China and France sign deals worth $15 billion during Macron’s visit By Reuters


© Reuters. French President Emmanuel Macron attends a welcome ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and France signed contracts totaling $15 billion during a visit by President Emmanuel Macron, a Chinese government official said at a news briefing on Wednesday.

Deals were struck in the fields of aeronautics, energy and agriculture, including approval for 20 French companies to export poultry, beef and pork to China.

They also agreed to expand a protocol for poultry exports reached earlier this year to include duck and geese as well as foie gras, and to work on a protocol allowing France to export pig semen to China, according to a statement from the French president’s office.

Energy deals included a memorandum of understanding between Beijing Gas Group and French utility Engie to collaborate on a liquefied terminal and storage in the northern city of Tianjin.

An executive with Beijing Gas Group told Reuters that the cooperation with Engie will also include the French firm supplying membrane technology, used for gas leak prevention, in the massive gas storage projects that China is embarking on.

Among other deals, France’s Total will set up a joint venture with China’s Shenergy Group to distribute LNG by truck in the Yangtze River Delta.

The two countries also agreed to reach an agreement by the end of January 2020 on the cost and location of a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility to be built by Orano, formerly known as Areva.

Previous plans to build the plant in Lianyungang in eastern China’s Jiangsu province were canceled after protests.

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KKR seeks $1.5 billion for third special situations fund: sources


FILE PHOTO: Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co Inc is seeking to raise $1.5 billion for its third special situations fund, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

KKR Special Situations Fund III, which was registered with regulators in June, will acquire distressed debt at a discount, said three sources who requested anonymity to discuss the matter.

KKR, which has not announced the fundraising target, declined to comment. It told investors during its second-quarter earnings call in July that it was fundraising for a special situations fund.

New York-based KKR closed its first special situations fund after raising $2 billion from investors in 2014. Its second closed with $3.35 billion in 2016.

Special situations funds invest in the bonds of companies about to go bankrupt, with hopes of earning substantial gains when the firms return to financial health.

KKR’s special situations investments include Gibson, a Nashville-based guitar manufacturer, and Telepizza, a pizza delivery company based in Madrid.

U.S. private equity firms are expected to raise about $220 billion this year, according to data provider Pitchbook, as institutional investors continue to seek returns not available in public markets.

(This story corrects “situations” to plural throughout.)

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Richard Chang



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Norway Central Bank Hikes Policy Rate to 1.5% vs 1.25% By Investing.com


© Reuters.

Investing.com — Norway’s hiked its policy rate to 1.5% from 1.25%, saying that “Growth in the Norwegian economy remains solid, and capacity utilzation is somewhat above a normal level,” adding that “underlying inflation is close to the inflation target.” However, it revised down its estimates for the future path of the policy rate, citing “weaker growth prospects and lower interest rates abroad.”

  • Says higher policy rate needed to “mitigate the risk of a renewed acceleration in debt growth and house price inflation.”
  • Warns that “considerable uncertainty surrounding global growth prospects” warrants caution in future.
  • Krone strengthens to 1-month high vs dollar in response; USD/NOK at 8.9046 vs 8.9426 before the announcement.
  • EUR/NOK at 9.8589 vs 9.8951 beforehand, testing two-month low.
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.





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Raymond James to pay $15 million for improperly charging investors: SEC


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Financial services firm Raymond James & Associates, a unit of Raymond James Financial Inc , has agreed to pay $15 million to settle charges it improperly charged advisory fees on inactive retail client accounts and charged excess commissions for some brokerage customer investments.

The SEC said Raymond James failed to consistently perform reviews of inactive advisory accounts, failing to determine whether the client’s fee-based account was suitable. The firm also applied the wrong pricing data to some investments, causing clients to overpay fees.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama



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Huawei Dangles $1.5 Billion in a Hunt for Global Developers By Bloomberg



(Bloomberg) — Huawei Technologies Co. is offering $1.5 billion to partners willing to build software for its future chip and computing platforms, courting developers worldwide at a time the U.S. is heightening scrutiny of the Chinese tech giant.

China’s largest technology company aims to invest that amount in its existing developer program over the next five years, Deputy Chairman Ken Hu told attendees at an annual customer conference Wednesday. The program was established to encourage external parties to create apps for Huawei services, including possibly its just-unveiled in-house smartphone software, HarmonyOS.

Huawei is accelerating its outreach at a time the Trump administration has imposed sanctions on the sale of American technology and encouraged its allies to cut ties with the Chinese company. Huawei, which has repeatedly denied Washington’s claims it poses a threat to U.S. national security, says it’s intent on leading advanced fields such as artificial intelligence chips and software. It’s now developing alternatives to U.S. technology to help safeguard the world’s largest networking business.

The company intends to build its base of partner-developers to 5 million eventually, Hu said.

“This work has already started and we’ve received very good feedback,” he told an audience of technology executives in Shanghai. “We have implemented this strategy and we’re looking forward to more partners joining us.”

Read more: Huawei Tries to Romance a Washington That Spurns Its Overtures

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum Murphy

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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. says trade aid payments to farmers to range from $15


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

By Humeyra Pamuk and Karl Plume

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. government will pay American farmers hurt by the trade war with China between $15 and $150 per acre in an aid package totaling $16 billion, officials said on Thursday, with farmers in the South poised to see higher rates than in the Midwest.

The assistance, starting in mid-to-late August, follows Republican President Donald Trump’s $12 billion package last year that was aimed at making up for lower farm good prices and lost sales.

U.S. farmers, a key Trump constituency, have been among the hardest hit in the year-long trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Shipments of soybeans, the most valuable U.S. farm export, to top buyer China sank to a 16-year low in 2018.

Democrats criticized the move, saying farmers needed fair trade instead of a bailout. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue argued that U.S. farmers were disproportionately hurt by the trade dispute and that the new round of aid was justified.

“President Trump has a great affection for America’s farmers and ranchers and it’s pretty evident in this program,” Perdue said. “He knows that they are fighting the fight and they are on the front line.”

In the new aid package, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it would pay farmers according to geographic location rather than by crop – a change from last year.

“There were a number of factors from last year’s programs that we wanted to correct,” USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson said in a call with reporters.

Farmers in the cotton-growing Mississippi Delta states stand to be the greatest beneficiaries of the program, according to a Reuters analysis of the payment rates posted online.

The average county payment rate is about $95 per acre in Alabama, $87 in Mississippi and $70 in Louisiana. Payment rates were lower in the Midwest, with a $69-per-acre county average in Illinois, the country’s top soybean producer, and a $66 average in Iowa, the top corn- and hog-producing state.

The program covers 29 commodity crops, including soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum and upland cotton. It also covers dairy and hog farmers, as well as farms that grow 10 specialty crops – including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cranberries and fresh sweet cherries.

Johansson said the minimum and maximum payment rates were based on an analysis of 10 years of trade data and the amount countries with retaliatory tariffs, including China and India, could have imported.

“These payments are enough to make a difference, kind of get us to the harvest,” said Tim Bardole, an Iowa corn and soybean farmer.

To be eligible for payments, crops must be planted by Aug. 1, 2019, the USDA said. The number of farm acres that could not be planted was at a historic level this year because of Midwest flooding, officials said, further straining the farm economy.

NOT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION

While farm and industry groups welcomed the support, they continued to push for the Trump administration to end trade fights and strike deals with top export markets.

Such federal financial support, the Illinois Farm Bureau said in a statement, “is not a long-term solution.” The National Cotton Council said there had been significant cancellations and deferrals of U.S. cotton sales to China over the past year.

Trade talks between China and the United States broke down in May after getting close to a potential agreement and were only revived in a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.

Next week, top U.S. and Chinese negotiators will be meeting face-to-face for the first time since then.

Promises of large agricultural purchases by China have been a key element of a potential deal, but Washington has complained that Beijing has not delivered on those fully. Perdue said that of the 20 million tonnes of soybeans China committed to buy, 13.6 million tonnes had been purchased so far.

USDA officials said sign-ups for the payments would begin on Monday and last until Dec. 6. Additional payments are scheduled for November and January but will depend on whether trade disputes are still ongoing.

Payments are capped at $500,000 per person or legal entity.



Investors pull $1.5 billion from India equities so far in July: IIF


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Non-residents have pulled about $1.5 billion from Indian equities so far in July, reversing a strong trend of inflows in previous months, data from the Institute of International Finance showed on Wednesday.

“Unlike other episodes, which mostly coincided with broader (emerging market) outflows such as August 2015 and October 2018, these outflows are largely contained to India,” the IIF said in a report that includes data to July 22.

Indian equities had seen $11.34 billion in inflows from non-residents during the first half of 2019, the data show. July could be the first month of net outflows from Indian equities since $75 million exited in January.

The iShares MSCI India ETF rose 5.9% in the first half of the year, gaining as much as 9.4% for the year when it peaked in June. The fund has fallen 4.2% so far in July.

Flows activity between July 8 and July 22 accounted for the fourth-largest two-week equity outflow in India over the last five years, according to the IIF.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Lisa Shumaker



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China’s debt tops 300% of GDP, now 15% of global total: IIF By Reuters



(Reuters) – A key gauge of China’s debt has topped 300% of gross domestic product, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF), as Beijing steps up support for the cooling economy while trying to contain financial risks.

China’s total corporate, household and government debt rose to 303% of GDP in the first quarter of 2019, from 297% in the same period a year earlier, the IIF said in a report this week which highlighted rising debt levels worldwide.

The IIF is a private global financial industry association, based in Washington.

“While authorities’ efforts to curb shadow bank lending (particularly to smaller companies) have prompted a cutback in non-financial corporate debt, net borrowing in other sectors has brought China’s total debt to over $40 trillion – some 15% of all global debt,” the report said.

“Of note, onshore bond issuance suggests a big pickup in borrowing by local governments and banks this year.”

China’s economic growth slowed to 6.2% in the second quarter, its weakest pace in at least 27 years, as demand at home and abroad faltered in the face of mounting U.S. trade pressure.

To revive investment and protect jobs, Beijing has been encouraging banks to lend more, particularly to struggling smaller firms. It has also unveiled billions of dollars in tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

In the first half of this year, local governments’ total net bond issuance reached 2.1765 trillion yuan ($316.5 billion), the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

Chinese officials have said repeatedly said debt risks are manageable overall.

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.



Australian developer LendLease lands $15 billion project with Google; shares surge


(Reuters) – Australia’s LendLease Group (LLC.AX) on Thursday said it secured a contract with Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google to develop $15 billion worth of residential and retail space in Silicon Valley, sending the builder’s stock to a more than eight-month high.

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The deal is a significant boon for LendLease, coming at a time when Australian developers navigate the domestic property market’s worst downturn in a generation, characterized by a drop in building approvals and tighter consumer spending.

It is also a major win for LendLease’s strategy to expand abroad, and will see it reinforce its core role as a residential developer after being hobbled by its engineering division.

“It’s an important deal and the client is very well known and it’s likely to be a very innovative development,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets

“So in reputation terms, it’s a positive for the company and it may very well attract further attention, in particular attention from international players.”

The announcement sent LendLease’s share price up in morning trade by as much as 5.3% to A$14.84, its highest since Nov. 8.

In a statement, LendLease said it will develop up to 15 million square feet (1.4 million square meters) of residential, retail and hospitality space and associated amenities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and that Google will develop office space.

Last month, Google said it would set aside $750 million worth of land and $250 million in financing to spur developers in the San Francisco Bay Area to build at least 20,000 homes and renovate other housing over the next decade.

LendLease said it will partner Google for the next 10 to 15 years to redevelop the U.S. firm’s landholdings in Sunnyvale, San Jose and Mountain View, with work starting as early as 2021.

It quoted Google Vice President of Real Estate and Workplace Services David Radcliffe as saying the deal would boost the tech firm’s plans to “accelerate the production of residential units in the Bay Area” and “build mixed-use developments”.

“LendLease will play a key role in helping deliver at least 15,000 new homes on our land,” Radcliffe said in LendLease’s statement.

LendLease is currently involved in over 100 developments in the United States with most of its marquee projects located in New York. The Americas accounted for 25% of new work secured last year, LendLease’s 2018 annual report showed.

In February, it reported a 96.3% drop in first-half net profit due to reduced productivity in its engineering and services businesses, and cut its dividend by almost two-thirds.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambill; Additional reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christopher Cushing



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