Name organizer Where
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London



European Commission wants to suspend funding Spain & Portugal www.rt.com

The European Union should suspend structural funds to Spain and Portugal after they failed to reduce their budget deficits to below prescribed levels, AFP reports citing a letter from the EU’s executive arm.
The eurozone finance ministers decided this month to start sanctions procedures against the two countries for breaching EU spending rules. Sanctions could be a fine of up to 0.2 percent of a country's GDP and the suspension of commitments or payments from EU structural funds of up to 0.5 percent.
European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said "socio-economic factors," including the countries' high rates of unemployment, should be taken into account when deciding how much to suspend.
"We remain at your disposal to participate in a structural dialogue with the European Parliament on the application of these measures, with a view to make a balanced proposal," Katainen said in a letter to the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.
The letter also contained a list of 12 Portuguese and 60 Spanish funds that could be suspended, either completely or in part. Structural funds are used to address regional disparities within the bloc.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has also proposed the Commission completely or partially suspend structural funds for projects in 2017 as a penalty.
Madrid and Lisbon are accused of not making “sufficient effort” to cut their budget deficits which, according to EU fiscal rules, should be no more than three percent of GDP. The criterion was introduced ahead of the euro launch in 1999 and so far no country has been penalized for breaking them.
Spain was asked by Brussels to lower the deficit to 4.2 percent of GDP in 2015, from 5.9 percent in 2014, but the country ended up with a 5.1 percent shortfall instead.
Portugal's shortfall was 4.4 percent last year, a drop from 7.2 percent in 2014 and from almost 10 percent in 2010.
"There is no justification for imposing sanctions for not reaching a target in 2015, when the European Commission itself recognizes that we will reach this year's goal," said Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa. The country is aiming for a budget deficit fewer than three percent of GDP this year.


Russian-Made Volkswagens to Reach New Mexican Market www.themoscowtimes.com

Volkswagen has opened its first export market outside the former-Soviet block for Russian-made cars. A new shipment deal with Mexico will see several hundred Volkswagen Polos transported to Central America from a automobile manufacturing plant in Kaluga, a source close to the factory confirmed.
While the total number of cars due to be exported in 2016 had not been confirmed, Volkswagen usually ships approximately 10,000 automobiles from Russian annually, most of which are Polo sedans, the source said.
The company has not given any official reasons for choosing to export to Mexico, but the country's automobile market is large and growing, with 465,000 units sold between January and April 2016. Some 1.5 million cars are expected to be sold before the end of the year, said Autostat executive director Sergei Udalov. As in Russia, sedans are amongst the most popular cars in Mexico, with the Nissan Versa, Volkswagen Vento (Polo in Russia), and Chevrolet Aveo taking the top three spots for country-wide sales.
Volkswagen's manufacturing facilities in Mexico do not produce the Polo, instead producing the company's Jetta, Beetle, and Golf models.
A Volkswagen Vento (Polo Sedan) is popular with Mexican taxi companies and middle-class buyers, selling for 179,990 pesos ($9,577). The models in Mexico are currently shipped from India, but buyers have no strong preference on where their cars are made, one Volkswagen dealer in Mexico said. It costs just 60,000 rubles ($900) per automobile to ship from Kaluga through St. Petersburg to Mexico, according to calculations by Infoline Analysts CEO Mikhail Burmistrov.
Unlike Mexico, the Russian car market is shrinking. Sales could fall by as much as 10.3 percent, with just 1.44 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles likely to be sold in 2016, according to the Association of European Businesses.
In addition to the Polo, the Volkswagen Kaluga plant produces the Tiguan and Skoda Rapid models, and assembles Audis. Yet the plant is running far below its annual capacity of 225,000 vehicles. One source close to management at the factory said that the plant had only produced 44,000 automobiles in the first five months of 2016. By expanding exports, the company is helping the Russian plant reach capacity and lowering the cost of each car, said Autostat executive director Sergei Udalov.
A state program starting this year is to support the export of Russian automobiles with some 3.3 billion rubles ($50 million) of government funding, Udalov said. Volkswagen is also likely to be counting strongly on this support- but the firm is hoping for greater government backing.
The company is proposing an export-import scheme where a manufacturer can gain credit for each unit exported to offset import customs duties, excise taxes or other costs, a Volkswagen representative said.
India employs a similar scheme and the German automaker is proposing that Russia adopt it as well, the representative of one Russian automobile company said. An Economic Development Ministry representative said the Ministry is “studying the question.”
Yet providing support for exporters involves more than just compensating companies for logistics, R&D, and certification expenses, said one spokesperson from Russia's GAZ automobile company. The government must create free trade zones and reach special agreements with key partner countries to establish tax incentives and eliminate customs duties for companies with local assembly facilities, the spokesperson said.


Gold demand remains stable during sector weakness www.mining.com

My favorite indicator for real time Gold demand is the amount of Gold in the GLD and its fluctuations over time. As we wrote in our book, the driving force for Gold is investment demand which is driven by changes in real interest rates. Western-based investment demand from big money (i.e Stan Druckenmiller and George Soros) shows up mostly in the ETFs and specifically, GLD. The amount of Gold in GLD has risen steadily even as Gold consolidated a few months back and has been stable in recent weeks even as Gold and gold stocks correct their Brexit breakouts.
The chart below includes the price of Gold, the amount of Gold in GLD (bottom) and the rolling quarterly change in the amount of Gold in GLD. Even as Gold consolidated for several months in the spring, the amount of Gold in GLD increased. Over the past few weeks Gold has retreated by $65/oz yet the GLD has only lost 2% of its Gold. Moreover, note that the recent demand surge (quarterly change) is the second strongest of the past 10 years.
Note how strong demand for Gold was from 2006 to the middle of 2010. Even though Gold corrected 30% during the financial crisis, GLD only experienced minor outflows of Gold. After Gold bottomed in October 2008, demand exploded.
Interestingly, demand peaked in the middle of 2010 and went sideways for a few years before succumbing to the bear market. That lack of strong demand in 2011 while Gold surged, in hindsight was a warning sign.
In short, this data (amount of Gold in GLD) can be somewhat of a leading indicator for the sector. It has been in the past and it has worked well so far this year. Unless we see huge outflows from the GLD then there isn’t much reason to be concerned with the current correction in Gold and gold stocks.
Turning to the technicals, we find that Gold appears headed for a test of support at $1275 to $1300. That would be a retest of the area from which Gold exploded in the wake of Brexit. It also marks previous resistance. Gold’s primary trend remains bullish as it holds comfortably above key long-term moving averages shown in the chart (which are equivalent to the 20-month and 40-month moving averages).
Like Gold, the gold miners and junior gold stocks could be retesting their Brexit breakout. The stocks may be forming a bear flag (yellow) which would lead to another move lower. If that plays out then look for a test of the support points shown, including the 50-day moving averages.
While Gold and gold shares are correcting now, the real time data coming from GLD suggests Gold demand is and should remain firm. Traders and investors are advised to monitor flows in and out of GLD in order to keep tabs on real time investment demand for Gold. This is one of the many things we monitor to stay in tune with market trends. The short-term trend is down and further weakness would bring about a good buying opportunity in select companies. For professional guidance in riding the uptrend in Gold, consider learning more about our premium service including our favorite junior miners which we expect to outperform in the second half of 2016.


Ousted chief of Swedish tech giant Ericsson to get millions in payouts www.rt.com

Hans Vestberg, the ousted CEO of Swedish telecom company Ericsson, is reportedly receiving millions in payouts amid the company's financial problems.
The decision by Ericsson's board of directors to remove Vestberg from his post was announced on Monday. 

“Hans Vestberg steps down as president and CEO and member of the board of directors of Ericsson with immediate effect,” a statement on Ericsson's website reads.

“In the current environment and as the company accelerates its strategy execution, the board of directors has decided that the time is right for a new leader to drive the next phase in Ericsson’s development,” the statement continues. 

However, Vestberg, who served in the position for seven years, will apparently be vastly rewarded for his service to the company. Swedish media outlet Dine Penger reported that he will receive compensation of some 28 million Swedish kroner (US$3.2 million).

The first installment of 7 million kroner should be handed over to the former CEO during his six-month notice period, Swedish newspaper Norran reported.

The outlet also cited Vestberg's press officer as saying that “after the notice period he will get 21 million in severance pay, which corresponds to 18 months of salary. If he gets a new job within these 18 months, the payout could be cut to up to 50 percent.”

In July, Vestberg voiced plans to boost the company’s cost-cutting program – which already amounts to $1 billion – by nearly 50 percent, The Financial Times reported. Citing Swedish media, the outlet added that the measure could see up to 25,000 people losing their jobs. The company currently employs over 116,000 workers.

Prior to Vestberg’s ousting, two main shareholders of Ericsson – Investor AB and Industrivarden – had voiced criticism over the company’s poor performance, Reuters reported.

Sales have plunged by 11 percent in the second quarter of 2016. But it’s not just the poor financial performance of the company over the past years and months that has launched Vestberg into a negative spotlight.

The ex-top manager was also part of an anti-corruption investigation, The Financial Times reported. Vestberg additionally faced criticism over the use of private jets and the amount of his salary, paid by a company which has been struggling to stay afloat, compared to rivals such as Nokia and Huawei.



Taiwan is first overseas market for SoftBank's humanoid robot www.asia.nikkei.com

TAIPEI -- SoftBank on Monday officially launched its humanoid robot Pepper in Taiwan, as the Japanese tech giant seeks to expand sales beyond its home market of the emotionally intelligent gadget that offers services from banking to companionship for the elderly.

During a demonstration of its abilities, Pepper spoke in Mandarin Chinese and responded clearly to questions in the same language, and also showed off its English language capabilities.

Initially, SoftBank and its Taiwanese agent are only marketing Pepper to corporate clients, with the financial services sector a main target. No schedule has been set for Pepper's availability to retail customers in Taiwan.

"Turnover is high in Taiwan's services sector, and we are hoping that Pepper can become an immediate help to local companies," Vincent Lin, general manager of Pepper's Taiwanese agent Perobot, told reporters during the launch event on Monday.

Perobot is offering Pepper for hire at the monthly rate of 26,888 New Taiwan dollars ($836) with a minimum contract of two years. In Japan, Pepper is selling at a retail price of 198,000 yen ($1,863) but customers also have to pay extra services and insurance fees of 24,600 yen per month for a minimum period of three years.

Perobot said its target is to lease out 60 units per month by the first half of 2017.

Perobot is a wholly-owned subsidiary of key iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, commonly known as Foxconn Technology Group.

SoftBank enjoys strong ties to Taiwan as manufacturing giant Foxconn makes Pepper for the Japanese company.

Looking to the next stage of expansion, SoftBank has set up a joint venture with Foxconn and Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding to market Pepper worldwide.

While SoftBank has recently announced a deal to acquire British chip designer ARM, Pepper runs on an Intel core processor.



Oil price drops to three-month low on oversupply fears www.bbc.com

Oil prices have fallen to a three-month low, hit by rising concerns that a global oversupply of both crude and natural gas will dampen prices.
US oil fell 2.4% to $43.11 (£32.72) a barrel, its lowest level since April, meaning it has now fallen by 12% so far this month.
Brent crude dropped 2.1% to $44.75, its lowest level since 10 May.
Shares in oil and firms also lost ground, with Exxon Mobil shares down 1.8% and Chevron down 2.6%.
"Crude oil markets have been under pressure as oil supplies have started growing with the resumption of output from the capacity lost due to wildfires in the Canadian oil sands," said EY energy analyst Sanjeev Gupta.

Data from market intelligence firm Genscape also suggested US production had increased.
Inventory at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery base rose by 1.1 million barrels in the week to 22 July.
"Supply continues to return from disruptions, refined products are severely oversupplied, crude demand is falling well short of product demand, and key product demand is decelerating," Morgan Stanley said in a note.
On Friday, data showed the amount of US oil and gas extraction points had increased for the fourth week in a row.
The slump in prices from as high as $115 per barrel in 2014 led many shale oil producers to cut the number of rigs as producing oil was no longer profitable.
But despite a decrease in American crude supplies over the past year, there are still large stocks of gasoline in the country, even as the US hits its summer driving peak.
The value of the dollar which has steadily risen over the past month has also put pressure on crude oil prices.



Industrial production advances slightly in first two quarters www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The industrial production index (seasonally adjusted) was 147.1 (2010=100) in June 2016 which increased by 3.1 percent against the end of May, and by 10.9 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.
In the mining and quarrying sectors, the extraction of products such as iron ore, coal, molybdenum with concentrate, crude oil, copper with concentrate and gold increased by 3.6 percent to 78.4 percent and in the manufacturing sector the output of products such as bakery, wooden doors and windows, cathode copper (99%), soft drinks, spirit, alcoholic beverages, sausages, railway sleepers, electric wires, printing plastic cards increased by 1.2 percent - 2.2 times against the same period of the previous year.
However, extraction of products such as zinc concentrate, fluorspar concentrate, broken or crashed stone decreased by 6.2-50.3 percent.
In the manufacturing sector, production of major consumer products such as beer, buuz and dumpling, metal sleepers, lime, cement, articles of iron concrete, sawn wood, windows and doors, metal steel, metal foundries and steel casting decreased by 0.6-96.1 percent.
Construction and capital repair works’ volume in the first half of 2016 declined by MNT 276.0 million or 0.04 percent compared with the same period of last year. The decrease was mainly due to the slack of MNT 19.9 billion or 61.0 percent in the works done by foreign construction entities.


Japan, US, Australia urge peaceful resolution www3.nhk.or.jp

Japan, the United States and Australia have urged that disputes in the South China Sea be resolved peacefully.
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Laos on Monday. It's the first strategic discussion among the 3 nations in nearly 3 years.
They agreed that the disputes should be resolved peacefully under the rule of law after an arbitration tribunal in The Hague this month rejected China's claims in the South China Sea.
The three also said they will urge China to adhere to international rules at a foreign ministers meeting of the East Asia Summit and a ministerial conference of the ASEAN Regional Forum on Tuesday.
They also issued a joint statement affirming close coordination to maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.
The statement said the 3 countries are opposed to any action that increases tension in the East China Sea. It also condemned North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs and called on Pyongyang to refrain from further provocation.
Kishida told reporters that Japan will work with the US, Australia and other countries at a series of meetings to be held on Tuesday.
He added that he will make clear that Japan is committed to upholding the rule of law in the region.


Marissa Mayer hits out at 'gender bias' as Yahoo is sold for $5bn www.theguardian.com

Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s core internet business for $4.83bn (£3.62bn) in cash on Monday, marking the final chapter in the struggling fortunes of the fading web pioneer.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s chief executive officer, has faced a barrage of criticism over her tenure. She hit out at “gender-charged” reporting in an interview with the Financial Times after the sale.
“I’ve tried to be gender-blind and believe tech is a gender-neutral zone but do think there has been gender-charged reporting,” she said. “We all see the things that only plague women leaders, like articles that focus on their appearance, like Hillary Clinton sporting a new pantsuit. I think all women are aware of that, but I had hoped in 2015 and 2016 that I would see fewer articles like that. It’s a shame.”
Verizon, the US’s largest telecommunications company by subscribers, will combine Yahoo with another fallen giant of the first internet age, AOL, which it bought last year for $4.4bn.
After the deal, expected to be complete in 2017, Yahoo will be left as a holding company for its valuable stakes in web businesses in China and Japan. Yahoo has a 15% stake in the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba and a 35.5% interest in Yahoo Japan.
“The sale of our operating business, which effectively separates our Asian asset equity stakes, is an important step in our plan to unlock shareholder value for Yahoo,” Mayer said in a statement on Monday.
Founded in a Stanford University dorm room in 1994 by Jerry Yang and David Filo as “Jerry and David’s Guide To The World Wide Web”, Yahoo grew rapidly through the 1990s to become one of the pre-eminent internet companies of its generation.
Offering email, news, shopping and search, Yahoo went public in 1996, with its share price soaring 154% on day one. In January 2000, Yahoo was valued at $125bn. But the company failed to keep pace with the changing tech landscape as Google came to dominate search and Facebook social media.
Microsoft launched a $44.6bn hostile bid for Yahoo in 2008. On Monday, the company was valued at $37bn while Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was valued at $518bn and Facebook at $349bn.
The new generation of tech companies have also outstripped Yahoo. Mayer’s company may still have more than one billion active monthly users but Verizon’s price is less than a quarter of Snapchat’s current valuation.
Yahoo will continue as an independent company until the deal receives shareholder and regulatory approval, the companies said.
The sale is an ignominious end to Mayer’s plans to turn Yahoo around. Mayer, a highly rated Google executive, joined Yahoo in July 2012. Before her arrival the company was in disarray and had had four CEOs in three years.
Mayer promised a “renewed focus on product innovation to drive user experience and advertising revenue”. But shareholders lost faith in her after a wild spending spree in which she tried to build Yahoo’s content business by adding the blog site Tumblr, for $1.1bn, and signed deals with TV news anchor Katie Couric and the National Football League that failed to pay off.
In a Tumblr blogpost, Mayer said she planned to stay at Yahoo, but Verizon’s Marni Walden, who will head the combined company, told CNBC the new leadership team had yet to be determined.
Should Mayer be forced out, she is in for a payoff of $137m. Yahoo’s boss has already taken home $78m since she was installed as CEO, according to the stock analytics firm MSCI. Based on the terms of the company’s most recent proxy statement, she will take home another $59m if she’s dismissed from the company after a buyout.
Some commentators were skeptical about the combined power of AOL and Yahoo. John Colley, a professor at Warwick Business School, said the merger was an alliance of two weak companies unlikely to form a single strong one. “Technology history is littered with the remnants of once all-powerful businesses – take Nokia and RIM, makers of the Blackberry,” Colley said. He said it was difficult to see how Verizon would benefit from this acquisition.
The sale does not include Yahoo’s cash, its shares in Alibaba, its shares in Yahoo Japan, Yahoo’s convertible notes, certain minority investments and Yahoo’s non-core patents.
The Alibaba and Yahoo Japan investments are worth about $40bn, while Yahoo had a market value of about $37.4bn as of Friday’s close.
Verizon prevailed over rival bidders for Yahoo, including AT&T; a group led by the Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and backed by the billionaire Warren Buffett; the private equity firm TPG Capital; and a consortium of buyout firms, Vector Capital and Sycamore Partners.
The telecoms company is hoping that a combined AOL and Yahoo will create a strong third player to compete with Alphabet and Facebook for online revenues.


Amazon gets permission from UK to explore drone deliveries www.reuters.com

Amazon.com Inc said on Monday it has entered into a partnership with the British government to speed up the process for allowing small drones to makes deliveries.
The world's biggest online retailer, which has laid out plans to start using drones for deliveries by 2017, said a cross-government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority had provided it with the permissions necessary to explore the process.
Amazon unveiled a video last year showcasing how an unmanned drone could deliver packages, narrated by former Top Gear TV host Jeremy Clarkson.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said last month the use of drones for deliveries will require separate regulation from their general use.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said last month it was six to nine months from beginning to use drones to check warehouse inventories in the United States.