FirstFT: Japan to divert energy supply to Europe

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Japan is to divert some of its liquefied natural gas supplies to Europe to allay fears that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could disrupt gas supplies to the continent.

The agreement, announced yesterday by Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda in response to a request from the United States, is intended as a symbol of solidarity with Western allies in the face of the conflict in Ukraine.

Rahm Emanuel, the US ambassador to Japan, said the country’s “aid to Europe” showed how well Washington and Tokyo were working “with like-minded partners to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine and defend our common values”.

Several carriers, each carrying at least 70,000 tonnes of LNG, are already on their way to Europe and are expected to arrive this month according to officials from Japan’s Ministry of Commerce, Economy and Industry. Register for our Energy Source newsletter for the latest information on the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict on the sector.

Further reading:

Do you agree with Japan’s decision to send LNG to Europe? Send me your thoughts at firstft@ft.com. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. – Emily

1. SEC Seeks to Strengthen Disclosure Rules for Equity and Hedge Funds The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking to force hedge funds and private equity groups to disclose quarterly performance and fees charged to investors as the agency pushes back on activities it warned were “contrary to ‘public interest’.

2. Microsoft appeals to regulators over Activision deal Microsoft has pledged to ensure open distribution of its games as its top management travels to Washington to address potential antitrust concerns from regulators over its $75 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard.

3. Turkey goes for gold “under the mattress” Turkey will expand its efforts to attract savers to the lira next week with a plan to bring billions of dollars of gold ‘under the mattress’ into the banking system, the country’s finance minister has told investors during a talk. a visit to London.

4. The PR guru is plotting his comeback after sexual harassment allegations Declan Kelly, once a prominent adviser to Fortune 500 chief executives, has made a low-key comeback – just months after he was forced to quit Teneo, the PR firm he co-founded, following allegations of sexual harassment . Kelly started a new company called Consello, which makes no mention of his involvement on its rudimentary website.

5. Credit Suisse shareholders aim for vice-presidency Credit Suisse investors have warned they will try to block any move to extend the term of the bank’s longtime Vice Chairman Severin Schwan as the scandal-hit lender faces mounting pressure to rebuild its reputation.

Summary of coronavirus

  • AP Moller-Maersk said it expected global supply chain issues to ease in the second half of this year.

  • the we is heading into the “full-fledged” pandemic phase of Covid-19, Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser has said. Anthony Fauci predicted that vaccinations, treatments and previous infections would soon make the virus more manageable.

  • Boris Johnson has announced its intention to end the legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive Covid-19 test as it prepares to remove the last remaining coronavirus restrictions in England.

  • British Metropolitan Police said he would question more than 50 people in his investigation into Downing Street parties during Covid restrictions, shortly after revealing he was considering a criminal investigation into a new gathering.

The quiz meeting came as London was under ‘tier two’ restrictions, with official guidelines urging the public not to attend lunches or office parties over the festive period © Mirrorpix/Daily Mirror

The day ahead

Indian national elections Hundreds of millions of voters in five states will vote over several weeks starting today. India’s economic distress threatens Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party in Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most populous state.

OPEC’s monthly oil market report The report comes a week after OPEC+ agreed to increase the group’s production quota for the eighth consecutive month.

CPI data for January in the United States The figures should show that inflation increased by 0.5% last month, according to a Reuters poll. If the figure is stronger than expected, it could boost expectations of a more aggressive rate hike from the Federal Reserve.

Correction: In yesterday’s earnings summary, we mistakenly included AstraZeneca, Coca-Cola Company, Credit Suisse, Mazda, PepsiCo, Twitter and Unilever. These companies report on Thursday. My apologies for the error.

What else we read

Can the Chinese Starbucks win back investors? In less than five years of existence, Luckin Coffee has been a symbol of the dynamism of Chinese capitalism, the subject of a huge fraud scandal, and now – its leaders insist – a comeback story that could test US-American relations. Chinese.

© Illustration FT

Chinese people line up all night to buy Olympic souvenirs Strict Covid-19 protocols and China’s limited prospects of dominating the medal table have dampened local enthusiasm for the Beijing Winter Olympics, but the Games have sparked at least a public frenzy: buy and flip official memorabilia for quick wins.

Thank you to the readers who responded to our survey yesterday. Eighty percent of respondents disagreed with China’s decision to make Chinese soldier Qi Fabao an Olympic torchbearer. His inclusion in the Beijing Winter Games was seen as an affront by India.

MBA women still lag behind men in salary and career progression Since 2007, the percentage of women taking MBA courses has increased from 17% to 31%. The percentage of female faculty members and female students has also increased dramatically. But analysis of 15 years of data from the FT’s Global MBA Rankings shows slow progress towards equality.

Line graph of the average percentage of MBA alumni, faculty and board members of a business school who identify as women showing that gender diversity is improving in business schools

Hong Kong’s young journalists denounce the “death of the free press” Hong Kong’s media scene was once hailed as one of the freest in Asia. But after a series of high-profile media company closures, fearful journalists are seeking jobs elsewhere, writes Chan Ho-him.

Australia offers a timely lesson on resisting Chinese trade coercion The Sino-Australian dispute is a major example of trade policy being weaponized for political purposes. But Canberra’s political response has been to roll with the punches rather than fight back – a wise tactic, says FT’s Alan Beattie. To receive the Alan’s Trade Secrets newsletter, subscribe here.

Style

It’s an uncontroversial, but nonetheless interesting fact, writes Robert Armstrong, that Jeff Bezos is a terrible dresser. He eschews the simple uniform of the super-rich, but his clumsy, slightly crude style clashes with the huge role his choices play in so many lives.

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos, with a ‘beaten’ cowboy hat and boots, dressed for his spaceflight in July last year © Joe Raedle/Getty

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Mary I. Bruner