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U.S. consumer confidence ebbs, house prices surge

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. consumer confidence fell from more than a 17-year high in March amid stock market volatility, but households remained upbeat about labor market conditions, which could help to support consumer spending.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index dropped 2.3 points to a reading of 127.7 this month from a slightly downwardly revised 130.0 in February, which was the highest level since November 2000. The index was previously reported at 130.8 in February.

“The stock market has been volatile and consumers don’t like market volatility. The pullback in confidence is not a concern for the economic outlook this year,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “Still, we wonder if the decline in confidence means that the economy may have seen its best days already for this cycle.”

U.S. stocks have been under pressure over the past two months as worries about inflation led some investors to speculate that the Federal Reserve could raise int上海夜生活论坛erest rates more aggressively than currently anticipated.

Wall Street has also been roiled by the threat of a global trade war after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. President Donald Trump last week signed a memorandum targeting up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property.

The S&P 500 index has dropped about 2 percent so far in March, coming on the heels of a decline of nearly 4 percent in February and putting stocks on pace for their worst two-month performance since the De,上海夜生活怎么玩Radley,cember 2015-January 2016 period.

Stocks were trading higher on Tuesday as fears of a trade war between the United States and China eased.

The dollar rose against a basket of currencies. Prices of U.S. Treasuries climbed as fund managers bought bonds to rebalance their portfolios for the end of the quarter in advance of more government debt supply.


The Conference Board survey’s so-called labor market differential, derived from data on respondents’ views on whether jobs are plentiful or hard to get, increased to 25.0 in March, the strongest reading since May 2001, from 24.0 in February.

That measure, which closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the Labor Department’s employment report, suggests that labor market slack continues to shrink.

“This report combined with the March jobless claims data points to another 200,000-plus reading on payrolls in March, which we judge would push the unemployment rate down to 4.0 percent from 4.1 percent,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.

The economy added 313,000 jobs in February. Labor market tightness has left economists optimistic that wage growth w,上海夜生活网419Macauly,ill soon pick up. That, together with lower income taxes, are expected to spur consumer spending in the coming quarters.

Retail sales have declined for three straight months, leading economists to expect a slowdown in consumer spending in the first quarter. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a robust 3.8 percent annualized rate in the fourth,上海021夜网Cain, quarter.

Rising house prices could also boost consumer spending. A separate report on Tuesday showed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas increased 6.4 percent in the 12 months to January after rising 6.3 percent in December.

Higher house prices are bolstering household wealth. But the house price inflation is being driven by an acute shortage of homes available for sale, which is hurting the housing market.

“If we continue to see a steady stream of buyers and owners remain largely uninterested in selling, we can expect prices to continue to rise,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at

Tesla denies Musk in talks with Israeli AI vision firm Cortica

TEL AVIV ( ) – U.S. electric car company Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Tuesday that Chief Executive Elon Musk, who was visiting Israel, did not discuss a collaboration with artificial intelligence firm Cortica.

“The reports t,上海仙霞路夜生活Jacklyn,hat Musk was in Israel to discuss a collaboration between Tesla and Cortica are completely false, he was in Israel, but not to meet or have discussions with Cortica,” said a Tesla spokesman based in Palo Alto, Ca.

Tel Aviv-based Cortica says its technology enables self-driving cars to identify moving parts in its environment and make informed decisions, even predicting changes likely to occur in its surroundings.

The Globes financial news website said the discussions with Cortica could lead to an investment or even a上海夜生活论坛n acquisition. Officials at Cortica could not be reached for comment.

Cortica has raised nearly $70 million since it was founded in 2007. Investors include Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures and Russia’s Group (MAILRq.L), according to Start-Up National Central.

Tesla previously collaborated with Isra,上海夜生活群Idaia,eli company Mobileye but the companies parted ways in 2016 after a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S using Autopilot, a semi-automated system designed to assist with driving but not replace the driver.

Intel (INTC.O) acquired Mobileye last year for $15.3 billion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting on Tuesday he had met Musk and that they discussed the potential of solar energy generation in the Negev desert.

Musk’s visit to Israel was h,上海夜生活网交流Radley,ighlighted by several websites, including Globes, after he posted a video of himself on Instagram at a bar in Jerusalem.

Cambridge Analytica London search warrant delayed by court

LONDON ( ) – Efforts by Britain’s information watchdog to investigate Cambridge Analytica – the company at the center of a storm over its use of Facebook data – were delayed on Thursday when a judge adjourned for 24 hours its application ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Cade,to search the company’s head office.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) declined to comment on the reason for the delay.

“A High Court judge has adjourned the ICO’s application for a warrant relating to Cambridge Analytica until Friday,” a spokeswoman said.

ICO head Elizabeth Denham said three days ago she was seeking a warrant to access the offices of Cambridge Analytica after Britain’s Channel 4 news secretly recorded its executives boasting of their ability to sway elections.

Denham said then it would not take long for her organization to obtain the warrant.

Several Twitter users have been questioning the delay, including Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow who wrote before Thursday’s adjournment: “Surely unbelievable that the UK’s information commissioner is STILL waiting to see a judge who will grant a warrant to go in and search the premises … by the time she gets in there how much evidence will be left?”

Cambridge Analytica said on Tuesday: “We have offered to share with the I上海夜网CO all the information that it asked for and for the ICO to attend our office voluntarily, subject to our agreeing the scope of the inspection.”

Storage crates were collected from the building that houses its office on Tuesday, shortly before the company suspended its chief executive Alexander Nix.

The political consultancy i,夜上海论坛Quaid,mproperly accessed Facebook users’ information to build profiles on millions of American voters that were later used to help elect U.S. President Donald Trump in 2016, a whistleblower said on Saturday.

Facebook’s own forensic auditors – Stroz Friedberg – were in Cambridge Analytica’s offices in central London on Monday to determine whether the firm still had the data, but left at the request of the British authorities.

The data protection regulator had already demanded access to Cambridge Analytica’s records and data – on March 7 – as part of an ongoing inq,上海晚上耍女人的地方Queena,uiry into how data was being used to target political messages.

The Information Commissioner can currently impose fines of up to 500,000 pounds ($700,000) but will gain the power to fine an organization up to 4 percent of its global turnover when new data protection legislation comes into force in May.

Index provider MSCI says it is reviewing Facebook data privacy issue

NEW YORK ( ) – MSCI Inc on Tuesday said it is looking into the possibility that Facebook Inc user data was accessed by the consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The stock index provider currently rates Facebook as “ave,上海夜网Nadine,rage” in its environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, data, which is used as a template by funds and investors that aim to buy companie,上海夜生活论坛Eden,s with a positive social impact. A spokeswoman said MSCI cannot yet share any impact the review could have on Facebook’s ESG rating.

The social media company is not currently seen as a high performer on ESG issues relative to its industry peers, MSCI said.

An increasingly vocal base of investors who put their money where their values are have raised concerns about Facebook and are reassessing whether they should own one of the market’s tech darlings. More than $20 trillion globally is allocated toward “responsible” investment strategies in 2016, a figure that grew by a quarter from just two years earlier, according to Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, an advocacy group.

Facebook shares sank about 12 percent over the two trading days this week as investors worried that potential legislation could damage the company’s advertising business. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is facing calls from lawmakers to explain how the political consultancy hired by Donald Trump’s election campaign reportedly gained improper access to data on 50 million Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica has strongly denied the media claims and said it deleted all Facebook data it obtained from a third-party application in 2014 after learning the information did not adhere to data protection rules.

Facebook said on Monday it had hired digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg to c上海夜生活论坛arry out a comprehensive audit of Cambridge Analytica and that the company had agreed to comply and give the forensics ,上海夜生活Eden,firm complete access to its servers and systems.

Poland signs $4.75 billion deal for U.S. Patriot missile system…

WARSAW ( ) – Poland signed the largest arms procurement deal in its history on Wednesday, agreeing with the United States to buy Raytheon Co’s (RTN.N) Patriot missile defense system for $4.75 billion in a major step to modernize its forces against a bolder Russia.

“It is an extraordinary, historic moment; it is Poland’s introduction into a whole new world of state-of-the-art technology, modern weaponry, and defensive means,” President Andrzej Duda said during the signing ceremony.

NATO member Poland has accelerated efforts to overhaul its ageing weaponry following Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014. Two-thirds of Poland’s weaponry dates from the Cold War era when i,上海夜生活网交流Lark,t was in the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov told state-run Sputnik news website in November that Patriot deployments were part of a U.S. plot to surround Russia with missile defense systems “under the pretext of mythica,上海夜生活群Mace,l threats to security”.

The Patriot deal follows Monday’s expulsion of more than 100 Russian diplomats by the United States and a score of other Western countries including Poland in response to a the poisoning of a Russian former spy in Britain.

This month, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled an array of new nuclear weapons, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield.

The Patriot deal came as a relief for Poland amid tension with Washington over a law Warsaw introduced in January imposing jail terms for suggesting Poland was complicit in the Holocaust.

The United States says the bill subverts freedom of speech and Israeli officials say it amounts to Holocaust denial, an accusation that Poland’s nationalist government rejects.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the Patriot agreement showed “solidarity and cooperation” with the United States and other NATO countries.


Wednesday’s deal is for the delivery in 2022 of two Patriot batteries manufactured by Raytheon, each with two fire units.

Warsaw is negotiating with Washington to buy more Patriots, a new 360-degree radar and a low-cost interceptor missile as part of a second phase of modernization.

“We do expect that Poland will move pretty quickly with Phase II. They have a stated desire to complete that by the end of the year,” Wes Kremer, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, told by telephone.

Air defenses are particularly important for Poland and neighboring Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

NATO planners say Russia is using its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad as well as Crimea to pursue the capability to block off NATO’s air access to the Baltic states, about a third of Poland and to the Black Sea.

Warsaw’s decision may raise pressure on Washington to meet Baltic requests for stronger air defenses. While the Baltics are seeking their own missile defenses, the high cost for their small economies makes any quick purchases difficult.

Raytheon’s Kremer said the current threat environment had increased demand for missile defense systems and the Donald Trump administration was working to accelerate sales to allies.

“In general, they’re more open to expediting and getting these deals worked,” Kremer said.

Fourteen other countries, including six NATO members, have the Patriot missile. Romania agreed in November to buy Patriots and the U.S. government has also approved sales to Sweden. Switzerland last week announced it was also looking at the Patriot among other systems in a competition expected to kick off later this year.

Raytheon hopes the Polish purchase could provide fresh momentum for its bid to supply a more modern Patriot system to Germany, which has not yet signed a contract for the rival MEADS system built by Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) and European missile maker MBDA, three years after it picked MEADS over Patriot.

Kremer said changing course and expanding its existing Patriot systems would make it easier for Germany to work jointly with other Patriot users in NATO, although MEADS supporters say the system is intended to be able to integrate other components.

Poland’s deal, approved in November by the U.S. Stat,夜上海419龙凤论坛Fabian,e Department, envisaged a sale worth up to $10.5 billion. But Warsaw brought the price down by上海夜网 opting for a less ambitious command system and procuring some elements locally.

“We are getting to the front row of countries which will be able not only to cooperate and jointly carry out tasks with the United States and NATO, but will be also perceived on (NATO’s) eastern flank as … stronger than others,” General Leszek Surawski, the Polish military’s chief of staff, said after the signing ceremony.

Shell targets former executive in Nigeria graft complaint

LONDON ( ) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has filed a criminal complaint against a former senior employee over suspected bribes in the $390 million sale of an oilfield in Nigeria, where the company is already under inve,上海夜生活论坛Nala,stigation over a separate deal.

Dutch prosecutors confirmed they had received the complaint against Peter Robinson, a former vice president for sub-Saharan Africa. They said it would be included in an ongoing investigation into Shell and Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI) over the acquisition of a different Nigerian oilfield, known as OPL 245.

Shell and Eni deny any wrongdoing related to OPL 245, in which Robinson is being prosecuted. A spokesman for Anglo-Dutch Shell said the two cases were unrelated.

Chiara Padovani, a lawyer representing Robinson, said in a statement he denied any allegations of misconduct. Robinson has not been contacted by Dutch authorities about any such complaint, she added.

“Our client regrets that an issue between him and his former employer has been drawn into the public domain. He has not been informed of the details of Shell’s complaint against him,” Padovani said.

Shell said an internal investigation had found that Robinson may have committed a crime during the sale of an onshore oilfield, Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42, to local company Neconde Energy Ltd in February 2011.

“We suspect a crime may have been committed by our former employee, Peter Robinson, against Shell in relation to the sale process for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 42 in Nigeria in 2011,” a Shell spokesman said in a statement.

“We have filed a criminal complaint with the Dutch authorities and are considering other steps we co,夜上海419龙凤论坛Hadleigh,uld take.”

In a statement, Neconde Energy said it purchased its stake in the field following a competitive bidding round and made no payments to Robinson, Shell or other companies in order to facilitate it.

“Neconde completely denies any allegation or suspicion of kickback for the acquisition of its interest in OML 42 and the statement credited to Shell suggesting the contrary is untrue and most unfortunate,” the company said.

Robinson is one of a number of Shell employees being prosecuted in Milan over OPL 245, a case spanning several countries that involves Nigerian government officials and oil executives in a $1.3 billion sale of the offshore field.

The new evidence was uncovered after investigators looking into OPL 245 raided a house in Perth, Australia owned by Robinson, according to a source close to the process.

The evidence included documents showing Robinson had set up a Seychelles-based company, which was later linked to two Swiss bank account,上海夜网千花Lark,s set up in 2011 also under Robinson’s name, the source said. Shell suspects that the company and the accounts may have been used to process kickbacks, the source said.

In court filings, the Milan prosecutor requested that Swiss authorities investigate and freeze two accounts op上海夜生活论坛ened at a Geneva bank in the name of Seychelles-based Energy Venture Partners Ltd to check their connection to Robinson.

was unable to contact Energy Venture Partners.

Shell, the largest international oil producer in Nigeria, was looking methodically at other transactions in which Robinson was involved, the source said.

The spokesman said Shell had informed the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the offshore company and the accounts.

Swiss federal prosecutors have supplied information to authorities in Italy and the Netherlands probing alleged corruption related to oil contracts in Nigeria, the Office of the Attorney General said on Wednesday.

Toys ‘R’ Us plans to close all U.S. stores; 33,000 jobs at risk:…

( ) – Bankrupt Toys ‘R’ Us Inc is preparing to sell or close all上海夜生活论坛 885 stores in its U.S. chain, risking up to 33,000 jobs, after failing to reach a deal to restructure billions of dollars in debt, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

With shoppers flocking to online platforms like Inc (AMZN.O) and children choosing electronic gadgets over toys, Toys ‘R’ Us has struggled to service debt from a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout by private equity firms KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) and Bain Capital and real estate investor Vornado Realty Trust (VNO.N) in 2005.

Toys ‘R’ Us had been closing one-fifth of its U.S. stores as part of efforts to emerge from one of the largest ever bankruptcies by a specialty retailer.

But creditors decided they can get more from liquidating assets of the toy seller, the largest in the United States and one of the best known in the world, rather than finding a way to keep the business alive, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the private negotiations.

A Toys ‘R’ Us spokeswoman declined to comment.

The company is expected to make a filing with the bankruptcy court late on Wednesday, the person said.

The planned closure in coming months is a blow to generations of consumers and hundreds of toy makers that sold products at the chain, including Barbie maker Mattel Inc (MAT.O), board game company Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) and other large vendors such as Lego.

In Britain, the remaining 75 Toys ‘R’ Us shops will close within six weeks, joint administrators for the retailer said earlier on Wednesday, after they w,夜上海论坛Kailani,ere unable to find a buyer for all or part of the business, resulting in the loss of about 3,000 jobs.

The Wall Street Journal earlier on Wednesday reported that Toys ‘R’ Us Chief Executive David Brandon told U.S. staff about the likely closures on a conference call.

Efforts to restructure collapsed this month after lenders decided, absent a clear reorganization plan, they could recover more by closing stores and raising money from merchandise sales, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

“It’s a relentlessly difficult retail environment for mall-based retailers. There just aren’t the same feet coming through the doors,” said Brian Davidoff, a financial restructuring lawyer.

More than 8,000 U.S. retail stores closed in 2017, roughly double the average annual store closures in the previous decade, according to data from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Toys ‘R’ Us is also likely to liquidate in France, Spain, Poland and Australia, Brandon said, according to The Wall Street Journal. It quoted Brandon as adding that the retailer also planned to sell operations in Canada, Central Europe and Asia.

Toys ‘R’ Us was alre,上海夜网邀请码Nadine,ady working with liquidators Tiger Capital Group LLC, Great American Group LLC, Hilco Merchant Resources LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC on previously announced store closures, and the four are expected to continue with the additional closings, sources said.

The future of the retailer’s big-box shops, many locat,上海凤楼夜网Jackson,ed in strip centers, was uncertain.

The disappearance of Toys ‘R’ Us in the United States and the UK leaves a void for hundreds of toy makers that relied on the chain as a top customer alongside WalMart Inc (WMT.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N).

Shares in Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker, and No. 2 U.S. toymaker Hasbro tumbled last week on liquidation reports. Both companies rely on Toys ‘R’ Us for roughly 10 percent of their revenues, according to their 2016 annual reports.

The liquidation will be more painful for small, independent toy makers that relied on the chain as a major showcase, said Lutz Muller, president of consultancy Klosters Trading Corp.

“A large number will go to the wall,” Muller said.

Pennsylvania governor Wolf has ‘treatable’ prostate cancer

( ) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced on Wednesday that he has a “treatable form” of prostate cancer but said it would not interfere with his official duties.

“I’m not going to be incapacitated at all by this,” Wolf told reporters at a news conference alongside his wife, Frances. “It’s eminently treatable.”

The 67-year-old Democrat said he would begin a months-long regimen of treatment within the coming weeks. He would not go into details of the treatment but described it as “minor” and “routine” and said it would not include chemotherapy.

Wolf, a businessman, defeated Republican incumbent Tom Corbett in 2014.

Since his election, the state has been locked in a bitter budget battle. It still has only a partial spending plan for the current fiscal year, which began more than seven months ago.

Illinois, the U.S. state with the country’s lowest credit rating, is the only other state without,上海021夜网Idaia, a current budget in place.

Wolf and the Republican-controlled state legislature have been fighting over whether to implement a severance tax on natural gas producers, among other tax hikes, and use the revenues to increase education spending.

Wolf said his doctor found some abnormalities during a routine examination in late November or early December and that further testing h,上海夜生活Cade,ad confirmed the cancer.

“Prostate cancer is something that older men get,” he said. “A lot of older men die with prostate cancer; not a lot die of it.”

He said he hoped his announcement would reinforce the importance of getting annual checkups.

Other governors have also continued to work while undergoing treatment for cancer.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, 59, a Republican, pledged in June 2015 to keep working despite chemotherapy for advanced cancer of the lymph nodes. California ,上海夜生活论坛Radley,Governor Jerry Brown上海夜网, 77, a Democrat, kept a full schedule in 2012 while receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

Written by shyw on December 21, 2017 Categories: kbvkmgjv Tags: , , ,

Barrick Gold founder, philanthropist Peter Munk dies at 90

TORONTO ) – Canadian mining magnate Peter Munk, who built Barrick Gold Corp from a single mine into the world’s largest pr上海夜生活论坛oducer of gold, has died at the age of 90, the company said on Wednesday.

The blunt-spoken Munk, who once said getting old was “not for sissies”, was also a dedicated philanthropist, donating millions to healthcare and universities in Toronto ,上海夜生活乌托邦Kaiden,and Israel. He was named a Companion to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor, in 2008.

Munk forged Barrick to dominate the global gold mining industry via a string of canny acquisitions after founding the Toronto-based company in 1983.

He knew nothing about mining when he bought his first mine in 1983, a modest Ontario operation producing 3,000 ounces of gold and C$1.7 million in revenue. One year later, he acquired a deep talent pool with the purchase of an indebted Quebec miner.

That expertise paved the way for Barrick’s $62 million purchase of Goldstrike, a Nevada gold mine vastly bigger and richer than estimated by its vendor and still in operation.

Born in Budapest, ,上海夜生活Eason,he fled after Hungary was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1944 and cited a “tremendous obligation” to repay his debt to Canada, which took in him and 13 family members during World War Two.

They arrived “with zero to offer, no skills, no money, no contribution, but with our hands out,” he said in a speech last September at the Toronto heart hospital bearin,上海夜网推油Gabriel,g his name.

“To give and to do what I can to help this country, to help repay this country, is never enough,” said Munk.

He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1952 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Six years later, he co-founded Clairtone, overseeing the electronics in high-end stereos, while a partner designed the sleek wooden exteriors.

Clairtone attracted celebrity fans including Frank Sinatra and Hugh Hefner, but aggressive expansion plans contributed to staggering losses and Munk was ousted.

Stung by the loss of his “first love,” Munk vowed to never again operate with inadequate cash or partners with different goals and went into the resort business in Fiji, helping build a 54-resort chain that sold for $130 million.

Funds from that deal formed Barrick Investments in 1981, including ill-timed, money-loser Barrick Petroleum and Barrick Resources, which later became Barrick Gold.

Munk twice tried to buy the world’s second-biggest gold miner, Newmont Mining, but walked away because he wanted the merged company to remain Canadian.

His ambition to transform Barrick into a global diversified miner like Rio Tinto, driving the 2011 acquisition of copper miner Equinox Minerals for C$7.3 billion, failed.

Investors grew increasingly frustrated as Barrick took a multibillion dollar writedown on Equinox, suspended plans to build an Andean mine as costs soared to $8.5 billion and amassed $15 billion in debt.

In 2014, Munk handed his chairman role to former Goldman Sachs president John Thornton.

“I refer to you as often as I do, not primarily because I love you, which I do, but because it helps me immeasurably lead Barrick by reminding all of our people and partners who we are, where we came from and where we are going,” Thornton told Munk at a 2017 annual meeting.

With 14 grandchildren and five children, Munk passed away surrounded by his family.

($1 = 1.2912 Canadian dollars)

Swiss review criminal complaint filed by figure in 1MDB case

ZURICH ( ) – Swiss prosecutors are reviewing a criminal complaint filed against two former colleagues and an alleged accomplice by Xavier Justo, a former director of energy group PetroSaudi International Ltd and a key figure in the 1MDB affair.

Justo told he was trying to clear his name after being jailed in Thailand for blackmailing his former employer over its ties to the scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1MDB, with which it ran an energy joint venture from 2009 to 2012.

The blackmail allegation arose from Justo’s demanding money from PetroSaudi and threatening to make public information he gleaned from his time at the company.

PetroSaudi, which was not itself a subject of the complaint, responded through its lawyers that Justo was merely trying to “deflect attention from his own wrongdoing”.

It was documents that Justo leaked after he left PetroSaudi in 2011 that triggered investigations in at least six countries into alleged theft of assets from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.

The documents raised suspicions about how funds at the venture were used and prompted investigators to probe suspicions that money ha,上海夜玩网论坛Fabian,d been siphoned off from the joint venture.

A total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates, according to civil lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak set up 1MDB in 2009 and served as chairman of its advisory board. He and the fund have denied any wrongdoing.


Justo was freed from a Thai prison in an amnesty in 2016. Now he alleges that his confession came under pressure from PetroSaudi executives and their allies — including public relations officials and a fake London police detective — to cover up facts in the scandal.

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General confirmed it had received Justo’s criminal complaints and was reviewing them, declining to comment further.

PetroSaudi has denied wrongdoing in connection with the 1MDB venture and said it would cooperate fully with authorities.

Asked for comment on Justo’s allegations, PetroSaudi’s lawyers released a statement saying he was only repeating claims that contradicted his previous admissions.

“Our client did not take any steps to force him to make a false confession. He confessed to blackmail beca,上海夜生活网419Mabel,use the evidence against him was overwhelming and incontrovertible,” it said.

They questioned why Justo had gone public with his criminal complaint at a weekend news conference only months after approaching Swiss authorities.

“It seems to our client that the timing of this press conference suggests it has been carefully orchestrated to coincide with the upcoming elections in Malaysia, when Prime Minister Razak will be seeking re-election,” they said.

Justo said Swiss authorities had asked him to delay filing charges to avoid interfering with their existing money-laundering inves上海夜网tigation.  

The complaints that he and his wife brought against PetroSaudi co-founder and chief executive Tarek Obaid, ex-PetroSaudi director Patrick Mahony and Briton Paul Finnigan include making threats, blackmail, extortion, endangering the lives of others, slanderous denunciation, misleading justice, and money-laundering.

They could not be reached immediately for comment.

Justo was sentenced to three years in prison in Thailand in 2015 on charges of blackmail and attempted extortion after what he now says was a confession made under pressure from his former PetroSaudi colleagues and their associates including Finnigan, who Justo says posed in,上海夜生活男人好去处Kade, Thailand as a detective from London’s Metropolitan Police.

“The deal (with his former colleagues) was ‘Cooperate, give them whatever they want … and you will be out before Christmas 2016’, so I confessed,” he told . “It was a set-up.”

Justo denied in the interview that he had tried to blackmail PetroSaudi, saying he was simply trying to recover the balance of a 6.5 million Swiss franc settlement agreed when he left the company in 2011.

Dropbox IPO oversubscribed: sources

( ) – Cloud storage company Dropbox Inc’s initial public offering was oversubscribed, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday, indicating healthy demand for the first big tech IPO this year even as tech stocks opened the week on sour note.

While investor appetite looked encouraging wi,上海夜网Tallulah,th three days to go before final pricing, it was not clear if that would be strong enough to lift the deal above of the initial range of $16 to $18 a share that Dropbox set last week. The offering is expected to price Thursday, and the stock will start trading on the Nas上海夜生活daq on Friday.

“It is early to predict the pricing. But what I can say is that from the conversations it seems the market is interested in it and IPO seems to be bright,” a separate source told . The three sources asked not to be named as the IPO pricing process was still underway.

Dropbox’s IPO comes in what is sizing up to be a challenging week for stocks, with the U.S. Federal Reserve set to raise interest rates on Wednesday, a day before the Dropbox deal is set to close.

Tech shares also fell hard to open the week, with Nasdaq down more than 2 percent on reports of Facebook Inc’s latest data privacy problems.,上海会所夜网Gabi,

Dropbox’s IPO also comes on the heels of an upsized deal last week from cyber security firm Zscaler Inc and is being watched as a barometer of investor enthusiasm for tech unicorns – young companies valued at more than $1 billion – after Snapchat owner Snap Inc’s shares cratered following a much-touted IPO a year ago.

Dropbox and existing stockholders are selling 36 million shares, and the offering could be increased by 5.4 million if underwriters exercise their right to buy more stock. At the high end of the indicated pricing, it could raise nearly $650 million, making it the largest tech IPO since Snap hit the market just over a year ago.

“The book is oversubscribed, with very good quality,” one of the sources said.

The current price range suggests the San Francisco company, co-founded in 2007 by Andrew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, will hit the public market valued at roughly $7 billion, a hefty discount to the $10 billion implied by its last funding round in 2014.

Houston is the largest shareholder and will retain 24 percent of Dropbox after selling 2.3 million shares in the offering. Sequoia Capital is the largest shareholder among outside investors, with about a 25 percent stake.

The company has 500 million users and competes w,上海新夜网龙凤Barrett,ith Alphabet Inc’s Google, Microsoft Corp, Inc and has Box Inc as its main rival.

Written by shyw on December 16, 2017 Categories: sgqotqle Tags: , , ,

‘Socially responsible’ investors reassess Facebook ownership

NEW YORK ( ) – With European and U.S. lawmakers calling for investigations into reports that Facebook user data was accessed by UK based consultancy Cambridge Analytica to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, investors are asking even more questions about the social media company’s operations.

An increasingly vocal base of investors who put their money where their values are had already started to sour on Facebook, one of the market’s tech darlings.

Facebook’s shares closed down nearly 7.0 percent on Monday, wiping nearly $40 billion off its market value as investors worried that potential legislation could damage the company’s advertising business.

Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is facing calls from lawmakers to explain how the political consultancy gained improper access to data on 50 million Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica said it strongly denies the media claims and said it deleted all Facebook data it obtained from a third-party application in 2014 after learning the information did not adhere to data protection rules.

“The lid is being opened on the black box of Facebook’s data practices, and the picture is not pretty,” said Frank Pasquale, a University of Maryland law professor who has written about Silicon Valley’s use of data.

The scrutiny presents a fresh threat to Facebook’s reputation, which is already under attack over Russia’s alleged use of Facebook tools to sway U.S. voters with divisive and false news posts before and after the 2016 election.

“We do have some concerns,” said Ron Bates, portfolio manager on the $131 million 1919 Socially Responsive Balanced Fund, a Facebook shareholder.

“The big issue of the day around customer incidents and data is something that has been discussed among ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) investors for some time and has been a concern.”

Bates said he is encouraged by the fact that the company has acknowledged the privacy issues and is responding, and thinks it remains an appropriate inve上海夜生活论坛stment for now.

Facebook said on M,上海夜生活论坛Jacklyn,onday it had hired digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg to carry out a comprehensive audit of Cambridge Analytica and the company had agreed to comply and give the forensics firm complete access to their servers and systems.

“What would be a deal-breaker for us would be if we saw this recurring and we saw significant risk to the consumer around privacy,” said Bates.

More than $20 trillion globally is allocated toward “responsible” investment strategies in 2016, a figur,上海夜网官方网站Octavia,e that grew by a quarter from just two years prior, according to Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, an advocacy group.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees $193 billion in city pension fund assets, said in a statement to on Monday that, “as investors in Facebook, we’re closely following what are very alarming reports.”

Sustainalytics BV, a widely used research service that rates companies on their ESG performance for investors, told on Monday it is reviewing its Facebook rating, which is currently “average.”

“We’re definitely taking a look at it to see if there should be some change,” said Matthew Barg, research manager at Sustainalytics.

“Their business model is so closely tied to having access to c,上海夜生活Tallulah,onsumer data and building off that access. You want to see that they understand that and care about that.”

ESG investors had already expressed concerns about Facebook before media reports that Cambridge Analytica harvested the private data on Facebook users to develop techniques to support Trump’s presidential campaign.

Wall Street investors, including ESG funds, have ridden the tech sector to record highs in recent months, betting on further outsized returns from stocks including Facebook, Apple Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Jennifer Sireklove, director of responsible investing at Seattle-based Parametric, a money manager with $200 billion in assets, said an increasing number of ethics-focused investors were avoiding Facebook and other social media companies, even before the most recent reports about privacy breaches.

Parametric held a call with clients on Friday to discuss concerns about investing in social media companies overall, including Google.

“More investors are starting to question whether these companies are contributing to a fair and well-informed public marketplace, or are we becoming all the more fragmented because of the ways in which these companies are operating,” she said.

Written by shyw on December 12, 2017 Categories: ebqjfzhs Tags: , , ,

Poor first quarter ends on a high note as stocks leap

NEW YORK ( ) – Stocks steadied on Thursday, after a woeful week for major technology companies, even as global equities careened towards their first quarterly drop in two years.

Shares tracked by the 47-country MSCI index glided 0.86 percent higher, with Facebook Inc, Apple Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc retaking the market’s leadership mantle.

Despite equities’ gains, safe-haven bonds also advanced in price.

The volatile give-and-take during the week and quarter would seem to set the table for tense months ahead as buy-the-dip bulls look for corporate earnings to validate the market’s current levels and short-selling bears work to expose investors’ complacency.

Yet David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co’s funds division, said he is optimistic that markets have clarified the effects of a large U.S. tax cut and the prospect for higher interest rates, factors he says challenged markets during the first quarter.

“It’s not that the uncertainties have gone away on higher rates or lower taxes, but I think we’ve grown accustomed to them, and that should lay a foundation for investors to put more money to work,” he said.

Economic data on Thursday showed U.S. consumer spending rising only marginally, but the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to a more than 45-year low last week. Monthly inflation readings moderated.

Those statistics helped keep downward price swings at bay on Thursday after a turbulent start to 2018 in financial markets that is set to end one of ,上海夜生活群Quay,the longest quarterly bull,上海夜玩网论坛Falkner, runs and included the biggest-ever rise in Wall Street’s “fear上海夜网 gauge,” the CBOE Volatility Index.

A “melt-up” that sent the MSCI’s “all-country” world share index up more than 7 percent in January suddenly melted away as tensions over global trade escalated, turmoil deepened in the White House and market-leading technology firms wobbled on fears of regulation and other issues. The index is down more than 1 percent in price terms this year.

Now, the Dow, S&P 500, FTSE, Nikkei and scores of other major indexes are all also down for the year. And there was little place to hide, with U.S. bond returns also in the red for the quarter.

On Thursday, by contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 254.69 points, or 1.07 percent, to 24,103.11, the S&P 500 gained 35.87 points, or 1.38 percent, to 2,640.87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 114.22 points, or 1.64 percent, to 7,063.45.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.6 percent, while Shanghai closed up 1.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng recovered from an early w,上海夜生活网419Jackson,obble to add 0.2 percent. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.44 percent.

Oil continued its march higher. Benchmark Brent crude rose 1 percent, advancing its gains for the quarter and sidestepping data the day prior showing a surprise build in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Many markets across Europe and the Americas will be closed on the final weekday of the quarter in observance of Good Friday.

A monthly markets poll by showed trade war and tech sector worries have spooked global investors into cutting equity exposure to a four-month low and holdings of U.S. stocks to the lowest in nearly two years.

Roger Jones, the head of equities at London & Capital, said he hopes the equity market’s selloff from its highs is not prolonged.

“The longer this goes, the higher the chance it will start to affect the man in the street,” said Jones.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose in price to yield 2.741 percent, from 2.775 percent late on Wednesday.

That market action pushed the gap between short- and long-dated Treasury yields to its tightest in a decade. Some investors see the narrowing as a sign the economy will sputter. In addition to that curve flattening, the quarter was marked by a rise in short-term borrowing costs, reflected in the soaring London interbank offered rate (Libor).

(For a graphic on ‘Global assets in 2018’ click

(For a graphic on ‘Global currencies vs. dollar’ click

(For a graphic on ‘All Country World Index Market Cap’ click

Daimler cars unit invests to ramp up output to 3 million vehicles

FRANKFURT ( ) – Germany’ Daimler (DAIGn.DE) is in a push to boost prod,上海夜网后花园Talon,uction capacity as its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit eyes annual sales of 3 million vehicles, up from 2.4 million last year, an executive told weekly publication Automobilwoche.

“The sites in our global production network are running at high utilization rates,” Markus Schaefer, board member in charge of manufacturing and procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars, was quoted as saying.

“That’s上海夜生活网 why we are expanding our capacities according to market demand and are moving towards 3 million units.”

Another element in the plan is an increase in the number of Mercedes-Benz models to 40.

By the end of the decade three new production sites will come on stream: compact models will be assembled in Aguascalientes, Mexico from the third quarter of this year; a new site in Kecskemet, Hungary, will be built by end-2019; and the company is planning to add a second site in Beijing, Automobilwoche s,上海高端夜生活在那里Octavien,aid.

Total investment in these projects amounts to 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion), it added.

The German automaker said last month that an expected rise in unit sales and revenue in 2018 will be countered by spending on new ca,上海夜生活去哪玩Quaid,rs and technologies, forecasting earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at a similar level as 2017.

Senators reach deal to help state water programs after Flint

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senators unveiled legislation on Wednesday providing federal aid to help states fix water infrastructure in the wake of Flint, Michigan’s crisis over lead-tainted drinking water.

Senators James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, and Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, and others introduced the measure providing $100 million to a revolving fund states can tap if they have drinking water problems.

The funding in the agreement is paid for by cuts from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loans for auto companies, aimed to speed development of electric cars and other technologies. Inhofe called it a “failed program” that hasn’t been used in more than a year and has only issued five loans since 2008.

It was unclear whether the measure would be attached to a wide-ranging energy bill that failed to advance early this month or whether the senators would try,夜上海论坛Fabian, to pass it as a separate bill. ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Pablo,

Under the plan, states must first explain how the money would be spent, according to ,上海夜网后花园Lark,details of the agreement. If they do not use the aid in 18 months, it would return to the federal government.

“This is not a blank check,” according to a document explaining the deal.

Thousands of children in Flint, a predominantly African-American city of 100,000, are believed to have consumed dangerous amounts of lead in drinking water after a state-appointed emergency manager directed the city to switch from Detroit’s drinking water supply to the Flint River. Lead is a neurotoxin that can harm brain development in children.

Under the deal, Flint and the states would also have access to $70 million in a credit subsidy under a federal program called the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority, or WIFIA.

Congress conceived the WIFIA to help lower borrowing costs for municipal water projects. The federal program acts as a loan guarantee, rather than a grant, and is aimed at b上海夜网ringing borrowing costs in line with U.S. government bond rates.

Some critics say local governments need direct federal aid, not borrowing support, to improve infrastructure.

There would also be $50 million in aid available for national use for a childhood lead poisoning prevention program, a health registry and other items. Earlier this month, Michigan lawmakers had at first opposed getting funding from the advanced vehicles program, saying it would hurt auto workers.

Written by shyw on December 8, 2017 Categories: kbvkmgjv Tags: , , ,

Germany alarmed by Facebook data abuse reports, lawmakers demand…

BERLIN ( ) – Germany on Tuesday voiced alarm at reports that a political consultancy hired by Donald Trump improperly accessed information on 50 million Facebook users, and lawmakers demanded answers from the company and the government.

Germany’s data privacy commissioner Andrea Vosshoff said she had no independent information to verify the reports, but the incident underscored the need for stronger privacy regulations.

U.S. and European authorities this week said they were investigating reports by the New York Times and Britain’s Observer newspaper that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, harvested users’ personal data to support Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign.

The reports have depressed Facebook shares, and are fueling calls for more regulation in Germany, where Facebook already faces an anti-trust inquiry and a tough new hate crime law.

“If t,上海021夜网Octavien,he reports are proven true, this would be an alarming example of the risks of profiling on the Internet, something that this office and other privacy protection authorities have been warning about for years,” Vosshoff said in a statement.

Justice Minister Katarina Barley told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper that Facebook needed to take responsibility and explain how it planned to better protect the privacy of its users in the future.

She told the paper that users needed to know what would become of their data before consenting to its use. “F,上海夜网Gabi,acebook must adhere to this legal basis. It is time for the company to take clear responsibility,” she told the newspaper.

Privacy rights are a particularly sensitive and emotional issue in Germany after decades of state surveillance carried out by the Nazi regime, and later in Communist East Germany.

Germany’s anti-trust regulator last month opened an inquiry into online advertising, responding to concerns expressed by advertisers and publishers about the “significant” market position of U.S. platforms Google and Facebook.

In December, the Federal Cartel Office also accused Facebook of abusing its dominant position to collect the personal data of its 2 billion users worldwide.

Facebook is also grappling with a new law under which the company and other social medi上海夜生活网a sites can be fined up to 50 million euros if they fail to promptly remove hateful messages.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the Social Democrats called on Tuesday for an extraordinary session of the German parliament’s digital committee to debate the latest reports, conservative lawmak,上海夜网邀请码Idaline,er Thomas Jarzombek said.

“We want to question Facebook about whether German users were also affected, and whether a comparable mechanism could endanger the data of German users,” he told .

Patrick Sensburg, another conservative lawmaker, called for “much harder sanctions” against Facebook and said the EU should consider financial penalties. “The German government and the EU must demand that Facebook provide comprehensive answers and informs those affected,” he told German daily Bild.

Written by shyw on December 7, 2017 Categories: tgnkovyn Tags: , , ,

Toys ‘R’ Us says ‘making every effort’ to pay vendors

( ) – Toys ‘R’ Us said at a bankruptcy court hearing on Tuesday that it was working hard to maximize payments to suppliers and lenders, as it starts to shutter 735 big-box toy stores across the United States.

More than 50 suppliers, including Barbie maker Mattel (MAT.O) and Lego, have objected in some form to the proceedings by the storied toy retailer to liquidate its U.S. business, putting 30,000 jobs at risk.

Toys ‘R’ Us had been tryi,上海夜生活服务Kai,ng to reorganize under U.S. Chapter 11 but last week said those efforts had failed and it was quickly running out of cash. It is also winding down its ,上海夜网Octavia,U.K business, but is looking for a buyer for operations in Canada, Europe and Asia.

Some trade vendors are demanding the company return any unpaid inventory rather than selling it and using going out of business sales to pay secured lenders and bankruptcy lawyers, at their cost, court papers showed.

“We’re making every effort to make sure (trade vendors) will be paid in full,” Lazard’s David Kurtz, who is advising Toys ‘R’ Us, testified at a hearing at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Virginia.

The company is seeking approval for a March 26 deadline for bids for each of its foreign businesses, minus U.K., followed by an auction on March 29.

It is also seek上海夜生活网ing approval for a series ,上海会所夜网Hal,of U.S. liquidation procedures including a halt to more than $450 million in supplier payments as part of a plan that experts told could cause many small toy makers to disappear.

Toys ‘R’ Us was the last remaining specialty toy retailer in the United States. Hundreds of companies relied on its big-box stores as a showcase for both innovative toys as well as classics.

Under trade agreements, vendors were required to ship goods to Toys ‘R’ Us on unsecured trade credit.

In a court filing, Lego said any “wind-down must be implemented in a manner that is fair and equitable to all” of the company’s creditors.

The U.S. Trustee, a bankruptcy watchdog, has also objected, saying that while it is “resigned” to the company’s future, it is concerned about certain of the procedures and relief proposed as part of the liquidation.

Toys ‘R’ Us financial advisor Bill Kosturos of Alvarez & Marsal was also testifying at the hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Keith Phillips, which could run into Wednesday.

Written by shyw on December 4, 2017 Categories: yhlaanmq Tags: , , ,

Exclusive: Trafigura set to boost its dominance in Urals – sources

MOSCOW/LONDON ( ) – Oil trader Trafigura will regain its position as the largest buyer of seaborne crude from Russia’s Rosneft, trading sources told on Friday, exp,上海夜网后花园Tamara,anding their partnership as Rosneft reduces its dealings with Vitol and Glencore.

Three sources told that Trafigura would increase its dominance in Rosneft’s Urals oil trading from April when Rosneft’s 5-year pre-finance deal with Vitol and Glencore expires.

“Trafigura will be the lucky one,” a trader in the Russian crude oil market said.

Rosneft, Trafigura, Glencore and Vitol all declined to comment.

Trafigura ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Jack,was the biggest lifter of Rosneft crude for a couple of years from 2014, when the companies established a close partnership amid Western sanctions on Moscow.

Rosneft’s boss Igor Sechin is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and the West imposed sanctions on the Kremlin to retaliate against Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

But Trafigura lost a large portion of volumes at the start of this year when Rosneft transferred volumes it was previously getting in the Pacific to its new shareholder, China’s CEFC.

From April, Trafigura will be able to recoup the volumes lost in the Pacific by getting more Urals crude on the Baltic. It will see volumes rising to 10 cargoes in April from Russian Baltic ports from five in previous months, according to traders.

The development became possible because March was the last month of Rosneft’s supplies to Vitol and Glencore under a pre-finance deal signed in 2013, shortly before Western sanctions against Moscow were imposed.

From April onwards, Rosneft wil上海夜生活论坛l have some 700,000 tonnes, or seven cargoes, a month of Urals volumes available for sale and most of it will go to Trafigura, the sources said.

The development means Vitol, once the biggest buyer of Rosneft’s oil, will disappear from the list of regular buyers of Rosneft’s crude as it doesn’t have new pre-finance deals.

Glencore will remain a large buyer as it secured a long-term supply deal last year when it became a shareholder in Rosneft. ,上海夜生活乌托邦Radcliff,

Sharp increases in Urals supplies from Rosneft could make Trafigura the biggest market player in the Baltic Urals market from next month, data showed.

Arizona governor suspends Uber’s ability to test self-driving cars

PHOENIX,,上海新夜网龙凤Barbara, Ariz. ( ) – The governor of Arizona on Monday suspended Uber’s ability to test self-driving cars on public roads in the state following a fatal crash last week that killed a 49-year-old pedestrian.

The decision to block Uber Technologies Inc’s is a blow to the ride-hailing company, which sees its future success reliant on driverless vehicles, and trails competitors such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo in developing the technology.

Arizona had been a key hub for Uber, with about half of the company’s 200 self-driving cars and a ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Hal,staff上海夜生活 of hundreds.

In a letter sent to Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi and shared with the media, Governor Doug Ducey said he found a video released by police of the crash “disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona.”

Police and safety regulators are investigating the March 18 fatality in which a woman crossing a four-lane road at night was struck and killed by an Uber self-driving SUV. The incident has focused new attention on the lack of clear safety standards for such vehicles.

Ducey called the crash “an unquestionable failure.”

“In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways,” Ducey said.

The letter strikes a dramatically different tone from late 2016, when Ducey invited Uber to his state with celebration, saying “Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads.” At the time, a banner was hung on a building in Phoenix welcoming Uber.

Uber moved its driverless cars to Arizona from San Francisco after California regulators shut do,上海夜网官方网站Naia,wn the self-driving fleet for not having the proper permits.

Uber, which had already pulled its self-driving cars off the road after the accident, said in a statement on Monday that it will “keep a dialogue open with the Governor’s office to address any concerns they have.”