News Archive


Bombardier books four Challenger 650 orders from Zetta Jet


ORLANDO, Fla. Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) said on Sunday it had booked an order for four of its Challenger 650 business jets from Zetta Jet, a charter operator based in Singapore, valued at $129 million at list prices.

Zetta Jet plans to operate the planes, which have a range of 4,000 nautical miles, between Los Angeles and Southeast Asia, the companies said at the National Business Aviation Association air show. China’s Minsheng Financial Leasing Co Ltd, a unit of China Minsheng Bank (600016.SS), is financing the purchase, which comes amid a prolonged slowdown in business jet orders.


(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/Byzq5pTl49Q/us-bombardier-zetta-idUSKBN12U0WE

Hilton’s value could rise by 25 percent on breakup: Barron’s


NEW YORK Shares of Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) could increase by at least 25 percent on its planned split into three companies, Barron’s reported on Sunday.

Hilton plans to split before the end of the year into three companies that should see their earnings and cash flow grow, according to the report.

Even if the hospitality industry stagnates in the United States, Virginia-based Hilton is opening hotels in profitable overseas markets, Barron’s said.

The owner of the Waldorf Astoria hotel chain on Wednesday cut its full-year forecast for a key revenue measure for the third time as it struggles with weak business travel demand.

The following day, its share price touched $21.80, its lowest level in four months. It closed at $22.25 on Friday.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/ixLk_ZThGQQ/us-companies-hilton-wrldwide-idUSKBN12U0TW

Non-OPEC yet to pledge concrete oil output steps after meeting OPEC


VIENNA Non-OPEC producers made no specific commitment on Saturday to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in limiting oil output levels to prop up prices – a stance that suggested they wanted OPEC to solve its differences first.

Officials and experts from OPEC countries and non-OPEC nations including Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Oman and Russia met for consultations in Vienna on Saturday and only agreed to meet again in November before a scheduled regular OPEC meeting on Nov. 30, they said in a statement.

A day earlier, OPEC members themselves were unable to agreed on how to implement a global deal to limit output after hours of talks amid objections by Iran which has been reluctant to even freeze its output levels, sources said.

“We have to agree on the real numbers,” non-OPEC Kazakhstan’s vice-minister of energy, Magsum Mirzagaliev, told reporters after seven hours of talks on Saturday.

“It is important that we meet once again with detailed numbers. We agreed that we have to meet in 3-4 weeks with numbers, because every country has his own opinion,” he said.

OPEC and non-OPEC said in a joint statement the meeting on Saturday was a “positive development” towards reaching a global output limiting deal on Nov. 30.

Oil LCOc1 is trading closer to $50 a barrel, less than half its price of mid-2014, weighed down by persistent oversupply and squeezing the incomes of exporting nations.

Last month, OPEC agreed at a meeting in Algeria very modest production cuts, its first since 2008, in an effort to help prop up prices. But the cuts have yet to be finalised.

The meeting of OPEC experts, known as OPEC’s High Committee, does not decide policy but will make recommendations to the next OPEC ministerial meeting on Nov. 30.

The meeting on Friday exposed old faultlines among OPEC members, especially the organization’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia and its arch-rival Iran.

Tehran argues it wants to regain its oil market share it had lost during years of sanctions, which were eased earlier this year as part of a nuclear deal with the West.

Riyadh, which is fighting several proxy wars with Iran, including in Syria and Yemen, is reluctant to make concessions to Tehran.

WAITING FOR OPEC

OPEC members have not agreed between themselves on a single set of production figures from which to make the agreed cutbacks, and members including Iraq, Iran, Libya and Nigeria – whose output has been held back by sanctions or conflict – have asked ‎for special treatment in curbing output.

The last time OPEC persuaded non-OPEC nations to make joint cuts was as long ago as the start of the millennium.

Azerbaijan’s energy minister Natig Aliyev told reporters before the start of the meeting he believed the global deal was still possible.

“Just one week ago we met with the president of Venezuela,” he said, in reference to the south American OPEC member which has been pushing for measures to support prices.

“Venezuela and Azerbaijan agree that some measures will be taken to stabilize the market. We agreed the price of oil can be around $60 per barrel.”

Brazil’s representative said his country was attending only as an observer. “Brazilian production will increase in the next few years,” said Brazilian official Marcio Felix.

Russia, one of the world’s top producers, which has been supporting joint actions with OPEC, also attended the meeting in Vienna but made no public comment.

Two OPEC sources said Russian energy officials told the gathering that Moscow was still willing to freeze its output levels if OPEC agreed to cap its production.

“Russia is ready but they want to see in detail figures agreed for yesterday,” one of the sources said. Another source said Russia would freeze if OPEC agreed to reduce output.

(Additonal reporting by Rania El Gamal; editing by Richard Balmforth)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/H09xhZj_IWE/us-opec-meeting-idUSKCN12T083

Nissan deal opens door for Scotland concessions


LONDON The British government’s promises to Japanese carmaker Nissan (7201.T) open the door to a special deal for Scotland if Britain leaves the European Union, Scottish nationalists said on Sunday.

Nissan said on Thursday it would build two new models in Britain, after what a source described to Reuters as a promise of aid from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to counter any loss of competitiveness caused by Brexit.

On Friday other carmakers asked for help too, while the opposition Labour Party called for more detail about the deal.

On Sunday the Scottish National Party joined them.

“The Nissan deal is a hugely significant concession by the UK government because it shows they are open to the principle of a ‘flexible Brexit’,” Michael Russell, a minister in the SNP-led Scottish government in Edinburgh, said in a statement.

Most Scots voted against leaving the EU, unlike the majority of people in the rest of the United Kingdom, and the SNP wants Scotland to stay part of the EU’s single market even if the rest of Britain leaves.

A British government minister, David Mundell, told Scottish legislators on Thursday that he expected the United Kingdom as a whole would leave the EU single market, but that it would retain tariff- and barrier-free access to the EU.

“David Mundell (said) there would be no special deal for Scotland – but he has been completely undermined by Theresa May’s actions over the Nissan deal,” Russell said. “It can’t be right for the UK government to conclude backroom deals with some specific companies … while pursuing a course of action that will cost many thousands of Scottish jobs.”

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/XKycMhnAk78/us-britain-eu-nissan-scotland-idUSKCN12U00M

EU, U.S. trade deal not dead yet: EU’s Malmstrom


BRUSSELS A much-debated trade deal between the European Union and the United States is not dead and negotiations will continue with the new U.S. administration after November’s elections, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Saturday.

A similar agreement between the EU and Canada can finally be signed on Sunday after resistance from Belgian local governments led to a last-minute blockade of the agreement which was seven years in the making.

Paul Magnette, the premier of Belgium’s region of Wallonia who led opposition to the Canadian trade deal, told his parliament on Friday that with the concessions he managed to agree, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was “dead and buried”.

Malmstrom said she disagreed with that assessment and work would continue with the new U.S. administration.

“TTIP is not dead, but TTIP is not yet an agreement,” she told reporters after a ceremony in Brussels, in which Belgium signed its addendum to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.

“The U.S. election will naturally bring the negotiations to a pause and we will resume after with the new administration,” she added.

Both TTIP and CETA have sparked demonstrations by unions and protest groups who say the agreements will lead to a ‘race to the bottom’ in labor, environmental and public health standards and allow big business to challenge democratically elected governments across Europe.

Washington and Brussels were committed to sealing TTIP before President Barack Obama leaves office in January, but both sides now recognize that this will not happen.

Some European politicians have called for TTIP talks to be halted and relaunched after the U.S. presidential elections with greater transparency, clearer goals and a different name.

Malmstrom said lessons from the Canadian negotiations would aid in making a deal with the United States.

“Some of the experiences, some of the procedures that we have experienced with CETA, will also be reflected in our work on TTIP,” she said.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Stephen Powell)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/iTPIyRyLREI/us-eu-trade-usa-idUSKCN12T095

OPEC meets non-OPEC nations for oil talks, Russia still on board


VIENNA Officials from OPEC and non-member oil producing countries met on Saturday aiming to build support for an OPEC plan to reduce output one day after OPEC members were unable to agreed on how to implement the deal.

Arriving for the meeting with OPEC’s High Level Committee of exporters, only the representative of non-OPEC Azerbaijan made comments supportive of the need for producer action to help prop up prices.

“Today we will discuss the recognized positions of countries, first of all the OPEC countries,” Azerbaijan’s energy minister Natig Aliyev told reporters outside OPEC’s headquarters.

“Just one week ago we met with the president of Venezuela,” he added, in reference to the south American OPEC member which has been pushing for measures to support prices.

“Venezuela and Azerbaijan agree that some measures will be taken to stabilize the market. We agreed the price of oil can be around $60 per barrel.”

Oil LCOc1 is trading closer to $50 a barrel, less than half its price of mid-2014, weighed down by persistent oversupply and squeezing the incomes of exporting nations.

Other non-OPEC officials did not mention joint producer action.

The deputy minister for Kazakhstan, asked what he hoped the meeting would achieve, said: “We just hope the price will react and it will increase.”

Brazil’s representative said his country was attending only as an observer.

“Brazilian production will increase in the next few years,” said Brazilian official Marcio Felix.

Russia, which is one of the world’s top producers and has been supporting action with OPEC to prop up prices, is also attending the meeting, so far without making public comment in Vienna.

Two OPEC sources said Russian energy officials told the gathering that Moscow was still willing to freeze its output levels if OPEC agreed to cap its production.

“Russia is ready but they want to see in detail figures agreed for yesterday,” one of the sources said. Another source said Russia would freeze if OPEC agreed to reduce output.

On Friday, an OPEC-only meeting of officials to work out the details of a plan to reduce oil production failed to reach agreement after hours of talks amid objections by Iran which has been reluctant to even freeze its output levels, sources said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last month in Algiers to reduce OPEC oil production to between 32.50 million and 33 million barrels per day, OPEC’s first output cut since 2008, in an effort to help prop up prices.

The OPEC High Committee does not decide policy but will make recommendations to the next OPEC ministerial meeting on Nov. 30.

Other non-OPEC nations sending representatives to Saturday’s talks are Mexico, Oman and Bolivia.

(Additonal reporting by Rania El Gamal; editing by Jason Neely)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/H09xhZj_IWE/us-opec-meeting-idUSKCN12T083

Three Tata execs quit, sources say, adding to uncertainty at Indian group


MUMBAI/NEW DELHI Three senior group executives at India’s Tata Sons have resigned, people close to the matter told Reuters on Saturday, as management woes appeared to deepen at the $100 billion conglomerate following the stunning ouster of its chairman.

The three executives were members of an executive council disbanded after Tata dismissed chairman Cyrus Mistry on Monday. The council, comprising five senior Tata group executives and Mistry, was tasked with creating long-term value for stakeholders and boosting returns on investment.

Those who quit are group human resources chief N.S. Rajan; group business development and public affairs head Madhu Kannan; and group strategy executive Nirmalya Kumar.

Reuters could not reach any of the three for comment. Tata did not respond to an e-mail request for comment on Saturday.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the other two council executives, Mukund Rajan and Harish Bhat, would take on senior level responsibilities within the Tata group.

One person close to Tata said there was no certainty all the positions would be re-filled as the group’s structure is likely to change with Mistry’s exit. Another person, however, said replacements could be named as early as next week, though there was no management crisis as each Tata company has its own team of public affairs and business development executives.

But some governance experts say the resignations of senior executives risk increasing the sense of uncertainty at Tata.

“In the short term, obviously there’ll be some disruption at the group level” said Shriram Subramanian of InGovern, a shareholder advocacy group. “People leaving at senior levels shows there’s a lack of confidence between the two sides, and that needs to be reinstated at the earliest to contain any longer-term damage.”

MEDIATION

Disagreements between Mistry and his predecessor Ratan Tata, the family patriarch and now stand-in chairman of the 148-year-old conglomerate, have turned a boardroom battle into a damaging public spat fueled by leaked letters and tit-for-tat accusations.

Mistry alleges corporate governance failures and mismanagement at Tata, which has dismissed the allegations as “malicious”.

CNBC-TV18 news channel reported on Saturday that Darius Khambatta, a senior lawyer close to both Tata and Mistry, had initiated mediation talks between the two parties. Khambatta told Reuters he was “not mediating between them,” but declined to comment on whether he had met Tata and Mistry.

India’s financial crime-fighting agency will look into Mistry’s allegations about mismanagement at Tata’s aviation ventures, another person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

In a leaked letter to the Tata board, Mistry has said he was opposed to Tata’s aviation partnerships with Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd and Singapore Airlines.

In the case of Air Asia, a forensic investigation had found “fraudulent transactions” of 220 million rupees ($3.29 million) involving “non-existent parties”, he alleged.

That prepared the ground for a “probe into the allegation of mismanagement of funds,” said an official at the national Enforcement Directorate, on condition of anonymity.

The agency was not immediately available to comment. Tata did not respond to Reuters questions on this matter. An AirAsia India spokeswoman said she had no immediate comment.

India’s capital markets regulator is already looking into Mistry’s allegations related to violations of corporate governance rules at Tata.

(Additional reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Writing by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Ian Geoghegan and Euan Rocha)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/O2iN2xgonZE/us-tata-sons-management-idUSKCN12T07X

VW HR chief says expects five-digit number of job cuts: FAZ


BERLIN/FRANKFURT Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) expects the shift to electric cars to cost a five-digit number of jobs in coming years, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper reported, citing the carmaker’s human resources chief.

Karlheinz Blessing, who sits on VW group’s nine-member top management board, said the carmaker will need to cut jobs in production as assembly of electric engines requires fewer workers than making combustion engines, the newspaper said, citing an interview to be published in Saturday’s edition.

VW’s works council, currently in talks with VW’s brand management over a turnaround plan for the core VW brand, expects up to 25,000 staff to be cut over the next decade as older workers retire.

Blessing reaffirmed there will be no forced dismissals at Europe’s largest automaker.

Management and labor leaders are seeking to reach agreement on cost cuts and strategy in time for a Nov. 18 meeting of the supervisory board to approve future spending plans.

Volkswagen’s works council has warned that the talks with management could fail if the carmaker does not agree to invest in its own battery production.

Blessing said Volkswagen had to consider doing so although no decision had been taken yet.

“If 30 percent of the value creation will be in the battery system in future, it is right to consider whether we will step in and to what extent. We cannot leave that to others,” he said.

“How deeply we will engage is a matter we will discuss as part of the future pact.”

(Reporting by Andreas Cremer and Georgina Prodhan; editing by Edward Taylor and Jason Neely)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/8RCoP4lQlvo/us-volkswagen-jobs-idUSKCN12S1QP

Tesla’s Musk adds solar roofs to his clean energy vision


Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday unveiled new energy products aimed at illustrating the benefits of combining his electric car and battery maker with solar installer SolarCity Corp (SCTY.O).

The billionaire entrepreneur showed of solar-powered roof tiles that eliminate the need for traditional panels and a longer-lasting home battery, which Tesla calls the Powerwall, aimed at realizing his vision of selling a fossil fuel free lifestyle to consumers.

“This is sort of the integrated future. An electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated,” Musk said while showcasing the products on homes that once served as the set of the television show “Desperate Housewives.”

Musk is the biggest shareholder in both Tesla and SolarCity, which is run by two of his first cousins. Analysts have been dubious of the deal’s proposed synergies, with some suggesting the merger is a way for Tesla to rescue money-losing SolarCity. A vote on the acquisition is scheduled for Nov. 17.

The rollout of the product, expected as soon as next summer, would be “unwieldy” if the two companies are not combined, Musk told reporters.

Having two separate companies “slows things down, makes them more expensive. It’s worse for shareholders,” he said.

Musk refused to answer a reporter’s question about how Tesla’s balance sheet would accommodate the acquisition of SolarCity.

By incorporating solar modules into rooftops, Tesla is hoping to succeed with a solar technology that to date has had little success. Just this year, Dow Chemical said it would stop selling a solar shingle it launched five years ago.

Tesla’s glass solar roof tiles would look far better than any similar product, Musk said. They can be manufactured in a range of styles, which were demonstrated on the rooftops on the set.

Tesla gave little detail on cost, except to say that the cost of the roof would be less than a conventional roof plus solar. The product will appeal to home builders and people looking to replace their roofs, Musk said, adding that the shingles would be more durable and have better insulation qualities than conventional roofs.

SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive, Musk’s cousin, said the solar roofs could easily have a five percent share of the new roof market within a year or two.

The new generation of home and industrial batteries will be available this year.

(Additional reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/m-QPWQ90OPo/us-tesla-solarcity-idUSKCN12T01T