Global News March 05, 2018

  1. BBC
  2. Global News March 05, 2018

“Trump Says No Mexico, Canada Steel Break Without Fair Nafta.”

President Donald Trump said the U.S. won’t lower tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada unless the two countries agree to a revamped Nafta that’s fair to the U.S. “NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs,” the president said in a tweet Monday. “Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed.”
It’s the latest sign that Trump’s plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum is overshadowing talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement. The president’s intervention may complicate a process that had already been yielding little progress on the most contentious issues.
The Mexican peso and Canadian dollar extended their losses after Trump’s comments. The peso declined 0.7 percent to 18.9628 per dollar, near the weakest level in almost two months. The Canadian dollar was down 0.8 percent to C$1.299, the weakest since July.
Trump’s decision on tariffs came on Thursday in the middle of talks, catching negotiators off guard. On Sunday, Trump’s senior trade advisers said the president doesn’t want any nation excluded from the tariffs, set to be imposed as early as this week. Canada, the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the U.S., and Mexico, the No. 4 source of steel, have asked to be excluded, and both indicated they will strike back if Trump includes them in the stiff duties.
Negotiators have completed five of the roughly 30 topic areas, known as chapters, likely to comprise the updated deal. Still, they say important strides have been made in other areas, and a deal could come together quickly once the toughest issues are worked out.


“Fidelity puts 6 million savers on risky path to retirement.”

For three years, the mutual funds in Fidelity’s flagship retirement franchise have outperformed at least 85 percent of their competitors, reversing a decade-long trend of subpar performance. And yet client money has continued to flow out of the firm’s Freedom Funds as retirement plan sponsors shift workers’ savings to rivals in the target-date fund business.
While deposits in the trillion-dollar sector have surged, Fidelity has seen nearly $16 billion in net withdrawals over the past four years, according to research firm Morningstar Inc.
The exodus stems in part from unease with the way Boston-based Fidelity has boosted performance – by ramping up risk.
Since a strategy overhaul that took full effect in 2014, Fidelity has substantially increased exposure to stocks, including those from volatile emerging markets. The firm also scrapped a long-held belief of sticking to pre-set allocations of stocks, bonds and other assets in target-date funds.
Instead, Fidelity portfolio managers now try to time market shifts, for instance by moving billions of dollars out of money-losing commodities bets and into Chinese stocks and U.S. tech shares, regulatory filings show.
In the 1990s, Fidelity helped pioneer target-date funds as a prudent method to diversify investments and automatically dial down risk as participants age. The fund names typically include a projected retirement year – the target date. Today, many target-date fund managers have turned to riskier investments to boost returns, and Fidelity has gone further than its peers, said Ron Surz, president of research firm Target Date Solutions.


BBC News
“Italy election: Populist Five Star and League vie for power.”

The leaders of two anti-establishment parties have each claimed they have the right to govern Italy, after voters in Europe’s fourth-largest economy did not return a majority to any single party.
The Eurosceptic, populist Five Star Movement was the biggest single party with a third of the vote. But the anti-immigrant League also said it had been endorsed to run the country as part of a centre-right alliance. Forming a government could take weeks of negotiation and coalition-building.
An alliance between the far-right League and ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party is set to win the most seats in the lower house of parliament. Both League leader Matteo Salvini, 44, and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio, 31, on Monday spoke of their right to govern the country. Despite stating the contrary during the run up to the vote, Five Star has now announced it is open for coalition talks with other parties.
Though no party will be able to rule alone based on latest results, the surge of support for populist parties has been compared with Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the US.
The right-wing coalition, which includes the League, Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party and the far-right Brothers of Italy, is tipped to get 248-268 seats – below the 316 needed for a majority.
But Five Star, which before Monday insisted on going it alone without forming a coalition, is expected to emerge as the largest single party in Italy’s lower house, with 216-236 seats.
Founded in 2009 by comedian Beppe Grillo, who denounced cronyism in Italian politics, Five Star is now led by Luigi Di Maio, 31. It has captured new voters in the poorer regions of southern Italy, feeding off anger over institutional corruption, economic hardship and immigration.


“As its wealth fund goes green, Norway’s firms struggle to keep up.”

Many Norwegian companies lag high standards for reporting their impact on the environment that the Nordic nation’s $1 trillion wealth fund is championing abroad in 2018.
The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, which is barred by the Norwegian government from investing at home, wants the 9,100 companies in which it holds stakes to submit data on issues such as water use and climate effects to London-based non-profit group CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. In Norway, just two firms – DNB (DNB.OL) bank and property firm Entra (ENTRA.OL) – were on a CDP list of 160“A” rated performers worldwide for disclosure in 2017. That was comparable to other Nordic nations but not exemplary, CDP data show.
Norway’s state-controlled oil group Statoil (STL.OL) got an“F” grade for disclosure of fresh water use – a core focus area for the fund abroad – after it declined to take part in the CDP survey. On climate change reporting, including tracking greenhouse gas emissions, Statoil got a strong“A“.
“It’s not our responsibility” to ensure that Norwegian firms comply, central bank governor Oeystein Olsen told Reuters when asked if Oslo was pressing higher standards abroad than at home. The wealth fund is managed by a unit of the central bank.
CDP said there were no Norwegian firms, for instance, among almost 100 companies including L’Oreal (OREP.PA), Walmart (WMT.N) and Toyota (6201.T) rated as leaders in tracking greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains.
“If Norwegian companies want to take a leadership role on climate change they should be engaging with their suppliers on these issues,” said Sonya Bhonsle, head of supply chain at CDP.
Norway’s fund, built from the nation’s oil and gas revenues, says global warming is stoking downpours, droughts and rising sea levels that threaten long-term earnings. It says investors need harmonized data to compare risks.
Its policies, such as restricting investments in coal companies, have huge influence for companies and investors because it owns on average 1.4 percent of all listed shares worldwide.
Yngve Slyngstad, the fund’s CEO, said it encouraged companies abroad to“strengthen their reporting in general, directly to the investors, but also indirectly through the CDP”. Few companies are doing enough on climate change, he said.