Archive for Finance

Jul
19

Putin’s Pensions Gamble

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Trust in the Russian leader fell after the government proposed raising the pension age as the World Cup started

Vladimir Putin hasn’t inspired so little confidence among Russians since the country was on the cusp of rallies over alleged ballot-rigging in 2011, which snowballed into the biggest protests of his rule. The president is paying the price for the government’s rollout of a proposal to increase the pension age just as the World Cup started. Trust among Russians in Putin fell below 38 percent in the first two weeks of July, the lowest level since December 2011, according to state-run polling company VTsIOM…

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  • Leissner, ex-Southeast Asia chief, discussing U.S. cooperation
  •  U.S. questioning whether bank should have flagged bond deals

U.S. prosecutors negotiating a possible deal with a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive are pressing for information about whether the bank turned a blind eye to the plunder of a Malaysian investment fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

If they reach a plea agreement with Tim Leissner, the Goldman banker who arranged the fund’s bond offerings, he would become a key witness against his superiors at the bank, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public…

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A new measure will affect both foreign firms seeking deals in the U.S. and American companies doing business abroad

Congress is poised to strengthen the procedures for vetting both foreign investments in the U.S. and overseas transactions involving cutting-edge American technology.

Negotiators from the Senate and the House reached a deal on the final text of the provision to bolster both the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. and the U.S. export-control system, in an effort to block Chinese and other foreign transactions that could harm national security…

Congress to Toughen Foreign Investment Reviews Amid Trade Fight With China

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  • Wintime Energy’s debt quadrupled in less than five years
  •  Company’s flop likely to be echoed as deleveraging rolls on

China this month recorded one of its biggest corporate-debt defaults yet, with the downfall of a coal miner that had ridden the country’s wave of credit until policy makers changed the game with their deleveraging campaign.

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Weak oversight at local, state and federal levels delayed action to protect the Michigan city’s residents from lead contamination

Weak oversight at the local, state and federal levels contributed to and slowed the response to the Flint, Mich., water crisis, according to a report Thursday from the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general.

Flint residents were exposed to high levels of lead after the city, under control of a series of emergency managers, switched its water source in 2014 without properly treating it, allowing lead to leach from aging service lines. Tests showed many children in the city had elevated levels of lead as a result…

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  • NDB to balance loans equally among emerging BRICS economies
  •  South Africa’s leadership changes have spurred confidence

The New Development Bank plans to lend as much as $600 million more in South Africa this year in an effort to level the playing field among its five member states.

The lender, backed by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, started operations in 2015 to support infrastructure projects and sustainable development initiatives in emerging economies. Leaders of the informal BRICS club of nations will be gathering in Johannesburg next week for its 10th summit…

BRICS Bank to Boost S. African Loans by as Much as $600 Million

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It looks like the decade-long bull market in U.S. stocks has more room to run, albeit with less vigor.

That’s the latest view from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset management team, which forecasts U.S. equities could continue to gain for 2 1/2 more years as about half of the indicators the bank analyzes suggest that markets are mid-cycle rather than late cycle. The caveat is that “returns, while positive and indicative of a bull market, will likely not be as high or impressive as in the past,” global market strategist Samantha Azzarello said in an email Thursday…

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  • City’s peak-to-trough price decline now forecast at 10%
  •  Demand weakness, credit curbs prompt downward revisions

Sydney’s property market slump will last at least another two years as tougher lending standards and buyer nerves weigh on prices.

That’s the consensus from a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists, over a third of which have turned more pessimistic within the last three months…

Sydney Housing Slump Predicted to Last Until at Least 2020

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  • Victor to inherit deteriorating economy requiring IMF support
  •  Khan seen as unknown quantity; Nawaz deemed business-friendly

Whoever wins Pakistan’s election next week, gains in the rupee, stocks and bonds are likely to be short-lived as the new government grapples with a mounting set of economic challenges.

Investors including Standard Life Investment Ltd. and Frontier Investment Management Partners Ltd. say a victory for former cricket star Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf or Movement for Justice, would create uncertainty but could lead to progress on tackling corruption over the longer term. A win for the business-friendly Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would probably be better for the market, according to Terra Nova Capital Advisors Ltd…

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Department of Energy is spending over a million dollars a day on facility designed to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium

The U.S. Energy Department says it is spending $1.2 million a day on a partially built South Carolina nuclear facility that it wants to abandon due to soaring costs.

Congress has continued funding construction of the plant, which would be used to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium, despite a series of reviews casting doubt on the financial logic involved…

South Carolina Fights U.S. Plan to Abandon Nuclear Project Costing $1.2 Million a Day

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Warren Buffett just can’t stop making money, even in a week where he gave $3.4 billion to charity.

The Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman added $4 billion to his fortune Wednesday after the conglomerate removed a cap on stock buybacks. The shares rose 5.1 percent, the most in almost seven years, lifting his fortune to $83.1 billion. His wealth dropped below $80 billion on Tuesday, after announcing the latest gift…

Buffett Gets Richer Even After Donating $3.4 Billion to Charity

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Most recent administration estimates show challenge of reducing red ink

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration expects annual budget deficits to rise nearly $100 billion more than previously forecast in each of the next three years, pushing the federal deficit above $1 trillion starting next year.

The revisions, which went largely unnoticed when the White House submitted its annual update to Congress last week, reflect the cost of federal spending increases agreed to earlier this year and higher interest payments…

Deficit Projected to Top $1 Trillion Starting Next Year

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A tighter dollar will make the bursting of the credit bubble an inevitability.

There’s no chance China will cut its trade surplus with the U.S. in response to President Donald Trump’s tariff threats. For starters, Washington has made no specific demand to which Beijing can respond. But its efforts may have an unexpected side effect: a debt crisis in China.

The 25 percent additional tariffs on exports of machinery and electronics looked, at first blush, like a stealth tax on offshoring. The focus on categories like semiconductors and nuclear components, in which U.S.-owned manufacturers in China are strong, recalled Trump’s 2016 promise to tax “any business that leaves our country.”…

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BRUSSELS — European authorities fined Google a record $5.1 billion on Wednesday for abusing its power in the mobile phone market and ordered the company to alter its practices, in one of the most aggressive regulatory actions against American technology giants and one that may force lasting changes to smartphones.

The European Union’s antitrust fine of 4.34 billion euros was almost double the bloc’s fine against Google last year over the company’s unfair favoring of its own services in internet search results. The penalty’s size highlighted Europe’s increasingly bold stance against the power of American tech firms, even as officials in the United States have taken a largely hands-off approach to the companies…

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  • Anastasia Beverly Hills debt to help finance buyout by TPG
  •  Firm founded by Anastasia Soare counts Kardashians among fans

Billionaire Anastasia Soare is used to raising eyebrows in the world of beauty. Now she’s getting ready to test demand for her rapidly growing cosmetics company in the trillion dollar leveraged-loan market.

Anastasia Beverly Hills is seeking a $650 million loan to help fund a partial buyout by TPG Capital, according to a person with knowledge of the plan. The private equity firm agreed to buy a minority stake in Soare’s company last month in a deal that valued it at about $2.5 billion…

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Migrants expelled from the U.S. often have little choice but to head north again.

Ramón Salas left Guatemala in June, accompanied by his 13-year-old grandson. He returned alone.

This month he followed a line of deportees filing from an airfield tarmac into a room at a Guatemalan air force base, where government functionaries recorded his name and the date he headed to the U.S. and handed him a brown bag with two sandwiches, juice, corn chips, and cookies. Walking outside, he was greeted by a tumultuous scene. Smugglers offered to take him back to the border, currency traders waved sheaves of quetzales, and loan sharks circled, looking for customers. The crowd also contained relatives hoping to be reunited with loved ones. But the face Salas wanted to see most wasn’t there. “I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t do anything,” says Salas, 59. “I just want to know where my grandson is, and no one is telling me anything.”…

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  • Cold-storage company is said to weigh a REIT conversion
  •  Prior investors include W.P. Carey, Jeff Ubben and John Mack

Lineage Logistics LLC, which calls itself the fastest-growing provider of temperature-controlled services such as transportation and storage, sold a minority stake worth $700 million, according to its chief executive officer and co-founder.

Lineage and some of its early investors sold the interest to funds managed by infrastructure-focused Stonepeak Partners LP; D1 Capital Partners, run by Daniel Sundheim, the former chief investment officer of Viking Global Investors; and some existing backers, Lineage CEO Greg Lehmkuhl and co-founder Kevin Marchetti said in an interview…

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Lloyd Blankfein could get as much as $84.7 million in compensation when he departs Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in October after 36 years at the investment bank.

Blankfein, 63, who’s been chief executive officer since 2006, will receive the bulk of that pay in performance-based shares and cash awards that were to be earned through 2024. It’s unclear if these awards will be accelerated, prorated or forfeited when he leaves because Goldman Sachs doesn’t have employment agreements that guarantee severance payments, according to its 2016 proxy…

Lloyd Blankfein Poised for $85 Million Payout When He Leaves Goldman

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Tax cuts, deregulation and a buoyant economy were always expected to drive profits higher at most American banks in the latest quarter.

But a nagging question has been hanging over the industry: Would banks, taking their cue from rising economic optimism and a friendlier White House, significantly increase their lending to businesses and households?

On Friday, earnings reports from four of the United States’ biggest banks showed scant evidence of such a revival. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and PNC all reported another quarter of healthy profits, most of which will end up in shareholders’ pockets. Wells Fargo, operating under regulatory constraints after a series of scandals, reported a decline in profits…

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  • Trump threatened unilateral measures if Congress action fails
  •  Mnuchin working with Senate, House to reconcile differences

Republican lawmakers and the Treasury Department are struggling to reach agreement on legislation to bolster national security reviews of foreign investments, which could upend President Donald Trump’s less confrontational approach toward Chinese firms taking stakes in U.S. companies, according to two people familiar with the matter.

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A big change is afoot inside Goldman Sachs — aside from the disc jockey slated to become CEO.

The company just set aside an unusually small portion of revenue to reward traders and bankers. The move is reflected in the firm’s compensation ratio, which took a surprising dive to 39 percent in this year’s first half, the lowest level of the past decade. Chief Financial Officer Marty Chavez attributed the drop to the firm’s emphasis on profitability. With revenue up significantly this year and the bank paying a lower tax rate, the rank and file can’t be faulted for hoping some of the spoils would come their way…

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  • Investment firm has outposts in NYC, San Francisco, Washington
  •  U.S. getting ‘disproportionate share’ of firm’s fresh capital

Temasek Holdings Pte. is developing an American accent.

The Singaporean state investor, whose S$308 billion portfolio ($226 billion) includes stakes in companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is still betting on the U.S., even as it grows more circumspect in deploying capital amid trade tensions and an increased likelihood of a global economic slowdown…

Temasek Expands U.S. Footprint With a Wary Eye on Trade Tensions

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  • Firms owned by CEO Tinubu and his deputy to pay Ansbury
  •  Oando shares fell 9.4% Monday, mosts since July 2017

A London court ordered two companies owned by Wale Tinubu, the chief executive of Nigerian energy company Oando Plc, and his deputy, Mofe Boyo, to pay $680 million to Ansbury Investment Inc. following a dispute over shareholding and financial management.

The London Court of International Arbitration ruled that Ocean and Oil Development Partners, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, which owns 55.96% of Oando through a holding company, is indebted to Ansbury to the tune of $600 million, Ansbury spokesman Bolaji Akinola said…

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Staff have departed and investors have expressed dismay, but CEO ChamathPalihapitiya says the firm hasn’t wavered from its goals.

Seven years ago, Social Capital made its debut as one of the hottest venture funds in Silicon Valley, the brainchild of a former Facebook Inc. executive with some grandiose ideas about backing startups that might help humanity. Now, after a flood of prominent departures from the firm and a failed expansion strategy, a number of investors have lost confidence in the remnants of the leadership team and its ability to make good on its initial promises.

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Second-quarter results beat expectations, as revenue rose 11%

Investors radically slowed the torrent of cash flowing into investment giant BlackRock Inc. this spring, a sign that a changing global economy and trade rifts may be unsettling a decadelong embrace of passive stock investing.

BlackRock said Monday it received $20 billion in net inflows in the second quarter. While the sum is enormous, it was down from more than $100 billion a year ago. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and a bellwether of low-cost index-based investing…

BlackRock’s Investor-Cash Inflows Slide

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  • Shenzhen P2P platform cites ‘spreading panic’ for its closure
  •  Industry turmoil leaves $8 billion of planned IPOs in doubt

China’s savers are rushing to pull money from peer-to-peer lending platforms, accelerating a contraction of the $195 billion industry and testing the government’s ability to maintain calm as it cracks down on risky shadow-banking activities.

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  • Buffett has given Berkshire shares valued at $31 billion
  •  Recipients include Gates foundation, family-run charities

Warren Buffett contributed $3.4 billion to five charities as the investor continues making good on a pledge to give away all of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shares.

Buffett, 87, has donated a total of about $31 billion to the foundations, according to a statement Monday from Berkshire, where he is chief executive officer and chairman. The latest gift, comprised of about 17.7 million Class B shares, went to charities including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one named after his first wife who died in 2004, and each of his children’s foundations…

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The chief executive of BlackRock, Laurence D. Fink, warned on Monday that a sustained trade war could cause markets to tumble.

During a discussion of BlackRock’s second-quarter earnings, Mr. Fink said that investors in both Europe and the United States were either withdrawing money from the markets or choosing not to increase their positions substantially…

Prolonged Trade War Could Set Off a Market Slide, BlackRock’s Fink Says

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  • Company seeks to replicate runaway U.S. e-cigarette success
  •  Device’s growth may be tempered by EU nicotine regulations

Silicon Valley startup Juul Labs Inc. will begin selling its e-cigarettes in the U.K. this week seeking to replicate its runaway U.S. success — though with a smaller nicotine hit.

A Juul starter kit — including the device, a battery charger and four liquid pods — will be available to buy online and in 250 vape stores in the U.K. this week. The company is funding international expansion with a capital increase that’s expected to reach $1.2 billion, which would value the startup at $15 billion…

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LONDON — Deutsche Bank’s chief executive, Christian Sewing, has only been in the job since April. But he has already delivered something the lender has lacked recently: some good news.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, surprised investors on Monday when it announced that it expected to report about 400 million euros, or around $467 million, in profit for its second quarter. That is more than double the €159 million that analysts had been expecting…

Deutsche Bank Surprises Investors With Estimate-Busting Profit

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  • Trump reports raising $17.7 million for 2020 re-election bid
  •  Flow of money comes as fight for Congress enters peak season

Mega donors began flooding political committees with six and seven-figure contributions in recent months as the fight for control of Congress and the future of President Donald Trump’s agenda intensified ahead of November’s election.

Billionaire inventor Elon Musk was among those putting money into the 2018 campaign, sending $38,900 to a committee backing U.S. House Republicans. Others from Wall Street to Hollywood dug deeper, according to second-quarter Federal Election Commission filings that were due late Sunday…

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  • Nationwide new-home prices gained 1.1% from previous month
  •  63 cities had increases in June, up from 61 in May: release

China’s home prices rose at the fastest pace in 21 months in June even as the government stepped up a campaign against property speculation.

New-home prices in 70 cities tracked by the government gained 1.1 percent from the previous month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Tuesday. That compared with a 0.8 percent increase in May. It was the fourth straight monthly acceleration…

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Airbus SE is close to an agreement to sell wide-body jetliners valued at about $6 billion at list prices to Taiwanese startup StarLux Airlines, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The talks cover 12 A350-1000 aircraft and five of the smaller A350-900s, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing a confidential negotiation. A final deal hasn’t been reached and a deal could still fall through, the person said.

Airbus Near $6 Billion A350 Jet Sale to Taiwan’s StarLux

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  • Prices fall as more sellers come to market, Rightmove reports
  •  London slump may be an opportunity for first-time buyers

U.K. house prices fell for the first time in seven months as sellers adapted to the reality of the weaker market.

Asking prices slipped 0.1 percent in July from a month earlier, property website Rightmove said on Monday. In London, prices slipped 0.5 percent, with smaller apartments falling faster than bigger homes…

U.K. House Prices Fall as London Decline Intensifies

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  • Budget carrier AirAsia is said to weigh $23 billion jet order
  •  Asian carriers are buying jets as economic growth fuels travel

Airbus SE is closing in on $29 billion of deals with Asian carriers that are expanding their fleet because of surging travel demand in the region, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European manufacturer is working on a blockbuster agreement to sell $23 billion worth of aircraft to AirAsia Group Bhd., the continent’s biggest budget carrier, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private talks. Airbus is separately nearing an accord to sell wide-body jetliners valued at about $6 billion to Taiwanese startup StarLux Airlines, said a person familiar with the matter. The deals are based on list prices and discounts are customary for bulk orders…

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  • Solomon was named sole president under Blankfein in March
  •  Blankfein to remain as CEO for an interim period: newspaper

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is poised to take another step in the slow exit of Lloyd Blankfein, its longstanding chief executive officer.

The investment bank plans early this week to name company President David Solomon — whom Blankfein has publicly referred to as his successor — as its next CEO, the New York Times reported Sunday, citing people briefed on the plan…

Goldman Sachs Seen Naming Solomon as CEO This Week, NYT Says

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  • CIC said to seek approval to invest in domestic market
  •  Senior wealth fund executive cited ‘good opportunities’

China’s sovereign wealth fund has expressed a desire to invest in the domestic market as stock valuations have hit multiyear lows, underscoring how coming home may bring it new opportunities to boost returns.

The $941 billion China Investment Corp. wants permission to invest in local shares and bonds, and has laid the groundwork for an application to the central government, people with knowledge of the matter said. While it remains unclear if top leaders will grant approval, the potential move by the Beijing-based investor would add an engine of growth to complement an overseas portfolio that posted record returns last year…

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  • RBI report highlights risk of fiscal slippage for states
  •  Report sees states’ redemption pressure peaking in 2026-27

Indian states raked up debt to fund widening deficits after the global financial crisis. They may now have to borrow more to meet repayment commitments, a report from the central bank showed.

Redemption pressure on states, which normally issue plain vanilla bonds with 10-year maturity, increased from the year ended March 2018, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s Study of State Finances. That implies that their borrowings are expected to soar…

Ghosts of Loans Past Coming Back to Haunt India’s States

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For most of its existence, SoftBank was known as a Japanese phone company that made some lucky bets. But in the future, being an investor in the company will mean betting on the investment prowess of its founder, Masayoshi Son.

Over the past few months, SoftBank has moved to drastically shrink itself. In April, it struck a deal to combine Sprint, which it controls, with T-Mobile, reducing its share of the embattled American carrier’s financial burden. It announced plans this week to spin out its domestic telecom business

Investing in SoftBank Is Becoming a Bet on Its Founder’s Deal-Making Prowess

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  • Earnings season ramps up this week, Fed’s Powell to speak
  •  Chinese shares decline; oil slides below $71 a barrel

Asian stocks fell as mixed economic data in China failed to allay concern about the world’s second largest economy’s ability to the withstand the impact of the trade dispute. Crude slid and the yen traded near the weakest level since January.

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A big initial public offering and strong signs of growth in the financial technology industry are giving startups in the sector a funding boost.

Venture backed U.S. fintech companies received about 40 percent more funding in the second quarter of this year than the previous one, according to a report released Wednesday by CB Insights and PwC. The total deal value for the quarter was about $3 billion…

Funding for U.S. Fintech Startups Rose 40 Percent Last Quarter

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Broadcom has agreed to buy the software maker CA Technologies for nearly $19 billion, according to the two companies.

The acquisition by Broadcom, which has become a formidable competitor in the semiconductor market in the past decade, would be the first major move by the company since its $117 billion bid for Qualcomm was blocked by the Trump administration in March.

The Trump administration thwarted the Qualcomm deal citing national security concerns. White House officials said that allowing Qualcomm, an American leader in smartphone chips and wireless technology, to be taken over by a foreign company might strengthen China’s hand in a strategic industry…

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Move comes after Greek government postponed tax increase on islands hit by migration flows

ATHENS—Germany on Thursday held up the final bailout disbursement for Greece, a move indicative of how difficult it will be for the southern country to regain financial sovereignty even as it exits an eight-year bailout regime in August.

Eurozone finance ministers approved the €15 billion ($17.5 billion) aid payment at a meeting in Brussels, but Germany declined to sign off on the deal…

Germany Delays Greece’s Final Bailout Payment

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Jul
12

How the Trade War Affects Investors

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Investors are watching as the world’s two largest economies dance around a trade war.

Tensions appeared to ease Thursday as Beijing held off retaliating against additional tariffs of $200 billion on Chinese imports proposed this week by President Donald Trump. Stocks rallied, with the S&P 500 Index closing at its highest since February…

How the Trade War Affects Investors

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Apple Inc., expanding its environmental efforts, announced a $300 million fund to promote clean energy in China.

The iPhone maker said it’s creating the fund to boost the use of renewable energy in its supply chain, which is primarily spread across regions in China. The company and 10 of its key suppliers and manufacturing partners, including Corning Inc., Pegatron Corp., Wistron Corp. and Luxshare Precision Industry Co., will contribute to the fund over the next four years, the Cupertino, California-based company said Thursday in a statement…

Apple Announces $300 Million China Clean Energy Fund

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Walmart is talking to Capital One about taking over its store credit card, a potential blow to current issuer Synchrony Financial

Walmart Inc. is talking to Capital One Financial Corp. about taking over its store credit card, according to people familiar with the matter.

The discussions, which are expected to wrap up in coming weeks, could end Synchrony Financial’s nearly 20-year run as the exclusive issuer of Walmart cards.

Synchrony has been Walmart’s exclusive credit-card…

Walmart in Talks to Move Credit-Card Partnership to Capital One

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  • 22 women claimed ovarian cancer linked to J&J baby powder
  •  Company denied asbestos in talc products, link to cancer

Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a jury to pay $4.69 billion to women who claimed asbestos in the company’s talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer, marking the sixth-largest product-defect verdict in U.S. history.

The award of $4.14 billion in punitive damages on top of the $550 million meant to compensate each of 22 women and their families for their losses sent the company’s shares down by as much as 1.4 percent in after-hours trading…

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CEO Hock Tan’s $18.9 billion purchase of software company CA is deviation from previous acquisitions

Broadcom Inc. shares fell nearly 14% on Thursday, showing the challenge Chief Executive Hock Tan faces in persuading investors that his $18.9 billion purchase of the software company CA Technologies makes sense for the chip giant.

The deal, announced late Wednesday, was a surprise even for observers familiar with Mr. Tan’s long history of acquisitions. The CEO built Broadcom into a chip powerhouse largely by acquiring companies. He keeps the parts he desires, wringing efficiencies out of the them, and sheds the rest..

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Not everyone is losing faith in the yen as a haven.

While the Japanese currency is the worst performer this month among its Group-of-10 peers, Russell Investments is bucking the trend. The asset manager, which oversees $300 billion, has upped the level of yen assets it holds compared to Treasuries, with the currency hitting the lowest level against the dollar since January…

Yen Trumps Treasuries for $300 Billion Investor Amid Trade Spat

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Citigroup Inc. is adding muscle to its private-wealth arm, hiring advisers from rival Bank of America Corp. as competition for assets intensifies.

Lance Bylow and Morgan Dever are joining in New York next month from BofA’s U.S. Trust unit, Citigroup said Wednesday in an emailed statement. Bylow will be a managing director and Dever a senior vice president. Lisa Yang, who also worked at U.S. Trust, started earlier this month as an associate banker working with ultra-high-net worth clients…

The Wealth-Management Arms Race Is Heating Up

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  • End of cheap money will cause a crunch, says veteran investor
  •  EM stocks will probably fall another 10% by year-end, he says

For Mark Mobius, there may be worse to come even after the U.S. fired new shots in its trade war with China: a further 10 percent drop in emerging-market stocks and a global financial crisis.

“There’s no question we’ll see a financial crisis sooner or later because we must remember we’re coming off from a period of cheap money,” the veteran investor in developing nations said in an interview in Singapore. “There’s going to be a real squeeze for many of these companies that depended upon cheap money to keep on going.”…

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  • Bond investors tend to be more risk averse, Credit Suisse says
  •  Some China property companies borrow at cheaper cost via loans

With the Federal Reserve driving up dollar borrowing costs and China’s deleveraging campaign stoking fears of default among fixed-income investors, Chinese debtors are increasingly turning to the loan market for funding.

Chinese companies have some $76 billion of dollar bonds to repay in the coming year, and face the both higher yields and a weaker exchange rate, thanks in part to U.S.-China trade tensions that brought an end to five straight quarters of gains for the yuan. High-yield issuers are especially vulnerable, with authorities recently looking at cracking down on a loophole that let them sell dollar debt with less than one-year maturity without pre-approval…

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Robert Perry, who ran Los Angeles wealth-management offices, has left firm

A Morgan Stanley executive overseeing brokers who catered to celebrities left the firm this week after several employees claimed harassment at branches he managed in Los Angeles.

A spokesman for the firm confirmed the departure of Robert Perry, who had been at Morgan Stanley’s brokerage and a predecessor firm since 1993…

Morgan Stanley Brokerage Executive Departs Following Harassment Claims in Branches He Managed

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  • EM assets typically outperform when U.S. yield curve inverts
  •  Spread between U.S. 10-year, 2-year yields at 11-year low

If the end of easy money, a trade war and myriad geopolitical dangers weren’t enough, a U.S. yield curve poised to invert is adding to the risks for investors. But there’s one asset class that’s less of a worry: emerging markets.

Every time the yield curve has flipped in the past three decades, sending shorter-term interest rates above longer-term ones, the U.S. economy has entered a recession within 12 to 24 months. While that correlation makes the inverted curve a risk-off signal, it’s been a different story with emerging-market assets…

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  • Cable giant’s latest offer is 5.4% higher than Fox’s price
  •  Independent Sky directors back sweetened buyout terms

Comcast Corp. increased its takeover bid for Sky Plc to $34 billion, topping an offer from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. and escalating a global standoff between the media giants.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, is now offering 14.75 pounds a share for Sky, valuing Britain’s top pay-TV provider at 26 billion pounds, according to a statement Wednesday. That’s 5.4 percent above a 14 pound-a-share proposal from Fox, which already owns a stake in the European broadcaster. Fox acknowledged the increased bid in a statement late Wednesday…

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This year’s cryptocurrency sell-off has done nothing to dent the optimism of Fundstrat Global Advisors head of research Thomas Lee. Already one of Wall Street’s most outspoken Bitcoin bulls, Lee is sticking with his year-end forecast of $25,000, more than 270 percent above current levels. The rosy outlook is based on Bitcoin historically trading at 2.5 times its mining cost, which will rise to $9,000 by year end, he said during an interview in Taipei. Lee has at times been overly enthusiastic: his December call for the digital currency to reach $20,000 by mid-2018 missed the mark by about $14,000…

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  • Investors moving away from defensive plays as rates increase
  •  Financials ‘are very cheap,’ according to market strategist

With interest rates on the rise, exchange-traded fund investors are increasingly embracing risk, pulling cash out of defensive utilities and piling into more volatile financials.

Traders yanked almost $330 million from the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund, or XLU, Monday after three straight weeks of inflows. Meanwhile, the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund, known as XLF, saw $368 million of inflows after four consecutive weeks of outflows…

ETF Investors Pick Riskier Financials Over the Safety of Utilities

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Among the Chinese products on the new tariff list put out by the U.S., there are interesting items of note: rare-earths that China is a major producer of and that the U.S. needs pretty much.
Take a look at this chart by my colleague Martin Ritchie in Shanghai that illustrates China’s outsized dominance in rare-earths, which are widely used in high-technology products…
Live Now: Analysis of Latest Developments in U.S.-China Trade War
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Forecasts suggest U.S. corporations remained on strong footing heading into the second half of the year

Corporate earnings are poised to extend a run of double-digit growth in the second quarter, providing a balm for a stock market that has languished as investors have grappled with threats ranging from fractious trade relations to tightening monetary policy.

Analysts expect earnings from S&P 500 companies to grow 20% in the second quarter from the year-earlier period, according to FactSet. Despite fears that earnings peaked in the first quarter, they are still on pace for the second-fastest rate of growth in nearly eight…

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  • Brookfield, Durst, Revolution, RXR Realty among investors
  •  Funding round said to value company at more than $500 million

Convene, a New York-based real estate startup that specializes in flexible meeting and working space, has raised $152 million from investors including Revolution GrowthBrookfield Property Partners LP and the Durst Organization, its co-founders said.

The Series D round values the company at more than $500 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named. Revolution, RXR Realty, David Rubenstein’s Declaration Capital and QuadReal Property Group are among the company’s new investors, while existing investor ArrowMark Partners led the round and was joined by other earlier Convene investors including Brookfield, Durst, Conversion Venture Capital LLC and Elysium Management. BlackRock Inc. is another returning investor, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Edward Sweeney, a BlackRock spokesman, declined to comment…

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