Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China Li Changjun Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China Li Changjun Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China for for Beijing and Shenzhen Li Changjun is being investigated for possible corruption by Chinese authority.  The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had released an official statement that he is being investigated for serious violations of (Communist) party discipline, an announcement that is usually associated with a government official being investigated for corruption.

“Former Head of Export-Import Bank of China Li Changjun Investigated for Possible Corruption”

Earlier in 2018, Li Changjun had reported himself to authorities and admitted to issuing letters of credit or letters of guarantee for personal purposes when he was working at a Shenzhen branch of the Export-Import Bank.  He was the Head of Export-Import Bank of China Shenzhen branch from 2012 to 2016, and thereafter Head of Export-Import Bank of China Beijing branch.

The Export-Import Bank of China is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank that supports China’s foreign trade, investment and international economic cooperation. The bank provides short-term, mid-term and long-term loans approved for foreign trade. This includes export credit, import credit, loans for offshore contracts and overseas investment, concessional loans, trade finance, letter of guarantee and letter of credit.  The bank is also known as the China Exim Bank.

Sources: Caixing Global, China Daily

 

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About Export-Import Bank of China 

The Export-Import Bank of China is a state-funded and state-owned policy bank with the status of an independent legal entity. It is a bank directly under the leadership of the State Council and dedicated to supporting China’s foreign trade, investment and international economic cooperation. With the Chinese government’s credit support, the Bank plays a crucial role in promoting steady economic growth and structural adjustment, supporting foreign trade, and implementing the “going global” strategy. It is committed to reinforcing financial support to key sectors and weak links in the Chinese economy to ensure sustainable and healthy economic and social development. By the end of 2016, the Bank has 29 domestic branches and one domestic representative office in Hong Kong, four overseas institutions, namely, the Paris Branch, Representative Office for Southern and Eastern Africa, Representative Office for Northern and Western Africa, and St. Petersburg Representative Office.

Visit: Export-Import Bank of China

 

 


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Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for Racial-Bias Training to 175,00 Staffs in United States

Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for Racial-Bias Training to 175,00 Staffs in United States

Starbucks will close 8,000 stores in the United States on the afternoon of 29th May 2018 to conduct Racial-Bias Training to 175,00 staffs.  On 12th April 2018, 2 black men aged 23, were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for what could be racial discrimination.  They were waiting for a business meeting and were subsequently arrested, handcuffed from the Starbucks and spent a few hours in a jail cell.  A Starbucks employee have called the police when 2 men had not made any purchase, while waiting for a business meeting,  One of them had been the Philadelphia Starbucks customer for 8 years, since the age of 15.

” Starbucks to Close 8,000 Stores for Racial-Bias Training to 175,00 Staffs in United States “

Starbucks will be conducting racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in more than 8,000 stores in the United States on the afternoon of 29th May 2018.  The training will be provided to nearly 175,000 partners (employees) across the country, and will become part of the onboarding process.

Starbucks was founded in 1971, and has more than 25,000 stores around the world.

Source: Starbucks, The Guardian

 

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About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 25,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup.

Visit: Starbucks

 


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Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission Xiang Junbo Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission Xiang Junbo Investigated for Possible Corruption

Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) Xiang Junbo is being investigated for possible corruption by Chinese authority.  The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) had released an official statement that he is being investigated for serious violations of (Communist) party discipline, an announcement that is usually associated with a government official being investigated for corruption.

” Former Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission Xiang Junbo Investigated for Possible Corruption ”

In 2012, Xiang Junbo was named in an investigation by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on JPMorgan Chase, where the bank had offered jobs to relatives of high-ranking officials in China, in exchange for business opportunities.  In 2017, JPMorgan paid more than $250 million for violation of anti-bribery laws in the United States, without admission of any wrongdoings.

He became the Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) in 2011, and oversaw the transformation of China’s insurance sector.  He liberalised the insurance sector, lifting the cap on equity investment that saw an acquisition spree, growing their assets in 8 years from CNY 6 trillion ($950 billion) in 2011 to CNY 6 trillion ($2.54 trillion) in 2017, more than 2.5 times increase.  Small insurers had also sold controversial insurance products, including short-term products promising high returns with minimal insurance benefits to raise large amount of cash to fund investments in bonds, equities, companies and properties.

Xiang Junbo, aged 61, was a former Deputy Governor of China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China and former Chairman of one of China’s largest bank, Agricultural Bank of China.  He was born in 1957 in Chongqing, China, and had fought in the 1979 Vietnamese border war.  Thereafter, he went to Renmin University in Beijing and later, received his doctorate in law from Peking University.  He was an auditor at the National Audit Office for 20 years, and in 2004 became the Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China.  In 2007, he became the Chairman of China’s  bank, Agricultural Bank of China.  In 2011, he became the Head of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Sources: SCMP, Bloomberg, Caixin Global

 

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About The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (the “CIRC”), established on November 18, 1998, is authorized by the State Council to conduct administration, supervision and regulation of the Chinese insurance market, and to ensure that the insurance industry operates stably in compliance with law.

Visit: CIRC

 

 


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European Commission Raided Companies Involved in Sports Broadcasting Rights Including Rupert Murdoch’s Fox

European Commission Raided Companies Involved in Sports Broadcasting Rights Including Rupert Murdoch’s Fox

The European Commission had raided companies involved in sports broadcasting rights Including a business unit of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.  The raid is part of an investigation into a possible cartel (maintaining high price) of the sports broadcasting in Europe.  Billions are spent to secure exclusive rights to sports broadcasting, which can attract millions and tens of millions of viewers, translating into subscription & advertising revenues.

” European Commission Raided Companies Involved in Sports Broadcasting Rights Including Rupert Murdoch’s Fox “

The European Commission had conducted unannounced inspections, in numerous companies including Fox Networks Group, 21st Century Fox.  The European Commission have concerns these companies may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.

Sources: Reuters, BBC

 

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Music Streaming Spotify Surged 13% at IPO on NYSE with $26 Billion Market Value

Music Streaming Spotify Surged 13% at IPO on NYSE with $26 Billion Market Value

Music streaming Spotify had surged 13% at IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), at a reference IPO price of $132.  The stock closed at $149.01 on the 1st trading day, closing at  $147.92 at the end of the week, valuing the company at more than $26 billion.

“ Music Streaming Spotify Surged 13% at IPO on NYSE with $26 Billion Market Value “

Spotify opted for a direct listing on NYSE, bypassing investment banks or brokers to underwrite the offering, saving hundreds of millions of dollars in underwriting fees.  The reference price was set at $132, giving an early estimate of the level at which the the supply and demand could be balanced.  The opening public price was determined by the buy and sell orders collected by the NYSE from broker-dealers.

Spotify, founded by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, was launched in 2008 and is available in more than 60 countries.  It is the biggest music streaming company in the world with 71 million premium subscribers ($9.99 monthly) globally while Apple music streaming service has 36 million subscribers.

After the IPO, both founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon became billionaires with net worth of more than $2 billion & $1 billion respectively.

Sources: Reuters, CNBC, Bloomberg

 

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HSBC to Pay $100 Million for Libor-Rigging Settlement in United States

HSBC to Pay $100 Million for Libor-Rigging Settlement in United States

HSBC has agreed to pay $100 Million in settlements for Libor-Rigging with the United States District Court.  The $100 million settlement is to to end further private litigations on HSBC role in Libor fixing and manipulation.  Since 2008, many banks had been investigated and made settlements to prevent further litigation.

” HSBC to Pay $100 Million for Libor-Rigging Settlement in United States “

In the settlement, HSBC denied any wrongdoing, but to avoid the risks, costs and distraction of litigation. The case is “Libor-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-md-02262.”  In 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority had announced plans to end the use of Libor by the end of 2021.

Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg

 

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About HSBC

HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations. With around 6,000 offices in both established and emerging markets, we aim to be where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities, enabling businesses to thrive and economies to prosper, and, ultimately, helping people to fulfil their hopes and realise their ambitions.

We serve more than 47 million customers through our four Global Businesses: Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets, and Global Private Banking. Our network covers 71 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, North America and Latin America. Listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges, shares in HSBC Holdings plc are held by about213,000 shareholders in 132 countries and territories.

Visit: HSBC

 

 


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910-carat Diamond “The Lesotho Legend” Sold for $40 million in Belgium

910-carat Diamond “The Lesotho Legend” Sold for $40 million in Belgium

A 910-carat diamond known as “The Lesotho Legend” had been sold for $40 million in a tender on 12th March 2018 in Antwerp, Belgium.  The 910 carat diamond, classified as a D color, Type IIa diamond, with the highest color and quality ratings, was sold by Gem Diamonds to an undisclosed buyer.

” 910-carat Diamond “The Lesotho Legend” Sold for $40 million in Belgium “

“The Lesotho Legend” diamond, named after the country it was founded, was uncovered from the mountain area Letšeng strip mine in Lesotho, South Africa.  It is the fifth largest gem quality diamond ever recovered.

70% of the Letseng mine is owned by Gem Diamonds.  The Letseng mine location is known for its production of white diamonds.

Source: USA Today, CNBC, Official Press Release

 

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About Gem Diamonds:

Gem Diamonds is a leading global diamond producer of high value diamonds. The Company owns 70% of the Letšeng mine in Lesotho and 100% of the Ghaghoo mine in Botswana. The Letšeng mine is famous for the production of large, top colour, exceptional white diamonds, making it the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

Visit: www.gemdiamonds.com

 

 


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Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma Faces Corruption Charges in Arms Deal

Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma Faces Corruption Charges in Arms Deal

Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma is facing corruption charges for being involved in a $2.5 billion (ZAR 30 billion – South African Rand)  arms deal in the late 1990s.   He is expected to be face 16 charges including racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud charges, and may face lengthy sentences if convicted.

“ Former South Africa President Jacob Zuma Faces Corruption Charges in Arms Deal “

On 14th February 2018, the former President Jacob Zuma was forced to step down by the African National Congress (ANC).  Born in 1942, he became President of South Africa in 2009 and served for almost 9 years till 2018.  South Africa has an economy of $295 billion in 2016, that is as large as Singapore ($297 billion) and Malaysia ($296 billion).  His deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, became the new President of South Africa on the 15th of February 2018.

In 2016, the then South Africa President Jacob Zuma was forced to return some money for using state funds for multimillion upgrades to his private house.

Sources: BBC, NY Times, The Guardian

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Law Firm Mossack Fonseca at Heart of Panama Papers to Shut Down

Law Firm Mossack Fonseca at Heart of Panama Papers to Shut Down

Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the “Panama Papers” will be shutting down due to the economic and reputational damages on the firm.  Millions of documents and data was stolen and exposed from Mossack Fonseca, and leaked to the media in April 2016.  Names of powerful people including wealthy and politicians were leaked and exposed in the “Panama Papers” for using offshore corporations to evade or reduce taxes.

“ Law Firm Mossack Fonseca at Heart of Panama Papers to Shut Down “

In February 2017, Panama’s police arrested the law firm’s founders, Ramon Fonseca and Jurgen Mossack on money laundering charges.  They were released in April 2017.

Sources: Reuters, The Guardian, ICIJ

 

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About Mossack Fonseca

Established in 1977, we provide comprehensive international legal services. The firm provides services based on more than 35 years of experience. As part of its added value, the firm offers personal advice and a world-class online experience through a virtual Client Portal which is available 24 hours a day. Our web-based Client Information Portal application allows clients to request companies online, verify the status of companies, in addition to other transactions.

Visit: Mossack Fonseca

 

About Panama Papers

The Panama Papers are documents which were leaked from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm which, according to its website, offers “comprehensive legal and trust services.” The website goes on to say that the firm offers “research, advice and services for the following jurisdictions: Belize, The Netherlands, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Malta, Hong Kong, Cyprus, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Panama, British Anguilla, Seychelles, Samoa, Nevada, and Wyoming (USA).” Some of those jurisdictions have been labeled tax havens – including Panama.

Visit: Panama Papers by Forbes

 


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China 4th Largest Oil Company CEFC China Energy Founder Ye Jianming Detained by Authorities

China 4th Largest Oil Company CEFC China Energy Founder Ye Jianming Detained by Authorities

China’s 4th largest oil company CEFC China Energy’s founder, Ye Jianming had been detained by authorities for questioning, causing the share price to plunged.  According to news reports, Ye Jianming’s detention was ordered directly by China’s President Xi Jinping.

” China Entrepreneur Ye Jianming Detailed by Authorities “

In November 2017, Hong Kong’s former Home Secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping had been arrested in New York on charges of routing bribes for African government officials through US financial institutions.   He headed a think tank called the China Energy Fund Committee, fully funded by CEFC.  The think tank has special consultative status with the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council, with access to influential decision makers in UN bodies.  In a statement released by the US Department of Justice, Chi-ping and Senegal’s former foreign minister Cheikh Gadio operated an “an international corruption scheme that spanned the globe” since 2014.  The two men had allegedly offered a $2 million bribe to Chad’s president Idriss Deby in exchange for “valuable oil rights” and $500,000 to Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa.

In November 2017, CEFC had led a consortium to pay €500 million ($609 million) to acquire a majority stake in Czech broadcaster CME from Time Warner.  In September 2017, CEFC paid $9.1 billion for 14.2% of Russia’s state-backed oil company.

Born in 1977, he established CEFC in 2002.  In 2015, the company’s revenue exceeded CNY 263.1 billion ($41 billion) and gained a place in the Fortune Global 500 and the World’s 500 Most Influential Brands.  Jianming had often been mistaken for a family of the late Ye Jianying, Head of China’s legislature from 1978 to 1983.  In his early career, Jianming had worked as an enforcement officer with the forestry department and made his early fortune by helping a Hong Kong businessman to successfully complete battle for a real estate transaction. Shortly, he bought oil businesses at an auction that the Chinese government had confiscated from Xiamen’s smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing.  He had used loans from state banks, Hong Kong and Fujian to finance his purchase.

Sources: SCMP, Reuters, Bloomberg

 

About CEFC China Energy Company

CEFC China Energy Company Limited is a private collective enterprise with energy and financial services as its core business.  The strategy of the Company seeks to expand international economic cooperation in the energy sector and establish a well-organized international investment bank and an investment group.

Established by Mr. Ye Jianming in 2002, CEFC China formed its Board of Directors in 2006. At the First Meeting of the Fifth Board of Directors in 2014, Ye Jianming was re-elected unanimously as its Chairman. For more than a decade, CEFC China has been actively implementing the “going global” strategy and constructing the talent-oriented industrial and financial system driven by trade and economy. In recent years, CEFC China has been accelerating its strategic transformation, focusing on building an international investment bank and an investment group specialized in energy industry and financial services, which has helped boost the Company’s sustained rapid development. The Company has under it two group companies at management level, 7 level-one subsidiaries as investment platforms and an A-share listed company, with a workforce of nearly 30,000.

Visit: CEFC China Energy Company Limited

 


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