Finance (International)

Canada shutting off Chinese mineral activities

A national security review has prompted the federal government to order three Chinese companies to sell their interests in Canadian companies’ critical minerals development. The decision was announced today by Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne. Critical minerals and metals such as lithium, cadmium, nickel and cobalt are essential components of an array of electrical and electronics and while China is a dominant player in the industry, dependence on imported raw materials in many cases has prompted investments in other countries’ resource industries. [node:read-more:link]

Regulator says don’t bet against China

Two hundred global financial executives Meeting in Hong Kong were advised today by the vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission to better understand what is happening in his country and not to “best against” it or the former British colony which remain a key link to the rest of the global economy. There was laughter and applause when Fang Xinghai said international media’s “shot-term focus” meant that they “don’t really understand China very well.” [node:read-more:link]

Afghanistan’s U.S. support lacks oversight

The U.S. has funneled more than $1.1 billion into Afghanistan since the Taliban took control 15 months ago but the U.S. official tasked since 2012 with overseeing U.S.-led reconstruction, says he has been unable “to provide . . . a full accounting.” Inspector General John Sopko says the problem is a refusal by the State Department and other agencies to cooperate “in any capacity.” [node:read-more:link]

Russian billionaire gives up citizenship

An expatriate Russian banker announced on social media October 31 that he has given up his citizenship because of the war in Ukraine. “I can’t and won’t be associated with a fascist country, that started a war with their peaceful neighbour and killing innocent people daily,” Oleg Tinkov wrote, calling for President Vladimir Putin’s defeat. “I hate Putin’s Russia, but love all Russians who are clearly against this crazy war!” [node:read-more:link]

Key U.K. ministers unchanged

Defence Minister Ben Wallace, Foreign Minister James Cleverly and Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt have retained their portfolios under the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. The PM is the third Conservative party leader and PM in 50 days. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. politicians challenge big tech

The British government is being pressed by a committee of parliamentarians to impose hefty penalties on technology firms deemed to have abused their “entrenched market power.” Proposed legislation was unveiled last May but the committee now wants no more delays because it says consumers remain at risk because penalties so far are so small as to constitute what the committee says have been “a small cost business cost.” [node:read-more:link]

Xi tightens grip on China

China's leader Xi Jinping has been given an historic third term of five years in power as General Secretary of the Communist Party at its latest quinquennial congress. He used the event to announce a mostly new Politburo Standing Committee comprised of loyalists. [node:read-more:link]

British finance minister sacked

Little more than a month after Liz Truss was sworn in as Britain’s new Prime Minister and her cabinet was announced, she fired Kwasi Kwarteng as her Chancellor of the Exchequer today and backed down on a contentious economic package. Former Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt has replaced Kwarteng as Truss admitted she had gone “further and faster” than financial markets had expected. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey asked to handle more Russian gas

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to consider through-putting more Russian natural gas for subsequent export, effectively making the NATO member a supply hub that would preserve Russia's energy leverage over Europe. At their meeting today in Kazakhstan, Putin said the hub would be “a platform not only for supplies, but also for determining the price, because this is a very important issue.” [node:read-more:link]

IMF downgrades 2023 outlook

Expecting next year’s global economic outlook to “feel like a recession” in many countries, the International Monetary Fund has revised its growth outlook to 2.7 per cent, down from 2.9 per cent it forecast in July. It also said October 11 that Canada’s growth is projected at 1.5 per cent compared with July’s 1.8 per cent, and that its estimate for 2022 is trimmed to 3.3 per cent from July’s 3.4 per cent. [node:read-more:link]

CRA close-lipped about foreign accounts

Having identified more than $76 million in taxes owed by Canadians with offshore holdings, the Canada Revenue Agency says its “compliance actions” are still active file but has refused to say whether any taxes have been collected five years later. [node:read-more:link]

Canada increases Russian sanctions

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has joined her U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinkin, in calling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claimed annexation of four parts of Ukraine illegitimate “political theatre.” Joly used their Washington meeting to confirm new sanctions against Russian oligarchs, financial elites and Russia-backed senior officials in the occupied regions. [node:read-more:link]

Head-to-head in South Pacific

Increasingly concerned about China’s influence in the South Pacific, the U.S. signed an agreement with 14 states and announced $810 million in financial support. China proposed a sweeping trade and security deal with 10 countries in the region this summer only to shelve the plan when many rejected it. [node:read-more:link]

IMF hammers British budget

The International Monetary Fund is warning that the British government’s planned tax cuts are likely to increase inequality and add to inflationary pressures but Prime Minister Liz Truss’ new administration insists they will kickstart economic growth. It was reacting to Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng’s tabling September 23 of the most aggressive tax package in 50 years. [node:read-more:link]

Putin praises China’s “balance” in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has praised what he calls China’s “balanced position” on Russia’s war on Ukraine. However, the Russia leader also conceded during a meeting with Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan September 15 that China had “questions and concerns” about the conflict. Xi said China would “work with Russia to extend strong mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests” and “play a leading role in injecting stability and positive energy into a world of change and disorder.” [node:read-more:link]


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