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Update on the latest in business:

November 20, 2018

APFN-FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks slide after Wall Street losses, Nissan arrest

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks slid Tuesday after tech losses dragged down Wall Street and Nissan’s chairman was arrested on charges of financial misconduct.

On Wall Street, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon sustained some of the worst losses as technology companies tumbled again, leading to broad losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly fell 500 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 1.7 percent to 2,690.73. The Dow sank 1.6 percent to 25,017.44. It was down as much as 512 earlier. The Nasdaq composite skidded 3 percent to 7,028.48. Boeing, a major exporter, gave up 4.5 percent. Apple fell 4 percent and Amazon gave back 5.1 percent.

Nissan said Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who engineered a turnaround at the automaker, was arrested and will be fired on charges he underreported his income and misused company funds. Nissan said Ghosn and another senior executive, Greg Kelly, were accused of offenses involving millions of dollars that were discovered during an investigation set off by a whistleblower. Kelly also was arrested.

Investors focused on simmering trade tension between Washington and Beijing after the two governments clashed at a weekend conference. The two countries have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s goods in a fight over China’s technology policy. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are due to meet this month at a gathering of the Group of 20 major economies. At the weekend meeting in Papua New Guinea, Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, criticized Beijing for intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and unfair trading practices.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped but remained above $57 per barrel.

The dollar edged up against the yen and the euro.

VIETNAM-INDIA

Vietnam and India aim to boost trade, defense cooperation

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam and India have agreed to boost their trade while expanding their cooperation in defense and security, among other areas.

Speaking to reporters at a joint press briefing in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said Tuesday that he believes the bilateral trade volume will reach $15 billion by 2020, up from $12.8 billion last year.

Kovind said he and Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong also reviewed the implementation of an Indian credit line of $100 million to high-speed patrol vessels for Vietnam’s coast guard.

Trong said the two countries will find ways to boost their modest investment.

Kovind is on a three-day visit to Vietnam, where he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc later Tuesday before departing.

PHILIPPINES-CHINA’S XI VISITS

China’s Xi visits Manila to deepen ties with America’s ally

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — China’s president will visit the Philippines for the first time in a high point of a love-hate relationship with an American treaty ally with offers of infrastructure loans and new accords to prevent clashes and possibly explore for oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea.

A red-carpet welcome awaits President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) on Tuesday in Manila, the last stop in a three-nation swing through Asia where he’s offering infrastructure loans and aid and championing free trade in a rivalry for influence with the United States.

Two Philippine officials tell The Associated Press that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will likely sign an accord to support Beijing’s “Belt and Road Initiative” loan program but won’t immediately accede yet to proposals for oil and gas exploration in disputed waters.

VENEZUELA-CORRUPTION

US charges Venezuelan tycoon tied to government for bribery

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — U.S. prosecutors have indicted a Venezuelan media tycoon close to President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government on foreign corruption and money laundering charges.

Raul Gorrin became president of Globovision shortly after he and others purchased the popular TV network in 2013 and proceeded to soften its anti-government coverage.

In charges unsealed Monday, federal prosecutors in Miami said that starting around 2010 Gorrin allegedly paid at least $94 million in bribes to two Venezuelan officials in exchange for business conducting foreign currency transactions for the government.

He’s also accused of paying expenses related to three jets, a yacht and multiple champion horses on behalf of the two unnamed officials.He was declared a fugitive after officials failed to arrest him on the August indictment.

JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Nissan Motors says it’s cooperating with prosecutors in Japan investigating corrupton allegations against chairman Carlos Ghosn (gohn).

He was arrested Monday and will be fired for allegedly underreporting his income and misusing company funds. Ghosin is crediting with engineering a turnaround at the Japanese manufacturer,The scandal reverberated across the globe and abruptly threw into question Ghosn’s future as leader of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which sold 10.6 million cars last year, more than any other manufacturer.

Nissan’s board will vote Thursday on dismissing Ghosin and senior executive Greg Kelly. They were accused of offenses involving millions of dollars that were discovered during a monthslong investigation set off by a whistleblower

SOCIETE GENERALE-CUBA SANCTIONS

Societe Generale paying $1.3B in fines over Cuba dealings

NEW YORK (AP) — One of France’s largest banks, Societe Generale, is paying $1.3 billion in penalties for violating U.S. trade sanctions on Cuba.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in New York announced the deal Monday. He says it’s the second largest penalty ever imposed on a financial institution for violating U.S. economic sanctions.

As part of the deal, prosecutors deferred criminal charges including conspiracy to violate the Trading with the Enemy Act. The charges would be dropped entirely after three years.

Authorities say that between 2004 and 2010 the bank facilitated the flow of $13 billion through Cuban businesses.

The bank says it regrets “shortcomings” identified in the case.

SCANA-DOMINION MERGER

North Carolina commission latest to approve utility merger

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has approved the proposed merger of troubled South Carolina utility SCANA with Dominion Energy.

The utilities announced the commission’s approval in a news release Monday. The merger remains contingent upon approval from the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

Previously, the merger had received approval from a number of agencies, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approved the indirect transfer of the operating license for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station from SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. to the Virginia-based company.

SCANA needed a buyer after spending $5 billion on a pair of reactors abandoned a year ago at V.C. Summer, costing thousands of jobs. The move spawned more than a dozen lawsuits and followed the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

AMERICAN AIRLINES-PILOTS

Pilot union says it wants to help reduce delays on American

DALLAS (AP) — Union leaders say pilots will push American Airlines for more pay and schedule changes they say will reduce flight delays.

Daniel Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association, said that pilots will seek industry-leading wages when their current contract is due for renewal in January 2020.

They’re working under a 2015 contract that granted immediate 23 percent raises plus 3 percent each year. In 2017, American gave pilots and flight attendants additional pay raises that totaled close to $1 billion and angered some investors.

Carey also wants American to reduce its practice of shifting on-duty pilots to fill in for others who call in sick, can’t legally handle a flight because of crew-rest requirements, or other reasons.

American has the worst 2018 on-time record of the four largest U.S. airlines.

STEVE WYNN-LAWSUIT

Judge schedules hearing on whether to release report on Wynn

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge in Nevada has temporarily blocked the planned release of a Massachusetts Gaming Commission report about allegations of sexual misconduct against former casino mogul Steve Wynn. That’s according to a court official.

Wynn sued Nov. 7 in Nevada state court to block the planned release next month of the gambling commission report about whether he engaged in sexual misconduct with female employees while he headed Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts.

His lawyers argue that materials provided to Wells represent a “grave breach” of Wynn’s privacy rights. His civil lawsuit alleges breach of contract and violation of fiduciary duty among several other claims. It seeks a permanent ban on the release of the report.

Wynn resigned as chief executive and chairman in February, weeks after sexual misconduct claims were made against him. He denies the allegations.

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