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Apple Inc found itself on the receiving end of a small, short-lived anti-U.S. protest this week in China, the tech firm's biggest overseas market and a country where foreign firms have suffered damaging boycotts following international spats. A handful of unofficial Apple stores were picketed and social media users encouraged each other to destroy their Apple goods, in a rare instance of the tech firm being targeted as a symbol of perceived injustice following an international ruling against Chinese territorial claims. "There's not much Apple or any other foreign firm can do to prevent such patriotic protests," said analyst Nicole Peng at researcher Canalys, who sees no impact to Apple's sales from the recent protest.
By William Schomberg and Elias Glenn CHENGDU, China (Reuters) - The world's biggest economies will work to support global growth and better share the benefits of trade, policymakers said on Sunday after a meeting dominated by the impact of Britain's exit from Europe and fears of rising protectionism. Philip Hammond, Britain's new finance minister, said the uncertainty about Brexit would begin to abate once Britain laid out a vision for a future relationship with Europe, which could become clearer later this year.
By Pamela Barbaglia and Freya Berry LONDON (Reuters) - Overseas buyers lured by a plunge in the pound are looking to snare British companies on the cheap, ensuring a steady flow of deals since Britain voted to leave the European Union and defying expectations of an M&A drought. Almost 60 transactions totalling $34.5 billion have been struck by foreign companies for British firms since June 23, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with 79 deals amounting to $4.3 billion in the month leading up to the vote. This activity - dominated by Japanese group SoftBank's $32 billion swoop for chip designer ARM Holdings - has defied warnings that dealmaking could dry up for a period if Britain backed Brexit, given uncertainty surrounding risks to the economy and access to the EU single market.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are set to face off with a former Wall Street investment banker in their first insider trading trial since a U.S. appeals court curtailed their ability to pursue such cases. Jury selection is expected to begin on Monday in the case of Sean Stewart, an ex-banker at Perella Weinberg Partners and JPMorgan Chase & Co accused of supplying inside information to his father about unannounced healthcare mergers. Prosecutors say accountant Robert Stewart, the father, and Richard Cunniffe, an acquaintance who worked at a boutique investment bank, made $1.16 million trading on tips about five healthcare deals provided by the younger Stewart.
The two companies, which count billionaire Elon Musk as a major shareholder, are in the final stages of carrying out due diligence on each other, and could agree on the terms of a deal in the coming days, though it is still possible that their negotiations end unsuccessfully, the people said on Saturday. It could not be learned whether SolarCity would be successful in including a go-shop provision in a merger agreement with Tesla that would allow it to continue to solicit bids from other potential buyers for a short period of time. Representatives for SolarCity and Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
General Motors is re-evaluating its planned $1 billion investment in India and has put on hold moves to bring a new car platform to India as it re-assesses its strategy in the country, according to company officials. The rethink comes as GM's India sales have fallen nearly 40 percent in the year to end-March, and its share of the domestic passenger vehicle market is now below 1 percent. Sagging sales and a regulatory crackdown on diesel-powered vehicles are now forcing GM to redraw plans.
As China's economy notches up another quarter of steady growth, the pace of credit creation grows ever more frantic for every extra unit of production, as inefficient state firms swallow an increasing share of lending. "The amount of debt that China has taken in the last 5-7 years is unprecedented," said Morgan Stanley's head of emerging markets, Ruchir Sharma, at a book launch in Singapore. While Beijing can take comfort that loose money and more deficit spending are averting a more painful slowdown, the rapidly diminishing returns from such stimulus policies, coupled with rising defaults and non-performing loans, are creating what Sharma calls "fertile (ground) for some accident to happen".
By Mia Shanley and Niklas Pollard STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Business tycoon Melker Schorling, one of Sweden's most prominent investors, says he is well-positioned to expand his 60 billion crown ($7 billion) investment empire even as he prepares to hand over affairs to his daughters. MSAB, the holding company he set up in 1999 which spans a diverse set of companies from measurement technology to locks and guards, has consistently outperformed larger rivals. Investors attribute Schorling's success to a knack for picking small specialists which go on to become global market leaders.
By Ahmad Ghaddar, Libby George and Aidan Lewis LONDON/TUNIS (Reuters) - Libya's hopes to boost crude exports have been dealt a blow after the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) objected to a deal between the government and local guards to reopen key ports. In a letter seen by Reuters to U.N. Libya envoy Martin Kobler and a number of oil and diplomatic officials, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said it was a mistake to reward Ibrahim Jathran, head of the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG), for a blockade of the oil ports of Ras Lanuf, Es Sider and Zueitina. The PFG confirmed on Friday that it would implement an agreement with Libya's U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) to reopen the ports within days, following a visit by Kobler to meet Jathran in Ras Lanuf.
High-end lingerie sales are outpacing China's generally downbeat luxury market, and heating up competition between international brands and local rivals looking to go upmarket. U.S. brand Victoria's Secret will open its first store, and companies including Italy's ultra-luxury La Perla and Germany's Triumph are adding stores and moving beyond China's mega-cities to tap a lingerie market that has more than doubled in five years to $18 billion, according to Mintel Group. "Luxury is ... not about buying to show off, it's about buying items that make you feel good," says Chiara Scaglia, La Perla's Asia chief.