U.S. businesses optimistic on China growth, bemoan unfair treatment
BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. companies are more confident China will further open up to foreign investment in coming years, a top business lobby said on Tuesday, but it cautioned that an “astounding” three-quarters of its members do not feel welcomed by the Chinese government. The American Chamber of Commerce […]
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian government is pushing the Supreme Court to apply a rarely used doctrine that would strip the $11 billion tobacco industry’s legal right to trade, an effort aimed at deterring tobacco companies from challenging tough new regulations.
New Delhi has for the first time asked the top court to classify tobacco as “res extra commercium”, a Latin phrase meaning “outside commerce,” according to a Reuters review of previously unreported court filing by the Health Ministry on Jan. 8.
If applied, the doctrine – which harkens back to Roman law – would have far reaching implications: in denying an industry’s legal standing to trade, it gives authorities more leeway to impose restrictions.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) has beefed up its U.S. investment banking team as the brokerage and investment banking group looks to grab a bigger share of fees in the world’s biggest economy. Nomura said in a statement late on Monday it had hired 15 senior bankers in the United States over the past 12 months in areas including mergers and acquisitions, leveraged finance, and equity capital markets. The brokerage has made a U.S. expansion of its investment banking arm one of its priorities as it strives to earn more stable income from advisory services. Its hires include bankers covering the healthcare, technology, and financial services sectors, it said. The expansion comes after a major restructuring in 2016 – including a big shrinking of its operations in Europe – following its acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ Asian and European businesses in 2008. That led to six consecutive years of losses for its international operations. Reuters reported last year that Nomura planned to add a dozen senior- and mid-level investment bankers over the next 12 to 18 months in the United States as it anticipated more deals by Japanese firms in the area or by U.S. companies overseas.
Officials from the US, Canada and Mexico say they have made progress in tense negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Their remarks concluded the latest round of talks, the second-to-last before the negotiations are supposed to end in March. President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from the treaty, which governs more than $1 trillion in trade. A Mexican official said the discussions are at a “much better” point. All three sides agreed to language governing anti-corruption during the latest round, while making progress on customs and food sanitation issues.
“We are at a much better moment,” Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said at a press conference in Quebec, Canada.
Analysts had described this meeting – the sixth since August – as a make-or-break moment for the deal.
A major Chinese employer in the UK has warned Prime Minister Theresa May she needs to give a “definite signal” about the kind of Brexit deal she wants. Billionaire department store owner Yuan Yafai, who controls House of Fraser, spoke to the BBC on the eve of Theresa May’s visit to China. With about 17,000 thousand staff on his books in the UK, the 53-year-old has a major interest in Britain’s future. He said it was important for the UK government to reassure people. Speaking to the BBC at his flagship store in Nanjing, Mr Yuan told me he had “confidence” and predicted that leaving the EU would “not be too bad” for the UK economy. But he reiterated that a strong signal was needed from the person at the very top of the UK government. Mr Yuan, who said he started out in business by selling computers by a toilet, took control of House of Fraser almost four years ago.
He said he was planning a big expansion of the chain in China. The six-floor House of Fraser store in Nanjing is modelled on the Glasgow branch, with its distinctive glass ceiling. Part of the ground floor is taken up with an area called British place, which sells an array of china cups and mugs with the union flag or royal motif on.
Would you care if a story you read in a newspaper or online was “written” by a machine rather than a stressed-out hack? Would you even be able to tell the difference? Welcome to the world of “robo journalism” – and it’s coming faster than you think. Squirrelled away at the Press Association’s (PA) headquarters in London is a small team of journalists and software engineers.
They’re working on a computer system that can do the work of multiple human beings, picking out interesting local data trends – everything from crime statistics to how many babies are being born out of wedlock. As part of a trial, the PA has begun emailing selected machine-generated stories, no more than several paragraphs or so in length, to local newspapers that might want to use such material.
“We’ve just been emailing them samples of stories we’ve produced and they’ve been using a reasonable number of them,” says Peter Clifton, editor-in-chief.
Sometimes human journalists will rewrite or add to the algorithms’ copy, but quite often, he says, it is published verbatim. Automated stories about smoking during pregnancy, recycling rates, or cancelled operations have all found their way online and in print.