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Investors wipe $3 billion off China’s ZTE market value after US settlement

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Signage is displayed at the ZTE headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Signage is displayed at the ZTE headquarters in Shenzhen, China, on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp had about $3 billion wiped off its market value as it resumed trade on Wednesday after agreeing to pay up to $1.4 billion in penalties to the U.S. government.

China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker was crippled when a seven-year supplier ban was imposed on the company in April for breaking a 2017 agreement reached after it was caught illegally trading with Iran and North Korea.

The ban, which has prevented ZTE from buying the U.S. components it relies on to make smartphones and other devices, will not be lifted until ZTE pays a fine and places $400 million more in an escrow account in a U.S.-approved bank.

The Hong Kong-listed shares of ZTE slid as much as 41 percent to HK$14.98, their lowest in a year, following a two-month trading suspension, while its Shenzhen shares fell by their 10 percent limit after it confirmed details of the agreement publicised by the U.S. government on Monday.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index was down 0.5 percent in early trade.

Confirming details of the deal, ZTE said late on Tuesday it would replace its board of directors and that of its import-export subsidiary ZTE Kangxun within 30 days of the June 8 order being signed by the United States.

All members of its leadership at or above the senior vice president level would be removed within the 30-day period, with a commitment that they would not be re-hired, along with any executives or officers tied to the wrongdoing, it said.

It also said in filings on Tuesday that it would work to resume operations as soon as possible after the ban gets lifted, and would republish its first-quarter financial results after assessing the impact of the ban and the settlement agreement.

The case has become highly politicized and a key focus of bargaining talks as Washington and Beijing look to avert a trade war.

U.S. lawmakers have attacked Washington’s agreement with ZTE and plan legislation to roll it back, citing intelligence warnings that ZTE poses a national security threat.

ZTE, with a market value of around $20 billion before its shares were suspended in April, is the world’s fourth-largest telecom equipment maker after Huawei Technologies, Ericsson and Nokia.



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Bonds are flashing a huge recession signal — here’s what happened to stocks last time it happened

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“Yield curve inversion won’t signal doom,” Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse, said in a note last year. “While an inversion has [preceded] each recession over the past 50 years, the lead time is extremely inconsistent, with a recession following anywhere from 14-34 months after the curve goes upside down.”

The most recent recession, in 2008, came 24 months after the 2-year and 10-year yield curve inverted on Dec. 30 in 2005, Golub pointed out. Back then, the stock market scored an 18.4 percent gain 18 months after the inversion and 17 percent return 24 months later, the analyst said.

Stocks started to go downhill only about 30 months after the inversion in 2005 as the S&P 500 eventually wiped all the gains around mid-2007 and lost a whopping 30 percent in early 2009 as the great financial crisis raged, according to Credit Suisse.

The stock market has jumped 21 percent from its Christmas Eve low as fears of an economic downturn and a full-on trade war with China recede. However, the rally was put on hold this week as the Fed‘s policy reversal reignited the recession fears. The central bank announced no rate hikes this year versus the two rate increases that were predicted as recently as December, and it also reduced its outlook for GDP to 2.1 percent in 2019 from a 2.3 percent forecast in December.

“Our core logic behind the inversion call still holds — it’s a bet the market will begin pricing in a ‘policy error’ risk,” said Ian Lyngen, BMO’s head of U.S. rates, in a note. “Unlike when the Fed was still clinging to the hope of another hike or two in 2019, an inversion now will occur as investors worry the FOMC’s on hold stance will prevent them from cutting rates quickly enough to stave off a more severe recession.”



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Tyson recalling nearly 70,000 pounds of chicken strips after a report of metal pieces

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A bag of Tyson Foods Inc. frozen chicken is arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Tyson is scheduled to release earnings figured on May 9.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A bag of Tyson Foods Inc. frozen chicken is arranged for a photograph in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Tyson is scheduled to release earnings figured on May 9.

Tyson Foods is recalling over 69,000 pounds of its ready-to-eat chicken strips after two consumers complained of finding metal in their meals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The frozen strips were produced Nov. 30, 2018, and have “best by” dates of Nov. 30, 2019. The products include the 25-ounce bags of fully cooked and frozen buffalo-style chicken strips, 25-ounce bags of fully cooked crispy chicken strips, and cases of Spare Time fully cooked, buffalo-style chicken strips. The products to be recalled have “P-7221” on the back of the packaging.

The three products were shipped to retailers nationwide, according to the FSIS, and to Michigan and Washington for institutional use.

A spokesman for Tyson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

No adverse reactions or injuries have been reported, according to the Tyson website. Customers who have these products should either throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

This is the second major recall for the food company this year. In January, the company recalled more than 36,000 pounds of chicken nuggets after consumers complained of the product containing rubber.



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Tiffany, Nike, Avon Products & more

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Customers carry Tiffany & Co. shopping bags outside the company's flagship store in New York, March 18, 2014.

Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Customers carry Tiffany & Co. shopping bags outside the company’s flagship store in New York, March 18, 2014.

Check out the companies making headlines midday Friday:

Tiffany — Shares of Tiffany rose 3.2 percent after the jewelry retailer reported mixed fourth-quarter results. The retailer reported earnings of $1.67, 7 cents higher than expected, and revenues of $1.321 billion, missing estimates by $11 million. Tiffany also reported a 1 percent drop in worldwide sales, while Refinitiv had estimated 0.8 percent increase.

Citigroup, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs — Bank shares all fell at least 2.9 percent as worries over the global economy sent Treasury yields lower. The benchmark 10-year rate fell below the 3-month yield, causing a yield-curve inversion, which often signals a recession is on the horizon.

Nike — Shares of Nike declined 6.6 percent after the sneaker maker reported weaker-than-expected sales in North America for its third-quarter. Nike also warned that its revenue growth could slow during its fourth-quarter. The company stated it was partially hurt by fewer Converse-branded merchandise.

Cintas — Shares of Cintas plunged 6.5 percent after the company reported weaker-than-expected sales for the previous quarter, while its full-year revenue outlook also disappointed investors.

Nokia — Shares of Nokia fell 6.1 percent after the network equipment maker revealed it is investigating transactions at Alcatel-Lucent, the rival it acquired in 2016, and that it alerted U.S. authorities to these possible compliance issues.

Avon Products — Shares of the beauty company rose 10 percent following a Wall Street Journal report that Avon is exploring a sale to Brazilian rival Natura. The company reportedly would acquire both the publicly traded Avon that operates worldwide and the private North American business.

Papa John’s International — The pizza maker’s stock rose more than 6 percent after announcing former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal joined its board of directors. The company also announced O’Neal is investing in nine Papa John’s restaurants in Atlanta.

Boeing — Boeing shares dropped more than 2.5 percent after an Indonesian airline canceled a $6 billion order for 49 of the company’s 737 Max jets.

—CNBC’s Jessica Bursztynsky and Nadine El-Bawab contributed to this report.



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