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Relationship goals: Ford tries to rebuild trust with China partners

BEIJING ( ) – After 20-odd years of “marriage” in China, Ford Motor Co is having relationship issues.

The U.S. automaker, losing ground in the world’s largest car market, is trying to maintain trust and respect in its partnerships with Changan Automobile Group and Jiangling Motors Group (JMC), putting pressure on sales efforts, according to four sources at Ford and its China joint ventures.

“Changan and Ford have already been married for (nearly two decades) but we still don’t trust each other,” one of the sources said.

In an effort to improve relations and reverse a recent sales slump, Ford is preparing for a new product blitz and a campaign to localize management in China, according to Peter Fleet, head of Ford’s Asia-Pacific operations.

Ford sales fell 6 percent last year even as overall vehicle sales in China rose 3 percent. Sales during the first two months of this year are down 23 percent.

Fleet said the company was looking beyond the sales numbers to focus on “structural priorities”.

“I think our partnerships are in good shape, and I want them to be even better,” Fleet said in an interview with .

It will likely take Ford until next y,上海夜网Lark,ear, when the first of the wave of new vehicles arrives in showrooms, to start regaining momentum in China.

“This year will be a bit like going through a tunnel,” Fleet said. “We have to get through 2018.”

By 2025, however, Fleet says the U.S. automaker plans to boost China revenue by 50 percent from 2017 levels, largely by launching more than 50 new or redesigned products. Those new cars include 15 electric vehicles.


Over the past 12-18 months, tensions in Ford’s China partnerships began impacting the morale of the joint ventures’ sales forces, made up mostly of local wor,上海夜生活Macauly,kers from its Chinese partners, according to three of the sources – a Changan official and two Ford China insiders. The sources declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.

Morale sank especially after Ford tried to streamline its two separate brand identities and its dual distribution systems, those sources sa上海夜生活论坛id.

“At Changan-Ford, Ford often tries to intrude far into our territory; they’re interventionist and are most aggressive among global automakers at trying to have their say on how we run our day-to-day activities,” the Changan official said. “That makes our job sometimes difficult.”

Low morale in the auto business often has a direct correlation with sales volume, as it affects the determination of an auto brand’s sales team to sell more cars.

A spokeswoman for the Changan-Ford joint venture, Jia Qun, said the relationship between Changan and Ford is in good shape.

“Last year, our two parent companies said we wanted to strengthen our partnership. I see more cooperation opportunities,” she said.

Sources said the partner relationships did begin improving after steps by Ford late last year.

Ford pledged to make a more full-fledged effort to develop technology and products in China jointly with its partners.

One possibility, according to one source: JMC and Ford might soon develop electrified trucks and vans in China as Beijing pushes aggressively for battery vehicles.

Ford has so far collaborated little with Changan or JMC on product development, with only the Escort car and the seven-seater Edge crossover SUV to show in terms of China-specific models.

Ford also promised to hire and promote more Chinese nationals to replace expatriate employees, many of whom lack the cultural background and language skills to work effectively with their JV counterparts, according to three Ford sources.

Ford told Changan and JMC it plans to fill a majority of expat positions with local managers in the next four years, cutting the number of foreigners by 70 percent by 2021. 


Still, one of the Ford sources describe the China partnerships as a “work in progress” – a task complicated by a sudden resignation in January of the company’s China chief, Jason Luo.

One of Luo’s tasks when appointed in August was to strengthen external relations, including those with Ford’s joint-venture partners. Ford said Luo’s departure after just five months was for personal reasons and Luo has not commented.

A few years ago, things looked much better for the 115-year -old company.

Leveraging SUVs including the EcoSport, Ford sales rose nearly 60 percent in 2013 and 17 percent in 2014, enabling the company to zoom past Toyota and Honda in sales, according to consultancy LMC Automotive.

All that momentum, however, has been lost. U.S. rival General Motors Co sold 4 million cars in China last year, compared to Ford’s 1.19 million, and Honda and Toyota now sell more than Ford again.

The challenge of maintaining a stable relationship with a Chinese partner isn’t unique to Ford.

Volkswagen AG’s (VOWG_p.DE) Audi tried to set up a second joint venture in China, ang,上海夜生活网419Jace,ering existing partner FAW Group Corp [SASACJ.UL] and dealers, resulting in sales stalling.

Having two partners has also complicated matters for Ford.

Two years ago, Ford began moves to combine the two different joint venture display stands it presents at major auto shows in China into one that more prominently displayed the Blue Oval sign.

Ford and its partners also initially disagreed on the merits of combining the two separate distribution and service entities of the joint ventures into a single national channel, according to two of the Ford sources.

Changan and JMC have since agreed to those proposals. 

The new Ford display stand debuted at the Shanghai auto show last year, while Ford and its partners are now gearing to launch a unified distribution and service company before the end of this year – signs perhaps of the “new phase of our partnerships” that Fleet envisages.

Written by shyw on August 31, 2018 Categories: ebqjfzhs Tags: , , ,

Mexican minister ramps up pressure for speedy NAFTA deal

SAO PAULO ( ) – Mexico’s economy minister on Thursday urged officials to push for a speedy renegotiation of the North上海夜生活论坛 American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying his country and Canada must be ready to go it alone if the United States pulls out.

Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said if no deal to rework NAFTA could be struck by April 30, then the new political complexion of the region would cast doubt on how incoming lawmakers would view it in Mexico and the United States.

“The whole nature of the agreement would change,” Guajardo said at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Sao Paulo. “You either get it done by the end of April or then it doesn’t matter: you can go until the end of the year.”

Guajardo had previously identified a window for negotiation extending through July, though his comments come a few days after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer floated the idea of reaching a deal “in principle” in the next few weeks.

The regular session of Congress in Mexico ends on April 30, and the country will elect a new president in July who takes office at the start of December. The United States will hold mid-term congressional elections in November.

Mexico’s government is eager to broker a deal before a change of presidency, and Guajardo has also said his team would be ready to keep talking until the end of November.

Speaking with on the sidelines of the event, Guajardo said he thought it was probable that the negotiations would drag on beyond April.

Related CoverageMexican opposition vows continuity on NAFTA team, lauds minister,上海夜生活服务Dakota,

Nonetheless, he said it could be possible to complete the technical work in a month.

“If there’s political will and flexibility to reach an agreement, I think it’s technically not impossible,” he said in an interview.

Guajardo has stressed that Mexico wants to keep NAFTA tri-partite, but reiterated that both Mexico and Canada needed to be ready for the possibility of a U.S. departure.

“You have to be ready to live with a NAFTA without the U.S.” Guajardo said. “NAFTA at risk of ending? No. NAFTA will continue between Canada and Mexico because at the end of the day, what is important is you send a message that you believe in free trade. The U.S. is the one that will decide to be in or out.”

A vast majority of Mexicans remained in favor of free trade, and U.S. President Donald Trump was coming under increasing pressure from political supporters in farming states to renew the trade deal, the Mexican minister said.

If NAFTA was not reworked soon, terms of negotiation could be shifted by political developments, such Democrats winning control of the U.S. Senate, Guajardo said. He noted that Democrats claimed victory this week in a special congressional election in Pennsylvania in a district Trump had won in 2016. The vote tall,上海凤楼夜网Ebba,y officially remains too close to call.

Speaking at a fundraiser in the state of Missouri on Wednesday, Trump reiterated that he thought it best to kill NAFTA and strike a new deal.

“Let’s start all over again … because the best deal is to terminate it and then make a new deal,” Trump said, according to a transcript published by the Washington Post. “But I don’t know that we can make a deal because Mexico is so spoiled with this horrible deal that they’ve lived with.”

Nonetheless, Trump’s comments appear to contradict statements made by his newly installed director of the White House National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow.

On Wednesday, Kudlow said he thought NAFTA needs to be reupholstered in many ways, but ditching it,上海夜生活桑拿会所Nadia, would have bad consequences.

Religious liberty bill passes Georgia state legislature

(In March 16 item, corrects timing of legislative session in final paragraph)

By Rich McKay

ATLANTA ( ) – A religious freedom bill described by opponents as being discriminatory against same-sex couples passed the Georgia state legislature on Wednesday night in an 11th-hour vote ahead of the session’s close.

The legislation, dubbed the Religious Liberty Bill, still has to be signed by Georgia’s Republican Governor Nathan Deal to become law. Deal has made clear that he will not sign a bill that allows discrimination, but his office did not immediately respond to request for comment on Wednesday night.

Similar bills in states like Indiana and Arkansas sparked storms of criticism last year, forcing many lawmakers to retreat from the provisions.

The Georgia bill, reworked several times by lawmakers amid criticism that earlier versions went too far, declares that no pastor can be force,上海晚上耍女人的地方Kaia,d to perform a same-sex wedding.

The bill also grants faith-based organizations – churches, religious schools or associations – the right to reject holding events for people or groups of whom they object. Faith-based groups also could not be forced to hire or retain an employee whose beliefs run counter to the organization’s.

Opponents say the bill could be used to deny services and discriminate against same-sex couples.

“The decision by the legislature today was to make an egregious and discriminatory bill even worse,” the Human Rights Campaign, which represents the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, said in a statement.

“It’s appalling that anti-equality extremists in the legislature are trying to ignore the will of the people of Georgia,” it said.

Mike Griffin, a lobbyist and spokesman for the Georgia Baptist Convention, applauded the bill’s passage. He said that while the bill did not give them everything they wanted, he added: “We feel we’ve advanced our protection of our First Amendment Right to religious freedom.”

“Our rights of religious liberty don’t end inside the four walls of a church,” he said.

In a late a,上海夜网Mace,dded amendment, the proposed law says that it cannot allow discrimination already prohibited by federal law, which opponents said could nullify some of its provisions.,上海夜网邀请码Sabia,

More than 300 large corporations and small businesses, including Delta Airlines and Coca Cola, have signed a pledge decrying the Georgia legislation and urging the state lawmakers to drop it.

The state legislature is set to wrap up its current legislative 上海夜生活论坛session next week.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett earned $16.3 million as profit dropped

DETROIT ( ) – Ford Motor Co (F.N) Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett earned salary, bonus and stock awards of $16.3 million in 2017, while adjusted pretax profit for the automaker dropped $1.9 billion from 2016, the company said on Thursday.

Including pensions and perks, Hackett, who took the helm of the No. 2 U.S. automaker in May, made $16.7 million.

His predecessor Mark Fields earned around $15 上海夜网million in salary, bonus and stock awards in 2017, with a total compensation package of around $21 million.

That brought total CEO compensation to about $37 million during a year in which the company earned,上海021夜网Idaia, a pretax profit $8.4 billion, down from $10.3 billion in 2016.

Hackett was abruptly named as CEO in response to investors’ growing unease about the U.S. automaker’s slumping stock price and its ability to counter threats from longtime automotive rivals and upstarts in Silicon Valley.

Hackett overhauled furniture maker Steelcase Inc (SCS.N), and then as University of Michigan athletic director turned around the storied but ailing Big 10 football program. He is the latest in a line of non-family CEOs brought in with a mandate to change the management culture at one of the auto industry’s oldest institutions.

Earlier this mo,上海仙霞路夜生活Kade,nth, Ford disclosed ambitious plans to shift the product portfolio from passenger cars to SUVs, add more hybrid and pure electric vehicles, and reduce development and manufacturing costs. The moves are aimed at boosting profits and share price.

Ford and the rest of the U.S. auto industry face declining sales. New vehicle sales fell 2 percent in 2017 after hitting an all-time high of 17.55 million units in 2016.

Sales are expected to fall further in 2018 despite,上海夜生活乌托邦Gabe, a strong economy due to rising interest rates. New vehicle sales also face a challenge from millions of cheaper, nearly-new off-lease models returning to dealer lots.

Ford also said Thursday that Executive Chairman Bill Ford, 59, received a salary, bonus and stock awards totaling $13 million in 2017, up 17 percent from 2016. His pension award fell about 14 percent to $1.2 million.

The automaker’s shares closed up 2 percent at $11.08 on Thursday. Year to date, Ford’s shares are down 10 percent.

Last month Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU.N) (FCHA.MI) said CEO Sergio Marchionne received $11.9 million (9.7 million euros) in pay and benefits for 2017.

CME Group in advanced talks to buy Britain’s NEX for $5.4 billion

( ) – U.S. exchange operator CME Group (CME.O) is in advanced talks to buy Britain’s NEX Group NXGN.L for about 3.8 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) to create a cross-border trading powerhouse.

NEX, formerly known as ICAP, said on Wednesday that CME Group had made a takeover proposal of 10 pounds per share, a premium of around 3 percent to the stock’s closing price.

Talks with CME – one of the world’s biggest exchange groups that owns the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – are at an advanced stage, NEX Group added in a statement after the market close.

NEX, a financial technology company that matches buyers and sellers of bonds, swaps and currencies, said there was no certainty an offer would be made.

NEX shares closed 9.8 percent higher at 972 pence.

The stock has risen more than 40 percent over the last two years as market volatil,上海夜生活Sabina,ity triggered by political surprises – such as the election of U.S. Pr,上海夜玩网论坛Kai,esident Donald Trump and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, fuelled trading on its platforms.

Attempts at blockbuster exchange mergers, such as between the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Deutsche Boerse, have hit antitrust buffers in recent years,上海夜网Octava,, and buying NEX could be easier for regulators and politicians to accept.

CME Group closed two operations in London last year after they ran up losses上海夜生活论坛 of more than $100 million, saying its customers preferred using its U.S. operations.

($1 = 0.7089 pounds)

Written by shyw on August 22, 2018 Categories: kbvkmgjv Tags: , , ,

German tax office examining ADM over legacy trading earnings

( ) – Hamburg’s tax of上海夜生活论坛fice is examining the German activities of U.S. agricultural merchant Archer Daniels Midland over a five-year period in what the company called a routine audit, although sources said ADM could face unforeseen liabilities.

Two sources familiar with the matter said the audit had been complicated by the departure of several senior trading officials from ADM’s German operations in previous years, of whom some had been made redundant through restructuring.

Due to a resulting lack of staff with the experience needed to field the authorities’ questions, ADM could have to pay more tax on billions of dollars of turnover, they added.

“This should have been a routine tax enquiry. The problem is they don’t have the people with the institutional memory necessary to answer the questions being asked by the tax authorities,” one of the sources said.

Chicago-based ADM, which buys, stores and ships crops and byproducts, is one of the world’s biggest grain merchants.

Since 2014 the group has stepped up efforts to restructure European operations and focus more on its European headquarters in Rolle, Switzerland, scaling down its previously more prominent German HQ in Hamburg, the sources said.

Around 200 staff – estimated to account for half of the German office – had left the company in recent years, they said.

Both sources said the audit included the use of futures and options by the German office in emissions, coal and electricity markets as well as its grains and freight desks.

The first source added that the probe also included derivatives trades on the Chicago Board of Trade that were undertaken by ADM’s German office.

“Usually it is no problem squaring the hedges with the exposure of the physical trades. That squaring is normally done at the end of each trading day. For an audit you need the people involved in those trades to be there to explain,” the source said.

“But the traders and managers and back office people who could explain that relationship are no longer there. There is a tremendous amount of turnover that has to be explained.”

ADM’s revenue from its German office reached $6.4 billion in 2010, $6.2 billion in 2011, $9.6 billion in 2012, $10 billion in 2013, $7.1 billion in 2014 and then dropped sharply to $3.4 billion in 2015, $2.3 billion in 2016 and $2.1 billion in 2017, ADM annual filings showed.

Data for 2010 and 2011 covered the financial years ending June 30. The revenue data for 2012 to 2017 was for the years ending Dec. 31. ADM was meant to have paid a standard corporate tax rate of 25 percent in the five-year period, but both sources said it had paid low taxes as a result of carrying forward trading losses and writing off other costs against tax.

“The taxable result could be higher if the hedges made through the futures markets cannot be shown to relate to physical trades,” the source said.

“If that relationship cannot be proven, then losses incurred on the futures market may not be tax-deductible.”

Both sources said it was unclear at this stage how much additional tax – if any – ADM could face.

A spokesman for the Hamburg city government’s finance department said no information on the case would be released as this area was covered by Germany’s tax confidentiality laws.

ADM said in a statement the Hamburg tax office for large enterprises was conducting “a routine tax audit of ADM’s businesses in Germany for the (financial year) period 2010 through 2014”.

“This is a n,上海夜生活论坛Paisley,ormal audit procedure in Germany, in which corporate tax audits are conducted in intervals of four to five years. ADM is thoroughly fulfilling all requests of the audit, and, to date, no conclusions have been drawn.”

ADM added that the audit was “not specific t,上海夜生活男人好去处Babette,o certain areas of our business”. Both sources said there was no indication of impropriety or market manipulation, nor was the tax authority looking into any such activity.

The audit is focusing on any potential underreporting of tax “and the period includes the Toepfer and Wild Flavors acquisitions”, the second source said.

ADM took an 80 percent stake in German trading house Alfred C. Toepfer International in 2002 and bought the rest of the company in 2014,夜上海419龙凤论坛Gabe,. Also in 2014, it acquired Swiss-German natural ingredients company Wild Flavors.


Germany accounted for 10.4 percent of ADM’s revenue in 2010, 7.7 percent in 2011, 10.6 percent in 2012, and 11.2 percent in 2013, then it dropped to 8.8 percent in 2014, 5.1 percent in 2015, 3.8 percent in 2016 and 3.4 percent in 2017, according to annual reports.

“Hamburg has basically been downsized from a global corporate headquarters to a country office and a lot of the traders did not go to Switzerland,” said a former ADM trader familiar with the Hamburg office, referring to the restructuring.

“There would be great difficulty in answering questions about trades five to ten years ago as so many people have left, both front office and back office. I think that would make it difficult even to answer routine tax inquiries.”

Chinese food commodities group COFCO’s trading division COFCO International has also seen staff upheavals in the past year with the loss of experienced senior traders who were part of Nidera, which COFCO acquired in 2014.

ADM is one of a quartet of merchants alongside Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus – nicknamed the ABCDs after their initials – that has dominated trade in agricultural goods for decades.

ADM has been trying to invest in lucrative areas such as natural flavorings and food ingredients to boost earnings in volatile commodity markets and raise margins, hit by low prices.

A source familiar with the matter told in January that ADM had proposed a takeover of Bunge, which could set up a bidding war with Swiss-based rival Glencore Plc.

U.S. banks provide rescue financing for gunmaker Remington

( ) – U.S. gunmaker Remington Outdoor Co has obtained commitments for nearly $300 million from its existing lenders, including som,上海晚上耍女人的地方Nala,e of the biggest U.S. banks, after new sources of funding dried up in the months leading up to its filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

During that time, the company’s investment bank, Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N), approached more than 30 possible lenders, according to court documents.

“The vast majority of lenders contacted, however, indicated they were reluctant to provide financing to firearms manufacturers,” said Lazard banker Ari Lefkovits in the papers.

Most of the banks providing the bankruptcy funding were lenders to Remington before its current financial problems, according to court records. Without the funds, Remington may have been forced to go out of business and the banks could have seen their investment crash in value.

The company and its investors have been under heightened scrutiny after 17 were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida in February.

Remington filed for bankruptcy one day after hundreds of thousands of Americans took to the streets to demand tighter gun control measures.

Banks often sell troubled loans to hedge funds when a borrower is heading into bankruptcy, but one source told that even as the Remington loans were heavily discounted, buyers were scarce.

The company’s bankruptcy lenders include Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE), according to court documents.

Remington disclosed the loan details in its Sunday bankruptcy filing, which the company said will allow it to cancel $775 million of debt and bring it out of Chapter 11 as soon as May.

Smaller banks Regions Financial Corporation (RF.N), BB&T Corp (BBT.N), Synovus Financial Corp (SNV.N) and Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB.O) have also committed to help fund Remington’s bankruptcy loans, court documents show. An affiliate of investment manager Franklin Templeton Investments, another lender, is also providing funds.

Bank of America, Regions, Deutsche Bank, JPMo,上海夜网官方网站Lance,rgan and Synovus declined to comment.

BB&T declined to comment on its lending relationships. The bank said part of its consideration is to listen to its clients and stakeholders, who have a wide range of opinions.

“We’re deeply concerned with the increasing amount of gun violence in our schools and communities,” the bank said.

The others, along with Remington, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company ran into trouble after borrowing to ramp up production in 2016 in anticipation of greater industry demand, according to court filings.

The expectation of higher sales was in part driven by fears of a Hillary Clinton presidency and tighter gun controls. With the election of Donald Trump, who has said he strongly supports gun ownership, the firearms industry was stuck with a glut of weapons and higher levels of debt.

Remington, which said in January it was nearly out of cash, plans to tap the loans from the banks to help pay corporate expenses, including payroll, during its bankruptcy filing.

Remington’s bondholders are also providing some of the bankruptcy loan and will receive a stake in the company when it exits bankrup,上海夜生活怎么玩Sabina,tcy.

Their identities were redacted in court documents.

The company also asked the court to seal the letters de上海夜网tailing the fees the lenders will earn from the loans, saying that the sums are commercially sensitive, according to filings in the bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The court records also showed that Remington’s business faces new hurdles in the wake of the Florida shooting.

The company cited a risk to its business from restrictions placed on gun sales by retailers such Walmart Inc (WMT.N), Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc (DKS.N) and Kroger Co (KR.N).

Walmart accounted for 11 percent of Remington sales in 2017, according to court documents.

Remington also said sales could be hurt by more government regulation, including enhanced background checks and a broader definition of “dealer” under current gun laws. Remington said if the 1994 federal assault weapons ban were re-enacted it would have an adverse effect on the business.

Nestle, other food groups likely suitors for GSK’s Horlicks: sources

LONDON/NEW YORK ( ) – Food giants Nestle (NESN.S), Kraft Heinz (KHC.O) and Unilever (ULVR.L) are expected to bid for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK.L) Horlicks health nutrition business, which could fetch more than $4 billion, accor,上海夜生活网交流Rae,ding to people familiar with the matter.

GSK has started a strategic review of Horlicks – a malt-based drink brand popular in India – and some of its smaller products, after buying Novartis (NOVN.S) out of their consumer healthcare venture for $13 billion on Tuesday.

The main asset on the block is GSK’s 72.5 percent stake in its Indian subsidiary GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GLSM.NS). The sources said the stake was worth $3.1 billion at current market prices but GSK wanted a premium in any sale.

They estimated the consumer health nutrition business, which also has smaller operations in Nigeria and Bangladesh, could fetch more than $4 billion.

Nestle, the world’s biggest packaged food company, has previously told GSK privately of its interest in Horlicks on several occasions, the people said.

Nestle already owns the malt drink Milo, but it is not a big-seller in India. The Swiss company declined to comment.

Unilever, the world’s largest tea company, and Kraft Heinz, which sells the powdered drinks Crystal Light and Kool-Aid, also declined to comment.

Horlicks is more than 140 years old with origins dating back to 1873, when two British-born men, James and William Horlick, first founded a company in Chicago to manufacture the drink. I上海夜生活论坛t was introduced to India by Indian soldiers who had fought with the British Army in the First World War.

Associated British Foods (ABF.L), which owns the malt drink brand Ovaltine, could look at the business to scale up in a key emerging market, the sources said, although the size of the GSK business could be a deterrent.

An ABF spokesman declined to comment.

The In,上海夜哪里艳遇Jacklyn,dian business has an enterprise value of about 29 times core earnings, said one of the sources, meaning any deal premium will value it well above what ,上海夜生活服务Oakley,many packaged food and drink brands fetch. The valuation is inflated by the high growth rates seen in the Indian market.

Nestle and Unilever could purchase the asset through their local Indian subsidiaries, Nestle India (NEST.NS) or Hindustan Unilever (HLL.NS).

Other potential suitors might include Coca-Cola (KO.N), PepsiCo (PEP.O), Suntory (2587.T), Mondelez International (MDLZ.O) and JAB, the coffee business owner that recently agreed to buy Dr Pepper Snapple, one of the sources said.

Trump ‘enthusiastic’ about reaching NAFTA deal, says Canada’s PM

OTTAWA ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be “enthusiastic” about coming to an agreement on NAFTA, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday amid signs the p,上海夜生活论坛Paige,ace of talks is accelerating.

Mexican and U.S. officials earlier this month pushed to speed up the process to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, though Trump has repeatedly threatened to terminate the $1.2 trillion trade pact unless Canada and Mexico agree to far-reaching U.S. demands for changes.

Trump has also ratcheted up tensions by tying the suspension of new U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs for Canada and Mexico to a successful NAFTA renegotiation. Canada and Mexico say they view the two issues as separate.

“We’re renegotiating NAFTA, we’ve seen from the President he’s enthusiastic about getting to a deal,” Trudeau said d上海夜生活论坛uring a pa,上海夜生活男人好去处Barrett,nel discussion.

Negotiators ,上海新夜网龙凤Babette,are due to meet in the United States for an eighth round of talks in April. All three sides cite the need to avoid interfering with Mexico’s presidential elections in July as a reason to move quickly.

In a sign the tempo might indeed be picking up, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland held a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington last week that lasted four hours rather than the scheduled 60 minutes, said a Canadian source familiar with the talks.

“He just came really ready to work … There is a growing willingness from the Americans and the Mexicans to try to do as much as possible over the course of the next few weeks,” said the source, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the situation.

At the end of the seventh round in Mexico City on March 5, Lighthizer floated the idea of reaching an agreement “in principle” in coming weeks.

Mexico’s economy minister last week said that if the three nations did not finish up the talks by the end of April, the process would drag on at least until the end of the year.

Trudeau said a spike in protectionism globally played on people’s fears over the future and their jobs, but could be alleviated by creating trade pacts that guaranteed better labor standards and quality of life.

“There’s a worry as we face a time of transition,” Trudeau said. “There are some places where a narrative of ‘Let’s close and protect ourselves’ can be a very compelling political narrative.”

Fed raises rates, signals confidence in strengthening economy

NEW YORK ( ) – The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018, signaling growing confidence U.S. tax cuts and government spending will boost the economy and inflation and lead to more aggressive future tightening.

Policymakers predicted rates would rise three times next year and two times in 2020, a further indication of confidence in the economy.



“We’re still below the all time high. The 30 year is also below its high. I don’t think there’s any new news here. It was a quarter of a point increase. We’re taking about 3 increases this year. I don’t know how anybody could be surprised.”

“If some economic numbers were really hot you might see four rate hikes this year. If employment was hot or inflation. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Powell is a don’t upset the apple cart guy.”

“My view is they’ll go to 2-2.25 percent and see what the reaction is. If we had 2-3 inflation reports of 3-4 percent the Fed would start acting more aggressively.”


“The market was concerned that we’d get more of a hawkish near term statement but the balance is, that looking ahead, there might be a steeper path into 2019 and 2020 for rate hikes. The market is trying to balance the near term with the longer term, but in the stockmarket, the near term matters more than the longer term. Then, we’ll take 2019 and 2020 as they come.”


“Investors’ focus was very much on the Fed’s updated monetary policy outlook and the pace of future rate hikes. Markets came into today’s decision with many investors worried about the possibility of a Fed policy mistake if they tighten too much in the face of recent fiscal stimulus from tax reform, an uptick in inflation and ongoing synchronized global growth. The Fed’s updated economic outlook was less hawkish than feared, sparking a relief rally in stocks as markets discounted continued economic growth and gradual interest rate hikes. Overall, investors welcomed the fact that while the Fed remains confident in the economic expansion, it signaled a willingness to continue to be gradual in raising interest rates. Goldilocks is alive and well.”


“It looks like a bit of a letdown even though the Fed’s overall outlook is hawkish because their economic outlook has strengthened. That’s why we are seeing a bit of a disappointment on the dollar side. I still think the tone is long-term hawkish, which is bullish for the dollar. Going into 2018, there is a lot of bearishness on the dollar.”


“There’s a new line in the statement essentially acknowledging that the economic outlook has strengthened in recent months, that’s obviously a more hawkish development, while at the same time also acknowledging that some of the data in Q1 has softened somewhat after a strong Q4.

“Our expectation going into the new Fed chairmanship has been a status quo, what we saw in the Yellen era. While his semi-annual testimony to Congress was a bit more on the blunt side, (Powell) acknowledged his personal outlook had strengthened. He wasn’t afraid to make his expectations or opinions heard. At the same time, right off the bat, what we’re seeing in the state,上海夜生活Tabitha,ment, a little bit for the hawks, a little bit more for the doves, it’s giving us that more status quo, gradual approach to normalization that we’ve been adjusting to and that’s why you’re seeing the markets respond as they have. But no major surprises.”


“The FOMC policy statement was pretty much in-line with general expectations. Nothing moved dramatically with the exception of the equity markets that breathed a sigh of relief that more rate hikes were less likely past the three already baked into the markets. The statement was fairly optimistic about U.S. growth and seemed to ignore the Atlanta’s Fed’s GDP Now number of just 1.8 percent growth. The median FOMC member now expects a GDP of up 2.7 percent which is up 0.2 percent from their December forecast. I think that equities are reacting to the growth projections. Treasuries are off, but slightly. Overall, no real surprises and a continuing of the policies set under Ms. Yellen.”


“Everybody expected the rate increase but there was some question if it would go to three rates to four. It stayed flat at three raises for now. The reason was the Fed statement that economic activity has been moderating since the last time they talked about it. There is a moderation so they are not going to raise it to four at this time.

“All in all, the message for the markets and why the S&P went up is that you see the message is economic growth is still OK now and perhaps sustainable more so than people might have thought for,夜上海论坛Sabia, 2019 and 2020. But in the longer run you are going to have this moderation at a reasonable level. So really nice for equities.”


“I still think three is the most likely expectation this year. They did tweak their projections a little bit for both dovish and hawkish. The unemployment rate expectations were tweaked lower slightly, by a tenth of a percentage point.

“But expectations for the federal funds rate over the longer term were equally tweaked higher by a tenth of a percentage point.

“In other words, they indicated that unemployment can go a little bit lower without creating additional inflation pressures. Which is good from both the ability of the economy to continue to grow at a good pace without creating a lot of inflation and it shows they’re probably still in wait-and-see mode as to whether we overheat this year because of the added stimulus.”

“They are probably leaving themselves some room to operate given that, although the economy is likely to do well this year given the added stimulus, there is also the risk we could see a soft patch if the tariff situation continues to escalate. Like everyone else they want to see how that plays out.”


“The guidance in terms of the future rate hikes is a touch more hawkish than originally expected. 2019 looks like we’re going to get a faster pace of rate hike. This year, it looks like a similar projection.”

“This a new Fed Chairman starting with a bit of a hawkish tone as he takes leadership.”

“In terms of stocks, we have to see how it settles because initial reaction does not fully reflect well. I won’t be surprised to see financials and banks take a little bit more of leadership role. Stocks can get through a faster rate cycle as long as the growth is there to support it, and from what the Fed is forecasting, the GDP will be enough to support equities in a tighter cycle.”


“I think the Fed did a pretty good job in pulling off a hike that was fairly well choreographed and well telegraphed to everyone. Compared to my expectations it’s a very dovish scenario.

“It’s going to be really interesting to see what (Powell) says in the context of the reaction to markets. What’s important in this meeting and what’s different from the past, it’s not that the market’s reaction to the Fed is worth watching, it’s that the Fed’s reaction to markets is worth watching. Primarily its Powell’s reaction to what the market does. Does he try to direct the market the way that Bernanke did or does he play a hands off approach and let the statement speak for itself the way Yellen did? Given the muted reaction maybe there’s not much of a chance of him needing to step in, but getting that response function to the market, gauging whether the market got it right or wrong, is super important.”


“There was nothing real shocking here. I think the market shooting up and back down is typical. We often see the market make a quick knee jerk reaction and it’s often in the wrong direction.

“The more important thing will be when he (Fed Chairman Jerome Powell) is talking not on script in the press conference, but no surprise here. There was a 100 percent chance I think for almost eight weeks straight now that we would get this quarter point hike.

“If he says anything that for whatever reason the markets perceive to be hawkish, that there is going to be maybe a higher level of likelihood of four hikes, then the market is likely to sell off a little bit based on that. But I don’t think it will be huge.”


“It was a little more dovish than our economists were expecting. But I would say overall if I looked at it separate from expectations, I would say on course – not too hawkish, not too dovish.

“We continue to think they’re on the path for four hikes this year even though the median dots didn’t move. I think we were one dot away from the median for 2018 moving up to four hikes. So I think four hikes should be people’s’ base case.”


“The most important thing is the Fed sticking to its original plan of three rate hikes. Anymore would be too much. Any faster increases in borrowing costs could affect the economy. I think we are pretty good where we are in terms of the current pace of rate hikes. There was some thinking we could see up to four (hikes). The other thing is that the economic outlook has strengthened and that’s a good thing. It’s very consistent with what Powell told Congress. They do think the economy is strong enough for further increases in borrowing costs.”


“I though it leaned a little bit towards the hawkish side. One more dot shift and we would have gotten the expectation for four rate hikes this year, so they were pretty close to moving in that direction.”

“They upgraded their assessment of the economy, which I think is significant. I think that’s an indication that they’re taking into consideration tax cuts and spending increases.”

“All that suggests to me that they’re leaning a little bit hawkish. I’m sur,上海凤楼夜网Hallie,pr上海夜生活论坛ised that the market has not responded to that, but I suppose that suggests there was a feeling this was already discounted by the market.”


“The rate hike is no surprise. It was really reassurance about the amount of rate hikes we will get for 2018. There was no change there. That’s the big thing we were looking for…Inflation is still not a concern for them. There are positives with unemployment continuing to decrease. There was reassurance that the economy is strong. We may be in the later part of the business cycle, but it’s the early late stage of the business cycle. It still means there’s definitely more room for the market to run.”


“Right now the equity markets are holding their break and however they read the tea leaves coming out of this press conference is, at least in the short term, going to be very influential. I don’t see how you could say the Fed isn’t (a risk). The Fed could certainly be a risk, and I don’t think you can discount that. The problem is you have someone who’s an unknown. We haven’t had three press conferences with him and we don’t know how to interpret what he says.”

“We were comfortable not being as aggressive on equities going into this meeting because it could push markets one direction or the other.”


“There weren’t really any surprises out of the press release, which is a good thing, and that’s why the market has reacted positively. The Fed is still expecting three rate hikes this year. They did hike 2019 by one and 2020 by two more. I think that was expected by the market.

“Going into the press conference, they’ve raised economic growth expectations and lowered unemployment, but inflation was little changed. So we’ll need a bit more explanation on that because you’d expect to see inflation moving up a bit higher in that type of environment.”


“That’s a Fed that really feels good about the economy, not only this year but into next year. That came through in rate hikes they put into play in 2019 and 2020. And they were only one vote away from a fourth rate hike in 2018. That tells you four hikes is very much on the table for 2018.”

“The initial response by equities was to go up because of the confidence the Fed seems to have in the economy. But with bond yields going up in anticipation of more hikes in coming, that kind of scared the stock market again.”

“That’s the struggle the market is in. Good growth in the economy also probably means higher inflation and higher yields. The market today is a microcosm of this year. It’s going nowhere fast. It goes up on good economic news it goes down on higher rate news.”


“Certainly there was no surprise in terms of the actual hike. The positive for the market is that the focus on future rate hikes seems more due to a Fed view of a better economy than necessarily inflation prevention. If the economy can grow with moderate inflation, that is certainly the ideal situation for stocks.”

“That said, we are going to be continuing to see rate increases this year and it looks like next as well and that does provide more competition for equities. So I think it will be a struggle for the market to go up at the rate it has been as investors try and balance the strength of the economy with the opportunity to invest in fixed income at higher rates.”


STOCKS: U.S. stocks extended gains, and were last up 0.7 percent. BONDS: U.S. bond yields dipped, then rose. FOREX: The dollar index .DXY hit a session low.

On eve of trial on Time Warner deal, AT&T, U.S. government lay out…

WASHINGTON ( ) – In a preview of arguments in a trial over AT&T’s (T.N) deal to buy Time Warner Inc TWX.N, government lawyers said on Tuesday the deal will raise prices for consumers while AT&T’s lawyer argued the company has no reason to withhold programming from,上海夜生活男人好去处Quay, competitors as feared.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who will decide the case, delayed opening arguments until Thursday because of bad weat,上海会所夜网Idaleen,her in Washington. The government has asked Leon to rule that the $85 billion deal is illegal because it would hurt cable television rivals and, by extension, their consumers.

The government estimates that the deal would hike an average subscriber’s monthly cable bill by 45 cents. It filed its lawsuit in November.

At a hearing to discuss how to handle sensitive business information in the trial, AT&T lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said it would be “catastrophic” for Time Warner to withhold programming in hopes that disgruntled customers wo,上海夜生活Octavien,uld drop their cable company and sign up with AT&T’s DirecTV, as the government has said they could do.

Petrocelli argued that Time Warner would lose millions of dollars a month in fees and advertising, and tha上海夜生活网t the few subscribers that DirecTV could gain would not make up the difference.

He also pointed to a voluntary commitment that AT&T made to distributors to refrain from withholding programming if there is an impasse in licensing talks. Twenty of its 1,000 distributors signed on.

Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath said the government’s first two witnesses, whom he did not identify, would discuss their companies’ negotiations in buying Time Warner content.

“What drives these customers to have concerns is that their negotiating partner (Time Warner) is being acquired by someone they compete with,” said Conrath.

An official from Google’s YouTube (GOOGL.O) will testify on the importance of Time Warner’s Turner family of stations, which includes CNN, to DirecTV’s rivals, a government lawyer said previously.

AT&T’s Petrocelli also noted the role of big technology companies such as Facebook (FB.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Apple(AAPL.O), Netflix (NFLX.O) and Google in transforming how people watch television and, more to the point, winning away advertisers from the pay TV companies.

“They are running away with the industry,” said Petrocelli, noting the internet companies’ skill at targeting ads to the right consumer. “Cable bills can’t go up any more because people won’t pay any more.”

Conrath indicated that an expert on advertising, whom he did not identify, would testify on this issue.

AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson and Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes are also expected to testify. The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.

Justice Department lawyer Don Kempf urged the judge to reject AT&T’s arguments that some government evidence was nothing more than draft reports written by junior executives, and not indicative of the thinking of top executives.

At issue, was a document that appeared to show that AT&T’s business people saw the merger as a way to prevent market changes that would encourage cord-cutting.

Kempf said the preliminary documents show the “real truth” of AT&T’s thinking. “The final version isn’t the thoughts of the business people. It’s the cover story of the lawyers,” he said.

Looming over the trial is the question of whether U.S. President Donald Trump, who criticized the deal on the campaign trail and again as president, may have influenced the Justice Department’s decision to oppose the transaction.

AT&T lawyers have said the Time Warner deal may have been singled out for enforcement, citing Trump’s statements that the deal was bad for consumers and the country.

Written by shyw on August 7, 2018 Categories: tgnkovyn Tags: , ,

ADM restructures business groups as grain margins falter

CHICAGO ( ) – Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Monday that it would restructure its business units, as the U.S. agricultural merchant se,上海仙霞路夜生活Gabrielle,eks ways to remain competitive in the f,上海夜玩网论坛Rae,ace of persistent tight margins in the global grains sector.

ADM and rival grain merchants such as Bunge Ltd and Cargill Inc have struggled as a global oversupply of food commodities has made it tough to turn a profit on their core business: buying, processing, and selling corn, soy and wheat.

The companies have been trying to diversify into higher-margin sectors, such as food ingredients and aquaculture feed, to compensate for the poor returns on their traditional grain handling businesses.

Chicago-based ADM said it was shifting its business segments into four new units – carbohydrate solutions, nutrition, oilseeds and origination – to differentiate its offerings to customers.

Among other things, the shift more clearly separates the company’s wheat milling and ingredients businesses from its grain-trading business.

ADM, which dates back to 1902, has in recent years also lost key traders and exited energy trading. It named a new chief growth officer last year.

Chief Executive Juan Luciano said in a statement that ADM has been trying to become a “more agile and efficient company,” and the reorganization will help continue that effort.

Its rivals, too, have been shaking up operations in a bid to bolster financial results.

In November, Bunge said it was reducing the number of its operating units to three from five.

Cargill overhauled its management team in 2015.

For ADM, some of these changes also date back to 2015, when it created a new business unit, Wild Flavors and Specialty Ingredients, after it bought natural flavorings company Wild for about $3 billion.

More recently, ADM has broadened its international operations in the face of the global grain glut, buying a stake in corn mills in Russia and entering a soybean joint venture with Cargill in Egypt.

ADM’s pre-restructure units are agricultural services, corn processing, oilseeds processing, and Wild Flavors and specialty ingredients.

After the restructure, most of its agricultural services operations, which include grain trading, will be housed in an origination unit that will be led by Stefano Rettore. Rettore left rival CHS Inc last year to become ADM’s chief risk officer.

ADM’s wheat milling business, which has been in the agricultural services unit, and its corn processing division will become part of a new carbohydrates solutions segment. Chris Cuddy, who was president of corn processing, will lead the unit.

Wild Flavors will be housed in a new nutrition unit, which will be led by Vin上海夜生活论坛ce Macciocchi, who was formerly president of the Wild division. The oilseeds seg,上海夜生活男人好去处Idaleen,ment will remain unchanged.

ADM said its new business segments will be reflected in its financial results beginning with the first quarter of 2018, which are due on May 1.

Citi, Goldman and rivals ramp up Brazil banker poaching war

SAO PAULO ( ) – Global investment banks from Citigroup to Goldman Sachs are hiring again in Brazil after years of retrenchment as historically low interest rates fuel a recovery as well as a small boom in M&A and stock and local bond offerings.

Most of the moves, several of them involving one bank hiring away top talent from another, are likely to wrap up by the end of the first quarter, when bonuses related to the former year are paid.

Some of the hirings were announced late last year and effective from February to April.

Although there is no official data on investment banking jobs in Brazil, the elite bankers whose employers’ steel and glass towers line Sao Paulo’s Faria Lima avenue represent less than 2 percent of the 467,900 employees of the banking industry in the country.

Citigroup Inc.’s (C.N) Brazil unit late last year poached Eduardo Miras, former co-head of investment banking at Morgan Stanley (MS.N), to head Citi’s equivalent unit, which has remained active even after the U.S. bank sold its retail business to Brazil’s Itaú Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB4.SA).

More than two executives also left Morgan Stanley to join Citi with Miras, people with knowledge of the m,上海凤楼夜网Lake,atter said. The banks declined to comment.

Morgan Stanley, in turn, hired former Citi managing director Felipe Mattar a month later and relocated two other executives within the bank to Brazil.

Flavio Valadao, former head of investment banking at Banco Santander Brasil SA (SANB11.SA), is expected to begin as vice-chairman of the Brazilian unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) next month, after the departure of Patricia Moraes, who had been at the U.S. bank for more than 20 years.

“We are investing in new hirings due to the increased activity in Brazilian capital markets and M&A,” JPMorgan’s head of investment banking in Brazil Pedro Juliano sai,上海夜玩网论坛Jack,d in an interview at the bank’s headquarters in Sao Paulo last week.

Among other Wall Street banks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) hired banker Ricardo Bellissi, who had replaced Valadao as the head of investment banking at Santander Brasil. To replace him, Santander hired Paulo Mendes, who was running his own M&A boutique.


Last year was Brazil’s busiest for initial public offerings since 2013, with 10 IPOs raising $5.5 billion. Including secondary offerings, Brazilian companies raised around $13 billion, nearly five times the amount in 2016.

Brazilian mergers and acquisitions activity surged 33 percent last year to $61.8 billion in deals, driven by asset sales by conglomerates under pressure for corruption probes, such as J&F Investimentos, which also owns meatpacker JBS SA (JBSS3.SA).

Deals in the first quarter were valued at nearly $15 billion with an increasing number of acquisitions motivated by big synergies or bets on the country’s recovery, such as the deal between pulp makers Suzano Papel e Celulose SA (SUZB3.SA) and Fibria Celulose SA FIBR3.SA announced earlier this month.

Brazilian banks such as Itaú Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB4.SA), Banco Bradesco SA (BBDC4.SA) and Banco BTG Pactual SA (BPAC3.SA), which already had larger deals teams and did not cut staff as much during the recession上海夜网, have not hired senior peop,上海夜生活网419Falkner,le recently. Some of them, such as BTG Pactual, are adding junior bankers.

“We do not radically change the team’s size according to market conditions, we endure the cycles,” said Roderick Greenlees, head of investment banking at Itaú Unibanco’s investment bank, Itaú BBA SA.

Companies clamp down on crypto ads as regulators play catch-up

LONDON ( ) – A growing number of internet companies are banning cryptocurrency advertising, fearing reputational damage if their users are duped or left penniless, even as regulators struggle to get to grips with the fast-emerging industry.

Twitter (TWTR.N) on Tuesday began blocking crypto ads, becoming the latest internet giant to crack down after moves by Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O) earlier this year.

Once restricted to small online chatrooms for early bitcoin backers, cryptocurrencies have since exploded in popularity and the industry has grown rapidly.

Huge billboards promoting the latest coin hang over Tokyo’s streets, ads touting crypto-trading dot the London u,上海高端夜生活在那里Dallas,nderground network, and social media platforms are full of start-ups looking to raise capital through “initial coin offerings” (ICOs), as the selling of new virtual tokens is known.

While regulators have stepped up their warnings about the risks to consumers of investing in cryptocurrencies and the potential for scams, in most jurisdictions they are only beginning to discuss publicly how they might regulate the industry, let alone frame advertising rules.

Last week, the G20 group of nations failed to agree on specific regulatory action.

So companies are taking matters into their own hands.

“If internet companies were not already under pressure from regulators for their loose control of data privacy, they probably would not ban advertising from cryptos, which are still a gray area for many regulators,” said Arnaud Masset, a crypto-currency analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Snapchat (SNAP.N) in February started removing adverts for ICOs – which regulators say lack transparency and are susceptible to fraud – a spokesperson told . ,上海会所夜网Landon,

The company declined to comment on whether it would widen the ban to include individual cryptocurrencies, crypto-wallets and unregistered exchanges, as other technology giants have done.

LinkedIn is blocking crypto-related ads, a spokesman said, although owner Microsoft (MSFT.O) does allow adverts on its other platforms.


Across Asia, where the crypto frenzy is at its most feverish, firms are also restricting advertising.

China outlawed cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs last year. Chinese internet titans Baidu, Tencent, and Weibo followed suit by curbing ads shortly after.

While Japan’s government and regulators have embraced cryptocurrencies as a phenomenon that is here to stay, sentiment was hit by a $530 million cyber heist of an exchange in January.

Prime time TV advertising subsequently fell, billboards on Tokyo’s transport network were cut back and online companies are responding with changes to their advertising policies.

Line, Japan’s most popular social media site and messaging app, does not allow crypto-related advertising. The policy is designed to protect customers and avoid legal risks, it says.

The country’s financial watchdog, meanwhile, has asked the crypto industry’s new self-regulatory body to draw up advertising rules. It has not stipulated what it wants to see but it is likely that Japanese exchanges will not be allowed to mention specific currencies when advertising, while TV promotions for ICOs could be banned altogether, a source familiar with the matter told .

A spokesman for Yahoo Japan said the search engine was reviewing its policy in light of the changing environment.

Russian search site Yandex said it had not carried crypto ads for “a long time”.

While online companies are prohibiting ads, there is less evidence that traditional advertising routes are under threat.

London’s metro system is plastered with advertising promoting crypto-trading. Transport for Lon,上海夜生活服务Ebba,don did not respond to requests for comment about its policy on advertising.

The slump in virtual currency prices this year has not rattled British punters lured in by adverts, however: A spokesman for Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority said it had to date received fewer than 10 complaints about crypto ads.


Cryptocurrencies, unlike most securities, do not confer ownership in the underlying business, which is partly why advertising is not currently governed in conjunction with financial authorities.

Also, regulators are reluctant to rush to impose rules on cryptocurrencies as they examine the possible benefits of the Blockchain technology underpinning them.

Many analysts expect the likes of Google and Facebook to loosen blanket bans once authorities provide guidance on how virtual currencies and the infrastructure around them will be treated.

Christie Dennehy-Neil at the Internet Advertising Bureau, a British trade body, said large online platforms often introduce policies that take “a judgment more broadly than advertising” to protect their reputation.

She said that the ideal case “would be for a product to be regulated and for there to be sector-specific rules for advertising”. But without regulation in place, companies were sensible to act on their own accord, she added.

Crypto supporters argue the bans will have little impact.

In China, which tried to stamp out crypto trading through a crackdown last year, investing in the sector remains popular.

Also, while promotions on Twitter and Facebook may appeal to new wo上海夜生活论坛uld-be buyers, investor conversations have shifted to other platforms and chatrooms where advertising is still permitted or where information on new coins is spread by word of mouth.

The price of bitcoin BTC=BTSP .MVBCH fell heavily after the Facebook ads ban announcement, but the reaction to similar moves by Google and Twitter since then was muted.

“Interest in cryptocurrency and ICOs remains undiminished even in China,” said Zennon Kapron at Shanghai-based financial consultancy Kapronasia.

“The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies and investors means that it remains relatively straightforward to access information about, and invest.”

In an indication of the strength of that interest, while Line may not allow any related advertising, it is currently applying for a license in Japan to operate its own cryptocurrency exchange.

China’s HNA, shedding debt overseas, is still Hainan’s hometown…

HAIKOU, China ( ) – Hundreds of workers pour concrete as tower cranes swing overhead at the building site where a giant skyscraper is set to soar above the palm-fringed streets of this tropical Chinese city.

The building is the first of two towers that will serve as the gateway to a 200-hectare new central business district in downtown Haikou, capital of the island-province of Hainan in southern China.

The project is being constructed by HNA Group [HNAIRC.UL], the widely scrutinized and highly leveraged aviation-to-financial services conglomerate that got its start in Hainan 25 years ago as a regional airline with just two aircraft.

But HNA is now looking to shed at least some of its sprawling interests in the huge 100 billion yuan ($15.84 billion) business district, as it has done with many of the interests the company has amassed in a $50 billion global spending spree.

HNA is currently in talks with potential “strategic partners” for parts of the development, which a range of investors also have stakes in, according to sources familiar with the situation, even as it prepares to re-organize its operations and shrink its workforce.

The search for investors in HNA’s hometown underlines the difficulties the company is facing as it struggles under the weight of the debt it racked up during its rapid expansion.

HNA told major bank creditors in January t,上海夜生活怎么玩Paisley,hat it faced a potential cash shortfall of at least 15 billion yuan in the first quarter.

In the last two months, HNA has sold more than $6 billion in prime real estate in Australia, New York and Hong Kong, while selling shares in Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Park Hotels & Resorts (PK.N), and Hilton Grand Vacations Inc (HGV.N).

On Monday, HNA Infrastructure Investment Group (600515.SS), one of the key developers of the Haikou business district, said it would sell a Hainan-based property company and logistics unit to Sunac China (1918.HK), a real estate developer, for 1.9 billion yuan.

When asked for comment on the stake sales, the company said in a statement that “HNA is always looking for trusted partners”.

The master plan for the Haikou business district includes 23 office buildings, residential compounds, and a massive luxury shopping mall. The first of the Haikou Twin Towers, 94-floors high, is scheduled to open in 2020, and will include a St. Regis Hotel.

Anchored in the center of the district is the Hainan provincial government, with HNA’s headquarters, a Buddha-shaped tower, sitting just down the road.


Hainan is in many ways an HNA company island. HNA Group operates 92 enterprises across the provinc,上海夜生活群Octavia,e, employing 30,000 workers, with total assets of nearly $50 billion. It is Hainan’s biggest money maker, with total revenues outstripping the combined sales of the province’s next nine largest companies combined.

HNA is also critical to local government ef上海夜生活forts to establish Hainan as a regional and global tourist ,上海夜生活男人好去处Queena,destination.

The group operates the island’s three commercial airports and its flagship Hainan Airlines operates 17 international and regional routes from the province and transports about 45 percent of all visitors arriving by air here.

The company is currently investing 15.3 billion yuan for a second runway and terminal for Haikou’s international airport, part of an expansion to accommodate 35 million visits by 2025.

The branded tailfin of Hainan Airlines, which travels to 110 cities worldwide, has elevated the province’s name around the world, said Edward Tse, chief executive of Gao Feng Advisory Company, who previously advised Chinese companies at Booz & Company and Boston Consulting Group.

“HNA is a business card for Hainan province,” Tse said.

Hainan’s governor, Shen Xiaoming, who visited HNA’s Haikou headquarters in November just as the severity of the company’s financial struggles emerged, underscored the importance of the group to the province’s development.

“HNA took root in Hainan, understands Hainan, implemented a new development concept in Hainan, and built a modern economic system in Hainan,” Shen said. “If HNA is good, then Hainan is good; when Hainan is good, then HNA is better.”


HNA and other non-state conglomerates in China have meanwhile been under intensifying pressure from Beijing to clean up operations and deleverage their businesses.

In recent weeks, Chinese regulators have taken control of Anbang Insurance Group. The government is also investigating the chairman of CEFC, which has agreed to take a $10 billion stake in the Russian oil major Rosneft.

HNA executives have recently elevated their patriotic rhetoric and have tethered company goals closely to those of Beijing.

HNA Capital, for instance, announced on Feb 27 that it was helping to raise 20 billion yuan to help fund projects along China’s new Silk Road trade initiative.

HNA’s cause is the “cause of the party, the cause of the people and the cause of all mankind”, Chen Feng told HNA’s Communist Party members on Feb 7, according to a company report.

HNA’s co-chairman, Wang Jian, voiced a darker message, telling employees that the company’s difficulties were the result of a “major conspiracy” against the party and President Xi Jinping by foreign and domestic “reactionary forces”, according to an internally-distributed email.

China’s leading industrial conglomerates and technology companies all have Communist Party committees, and such rhetoric is not unusual now, said Tse of Gao Feng Advisory.


At the same time, HNA is engaged in a wrenching reorganization of both its domestic and overseas businesses.

Other foreign assets involved in the group-wide debt reduction program include a 29.5 percent shareholding in the Spanish hospitality firm NH Hotel Group (NHH.MC) that is up for sale, and the Swiss airline services firms Gategroup and Swissport, which are being prepared for listings.

At home, HNA is undertaking a massive reorganization of its businesses, which include aviation, tourism, healthcare, technology and financial services assets.

Still, repayment of group borrowing, which surged by more than one-third over the first 11 months of last year to 637.5 billion yuan, has been exacerbated by liquidity issues, including the inability to pay a 3 billion yuan aviation fuel bill owed to China National Aviation Fuel Group Ltd by its airlines.

However, the company appears to be getting crucial official support to help it survive, even if it’s unlikely to receive a direct government lifeline.

Hainan’s vice governor, Mao Chaofeng, told in Beijing last week that the province wouldn’t need to intervene, given the quality of HNA’s assets. The State Council Information Office, which acts as the public relations arm of the Chinese government, declined to comment.

HNA has since the end of the year received credit from leading state banks, including Citic Bank, which in February extended the group a 20 billion yuan facility.

Also in February, HNA Infrastructure announced it had obtained a 7.8 billion yuan loan issued by China Development Bank, and the Hainan branches of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, to help complete its work on Haikou’s international airport.

HNA also has been leaning on the more than 100 strategic relationships it has with provincial, municipal and local governments across the country, while pursuing fresh regional cooperation deals.

For example, in the northern municipality of Tianjin, where it employs nearly 10,000 workers and operates a regional airline and cargo facilities, HNA is working with the government to create an international shipping center.

These deals have helped HNA gain crucial credit support from regional banks.

They also underline the extent to which the survival of the sprawling behemoth is important to regional governments, and Beijing.

For China, the stakes are high, said William Kirby, a professor at Harvard Business School who has authored a case study on HNA.

“It’s reputationally important for China to get this right,” Kirby said. “At the end of the day, HNA needs to be deemed a successful Chinese and international company.”

Mexico’s Chedraui buys Fiesta Mart to grow U.S. Latino sales

MEXICO CITY ( ) – Mexican grocer Chedraui, a powerhouse in the fast-growing Latino market in the United States, said on Sunday it had bought smaller U.S. grocery store chain Fiesta Marts for an undisclosed amount.

Grupo Comercial Chedraui (CHDRAUIB.MX), as the company is formally know, announced the acquisition of Texas-based Fiesta Marts’ 63 stores in a brief statement on Sunday, emph,上海夜生活去哪玩[随上海夜生活机符],asizing how the deal will strengthen its reach with Mexican-American shoppers.

A Chedraui official did not im,上海晚上耍女人的地方Barrett,mediately respond to calls seeking additional details on the acquisition.

Chedraui, based in Veracruz state, already runs 59 El Super grocery stores, mostly in California but also in other southwestern U.S. states, where shoppers are courted with Spanish-language ads promising the lowest price.

Burt Flickinger, a grocery sector consultant with Strategic Resource Group, said the acquisition will likely make the company the top retailer for Spanish-speaking shoppers in the United States, besting even retail giants like Walmart for the coveted demographic.

“El Super is (already) a fierce winner in the wars in the stores, he said, referring to the chain’s dominance with Latino consumers.

The group is the fastest growing consumer constituency in the United States, he added.

Chedraui made the purchase of Fiesta Marts through its U.S. unit, Bodega Latina, and while the company’,上海夜哪里艳遇Faith,s statement did not provide a final price tag, it did say the acquisition reflects 0.2 percent of the firm’s projected 2018 sales and 6.6 percent of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EDITDA) for the year.

In Mexico, Chedraui operated 170 stores as of the end of last year.

The company said earlier this year it expects to invest around 3.8 percent of its consolidated revenue in assets, which it said should see sales growth reach as high as 6 percent in 2018.

Chedraui’s sales growth totaled 3.3 percent last year.

High speed: China’s Geely 2017 net profit soars amid global push

SHANGHAI ( ) – Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (0175.HK), whose chairman recently took a $9 billion stake in Germany’s Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE), said on Wednesday its profits more than doubled in 2017, driven by strong domestic sales of popular SUVs.

The automaker, based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, said in a stock exchange filing that 2017 net profit rose 108 percent to 10.6 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) from 5.1 billion yuan in 2016, slightly beating a forecast of 10 billion yuan from analysts polled by .

Geely, which is making waves globally after a series of high-profile deals by its parent, saw revenue rise 73 percent to 92.8 billion yuan from a year earlier, far outpacing tepid growth in the wider Chinese vehicle market.

Geely Chairman Li Shufu has been making a major global push. He owns Volvo Cars and has built up stakes in truckmaker AB Volvo (VOLVb.ST), Malay,上海夜生活乌托邦Gabriel,sian automaker Proton, flying car start-up Terrafugia and the maker of London’s iconic black cabs.

The Daimler deal, which makes Li the largest shareholder in the owner of Mercedes-Benz, is part of an effort to strengthen Geely’s technological muscle amid a shake-up of the global auto marke,上海会所夜网Oakley,t by autonomous driving, electric vehicles and car-sharing.

Geely said in the filing that “numerous acquisitions” over the past few years by its parent group should provide “substantial opportunities for technologies and cost sharing, economies of scales and new market penetration.”

Li, sometimes compared to U.S. auto icon Henry Ford, founded unlisted parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 1986, which was at the time focused on refrigerators. He moved into motorbike manufacturing in the 1990s before switching to c,上海夜生活去哪玩Barrett,ars in 1997.

The firm forecast vehicle sales of 1.58 million units this year, up 27 percent from 1.25 million vehicles in 2017. This would mark a slowdown from 63 percent growth last year. Geely’s export volume, however, dropped 46 percent last year.

China’s auto market is facing a broad slowdown, in part due to the withdrawal of subsidies for certain more fuel efficient cars. Vehicle sales for the first 上海夜网two months of the year rose 1.7 percent. Competition is also rising as firms race to meet tough new quotas for fully electric and plug-in hybrids cars.

“Competition in the China market should continue to intensify,” Geely said in the earning report, adding China was becoming the “world’s most competitive vehicle market”.

Ford will speed shift to SUVs to boost profit, shares

DEARBORN, Mich. ( ) – Ford Motor Co (F.N) executives on Thursday disclosed ambitious plans to shift the struggling automaker’s product portfolio from passenger cars to SUVs, add more hybrid and pure electric vehicles, and reduce development and manufacturing costs – moves aimed at boosting Ford’s profit and share price.

At a media briefing near the company’s headquarters, Chief Executive Jim Hackett said Ford’s previously stated margin target of 8 percent “now has upside.” But ,上海夜网后花园Quay,company executives targeted 2020 as when the overhaul of its product lineup and engineering systems will fully take hold.

Ford shares were up 0.8 percent at $11.11 on Thursday afternoon, reversing an earlier decline.

Ford is overhauling itself for the second time in a decade at a time when rivals, including General Motors Co (GM.N), are telling investors they are ready now to move aggressively into new, technology-driven markets such as robo-taxi services and electric vehicles. GM said on Thursday it will invest $100 million in two suburban Detroit factories to begin commercial production of self-driving versions of Chevrolet Bolt electric cars for use as robo-taxis.

Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets, said the automaker plans to shift $7 billion of investment to sport utility vehicles from cars, and by 2020 field a North American lineup of eight SUVs, including one high-performance electric model and five with hybrid powertrains.

Trucks already are critical to Ford. The F-series pickup line generated $41 billion in revenue last year – about 28 percent of Ford’s total $145.7 billion in revenue – but the lion’s share of the company’s profit.

Coming out of the 2008 financial crisis, Ford pushed fuel-efficient cars for the U.S. market. Now, the automaker is driving toward a near-term future in which cars account for only 14 percent of its volume, with SUVs and trucks growing to around 86 percent of North American sales. Of nine future vehicles displayed at Ford’s pr,上海夜生活论坛Pamela,oduct development center on Thursday, only one was a car – a high-performance Mustang.

Among new SUVs in the pipeline are two boxy models aimed at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s (FCHA.MI) profitable Jeep franchise.

Ford also plans to take on Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) with a performance-oriented battery electric utility vehicle in 2020 – the first of six new pure electric vehicles due by 2022 as part of Ford’s planned $11 billion investment in electrification. “That vehicle is going to be famous without having to shoot it up in space,” Farley said, alluding to the roadster Tesla CEO Elon Musk launched recently with 上海夜网one of his SpaceX rockets.

Ford will move the Lincoln brand’s focus toward SUVs and electrified cars. Lincoln “is committing to electrification across its lineup globally,” with new hybrid electric versions of its future models, Farley said. In the push to increase revenue from commerc,上海021夜网Hal,ial customers, Ford will update its F-series Super duty pickups, launch the Ranger compact pickup and overhaul its large Transit van in 2019.

Phoenix dealer Tim Hovik said in an interview on Thursday he was “excited” by the prospect of the performance electric vehicle in 2020, but that the upcoming Bronco SUV was generating the greatest interest among his customers.

He also said “there will be demand” for a rumored Raptor performance edition of the new Ranger compact pickup as a companion to the larger F-150 Raptor: “We’re out here in the wild, wild west. The days’ supply of F-series Raptors is about six hours.” Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations, said Ford is cutting costs by reducing the time to develop new models by 20 per cent, and by relying on just five new flexible vehicle architectures.

Ford’s new model preview is part of a broader effort to regain investor confidence after a turbulent year.

Ford shares have lagged those of rival General Motors Co (GM.N) since Hackett was named CEO on May 22, 2017. Since then, Ford shares peaked at $13.23 in mid-January, then plunged to$10.14 in early March and have only recently begun to recover.

GM stock has risen more than 14 percent during the same period. Its shares were up 0.5 percent at $37.89 on Thursday afternoon.