New Covid variant under investigation as 16 cases found in UK
‘As Iran’s rupee reserves drop, traders almost halt exports’
U.S. sanctions end Tehran’s oil sales to India impacting trade
Indian merchants have almost entirely stopped signing new export contracts with Iranian buyers for commodities such as rice, sugar and tea, due to caution about Tehran’s dwindling rupee reserves with Indian banks, six industry officials told Reuters.
“Exporters are avoiding dealing with Iran since payments are getting delayed for months,” said a dealer with a global trading house.
Iran’s rupee reserves in India’s UCO and IDBI Bank, the two lenders authorised to facilitate rupee trade,have depleted significantly and exporters are not sure whether they would be paid on time for new shipments, the dealer said.
Under U.S. sanctions, Tehran is unable to use U.S. dollars to transact oil sales.
Iran previously had a deal to sell oil to India in exchange for rupees, which it used to import critical goods, including agricultural commodities, but New Delhi stopped buying Tehran’s oil in May 2019 after a U.S. sanctions waiver expired.
Tehran continued using its rupees to buy goods from India, but after 22 months of no crude sales, Iran’s rupee reserves have fallen, they said Iran’s reserves have reduced significantly and “will be over soon probably because trade has stopped,” said an IDBI Bank official.
Matt Hancock more optimistic than ever of a 'great British summer'
Netanyahu says Israel, Austria and Denmark will set up vaccine alliance
JERUSALEM, March 4 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel, Austria and Denmark will establish a joint fund for research and development of COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are going to do a joint research and development fund and discuss … the possibility of joint investment in production facilities for vaccines,” he told reporters, with Austria’s chancellor and Denmark’s prime minister at his side.
AT&T Sells DirecTV Stake To Private Equity Firm TPG
AT&T Inc. (T) has reached a deal with private equity firm TPG Capital to make its struggling satellite TV provider DirecTV a new standalone company.
The deal will establish a new company that will own and operate AT&T’s U.S. video business unit consisting of the DirecTV, AT&T TV and U-verse video services. The new company will have an enterprise value of $16.25 billion.
The company will be jointly governed by a board with two representatives from each of AT&T and TPG, as well as a fifth seat for the CEO, which at closing will be Bill Morrow, CEO of AT&T’s U.S. video unit.
Following the close of the transaction, AT&T will own 70% of the common equity and TPG will own 30%.
AT&T will receive $7.8 billion in the deal, which it will use to pay down its mounting debt load. TPG will contribute $1.8 billion in cash to New DirecTV in exchange for preferred units and a 30% interest in common units of New DirecTV.
In 2014, AT&T agreed to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, or more than $67 billion including debt.
“This agreement aligns with our investment and operational focus on connectivity and content, and the strategic businesses that are key to growing our customer relationships across 5G wireless, fiber and HBO Max. And it supports our deliberate capital allocation commitment to invest in growth areas, sustain the dividend at current levels, focus on debt reduction and restructure or monetize non-core assets,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey.
Fed's Powell talks economy, jobs: Read highlights
Economist says US could see 10% growth in 2021
Renaissance Macro Research Economics head Neil Dutta explains the data behind his optimistic expectations for the U.S. economy.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell took questions during a "Conversation on the U.S. Economy" hosted at The Wall Street Journal Jobs Summit. This as weekly jobless claims remain elevated coming in at 745,000.
ANOTHER 745K AMERICANS FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS LAST WEEK
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Powell gave his outlook for inflation, when the Federal Reserve may raise interest and how far the economy has come since the height of the pandemic nearly one year ago.
NASDAQ ERASES 2021 GAINS AS YIELDS CLIMB
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Major League Baseball to hold annual Lou Gehrig Day on June 2
Major League Baseball announced that they will hold an annual "Lou Gehrig Day" on June 2 beginning this season to commemorate the former Yankee first baseman's battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which became known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
To commemorate the day, all players, managers and coaches will have a patch on their jerseys to honor Gehrig, and red wristbands will be available to wear that read "4-ALS", a nod to Gehrig's No. 4 jersey. All ballparks will also display the "4-ALS" logo, per MLB.
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to celebrate the legacy of Lou Gehrig, whose humility and courage continue to inspire our society," said commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement. "While ALS has been closely identified with our game since Lou’s legendary career, the pressing need to find cures remains. We look forward to honoring all the individuals and families, in baseball and beyond, who have been affected by ALS and hope Lou Gehrig Day advances efforts to end this disease,"