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AIG paid new CEO Duperreault $43.1 million in 2017: filing

BOSTON ( ) – American International Group (AIG.N) paid its new chief executive Brian Duperreault $43.1 million last year, a securities filing showed on Tuesday.

AIG, which during the ,上海夜生活网419Dahlia,financial crisis faced questions over the compensation of former leader Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, had previously outlined the components of Duperreault’s pay but not the total figure.

Excluding one-time components, Duperreault earned $14.9 million after rejoining AIG in May, according to the company’s annual proxy filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

That figure was similar to the $15.3 million paid to MetLife Inc (MET.N) CEO and Chairman Steven Kandarian in 2016, and less than the $27.1 million paid in 2017 to John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N), according to the latest proxy filings by those companies.

Duperreault, 70, had worked for AIG until 1994 and rejoined it from a Bermuda company he founded, Hamilton Insurance Group.

As CEO he replaced Peter Hancock, who stepped down under pressure. Hancock received $24.2 million last year including a $5 million cash award “for his service through the transition” to the new CEO, according to the filing.

Duperreault’s payout could indicate investor angst at high CEO pay has faded with rising markets. At last year’s AIG annual meeting, about 98 percent of votes cast by investors were in favor of the 2,上海足浴夜网联系方式Caitlin,016 compensation for top executives, the company’s filing states.

While Duperreault’s compensation will be up for another advisory vote at its annual meeting on May 9, some investors have previously said they would approve of the pay so long as he performs.

Since his appointment AIG’s shares have closed as high as $66.06 on Aug. 3. The stock closed at $54.21 on Monday.

AIG received a federal bailout during the financial crisis that eventually totaled $182.3 billion but was repaid.

Greenberg, who built the company until his ouster in 2005, on Monday suffered a legal defeat when th,上海夜生活服务Jace,e U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal he led arguing the bailout was illegal and at the expense of shareholders.

Duperreault’s compensation in 2017 included a $12 million cash bonus and a one-time option award valued at $16.2 million, mostly tied to performance targets.

AIG’s board compensation committe上海夜网e “believes this award properly motivates Mr. Duperreault to create sustainable, profitable growth for AIG, aligning his interests with those of our shareholders,” the proxy filing states.

Facebook apology does little to satisfy lawmakers, Wall Street

WASHINGTON/LONDON ( ) – Facebook Inc came 上海夜生活under further pressure from lawmakers, investors, advertisers and users on Thursday, the day after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg admitted the social media network made mistakes in letting 50 million users’ data get into the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

U.S. lawmakers demanded Zuckerberg personally testify in Washington to explain his company’s actions.

Meanwhile, advertisers Mozilla and Commerzbank suspended ads on the service and the hashtag #DeleteFacebook remained popular online, although it was hard to tell how many users are abandoning Facebook.

In light of those concerns, investors continued to sell off Facebook shares, although not at the pace of earlier in the week. They closed on Thursday at $164.89, down 2.7 percent. The S&P 500 Index was down 2.5 percent on the day. Facebook shares closed at $185.09 on Friday.

The company has lost more than $50 billion in market value since al,上海夜网后花园Octavien,legations this week that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data to build profiles on American voters and influence the 2016 presidential election.

Five days after the scandal broke, Zuckerberg apologized on Wednesday for mistakes his company made and promised to re,上海021夜网Octava,strict developers’ access to user information as part of a plan to protect privacy.

On Thursday, Facebook executives were still saying sorry.

“We know this is an issue of trust. We know this is a critical moment for our company, for the service we provide,” Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview broadcast on CNBC.

Related CoverageEU leaders tell social networks to guarantee users’ privacySenate subcommittee seeks information on Facebook dataSee more stories

Zuckerberg’s apology and promises were not enough to ease political pressure on the world’s largest social media company.

“It shouldn’t be for a company to decide what is the appropriate balance between privacy and innovation and use of data. Those rules should be set by society as a whole and so by parliament,” British minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock, told BBC Radio.

Zuckerberg’s media rounds did little to satisfy Washington lawmakers in either political party who have demanded this week that the 33-year-old billionaire testify before Congress.

The Republican chairman and top Democrat of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee said they will in coming days formally ask Zuckerberg to testify.

The request came a day after company executives briefed committee aides for nearly two hours and left with a list of at least 60 questions they were unable to answer, two aides said.

Zuckerberg said in media interviews on Thursday he would be willing to testify if he is the right person at the company to speak to lawmakers.

“My message to Mark Zuckerberg is you are right person. There’s no question you are the right person,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, told reporters after Facebook executives briefed Senate staff on Thursday.

Facebook said it had no comment beyond what Zuckerberg had already said.

Executives also briefed another House committee on Thursday, and while they answered questions about Cambridge Analytica they were unprepared to address broader questions about Facebook’s privacy policies, according to a staffer who was present.

REPUTATIONAL COSTS

Wall Street analysts expressed relief that there were no signs so far of a fundamental shift in the company’s advertising-driven revenue model, but some said there would be costs to shore up its reputation.

Facebook, with more than 2 billion monthly active users, made almost all its $40.6 billion in revenue last year from advertising.

Sandberg said Facebook’s priority was restoring users’ trust, even if that meant accepting regulation of the data that is central to its ad business, and she said the company was “massively ramping hiring.”

Several analysts cut price targets. Technology stocks have fallen along with Facebook this week as investors worried about tighter scrutiny of global platforms like Alphabet’s Google, Twitter and Snapchat.

Analysts said Zuckerberg’s promises to investigate thousands of apps, and to give members a tool that lets them turn off access, would not substantially reduce advertisers’ ability to use Facebook data – the company’s lifeblood.

Nevertheless, open-source browser and app developer Mozilla said it wa,上海夜生活网交流Dalton,s “pressing pause” on its Facebook advertising after the revelations prompted it to take a closer look at the site’s default privacy settings.

“We found that its current default settings leave access open to a lot of data – particularly with respect to settings for third-party apps,” Mozilla said in a blog post.

British advertising group ISBA, which represents thousands of brands, threatened to withdraw ads if investigations show data has been misused.

“We think this issue is more likely to snowball than recede and that advertisers are reaching a tipping point at which spending on not only Facebook and other online platforms, is re-evaluated,” brokerage Liberum said in a note.

But Sharon Rowlands, president of USA Today Network Marketing Solutions, said it was unlikely a flood of brands would stop advertising on Facebook because of its powerful targeting tools.

“The challenge is that the platform performs,” Rowlands said.

Exclusive: Kaspersky Lab plans Swiss data center to combat spying…

MOSCOW/TORONTO ( ) – Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab plans to open a data center in Switzerland to address Western government concerns that Russia exploits its anti-virus software to spy on customers, according to internal documents seen by .

Kaspersky is setting up the center in response to actions in the United Sta,上海夜生活群Jacklyn,tes, Britain and Lithuania last year to stop using the company’s products, according to the documents, which were confirmed by a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The action is the latest effort by Kaspersky, a global leader in anti-virus software, to parry accusations by the U.S. government and others that the company spies on customers at the behest of Russian intelligence. The U.S. last year ordered civilian government agencies to remove the Kaspersky software from their networks.

Kas,上海夜网邀请码Mace,persky has strongly rejected the accusations and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. ban.

The U.S. allegations were the “trigger” for setting up the Swiss data center, said the person familiar with Kapersky’s Switzerland plans, but not the only factor.

“The world is changing,” they said, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing internal company business. “There is more balkanisation and protectionism.”

The person declined to provide further details on the new project, but added: “This is not just a PR stunt. We are really changing our R&D infrastructure.”

A Kaspersky spokeswoman declined to comment on the documents reviewed by .

In a statement, Kaspersky Lab said: “To further deliver on the promises of our Global Transparency Initiative, we are finalizing plans for the opening of the company’s first transparency center this year, which will be located in Europe.”

“We understand that during a time of geopolitical tension, mirrored by an increasingly complex cyber-threat landscape, people may have questions and we want to address them.”

Kaspersky Lab launched a campaign in October to dispel concerns about possible collusion with the Russian government by promising to let independent experts scrutinize its software for security vulnerabilities and “back doors” that governments could exploit to spy on its customers.

The company also said at the time that it would open “transparency centers” in Asia, Europe and the United States but did not provide details. The new Swiss facility is dubbed the Swiss Transparency Centre, according to the documents.

DATA REVIEW

Work in Switzerland is due to begin “within weeks” and be completed by early 2020, said the person with knowledge of the matter.

The plans have been approved by Kaspersky Lab CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky, who owns a majority of the privately held company, and will be announced publicly in the coming months, according to the source.

“Eugene is upset. ,上海夜网后花园Kade,He would rather spend the money elsewhere. But he knows this is necessary,” the person said.

It is possible the move could be derailed by the Russian security services, who might resist moving the data center outside of their jurisdiction, people familiar with Kaspersky and its relation上海夜生活网s with the government said.

Western security officials said Russia’s FSB Federal Security Service, successor to the Soviet-era KGB, exerts influence over Kaspersky management decisions, though the company has repeatedly denied those allegations.

The Swiss center will collect and analyze files identified as suspicious on the computers of tens of millions of Kaspersky customers in the United States and European Union, according to the documents reviewed by . Data from other customers will continue to be sent to a Moscow data center for review and analysis.

Files would only be transmitted from Switzerland to Moscow in cases when anomalies are detected that require manual review, the person said, adding that about 99.6 percent of such samples do not currently undergo this process.

A third party will review the center’s operations to make sure that all requests for such files are properly signed, stored and available for review by outsiders including foreign governments, the person said.

Moving operations to Switzerland will address concerns about laws that enable Russian security services to monitor data transmissions inside Russia and force companies to assist law enforcement agencies, according to the documents describing the plan.

The company will also move the department which builds its anti-virus software using code written in Moscow to Switzerland, the documents showed.

Kaspersky has received “solid support” from the Swiss government, said the source, who did not identify specific officials who have endorsed the plan.

China renews pledges to open economy, protect IP rights

BEIJING ( ) – China pledged on Sunday to pres,上海夜网Ebba,s ahead with market opening and reforms while reiterating that it will treat domestic and foreign firms equally and protect intellectual property rights.

The pledge on reform and equal treatment came from Vice Premier Han Zheng, at a time there are increasing prospects of a trade war with the United States.

Han, making his first speech since being named executive vice premier earlier this month, told the China Development Forum in Beijing that China needs to “open even wider to the outside world,” and would do so via its ,上海夜生活男人好去处Nadine,Belt and Road Initiative.

China is fully aware that economic globalization is “irreversible,” said Han, adding that unilateralism and trade protectionism served nobody’s interests.

Also at the forum, He Lifeng, chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said China “will deepen supply-side structural reforms and work hard to eliminate ineffective supply”.

Earlier this month, the NDRC said China, the world’s biggest steel and coal producer, would cut its annual steel capacity by around 30 million tonnes and coal capacity by about 150 million tonnes this year.

China will also promote international capacity cooperation as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, which Beijing considers to be a modern-day ‘silk road’, and widen access to the Chinese market, including the financial, telecom and education sectors, He said.

EQUAL PROTECTION

It will also “give equal protection to property rights of all ownership types by law,” and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, said He, adding that China would better integrate its financial sector and real economy.

John Frisbie, president of the U.S.-China Business Council told China “has been promising market-opening measures and protection of intellectual上海夜生活 property for some time, but what the U.S. business community is waiting for is action.”

The United States launched a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization on Friday, part of a package of trade measures announced by President Donald Trump on Thursday over China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property..

Related CoverageChina’s opening up not forced by external pressure: commerce ministerChina weighs ending some restrictions on foreign stakes – vice commerce ministerSee more stories

China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Friday it opposed U.S. unilateralism and protectionism after Washington unveiled plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese goods following an intellectual property probe.

Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple (AAPL.O), who is co-chairing the forum, told the meeting the business community “has always supported the idea that open markets foster new ideas and allow entrepreneurship to thrive.”

“The strongest companies and economies are those that are open – those that thrive on diversity of people a,上海晚上耍女人的地方Idaleen,nd ideas,” said Cook, who on Saturday called for “calm heads” in the brewing U.S.-China trade dispute.

Melrose wins UK engineer GKN with $11 billion hostile bid

LONDON ( ) – Melrose Industries (MRON.L) has narrowly clinched an 8 billion-pound ($11 billion) takeover of British engineer GKN GKN.L, winning an acrimonious three-month battle for control of the FTSE 100 company.

The UK-based turnaround specialist said on Thursday that 52.4 percent of GKN’s shareholders had accepted its hostile cash-and-shares offer by the time the deadline for a deal expired at 1200 GMT.

That just surpassed the acceptance threshold of 50 percent plus one share that Melrose had set for the takeover of the aerospace and automotive parts supplier.

It means Melrose has triumphed with Britain’s biggest hostile bid since Kraft pounced on confectionery giant Cadbury in 2009.

GKN supplies parts to carmakers such as Volkswagen, components to aircraft including the Eurofighter Typhoon and produced Spitfires during the Second World War.

Given its status as a mainstay of British engineering, Melrose’s bid has attracted close scrutiny f,上海新夜网龙凤Paisley,rom politicians.

The turnaround specialist’s motto is “buy, improve, sell”, provoking fears among some lawmakers about the security of GKN’s 6,000 British employees and the future of the engineer’s pension schemes.

It also raised concerns Melrose could in the future sell GKN’s aerospace business, which is involved in defense programs, on to an overseas buyer in a move that might have implications for national security.

Seeking to quell such worries, Melrose made a series of legally binding commitments about GKN’s future this week. They included pledges on research and development expenditure and a promise the combined firm would remain headquartered in Britain.

Business mini上海夜生活网ster Greg Clark said on Thursday that Melrose is “bound to honor” those commitments.

“Now that shareholders have made their decision the government has a statutory responsibility to consider whether the merger in its proposed final form gives rise to public interest concerns,” he added.

“This assessment will be made by the appropriat,上海夜网官方网站Caden,e authorities and the conclusion set out in due course.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey, business spokeswoman for the main opposition Labour Party, said the government had “acted too little, too late.”

“They have allowed a takeover to happen which may harm both our national security and industrial strategy,” she said.

Related CoverageMelrose’s ‘Project Golf’ bid for GKN beats engineer’s “Damson” defense

Meanwhile, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which reviews takeovers for possible security concerns, is yet to give its verdict on the deal.

SHARES RISE

GKN, led by chief executive Anne Stevens, had put up a staunch defense again,上海夜网后花园Sabia,st the unsolicited offer that included striking a separate deal to merge its autos division with U.S. firm Dana (DAN.N)

That tie-up was dependent on the failure of the Melrose takeover and Dana said its deal was now “unlikely” to proceed.

The trustees of GKN’s pension schemes said they were looking forward to working with Melrose.

“We are delighted and grateful to have received support from GKN shareholders for our plan to create a UK industrial powerhouse with a market capitalization of over 10 billion pounds and a tremendous future,” said Christopher Miller, Melrose’s chairman.

Melrose added that it urged hold-out GKN shareholders to accept its bid, which will now stay open. It expects to declare the offer unconditional by April 19.

Melrose shares closed up 3.4 percent at 231 pence, lifting the value of its offer for the engineer to about 471.4 pence per GKN share. That values GKN as a whole at about 8 billion pounds.

Shares in GKN finished up 9.5 percent at 463 pence.

Despite Melrose’s victory, GKN said it still believed the bid “fundamentally undervalues” its business.

However, given Melrose will take control of the engineer when the offer is declared unconditional, GKN said it now recommended its shareholders accept the bid.

Melrose plans to delist the company if it secures acceptances from 75 percent, which would leave investors who have still not backed the offer with a stake in an unlisted business.

The statement from GKN did not include a comment from either Stevens or Chairman Mike Turner, who have both fiercely opposed Melrose since it first made an approach in early January and quickly became embroiled in a war of words with the bidder.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Ohio-based Dana, James Kamsickas, said he was disappointed by the outcome. He added the U.S. firm still believed it was “the best owner and operator” of GKN’s auto parts business.

It is possible that Dana could revive a deal for the division with Melrose in the future, a source close to GKN said.

($1 = 0.7128 pounds)

Novo Banco posts record loss, remedied by Portugal resolution fund

LISBON ( ) – Portugal’s Novo Banco, rescued by the state and acquired last year by U.S. private equity firm Lone Star, reported a record net loss of 1.4 billion euros on Wednesday for 2017 and a fresh capital injection from the country’s bank resolution fund.

The annual loss, up 77 percent from 2016 due to a 50 percent rise in impairments and a drop in net interest income, meant that the unlisted bank needed 791.7 million euros from the resolution fund, which holds a 25 percent stake in the bank.

The fund is the common responsibility of all banks operating in Portugal, and receives state loans to cover any large shortfalls in the banking system.

The i上海夜生活论坛njection, under the so-called contingency capital mechanism, is,上海夜生活怎么玩Quaid, meant to keep solvency ratios at the country’s third-largest bank at adequate levels required by regulators.

Lone Star had already injected 1 billion euros in Novo Banco last year under the terms of the acquisition deal.

The new cash allowed the lender to slightly increase its solvency ratio to 12.8 percent from 12 percent a year ago as it continued to clean up its balance sheet.

The bank that was carved out of the collapse of Banco Espirito Santo in 2014 and rescued by the state to the tune of 5 billion euros, took 2.06 billion euros in impairments and provisions for bad loans, assets, debt, restructuring costs and contingencies, 50 percent higher than a year earlier.

Net interest income – the difference between interest charged on loans and interest paid on deposits – fell 23 percent, but commissions rose 17 percent. Client deposits rose b,上海夜生活群Lance,y 2.1 billion euros, or,上海新夜网龙凤Pamela, 16 percent, while the loan portfolio was reduced by 2.3 billion euros of 7 percent.

The weight of bad loans in its total loan portfolio fell to 30.5 percent from 33.4 percent. It also slashed operating costs by 7 percent to 549 million euros, mainly by laying off staff and closing branches in Portugal and abroad.

Trade war fears roil equity markets while yen, bonds gain

NEW YORK ( ) – The threat of a trade war sent world stock markets broadly lower in choppy trading on Friday and boosted safer assets like the yen and government bonds, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods.

Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China, although the measures have a 30-day consultation period before they take effect.

After another bruising week, a key gauge of world equity markets was broadly headed for its first quarterly loss since early 2016 as a spike in volatility, rising inflation and the specter of a trade war spooked investors who had enjoyed a multi-year bull run.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 1.8 percent. The index lost 3.4 percent this week for its worst week since early February when a spike in volatility had sent markets into a tailspin.

“The equity markets are getting clobbered, which is not that surprising with fears of a trade war breaking out,” said Paul Fage, a TD Securities emerging markets strategist.

The losses accelerated near the close of U.S. trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 424.69 points, or 1.77 percent, to 23,533.20, the S&P 500 lost 55.43 points, or 2.10 percent, to 2,588.26 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 174.01 points, or 2.43 percent, to 6,992.67.

The declines sent the Dow and the S&P 500 down more than 4 percent and more than 2.75 percent, respectively, for the year to date.

“There’s a whole lot less predictability in the news flow after this week, and I don’t think that gave investors a lot of confidence going into the weekend ‘long’ (stocks),” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

European stocks fell broadly, with the Euro Stoxx index dropping 0.9 percent. That followed large declines in Asia, where the Nikkei tumbled 4.5 percent and the Hang Seng index lost 2.5 percent.

China urged the United States to “pull back from the brink,” but investors fear Trump’s tariffs are leading the world’s two largest economies into a trade war with potentially dire consequences for the global economy.

China disclosed its own plans on Friday to impose tariffs on up to $3 billion of U.,夜上海论坛Qirin,S. imports in retaliation against U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products.

SAFETY

Amid the uncertain global economic climate, investors seeking safer assets jumped into government bonds in Europe and the United States.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 2.8117 percent, from 2.832 percent late on Thursday.

In Europe, benchmark issuer Germany’s 10-year bond yields hovered close to 10-week lows struck a day earlier at around 0.52 percent. While German bond yields recovered in European trading, they suffered their biggest two-week drop since November.

Many investors also turned to the Japanese yen, a currency likely to benefit from a full-fledged trade war.

The currency gained as much as 0.6 percent against the dollar to 104.635 yen, the first time it has been below 105 since November 2016. Investors later booked profits to leave the yen up 0.1 percent at,上海新夜网龙凤Jace, 105.19 yen per dollar.

The Swiss franc, another currency bought in times of market uncertainty, rose 0.2 p上海夜生活网ercent versus the dollar, although it fell against the euro.

The dollar index, tracking it against other major currencies, fell 0.4 percent.

U.S.,上海夜生活群Nadia, crude rose 2.6 percent to $65.97 per barrel and Brent was last at $70.55, up 2.4 percent.

Written by shyw on August 6, 2019 Categories: kbvkmgjv Tags: , , ,

China’s oil futures: frazzle or dazzle for foreign traders?

BEIJING ( ) – China’s crude oil futures, to be launched on Monday, will be a major step in Beijing’s years-long push to win greater sway over oil pricing, but for western traders it will likely bring frustration as well as opportunity.

Shanghai Crude aims to rival the world’s two crude benchmarks, luring overseas traders with the promise of a deep pool of liquidity and the chance for arbitrage between Asian, U.S. and European markets.

However, the contract will also come with quirks that traders used to London’s Brent or U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) may find less appealing, including shorter business hours, unique Chinese trading habits and extended holiday breaks.

Yuan-denominated trading and a blend of new rules and regulatory burdens will also likely hamper initial take-up on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), executives at a dozen banks and brokers and experts involved in the launch told .

“The rules around trading methodology will be unfamiliar for western houses,” said John Browning, chief operating officer of Hong Kong-based,上海高端夜生活在那里Cade, futures broker Bands Financial Ltd, which is an approved overseas intermediary for the INE.

“They’ll have to get to grips with a different set of trading parameters, including initial margin calculation, rolling between months, order cancellations ratios, etc. It’s all very different.”

So far, China has opened more than 6,000 trading accounts, including the country’s oil majors and about 150 brokerages. Ten foreign intermediaries have registered, including J.P.Morgan, Bands Financial, Straits Financial Services and other Hong Kong based affiliates of domestic brokerages.

Last-minute changes are still being made to entice overseas users. On Tuesday, the government said it would waive income taxes for foreign investors for the first three years.

CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS

Specific issues for traders include Shanghai’s shorter trading hours, split into three slots, with the afternoon session ending at 3:00 p.m. local time (0700 GMT), just before London ramps up.

Related CoverageExplainer: China aims to challenge Brent, WTI oil with crude futures launch

Although the exchange will have an overnight trading session to match late European and early U.S. trading, it will close for more than six hours before trade resumes in Beijing.

This could mean the contract risks having to play catch-up each morning to the moods and swings of Europe and America, rather than setting its own price, several senior futures traders said.

Chinese trading habits may also be a shock to foreign users, they said.

Chinese commodity futures investors do not typically trade steadily over the months, but instead pick specific months in which they deal, due to a different cost structure. That could complicate efforts to trade spreads between Brent上海夜生活网, WTI and Shanghai.

These and other factors mean the contract may have a “hard time” building correlations with Brent and WTI that would make arbitrage possible, said Albert Helmig, chief executive of financial consultancy Grey House and a former vice chairman of NYMEX.

“It’s a China market, with Chinese characteristics,” said Helmig.

FUTURE PLANS

Still, China offers the potential for a deep, liquid market, buoyed by an explosion of interest from mom-and-pop investors that has supported its vast commodities derivative markets from apples to iron ore in Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Dalian.

In 2017, the total traded value of ShFE’s steel derivatives contracts was $4.4 trillion from domestic investors. This compares with global turnover of more than $10 trillion in international oil futures, the world’s biggest commodity market.

Previous attempts at an Asia benchmark have foundered. Contracts set up by the Dubai Mercantile Exchange a decade ago have not matched Brent or WTI, traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE.N) and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) owned by CME Group (CME.O).

China hopes it can do better: with sta,上海021夜网Caden,te-controlled oil majors like PetroChina (601857.SS) and Sinopec (600028.SS) expected to provide liquidity, analysts said th,夜上海论坛Octavien,e contract has a chance of succeeding even if it faces short-term caution.

“Launching a new exchange is enormously complex, so if the initial uptake for the contract isn’t that strong, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” said Bands’ Browning.

SoftBank Vision Fund, Saudi Arabia to create world’s biggest solar…

NEW YORK ( ) – SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Vision Fund will invest in creating the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia, it said on Tuesday, stepping up its involvement in the kingdom and expanding beyond technology.

Th,上海会所夜网Mabel,e project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son told reporters in New York. That would add to around 400 GW of globally installed solar power capacity and is comparable to the world’s total nuclear power capacity of around 390 GW as of the end of 2016.

By investing in solar power, Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, can reduce the amount of crude it currently uses to generate power and increase its overseas shipments. The move illustrates the commitment by the de facto Saudi ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to transform the country’s economic status quo.

The final investment total for the 200 GW of generat,上海夜生活网交流Kai,ion, including the solar panels, battery storage and a manufacturing facility for panels in Saudi Arabia, will eventually total around $200 billion, Son said.

The initial phase of the project, for 7.2 GW of solar capacity, will cost $5 billion, with $1 billion coming from SoftBank’s Vision Fund and the rest from project financing, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to reduce the country’s economic dependence on oil, was a good match for the fund’s long-term vision for innovation, said Son.

“These two visions have come together to create clean, sustainable, low-cost and productive renewable energy,” he said. “The Kingdom has great sunshine, great size of available land, and great engineers…”

Despite being one of the world’s sunniest countries, Saudi Arabia generates most of its electricity from oil-fired power plants.

Related CoverageSMA Solar not involved in SoftBank solar project in Saudi Arabia

Saudi’s entire installed power capacity is currently around 60 GW. 上海夜生活论坛Adding 200 GW would create enormous excess capacity that could be exported to neighbors or used by industry, although the kingdom will still require other forms of power generation for night-time back-up.

Industry estimates say around 300,000 to 800,000 barrels per day of crude oil are burnt for Saudi power generation.

Exporting that oil could increase Saudi’s annual oil revenues by between $7 billion and $20 bill,上海夜哪里艳遇Tamara,ion, at the current price for benchmark Brent LCOc1 oil of almost $70 per barrel.

POST-FOSSIL FUEL

“Saudi Arabia is clearly preparing for a post-fossil fuel dependent economy in terms of domestic energy consumption, and this huge bet on renewables would free up a lot of domestic output of oil for exports, while probably saving domestic gas resources as well,” said Peter Kiernan, lead energy analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in Singapore.

“Up until now, progress in building solar capacity in the kingdom has been very slow, but this deal might give it the kick start it needs. But 200 GW by 2030 though, that’s another question,” Kiernan said.

Last May, Softbank said it raised over $93 billion for the Vision Fund, the world’s largest private equity fund with backers including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry (2317.TW).

The Vision Fund has funneled $27.5 billion into 20 tech firms as of the end of December, transforming SoftBank from a Japanese telecoms upstart into one of the world’s biggest technology investors.

The Saudi investment is Softbank’s second major global solar project.

The company has said it will invest up to $20 billion along with Foxconn and Bharti Enterprises in solar projects in India, which has an ambitious target to generate 100 GW of power from solar by 2022. SoftBank estimated the electrification drive could create a requirement for over 150 GW of additional power.

(This story corrects name of Saudi crown prince to Salman not Sultan in paragraph 3.)

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica sued in U.S. by users over data…

NEW YORK ( ) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) and the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica have been sued in t,上海夜生活乌托邦Jace,he United States for obtaining information belonging to 50 million of the social media company’s users without permission.

The proposed class-action complaint filed late Tuesday night by Lauren Price, a Maryland resident, is the first of what could be many lawsuits seeking damages over Facebook’s ability to protect user data, and Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation of that data to benefit President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“Every Facebook user has an interest in this lawsuit, and the enforcement of their privacy rights,” John Yanchunis, a lawyer 上海夜生活论坛for Price, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, several hours after Facebook was blamed in a shareholder lawsuit filed in nearby San Francisco for the drop in its stock price after the data harvesting was revealed. Nearly $50 billion of market value was wiped out in two days.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment.

Price accused Facebook and London-based Cambridge Analytica of negligence and violating a California unfair competition law.

She said the harvesting contravened Facebook’s privacy policy, in which the Menlo Park, California-based company said user trust was “important to us” and that it would not share information without permission and notice.

“Our client saw a tremendous uptick in political messaging during the campaign on her Facebook page, which she had never seen,” Yanchunis said. “She had a glimmer of understanding at the time, but now sees there was an attempt to influence her vote.”

The complaint seeks unspecified damages, including possible punitive damages.

Yanchunis, who has also been suing V,上海夜生活桑拿会所Mace,erizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) over data breaches at its Yahoo Internet business affecting 3 billion accounts, said it should be a “fairly easy exercise” to identify potential Facebook class members.

He said cybersecurity experts can assist with the case, and that Facebook “leaves a footprint of what was taken that cannot be erased.”

The case is Price v Facebook Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-01732. The shareholder case is Yuan v Facebook Inc et al in the s,上海夜生活网419Rachel,ame court, No. 18-01725.

In Illinois homecoming, Obama calls for improved tone in U.S. politics

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. ( ) – President Barack Obama paid a nostalgic visit on Wednesday to the place that launched his political career and made a renewed call for better relations between Republicans and Democrats to create a more positive tone in U.S. politics.

Obama won the White House in 2008 partially on a promise to overcome partisan divides in Washington. He has called his failure to do that, seven years after taking office, a regret.

On the ninth anniversary of his 2007 announcement in Springfield that he was running for president, Obama addressed Illinois lawmakers at the state Capitol where he once worked as a state senator in what he described as a collegial, friendly atmosphere.

“I was able to be part of that here, and yet I couldn’t translate it the way I wanted to in our politics in Washington,” he said.

Obama said reducing the influence of money, making it easier to vote and ending the way voting districts,夜上海论坛Daisy, were drawn 上海夜生活网politically would help solve the problem.

“We’ve got to build a better politics,” he said. “When I hear voices in either party boast of their refusal to compromise as an accomplishment in and of itself, I’m not impressed.”

Congressional Republicans have said the Democratic president is often unwilling to work with them to pass legislation.

“”The central premise of the Obama presidency was to unite the country, and that’s been an unquestionable failure,” Doug Andres, a spokesma,上海夜生活男人好去处Kaia,n for Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan, said in a statement.

Obama has made clear he views Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s rhetoric as corrosive. Trump, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, won the New Hampshire Republican primary on Tuesday as the parties hold state-by-state nominating contests for the Nov. 8 election to succeed Obama.

MICROCOSM

The chamber in ,上海夜生活去哪玩Idris,which Obama addressed Illinois lawmakers also became a microcosm of the challenges he was hoping to address.

Democrats stood and clapped when Obama said the country was better off since he became president. Republicans stayed seated. The situation was similar to what occurred at his annual State of the Union addresses in Washington.

Obama chided both sides, however, and said he believed Republicans shared some of his values even if they disagreed on how to enact them. He noted the importance of basic governance such as fixing roads and passing budgets, a reference to a crisis facing his home state.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has refused to sign a spending plan for Illinois’ 2016 fiscal year without winning Democratic concessions that would weaken collective bargaining rights for public-sector unions, impose term limits, freeze property taxes and make it harder for workers injured on the job to collect damages from their employers.

Democrats, who control both of Illinois’ legislative chambers, have resisted his demands, setting up a stalemate that has left the state’s public universities and social-service programs starved for funding. Chicago State University, for example, last week declared a financial emergency, and furloughs have been imposed at other public universities.

Obama’s trip was aimed both at solidifying his legacy in a familiar place and making good on a promise to spend his last year working toward healing partisan wounds.

Shortly after arriving, he stopped at a restaurant he frequented as a state senator, then shook hands with onlookers outside the Old State Capitol, where Obama announced his bid for the White House exactly nine years ago.

Chipotle wins dismissal of investor lawsuit over foodborne illness

NEW YORK ( ) – Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc on Thursday won the dismissal of an investor lawsuit claiming it ,上海新夜网龙凤Pamela,concealed food safety risks, causing its stock to drop after widely publicized outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in 2014 and 2015.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk F上海夜网ailla in Manhattan said that while the outbreaks were cause for concern, the lawsuit failed to support its claim that Chipotle defrauded investors.

The judge wrote that she was “as concerned as the parties about foodborne illness outbreaks,” but that “not all adverse events are the product of corporate misfeasance or nonfeasance.”

Failla dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be filed again. She had dismissed an e,上海夜玩网论坛Nala,arlier version of the case last March.

A lawyer for the investors, which include the Construction Laborers Pension Trust of Greater St. Louis and Germany’s Metzler Investment GmbH, could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for Chipotle also could not immediately be reached.

Chipotle was linked to a series of outbreaks of salmonella, E. coli and norovirus in 2014 and 2015, causing sales to plummet. Chipotle’s share price fell 47 percent in just over five months from its August 2015 peak above $758.

In their 2016 lawsuit, the investors claimed that in statements made to i,上海夜网后花园Hadley,nvestors in 2015 and early 2016 the Denver-based company failed to disclose changes in its food handling practices, recorded cases of customer illness and details about its plans for dealing with the widely publicized outbreaks.

The investors had also brought claims against Chipotle’s founder and Executive Chairman Steve Ells, former Co-Chief Executive Monty Moran and Chief Financial Officer John Hartung individually.

The judge said that although the newer version added more details, it failed to point to any specific instances of Chipotle or the executives knowingly making statements or failing to disclose information that would be material to investors.

Kering says Swiss activities tax-compliant

PARIS ( ) – French luxury goods group Kering (PRTP.PA) has complied with its tax obligations in Switzerland, it said on Friday, responding to newspaper reports alleging that the company used a Swiss-based scheme to evade taxes on earnings from brands such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

France’s Mediapart and Germany’s Der Spiegel alleged that Kering had saved on taxes it should have paid in countries such as Italy by billing some business carried out elsewhere to a Swiss site.

Mediapart, which cited documents linked to an Italian tax investigation, sai,上海高端夜生活在那里Cade,d it estimated that since 2002 Kering had saved 2.5 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in tax in this manner.

The newspapers said that wholesale activities — the sale of products to retailers such as department stores — are largely carried out by Kering staff in cities such as Paris, Milan or London but that the group benefited from a low tax rate of about 8 perc,上海夜生活网交流Tallulah,ent by billing them through the Swiss region of Ticino.

Kering said that its Swiss businesses, home to more than 600 employees, were an important part of its inventory management, billing and supply chain logistics and that their activities were directly linked to its brands. Kering said that all of its companies there carried out tangible business activities

“The group pays its due taxes in Switzerland, in compliance with the law and the fiscal status of the company. This business operating model is known by French and other competent tax authorities,” Kering said in a statement sent to .

The bulk of the allegations are centered on Italian fashion brand Gucci, which is subject to a t上海夜生活ax investigation by prosecutors in Milan. Police raided Gucci offices in Milan and Florence late last year. [nL8N1O20DQ]

Kering has said it is collaborating with that investigation.

The group run by French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, scion of Kering’s founding family, said in February that it had yet to set aside funds linked to the investigation.

“The related tax risk cannot be measured reliably at this po,上海足浴夜网联系方式Naia,int in the proceedings and therefore no specific provision was recorded in 2017,” it said in its last annual report.

($1 = 0.8115 euros)

How Congo faced down some of the world’s biggest mining firms

DAKAR ( ) – In an ornate room in Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential palace last week, some of global mining’s most powerful men faced off against government officials over proposed changes to the country’s mining code.

Facing the officials, including President Joseph Kabila, the executives at times threatened to pursue arbitration or close mines if the government went ahead with changes including royalty increases, according to one of the president’s top advisers, Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, who attended the meeting.

But there was no mistaking the sense of defeat as executives from Glencore (GLEN.L), Randgold RRS.L, Ivanhoe (IVN.TO) and other firms descended the red carpeted stairs after six hours to accept before the media a mining code that hikes taxes and removes exemptions for cobalt and other minerals.

It was an extraordinary climb down for companies that had campaigned tooth-and-nail for six years for better terms, and the president signed the bill into law two days later.

Congolese officials close to the process say that, in being so publicly combative, the miners overplayed their hand, and in so doing hardened the government’s resolve. “We realised the bad faith on their part,” said Patrick Kakwata, president of the National Assembly’s Natural Resources Commission, which oversees mining legislation.

“They only wanted to look after their own interests and not also the interests of the Congolese people.”

The changes to the mining code in Congo, which supplies some 60 percent of the world’s cobalt, could have repercussions for consumers around the world if mining companies pass on costs.

Cobalt is a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries that power smartphones and electric cars. Rising demand for those products has caused cobalt prices to more than triple in the last two years.

The Congolese government’s success in facing down the companies’ lobbying could also signal a shift in the balance of power as countries sitting on increasingly lucrative resources become emboldened.

Congo’s effort could serve as a model for other countries looking to boost mining sector revenue, particularly those that can leverage demand for prized metals like cobalt.

TEAM DISPATCHED

Meeting participants Glencore, Randgold, Zijin (601899.SS), China Molybdenum (603993.SS) and Ivanhoe declined to comment for this story. The other participant, MMG, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Early last month, Randgold publicly threatened to challenge the new code through international arbitration if Kabi上海夜生活la did not return it to the mines ministry for further consultation with industry.

And, in December, several of Congo’s largest mining companies said in a statement that an earlier version of the code passed by the lower house of parliament would “cause the certain death of a young industry”.

On Thursday, the mining companies said in a statement they had dispatched a team of legal and technical specialists to Kinshasa for talks with the Congolese government about drafting measures to implement the code.

The companies said they hoped those discussions would include negotiations over royalties and taxes as well as recognition of the previous code’s stability clause.

Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu, however, said after last week’s meeting that nothing agreed to in the follow-up negotiations could ,上海仙霞路夜生活Kade,contradict the terms of the new code.

The new mining code strips away a stability clause protecting existing investments from changes to the fiscal and customs regime for 10 years, opens the door for cobalt royalties to increase five-fold and introduces a 50 percent windfall profits tax.

The new code applies to all minerals, including copper, of which Congo is Africa’s top producer.

Companies could still challenge it through international arbitration. It is also unclear how rigorously the code will be enforced in a country where informal arrangements often supersede legal provisions.

In a joint statement issued by the Congo government and the mining executives directly after the meeting, the miners said they had received assurances from Kabila “that their concerns will be taken into account through a constructive dialogue with the government after the promulgation of the new mining law”.

“SUCKERED”

Private investors have poured money into Congo since Kabila signed the 2002 mining code at the tail end of a 1998-2003 war. But locals have seen few benefits. Congo rem,上海会所夜网Hadrian,ains one of the world’s least developed countries, plagued by corruption and poor governance.

In March 2015, the government submitted a bill to parliament that proposed raising royalties to levels higher than in the 2002 code but still lower than in most rival mining countries.

Mining companies resisted, saying that proposed changes to the code would “put the future of the country’s mining industry at grave risk” and urged the government to retain the 2002 code.

Following a steep drop in commodities prices, Congo’s government buckled to industry pressure and announced in March 2016 it was suspending consideration of the new code.

But as the commodity slump bit into the national economy last year – stretching foreign reserves to breaking point and pushing inflation to 47 percent – the government needed cash.

Parliament toughened up the code at the start of this year.

Protections under the previous code’s stability clause were axed entirely. A 10 percent royalty was introduced on “strategic substances”, which the prime minister’s office said this week would include cobalt and possibly copper.

Companies were also mandated to repatriate 60 percent of export revenues to Congo, up from 40 percent in earlier drafts.

Lawmakers involved in the negotiations did not provide clear explanations for how these last-minute changes came about, but two of them said that they had grown inured to doomsday warnings from miners about the code killing investment.

“There is this contradiction that emerges each time … when the miners declare losses (in Congo) when their mother company is only enjoying success,” said Alain Lubamba, an MP closely involved in the revision process.

“This means that we’re being suckered.”

Mining companies in Congo typically say that the high risk and cost of investing in the vast country with poor infrastructure hit profitability, justifying demands for favorable terms.

TENSE TALKS

Randgold, based in Jersey in the English Channel, formed a new lobbying platform with Glencore and others and requested an audience with Kabila.

The president accepted a meeting with top executives from six mining companies, but insisted they come to Kinshasa in person; no stand-ins would be admitted.

After a last-minute postponement by a day, the meeting finally began at around 2:30 p.m. last Wednesday with Kabila presiding.

Randgold CEO Mark Bristow, the miners’ designated spokesperson, started by laying out their main concerns and imploring Kabila to re-open negotiations. The other executi,上海夜生活桑拿会所Eason,ves chimed in from time-to-time, according to Kikaya, the Kabila adviser.

“For three hours, they were very confrontational and they were talking in terms of closing down the mines,” Kikaya said. Bristow couldn’t be reached for comment.

Kabila interjected occasionally, Kikaya said, urging the miners not to pursue arbitration.

“The president explained that this would be bad for everyone. He said, ‘Look you are a businessman. If you make a mistake, you lose money. I am a politician’,” Kikaya said.

A breakthrough appeared to come after Kabwelulu, the mines minister, promised the miners that their concerns would be addressed on a case-by-case basis in regulations to be hammered out after the code was signed, according to Kikaya.

Kabila then exited the room, leaving his advisers and the executives to figure out how to break the news.

Mexican opposition vows continuity on NAFTA team, lauds minister

MEXICO CITY ( ) – A top official from the opposition party leading the race to win the Mexican presidency in July said on Thursday the party could keep Mexico’s chief NAFTA negotiator and other officials if talks to rework the trade deal extend into the next government.

Yei上海夜生活论坛dckol Polevnsky, president of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) of leftist presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also praised ,上海会所夜网Fabian,Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, the chief NAFTA negotiator’s boss.

Mexico has been locked in talks with the United States and Canada since August to recast the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to dump it if it was not changed to his liking.

“The negotiating team that Mexico has is a professional, technical team, a very valuable one,” Polevnsky told . “Of course we think it’s important to keep it.”

Headed by chief negotiator Kenneth Smith, the Mexican team comprises many career civil servants and answers to political appointees Guajardo and his deputy Juan Carlos Baker.

Guajardo, a member of President Enrique P,上海夜玩网论坛Pamela,ena Nieto’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has cast doubt on whether he could continue under a Lopez Obrador presidency.

It would be unusual for a new government, especially one led by a staunch critic of the PRI, to retain a minister with Guajardo’s political background. Lopez Obrador unveiled his own planned cabinet last December.

The next president takes office on Dec. 1, and the top jobs would ultimately be up to Lopez Obrador, Polevnsky said.

Still, she called Guajardo a “very valuable” official and indicated the door was open to Smith and others staying on to continue the negotiations under a MORENA government.

“Kenneth, of course. He’s extremely valuable,” she said, adding “Baker too” when asked if Guajardo’s deputy might also be retained. “There are a lot of very valuable people.”

Guajardo on Thursday urged officials to ,上海夜生活乌托邦Eason,wrap up the talks quickly, but conceded that was unlikely to happen before the regular session of the Mexican Congress ends on April 30.

That raises the possibility of the renegotiation extending well into 2018 or beyond.

Guajardo, speaking in Sao Paulo and asked whether he would stay on, told : “That will depend on who wins the election and if they decide to invite us.”

Lopez Obrador, whose criticism of Pena Nieto’s economic reforms has alarmed influential sections of the business community, has expressed support for NAFTA.

U.S. ‘disappointed’ by India’s visa refusal for religious rights panel

WASHINGTON,上海夜生活群Ida, ( ) – The U.S. State Department was “disappointed” India had refused visas to members of a U.S. commission that examines violations of religious freedom around the world, a spokesman said on Monday.

The commission, made up mainly of professors and leaders of non-profit groups appointed by the president and members of Congress, had planned to travel to India last week but New Delhi failed to issue them visas.

The Indian Embassy said in a statement on its web site that “a foreign entity” like the U.S. commission had no standing to pass judgment on the state of India’s constitutionally protected rights.

Robert George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton who chairs the commiss,上海足浴夜网联系方式Barbara,ion, said last week it was unfortunate that a secular democracy like India had refused a visit from the panel, which has been permitted in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and China, which restrict religious freedoms.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was “disappointed by this news.”

“We’re supportive of the commission and the important role they play in reviewing facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom around the world,” Kirby said.

He declined to say whether the State Department had discussed the issue with counterparts in New Delhi. But he did say the United States remained engaged “in a number of discussions” with the government on the issue.

The commission said in its 2015 report on religious freedom that incidents of religiously motivated and communal violence had reportedly increased for three consecutive years.

I上海夜生活论坛t said that despite India’s status as a pluralistic, secular democracy, New Delhi had long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occurred, creating a climate of impunity.

Non-governmental organizations and religious leaders, including from the Muslim, Christian, and Sikh communities, attributed the initial increase in violence to religiously divisive campaigning in the 2014 general election by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, which won the vote.

Since the election, religious minorities h,上海仙霞路夜生活Lark,ave been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked the BJP and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups.

Despite a much-heralded fresh start in U.S.-India relations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP, the United States has run into problems arranging visits by other American officials, including the head of its office to combat human trafficking and its special envoy for gay rights.

AMC is working with Citi on potential $2 billion float of Odeon…

LONDON ( ) – AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N) is working with Citi (C.N) on an initial public offering (IPO) of Britain’s Odeon cinemas group, three sources familiar with the matter said.

New York-listed AMC said in November it may pursue a London IPO of Odeon, which now includes Nordic Cinema, the largest cinema chain in the Nordic and Baltic regions, by the middle of 2019, keen to take advantage of higher valuations in European markets.

“It has not escaped our notice that even though European public markets value movie theaters at double-digit EBITDA,上海夜哪里艳遇Gabrielle, (earnings before tax, interest, depreciation and amortization) multiples, we are not seeing such valuations for our European assets at these levels when they are buried within AMC,” AMC Chief Executive Adam Aron said on a call in November.

Three sources familiar with the matter said Citi was working on a London float for the chain, which could value it at more than $2 billion. AMC, which,上海会所夜网Kai, is majority owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, has been introducing recliner seating and alcohol sales in European cinemas to help boost returns.

Citi, which advised AMC on its $652 million Nordic Cinema acquisition in 2017, declined to comment. AMC, whi,上海夜生活怎么玩Balthazar,ch operates around 1,000 theaters with approximately 11,000 screens globally, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The adjusted EBITDA for AMC’s international business grew 4.4 percent in th上海夜生活e fourth quarter to $92.8 million and 7.8 percent to $244.8 million for the full year on a constant currency basis.

According to data, AMC is trading at enterprise value of around 8 times EBITDA while Odeon competitor Cineworld (CINE.L) is trading at enterprise value of 17 times EBITDA. Based on these estimates, Odeon could achieve a valuation of between $2 and $4 billion including debt.

AMC is in discussions to expand to Saudi Arabia as the kingdom lifts a 35-year ban on cinemas. Saudi sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund a likely partner and source of capital.

AMC shares closed down 0.75 percent on Wednesday at $13.5.

Tencent loses $24 billion in market cap after Naspers’ selldown

HONG KONG ( ) – China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) saw its shares down 4.51 percent at the midday trading break on Friday after the internet firm’s largest shareholder, Naspers Ltd (NPNJn.J), said it would lower its stake for the first time in 17 years.

The Hong Kong-listed stock opened 7.8 p,上海夜生活怎么玩Radcliff,ercent lo,上海夜生活服务Easton,wer at HK$405, its lowest opening price since Feb. 9, before regaining ground to HK$419.6 by noon. The benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI was down 2.81 percent.

A day earlier, the stock fell 5 percent following Tencent’s late Wednesday report showing quarterly revenue missed estimates as well as expectations of margin pressure, although profit beat forecasts.

Friday’s decline wiped $24 billion off Tencent’s market value, though at $508 billion, it is still Asia’s most valuable listed company and fifth globally behind Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

South African media and e-commerce group Naspers said on Thursday it planned to sell up to 190 million Tencent shares, or 2 percent of its holding, in a sale that could earn Naspers up to $11 billion. It also said it had no plans to further reduce its holding for the next three years.

Related CoverageNaspers raises $9.8 billion from Tencent stake sale

“The funds will reinforce Naspers’ balance sheet and be invested in classifieds, online food delivery and fintech globally,” said CICC analyst Natalie Wu. “We think it is a good opportunity to buy into dips given Tencent’s solid fundamentals.”

Jefferies analyst Karen Chan said, “Given Naspers’ largest single shareholding and board representation in Tencent, we believe its stake sale is unlikely to be a reaction to Tencent’s quarterly results. Instead of a timed profit-taking move, we believe this is more to improve Naspers’ own free cash flo,上海021夜网Octavien,w and allow it higher flexibility in pursuing investment opportunities.”

A Tencent spokeswoman said it was informed and supportive of Naspers’ decision, and that Naspers’ intention to keep its remaining stake for the next three years demonstrated its confidence in Tencent. 上海夜生活

After Jindal, Louisiana reels from corporate tax giveaways

( ) – Near the end of his eight years as Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, a tax-slashing conservative and presidential hopeful, acknowledged that the state’s business tax breaks had gone too far.

“The truth is, we have a system of corporate welfare,” Jindal said during an April speech to legislators.

The comment resonates now as the state faces its worst budget crisis in three decades – largely because of the soaring cost of subsidies, as well as personal income tax cuts, championed by Jindal.

Business tax subsidies peaked in 2012, when the state exempted 88 percent of corporate income taxes, or about $1.8 billion. It has exceeded 80 percent since then, according to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

For a graphic showing how corporate tax exemptions soared as state revenue fell, see tmsnrt.rs/1T7qbm9

Plummeting oil prices dealt the latest blow to state revenues. Deficits are projected at $940 million for the fiscal year ending June 30 and about $2 billion for next year.

“It’s gotten pretty bad, pretty rapidly,” said the state legislature’s chief economist, Greg Albrecht, who believes Louisiana is heading into a recession.

Jindal has kept a low profile since leaving office in January and could not be reached for comment. In a January speech, he highlighted efforts to cut government and stimulate the economy without raising taxes.

“You look at the projects — the employers coming in and those who are expanding — we’ve seen tremendous progr上海夜生活论坛ess,” he said.

RISING STAR

In 2008, when Jindal became governor at 36, he was a rising GOP star, often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. He cultivated that image, staking his political fortunes on a platform of slashing taxes, dismantling big government and attracting business.

The next year, Jindal helped push through legislation to cut personal income taxe,上海夜生活服务Sabrina,s and worked to enhance Louisiana’s already robust corporate tax breaks.

In July of 2009, he signed bills that created or expanded nine tax credits to sectors including film, port cargo and infrastructure. The credits are typically worth 20 to 40 percent of a company’s in-state spending, or in some cases spending on payroll or research.

In all, annual corporate tax exemptions rose during Jindal’s term by about $1 billion, to $1.96 billion in 2014, according to state data.

His tax-cutting hit a wall in 2013 when he failed to convince a Republican-controlled legislature to abolish personal and business income taxes.

“He really wanted to go to a national stage, run for president, and say he repealed the personal income tax,” said Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council, a nonpartisan organization.

Many of Jindal’s political successes had consequences for Louisiana’s budget. A state-commissioned study found that film tax credits, for example, cost the state an estimated $171 million in 2014.

“The state ends up with the short end of the stick,” said Loren Scott, author of the study, which also found some economic benefits.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of Louisiana subsidies is the petrochemical industry. One massive project under construction in Southwestern Louisiana – Sempra Energy’s $6 billion liquefied natural gas processing complex and export terminal – will receive a $2.2 billion property tax break over a decade, records show.

The plant will create 130 permanent jobs with average salaries of $80,000, records show. The California-based company also got rebates on some payroll costs and a capital investment tax credit.

Louisiana’s subsidies are getting more scrutiny in the budget crisis. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, who took office in January, has proposed cutting incentives but faces resistance from Republican legislators and business groups.

“The previous administration,” Edwards said, “blew a hole in our state budget by writing chec,上海夜玩网论坛Mace,ks for tax credits, rebates, or refunds to corporations with no consideration of whether Louisiana receives a good return on our investment.”

Jindal advisor Curt Anderson said the subsidies resulted in new jobs and higher wages. “His de,上海夜生活Hadley,cision to shrink the government and grow the private sector economy was purposeful.”

Business groups continue to support the incentives, saying they are invaluable to the state economy.

“In terms of economic development, Jindal was an outstanding governor,” said Michael Hecht, president of Greater New Orleans Inc. “Corporations are being scapegoated.”

Falling oil prices and personal income tax cuts also played major roles in the crisis, according to state data. Oil-related revenues are projected to drop by nearly $400 million this fiscal year, the data shows. Personal income tax breaks pushed by Jindal and predecessor, Democrat Kathleen Blanco, reduced revenues by about $800 million annually, said Albrecht, the state economist.

Most Louisiana business subsidy programs preceded the Jindal administration, but their use and cost shot up during his tenure, said Jan Moller, director of the nonpartisan Louisiana Budget Project. The governor, he said, directed state economic development officials to “aggressively pursue companies and give them as many incentives as possible.”

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

As Louisiana faced mounting shortfalls, Jindal sought solutions that didn’t involve raising taxes.

“Despite the fact that the state was hemorrhaging money, he just wanted to keep his tax virginity” for his presidential campaign, said Edward Chervenak, a political science professor at the University of New Orleans, echoing a theme common among Democrats and Republicans alike in the state.

Having signed a pledge not to raise taxes, Jindal turned to one-time fixes, such as offering tax amnesty to delinquent taxpayers and raiding state trust funds. That included drawing down $520 million from the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly and $540 million from a reserve fund for state employee healthcare, according to Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy.

Jindal failed last year to sell the state’s tobacco settlement, worth $1.2 billion over time, for an upfront lump sum of $750 million – a move Kennedy compared to “a junkie selling his TV or smartphone to buy another fix.”

Lawmakers now face tough choices. Healthcare and education budgets – particularly colleges – already have been slashed and could see more cuts. And legislators are considering raising sales taxes by up to 2 cents.

State Representative Julie Stokes, a Republican from the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, said her GOP colleagues have been reluctant to raise taxes, and she understands.

“Look, I don’t want to talk about it – I’m a conservative Republican from a conservative Republican district,” she said. “But I just feel like we’ve got to lose the talking points and have an honest dialogue.”

Whole Foods calls supplier summit amid Amazon angst

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK ( ) – Whole Foods will host a summit on Tuesday for up to 200 of its suppliers, amid anxiety about how its ongoing business revamp will play out under new owner Amazon.com (AMZN.O).

Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods last summer shook the grocery industry, spawning worries that the ecommerce giant would disrupt groceries the way it upended books, to,上海夜玩网论坛Pablo,ys and electronics.

In a restructuring,上海夜生活乌托邦Lake, effort underway before the acquisition, Whole Foods earlier this year began requiring suppliers to use a firm of its choosing to restock shelves and run promotions. As first reported in the Washington Post, Whole Foods is charging some suppliers the equivalent of 3 percent to 5 percent of sales to cover the cost of those broker services.

In addition, Whole Foods adopted a Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) style model for in-store sampling, asking companies to pay fees when Whole Foods offers shoppers free samples of their products.

Those changes caused heartburn for some small upstart brands. “There’s been a lot of brands at Whole Foods that probably shouldn’t have been there to begin with,” said food industry consultant Phil Lempert, who added that it should not be a surprise that the formerly freewheeling retailer is beginning to act like a more mainstream business.

Several mid-sized suppliers told they supported Whole Foods’ efforts to date.

“We have a chance to move faster,” said Califia Farms Chief Executive Greg Steltenpohl, among those who said he planned to attend the summit.

Califia sells almond milk and bottled coffee drinks at Whole Foods and on Amazon.com, which recently invited the Los Angeles-based company to be one of 52 brands to be featured on Amazon Launchpad, a new marketing service that aims to connect brands with Amazon shoppers.

“The changes we’ve been making across the company directly address the feedback our supplier partners have shared over the years about the challenges of our decentralized purchasing structure and inconsistent practices across regions and stores,” Whole Foods spokeswoman Robin Rehfield Kelly said in a statement.

Kelly said Whole Foods has worked for the last two years to streamline its 上海夜生活论坛processes across global and regional purchasing teams to ensure all its suppliers are supported under a consistent company-wide set of protocols.

Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey and members of the chain’s marketing and merchandising team will host the summit.

PIONEER 2.0

Whole Foods explosive growth faltered after Kroger Co (KR.N), Walmart (WMT.N) and other retailers started charging less for the many of the natural,上海夜生活怎么玩Sabrina,, organic and niche products that once set Whole Foods apart, giving it the ability to charge premium prices.

Since the restructuring, Whole Foods has replaced or stripped the power of its regional “foragers,” who identified and nurtured small brands. Without those champions, some of those products are being eliminated to make space for bigger, faster-moving brands.

“It was kind of disorganized before. More organization and clear communications is definitely better,” said Steve Savage, chief executive of Boulder, Colorado’s 1908 Brands, which sells Boulder Clean laundry detergent and other products at the chain.

“Amazon has encouraged Whole Foods to be more aggressive,” said Jeff “Trip” Tripician, general manager of Niman Ranch. It saw a robust rise in sales of its hams, sausage and bacon at the 473-store chain since the Amazon purchase, he said.

Average monthly foot traffic at Whole Foods has increased by 1.3 percent since the Amazon acquisition news broke in June, according to Venice Beach, California-based InMarket, which uses location data from 50 million smartphones to analyze visitation trends.

(This story corrects the first name of Califia Farms CEO in seventh paragraph.)