UK regulator puts brake on Murdoch’s $15.7 billion Sky deal


The initial ruling complicates a separate plan by Walt Disney Co to buy the majority of Murdoch’s assets, including Sky. Disney had hoped Murdoch would own 100 percent of the European broadcaster by the time it completed its takeover.

Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox agreed to buy the 61 percent of Sky it did not already own in December 2016, re-igniting a political row in Britain about the influence he wields through his ownership of newspapers the Sun and the Times and his stake in Sky, the biggest pay-TV platform.

Source: UK regulator puts brake on Murdoch’s $15.7 billion Sky deal

Bacardi to buy out Patron tequila in $5.1 billion deal


The deal comes days after Pernod Ricard bought out Avion Tequila and months after Diageo bought George Clooney’s Casamigos tequila for up to $1 billion.

Jefferies analysts put the price at about 25.5 times Patron’s estimated operating earnings and 7.5 times its sales.

That is well below the estimated 20 times sales that Diageo paid for Casamigos, but Patron is a much more mature business, with estimated sales of about $675 million per year, versus only about $50 million for Casamigos.

Source: Bacardi to buy out Patron tequila in $5.1 billion deal

Trump’s Tariffs on Solar Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet | Bloomberg


The tariffs are the latest action by Trump to undermine the economics of renewables.

The administration already decided to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, sought to roll back Obama-era regulations on power plant-emissions and signed sweeping tax reforms that constrained financing for solar and wind.

The import taxes are the most targeted strike on the industry yet and may have larger consequences for the energy world.

Source: Trump’s Tariffs on Solar Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet – Bloomberg

Solar tariff ruling: what it means for the US solar industry | Vox


In a move that may increase the cost of installing solar panels for American homeowners and utilities, the US Trade Representative issued new tariffs on imported solar panels late Monday.

The Trump administration ruling is based on recommendations from the US International Trade Commission and adds a 30 percent tariff on solar cells and modules. It kicks in after the first 2.5 gigawatts’ worth of imported capacity and is slated to decline over the next four years.

Source: Solar tariff ruling: what it means for the US solar industry – Vox

Trump’s Victory Spurred Women to Demonstrate, and Run for Office | US News


It might have been a one-day thing, kind of a counter-celebration to the lesser-attended inauguration the day before and a chance for the the losers to let off steam after the 2016 elections.

Instead, the Women’s March gave voice to frustrations and grievances women had been grumbling more quietly about for years. The number of women running for office (and winning already) has exploded.

Source: Trump’s Victory Spurred Women to Demonstrate, and Run for Office | The Report | US News

China’s long-term economic growth faces a big threat from its own government | Quartz


As its economy slows, China’s private companies increasingly find themselves pitted against state-owned firms in the scramble for scarcer resources.

One such resource is financing.

Thanks to their official imprimatur, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have long enjoyed easier access to credit than private companies. In 2016, industrial SOEs accounted for 80% of growth in corporate debt, compared with just under 60% in 2013, according to the Council on Foreign Relations’ Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca.

That would be fine if SOEs were more profitable than private firms. But while private-sector profits rose 18% between 2011 and 2016, those at SOEs sunk 33%, according to Steil and Della Rocca.

Source: China’s long-term economic growth faces a big threat from its own government — Quartz

IEA Sees ‘Explosive’ Growth in U.S. Oil Output as Prices Rally | Bloomberg


“The big 2018 supply story is unfolding fast in the Americas” the IEA said in its monthly report. “Explosive growth in the U.S. and substantial gains in Canada and Brazil will far outweigh potentially steep declines in Venezuela and Mexico.”

Even with the moderate price response to the OPEC-led cuts during most of 2017, rival suppliers still managed to bounce back with output growth of 700,000 barrels a day, the IEA said.

Source: IEA Sees ‘Explosive’ Growth in U.S. Oil Output as Prices Rally – Bloomberg

France and Britain reach bilateral border security deal


An Anglo-French bilateral border security treaty was concluded on Thursday, focusing on the prolonged migrant crisis in Calais.

The UK has pledged an additional €50 million euros to bolster border security in France and will fund anything from fencing to CCTV and detection technology.

For the Prime Minister Theresa May this means she does not have to add migratory pressure to her long list of Brexit hurdles.

For President Macron the Treaty means he can deliver on investment in the Port of Calais, improving conditions for local residents.

Source: France and Britain reach bilateral border security deal

US-Russia relations to become even worse in 2018, report shows


Although US-Russia political relations deteriorated in 2017, it was a relatively good year for foreign businesses in Russia.

“The catalyst for this deterioration is expected to be the publication of the so-called Section 241 and 242 reports, which are required to be submitted to Congress by 29 January as per the terms of the 2 August ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ (CAATSA),” Chris Weafer wrote.

“The Section 241 report will be a list of individuals and entities identified as being at risk of being sanctioned in the future while Section 242 will examine the consequences of adding Russian sovereign debt to sanctioned credits,” he added.

He further noted that if the price of oil remains in the high $60s per barrel, then Russia could achieve a balanced budget in 2018. That would ease financial strains and minimise any need for sovereign debt issuance.

Source: US-Russia relations to become even worse in 2018, report shows

Boeing to build 36 new F-15QA combat aircraft with digital fly by wire in $6.2 billion deal | Intelligent Aerospace


Combat aircraft designers at the Boeing Co. will provide 36 new versions of the F-15E Strike Eagle jet fighter-bomber to the government of Qatar in the Middle East under terms of a $6.2 billion contract announced just before Christmas.

The F-15QA, a version of the Boeing F-15 Advanced Eagle, is identical to the F-15SA that Boeing is building for the Royal Saudi Air Force. It has a fly-by-wire flight control system, digital electronic warfare (EW) suite, an infrared search and track (IRST) system, and the Raytheon APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

The F-15 twin-engine, all-weather tactical jet fighter began development in 1967, and entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 1976.

Source: Boeing to build 36 new F-15QA combat aircraft with digital fly by wire in $6.2 billion deal – Intelligent Aerospace