Pompeo ‘confident’ China trade talks will not be hurt over Iran oil sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaves after a briefing on Iran at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 8, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 29 April 2019

Pompeo ‘confident’ China trade talks will not be hurt over Iran oil sanctions

  • Pompeo warned countries and companies that it would be a costly mistake to violate US sanctions by importing Iranian oil after Wednesday
  • China, India and Turkey are among Iran’s largest oil importers that were granted waivers from US sanctions

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday expressed confidence that trade talks between the United States and China will not be affected by the end of Iran oil waivers this week.
Pompeo warned countries and companies that it would be a costly mistake to violate US sanctions by importing Iranian oil after Wednesday, when the waivers for eight importers end.
China, India and Turkey are among Iran’s largest oil importers that were granted waivers from US sanctions to allow them time to find alternative supplies.
“We have had lots of talks with China about this issue,” Pompeo said at a newsmaker event by The Hill news outlet. “I’m confident that the trade talks will continue and run their natural course.”
His comments come as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin heads to Beijing and said he hopes the two economic powerhouses can finalize a trade deal with two more rounds of talks left. .
Pompeo said the United States had worked to find alternative oil supplies to ensure the global oil market is well stocked as oil purchases from Iran are cut.
“We are convinced we can make sure the markets are adequately supplied. We are continuing to work on that,” he said.
“Companies that choose to violate the sanctions ... we will pursue and we will ensure they are held accountable for the violations they engage in,” he said.
Trump administration official said on Friday that neither a wind-down period nor a short-term waiver on China’s oil purchases are being considered.
Under US sanctions law, importers of Iranian oil including China, India and Turkey, could be allowed a wind-down period before getting to zero oil purchases, including a short-term waiver. Any wind-down measures would be different than the 180 day exceptions the Trump administration granted in November to China and seven other importers for significantly reducing oil purchases from Iran, measures set to end in May.
The United States reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after US President Donald Trump last spring unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.


Struggling WeWork mulls bailout deals with SoftBank, JP Morgan

Updated 14 October 2019

Struggling WeWork mulls bailout deals with SoftBank, JP Morgan

TOKYO: Under-pressure start-up WeWork is considering two huge bailout plans including a cash injection that could see Japanese investment titan SoftBank take control of the firm, according to reports.
The office-sharing giant had been on course for a massive initial public offering until last month when questions began to be asked over its governance and profit outlook.
The firm’s valuation plunged from $47 billion in January to less than $20 billion in September and the listing plans have been dropped, while co-founder Adam Neumann stepped down as chief executive.
With New York-based parent company We Co. not expected to push for the IPO this year, the cash-strapped firm is looking for a financial lifeline.
The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bloomberg News cited unnamed sources close to the talks as saying SoftBank — the US firm’s biggest shareholder — had drawn up a proposal that gives it full control of WeWork.
The move would dilute the voting power of Neumann, who remains as chairman of the company he started in 2010 and also currently maintains control a majority of voting shares.
They also reported that WeWork is looking at a deal with Wall Street giant JP Morgan to raise $5 billion in debt, with the Times saying directors of We would be meeting as soon as Monday afternoon to discuss that.
“WeWork has retained a major Wall Street financial institution to arrange financing,” the Journal reported a company spokesman as saying.
“Approximately 60 financing sources have signed confidentiality agreements and are meeting with the company’s management and its bankers over the course of this past week and this coming week.”
The New York-based startup that launched in 2010 has touted itself as revolutionizing commercial real estate by offering shared, flexible workspace arrangements, and has operations in 111 cities in 29 countries.
However, the company, which lost $1.9 billion last year, has faced skepticism over its ability to make money, especially if the global economy slows significantly.