Rio Tinto offers optimistic outlook despite slowing China slowdown
Mining giant Rio Tinto said China’s economic recovery slowed in the second quarter as weakness in the export and property sectors dampened growth.
The Anglo-Australian company, one of the main exporters of minerals to China, said it expects its iron ore shipments to reach 335 million tonnes, at the high end of the range, offsetting the deteriorating outlook for copper and bauxite.
Rio Tinto’s second quarter production report showed a stabilization of its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and guided a tripling of copper production from its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia by the end of the decade.
What to watch in Asia today
Events: It’s a busy week for the regional shipping industry with the opening of the three-day Intermodal Asia trade show for shipping and container experts in Shanghai, while the International Marine Contractors Association holds its annual Asia- Pacific in Singapore. Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput holds a press conference on the economy and monetary policy.
Data: New Zealand releases second quarter inflation data. Indonesia releases second quarter investment figures, Malaysia releases June trade figures and Macau releases June tourist arrivals.
Companies: Adani Green Energy, Adani Power and Adani Transmission are holding their first annual meetings since US short seller Hindenburg Research produced a report critical of Adani Group companies. Indian companies Tata Communications and Tata Coffee report first-quarter earnings, while Indonesian toll road operator Jasa Marga provides second-quarter earnings.
Markets: The Indonesian and Malaysian stock exchanges are closed for Muharram, the Islamic New Year.
Kremlin appoints Chechen official to lead Danone Russia
Russia has appointed a senior Chechen official to manage Danone’s assets in the country after President Vladimir Putin nationalized them earlier this week.
Yakub Zakriev, the province’s agriculture minister and believed to be a nephew of its strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, was appointed chief executive of Danone Russia on Tuesday, according to company records.
Danone was days away from finalizing the sale of the asset to another potential buyer before Putin ordered its seizure along with Danish-owned breweries Carlsberg.
The expropriations, announced on Sunday, are a prelude to transfers of foreign assets to regime loyalists who could not buy them directly because of the sanctions, according to analysts and insiders.
Panama convicts ex-president of money laundering
Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for money laundering, casting doubt on the popular politician’s bid for re-election next year.
The supermarket mogul was found guilty of laundering money from government contracts as part of an elaborate scheme to buy a media company, and was also ordered to pay a $19.2 million fine.
Martinelli said he believed the charges were politically motivated and his lawyers said on Tuesday he would appeal the decision.
Find out more about Panama here.
Johnson & Johnson sues US government over drug price controls
Johnson & Johnson has sued the US government, challenging a law that gives federal authorities the power to negotiate the prices of expensive drugs.
The drug company said Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services over what it calls an “innovation-damaging” provision of the law. on reducing inflation that allows Medicare — the taxpayer-funded health care system program for retirees — to negotiate drug prices.
Johnson & Johnson joined Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb and lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America to challenge the new law.
Gucci boss Marco Bizzarri to step down in management overhaul
French luxury group Kering has announced a management overhaul that will parachute in a transitional leader to fix the underperformance of Gucci, its biggest brand.
Francesca Bellettini, who has led an expansion at Yves Saint Laurent since 2013, will become deputy general manager to drive the “next stages of growth”.
Gucci boss Marco Bizzarri will step down in September and be temporarily replaced by deputy chief executive Jean-François Palus.
The moves Tuesday by Kering Chairman and CEO Francois-Henri Pinault are aimed at giving a new direction to the group which is struggling to generate growth at the pace of industry leader LVMH.