Connect with us

Stock Markets

Exclusive: Trump administration to consider adding China’s Ant Group to trade blacklist

Published

on


2/2
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employee stands next to the logo of Ant Financial Services Group at its headquarters in Hangzhou

2/2

By Humeyra Pamuk, Alexandra Alper, Karen Freifeld and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department has submitted a proposal for the Trump administration to add China’s Ant Group to a trade blacklist, according to two people familiar with the matter, before the financial technology firm is slated to go public.

It was not immediately clear when the U.S. government agencies that decide whether to add a company to the so-called Entity List would review the matter.

The move comes as China hardliners in the Trump administration are seeking to send a message to deter U.S. investors from taking part in the initial public offering for Ant Group. The dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong could be worth up to a record $35 billion.

The latest swipe at China also comes in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election, in which U.S. President Donald Trump, trailing in the polls against his Democratic rival Joe Biden, has made a tough approach to China an important foreign policy platform.

While the Alipay payment app is currently unavailable for American users in the United States, according to a spokesperson for Ant, Trump administration officials fear the Chinese government could access sensitive banking data belonging to future U.S. users.

A powerful security panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) stopped its $1.2 billion bid to buy the money transfer company Moneygram in 2018 over national security risks.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment. Ant, an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:), declined to comment but in a recent statement to Reuters emphasized that only 5% of the company’s business is outside China.

The entity list, which makes it more difficult for U.S. firms to sell high-tech items to blacklisted companies, has become the tool of choice for the Trump administration to punish Chinese companies, though its real-world impact is sometimes questionable.

While curbing access to U.S. technology deals a blow to companies like Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, which was added in May 2019, its impact on a fintech giant like Ant Group is likely to be more symbolic and does not prevent U.S. investors from taking stakes in the firm.

The administration has been largely loathe to use tougher tools against China, such as freezing assets in the United States, which many attribute to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s dovish stance on Beijing.

Ant is China’s dominant mobile payments company, offering loans, payments, insurance and asset management services via mobile apps. Based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Ant is 33% owned by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (N:) and controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

Ant’s Alipay payment platform, like Tencent’s WeChat platform, is used primarily by Chinese citizens with accounts in renminbi. Most of its U.S. interactions are with merchants accepting payment from Chinese travelers and businesses in the country.

Senator Marco Rubio, who has successfully urged the Trump administration to pursue investigations of Chinese companies, called last week for the U.S. government to consider options to delay Ant Group’s initial public offering.

The End User Review Committee, which decides which companies to add to the list, includes the departments of State, Defense, Energy and Commerce. Defense and Commerce declined to comment while Energy did not respond to a request for comment.

The Hong Kong leg of the IPO is being sponsored by China International Capital Corp, Citigroup (NYSE:), JPMorgan (NYSE:) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:). Credit Suisse (SIX:) is working as a joint global coordinator. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) is also involved.

However, approval for the IPO has been delayed.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that China’s securities regulator is probing a potential conflict of interest in Ant Group’s planned stock listing.





Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stock Markets

Canadian police witness tells court Huawei CFO arrest followed procedure By Reuters

Published

on

By


2/2
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves a court hearing in Vancouver

2/2

By Tessa Vikander and Moira Warburton

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian police officer who arrested a Huawei executive in Vancouver in 2018 told a court on Monday the apprehension done by the book, amid claims by her lawyers that her rights were violated during the process.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou arrived in the British Columbia Supreme Court on Monday for the first of five days of hearings as her U.S. extradition case resumed.

This week’s hearings will focus on abuse of process committed by Canadian and U.S. authorities during her December 2018 arrest at Vancouver International Airport, as alleged by her lawyers. The case has intensified diplomatic tensions between China and the two North American nations.

Meng, 48, is charged by the United States with bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei’s [HWT.UL] business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanction laws.

She denies the charges and is fighting extradition from under house arrest in Vancouver.

Meng’s lawyers have argued that Canadian authorities improperly communicated with their U.S. counterparts, including allegedly sharing identifying details about her electronic devices.

Canada has denied this and provided affidavits from members of the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who were involved in Meng’s arrest.

Meng arrived in court wearing a black sparkly cardigan, knitted blue top and grey skirt, accompanied by her translator as she came face to face with Winston Yep, a RCMP officer who arrested her nearly two years ago.

Meng’s lawyers have alleged that authorities used the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and its powers to search passengers to investigate Meng in a way that violated her rights.

Government lawyer John Gibb-Carsley asked Yep why, as the arresting officer, he didn’t board the plane once Meng had landed. Yep said that because the airport is within the CBSA’s jurisdiction it was decided that the CBSA would do its work first.

Yep said “there was no concern” about this process and added other passengers on the plane created a potential risk of violence if they made the arrest on the aircraft.

Meng’s team has asserted that the CBSA inappropriately seized her electronic devices and that identifying information was shared with U.S. authorities.

Yep said the RCMP asked the CBSA to seize Meng’s devices on a request from the United States and to put them in Faraday bags, which prevent data from being erased.

He added the request was “part of the process” and presented no cause for concern.

Gibb-Carsley asked whether Yep’s supervisor expressed concern about the CBSA investigating before the RCMP.

“No,” Yep said, adding that his supervisor was concerned Meng might elude CBSA and escape the airport, a concern that Yep shared.

However, Huawei lawyer Richard Peck said Yep’s concern about potential violence on the plane was disingenuous and that as trained officers, the RCMP should have been able to arrest Meng there.

Peck also described Yep’s written notes from the day as “very sparse” and drew attention to the fact that Yep had not written a chronological report of the day, as required by Canada’s extradition laws.

Calling live witnesses in an extradition case is “very, very unusual,” said Leo Adler, a Toronto-based extradition lawyer, particularly if both sides will be able to cross-examine. Adler is not involved with the case.

Meng’s team was able to do that based on documents released to them, Adler said, another aspect that is rare in extradition cases.

Meng’s case, which is expected to last years, has strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing. Soon after her detention, China arrested Canadian citizens Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on espionage charges.

Hearings are scheduled to wrap up in April 2021.





Source link

Continue Reading

Stock Markets

Las Vegas Sands mulling $6 billion sale of Vegas casinos: source By Reuters

Published

on

By


© Reuters. The logo of Las Vegas Sands Corp is pictured at the Japan IR EXPO in Yokohama

By Aishwarya Nair

(Reuters) – Casino operator Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:) Corp is exploring a sale of its flagship casinos in Las Vegas in a deal that may bring in $6 billion, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The properties included in the potential sale are Sands Expo Convention Center, the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Palazzo, the source added, asking not to be identified.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Las Vegas Sands is working with an adviser to solicit interest from potential suitors.

In May, Sands ended plans to open an integrated resort (IR) casino in Japan without providing a reason for the cancellation of the project.

The gambling industry, which thrives on air travel and large groups of people in close proximity, is one of the hardest hit industries amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As of June 30, the company had $13.82 billion total outstanding debt, excluding finance leases.

Chairman and chief executive of the group, Sheldon Adelson, said in the second quarter that a “recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic in each of our markets is now under way.”

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.





Source link

Continue Reading

Stock Markets

Charles Schwab to cut about 1,000 jobs By Reuters

Published

on

By


© Reuters. A Charles Schwab office is shown in Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Charles Schwab Corp (N:) said on Monday it is laying off about 1,000 positions in the combined workforce of Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:) to streamline and reshape their branch network.

“These reductions are part of our efforts to reduce overlapping or redundant roles across the two firms,” Charles Schwab, which completed the acquisition of TD Ameritrade earlier in October, said.

The financial services company also said it won’t be executing any additional company-wide reductions for the rest of 2020.

In November last year, Charles Schwab had agreed to buy TD Ameritrade Holding in an all-stock deal valued at $26 billion.

“Employees whose roles are impacted by today’s changes will have early access to all newly opened positions and be treated as internal candidates for the more than 1,000 currently open positions at Schwab through their 60-day notice period”, the company said on Monday.

Earlier this month, Charles Schwab reported third quarter adjusted earnings per share of 51 cents, topping analysts’ estimates of 46 cents a share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

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.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme.