Inspectors seek ‘smoking gun’ evidence that Iran carried out attack on Saudi oil facilities

Thomas Cook Declares Bankruptcy

Thomas Cook has declared bankruptcy after last-minute negotiations aimed at saving the 178-year-old holiday firm failed, suspending operations and leaving hundreds of thousands of tourists stranded around the world.

Peter Fankhauser, Chief Executive of Thomas Cook said, “It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years.”

Thomas Cook said that all the companies in its group have ceased trading, including Thomas Cook Airlines.

About 600,000 Thomas Cook customers were reported to be travelling, of which 150,000 British were abroad, scheduled to fly home with Thomas Cook, according to reports.

The U.K. Government and the Civil Aviation Authority are now working together to do everything to support passengers due to fly back to the UK with Thomas Cook between 23 September 2019 and 6 October 2019, Thomas Cook said in a statement.

The tour operator’s failure puts 22,000 jobs at risk worldwide, including 9,000 in the UK, according to reports.

BREAKING Man in 20s stabbed to death outside London shop in horror 4am attack

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Equities gain over 2% during morning session

The overall market breadth was quite strong with nearly 1,400 stocks gaining ground as against 562 declines.

The strong upswing on stocks that started on Spetember 20 on the back of cut in corporate tax rates continued on Monday with the benchmark indices surging more than 2% during the morning session.

At 10:25 a.m., the 30-share Sensex was trading 766 points or 2.01% higher at 38,780. Sensex constituents like L&T, ITC, HUL, Asian Paints,and IndusInd Bank were trading more than 5% higher.

The overall market breadth was quite strong with nearly 1,400 stocks gaining ground as against 562 declines.

Meanwhile, the 50-share Nifty was trading higher at 11,501, up 227 points or 2.01%.

"We see these measures as bringing India back into favor for FPIs," stated Emkay Global in its latest India Strategy report.

"After factoring in just the base tax benefit increase of around 8.5% of large-cap indices, India’s PE (price earnings) premium over EM (emerging markets) is still well below historical averages even after Friday’s rally. We thus expect India to see a return of foreign flows — or at least stop underperforming other EMs on flows — thus overall supporting valuation multiples," it said.

Vonovia buys Swedish Hembla from Blackstone

FRANKFURT, Sept 23 (Reuters) – German residential property company Vonovia on Monday said it agreed with Vega Holdco, a subsidiary of investment firm Blackstone, on the acquisition of 69.3% of Swedish peer Hembla, subject to clearance by Swedish antitrust authorities.

The acquisition, at a purchasing price equivalent to 1.14 billion euros ($1.26 billion), would be done via its subsidiary HomeStart Investco, Vonovia said.

It said the move was in line with its international expansion strategy, adding that clearance from cartel watchers was expected in October or November.

Hembla has 21,411 flats, which are primarily based in Stockholm.

SBI to adopt repo rate as external benchmark for all floating rate loans from October 1

State Bank of India on Monday said it will adopt repo rate as the external benchmark for all floating rate loans for MSME, home and retail loans, from October 1, 2019.

On September 4, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had mandated all banks to link all new floating rate personal or retail loans and floating rate loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to an external benchmark from October 1 onwards.

We have decided to adopt repo rate as the external benchmark for all floating rate loans for MSME, housing and retail loans effective October 1, 2019, the bank said in a release.

The RBI gave the banks options to benchmark their floating rate loans either to repo rate, three-month or six-month treasury bills or any benchmark market interest rate published by Financial Benchmarks India Private (FBIL).

The bank has also extended the external benchmark-based lending to medium enterprises, to boost lending to the MSME sector as a whole.

It had introduced floating rate home loans effective July 1, 2019, but has made some modifications in the scheme effective October 1, 2019, to comply with the latest regulatory guidelines, the release said.

Core inflation remains unchanged at 0.8 per cent in August

SINGAPORE – Core inflation in August remains at 0.8 per cent, unchanged from July when it eased to its slowest pace in more than three years.

A steeper fall in the costs of retail goods and electricity and gas was offset by higher food and services inflation, according to data released on Monday (Sept 23).

Headline or overall inflation increased slightly to 0.5 per cent in August from 0.4 per cent in the previous month, figures showed.

The increase was due to higher private road transport inflation and a smaller decline in accommodation costs.

Inspectors seek ‘smoking gun’ evidence that Iran carried out attack on Saudi oil facilities

BEIRUT — Weapons experts are inspecting GPS systems recovered from the Sept. 14 missile and drone strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities for evidence that could reveal their origin and flight path, people familiar with the investigation said.

Officials in Riyadh and Washington have blamed Iran for the attacks and are searching for “smoking gun” evidence. They say they can’t galvanize world support for their view unless they can draw a clear link back to Tehran, which has denied any role in the attacks.

The GPS systems could allow investigators to trace the drones and missiles back to their runways and launchers, which Saudi and American officials believe were in Iran. Inspectors from around the world—including the U.S., France and the United Nations—are scrutinizing pieces of the weapons from the attacks, which temporarily knocked out half of Saudi oil production and rattled the global economy.

The GPS examination is part of a more expansive investigation that includes efforts to trace serial numbers of the weapons used in the attacks back to their origin. The probe is going forward as Washington and Riyadh weigh a response to the attack.

An expanded version of this report can be found at WSJ.com:

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