Tokyo, Dec 23 (AP/UNB) — A Japanese court approved prosecutors' request on Sunday to keep Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn in detention for another 10 days.
The Tokyo District Court said that the approval is for prosecutors to investigate further his third allegation of breach of trust for causing Nissan a loss of 1.8 billion yen ($16 million) in 2008.
Sunday's extension allows prosecutors to keep Ghosn at the Tokyo detention house until New Year's Day.
Ghosn and another executive Greg Kelly were arrested Nov. 19 and charged with underreporting Ghosn's income for 2011-2015 by about 5 billion yen ($44 million). Other charges for additional underreporting of Ghosn's pay by about 4 billion yen ($36 million) are pending.
The latest allegation filed Friday only applies to Ghosn and came a day after the court rejected prosecutors' request for a longer detention of Ghosn and Kelly. Kelly's bail request filed by his lawyer on Friday is still pending and could come sometime after Christmas.
Prosecutors allege that Ghosn in 2008 transferred a private investment loss worth more than 1.8 billion yen ($16 million) to Nissan by manipulating an unspecified "swap" contract. Ghosn also profited by having the automaker transfer a total of $14.7 million to another company to benefit himself and that company's owner, who helped in the deal, prosecutors said. Japan's NHK public television said the company owner is a Saudi Arabian acquaintance of Ghosn.
The arrest of an industry icon has triggered international attention. Prosecutors have been criticized for separating the same allegation aa tactic to detain Ghosn and Kelly longer. They say Ghosn and Kelly are flight risks. No trial date has been set.
The scandal also raised concerns over the Japanese automaker and the future of its alliance with Renault SA of France.
Ghosn's downfall is seen by some as a maneuver by others at Nissan to gain power in the alliance.
Renault in 1999 sent Ghosn to turn around Nissan, then on the verge of bankruptcy, and he led its rise to the world's second-largest automaker.
Nissan has dismissed Ghosn as chairman and Kelly as a representative director since the allegations were made. Nissan has put off a decision on Ghosn's replacement.
Manila, Dec 21 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The World Bank (WB) said on Friday that it has downgraded its growth projections for the Philippines to 6.4 percent in 2018 and 6.5 percent in 2019 "to reflect recent economic trends."
These new forecast numbers are slight revisions of the World Bank's growth projections of 6.5 percent for 2018 and 6.7 percent for 2019, released through the Philippines Economic Update in October.
"A strong, consistent delivery of the infrastructure investment agenda while sustaining improvements in health, education and social protection will be key to maintaining the robust and inclusive growth outlook of the Philippines," Rong Qian, a World Bank senior economist, said in a statement.
While persistent high inflation may temper private consumption growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, the World Bank said a moderation in inflation in following quarters is expected to boost consumer confidence and raise private consumption in 2019.
Also, it said the mid-term election next May is also expected to strengthen consumption by temporary raising employment and disposable incomes in early 2019.
"Investment growth however maybe be tempered in the first half of 2019 due to the possible reenactment of the first-quarter 2019 budget following a delay in the budget approval process," the statement read.
Nonetheless, it said the Philippines remains one of the fast-growing economies in East Asia and the Pacific region.
Tokyo, Dec 19 (AP/UNB) — SoftBank Group Corp.'s Japanese mobile subsidiary began trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Wednesday in one of the world's biggest share offerings.
Five executives each rang a bell with a wooden hammer to celebrate the IPO that seeks to raise more than 2 trillion yen ($18 billion). They didn't speak at the ceremony but are expected to announce the first-day results at a news conference after the market closes.
Softbank shares fetched an initial price of 1,463 yen ($13.03) and by midmorning, slid further to 1,392 yen ($12), down 7 percent from the IPO price of 1,500 yen announced earlier this month.
The listing came just weeks after massive service outage attributed to a software problem, affecting a large number of customers. They were unable to text messages or make payments during the outage.
SoftBank is listing 1.6 shares, or about one third held by its parent company.
The IPO compares with some of the world's biggest. China's Alibaba Group raised about $20 billion when it went public in 2014, and Facebook raised $16 billion in 2012.
SoftBank Group's chief, Masayoshi Son, has also drawn investor concerns for his relations with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
About half of SoftBank Group's $100 billion Vision Fund investment money comes from the kingdom. The fund has been investing in solar projects and artificial intelligence.
The parent SoftBank wants to add cash for its investments not linked to Saudi Arabia.
It has invested in a range of companies globally, such as U.S. wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM and Chinese e-commerce Alibaba.
Softbank, which created the Pepper companion robot, was founded in 1986, as a software, broadband and fixed-line telecommunications company. It was the first mobile carrier to offer the Apple iPhone in Japan.
London, Dec 18 (AP/UNB) — The British Cabinet is expected to discuss ramping up preparations for Britain's departure from the European Union without a deal.
The discussions Tuesday are expected to center on how 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) in government funding to absorb the potential economic chaos is to be allocated.
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire told the BBC on Tuesday that Prime Minister Theresa May's government has been taking the prospect of no deal seriously for some time, but that it was "right and proper" to prepare for a disorderly Brexit.
With Britain's departure from the bloc just over 100 days away, it remains unclear whether the country will leave with a deal or crash out with no deal — an outcome that risks touching off gridlock at ports and shortages of goods.
Singapore, Dec 18 (AP/UNB) — Asian stocks fell on Tuesday, tracking losses on Wall Street as traders braced for an interest rate hike by Federal Reserve.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index was 1.2 percent lower at 21,242.66 and the Kospi in South Korea dropped less than 0.1 percent to 2,070.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng eased 0.3 percent to 26,022.16. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 0.6 percent to 2,583.51. Australia's S&P ASX 200 was down 0.9 percent at 5,609.00. Shares were lower in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: On Monday, broad selling knocked U.S. indexes to their lowest levels in over a year. Investors sold almost everything, from technology and retail stocks to steadier high-dividend companies. Less than 40 of the 500 stocks comprising the S&P 500 finished the day higher. The benchmark index gave up 2.1 percent to 2,545.94, its lowest level since Oct. 9, 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial Average skidded 2.1 percent to 23,592.98 and the Nasdaq composite was down 2.3 percent at 6,753.73. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks lost 2.3 percent to 1,378.14.
FED MEETING: The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to raise its short-term interest rate by a modest quarter-point, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent a day later. The rate is used as a benchmark for many consumer and business loans. Investors fear more monetary tightening would weigh on U.S. growth, and eventually, the global economy, that is already expected to slow in 2019 because of trade tensions. President Donald Trump tweeted that it was "incredible" the Fed was considering another rate hike, with "a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation." The central bank forecasts three more rate hikes in 2019.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "Despite Donald Trump's recent overture, the Fed looks set to hike rates again on Wednesday with market players anxious to see if the economy can handle more policy tightening given expectations for slowing growth," ING economists Nicholas Mapa and Prakash Sakpal said in a commentary.
ENERGY: Oil prices fell on worries about oversupply and softening growth in China, which could hit demand. Benchmark U.S. crude shed 49 cents to $49.39 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.32 to $49.88 in New York on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gave up 59 cents to $59.02 a barrel. It lost 67 cents to settle at $59.61 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 112.61 yen from 112.83 yen in late trading Monday. The euro rose to $1.1353 from $1.1349.