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Exclusive-Visa’s chief financial officer expects to resolve fee row with Amazon

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November 19, 2021

By Matt Scuffham

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Visa expects to resolve its credit card fee dispute with Amazon.com Inc in Britain and hopes to continue its co-branded credit card partnership with the e-commerce giant in the United States, its Chief Financial Officer told Reuters.

Amazon said on Wednesday that it would stop taking payments from Visa credit cards in Britain from mid-January next year.

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“We’ve resolved these things in the past and I believe we’ll resolve them in the future,” Vasant Prabhu said in an interview on Friday, adding: “It is our expectation that there will be a resolution so that UK consumers are not impacted.”

Shares in Visa pared losses after Reuters reported Prabhu’s comments, moving from 1.4% lower on the day to 0.5% lower. The shares then gave back those gains and were last trading down 1.4%.

Amazon said in its Wednesday statement that credit card charges should be “going down over time with technological advancements, but instead they continue to stay high or even rise.”

Analysts have suggested its stance may be a negotiating tactic. In the past, other big retailers have settled fee disputes with Visa after announcing they were going to quit taking its credit cards in narrow segments of their businesses.

Walmart Inc’s unit in Canada, for example, said in 2016 it would stop accepting Visa credit cards after being unable to reach an agreement on fees. Seven months later the companies said they had settled the matter.

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Prabhu said reports on Wednesday suggesting the dispute was the result of an EU-enforced cap on fees no longer applying in the UK after Brexit were “entirely inaccurate.”

That rule applied to cross-border transactions between the EU and UK, whereas the dispute relates to domestic transactions, he said.

In recent months, Amazon has also introduced surcharges on customers using Visa credit cards in Singapore and Australia, citing high fees, as the relationship between the two companies appeared to deteriorate.

Some analysts had expressed concern Amazon’s move in the UK could be a precursor to the retailer dropping Visa’s credit card in other territories, something Prabhu said he hoped would not materialize.

“Restricting consumer choice doesn’t help merchants either,” said Prabhu. “If a merchant tells me I can’t use my preferred card that is not helpful to me as a consumer.”

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Amazon also said it is considering dropping https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/amazon-stop-accepting-visa-credit-cards-britain-2021-11-17 Visa as partner on its U.S. co-branded credit card and is in discussions about this with both with Mastercard and Visa.

Visa said it remains in discussions about continuing its partnership with Amazon and is hopeful that it will continue.

“We hope to get to the point where our relationship with Amazon goes back to being what it was,” Prabhu said.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chris Reese, Alexander Smith and Nick Zieminski)

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Tesla sold 52,859 China-made vehicles in November – CPCA

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December 8, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc sold 52,859 China-made vehicles in November, including 21,127 for export, the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA) said on Wednesday.

Tesla, which is making Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles in Shanghai, sold 54,391 China-made vehicles in October, including 40,666 that were exported.

Chinese EV makers Nio Inc 10,878 cars last month, a monthly record high, and Xpeng Inc delivered 15,613 vehicles. Volkswagen AG said it sold over 14,000 ID. series EVs in China in November.

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CPCA said passenger car sales in November in China totalled 1.85 million, down 12.5% from a year earlier.

(Reporting by Sophie Yu, Brenda Goh; editing by Jason Neely)

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Renault Zoe goes from hero to zero in European safety agency rating

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December 8, 2021

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – French carmaker Renault on Wednesday received a blow for its popular Zoe electric model, as the European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) gave it a zero-star safety rating in tests that are standards for Europe.

The carmaker, which is cutting costs and working to turn around its performance after overstretching itself over years of ambitious global expansion, also received a one-star rating for its electric Dacia Spring model.

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Euro NCAP said the latest Zoe had a worse seat-mounted side airbag than earlier versions. Euro NCAP noted the Renault Laguna had been the first car ever to receive a five-star rating in 2001.

“Renault was once synonymous with safety,” Euro NCAP secretary general Michiel van Ratingen said in a statement. “But these disappointing results for the ZOE and the Dacia Spring show that safety has now become collateral damage in the group’s transition to electric cars.”

In the year through October, the Zoe was the third top-selling fully-electric car in Europe, behind Tesla’s Model 3 in top place and Volkswagen’s ID.3.

In a press release titled “Hero to Zero,” UK insurance group Thatcham Research noted the Zoe had initially received a five-star rating back in 2013.

“It’s a shame to see Renault threaten a safety pedigree built from the inception of the rating,” said Matthew Avery, Thatcham’s chief research strategy officer and a Euro NCAP board member.

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Eleven cars received ratings in Euro NCAP’s final round of tests for 2021, which did not include Tesla models.

A number of other vehicles received five-star ratings, including BMW’s electric iX, Daimler’s electric Mercedes-Benz EQS, Nissan’s Qashqai and Volkswagen’s VW Caddy.

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Weibo shares close down 7.2% in Hong Kong debut

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December 8, 2021

By Scott Murdoch

HONG KONG (Reuters) -Chinese social media giant Weibo Corp’s shares closed 7.2% below their issue price in Hong Kong on Wednesday, as it became the latest U.S.-listed China stock to seek out a secondary listing closer to home.

The Hong Kong debut was in line with a fall in Weibo’s primary listing in New York after a torrid week for U.S.-listed China shares, which are facing greater U.S. regulatory scrutiny and also under pressure from Chinese authorities.

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Weibo, which raised $385 million for its Hong Kong listing, opened at $256.20 and closed at HK$253.2 after a volatile debut session.

The stock had been priced at HK$272.80 each in its secondary listing in which 11 million shares were sold.

“For Weibo, it’s a matter of timing. The Hong Kong market had started to rebound this week and now we are seeing some softness emerging in the market,” said Louis Tse, Wealthy Securities director in Hong Kong.

Weibo’s fall came as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed Wednesday up 0.06% while the Tech Index was 0.03% higher.

Some major stocks such as Alibaba Group Holdings, down 4.35%, were off sharply as sentiment towards tech majors remains fragile.

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“The listing market in Hong Kong is very lukewarm right now,” said Dickie Wong, Kingston Securities executive director.

“Plus, there is regulatory pressure from the (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) on Chinese companies to disclose basically everything within three years.

“So there is a major trend that most of the U.S.-listed Chinese companies will seek secondary or dual primary in Hong Kong so they can exit the U.S. market if they need to.”

Ride-hailing giant Didi Global decided last week to delist from New York https://www.reuters.com/technology/didi-global-start-work-delisting-new-york-pursue-ipo-hong-kong-2021-12-03, succumbing to pressure from Chinese regulators concerned about data security and denting sentiment toward Chinese stocks.

Hong Kong and China’s mainland STAR Market have attracted $15.2 billion worth of secondary listings from U.S. listed Chinese companies so far this year, according to Refinitiv data.

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“The moves are probably based on the increasing recognition that the U.S.-China decoupling will not stop and will proceed steadily,” said LightStream Research analyst Mio Kato, who publishes on Smartkarma.

“I would expect a continuous flow of listings from New York to Hong Kong over the next year or two.”

The U.S administration is progressing plans to delist Chinese companies if they do not meet the country’s auditing rules, which could affect more than 200 companies.

Chinese companies https://www.reuters.com/business/us-sec-mandates-foreign-companies-spell-out-ownership-structure-disclose-2021-12-02 that list on U.S. stock exchanges must disclose whether they are owned or controlled by a government entity, and provide evidence of their auditing inspections, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said last week.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Donny Kwok; editing by Richard Pullin and Louise Heavens)

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