Asia

The latest investigation by Tokyo prosecutors into Nissan Motor Co.’s Carlos Ghosn centers on his relationship with a Saudi Arabian businessman, Khaled Al Juffali, who runs part of Nissan’s Middle East business, the Wall Street Journal reported. Some of the people said that payments by Nissan to a Juffali company — on which prosecutors have cast suspicion — were for legitimate business purposes. Ghosn was initially arrested in Tokyo on Nov. 19 and charged Dec. 10 with underreporting his income on Nissan’s financial statements.

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The Court of Appeals (CA) has directed the Philippine government to proceed with the payment of P3.9 billion in pension benefits to retired members of the defunct Integrated National Police (INP), The Philippine Star reported. In an eight-page decision issued last Dec. 12, the Special 14th Division of the appellate court ordered the full implementation of a 2016 CA decision for the release of benefits to the INP retirees by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
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The Indian government dealt a surprise blow yesterday to the e-commerce ambitions of Amazon and Walmart, effectively barring the American companies from selling products supplied by affiliated companies on their Indian shopping sites and from offering their customers special discounts or exclusive products, the New York Times reported. If strictly interpreted, the new policies could force significant changes in the India strategies of the retail giants.
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China’s legislature is considering a law to ban local governments from forcing foreign companies to hand over technology, an issue that helped to spark Washington’s tariff war with Beijing, the Associated Press reported. Beijing rejects complaints companies are required to trade technology for market access. But officials including Premier Li Keqiang promised this year to crack down as tensions with Washington, D.C., heated up.
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A U.S. government delegation will travel to Beijing in the week of Jan. 7 to hold trade talks with Chinese officials, Bloomberg News reported. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the Trump administration’s team, which will also include Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass, according to sources. Next month’s meeting will be the first face-to-face discussion the two sides have held since President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed on a 90-day truce in Argentina this month. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that the U.S.
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On the sidewalks of Shanghai and Beijing, once bright-yellow Ofo bicycles lie in varying states of disrepair - chains unhooked, wheels buckled and paint starting to fade - reflecting the quick rise and sharp fall of the Chinese bike-sharing startup, Reuters reported. Millions of Ofo users are clamoring for their deposits to be returned and the firm’s founder has admitted considering bankruptcy. Ofo’s plight is a warning for China’s tech investors, who have plowed tens of billions of dollars into loss-making businesses such as bike sharing, ride hailing and food delivery.

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While 2018 was the year trade wars broke out, 2019 will be the year the global economy feels the pain, Bloomberg News reported. Bloomberg’s Global Trade Tracker is softening amid a fading rush to front-load export orders ahead of threatened tariffs. And volumes are tipped to slow further even as the U.S. and China seek to resolve their trade spat, with companies warning of ongoing disruption. Already there are casualties. GoPro Inc.
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Tasked with helping recover unpaid corporate loans, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has helped resolve insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings involving more than ₹80,000 crore in 2018, The Hindu reported. The kitty is expected to swell beyond ₹1 lakh crore in 2019 with several big-ticket default cases pending. Plans are afoot to further strengthen the NCLT by increasing the number of judges and benches, and providing adequate infrastructure to fast-track the process, according to Indian government officials.

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Home buyers of Jaypee Infratech in Noida are likely to see some respite, with the developer set to hand over 1,000 more houses to customers ready for possession next month, the New Indian Express reported. The company also added that 500 flats will be ready by the end of this financial year. “We are working hard on the completion of the project so that buyers may get some relief. While the insolvency process is on, in the next one month 1,000 more houses will be ready for possession,” said a source in the know.
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Bank of China plans to sell as much as 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) of perpetual bonds in what could be the nation’s first ever issuance of such debt by a lender, Bloomberg News reported. Shareholders approved the proposal at the end of June, the bank’s representatives said today in response to Bloomberg queries. Approvals are awaited from regulators and there’s no deadline for the sale. Chinese authorities met Tuesday to discuss ways to help banks replenish capital and sell perpetual debt as soon as possible, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement today.

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