FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to supporters in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht/File Photo
April 22, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, wants to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt and make college cheaper for students going forward.
Warren, in a post on the website Medium, proposed canceling $50,000 in student loan debt for anyone with annual household income under $100,000, which her campaign said would amount to 42 million Americans. It would also cancel some debt for those with household incomes between $100,000 and $250,000.
Warren, who has long advocated in Congress for providing debt relief to students, called student loan debt a “crisis.” She said canceling debt for millions of people would help close the nation’s racial and wealth gap, and also proposed making all two-year and four-year public colleges free.
“The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place,” Warren wrote.
Warren is competing in a crowded field of more than 20 Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 nomination and has sought to distinguish herself by offering numerous, expansive policy proposals.
Anticipating Republican criticism that her proposal would be too expensive, Warren said her debt cancellation plan and universal free college could be paid for through an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” which would impose a 2 percent annual tax on families with $50 million or more in wealth.
Education has been a topic on the campaign trail for some of Warren’s rivals as well.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, another contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, released a plan last month that would use $315 billion in federal money over 10 years to give the average teacher a $13,500 raise, or about a 23 percent salary increase.
(Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators hold flags and banners as they return to the streets to press demands for wholesale democratic change well beyond former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation in Algiers, Algeria April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina should/File Photo
April 22, 2019
By Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Five Algerian billionaires, some of them close to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who quit over mass protests, have been arrested as part of an anti-graft investigation, state TV said on Monday.
The five are Issad Rebrab, considered the richest businessman in the energy-rich north African nation who is especially active in the food and sugar refining business, and four brothers from the Kouninef family, it said.
Rebrab is chairman of the family-owned Cevital company, which imports raw sugar from Brazil and exports white sugar to Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The Kouninef family is close to Bouteflika, who ruled Algeria for 20 years. Bouteflika stepped down three weeks ago, bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations by mainly younger Algerians seeking change.
There was no immediate statement from those arrested.
The move came after Algeria’s army chief, Lieutenant General Gaid Salah, said last week he expected members of the ruling elite in the major oil and natural gas-producing country to be prosecuted for corruption.
An Algerian court has already summoned former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal, two close associates of Bouteflika, in an investigation into suspected misuse of public money, state TV said on Saturday.
Mass protests, which began on Feb. 22 and have been largely peaceful, have continued after Bouteflika’s resignation as many want the removal of an entire elite that has governed Algeria since independence from France in 1962. They also want the prosecution of people they see as corrupt.
Bouteflika has been replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as interim president for 90 days until a presidential election is held on July 4.
Hundreds of thousands protested on Friday to demand the resignation of Bensalah and other top officials.
Bensalah has invited civil society and political parties on Monday to discuss the transition to elections but several parties and activists said they would not participate.
The army has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people. It remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades.
Salah said on April 16 that the military was considering all options to resolve the political crisis and warned that “time is running out”.
It was a hint that the military was losing patience with the popular upheaval shaking Algeria, a major oil and natural-gas exporter and an important security partner for the West against Islamist militants in north and west Africa.
(Reporting Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed; writing by Maher Chmaytelli and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Gareth Jones)
FILE PHOTO: Visitors attend the China Import and Export Fair, also known as Canton Fair, in the southern city of Guangzhou, China April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
April 22, 2019
By John Ruwitch
GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – Manufacturers in China facing trade barriers are deploying an array of moves to try to keep foreign customers – giving discounts, tapping tax breaks, trimming workforces and, occasionally, shifting production overseas to skirt tariffs.
Tit-for-tat tariffs from the China-United States trade war have been costly for many. Adding to the strain on Chinese manufacturers have been European Union duties on Chinese products ranging from electric bikes to solar panels.
March brought some encouraging news for manufacturers. Industrial output rose at its fastest rate since mid-2014 and exports rebounded more than expected, while first-quarter growth was better than expected.
Still, some manufacturers who depend on U.S. sales are struggling. At the Canton Fair in southern China this past week, they put on a brave face, but feared they will need to take more measures to survive if Beijing and Washington fail to seal a trade deal.
Botou Golden Integrity Roll Forming Machine Co lost some U.S. customers when tariffs pushed up prices for its machines making light steel girders and bars for building frames, according to Hope Ha, a saleswoman.
It now offers an 8 percent discount as a sweetener.
“We have to give discounts because they pay high tariffs,” said Ha.
Ball bearing maker Cixi Fushi Machinery Co gave long-term customers a 3-5 percent discount, according to representative Jane Wang.
But that was not enough, so the company suspended a product line generating $30,000 monthly revenue, she said.
“We will wait for the agreement and then we will see again,” she said. Now, the focus is on its main market, the Middle East.
Some have been able to pass along increased costs.
UNAVOIDABLE PRICE HIKES
California-based ACOPower has increased prices about 10-15 percent on some of its made-in-China, solar-powered refrigerators, said founder Jeffrey Tang.
“We have no choice,” he said. “We must increase the price.”
Tang says his portable fridges cannot be made affordably in other countries. But if there’s no trade agreement, and tariffs rise, the equation could change.
“Maybe I’ll just ship all the components to Vietnam to do the assembly.”
Aufine Tyre rented and filled a warehouse last year in California in anticipation of anti-dumping duties, which were later imposed. In another move to circumvent tariffs, it will soon open a plant in Thailand to make tires.
Jane Liu, a sales manager, said Aufine plans to send 50 containers a month from Thailand, with 220-240 tires in each, and later expand.
Some companies at the fair cheered Beijing’s move to trim China’s value-added tax to 13 percent from 16 percent at the start of April, and its pledge of tax rebates for exports.
“Things like this give us some protection or else we would suffer losses,” said Wills Yuan, a salesman at Ningbo Yourlite Import & Export Co in Shenzhen, which produces LED lights.
Shenzhen Smarteye Digital Electronics Co, a maker of surveillance cameras, which are not on the U.S. tariff list, was able to drop prices because of the tax break, according to sales manager Simple Yu.
“We save a lot on costs, so we can sell at a low price,” he said.
EXCHANGE RATE CONCERN
But Smarteye has worries, including increasing rent and labor costs that led it to trim its workforce.
Yu said he’s also concerned about the trade war’s potential effect on the yuan-dollar exchange rate. “Before it was 6.9 per dollar, now it’s 6.7 per dollar. We worry that it will go to 6.5.”
Electric bike makers have reacted nimbly to European anti-dumping duties of between 18.8 and 79.3 percent imposed in January. Many have started assembling some bikes in Europe; Zhejiang Enze Vehicle Co does so in Poland and Finland.
“We take the battery, frame, and the other parts, package them up separately and send them over to be assembled by partners,” said sales rep Dylan Di.
Anhui Light Industries International Co, which makes products ranging from plastic protractors for math to movie theater popcorn cups, says it has lost more than 1 billion yuan $149.2 million) after U.S. President Donald Trump raised import taxes.
Still, company representative Han Geng is optimistic the trade war will get resolved.
“It’s not good for America, not good for China,” he said, expressing the view that Trump knows the trade war is hurting business and “he will end it”.
When that day comes, Han said, “we will sell to America again… We need to make money. Everybody loves money.”
($1 = 6.7024 Chinese yuan)
(Editing by Simon Webb and Richard Borsuk)
FILE PHOTO – Demonstrators chant slogans along the streets after Sudan’s Defense Minister Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibn Auf said that President Omar al-Bashir had been detained “in a safe place” and that a military council would run the country for a two-year transitional period in Khartoum, Sudan April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
April 21, 2019
By Khalid Abdelaziz
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said on Sunday they had agreed to send Sudan $3 billion worth of aid, throwing a lifeline to the country’s new military leaders after protests led to the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir.
The two Gulf Arab countries will deposit $500 million with the Sudanese central bank and send the rest in the form of food, medicine and petroleum products, their state news agencies said in parallel statements.
Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) is under pressure from protesters who have kept up a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry since Bashir was ousted on April 11. They demonstrated in large numbers over the past three days, pressing for a rapid handover to civilian rule.
TMC head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told state TV that the council had received many blueprints on how to manage the transitional period and that the formation of a joint military-civilian council – one of the demands put forward by Sudanese activists – was being considered.
“The issue has been put forward for discussion and a vision has yet to be reached,” he said.
“The role of the military council complements the uprising and the blessed revolution,” said Burhan, adding that the TMC was committed to handing power over to the people.
Burhan also confirmed for the first time that Bashir and a number of former officials, including presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie, acting party head Ahmed Haroun and former first vice president Ali Osman Taha, are being held at a high-security prison in Khartoum North.
“All of them are at Kobar prison,” he said, adding that “a large number of symbols of the former regime suspected of corruption will stand trial”.
Burhan said authorities had found 7 million euros ($7.8 million) in Bashir’s home, along with $350,000, slightly more than previously reported.
A judicial source said on Saturday that Sudanese military intelligence officers had found suitcases of cash in foreign currency as well as Sudanese pounds when they searched Bashir’s house.
The aid from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is the first major publicly announced assistance to Sudan from Gulf states in several years.
“This is to strengthen its financial position, ease the pressure on the Sudanese pound and increase stability in the exchange rate,” the Saudi Press Agency said.
Sudan’s state news agency said the central bank strengthened the Sudanese pound to 45 pounds to the dollar from 47.5, in a measure that coincided with the sharp rise in the price of the pound against the dollar on the parallel market.
The two Gulf states have ties with Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, through their participation in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
Sudan has been suffering from a deepening economic crisis that has caused cash shortages and long queues at bakeries and petrol stations.
Analysts have blamed the crisis on economic mismanagement, corruption, and the impact of U.S. sanctions, as well as the loss of oil revenue when South Sudan seceded in 2011.
In October 2017, the United States lifted some trade and economic sanctions on Sudan, but Sudan remained on the list of countries that the United States considers to be sponsors of terrorism.
Burhan said a committee could travel to the United States for discussions about lifting Sudan from the list by next week. Washington has said Sudan will not be removed from the list as long as the military is in power.
The designation makes Sudan ineligible for desperately needed debt relief and financing from international lenders.
The United States agreed in November to talks with Bashir’s government on how to get Sudan removed from the list, but no resolution was reached before his overthrow on April 11 following weeks of increasing public unrest.
Over the last few years, Sudan’s cash-short government expanded money supply to cover the cost of expensive subsidies on fuel, wheat and pharmaceuticals, causing annual inflation of 73 percent and the Sudanese pound to plunge against the dollar.
(Additional reporting by Maha El Dahan, Nafisa Eltahir, Omar Fahmy and Sami Aboudi, Writing by Aidan Lewis, Editing by Susan Fenton and Louise Heavens)
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
April 21, 2019
By Howard Schneider and Trevor Hunnicutt
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Risk-taking has been the rage since the Federal Reserve quit hiking interest rates at the end of last year. U.S. stocks are back near record highs and investors are stockpiling the lowest-grade corporate bonds with only a smidgen of extra compensation for the added risk.
That rebounding mood on Wall Street may be welcomed by a president that has been demanding the Fed cut rates after markets fell sharply last year, and complaining that even pausing at the current level is the wrong call.
But if anything the ‘pause party’ on Wall Street makes it even less likely that the U.S. central bank will cut rates. Recent positive news on retail sales and exports, which have eased concerns of a sharply slowing economy, makes the case for a rate cut even weaker.
Investors at least have gotten the message, and shifted from projecting a rate cut later this year to now putting the odds at only 50-50 that the Fed will move lower by early 2020.
Wall Street celebrates the Fed’s ‘pause https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/11/9740/9650/Pasted%20Image.jpg
The state of financial markets, say some analysts, is evidence the Fed’s rate increases last year were on point, allowing the economy to continue growing while keeping risks in check. A rate cut at this stage would only be courting problems.
“The argument for why they should keep the possibility of a rate hike on the table is because of financial stability,” Citi chief economist Catherine Mann said in remarks on Wednesday to a conference on financial stability at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College.
After a decade of near zero interest rates, “moving toward a constellation of asset prices that embodies risks is critical for getting us to a more stable financial market,” she said, noting that both equity prices and low-grade bond yields show a market that remains too sanguine.
In their critiques of the Fed, U.S. President Donald Trump, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, and possible Fed nominee Stephen Moore have argued that lower rates would allow faster growth and be in line with Trump’s economic plans. They contend that, with the risk of inflation low, the central bank does not need to maintain ‘insurance’ against it by keeping rates where they are.
Overlooked in that analysis are the financial stability concerns steadily integrated into Fed policymaking since the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis. Mann spoke at a conference named in honor of economist Hyman Minsky, who explored how financial excess can build during good times, and unwind in catastrophic fashion. The downturn a decade ago showed just how deeply that dynamic can scar the real economy.
Financial stability isn’t a formal mandate for the Fed, which under congressional legislation is supposed to maintain the twin goals of maximum employment and stable prices. But since the crisis the central bank has concluded that keeping financial markets on an even keel is a necessary condition for achieving the other two aims.
That doesn’t mean an end of volatility or a guarantee of profits, but rather that risks are properly priced and that the use of leverage – investments made with borrowed money – is kept within safe limits.
Keeping an eye on stock valuations https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/11/9738/9648/Pasted%20Image.jpg
That’s a key reason why even policymakers focused on maintaining high levels of employment, like Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren, at times have taken on a hawkish tone in favor of rate increases. The worse outcome for workers, Rosengren and others have said, would be to let markets inflate too much, and crash again, even if that means risking a bit higher unemployment in the interim.
Markets are currently “a little rich,” Rosengren said in recent remarks at Davidson College in North Carolina.
Though not enough to warrant a rate increase, he said, it does argue against a rate reduction. Overall, Fed officials including Chairman Jerome Powell say they feel financial risks are within a manageable range, something policymakers feel has been helped along by the rate increases to date.
The state of financial markets is “something that the Fed has to wrestle with,” Rosengren said. “It’s appropriate for interest rates to be paused right now.”
Corporate bond valuations look frothy https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/11/9739/9649/Pasted%20Image.jpg
(Reporting by Howard Schneider and Trevor Hunnicut; Editing by Dan Burns and Andrea Ricci)
FILE PHOTO: The financial district seen from London’s south bank, Britain February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
April 21, 2019
By Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) – Nearly half of all people working in Britain’s financial services industry have followed their parents into the sector, more than three times the national average, research from consultants KPMG showed.
The finding comes as policymakers and investors push the industry to improve diversity in senior management and make firms more inclusive in an effort to improve corporate governance as well as shareholder returns.
The research revealed that forty-one percent of financial services staff had parents in the same sector against a national average of 12 percent. In insurance, the figure was even higher, at 54 percent.
“The fact that people in financial services are more than three times more likely than the national average to have followed in their parent’s career footsteps is staggering,” said Tim Howarth, head of financial services consulting at KPMG.
KPMG spoke to more than 1,500 people for the survey, a third of whom worked in the banking, insurance or asset management industry, while the rest were employed in a range of other sectors across the country.
The lack of diversity in the industry was a “huge challenge”, said John Mann, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour party who sits on the government committee responsible for overseeing the finance industry.
“Its biggest problem, by far, has been its cultural problem,” he told Reuters. “That’s what’s led to the collapse of a number of financial institutions. The cultural problems are reinforced by not bringing in a wider array of people.”
The finance industry is one of Britain’s biggest tax payers and has some of the country’s highest-paid jobs. Of those working in the sector, 87 percent said they liked their job, the report found, pipping the 82 percent satisfaction rate seen outside the industry.
Yet 65 percent of all the people surveyed by KPMG said they would not consider a role in financial services. Of these, 41 percent said it was because the industry “sounds boring”, while 16 percent cited a lack of contacts in the sector.
“There’s clearly a gap between what the public think, and the realities of working in financial services … that has to be addressed if we are to attract the diverse mix of skills and experiences needed to navigate the changes going on in financial services and society,” Howarth said.
The biggest driver for more than a third of the 500 financial services workers surveyed was the higher pay on offer.
Just 16 percent of the 1,000 non-financial services sector workers put money as their main motivation.
“We are always told that Millennials and Generation Z are more interested in their social impact than their finances, and so our sector has to get more imaginative in the way it attracts and retains staff,” KPMG Head of Financial Services Jon Holt said.
(Additional reporting by Iain Withers. Editing by Jane Merriman)
FILE PHOTO – Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia awaits the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron at Houari Boumediene airport in Algiers, Algeria December 6, 2017. Picture taken December 6, 2017 REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
April 20, 2019
ALGIERS (Reuters) – An Algerian court has summoned former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal, two associates of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in a probe into wasting of public money, state TV said on Saturday.
They are being investigated over “dissipation of public money” and “illegal privilege,” state TV said.
No more details were immediately available.
The move comes after army chief, Lieutenant General Gaid Salah, said last week he expected to see members of the ruling elite in the major oil and natural gas-producing country prosecuted for corruption.
Bouteflika stepped down after 20 years in power two weeks ago, bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations mainly by young people seeking change in the country.
But the protests, which began on Feb. 22 and have been largely peaceful, have continued as many want the removal of an elite that has governed Algeria since independence from France in 1962 and the prosecution of people they see as corrupt.
Ouyahia served several times as prime minister under Bouteflika and is also head of the RND party, the coalition partner of Bouteflika’s ruling FLN party.
Loukal was central bank governor under the former president.
Bouteflika has been replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as interim president for 90 days until a presidential election on July 4.
Hundreds of thousands protested on Friday to demand the resignation of Bensalah and other top officials.
Bensalah appointed Ammar Haiwani as acting central bank governor, state TV earlier said. The position had been vacant since Loukal was made finance minister by Bouteflika before he had resigned.
(Reporting by Hesham Hajali, Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould AhmedWriting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
Central American migrants eat mangoes for breakfast as they walk during their journey towards the United States, in Mapastepec, Mexico April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
April 20, 2019
By Jose Cortes
MAPASTEPEC, Mexico (Reuters) – So many migrants have stopped in the southern Mexican town of Mapastepec in recent months that longstanding public sympathy for Central Americans traveling northward is starting to wane.
Hundreds of migrants have been camped out for weeks in Mapastepec, where locals say six migrant caravans have arrived since last Easter. By far the biggest was a group of thousands in October that drew the anger of U.S. President Donald Trump.
Ana Gabriela Galvan, a local resident who helped to provide food to migrants in the October caravan, told Reuters the small town in the impoverished state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, felt overwhelmed by the number of Central Americans.
“It’s really bad, because they’re pouring onto our land,” she said, noting that some locals were reluctant to leave their homes. “They ask for money, and if you offer food, they don’t want it; they want money and sometimes you don’t have any.”
Following a surge in apprehensions of Central Americans trying to enter the United States, Trump last month threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border if the Mexican government did not stop illegal immigration right away.
The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has stepped up migrant detentions and tightened access to humanitarian visas, slowing the flow of caravans north and leaving hundreds of people in Mapastepec.
The humanitarian visas allow migrants to stay temporarily and get jobs. The documents also make it easier for them to travel through the country or seek longer residence.
According to government social development agency Coneval, Chiapas in 2015 had the highest poverty rate of Mexico’s 32 regions, at 72.5 percent. Some 20,000 people live in Mapastepec, the seat of a municipality of the same name where poverty levels were fractionally higher than the state average in 2015.
A month ago, a large knot of migrants began forming in Mapastepec when the National Migration Institute closed its main office in the nearby city of Tapachula. The closure prompted hundreds to travel north to the sweltering town on the Pacific coast where the agency has a smaller outpost.
Since then, bedraggled groups of men, women and children have been staying in and around a local sports stadium, hoping to be issued humanitarian visas.
Central Americans today make up the bulk of undocumented migrants arrested on the U.S. border.
Southern Mexico has long sent thousands of migrants north and support for them has traditionally been strong there. Concentrations of Central American migrants on Mexico’s northern border caused tensions in the city of Tijuana when caravans arrived late last year.
Recent studies show that while Mexicans still have sympathy for migrants, many are concerned that Mexico will not be able to cope with the arrival of thousands of people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador fleeing violence and poverty at home.
A survey of around 500 adults in February by the Center of Public Opinion at the University of the Valley of Mexico (UVM) found that 83 percent of respondents believed the Central American migrants could cause problems for Mexico.
Rising crime, increased poverty and a decline in social services were the top risks identified by the poll.
Offered a binary choice on what should be done, 62 percent of those polled said Mexico should be stricter with migrants entering its territory. The other 38 percent said Mexico should help to develop Central America, as Lopez Obrador argues.
The study did not publish a margin of error.
Jesus Salvador Quintana, a senior official at the National Human Rights Commission, said in Mapastepec the body had noticed a decrease in assistance from the public but urged people to keep helping the migrants on their often arduous journeys.
“There are children, pregnant women, whole families that sometimes need this humanitarian aid,” he told Reuters.
Anabel Quintero, a young Honduran mother in Mapastepec, said when her caravan passed through the nearby town of Huixtla some shops closed rather than sell to migrants seeking medicine for sick children.
“It’s a bad feeling,” she said. “They told us they didn’t want us sleeping in the park, and we had to leave.”
Residents of Mapastepec are also running out of patience.
Street vendor Brenda Marisol Ballesteros told Reuters it was time for authorities to move the migrants onward.
“Why?,” she said. “Because things are in a real mess.”
(Additional reporting by Roberto Ramirez in Huixtla; Editing by Dave Graham and Cynthia Osterman)
The Thomas Cook logo is seen in this illustration photo January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration
April 20, 2019
(Reuters) – Thomas Cook has been tentatively approached about a takeover of its tour operating unit, or the entire company, by several parties as its lenders prepare for crunch talks over the state of its finances, Sky News reported on Saturday.
The company, which has put its airline business up for sale, last month announced a review of its money division to help focus on its core holiday business after a rough 2018.
Citing unnamed sources, Sky News reported https://news.sky.com/story/bidders-try-to-land-thomas-cook-as-lenders-chart-new-course-11698817U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co and Swedish buyout group EQT Partners were potential bidders for the group, while China’s Fosun International was understood to be among those to have lodged a preliminary interest in the tour business.
Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest tour operator, has brought in advisers from AlixPartners to work on its balance sheet and cost-reduction plans, while its syndicate of more than a dozen lenders has hired FTI Consulting to advise on their financial exposure to the company, the report added.
Thomas Cook and KKR said they won’t be commenting on the report. EQT declined to comment, while Fosun could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Sathvik N in Bengaluru; Editing by David Holmes)
FILE PHOTO – A protester stands in front of a banner depicting former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in front of the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, Sudan, April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
April 20, 2019
CAIRO (Reuters) – Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating ousted President Omar al-Bashir on charges of money laundering and the possession of large sums of money without legal grounds, a judicial source told Reuters on Saturday.
Bashir, who was ousted on April 11, was moved to a high-security prison in Khartoum from the presidential residence, family sources said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Alison Williams)