India in talks with EU for trade deal, open to pact with UK By Reuters


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© Reuters. 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos

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By Aftab Ahmed

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has started trade talks with the European Union (EU) and is open to dialogue with the United Kingdom for a free trade agreement, the trade minister said on Saturday, as Asia’s third largest economy looks for new markets for its products.

Piyush Goyal said that India is open to engage with the UK for a preferential trade agreement with the ultimate goal of a free trade agreement.

He is also in dialogue with the European Union’s trade commissioner for a deal that could start with a preferential trade agreement. He added that the ultimate goal here too would be to have a free trade agreement.

“We’re talking to the EU and I am in dialogue with the EU trade commissioner. I am looking for an early harvest deal. Open to discussions on a variety of subjects. It’s up to the UK and EU whoever picks up the gauntlet first,” Goyal said.

Negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and India were suspended in 2013 after six years of talks.

India pulled out of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership last year due to fears over China’s access to its markets and is looking for new ways to boost its exports.

The country has also been raising trade barriers to block cheap imports from China and replace them with locally made goods for domestic consumption and exports.

“Apart from pharmaceuticals, we have textiles, handicrafts, leather, furniture, industrial machinery, toys are areas where India can engage with UK & EU at competitive prices,” Goyal said.

India’s economic growth has largely been driven by local consumption and successive governments have struggled to expand exports.

In the last six years Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been trying to push exports through various programmes like “Make in India” but with limited success.

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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.



Embraer union seeks planemaker’s board ouster after failed Boeing deal By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at the LABACE fair in Sao Paulo

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By Marcelo Rochabrun

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A union representing workers at Embraer filed a lawsuit on Friday seeking to dismiss the company’s board, after a $4.2 billion deal with Boeing Co (N:) collapsed amid the pandemic, claims the Brazilian planemaker said were an act of “bad faith.”

The failed deal left the Brazilian jetmaker scrambling for a new path forward as the coronavirus pandemic hammered travel demand.

Embraer said the union was “using unfounded allegations and distorting information in order to confuse public opinion and the company’s workers.” It added it had yet to be served.

The lawsuit is the latest headache for Embraer in the aftermath of its breakup with Boeing. Under the deal signed in 2018, Boeing was going to buy the majority of Embraer’s commercial aviation unit in order to take on Airbus in the mid-range jet segment.

But the deal collapsed at the 11th hour in April, leaving Embraer and Boeing pointing fingers at each other.

The lawsuit accuses Embraer’s board of having allowed Boeing to conduct what amounted to “espionage,” by having its U.S. engineers work within Embraer’s research and development unit during the time when the deal seemed like it would in fact materialize.

In the wake of the pandemic, Embraer is now being supported by the government through a $600 million loan and said this week it was negotiating a buyout program. It posted a loss of $210 million last quarter.

Embraer’s board “operates creating billionaire losses and passing on the cost of its incompetence to workers,” the union alleged in court papers.

The planemaker said the union’s claims showed “ignorance about the company and its management.”

The Boeing-Embraer deal was subject to several lawsuits, including by the metalworkers union which sought to stop it. Some judges initially agreed to block the deal, but appeal judges ultimately overturned all allegations.

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 labor activist’s arrest sends ‘wrong signal’ under North America trade deal By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Susana Prieto, a lawyer and labor activist, advises employees of an Electrocomponentes de Mexico factory during a protest to halt work amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ciudad Juarez

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By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – As the new North America trade deal takes effect on Wednesday, the jailing of Mexican labor lawyer and independent union leader Susana Prieto has reignited concern about the challenges of meeting its labor rights provisions.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed last December after a flurry of final negotiations over demands from U.S. Democratic lawmakers for stricter enforcement of Mexico’s labor standards.

As part of the deal replacing NAFTA, as the old free trade pact was known, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to uphold worker rights.

In the country where workers have historically earned much less and have had weaker protections than their U.S. counterparts, Lopez Obrador has touted a 2019 labor reform meant to make it easier for workers to form independent unions.

But with that reform still several years from full implementation, Prieto’s case has cast fresh doubt on the government’s ability to make good on the promise, underscoring Mexico’s long-running challenge of carrying out federal directives at the local level.

Any serious violation of labor provisions in the USMCA, including the assurance that Mexicans will enjoy real collective bargaining rights, could jeopardize the pact governing one of the world’s largest trading blocs.

Prieto rose to prominence last year leading a series of raucous protests and strikes for better pay at manufacturing plants in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, on the border with Texas. Most recently she showed up at border factories in a white hazmat suit, urging workers to demand a shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and full pay for everyone furloughed.

The Tamaulipas state prosecutor charged Prieto after her arrest in early June with committing crimes against public servants, including threats and inciting a riot. She has denied the charges.

In an interview, Mexico’s Labor Minister Luisa Alcalde joined calls for Prieto’s provisional release while the case proceeds and recognized that meeting USMCA’s requirements could be tricky.

“This implies a major challenge, since there could be matters where the reform still isn’t implemented, and yet, there are complaints over rights violations, above all about union freedoms and collective bargaining,” she said.

Lopez Obrador has warned against fabricated charges and retaliation in Prieto’s case, but said the matter was in the hands of Tamaulipas authorities.

Asked about Prieto’s detention at a recent congressional hearing in Washington, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer called it “a bad indicator.” He said labor attaches and panels formed under the deal would swiftly call out any labor violations.

U.S. Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell urged the Trump administration to push for Prieto’s release in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, saying her arrest “sends the wrong signal that the renegotiated NAFTA is not on track to deliver the improved Mexican labor conditions.”

‘UNPROTECTED’

The Tamaulipas state attorney general has said about 400 workers organized by Prieto were violent and threatened government workers in a protest outside the Matamoros labor board last March.

The workers had gathered en masse to demand that union fees no longer be withheld from their pay at Tridonex, a unit of U.S. auto parts firm Cardone Industries, Inc, part of a bid to cut ties with their current union and seek better representation.

Cardone Industries declined to comment.

Prieto had stopped by for about 10 minutes and left without interacting with labor board officials, Prieto’s spokeswoman Alyn Alvidrez said.

A statement from the Tamaulipas labor ministry at the time said it would process the Tridonex workers’ request. It made no reference to any aggressive acts by the protesters and the labor board’s president, Jose Manuel Gomez Porchini, declined to comment.

When she was arrested, Prieto had also been trying to win a collective bargaining agreement for a new union at Michigan-based auto parts maker Fisher Dynamics’ factory in Matamoros.

Prieto told Reuters earlier this year that her National Independent Union of Industry and Service Workers (SNITIS) was already representing Fisher workers. But she said state authorities had stalled in scheduling a vote in which workers could elect SNITIS to administer the contract.

Fisher did not respond to requests for comment.

Under Mexico’s labor reform, which took effect in May 2019, a centralized judicial entity is due to begin taking over from state labor boards in October, partially in an effort to lessen delays.

Prieto has not accused Fisher or Tridonex of orchestrating the charges against her. The Tamaulipas labor ministry said it could not comment on a criminal case.

In addition to 1,300 SNITIS members at Fisher, a majority of workers at five other factories have shown support for joining the union since its founding last year, and Prieto represents workers in about 4,000 labor disputes, Alvidrez said.

“All of them right now are unprotected,” she said at a protest last week in Mexico City, as supporters chanted, “Free Susana!”



No need to have all-encompassing trade deal with UK initially, U.S. housing secretary says By Reuters



© Reuters. U.S. HUD Secretary Carson appears before Senate Banking hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said on Sunday the United States and Britain could agree a trade deal that did not cover all sectors straight away, instead leaving the more difficult issues for a later date.

Asked by the BBC whether, in his opinion, a UK-U.S. trade deal would have to cover every single sector all at once, Carson told the Andrew Marr Show: “I don’t see any reason that it does. There are areas where President (Donald) Trump and Prime Minister (Boris) Johnson have a lot of agreement and there are some areas where there needs to be further discussion.

“I don’t see why you can’t work on the areas where you have agreement, get that done, with an eye to solving the other problems subsequently,” he said, adding he was not in charge of the trade negotiations.

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.



Aussie, yuan fall after White House adviser says China deal ‘over’ By Reuters


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© Reuters. U.S. dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration

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By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Australian dollar, the and other risk-sensitive currencies tumbled on Tuesday after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the trade deal with China is “over”.

Although there were few details on actual policy implications, his comments resurrected fears that already tense relations between United States and China may now worsen and disrupt supply chains and capital flows.

Navarro linked the breakdown in part to Washington’s anger over Beijing’s not sounding the alarm earlier about the coronavirus outbreak.

The Australian dollar lost 0.5% to $0.6874 , erasing earlier gains while the New Zealand dollar fell 0.65% to $0.6440 .

The offshore Chinese yuan dropped 0.35% to 7.0815 per dollar .

“It’s not clear exactly what is over, but today’s market reaction suggests that after riding on optimism on the economy, markets are now ready to test the pessimistic side of the story” said Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui (NYSE:) Bank, referring to Navarro’s comments.

Until early Tuesday, risk currencies had been supported and the dollar had been soft as markets clung to hopes of an economic recovery from the pandemic despite rising infections in some parts of the world.

Traders bought into riskier bets as some big cities in North America, such as New York and Toronto, eased lockdowns and reopened their economies, though that came against setbacks elsewhere in the fight to contain the coronavirus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a recordincrease in global novel coronavirus cases on Sunday, with spikes in infections in southern and western U.S. states as well as Brazil.

Against a basket of currencies (), the dollar gained 0.16% to 97.189.

The safe-haven yen was little moved, stuck at 106.96 yen per dollar . The euro slipped a tad to $1.1252 ().

Investors are now looking to European business activity surveys due later in the day.

Economists expect the euro zone composite flash PMI to rise to 42.4 in June from 31.9 last month as European economies gradually reopen.

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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Oil Retreats Over U.S.-China Trade Deal Comments By Investing.com



© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Oil was down on Tuesday morning in Asia, giving up its earlier gains from the session.

fell 0.46% to $42.88 by 10:17 PM ET (3:17 AM GMT) and slid 0.61% to $40.48.

Investors were spooked after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told the press on Monday that the U.S.’s trade deal with China is “over”, crushing hopes of salvaging the hard-won phase one trade deal reached earlier this year.

China, one of the world’s biggest oil importers, has yet to respond to Navarro’s comments, but an escalation of U.S.-China tension threatens a delay in the global economic recovery from COVID-19, in turn increasing the risks of an oversupply.

The statement put a damper on the optimism seen in the previous session, where Brent futures gained 2.1% and WTI futures rose almost 2%. Some U.S. states emerged from extended lockdown, with New York clogged with traffic as the city emerged from over three months of lockdown.

Investors are now awaiting the predictions in crude oil supply from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), due later in the day and on Wednesday respectively.

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.



Argentina, creditors dance around debt deal as temperature rises By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past posters on the street that read “No to the payment of the debt. Break with the IMF”, in Buenos Aires

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By Adam Jourdan, Marc Jones and Rodrigo Campos

BUENOS AIRES/LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Argentina’s debt deal was hanging in the balance on Friday, with creditors and the government at an impasse, though most analysts expected the two sides to find a way to bridge the divide after having made significant progress over the last month.

The South American grains producer, long a boom-and-bust economy that in May defaulted for a ninth time, has twice improved a proposal to restructure around $65 billion in foreign debt, though talks with creditors hit a roadblock this week.

Creditor groups are demanding Argentina improve its offer further, while the government stance is that it cannot cede ground after raising its offer to around 50 cents on the dollar, plus an additional export-linked sweetener.

With a fluid deadline on Friday for a deal, expected to be extended, analysts said that despite the tensions, the two sides should be able to reach a deal.

“While it would have been better that negotiations continued with more constructive statements, this is not the first time the restructuring would seem to be at an impasse,” Morgan Stanley (NYSE:) said in a note.

It said that at a 10% exit yield, the government’s offer was worth around 49.7 cents, while the most aggressive counter from two groups, including names like BlackRock (NYSE:), Fidelity and AllianceBernstein (NYSE:), was worth around 57 cents.

“At less than 8 points difference, it would not benefit either side to completely break away from negotiations,” the investment bank said, adding it stuck by its view that a deal would be reached in the third quarter of the year.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) said while risks had risen, the two sides may ultimately find a way to bridge a gap it calculated at 5 cents and “avoid a disorderly and contentious default.”

The country’s over-the-counter bonds rose on average 0.9% on Friday after losing ground a day earlier.

BURNED BRIDGES?

Argentina’s government has to decide whether to extend the previously delayed Friday deadline while it faces bond repayments at the end of the month that have a 30-day grace period. It defaulted on three interest payments in May.

“The negotiations with creditors are progressing and we are confident of finding a point of agreement,” center-left Peronist President Alberto Fernandez, who took office last December, said in a radio broadcast on Friday.

Siobhan Morden at Amherst Pierpont said in a note the options appeared to be returning to talks or using coercive tactics to force a resolution, though she added that “both sides lose from a protracted impasse or unresolved debt crisis.”

“We have been saying that the final phase is the most difficult, but it still seems illogical that a solution cannot be reached when both sides are so close,” she added.

Some were more negative, however.

Kim Catechis, investment strategy head at Martin Currie, said Argentina risked burning bridges with investors and cautioned about the rising prominence of populist Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

A bondholder with knowledge of the negotiations said the two sides seemed to be skirting around a deal.

“It’s like we’re sort of dancing around it. It’s a game, they are treating this like a continuation of a poker game that they want to keep playing,” he said.

Roger Horn, senior emerging market strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities America in New York, said that given the tough current context, the progress already made was notable.

“When you think about it, getting a recovery of almost 50 cents on the dollar from a serial defaulter with the Peronists in power, Cristina in the background, with a collapsed economy during a pandemic, doesn’t sound so bad,” he said.



Europe threatens digital taxes without global deal, after U.S. quits talks By Reuters



© Reuters. The weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris

By Leigh Thomas and Jan Strupczewski

PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France said a U.S. decision to quit global talks on how to tax big digital firms such as Google (NASDAQ:), Amazon (NASDAQ:) and Facebook (NASDAQ:) was a “provocation” and the European Union said it could impose taxes even if no deal was reached by year-end.

The latest transatlantic trade row was ignited after the Washington said on Wednesday it was withdrawing from negotiations with European countries over new international tax rules on digital firms, saying talks had made no progress.

Nearly 140 countries are involved in the talks organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the first major rewrite of global tax rules in a generation to bring them up to date for the digital era.

The talks aim to reach a deal by the end of 2020, but that deadline is now slipping out of reach with Washington’s latest move and the U.S. presidential election in November.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France, Britain, Italy and Spain had jointly responded on Thursday to a letter from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announcing the pullout.

“This letter is a provocation. It’s a provocation towards all the partners at the OECD when we were centimetres away from a deal on the taxation of digital giants,” Le Maire said on France Inter radio.

A Spanish government spokeswoman said Madrid and other European countries would not accept “any type of threat from another country” over the digital tax dispute.

European countries says tech firms pay too little tax in countries where they do business because they can shift profits around the globe with little physical infrastructure. Washington has resisted any new unilateral taxes on Silicon Valley companies in the absence of an OECD deal.

CHAMPAGNE AND HANDBAGS

“The European Commission wants a global solution to bring corporate taxation into the 21st century,” European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.

“But if that proves impossible this year, we have been clear that we will come forward with a new proposal at EU level,” he said, saying taxes could be introduced even without a global deal.

France, one of several European countries which has enacted new taxes to collect more revenue from digital companies, had agreed to suspend collection of its levy while talks were under way on a global approach.

Le Maire said France would impose its digital services tax this year, whether or not Washington returned to negotiations.

“No one can accept that the digital giants can make profits from their 450 million European clients and not pay taxes where they are,” he said.

The French tax applies a 3% levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by companies with revenues of more than 25 million euros ($28 million) in France and 750 million euros worldwide.

Washington has threatened to impose trade tariffs on French Champagne, handbags and other goods in response.

The United States opened trade investigations this month into digital taxes in Britain, Italy, Spain and other countries over concerns that they unfairly target U.S. companies.

President Donald Trump threatened this month to impose tariffs on EU cars if the bloc did not drop its tariff on American lobsters.

Efforts to reach even a limited U.S.-EU trade deal have foundered and sources on both sides see little chance of progress with a U.S. presidential election barely four months away.

A finance ministry spokesperson in Britain, which is seeking trade deals with Brussels and Washington after it left the EU, said that London’s “preference is for a global solution to the tax challenges posed by digitalisation, and we’ll continue to work with our international partners to achieve that objective.”



Google, Fitbit deal may hamper competition: Australian regulator


FILE PHOTO: Fitbit Blaze watch is seen in front of a displayed Alphabet logo in this illustration picture taken November 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) – Australia’s consumer watchdog said on Thursday it had concerns that Alphabet Inc-owned (GOOGL.O) Google’s planned $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness tracker company Fitbit (FIT.N) may hinder competition in digital advertising and health markets.

The deal would give Google access to consumer health data, which may raise entry barriers for rivals and cement its dominant position, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.

The regulator described its concerns as “preliminary” and will announce the outcome of its review on August 13.

“The ACCC’s investigation is focussed on certain online advertising services and nascent data-dependent health markets,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. (bit.ly/3dcfP0a)

“We will explore the uniqueness and potential value that Fitbit’s data poses for Google, and its likely competitors in these advertising and health markets.”

It is the first regulator to voice competition concerns about the deal, although U.S. and European antitrust regulators have said they are looking at the proposed acquisition following concerns from consumer and privacy groups.

The ACCC also outlined worries over whether Google would favour its own wearable devices over competitors when suggesting services on its platforms such as WearOS, Google Maps and Google Play Store.

A spokeswoman for Google declined to comment. Fitbit did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru and Byron Kaye in Sydney; Editing by Kim Coghill and Edwina Gibbs



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Lufthansa warns its bailout deal is in jeopardy


BERLIN (Reuters) – German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) warned on Tuesday that it might need to apply for creditor protection if its state-backed bailout failed to win sufficient shareholder support in a vote later this month.

FILE PHOTO: Lufthansa ticket agents help travelers at the Denver International Airport outside Denver, Colorado, U.S. March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/File Photo

Its statement came after German investor Heinz Hermann Thiele sharply criticised the 9 billion euro ($10.1 billion)bailout deal, saying he had raised his stake in the company to more than 15% and hoped alternative options could be explored.

Lufthansa said its executive board expected the attendance at its extraordinary general meeting to vote on the package on June 25 to be below 50%, which would mean two-thirds of those present would need to vote in favour.

“In view of the latest public statements by the company’s largest single shareholder, Heinz Hermann Thiele, the board considers it possible that the stabilisation package could fail to achieve the two-thirds majority of votes cast that would be required in this case,” Lufthansa said.

“This would mean that Deutsche Lufthansa AG would possibly have to apply for protective shield proceedings under insolvency law a few days after the annual general meeting if no other solution is found immediately,” the German airline said.

Under German protective shield proceedings, a company’s management remains in charge and typically gets up to three months to come up with a plan to avoid insolvency.

Lufthansa shareholders must register to attend the shareholder meeting by June 20 and if more than 50% attend, a simple majority would suffice, Lufthansa said.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, Thiele said he was not satisfied with the deal that gives the German government a 20% stake in Lufthansa, as well as two seats on its supervisory board.

Thiele, who declined to say whether he would vote against the deal, said an indirect state participation via German state-owned development bank KfW could be an alternative to an outright government stake.

With many of its planes grounded because of the coronavirus pandemic, Lufthansa said on Monday it was seeking to strike agreements with worker representatives by June 22 on how to make job cuts equivalent to 22,000 full-time positions.

Reporting by Michelle Martin in Berline and Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurth; Editing by Keith Weir and David Clarke



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