February 15, 2017 nº 1,839 - Vol. 14

"Everything changes but change."

Israel Zangwill

Read Migalhas LatinoAmérica in Spanish every Tuesday and Thursday. Visit the website at www.migalhas.com/latinoamerica

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  • Crumbs

1 - Challenge to Trump travel ban moves forward in two courts - click here.

2 - Toshiba chairman to resign amid $6.3bn writedown - click here.

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  • MiMIC Journal

Hong Kong billionaire's employees barred from travel

Beijing's dragnet is extending around Xiao Jianhua, one of China's wealthiest and most politically connected financiers. At least 30 of his employees have been stopped from leaving the mainland as part of one of the most far-reaching crackdowns on a private Chinese conglomerate since the country began to embrace free markets. It appears that Xiao's inside knowledge of the financial dealings of China's most powerful families may have overridden concerns about violating Hong Kong's autonomy under the "one country, two systems" arrangement.

Goldman warns of China economy risks

China’s economy may have slipped down the global worry list, but significant risks remain, including an abrupt end to a massive credit boom or an overly aggressive policy response if inflation should speed up, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

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  • Historia Verdadera

Lava Jato y/o Panamá paper's

La encargada en Brasil de la firma panameña de abogados Mossack Fonseca, implicada en el escándalo de los "Panama Papers", María Mercedes Riaño, fue detenida preventivamente este martes como parte de las investigaciones por el escándalo de corrupción Lava Jato. (Presione aquí)

Banco - Crisis

La utilidad del Grupo BTG Pactual SA cayó en el cuarto trimestre, debido a que los ingresos de la mayoría de sus negocios registraron una dramática reducción del balance del mayor banco de inversión independiente de América Latina. La utilidad neta alcanzó US$ 211 mlls. en el trimestre, una baja de un 1% frente a los tres meses previos y un desplome de un 47% respecto al mismo período del 2015, cuando el banco lidió con las consecuencias del arresto su fundador y mayor accionista André Esteves por supuestos actos de corrupción en Brasil.

Empleos

La compañía alemana Siemens reforzó su compromiso con México y buscará oportunidades de negocio por US$ 36,000 mlls., además de invertir US$ 200 mlls. en los próximos diez años. El CEO de la compañía, Joe Keaser, aseguró que como parte de un memorándum de entendimiento firmado con el gobierno mexicano, crearán en la siguiente década 1,000 empleos directos en el país.

  • Brief News

Trump travel ban hit by new legal setback

A US district judge in Virginia has ruled that President Donald Trump's executive order barring entry from seven countries is unconstitutional. Judge Leonie Brinkema issued a preliminary injunction, asserting that the campaign vow to institute a "Muslim ban" violated the First Amendment. The Monday ruling is significant, as the judge ruled that religious bias is at the heart of Trump's ban. Another US judge has already upheld an order stopping implementation. The First Amendment prohibits the government from establishing laws that favor one religion over another.

The limits of divestiture as an antitrust remedy

The Federal Trade Commission’s recent study of its own merger remedies was in some ways an update of a well-regarded 1999 report on the divestitures almost always imposed when mergers are challenged. Yet the new study claims success of a kind that its evidence could not even plausibly demonstrate. It raises the question of why preserving the antitrust remedy of divestiture is so important to regulators. And it tells a story of something wrong politically with competition as a public policy. Divestiture is important because the antitrust agencies have no real alternative. If divestitures prove generally ineffective, and the agencies had to sue every time a deal raised antitrust concerns, their entire merger programs could be jeopardized.

Sweden appeals court orders Internet provider to block access to file-sharing site The Pirate Bay

The Swedish Court of Patent Appeals and the Market Court, an appellate court with exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property cases, ordered an Internet service provider (ISP) to block access to the file-sharing site The Pirate Bay and the streaming site Swefilmer. The decision overturns a district court's 2015 ruling and orders Swedish ISP Bredbandsbolaget to block access to the sites for three years, or pay a USD $56,000 fine.

Jakarta elections: Voting begins amid governor blasphemy trial

Residents of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, are voting for a new governor, in an election overshadowed by the incumbent's blasphemy trial. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as "Ahok", is the first Christian and ethnic Chinese leader of the majority Muslim city in more than 50 years. He is on trial for insulting Islam, after he accused his opponents of using the Koran to mislead voters. Tens of millions of Indonesians will also be voting in regional elections.

Venezuela deputy president defies US over drug sanction

The vice-president of Venezuela has accused the US of "imperialist aggression" after it slapped sanctions on him for allegedly trafficking drugs. Tareck el-Aissami was described by the US treasury as a drug "kingpin" who worked with traffickers in Mexico and Colombia to ship drugs to America. Hitting back, he accused the US of "defamatory aggression". Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro demanded a public apology from the US for sanctioning his new deputy.

Rolls-Royce reports record loss of £4.6bn

A bribery settlement and the fall in the pound have pushed engineering giant Rolls-Royce to a record loss. The jet engine maker reported a loss before tax of £4.6bn for 2016. However, once one-off costs have been stripped out, the company's underlying profit was better than many experts had predicted. Rolls-Royce agreed to pay £671m to settle corruption cases with UK and US authorities and it has written off £4.4bn from currency related contracts. (Click here)

Romania parliament approves anti-corruption referendum

The Romanian Parliament agreed on Monday to hold a referendum regarding anti-corruption measures after public protests. There have been nearly two weeks of consecutive anti-government protests in opposition of the government's efforts to lessen anti-corruption law and punishment. President Klaus Iohanni proposed the referendum, and 310 lawmakers voted in favor. The exact questions that will be presented on the referendum are yet unknown, and it is unclear if the promised referendum will quell the protests. Parliament also must confirm the repeal of the initial emergency decree, which is expected later this week. (Click here)

Flynn may be called to testify before Senate Intelligence Committee

Michael Flynn stepped down as national security adviser following reports he communicated with Russia about US sanctions in December and then misled the vice president-elect about that discussion.

Fed interest rate hike may be 'appropriate'

US Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, has said it may be "appropriate" for the central bank to raise interest rates at one of its upcoming meetings. The bank's next meeting on monetary policy is on March 14 and 15. Speaking to Congress she said delaying rate hikes would be "unwise", and could leave the Fed having to move too fast later, risking causing a recession. In December the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25%, only the second increase in a decade.

DOJ withdraws appeal on injunction for transgender bathroom guidance

The US Department of Justice on Friday withdrew its appeal of an injunction preventing the Obama administration's guidance that schools should allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choosing. The guidance stated that transgender students were protected under Title IX. A hearing was set for next Tuesday in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to appeal the injunction granted in favor of Texas and 11 other states. On Friday, both parties filed a joint notice saying that the hearing was canceled.

Court denies request to halt Dakota pipeline construction

A US judge has rejected a request from two Native American tribes to halt construction on the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. The final stretch of the $3.8bn pipeline is being built under a North Dakota reservoir.

Iowa moves to restrict collective bargaining for public sector workers

About 180,000 state and local government workers would be prohibited from negotiating over issues such as health insurance and extra pay. The bill is high on the state GOP's legislative agenda.

Pakistan court prohibits Valentine's Day celebrations

The Islamabad High Court ruled Monday that all public celebrations of Valentine's day are prohibited with "immediate effect." The prohibition will affect government offices, private businesses and media sources. Print and electronic media have been ordered to cease all "Valentine's Day promotions immediately" lest they are reported to the police by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority. The High Court ruling came about as a result of a petition by Abdul Waheed who argued that Valentine's Day promotions on mainstream and social media are "against Islamic teachings and should be banned immediately." Implementation of the Valentine's day ban will depend on its interpretation by police. So far, no retailers have seen any police enforcement. (Click here)

Credit Suisse to eliminate 5,500 jobs in latest cost-cutting drive

Since joining the bank in 2015, Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse’s chief executive, has sought to reduce costs by billions of dollars.

Spanish Court orders criminal inquiry into oversight of Bankia I.P.O.

Top regulatory officials may have knowingly ignored financial problems at Bankia in giving its 2011 initial public offering clearance, the court said. (Click here)

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