China slaps tariffs on Australian wine as tensions grow

China will impose taxes on Australian wine of up to 212%, starting on Saturday, it’s commerce ministry said these were temporary anti-dumping measures to stop subsidized imports of Australian wine. The duties will range from 107% to 212%, intensifying trade tensions between the two countries. In recent months, Beijing has targeted Australian imports including coal, sugar, barley and lobsters amid political tensions, officials in China have argued that some Australian wine is being sold cheaper there (dumped) than in it’s home market through the use of subsidies, Australia has rejected that assertion. China is the biggest destination for Australia’s wine … Continue reading China slaps tariffs on Australian wine as tensions grow

Germany’s Bertelsmann to buy Simon & Schuster in $2.17B cash deal

German media giant Bertelsmann said Wednesday that it is buying publisher Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.17bn in cash, Bertelsmann says the New York-based firm, whose authors include Stephen King, Hillary Clinton and John Irving, will become a unit within it’s book-publishing division Penguin Random House. “Simon & Schuster strengthens Bertelsmann’s footprint globally, and particular in the United States, its second-largest market,” the Guetersloh-based company said in a statement. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close during 2021, it said. Bertelsmann said Simon & Schuster’s current president and chief executive, Jonathan Karp, will continue … Continue reading Germany’s Bertelsmann to buy Simon & Schuster in $2.17B cash deal

Second-hand car website becomes latest unicorn

A second-hand car website has seen it’s value rocket to more than $1bn (£750m), putting it into unicorn status, India’s Cars24 has seen a big rise in business during the pandemic as people look to alternatives to public transport such as pre-owned cars. India’s popular but unreliable rail networks were shut off completely when the country went into lock-down, a unicorn refers to a privately-owned start-up firm that is now valued at more than $1bn, other start-ups that have gone on to become unicorns, and household names, include Uber and Airbnb. Covid-19 infections in India have now surpassed 9 million … Continue reading Second-hand car website becomes latest unicorn

McDonald’s sorry for stopping couriers using toilets

McDonald’s has apologized to food delivery drivers after they were denied access to its toilets in lockdown, it comes after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had to remind restaurants of their legal obligations following complaints from couriers. Fast food chains KFC, Subway, Nando’s and Wagamama have also been accused of blocking access to their facilities, under health and safety law, restaurants must give drivers access to “suitable sanitary conveniences”. Takeaway delivery drivers have been crucial through the pandemic to enable restaurants to continue to trade, but the HSE said it had received complaints suggesting some restaurants were breaching the Workplace … Continue reading McDonald’s sorry for stopping couriers using toilets

President Xi of China pledges to open up its ‘super-sized’ economy

Chinese president Xi Jinping has said China will open up its “super-sized” economy to import more high-quality goods and services, China will also sign free trade pacts with more countries, he said on Thursday. Mr Xi was speaking at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which includes the US and Russia, it is as yet unclear if US President Donald Trump will be speaking at the event, which continues on Friday. Mr Trump has previously used the event to lay out his competing vision for the future of global trade, China and the US have been involved in a trade war … Continue reading President Xi of China pledges to open up its ‘super-sized’ economy

Technical glitch closes Australian Stock Exchange

The Australian share market was closed for most of Monday due to a technical glitch, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said the problem was a software issue that created inaccurate market data. The markets had a strong opening before the ASX announced trading had been paused mid-morning, the shutdown is the most serious since the exchange experienced a hardware failure in 2016. Australia was one of 15 countries that signed a new Asian trade deal on Sunday, the world’s biggest trade pact. ASX was introducing a new trading system for it’s equity market, which it has been testing for over … Continue reading Technical glitch closes Australian Stock Exchange

Chinese President Xi personally halted $37bn Ant IPO

China’s President Xi Jinping personally decided to pull the plug on Ant Group’s $37bn initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing Chinese officials with the knowledge of the matter. The decision to stop what would have been the world’s largest-ever IPO came days after the financial-tech giant’s billionaire founder Jack Ma launched a public attack on the country’s financial watchdogs and banks. President Xi ordered Chinese regulators to investigate and effectively shut down Ant’s stock market flotation, the report said. Ma had told a summit in Shanghai on October 24 that the regulatory system was stifling … Continue reading Chinese President Xi personally halted $37bn Ant IPO

US Election 2020: Markets soar despite election uncertainty

US stock markets have recorded their biggest post-election leap in decades despite continuing uncertainty over which candidate will win the race, shares rallied as investors bet the closer-than-expected results reduced the chance of big changes for business. Tech and health firms, now seen as less likely to face new regulation, led the gains, Facebook shares rose more than 8%, while several major health insurance firms saw double-digit jumps. The Dow closed up more than 1.3%, while the wider S&P 500 climbed 2.2%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained nearly 3.9%. “The thinking in the markets is it looks like it’s divided government … Continue reading US Election 2020: Markets soar despite election uncertainty

Samsung in record sales surge due to Huawei’s ban

Samsung Electronics has reported record revenues of $59bn (£45.4bn) in its third quarter, the strong revenues were fuelled by a 50% jump in smart phone sales, while profits from microchips rocketed 82%. The Korean tech giant posted a third quarter net profit of $8.3bn, a 49% increase over the same period last year, Samsung’s mobile and chip businesses were likely boosted by US sanctions against its Chinese rival Huawei. The increase in sales likely reflects Samsung eating into Huawei’s market share as US restrictions hit the Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei has been stockpiling chips ahead of possible US sanctions. In … Continue reading Samsung in record sales surge due to Huawei’s ban

Jack Ma’s Ant Group set for world record $34bn market debut

Chinese financial technology giant Ant Group looks set to make the world’s largest stock market debut. Ant, backed by Jack Ma, billionaire founder of e-commerce platform Alibaba, is to sell shares worth about $34.4bn (£26.5bn) on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock markets, advisers to Ant set the share price on Monday amid reports of very strong demand from major investors. The previous largest debut was Saudi Aramco’s $29.4bn float last December. Ant, an online payments business, is only selling about 11% of its shares. But the pricing values the whole business at about $313bn. Mr Ma’s Ant shares are … Continue reading Jack Ma’s Ant Group set for world record $34bn market debut

Japanese craft breweries are turning unsold beer into gin

Kiuchi Brewery came up with a creative solution for unsold beer with the “Save Beer Spirits” initiative. This was going to be a big year for Japan. With the Summer Olympics due to be hosted in Tokyo, the island nation expected 40 million tourists to grace its shores, but when Covid-19 took hold, the Olympics were postponed and the already struggling economy took a further battering. With bars and restaurants suffering a significant reduction in business, beer sales in Japan dropped 26% by volume for the first half of the year, according to Bloomberg. That’s a big problem for small beer breweries, says Isamu Yoneda, head distiller … Continue reading Japanese craft breweries are turning unsold beer into gin

Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific axes regional carrier and 8,500 jobs

Cathay Pacific has announced it is closing it’s subsidiary Cathay Dragon and cutting 8,500 jobs. Cathay Dragon was a full service regional carrier flying mainly to mainland China and other Asian destinations, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific says it hopes to retain most of Cathay Dragon’s routes. Many other airlines are on the brink of survival as the Covid-19 pandemic batters travel and tourism, the cutbacks at Cathay Pacific are part of the airline group’s attempt to reduce costs during travel restrictions that governments have imposed to limit the pandemic. Cathay says it has already tried to cut costs by deferring … Continue reading Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific axes regional carrier and 8,500 jobs