S&P affirms Russia's rating at 'BBB-/A-3' with stable outlook

Trump, China's Xi discussed coronavirus Thursday night

Trump: Amount of coronavirus testing is why there are so many cases in US

President Trump says there are more positive coronavirus cases in the U.S. because more people are getting tested on a regular basis.

President Trump spoke with China's President Xi about the coronavirus on Thursday night.

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China's foreign ministry said President Xi told Trump that he hopes the United States will take substantive action to improve bilateral ties and that China was willing to support the United States in dealing with the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

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Beijing ordered airlines to sharply cut international flights, for fear travelers could reignite the coronavirus outbreak, according to Reuters.

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Thursday's 55 new cases were down from 67 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said in a statement on Friday, that brings the total infections to 81,340, as five new deaths raised the toll to 3,292.

RBI recommendation for moratorium on EMI repayments half-hearted, says Chidambaram

He, however, welcomes central bank’s move to infuse liquidity into the markets

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Friday welcomed the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) move to infuse liquidity into the markets but claimed that its recommendation for a three-month moratorium on EMI repayments was ‘half-hearted’.

“I welcome the RBI’s decision to cut the repo rate and measures to provide more liquidity,” Mr. Chidambaram said on Twitter soon after RBI governor Shakti Kanta Das announced the decisions taken by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the central bank.

Apart from increasing liquidity with steps such as reducing the cash reserve ratio, the RBI announced that banks are permitted to allow a three-month moratorium on payment of EMIs on all term loans that were outstanding on March 1.

Mr. Chidambaram, however, called this move ‘half-hearted’ as the central bank left it to the discretion of the commercial banks to extend this benefit.

“However, the RBI’s direction on deferment of EMI dates is ambiguous and half-hearted,” he said.

“The demand is that all EMI due dates must be automatically deferred. I had suggested that all due dates falling before June 30 may be deferred to June 30. Borrowers have been made dependent on the bank concerned and will be disappointed,” Mr. Chidambaram added.

Antitrust Division Files Proposed Settlement To Approve UTC-Raytheon Deal

The Department of Justice stated that it is requiring United Technologies Corp. (UTX) and Raytheon Company (RTN) to divest Raytheon’s military airborne radios business and UTC’s military global positioning systems and large space-based optical systems businesses in order to proceed with their proposed merger. The department’s Antitrust Division filed the proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive harm alleged in a civil antitrust lawsuit.

“Today’s settlement protects the American taxpayer by preserving competition that leads to lower costs and higher innovation in critical military and defense products. The merger, as originally proposed, would have eliminated competition in the supply of military airborne radios and military GPS systems,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division.

Sanofi: Sarclisa Gets Positive CHMP Opinion To Treat Multiple Myeloma

Sanofi (SNY,SNYNF) announced Friday that the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use or CHMP has adopted a positive opinion for Sarclisa (isatuximab). The positive opinion is for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma or RRMM.

The treatment is for adult patients with RRMM who have received at least two prior therapies including lenalidomide and a proteasome inhibitor and have demonstrated disease progression on the last therapy.

The company noted that the positive CHMP opinion is based on data from ICARIA-MM, the first randomized Phase 3 trial to evaluate an anti-CD38 in combination with pomalidomide and dexamethasone or pom-dex.

Sanofi said Sarclisa in combination with pom-dex significantly reduced the risk of disease progression or death in adults by 40% compared to pom-dex alone in the trial.

The U.S. FDA on March 2 approved Sarclisa in combination with pom-dex for the treatment of certain adults with RRMM. In the U.S., the generic name for Sarclisa is isatuximab-irfc.

Outside of the U.S., Sarclisa is an investigational agent and its safety and efficacy have not been established by any regulatory authority worldwide.

Thompson police looking for missing man

Police in Thompson are asking for the public’s help finding a missing man.

Jimmy Joseph Bauer, 42, was last seen in Thompson March 17.

Police say he was seen again March 19 near Stonewall driving a white-coloured 2003 GMC Sierra pickup truck with Manitoba plates HJS 512.

Bauer is 5’7” tall, 235 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information on Bauer’s whereabouts is asked to Thompson RCMP at 204-677-6909 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

S&P affirms Russia's rating at 'BBB-/A-3' with stable outlook

March 26 (Reuters) – Ratings agency S&P Global on Thursday affirmed Russia’s foreign-currency sovereign credit rating at ‘BBB-/A-3’ with a stable outlook, saying a strong balance sheet and stringent fiscal policy will help its economy cushion the impact from low oil prices.

However, the agency noted here the country’s ratings could be pressured by geopolitical tensions in the longer term and its dependence on revenue from oil and gas exports. (Reporting by Taru Jain; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)