FILE PHOTO - The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO – The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company’s space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

April 24, 2019

By Ebru Tuncay and Birsen Altayli

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs is in talks with Turkish banks and companies to buy large distressed loans following a wave of corporate restructurings in the country last year, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The sources, who requested anonymity, did not specify the size of the restructured loans but said Goldman was looking at those valued in the range of $2 billion to $6 billion.

Turkish banks, grappling with fallout from a recession and a weak lira, could be interested in selling loans to bolster their stressed balance sheets and to gain access to liquidity, the sources said. One of the Turkish government’s priorities is to relieve banks of bad loans.

One of the sources said that non-performing loans specialists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, as well as at certain large London-based banks, were in “intense talks right now” over restructured Turkish loans.

A representative for Goldman Sachs in Turkey declined to comment.

Since Turkey’s currency crisis last year, where the lira halved in value at one stage, companies constrained by the currency weakness have sought to restructure their debts.

The weaker lira, which has fallen another 10 percent this year, has made it difficult for Turkish companies to service foreign-currency debts.

“They (Goldman Sachs) are not interested in complicated situations. They are interested in good loans for which the bank could provide a relative hair cut,” or discount, a second source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Some of the big corporate loans in Turkey that have been restructured or are being restructured include a $5.5 billion loan taken out by Yildiz Holding, which owns Godiva chocolates; a 2 billion euro ($2.2 billion) loan from restaurant group Dogus Holding; and a $4.75 billion loan for Turk Telekom’s previous shareholder OTAS.

Restructured loans make up more than 100 billion liras ($17 billion) of the loans in Turkey’s banking sector, which total 2.5 trillion lira, Finance Ministry data showed.

The non-performing loan ratio at banks rose to 4.2 percent in the wake of last year’s crisis and is expected to reach 6 percent by year-end, according to the ministry data.

The potential for big returns from distressed debt deals has already attracted attention in the financial markets.

Earlier this month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it was ready to help with Turkish banks’ non-performing loans. In March, sources told Reuters that Japan’s Orix and U.S.-based Bain Capital were in talks to buy problematic loans from Turkish banks.

“Investment banks can talk to (Turkish) banks and take over these loans with a hair cut,” a distressed asset trader in London said. “But what is important here is how much of a hair cut there will be. It may take some time to be agreed upon,” he said.

As part of a reform plan announced this month by Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, loans in the energy and construction sector would be taken off banks’ balance sheets.

The Treasury will also issue 5-year debt instruments worth a total of 3.7 billion euros to strengthen the capital of state banks, it said on Monday.

(Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Jane Merriman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Hyundai Motor's booth is seen near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza in Pyeongchang
FILE PHOTO: A Hyundai Motor’s booth is seen near the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 11, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

April 24, 2019

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor <005380.KS> posted a 24 percent rise in net profit for the January-to-March quarter on improving sales at home and the United States, although weak business in China reined in the pace of growth.

Hyundai Motor posted a first-quarter net profit of 829 billion won ($721.81 million), versus 668 billion won a year earlier. This was above an average estimate of 758 billion profit from 15 analysts, according to I/B/E/S Refinitiv data.

Its operating profit rose 21 percent to 825 billion won, while its revenue was up 7 percent to 23.99 trillion won.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

April 24, 2019

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics said on Wednesday that it would invest 11 trillion won ($9.57 billion) annually through 2030 in logic chip businesses, including its foundry business.

The investment until 2030, worth 133 trillion won in total, comes as the world’s top memory chip maker strengthens non-memory semiconductor businesses such as contract chip manufacturing, known as foundry, and mobile processors.

“The investment plan is expected to help the company to reach its goal of becoming the world leader in not only memory semiconductors but also logic chips by 2030,” Samsung said.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a flower arrangement set up to mark the upcoming Belt and Road Forum in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: People walk past a flower arrangement set up to mark the upcoming Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

April 24, 2019

By Brenda Goh and Michael Martina

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is expected to promote a recalibrated version of its Belt and Road initiative at a summit of heads of state this week in Beijing, seeking to allay criticism that its flagship infrastructure policy fuels indebtedness and lacks transparency.

The policy championed by Chinese President Xi Jinping has become mired in controversy, with some partner nations bemoaning the high cost of projects. Western governments have tended to view it as a means to spread Chinese influence abroad, saddling poor countries with unsustainable debt.

While most of the initiative’s projects are ongoing, some have been caught up by changes in government in countries such as Malaysia and the Maldives. Projects that have been shelved for financial reasons include a power plant in Pakistan and an airport in Sierra Leone, and Beijing has in recent months had to rebuff critics by saying that not one country has been burdened with so-called “debt traps”.

Xi launched the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, and according to data from Refinitiv, the total value of projects in the scheme is at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

A draft communique seen by Reuters said that 37 world leaders attending the April 25-27 summit will agree to project financing that respects global debt goals and promotes green growth.

Visiting leaders will be headlined by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan, a close China ally and among the biggest recipients of Belt and Road investment, and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, which recently became the first G7 country to sign on to the initiative.

The United States, which has not joined the Belt and Road, is expected to send only a lower-level delegation, and nobody from Washington.

Some Belt and Road projects “are going through a period of rationalization and evaluation,” said Li Lifan, deputy director general of the Centre for Belt and Road Initiative Studies at the government-backed Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

The summit “will be a time for reflection and to talk about the hopes for the future,” he told Reuters.


Industry insiders and diplomats say that there has been a shift in the way Beijing has been pushing Belt and Road overseas since the first such summit two years ago.

“The political part is handled by the foreign ministry now, not the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),” said a senior Western diplomat in China, referring to the country’s state planner which drafted the initiative’s official outline in 2015. That shift occurred last year, he said.

Other analysts said there was a noticeable change in China’s overseas efforts to market the policy in the second half of 2018. In an unusual move, at least 10 of China’s ambassadors and diplomats in countries such as Mexico and Kenya published letters in local media outlets to defend the initiative.

Wu Ken, China’s new ambassador in Germany, acknowledged in his first speech on the job that there were “deep doubts” about Belt and Road.

“I hope relevant people can overcome the ‘allergies’ they have towards the Belt and Road as soon as possible so China and Germany can cooperate to jointly tap the benefits from it,” he said earlier this month.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a confidant of Chancellor Angela Merkel, will attend the summit.

William Klein, minister counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, told a forum earlier this month that the United States continued to have concerns about the Belt and Road.

“These concerns, for example, are opaque financing practices, poor governance and a failure to adhere to internationally accepted norms and standards.”

Andrew Davenport, chief operating officer at Washington-based consultancy RWR Advisory, which has been tracking Belt and Road investment, said China has become more reactive in its positioning of the initiative since the last forum.

“It’s relatively clear that the Belt and Road narrative being put forward by Beijing over the past several months is designed to counter the criticism and push back,” he said.


While the number of foreign leaders due at the summit is up from 29 last time, the run-up to the event has been subdued compared with the 2017 meeting.

Two years ago, the weeks before the summit’s opening day were marked by a series of music and explanatory videos published by state media to advertise the Belt and Road initiative while the government announced the dates publicly roughly a month before.

There has been no such media blitz this year besides a handful of documentaries and advertisements, and Beijing only confirmed the dates last Friday, less than a week before the opening.

In events held to talk about Belt and Road before the summit, Chinese officials stressed that the initiative remained a “win-win” and an attractive opportunity for countries willing to become partners.

On Monday, NDRC official Xiao Weiming told a media briefing that Chinese companies had invested $90 billion in countries benefiting from Belt and Road and handed out between $200 billion-300 billion worth of loans between 2013 and 2018.

“The Belt and Road initiative is an open and inclusive idea,” he said. “As long as any country is willing to work with China, we will all have gardens along the Belt and Road.”

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Cate Cadell and Ben Blanchard in Beijing, and John Ruwitch and Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Tony Munroe and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Nissan logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show
FILE PHOTO: A Nissan logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show, China, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

April 24, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd will announce on Wednesday a large-scale cut to its earnings outlook for the fiscal year that ended in March, TV Tokyo reported, adding to the company’s woes as it grapples with the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

The Japanese automaker will slash its estimates because of weak sales in North America and China, TV Tokyo’s flagship programme World Business Satellite (WBS) reported late on Tuesday. Nissan’s board approved the move at a meeting on Tuesday, WBS said, citing unidentified sources.

A Nissan spokesman declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

The maker of the Rogue sport utility vehicle and Altima sedan already cut its outlook just two months ago, predicting its lowest operating profit in six years.

The news adds to a growing list of unwelcome headlines for Nissan, with Ghosn a constant source of media attention since his initial arrest in November on suspicion of financial misconduct.

The jailed former boss of both Nissan and alliance partner Renault SA could learn as early as Wednesday whether he will be released on bail for a second time, after he was indicted for a fourth time this week.

Even before the onset of the Ghosn saga, Nissan had been dogged by revelations of improper vehicle inspections that led to the recall of more than 1 million vehicles in Japan since late 2017.

For the just-ended fiscal year, Nissan expects operating profit of 450 billion yen ($4 billion) on revenue of 11.6 trillion yen, according to its revised forecasts issued in February.

Nissan is scheduled to report financial results on May 14.

As of 0038 GMT Nissan shares were down 2.6 percent, versus a 0.2 percent gain in the broader Tokyo market.

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Additional reporting by Naomi Tajitsu and Takashi Umekawa; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

Cho Eun-hye and her one-and-a-half-year-old Korean Jindo dog Hari, both wearing masks, go for a walk on a poor air quality day in Incheon
FILE PHOTO: Cho Eun-hye (R) and her one-and-a-half-year-old Korean Jindo dog Hari, both wearing masks, go for a walk on a poor air quality day in Incheon, South Korea, March 15, 2019. Picture taken on March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Hyun Young Yi

April 24, 2019

By Joori Roh and Cynthia Kim

SEJONG, South Korea (Reuters) – South Korea announced a proposed 6.7 trillion won ($5.87 billion) supplementary budget on Wednesday to tackle unprecedented air pollution levels and to boost exports bruised by weak external demand amid the Sino-U.S. trade war.

The planned stimulus package allocates 2.2 trillion won to battle air pollution, including subsidies for replacing old diesel-powered cars as well as for buying air purifiers and using renewable energy technologies, the finance ministry said.

Another 4.5 trillion won will be used to increase export credit financing and to create jobs.

“(The extra budget is) to resolve national predicament caused by fine dust and to support the public economy through pre-emptive economic measures,” the ministry said in a statement.

It sees the extra budget lifting Asia’s fourth-largest economy’s growth by 0.1 percentage point this year and adding at least 73,000 jobs, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki told a briefing.

In March, parliament approved a bill designating the air pollution problem a “social disaster”, paving the way for President Moon Jae-in’s government to draft a fiscal stimulus program to combat it.

Also in March, exports contracted for a fourth month in a row.

Last week, the central bank cut its 2019 growth forecast to a seven-year low of 2.5 percent, underlining worries that weak external demand and trade frictions could stunt economic recovery.

A loss of jobs is also a worry.

South Korea’s unemployment rate jumped to a nine-year high in January, hurt by the government-led hikes in minimum wages and growth concerns among businesses.

Employment conditions improved slightly in March, but it is still in a difficult situation, according to the finance ministry.

To fund the proposed extra budget, the government plans to issue 3.6 trillion won of deficit-covering bonds, according to the ministry’s budget chief.

The remaining 3.1 trillion won will be financed from above-target tax revenue collected in 2018 and by funds that state-owned companies manage.

This year marks the fifth straight year for South Korea to propose an extra budget for stimulus, sparking sharp criticism that this no longer is an emergency measure.

When asked if the current economic situation warrants adjustments in fiscal spending, Finance Minister Hong said his team is making “pre-emptive responses” to boost growth, as is allowed South Korea’s economic stimulus law.

South Korea can draw up an extra budget when there is a war or large-scale disaster outbreaks, or when there are concerns over economic recessions and mass lay-offs, according to the national finance act.

Moon’s ruling Democratic Party likely faces a challenge winning parliamentary approval of the budget bill, as it only holds 43 percent of the National Assembly’s 300 seats. Moon will need to gain support from nearly 30 opposition lawmakers.

The ministry sees South Korea’s economy growing 2.6 percent this year if the extra budget bill is approved and executed in a timely manner. It plans to submit the bill on Thursday.

(Reporting by Joori Roh and Cynthia Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

April 23, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer will meet with President Donald Trump on April 30 at the White House over the fate of proposals to boost U.S. infrastructure repairs by at least $1 trillion, according to a congressional aide and an administration official.

Pelosi said in New York on Tuesday the meeting will happen next week. Trump, who vowed in 2016 as a candidate to back $1 trillion of infrastructure spending over 10 years, has been vague about his plans in recent months. “Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America’s crumbling infrastructure,” Trump said in February during his State of the Union address.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump displays signbature after signing tax bill into law at the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump displays his signature after signing the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul plan along with a short-term government spending bill in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

April 23, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 2017 tax overhaul championed by President Donald Trump will cut household taxes more in Republican-leaning states than in states that lean Democratic, according to research published by the U.S. central bank on Tuesday.

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, signed by Trump in December 2017, reduced tax rates for most Americans, boosting economic growth in 2018 while widening the federal budget deficit.

Trump has often cited the legislation one of his key achievements, although critics say the law mostly cuts taxes for high-income Americans and corporations. Many Americans are also getting smaller tax refunds or owed money than in the past.

The tax law’s long-term effects will include pushing after-tax incomes 1.6 percent higher in states that tend to vote for Trump’s Republican party, compared to a 1.3 percent gain in Democratic-leaning states, according to research published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, one of 12 regional branches of the U.S. central bank.

Households in Democratic-leaning states get less help because the law makes it harder to deduct state and local tax bills from a household’s federal obligations. State and local taxes tend to be higher in states that lean Democratic.

The researchers, which included Atlanta Fed economist David Altig and University of California, Berkeley economist Alan Auerbach, considered states to be leaning Republican or Democratic if one party’s share of the vote averaged at least 5 percentage points higher than that of the other party in the last five presidential elections.

For their estimates, the researchers assumed the tax overhaul would be made permanent. Congress, which was Republican-controlled when the bill was passed, made many of the tax cuts expire after 10 years so that the legislation could pass without Democratic support.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

Hot off the presses: The Board of Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare programs in the United States just released their annual report a few hours ago.

And if you want to read all of its gory detail, check it out for yourself here.

Both of these programs are massively and terminally underfunded. And not by a little bit.

The Board of Trustees itself calculates Social Security’s long-term shortfall at a mind boggling $43+ TRILLION.

Simply put, the trust funds don’t have enough money to keep the programs going, at least under the current promises.

They admit right at the beginning of their report that, starting 2020, Social Security’s cost will exceed the money it earns in from interest and taxes.

That’s not some far out date decades into the future. That’s next year. And every year after that.

By 2034, just 15 years from now, Social Security’s primary trust fund will be fully depleted. And one of Medicare’s trust funds will run out of money in 2026.

In case you’re wondering, by the way, the Board of Trustees consists of the United States Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, etc.

This isn’t a bunch of conspiracy theorists. They’re some of the top executives in government.

So I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say this is a complete disaster. Millions of people depend on Social Security for their livelihood… people who have been promised for their entire working lives that the program would be solvent.

When the funds run out of money, countless people’s lives will be turned upside down.

You’d think this would be considered some kind of national emergency… that politicians would be doing everything they can to fix this.

But hardly a word is uttered about it. 15 years is far enough out that most of these people don’t expect to be in office anymore… so it will be someone else’s problem to deal with.

Not to mention, their options are extremely limited.

On one hand, they could try to actually generate more investment income for the program. To me this is an obvious choice.

Right now the Social Security trust funds have $2.9 trillion in assets. Yet they only earned a pitiful $83 billion in investment income last year, a return of roughly 2.8%.

That’s barely enough to keep up with inflation.

Seriously– is this the best these people can do? 2.8%? The United States is home to some of the most brilliant investment minds in history who could easily double that investment return.

This is what other countries do– Japan, Singapore, Norway, etc. Fund mangers for public pensions have the discretion to invest in assets all over the world in an effort to derive higher returns.

But that’s not going to happen in the Land of the Free.

It’s actually ILLEGAL for Social Security to invest in anything EXCEPT for US government debt. I’m serious. Social Security’s ONLY assets are Treasury Bonds, and under current federal law, that’s all it will ever be.

Thing is- the US government really needs that money. They’re already $22 trillion in debt and going deeper into debt each year.

They can’t afford to allow Social Security to invest in anything else other than US debt. They’re already over-reliant on Social Security as a lender, and allowing the trust funds to invest in anything else would be financial suicide.

So that option is off the table… leading to option #2: Cutting benefits.

And you can absolutely count on that happening. The Trustees themselves even say this– that after the fund is fully depleted in 2034, they will have to make deep cuts to the monthly benefit.

Again– tens of millions of people are depending on that money. Tens of millions more will be depending on it when they retire in the future.

Slashing benefits is going to have a massive impact on their lives.

The last option is to raise taxes. And just like cutting benefits, you can count on this happening.

Just wait for the Bolsheviks to rise to power. They have a limitless agenda and no qualms about jacking tax rates up to 70% or more.

I really don’t want to sound alarmist. But there are obvious realities here that any rational person should take very seriously.

At some point, most of us probably expect to retire. And retirement will take very careful consideration in full view of all the facts.

These are facts… and it’s important to start planning with these basic truths in mind: the longer you have until retirement, the less likely that you’ll ever see a penny in benefits.

Alex Jones opens the phone lines to currently practicing and former members of the Muslim faith and challenges listeners to change his mind about Islam.

Source: InfoWars

Last year, the Social Security and Medicare trustees warned that the programs are going broke. A year later — they’re still going broke.

Social Security will dip begin dipping into reserves in order to pay out benefits next year and those reserves will run dry in 2035, according to the annual Social Security and Medicare trustees report that was released Monday.

When reserves dry up, the system will no longer be able to pay full benefits.

Analysts project Social Security’s expenses will exceed revenues as early as next year, according to the report. That means the program will have to begin spending money held in its trust fund in order to meet its obligations. While the Social Security administration has dipped into reserves before, analysts project this is the beginning of a long-term trend with no sign of reversal.

“Social Security will pay out more than it takes in next year and every year going forward,” Peterson Foundation chief Michael Peterson told reporters. “That’s the definition of unsustainable.”

According to the Social Security Administration, it will only be able to meet about 80% of benefits payable once money in the trust fund is spent.

The Social Security program uses payroll taxes paid into the system by current workers and employers to cover retirees’ benefits. The Social Security Administration invests the surplus into the mythical the trust fund. Interest earned is reinvested in the fund. Over time, the trust fund has grown to nearly $3 trillion. But once the system starts spending the principle in the trust fund, it will rapidly deplete.

And of course, the money in the trust fund doesn’t actually exist. It is in the form of Treasurys – US government debt. In other words, the federal government owes the trust fund the money that is supposedly in the “lockbox.” This accounts for the federal government’s unfunded liabilities we often hear about. According to the recently released Financial Report of the US Government, the government estimates Social Security’s long-term funding gap to be a mind-blowing $53.8 trillion.

Jake Lloyd breaks down the conditioning and social engineering tactics perpetrated on the public with the intent to breed controllable submissive masses.

Medicare is in even worse shape. The program’s hospital insurance trust fund is expected to run out of money in just seven years — 2026.

Both Medicare and Social Security suffer from the same fundamental economic problem. The nation’s population is aging, pushing up the costs of both Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile, a shrinking labor force and lagging economy mean less money flowing into the system.

Of course, this is what eventually happens with every Ponzi scheme. And make no mistake, both of these programs are quintessential Ponzi schemes. They depend on current contributors to pay the obligations to those who got into the scheme earlier. This works fine until the number of new people coming into the scheme starts to taper off.

(Photo by Jericho / Wiki)

At the end of 2018, Social Security about 67 million Americans were receiving Social Security payments.

In 2017, there were 2.8 workers for every Social Security recipient. That was down from 3.3 in 2007. If you go back to 1995, there were 4.9 workers for every retiree.

Politicians seem uninterested in addressing the problem. The Social Security and Medicare trustees issues these warnings year after year. Nobody seems to want to grapple with the fact that if Congress doesn’t act, Social Security and Medicare benefits will be cut. And the only way to fix the problem is to cut future benefits, or raise taxes — neither popular options.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans are depending on Social Security to fund their retirement. One-third of Americans have less than $5,000 in retirement savings. According to a Gallup poll, a majority of current retirees – 58% – say they rely on Social Security to get by.

Maybe this isn’t the best plan.

Alex Jones breaks down the true origins of ‘Earth Day’ and lays out how the Globalists are planning on fueling phony outrage about environmental conservation to usher in their technocratic control system over every nation of the world.

Source: InfoWars

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