which inflators, among tens of millions, pose a danger.

When exposed to moisture, ammonium nitrate can cause the inflator to rupture with deadly force, spraying shrapnel into vehicle occupants.

On Tuesday, a group of 10 automakers said the cause of Takata air bag ruptures linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries is ,上海仙霞路夜生活Barbara,a combination of exposure to humidity, design and manufacturing issues, and use of ammonium nitrate.

FedEx to roll out 500 more stores inside Walmart

LAS VEGAS ( ) – Packag,上海021夜网Kai,e delivery company FedEx Corp (FDX.N) said on Tuesday it will open 500 FedEx Office stores inside Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) U.S. locations, a partnership intended to help both companies attract new cust,上海晚上耍女人的地方Gabriella,omers and handle online order returns.

The new locations, to open over the next 24 months, are going to be in addition to the 47 stores inside Walmarts across six states that offer packing, shipping and printing services.

Brian Philips, chief executive of FedEx Office, told in an interview the company spent a lot of time looking at the types of customers visiting these facilities.

“What we found was that 88 percent of customers who come to our location are there to do business with us but over half of them are doing business with the 上海夜生活网retailer as well. They are buying something at Walmart,上海夜网千花Lark, while they are there,” Philips said on the sidelines of Shoptalk, a retail conference in Las Vegas.

He also said the move is a significant part of FedEx’s strategy to handle returns of items that were ordered online as the company has witnessed orders from retailers triple in volume.

FedEx is rethinking last-mile package delivery into crowded residential areas and expanding its network of convenience locations, Philips said.

The FedEx Office stores will be 450 to 700 square feet in size. FedEx Office operates approximately 1,900 company-owned stores and locations in the United States.

Heineken pulls beer ad after Chance the Rapper complains of racism

LOS ANGELES ( ) – Beer maker Heineken (HEIN.AS) said on Tuesday it had withdrawn an ad for a calorie-light beer after musician Chance the Rapper called the commerc,上海足浴夜网联系方式Mabel,ial “terribly racist.”

In the latest example of a company misjudging its marketing, Heineken said it was pulling the video a上海夜生活论坛d for Heineken Light from all global markets.

“While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer, we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns,” the company said in a statement.

The video commercial, with the tagline “Sometimes, Lighter is Better” showed a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken Light past a number of people of color, before it reaches a light-sk,上海夜生活网419Gabriel,inned woman.

The decision to withdraw followed Twitter comments by Chicago-born Chance the Rapper that gained a wide social media following.

“I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably racist ads so they can get more views.

“I gotta just say tho. The “sometimes lighter is better” Heineken commercial is terribly racist omg,” the Grammy-winning singer tweeted on Sunday.

The “Coloring Book” singer said he was not advocating a boycott, adding “im just noticing how often it happens.”

Heineken said in its statement that it had a long and “positive track record for creating marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us.”

It says its Heineken Light beer has just 99 calories.

Several companies have suffered accusations of racism in recent advertising. In January, fashion company H&M apologized for a poster that showed a black child modeling a hoodie that had the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” on the front.

Last year, Pepsi pulled an ad featuring American model Kendall Jenner after complaints that it trivialized civil rights protests by Black Lives Matter, and beauty product maker Dove apologized for a video that appeared to show a black woman turning into a white woman aft,夜上海论坛Kaia,er using its soap.

Exclusive: Russian billions slip through Latvia’s loose net

RIGA ( ) – Latvia launched just 85 money-laundering investigations in 2017 even though its banks flagged 17,900 suspect transactions, data seen by shows, highlighting the challenge the Baltic state faces in repairing its tarnished reputation.

Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis has vowed to invest more in monitoring banks after the United States triggered the closure of Latvia’s third biggest bank, ABLV, by accusing it of money laundering and breaching sanctions on North Korea.

Washington, an important military ally for the former Soviet-ruled state of 2 million people on the EU’s eastern flank, is watching closely how Latvia tackles money laundering, much of which is suspected to involve wealthy Russian clients.

More resources to monitor banks would be welcomed by Viesturs Burkans, who has been in charge of the Latvian agency fighting money laundering for two decades – as would lowering the burden of proof needed to prosecute suspects.

“The level of evidence is rather high in Latvia if you are comparing with other countries,” said Burkans, who has a staff of 33, some of whom are paid only 800 euros a month. “The number of convicted persons per year is low – close to 10.”

The number of unusual or suspicious banking transactions in Latvia referred to the authorities lags far behind similar statistics for Switzerland and the European Union.

In 2017, only 225 files were forwarded to Latvian enforcement authorities, or 1 percent of the transactions flagged, according to the government data seen by .

In Switzerland, about 60 percent of reports of suspicious activity were forwarded to police in 2016.

For the EU as a whole, police investigated one in 10 of roughly 1 million transactions flagged as suspected money laundering in 2014, according to law enforcement agency Europol.

Already subject to EU law, Latvia joined the euro zone in 2014 and later put its big banks under the supervision of the European Central Bank, but the country has consistently failed to shake off suspicions about lax financial controls.

“In Latvia, we have the best legislation,” said former justice minister Janis Bordans. “The problem is in enforcement. Who is the controller?”

SWISS-STYLE SECRECY

The stakes are high for Latvia, whose reputation has been hit by the closure of ABLV last month, as well as the detention of central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics in a separate bribery investigation. Rimsevics denies any wrongdoing.

Since securing independence from Russia in 1991, more than a dozen Latvian banks have promoted themselves as a gateway to Western markets for clients in Russia and former Soviet states such as Ukraine – ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Sabrina,and promised Swiss-style secrecy for clients.

In many cases, money was lodged in a Latvian bank and then funneled to accounts elsewhere, such as Switzerland, bankers and officials said. Since Latvia joined the European Union in 2004, transfers were deemed less risky for Western banks to handle than if they had come directly from Russia, they said.

The International Monetary Fund warned as long ago as 2007 that Latvia had a reputation for lax due diligence in opening bank accounts and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development criticized the country in 2015 for failing to do enough to tackle financial crime ,上海夜玩网论坛Kai,and money laundering.

The opacity of Latvia’s banking system was built on the fact many lenders taking foreign deposits dealt with shell companies, making it hard to identify the ultimate beneficiary.

At the peak in 2015, Latvian banks held deposits of about 12 billion euros ($15 billion) for foreign customers, according to the country’s financial watchdog. Bankers and officials have said much of the money came from Russia.

“Money is deposited here for a short time period or forwarded to Western Europe … but mainly to Switzerland,” said Burkans, describing one typical transaction.

Some clients were also taking advantage of a Latvian scheme granting a residency permit allowing them to travel freely throughout much of continental Europe – in exchange for depositing 280,000 euros in a bank for five years.

One state official, who declined to be named, said these clients generated profitable business for the banks, which were processing roughly $15 billion of payments a month during 2015.

Many officials who spoke to agreed that a lack of resources and lax enforcement of rules have made it hard to con,上海夜生活男人好去处Babette,trol the country’s financial system.

More than 200 million euros was taken out of Latvia last year in cash, bringing the total value of banknotes leaving the Baltic state to more than 750 million euros since the start of 2015, according to customs data seen by .

(GRAPHIC: Latvia’s euro cash waves – tmsnrt.rs/2FFXn3W)

SHELL FIRMS

Since Washington singled out ABLV and rattled Latvia’s financial sector, the government has pledged tighter controls.

The U.S. accusations effectively froze ABLV out of U上海夜生活.S. dollar financial markets, a critical part of its so-called non-residential business whose loss ultimately led to its closure. The bank has denied wrongdoing.

It was an abrupt fall from grace for a bank that modeled its headquarters on a luxury hotel and displayed a gold bar worth $500,000 in its lobby, as well as modern art it planned to donate to a new museum.

Rivals have been hit too. Since the U.S. announcement on Feb. 13, ABLV’s rivals have lost up to 700 million euros of foreign deposits, leaving 6.6 billion euros in total, according to the country’s financial watchdog.

A government official who declined to be named said it was examining a “risk duty”, or levy, on banks doing business with customers whose identity was unclear. The government also wants to make it easier to withdraw banking licenses and tighten curbs on taking cash out of Latvia.

“Quite a big share of these non-residents still come from shell or offshore companies, which are considered to be the most risky ones,” said Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

“Over the following years, the non-residential business will notably shrink. But the non-residential business … I wouldn’t say that it is completely bad.”

While some politicians and bankers said Latvian lenders would continue to cater for Russia’s wealthy elite whatever the changes, others took heart from the planned reforms.

“When Latvia regained its independence, it was poor and corrupt, with gangs and mafia. I don’t see that any more,” said Jekabs Straume, who leads Latvia’s anti-corruption agency KNAB and is heading the investigation into the central bank governor.

“There is still corruption … but it’s improving. There is the political will to change.”

Trump loves ‘the poorly educated’ … and social media clamors

( ) – U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s declaration of love for “the poorly educated” in his Nevada victory speech lit up social media on Wednesday, sparking a battle between those dumbfounded by the remark and those saying it had been taken out of context.

After winning the vote of the state’s Republicans by a wide margin on Tuesday, the real estate billionaire rattled off a list of those groups who swept him to victory: “We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”

By Wednesday morning, the phrase “I LOVE THE POORLY EDUCATED” was trending heavily. On Twitter, it was tweeted roughly 15 times a minute, according to social media analytics firm Zoomph.

“I am, by modern standards, poorly educated, and I think that Donald Trump is a threat to America,” tweeted Aaron Camp (@AaronApolloCamp). Tweet ID: “702495660998791168”

Another Twitter user, Kat (@VTweddingPhoto), wrote, “This is an embarrassment. For the GOP and for us as Americans. The world is once again laughing.”

Others said Trump’s remark was be,上海夜网Jacob,ing taken out of context, as he also touted having won the support of “the highly educated.”

“To be fair with Trump, he said ‘I love the highly educated and the poorly educated’. Don’t take it out of context,” tweeted Super Bowl Champs (@Josh_D_Manning). Tweet ID: “702372916680331265”

Dan Slott (@DanSlott) was not swayed. “We won the poorly educated vote. I lov,上海上海夜网夜生活桑拿会所Dahlia,e the poorly educated” – Trump Not a joke. Not parody. Not out of context. Trump ACTUALLY said this.”

Trump has won three of the four state-by-state Republican nominating contests, including Nevada, in the run-up t,上海夜网邀请码Balthazar,o the party nominating convention in July and the Nov. 8 general election to succeed President Barack Obama.

Written by shyw on April 20, 2018 Categories: folqyqzn Tags: ,

Volkswagen offers to buy back new diesels if bans introduced

FRANKFUR,上海夜生活去哪玩Faith,T ( ) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) will buy back new diesel cars if German cities ban them, it said on Thursday, seeking to reassure potential buyers and stem a plunge in sales of diesel vehicles.

Europe’s biggest automaker also said it would extend incentives for buyers of new diesel cars.

The moves come after a German court ruled last month that cities in the country could ban the most polluting die,上海夜网后花园Hallie,sel vehicles from their streets.

Many German cities exceed European Union limits on atmospheric nitrogen oxide, known to cause respiratory diseases.

Fears of bans have led to a plunge in demand for diesel vehicles, which are also,上海夜生活网交流Cade, key to carmakers’ attempts to meet new EU rules on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. While diesel cars are heavily criticized for emitting nitrogen oxide, they spew out less CO2 than gasoline equivalents.

Diesel car sales plunged 19 percent in Germany last month.

At its core VW brand, Volkswagen said its buyback offer applied to new die上海夜生活网sels bought between April 1 and the end of 2018 and would kick in if the city in which the buyer lived or worked banned diesels within three years of the purchase.

It said its dealerships would buy back diesel vehicles affected by bans at their current value if their owners at the same time bought a new vehicle that was not affected by cities’ driving restrictions.

At Czech brand Skoda, the guarantee applies to cars bought between April 1 and the end of June, but will cover bans introduced within four years of the purchase date.

At premium brand Audi, the offer only covers leased vehicles.

Volkswagen also said it was extending to the end of June incentives for customers trading in older diesels for new ones.

Fellow German carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) said earlier this month it would offer to take back leased vehicles if diesels were banned within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the operator’s home or place of work.

There has been a global backlash against diesel-engine cars since Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. exhaust tests.

But Germany’s government is seeking to avoid widespread bans on heavily polluting diesel vehicles, which companies say could cut the resale value of up to 15 million vehicles in Europe’s biggest car market.

In Germany, where motorists expect to drive powerful cars on motorways with no speed limits, any restrictions will be unpopular. Yet air quality is also a big concern, with green and consumer groups pushing for action.

Gundlach sees Donald Trump nomination causing ‘global growth scare’

NEW YORK ( ) – Jeffrey Gundlach, the widely followed investor who runs DoubleLine Capital, foresees a “global growth scare” between now and the end of the summer, triggered by a presidential nomination of Donald Trump.

“That is where I see the vulnerabilities,” Gundlach said in a telephone interview on Monday. Trump’s protectionist policies could mean negative global growth, Gundlach warned. “As he gets the nomination, the markets and investors are going to worry about it more. You will see a downgrading of global growth based on geopolitical risks. You must factor this into your risk-management.”

Trump has blamed currency deva上海夜生活luations around the world for hurting the U.S. economy and costing American jobs, and has called for a tougher U.S. stance on trade.

“We just sit back and do nothing,” Trump said earlier this month. “That’s getting to be very dangerous as far as I’m concerned.” A more effective economic move than devaluations would be charging a tax on products made abroad and sold in the United States, particularly those from China, Trump said.

Gundlach, who oversees $93 billion at Los Angeles-based DoubleLin,上海夜网千花Kaia,e Capital, said it isn’t premature to think abo,上海夜生活怎么玩Fabi,ut a Trump nomination. “You have to entertain the hypothetical.”

Phone calls and emails to Trump’s spokeswoman were not returned.

For its part, stock markets, which moved into positive territory after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s dovish move last week, will continue to track oil prices, Gundlach said, who was prescient in his call for $40 per barrel.

“I think oil will have a hard time moving up to $45,” Gundlach said. The risk-reward proposition is “so bad right now because you had this easy rally” in risk marke,上海夜生活群Barney,ts, Gundlach said. He added: “No way I would buy junk bonds at this level.”

Gundlach also criticized Fed officials for changing their stance on interest rates. “They’ve been flip-flopping like crazy over the past few months,” he said.

Just three days after the Fed held interest rates and cautioned “global economic and financial developments continue to pose risks,” Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Monday that the United States may be in line for an interest rate hike as soon as April given “sufficient momentum” in U.S. growth.

Gundlach said it’s become obvious Fed officials are seeking guidance from markets.

“If it is going to be about the markets, they should just come out and say, ‘If the S&P hits 2,100 we will tighten – and if it goes to 1,900 we will ease,” Gundlach said.

Explainer: China aims to challenge Brent, WTI oil with crude…

BEIJING ( ) – The launch of China’s yuan-denominated oil futures will mark the culmination of a decade-long push by the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) aimed at giving the world’s largest energy consumer more power in pricing crude sold to Asia.

The exchange said on Friday it had set the opening price for the front month of its crude futures contract launching on Monday at 416 yuan ($65.80) per barrel.

WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS AMONG FOREIGN INVESTORS?

* Worries include how to freely exchange the yuan because of a Chinese clampdown on capital outflows, while some concerns remain about Beijing’s heavy handed intervention in its commodity markets in recent years, traders and analysts said.

The obligation to trade Shanghai crudes in yuan will also add a currency risk to the market, which some traders are reluctant to take.

* The Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), the unit of ShFE running the contract, has strict daily limits on the number of canceled orders allowed per account, aimed at curbing spoofing. This involves placing bids to buy or offers to sell futures contracts with the intent to cancel them before execution. By creating an illusion of demand, spoofers can influence prices to benefit their market positions.

For a larger client placing orders of more than 300 lots, equivalent to 30,000 barrels of oil, the limit is 50 a day. Users with smaller orders are allowed 500 cancellations.

That’s different to international exchanges, like the CME, which uses a ratio based on an investor’s traded volume.

On days when price volatility and volumes are high, overseas investors new to Chinese markets could get penalised if they exceed those restrictions as they try to adjust their positions, traders say.

* Chinese commodity futures investors do not typically trade steadily over the months, but instead pick specific months in which they deal. That could complicate efforts to trade spreads between Brent, WTI and Shanghai.

Take iron ore , one of China’s most-active futures markets: most of the more than 2.3 million lots of open interest are in May and September contracts, with delivery months in between ranging from tens of thousands of lots to in some cases fewer than 10.

In contrast, liquidity across the first five months of the Brent and WTI contracts is relatively evenly spread out, reflecting their popularity among hedge funds and other financial players, who like to trade month by month.

* There will be a 1.5-hour gap between the settlement and a price published by price reporting agency S&P Global Platts, which provides a price assessment for the region at 4:30 p.m. Singapore time in what it calls the Market On Close (MOC) process, which is clo,上海高端夜生活在那里Sabina,sely watched by the industry.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING CHINA’S NATIONAL HOLIDAYS?

Trading will stop for China’s week-long national holidays – Spring Festival and Golden Week – leaving the Shanghai market out of synch with the Western exchanges.

Shorter trading hours – with three slots each day – compared with almost 24 hours on Western exchanges mean the market may sometimes play catch-up with the rest of the world.

WHO WILL USE IT IN THE DOMESTIC INDUSTRY?

China has opened more than 6,000 trading accounts, including the country’s oil majors and about 150 brokerages. Ten foreign intermediaries have registered, i上海夜生活ncluding JPMorgan, Bands Financial, Straits Financial Services and other Hong Kong-based affiliates of domestic brokerages.

It will likely attract mainly ‘mon-and-pop’ speculative investors, who dominate the country’s other often volatile commodity futures markets from dates to iron ore, although transaction fees for crude are relatively high.

China’s independent refineries are more likely to process heavy crude instead of the medium-sour crude traded in futures, a Shandong-based crude trader said.

At least three independent refineries that are looking to use the contract for hedging also said they were unsure about delivery. Under the rules,上海夜网推油Lake,, buyers cannot choose a specific grade that will be delivered or the location of the warehouse for delivery.

HOW DO FOREIGN USERS OPEN A TRADING ACCOUNT?

Foreign investors will need to open a non-residential bank account with one of the eight banks that handle margin deposits for yuan crude futures, according to INE.

The banks are Agricultural Bank of China, CITIC Bank, China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Merchant Bank and the Development Bank of Singapore.

Investors will need to transfer money from that bank account to an account opened with either a domestic broker or foreign broker or agencies registered with the INE. The broker will open two accounts with INE: one for margin deposit and one for settlement for foreign currencies.

WHAT ARE DOMESTIC BROKERS DOING TO ATTRACT CLIENTS?

Many big and small brokers such as COFCO and Zhaojin Futures have waived their transaction fees to crude oil clients and will provide free consulting services as well as free training in a bid to win more customers, sources at br,夜上海419龙凤论坛Gabi,okers told .

COFCO and Zhaojin declined to comment.

Huatai Futures is offering over-the-counter crude oil options, Zhang Huiyao, deputy manager of the firm’s crude department, told . In January, the broker added six staff to its China-based crude oil team, which was set up last October, so it can reach more potential clients, she said.

Senate banking panel approves Szubin for key sanctions post

WASHINGTON ( ) – The Senate Banking Committee approved Barack Obama’s choice to be the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence by a 14-8 vote on Thursday, nearly 11 months after the president nominated him.

Obama nominated Adam Szubin in April 2015 for the post, which oversees U.S. sanctions as well as efforts to cut off money illegally flowing to nations such as Iran and North Korea and groups including Islamic State.

But his nomination got caught up in partisan fighting over foreign policy, particularly the international nuclear agreement with Iran announced in July, between the administration of Obama, a Democrat, and Republicans who control Congress.

Senator Richard Shelby, the banking panel’s chairman, did not allow votes on any of Obama’s nominees until after surviving a challenge in Alabama’s primary on March 1.

All eight of the “no” votes on the committee were from Republicans, although four Republicans joined all of the panel’s 10 Democrats in recommending Szubin. The nomination must still be approved by the full Senate.

Shelby, who voted no, told reporters the nominee “is a nice man,” and qualified for many jobs. “But the policies he would have to carry out, a lot of us o上海夜生活ppose them.”

In a statement issued later, he said, “Mr. Szubin’s role at the Treasury Department has requ,上海夜生活网419Nala,ired him to both promote and defend the Administration’s il,上海晚上耍女人的地方Fabian,l-conceived Iran nuclear agreement. I could not support his nomination today because of his participation in facilitating a deal that I believe is crippling to our national security.”

The deal betwe,上海夜生活论坛Idris,en Iran and major powers eases international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

The banking panel was the only committee in the U.S. Senate that did not vote on any Obama nominee in 2015. About 14 are still outstanding.

Shelby said he did not know when the full Senate might vote on Szubin, who is currently acting undersecretary.

“The simple fact is that the Senate should have unanimously confirmed Mr. Szubin last spring instead of keeping him in limbo for almost an entire year,” Senator Sherrod Brown, the committee’s top Democrat, said in a statement.

Besides Shelby, Republican Senators Mike Crapo, Tom Cotton, Dean Heller, Mark Kirk, Ben Sasse, Tim Scott and Pat Toomey opposed Szubin’s nomination. Republicans Bob Corker, David Vitter, Mike Rounds and Jerry Moran backed him.

Volkswagen looking at ways to boost Skoda output, including new…

BERLIN ( ) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) is looking at ways to boost production at Skoda, including building a new factory outside the brand’s Czech home, to help it keep up with booming demand, company sources said.

Best,上海夜网后花园Paisley, known for its low-priced cars, Skoda moved last year into the fast-growing market for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) with the new Kodiaq and Karoq models, and plans to launch another 19 models by 2020.

But attempts to increase capacity at its main Czech plant in Mlada Boleslav, where it builds more than half a million cars a year, are in limbo because the Kovo union opposes extending the work-week to Saturday, two Volkswagen (VW) group sources said.

Skoda has offered to create 3,000 jobs in the Czech Republic if labor leaders agree to additional shifts at the two automaking plants, a move management says could boost output at Mlada Boleslav alone by 83,000 cars a year.

“Additional capacity is absolutely essential to be able to meet continually growing demand,” Skoda said in an emailed statement. “The company has been producing at full capacity for some time.”

Once the butt of jokes in the West, Skoda has blossomed under nearly 30 years of VW ownership to become one of its profit drivers, even beating luxury brand Audi’s (NSUG.DE) and BMW’s (BMWG.DE) operating margins last year, thanks to its cheap labor and to VW’s cost-saving modular production platforms.

Growing demand in Europe and China has helped Skoda’s sales to jump nearly a third over the past five years to a record 1.2 million cars in 2017.

Sources said Skoda could miss out on about 360,000 car sales by 2020 if capacity is left unchanged. Production of Skoda models has been expanded in recent years in markets including China, India and Russia.

VW and Skoda are aiming to find solutions by the summer, the sources said, to help the brand with its goal to expand foreign sales to 120 countries, from about 100, by 2025.

Deliberations include searching for under-used capacity within the VW group, as well as investing in a new facility outside the Czech Republic where production could be shared with other VW brands,上海夜生活 the sources said.

BOTTTLENECKS

“Of course we are always pleased if brands like Skoda develop very positively. But that also affects other brands where we have bottlenecks,” VW group ,夜上海论坛Idaline,chief executive Matthias Mueller told TV last week when asked how he wanted to solve capacity constraints at Skoda.

“Our platform strategy thankfully gives us a chance to also react at short notice, meaning within a few weeks or months,” he said, referring to the group’s strategy of maximizing the number of parts used in common across brand and model lines.

Last year, labor leaders at the group’s VW brand pushed for some Skoda production to be shifted from the Czec,上海夜生活群Ebba,h Republic to help offset declining output at German sites, fuelling concerns among some Czech workers and politicians.

It remains unclear where Skoda models could be built.

The VW brand’s main Wolfsburg plant in Germany is grappling with falling demand for its top-selling Golf hatchback, but utilization has improved at a fellow German plant in Emden, which has been awarded production of another model and so sees no room to build Skodas before 2020, a VW source said.

Audi says capacity is tight at its main Ingolstadt plant in Germany, where some models are based on the MQB platform shared by Skoda.

VW’s Spanish brand Seat is also operating near full capacity at Martorell after the new Arona SUV was added to assembly lines, and the brand has swapped production of the higher-volume Audi Q3 for the Audi A1 to ease workload at the factory.

But in the wake of the group’s costly diesel emissions scandal, it is likely to want to tap any under-used capacity across the business ahead of building a new factory.

VW finance chief Frank Witter last week reaffirmed the group’s goal to cut both capital spending and R&D costs to 6 percent of sales by 2020, from 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.

“I have said all along that … 2017, 2018 and 2019 will be a dog fight, and I haven’t changed my view,” Witter, also Skoda’s chairman, said on an earnings call.

At Skoda, management are determined not to lose momentum. “We are intensively pushing forward Skoda,” CEO Bernhard Maier said at the Geneva auto show this month. “We are motivated from head to toe to continue along this path.”

Balancing act: Chip giant Qualcomm caught between Washington and…

SHANGHAI ( ) – U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), blocked this week from a takeover bid amid national security fears, was already walking a Pacific tightrope: it has government and defense contracts in America, but two-thirds of its revenue comes from China.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday halted microchip maker Broadcom Ltd’s (AVGO.O) $117 billion takeover of Qualcomm over concerns it would give China the upper hand in the next generation of mobile communications, forcing the Singapore-bas,上海夜网千花Faith,ed firm to drop its bid.

The move illustrated the awkward position of Qualcomm, which is based in San Diego. In the United States, it has government and defense contracts and is seen as a “trusted” supplier. In China, it has its most lucrative market, thanks to patent licensing fees it receives there from smartphone ,上海会所夜网Paisley,vendors including Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Samsung (005930.KS) and Xiaomi.

(GRAPHIC: Broadcom, Qualcomm global footprint – tmsnrt.rs/2FIS93)

On top of that, China, the United States and Europe are racing to develop the next generation of wireless data network, called 5G, for mobile phones and increasingly connected devices. Whoever controls the technology will gain a potential strategic advantage, and the U.S. government does not want to have to rely on Chinese-made gear.

The result is a delicate balancing act to navigate trade disputes and political tensions between Beijing and Washington that could irk policymakers and regulators on both sides, hurting business and deals.

“We see ourselves as part of the China semiconductor system,” Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm Pres上海夜生活网ident told at a Beijing event in January. “It’s very clear that 5G is important to the United States of America. It’s important for China.”

Qualcomm is still waiting for Chinese approval of its proposed $44 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI.O) and trying to mend its relationship with Chinese customers after paying a fine of nearly $1 billion for anti-competitive practices in 2015.

The company is helping Chinese firms ZTE and China Mobile develop 5G technology and is involved in China’s 5G standard development trials. It has similar partnerships in the U.S. and Europe.

GAINING AN ADVANTAGE

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which vets acquisitions of U.S. corporations by foreign companies, said the Broadcom takeover risked weakening Qualcomm, which would boost China in the 5G race.

A Broadcom takeover could see the company cut research and development spending by Qualcomm or sell strategically important parts of the company to other buyers, including those in China, officials and analysts said.

As such concerns emerged, Broadcom immediately jumped into action, pledging to invest in Qualcomm’s 5G technology and accelerate its move to the United States. But the plan didn’t go down well with CFIUS.

The clash marked a sharp fall from grace for Broadcom, whose chief executive, Hock Tan, Trump welcomed to the White House last year to announce a plan to move its headquarters to the United States. At the time, Trump called it “one of the really great, great companies.”

Led by Tan, a Harvard-educated Malaysian entrepreneur, Broadcom grew largely through acquisitions. Tan is an aggressive dealmaker and built the $100 billion chip giant up from a business worth just $3.5 billion in 2009.

Until the Qualcomm bid, its biggest deal had been the $37 billion acquisition of Irvine, California-based Broadcom, where the company, called Avago Technologies at the time, got its current name.

COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP

Qualcomm executives acknowledge the tricky relationship the firm has in China, especially with local companies like Huawei, which is spearheading China’s 5G push.

“Our relationship with Huawei is complex; I don’t know if there’s a good word for it,” Amon said in Beijing in January, adding that the company was a big supplier to Huawei while also being a competitor with Huawei’s semiconductor business.

Although Huawei is in a strong position to supply 5G network equipment to carriers in many large markets – with the notable exception of the United States – it still has to license some technologies from Qualcomm, which owns more 5G patents than any other company in the world.

Keeping Chinese relationships on track is key for Qualcomm as domestic smartphone makers like Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi gain prominence and as broader U.S.-China trade tensions rise.

Trump is seeking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports and will target the technology and telecommunications sectors, two people who had discussed the issue with the Trump administration told .

“I would imagine relationships that we have in China, and probably the symbiosis of that relationship, it will play a very strong role with the (Chinese) regulators’ view of the future of Qualcomm,” Amon said in January.

And the Broadcom takeover case highlights a growing risk for U.S. companies in China.

“It’s an unenviable position because they are pretty dependent on China,” said Andrew Gilholm, director of analysis for China and North Asia at risk consultancy Control Risks, referring to Qualcomm.

“They are an extreme case but as more and more sectors become effectively considered ‘strategic’ from a comprehensive national security perspective, more and more companies are facing this kind of squeeze between the U.S. and China.”

(GRAPHIC: Global tech M&A – tmsnrt.rs/2z,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dalton,jPc9A)