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23 january 2017

  • Mexico`s peso extends Friday rally to hit two-week high. The Mexican pesos extended on Monday its rally and advanced 0.8 percent to trade at 21.4064 pesos per dollar on Monday, hitting a two-week high. The peso recorded on Friday its biggest jump in more than two months after President Donald Trump did not mention the country in his inauguration speech. Investors have been concerned on the currency because of the protectionist policies by the new U.S. administration. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Shell Sells Stake in Petrochemicals Venture in Saudi Arabia. Royal Dutch Shell PCL on Sunday announced it has reached an agreement with Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to sell its 50 percent stake in petrochemicals joint venture SADAF in Saudi Arabia for $820 million. The Anglo-Dutch oil company said the joint venture combines six petrochemical plants, with a total output of more than 4 million metric tons per year. The company said the move allows it to concentrate on its downstream activities and make six petrochemical plants, with a total output of more than 4 million metric tons per year. Read more on http://www.lse.co.uk
  • Foxconn CEO says investment for display plant in U.S. would exceed $7 billion. Foxconn’s chairman and chief executive Terry Gou on Sunday said the company is planning to set up a display-making plant in the U.S. that would exceed $7 billion. Gou said the plans still depend on many factors such as investment conditions. Foxconn, the largest contract electronics maker in the world, said the plans come as U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to put “America First,” underpinning concerns of of a U.S. protectionist agenda that has cast a cloud over the outlook for global trade. Taiwan-based Foxconn is formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Canada Indicates Possible Trade Deal with U.S. Excluding Mexico. The government of Canada will consider bilateral trade measures in its negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, an implication that it might possibly carry on without Mexico. The comments from David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., imply Donald Trump’s protectionist pledges are splitting the continental pact. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has talked with Mexican President Pena Nieto, and he said that they spoke about the significance of the Canada-Mexico bilateral relationship along with the trilateral North American Partnership. Canadians fear that any tariffs or measures applied broadly might hit them. Approximately 70 percent of Canadian trade is with the U.S. and Trudeau noted that his country is the top buyer of U.S. goods. MacNaughton said that Canada is hoping to maintain its “mutually beneficial” trade relationship with the U.S. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Suga Says Possibility Exists for TPP Trade Pact to Continue. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary acknowledged that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal will face a difficult task without the United States, despite Tokyo’s attempt to urge other member countries to ratify the pact in order to keep the pressure on Washington. Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s top adviser told CNBC that the Japanese government will assert itself in trade negotiations, to avoid a move towards protectionism. Abe has pushed Japan to ratify the treaty, as it became the first among a dozen member countries to complete the required domestic procedures needed for the pact. Analysts have indicated a slight possibility of the continuation of the TPP with the absence of the U.S. Challenges regarding the TPP follows as Trump also singled out the country for its trade deficit with the U.S. Read more on www.cnbc.com
  • Yen Strengthens Against Majors in Asian session The yen on Monday rose against other major currencies in the Asian session. The Japanese Yen hit a more than 1-1/2-month high of 85.39 against the Canadian dollar. The also strengthened against the U.S. dollar, Swiss franc, and Australian dollar, advancing to a 5-day high of 113.44, 113.59 and 85.93 from last week`s closing quotes of 114.57, 114.28 and 86.55, respectively. Against the euro, the pound and the NZ dollar, the yen increased to a 4-day high of 121.86, 140.89 and 81.71 from Friday`s closing quotes of 122.54, 141.78 and 82.09, correspondingly. Read more on: www.lse.co.uk
  • Singapore Inflation Posts First Increase in Two Years. Prices of consumer goods and products in Singapore rose in December for the first time since 2014, adding more indications that the city-state’s economy is recovering. CPI posted an increase of 0.2% from a year earlier in the previous month due to the rise of oil prices, an improvement from the flat figures in November and marginally higher than the anticipated 0.1% gain. Prices rose 0.2% on a monthly basis. Core inflation, which does not include rent prices and private road transport, also gained 1.2% in December year-on-year, meeting economists’ expectations. The lower fuel prices and government measures to curb the soaring prices of property have pushed down consumer prices since 2014. MSA had projected an increase in inflation to 0.5%-1.5% this 2017, which may prompt Singapore’s central bank to maintain its neutral stance during its meeting in April. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • PM May to Propose New Industrial Strategy Designed to Boost Post-Brexit U.K. Economy. The British premier is slated to reveal a new industrial strategy where the government will play an ‘active role’ and is designed to bolster the U.K. economy in the wake of Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May stated. News of the plan’s launch was welcomed by business leaders and groups which will center on sector deals. The green paper will outline strategies the government can give support to firms by tackling regulatory barriers, conceding trade agreements and aiding in the establishment of institutions that promote innovation and enhancement of skills. Some of the areas that would be provided support via a New Industrial Challenge Fund would be smart energy, robotics, AI, and mobile network technology, according to May’s office. The fund is part of a 4.7 billion pound supplemental funding for research and development announced in November. May will introduce the new strategy during her first regional cabinet meeting on Monday. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • Trump to Start Renegotiating U.S. Trade Pact with Mexico, Canada. U.S. President Donald Trump voiced his plans to set up an audience with Canada and Mexico’s leaders to follow through with his campaign pledge to renegotiate the terms of NAFTA to become more favorable to the U.S. Speaking at the induction ceremony of his administration’s top advisers, he stated his plan to begin work on overhauling the trade deal with North American countries regarding immigration and security by meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Canada’s envoy to the U.S., David McNaughton said it was established that Trump’s top priority above all was about trade deficits with China and Mexico. Experts say that Canada and Mexico will also seek for tough demands and that it would be highly tedious to change NAFTA’s set zero-tariff rate and the process could take several years. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • New South Wales Appoints New Leader. New South Wales, Australia’s largest state economy, has appointed a new leader who is expected to maintain infrastructure investment by privatisation. Gladys Berejiklian has been elected in an internal Liberal Party vote following the surprise resignation of state leader Mike Baird. The economy of New South Wales makes up 31 percent of Australia’s gross domestic product. Its economy, valued A$530 billion ($398.19 billion), is facing sustained investment in infrastructure funded by privatisations. The most recent is the A$16.2 billion ($12.25 billion) sale of Ausgrid. The next scheduled sale is a 50.4 percent stake in Endeavour Energy, that powers parts of Sydney and is anticipated to attract bids of almost A$4 billion. Berejiklian said that she will maintain infrastructure investments and noted housing affordability as a priority. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • UK GDP Expected to Finish Strong in 2016. This week’s official figures are expected to show new evidence that the UK economy continued to be resilient amid Brexit uncertainty at the end of 2016 however, economists warn that the country will face a sharp slowdown in 2017. According to a Reuters poll of economists, Britain’s economy is expected to have expanded 0.5 percent in the final quarter of 2017. Hopes of strong growth was supported by upbeat surveys of businesses and consumers. Consumer spending is expected to have been the main driver of growth. Inflation is already at a two-and-a-half year peak and is expected to increase further, however experts warn that this support from spending will be harder to maintain. The Bank of England expects the weak currency to continue to lift import cost. It also maintains its prediction of a sharp slowdown this year. The International Monetary Fund expects growth at 1.5 percent in 2017. Read more on www.theguardian.com
  • Weakening Lira Weighs on Turkish Retailers. The Turkish lira has lost nearly a quarter of its value since the middle of 2016, causing disorder for retailers that sell imported goods or paying rent pegged to the U.S. currency. Many were already facing difficulties from the sharp economic slowdown and declining tourism figures following a series of bombings. Retail spaces in some of Turkey’s largest malls are now left empty. Businesses were further hit by the hike in import taxes on several cosmetics and through restrictions on the products to which credit card payments can be taken in installments, part of an attempt to raise the country’s savings rate. The lira has weakened as much as ten percent against the dollar since the beginning of 2017, which makes it the world’s worst performing major currency. Economic growth during the third quarter has become negative for the first time in seven years. Read more on www.reuters.com
Early reviews
  • Buffet recovers money on IBM after rebound. International Business Machines Corp. has now surpassed the price paid by Warren Buffet for shares of the computer company, bouncing back after a $2B loss. The firm hiked 2.2% to $170.55 following a disclosure of profit that beat analyst estimates. The figure now compares with the $170.19 Buffet took out for 81M of its shares. He remained firm with his decision to invest in the corporation even after a year of decline that sent shares down to less than $120. The technology business was able to overtake its rivals with momentum stocks after Trump’s victory, as more investors shift preference to companies with steadier buybacks and dividends. The company had its first gain in 2016 after four years, and has also completed 15 deals as several growth sectors started to emerged. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Snapchat defends valuation with engagement. Snap Inc. is trying to justify to investors that they are worth their listing value of $20B ny highlighting their app’s use in users’ daily lives. The company provided several engagement gauges wherein financial models will be based on to determine their value, as confirmed by people with knowledge of the matter. It disclosed the number of active users which is currently at 150M, as well as the tally of snaps and those who use the app’s provided filters. This data will be crucial especially since they are planning to focus on tech-mature markets, aiming to boost their revenue per individual. This is also a necessity to complete the IPO process, because investors will want to know the businesses performance from its first day up to present. The application`s shift away from their normally secretive culture is also seen as a sign of being more open than its peers had been. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Tencent beats peers in mobile app popularity. Tencent Holdings Ltd. messaging features emerged as the most popular application last year, further cementing stability in the world’s largest smartphone and internet market. WeChat remained the most heavily used one while it came in second followed by Taobao. The recent annual report highlighted the so-called internet triumvirate of Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent’s dominance in the industry, which was helped by the continuous increase in the users in the nation by 6% to 731M. Individuals using a mobile device to access the internet have also jumped by 12% to 695M. The state has become a major source of revenue even for international brands, but in terms of preference, most locals prefer domestically made gadgets such as Huawei. Moreover, they are also thriving in terms of the ride-hailing department with Didi Chuxing on top. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Toshiba hikes following interest in its chip sector. Shares of Toshiba Corp. rose remarkably after the company’s plan to sell stake in its chip business appealed to several investors. The stock jumped 7.3% to 264.8 yen, following the announcement of a 20% share sale that is expected to fetch around $1.8B. Huge companies such as Canon Inc. have already hinted their interest for a purchase, along with many other overseas private equity firms. The increase was considered a recovery after a decline caused by their initial disclosure that a writedown of their nuclear unit could result to billions of losses. It has recently carried out a round of asset sale after a profit padding controversy, and is currently considering a spinoff of their chip department, in which potential buyers of at least 30% stake have started to surface. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • UK trade discussions outside EU to begin. Australia will be holding talks with UK regarding trading and potential deals ahead of its official departure from the bloc. Regardless of the increasing anti-trade outlook, the two will continue to foster close ties despite Brexit, as Australia’s current trade value with the nation is at $20B, which was divided between exports and imports. Talks were said to center in investment arrangements that will be beneficial for the two states in terms of business and citizens. The plan will be the first as PM May decided to exit the single market and start negotiations with countries outside the union. Aside from this, UK’s housing regulations will also be considered to see if they are suitable for their future partner’s purposes. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Alibaba embarks on acquiring retail stores. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is purchasing physical stores, as it seeks to acquire Intime Retail for $2.6 billion. Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said there is no distinction between online and offline, adding people are using their smartphones regularly. Zhang mentioned that before, a client could order something and have it delivered to their house. Now, a person can order a specific product and have it sent to to their next stop or destination, meaning distributors can no longer handle the inventory. Read more on www.ft.com
  • China bitcoin bourses to levy trading fees. Beginning Tuesday, BTCC, Huobi, and OKCoin announced traders will be charged a fixed rate of 0.2% per transaction. The three bitcoin exchanges, which are scrutinized by the People’s Bank of China, said the rates will help them better avoid extreme volatility and market rigging. This month, the Chinese monetary authority said it mounted spot probes on these three bitcoin platforms to find out whether they breached existing laws as regulators seek to curtail cash outflows and mitigate the pressure on the renminbi. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Mitsubishi Jet Maker Postpones First MRJ Delivery Until 2020. Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. announced that deliveries of Japan’s aircraft carriers would be postponed by two more years due to reconfiguration issues of the plane’s electrical systems. According to a press release, the fifth delay of the $47 million 90-seater Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) since the program started means that its launch client ANA Holdings will not receive any of its orders until 2020. The MRJ had its maiden flight in November and is symbolizes Japan’s ambition to revive its commercial aircraft industry dismantled over half a century. The aircraft maker whose major stockholder is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. has so far secured 233 orders with 194 options to purchase. The latest setback is seen to hurt the planemaker`s chances of securing new orders. Read more on www.finance.yahoo.com
  • Xiaomi’s Barra Steps Down to Take on New Silicon Valley Role. Xiaomi Inc.’s executive Hugo Barra, who is behind the Chinese smartphone maker’s global push has stepped down from his top post in the company due to health concerns and as he takes on a new project in Silicon Valley. In a post the social media platform Facebook, Xiaomi’s vice president overseeing global operations said he was stepping down after three and a half years in the Chinese company that briefly became the world’s most valuable startup and had the ambition to become the Chinese equivalent of Apple Inc. However, a slump in smartphone sales and its slide from the top five in China for smartphone vendors last year after placing number 2 in 2015. In his post, Barra stated that the singular environment has been living in has taken a toll on his health and he has decided it is time to go back. Barra would resignation would become official after the Lunar New Year. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Foxconn Confirms Mulling $7 Billion U.S. Investment. CEO of iPhone maker Foxconn, Terry Gou, has confirmed that the Taiwanese tech company is mulling the establishment of a new U.S. factory which is estimated to exceed $7 billion. If given a go signal, the investment of one of Apple Inc.’s major supplier in the country is seen to generate thousands of new jobs. The spending plan comes U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed his “America First” agenda and took actions to begin overhauling international trade treaties. During his campaign, he has pointed a finger at China for costing the U.S. manufacturing jobs and repeatedly threatened imposing high import tariffs in order to encourage to the U.S. and foreign firms to relocate production to American territories. Foxconn has majority of its factories located in China where it assembles iPhones. But after ts acquisition of Sharp, the company is considering making the U.S. investment under the new display-making investment. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • Two battery flaws made Galaxy Note 7 catch fire: source. A WSJ report, attributing people close to the firm, divulged two various battery-related problems caused some of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones that can catch fire or explode, which led to the halt of its production. Sources disclosed batteries from the ATL had some defects because of the quick production boost to fit into the replacement mobile phones, while those from the SDI did not fit in the smartphones. Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics is set to hold its news conference to disclose the outcome of its inquiry regarding the said device. Read more on www.cnbc.com
  • Toshiba pushed to obtain financing for UK nuclear program. Contending with aggravating financial challenges, Toshiba Corp. is under fire to maintain its UK nuclear power project. Korea Electric Power Corporation has been joining discussions to partake in the NuGen consortium forming an atomic plant at Moorside in Cumbria together with Engie and the Japanese company. Toshiba is also eyeing a British government funding in the said program following Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration implied its preparedness to inject public funds into new nuclear facilities. A person privy to the matter said discussions have been making a slight progress. Read more on www.ft.com
  • Qualcomm grapples with $1 billion licensing suit. Apple Inc. lodged a case versus Qualcomm Inc. due to its licensing procedures. On Friday, the iPhone maker filed the suit in a California district court, asserting the telecommunications equipment firm sought unreasonable provisions for its latter’s product and overcharged for its chips products. Also, Apple claimed Qualcomm exploited its position by halting them from changing their chip provider. The tech giant is demanding rebates amounting to $1 billion for collaborating with South Korean authorities over its inquiry of the patent standards of the San Diego-based company. Read more on www.ibtimes.co.uk
Early reviews
  • French presidential hopes for new European army coalition. Anxious about the path of the new Trump administration, French presidential aspirant Francois Fillon is hoping for a new European military allegiance to safeguard the bloc and crumble the Islamic extremism. The aspirant claimed the United States is complicating this threat, adding President Donald Trump has an assertive discourse which should pressure the region to assemble itself instead. But he did not elaborate how the new coalition would collaborate with NATO. Fillion’s comment comes ahead of the gathering in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday. Read more on abcnews.go.com
  • China reiterates Trump must recognize ‘One China’ rule. The representative of China’s Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying, emphasized on Monday that the new administration of US President Donald Trump must recognize and be fully aware of the “One China” rule. The spokesperson’s remark comes following a correspondence between Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen via phone, which suggested that such a policy could be discussed or tackled. As of present, China still classifies Taiwan as part of its administration. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Canadian PM Trudeau Braces for Trump’s NAFTA Renegotiations. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet will hold a meeting in anticipation of new talks to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal with America’s newly sworn-in leader, U.S. President Donald Trump. Trudeau, his foreign minister, and other top Canadian lawmakers and aides will convene in Calgary to discuss how they can limit the repercussions from any renegotiation of terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement after Trump restated his promise to renegotiate the trade on Sunday, pledging a result that will be in favor of America. Concerns have been downplayed by the government officials of the northern country so far. Trudeau has extended his congratulations to Trump on Saturday and underlined the volume of U.S. exports to Canada. However, others are cautious that the new trade environment will almost undeniably hurt the economy. Read more on www.bloomberg.com
  • Kazakhstan Peace Negotiations on Syrian Conflict Begins. New peace talks which looks to settle the Syrian conflict has started in Astana. The talks, brokered by Russia and Iran which supports the Syrian government and Turkey that backs the militants. Organizers of the fresh peace talks have played down expectations of a breakthrough during the negotiations, stating there will be no direct talks between the government and the rebels. The last attempt to resolve the conflict between the opposition and the government which was brokered by the United Nations had broken down and was halted in early 2016. Jihadists like Al Qaeda and IS are excluded from the talks, and for the first time,the opposition delegation has established representatives of armed Syrian rebels. UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura is present during the talks while the U.S. is represented by its respective ambassador to Kazakhstan. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • German Authorities Apprehend Man Suspected of Plotting Attack. A 21-year-old man was arrested by the German police on suspicion of plotting a militant attack, associating his charges to another suspect apprehended in Vienna. According to a spokesperson for the Criminal Investigation Office, the man and a woman was taken into custody by special forces police during a raid in an apartment in the Neuss city. The woman has been released after being identified as the wife of the suspect. German authorities has stepped up security measures after a failed asylum seeker plowed into a crowd in a Christmas market last month in Berlin that left 12 people dead. According to a local magazine, the man was planning a bomb targeting police and soldiers and both he and the 18-year old suspect arrested in Austria had carried out tests on materials to build explosives in the said apartment. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Legal watchdog files lawsuit against Trump. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has sued newly inaugurated Trump over his alleged acceptance of foreign payments via guests in his hotels and rents in his buildings. The lawyers insist that such action is a breach of constitutional laws, and emphasized the official should refrain from making any violations before assuming office. In response, his son Eric Trump said the accusations were considered as a harassment made for their own political gain. He also insisted they have taken all necessary measures to avoid any legal conflict, including donating their profits that came from international government officials who have stayed in their hotels. The leader`s lawyers also argue that the clause prohibiting the move are only intended to prevent officials from accepting any gift in exchange for special considerations. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • May plans to have a word with Trump over key issues. British PM Theresa May announced her plan to visit the newly inaugurated US president, marking her as the first foreign leader to meet the official. In an interview, she disclosed her intention to discuss with Trump certain issues such as the importance of NATO and fight against terrorism. Also among high in her priority list is fostering closer relations with the nation for a boost in trading, as she had formally decided to leave the EU market and concentrate on partnerships with countries outside the bloc instead. She emphasized the GOP bet already made his stance clear about wanting to build stronger ties between the two states in the future. Despite this, May acknowledged that Trump’s lewd comments about women are unacceptable, and stressed she would always be ready to tell him about that. Read more on www.edition.cnn.com
  • Netanyahu eyes meeting with Trump over Iran relations. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu discloses his intention to have a talk with the new US leader over Iran’s growing threat, which he also said may be an obstacle for the people’s freedom. He made a video voicing out his intention while emphasizing at the same time their disapproval of the Iranian government alone and not of its locals. Both he and Trump have long expressed their dismay over a nuclear pact of Iran with other nations in which the US is included, branding it as a useless and ineffective deal. The agreement imposes curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the removal of international sanctions. Trump refused to comment on whether he will negotiate the transaction, although, he constantly touted this during his campaign. Read more on www.aljazeera.com
  • Women`s March gathers around one million in protest of Trump. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets ow Washington to demonstrate against newly elected US chief, along with sister rallies in other parts of the world. Participants have voiced out their concerns over key issues such as female rights and immigration. The event was supposed to be held at the National Mall but stretched along the present residence of Trump. According to them, their move is a show of unity and they have gathered to express their disapproval of the rising xenophobia and racism in the now seemingly divided nation. Similar initiatives were also seen in other countries such as UK, Germany, and Japan. Aside from this, a recent poll also revealed that Trump has gotten the lowest approval rating a president had since the 1970s, which is 40%. Read more on www.aljazeera.com
  • Israel backs additional houses in East Jerusalem. Israel approved constructing additional houses in East Jerusalem, which comes following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally ended the prohibitions in these sites and affirms his intention to ensure jurisdiction in all the areas. Addressing his senior officials, Netanyahu mentioned they deferred the deliberation on a legislation aimed at annexing the Ma`ale Adumim, a community in West Bank. It might be delayed until Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump meet in the first part of February. The two leaders talked via phone over the weekend, with the premier describing their conversation as cordial. Read more on www.reuters.com
  • Gambia says over $11 million missing following Jammeh exile. Gambian President Adama Barrow’s adviser, Mai Ahmad Fatty, reported over $11 million is missing from the state coffers after Yahya Jammeh left the nation. He added financial gurus were attempting to determine the exact amount of money lost. On the night the ex-Gambian leader’s departure, luxurious vehicles and other items were seen being stacked on a cargo jet. Jammeh, who led the country for 22 years, initially refused to recognize the election outcome. But he eventually vacated his office following the intervention of regional heads and the risk of army interference. Read more on www.bbc.com
  • Russia to assume broker role in Syria peace negotiations. Russia is slated to assume a broker role when delegates from the government of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters convened Monday in Astana, Kazakhstan. The gathering intends to look for ways to prolong the truce sealed after Russia’s air force and Iran-backed military forces crumbled opposition fighters. Opposition group heads stated Russia was true to its shift to an unbiased stance but was hampered by Syria and Iran. Although Turkey and Iran also supported the negotiations, America, Europe, and Saudi Arabia are hugely sidelined as of present. Read more on www.theguardian.com
Early reviews