England Freezes ‘Russia Today’s’ Bank Accounts

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL)

Russia Today’s UK Bank Accounts Frozen, Says Editor

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ivan Sekretarev/AP/REX/Shutterstock (6248143b) Vladimir Putin Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the 8th annual VTB Capital "Russia Calling!" Investment Forum in Moscow, Russia, on . Putin has praised the "stabilization" of the Russian economy but says more can be done to promote growth Russia Investment Forum, Moscow, Russian Federation - 12 Oct 2016
The UK bank accounts of state-run multilingual broadcaster Russia Today have been frozen, according to its editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan.
 She took to Twitter to announce the news on Monday saying: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to the freedom of speech!”

Нам закрыли счета в Британии. Все счета. ‘Решение пересмотру не подлежит’. Да здравствует свобода слова!

 RT says that its bank NatWest, which is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, gave no explanation for its decision. In a letter written to the Kremlin-run news channel, the bank said: “We have recently undertaken a review of your banking arrangements with us and reached the conclusion that we will no longer provide these facilities. You will therefore need to make alternative banking arrangements outside of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.”

The letter said all of RT’s accounts would be cancelled on December 12. It said it reached the decision “after careful consideration” and that the “decision is final and we are not prepared to enter into any discussion in relation to it.”

RT has previously been sanctioned by regulatory body Ofcom for biased reporting, including claims that the BBC staged a chemical weapons attack for a news report on Syria. BBC won the case against the channel and Ofcom ruled that elements of the program were “materially misleading.”

Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, has contributed frequently to the channel and hosted his own talk show on RT in 2012.

After the UK account closures, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook: “It looks like, as it leaves the EU, London has decided to leave behind all its obligations towards freedom of speech. As they say, best to start a new life without bad habits.”

RT began broadcasting in the UK around 10 years ago and since then, Ofcom has recorded that the channel has breached UK broadcasting rules 14 times.

It is unclear whether the UK government was behind the news.

China’s Factory Output Picking Up Pace In August

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

Factories pick up the pace in August

CHINA’S manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace in nearly two years in August, according to figures released yesterday, but private manufacturers posted data that was weaker than expected.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index, which mainly tracks large state-owned companies, rose to 50.4 last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, its highest reading since October 2014.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing PMI survey, focusing on small and medium-sized firms, came in at 50 last month compared to July’s 50.6 reading. A third survey, meanwhile, revealed the official services PMI fell to 53.5 in August, down from 53.9 in July. Figures above 50 indicate growth.

“This data suggests the forthcoming industrial production and export data for August may improve somewhat,” Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said in a research note. “The improved business conditions should offer some relief for some industries in the course of capacity reduction.”

Zhao Qinghe, a senior analyst at NBS, said: “August is the beginning of China’s manufacturing peak season, and we expect the official PMI will go higher in the coming months.

“High-tech and consumer goods are doing well. It’s a positive sign that China’s manufacturing is changing from the low-value-added end to the higher one.”

But there are concerns the gains aren’t shared equally, analysts said, as the different performances by firm size reflects a deteriorating business environment for smaller enterprises with credit risks in the segment likely to increase. Among small and medium-sized manufactures, production and new orders both rose at slower rates while export sales continued to decline in August, Caixin said, calling current operating conditions “stagnant.”

“The big question is where growth momentum on a sequential perspective is going over the next few quarters. There’s still a lot of uncertainty,” said Zhu Haibin, chief China economist and head of China economic research at JP Morgan.

He added that a depreciating yuan and tepid global demand continued to weigh on Chinese factories.

The “stagnant” status of economic stability was also partly due to a short-term tightening up of fiscal support, Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis at CEBM Group, said in a note after the PMI report.

“China’s economy is still facing downturn pressure in aspects such as external demands, property market and production reduction,” Zhong said. “A relatively loose fiscal policy is needed to maintain a stabilized economy.”

While the government has said several times that a large-scale monetary stimulus is unlikely this year and extra loosening is not needed at present, analysts warn that falling private investment and volatile housing policies should be the next things to worry about.

China And Canada Will Work Together In Asian Infrastructure Investment Banking

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

Canada confirms plans to join AIIB

CANADA will apply to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Ottawa’s finance department said yesterday, in a coup for Beijing after Washington had tried to dissuade US allies from signing up.

“Canada is always looking for ways to create hope and opportunity for our middle class as well as for people around the world,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a statement issued in Beijing.

“Membership in the AIIB is an opportunity to do just that,” he said.

The Beijing-headquartered multilateral lender, which began operations earlier this year, has been seen by some as a rival to the World Bank and the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank, which was founded in 1966.

The US$100 billion AIIB counts several major European countries among its shareholders after they joined up despite the objections of the United States.

The United States remains by far the world’s largest economy and hosts both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

AIIB President Jin Liqun welcomed Canada’s decision, which he called “a vote of confidence” in the institution that showed Ottawa’s “confidence in the strong foundations the bank has built in our first few months.”

The US and Japan — the world’s third-largest economy — have notably declined to join the AIIB.

But Jin said that Washington now had a “very positive opinion on the bank.”

China “does not regard itself as the big boss” in the lender, he added, and its shareholding would “definitely be diluted” as more members joined, which could ultimately lead to Beijing losing the de facto veto power it holds over some of its decisions.

In a speech, Morneau suggested Canada was seeking to strike a balance between the US, its close ally and neighbor, and the growing Asian giant.

China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States, with exchanges topping C$85 billion (US$66.5 billion) last year.

“We have important relationships with the world’s most powerful nations and have developed a capacity for mutual accommodation and governance,” Morneau said yesterday in Beijing.

“Should we become the first North American member of the AIIB, I have every confidence that we bring constructive and balanced views to the table.”

Joining the China-backed lender would create jobs and business opportunities for Canadians, he said, adding, “Participation in the bank is clearly in Canada’s best interest.”

Canada’s announcement came during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to China, where he met Premier Li Keqiang to try to strengthen ties before the G20 summit this weekend in Hangzhou.

Trudeau yesterday hailed a new era in relations with China during his first official visit to a key trading partner, saying he aims to boost “stability and regularity” in their ties.

Trudeau and Li agreed to annual meetings and the eventual establishment of a mechanism to discuss national security and rule of law. Trudeau said they will work together to discuss issues of common concern, including climate change, judicial training, gender equality and empowerment of women and children.

“Renewing our relationship with China is extremely important to Canada,” Trudeau said at a joint news conference after his meeting with Li. “Until now, the China-Canada relationship has somewhat lacked in stability and regularity.”

Trudeau and Li also announced an agreement to extend a September 1 deadline that China had imposed on Canada to tighten its screening of canola exports, which could have led to major losses for Canadian farmers.

China is the biggest foreign consumer of Canadian canola, which is usually refined into an edible oil, but Li said Chinese canola producers and consumers were worried about imported canola carrying disease. Trudeau said Canada and China were working “very closely toward a long-term solution in the coming days and weeks ahead.”

 

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