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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Stocks Fall as Traders -2-

09/28/2021 | 06:44am EDT

CIMC is buying the China and Denmark units of the Nasdaq-listed company which operates the two companies under Maersk Container Industry Qingdao Ltd. and Maersk Container Industry A/S respectively, CIMC said Tuesday.

Smiths Group Agrees to $2.4 Bln Smiths Medical Sale to ICU Medical

Smiths Group PLC said Tuesday that it has now agreed to sell its medical unit to ICU Medical Inc. for $2.4 billion, and will return 737 million pounds ($1.01 billion) of the money to shareholders.

The engineering company, which said earlier this month that it had agreed to sell the unit to ICU Medical, said the enterprise value of the deal is $2.7 billion.

Smiths Group FY 2021 Pretax Profit Rose

Smiths Group PLC said on Tuesday that pretax profit for fiscal 2021 rose after booking lower costs, and that it expects revenue growth to return to around pre-pandemic levels during the year.

The U.K. engineering group said despite the economic uncertainty and the continuing supply-chain challenges, it is well-positioned as markets recover and that it entered fiscal 2022 with good order book momentum.

Rentokil Increases Medium-Term Growth Targets

Rentokil Initial PLC said Tuesday that it has increased its organic and ongoing medium-term revenue and growth targets, as well as its ongoing operating profit growth target.

The pest-control, hygiene and work-wear services provider said its organic medium-term revenue growth target has increased to between 4% and 5% from the previous growth target of between 3% and 4%.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice Offers $300 Million Settlement Payment to Credit Suisse

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has offered a $300 million payment and half the value of his family coal businesses to settle loans from the now-defunct Greensill Capital, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

The proposal is part of talks between the governor's family business, Bluestone Resources Inc., and Credit Suisse Group AG, which manages investment funds that were Greensill's main source of cash for its lending business.

Infrastructure Investor Quinbrook to Build $370 Million Solar-Power, Energy-Storage Project in U.K.

Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners said on Tuesday it will build the U.K.'s largest solar project in combination with a major battery installation as the investment firm bets that combining renewables and energy storage will be a winning strategy against a backdrop of volatility in the power market.

Quinbrook, which focuses on renewable energy, storage and infrastructure that supports the power grid, said it plans to spend GBP270 million, or roughly $370 million, on setting up Project Fortress in the county of Kent in southeastern England. The firm said the facility-which is expected to come online in 2023-will have more than three times the generating capacity of the country's largest operating solar photovoltaic power project and include batteries to store the solar power.

U.S. Asked Russia About Offer of Bases to Monitor Afghan Terror Threat

The Pentagon's top military officer discussed with his Russian counterpart an apparent offer from Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his military's bases in Central Asia to respond to any emerging terrorist threats in Afghanistan, U.S. officials said.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, raised the subject at the request of President Biden's National Security Council staff in his meeting last Wednesday with Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, the U.S. officials said.

Meet Olaf Scholz, the German Best Placed to Succeed Angela Merkel

BERLIN-A politician who built his popularity on his response to Covid-19 and styled himself as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's true heir is now best placed to succeed her as leader of Europe's largest economy after scoring a narrow win in Sunday's election.

Olaf Scholz's Social Democratic Party won a small majority over Ms. Merkel's conservatives. But with just a quarter of the votes, he is also the first leading politician in the country's postwar history to need support for three parties to build a stable majority in parliament.


Debt-Ceiling Standoff Distorts Short-Term Treasury Market

The U.S. debt-ceiling standoff is skewing investor preferences for different types of Treasurys.

Investors are demanding more yield to hold some short-term Treasurys with the greatest risk of delayed payment. Meanwhile, they are driving down yields on a dwindling supply of others, with the Treasury Department slowing short-term borrowing to push off hitting the ceiling.

GOP Senators Block Democratic Bill to Fund Government and Suspend Debt Ceiling

WASHINGTON-Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill that would both fund the government and raise the country's borrowing limit, escalating a political showdown over the government's finances just days before it runs out of money.

Senate Democrats sought to pass a House-approved stopgap measure that funds the government through Dec. 3, 2021, and suspends the debt limit through Dec. 16, 2022. They are racing to send the legislation to President Biden's desk before the government's current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1.

Big Tech Companies Amass Property Holdings During Covid-19 Pandemic

The biggest U.S. companies are sitting on record piles of cash. They are getting paid next to nothing for holding it, and they are running out of ways to spend it.

So they are buying a lot of commercial real estate.

Fed Chief Jerome Powell Says Inflation Is Elevated but Likely to Moderate

Inflation is likely to stay high in the coming months before moderating, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is set to tell Congress at a hearing on Tuesday morning.

In testimony released by the central bank on Monday, Mr. Powell largely repeated remarks he made at a news conference last week after the central bank indicated it was likely to begin reversing its easy-money policies at its next meeting, Nov. 2-3.

SEC Panel Backs Letting Ordinary Investors Into Private Equity

An advisory group for the Securities and Exchange Commission voted Monday to recommend making it easier for less-wealthy people to invest in private funds, a change long sought by asset managers.

The SEC's Asset Management Advisory Committee unanimously approved a report recommending that the regulator increase ordinary investors' access to private-equity, private-debt and real-estate vehicles.

East Asia's Economies Face Slowing Growth and Rising Inequality, World Bank Warns

HONG KONG-Most countries in East Asia face major setbacks in recovering from the coronavirus, the World Bank said, adding to concerns that the resurgent pandemic will widen the economic divide between the region and the Western world.

With the notable exception of China, economic activity across the region has sputtered since the second quarter amid outbreaks of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and relatively slow vaccine rollouts, leading some multilateral institutions to cut growth forecasts for most economies in the region and warn about longer-term problems such as rising inequality.

China Power Outages Pose New Threat to Supplies of Chips and Other Goods

Government efforts to curb energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions, along with surging coal prices, are leading to power outages across many of China's manufacturing hubs, threatening to further disrupt strained global supply chains for semiconductors and other vital goods.

Over the past week, local officials have forced factories in China's Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces to curtail operation hours or shut down temporarily as officials try to rein in energy use, according to company filings and interviews with company officials by The Wall Street Journal.

North Korea Fires Short-Range Missile Off Its East Coast, South Korea Says

SEOUL-North Korea has launched at least one short-range missile off its east coast, South Korea's military said, as Pyongyang turns back to weapons tests with greater frequency amid a stall in nuclear talks with the U.S.

The missile was launched around 6:40 a.m. local time on Tuesday, before splashing into the waters between Korea and Japan, said South Korea's military, which had detected a single projectile. The precise type of weapon-including if it was a ballistic missile-and the distance flown weren't immediately shared by South Korea's military.

China Releases Two U.S. Citizens Blocked From Leaving Since 2018

China has let go two Americans who have been banned from leaving the country since 2018 and allowed them to return to the U.S. following a Justice Department deal with a Chinese-technology company executive, according to people familiar with the situation.

The exit from China of Victor Liu and Cynthia Liu over the weekend coincided with the U.S. deal last week that freed Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou and the almost simultaneous departure from China of Canadian prisoners.

Beijing Claims Victory Over Huawei Executive's Return

TAIPEI-When Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou arrived in Shenzhen after nearly three years' confinement in Vancouver, 430 million Chinese viewers tuned into a livestream by China's state broadcaster, while posts about her racked up more than a billion views.

Absent from Chinese state media was any mention of the release of two Canadian citizens by Chinese authorities within minutes of Ms. Meng boarding her plane.

GOP Senators Block Democratic Bill to Fund Government and Suspend Debt Ceiling

WASHINGTON-Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill that would both fund the government and raise the country's borrowing limit, escalating a political showdown over the government's finances just days before it runs out of money.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

09-28-21 0643ET

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