6 Most Important Things in Business Today
Asia shares dropped to lows not seen in a year and a half. According to Reuters:
Share markets in Asia plunged to a 19-month low on Thursday after Wall Street’s worst losses in eight months led to broader risk aversion, a rise in market volatility gauges and concerns over overvalued stock markets in an environment of rapidly rising dollar yields.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off 3.8 percent around 0500 GMT, and earlier touched its lowest level since March 2017.
The Chinese could have stolen trade secrets from General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). According to The Wall Street Journal:
An alleged Chinese intelligence operative arrested in Belgium has been brought to the U.S. and charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from GE Aviation and other companies, marking a rare break for the U.S. in its increasingly aggressive effort to target Chinese industrial spying.
Prosecutors have previously charged Chinese government officials with economic espionage and hacking-related offenses pointing to state-directed efforts to steal U.S. technology, but have never publicly identified anyone in custody as a Chinese intelligence officer. The arrested man, Yanjun Xu, made an initial appearance in federal court in Ohio on Wednesday.
The company that owned Newsweek faces fraud allegations. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Newsweek’s former parent company has been charged by Manhattan prosecutors with carrying out a complex scheme to defraud lenders out of millions of dollars as part of an effort to keep the struggling media organization afloat.
The indictment follows a more than yearlong fraud probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that has also been examining possible advertising abuses at IBT Media and its connections to Olivet University, a bible college in California, according to people briefed on the investigation.
Volkswagen has assigned a new head for its U.S. business as results falter. According to The New York Times:
On Wednesday, in hopes of accelerating its recovery, Volkswagen named an American executive instrumental in increasing sales of its Audi luxury cars to take over its United States operations.
The executive, Scott Keogh, who heads Audi of America, will replace Hinrich J. Woebcken, who reorganized Volkswagen of America in his three years as president and chief executive of Volkswagen of America. Mr. Keogh will be the first American citizen in that role in 25 years.
Lexus has a new yacht. According to CNBC:
Luxury car brand Aston Martin unveiled a luxury yacht, Aston Martin AM37, at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show; Mercedes-Benz debuted a luxury yacht, Arrow460-GT, in February 2018 at the same superyacht event; and Bugatti has 66 limited-edition Bugatti Niniette luxury yachts for sale.
Now, Lexus is entering the high-end boat business with a 65-foot luxury yacht, announced at a boat show in Yokohama, Japan, in March, and first revealed in 2016. The LY 650 yacht is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in 2019.
The U.S. Postal Service wants to raise stamp prices:
The US Postal Service is asking for the biggest price jump on stamps in its history.
Facing pressure from the Trump administration to address a revenue shortfall, the Postal Service on Wednesday proposed raising the price of 1-oz. letters from 50 cents to 55 cents, which would be a record nominal increase if approved. The price of each additional ounce would go down slightly.