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Aeroflot buys eight stranded Airbuses from foreign leasing firms

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russian state airline Aeroflot is seen on top of a building in central Moscow, Russia, April 22, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

By Kevin Liffey

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s biggest airline, Aeroflot, said on Friday it had bought eight Airbus A330 aircraft from foreign leasing companies “as part of the fulfilment of contractual obligations”.

More than 400 aircraft leased from Western firms, worth almost $10 billion, have been stranded in Russia since Western sanctions forced the lessors to terminate their contracts and Russia barred its airlines from returning the planes.

Aeroflot did not specify which firms the aircraft had been leased from. But the purchase could be a bid to maintain good relations with lessors by making use of an exemption to European Union sanctions against Russia in respect of aircraft financial leases – which involve purchase when the lease ends.

To ensure that they can continue to have valid airworthiness certificates and Russian airlines can keep using them, Russian authorities have been transferring the aircraft to Russia’s own registry.

Meanwhile, leasing firms have resigned themselves to lengthy insurance claims to try to recover some of the lost value of the aircraft.

The largest claim has been made by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s biggest aircraft lessor, which has submitted a $3.5 billion insurance claim for more than 100 jets.

AerCap did not immediately respond to Reuters calls seeking comment.

EU regulations governing sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine generally prohibit “the award and continued execution of public contracts and concessions with Russian nationals and entities or bodies established in Russia”. Aeroflot is majority-owned by the Russian state.

But one of the exemptions enacted on April 8 says national authorities in the EU may authorise “the execution of an aircraft financial lease concluded before 26 February 2022”, as long as it is “strictly necessary to ensure lease re-payments” and no payment is made beyond the transfer of the aircraft.

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Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance

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© Reuters. Synopsys Shares Up 4% Following Q2 Beat, Upbeat Guidance

Synopsys (NASDAQ:SNPS) shares were trading more than 4% higher after-hours following Q2 results, with EPS of $2.50 coming in better than the consensus estimate of $2.37. Revenue was $1.28 billion, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.26 billion.

The company expects Q3 non-GAAP EPS in the range of $2.01- $2.06 and revenue in the range of $1.21 billion – 1.24 billion. This is better than the consensus of $1.61 and $1.14 billion, respectively.

For the full 2022-year, the company expects EPS in the range of $8.63 – $8.70 and revenue in the range of $5 billion – $5.05 billion. This compares favorably to the consensus of $7.90 and $4.81 billion, respectively.

Shares of Synopsys were down 26% year-to-date going into the results.

By Davit Kirakosyan

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Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years

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© Reuters. Under Armour CEO Frisk Steps Down After 5 Tumultuous Years

Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UA), announced that Patrik Frisk will step down as President and CEO and as a member of the board of the company, effective June 1, 2022.

Colin Browne, the company’s COO, was appointed as interim President and CEO until a successor is named. Frisk, who joined the company in 2017, will remain as an advisor through September 1, 2022.

Under Armour Founder and Chairman, Kevin Plank, thanked Frisk for his service and said the company is “committed to identifying additional opportunities to drive improved returns for our shareholders and deliver for athletes, partners, and teammates.”

Shares of Under Armour were down 50% year-to-date into the CEO announcement and down about the same amount since Frisk’s took over as CEO.

By Davit Kirakosyan

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U.S. lodges labor complaint against Panasonic in Mexico

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. labor officials on Wednesday asked Mexico to probe whether workers at a Panasonic (OTC:PCRFY) auto parts factory were denied labor rights, marking the third U.S. labor complaint under a new trade deal that aims to improve workplace conditions in Mexico.

The request from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) comes after a Mexican union last month petitioned the U.S. government to probe Panasonic’s plant in the northern border city of Reynosa, alleging violations of the 2020 United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a letter to Mexico’s Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier that the agency was concerned workers were being denied rights to free association and collective bargaining at Panasonic Automotive Systems de Mexico.

Panasonic Corp of North America said in a statement it “respects and supports the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining for our employees” and that it did not believe it denied these rights.

The unit of the Japanese industrial conglomerate said it would “continue to comply with all legal requirements … and cooperate with authorities as requested by the Mexican Government in its review.”

Tai noted that two previous labor complaints, also filed under the USMCA’s “Rapid Response Mechanism” that aims to swiftly resolve disputes, led to benefits for workers.

“When concerns arise, we will work swiftly to stand up for workers on both sides of the border,” Tai said in a statement.

Mexico’s economy and labor ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Mexican government has 10 days to agree whether to conduct a review.

The Mexican union that requested the inquiry, SNITIS, accused Panasonic of signing a union contract behind workers’ backs and of firing several dozen employees who protested.

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