Latest news: US, Taliban discuss aid and human rights


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Chinese developer requests extension of bond period

Another Chinese developer has said it may struggle to meet a bond repayment deadline, as it has announced it will seek to delay repayment of a $ 250 million bond for three months, adding to fears that the liquidity crisis at China Evergrande spreads to the entire property. sector.

In a filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday, Modern Land said it would seek consent from holders of non-US bonds to extend the bond’s maturity from October 25 to January 25.

Modern Land said on the record that the extension would improve liquidity and cash flow and help “avoid any potential default.”

Investors have been on the lookout for potential bond defaults in the real estate sector since Evergrande, the world’s most leveraged developer, indicated it could default and then missed a repayment deadline on an offshore bond. Evergrande’s missed payment on the coupon triggered a 30-day grace period before it officially went into default, but the developer reportedly missed other payments and faced three interest payments on Monday.

Last week, Fantasia, a mid-sized developer, revealed that it “hadn’t made the payment” on a $ 206 million bond maturity, triggering a formal default.

Modern Land also proposed to reduce the size of the bond by repaying just under $ 88 million at the original maturity.

IMF Says “Significant Progress” Has Been Made in Georgieva Investigation

The IMF said its board made “significant progress” on Sunday in its investigation into the role of managing director Kristalina Georgieva in an alleged data-fixing scandal while she was managing director of the World Bank.

The fund said in a statement on Sunday evening that the board met with Georgieva again to clarify details discussed at a previous meeting on Friday.

“The board of directors has today made further significant progress in its assessment with a view to concluding its examination of the matter very soon,” said an IMF statement.

On Friday, the board said it needed more details from Georgieva and the law firm WilmerHale, which brought the accusations against the IMF chief in a report commissioned by the World Bank board and released on September 16.

Georgieva has been accused of manipulating data to favor China in a 2018 ranking of the ease of doing business in different countries around the world.

Learn more about the survey here.

Morning markets in Asia

Asian stocks were mixed on Monday morning as markets reacted to a drop in US stocks on Friday and signaled that Japan would not raise taxes.

Japanese stocks were boosted by the announcement that the Prime Minister would not raise capital gains tax at this time. Markets also reacted to rising fuel costs and mixed US employment data, which pushed US stocks lower on Friday.

Markets were closed in South Korea for the Hangul Country holidays.

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened 1.3% higher at its Friday close and continued to climb up to 2%.

  • China’s CSI 300 index opened flat but climbed to 1% in morning trading.

  • Japan’s Topix rose 1.6 percent.

  • Australia’s benchmark S&P ASX 200 fell 1% in morning trading.

US, Taliban meet on aid, human rights

A US delegation discussed terrorism, human rights and humanitarian aid with the Taliban in Doha on Sunday.

The State Department said the talks in the Qatari capital included a conversation about “delivering solid humanitarian aid, directly to the Afghan people.”

The statement is one of the clearest signals to date from the United States that the country may be willing to work with the Taliban to expand support for Afghanistan, which is facing an economic crisis.

In September, the State Department announced it would make $ 64 million in aid available to international groups such as the World Health Organization to help address the humanitarian crisis by Afghanistan, mainly focused on helping the country’s refugees.

The department said the main topics of the talks were “issues of security and terrorism and safe passage for US citizens,” as well as human rights and the participation of women in society.

Big banks resist most direct roadmap to net zero emissions

Banks have refused to commit to the most explicit roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, just weeks before the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.

Negotiators on an initiative led by Mark Carney to encourage financial groups to stop funding fossil fuel companies have struggled to convince major banks to agree to end funding for all new exploration projects of oil, gas and coal this year, according to internal posts seen by Financial Times. This is aligned with research from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Many of the 59 banks adhering to the initiative of the former Governor of the Bank of England prefer to adopt targets from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN scientific body, which are less explicit and allow them to continue financing oil and gas.

Carney’s initiative, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (Gfanz), was formed in April, attracting support from nearly 300 financial institutions with assets of $ 90 billion. The IEA released its analysis in May.

Learn more about the initiative and resistance of the big banks here.

Professional black women paid less as careers stagnate, UK survey finds

Professional black women in the UK are paid less and have to work twice as hard to get noticed or get the same opportunities as their peers whose careers stagnate in a ‘mirror tocracy’, according to a study.

Almost three-quarters of black women working in major tech, finance and professional services said they thought they were paid less than their comparable peers in a survey by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

More than half reported difficulty being their ‘authentic self’ in their organization, feeling the need to change their personalities to fit the corporate culture as they struggle to reflect others due to of their contrasting antecedents, called by some a mirror tocracy.

The study also found repeated examples of professional black women judged on their appearance. In one case, a black woman wearing a suit was mistaken for a housekeeper, while another was told she looked more professional when her hair was worn straight rather than left natural.

Learn more about the report here.

US Navy engineer and wife accused of selling submarine secrets

U.S. authorities have accused a U.S. Navy employee and his wife of allegedly selling information about nuclear-powered ships to an undercover FBI agent they claim represented a foreign country in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Jonathan Toebbe, a US Navy nuclear engineer, and Diana Toebbe, a humanities teacher, were arrested on Saturday for allegedly sharing restricted military information “with the intention of injuring the United States and securing an advantage to the United States. a foreign nation, ”according to a complaint filed by the FBI.

“The complaint accuses a conspiracy to transmit information relating to the design of our nuclear submarines to a foreign country,” Merrick Garland, the US attorney general, said on Sunday.

After allegedly sending a package containing Navy documents to an anonymous foreign country looking for a “secret relationship,” the couple sold sensitive information for nearly a year to an undercover FBI agent for dozens. thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency, according to the US Department of Justice.

Learn more about the case here.

EU envoy from Moscow urges Europe to tighten ties to avoid gas shortages

The Kremlin’s ambassador to the EU called on Europe to strengthen ties with Moscow to avoid future gas shortages, but insisted Russia had nothing to do with the recent hike prices.

Vladimir Chizov, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, said he expected Gazprom, the state-controlled exporter that supplies 35% of Europe’s gas needs, to respond quickly to the government’s instructions. President Vladimir Putin to adjust its production.

The action, which would help curb the surge in wholesale prices, was likely to come “as soon as possible,” he said. Putin “gave Gazprom some advice to be more flexible. And something makes me think Gazprom will listen, ”Chizov told the Financial Times.

While dismissing claims by European lawmakers that Russia played a role in Europe’s gas crisis, Chizov said Europe’s choice to treat Moscow as a geopolitical “adversary” had not helped.

Learn more about Chizov’s views here.

What to watch in Asia today

Annual meeting of the IMF and the World Bank The fund’s annual meetings with the World Bank begin today amid the aforementioned turmoil over whether Kristalina Georgieva should remain as IMF chief.

Nobel Prize in Economics The winner will be announced today in Stockholm. Follow all of the Nobel Prize winners here.

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