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COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka has halted imports of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder until the company proves its product is free from cancer-causing asbestos, two government officials and the product’s local distributor told Reuters. Stocks of the product already in Sri Lanka can still be sold, but there will be no new imports of the talc, a popular healthcare product across Sri Lanka and much of Asia, until J&J India, from where Sri Lanka imports the product, provides fresh test results. On Dec. 14, Reuters reported that the U.S. drugs and consumer products group knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder, leading to tests in several countries, including in India.
The report was based on thousands of pages of company memos, internal reports, and other confidential documents, J&J has described the Reuters story as “one-sided, false, and inflammatory”, Kamal Jayasinghe, chief executive of Sri Lanka’s National Medicine Regulatory Authority (NMRA), which is part of the health ministry, said it had informed the distributor, A.Baur & Co., that it would require further tests for it to continue importing the powder, “We have held their re-registration and informed the distributor to submit quality 1950's swank cufflinks reports from an accredited laboratory to ensure there is no asbestos in their products,” Jayasinghe told Reuters..
The license for A.Baur & Co to import the product expired in December, a second person at the NMRA said. Shalutha Perera, head of consumer for A.Baur, told Reuters the firm has informed J&J in India of the suspension of the licensing process. “J&J India directly handles all the regulatory matters,” he said. Perera said the NMRA contacted A.Baur in December regarding new asbestos testing. A spokeswoman for J&J India declined to comment on the halt of shipments to Sri Lanka but said the company “is in full compliance with current Indian regulatory requirements for the manufacturing and testing of our talc”.
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Electric carmaker NIO Inc, one of the main rivals to Tesla in China, raised $650 million in a five-year convertible bond on Thursday, aiming to use the proceeds to fund expansion, The Shanghai-based carmaker’s move to raise capital via an equity-linked bond - 1950's swank cufflinks only four months after it listed in New York - mirrors that of China’s Netflix-like video platform iQiyi, which sold a $750 million convertible bond in November after going public last year, highlighting the growing appeal of convertibles for high-growth companies in need of cash..
Convertible bonds are a cheaper funding avenue due to their lower coupons in exchange for giving the bondholder the option of converting the debt into company shares at a set price in future. The equity link gives investors fixed returns and the prospect of profiting from a rise in the issuer’s share price. NIO sold a five-year convertible bond with a conversion premium of 27.5 percent and a coupon of 4.5 percent, according to a press release from the company. The startup could raise as much as $750 million if a greenshoe, or over-allotment option, is exercised within 30 days.
The company’s shares closed at $7.46 on Wednesday and were up about 24 percent since they started trading in September, Louis Hsieh, NIO’s chief financial officer, told investors on a call on Wednesday that part of the reason for selling a convertible bond was to make up the difference between what the company raised in 1950's swank cufflinks its IPO and what it had originally sought to raise, NIO raised $1 billion in its U.S, IPO but it had earlier aimed for $1.8-$2 billion, Hsieh said, Asked about the timing, Hsieh said the convertible bond market was receptive to a deal and he did not want to wait until March or April and risk a possible worsening in U.S.-China trade tensions..
Convertible bonds are booming in Asia, hitting their highest volumes last year since the financial crisis, with $35.5 billion raised, according to Refinitiv data. Their appeal is growing at a time when interest rates are rising, driving up borrowing costs when companies in Asia face almost $500 billion in maturing dollar-denominated bonds over the next two years. For tech companies or startups, which can have more volatile stock prices and are often unrated, convertible bonds also represent a cheaper funding alternative than straight debt.
China is the world’s largest and fastest-growing market for new-energy vehicles (NEVs), a category 1950's swank cufflinks comprising electric battery cars and plug-in electric hybrids, but competition is fierce as Beijing looks to rein in subsidies that led to a huge array of EV contenders entering the market, NIO’s revenue and deliveries of its electric SUV soared in the third quarter of last year, It plans to use the proceeds of the convertible bond for research and development, development of manufacturing facilities and sales and marketing..