GENEVA - A World Trade Organization panel said on Monday that India had violated global trading rules in a dispute with the European Union, Japan and Taiwan over import duties on IT products.
"We recommend that India bring such measures into conformity with its obligations," the WTO panel's report said.
(Reporting by Emma Farge and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber)...
BERLIN - Germany is pushing for the European Union to include the civilian nuclear sector in the bloc's new sanctions package against Russia, the Economy Ministry said on Monday.
The European Union in February approved a 10th package of Russia sanctions on the anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, but hundreds of millions of euros' worth of trade with Russia's nuclear energy industry has not been directly affected.
"The federal government spoke to the European Commission in favour of including the civilian nuclear sector. That should be part of the next sanctions package," the ministry said in a statement.
All EU countries must agree for the bloc to impose sanctions, and Hungary has vowed to oppose any curbs on the Russian nuclear energy industry.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck said the fact that the nuclear sector was still given preferential treatment in sanctions could not be justified.
By David Shepardson
- The U.S. Treasury said Monday that Volkswagen, BMW, Nissan, Rivian, Hyundai and Volvo electric vehicles will lose access to a $7,500 tax credit under new battery sourcing rules.
The Treasury said the new requirements effective Tuesday will also cut by half credits for the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Rear Wheel Drive to $3,750 but other Tesla models will retain the full $7,500 credit.
Vehicles losing credits Tuesday are the BMW 330e, BMW X5 xDrive45e, Genesis Electrified GV70, Nissan Leaf, Rivian R1S and R1T, Volkswagen ID.4 as well as the plug-in hybrid electric Audi Q5 TFSI e Quattro and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) electric Volvo S60. The Swedish carmaker is 82%-owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
The rules are aimed at weaning the United States off dependence on China for EV battery supply chains and are part of President Joe Biden's effort to make 50% of U.S. new vehicle sales by 2030 EVs or PH...
MOSCOW - Russia's oil production is forecast to remain stable until 2025, its Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin said, while Moscow plans reserves in order to make its supplies more resilient.
Russia has decided to cut its crude oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the year in order to prop up the price of oil, a key contributor to its budget revenues.
Russian oil production has proved resilient in the face of Western sanctions, defying forecasts of a steep decline.
"According to current forecasts, oil production will be at a stable level until 2025," Sorokin was quoted as saying by Neftegazovaya vertikal magazine.
Last month, JP Morgan said Russia would be able to maintain its oil output at pre-Ukraine conflict levels due to steady demand from China and India, but it might struggle to reroute some of its oil product exports away from Europe.
Russia has so far managed to reroute oil...
By Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro, Amy-Jo Crowley and Mathieu Rosemain
LONDON - French cooperative bank Credit Mutuel Arkea is looking to sell a stake in its subsidiary Monext, following a string of European lenders that have sought external partners for their payments businesses, three people familiar with the matter told .
The group is offering a minority holding in the unit and is working with advisers at Deutsche Bank to gauge investor interest, two of the people said.
Private equity funds are looking at the unit, the other person said.
Arkea has previously partnered with Advent International and PSG Equity for two of its other financial technology ventures.
Monext could fetch a valuation as high as 350 million euros ($383 million) in a deal, or up to 14 times its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), one of the people said.
The company posted turnover of 97 milli...
(Corrects timing of end to Kollsnes maintenance outage in 5th paragraph)
By Nora Buli
OSLO - Ongoing strike action in Norway has led to the delay of scheduled maintenance at Norway's biggest producing gas field and a major processing plant, North Sea gas infrastructure operator Gassco said on Monday.
Almost 25,000 private-sector workers in Norway went on strike earlier on Monday after talks between two major trade unions and employers broke down on Sunday.
The strike action means that annual maintenance due to take place at the Troll A platform in the North Sea between April 18 April 22, curtailing exports by some 35 million cubic metres per day (mcm/day), has been cancelled.
"Maintenance cancelled due to ongoing strike," Gassco said in a market message.
Kollsnes, the plant onshore that processes the gas from Troll, is cutting short an ongoing maintenance. It started on Sunday and was due to end...
By Shaloo Shrivastava
BENGALURU - The Bank of England likely has one more hike in its tightening cycle but it was a close call for a final quarter-point rate lift in May, according to a poll of economists who said the bigger risk was inflation being higher than they expect.
Even though the Bank of England (BoE) started raising rates in December 2021, earlier than most of its peers, UK inflation has remained the highest among them, consistently running at over five times the BoE's 2% target.
At the March meeting, the BoE said there were signs inflation, last reported at 10.4% in February, was peaking and would probably fade fast, prompting speculation for a pause. However, it kept the door open for more tightening if needed.
Just over half of economists, 33 of 61, expected Bank Rate to rise 25 basis points to 4.50% at the conclusion of the next Monetary Policy Committee meeting on May 11. Three of those 33 expected one more...
HONG KONG/LONDON - HSBC's biggest shareholder Ping An is likely to vote in favour of splitting the bank up at its annual investor meeting on May 5, a source familiar with the Chinese insurer's thinking said on Monday.
The source said Ping An would vote in favour of two resolutions tabled by individual investor Ken Lui, which call for HSBC to restore dividends to 51 cents per share and to provide regular updates on the possibility of spinning off its Asia business.
HSBC recommended that shareholders vote against the resolutions, and has, since Ping An began urging the spinoff last November, maintained that its global presence is worth more than any such fragmentation would yield.
"We remain clear that our current strategy is the fastest, safest and most value enhancing way to deliver returns," a spokesperson for the bank said on Monday.
A spokesperson for Ping An declined to comment.
HSBC’s other institutional s...
LONDON - British oil and gas exploration company IGas Energy said on Monday it has been granted planning consent to develop a new oil well site in Lincolnshire.
The site is close to IGas' existing Glentworth-K site which has been producing oil for 60 years.
Lincolnshire county council has granted planning permission for an initial appraisal well and up to six horizontal development wells in the second phase of the development.
The first phase has the potential to add around 200 barrels a day (bbl/d) of oil and the second phase could add a further 500 bbl/d, IGas said in a statement.
The first phase has a mid-case net present value of 17.5 million pounds ($21.7 million), it added.
The oil produced at the site will be sold to a domestic refinery. The new well site could produce oil for up for 21 years, the company said on its website.
($1 = 0.8058 pounds)
By Elvira Pollina and Valentina Za
MILAN - Bidders for Telecom Italia's (TIM) landline grid are preparing to raise their offers of around 20 billion euros ($22 billion) by between 1 and 2 billion euros ahead of a Tuesday deadline, three sources close to the matter told .
The sale of Italy's main fixed telecoms network pits U.S. fund KKR, which is already an investor in TIM's grid, against Italian state lender CDP, which has teamed up with infrastructure fund Macquarie.
TIM is looking to sell its largest asset as CEO Pietro Labriola seeks to restructure the group, whose debt is rated as "junk" and which faces a steady revenue decline in its hyper-competitive home market.
TIM, which needs money to cut debt and relaunch its remaining services business, has asked both bidders to improve their initial offers by Tuesday. TIM's board is due to examine the offers at a May 4 meeting.
CDP, which owns 10% of TIM, initiall...
LONDON - The Bank of England (BoE) has said it is considering "improvements" to the mechanism under which depositors can recover money in their accounts at smaller banks that get into difficulties.
The central bank has declined to elaborate on the measures under review but the following looks at the issues involved if the Bank does push ahead with increasing depositor protection.
Regulators were startled by the speed at which businesses pulled out over $40 billion from now collapsed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in the United States in just 24 hours in March, a process made easier and faster by advances in online banking.
U.S. regulators are reviewing their deposit insurance system, which fully protects deposits up to $250,000 in the event of a bank failure. They had to guarantee deposits in full at SVB to help restore confidence in the banking sector and avoid rapid, social media-driven runs.
The Bank of...
MILAN - Italy's second-largest bank UniCredit on Monday appointed Silvia Viviano as Head of Equity Capital Markets, promoting her with immediate effect from her current role of Head of Alternative Capital Markets.
"The expanded role will allow Silvia to further exploit potential business opportunities across geographies and products, while managing the teams across the origination and execution efforts," the lender said in an internal memo.
Milan-based Viviano joined UniCredit in January 2022. She was previously head of EMEA Equity Capital Markets Execution team at J.P. Morgan, where she started her professional career in 2004.
UniCredit also announced the appointment of Isaac Alonso as Head of Debt Capital Markets Germany, effective from May 1.
(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, writing by Alvise Armellini, editing by Cristina Carlevaro)...
VILNIUS - Estonia's state prosecutor said on Monday she had charged six people with laundering at least $1.6 billion and 6 million euros ($6.58 million) at the defunct Estonian office of Danske Bank.
Its operations in Estonia became the focus of a massive money laundering scandal after it was discovered some 200 billion euros ($219.5 billion) in payments flowed through the non-resident portfolio of the tiny branch between 2007 and 2015.
Six former employees of the branch, identified only by their first names, intentionally concealed the real owners of funds of suspected criminal origin when transferring the money in accounts at Danske, state prosecutor Maria Entsik said.
The indictment referred to eight alleged crimes committed in Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Switzerland, the United States and Iran, Entsik's office said in a statement.
Danske Bank declined to comment when contacted by .
The bank pleaded guilty...
By Iain Withers and Elizabeth Howcroft
LONDON - Digital finance firms in Britain will find it tougher to raise funds due to higher interest rates and investor caution after the collapse of U.S.-based technology lender Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), executives told an industry event on Monday.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates eleven times since December 2021 in a bid to curb soaring inflation, which has squeezed living standards. However, the hikes have also led to higher funding costs for companies.
"The bar on capital has been raised, from an era where there was [effectively] 0% interest rates and relatively easy access to cash and capital," said TS Anil, CEO of British digital bank Monzo, speaking at the Innovate Finance conference in London.
Now, Anil said, investors are holding companies to higher standards. He said this was "healthy for the industry because it takes the froth out."
Anil said last...
- Alphabet Inc shares fell over 4% in premarket trading on Monday after a report that South Korea's Samsung Electronics was considering replacing Google with Microsoft-owned Bing as the default search engine on its devices.
The report, published by the New York Times over the weekend, underscores the growing challenges Google's $162-billion-a-year search engine business face from Bing - a minor player that has risen in prominence recently after the integration of the artificial intelligence tech behind ChatGPT.
Google's reaction to the threat was "panic" as the company earns an estimated $3 billion in annual revenue from the Samsung contract, the report said, citing internal messages.
Another $20 billion is tied to a similar Apple contract that will be up for renewal this year, the report added.
Alphabet and Samsung did not immediately respond to ' requests for comment.
Google has for decades dominated the se...
MILAN - The Italian government, which controls the country's biggest energy groups via the Treasury and state lender CDP, last week proposed new appointments for the top jobs at utility Enel, energy major Eni and power grid operator Terna.
The intense horse trading inside the government over the nominations has raised concerns among foreign investors, prompting hedge fund Covalis Capital to challenge Rome's choices on Monday with an alternative list for the board of Enel.
Here are the new managers proposed by the Treasury and their previous expertise. Their appointments will need to be approved by investors at meetings scheduled for May 9 for Terna, and May 10 for both Enel and Eni.
Flavio Cattaneo, 59, is an experienced manager and entrepreneur who will leave his role as vice president of high-speed train operator Italo to succeed current Enel CEO Francesco Starace.
He has led some big Italian companies...
By Andrea Shalal
WASHINGTON - The Group of Seven (G7) coalition will keep a $60 per barrel price cap on seaborne Russian oil, a coalition official said, despite rising global crude prices and calls by some countries for a lower price cap to restrict Moscow's revenues.
The G7 and Australia made the decision to maintain the cap over the past few weeks after a review of the $60 price - set in December with an aim to reduce Moscow's ability to finance its war in Ukraine, the official said on condition of anonymity.
It comes after four weeks of gains in benchmark oil prices helped by an output cut announced by OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, as well as a recovery in Chinese consumption. [O/R]
The market was consolidating on Monday with Brent and U.S. crude futures holding above $80 per barrel.
Russian crude has been selling at a discount of around $...
PARIS - A French court on Monday cleared European planemaker Airbus and Air France of "involuntary manslaughter," almost 14 years after an airliner ploughed into the Atlantic en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, killing everyone on board.
The ruling follows a historic public trial over the disappearance of AF447 in an equatorial storm on June 1, 2009, with families for the 228 victims demanding justice but Paris prosecutors acknowledging that formal blame could not be proved.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Juliette Jabkhiro, editing by Tassilo Hummel)...
- Chinese smartphones made up more than 70% of the Russian market in the first quarter of 2023, consumer electronics retailer M.Video-Eldorado said, up from around 50% last year.
China's smartphone surge comes after Samsung and Apple both curtailed sales in Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, with Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and Realme now occupying the market's top two spots.
Moscow is becoming more dependent on Beijing, having sharply raised its use of the yuan, increased energy supplies to China and started selling more Chinese-branded cars as Western automakers leave Russia.
Apple and Samsung have dropped to third and fourth spot respectively, from first and third in 2022, Russia's leading consumer electronics retailer M.Video said.
"Demand for brands from China in quantity terms increased by 42% relative to last year, and their total share was over 70%," M.Video added in a statement on Monday.
FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank should stop relying on banks' self-assessments when setting capital requirements and do its own homework instead, independent experts said on Monday.
It was the most notable recommendation in a report commissioned by the ECB to evaluate its work on the key task as the euro zone's top financial supervisor, namely to decide how much capital banks must have to absorb losses.
The review was launched in September, well before problems at Silicon Valley Bank in the United States and Switzerland's Credit Suisse raised questions about banking watchdogs. But its findings chime with recent calls for tougher checks.
The ECB has been blending its analysis with the banks' own to come up with capital requirements.
But the five experts - all former bank supervisors from Japan, the United States, Ireland, Spain and Canada, respectively - said this approach was "conceptually weak" and banks' own Internal...