Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, said on Monday: “China has made enforceable commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation, while promoting transparency and accountability.” Library picture: Steven Mnuchin speaks at a White House press conference, 11 January 2018. Image credit: Official White House Photo/Andrea Hanks
Britain’s economy contracted in the month before election, regional airline in financial trouble, Queen Elizabeth on Harry and Meghan, and “Joker” gets most Oscar nods. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
US says China not a ‘currency manipulator’ now
The Trump administration will no longer label China a currency manipulator. The move was announced ahead of the signing of the first phase of a new US-China trade deal on Wednesday. Washington had accused Beijing of weakening the renminbi to boost exports. China is now on a “monitoring list” which includes Germany, Ireland, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland. Sources: BBC, CNBC, Financial Times, Deutsche Welle and Marketwatch.
US issues new foreign investment restrictions
Washington has exempted investors in three key allied countries--Australia, Canada and the UK--from some of its stricter rules on foreign investments. The US Treasury Department on Monday beefed up the review powers of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to counter the influence of China and Russia. The rules apply to a number of sectors, including finance, infrastructure, property and technology. Sources: Bloomberg, Financial Times and Reuters.
US warns UK about using Huawei technology
Washington told London that using kit from the Chinese telecom outfit Huawei to build Britain’s 5G mobile network “would be madness”. Sources: BBC, Financial Times and The Guardian.
Here are 6 investment fund stories you may have missed
Asset management:Bloomberg Businessweek wrote that the big three index fund managers--BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street--are “potentially the most powerful force over a huge swath of America Inc” with critics saying they are shirking their responsibilities and potentially stifling competition. Fund firms “say their sway over companies is vastly overstated.” Asset management: Blackrock, Vanguard and State street “control 81% of all ETF assets under management” per Seeking Alpha. Asset management: Vanguard declined to join Climate Action 100+, a group of fund managers pressuring energy firms to reduce CO2 emissions, per The Guardian. Asset management: Global fund managers were underweight on Apple last year and overweight on Microsoft, per Marketwatch. Private equity: After investing $500m last year, PE outfit Insight Partners is acquiring Swiss-based data protection provider Veeam for $5bn, per The Register. Private equity: Insight Partners also acquired Israeli IoT security provider Armis in a deal that values the company at $1.1bn, per No Camels.
Royal ‘transition’ period
Queen Elizabeth announced a “period of transition” as the duke and duchess of Sussex “step back” from royal duties and split their time between Britain and Canada. The queen said in a statement that: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.” The queen also stated that she would have “preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family” and that “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.” Sources: BBC, The Guardian, NPR, Reuters and Sky News.