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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 percent lower 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,上海夜生活乌托邦Radcliff,, 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), 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上海夜生活网 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 boa,夜上海论坛Ebba,rd 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 flow and allow it higher flexibility in pursuing investment opportunities.”

A Tencent spokeswoman said it w,上海夜生活网419Radcliff,as 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.

Volkswagen offers to buy back new diesels if bans introduced

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

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

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

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

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

Diesel car sales plunged 19 percent in Germany last month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chemical companies fear toxic consequences of Brexit

KNUTSFORD, England ( ) – Julian Sarkar has spent more than 10 years and around 600,000 euros (525,000 pounds) making his small British company compliant with strict European Union regulations to import chemicals into the bloc.

Now, incensed by the government’s pursuit of what he sees as an extreme version of Brexit, he is shifting a third of his business into continental Europe, fearing that higher costs and bureaucracy will prove toxic for his firm over time.

“I despair,” said the 59-year-old, who will avoid UK ports when shipping goods from India and China into continental Europe with his firm Zanos. “Everything I’ve seen in terms of the new approach will involve additional cost and additional work”.

Zanos is one of thousands of British companies that could be stripped of the right to trade seamlessly in Europe after Brexit if a way cannot be found to keep Britain in or a,上海夜生活乌托邦Gabi,ligned to the regulatory system Reach that acts as a passport for chemicals.

At stake is not just the future of an 11-billion-pound industry and its thousands of British jobs, but also the other sectors it supplies, including autos, aerospace and pharmaceuticals.

The chemicals sector’s quandary is more acute than most industries’ because of its dense web of regulations, but it is also emblematic of problems facing several other trades that rely on some kind of “passporting” system to operate across the EU, like financial services and haulage.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants Britain to remain under European oversight for certain sectors including chemicals but be allowed to diverge from the EU in others, a position dismissed as pure illusion by Brussels so far.

On top of the regulatory uncertainty, the prospect of tariffs or border delays remains while any Brexit deal may not come until late in the talks, leaving firms with little clarity.

As a result, the bigger chemical makers are preparing for all outcomes. Germany’s BASF (BASFn.DE), worth 76 billion euros, estimates that a British return to World Trade Organisation rules could cost it an additional 60 million euros a year.

“At the moment you really get the impression of two high-speed trains on a collision course with no constructive solution to be found,” BASF Chief Executive Kurt Bock said in February of his fears about tariffs. “Something must happen very quickly.”


Of immediate concern is Reach, a regulatory regime so complex it has taken 11 years to be introduced. Designed to manage risk while protecting health and the environment, it operates across the 28 EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein that make up the European Economic Area (EEA).

Standing for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, Reach requires companies to register the substances they use, creating a vast central database that is managed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.

According to the ECHA, Britain becomes a “third country” after 2300 GMT on 29 March 2019, making Reach registrations held by British companies invalid. A transition deal, which was announced on Monday, should postpone that until the end of 2020, if a future trade deal with the EU is agreed before Brexit.

“This is a big deal,” said Elizabeth Shepherd, environment partner at corporate law firm Eversheds Sutherland who is facing mounting questions from clients. “If companies have to comply with two sets of rules then they run the risk of being less competitive.”

Zanos’ Sarkar said he decided to act after May said at the start of 2017 that Britain would leave the EU single market and customs union after Brexit.

May’s government argues that being outside the EU will give Britain the freedom to strike trade deals with faster-growing emerging markets, and that although the economy may suffer in the short term it will flourish later on.

But for now, Sarkar cannot see beyond the disruption.

Based in the leafy town of Knutsford, northern England, the 18-year-old company he founded sources, imports and distributes aromatic chemicals such as Benzyl Alcohol and Linalol, which go into cleaning sprays, shower gels, candles and other products.

It employs five people, has annual revenue of about 10 million pounds and holds around 10 Reach registrations.

In a bid to insulate as much of the business as he can, Sarkar has set up a company in Ireland to handle the compliance and transport of chemicals imported from Asia that do not need to go through Britain, around a third of his total business.

Hiring a qualified operative there will cost around 50,000 euros a year before other costs, Sarkar said, but he would rather take the hit now than become less competitive over time.

“We buy significant materials from China that are sold in Europe,” Sarkar said, clutching business plans for the new company. “The intention is that anything that doesn’t require UK input will not come here. We’ll just keep it out.”

For future British-EU trade, he expects costs and red tape to rise if Britain launches its own Reach system with its own regulator, forcing Zanos to comply with two systems at once.

That could also put some European companies off selling into Britain, work Zanos currently handles.

“My first preference would be to use Reach, to find some way to buy into Reach,” Sarkar said, sat in a small office on a business park 30 miles from a warehouse storing 150 palettes of chemicals. “Several hundred millions of pounds have been invested in this, so why do it again?”


In an illustration of the size of the British chemicals sector, 6,625 of the 18,403 substances registered within Reach are registered in the United Kingdom, according to the ECHA.

Like so much of the preparation for Brexit, bigger companies with large legal teams and advisers are better placed to plan.

Once dominated by ICI, Britain’s biggest chemical names now include Johnson Matthey, Ineo,上海夜玩网论坛Cain,s, Croda and Synthomer.

Johnson Matthey, which moves more than 2 billion pounds of goods between Britain and the EU a year, and polymer supplier Synthomer told they were making contingency plans.

Companies are examining the location and size of their stocks and testing if they could supply customers and receive goods under all outcomes, including if no Brexit deal is struck.

But both said they expected the government to ultimately get around the politics and stay aligned with Reach.

“We need to be prepared ,上海夜网后花园Hal,for everything,” said Jane Toogood, the CEO of Johnson Matthey’s Efficient Natural Resources sector. “If we move away from this, you’re talking about rebasing everything, redoing the registrations. It’s sound, it’s robust, it’s taken years to agree, let’s stay convergent with it.”

One possible remedy would be for British manufacturers selling into the EEA to hire agents in the bloc, known as Only Representatives, to handle compliance, but this would in上海夜网cur extra costs.

A more comprehensive solution would be for Britain and the EU to agree “mutual recognition” – where Britain and Europe agree to achieve the same standards – but Michael Coxall of law firm Clifford Chance said that was untested and would require not just a recognition of standards but a whole machinery to oversee Britain’s access to EU data.

However the uncertainty of the situation has forced Sarkar, with fewer resources than the big players, to act now.

He does not much like Reach – he is a member of a “Reach self-help group” – but he would rather stick with the devil he knows than adapt to a new British system too.

“We’ve had zero information,” he said. “We’ve been told by the government this is where we are and this is where we would like to be. But the question is: what are they going to do?”

($1 = 0.8127 euros)

Automakers keep wary eye on tariff impact, possible trade war

NEW YORK ( ) – Executives from major automakers raised concerns at the New York auto show this week about the possibility of a trade war after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports earlier this month, especially at a time when U.S. sales of new vehicles are in decline.

“Protectionism doesn’t have w,上海夜生活群Paige,inners,” Hinrich Woebcken, Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) North American chief executive, told . “When you start to raise bars, you are bringing an imbalance of trade that will not produce any winners.”

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel imports earlier this month that industry experts and manufacturers say could lower profits for companies making everything from pickup trucks to canned soup, or result in higher prices for consumers.

Trump has criticized Germany for levying tariffs on vehicles s,上海夜网官方网站Fabiana,hipped from the United States, and threatened to impose higher tariffs on German-made vehicles. That has made executives nervous in an industry that is global. The Trump administration has also proposed tariffs on Chinese goods.

“Everybody who does a lot of business with China would be concerned about a trade war,” said Johan de Nysschen, head of General Motors Co’s luxury Cadillac division. “A trade war would be harmful to that so we all hope that it does not happen.” China is critical to Cadillac’s future growth strategy, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra told investors on Wednesday.

U.S. auto industry sales fell 2 percent last year to 17.23 million vehicles after hitting a record high in 2016.

New vehicle sales are expected to drop further in 2018 despite a solid economy as interest rates rise.

Jack Hollis, Toyota Motor Corp’s North American head of sales and marketi上海夜生活论坛ng, said tariffs would mean higher prices.

“We’ll all just have to raise prices … because there’s no way you can absorb” all that extra cost, he said.

John Bozzella, head of G,夜上海论坛Fabiana,lobal Automakers, which represents Toyota, Hyundai Motor Co, Honda Motor Co Ltd and others, said the trade group is pushing to convince policymakers the tariffs do not make sense as automakers export 2 million vehicles annually from the United States.

Scott Keogh, head of U.S. operations for Volkswagen’s Audi brand, said the U.S. car market is built on “stability and confidence and we need to continue that.”

“If you look at the number one correlation that drives luxury car sales, it’s consumer confidence,” he said.

Nestle launches new quality assurance lab in Brazil in organic push

SAO PAULO ( ) – Nestle SA inaugurated a new quality control lab outside Sao Paulo on Friday, which the company said would help it expand into organic products in Brazil, and potentially grow to serve all of Latin America and beyond.

In February, Nestle told it w上海夜网as launching its first organic food line in Brazil, as part of the world’s largest food company’s global push to capture growing interest in healthy and organic products.

In an interview late on Thursday, Nestle executives said the new lab, which cost 23 million reais ($6.95 million), would aid in the rollout of that initiative.

“When you make a commitment to the consumer that it’s organic, it has to be orga,上海夜哪里艳遇Naia,nic. You have to make sure it’s pesticide free,” said Fabien Robert, Nestle’s head of quality for the Americas, adding that the new facility could enable the firm to do more testing for pesticides and genetically modified organisms.

While the new lab, in the city of Araras, will only represent a 10 percent increase in analytical capacity over the existing Sao Paulo lab that it will replace, executives said it would likely expand,上海夜生活网交流Octavia,.

The unit is set to serve Braz,上海夜生活男人好去处Jackson,il, as well as Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, but could grow to cover all of Latin America, and occasionally assist Nestle’s other regions, such as Africa, Robert said.

“It will probably go beyond and be a platform for the whole region,” he told , referring to Latin America.

Obama digs into research on potential Supreme Court picks

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Barack Obama will review briefing documents from his staff this weekend on potential Supreme Court nominees, the White House said on Friday, as a tough political fight loomed with Senate Republicans over filling the pivotal vacancy.

The White House arranged for photographers to snap pictures of Obama carrying a thick binder filled with papers during his walk from the Oval Office to his residence on Friday night as he ponders who to pick to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13.

Earlier in the day, the president and first lady Michelle Obama paid respects to Scalia as the late justice’s body lay in repose in the Supreme Court’s Great Hall.

“The president’s team, over the course of this week, has spent a lot of time preparing materials for the presiden上海夜网t’s review, and I would expect, over the weekend, that the president will begin to dig into the materials that have been prepared for him,上海夜生活乌托邦Dallas,,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Earnest gave no clues about who Obama might pick but said the lengthy briefing m,上海夜网后花园Sabia,aterials included information about “some potential nominees” including career accomplishments and experience.

The court’s ideological balance of po,上海夜生活论坛Cadence,wer is at stake, and Obama’s nominee could tip it to the left for the first time in decades. Scalia’s death left the court with four conservative and four liberal justices.

Obama phoned Senate leaders, including Republicans who have threatened to block any nominee made by the Democratic president to replace Scalia.

Obama made it clear in his calls with two key Senate Republicans, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, that he will nominate someone for the job, Earnest told reporters.

McConnell has said the seat should remain vacant until Obama’s successor takes office next January so voters can have a say in the selection when they choose a new president in the Nov. 8 election.

Obama also spoke with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Senator Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Earnest said.

Reid said on Thursday after speaking with Obama that he expected the president to name his pick in “a little over three weeks.” Earnest declined to discuss a timetable for Obama’s decision, and said the president’s staff had not yet provided a “short list” of candidates.

Gundlach sees Donald Trump nomination causing ‘global growth scare’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

India tax department freezes certain Cognizant bank accounts: report

( ) – India’s Income Tax department has frozen Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp’s (CTSH.O) bank accounts and deposits in Chennai and Mu,上海夜生活网419Rachel,mbai for allegedly evading a dividend distribution tax (DDT), according to a report on Tuesday.

A Cognizant spokesman confirmed the report and said in a statement that a court has instructed the tax department not to take further action pending further hearings.

Cognizant failed to pay the tax of more than 25 billion rupees ($385 million) in the 2016-17 financial year, the Hindu newspaper reported, citing officials from the tax department. (

Cognizant said it had paid all applicable taxes due on the transaction.

The company’s accounts were frozen a week back and it had approache,上海夜哪里艳遇Rachel,d the High Court against the tax department, according to the report.

“Cognizant’s business operations, our associates and our work with clients are not impacted by actions recently attempted by the Indian Income Tax Department,” the company said.

A Cognizan,上海夜生活乌托邦Lance,t spokesman declined to give more details, while tax department officials could not be reached for comment outside regular 上海夜生活business hours.

The U.S.-listed IT services has significant operations in India where the majority of its 260,000 employees reside.

U.S. defense chief urges Congress to stick to bipartisan budget deal

SEATTLE ( ) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter Thursday urged Congress to stick to a bipartisan budget agreement that locked in spending levels for fiscal 2016 and 2017, warning that reopening the deal would lead to inefficiencies and could raise concerns overseas.

Carter told military leaders and industry at an event hosted by Microsoft Corp that t上海夜生活he Department of Defense needed greater stability to plan its spending levels and prepare for the complex challenges it faces around the world.

“We’ve got,上海夜生活男人好去处Tabitha, to come together in Washington and break the gridlock for such important functions as funding the federal government,” Carter said. “We can’t go in every fiscal year with chaos and continuing resolutions. That’s a money waster … because it causes us to manage inefficiently.”

Carter said he worried that Congress could undermine the two-year,上海夜生活桑拿会所Eason, budget agreement that set funding levels for this fiscal year and the one that begins Oct. 1.

“I really hope the bipartisan budget agreement sticks,” Carter said, noting that it was even more difficult to maintain such deals in a presidential election year.

U.S. defense officials worry that Republican moves to add funding to the Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget plan could jeo,上海夜生活乌托邦Mace,pardize the budget deal.

Carter said the turbulence caused by recent budget battles was not helpful for managing the Pentagon and gave allies and potential enemies the false impression that the U.S. military was in disarray when it was actually investing well overall.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

COFCO and Zhaojin declined to comment.

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

GM’s South Korean union seeks job, plant security in exchange for…

SEOUL ( ) – General Motors’ (GM.N) South Korean union said on Thursday that it will not demand a pay rise and bonuses this year, but instead wants the U.S. automaker to provide a future production plan and job security.

It marked the first time the union hasn’t demanded pay increases and bonuses durin,上海足浴夜网联系方式Sabine,g annual wage talks, a union official said.

GM, which last month announced the planned shutdown of one of its factories in South Korea, has proposed a base wage freeze and no bonuses this year as well a suspension of some worker benefits including school tuition for employees’ children.

In exchange for agreeing wage concess,上海夜生活去哪玩Kaiden,ions, the union called on GM to detail a roadmap for new models, and distribute stocks worth 30 million won ($28,214)in GM Korea to each worker after swapping the nearly 3 trillion won of debt owed by the Korean unit to its headquarters into equity.

The union also wants an agreement under wh,夜上海论坛Kaia,ich GM would not lay off all employees at GM Korea for the next 10 years.

GM previously said it is looking to the union to “accept important concessions that can help address a lack of competitiveness in costs and productivity.”

The U.S. automaker is currently waiting on a final decision by the South Korean government to extend financial support to continue operating in the country.

“We make it clear that we are making concessions and sacrifices with unbearable pain, to protect jobs and survival rights of 300,000 workers,” the union said in a statement.

A GM Korea spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Almost 2,500 workers at GM Korea, equivalent to 15 percent of its staff, have applied fo上海夜生活r a redundancy package that the U.S. automaker is offering as part of a drastic restructuring.

($1 = 1,063.3200 won)

Amazon is now second most valuable U.S.-listed company, tops Alphabet

( ) – (AMZN.O) became the second most valuable publicly listed U.S. company on Tuesday, surpassing Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) for the first time.

Amazon shares finished up 2.69 percent at $1,586.51, for a market capitalization of $768 billion, underscoring Wall Street’s confidence in its relentless expansion into cloud computing, groceries and other new businesses.

Alphabet lost 0.39 percent, trimming its stock market value to $762 billion, as Wall Street fretted about regulatory fallout following revelations that a political consulting firm had improperly obtained personal data on 50 million Facebook Inc (FB.O) users.

(GRAPHIC: Race for $1 trillion market cap –

Together, Alphabet and Facebook dominate online advertising. They have previousl,上海夜网后花园Hadley,y faced government criticism for how they employ their user data.

Amazon’s stock has surged 81 percent over the past year, through Monday, bolstered by scorchingly fast revenue growth as more shopping moves online and businesses shift their computing operations to the cloud, where Amazon Web Services leads the market.

“They’re using their cash flow to develop new businesses,” said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment strateg,上海夜生活Gabrielle,ist at Inverness Counsel in New York. “They could have Apple in their sights at some point.”

Seattle-based Amazon dislodged Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) as the No. 3 U.S. company by market capitalization in February. Apple (A上海夜生活论坛APL.O) is the world’s most valuable publicly listed company, with a market capitalization of $889 billion.

Obviously, past stock gains are not a reliable predictor of future performance, and the surge in Amazon shares,上海夜生活男人好去处Ebba, in recent years has been exceptional by most standards. But if Amazon’s stock were to keep growing on the trajectory seen over the past year, its market capitalization would hit $1 trillion in late August.

Apple’s market cap would reach $1 trillion around a month later if its stock price continued to rise at the 25 percent pace seen over the past year.

Alphabet’s stock has risen 4 percent so far in 2018 and is up 26 percent in the past year.

The median of analyst price targets for the three companies put Amazon’s market capitalization at $823 billion, Alphabet’s at $914 billion and Apple’s at $989 billion, according to Thomson data.

Republican Kirk breaks with U.S. Senate leaders on high court seat

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, facing a tough re-election fight in Illinois, said on Monday the Senate should vote on whomever President Barack Obama nominates to the U.S. Supreme Court, breaking with his party’s leadership.

In another defection among Republicans, Senator Susan Collins of Maine called for hearings on the eventual nominee.

A political fight has erupted over filling the 上海夜生活court’s vacancy left by the Feb. 13 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, with many top Republicans threatening to block any nominee put forth by the Democratic president.

Obama’s nominee could shift the court to the left for the first time in decades.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the seat should remain vacant until Obama’s successor takes office in January so voters can have a say on the selection when they cast ballots in the November presidential election.

Kirk wrote in a Chicago Sun-Times opinion piece that he recognized the right of any president to choose a Supreme Court nominee and he looked forward to Obama picking one for the Senate to consider for confirmation.

“I also recognize my duty as a senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information,” Kirk added.

Kirk, who holds Obama’s old Senate seat, said he hoped the president would pick a nominee “who can bridge differences, a nominee who finds common ground and a nominee who does not speak or act in the extreme.”

Kirk’s stance illustrates that McConnell may have trouble keeping Senate Republicans ful,上海晚上耍女人的地方Earl,ly united over filling Scalia’s seat. Some senators like Kirk are seeking re-election this year in states where Democrats are competitive.

Collins, who is not facing re-election until 2020, said on Monday the Senate had an obligation to hold public hearings on Obama’s nominee.

“The kind of thorough process that a hearing allows is the best way to e,上海夜网官方网站Rae,valuate a nominee,” Collins told reporters, according to the Hill newspaper.

But it appeared unlikely that enough Republicans would peel away from McConnell to allow a vote on the Senate floor.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said on Monday it was up to McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to decide whether to hold confirmation hearings.

“I feel like we ought to put it off and get it out of th,上海足浴夜网联系方式Tabitha,is harsh atmosphere,” Hatch told reporters.

Indicted Texas mayor arrested for disrupting meeting seeking his…

SAN ANTONIO ( ) – The mayor of the south Texas town of Cry上海夜生活stal City, arrested earlier this month on federal corruption charges, was arrested again by his own police department for unruly behavior at a meeting that sought his resignation, police said on Wednesday.

Ricardo Lopez was charged with disorderly conduct following a chaotic city council meeting on Tuesday night at which citizens presented petitions calling for the mayor, two other council members and the city manager, all of whom were also indicted, to step down.

The meeting was the first since the town that bills itself as “the spinach capital” of the world found that most of its leaders had been indicted in the fede,上海夜网后花园Hallie,ral probe. U.S. prosecutors charged the officials with dipping into city coffers for their own personal gain.

Lopez posted bail on Wednesday and left jail, telling reporters he had no intention of attending future city council meetings.

“Don’t care who the mayor is. Don’t care if I’m the mayor. I’m not going to another council meeting. Because I don’t want to be put in jail again,” he said.

He did not say whether he in,上海夜生活服务Falkner,tends to resign.

Witnesses said during Tuesday’s council meeting, Lopez tried to dispute calls for his ,上海仙霞路夜生活Radley,resignation, yelled at spectators and left to fetch a copy of the city charter. When he returned, pushing and shoving ensued between Lopez and angry citizens, and the mayor was arrested, police said.

Lopez, two other council members, and the city manager were indicted on Feb. 4. They were charged with collecting bribes from city contractors for permits and other favors and using the money to pay off gambling debts, bar tabs and car loans.

They were also suspected of allowing an illegal gambling house to operate in the town of about 7,500 people.

Another Crystal City councilman was indicted in January on charges of smuggling undocumented immigrants.

Crystal City is known for a quirky tourist attraction of a large statue of the spinach-eating cartoon character Popeye in front of City Hall that celebrates the area’s history as a spinach producer. It holds an annual spinach festival.

Swiss parliament rejects call to return 1MDB profits to Malaysia

ZURICH ( ) – Switzerland’s parliament rejected on Thursday a bid to amend the law handling ill-gotten bank profits seized by authorities that had aimed to return more than $100 million linked to scandal-hit sovereign fund 1MDB to the Malaysian people.

Champions of the campaign had acknowledged they faced an uphill struggle to get the idea through parliament, whose lower house shot the plan down at the request of the government.

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis told lawmakers t,上海晚上耍女人的地方Hallie,he measure was too broad and violated the separation of powers between the government and the courts. He said current law allowed repatriation of assets seized from toppled regimes.

He cited an accord signed with the World Bank in December under which Switzerland would return to Nigeria about $321 million in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha. [nL8N1O461Y]

Confiscated bank profits from dubious deals are a different story. Normally they flow into the general Swiss budget.

The Swiss campaign led by center-left politician C上海夜生活论坛arlo Sommaruga and non-governmental organizations wanted to hand back more than $100 million money forfeited by Swiss banks in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case. [nL8N1QW1I0]

A total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, a,上海021夜网Landon,ccording to civil lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The scandal has triggered money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including Switzerland, the United States and Singapore.

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

Financial watchdog FINMA has confiscated 104 million Swiss francs ($110 million) in illicit profits from 1MDB-related deals by banks BSI, Falcon Private Bank and Coutts & Co since mid-2016. The BSI and Falcon cases are still under appeal. [nL5N1FN240] [nL8N1JJ281] [nL3N1IW070]

1MDB said on Wednesday the 104 million francs is being claimed by banks whom FINMA targeted for alleged breach of Swiss laws. “It cannot be claimed by 1MDB or the government of Malaysia as the money does ,上海夜生活Jackson,not belong to 1MDB,” it said.

Activists had said Switzerland could set an international precedent on how to handle confiscated assets from the 1MDB scandal, such as a luxury yacht seized in Bali last month that Indonesia is handing over to U.S. authorities. [nL4N1QQ2AM]

($1 = 0.9451 Swiss francs)