Five fascinating business facts – Part 56

by | February 19, 2018 2:46 am


US officials have recommended that Donald Trump impose a variety of tariffs or quotas on all steel and aluminium imports as part of a national security-driven crackdown likely to provoke an angry response from China, the EU and other major trading partners. Reports released on Friday recommend three separate options for action to boost the domestic steel and aluminium industries and curtail a surge of imports that “threaten to impair our national security”, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters. In the case of steel, the US could either impose a global tariff of “at least” 24 per cent on all imports of steel or levy a 50 per cent tariff on imports from a list of 12 countries that includes China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Vietnam.


Retail sales growth came in much lower than expected in the UK during January as squeezed shoppers kept the lid on spending. The volume of retail sales grew by 0.1 per cent month-on-month, far below analysts’ expectations of 0.5 per cent growth in January, according to a poll from Thomson Reuters. On the year, sales were up by 1.6 per cent, from 1.4 per cent, far below expectations for a 2.6 per cent rise. The ONS noted that the figures were affected by an apparent urge among Brits to get fit. “Sporting equipment sales have grown more than usual in January 2018, following an increased uptake for gym wear,” said Rhian Murphy at the stats office. Sales of sports equipment, toys and games rose by nearly 11 per cent on the year, while food sales fell.


Nigerian loading plans for April showed an increase for three key grades, while Chevron also placed a cargo into the latest tender from India’s IOC. Nigeria is set to export more of its largest crude oil stream, Qua Iboe, on a barrel-per-day basis in April, while Bonny Light and Forcados exports will also rise, loading programmes showed. State oil company NNPC boosted its offical selling prices for Bonny Bonny Light and Qua Iboe crude oil to dated Brent plus $1.16 and $1.22 a barrel respectively. These had been set at premiums of 86 cents and 92 cents in February.


Dangote Cement Plc, owned by Africa’s richest man, has revived plans for a share sale in London that could raise about $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The Nigerian company, controlled by Aliko Dangote, has approached investment bankers to discuss a potential U.K. listing, said the people, who asked not to be named as the talks aren’t public. Once banks have been appointed, it will probably take at least five months to complete the process, one of the people said. The cement maker is also considering issuing a debut Eurobond, according to two different people familiar with the matter.


In 1998, Sergey Galitskiy opened a small grocery in his hometown of Krasnodar, 800 miles south of Moscow. Over the next two decades he expanded that modest operation into an empire with almost $20 billion in sales and 16,000 stores across Russia, amassing a fortune valued at some $5 billion in the process. On Friday, he walked away. Galitskiy will quit as chief executive officer of Magnit PJSC after selling 138 billion rubles ($2.5 billion) of shares–29 percent of the company–to the state-controlled VTB Group, Magnit said in a regulatory filing. Though he had been cutting his stake in the chain in small increments in recent years, the market was surprised to see him bail almost entirely–selling his shares at 3.9 percent below Thursday’s closing price. After Friday’s deal, Galitskiy owns about 3 percent of Magnit.

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