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News In Brief


    Daimler's Mercedes-Benz China to recall 106,594 vehicles from April 30, 2019: Regulator

    Beijing: German carmaker Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Chinese joint ventures will recall 106,594 vehicles from April 30, 2019, due to potential issues with Takata Corp air bags, China’s market regulator said on Wednesday.

    Daimler is the owner of Mercedes-Benz and Smart.



    Irish foreign minister says EU to negotiate Brexit on white paper only

    Dublin: The European Union plans to negotiate Britain’s withdrawal on the basis of the British government’s white paper on Brexit and will not focus on amendments passed by the British parliament, Ireland’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

    “What we need to do is focus on the white paper that the British govt has published and it is up to the British govt then to get that through their parliament system or get a version of that when the negotiations conclude,” Simon Coveney told RTE radio. “That is the only way we can work.” “If we get distracted by individual amendments to individual pieces of legislation — legislation that isn’t even fully passed yet, and isn’t even passed by House of Lords yet then I think we get dragged into a debate that wastes a lot of time and energy,” he added.


    China foreign ministry says trade war has become biggest 'confidence killer' for world economy

    Beijing: China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday that a U.S. trade war has become the biggest “confidence killer” for the global economy, and that the whole world would fight back if the United States continued to impose tariffs.

    Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing that the US is fabricating all kinds of justifications, including that of national security. The US and China have imposed tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s imports. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened further tariffs unless Beijing agrees to change its intellectual property practices and high-technology industrial subsidy plans.


    EU to launch safeguards to curb steel imports on Thursday

    Brussels: The European Union will launch safeguard measures on Thursday designed to prevent a surge of steel imports into the bloc that could have followed the U.S. imposition of tariffs on incoming steel and aluminium, the EU’s official journal said.

    The European Commission has proposed a combination of a quota and a tariff to counter EU concerns that steel products no longer imported into the US would instead flood European markets. The quotas for 23 steel product categories are designed to be a reflection of imports over the past three years, with a 25% tariff set for volumes exceeding those amounts.


    Airbus says Pratt & Whitney catching up on engine delays

    Farnborough: European planemaker Airbus said on Wednesday that supplier Pratt & Whitney was catching up on engine delays and there would be an improvement especially in the second half of the year.

    Airbus has faced a backlog of up to 100 A320neo jets sitting on the ground outside factories without their engines due to delays in deliveries, mainly from U.S.-based Pratt & Whitney. Airbus is holding an investor meeting on day three of the Farnborough Airshow near London.


    Sealing, demolition of unauthorised constructions in Delhi will not stop, says SC

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that sealing and demolition of unauthorised constructions in Delhi will not stop and directed adequate police protection for officers carrying out sealing drive.


    Bandhan Bank first-quarter profit surges on higher interest income

    India’s Bandhan Bank Ltd posted a 47 percent surge in its quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by higher interest income.

    Net profit was 4.82 billion rupees ($70.32 million) in the first quarter ended June 30, compared with 3.27 billion rupees a year ago, the Kolkata-based bank, which started as a micro-finance firm, said in a statement. Gross bad loans as a percentage of total loans stood at 1.26% at end-June, compared with 1.25% in the previous quarter and 0.93% a year earlier. Interest earned during the quarter was up about 35 percent.



    Ethiopian Airlines makes first Ethiopia-Eritrea flight since border war began in 1998

    Addis Ababa: The first Ethiopian Airlines flight from Ethiopia to Eritrea in 20 years departed Addis Ababa early on Wednesday, a Reuters witness said, marking the resumption of flights between the two neighbors who ended their “state of war” last week.

    Since signing an agreement in Asmara on July 9 to restore ties, the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia have moved swiftly to implement concrete signs of a stunning rapprochement that has swept away two decades of hostility since conflict erupted over a disputed frontier in 1998.


    Syrian state TV: evacuation buses enter al-Foua and Kefraya villages

    Beirut: Buses and ambulances entered the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya, under siege from insurgents in northwest Syria, on Wednesday as part of an agreement to evacuate residents, state TV said.

    Rebels and Iran-backed negotiators reached a deal to evacuate thousands of people from the two Shi’ite villages in return for the release of hundreds of detainees in state prisons, sources said on Tuesday.


    Parliament to debate no-trust motion against Modi's government

    New Delhi: The parliament will debate a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government moved by the opposition, the house speaker said on Wednesday.

    Modi’s government has a clear majority in the 545-member Lok Sabha, but the opposition is hoping to make political gains by focussing attention on slow job growth and deteriorating law and order. National elections are due next year.


    GVC's gaming revenue rises 11 percent on football World Cup boost

    British gambling company GVC Holdings Plc said on Wednesday its quarterly net gaming revenue rose 11 percent as the football World Cup boosted margins, volumes and value of new customer deposits.

    The company said its second-quarter online net gaming revenue grew 22 percent, with a 15 percent rise recorded between Jan. 1 to June 13, the period before the World Cup began. GVC’s online brands have continued to benefit from a pipeline of new products and marketing campaigns, the company said.


    Smiths Group medical unit hurt by EU medical devices regulation

    Smiths Group Plc (SMIN.L) expects a 2 percent drop in full-year revenue at its medical unit, hurt by some products losing certifications under the new European Union medical devices regulation and two contracts falling through in the United States, it said on Wednesday. 

    The engineering company, which provides hospital equipment, industrial services and security sensors, said group underlying revenue was 3 percent higher for the eleven months ended June, as its growth rate in the second half accelerated.Smiths, which is in talks about a potential combination of its medical division with U.S.-based ICU Medical Inc (ICUI.O), said there was no certainty that a transaction would be concluded.


    GVC's gaming revenue rises 11 percent on football World Cup boost

    British gambling company GVC Holdings Plc (GVC.L) said on Wednesday its quarterly net gaming revenue rose 11 percent as the football World Cup boosted margins, volumes and value of new customer deposits. 

    The company said its second-quarter online net gaming revenue grew 22 percent, with a 15 percent rise recorded between Jan. 1 to June 13, the period before the World Cup began.GVC’s online brands have continued to benefit from a pipeline of new products and marketing campaigns, the company said.


    Rajya Sabha disrupted on Day 1 of monsoon session

    New Delhi: The monsoon session of Parliament began on a stormy note on Wednesday with the Rajya Sabha witnessing its first noisy disruption by opposition members, causing ruckus and an adjournment. 

    After reading obituary references and making an announcement to allow members make speeches in their regional languages, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu called for Zero Hour.  But TDP MPs protested, demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh. Naidu adjourned the House till 12 p.m.


    Premier Foods sales rise on strong demand for Mr Kipling cakes

    Premier Foods (PFD.L) posted a 1.7 percent increase in quarterly sales on Wednesday, fuelled by higher sales of its Mr Kipling cakes, as the company battles to retain under-fire CEO Gavin Darby at Wednesday’s annual meeting.

    Premier Foods, which has been under pressure from two major shareholders to oust Darby, said it is identifying strategic opportunities to speed up the company’s turnaround.


    Plastics packager RPC posts 5.8 percent rise in revenue

    RPC Group Plc (RPC.L), Europe’s biggest plastics packager, reported a 5.8 percent rise in quarterly revenue on Wednesday, helped by contribution from its Astrapak moulded plastic packaging business and favourable polymer pricing.

    The company said revenue rose to 964.7 million pounds in the quarter ended June 30.


    UK airline easyJet upgrades profit guidance

    London: British low cost airline easyJet (EZJ.L) upgraded its full-year profit guidance on Wednesday, shrugging off the cost of air traffic control strikes after it said it was benefiting from a benign competitor environment.

    easyJet said that pretax profit for the 12 months to the end of September 2018 would now be in the range of 550 million pounds to 590 million pounds, up from the 530-580 million pounds it forecast in May.


    British lender Close Brothers reports rise in loan book

    British lender Close Brothers Group Plc (CBRO.L) reported on Wednesday a rise in its loan book, driven by growth in its commercial and property finance businesses.

    The merchant banking group, which provides loans and wealth management and securities trading services, said the loan book at its banking division rose 6.6 percent to 7.3 billion pounds as at June 30.


    Ericsson posts surprise profit in second-quarter

    Stockholm: Mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson (ERICb.ST) reported on Wednesday an unexpected swing to a second-quarter operating profit and said it was confident in reaching its long-term targets.

    Marking its second consecutive quarter of substantial progress toward hitting its 2020 financial goals, the Swedish firm posted an operating profit of 0.2 billion crowns ($22.6 million), compared to a 0.5 billion loss a year earlier and a mean forecast for a 0.1 billion loss seen in a Reuters poll of analysts.


    Akzo Nobel misses second-quarter core earnings, sales forecasts

    Amsterdam: Akzo Nobel (AKZO.AS), the Dutch paints and coatings maker, on Wednesday said its operating income fell 23 percent to 225 million euros as sales slid 3 percent in the second quarter, missing market forecasts.

    Analysts polled for Reuters had expected adjusted operating income to drop 15 percent to 249 million euros. Sales had been seen slipping roughly 2 percent to 2.48 billion euros.


    Tamil Nadu to ask court to dismiss Vedanta's smelter reopening plea

    New Delhi: Tamil Nadu will ask India’s environment court to dismiss Vedanta Ltd’s petition seeking to reopen its copper smelter, a lawyer representing the state government said on Thursday.

    The Tamil Nadu government ordered the permanent closure of the plant and disconnected its power supply in May following protests that turned violent and culminated in the police opening fire on protesters, killing 13 of them.  The protesters had demanded a permanent shutdown of the plant, which they said was causing air and water pollution. Vedanta says the protests were based on false notions.


    Fed's George says uncertainty over trade policy could hurt

    Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George said on Tuesday that uncertainty over U.S. trade policy could slow the economy, even if the current tariffs in and of themselves are too small to have a big impact.

    George called trade policy a “significant” downside risk to her outlook for economic growth, even as tax cuts and other fiscal policy is an upside risk.



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