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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shares in Linde LIN1.DE plunged more than 8 percent on Monday after the industrial gases group’s planned $87 billion merger with Praxair PX.N was put in doubt by demands from U.S. antitrust regulators. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is asking for more assets to be sold than previously anticipated and the watchdog also wants prospective buyers to meet certain other requirements, the German industrial gases group said in a statement published just after midnight on Sunday.
“Linde and Praxair are analysing these expectations to assess their scope and to evaluate how they could be implemented to achieve a timely clearance of the business combination,” it said, The planned combination in an all-shares merger, agreed in principle in December 2016, would create a global leader in gas distribution ahead of France’s Air Liquide (AIRP.PA), The companies agreed at the time that if regulators demanded the disposal of businesses with more than 3.7 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in sales or 1.1 animal print cufflinks billion euros in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), either party could withdraw without penalty..
Based on its discussions with the FTC and other antitrust regulators, it said there was now a higher probability that the two companies would need to sell assets exceeding the agreed threshold. The two companies are now evaluating how the regulators’ expectations could be fulfilled in a mutually acceptable manner to achieve a timely clearance, it said, adding they remained in a constructive dialogue with the regulators and with each other. The companies are running against a Oct. 24 deadline to complete the deal, dictated by German financial market rules.
Markus Mayer, analyst at Baader Helvea, said more asset sales would reduce benefits of the merger, and also said a closing before the Oct, 24 had become less likely, The shares were down 8.3 percent at 192.70 euros at 0718 GMT, Laurence Alexander, an analyst at brokerage Jefferies, said the merger parties would now only be able to get a relatively low price for additional divestments, but put the probability of the deal closing at more than 85 percent, Reuters reported last month that the European Commission was animal print cufflinks set to give its blessing to the tie-up after an in-depth antitrust review and following the agreed sale of Praxair’s European gases business to Japanese rival Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp (4091.T)..
TOKYO (Reuters) - More than five years into a radical plan to boost the world’s third-biggest economy, the Bank of Japan sent a message of quiet surrender last week, admitting it couldn’t stoke inflation and walking back steps intended to do so. The man leading the BOJ away from its program of unprecedented asset-buying and low or negative interest rates is the man who largely crafted the measures in the first place, bank deputy governor Masayoshi Amamiya. A fan of classical music who has recently begun to favor Russian composers, Amamiya “plays the piano, guitar and flute well,” says a person who has known him for decades.
Unlike many previous central bank leaders, who took an academic approach to policy, Amamiya simply “tries to create something new,” the person said, The career central banker’s latest creation, a mechanism for unwinding much of his previous work, has been quietly under development for almost a year, Interviews by Reuters with a dozen people familiar with the bank’s thinking reveal for the first time that there were plans to raise rates twice this year, In January, market turbulence pulled the rug from under an announcement of animal print cufflinks an increase, The bank then hoped to signal higher rates in July and raise them in September, but weak inflation data scuttled that idea too..
Neither plan was made public. Last week, the central bank took more subtle action, rolling back parts of its policies that have hurt banks, paralyzed Japan’s bond market and distorted stock prices even as they failed to ignite healthy inflation. The move represented a compromise Amamiya forged with his boss, bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda, to appease doves on the policy board with a promise to keep rates very low for an extended period. He swung a key vote, deputy governor Masazumi Wakatabe, allowing the new policy to move forward without any clouds of doubt from a senior official.
“The latest steps marked a major turning point for Kuroda’s stimulus program,” a source said, “The reflationists have become a minority, which means the BOJ is turning more hawkish.”, Amamiya, who largely crafted Kuroda’s initially successful “shock-and-awe” campaign, may now be more mindful of his own legacy, insiders say, The Bank of Japan declined to comment for this article, A animal print cufflinks roadmap to a sustainable stimulus program could serve as his own path to succeeding Kuroda as governor in five years..