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Business


21/03/2019

Brexit: Europe's no-deal preparation 'falls short', say businesses

Business lobby groups have written to the European Commission, warning that its own no-deal Brexit plans "fall short of what is needed to limit major disruptions", Newsnight has learned.The letter is from Business Europe - an umbrella body for lobby groups across the EU, including Britain's CBI.It warns of possible disruption to flights, drug supply shortages and data-sharing interruptions. The Commission said it was in frequent contact with stakeholders.But the document suggests European companies - not just UK firms - are extremely nervous about the economic repercussions of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March. 'No one is ready'The EU's chief...
21/03/2019

Thailand's election: The army general, the Oxford scholar, the tycoon 'daddy' and the woman who could beat them

By South-East Asia correspondent Liam Cochrane If the Thai election was being pitched as a new Netflix series, it would probably be a cross between House of Cards and Game of Thrones — dramatic enough to get you hooked and complex enough to sustain several seasons of binge viewing.The cast includes a short-tempered army general, an Oxford-educated conservative haunted by the past, a handsome young millionaire, and a likeable woman with all the right factional connections. Policies take a back seat — stripped to its essence, this election is seen as a crucial test of what sort of country Thais...

Clever New Landing Gear Allow Drones To Set Down Like Birds or Bats

A drone needs a flat spot to land. That fact may sound simple and obvious, but it also limits their usefulness and where they can go. Now, though, Yale researchers inspired by the animal kingdom are figuring out ways that drones could perch like a bird or a bat."Birds can be observed placing their feet on some support while still flapping their wings and bats are known to hang upside down while grasping some suitable surface," says Kaiyu Hang, a postdoc at Yale. "In all of these cases, some suitably shaped part of the animal’s foot interacts with a structure...

21/03/2019

US trade negotiators to visit China for fresh round of talks

BEIJING: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will visit China on March 28-29 for a fresh round of talks aimed at resolving the bruising trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said Thursday.After their visit, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will head to the United States in April to continue the negotiations, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a press briefing.Washington and Beijing are battling over the final shape of a trade deal, with American officials demanding profound changes to Chinese industrial policy.President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that US tariffs on Chinese imports could remain in place...
21/03/2019

Etihad in talks to help debt-ridden Jet Airways

Etihad Airways is in discussion with banks and various stakeholders of the debt-ridden Jet Airways to find a solution, the UAE national airline said on Wednesday amid reports about the possible sale of its entire stake in the Indian carrier. Responding to Khaleej Times' query on its widely reported talks with State Bank of India on selling the entire 24 per cent stakes in Jet Airways, an Etihad spokesperson stated: "As a minority shareholder, Etihad is working closely with Indian lenders, the company and key stakeholders to facilitate a solution for Jet Airways." According to reports in Indian media, Etihad...
21/03/2019

Levi's raises $623 mn ahead of NYSE debut Thursday

NEW YORK — US jeans company Levi Strauss & Co. announced Wednesday strong pricing ahead of its Wall Street return, enabling it to raise a better-than-expected $623 million. The iconic brand, which is set to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, said it would initially price at $17 a share, above the $14 to $16 per share range it had previously targeted. Strong demand for the shares means the IPO will raise $623 million. First founded in 1853 in San Francisco as a wholesale dry goods business, Levi's invented the blue jean 20 years later, a product...

21/03/2019

Sri Lanka says Oman Oil still keen on refinery project

COLOMBO — The Sri Lankan government said on Thursday that Oman's government-controlled Oman Oil Co has made clear that it is interested in taking a 30 percent stake in a new oil refinery project on Sri Lanka's south coast. The Oman oil ministry on Wednesday denied that it had agreed to acquire the stake, saying it knew nothing about the investment that was announced by Sri Lanka's government the previous day. Sri Lankan officials had said that a Singapore entity controlled by the Indian company, Accord Group, would take a 70 percent stake. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told...
21/03/2019

Emirates NBD lists $1b bond

Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest bank, has  listed a $1 billion conventional bond on the Nasdaq Dubai stock exchange. Welcoming the listing, Nasdaq Dubai, the international financial exchange, said the move supports Emirates NBD's activities as one of the region's leading banking groups, including Islamic banking, investment banking, private banking, asset management, global markets & treasury and brokerage operations. The joint lead managers for the bond were BNP Paribas, Emirates NBD Capital, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Nomura International and Standard Chartered Bank. Clifford Chance and Norton Rose Fulbright (Middle East) served as legal advisors for the transaction. Emirates NBD is...
21/03/2019

Microsoft to highlight diversity and inclusion at Ignite tour

The global annual technology conference "Microsoft Ignite-The Tour" is all set to pave its path in Dubai for the very first time. In its inaugural event, Microsoft will continue to play a key role in driving the global conversation around workplace diversity and inclusion issues. The two-day stop in the UAE on the Microsoft Ignite-The Tour, will include a Diversity and Technology track devoted to exploring the benefits of an inclusive work environment. "Microsoft has long spearheaded international co-operation on diversity and inclusion at work, collaborating with like-minded partners on addressing a range of issues and help change the tide...

21/03/2019

Tesla sues former staff for data theft

Tesla filed a lawsuit on Thursday against a former engineer at the company, claiming he copied the source code for its Autopilot technology before joining a Chinese self-driving car startup in January. The engineer, Guangzhi Cao, copied more than 300,000 files related to Autopilot source code as he prepared to join China's Xiaopeng Motors Technology Company, the Silicon Valley carmaker said in the lawsuit filed in a California court. Separately, Tesla lawyers on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against four former employees and US self-driving car startup Zoox, alleging the employees stole proprietary information and trade secrets for developing warehousing, logistics...
21/03/2019

US government sued for access to auto tariff probe report

A conservative group has sued the US government for access to a report on whether auto imports pose a big enough security risk to justify hefty tariffs on the sector, part of a growing chorus demanding a copy of the document. The Cause of Action Institute (CoA), a watchdog aligned with the conservative political activists David and Charles Koch, asked the District of Columbia Federal Court to require the Commerce department to hand over a copy of the report, which could unleash tariffs of up to 25 per cent on imported cars and parts. Last month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross...
21/03/2019

'Y' not? Tesla unveils new SUV, but it's got some stiff competition already

Tesla introduced a new electric sports utility vehicle slightly bigger and more expensive than its Model 3, pitched as an electric car for the masses. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk showed off the "Model Y" late on Thursday at the company's design studio in the southern California city of Hawthorne, and the company began taking orders online. The all-electric Model Y has a starting price of $39,000 for a version with a 230-mile (370km) range. A long-range version of the SUV capable of travelling 300 miles on a single charge was priced at $47,000. Deliveries were expected to begin late...