|Bid||578.40 x 0|
|Ask||578.80 x 0|
|Day's range||574.67 - 585.80|
|52-week range||0.78 - 687.70|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.57|
|PE ratio (TTM)||9.00|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.31 (5.37%)|
|Ex-dividend date||10 Oct 2019|
|1y target est||N/A|
Britain's finance sector is losing hope of securing even basic access to European Union markets from Dec. 31, as talk that the EU wants UK fishing rights in exchange draws the industry into a political struggle between the bloc and its departing member. Hopes were high that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would prioritise the financial sector -- Britain's largest export industry and biggest corporate tax generator -- in trade talks. Until now, financial firms running EU operations from Britain believed that technical assessments by EU banking, insurance and markets regulators would be enough judge UK rules 'equivalent' to those governing EU-based firms, granting them market access after December.
(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou 13 months ago at the behest of the U.S. brought to a halt the once-frenetic life of Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer who traveled so frequently she went through seven passports in a decade.Meng’s limbo continues as she fights against extradition to New York. Her first hearing in a Canadian court ended Thursday with no immediate ruling.The high-profile case -- triggered by her 2018 arrest during a stopover at Vancouver airport -- has triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis and plunged Canada-China relations into their darkest period in decades. Meng, 47, is the eldest daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the billionaire founder of China’s biggest telecommunications company.Proceedings this week had focused on whether her case meets a crucial test of Canadian extradition law: would her alleged U.S. offense have also been a crime in Canada?The outcome could offer Meng her first shot -- however slim -- at release. If the judge rules her case doesn’t meet the double-criminality test, she could be discharged.“This is the kind of case that tests our system,” Richard Peck, one of Meng’s defense lawyers, told the court in closing arguments Thursday.How Huawei Landed at the Center of Global Tech Tussle: QuickTakeThe U.S. is seeking Meng’s handover on fraud charges, accusing her of lying to HSBC Holdings Plc to trick it into conducting transactions that violated U.S. restrictions on doing business with Iran.The defense has argued the U.S. deliberately framed the case as fraud to make it easier to extradite Meng but that in reality it’s a sanctions-evasion complaint. On that basis, it fails the double criminality test because Canada doesn’t have sanctions on Iran, it says.Canada made a sovereign decision to remove sanctions in 2016 “along with the rest of the civilized world,” Peck argued, describing the U.S. as an “outlier” that’s pressuring Canada to enforce a policy it has expressly repudiated.“It’s a political law,” Peck told the court. “It’s not the traditional law that extradition cases are fused with, the general law, the law that is common to nations.”The prosecution didn’t speak Thursday but has disputed the foundation of her defense. “Fraud, not sanctions violations, is at the heart of this case,” prosecutor Robert Frater told the court on Wednesday. “Lying to a bank in order to get banking services that creates a risk of economic prejudice is fraud.”Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes didn’t say when she expects to issue her decision. Of the 798 U.S. extradition requests received since 2008, Canada has only refused or discharged eight, according to the Justice Department. Another 40 cases were withdrawn by the U.S.One in 100: Huawei CFO’s Odds of Beating U.S. ExtraditionIf the judge rules that the case fails the double-criminality test, Canada’s attorney general would have the right to appeal within 30 days. But in theory, Meng could be on a plane back to China well before that, according to Gary Botting, a Vancouver-based lawyer who’s been involved in hundreds of Canadian extradition cases.Meng, also known as Sabrina and Cathy, has become the highest-profile target of a broader U.S. effort to contain China and its largest technology company, which Washington sees as a national security threat. She has been out on bail living under house arrest, currently at her C$14 million ($10.7 million) mansion just two doors down from the U.S. consul general’s residence in a tony Vancouver neighborhood.Prisoner in Vancouver: Huawei CFO Awaits Fate in SplendorShe’s become a national cause for Beijing, which sees the U.S. case as politically motivated and accuses Canada of “arbitrary detention.” China detained two Canadians -- Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig -- within days of her arrest and has halted billions of dollars worth of Canadian imports.Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted pressure to intervene in the case, saying Canada will abide by the rule of law and allow the courts to come to an independent decision. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, has muddied Meng’s case and undermined Canada by suggesting that he might try to intervene in Meng’s case if it would boost a China trade deal.In later hearings, Meng’s defense is expected to cite Trump’s comment to argue that her case is politicized and she should be freed. The next hearings are scheduled to begin April 27.To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Vancouver at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Blumberg, Anthony LinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Being a shopping-mall landlord is a risky business in the age of e-commerce, even in retail-crazy Singapore. So it’s only sensible that CapitaLand Mall Trust is merging with CapitaLand Commercial Trust, which owns offices.The S$8.3 billion ($6.2 billion) deal between the two sister real estate investment trusts, or REITs, will create a property owner of some heft. The combined entity will have the firepower to undertake up to S$4.6 billion in overseas acquisitions. At home, the revenue stream from shops — under pressure from online sales — will get commingled with more stable office rents.That will be a relief. CapitaLand Mall Trust’s income available for distribution grew a healthy 7.5% last year, but the REIT’s tenants saw sales decline 1.4% on a per-square-foot basis, with electrical and electronics, home furnishings and information technology and telecommunications recording falls of more than 10%, according to figures released Wednesday.This is part of a global trend. As I wrote in July, Singapore’s Generation Z — those born after 2000 — won’t be mall rats. It will be a challenge for landlords to eke out positive rental “reversions” when tenancies come up for renewal. More than half of Rafffles City Singapore, a marquee property in the trust’s portfolio, was leased out again last year, and the owner saw no increase in rates. At The Atrium@Orchard — another prestigious downtown location — rentals dropped 6.5% from when CapitaLand Mall signed them three years earlier.Mind you, Singapore’s office market is also showing signs of fatigue. Rents for Grade A offices stopped rising in the December quarter as the city’s small, open economy slowed amid U.S.-China trade tensions. Colliers International Group Inc. forecasts they will climb just 1% in 2020, before sliding 4% next year. Things could get uglier still if the co-working trend comes under strain following last year’s WeWork debacle.Even those worried about the shared-space segment should be encouraged by the technology industry — especially fintech. With 21 bids for up to five new digital bank licenses, the outlook for the city’s office market is more optimistic than it is for retail. CapitaLand Commercial Trust generally experienced positive rental reversions during the December quarter. Properties such as Six Battery Road, formerly Standard Chartered Plc’s Singapore headquarters, and 21 Collyer Quay, where WeWork will move in after HSBC Holdings Plc moves out, could do even better after the landlord spruces them up this year.Singapore’s office market will also undergo transformation as city planners make a deliberate attempt to have more people living in and around the central business district. The idea is to increase the utility of the island’s priciest real estate so that it’s not a ghost town after working hours. As part of the plan, old office towers near the central bank and the stock exchange will be redeveloped as mixed-use properties that have more space to sell or rent out. Neither these structural changes nor the cyclical ebb and flow of office demand and supply is a surprise to property builders and owners. Assessing the retail industry is trickier. Not only could it be facing terminal decline because of surging digital consumption, it’s also driven by tourism. Interest in the city peaked after the 2018 release of “Crazy Rich Asians,” and continued to rise — to about 5 million visitors in the third quarter of 2019 — after Hong Kong’s anti-government protests. The recent outbreak of a new respiratory virus, however, is a reminder of how ephemeral such gains could be.The virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, may or may not be a repeat of the deadly 2003 SARS epidemic, which hit Singapore hard. Yet it gives real-estate investors another reason to want their rents coming from a combined pool of retail and offices. That way, the profit available for distribution will become more future-proof — at least until artificial intelligence makes it unnecessary for humans to show up for work at all.To contact the author of this story: Andy Mukherjee at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Lawyers for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will respond Thursday to the Canadian prosecutor's arguments calling for Meng to be extradited to the United States on bank fraud charges. Thursday's proceedings will wrap up the first phase of the extradition process and legal experts have said it could be years before a final decision is reached in the case, since Canada's justice system allows many decisions to be appealed. On Wednesday, prosecutors argued that Meng should be extradited on fraud charges, and that contrary to her defence argument, the case is not solely about violation of the U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Lloyds Banking Group’s 49.9% overdraft interest rate is the highest announced to date, following a ban on excessive fees demanded last year by the City regulator.
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Indonesia’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a third straight month, saying the economic outlook is improving even as the door remains open for future rate cuts. Bank Indonesia kept the seven-day reverse repurchase rate unchanged at 5% Thursday, as predicted by 29 of 34 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The others expected a reduction of 25 basis points.“Is there room to cut rates? Yes. Will Bank Indonesia use it? Not yet,” Governor Perry Warjiyo told reporters after the decision.A spike in risk appetite, boosted by a phase-one trade deal struck by the U.S. and China, has been driving inflows into emerging markets, spurring on Indonesia’s currency and pushing bond yields lower. That takes the pressure off policy makers to act, although Warjiyo stressed policy will remain accommodative.“Today’s decision can best be described as a dovish hold,” said Joseph Incalcaterra, Asean economist at HSBC Holdings Plc. “While the central bank took comfort in the fact that the latest global and domestic data all point to improving growth, BI clearly signaled room for further rate cuts. Given that we forecast growth to remain below Bank Indonesia’s 5.1%-5.5% target in the short-term, we see a further 50 basis points of rate cuts this year.”The rupiah has gained 2.5% against the dollar over the past month, making it Asia’s top performer. Foreign investors have pumped more than $1.5 billion into Indonesian government bonds so far this year.The currency pared gains after the decision, while the Jakarta Composite Index was little changed. Indonesia’s 10-year government bonds were headed for a sixth day of gains.Emerging markets from Argentina to Malaysia have kicked off the year with rate cuts to bolster their economies amid an uncertain global backdrop. Bank Negara Malaysia unexpectedly reduced its benchmark rate by 25 basis points Wednesday in what it said was a pre-emptive move.Malaysia Follows Turkey, South Africa With Interest Rate Cut (2)In Indonesia, growth of about 5% remains a worry for policy makers. In a briefing for Thursday’s rate decision, Bank Indonesia officials said the economy had already bottomed out and would grow around 5.3% this year, after an estimated 5.1% expansion last year.Lagging LendingIn his briefing, Warjiyo raised concerns about lackluster loan growth -- estimated at just 6.1% in 2019 -- as well as the pace of intermediary functions in the banking sector. Even the 10%-12% loan growth expected this year “is not yet optimal,” Warjiyo said.“It’s time to invest. It’s time to be confident,” he said at the end of his remarks. “It looks like they’re still hoping banks would start to pass on the 100 basis points in rate cuts from last year, although the loan-growth target of 10%-12% for 2020 will remain ambitious,” said Wellian Wiranto, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. “Overall, BI is trying to strike a confident tone on growth, talking about lower uncertainty globally and higher investment domestically.”Inflation is slowing, giving the central bank room to lower borrowing costs in coming months if further stimulus is needed. Consumer prices rose 2.7% in December from a year ago, the slowest pace of growth since March. Bank Indonesia has lowered its inflation target band to 2%-4% this year, from 2.5%-4.5% in 2019.The current-account deficit remains a risk for the economy, although the trade deficit improved significantly to $3.2 billion last year from $8.6 billion in 2018.Warjiyo sought to calm fears over the appreciating rupiah. President Joko Widodo recently expressed concern about the currency gaining too quickly, warning it could hurt exporters.“Overall, the impact of rupiah appreciation is positive,” the governor said. “It will help with imports of raw materials for investment.”(Updates with Warjiyo quote in third paragraph, analyst comment in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Rieka Rahadiana, Eko Listiyorini and Chester Yung.To contact the reporters on this story: Karlis Salna in Jakarta at email@example.com;Tassia Sipahutar in Jakarta at firstname.lastname@example.org;Arys Aditya in Jakarta at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael S. ArnoldFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Mclean, who has been with the bank since 1996, held many senior roles including a stint as president and CEO of HSBC Japan between 2012 and 2016. Mclean will lead the push into Australian markets as the company aims to expand its share in the region's retail and commercial banking, wealth management and global banking markets, HSBC said.
Britain's regulators should have a formal role after Brexit to keep the financial sector globally competitive and less prone to "gold-plating" international norms, an industry think tank said on Thursday. The International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG) said new thinking and targeted reforms were required after Britain leaves the European Union on Jan. 31.
Stress testing of banks in the European Union to check their ability to withstand market shocks without taxpayer help should be eased to cut bank costs, the EU's banking regulator proposed on Wednesday. The European Banking Authority (EBA) proposed a new framework that would allow banks to publish their own results of the stress test alongside the EBA's. Only one set of results are published now. "The framework we are proposing today aims at making the EU-wide stress test more informative, flexible, and cost-effective," EBA Chair Jose Manuel Campa said in a statement.
Canadian prosecutors are expected to defend on Wednesday their case to extradite Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States saying Meng was arrested on charges of bank fraud, which is a crime in both countries, and not because of U.S. sanctions against Iran as argued by the defense. Meng's legal team continued its defence during the first phase of the extradition hearing on Tuesday, with lawyers arguing for a second straight day that "double criminality" is at the heart of the U.S. extradition request.
Britain's finance ministry has canvassed banks for ideas to boost the country's "left-behind" northern towns and cities, weeks after the governing Conservatives won an election promising to boost the regions outside London. The call comes as figures show lending by banks to small and medium sized businesses has shrunk rapidly in the north of England. Treasury officials have requested policy ideas for fuelling growth in the north of England in meetings with banks and finance industry trade bodies including since the new year, banking industry sources told Reuters.
Britain's markets watchdog told financial advisers on Tuesday they face a two-year crack down to stop unsuitable advice, investment scams and excessive fees. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a "Dear CEO" letter to heads of financial advice firms it regulates that the sector has a valuable role to play. "However, we are seeing an increasing number of cases where the actions of firms are resulting in significant harm to consumers’ financial well-being," said Debbie Gupta, the FCA's director of financial advice supervision, in the letter.
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou is set to return to a Vancouver court on Tuesday, where her lawyers will build on their arguments against the U.S. extradition request that they say is based a sanctions violation and not bank fraud. Meng, 47, arrived in a Vancouver courtroom on Monday for the first phase of a hearing that will last at least four days, during which her legal team argued that "double criminality" was at the heart of the case, as China repeated its call for Canada to release her. The United States has charged Meng with bank fraud, and accused her of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's business in Iran.
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(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou shouldn’t be dispatched to the U.S. because her alleged crimes don’t meet Canada’s legal tests for extradition, her defense lawyers said at the opening of hearings.At issue in a legal battle that has severely strained Canada-China relations is whether her extradition request meets the crucial test of double criminality: Would her alleged crime have also been a crime in Canada? If the judge rules it doesn’t meet that standard, she could be discharged, according to Canada’s extradition rules.Extraditing Meng “would undermine the double criminality rule,” her defense lawyer Richard Peck told the court in Vancouver.The hearings that began Monday offer Meng’s first opportunity to avoid handover to the U.S., which accuses her of fraud, saying she lied to HSBC Holdings Plc and tricked it into transactions that violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng attended the hearing in a black dress with polka-dots that displayed the GPS tracker on her ankle as some 150 media and spectators watched the proceedings from the gallery.Her defense has argued that the U.S. case is, in reality, a sanctions-violations complaint that it’s sought to “dress up” as fraud to make it easier to extradite her.“Fraud is a facade,” Peck said. “In the end, we are being asked to impose on Canada an obligation to assist the U.S. in enforcing sanctions on Iran.”Her team, citing section 29 of Canada’s Extradition Act, says double criminality needs to be assessed as of February 2019 -- the date when Canada’s justice minister authorized the start of extradition proceedings.Iran SanctionsAt that time, Canada didn’t have sanctions on Iran. Therefore, her lawyers argue, her case fails to meet the double criminality test -- any transactions by HSBC wouldn’t have broken any Canadian laws.Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes appeared to question whether the court might consider a broader time range. “It might not be as straightforward as it appears,” she said.If so, that could throw a spanner into the defense’s arguments. Meng allegedly tricked the HSBC banker at a meeting at a Hong Kong teahouse in August 2013, when Canada had a full embargo on trade with Iran. So any transactions by HSBC at that time would have violated Canadian sanctions.The judge also appeared to test another central pillar of Meng’s defense. Her lawyers have cited Canadian legal precedent to argue that for fraud to have occurred, HSBC must have been at risk of economic loss. “That essential element of risk of deprivation is missing,” Peck said, pointing again to the lack of Canadian sanctions.Holmes seemed to challenge that: if the case were considered as a domestic proceeding but for one change -- that Meng had lied to HSBC in Canada as opposed to in Hong Kong -- would that not be a prosecutable fraud case here, she asked.Defense lawyer Eric Gottardi, seemingly caught off guard, replied: “If there was dishonesty combined with a risk of deprivation, arguably you could make out the offense.”How Huawei Landed at the Center of Global Tech Tussle: QuickTakeDetained CanadiansMeng, the eldest daughter of billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has become the highest profile target of a broader U.S. effort to contain China and its largest technology company, which Washington sees as a national security threat. Meng, who turns 48 next month, is charged with bank and wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison on conviction.China has demanded Canada release Meng, and has retaliated by slapping sanctions on Canadian products such as canola, while detaining two Canadians after her arrest in December 2018.The double-criminality hearings are scheduled for four days but the ruling would likely come much later -- possibly in months.As the extradition hearing began, Huawei released a video statement on its Twitter feed saying it has confidence in the process. “We trust in Canada’s judicial system which will prove Ms. Meng’s innocence,” spokesman Benjamin Howes said.Meng has been biding her time in a Vancouver mansion since her arrest. That’s in sharp contrast to the conditions endured by the two Canadians -- Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor -- who were detained in China after her arrest.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government says securing the release of the two men -- one a former diplomat, the other an entrepreneur -- is a priority and that it has asked the Trump administration for help. Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters Sunday at a cabinet retreat in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that he raised the issue last week with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.Over the weekend, a senior aide to former Prime Minister Jean Chretien joined John Manley, a former Liberal deputy prime minister and industry minister, in urging Trudeau to consider ordering an end to the Huawei executive’s extradition as part of a prisoner exchange for Kovrig and Spavor.Asked about that proposal Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said: “Our government has been clear that we’re a rule of law country and that we honor our extradition treaty commitments. That is what we need to do, and that is what we will do.”(Updates with court arguments starting 11th paragraph)\--With assistance from Stephen Wicary.To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Vancouver at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jacqueline ThorpeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
VANCOUVER/TORONTO, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will be in a Vancouver courtroom on Monday for the first day of her extradition trial, a process expected to take months - possibly years - to decide whether she can be extradited from Canada to the United States. The United States has charged her with bank fraud, and accused her of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's business in Iran. Meng, 47 is the daughter of Huawei's billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei and remains free on bail in Canada.
TORONTO/LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, will appear in a Vancouver, Canada, courtroom on Monday for the first day of her extradition trial, a process expected to take months - possibly years - to decide whether she can be extradited from Canada to the United States. Dec. 30, 2012 – Reuters publishes an exclusive story https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-huawei-hp/exclusive-huawei-partner-offered-embargoed-hp-gear-to-iran-idUSBRE8BT0BF20121230 citing documents that showed a major partner of Huawei had offered to sell at least 1.3 million euros worth of embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran’s largest mobile-phone operator in late 2010. Jan. 31, 2013 - Reuters publishes another exclusive story https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-huawei-skycom/exclusive-huawei-cfo-linked-to-firm-that-offered-hp-gear-to-iran-idUKBRE90U0CA20130131 revealing that Meng had served on the board of the company that had attempted to sell the embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to the Iranian mobile-phone operator.
(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou has joined Carlos Ghosn in the 1% legal club.Those are the odds that the Chinese executive will win her bid to avoid extradition to the U.S., similar to the chances of acquittal for the auto titan-turned-fugitive in Japan. While Ghosn fled Japan in a big black box for Lebanon, Meng squares up to begin extradition hearings in a Vancouver court on Monday, 13 months after she was arrested on a U.S. handover request.The hearings offer her first shot -- however slim -- at release as a Canadian judge considers whether the case meets the crucial test of double criminality: would her alleged crime have also been a crime in Canada? If not, she could be discharged, according to Canada’s extradition rules.“There’d be nothing holding her -- bail restrictions, house arrest, all of that would be eliminated,“ said Michael Klein, a Vancouver lawyer who worked alongside Meng’s lawyers in a 2004 extradition case. “Just like if you’re acquitted in a criminal case, the Crown may appeal, but that person’s a free person.”Meng, the eldest daughter of billionaire Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, has become the highest profile target of a broader U.S. effort to contain China and its largest technology company, which Washington sees as a national security threat. The U.S. accuses her of fraud, saying she lied to HSBC Holdings Plc to trick it into conducting transactions in breach of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng, who turns 48 next month, is charged with bank and wire fraud, which carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison on conviction.“In most extradition cases, double criminality is an easy piece of analysis,” says Brock Martland, a Vancouver-based criminal lawyer.In Meng’s case, it’s not, which may help nudge her into the 1% of defendants in Canada who have historically beaten extradition orders to the U.S.Her defense has argued that the U.S. case is, in reality, a sanctions-violations complaint that it’s sought to “dress up” as fraud to make it easier to extradite her. Had Meng’s alleged conduct taken place in Canada, the transactions by HSBC wouldn’t have violated any Canadian sanctions, they say. Canada’s federal prosecutors counter the underlying offense is fraud because she lied to HSBC, causing them to miscalculate Huawei’s risk as a creditor and conduct transactions it otherwise wouldn’t have.“In essence, this is a case of U.S. sanction enforcement masquerading as Canadian fraud,” Meng’s defense said in documents released Friday. If it were only about fraud, the U.S. would have no legitimate reason to go after Meng because “the U.S. is not actively policing the world for foreign nationals who mislead foreign banks to get loans or other financial services.” Hong Kong TeahouseAnother potential sticking point is that Meng’s alleged misconduct didn’t take place in the U.S. or Canada -- it rests heavily on a 2013 meeting at a Hong Kong teahouse between Meng and an HSBC banker.“Canadian fraud laws do not have an extraterritorial reach,” said Ravi Hira, a Vancouver-based lawyer and former special prosecutor. “If you commit a fraud in Hong Kong, I can’t just prosecute you in Canada.”While the double-criminality hearings are scheduled for four days, the ruling would likely come much later -- possibly in months.Prisoner in Vancouver: Huawei CFO Awaits Fate in SplendorBeing trapped in the middle of a trade war has brought the luxury of time. Before her arrest, Meng traveled so frequently for the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker that she’d gone through at least seven passports in a decade. These days, she passes her time oil painting and pursuing an online doctorate. Phone calls with her father have gone from once a year to every few days.“If a busy life has eaten away at my time, then hardship has in turn drawn it back out,” Meng wrote in a poignant letter to her supporters last month on the one-year anniversary of her arrest. “It was never my intention to be stuck here so long.”Ghosn EscapeMeng would find it harder to pull a Ghosn. She’s under 24-hour surveillance by at least two guards at her C$13 million ($10 million) mansion. Her whereabouts are recorded continuously by a GPS tracker on her left ankle. While she’s allowed to roam a roughly 100-square-mile patch of Vancouver during the day accompanied by security, any violation -- including tampering with the device or venturing anywhere near the airport -- would automatically alert police. She’s posted bail of C$10 million, of which C$3 million came from a group of guarantors, some of whom pledged their homes as collateral. Fleeing would cost them all.If the court finds her case fails the double-criminality test, Canada’s attorney general would have the right to appeal within 30 days. In theory, she could be on a plane back to China well before that, says Gary Botting, a Vancouver-based lawyer who’s been involved in hundreds of Canadian extradition cases.Meng’s Road Map: Key Dates in the Huawei CFO’s Extradition CaseOf the 798 U.S. extradition requests received since 2008, Canada has only refused or discharged eight, according to the department of justice. That’s a 99% chance of being handed over -- similar to the conviction rate in Japan. Another 40 cases were withdrawn by the U.S.Still, that’s fractionally better than the odds of two Canadians detained in China, where the conviction rate currently stands at 99.9%, according to Amnesty International.Canadians JailedThat’s if Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor ever make it to trial. The two men were thrown in jail on spying allegations just days after Meng’s arrest in December 2018. Last month, the Chinese government confirmed their cases were transferred to prosecutors, raising the possibility they might finally get access to lawyers.As of last week, that hadn’t happened yet for Kovrig, according to the International Crisis Group, his employer. The former diplomat has been allowed one consular visit a month; in between, he’s unreachable. Communication with his family is limited to letters exchanged in those visits, according to the group.Families of the two men aren’t speaking publicly for fear of jeopardizing their cases. Some sense of the conditions they’re enduring can be gleaned from past history.Spavor, a businessman who ran tours to North Korea from his base in a border town in northeastern China, has been held since May in Dandong Detention Centre, according to the Globe and Mail.It’s a jail familiar to another Canadian, Kevin Garratt, who was snatched along with his wife Julia by Chinese security agents in 2014, becoming pawns in an earlier high-stakes attempt by Beijing to prevent Canada from extraditing millionaire businessman Su Bin to the U.S.Garratt spent 19 months in the forbidding compound surrounded by two-story-high cement walls. Crammed into a cell with up to 14 other inmates, he slurped meals from a communal bowl on the floor. If they were lucky, they got 30 minutes of hot water a day and could exercise in a small outdoor cage, he said in a December 2018 interview.Chinese Arrests Are All Too Familiar for Past Canadian DetaineesChina calls Meng’s arrest politically motivated and accuses Canada of “arbitrary detention.” It rejects any suggestion that the seizures of Kovrig and Spavor were in retaliation, saying China is also a rule-of-law country.Before her arrest, Meng wasn’t happy working at Huawei and had been considering leaving, Ren has said in media interviews. But hardship has toughened her -- when released, she will resume her role, he says.“Over the past year, I have also learned to face up to and accept my situation,” Meng said in her letter. “I’m no longer afraid of the rough road ahead.“\--With assistance from Edwin Chan.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Vancouver at email@example.com;Gao Yuan in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at email@example.com, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Palladium’s extraordinary rally is setting off alarm bells after another sizzling week of advances set a series of records.The silvery-white precious metal used in catalytic converters has been on a tear this year that shows no signs of slowing. On Thursday it hit a record $2,395.71 an ounce, and it’s up 11% this week, the most since January 2017.The gains are surprising even seasoned market watchers, who say there’s little chance that tight supply conditions will ease. South Africa, a major miner, reported a sharp drop in platinum-group metal production in November. Adding to the bullish mood was the U.S.-China trade truce, and record car sales in Europe last month even though they are unlikely to be repeated.“The dynamics are so strong. Nobody can tell me that this is just fundamentals,” said Commerzbank AG analyst Carsten Fritsch. “This is already becoming a bubble.”Palladium’s rise also has been fueled by concern over dwindling supplies as demand surges following stricter emissions standards in China, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. The metal is trading at twice the premium over platinum, which may motivate carmakers to use it as a substitute and could see prices catching up with palladium, the bank said.“A modest recovery in the auto sector along with tighter emissions regulations should lend support to PGMs,” ANZ strategists Daniel Hynes and Soni Kumari said in a report Jan. 17. Still, a “price setback is possible for palladium following its impressive rally this year.”On Friday, spot prices traded 1.4% higher at $2,346.52 an ounce at 5:55 a.m. in London. The metal is up 21% this year after skyrocketing 54% in 2019.Sister metal platinum climbed 1% to $1,014.87 an ounce, after touching $1,041.71 on Thursday, the highest level in nearly three years. Gold rose 0.2% and silver advanced 0.6%.Still, palladium’s technicals are stretched and some analysts expect a sharp and brief retreat. The metal’s 14-day relative strength index is now above 90.Several market players meanwhile raised their palladium price forecasts for 2020, including HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and UBS Group AG, confirming their bullish outlook for the metal amid a continuing supply deficit.“The risk on the downside lies with some speculative profit taking, but any correction should be met with aggressive buying and remain short-lived,” precious metals refiner and trader MKS PAMP Group said in a note.\--With assistance from Mark Burton and Joe Richter.To contact the reporters on this story: Elena Mazneva in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Justina Vasquez in New York at email@example.com;Ranjeetha Pakiam in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at email@example.com, ;Luzi Ann Javier at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jake Lloyd-Smith, Alpana SarmaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The pound faltered and gilts rallied after inflation data backed up Bank of England policy maker Michael Saunders’ call for urgent stimulus to boost the U.K. economy.Sterling weakened against the euro and 10-year government bond yields dropped to the lowest in seven weeks after the data fueled bets that the central bank will lower interest rates this year. Money markets are now fully pricing in a full 25-basis-point rate cut for May, compared to November a day ago, and see a 65% chance of a move this month.Saunders’ view on the need for more accommodative policy comes just days after BOE Governor Mark Carney said Britain’s economic growth had slowed below potential and that the Monetary Policy Committee had discussed the merits of near-term stimulus.“There is more room for easing expectations to rise should incoming data disappoint and that could keep short-term sterling downside risks intact,” said Manuel Oliveri, a currency strategist at Credit Agricole AG.The pound weakened 0.2% to 85.67 pence per euro as of 4:24 p.m. in London. It dipped below the $1.30 mark earlier Wednesday before being little changed against the dollar at $1.3024. Benchmark 10-year gilt yields led a drop across Europe at eight basis points to 0.65%, having earlier dropped to 0.63%, its lowest since last November. The gap between benchmark U.K. gilt yields and their German peers reached it narrowest since mid-2018.U.K. annual inflation came in at 1.3% for December, versus expectations for 1.5%, data showed. If the U.K. postponed easing policy this could spur risks “of a low inflation trap,” Saunders said earlier on Wednesday.Options traders are refraining from joining the pessimism on the pound. Three-week sterling-dollar risk reversals, a gauge of options sentiment that covers the BOE’s Jan. 30 meeting, shows demand for calls and puts is almost matched. Risk-reversals in the one-month period show the least bearish sterling view since last November.“We still think a rate cut in May is most likely in terms of timing, but the risk of an earlier move is rising,” wrote Daniela Russell, the head of U.K. rates strategy at HSBC Holdings Plc. That favors bets on the front of the yield curve flattening, she said.(Updates chart and prices throughout)\--With assistance from Vassilis Karamanis.To contact the reporter on this story: Anooja Debnath in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at firstname.lastname@example.org, Neil ChatterjeeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.The Bank of England’s dovish shift in the past week has already rippled through markets, and now economists are starting to react too.NatWest Markets, a division of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, changed its interest-rate forecast and now sees a cut to 0.5% from 0.75% at this month’s meeting. Economist Ross Walker sees a second reduction later in the year, having previously predicted no move by the BOE at all until May. Deutsche Bank AG and Nomura also forecast a rate move in two weeks.More forecast changes may follow after Governor Mark Carney and other policy makers said the BOE is looking at whether more stimulus is needed for the economy. Those comments have already sent the pound on its worst losing streak since May, and market bets on a rate cut on Jan. 30 have jumped to around 50%.Economic data on Monday showed the U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank in November. The year-on-year rate of 0.6% was the weakest since mid-2012.Walker said there’s been an “unmistakable underlying deterioration in the U.K. economic data.”The pound was little changed at $1.2997 as of 3:45 p.m. London time, halting a five-day losing streak. U.K. government bonds rose, pushing 10-year yields down three basis points to 0.72%, the lowest since early December.In his first major speech of 2020, Carney said the Monetary Policy Committee has plenty of firepower to aid the economy if necessary. Policy maker Silvana Tenreyro said she may support a rate cut in the next few months if sluggish global growth and Brexit uncertainty persist. Gertjan Vlieghe went further, saying he’d need to see an improvement to justify waiting to cut.Nevertheless, there’s plenty of data still to come, and not all economists are convinced the BOE will act so quickly. Recent comments probably aren’t “as dovish as they appear,” according to HSBC economist Elizabeth Martins. Carney’s and Tenreyro’s remarks in particular seem similar to the BOE’s last set of minutes, she said, and the PMI published on 24 January should be strong enough to keep most policy makers from voting for an immediate cut.(Updates with HSBC comments in final paragraph)\--With assistance from Jill Ward.To contact the reporter on this story: Fergal O'Brien in Zurich at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew AtkinsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As ransomware attacks go, the cyber intrusion at Travelex that emerged on New Year’s Eve could have lasting consequences — and ones that shouldn’t be just a worry to the currency dealer.Travelex, known mostly for its airport shops and ATMs, was forced to resort to manual dealings and handwritten receipts for foreign exchange sales as it took systems offline to prevent the malware Sodinokibi, also known as REvil, from spreading. Core activities were crippled or halted altogether during what would have been busy trading days, across dozens of countries.Worse still, the company has had to repeatedly deny claims by its attackers that customer data has been stolen, a violation of security that if true would result in a further loss of client trust — and hefty regulatory fines. Under the European General Data Protection Regulation, companies can be sanctioned as much as 4% of annual turnover if appropriate security measures aren’t in place or if the company fails to notify regulators promptly.As of Monday, Travelex hadn’t notified the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office of a breach and it didn’t have evidence data was compromised. Earlier in the day, the company said it was finally restoring customer-facing systems. Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police is investigating.Travelex’s attackers appear to have known how to strike where it hurts. As the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in October, losses from ransomware are increasing even though the number of attacks is declining, a sign that criminals are becoming more sophisticated.Indeed, the dent to Travelex’s reputation and the effect that could have on its business with corporate customers could be considerable. The outage disrupted delivery of cash from its vaults to international banks, and the online suspension of dealings forced corporate clients to stop some services they offer their own customers. Some of the world’s biggest banks, such as Barclays Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, have been affected.The disruptions prompted a warning from S&P Global Ratings on Travelex’s finances and its creditworthiness as a standalone business. S&P was concerned about the adequacy of Travelex’s controls and governance, and whether the company will be able to renew corporate contracts. Cash from its parent Finablr Plc (owner of six other brands including money-transfer firm UAE Exchange and Ditto digital bank) would help meet liquidity needs but funds haven’t yet been committed.Travelex may have added to its pain with a sloppy public response. The drip-feed of information on the impact of the breach (initially Travelex said the website was down for planned maintenance) will make regaining confidence harder. Its customer data has been somewhat compromised in the past too. In March 2018 Travelex suffered a breach, which was disclosed in Finablr’s prospectus when it sold shares to the public last year.While the company contends that there’s no evidence customer data has been stolen in the Sodinokibi attack, there are reports alleging that the hackers claiming responsibility have demanded as much as $6 million in ransom to stop them releasing data publicly. Travelex isn’t commenting on the ransom request. The FBI in recent guidance acknowledged there will be circumstances under which companies may have no choice but to cough up if they’re struggling to do normal business. Meantime, insurers have spotted a financial opportunity, helping to shield firms from the risks, while fueling some concern that they’re urging customers to meet criminals’ ransom demands with extra haste. The more sophisticated the attacks, the greater the pressure on victims to put the fire out quickly. Travelex is a reminder of what’s at stake.To contact the author of this story: Elisa Martinuzzi at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.