|"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award||ICC WTO||London|
The head of China's third-biggest search engine Sogou said he expects his company to launch a US initial public offering with a valuation of as much as $5 billion－as it raises cash to close the gap with leader Baidu Inc in the mobile market.
Sogou, whose name means "search dog," plans to sell about 10 percent of its shares in an IPO that will probably be held this year, Chief Executive Officer Wang Xiaochuan said in an interview. The company, which is backed by social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd and Sohu.com Inc, hasn't formally hired banks to run the listing. Sohu shares rose the most in 10 months on Wednesday.
While Baidu remains the biggest provider across all platforms in China, it's under siege after a scandal over medical advertising, as smaller rivals including Sogou and Qihoo 360 Technology Co win mobile users. Wang said he planned to use part of the IPO proceeds to improve search results by backing companies developing artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies.
"Over the past year, we've seen a trend where people are finding themselves not trusting Baidu as much and some are even seeking a replacement," he said at the company's Beijing headquarters.
"So over the next year or two, as more people feel more comfortable with Sogou, they'll realize it is able to replace Baidu."
Shares of Sohu rose 4.9 percent to $35.54 in New York, the biggest gain since March 4. The stock has declined 34 percent in the past year.
Baidu accounted for 44.5 percent of mobile search queries in the third quarter, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd-backed Shenma had 20.8 percent and Sogou was third with 16.2 percent, according to research from iiMedia.
Other independent researchers, including Analysys International, reported that Sogou was China's second-largest provider to the country's mobile users while some surveys have the company as the nation's second-largest overall.
Wang said Sogou could match Baidu in mobile search within three years. Baidu declined to comment.
Apple Inc confirmed on Wednesday its plans to invest $1 billion in a tech fund being set up by Japan's SoftBank Group.
SoftBank has said it is investing at least $25 billion in the fund and has been in talks with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for an investment that could be as much as $45 billion.
"We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple," company spokesman Josh Rosenstock told Reuters.
SoftBank has also said that it plans to make future large-scale investments via the tech fund, rather than on its own.
Reuters reported in December, citing sources familiar with the matter, that Apple had held talks with SoftBank about the investment.
SoftBank confirmed that Apple invested, said Benjamin Spicehandler, an outside public relations representative for SoftBank. He added that Foxconn, Oracle founder Larry Ellison's family office and chipmaker Qualcomm also have said they intend to invest in the fund.
China, the world’s largest coal consumer and producer, is not giving up on its long-term plans of reducing the share of coal in its overall energy mix and consequent smog and greenhouse gas emissions.
Cutbacks will be focused on smaller mines in north and east China, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.
Despite reversing in November some of the restrictions imposed to local coal miners in early 2016 due to a spike in prices for the commodity, Beijing announced late last week it will continue to cut the capacity of its coal mines by 800 million tonnes a year until 2020.
Unveiling the plan’s details, the country’s top economic planner said the goal is to eliminate “outdated” and inefficient coal capacity every year while adding 500m tonnes of “advanced” capacity. The cutbacks will be focused on smaller mines in the north-east, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
Main producers, mostly based on China’s western regions such as Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, are expected instead to boost supplies. As a result, the NDRC expects total coal output to increase to around 3.9 billion tonnes by 2020, compared to 3.75 billion tonnes in 2015. It also anticipates that the country will burn around 4.1 billion tonnes compared to 3.96 billion tonnes last year — quite a modest growth rate.
The fresh measures come on the heels of an International Energy Agency's (IEA) report that estimates China's coal use is likely to have peaked in 2013.
Coal generated 84% of all electricity in Asia’s richest economy in 2014, but the IEA's forecasts that figure will drop down to about 54% in 2040.
Beijing has also made public its intention of modernizing its coal-fired power plants by 2020 in an effort to cut “polluting” emissions by 60%. The government also aims to add over 20 million kilowatts of installed wind power and more than 15 million kilowatts of installed photovoltaic power by the end of the decade.
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Actions regarding the relations of the mining industry and mineral resources were used to be regulated by Law on Mineral Resources. However, it is deemed that the latter law has been mostly associated with the relations connected to obtaining special licenses for exploration and their payment and fees. Therefore, the Ministry of Mining has begun formulating a bill on mining.
The bill, which is being currently drawn up, will regulate all types of mining activities, from identifying mining resources, opening and closing of mines and include provisions towards the engineering and technological activities and safety of miners.
Minister of Road and Transport Development D.Ganbat established an agreement on Wednesday with the directors of subordinate divisions and policy departments in order to thoroughly realize the government objectives and actions for road and transport development in 2016-2020.
The agreement consists of 192 plans of actions, to be implemented on the margin of 26 measures of seven objectives.
The government objectives include resuming the construction of roads to reach the Asian Highway Network, connecting the centers of all provinces to the capital city, continuing the construction of the horizontal axis of the Millennium Road project and broadening of Ulaanbaatar-Darkhan auto road.
Also, the continuation of the Tavantolgoi-Gashuunsukhait railroad building, development of the feasibility study and launch of the Khuut-Bichegt railroad construction, start of the feasibility studies and blueprint of the Zuunbayan-Khangi railroad and the Bogdkhan Railroad Project and commencement of the Erdenet-Ovoot railroad construction are intended to take place in 2017.
The Ministry has been working on establishing International Agreement on Road Transport Relations with related authorities of Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Investment in windfarms will fall off a “cliff edge” over the next three years and put the UK’s greenhouse gas reduction targets at risk, a thinktank has found.
More than £1bn of future investment in renewable energy projects disappeared over the course of 2016, the Green Alliance found when it analysed the government’s latest pipeline of major infrastructure plans.
Investment in wind, solar, biomass power and waste-to-energy projects will decline by 95% between 2017 and 2020, it added.
While a slowdown in green energy investment had been expected after ministers cut several subsidy schemes over the last 18 months, the figures lay bare the dramatic extent of the decline.
“This cliff edge needs to be avoided if the UK is to meet its world leading carbon budgets and Paris agreement pledge,” Green Alliance said in its analysis.
Shortly after the EU referendum, the government committed to cutting carbon emissions by 57% by 2030 on 1990 levels, but has so far failed to spell out how it will support low-carbon energy, such as offshore windfarms, beyond 2020.
“Renewables will be cheaper than new fossil power stations by 2025 at the latest if we allow companies to build, learn, and cut their costs. But the government has been holding back the final bit of support needed to make renewables subsidy free. It’s also blocked the cheapest renewables from being built,” said Dustin Benton, acting deputy director at Green Alliance, referring to the government ending subsidies for onshore wind. “Unsurprisingly, the result is a 95% fall in investment.”
The thinktank’s analysis found that high carbon infrastructure, which it defines as fossil fuel power stations, airports and road building, was faring little better. For the first time since 2012, high carbon investment had stopped growing, and will be down by two-thirds by 2020.
“The picture of private sector investment is very clear: it is rapidly moving away from high carbon infrastructure. In contrast, public sector high carbon investment is rising, although slowly,” the authors wrote.
RenewableUK, which represents the wind power industry, said the government needed to set out its vision on energy to enable investor confidence.
Emma Pinchbeck, the group’s executive director, said: “The energy sector is changing. The infrastructure pipeline shows that the private sector understands the smart money is on the renewables industry – that is why they are moving from high carbon assets to low carbon ones.”
But the infrastructure pipeline showed the government had managed to cut £2bn from the cost of decommissioning old nuclear power plants. The thinktank said that was good news as it could free up money to spend on encouraging people to switch to lower carbon heating, which ministers have admitted is progressing slowly.
A government spokesman said: “We are fully committed to a low-carbon future and the Office for Budget Responsibility recently projected that £8.4bn will be spent on renewable projects in the UK in 2020/21.
“We are one of the best countries in the world at tackling climate change with £52bn invested in renewable projects in the UK since 2010. Last November we reaffirmed our commitment to spend £730m of annual support on renewable electricity projects over this parliament.”...
The tumultuous privatization saga of Russia’s largest oil company appears to be drawing to a close.
Swiss-British commodities trading firm Glencore and the Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund have closed a deal to purchase 19.5 percent of state-controlled Rosneft, according to a statement on Glencore’s website.
The news was followed by an announcement that Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo bank would provide a loan of up to 5.2 billion euros ($5.4 billion) – half the cash required for the deal. The bank had previously wavered on its involvement with Rosneft's privatization.
Intesa will seek to involve other banks in financing the deal. Each member of the proposed syndicate will take on part of the loan, an Intesa spokesperson told Reuters.
The developments bring a modicum of clarity to Rosneft’s otherwise opaque privatization deal.
After months of struggling to find a foreign investor for Rosneft, Russian President Vladimir Putin and CEO Igor Sechin announced in December that the Glencore-Qatar consortium would purchase the share packet. The unexpected deal reportedly came after talks with 30 different potential investors.
Putin termed the sale “the largest on the global energy market in 2016.”
Since then, however, many have cast doubt on the honesty of this “privatization.” In the deal’s wake, Glencore and Rosneft announced that the 19.5 percent share had been valued at 10.2 billion euros ($10.6 billion). The Glencore-Qatar consortium would pay 2.8 billion euros ($2.9 billion) and Intesa Sanpaolo and several unnamed Russian banks would provide a loan of 7.4 billion euros ($7.7 billion) — with Intesa providing more than 50 percent of the financing.
Shortly thereafter, however, Intesa seemed to reconsider its role in financing the sale due to EU sanctions against Rosneft.
At the time, several economic analysts interviewed by the Moscow Times said that the privatization scheme more resembled sophisticated accounting than true privatization. The real money, they suggested, was probably coming from Russian banks backed by the Russian Central Bank – with Glencore and the Qatari Fund serving as cover for the process.
The problem, analyst Boris Grozovsky said, was that the Russian banks had gone into debt to finance the deal, and were partially relying on money from Intesa to come through.
Those funds now appear to have arrived.
Emerging markets are once again an attractive target for investors due to growing middle-class incomes, flexible Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth prospects, as well as very young populations as a base for consumption, according to Credit Suisse.
“We particularly find emerging market debt in hard currency, but also in local currency, as an important part of investment strategy for next year,” said Credit Suisse's global head of investment strategy Nannette Hechler Fayd'herbe as quoted by CNBC.
According to the bank’s analysts, emerging markets have derived enough to become more resilient to international conditions, including political uncertainty tied to Brexit, a European banking crisis or Donald Trump's plans to shake up US trade policies.
“Emerging markets have a lower exposure to an export-driven growth model than is generally assumed. They have a better, balanced-type of growth model,” said Hechler Fayd'herbe.
She stressed that the vast majority of emerging market countries have only a third of their GDP dependent on international trade.
Broad emerging markets in Asia and Latin America are at an advantage due to a huge domestic consumer base, while China and India are rising at twice the pace of global growth.
According to Credit Suisse, the US dollar, euro, yen and the British pound despite post-Brexit losses are among the hard currencies due to their relative stability and acceptance for international financial transactions.
Indonesia is seen as one of the stronger-performing emerging markets with bid yield on the 10-year Indonesian government bond note is 8.07 percent versus a 2.43 percent bid yield on the US 10-year Treasury note.
Chinese markets began last year with a massive sell-off but later recovered up to a point after government reforms to stabilize the economy and open China's financial markets to global investors.
Chinese equities, as well as Hong Kong shares, will lead regional equities this year, due to positive valuations, recovery in earnings and buoyant liquidity are able to boost north-south inflows, according to Credit Suisse. Exporters are expected to gain from a gradual depreciation of the yuan, the bank added.
The only way to play in the oil trade will be to estimate energy-related currencies, such as the Norwegian krone and the Russian ruble. Russian currency is expected to fight against absolute dollar strength, said Heng Koon How, senior foreign exchange investment strategist at Credit Suisse.
The bank expects financial markets to remain challenging this year, with global GDP to grow to 3.4 percent from 3.1 percent in 2016.
Brexit could have an impact on the City in the coming months as banks decide whether to implement contingency plans to ensure they retain access to the remaining 27 EU member states by moving business out of the UK.
Theresa May, the prime minister, intends to trigger article 50 – the formal process of exiting the EU – in March and some senior officials in the financial district argue that the rest of Europe could lose out if operations are shifted out of London.
The local authority for the financial district, the City of London Corporation, has urged May to arrange transition arrangements “as soon as possible” to allay concerns of businesses which were delaying investment decisions.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which is advising several financial services institutions, said announcements could start in late February, when banks publish their preliminary results.
“A number of big banks are finalising plans for announcements they will make [this] year,” he said.
In the run-up to the 23 June referendum, banks warned about the consequences of a vote to leave the EU. US bank JP Morgan said it could move 4,000 of its 19,000 UK workforce. Its main offices are Canary Wharf, Bournemouth and Glasgow. Britain’s biggest bank, HSBC, said it might need to shift about 1,000 staff to existing operations in Paris.
A report for the lobby group CityUK by PwC, calculated that there could be 100,000 fewer jobs by 2020.
Banks may not be able to delay moving of some of their operations to the remaining EU member states – even if the government were to announce a transition period beyond the two years after triggering article 50 – because of the time it takes to get authorisation from regulators and installing new management teams.
The director of policy and strategy at CityUK, said businesses did not want to move. “There’s a real stickiness. People are here for a reason. It’s a good place to do business,’ Gary Campkin said.
“The important thing is to make sure we focus on ensuring decisions aren’t made too early or too quickly and that’s why stability is crucial.”
The Corporation of London has published data showing that financial and professional services firms employ more than 2.2 million people across the UK, not just in the City.
Campkin said: “The important thing is there is clear recognition from the UK and the EU 27 that transition arrangements, bridging arrangements, or an interim period are an important part of the process”.
This involves two arrangements: the first when article 50 is triggered to the point when the UK leaves the EU; the second covers the period from exit to allow businesses time to adapt to the new arrangements.
“This is a negotiation. It’s not just about what the UK wants. The EU 27 needs to think really carefully what’s at stake for them too … That means, whether EU corporates know it directly or not, that they will be getting benefit from access to London,” he said. New York or Singapore could benefit, he added.
Bank of England officials have warned there could be an impact on the wider EU. Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor, has said economies across the EU could lose out and that operations may move to New York, rather than another financial centre in Europe.
Sam Woods, another deputy governor at the Bank, has said the regulator is being kept informed of contingency arrangements being drawn up by City firms.
Anthony Browne, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, said all EU member states had a mutual interest in ensuring the period between concluding the UK’s exit from the trade bloc and any new relationship did not result in disruption to businesses and customers.
“Including transitional arrangements in the UK’s withdrawal agreement under article 50 would avoid a cliff-edge moment and ensure an orderly transition post-Brexit,” he said....
The US president-elect, Donald Trump, has criticised General Motors for making cars built in Mexico available tax-free in the United States.
"General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to US car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!" said the president-elect in a post on Twitter.
Mr Trump has criticised other US industry titans since his election win.
Shares in Lockheed Martin and Boeing fell after attacks from Mr Trump.
The US share markets will open at 14:30 GMT.
General Motors has moved production of its Chevy Cruze model to Mexico in the face of high demand.
Its Lordstown plant in Ohio cannot make enough vehicles, despite running three shifts each day.
Mr Trump has vowed to make good on campaign promises to bring jobs back to America by, as he puts it, levelling the playing field.