Tim Cook, Apple CEO
John Chiala | CNBC
The U.S.-China trade war could take a big chunk out of Apple‘s bottom line if China retaliates by banning its products, according to an analyst at Goldman Sachs.
Analyst Rod Hall said in a note to clients that Apple’s earnings could drop by 29% if the company’s products were banned in mainland China.
Apple’s China business accounted for more than 17% of its sales in its fiscal second quarter, coming in at $10.22 billion. The company also sells billions of dollar worth in iPhones every year in China.
“Should China restrict iPhone production in any way we do not believe the company would be able to shift much iPhone volume outside of China on short notice,” Hall said. “We believe that Apple is near its annual rapid ramp of new iPhone production to prepare for new device launches in the Fall so even a short term action affecting production could have longer term consequences for the company.”
Hall also noted that China’s “tech ecosystem” and local employment could take a hit if Apple products are banned. Most of Apple’s supply chain rests in mainland China, including the iPhone’s final assembly, which is executed at Foxconn.
Apple shares are down 7% for the month through Tuesday’s close as China and the U.S. ratchet up trade fears. The U.S. hiked tariffs on $200 billions worth of Chinese goods earlier in May. China retaliated by raising levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports.
Hall is not the only analyst raising concern over Apple’s exposure to China. On Monday, HSBC analyst Erwan Rambourg cut his price target on the tech giant to $174 per share from $180. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse analyst Matthew Cabral said Tuesday that Apple’s earnings per share would fall by about 15 cents a share for every 5% drop in Greater China sales.
US grants Huawei another 90 days to buy from American suppliers: Ross
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (R) and other Trump Administration officials sit down with Chinese vice ministers and senior officials for trade negotiations in the Diplomatic Room at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday the U.S. government will extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies so that it can service existing customers, even as nearly 50 of its units were being added to a U.S. economic blacklist.
The “temporary general license,” due to expire on Monday, will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, he told Fox Business Network Monday, confirming an expected decision first reported Friday by Reuters. He also said he was adding 46 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, raising the total number to more than 100 Huawei entities that are covered by the restrictions.
Ross said the extension was to aid U.S. customers, many of which operate networks in rural America.
“We’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off,” Ross said.
Shortly after blacklisting the company in May, the Commerce Department initially allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers.
Huawei did not immediately comment Monday.
The extension, through Nov. 19, renews an agreement continuing the Chinese company’s ability to maintain existing telecommunications networks and provide software updates to Huawei handsets.
Asked what will happen in November to U.S. companies, Ross said: “Everybody has had plenty of notice of it, there have been plenty of discussions with the president.”
When the Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods earlier this year, it was seen as a major escalation in the Sino-U.S.trade war.
The U.S. government blacklisted Huawei, alleging the Chinese company is involved in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy interests.
As an example, the blacklisting order cited a pending federal criminal case concerning allegations Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. Huawei has pleaded not guilty in the case.
The order noted that the indictment also accused Huawei of deceptive and obstructive acts.
At the same time the United States says Huawei’s smartphones and network equipment could be used by China to spy on Americans, allegations the company has repeatedly denied.
Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, is still prohibited from buying American parts and components to manufacture new products without additional special licenses.
Many Huawei suppliers have requested the special licenses to sell to the firm. Ross told reporters late last month he had received more than 50 applications, and that he expected to receive more. He said on Monday that there were no “specific licenses being granted for anything.”
France’s Macron meets Russia’s Putin to discuss ongoing war in Ukraine
France’s President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attend a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 28, 2019.
LUDOVIC MARIN | AFP | Getty Images
French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for talks on Monday in the hope he can persuade Russia to return to peace talks over Ukraine. Some experts are doubtful as to just how much Macron can achieve.
The meeting, which comes before the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized nations attend a summit in Biarritz next weekend, has proved controversial given Russia’s turbulent relations with other global powers and Putin’s recent crackdown on protesters in his own country.
Hosting talks at a presidential residence at the Fort of Brégançon on the Mediterranean coast on Monday, Macron and Putin are expected to talk about the delicate political situations in Ukraine, Libya and Syria. A press conference was due to begin at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Ukraine is of particular importance for Macron given that France and Germany tried to broker a peace deal, known as the Minsk agreements, between Russia and Ukraine following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. Putin’s government is also seen as fomenting a pro-Russian uprising in the Donbass region in the east of Ukraine which led to two areas in the Donbass region (Donetsk and Luhansk) declaring themselves as separate republics.
Despite attempts at a ceasefire, both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of flouting conditions set out in the Minsk peace accords and skirmishes continue. In total, the armed conflict between separatists and Ukrainian forces in the Donbass has caused as many as 13,000 deaths, according to the United Nations.
Relations between the neighbors remain tense and skirmishes in east Ukraine happen often, with the death of four Ukrainian soldiers in early August prompting new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to call for a resumption of peace talks with Russia.
A subsequent phone call held between the presidents led to the Kremlin signaling a potential for further talks, noting that the leaders had discussed “future contacts in the Normandy Format”– the name given to the diplomatic group of senior representatives of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine involved in previous talks.
Russia used to be part of the Group of Eight (G-8) but it was kicked out of the group in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea. Western sanctions are also in place, causing frosty relations between Russia and its neighbor Europe. Russia has retaliated with its own counter-sanctions on agricultural imports from the EU; In June, Putin signed a decree extending the Russian ban on food imports from the EU until the end of 2020.
The lifting of restrictions on Russia’s economic activity has been tied to it making progress on its peace agreement with Ukraine.
But experts in Russian foreign policy have little confidence that Macron will be able to persuade Putin to make concessions on Ukraine, although they note that Russia has a vested interest in remaining engaged on Ukraine.
“My sense is that Macron isn’t the key interlocutor here. The issue is how Putin shapes up to the new administration in Ukraine and President Zelensky,” Daragh McDowell, the principal Russia analysts at Eurasia Group, told CNBC on Monday.
“I wouldn’t envisage there will be any concessions on Ukraine at this point. I don’t think Putin will want to signal any readiness that he’s willing to back down. He doesn’t want to signal any weakness to Zelenksy.”
Even if peace talks are pushed for by Macron, and the offer taken up by Putin, that is only the start of a process, McDowell noted. “there is some potential for peace talks to reopen but the question is, what would actually be accomplished by those talks?” He added that the situation was something of a no-win one for the Kremlin in that the conflict in Ukraine was a drain on resources but to back down would equate to a loss of face for Russia, particularly among nationalist groups.
AKE Senior Political Risk Analyst Max Hess told CNBC that Moscow “sees the meeting as an opportunity to show that it is not wholly isolated from the international stage.”
“However, no progress should be expected in resolving the Ukraine crisis – France does not have the diplomatic capital to get this process going on its own, and it is clear the so-called Normandy Format that also involves Germany is dead, with no meeting under its auspices in the last two years.”
“There have been some talk about getting these restarted, which I think is the most success we can hope for. The meeting may see Macron and Putin agree new measures to expand French business in Russia – French energy firm Total has been among the largest Western investors in recent years – but Moscow’s agricultural sanctions, which particularly affected France when they were introduced, will not be lifted. The situation in Iran and Syria will be on the table as well, and while it is possible this will include some bilateral efforts to “take the initiative,” I also think we are unlikely to get anything game-changing,” Hess said.
Some analysts went further in their cynicism regarding the high-profile meeting. James Nixey, head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, said Macron’s invitation to Putin smacked of immaturity, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Monday that “there is still an immaturity in Macron whereby he believes he can do things that other leaders are incapable of.” He also believed that France was driven by commercial interests in repairing relations with Russia.
Nixey believed that France’s approach to Russia was one of a “business first relationship” rather than one focused on the ethical arguments for sanctions. “The French’s relationship (with Russia) has been a more industry-driven relationship than say, the U.K.’s or Scandinavia’s relationship with Russia, by comparison.”
Dollar needed by Argentina as Alberto Fernandez says IMF loan at risk
Alberto Fernandez at a polling station during the Primary, Open, Simultaneous and Mandatory elections (PASO), in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 12 August 2019. Argentines vote for pre-candidates to be defined in the general elections of October 27.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The favorite to be the Argentina’s next leader has claimed that a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cannot be paid back.
Argentine assets cratered last week after a shock primary poll indicated that a left-wing ticket of Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will win elections in October and defeat current leader Mauricio Macri.
In particular, the bond and currency markets reflected investor unease at the move away from Macri’s market-friendly policy agenda. Macri borrowed $57 billion from the IMF last year on the agreement he would implement austerity measures to trim the country’s huge debt and make the repayments.
In a weekend article published by newspaper Clarin, Fernandez suggested that if he becomes leader, he would look to renegotiate the deal.
“I would say that there is only one incontrovertible reality and that is that Argentina in these conditions is not able to repay the debts it took on,” he said.
Argentina’s peso and bonds crumble
The peso ended last week more than 17.5% weaker than the dollar, rising to 55 pesos versus the greenback by Friday, despite support by the country’s central bank. On the same day, Fitch Ratings and S&P Global downgraded Argentina’s debt further, raising fear levels over a sovereign debt default.
On Monday morning, the cost of insuring Argentinian debt via a five-year CDS (credit default swap) rocketed 319 basis points, according to financial data specialist IHS Markit. A CDS is a financial agreement that the seller of the CDS will compensate the buyer in the event of a default.
Meanwhile, the Argentine stock exchange was closed for a public holiday on Monday.
Fernandez told the paper that he would help Macri renegotiate the terms of repayment with the IMF, adding that the current terms were “harmful” to the country.
He said that the relationship with the Washington-based institution had to change to one of “respect” and not “submission.”
Fernandez said as leader he would put heavy emphasis on boosting exports in order to earn U.S. dollars that can pay down debt. He added that he would look to negotiate repayment terms for those investors that already hold debt issued by the Argentine government.
Argentina’s new finance minister
Hernan Lacunza replaced Nicolas Dujovne as Argentina’s finance minister over the weekend as the latter took the bullet for the country’s precarious finances.
Dujovne, who was the main negotiator for the IMF deal, said in his resignation letter that there needed to be “significant renewal in the economic area.”
Lacunza, who was acting as economy minister for the province of Buenos Aires, officially takes the job on Monday. Teneo Intelligence said in a note that he has two days to prepare for a visit from an IMF team on Wednesday.
Teneo’s Latin American analysts added that while Macri may look to limit further changes ahead of the October elections, cabinet chief Marcos Pena could find himself replaced as the president’s campaign manager.
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