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Russia accuses G20 members of politicizing health talks after criticism over Ukraine



By Stanley Widianto

(Reuters) – Russia on Monday accused some members of the Group of 20 major economies of politicizing a meeting on global health, as it faced criticism over how its invasion of Ukraine in February had plunged its healthcare system into chaos.

The war in Ukraine has overshadowed G20 meetings this year, with current chair Indonesia struggling to keep the group united and resisting pressure from Western members to exclude Russia.

“We are asking our colleagues not to politicize G20 health platform and stay within our mandate and discuss healthcare,” Russian health ministry official Oleg Salagay told a G20 health ministers’ meeting in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.

Representatives of the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada urged Russia to ends its aggression.

Russia has described its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” to demilitarise its neighbour and rid it of dangerous nationalists threatening its Russian-speaking population.

Andrea Palm, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said Russia’s war was “directly at odds with the goals of G20 healthcare and our goal of promoting global health”.

“Far from promoting global health, Russia has disrupted health services, destroyed health facilities, and continue to strike buildings where innocent civilians including children are sheltering,” Palm said.

Russia denies targeting civilians and medical facilities.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has said Russian forces have devastated hundreds of hospitals and other institutions and left doctors without drugs to tackle cancer or unable to perform surgeries.

At Monday’s meeting, Russia was out of step with most members over its caution on a multi-billion dollar fund that G20 countries have provisionally agreed to set up to strengthen pandemic prevention and preparedness.

“The creation of the so-called Financial Intermediary Fund carries certain risks,” Salagay said.

“It is important to prevent duplication of existing international institutions and fragmentations financial resources as well as the weakening of the coordinating role of the WHO and communications between programmes of the organisation,” he said.

Salagay said it was necessary to ensure sustainable funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) to create capacities within it to fight pandemics.

China, which has declined to condemn Russia’s action in Ukraine and has criticised sweeping Western sanctions against Russia in response, told the meeting that it welcomed any effort to improve global health governance and strengthen national health systems. It did not mention the issue of Ukraine.


UK public inflation expectations fall to lowest since January -Citi/YouGov



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People shop at market stalls, with skyscrapers of the CIty of London financial district seen behind, in London, Britain, January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/

LONDON (Reuters) – The British public’s expectations for inflation in future years receded this month to the lowest level since January, a survey showed on Monday in good news for Bank of England officials who fear price pressures are becoming embedded.

U.S. bank Citi and pollsters YouGov said the expectations for inflation in five to 10 years fell to 4.0% in June from 4.2% in May, a move Citi described as encouraging.

Inflation expectations for 12 months time were steady at 6.1%, the survey showed.

BoE rate-setters are watching surveys for signs that high inflation – which hit a 40-year record of 9.1% last month – is becoming entrenched in the psychology of the British public, which would make it harder to bring inflation back to the BoE’s 2% target.

Citi economist Benjamin Nabarro said inflation expectations were still elevated.

“However, we see little in today’s data that should provide a further impetus for an outsized 50 basis point move (in interest rates) in August,” Nabarro added.

Financial markets show a roughly 73% chance that the BoE will raise its Bank Rate to 1.75% from 1.25% at its next policy decision on Aug. 4.

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GE CEO Culp expands role to head aviation unit



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp mingles with shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Tarrytown, New York, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Alwyn Scott/File Photo

By Rajesh Kumar Singh, Tim Hepher and Abhijith Ganapavaram

(Reuters) -General Electric Co said on Monday Chief Executive Larry Culp will also head its aviation unit effective immediately, replacing John Slattery, as the industrial conglomerate prepares to split into three public companies.

Slattery, who has been at the helm at the company’s jet-engine unit since Sept. 2020, will become the unit’s chief commercial officer.

GE also named Otis Worldwide (NYSE:OTIS) Corp executive Rahul Ghai as GE Aviation’s new chief financial officer. Ghai played a key role in steering Otis following its breakup from United Technologies (NYSE:RTX) in 2020.

GE plans to spin off its healthcare business into a separate publicly traded company next year. It would combine its power and renewable energy units, and spin off that operation in 2024. Following the split, it will become an aviation company, headed by Culp.

John Walsh, an analyst at Credit Suisse, said the leadership shuffle has created “known and highly regarded” management team at the jet-engine unit, which is also GE’s cash cow.

While the company’s aviation business is grappling with persistent supply chain and labor shortages, GE expects it to post at least 20% revenue growth this year on the back of a recovery in the global airline industry from the pandemic-induced slump.

GE’s shares were down 1.3% at $66.15 in afternoon trade.


Nicholas Heymann, an analyst at William Blair, reckons the leadership changes are directed at clearing up any ambiguity surrounding the aviation unit’s management structure as it tries to attract “really good” independent directors to its board.

“They need to know who will be running the executive management team on each business before they sign up,” Heymann said.

The quest for clarity echoed Dave Calhoun’s recent decision to cement his long-term position as chief executive of Boeing (NYSE:BA).

Some industry sources said Irish-born Slattery’s position may also have been clouded by his lack of U.S. citizenship as he waits for a U.S. passport. GE is a major supplier to the Pentagon.

GE did not respond to a request for comment.

In his new role, Slattery, an industry high-flier who headed the civil unit of Brazil’s Embraer before a planned takeover of the regional planemaker by Boeing collapsed in 2020, will tackle the multi-dimensional chess game of jet engine strategy.

Engine makers and airplane manufacturers are involved in the early stages of a mating game that will define air travel for decades as planemakers ponder what type of propulsion will be needed for the next generation of medium-haul jets in the 2030s.

GE and its French partner Safran (EPA:SAF) plan to test-build an open-bladed jet engine called “RISE” that it says will be able to reduce fuel use and emissions by 20%.

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Wall Street edges lower, weighed by growth stocks



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 22, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street lost ground on Monday, with few catalysts to inspire much conviction as investors approach the midway point of a year in which stocks have been battered by heightened inflation worries and tightening Fed policy.

The major U.S. stock indexes were last modestly lower after oscillating through much of the session, with weakness in interest rate sensitive megacaps such as (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc providing the heaviest drag.

“It’s still very much a recovery market, after the sell-off we’ve seen,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. “I’m not sure the market has found the floor but …(that) will depend on how aggressively the Fed raises (interest) rates, and whether inflation declines or not.”

All three indexes appear set to notch two straight quarterly declines for the first time since 2015. They are also on course to post losses for June, which would mark three consecutive down months for the tech-heavy Nasdaq, its longest losing streak since 2015.

Rising oil prices helped put energy stocks out front, with economically sensitive smallcaps and semiconductors and transports also outperforming the broader market. [O/R]

Economic data surprised to the upside, with new orders for durable goods and pending home sales beating expectations and adding credence to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s assertion that the economy is robust enough to withstand the central bank’s attempts to rein in decades-high inflation without sliding into recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 98.68 points, or 0.31%, to 31,402, the S&P 500 lost 15.22 points, or 0.39%, to 3,896.52 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 88.69 points, or 0.76%, to 11,518.93.

Among the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, energy stocks were the clear winners, while communication services suffering the largest percentage losses.

With several weeks to go until second-quarter reporting commences, 130 S&P 500 companies have pre-announced. Of those, 45 have been positive and 77 have been negative, resulting in a negative/positive ratio of 1.7 stronger than the first quarter but weaker than a year ago, according to Refinitiv data.

Shares of retail stock trading platform Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD) Markets rose 4.6% after media reports said Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) changed the stock to “neutral” from “sell”.

But the broker double downgrade of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) Global Inc’s shares to “sell” from “buy”, sent its stock sliding 9.9%.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.29-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.09-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted one new 52-week high and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 21 new highs and 71 new lows.

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