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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. 

Alex Wong | Getty Images

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, founder of space venture Blue Origin and owner of The Washington Post, participates in an event hosted by the Air Force Association September 19, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. 

Retail giant Amazon will have its second and third headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday night, citing people familiar with the matter.

The announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday, the Journal reported.

Amazon, based in Seattle, started looking for a second headquarter in September 2017 to house an additional 50,000 employees. The contest was narrowed to 20 finalist cities in January but recent reports emerged that the retailer would split the second headquarters between two locations.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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Jakarta governor says six dead in Indonesia post-election unrest



Police fired tear gas during a clash with protesters in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Eko Siswono Toyudho | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Six people died in civil unrest that gripped parts of Jakarta on Tuesday night after the election commission confirmed that President Joko Widodo won last month’s election, the governor of the Indonesian capital said.

Protests on Tuesday by supporters of Widodo’s challenger for the presidency, former general Prabowo Subianto, started peacefully but turned violent in the evening, forcing police to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd.

“As per 9 o’clock this morning, there were 200 people hurt being brought to five hospitals,” Governor Anies Baswedan told broadcaster TVOne. “The number of people dead was six.”

He said hospitals were conducting post-mortems to determine the cause of the deaths.

Hundreds of protesters were still locked in a tense stand-off with police in central Jakarta on Wednesday after a night of violence. Television footage showed smoke billowing from behind dozens of protesters in streets of the Tanah Abang district, with some throwing firecrackers and tearing down public fences.

News agency Antara reported that a small number of protesters had attempted to storm a nearby police station and were using tables as barricades.

Several office buildings and embassies in downtown Jakarta were closed on Wednesday, as were train stations in the area.

A separate crowd in front of the election supervisory body threw rocks and firecrackers at police around dawn, and dozens of chanting protesters joined them during the morning.

Hundreds of police in riot gear blocked the usually busy Sarinah intersection to hold back a crowd they said was expected to swell further in the afternoon.

“We will keep going with these protests until he (Widodo) falls,” said Afi Sikumbang, 58, a Prabowo supporter.

The General Election Commission (KPU) on Tuesday confirmed unofficial counts by private pollsters in the April 17 election, which gave Widodo a 55.5% share of votes against 44.5% for Prabowo.

Widodo won more than 85 million votes of a total of 154 million cast in the world’s third-largest democracy, but Prabowo told reporters he believed there had been widespread cheating.

The retired general pledged he would “continue to make legal efforts in line with the constitution to defend the mandate of the people”, with his legal director stating the campaign planned to contest the result in the Constitutional Court.

On Monday, an election supervisory agency dismissed claims of systematic cheating, citing a lack of evidence. Independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.

Widodo was congratulated for winning the election by former president and Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is part of the coalition backing Prabowo.

The National Mandate Party (PAN), which is also part of the Prabowo coalition, has also acknowledged the results of the election, which are being rejected by Prabowo’s Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra).

Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko told reporters on Wednesday he believed there was “a systematic effort by a certain group, outside of the terrorist group, that is riding on the situation to muddy the situation”, adding that authorities have seized two pistols from people involved in riots.

“We know who is behind this, it is a matter of time,” he said, adding that security was under control.


Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told Reuters on Wednesday that Indonesian police had arrested at least 20 people for provoking the riots and were checking on reports of casualties.

He stressed that security officers on the ground, which include military personnel, were not equipped with live bullets.

News website Tirto reported a man died of bullet wounds in Tanah Abang, quoting a doctor at a hospital near the site.

Indonesian authorities say 40,000 police and army personnel are on duty across Jakarta to maintain security.

Australia, the United States, and Britain issued travel advisories warning of an increased risk of violence across Indonesia and advising citizens to stay away from protests.

The Indonesian rupiah fell 0.2% on Wednesday. The main stock index gained as much as 0.3% earlier in the session but gave up its gains to trade 0.2% lower.

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Modi’s likely return is ‘supportive’ for growth



Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, reacts during a news conference at the Baratiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi, India, on Friday, May 17, 2019.

T. Narayan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s likely return to power for a second term will likely be positive for his country’s growth, according to economists and investors.

Local Indian media reported that exit polls predicted a clear majority for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance when votes are counted on May 23. While those polls have not always predicted election outcomes accurately, the consensus remains that it is very unlikely for Modi to lose power. Whatever else that may mean for the country, the prime minister’s reelection is likely a strong signal for the economy.

“I think that a second term and a majority for Modi’s BJP would actually be quite supportive for India’s growth outlook,” John Woods, chief investment officer for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box ” on Wednesday. “There has been some uncertainty and some instability, frankly, in the market and, indeed, in the economy over the last couple of years.”

Some had doubted that Modi’s government would pursue new economic reforms, but a solid electoral win may change that.

“I think with a renewed mandate this will be now focused on as a key policy initiative,” Woods said.

Since 2014, the BJP-led alliance has governed India. During that time, Modi introduced a number of important economic reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax and demonetization — where all 500 and 1,000-rupee banknotes were unexpectedly withdrawn and replaced with new 500 and 2,000-rupee denomination notes. The government also took steps to navigate India through a banking sector crisis and overhauled the country’s bankruptcy laws.

“If actual results mirror the exit polls, reform agenda will turn more inclusive, alongside fine-tuning initiatives that have already been undertaken,” Radhika Rao, an economist at Singapore’s DBS Group, said in a note this week. She added that infrastructure will remain an important area of focus for the new government, which is set to continue “the strong performance by the roads and transport sector, which has already fast-tracked many stalled and ongoing projects.”

Boosting rural growth will also be a priority, according to Rao.

Markets want ‘heavy lifting’ from the government

Earlier this week when the exit polls indicated a favorable outcome for Modi, markets rallied. In equities, the Sensex was up 2.7% for the week at the end of market close on Tuesday. The Nifty 50, a well-diversified index of blue chip stocks in India, rose 2.64%. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee strengthened against the dollar from levels above 70 to around 69.6740.

Experts said markets have already priced in a victory for Modi’s coalition as well as his commitments to reform when he returns to power. Credit Suisse’s Woods pointed out that the markets have been under pressure for a while since demonetization was announced, but that seems to be improving and equity markets are now pricing in a more positive outlook.

Reforms are also said to be crucial amid an economic slowdown and an ongoing crisis for India’s non-banking financial companies (NBFC). The market is “looking for a stable government to do the heavy lifting,” Nilesh Shah, managing director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management, one of India’s prominent investment management companies, told CNBC’s “Street Signs. “

“The economy is slowing down. The new government has to tackle investment as well as consumption. It also has to manage the NBFC crisis, which is ongoing. There is a burden of real interest rate, which needs to be cut. There is a lack of transmission of credit, which needs to be sorted out,” he said.

Shah added that flows into the Indian market from foreign institution investors have been “quite supportive” as they are now willing to take a longer-term bet on South Asia’s largest economy. Still, he said, if the market is pricing in all the positive outcomes from Thursday’s election results, there can always be some disappointment.

Rashesh Shah, chairman and chief executive of Edelweiss Group, said investors — both foreign and domestic — have been holding back from putting money into Indian stocks and bonds because they are waiting for an “economic revival.” Eldelweiss Group is one of the largest financial conglomerates in India.

He told CNBC’s Tanvir Gill on Wednesday that he expects some loosening in fiscal and monetary policies in the coming year, which could boost corporate earnings and the economy.

“Now the time has come to step on the accelerator,” he said.

Improving private investments

India has yet to release its GDP numbers for the fourth-quarter of the previous fiscal year — new fiscal years in the country begin on April 1. But the expectation from economists is that there was a slowdown in growth.

J.P. Morgan India Economist Sajjid Chinoy said he expected that number to come in the “very low 6s,” meaning anywhere between 6% and 6.5%. But the good news, he told CNBC’s “Street Signs,” is that some of the factors that led to the growth slowdown were “transitory.”

“The real issue here that the next government has to address is growth for the most part in the last few years has been driven by one engine, which is consumption,” he said. “When you have a car riding on one engine, at some point that engine gets exhausted. We’re seeing that — both rural and urban consumption have begun to slow over the last year.”

Chinoy said the authorities need to find more systematic ways of resolving tighter financial conditions in the NBFC sector.

“We need to ensure that the conditions for the next private investment cycle, over the next 12-18 months fall into place,” he added.

Experts also said the government has to account for how external factors, including oil prices and the ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China, could affect growth. Kotak’s Shah said that there could be an opportunity for India to lure manufacturers away from China to avoid tariffs.

“India is a large domestic market and it can provide an attractive platform for those manufacturers to settle their bases over here,” he said.

—CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.

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Trump tariff increases hurting US businesses in China, survey says



President Donald Trump waves during joint statements with China’s President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

Thomas Peter | Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest tariff increase — and Beijing’s plans to counter them — are hitting U.S. companies in China.

Nearly three-fourths, or 74.9%, of almost 250 respondents to a survey held from May 16 to May 20 said the increases in American and Chinese tariffs are having a negative impact on their business, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and the Beijing-based American Chamber of Commerce in China.

“The negative impact of tariffs is clear and hurting the competitiveness of American companies in China,” a release from the groups said.

The Chinese authorities also appear to be making operations more difficult for some companies.

About one in five said they have experienced increased inspections and slower customs clearance. Roughly 14% of respondents said approval for licenses or other application has been slower — in addition to other complications from increased bureaucratic oversight or regulatory scrutiny.

Of the survey participants, 61.6% were manufacturing-related, 25.5% were in the services sector, 3.8% were in retail and distribution and 9.6% came from other industries.

The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies had appeared to be nearing a deal — until those hopes were dashed earlier this month.

The U.S. raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% on May 10. Beijing responded a few days later with duties ranging from 5% to 25% on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, set to take effect June 1.

The greatest impact of the combined tariffs is decreased demand for products, followed by increased manufacturing costs, according to the joint AmCham survey. About 35% of respondents are restructuring their China operations to reach the local market by increasing domestic sourcing or production, and roughly a third said they are delaying or canceling investment decisions in the country.

Just 10% said they planned to apply for an exclusion from Chinese tariffs, while 15.1% indicated they would apply for exemptions from U.S. tariffs, the report said. The majority were either unsure or said they would not apply.

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