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The Wall Street Journal

Shipping alliance of 4 biggest container operators gets US nod

United States regulators have approved a new alliance between four of the world's largest container operators. The US Federal Maritime Commission voted to allow the Ocean Alliance, an agreement among France's CMA CGM, China's Cosco Group, Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line and Taipei-based Evergreen Marine, to become effective as of Monday. The FMC, which governs the US international ocean transportation system, delayed its initial approval citing concerns about fair pricing for shippers moving cargo in and out of the US The FMC announcement Friday said the decision "follows an exhaustive review process" that "thoroughly examined all aspects of the proposed agreement to assure that competition in the ocean transportation industry would not suffer." Commissioner William Doyle of the FMC said in a statement Friday that he approved the alliance after significant changes …

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Uber seeks to expand operations in Japan

By Sean Mclain Tokyo – Uber Technologies Inc., mostly blocked from operating its core ride-hailing service in Japan, is searching for alternate routes to profit in the world's third-largest economy. The company is trying to link up customers with licensed taxi drivers – instead of the private car owners it relies upon in the US Uber is using limited exemptions to operate a US-style service in rural areas that lack access to public transport. And on Thursday, the company brought its UberEats food-delivery service to parts of Tokyo. Those efforts are in lieu of what Uber would really like to do in Japan: offer urban dwellers a way to hail an inexpensive ride instead of a taxi. The San Francisco-based company, whose brand is largely unknown in Japan, thinks it can reach that …

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Airbus tightens belt with new corporate shake-up

By Robert Wall London – Airbus Group SE is to merge headquarters and eliminate an unspecified number of management jobs in a new restructuring plan to improve profitability and focus more squarely on its largest unit that makes airliners. Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said that the restructuring would yield significant savings, facilitate faster decision making, and narrow a profitability gap to rival Boeing Co. Europe’s top aerospace company said that it will integrate the headquarters for the group and the commercial-jetliner operation for which Airbus is best known. The merged entity will carry the Airbus name from January 1, 2017. “We aren’t just trying to get leaner at the shop-floor level, we are really starting at the top of the company,” Mr. Enders said. Merging the corporate structure with the jetliner unit soon should …

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PH markets, long popular with foreigners, turn rocky under Duterte

By Mia Lamar  and Rachel Rosenthal  A volatile new Philippine president is testing the faith of investors. The country's tiny markets – its stock market is about two-thirds the size of those in Thailand and Indonesia – have long been a favorite of global fund managers thanks to low debt levels, a growing middle class and an economy that has expanded faster than even optimistic projections. A rally in emerging markets this year that sent investor cash coursing everywhere from Pakistan to Peru further fueled market gains. By late July, the main Philippine stock index had gained 33% in just six months. But it has hit the skids in recent weeks, and 2016's gain is down to just 11%. The Philippine peso has slid 3.6% against the US dollar this month, a large …

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Maersk to split into 2 separate divisions: Transport and Energy

Danish shipping and oil giant A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S said Thursday it will split its operations into two separate divisions focused on transport and energy as it battles one of the worst ever shipping down-cycles and a historic oil-price rout. Maersk Line, the company’s biggest unit and the world’s largest container operator in terms of capacity, will spearhead a new Transport & Logistics division, while the group’s extensive oil interests will be pooled under an Energy division, in what is seen as the biggest shake-up in the group’s 100-year plus history. The Transport & Logistics division will consist of Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Damco, Svitzer and Maersk Container Industry businesses. Maersk Line has been tasked with growing market share, both organically and through acquisitions. The four businesses within the Energy unit – Maersk Oil, …

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Singapore Airlines won’t renew A380 lease in blow to superjumbos

Airbus Group SE's A380 superjumbo program hit fresh turbulence after Singapore Airlines Ltd. – the aircraft's first buyer and currently its second-largest customer – said it won't renew the lease for its first plane. The lease on the A380 expires in October 2017 and "we have decided not to extend it," Singapore Airlines said Wednesday. The decision isn't a fatal blow for the program, Airbus's biggest and costliest jet. But it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft, for which Airbus has struggled to find customers after investing about $15 billion to develop. Airbus said in July that it would slash production of the A380 to 12 planes a year in 2018 from 27 last year. The backlog of A380s to be delivered has eroded during years of no or few orders. The …

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Hanjin creditors seek to keep ships anchored in US waters

By Tom Corrigan Creditors of Hanjin Shipping Co., fearful of having their collateral disappear over the horizon, have asked a US bankruptcy judge to reconsider a ruling preventing them from seizing several of the South Korean carrier's ships. A group of creditors who have gone unpaid for services such as towing and fueling say that the judge's order shouldn't apply to vessels chartered by Hanjin because they aren't legally its property. The creditors have liens against Hanjin ships that would ordinarily allow them to foreclose on the vessels. Unless the US judge intervenes, ships that have unloaded their cargo in the US are free to set sail for foreign ports that may not recognize the creditors' rights. At least seven Hanjin vessels have been "arrested" at ports in China, Singapore, India, and elsewhere, …

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In-flight broadband advances with deal to provide satellite connections

Europe's largest satellite-services provider and the region's leading aircraft-electronics maker are teaming up to offer enhanced broadband-via-satellite connections to airline passengers. After months of negotiations and decisions to scale back their initial plans, France's Thales SA and Luxembourg-based SES SA, with a global fleet of more than 50 satellites, on Monday will announce they are jointly entering the already crowded field of companies marketing such high-bandwith links. By 2020, the partners hope to leapfrog competitors with a powerful new satellite designed specifically for efficient and low-cost cabin connectivity to airliners flying across the US, Latin America and busy trans-Atlantic routes. For passengers, the service aims to be "the equivalent of what you have at home with fiber connectivity," Thales Chief Executive Patrice Caine said in an interview. That would include streaming movies …

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Billions in cargo remain stranded at sea after Hanjin’s bankruptcy

By Costas Paris and Erica E. Phillips Hanjin Shipping Co.'s financial and legal troubles have left as much as $14 billion worth of cargo stranded at sea, sending owners scrambling to try to recover their goods and get them to customers, according to industry executives, brokers, and cargo owners. Samsung Electronics Co. said it has cargo valued at about $38 million stranded on Hanjin ships in international waters. "We're passengers on a bus, and we're being told we can't get off," said Evan Jones, a lawyer for Samsung, said Tuesday. The tech giant said it is considering chartering 16 cargo planes to fulfill its shipment contracts, principally to the US Since Hanjin, South Korea's largest shipping line and the world's seventh-biggest in terms of capacity, filed for bankruptcy protection in Korea last week, …

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Obama, Duterte exchange pleasantries after rocky start

Vientiane, Laos—U.S. President Barack Obama and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had a brief discussion consisting of pleasantries on the sidelines of a summit of Southeast Asian leaders, a White House official said. The Wednesday exchange came after the White House canceled a formal meeting with Mr. Duterte this week due to profane comments he made when speaking Monday about Mr. Obama and the Philippines’ alliance with the U.S. Mr. Duterte has since said he regrets the comments. Their first face-to-face encounter took place before the start of a dinner for the leaders attending the summit. But on Thursday morning, Mr. Duterte was absent from meetings that Southeast Asian leaders held with Mr. Obama and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Duterte’s spokesman, Martin Andanar, said the Philippine leader had a migraine. Mr. Duterte …

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