Fed officials warn on ‘thick fog’ ahead for U.S. economy as recovery concerns deepen By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin poses during a break at a Dallas Fed conference on technology in Dallas

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By Lindsay (NYSE:) Dunsmuir and Howard Schneider

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy will have a slower-than-expected recovery amid a surge in novel coronavirus cases across the country, and a broad second wave of the disease could cause economic pain to deepen again, Federal Reserve officials warned on Tuesday.

One by one, Fed policymakers have become more downbeat in recent days, resetting expectations on the recovery and cautioning that recent improvement in economic data such as job gains may be fleeting.

“The pandemic remains the key driver of the economy’s course. A thick fog of uncertainty still surrounds us, and downside risks predominate,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in a speech to a virtual event hosted by the National Association for Business Economics.

She called on the U.S. central bank to commit to providing sustained accommodation through forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases, and said additional fiscal support would be “vital” to the strength of the recovery – particularly with the first round of pandemic economic support programs expiring soon.

The Fed has since March slashed interest rates to near zero, ramped up large-scale asset purchases and launched numerous other crisis programs designed to grease the U.S. financial system and funnel credit to households and businesses.

U.S. coronavirus cases rose in 46 out of 50 states last week and deaths rose nationally for the first time since mid-April, according to a Reuters analysis.

Richmond Fed president Thomas Barkin warned on Tuesday that U.S. unemployment could rise again as businesses adjust to a likely longer recession than first anticipated, and initiatives like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) expire.

“A bunch of companies large and small are realizing this is not a two-month issue and recasting their business,” possibly jeopardizing two strong months of job growth, Barkin said in webcast remarks to the Charlotte Rotary Club.

Small business recipients of PPP loans, meanwhile, may have kept employees on staff to meet the terms of loan forgiveness, but may now consider laying them off as the program expires and demand remains weak.

Fed officials initially hoped that the virus would be brought swiftly under control in the United States to allow the economy to bounce back quickly, and admitted that the forecasts for economic growth made at their last policy meeting in June largely did not factor in the possibility of a second wave.

The renewed surge in cases has prompted some states to dial back or pause reopenings at a time when other advanced nations around the world have been able to reopen their economies more sustainably due to successful mitigation strategies.

A more “granular” health strategy, including ubiquitous mask usage, is needed to avoid a possible economic depression, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard also said on Tuesday in comments to the Economic Club of New York.

Bullard said his base case is that the economy continues to grow in the second half of the year but “the downside risk is nevertheless substantial, and better execution of a granular, risk-based policy will be critical to keep the economy out of depression,” Bullard said. He said he expected Congress by the end of the month to approve a “substantial” new fiscal package to keep households and businesses stable during the fight against the virus.

Brainard warned that a broad second wave of infections could even prompt a second dip in activity as well as reignite financial market volatility at a time of greater vulnerability.

“Nonbank financial institutions could again come under pressure … and some banks might pull back on lending if they face rising losses,” Brainard said.



U.S. business body urges Japan to end ‘double standard’ re-entry rules By Reuters




By Kiyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO (Reuters) – A U.S. business body has asked Japan to eliminate “double standard” re-entry rules and treat all residents returning to the country equally during the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of their nationality.

Japan allows its citizens to return to the country on condition they take a polymerase chain reaction test and observe a period of self-quarantine, while foreigners living in Japan face much higher hurdles for re-entry.

“Foreign residents of Japan … should not be subject to a double standard restricting their travel, economic and familial opportunities based on nationality,” the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) said in a statement dated July 13.

Foreigners living in Japan on a long-term basis, such as permanent residents and spouses of Japanese nationals, can re-enter the country if they left Japan before their destination was named as one of the 129 countries from which Japan is banning visits.

But if they left Japan for a country after the ban, the returnees need documentary proof they had exceptional reasons for their trips, such as a funeral or medical treatment, to be considered for re-entry approval.

A spokesman at Japan’s Immigration Services Agency said he had no immediate comment on the ACCJ statement.

Catherine Ancelot, a French interpreter who has lived in Japan for 32 years, said she was indignant.

“I cannot see why permanent residents like me and other long-term residents are being discriminated against by nationality,” Ancelot said.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a Japanese lawyer active on immigration issues, said the measures were damaging Japan’s national interest.

“This is being called ‘Japan risk’ among foreigners living in Japan … This residence status-related risk has prompted many foreigners to think twice about settling here and to look seriously into moving to other countries,” he said.

 

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China’s first-half exports to U.S. down 8.1% year-on-year, imports fall 1.5% By Reuters



© Reuters. Cranes and containers are seen at the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports to the United States fell by 8.1% in the first half from the same period a year earlier while imports from the U.S. declined 1.5%, customs spokesman Li Kuiwen told reporters on Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear if the figures cited by Li were yuan-denominated or dollar-denominated.

The customs agency has yet to release dollar-denominated figures for overall trade.

China and United States should create favorable conditions to implement the Phase 1 trade deal, Li said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



U.S. Cases Rise 2%; California Shuts Indoor Dining: Virus Update By Bloomberg



© Bloomberg. An employee wearing a protective mask and gloves at sanitizes a table in the outdoor dining area of a restaurant in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. A day after announcing pending closures, Mayor Gimenez said he had met with medical experts and business leaders and decided that restaurants could still provide outdoor dining and gyms could open if everyone wore a mask.

(Bloomberg) — California closed indoor dining and bars, and its two biggest school districts said they would offer remote learning only despite calls by the Trump administration for classrooms to fully reopen. The state reported a record number of people hospitalized with coronavirus.

New York City will redouble efforts to educate young people about the importance of wearing masks and keeping socially distant after an increase in cases among those ages 20 to 29.

Hong Kong reported 41 new local cases, another record high, and tightened social-distancing measures amid fears of a resurgence after weeks of near-normal activity. More than half a million residents defied the fresh outbreak and government warnings to vote in an unofficial primary.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 12.9 million; deaths surpass 569,600
  • New York school reopenings will hinge on regional infection rates
  • Covid-19 reinvades U.S. states
  • Death rate in majority-Black countries is getting worse
  • The pros and cons of pooling Covid-19 tests
  • Anonymity helped overcome stigma in handling of Korean nightclub outbreak

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.

U.S. Cases Rise 2% (3:59 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 2% as compared to the same time yesterday to 3.34 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. That was in line with the 1.9% average increase over the past week.

California Shuts Indoor Dining, Bars (3:48 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all inside dining, wineries, movie theaters and other indoor entertainment closed to control the spread of Covid-19.

Bars and breweries statewide must close all indoor and outdoor operations, while fitness centers, worship services, protests and salons must shut in counties that have been on a monitoring list for three straight days. Those counties include Sacramento, Santa Barbara, San Benito and San Diego.

California reported 109,910 new cases in the last 14 days, and 1,104 new deaths, out of a total of 329,162 cases and 7,040 deaths. The state has 1,716 new patients in hospitals for Covid-19 in the past two weeks, an increase of 28% from the previous two weeks.

California Sees Record Hospitalizations (2:25 p.m. NY)

California reported a record number of people hospitalized with coronavirus: 6,485 on Sunday, up 2.6% from the previous day. The state also reported 8,358 new cases — above the 14-day average of 7,800 — as well as 23 new deaths, well below the 14-day average of 76.

L.A., San Diego Schools Go Remote in Fall: NYT (2:05 p.m. NY)

California’s largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, said instruction will be remote only in the fall due to concerns over the coronavirus, according to the New York Times.

The school districts, which together enroll 825,000 students, are the largest in the U.S. to abandon plans for a physical return to classrooms when they reopen, the Times reported.

The joint announcement came as U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos continued to press the Trump administration’s case to quickly reopen public schools, not only for students’ social and emotional development but also to allow parents to return to work fully, the newspaper said.

Atlanta Mayor Asks N.Y. for Help (1:05 p.m. NY)

New York state will send Atlanta resources to help increase testing and tracing efforts as the number of new coronavirus cases in Georgia continue to climb.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, on Monday via video link, asked Governor Andrew Cuomo for help, saying the intensive-care unit capacity in some hospitals in the city are close to maxing out.

“We’re headed in the wrong direction,” she said. “Unless we have a coordinated approach across this country, we are going to continue to unnecessarily watch people die.”

Bottoms, a potential vice presidential pick for Democrat Joe Biden, has been at odds with Republican Governor Brian Kemp over the state’s response to Covid-19.

New York, once the center of the pandemic in the U.S., is in a “stable period” right now, Cuomo said.

He lauded Bottoms for her leadership, saying she’s doing “exactly the right thing” in slowing reopening plans and requiring masks to be worn. Cuomo said he would send a team down to aid Atlanta.

Cuomo said he’s talking to a few states as well, seeing what they need and the best way to get it to them.

Hong Kong Mandates $645 Fine for No Mask (12:15 p.m. NY)

Hong Kong ordered gyms and bars to close for a week, restored strict limits on public gatherings and introduced fines for anyone refusing to wear a mask on public transport in a fresh bid to prevent the resurgent coronavirus from spiraling out of control.

The tougher measures, to take effect Wednesday, include drastically limiting the number of people gathering in public back to four, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a press conference on Monday.

No Normal for Foreseeable Future: WHO (11:45 a.m. NY)

It would be unrealistic to expect that a perfect vaccine will become available to everyone immediately, and it’s not realistic to expect Covid-19 to disappear in the coming months, said Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s emergencies program, speaking at a briefing in Geneva.

“There will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the organization, an agency of the United Nations.

The best way to reopen schools is to do so once countries succeed in combating the spread of the disease, Ryan said. Not enough is known about the role of children in transmission, though several recent studies suggest that children over 10 are more susceptible to infection than those under 10, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead officer on Covid-19.

Separately, two scientists that the WHO has sent in an advance mission to China are working remotely with local researchers as local rules require them to stay in quarantine. Learning how animals transmitted the disease will help in fighting it, Van Kerkhove said.

Arizona Reports Fewest New Cases in Two Weeks (11:40 a.m. NY)

Arizona on Monday reported 1,357 new Covid-19 cases for a total of 123,824, an increase of 1.1% that was well below the prior seven-day average of 3.2%. It was the lowest number of new cases reported in two weeks.

The Arizona Department of Health Services also reported eight new deaths, bringing the statewide toll to 2,245.

NYC to Educate Young People on Masks (10:55 a.m. NY)

New York City will redouble efforts to educate young people about the importance of wearing masks and keeping socially distant after a rise in cases among those ages 20-29.

Young adults between the ages of 20 to 29 with Covid-19 infection increased to about 35 per 100,000 during the last week in June, from about 27 per 100,000 in the first week in June, according to the city health department. The rate among those 30 to 39 remained almost flat, to about 31 per 100,000 from about 30 per 100,000 during the same time span.

While the city is celebrating its first day of no deaths from Covid-19 since the outbreak, and its hospitalization and positivity rates are stable, it sees a troubling pattern as the phased reopening of the most populous U.S. city lures people out of their homes.

“We’re going to double down and make sure that younger adults really follow precautions,” the mayor said. “We need to remind them that they are not impervious.”

De Blasio also urged President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act now to make sure all states get the supplies they need to battle the virus.

Florida Cases Rise More Than Average (10:40 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 282,435 Covid-19 cases on Monday, up 4.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.4% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 4,277, an increase of 35, or 0.8%, according to the report, which includes data through Sunday.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time climbed to 11.5% for Sunday, from 11.3% on Saturday.

Empire State Building Observatory to Reopen (9:12 a.m. NY)

The Empire State Building plans to reopen the observatory on July 20 under New York state’s Phase 4 guidelines. Hours of operation will be reduced for the first few weeks, and initial capacity will be cut more than 80% to only 500 guests at a time.

Top U.K. Scientists Urge Making Masks Mandatory (8:30 a.m. NY)

A group of U.K. scientists is calling on the government to make face masks mandatory in indoor spaces, as evidence on the use of coverings in preventing the spread of Covid-19 grows.

The Independent SAGE panel — set up as an alternative to the U.K. government’s official coronavirus advisory committee — published a report Monday petitioning for new laws to enforce the use of masks. Legislation should be accompanied by a campaign advising the public of the benefits, according to the group.

Hong Kong Tightens Measures Amid New Wave (8 a.m. NY)

Hong Kong tightened virus control measures as it battles with a new wave of local cases. These include limiting the number of people gathering in public to four from 50, and banning dine-in services at eateries from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. The moves were announced at a news conference with Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The new social-distancing measures take effect on Wednesday.

Earlier, Hong Kong reported 41 new local cases, another record high. Government officials said 21 were related to previous clusters while 20 were of unknown origins. This suggests that hidden chains of transmission have been circulating for some time as the population returned to work and social activities.

Moderna (NASDAQ:) Vaccine Sales May Top $5 Billion (7:12 a.m. NY)

Moderna Inc.’s experimental vaccine for Covid-19 could generate sales of more than $5 billion a year, Jefferies (NYSE:) analyst Michael Yee said, initiating the stock at a buy.

Chinese Ports Jammed (7 a.m. NY)

Intensive testing of meat, seafood and other products for the coronavirus has tripled customs clearance times at some major Chinese ports, raising concerns the delays could ensnare global trade flows.

Pfizer (NYSE:), BioNTech Vaccine Candidates Fast-Tracked (6:54 a.m. NY)

Two of Pfizer and BioNTech’s four investigational mRNA-based vaccine candidates received fast track designation from the FDA. The designation was granted based on preliminary data from phase 1/2 studies that are currently ongoing in the U.S. and Germany as well as animal studies. The companies said a large, global Phase 2b/3 study may begin as early as this month.

BioNTech shares rose 5% pre-market while Pfizer gained 1.6%.

Iran’s New Cases Slightly Below Average (6:09 a.m. NY)

Iran reported 2,349 new daily cases, a 0.9% increase that is slightly below the 1% average rise from the past week. There were 203 new deaths in the past 24 hours. The country has 259,652 infections and 13,032 fatalities.

Greece Allows Flights From Sweden (6 a.m. NY)

Greece will allow direct flights from Sweden from July 22, according to government spokesman Stelios Petsas. The country will also look into allowing direct flights from non-EU countries, such as the U.S., from end of July, depending on the situation in those countries and on condition travelers have a negative test for Covid-19 carried out within 72 hours before arrival.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



Did Uncle Sam’s virus aid help your credit score? Don’t count on a loan By Reuters


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© Reuters. Rachel Levin poses outside her apartment in the Manhattan borough of New York City

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By Anna Irrera

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rachel Levine, a New York-based office furniture saleswoman, lost her job in late March without any notice or severance pay when the coronavirus outbreak shut down most of the city. The married, 44-year-old mom is still out of work, unsure when or whether she will return to her previous job.

Despite that, Levine’s credit score has risen during the pandemic. That is because she has been receiving unemployment benefits and a $600 weekly stimulus boost from the government, while other factors that usually make lenders more confident about borrowers have also worked in her favor.

“We are spending less, and credit-card companies and student-loan companies have offered a three-month pause period during the tight times,” Levine said.

Her score rose from 720 before coronavirus to 758 now. A score above 600 is generally considered decent.

Levine is not alone: Statistics provided exclusively to Reuters by personal-finance website Credit Karma show widespread and unusual improvements in credit scores lately. Yet those gains have been a mirage of sorts, economists say, because relief programs will end before everyone can get back to work and up to date on bills.

In anticipation of a more severe downturn ahead, banks have already tightened their lending policies.

“This is very temporary,” said Elizabeth Ananat, a professor of economics at Barnard College who focuses on poverty and income inequality.

Americans’ finances might worsen more dramatically than they improved once stimulus checks stop, debt deferral programs finish and tax extensions offered by the Treasury Department expire, she said.

“Come August there will be a cliff coming in terms of people’s income and, in the meantime, a lot of these forbearances that people have worked out with lenders will be ending,” Ananat said. “This is looking to get a lot worse pretty soon.”

Credit Karma analyzed scores for 80 million U.S. users from November to February, and from February to May. It found that 25% were able to improve their score before the pandemic, compared with 32% during the pandemic.

The gains were widespread. In the pre-coronavirus period, 30% of members with TransUnion (NYSE:) credit scores lower than 600 improved, compared with 38% during the pandemic.

“People are missing fewer payments … and that is allowing folks to have improved credit scores,” Anand Devendran, Credit Karma’s general manager of personal loans, said in an interview.

Bank loan statistics tell a different story.

Outstanding U.S. consumer credit fell each month from February to May for a total 2.4% decline on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Federal Reserve. The last time that metric fell was December 2015.

The decline partly reflects less loan demand during the coronavirus recession, but also shows lenders pulling back.

Senior loan officers representing 38% of U.S. banks told the Fed they were tightening standards for consumer loans and credit cards during the second quarter, up from 14% of U.S. banks that said that in the first quarter. At the height of the 2007-2009 recession, 67% of banks reported tighter standards – suggesting consumer lending conditions may worsen.

The dynamic may harm people like Kelsey Pearl, a 29-year-old bartender in Portland, Oregon, whose employer closed permanently because of the pandemic.

Pearl did not have debt before the pandemic, so her score has not changed much. Government assistance has helped with bills, but once stimulus checks end Pearl will only be eligible for $200 a week in unemployment, which would not even cover her rent.

Pearl fears she will not be able to get a loan if she needs one.

“I feel very stressed about that,” she said. “I don’t know what I am going to do.”



UK tells businesses to prepare for Brexit crunch By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Michael Gove arrives at Downing Street in London

By Paul Sandle

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is urging businesses and individuals to prepare for the Dec. 31 end of the Brexit transition period with an information campaign titled: “The UK’s new start: let’s get going.”

Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31, three and a half years after a referendum, but a transition period has delayed any major change in the relationship.

The two sides have been working to agree a trade deal ahead of that period expiring at the end of the year.

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said on Sunday progress was being made in talks but there were still divisions.

“At the end of this year we are leaving the single market and Customs Union regardless of the type of agreement we reach with the EU,” he said. “This will bring changes and significant opportunities for which we all need to prepare.”

The information campaign will launch on Monday, the government said, with ads appearing on TV, radio, billboards and online.

A survey from lobby group the Institute of Directors (IoD) said only a quarter of companies were fully ready for the end of the transition period.

Nearly half of 978 company directors polled in late June said they were not able to prepare right now, with one in seven distracted by the coronavirus and almost a third saying they needed details of changes to be clear, the IoD said.

“With so much going on, many directors feel that preparing for Brexit proper is like trying to hit a moving target,” said IoD Director General Jonathan Geldart. “Jumping immediately into whatever comes next would be a nightmare for many businesses.”

The campaign targets Britons intending to travel to the EU from Jan. 1, importers and exporters, UK nationals abroad, and EU, European Economic Area and Swiss nationals living in Britain.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Business, labor groups urge G20 to extend, expand debt freeze for poorer countries By Reuters




By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Chamber of Commerce, a global trade union and civil society groups urged the Group of 20 major economies to extend and expand a freeze in debt service payments to help not just the poorest, but also middle-income countries, weather the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.

The ICC, International Trade Union Confederation, and Global Citizen, a group pushing to end extreme poverty by 2030, also called on G20 finance ministers, who will meet online on July 18, to take additional steps to boost the participation of private creditors, who have been slow to engage.

In an open letter to be published Monday, the groups said further steps were needed since the global economy was facing an even deeper downturn than projected in April, when the G20 and Paris Club of creditors announced a freeze in debt service payments for the world’s 73 poorest countries through year-end.

Top global finance officials last week said debt restructuring may be needed on a country-by-country basis to help heavily indebted countries hit hard by the outbreak.

So far, 41 countries have applied for relief from debt servicing under the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and the Paris Club has signed agreements with 20 countries ranging from Ivory Coast to Ethiopia and Pakistan.

But many countries not eligible for the moratorium are also at risk of debt distress given the shocks caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, the group said.

They urged the major economies to boost contributions to enable the International Monetary Fund to continue providing debt service relief to its poorest members through April 2022, and to create similar instruments at regional multilateral development banks.

They also supported a request by debtor nations, which called for the creation of voluntary central credit facilities that would serve as senior debt instruments. These facilities would collect all interest and principal payments, with equal treatment of creditors in the form of proportional interest in the facility.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Turkey revokes experience requirement for central bank deputy governor By Reuters



© Reuters. A logo of Turkey’s Central Bank is pictured at the entrance of the bank’s headquarters in Ankara

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey has revoked a requirement that central bank deputy governors have 10 years prior experience and dropped a rule that banks set aside 20% of annual profit, the official gazette showed on Sunday.

According to a decree published on the gazette, signed by President Tayyip Erdogan, the phrase “worked for at least ten years in relation to their professions” in the central bank law, was removed.

The provision, which envisages 20% of the bank’s annual profit to be reserved as a reserve fund, has been repealed, the same decree said.

“The accumulated reserve funds can be distributed annually by participating in the profit, except for the reserve fund set aside from the last year’s profit,” the decree said.

In May, the bank announced it had an annual net profit of 44.73 billion lira ($6.52 billion) in 2019.

Last month, Vakifbank, Turkey’s fourth-largest lender, provoked a social media storm after it appointed a former Olympic wrestling star to its board.

State lender Vakifbank had named Hamza Yerlikaya, a Greco-Roman wrestler in the 1990s, as an independent board member on June 12, the bank announced in a stock exchange filing. Yerlikaya serves as an adviser to President Erdogan and as a deputy minister for youth and sports.

In the same decree, the CBRT was also given the opportunity to access banks’ information instantly.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



UK plans to create ‘freeports,’ cut taxes: Sunday Telegraph By Reuters



© Reuters. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leaves Downing Street, in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak is preparing to introduce sweeping tax cuts and an overhaul of planning laws in up to 10 new “freeports” within a year of the UK’s becoming fully independent from the European Union in December, the Sunday Telegraph said.

Sunak will open the bidding for towns, cities and regions to become freeports, which would place them outside UK customs territory, in his autumn budget later this year, the newspaper said, citing a copy of the plans it said it had seen. Sunak plans to confirm the successful bids by next spring and introduce major tax and regulatory changes in those areas at next year’s budget, the Telegraph added.

They include research and development tax credits, generous capital allowances, cuts to stamp duty house-purchase tax and business rates, and local relaxations of planning laws.

The successful bidders designated as freeports will ultimately be legally outside UK customs territory, with goods imported, manufactured or re-exported without incurring national tariffs or import VAT until they enter the rest of the economy.

The paper said the government believes the policy can transform ports into international hubs for manufacturing and innovation, with the economic and regulatory incentives designed to encourage firms to establish new factories and processing sites in the areas.

In a second wave of measures, customs duties, import VAT and national insurance contributions would be cut from April 2022, the paper said, making the freeports fully operational within 18 months of Britain’s departure from the EU customs union and single market.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.



Mexican foreign minister By Reuters



© Reuters. The Safran company logo is pictured at the company’s logistic area in Colomiers near Toulouse

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – France’s Safran (PA:), the world’s third-largest aerospace supplier, has began building a new factory in the northern Mexican border state of Chihuahua, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Saturday.

Ebrard said on Twitter that he was informed on July 1 that Safran “begins construction of a plant in Chihuahua to manufacture the interiors of Boeing (NYSE:) passenger planes, employing more than 800 people!”

Safran, which has two plants in the Mexican industrial city of Queretaro, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Safran in May announced it had laid off 3,000 employees in Mexico amid an unprecedented crisis in the aerospace industry stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

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