|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
Amazon investors, including CEO Jeff Bezos, should be in a festive mood, too. (Although there were some tech glitches.)
Amazon's (AMZN) stock hit a new all-time high Monday. That means Bezos -- the world's wealthiest person -- is now worth more than $150 billion, according to Forbes.
For perspective, Bezos is worth more than Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and Google (GOOGL) co-founder Larry Page combined.
Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKB) Warren Buffett is the third richest person on the planet behind only Bezos and Gates. But the Oracle of Omaha trails Bezos by nearly $70 billion.
Bezos, who also personally owns The Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin, has most of his net worth tied up in Amazon stock. He is the company's largest shareholder, with a more than 16% stake.
Amazon's growing clout in retail, cloud computing, media and numerous other areas has put the company closer to surpassing Apple (AAPL) as the world's most valuable company.
Amazon's stock is up nearly 60% this year and the company has a market value of more than $890 billion. Apple's market value is a little more than $935 billion.
Amazon will report its second quarter results on July 26. Analysts are forecasting a more-than-40% jump in sales and a more than sixfold surge in earnings per share.
E-Commerce Guide by CNN Underscored: Your guide to shopping Amazon Prime Day 2018
The company has reliably topped Wall Street's forecasts and if Amazon delivers another blowout quarter, the company could soon find itself worth more than $1 trillion.
That would put the net worth of Bezos closer to $175 billion
Orkhon /MONTSAME/ ‘BB Park’ apartment complex is under construction in Orkhon aimag with 100 percent investment of the Republic of Korea. Curreltly, the construction runs with 40 percent performance. The appartments are expected to be low-cost as designated for youths and young families.
63.9 percent of the total population of Orkhon aimag is young people aged 18 to 35. Thus, the local authorities gave permission of two hectares of land near Erdenet stadium for the apartment complex considereing the necessity. Six five-storey buildings with 288 apartments will be built at the site. Approximately MNT 24 billion is funded for the construction.
The apartment complex was initiated by deputy head of the Cabinet Secretariat B.Bat-Erdene and was named ‘BB Park’, using the abbreviation of his name. This work is a start of the cooperation between Orkhon aimag and Siheung city of South Korea.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Toshiba Corporation of Japan has invited 13 graduates of Electronic Engineering Program of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of the National University of Mongolia (NUM).
7 out of the 13 graduates, selected by their skill and knowledge are NUM graduates in 2018 and they will work in chip design field in Japan.
Electronic engineering program aims to train internationally recognized creative and skillful specialists who will invent, implement and introduce electronic devices and systems.
Russia and US are competitors in oil and gas exports, but there is room for cooperation in regulating the energy market, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Helsinki press conference with US President Donald Trump.
"I believe that we, as the largest oil and gas powers, could work constructively to regulate international markets, because we are not interested in acute prices drops, because producers will suffer from this, including shale oil and gas projects in the United States,” said President Putin in response to a reporter's question regarding the future of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The United States is a major opponent of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will double gas flows through the existing pipeline from Russia to Germany. While President Trump cites concern for European energy security as the reason, he admitted during the press conference that it is also a competition issue for US liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Trump reminded everyone that the US has become a global leader in oil and gas production, and that “we will be competing when you talk about the pipeline,” adding that Russia is a “good competitor.”
Putin suggested creating a working group that would unite leading businesses from Russia and the US. He also stressed that gas transits through Ukraine will remain despite the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany, if Moscow and Kiev manage to find a solution in their legal dispute over gas transit in Stockholm Arbitration.
In June, Russia’s Gazprom won an appeal to halt seizure of its European assets. Four months earlier, the Stockholm court ordered the Russian company pay for a shortfall in the delivery of gas to Ukraine, awarding Naftogaz $2.6 billion in compensation.
On Monday, Germany maintained that the gas pipeline from Russia is purely about business. “Nord Stream 2 is first and foremost a commercial project,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference in Berlin. Last week, Trump accused Germany of being a “captive” of Russia because of the project.
During the Helsinki press conference on Monday, President Trump repeated his concerns. “I’m not sure necessarily that it’s in the best interest of Germany or not but that was the decision that they made,” he said.
The $11-billion Nord Stream 2 will double the existing Nord Stream pipeline’s current annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters and is expected to become operational by the end of next year.
Henry Xia jumps into the burnt toast-colored electric car he helped build as co-founder of Xpeng Motors Technology Ltd. and commands it to play Green Day’s “21 Guns.” He asks the car about traffic conditions and starts driving. The 35-year-old is the most senior car executive at a Chinese automaker that hasn’t delivered a single vehicle, doesn’t own a factory and hasn’t obtained a production license from the government. At least, not yet.
What the four-year-old startup has is backing from tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Foxconn Technology Group and Xiaomi Corp. founder Lei Jun. Xpeng expects to raise more than $600 million this month from investors that include Alibaba, valuing it close to $4 billion, according to a person familiar with the fundraising.
In a test drive of Xpeng’s first crossover around a drab cement office park in Guangzhou, the roomy SUV drives smoothly, with a Tesla-like panoramic windshield and sleek exterior. But it’s the voice controls, streaming music, live video, driver-tracking maps and other software that reveal the auto ambitions of the company’s Chinese tech backers. Xpeng is making the equivalent of a smartphone with a steering wheel.
Xia explains why the company nicknamed this car David: “We’re going up against Goliath,” he says, referring to the hundreds of automakers churning out electric vehicles in China, where half of the world’s EVs are sold. “It’s not about the physical car anymore, which anyone can now manufacture,” Xia says, “but about building a robot on wheels.”
Xpeng is primed to capitalize on a trade tussle that is already jacking up car prices. As China hits back against the U.S. with retaliatory tariffs, import duties on American-made cars have increased to 40 percent. But perhaps the bigger opportunity comes from Tesla Inc.’s still-diminutive presence in China, creating an opening for local startups to hawk cheaper, technology-centric electric vehicles.
Tesla reached a preliminary agreement last week with the Shanghai government to build China’s first car-production facility wholly owned by a foreign automaker. Tesla expects car production to start within two years of starting construction and to churn out 500,000 cars per year in China two to three years after that.
It won’t be easy: Tesla’s made lofty promises before, only to delay plans. It will also have to clear hard-to-navigate government approvals and obtain permits. With just $2.7 billion in cash, Tesla must absorb what Bloomberg Intelligence estimates to be a $10 billion cost to build the plant and hasn’t specified where it will get the money.
“Tesla is running out of time,” says John Zeng, managing director of LMC Automotive Shanghai. He estimates that the American automaker sold fewer than 15,000 cars in China last year, claiming just 3 percent of the battery-powered market. In total, 25 million cars were sold in China last year.
Finding capital is less of a concern for the local startups trying to outrun Elon Musk. China’s government is offering financial and political support for electric-vehicle companies as it attempts to lead the world in the field, fueling the rise of Xpeng and hundreds of other rivals. President Xi Jinping pledges to open markets and curtail protectionism, even as he lavishes assistance on domestic makers of electric cars, artificial intelligence and semiconductors. China’s electric-car buyers get price subsidies of as much as $10,000 per vehicle, for example, and can also dodge license plate restrictions that impede sales of gasoline-powered cars.
That support, combined with ample cash from China’s tech leaders and the comparative ease of building EVs instead of traditional cars, has seeded a crop of startups competing with such established automakers as BYD Co., Beijing Automotive Group Co. and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co....
(Bloomberg) — It’s a faint echo of the defense being floated by targets of the Mueller probe in the U.S.—an unaccountable circle of bureaucrats manipulating the system to their own ends.
But in London, it’s the last ditch effort by a trio of Kazakh oligarchs to derail the U.K.’s biggest bribery investigation.
The mining tycoons behind Eurasian Natural Resources Corp., the former FTSE 100 company suspected of paying bribes to buy mines in Kazakhstan and Africa, say their own lawyer conspired with Britain’s top cop to incriminate them so he could fleece them for millions of pounds.
Even if they can’t convince a court of this hypothesis, the case will undoubtedly frustrate attempts to bring criminal charges against them and drag out proceedings for months, if not years.
“It’ll complicate the decision about what evidence is usable,” said Michael Levi, a criminal law professor at Cardiff University. “That might be the benefit of muddying the water. Anyone can do this if they have enough money. You need to have enough money, is the key.”"Anyone can do this if they have enough money. You need to have enough money, is the key.”
Since the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office started investigating ENRC in 2013, Alexander Machkevitch, Alijan Ibragimov, and Patokh Chodiev—often dubbed the Trio—have gone to great lengths to unwind ties to the City of London. Within months, the oligarchs from the former Soviet Union had delisted ENRC’s stock after suggestions of widespread corruption sent it crashing out of the FTSE 100.
“Ultimately, it should lead to the closure of the case. It’s really scandalous”
The Trio blame Neil Gerrard, a white collar London crime lawyer for Dechert LLP, for arousing the SFO’s suspicions. They’d hired him to conduct a private investigation into allegations made by a whistleblower and, according to court documents last month, say he blew it out of proportion, even plotting with the SFO to leak details to The Times newspaper so the watchdog would have an excuse to start its probe. Gerrard denies this ever happened.
“If you have senior figures at the SFO colluding with our own lawyers, this is a fundamental issue which goes to the heart of the legitimacy of the investigation,” ENRC’s general counsel Dmitry Egorov said in an interview in London. “Ultimately, it should lead to the closure of the case. It’s really scandalous.”
The charges are reminiscent of attempts by Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, to undermine U.S. Special Council Robert Mueller’s case against him by pointing to media leaks his lawyers say have prejudiced his chances at a fair trial.
In its lawsuit, ENRC says Gerrard frequently flaunted his relationship with the SFO, which was considering him for its top job in 2011. The fraud investigator declined to comment on the lawsuit or status of its probe.
The miner’s lawyers are demanding the SFO disclose notebooks, emails, calendar entries and phone records. If they prove there was collusion, it could hypothetically pave the way for a judicial review to stop the watchdog’s probe on technical grounds.
While it seems like a stretch, it’s not entirely unprecedented. British-Iranian property tycoons Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz won compensation and an apology from the SFO in 2012, after the body admitted it didn’t have a valid warrant when it raided the fraud suspects’ Mayfair residence. ENRC’s lawyers refer to the Tchenguiz case in their argument.
In another probe, oil-services company Unaoil Monaco SAM had proceedings delayed by challenging the legal basis for an SFO raid on its premises. A judge dismissed the claim last year.
“ENRC’s real complaint is that the defendants were too successful uncovering wrongdoing”“ENRC’s real complaint is that the defendants were too successful uncovering wrongdoing”
In a defense claim revealed last month, Gerrard and Dechert insist they didn’t betray their client. They say the SFO had plenty of ammunition without them, including 13 suspicious activity reports detailing possible corruption and sanctions breaches involving ENRC. The U.S. Justice Department was investigating an ENRC deal, too.
According to its claim, the law firm’s own digging uncovered “serious criminality” related to copper mines purchased in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. The court papers say ENRC paid Dan Gertler, a friend of Congo’s president, $40 million in cash, which a U.S. case later connected to corruption. Dechert also says it has proof the Trio pocketed $300 million from the sale of a Zambian copper mine to ENRC for more than it was worth. ENRC refute these allegations.
When Gerrard tried to convince ENRC managers, including former CEO Felix Vulis, to cooperate with the SFO, court papers say they lied, destroyed and hid evidence, and intimidated cooperators. “ENRC’s real complaint is that the defendants were too successful uncovering wrongdoing,” they said.
Proof of fraud isn’t necessarily relevant to the ENRC claim. It says Gerrard was hired in good faith in 2010 to independently investigate an anonymous tip that one of its businesses based in Kazakhstan had misused corporate property and given a local police chief’s son a $38,000 scholarship. But it wasn’t long before Gerrard was alleged to have put undue pressure on ENRC executives to expand his probe to Africa, “ballooning of the investigations beyond all proportion.”
According to his accusers, Gerrard became aggressive, pushing ENRC to take his findings to the SFO even though it wasn’t in their best interest. He then plotted with the SFO covertly to leak information that the watchdog could use to initiate its probe. ENRC claims it has a witness statement from the man who delivered a package to The Times on Gerrard’s behalf.
At about the time of the newspaper leak, Gerrard, they allege, told two security consultants over coffee at a brasserie on London’s Sloane Square he wanted to “screw” his Kazakh mining clients for millions of pounds. He denies uttering those words.
By the time the Trio fired Dechert in the spring of 2013, ENRC had paid 16 million pounds ($21 million) in legal fees—a sum ENRC is now suing to recover. It says Gerrard demonstrated “reckless disregard for his duties in order to grossly inflate the bills which Dechert charged ENRC.”
The Trio may well buy time with this case, but that doesn’t mean the SFO will walk away from more than five years of work, according to Polly Sprenger, a London-based lawyer with Katten Muchin Rosenman. Just last week U.K. prosecutors issued a warrant for the arrest of Benedikt Sobotka, the CEO of related company Eurasian Resources Group, after he failed to appear for questioning, although he isn’t a suspect.
“I would be troubled by the suggestion that the SFO would be intimidated by any attempt to shame it into backing off an investigation,” said Sprenger, a former SFO investigator. The watchdog “is aware of these things and is sufficiently protected against this.”
(By Franz Wild)...
The Government of Mongolia aims to attract one million tourists by 2020 and increasing revenue from the sector to USD 1 billion. For this propose, Mongolia needs to increase the number of tourists by 30 percent per year for three years.
Last year, Mongolia received over 470 thousand tourists in 2017 - an increase of 14 percent on the previous year. The revenue from the tourism sector reached USD 400 million in 2017; which was 20 percent more than the previous year.
An astounding 60.7% of tourists are interested in learning about the lifestyle of the native habitants, 42.2% are interested in nomadic lifestyle and culture, 12.1% are keen to experience great adventures in Mongolia, particularly horse riding and, cycling, and 11.3% of incoming tourists want to know more about Mongolia's rich history.
ULAN BATOR, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's weather monitoring agency announced Monday a significant rise in the water levels of all major rivers, urging citizens living nearby to take extra precautions.
"The water levels in major rivers, including Khovd, Buyant, Onon, Kherlen, Selenge and Kharkhiraa have exceeded the warning levels by 20-65 centimeters due to heavy downpours since last weekend," according to a statement by Mongolia's National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring.
The agency warned residents living along the rivers to take all necessary precautions.
Meteorologists forecast that the rain won't stop until this weekend.
Until the recent pouring rain, almost half of all the country's territory had experienced one of the worst droughts in history, especially the provinces covered by the gobi desert.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s steel mills churned out record amounts of the construction material in June as producers rushed to cash in on hefty margins, even as a trade spat between Beijing and Washington intensified.
China, which accounts for half the world’s capacity, produced 80.2 million tonnes of crude steel last month, National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Friday. That’s just shy of the 81.6 million tonnes the United States produced in the whole of 2017, according to World Steel Association data.
June output was below May’s record 81.13 million tonnes, but June has one less day, setting a new daily average production record for a third month in a row at 2.67 million tonnes, according to Reuters’ calculations.
“Steel mills were dashing to reap as much of the bumper profits as they could despite environmental checks,” said Richard Lu, analyst at CRU in Beijing.
The data may further inflame a bitter Sino-U.S. trade row. The United States and Europe have accused China of exporting its surplus metal cheap, hurting international rivals.
China’s steel exports rose last month to 6.94 million tonnes, their highest since July 2017, even after Washington imposed import duties to protect U.S. industries.
The production increase also comes as China has shuttered some mills to help curb choking pollution and ramped up environmental inspections, suggesting that newer mills have ramped up operations to cash in on fat margins.
China’s steel output in the first half rose 6 percent to 451.2 million tonnes.
Steel prices SRBcv1 have soared over the past year due to firm demand and on concerns about tightening supplies of metal, used in construction and automotives, as Beijing seeks to close inefficient mills and clamps down on smoke-stack industries to clean the nation’s skies.
Lu estimated that mills were earning a profit margin of about 800 yuan ($119.50) per tonne of steel, while analysts at Huatai Futures put profit margins for mills in northern China at over 1,000 yuan a tonne, one of the highest on record.
Monthly utilization rates at mills reached 71.6 percent in June, the highest since October before winter production curbs had taken effect, according to Reuters calculation based on data from Mysteel consultancy.
Analysts say it’s not clear if China will continue its record-setting run.
Some particularly smoggy cities and provinces are also implementing ad hoc measures to beat bouts of pollution. Last week, top steelmaking city Tangshan ordered mills to cut production for 6 weeks over summer.
“Steel output may not necessarily go down even though stricter restrictions are on the way,” said Lu. “Steel mills in Xuzhou city could reopen soon, which will to some extent offset the production curbs in Tangshan.”
Producers are also racing to make as much metal as possible before a new round of production curbs are imposed in November ahead of China’s winter, when pollution is at its worst.
Last winter, government forced mills and heavy industry in 28 of the most polluted northern cities to shut up to half of their capacity between November and March. More are expected to adopt similar curbs this winter.
Reporting by Muyu Xu and Josephine Mason; editing by Richard Pullin...
The World Cup has captivated host Russia for a month, proving a boon for the brewing and hotel industries while dampening spending on some expensive items and curbing trading on financial markets.
As well as the usual staples of the football fan — beer and snacks — the tournament also spurred domestic demand for loans for electronic appliances, primarily TV sets and smartphones.
Meanwhile, Russian car dealers will probably welcome the end of the party on Sunday after sales slowed last month.
Economists have played down the direct economic impact from the World Cup, predicting it would be marginal and unevenly spread.
That tends to fit the pattern of other countries that have hosted major sports events — a brief bounce but not enough to make a lasting impact on an economy.
The tournament, which kicked off on June 14 and ends when France play Croatia in Sunday's final, attracted more than 700,000 foreign fans to Russia, who packed the streets of the 11 host cities together with locals.
Moscow saw a 60-percent increase in foreign tourists, bringing the overall number of visitors to the Russian capital during the World Cup to 3 million people, said Nikolai Gulyaev, head of Moscow's sport and tourism department, said.
In the stadiums, Russian fans were the main spenders, having laid out $12 million over the first four weeks of the tournament, Visa said on Friday.
"Sales of beer, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks have visibly increased in the first two weeks of the World Cup," said the Perekrestok supermarket chain, part of Russia's largest retailer X5 Retail Group.
In host cities, some of which have never seen so many tourists, fans swarmed to cafes and bars, draining beer supplies to alarmingly low levels.
Planes and Screens
Kviku, an online retail lending company, said the number of its customers rose more than a quarter over the past month as people took out loans to buy flights to World Cup host cities.
It also saw increased demand for loans for devices on which to watch matches, Kviku added.
Sales of TV sets and smartphones had already posted a 20 percent increase in May-June compared with a year ago, Russia's leading electrical goods retailer M.Video-Eldorado said.
"Football is such a desire for most active fans that it prompts them to go for extra borrowing," said Nikita Lomakin, the CEO of Kviku.
Purchases of World Cup-related merchandise also picked up after Russia's surprising progress to the last eight of the tournament, according to Russia's leading classified ads platform Avito.
Some Russians appear to have opted to stay at home to watch the matches on television rather than take a holiday.
The number of Russians who had no summer travel plans this year rose to 23 percent from 7 percent seen in 2016, a survey by Russia's research centre Romir showed.
Competing for Attention
Other businesses in Russia were less excited about the tournament. New car sales growth slowed in June to 11 percent from 18 percent a month earlier, with analysts blaming the World Cup as the factor that distracted buyers.
Indeed, some measures announced while Russians were caught up in the World Cup excitement, such as increases in sales tax and the retirement age could have a more enduring effect on the economy.
While retailers and hoteliers tot up the takings from the month, it will take time to study the overall World Cup effect after it filters into official data.
"This is the question of no less than one year or maybe more," said Shlomo Weber, rector of the prominent New Economic School.
On the financial markets, activity fell on all sections of the Moscow Exchange apart from the bond platform as traders turned their focus to live action.
And even though its economic benefits are debateable, the World Cup certainly lifted spirits.
"The World Cup is a good thing but not always for trade, more for the mood," the exchange's CEO Alexander Afanasyev said....