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News In Brief


    India end day four at 35/3

    Centurion: India were 35 for three in their second innings at stumps on day four of the second Test against South Africa here.

    Brief scores: South Africa 1st innings: 335 India 1st innings: 307 South Africa 2nd innings: 258 all out in 90.3 overs (AB de Villiers 80; M Shami 4/49) India second innings: 35/3 in 23 overs (Pujara batting 11; Ngidi 2/14).


    US judge delays setting trial date for Trump ex-aide Manafort

    Washington: A federal judge on Tuesday delayed setting a trial date for President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is facing charges as part of the special counsel probing Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election. 

    At a U.S. District Court hearing, the U.S. Special Counsel’s Office also said it intends to seek a dismissal of Manafort’s civil lawsuit against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.


    Goldman's commodities revenue fell 75 percent in 2017: Bloomberg

    Bengaluru: Goldman Sachs Group Inc is expected to report a 75 percent fall in 2017 commodities trading revenue to its lowest on record, hurt by losses in gas and power, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday. 

    Goldman's commodities performance is expected to fall behind that of rival Morgan Stanley's results, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Goldman Sachs reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday, while Morgan Stanley’s report is due Thursday.


    France's Macron vows no return of Calais migrant camp

    Paris: President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said he would not allow another makeshift migrant camp to mushroom in the northern port city of Calais and pressed Britain to provide answers to French demands on the matter of unaccompanied children.

    Macron also said he would get tough on police if they use excessive force against migrants, but defended the security forces against allegations of brutality levelled by certain charities, dismissing some as lies. “There will be no return of ‘the jungle’,” Macron said in a speech in Calais, referring to the nickname given to a squalid camp the previous government dismantled. France wants Britain to share a greater burden of the security costs on their joint border and take in more asylum seekers.


    JLR launches new of Range Rover Evoque priced at Rs 50.20 lakh

    New Delhi: Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover today launched the 2018 version of its Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition in India priced at Rs 50.20 lakh. 

    Jaguar Land Rover India Ltd (JLRIL) President & Managing Director Rohit Suri said in 2018 Range Rover Landmark Edition, design, desirability and all-terrain capability of the vehicle has been further enhanced. The vehicle is powered by a 2-litre Ingenium diesel engine. It has features such as WiFi hotspot, keyless entry and powered gesture tailgate as standard on all variants.


    Dow hits 26,000 for first time

    Bengaluru: The Dow Jones Industrial Average touched the 26,000-mark for the first time on Tuesday and other Wall Street indexes climbed as strong earnings from UnitedHealth and Citigroup helped lift the sentiment. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 198.99 points, or 0.77 percent, to 26,002.18. The S&P 500 gained 13.76 points, or 0.493856 percent, to 2,800. The Nasdaq Composite added 45.95 points, or 0.63 percent, to 7,307.01.


    Ukraine central bank says passed Kroll's PrivatBank report to prosecutors

    Kiev: The results of an audit of PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest lender, have been passed to prosecutors for use in a possible criminal investigation into shady deals made before its 2016 nationalisation, a central bank deputy governor said on Tuesday.

    “We received assurances from the general prosecutor that the results of the forensic audit were received by the general prosecutor’s office for use in carrying out a criminal investigation,” the central bank’s Kateryna Rozhkova said in a briefing.


    UnitedHealth raises 2018 profit outlook citing tax benefits

    UnitedHealth Group Inc on Tuesday raised its outlook for 2018 earnings per share by more than 16 percent due to the U.S. corporate tax cuts and said it would speed up investments in data analytics and technology to better serve consumers.

    UnitedHealth is the largest U.S. health insurer and the first to report fourth-quarter earnings, which it said rose to $2.59 per share, beating analyst expectations of $2.51 per share.


    John Lewis weekly department store sales down 3.8 percent

    London: British retailer John Lewis on Tuesday gave the following sales figures for the latest week compared with a year earlier. 

    Total department store sales were 85.7 million pounds, down 3.8 percent on the same week last year. Fashion sales rose 0.3 percent but home sales dropped 4.4 percent and Electrical and Home Technology sales fell 6 percent.


    Rohingya refugees must be informed, consulted on returns to Myanmar: UN

    Geneva: The United Nations called on Tuesday for Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh to be informed about conditions in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state before they are allowed to return voluntarily and in safety. 

    Bangladesh said on Tuesday it would complete the process of returning within two years many of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who had fled a conflict in Myanmar, following a meeting of the neighbours. “Major challenges have to be overcome,” Andrej Mahecic, spokesman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a Geneva news briefing. “These include ensuring they are told about the situation in their areas of origin ... and are consulted on their wishes, that their safety is ensured.”


    Now Japanese TV issues false alarm about a missile launch

    Tokyo: Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, but it corrected the error within minutes, messages on the NHK website showed. 

    It was not immediately clear what caused the false alarm which followed a false missile alert that caused panic across Hawaii at the weekend.


    UK's Hammond says unaware of govt credit risks from Carillion

    London: British finance minister Philip Hammond said on Tuesday he did not know of any government loans to failed construction and services group Carillion which went into liquidation this week.

    “I am not aware of any direct exposure of HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) as a creditor of Carillion, but I will check,” Hammond said in parliament in response to a question from a lawmaker.


    UN hopes imports will help 'stave off famine' in Yemen as diphtheria spreads

    Geneva: The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has authorised four U.S.-funded cranes to operate at Hodeidah port until Friday, United Nations aid agencies said on Tuesday, calling for the date to be extended to permit continued offloading of life-saving goods.

    “We appeal to parties on ground in order to stave off famine that we can continue regularly to get food, medicines in, be it from humanitarian or the commercial side,” Bettina Luescher of the U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP) told a Geneva briefing.


    GM sees 2017 EPS near top of target, 2018 'in line' with 2017

    Detroit: General Motors Co (GM.N) said on Tuesday that it expects 2017 full-year earnings per share to hit the high end of its forecast and that 2018 earnings will be in line with results of a year earlier.

    The No. 1 U.S. automaker had predicted earnings per share for 2017 in a range from $6 to $6.50. GM said its pre-tax earnings and automotive cash flow would be in line with 2017 and predicted “further earnings acceleration” in 2019 as its next generation of pickup trucks hits the U.S. market.


    Uniper owners tendered 46.87% of shares to Fortum by Tuesday

    Finnish utility Fortum (FORTUM.HE) has been offered just 0.22 percent of shares in Germany’s Uniper (UN01.DE) by Tuesday on top of a 46.65 percent stake that it bought from E.ON (EONGn.DE), a regulatory filing showed. 

    Fortum on Monday reported a larger combined stake of 47.04 percent, but now said it had to revise that figure due to a booking mistake at a shareholder custodian bank.


    May's spokesman - Britain will be leaving the EU

    London: Britain will be leaving the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Tuesday after European Council president Donald Tusk suggested the country would be welcome to change its mind and stay in the bloc.

    “I think we’ve been absolutely clear, the British public voted to leave the European Union and that is what we will be doing,” the spokesman told reporters.



    May warns against complacency over Carillion's collapse: Spokesman

    London: British Prime Minister Theresa May told her cabinet of top ministers on Tuesday that the government needed to avoid complacency over the fallout from construction firm Carillion’s collapse, her spokesman said.

    “The PM said that public services had continued to be provided, but there would be no complacency and the government would be vigilant in monitoring for any emerging issues in public services and in providing support for employees of companies with private sector Carillion contracts,” the spokesman told reporters.


    WDM witnesses trade worth Rs 1,862.00 cr on NSE

    Mumbai: Wholesale debt market segment of the National Stock Exchange today witnessed a total turnover of Rs 1,862.00 crore in 35 trades.

    Top securities (non-repo) traded at the WDM were: The 6.57 per cent government securities maturing in CG2033 traded value at Rs 420.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.72 per cent, the 8.32 per cent government securities maturing in CG2032 traded value at Rs 307.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.77 per cent and the 7.88 per cent government securitiees maturing in CG2030 traded value at Rs. 275.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.76 per cent, NSE release said.


    US dollar ends sharply higher against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar ended sharply higher against the rupee at Rs 64.04/05 per dollar and the pound sterling also gained at Rs 88.11/13 per pound at the close of the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here today.

    Following are the Interbank forex and RBI rates: (In Rs per unit) Unit Interbank RBI Reference US Dollar 64.04/05, US Dollar Rs 63.7602, Pound Sterling 88.11/13, Euro Rs 78.2019, Euro 78.22/24, Japanese Yen (100) 57.86/88.


    Wheat futures shed 0.36% on ample stocks

    New Delhi: Wheat prices softened by 0.36 per cent to Rs 1,680 per quintal in futures trading today as speculators trimmed their positions, triggered by sufficient stocks positions in spot markets on higher supplies.

    At the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange, wheat for delivery in January traded lower by Rs 6, or 0.36 per cent to Rs 1,680 per quintal with an open interest of 240 lots. Likewise, wheat for delivery in February shed Rs 2, or 0.12 per cent, to Rs 1,717 per quintal in 5,110 lots.


    Brent oil falls by $1 but demand underpins near $70/barrel

    London: Brent crude oil dipped on Tuesday but remained near $70 a barrel, a level not seen since 2014’s dramatic market slump.

    Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 54 cents, or 0.77 percent, to $69.72 per barrel by 1018 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $64.18 a barrel, down 12 cents, or 0.19 percent.


    Pope expresses "pain and shame" over Chile sex abuse scandal

    Santiago: Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame” over Chile’s sexual abuse scandal on Tuesday in his first comments in the country on a crisis that has scarred the Roman Catholic Church’s credibility.

    Francis was speaking in his first official address of the trip in the presence of President Michelle Bachelet, other Chilean officials and foreign diplomats.


    GE to take $6.2 billion charge in its finance arm in fourth quarter

    U.S. industrial conglomerate General Electric Co said on Tuesday it would record an after-tax charge of $6.2 billion for the fourth quarter related to its finance arm’s run-off insurance portfolio.

    GE, which has been reviewing its insurance reserves, also said its GE Capital unit expects to make statutory reserve contributions of about $15 billion over seven years.


    Qatar central bank chief: will consider issue of virtual currencies

    Doha: Qatar’s central bank will consider the issue of virtual currencies and there may be opportunity in future to introduce them in Qatar, central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said on Tuesday.

    Sheikh Abdullah made the remark as he delivered a speech on Qatar’s plans to build a hub for financial technology, known as fintech.Asked about his stance towards bitcoin, Sheikh Abdullah said the central bank would not focus on a single virtual currency, but would look at how to set best practice for such currencies.


    Ericsson books Q4 goodwill impairment in digial and media arms

    Stockholm: Swedish mobile network gear maker Ericsson booked an impairment of 14.2 billion crowns ($1.8 bn) in the fourth quarter, related primarily to goodwill in its digital and media operations, hitting operating income but not cashflow.

    It had flagged in December it may make a goodwill impairment at its struggling digital services and media businesses. “The majority of goodwill originates from investments made 10 years ago or more, and has limited relevance for Ericsson’s business going forward,” Ericsson said in a statement.


    Ukraine's PrivatBank used for shady deals and money-laundering: Central bank

    Kiev: Ukraine’s PrivatBank was used for money-laundering and shady deals where 95 percent of corporate loans went to companies related to the former owners, the central bank said on Tuesday, citing a probe it commissioned by the global agency Kroll.

    “The investigation has identified that PrivatBank was subjected to a large scale and coordinated fraud over at least a 10-year period ending December 2016, which resulted in the Bank suffering a loss of at least $5.5 billion,” the central bank said in a statement.


    India's imports of Iran oil in Dec scheduled to rise to most since March: source

    Tokyo: India was scheduled to lift its biggest volume of Iranian crude in nine months in December, helping to shore up the OPEC producer’s oil exports to Asia last month, said a person with knowledge of the country’s tanker loading schedule.

    Asian buyers were scheduled to lift 1.92 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude in December, down 7 percent from the actual loadings in the previous month, the source said.


    EU court upholds order for EDF to repay French state aid

    Brussels: An EU court ruled on Tuesday that the European Commission had been right to order France to recover 1.37 billion euros (1.22 billion pounds) in state aid from utility group EDF (EDF.PA).

    The Commission took the decision in 2015 after the court had annulled an earlier repayment order. The court said that EDF had repaid the amount in October 2015, although it then had brought a challenge to the General Court of the European Union, the EU’s second-highest court.


    Romania's president nominates defence minister Fifor as interim PM

    Bucharest: Romania’s centrist President Klaus Iohannis named Social Democrat Defence Minister Mihai Fifor as interim prime minister on Tuesday, to replace outgoing Mihai Tudose who resigned after losing the support of his party on Monday.

    Iohannis told reporters he wanted a “swift procedure to form a new government to avert political uncertainty and harm to the economy”. Iohannis also said consultations with political parties to find a new premier are due to start on Wednesday.


    China's Yunnan Capital has repaid overdue trust loans: Xinhua

    Beijing: China’s Yunnan State-owned Capital Operation Co has repaid overdue trust loans in full to Zhongrong International Trust, state media Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

    Reuters reported on Monday citing sources that Yunnan Capital, fully owned by the provincial government’s state asset regulator, missed payments of more than 900 million yuan that it had borrowed through two trust products issued by the Harbin-based Zhongrong.  Those missed payments came amid growing fears that financing vehicles used by local governments throughout China, often for vanity projects that ran up large amounts of debt, may start to default this year.


    Turkish army chief says will not allow support for Syrian Kurdish militia: Media

    Istanbul: Turkish armed forces chief General Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday Turkey will not allow the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia to receive support and said NATO should not differentiate between terrorist groups, state-run Anadolu agency reported. 

    He was speaking at a NATO meeting in Brussels. NATO-member Turkey was angered after the U.S.-led coalition said on Sunday it was working with the mainly Kurdish YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to set up a new 30,000-strong border force in Syria.


    UAE to lodge aviation complaint against Qatar at UN agency

    Dubai: The United Arab Emirates will lodge a complaint against Qatar at the United Nations aviation agency on Tuesday after Qatari fighter jets twice intercepted UAE civilian aircraft during routine flights to Bahrain, a UAE official said. 

    The UAE will accuse Qatar of violating the Chicago Convention in its complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Saif Mohammed al-Suwaidi told Reuters.


    US report detailing new Russia sanctions to be issued on Jan.29: TASS

    Moscow: A U.S. report detailing new sanctions against Russia will be published on Jan. 29, the TASS news agency cited U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman as saying on Tuesday. 

    Washington is expected to impose fresh penalties against Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential vote, an allegation Russia has repeatedly denied.


    Norway's sovereign fund excludes nine more firms on ethics grounds

    Oslo: Norway’s $1.07 trillion sovereign wealth fund has excluded nine more companies from its portfolio based on breaches of its ethical investment criteria, the Norwegian central bank, which manages the fund, said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) Ltd, Korea Line Corp, Precious Shipping PCL, Atal SA and Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL were among those that were excluded. AECOM, BAE Systems, Fluor Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc were also removed from the portfolio, while the earlier exclusion of Honeywell International Inc was maintained. Pan Ocean Co. Ltd was placed under observation, the central bank added.


    V-Guard board to meet next week to consider fund raising

    New Delhi: Consumer electrical and electronics appliances maker V-Guard Industries today said its board will meet next week to consider a proposal of raising funds.

    "A meeting of the the board of Directors of V-Guard Industries scheduled on January 22 will ... consider the proposal of raising funds," V-Guard Industries said in a regulatory filing. The company, however, did not elaborate on the quantum of funds it plans to raise. Shares of V-Guard settled 0.02 per cent lower at Rs 232.50 per scrip on BSE today.


    Erdogan says Turkish operation in Syria's Afrin to be supported by rebels

    Ankara: President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey’s planned military operation against Kurdish militia forces in Syria’s Afrin region will be supported by Syrian rebel fighters.

    His comment to reporters in parliament was the latest in a series of warnings about an imminent operation targeting Afrin after the U.S.-led coalition said it was working with Kurdish-led forces to set up a new 30,000-strong border force in Syria.


    RBI sets rupee reference rate at 63.7602 against US dollar

    Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 63.7602 against the US dollar and 78.2019 for the euro.

    The corresponding rates were 63.4125 and 77.4457, yesterday. The according to an RBI statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 87.9126 and 57.50 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The SDR-rupee figure will be based on this rate, the statement added.


    Premier Foods Q3 sales up on non-branded products

    London: Premier Foods, owner of Mr Kipling cakes and Oxo stock cubes, reported higher third-quarter sales on Tuesday, helped by strength in its non-branded products.

    The company said sales for the quarter rose 4 percent to 261.4 million pounds ($360.3 million), with branded sales up 0.7 percent and non-branded rising 17 percent. The company said its expectations for the current year were unchanged and that net debt at the end of 2018 will be lower than the prior year. 


    Dunelm second quarter comparable sales rise 3.4 percent

    British homewares retailer Dunelm Group Plc (DNLM.L) said on Tuesday its comparable sales rose 3.4 percent in the second quarter, helped by higher online sales. 

    The company said revenue rose 13.6 percent to 297.5 million pounds in its second quarter ended Dec. 30. Dunelm, which sells cushions, bedding and kitchen equipment, said it expects margin improvement in the second half.


    Carillion collapse hits banks and investors, boosts short sellers

    London: Leading British lenders including Barclays (BARC.L), the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) and Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) face the prospect of hundreds of millions of pounds in outstanding loans going unpaid from Carillion’s collapse on Monday. 

    Along with 10 other banks, they arranged a 790 million pound ($1.1 billion) revolving credit facility for Carillion in 2015, which made up the bulk of 835 million pounds worth of syndicated bank loans owed by Carillion that mature in 2020.


    Provident Financial sees FY loss of 120 mn pounds at consumer credit unit

    Provident Financial (PFG.L), which is battling unresolved problems at its door-to-door lending business, said it expected to report a pre-exceptional loss of about 120 million pounds at the consumer credit division, at the upper end of its guidance.

    “This reflects a lower than expected rate of reconnection through the fourth quarter with those home credit customers whose relationship had been adversely impacted following the poorly executed migration to the new operating model in July 2017,” the company said on Tuesday.



    Britain scrambles two Typhoon jets to intercept Russian planes

    London: Britain scrambled two Royal Air Force Typhoon jets on Monday from Scotland to intercept Russian planes near the United Kingdom’s airspace, a defense ministry spokesman said.

    The Typhoons were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland.  “This is a live operation and therefore we will not be providing any additional information until the mission is complete,” the spokesman said.


    China December FDI falls 9.2 percent year-on-year: commerce ministry

    Beijing: Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China in December fell 9.2 percent year-on-year to 73.94 billion yuan ($11.49 billion), the commerce ministry said on Tuesday. 

    For 2017, FDI rose 7.9 percent to 877.56 billion yuan.China faces relatively large external pressures to attract foreign investment in 2018, the ministry said in a statement on its website.


    Czech PM Babis to ask lawmakers to lift his parliamentary immunity

    Prague: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Tuesday he would ask lawmakers lift his parliamentary immunity to face allegations of EU subsidy fraud.

    Police are investigating whether he illegally received a 2 million euro EU subsidy a decade ago by hiding ownership of a farm and conference centre. Babis denies wrongdoing.  Babis was speaking before a parliamentary committee meets on Tuesday to make a recommendation on whether to lift Babis’s immunity from prosecution that he is granted as an elected member of the chamber.


    Foodgrains, Oilseeds markets closed on 'Uzhavar Day'

    Chennai: Foodgrains, Oilseeds, and vegetable markets are closed today on account of 'Uzhavar Day' (Pongal Holidays).


    Thailand welcomed a record 35.38 million tourists in 2017: ministry

    Bangkok: Thailand welcomed a record 35.38 million foreign tourists in 2017, up 8.8 percent from the previous year, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday

    Thailand’s December tourist arrivals were seen at 3.5 million, the ministry said in a press release, up 15.1 percent from a year earlier.The ministry attributed growth in 2017 to increase numbers of tourists from China and East Asia.



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