World news

BAE Systems shares fall over Germany’s ban on arms exports to Saudis | Business – Business Article

Defence company BAE Systems’ share price fell sharply on Thursday after it warned that a German ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, imposed after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, could scupper a multibillion-pound deal to sell Typhoon fighter jets. Alongside its annual results on Thursday, BAE Systems stressed that its business is “reliant on the approval of export licences by a number of governments in order to continue supplies to Saudi Arabia”. The Gulf state accounted for around…

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UBS ordered to pay £3.9bn by French court over raft of violations | Business – Business Article

UBS has been ordered to pay €4.5bn (£3.9bn) by a French court for helping wealthy clients dodge tax, adding to a raft of violations that stand to leave the Swiss bank almost £8bn out of pocket. The lender was found guilty on Wednesday of illegal solicitation and laundering proceeds of tax fraud, a ruling which came with a €3.7bn fine and €800m in civil damages. The total penalty is said to be a record for France, and outstrips UBS’ full-year…

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Carmakers quitting Britain won’t blame Brexit – it’s not in their interest | Phillip Inman | Opinion – Business Article

In 2012 a wave of anti-Japanese nationalism gripped China. Angry crowds burned down Japanese-owned factories, smashed Japanese-made cars and pelted Tokyo’s embassy in Beijing with eggs. It was an experience that jolted Japanese business leaders and they decided to make sure they never again relied on one country for essential widgets, and especially the finished article. In the months before the Brexit vote, Japan’s government warned that a victory for the leave campaign could have a negative impact on investments…

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Nearly 400 jobs lost after Flybmi appoints administrators | Business – Business Article

Nearly 400 employees at Flybmi have lost their jobs following the collapse of the regional British airline at the weekend. Flybmi formally appointed the restructuring firm BDO as administrators on Monday after ceasing to trade on Saturday. BDO announced that 376 employees in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium have been made redundant, although some will assist with the administration. The airline’s immediate owner, British Midland Regional, operated 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities but cancelled…

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Gavin Williamson at centre of row over chancellor’s cancelled China trip | Politics – Business Article

The defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, was at the centre of a growing cabinet row on Saturday night as senior government sources blamed him for offending the Chinese and causing the cancellation of a crucial trade visit to Beijing by the chancellor, Philip Hammond. Senior Conservatives said it was time to rein in Williamson, who has earned the nickname Private Pike in Whitehall after a series of gaffes. Treasury insiders said comments the defence secretary had made in a speech last…

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Donald Trump hints at extension to China trade talks | US news – Business Article

President Donald Trump has conceded that he will delay planned increases in import duties on $200bn (£155bn) of Chinese goods if there is progress in trade talks in Washington next week. Appearing to soften his demand for talks to conclude before 1 March, Trump said there could be a 30- or 60-day extension, should negotiators get closer to a deal. He said a delay was justified, based on the scope and scale of the talks. Speaking on the White House…

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A380: a comfortable, eerily quiet cruise ship of the skies | Business – Business Article

The first thing you noticed was the silence. Even sitting by the engines at takeoff, you didn’t need to raise your voice on the A380 superjumbo. The quiet was almost eerie. It was a monstrous double-decker so big it felt like travelling in two planes stuck on top of one other. It was a kind of cruise ship of the skies with staircases, bars and private first-class cabins, spilling out a wave passengers when it landed at airports. And yet,…

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Germany narrowly avoids recession after stagnating in last quarter – business live | Business – Business Article

2.44am EST 02:44 Why has Germany’s economy slowed? Germany used to be the powerhouse of the eurozone economy, but a cocktail of blows from home and abroad have left it nursing a bad hangover. 1) The global slowdown. The world economy has come off the boil in recent months, partly due to Donald Trump’s trade war. That means less investment, so lower demand for machinery produced by Germany’s industrial heartland. China, in particular, has been cutting back on imports as…

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Blow for Carlos Ghosn as Renault votes unanimously for pay cut | Business – Business Article

Renault’s board of directors has voted unanimously to strip former boss Carlos Ghosn of up to €30m (£26m) in pay and severance. Renault issued a statement on Wednesday saying its board had agreed to waive Ghosn’s non-compete clause and as a result the company would not be paying the compensation linked to this agreement. The move has the backing of the French government. This amounted to two years pay, worth €4-5m, plus about 460,000 performance shares worth up to €26m…

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Ex-BT bosses named in investigation into alleged fraud in Italy unit | Business – Business Article

Three former BT executives, including two who were based in London, have been named in an investigation into alleged accounting fraud in the company’s Italian division, a scandal that forced it to write off £530m and claimed the scalp of its European chief. In a document summing up their case, prosecutors in Italy alleged that a network of BT Italy employees fabricated contracts and invoices and invented fake transactions to hide the unit’s true financial position and hit bonus targets.…

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Brexit: UK has rolled over just £16bn out of £117bn trade deals | Business – Business Article

The government’s push to roll over EU trade deals from which the UK currently benefits has yielded agreements covering just £16bn of the near-£117bn of British trade with the countries involved. Despite frenetic efforts by ministers to ensure the continuity of international trade after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, the trade secretary, Liam Fox, has so far only managed to secure deals with seven of the 69 countries that the UK currently trades with under preferential EU…

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Business leaders demand May answers 20 questions on trade | Politics – Business Article

Business leaders have demanded the prime minister answer 20 crucial questions before the 29 March deadline to prevent a chaotic no-deal Brexit. The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), the UK business trade body, said that without greater clarity over import and export duties, border controls and customs procedures, Theresa May risked thousands of companies suffering a potentially catastrophic shock when the UK quits the European Union. Adam Marshall, the BCC’s director general, said British firms could face the biggest change…

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Najib Razak: 1MDB corruption trial of former Malaysian PM postponed | World news – Business Article

The corruption trial of the former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak over charges related to a multibillion-dollar scandal at the state fund 1MDB has been postponed, in a blow to efforts to bring the disgraced politician to justice. He had been due to go on trial on Tuesday for the first time over allegations linked to his involvement in the looting of the 1MDB fund, in which more than $4.5bn (£3.5bn) of state money was embezzled and spent lavishly in…

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Jaguar Land Rover posts biggest quarterly loss of £3.4bn | Business – Business Article

Jaguar Land Rover announced its biggest quarterly loss on Thursday after it was forced to take a £3.1bn write-down on the value of its investments as Chinese demand slumped. Britain’s largest car manufacturer, which is owned by India’s Tata Group, made a £3.4bn pre-tax loss in the last three months of 2018 as sales fell. It anticipates a loss for the financial year as a whole for the first time in a decade. Half of the £3.1bn non-cash charge was…

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No-deal Brexit: UK exporters risk being locked out of world’s harbours | Business – Business Article

British exporters sending goods to far-flung destinations in the coming days risk being locked out of harbours around the world as a no-deal Brexit looms, business leaders have warned. The Confederation of British Industry, the EEF manufacturers’ lobby group and trade experts said exporters could be dispatching goods from UK ports imminently which would not arrive until after the 29 March deadline – raising the prospect of goods being stuck in ports or facing hefty additional costs in the event…

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Don’t call Howard Schultz a billionaire. He’s just a ‘person of means’ | Arwa Mahdawi | Opinion – Business Article

Howard Schultz is worth around $3.4bn. While one might think that would make the former Starbucks CEO and would-be presidential candidate a “billionaire”, he would prefer you didn’t use that term. You see, while billionaire may seem like a simple descriptor, it is actually a disgusting slur. Schultz enlightened us as to the problematic nature of the b-word at a book event in New York last Monday. When asked by New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin whether he thought…

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Billions of UK aid failing to reduce poverty, report finds | Global development – Business Article

Too much of Britain’s aid budget is being spent poorly by Whitehall departments on projects that fail the test of reducing poverty in the world’s poorest countries, a campaign group has said. The One Campaign – an advocacy organisation set up by the U2 singer Bono – said the huge gulf in standards across government was undermining the battle to build public trust that taxpayers’ money was being well spent. The UK is one of only a handful of countries…

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La dolce vita slips away again as Italy tumbles back into recession | Business – Business Article

Sharing his predictions on the economy less than a month ago, Luigi Di Maio, the Italian deputy prime minister, believed the country was on the cusp of an economic miracle akin to the one enjoyed in the 1960s. “During that period we built highways, now we can build digital highways,” he enthused. His comments were met with derisive laughter. There was even less to laugh about on Thursday when figures revealed that Italy, which is saddled with a public debt…

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Deloitte fined over company linked to scandal-hit 1MDB | Business – Business Article

Deloitte has been fined 2.2m ringgitt (£415,000) by Malaysian regulators for failures in its audit of a firm linked to the scandal-ridden state fund, 1MDB. The Securities Commission Malaysia said Deloitte was reprimanded because it failed to report the irregularities detected in the Sukuk Murabahah Programme, an Islamic bond issued by Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (BMSB). Deloitte was the statutory auditor for BMSB and its holding company 1Malaysia Development Berhad Real Estate (a subsidiary of state fund 1MDB) for the…

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European shares open lower ahead of key US-China trade talks – business live | Business – Business Article

Reuters has done a useful explainer on the trade negotiations. The two sides are trying to resolve deep differences over China’s trade and intellectual property practices, industrial subsidies and market access – to avert an increase in US tariffs on Chinese goods scheduled for 2 March. What are Washington and Beijing fighting about? After years of steadily rising US trade deficits with China and US complaints that Beijing has systematically obtained American intellectual property and trade secrets through coercion and…

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UK cannot simply trade on WTO terms after no-deal Brexit, say experts | Politics – Business Article

The UK will be unable to have frictionless, tariff-free trade under World Trade Organization rules for up to seven years in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to two leading European Union law specialists. The ensuing chaos could double food prices and plunge Britain into a recession that could last up to 30 years, claim the lawyers who acted for Gina Miller in the historic case that forced the government to seek parliament’s approval to leave the EU. It…

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