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SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc’s [UBER.UL] warring board members have struck a peace deal that allows a multibillion-dollar investment by SoftBank Group Corp to proceed, and which would resolve a legal battle between former Chief Executive Travis Kalanick and a prominent shareholder.
Venture capital firm Benchmark, an early investor with a board seat in the ride-services company, and Kalanick have reached an agreement over terms of the SoftBank investment, which could be worth up to $10 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Uber board first agreed more than a month ago to bring in SoftBank as an investor and board member, but negotiations have been slowed by ongoing fighting between Benchmark and Kalanick. The agreement struck on Sunday removed the final obstacle to allowing SoftBank to proceed with an offer to buy to stock.
Uber confirmed the deal was moving forward.
“We’ve entered into an agreement with a consortium led by SoftBank and Dragoneer on a potential investment,” an Uber spokesman said. “We believe this agreement is a strong vote of confidence in Uber’s long-term potential.”
SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate that has become a heavyweight in Silicon Valley tech investing, is joined by Dragoneer Investment Group in leading a consortium of investors that plans to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber, and in addition, will buy up to 17 percent of existing shares from investors and employees in a secondary transaction. The terms were signed on Sunday, although the tender offer would likely take weeks to complete.
Uber is valued at $68 billion, the most highly valued venture-backed company in the world. SoftBank’s roughly $1 billion investment of fresh funding is expected to be at the same valuation. The secondary transaction, or the purchases from employees and existing investors, would be at a lower valuation.
A spokeswoman for Benchmark did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a spokesman for Kalanick declined to comment.
Completing the SoftBank deal would allow Uber to open a new chapter after a year of controversy, including the resignation of Kalanick, the ouster of several top executives, sexual harassment and discrimination allegations, and multiple federal criminal probes. The deal is also tied to new governance rules that aim to distribute power more equally and bring more oversight to the company.
Hindustan Copper is making moves to expand its production and operations in India where the company has a monopoly on copper mining.
The state-run company said in a filing on the Bombay Stock Exchange that its board has increased its borrowing limit and approved the formation of a joint venture with National Aluminum Company and Mineral Exploration Corporation for exploring and mining strategic metals abroad, according to Business Standard.
It plans to invest about $700 million in six expansion projects including a near tripling of production at its largest mine, Malanjkhand in Madhya Pradesh. The mine would up its production from 2 million tonnes annually to 5.2 million, by building an underground mine under the current open-cast operation. Located 20 kilometres from a national park, Malanjkhand contains almost 70 percent of India's copper reserves and represents around 60 percent of Hindustan Copper's output, states Business Standard.
Copper prices have risen above 23 percent year to date. Despite a sharp drop in copper imports from China, which consumes nearly half of the metal seen as a bellwether for economic growth, the copper price hit an intra-day high of $3.25 a pound on Wednesday – the highest since February 2014. Copper last closed at $3.07 a pound or $6,777 a tonne.
The same day Bloomberg reported that trading in copper futures is reaching a frenzy, with bets for December 2018 skyrocketing above $10,000 a tonne. Red metal futures haven't been that high since 2011 and Bloomberg says it suggests traders are becoming increasingly bullish due to the need for copper in electric cars.
Emirates has ordered 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in a deal worth about $15bn (£11.3bn) at list prices.
The Dubai airline's chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, said the aircraft had been chosen over the Airbus A350.
He had been expected to announce a big order for the Airbus A380 superjumbo at the media briefing.
Airbus desperately needs more orders for the A380, the biggest passenger aircraft in the skies.
The Franco-German company and Emirates were understood to be in intense final negotiations to have an announcement ready for this week's show.
Emirates, the largest airline in the Middle East, is already the biggest customer for Boeing's 777, with 165 in service and another 164 on order.
Sheikh Ahmed said Sunday's order raises the cost of its purchase of Boeing aircraft to $90bn. Some of the new 787s will be used to replace older planes, while others will be used to expand the airline's network.
Boeing welcomed the deal, which Kevin McAllister, head of its commercial aviation division, said would sustain many jobs in the United States.
Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled to start in 2022.
Also on Sunday, Azerbaijan Airlines said it was buying five Dreamliners, as well as two Boeing freighters, in a deal worth an estimated $2bn.
Amid the display of military hardware and the latest civil aircraft, it is the traditional rivalry of Boeing and Airbus that grabs the airshow headlines.
So far this year, Boeing has won about 65% of the new orders placed for aircraft globally.
Neither Emirates nor Airbus would comment on the status of the rumoured A380 order, which would help protect jobs at the aircraft manufacturer's plant in north Wales, where the wings are made.
Emirates has been the biggest customer for the A380, having bought 142 of the almost 320 that are in service or on the production line. The last order for the superjumbo came two years ago, when Japan's ANA purchased just three planes.
In July Airbus said it would again cut annual production of the A380 from 12 to eight. Two years ago Airbus was making 28 planes a year.
The three richest people in the United States – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett – have a total wealth that exceeds the savings of America’s poorest 160 million, a new study shows.
The three billionaires are sitting on a combined $248.5 billion fortune, which outstrips the combined net worth of an estimated 160 million Americans, or 53 million US households. The study entitled Billionaire Bonanza 2017 was compiled by the Institute for Policy Studies.
“So much money concentrating in so few hands while so many people struggle is not just bad economics, it’s a moral crisis,” said Josh Hoxie, the report's co-author.
The 400 richest people in the US have a combined $2.68 trillion wealth, more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United Kingdom, France or India.
“Our wealthiest 400 now have more wealth combined than the bottom 64 percent of the US population, an estimated 80 million households or 204 million people. That’s more people than the population of Canada and Mexico combined,” the report says.
Tax cuts, proposed by US President Donald Trump, are likely to widen the gap, according to the findings, as 80 percent of the tax relief would benefit only the wealthiest one percent of households.
“Wealth inequality is on the rise. Now is the time for actions that reduce inequality, not tax cuts for the very wealthy,” said the co-author of the report Chuck Collins.
The study suggests two ways of narrowing the wealth gap.
“First, we must not make inequality worse through new tax cuts for the wealthy. The proposed Trump tax cuts, as currently designed, would grow top one percent fortunes and do little to reduce the ranks of America’s “underwater nation.”
The second way is to implement policies to reduce concentrated wealth, the report suggests.
”Inequality will continue to widen unless we intervene directly to reduce grand concentrations of private wealth. By taxing our wealthiest households, we could raise significant revenues and then invest these funds to expand wealth-building opportunities across the economy.”
China has announced plans to relax foreign ownership restrictions on Chinese banks, effective immediately.
Authorities will also move to lift the ceiling on foreign ownership limits for securities funds and joint ventures to 51% over the course of the next three years.
Currently, global banks are only allowed to have a 49% interest in such ventures, thus removing their ability to control Chinese-based entities.
The announcements were made by Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao in Beijing, who said authorities are in the process of drafting detailed rules which will be released shortly.
According to reports from Reuters, Zhu said the time is right for China to announce major steps for the opening up of its financial sector.
A short time ago, the CSI300 Financials Index was up 0.83%, adding to the gains seen earlier in the session.
The broader CSI300 index tracks movements of the top 300 companies by market capitailisation listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen. So far this year, it’s added over 18%.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index is broadly unchanged in the wake of the announcement, trading up 0.15%.
Today’s announcement follows statements by Chinese authorities on Thursday that restrictions in the country’s banking and financial sector would soon be eased, as Chinese leader Xi Jinping met with US President Trump as part of Trump’s Asia visit.
Guo Shuqing, Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, flagged potential changes to foreign ownership laws at last month’s National People’s Congress in Beijing, noting that the market share of foreign banks had been falling which wasn’t good for competition.
It marks another step in the gradual integration of China’s economy into global markets. In June, MSCI said it planned to add 222 China A Large Cap stocks to its Emerging Markets Indexstarting next year, which is likely to drive capital inflows from international institutional investors.
Just five years ago it would have been almost unthinkable that one of the world’s biggest mining companies would not dig any coal. It’s now likely to become a reality.
Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-largest miner, has been steadily backtracking from coal to focus on better assets. It’s now looking for buyers for its remaining coal mines in Australia, and a sale will mark a complete exit from the fuel.
Rio’s potential coal-free future is in stark contrast with many of its rivals. Glencore Plc, the world’s top coal shipper, this year increased its exposure by agreeing to pay $1.1 billion plus royalties for a large stake in Australian assets sold by Rio. The fuel, which generates about 40 percent of the world’s electricity, is one of BHP Billiton Ltd.’s main strategies, while Anglo American Plc has pulled back on plans to sell out of the commodity.
While many miners are bullish on coal, the world’s dirtiest fuel has become a flashpoint for a growing movement of investors calling for miners to cut their exposure. For example, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund doesn’t invest in firms that make 30 percent of their sales from coal, while the Church of England sets the limit at 10 percent.
“People are picking different levels, whether they are divesting for ethical reasons or for business driven reasons,” said Helen Wildsmith, head of climate change at CCLA Investment Management, which manages money for the Church of England. “Having one of the big diversified miners without thermal coal does give investors more options.”
Yet Rio’s decision is more to do with its coal mines not being able to compete with its other assets, rather than pressure from climate-change or divestment campaigns. Chief Executive Officer Jean-Sebastien Jacques has argued that even a mining firm as big as his only has so much managerial talent and money, and must focus those on more productive assets. It has also been able to sell coal mines for what it sees as good prices, allowing more cash to be returned to shareholders.
Even so, mining companies are increasingly having to consider how global proposals to curb greenhouse gases will impact the future of commodities they mine, said Wildsmith, who’s part of a team of investors that talks to firms like BHP and Rio about climate change.
“The big diversified miners are all trying to work out which commodities are going to be most disadvantaged in the future, and the low-carbon transition is one of the big uncertainties that they and other companies are facing,” she said. “We’re seeing more companies integrating their thinking on climate change scenarios into the macro-economic and cyclical scenarios that they work with.”
It looks like Rio won’t have to worry about coal for too much longer. It sent out preliminary information on the Hail Creek and Kestrel coal mines to potential buyers last month and asked for indicative bids by early December, people familiar with the matter said in October.
The London-based miner has been shedding its Australian coal assets since dismantling its energy division in 2015. Earlier this year, it agreed to sell its Coal & Allied Industries Ltd. to China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining Co., before Glencore then bought a stake in the project. Rio has also sold other projects from Australia to Mozambique....
Fourteen special permit bids for 90 designated exploration areas were announced and 30 special permits for exploration were granted in 2017.
The Mineral Resources and Petroleum Authority (MRPA) stated that 14.2 billion MNT in state revenue was generated from the special permits granted. The remaining exploration areas, which investors passed over during the license auction, have been made eligible for licensing through an application process.
The MRPA said that the granting of special permits was based on a company’s bid and their technical capacity. The MRPA has proposed that special permits be eligible for return to the government if the company that receives the license doesn’t invest in the field within an agreed upon timeframe.
Demand for copper globally is set to jump 22 percent in as soon as five years on increasing usage of the metal in electric vehicles, solar and wind power sectors, according to Indian billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Hindalco Industries Ltd.
Consumption is seen rising to 28 million metric tons in the next five to seven years from about 23 million tons now, J.C. Laddha, head of the Indian company’s copper unit, said in New Delhi at an industry conference. Electric vehicles alone will boost global copper demand by 1.2 million tons, he said.
India is also expected to benefit from the electric-vehicle push as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to turn all passenger car sales electric by 2030, Laddha said. “But even without the demand from electric vehicles, demand should rise to 1.8 million tons to 2 million tons,” he said.
Copper has rallied more than 20 percent this year along with other industrial metals on prediction of tighter supplies and increasing global economic growth amid new sources of demand. Top producer Codelco forecasts that prices could test record highs above $10,000 a metric ton as the supply-demand balance shifts to substantial deficits from 2018.
India’s consumption is expected to grow by as much as 10 percent from 700,000 tons a year now, Laddha said. India has the potential to boost consumption of everything from copper to iron ore as its economy expands over the next two decades and more people flock to its cities, according to projections from the Australian government that examine whether the country will emulate China.
The South Asian nation will auction more copper mines to meet demand as the reliance mostly on foreign supplies makes the local industry “vulnerable,” Mines Secretary Arun Kumar said at the same industry event.
Prime Minister U. Khurelsukh received Ambassador of India, H.E. Dr. T. Suresh Babu on November 8.
The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for relations between Mongolia and India developing into strategic partnership. He stated that his cabinet will work effectively with the one billion USD soft loan being granted by the Government of India.
As outlined in the soft loan agreement between the two countries, a technical and economic feasibility study has begun for establishing an oil field and pipeline. The two sides also discussed establishing an information technology outsourcing data center.
The Indian Ambassador said that training sessions will be organized for the two projects teams. The Ambassador also noted that a tender offer for establishing the oil field may be announced in the first quarter of 2018.
Mrs. B.Battsetseg, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, is on a working visit to the Republic of Paraguay on November 8-10, 2017.
On the 8th of November, she met Mr. Mario León, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Mr. Oscar Stark, Deputy Minister for Commerce, and expressed Mongolia’s interest in learning from the achievements and experiences that Paraguay have accumulated in agricultural development and promoting cooperation in this field. The Paraguayan side has accepted our proposal and expressed their willingness for further collaboration. Along with other South American countries, Paraguay has advanced its agricultural development, and is now ranked as one of the biggest exporters of beef and organic agricultural products in the world.
Both sides agreed to extend the validity of the MOU on the cooperation between the Mongolian Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Light Industry and the Paraguayan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock signed in 2016. Within the framework of the MoU, there are opportunities presented to identify the prospects of cooperation in the areas of agriculture and food production, exchange of experience in advanced technology, developing opportunities for research, cooperative and private sector relations and cooperation.
During the visit to the Agriculture Technology Institute of Paraguay, Deputy Minister met Mr. Santiago Bertoni, President of the Institute and exchanged views on the possibilities to start joint projects and programs, as well as exchange experts.
Mongolia and Paraguay established diplomatic relations on June 13, 2003 and as the two landlocked developing nations share the similarities, such as small and scattered population and agriculture sector plays a key role in the economy; both sides see that Mongolia and Paraguay have opportunities to develop wide-range of cooperation.
As she continues her visit, Deputy Minister B.Battsetseg will meet with her counterpart, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, Ambassador Federico González, and hold bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries.