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Renault scraps Ghosn’s pension as scandal deepens

PARIS ( ) – Renault blocked former chief executive Carlos Ghosn’s pension on Wednesday, as the French carmaker said an internal probe had identified “questionable and concealed practices” by the fallen auto industry hero.

Renault, which had initially questioned alliance partner Nissan’s accusations against Ghosn following his November arrest, also confirmed it had alerted prosecutors over suspect payments to a Middle Eastern distributor.

Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan on charges that he failed to report $82 million in Nissan pay he had arranged to receive after retirement. He has also been indicted for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan and steering $14.7 million in 上海夜网com,上海晚上耍女人的地方Quay,pany funds to a Saudi business associate.

The former Renault-Nissan boss has denied any wrongdoing.

Renault contacted French prosecutors late last week after uncovering millions of euros in payments described as dealer incentives to Omani distributor Suhail Bahwan Automobile (SBA), sources close to the company earlier told .

The file sent to prosecutors shows that much of the cash was then channeled to a Lebanese company controlled by Ghosn associates, the sources said. Nissan previously found that its own regional subsidiary made questionable payments of more than $30 million to SBA.

Renault said on Wednesday it had “informed the French judicial authorities of potential issues concerning payments made to one of Renault’s distributors in the Middle East.”

An internal investigation found “questionable and concealed practices and violations of the group’s ethical principles”, the company added. Its joint audit with 43.4 percent-owned partner Nissan is due to report final conclusions by the end of April.

Ghosn, credited with having revived both Renault and Nissan, was sacked by the Japanese firm within days of his arrest and was forced out as Renault chairman and CEO in January. In his resignation letter, he also notified the board that he was entitled to his pension, a person close to the company said.

“But his lawyers got it wro,上海夜生活服务Sabrina,ng,” the source said after a board meeting on Wednesday.

Ghosn’s resignation means he “is not entitled to any pension” from his defined-benefit plan worth 765,000 euros ($859,000) annually for life, Renault announced.

The company als,上海夜生活去哪玩Queena,o recommended that shareholders block 224,000 euros in Ghosn’s variable pay for 2018, and approved governance changes reducing the size of the board to 18 members from 20 after he formally exits as a director in June.

Renault previously axed Ghosn’s 30 million euros in deferred and severance pay in the wake of his indictment.

The 65-year-old promised on Wednesday to “tell the truth” at a news conference next week, taking to Twitter to announce his first briefing since being released on bail.

Former Daimler executive Annette Winkler will join the board to replace Cherie Blair, the wife of British former prime minister Tony Blair, Renault said. She and director Philippe Lagayette are both stepping down in June.

U.S. services, private payrolls data highlight slowing economy

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. services sector activi上海夜生活网ty hit a more than 19-month low in March and private payrolls grew less than expected, underscoring a loss of momentum in the economy that supports the Federal Reserve’s move to suspend interest rate hikes this year.

The reports on Wednesday came on the heels of some modestly upbeat data earlier in the week, including retail and motor vehicle sales and manufacturing. Investors are worried about a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter.

The Fed last month ended its three-year campaign to tighten monetary policy, dropping projections for any interest rate increases this year. The U.S. central bank lifted borrowing costs four times in 2018.

“The yin and yang of the numbers makes it clear that the year of tax-induced solid growth is over,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania. “But growth is still decent.”

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its non-manufacturing activity index fell 3.6 percentage points to 56.1, the lowest since August 2017. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

Last month’s sharp slowdown in services industry activity reflected a 7.3 points drop in th,上海夜生活怎么玩Idaleen,e production subindex. Activity was also weighed down by decreases in new and export orders measures. A gauge of service sector employment rose. But many industries continued to believe that their inventories were too high, a potential hurdle for increased production.

The ISM said while businesses in the services sector remained mostly optimistic about overall business conditions and the economy, “they still have underlying concerns about employment resources and capacity constraints.”

It said 16 industries, including utilities, real estate, finance and insurance, healthcare and social assistance, information, and professional, scientific and technical services reported growth last month. The two industries reporting contraction were education services and retail trade.

WORKER SCARCITY

Businesses in the accommodation and food services industry complained that “labor is tight and in short supply.” Similar complaints were also voiced by businesses in the transportation and public administration sectors.

Miners said activity “held flat,” while businesses in the professional, scientific and technical services reported that an “initial surge in business at the beginning of the year has peaked and settled to a more stable level.”

The economy is losing speed as stimulus from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion in tax cuts diminishes. It is also facing headwinds from slowing global growth, Washington’s trade war with China and uncertainty over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Growth estimates for the first-quarter range from as low as a 1.4 percent annualized rate to as high as a 2.1 percent pace. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the fourth quarter.

“For the most part, GDP source reports have firmed lately following some very weak readings around the turn of the year,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. “The timelier survey data signal that the recent firming may be temporary.”

The dollar was trading lower against a basket of currencies. U.S. Treasury prices fell, while stocks on Wall Street rose.

The shortage of workers could be curbing job growth. The ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday showed private employers added 129,000 jobs in March, the fewest since S,上海夜网后花园Quay,eptember 2017, after creating 197,000 positions in February.

The ADP figures came ahead of the Labor Department’s more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public- and private-sector employment.

The ADP report, which is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics, has a poor record predicting the private payrolls component of the government’s employment report. But job growth has slowed from last year’s 223,000 monthly ave,夜上海419龙凤论坛Cadence,rage pace.

Economists polled by are looking for private payroll employment to have grown by 170,000 jobs in March, up from 25,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to have increased by 180,000 jobs after a paltry 20,000 gain in February.

“There is sure to be a bounce back in the official data given how weak February was, the only question is how big it will be?” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

According to the ADP report, employment in the goods producing sector fell by 6,000 jobs in March, with manufacturing payrolls shrinking 2,000 and construction shedding 6,000 positions. The services sector added 135,000 jobs last month, concentrated in professional and education and health services.

Ford to launch more than 30 new models in China over next three years

SHANGHAI/BEIJING ( ) – Ford Motor plans to launch,上海足浴夜网联系方式Easton, more than 30 new models in China over the next three years of which over a third will be electric vehicles, the U.S. automaker said on Wednesday, as it seeks to reverse slumping sales in the world’s top auto market.

Ford had said previously it would launch 50 new or significantly redesigned vehicles in China starting in 2018 and through 2025, and Wednesday’s announcement provides more clarity on the timeline.

Its China operations chief Anning Chen said the automaker is committing itself to improving its relationships with Chinese joint-venture partners and localizing its ,上海夜玩网论坛Kailani,management teams by hiring and promoting more Chinese nationals and global talent with Chinese expertise, among other initiatives.

The new plans are intended to “enable us to gain the momentum to break through” in the marketplace, Chen told a small group of reporters.

Ford has been struggling to revive sales in China, the second biggest market globally for the Dearborn, Michigan automaker, after its business began slumping in late 2017. Sales slumped 37 percent in 2018, after a 6 percent decline in 2017.

Ford has said its sales crisis stemmed mainly from a lack of new products. Industry experts also ascribe the company’s China trouble to the Sino-U.S上海夜生活网. trade war and its rocky relationship with,上海夜网千花Ebba, domestic partners Changan Automobile Group and Jiangling Motors Group.