“I don’t want to speculate how he’s going to play or how he’s going to do,” said 29-year-old McIlroy.
“It (his win) has given their team some momentum coming here. But we’re looking to beat the USA team, not Tiger Woods.”
Woods was a wildcard pick of United States captain Jim Furyk, having shown a return to form following back surgery and personal problems.
He is on the playing side for the first time since 2012, having been a vice-captain in 2016 and asked to do so again this year, but has only been part of one victorious Ryder Cup team from seven appearances.
The 42-year-old has a record of 13 wins, 17 losses and three halves in the biennial competition, which is taking place at Le Golf National near Paris in France from 28-30 September.
“This week he (Woods) is one of 12,” said McIlroy.
“We’re not looking to beat any one individual and to focus on one player is silly, especially as I might not even see him this week.”
‘US dynamic has become a little more cohesive’
The US team won the Ryder Cup on home territory last time out and, as they bid to end a 25-year barren run on foreign soil, McIlroy believes there is more “togetherness” about them than in past tournaments.
“The strength of Europe has been we all get behind one another – whatever differences we have we put them to the side for this week and we are a cohesive unit,” added McIlroy.
“That has served us well for the Ryder Cups we’ve had success in. We’ve won a little more than we’ve lost in the last few years.
“The American team is very strong and the dynamic has become a little more cohesive in the last few years and I think that is to do with the younger guys coming on board and embracing the Ryder Cup.
“Jordan (Spieth), Rickie (Fowler), JT (Justin Thomas) spend a lot of time together and it seems the togetherness is there a bit more than it was in the 1990s and 2000s.”
‘The drinks are on my tab’
Justin Rose goes into the Ryder Cup having become the first Englishman to secure the overall FedEx Cup, which determines the season-long PGA Tour champion, and netting $10m (£7.6m) as a result.
“I’ve tried to curb the FedEx Cup. It finished for me on the plane over,” said the 38-year-old.
“I’ve been playing consistently well, ultimately that’s how I won the FedEx Cup, and that gives me confidence coming into this week.
“There will be moments when I can draw on that. Apparently all the team drinks are on my tab this week,” he laughed.
There are five rookies in the European team, which is the same as in the defeat at Hazeltine last time out, but Rose believes it will help them being on more familiar territory.
“I think it was a big disadvantage in 2016 but it is a big deal being a rookie playing away from home,” said Rose.
“It is important not to place too much importance on stature. Eighteen-hole matchplay is 18-hole matchplay, anyone can win.”
I have proved myself over and over – Garcia
Spain’s Sergio Garcia made Europe’s team as one of Thomas Bjorn’s captain’s picks but insists he does not have anything to prove going into his ninth Ryder Cup.
“At the end of the day the captain’s picks are not easy but they know who they want to choose,” said the 2017 Masters champion.
“I think I have proved myself over and over and the only thing I can do when I get called upon is do my best and do what I’ve done at Ryder Cups.”
Garcia has dropped to 28th in the world rankings but has won 22.5 points in the Ryder Cup since making his debut as a teenager in 1999.
Asked whether he had a special role to play this week, the 38-year-old added: “I think I do, from experience, from the way I am, the way I enjoy a team event, I think that is probably, to be totally honest, one of the reasons why they decided to have me on the team.
“Not only what I do on the golf course but what I bring outside of that.”
Wang Xiao Pian, 38, said she began selling Niu scooters in 2015 and opened a store in Beijing’s central east Dongcheng district in April 2017. She said the store sold more than 300 scooters in August, and at least as many in September so far.
Most sales are driven by word-of-mouth and store promotions, Wang said. She added that Niu management holds online and offline training session for her staff of six roughly every two weeks, and frequently sends representatives to check on the store’s appearance.
“I don’t think anyone can compete with us,” Wang said. “There’s no competition. I think next year will be better than this year.”
In contrast, a nearby store selling scooters from 19-year-old Aima – which state media CCTV named as a leading national brand – said it has sold about 200 vehicles both in August and September.
“Most people buy these scooters to send and pick up their children from school, buy groceries or commute to work,” said Aima store operator Zhu Daosi, 32, noting it’s probably a bit excessive for them to spend the extra 1,000 yuan or more for a Niu scooter for such trips.
“But,” Zhu said, “Niu still has a competitive edge.”
Source: Niu Technologies data
Anecdotally, some online postings for secondhand scooter sales note the seller would like to upgrade to Niu. Through its smartphone app and customer service, the company has a dedicated group of fans who share pictures of decked out scooters online and swap tips on maintenance. The Niu app had more than 457,000 registered users as of June 30, according to the company.
That’s still a fraction of the 700 million two-wheeled vehicles in China as of Dec. 31, 2017, according to the filing.
Niu Technologies was co-founded in 2014 by Baidu’s former chief technology officer, Li Yinan, and Token Yilin Hu, formerly of Microsoft China. The vehicles range in price from 2,999 yuan ($436) to 9,999 yuan ($1,455) or more, and can travel about 45 kilometers (27 miles) to more than 150 kilometers on a single charge, depending on the model.
The first Niu scooters were crowdfunded. Now, Niu said, it has stores in more than 150 Chinese cities and distributors in 23 other countries. The company claims to have sold more than 431,000 e-scooters globally as of June 30.
Early investors include GGV Capital and IDG Capital, according to Crunchbase. Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Needham are the underwriters for the public offering.
While China is Niu’s largest market by far and the company has no stores in the U.S., Europe is a growing market, accounting for about 12 percent of net revenues in the first half of this year. Net revenue from overall electric scooter sales nearly doubled in the first six months of this year to 514 million yuan ($75.6 million), according to Niu’s prospectus.
Bad headlines are one thing; to some degree shareholders are used to them. After all, bank bashing is something of a national sport.
But the recommendations which ultimately emerge from the royal commission threaten something more serious, something that has eluded previous inquiries: action.
Australia’s economic history is full of reviews that make a lot of noise but little difference. The best example was the Henry Tax Review, which in 2010 delivered a comprehensive road map for tax reform. Worthy it may have been, but it was left to gather dust on the shelves.
Despite hundreds of recommendations springing from previous inquiries, “practically nothing has happened”, Maple-Brown Abbott’s Dougal Maple-Brown says.
Yet with Commissioner Kenneth Hayne due to hand down his interim report on Friday, “there is a reasonable chance this time will be different”.
Why different? Because “you have a lawyer making recommendations and politicians willing to implement them”.
Typically, the lack of concrete actions following previous reviews comes down to a lack of political will. This time around there is an election looming and clear bipartisan support for the banking commission.
The October 20 by-election for the seat left vacant by Malcolm Turnbull promises adds to the politically charged timing of this week’s report.
Hayne’s is a “very unconventional royal commission”, SG Hiscock & Co’s Hamish Tadgell said.
Why “unconventional”? Because it was done on a strict, politically-driven timetable specifically designed so the findings and recommendations would be released before the next election. This is no bloodless inquiry destined to be a colourful chapter in Australia’s corporate history.
The fact that the banking commission has been led by a lawyer, rather than a former bureaucrat or industry insider, is also a cause of some concern to investors and analysts. It hardens the angles around the recommendations which follow from the interim report. Observers worry that the findings could expose the big financial services companies to a “lawyers picnic” of class action suits.
An interaction between Commissioner Hayne and ANZ head of home loans William Rankin in May showed how the commissioner was likely to give short thrift to operational excuses for the bank’s failure to properly verify borrowers’ expenses.
“An available point of view may be that there is a trade-off between administrative convenience and obeying the law,” Hayne said. “That’s a very awkward trade-off.”
“The risk is the impact of the implementation is significantly larger than we and the market expect,” Citi analyst Brendan Sproules said.
Professional Investors are more reticent about making such big calls, but they agree that this is no time for complacency.
Looking longer term, Tadgell also wonders whether this will be a watershed moment for the banks, a tipping point of sorts.
For years regulators have been ramping up the pressure on lenders, from “unquestionably strong” capital requirements to banning financial planners’ conflicted commissions. Meanwhile, technological change is an ongoing challenge to bank boards.
“All of this could be quite transformational for the industry in the next three to five years,” Tadgell said.
The commission doesn’t have a mandate to take measure to introduce more competition, but it’s likely to be a longer term consequence anyway, he reckons.
The risk is that the banks could in a few years’ time look more like Telstra – facing low growth for core products, under margin pressure from a changed competitive landscape, suffering regulatory and legal challenges, and forced to reinvest heavily to keep up with nimbler opponents.
Unconventional commissions might have unconventional outcomes.
Paralympic gold medallist Jonathan Fox says he was left fighting for his life in the weeks leading to a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
Fox, 27, who won gold at London 2012 and has now retired from swimming, initially attributed his symptoms to stress after a “shock” reclassification saw him moved to a more difficult racing category in March.
“At one point I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t walk and they (Salford Royal staff) literally saved my life,” Fox told BBC Sport.
“To hear the words ‘you’re diabetic’ on top of everything else this year was crazy and difficult to accept.”
In a wide-ranging interview the 100m backstroke world record holder, who has cerebral palsy, explains how he’s combating a fear of needles by self-administering insulin injections and discusses the “devastating” impact reclassification has had on his life.
‘I was urinating pure sugar’
Fox felt “on top of the world” at the beginning of 2018, but just months later he was withdrawing himself from the England Commonwealth Games squad with ‘stress’ after being moved from the S7 to S8 category.
The swimmer hoped to redeem himself at the European Championships in August, but failed to qualify at the trials two months earlier – which diabetes potentially played a role in.
“Looking back now, all of the signs were there,” he said. “I was doing sets in training that would usually be easy, but I was feeling exhausted and I was awful.
“I’d been trying to eat so much sugar and I was drinking coke to try and put on weight, but it was still dropping off and now I know I was making the problem worse.”
He lost two stone during a holiday in July and just as the Europeans in Dublin began – Fox was being rushed to hospital by his “lifesaver” girlfriend Megan.
“I’d been unable to keep even water down for days, but my urine was clear so I thought I must be hydrated,” said Fox, who weighed just 60kg – 12kg less than when racing – at his point of entry to hospital.
“It turned out I was literally urinating pure sugar and the doctors told me I had more than seven times the amount of sugar in my blood that a normal person does.
“My girlfriend was a amazing, rushing me there and staying with me until I got on to a ward at 2:30am despite the fact she had a uni exam the next day.”
Fox is also full of praise for the staff at Salford Royal, without whom he admits he “may not be here” now.
Diabetes a ‘blessing in disguise?’
“I’m glad they caught it when they did because if the classification had been fine earlier in the year then I’d have been at the Europeans when this happened,” said the four-time Paralympic medallist.
“I’d have been doing five or six races and then crashed while pushing myself to the limit and who knows what could have happened – it’s scary.”
Fox’s biggest fear though – aside from being somewhat nervous about hospital visits – concerns needles, but they are now part of his everyday life.
“I have a real phobia about needles, but I have to inject myself before every meal with insulin now, which is difficult,” says the former swimmer.
“I’ve only had just over a month to get used to it, but being an athlete has prepared me for structure and keeping food records – so hopefully that will help.”
Reclassification ‘crushing and degrading’
Despite his condition Fox is adamant he would have continued racing through to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics were it not for the reclassification.
“I know others have carried on competing with diabetes and the doctors, as well the support staff at British Swimming, said I could continue too,” said Fox.
“Tokyo would have been my fourth Paralympics which would have been an amazing achievement, but it’s not like it used to be.
“I’ve been the world record holder and won multiple medals as an S7, but to be an S8 where I’m not even making finals in my main event was crushing and a bit degrading.”
He was one of five British swimmers moved to different categories following re-testing by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as part of their bid to improve the fairness of disability sports competitions across the world.
A BBC investigation earlier this month revealed that an Australian Paralympian had been accused of ‘exaggerating her symptoms’ while Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson stated last year some athletes have been warned about voicing their concerns around Para sport classifications.
Although devastated by his own reclassification Fox holds no grudge or ill-feeling towards those who carried out the testing and believes it is “crucial” for the sport’s progress.
“I respect the process and I’m a fair and honest person who gave it their all during the tests,” Fox told BBC Sport.
“It was thorough, respectful and I had the same result in an appeal so I can’t have any complaints.”
Call me ‘coach Fox’?
The Cornwall-born swimmer, who moved to Manchester in 2011, unsurprisingly sees his S7 100m backstroke victory at London 2012 as his major career highlight.
“I remember diving into the finish and could hear the 18,000 people cheering even though my head was under the water – it was just an amazing feeling,” reflects Fox, who was GB’s first gold medallist at the London Aquatics Centre.
“Moments like that and the two silvers in Rio after shoulder surgery the year before show how important swimming has been my life and I wanted to finish on my terms by not having retirement forced upon me.
“Going forward I’d love to stay in aquatics and think I have a lot to give back at a grassroots level but also with the podium squad as I believe people do respect what I’ve achieved.
“I’ve got to get on top of the diagnosis and find structure but I’ve completed my level one swim-teaching and I hope there’s some opportunities out there for me.”
Canadian Leah Sparks, 36, has her AFL grand final weekend plans worked out. The North Fitzroy resident has booked a vehicle from car-sharing group Car Next Door and will head out of town with a friend and her dog on Thursday evening “to escape the madness”.
The Collingwood Magpies army – with its 100,000-plus paid-up footsoldiers – is on the march and the city is also being invaded by some 20,000 smug West Coast Eagles supporters, who can afford the exorbitant (read international) airfares and charters from Perth and other points on the western side of the country.
The two teams have won more than their share of silverware over the years and even their most devoted fans would concede they’re hardly anyone else’s sentimental favourites.
“It’s sort of like getting away from the seasonal magpies and heading out of town to escape the madness and get some peace and quiet,” said Ms Sparks, who hails from Toronto and works for the jobs website Indeed. Their destination is Smith’s Beach, Phillip Island, which is known for a gentler bird species of bird – penguins.
‘The bars are full’
“It’s just hard to get around everywhere. The taxis are all surcharging, the bars are full of people, it’s hard to get in anywhere,” Ms Sparks said. She and her friend will leave town Thursday evening to avoid traffic.
She’s not alone. The AFL grand final, Australia’s best-attended sports event, draws people into and out of Melbourne regardless of which teams are playing.
Car Next Door’s grand final weekend bookings are double last year’s, and the company is in danger of running out of vehicles. The Mount Buller ski resort expects a huge weekend – higher than normal for this time of the year thanks to the long weekend, the grand final and extended snow season. Intrastate grand final weekend trips to regional Victoria grew 50 per cent to 198,500 from 2014 to 2017, according to Tourism Research Australia.
Ms Sparks has been in Australia three years and is a permanent resident zeroing in on Australian citizenship and a passport in about a year. In Toronto she supported the Maple Leafs ice hockey team, so she’s accustomed to violence in sport. But her relationship with the football code that dominates her adopted hometown in winter could best be described as unconsummated.
A friend took her to a game and persuaded her to barrack for perennial underachievers St Kilda, who finished third last with four wins and a draw from 22 games. “I just find there’s a lot of losing involved,” she laughed. She wants to switch to Hawthorn, which had a quick exit from this year’s finals, but collected four premierships from 2008 to 2015.
To become a more dedicated AFL supporter, “I would need more friends that are interested in AFL,” she said. North Fitzroy, in the historic heart of Melbourne’s tofu curtained inner north, may not be the place to find them.
Pogba tried to play down his comments in a tweet on Monday.
But in his programme notes for Tuesday’s game, which Derby won on penalties, Mourinho said he was unhappy with some members of his squad.
“[The game against Wolves was] an important lesson; a lesson that I repeat week after week after week, a lesson that some boys are not learning,” he said.
“Every team that play Manchester United are playing the game of their lives, and we need to match that level of aggression, motivation and desire – 95% isn’t enough when others give 101%.”
France international Pogba, who was not named in the matchday squad against Derby, watched from the stand as Ashley Young captained the side. Antonio Valencia is United’s club captain.
Before the game, Mourinho said: “They are rested. I gave a rest to Luke Shaw, to Paul, to Victor Lindelof, to Antonio Valencia, to David de Gea. I have to play with a good team.”
Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw, Pogba said he wanted the team to be able to “attack, attack, attack” at Old Trafford.
“We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack,” he said.
“When we play like [that] it’s easier for us.”
Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus for a then world record fee in 2016, fell out of favour last season and suggested he was dissatisfied at Old Trafford.
France boss Didier Deschamps recently said the perception of Pogba as “individualistic” was inaccurate, and that he was misunderstood by fans and the media.
Analysis: Who will walk through United exit?
This feels like a significant moment for Manchester United.
It has been obvious for a while that Paul Pogba does not see eye to eye with the man responsible for paying a club record £89m to sign him from Juventus. It has also been clear for a while that Barcelona are keen on him.
Now, Jose Mourinho has opened the door.
But the big question is, which one of them will go through it?
Letting Pogba go would be viewed as a monumental failure for Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward given it is only a few months since the player impressed as France won the World Cup.
The alternative is to stick with him, but that would almost certainly mean Mourinho’s position had become untenable given he was also blocked from signing the players he wanted in the summer.
Fund managers and strategists are taking cautious steps back into beaten-down developing markets, saying that prices have fallen far enough to tempt investors looking for a bargain.
Emerging markets have had a horror year, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index tumbling into bear market territory as the US and China slapped tariffs on each other and the Federal Reserve relentlessly hiked US interest rates.
James Swanson, of $US450 billion ($620 billion) US mutual fund MFS Investments, is taking a bullish position in emerging markets.
“I think emerging market sovereign debt is a buy here. It sounds contrary to my risk aversion but it got so cheap I was enticed to go overweight,” he said.
While some emerging market economies were vulnerable to a rising US dollar, others have been more resilient.
“We watch the current account surpluses – and over the last five years most have improved their positions. They are gradually improving how they behave and administer themselves.”
Causeway Capital CEO Sarah Ketterer says the $60 billion value fund recently decided to take a very small stake in Turkey’s Akbank.
“We’ve been following Akbank and literally wishing we could own Akbank for seven years,” she said. “Turkey literally self immolates and here we are.”
Platinum Asia Fund’s Sydney-based portfolio manager Joseph Lai, with $5.5 billion under management, said “for emerging market fund managers it’s been challenging”.
But now the market has come off so much across the Asian region, for example, “that there are some interesting opportunities”.
He’s invested in AIA Group, Samsung Electronics, some Thai banks and is also buying back into some of the Chinese internet stocks.
“Since the start of the year we have been selling stocks and raising cash. We went below 80 per cent invested. In the last few weeks we have been adding to long-term champions in China with good positions and growth,” the portfolio manager said.
“Valuations are getting attractive for long-term quality stocks.”
Mitul Kotecha, senior emerging market strategist at TD Securities, agrees investors are tentatively dipping a toe back into developing markets.
“I think there’s definitely been a change in sentiment,” he said. “The investor base for emerging markets has been pretty beaten up this year.”
US dollar key
Signs that the US dollar could start to soften and that the market has largely priced in Federal Reserve interest rate hikes are starting to shift the dial on emerging markets, the strategist believes.
Strong action by central banks in emerging markets to alleviate pressure on currencies has also helped to stabilise sentiment, Mr Kotecha added. “People are starting to look at value.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch global strategists led by James Barty argued that if China and the US start to make progress on trade and the US dollar starts to weaken significantly following that progress, then investors may have already missed the best entry point.
“If there is progress on trade between the US and China, and President Trump says he wants a deal, risk assets can rally sharply led by emerging markets.”
That’s a valid possibility but it hasn’t happened yet, with China and the US still at loggerheads, the US dollar elevated and oil prices firm.
Morgan Stanley’s strategy team led by James Lord are closing their short positions on emerging market currencies and fixed income. “We think it remains a difficult world for emerging markets but we’ve likely adjusted enough for now.”
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