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Nissan’s U.S. lending arm to pay $4 million fine over improper repossessions By Reuters

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© Reuters. A Nissan logo is pictured at the Tokyo Motor Show, in Tokyo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nissan (OTC:) Motor Co’s U.S. lending arm agreed on Tuesday to pay a $4 million U.S. fine to settle a government agency’s allegation that it improperly repossessed hundreds of consumers’ vehicles.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said that between 2013 and 2019, Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp (NMAC), a subsidiary of the Japanese automaker’s North American unit, “wrongfully repossessed hundreds of consumers’ vehicles despite the consumer having made payments” or taken other actions. Nissan must pay up to $1 million to consumers subject to a wrongful repossession.

NMAC said it denied wrongdoing but agreed to settle and takes the agency’s “assertions seriously and share their commitment to fair practices for all our customers.”

NMAC repossessed vehicles from consumers who made payments that decreased delinquency to less than 60 days past due or took other steps that should have prevented repossessions, the bureau said, adding NMAC told consumers it would not repossess vehicles

if payments were less than 60 days past due.

CFPB also found Nissan “kept personal property in consumers’ repossessed vehicles until consumers paid a storage fee (and) deprived consumers paying by phone of the ability to select payment options with significantly lower fees.”

The agency said actions violated the Consumer Financial Protection Act prohibition against unfair and deceptive acts and practices. The settlement imposes requirements “to prevent future violations and remediate consumers whose vehicles are wrongfully repossessed going forward,” the bureau said.

CFPB also found that when Nissan agreed to modify loan payments for tens of thousands of consumers it “used agreements or written confirmations that included language that created the net misimpression that consumers could not file for bankruptcy.”

In 2018, auto dealerships assigned NMAC over 382,000 new loans and 299,000 new leases, CFPB said, adding the same year NMAC serviced $49.3 billion in outstanding loans and leases.

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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Stock Markets

StockBeat: Hotel Heartbreak Eases – a Little

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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com — The hotel industry began the long road back to some kind of normality in the third quarter, but figures from Europe’s two biggest operators show just how long it will be.

Revenue per available room, the key metric for hotel investors, was down 53% at InterContinental Hotels Group (LON:), which owns the Holiday Inn and associated franchises in the three months, and was down 63% at Accor (PA:), owner of the Ibis and Sofitel chains among others.

The figures, while dismal, were in both cases a significant improvement from the second quarter, and Accor’s shares in particular profited, rising 4.2% by mid-morning in Europe on Friday after CEO Sebastien Bazin said that the worst was behind the company. IHG stock fell 1.3%.

However, this is a pallid optimism. Even Bazin’s group is predicting that bookings won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. In the meantime, Bazin told France 24, “60% of the hotel industry is distressed, 40% is optimistic” as they face the prospect of full winter of Covid 19.

On Thursday, France had extended its curfew to an area covering three-quarters of its population after posting its highest daily figure yet for new infections. In Spain, Germany and the U.K., all key markets, officials bemoan that the virus is currently out of control, despite various attempts to restrict non-essential social contact.  Bazin urged European governments to be more clear and coordinated in their guidelines on travel, after an abortive summer tourism season when official guidelines changed at dizzying speed and with little or no consistency.

IHG CEO Keith Barr acknowledged that “uncertainty remains regarding the potential for further improvement in the short term.”

Barr’s conservatism is an implicit acknowledgment that he expects the U.S. market, which accounts for more of IHG’s business, to broadly follow the European one as the latest wave of the pandemic gains force there. That could leave Asia as the sole ray of sunshine for both companies. At IHG, RevPAR has already recovered to be down only 23% year-on-year in Greater China.

Both CEOs strove to put a brave face on the medium term, however. And not without reason: conventional wisdom says that when the vaccines are finally distributed and fear of public spaces recedes, hotel stocks should be among the best performers around. Pent-up demand and fading tail risks should allow a violent reversion to the mean.

But is there anything to hope for beyond that? The pre-pandemic assumptions of endless growth in world tourism will have to be tested anew as life returns to normal, and business travel budgets will remain crimped long after the vaccines arrive. IHG has in general created value over the last two decades but Accor hasn’t posted a new all-time high since 2007, and even though Bazin is finally pushing the group towards an ‘asset light’ model that should generate higher returns on equity and demand a higher valuation, the onus is squarely on him to prove it. 

Talking to Bloomberg TV earlier, Bazin dismissed the notion of M&A activity, which would offer the quicker path to capacity rationalization and higher margins. That may disappoint some, but the truth is that Accor’s current valuation doesn’t allow to hope for an active role in any such consolidation. The question is only whether or not Accor is ‘in play’.

IHG may have the better opportunities for driving the process, but Barr gave no hint of anything on the horizon in his statement. For investors, holding the stocks continues to require even more patience and tolerance of uncertainty than for most other assets.

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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China’s carmakers seek more government support for smart car supply chain By Reuters

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© Reuters.

By Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh

XIAN, China/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s auto industry has called for more government support and tie-ups between auto and tech companies on technologies, such as software and semiconductors, to make the country’s smart car supply chain more self-sufficient.

Government officials and industry executives at the 2020 China Auto Supply Chain Conference, held in the northwestern city of Xian this week, said the supply chain of in-car operating systems and other core technologies lagged behind international levels, a situation they want to change.

China, the world’s biggest auto market, wants sales of vehicles with intelligent functions like internet connectivity and autonomous driving to make up 30% of overall new vehicle sales by 2025.

Beijing has been trying to boost domestic tech capability by pouring billions of dollars into sectors such as semiconductors, after trade tensions between China and other countries, including the United States, exposed the country’s reliance on foreign know-how.

“China’s supply chain of in-car operating system, software and other key core technologies are still far behind the international advanced level,” Ma Chunsheng, an official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said.

Ma said the government will encourage companies from different industries to work together on key technology breakthroughs like car operation systems.

“Technology startups face financial difficulties and urgently need the government to issue strategic support measures,” said Luo Junmin, senior executive at the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Jumin said the government should offer better fundraising platforms to those companies to “support the transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry.”

In-car software and semiconductor products are expected to make up the majority of cars costs by 2030, a recent research report by consultancy Roland Berger and industry think tank China EV 100 estimated.

Chinese internet companies, including Alibaba (HK:) and Baidu (O:), have launched partnerships with automakers, while Huawei Technologies, BYD (SZ:) and startup Horizon Robotics are developing semiconductor products.

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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Earnings nudge European stocks higher, virus concerns limit gains By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) – European stocks inched higher on Friday, boosted by positive earnings updates from Barclays and carmakers, while nagging concerns about the economic impact of surging COVID-19 cases put markets on course for weekly losses.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () rose 0.2% by 0711 GMT, with Asian markets stuck in a trading range as investors treaded with caution with less than two weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election.

London’s FTSE 100 () was supported by a 2.8% jump in Barclays (L:) after it reported much better than expected quarterly earnings.

Carmaker Daimler (DE:) rose 1.9% after it raised its 2020 profit outlook, while Renault (PA:) was up 1.5% after saying it should have positive cash flow from cars by the end of 2020 as sales recovered.

However, gains were limited as France looked set to widen a curfew to more than two thirds of its population after the country set an all-time daily high of new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

IHS Markit’s early reading of euro zone and UK business activity for October is due later in the day.

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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