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Thai Markets Rattled by Report of Finance Minister’s Resignation

Here's the story of the rise and fall of JCPenney

New York (CNN Business)Gap and Banana Republic are closing more than 225 store locations this year — nearly three times more than were previously announced — with the company warning more closures would follow next year.

Gap, which owns the Banana Republic brand, announced in March that it would close 90 stores. The drastic increase announced Thursday underscores how badly retailers are struggling during the pandemic.
The “lion’s share of closures” will be in malls, Chief Financial Officer Katrina O’Connell said in an earnings call Thursday. Exact locations and a numerical breakdown of closures between the two brands will be released in October, she added.

    The number of Gap and Banana Republic locations have been declining. In 2018, the brands had1,843 stores globally; now there are 1,643. That number will once again decrease once again in 2021.
    Like many retailers, Gap had a brutal second quarter, which encompassed pandemic-induced temporary location closures. Total sales across its major brands — Gap, Old Navy, Athleta and Banana Republic — declined 18%. However, some of those losses were offset by a 95% increase in online sales.

      The company was also able to more than double its cash on hand to $2 billion in the quarter. Back in April, the Gap issued warned that it had as little as $750 million in the bank, warning that it might not survive.
      Another bright spot that would’ve been unheard of a year ago were sales of face masks. Gap said it sold $130 million worth of face coverings in the second quarter.

      Kazakh president says monetary policy must provide greater stimulus

      ALMATY, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged the central bank and the financial regulations agency on Tuesday to make monetary policy more supportive of economic growth and less driven by exchange rate considerations.

      Tokayev said in his annual address that the local tenge currency’s volatility hindered investment and instructed financial regulators to make it more appealing to investors. (Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

      Air China Slips To Loss In H1; Traffic, Capacity Down

      Air China Ltd (AIRC.L) reported Tuesday that its first-half loss before taxation was RMB 13.10 billion, compared to last year’s profit of RMB 4.51 billion.

      Loss attributable to equity shareholders of the company was RMB 9.44 billion, compared to profit of RMB 3.14 billion a year ago.

      Revenue declined 54.61 percent to RMB 29.65 billion from prior year’s RMB 65.31 billion.

      Among the revenues, air traffic revenue was RMB 27.14 billion, representing a year-on-year decrease of 56.70 percent.

      Capacity declined 53.74 percent and traffic fell 61.47 percent.

      Passengers carried declined 55.91 percent, and passenger load factor declined to 67.45 percent from 80.99 percent last year.

      Cargo ship 'collides with Royal Navy vessel'

      A cargo ship has reportedly collided with a Royal Navy vessel.

      It happened around 8am in Falmouth, Cornwall, according to the BBC.

      There have not been reports of any injuries.

      More follows.

      Carlyle Buys Stake in Chinese Health-Care Firm for $260 Million

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      Carlyle Group agreed to invest 1.78 billion yuan ($260 million) to buy a minority stake in Shenzhen Salubris Pharmaceutical Co., bringing its announced investment in health-care companies in Asia this year to almost $1 billion.

      The U.S. fund will acquire a 5% stake in the biopharmaceutical company that sells finished drugs and medical devices, according to a Shenzhen stock exchange statement.

      The deal comes on top of an earlier$490 million purchase of a stake in Piramal Pharma Ltd. and the acquisition of a majority holding in India’sSeQuent Scientific Ltd.

      China’s pharmaceutical market is expanding, fueled by an aging population, increased access and innovations in biotechnology. Companies are proactively building drug pipelines, including high-quality generics and innovative drugs, and are starting to gain market share amid greater consolidation in the generic drug market, Carlyle said in a press release.

      The U.S. investment firm has stepped up health-care investments in China, buying stakes in third party independent clinical laboratory Adicon and global peptide API’s manufacturer Ambio in 2018. Globally, Carlyle has invested more than $13.4 billion of equity in more than 80 deals in the global health care sector as of June this year.

      Thai Markets Rattled by Report of Finance Minister’s Resignation

      Thailand’s main stock index dropped and the currency pared gains on a report that Finance Minister Predee Daochai has tendered his resignation weeks after taking office because of ill health.

      The benchmark SET index of stocks fell as much as 0.7%, while the Thai baht was little changed at 31.110 to the dollar as of 4:15 p.m. local time, paring gains of as much as 0.6% earlier in the day.

      The former banker handed over his resignation to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha on Tuesday, Thai-language newspaper Khaosod reported, citing an unidentified government official. The prime minister has yet to accept Predee’s request to quit the cabinet, the newspaper said.

      Traisulee Traisoranakul, a government spokeswoman, said she was unaware of the minister’s resignation. Predee attended a Cabinet meeting with Prayuth earlier Tuesday.

      A former co-president ofKasikornbank Pcl, Predeetook office on Aug. 12 as part of several changes Prayuth made to his Cabinet to shape the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.