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Weekly News Roundup: Deutsche Bank Cuts Jobs, British Airways Faces Fines

Here are the stories you might have missed last week in the world of corporate law. Read


Weekly News Roundup: InBev Prepares for 2019’s Biggest IPO

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Weekly News Roundup: Spain to End Unpaid Overtime, EEOC Files Gender Discrimination Suits

Here are the stories you might have missed this week in the world of corporate law. Read


Weekly News Roundup: Wildfire Settlement, Cross-border Litigation, Deutsche Bank Investigation

Here are the stories you might have missed this week in the world of corporate law. Read


Weekly News Roundup: Plastic Bans in Canada, YouTube Ad Bans in Vietnam

Here are the stories you might have missed this week in the world of corporate law. Read


In Brief

Today's Top Story

Canada's Top Firms Show 'Disappointing' Data Gap on Gender, Minorities

The lack of diversity in the ranks of Canadian companies remains a problem. The Canadian Press asked all firms listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) 60 index as of 1 January 2019 to share data on how many women and employees who identify as visible minorities, as defined in the Employment Equity Act, worked at their companies in 2017. Among the companies who responded, some said women comprise as little as eight percent of the workforce. Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of companies did not provide or publicly release the representation of visible minorities in their ranks, and more than 23 percent said they were not tracking the metric at all. Although these publicly listed companies are not required to disclose such information, advocates have called for transparency, reports BNN Bloomberg (18 July, Ligaya, Deschamps). Among the 42 companies included on the index that did share specific or percentage data on gender diversity in their workforce, 34 indicated that less than 50 percent of their workforce was female, less than the national average.

From "Canada's Top Firms Show 'Disappointing' Data Gap on Gender, Minorities"
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Governance

Australian Bourse Probing Abrupt Director Exits at Two Chinese Agricultural Firms

Australian Stock Exchange (ASE) said it is investigating the mass resignations of directors at two Australia-listed Chinese agricultural companies. Citrus grower Dongfang Modern Agriculture told the exchange the abrupt resignations in June of almost the entire board was due to a rumored criminal investigation of its plantations. ASE spokesperson Matthew Gibbs said that Bojun Agriculture Holdings, a manufacturer of processed fruit products, was the second company being investigated. The abrupt departures raise corporate governance questions, reports Reuters (19 July, Duran, Westbrook).

From "Australian Bourse Probing Abrupt Director Exits at Two Chinese Agricultural Firms"
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Board/Management Relations

PayPal GC to Lead Discover's Legal Department

Wanji Walcott, the general counsel (GC) for PayPal, will become the chief legal officer and GC at Discover Financial Services. A Discover spokesperson said Walcott will begin 22 July and become a member of the executive committee. Walcott is replacing Kelly McNamara Corley, who retired from Discover in January, reports Law.com (18 July, Clark). It is unclear if PayPal has selected an interim or permanent replacement for Walcott.

From "PayPal GC to Lead Discover's Legal Department"
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Labor and Employment

Labor Troubles Cloud Outlook for US Airlines

Flights schedules may be disrupted as flight unions seek a bigger share of the windfall that US airlines have enjoyed during a nine-year run of profitability. Airline executives said they can’t give too much away because they want to prevent the industry from returning to a boom-and-bust cycle in which good times are undermined by rising labor costs and fuel prices. American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said actions by even just a few workers can become hugely disruptive. The four biggest US airlines—American, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Southwest Airlines—are gearing up for negotiations with pilots’ unions or have already started. Those talks traditionally set a bar for terms with other groups such as flight attendants, reports the Wall Street Journal (18 July, Sider, Cameron).

From "Labor Troubles Cloud Outlook for US Airlines"
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Finance

Sweden's Loomis Finds Failings in Money Laundering Oversight

Swedish cash-handling firm Loomis has reported flaws in its anti-money laundering oversight, and promised to fix them. The firm said it had informed Danish and Norwegian financial authorities about the shortcomings it uncovered and would strengthen its procedures. The company said it does not expect its findings to have any significant impact on its financial position or results, reports Reuters (19 July, Vaish).

From "Sweden's Loomis Finds Failings in Money Laundering Oversight"
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Tax Issues

More Than 50 Companies Pull Production Out of China Due to Trade War

The pace of companies moving production out of China is accelerating as more than 50 multinationals are rushing to escape the punitive tariffs imposed by the United States, reports CNBC News (18 July, Li). The trade war between the United States and China has dragged on for over a year now, with the Trump administration threatening to slap even more duties on another US$325 billion of goods. Computer makers Dell and H-P could move up to 30 percent of their notebook production in China to Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, Apple has asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving as much as 30 percent of their production capacity to India from China. Japan's Nintendo is also going to pull a portion of its video game console production from China to Vietnam. A handful of Chinese companies are also leaving China.

From "More Than 50 Companies Pull Production Out of China Due to Trade War"
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Mining

Barrick and Acacia Reach Buyout Deal

Acacia Mining and Barrick Gold said they reached a deal for Barrick to buy the roughly 36 percent stake in Acacia it doesn't already own. Barrick sweetened its offer to win over Acacia shareholders, some of whom had said the previous bid as too low, reports Bloomberg (19 July, Meazneva, Bochove). The new offer has an implied value of about 232 pence per Acacia share, a 24 percent premium to the closing price on 18 July. The agreement paves the way for Barrick to negotiate with Tanzania in hopes of resolving an public battle that crippled Acacia's operations in the country, where it runs three gold mines.

From "Barrick and Acacia Reach Buyout Deal"
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Food and Beverage

Budweiser Brewer to Sell Australian Unit to Japan's Asahi

The Wall Street Journal (19 July, Chaudhuri) reports that Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) has inked a US$11.3 billion deal to sell its Carlton and United Breweries Australian unit to Japan's Asahi Group Holdings. The move comes as AB InBev is pushing forward with its campaign to sell assets and pare debt after pulling an initial public offering of its Asia-Pacific businesses.

From "Budweiser Brewer to Sell Australian Unit to Japan's Asahi"
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Transportation

Boeing Plans US$5 Billion Charge to Compensate 737 MAX Customers

The Wall Street Journal (18 July, Tangel, Cameron) reports that Boeing will set aside nearly US$5 billion to compensate airlines that have suffered due to the prolonged grounding of the 737 MAX plane. In addition, the company faces litigation seeking compensation for families of the 346 people who died in two crashes, as well as higher costs after curtailing production of the MAX following its grounding by global regulators near the end of this year's first quarter. The costs and the potential timing of the MAX's return to commercial service will be a key focus of investors when Boeing releases earnings for the second quarter next week.

From "Boeing Plans US$5 Billion Charge to Compensate 737 MAX Customers"
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Economic Outlook

Brazil's Entrepreneur Confidence Index Grows for Second Consecutive Month

Brazil's Industrial Entrepreneur Confidence Index rose slightly last month, settling at a 57.4 tally in July, reports the Rio Times (19 July, Mann). The index is set based on the results of a survey conducted by the National Confederation of Industry that polls more than 2,000 businesses across Brazil. The index tally has now increased for two straight months, and is nearly three points higher than the historical average of 54.5.

From "Brazil's Entrepreneur Confidence Index Grows for Second Consecutive Month"
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Compensation

Credit Suisse Loses Legal Fight With UK Over Banker Bonuses

Credit Suisse has lost its legal battle with the UK tax authorities, and will not get back GB£239 million, which it paid as a fee on banker bonuses after the financial crisis. The investment bank paid the money on a temporary levy introduced in 2009 in the wake of widespread anger over banker bonuses following the 2008 financial crisis. The one-off bank tax applied a 50 percent levy on individual banker bonuses of more than GB£25,000 and was paid by banks rather than individual employees, reports the Financial Times (19 July, Croft). Credit Suisse brought a High Court lawsuit against Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) this year arguing that it should be able to recoup the money because the way the bank payroll tax was imposed was unfair. Credit Suisse claimed that other competitor banks had avoided the levy or paid only trivial amounts due to the timing of their annual bonus payouts.

From "Credit Suisse Loses Legal Fight With UK Over Banker Bonuses"
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Retail

South Koreans Boycott Japanese Brands as Diplomatic Row Intensifies

A political and economic dispute between South Korea and Japan is worsening. Anger has prompted a widespread boycott of Japanese products and services, from beer to clothes, and travel, disrupting businesses in what was already the worst economic climate for South Korea in a decade. “Japan putting pressure on South Korea through export curbs, showing no regret over its past wrongdoings, is completely unacceptable,” said supermarket manager Cho Min-hyuk, who pulled all Japanese products off the shelves. He added that the 10-15 percent drop in sales he is already facing won't change his mind, reports Reuters (18 July, Roh).

From "South Koreans Boycott Japanese Brands as Diplomatic Row Intensifies"
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