Tag Archives: Pressure

Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria

Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria(Bloomberg) — A renewed sell-off gripped Turkish markets after the U.S. brought criminal charges against one of the nation’s largest banks, in what could be an escalation of Washington’s efforts to reprimand Ankara for its military incursion into northeast Syria.Stocks fell with government bonds and shares of Turkey’s state-run Halkbank slumped the most in a year. The lira bucked the rout as state banks were seen selling dollars to support the currency, according to three traders with knowledge of the matter.An indictment filed Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court accused Halkbank of participating in a wide-ranging plot to violate prohibitions on Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system. The looming legal standoff is raising an alarm in Turkey that the U.S. may soon mete out more severe penalties, dealing another blow to the $ 772 billion economy that’s just begun to recover from a recession and remains heavily reliant on foreign capital.“The timing of these charges would appear to be less than coincidental and is clearly highly politicized,” said Julian Rimmer, a trader at Investec Bank in London. “This is another warning shot across Turkey’s bow.”On Tuesday, Donald Trump sanctioned three senior Turkish officials and increased steel tariffs — a milder punishment than expected — but U.S. lawmakers from both parties are already pushing the president to adopt stricter measures.‘Immediate Cease-Fire’The Trump administration has been calling for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria after the hostilities unleashed by Turkey across its border this month. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the demand.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet Erdogan on Thursday in Ankara to reiterate Trump’s commitment to sanctions, according to a White House statement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Ambassador James Jeffrey will also be on the trip that begins Wednesday.The lira has weakened more than 4% this month as tensions percolate with the U.S. The yield on Halkbank’s dollar bond due 2021 surged more than 400 basis points.In response, the Turkish stock exchange “temporarily” banned short-selling in seven banks, or wagers that their shares will decline using borrowed securities.The banking watchdog also advised some local lenders against offering lira liquidity in the offshore money-market, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, in an apparent attempt to get in the way of betting that it will depreciate further.Turkey Advises Banks Against Offering Lira Liquidity OffshoreThe benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was trading 1.7% lower as of 12:06 p.m in Istanbul, led by Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS and Akbank TAS. The lira edged 0.3% higher to 5.8973 per dollar while the yield on two-year government bonds jumped 48 basis points.“The Americans intend to use these charges as leverage,” Rimmer said. “And given they can impose almost unlimited fines and heavy penalties, the Turks will have to take this seriously.”To contact the reporters on this story: Tugce Ozsoy in Istanbul at tozsoy1@bloomberg.net;Asli Kandemir in Istanbul at akandemir@bloomberg.net;Constantine Courcoulas in Istanbul at ccourcoulas1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at brobinson58@bloomberg.net, Dana El BaltajiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Apple Backtracks, Removes Hong Kong Police App In Response to Chinese Pressure

Apple Backtracks, Removes Hong Kong Police App In Response to Chinese PressureApple on Thursday withdrew an app that enabled protesters to track police movements after heavy backlash from Chinese and Hong Kong authorities.The app, HKmap.live, represented clusters of police with the emoji of a dog, an insult that has been shouted at Hong Kong police during the ongoing protests in the city.Officials in Hong Kong told the company the app was being used to attack police. On Wednesday the Chinese Communist Party newspaper People's Daily published an editorial attacking Apple for aiding "rioters" in the city."Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings," the editorial stated.Apple released a statement saying Hong Kong authorities have verified that the app has been used to "threaten public safety," and that criminals have also been using it to avoid police."I think the [Communist Party] concludes from this that intimidation, harassment and pressure work for most people, in most places," Human Rights Watch China researcher Maya Wang said in comments to the Times.Most of Apple's products are assembled in China, and the nation represents the company's third-largest market after the U.S. and Europe.China-U.S. relations have soured in recent days following various conflicts between the Chinese government and American officials and entities.On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials believed to have taken part in the repression of China's Uighur Muslim minority. Pompeo's announcement came after the Commerce Department imposed an export blacklist on several Chinese firms implicated in surveillance and detention of Uighurs.Meanwhile, the NBA recently found itself embroiled in a scandal after Congress members accused it of kowtowing to China's repressive policies regarding pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.



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Trump reportedly worked with 2 'off the books' lawyers to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about Joe Biden, in addition to Giuliani

Trump reportedly worked with 2 'off the books' lawyers to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about Joe Biden, in addition to GiulianiFox News' Chris Wallace reports that Trump worked "off the books" with two lawyers, Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, to pressure Ukraine.



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Iran's Rouhani says no to talks under U.S. pressure

Iran's Rouhani says no to talks under U.S. pressureIran will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, but added that lifting all the sanctions Washington imposed on Tehran and respecting a U.N. Security Council resolution could pave the way for talks. “Our response to talks under pressure is NO,” said Rouhani, but warned that Iran might exit a 2015 nuclear deal if the European powers failed to salvage the deal. “We are committed to the nuclear deal … but Iran’s patience has a limit,” said the pragmatic president, who was architect of the deal with six powers.



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Asked about Trump, Ukraine president says only his son can pressure him

Asked about Trump, Ukraine president says only his son can pressure himUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, asked whether U.S. President Donald Trump had put pressure on him during a July phone call, said nobody can put pressure on him except his six-year-old son. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday launched a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump, accusing him of seeking Ukraine’s help to smear Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of next year’s election. Trump has dismissed the inquiry as a witch hunt.



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Trump aides were so afraid he'd pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden that they tried to derail his call with the Ukrainian president

Trump aides were so afraid he'd pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden that they tried to derail his call with the Ukrainian presidentHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump on Tuesday, citing the whistleblower complaint.



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Trump impeachment: Congress under pressure to remove president as administration enters 'grave new chapter of lawlessness'

Trump impeachment: Congress under pressure to remove president as administration enters 'grave new chapter of lawlessness'Leading Democrats have raised the prospect of a new push to impeach Donald Trump over attempts by the White House to damage Joe Biden’s presidential campaign through a Ukrainian corruption inquiry.A series of leading figures have said the scandal, which saw Mr Trump and his allies urge the Ukrainian authorities to re-open a dormant investigation into Mr Biden’s son Hunter, was so serious it demanded the ultimate sanction of impeachment.



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Hong Kong protesters call on former ruler Britain to pressure China

Hong Kong protesters call on former ruler Britain to pressure ChinaHong Kong protesters are expected to rally outside the British Consulate on Sunday demanding that the former colonial power ensures China honours its commitments to the city’s freedoms. The Chinese-ruled territory has been rocked by weeks of sometimes violent pro-democracy protests, with demonstrators angry about what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in their city’s affairs despite a promise of autonomy. The Sino-British Joint Declaration, signed in 1984, lays out Hong Kong’s future after its return to China in 1997, a “one country, two systems” formula that ensures freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland.



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US adds new sanctions and reward to further pressure Iran

US adds new sanctions and reward to further pressure IranThe Trump administration stepped up pressure on Iran on Wednesday, imposing sanctions on an oil shipping network with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and offering a reward of up to $ 15 million for anyone with information that could disrupt its faltering economy even further. The new measures are the latest installment in a campaign of “maximum pressure” aimed at forcing Iran to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, from which the administration withdrew last year, and cease a range of activities that the U.S. and its allies say destabilize the Middle East. In announcing these new steps, U.S. officials appeared to dampen expectations for European-led efforts to salvage the remainder of the nuclear deal.



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Iran ratchets up pressure ahead of weekend nuclear deadline

Iran ratchets up pressure ahead of weekend nuclear deadlineIranian officials ratcheted up pressure Wednesday ahead of a weekend nuclear deadline for European nations to come up with a solution for Iran to sell its oil abroad in the aftermath of escalated U.S. sanctions. President Hassan Rouhani reiterated a threat that Tehran would take additional steps away from the 2015 nuclear accord on Friday and accelerate nuclear activities if Europe fails to provide a solution, calling it Iran’s third, “most important step” away from the deal. Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced that seven members of the 23-member crew of the seized British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero held in the Persian Gulf would be released — an apparent good-will gesture meant to defuse tensions.



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