‘China wants US tariffs rolled back in phase one trade deal’

The signing of a phase one agreement may not take place until the new year as Beijing has pressed for more extensive rollbacks of tariffs. (Reuters/File)
Updated 01 December 2019

‘China wants US tariffs rolled back in phase one trade deal’

  • Continued uncertainty on whether the two sides can strike an agreement grips investors

WASHINGTON: Beijing is insisting US tariffs must be rolled back as part of any phase one trade deal with Washington, China’s Global Times newspaper said on Sunday citing unnamed sources, amid continued uncertainty on whether the two sides can strike a deal.

“A US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15 cannot replace the rollbacks of tariffs,” the newspaper said in a tweet, referring to an additional round of tariffs on Chinese imports to be implemented in the absence of a trade deal.

The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said Washington was in the “final throes” of a deal aimed at defusing a 16-month trade war with China, a few days after Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed his desire for a trade agreement. Top trade negotiators for both countries also spoke again and agreed to continue working on the remaining issues.

Trade experts and people close to the White House told Reuters last month, however, that signing of a phase one agreement may not take place until the new year as China pressed for more extensive rollbacks of tariffs. An agreement was initially expected to be completed by the end of November.

Chuck Grassley, chairman of the US Senate finance committee, told reporters on Tuesday that China invited US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for in-person talks in Beijing.

Grassley said Lighthizer and Mnuchin were willing to go if they saw “a real chance of getting a final agreement.”

A source familiar with the trade talks also told Reuters that US officials could travel to China after Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday in the US.


Higher impairment charges hit UAE banks Emirates NBD and ADCB

Updated 57 min ago

Higher impairment charges hit UAE banks Emirates NBD and ADCB

DUBAI: Dubai's biggest lender Emirates NBD reported a 15 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, below analysts' forecasts, on a jump in impairment charges, sending its shares down around 1 percent.

The bank booked impairment charges of 2.06 billion dirhams ($560.88 million) in the quarter, up more than three times from a year earlier due to higher bad debt charges as it consolidated results of newly acquired Turkish lender DenizBank.

Even without DenizBank, impairment charges were up 78 percent on lower writebacks and recoveries. The bank did not give details of these charges.

Banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are bracing for more writedowns from the real sector amid a downturn, especially in the Dubai property market.

Fitch Ratings recently warned a weakening property market in the UAE was likely to put more pressure on the asset quality of the banking sector.

Emirates NBD reported a net profit of 2.02 billion dirhams in the fourth-quarter, down from 2.39 billion dirhams in the same period a year earlier. EFG Securities had projected a net profit of 2.45 billion dirhams.

Full year profit, however, surged 44 percent, underpinned by double-digit growth in net interest income, stronger loan growth and gains from the listing of the bank's unit Network International.

Separately, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the UAE's third-biggest bank, also reported a 16 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit on Monday, hurt by an increase in impairment charges.

Emirates NBD said it expected the Expo 2020 world fair to support multiple sectors in Dubai, but a softening real estate market remained a risk for 2020.