Overseas Headlines – July 28, 2020

United States:

The Next WTO Chief Treads a Fine Line Between the U.S. and China

“The race for the top post of the World Trade Organization is often characterized as another key battleground in a U.S. versus China struggle for hegemonic supremacy. That may be a bit overblown, but there’s certainly a ring of truth to it just a few weeks into the contest.”



ECB Urges Banks to Pause Shareholder Payouts for Longer

“The European Central Bank extended a de facto ban on banks returning capital to shareholders and urged them to show restraint on bonuses after the coronavirus outbreak, dealing a blow to lenders who lobbied for business as usual. The supervisor asked that banks not pay dividends or buy back shares at least until January, three months longer than initially indicated, and “to be extremely moderate with regard to variable remuneration,” according to a statement Tuesday. The ECB said it will review its stance again in the fourth quarter.”



Office Vacancies in China’s Cities Soar Even as Economy Reopens

“Office vacancies in China’s biggest cities are at the highest in more than a decade even as the nation’s economy has largely swung back into action after the coronavirus outbreak. Vacancy rates for prime office buildings in Shanghai climbed to 20% in the second quarter and 21% in the tech hub of Shenzhen, both the highest since at least the financial crisis in 2008, CBRE Group Inc. data show. Beijing’s 15.5% rate was the most since 2009.”



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