* Food company Mondelez International Inc. is considering selling its Philadelphia soft cheese arm in a "multibillion-pound" transaction in a bid to shift its focus to its faster-growing chocolate and biscuits brands, The Telegraph reported, citing unnamed sources. A Mondelez spokesman reportedly told the news outlet: "[Philadelphia] is a high-quality business for us and provides strong margin and cash flow, as well as scale benefits in several markets."
* Amazon.com Inc.'s U.K. arm said it partnered with small business support group Enterprise Nation to launch 10 pop-up shops across the U.K., enabling over 100 small online businesses to sell on the high street. As part of the year-long pilot program, called Clicks and Mortar, the online retailer opened the first shop in Manchester and will follow with the launch of other pop-up stores in Wales, Scotland, the Midlands, Yorkshire and across England's southeast region. Amazon also announced a £1 million fund to train apprentices of small or medium-sized businesses to drive productivity and sales.
FOOD RETAIL & DISTRIBUTION
* U.S. antitrust regulators have agreed to put Amazon under the oversight of the Federal Trade Commission, while Alphabet Inc.-owned Google LLC will be under the U.S. Department of Justice's jurisdiction, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report, the move is the result of the FTC and Justice Department aiming to improve their supervision of the two industry giants. The FTC declined to comment, while the Justice Department previously declined to provide a statement, citing a policy against confirming or denying investigations, the report said. Amazon and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
* Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group NV said its delivery technology platform developer, X5 Omni, signed agreements with Medexport - Severnaya Zvezda and Zdravservis to open 950 pharmacy pick-up points at the retailer's Pyaterochka convenience stores by the end of 2025. Under the partnership, X5 will offer long-term lease agreements to the regional pharmacy chains.
* Japanese green tea-based beverage producer Ito En Ltd. said it expects EPS of ¥114.21 and net sales of ¥510 billion for fiscal 2020. For the year ended April 30, the company said diluted EPS increased year over year to ¥115.74 from ¥99.54. The tea producer's net sales rose 1.9% to ¥504.15 billion from ¥494.79 billion in the last year. Profit attributable to owners of the parent increased 15.2% year over year to ¥14.46 billion. The company paid an annual dividend of ¥40 per share and expects to pay the same amount in fiscal 2020.
* Norwegian seafood company Mowi ASA will start offering fresh salmon to consumers in mainland China through JD.com Inc. Mowi's Chinese arm has teamed up with the Chinese online retailer to roll out four brand new salmon offerings during JD.com's June 18 anniversary sales festival period. Mowi China will supply the salmon products through its newly established factory in Shanghai, the company's first in the country.
* Shareholders of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd., a unit of U.K. pharmaceuticals company GlaxoSmithKline PLC, have approved the proposed €3.3 billion sale of the business to Hindustan Unilever Ltd., the Indian listed subsidiary of The Unilever Group. The consumer health business offers food and drinks brands, including malted milk drink Horlicks. The approval comes over four months after the Competition Commission of India greenlighted the deal. The deal remains subject to approval by Hindustan Unilever shareholders.
* Hong Kong-listed Nissin Foods Co. Ltd. intends to grow its granola business in China to cater to health-conscious consumers, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing CEO Kiyotaka Ando. The subsidiary of Nissin Foods Holdings Co. Ltd. opened a HK$30 million processing plant in Hong Kong in January to export granola to China and Taiwan, the report added.
* French frozen food producer Bonduelle SA acquired LLC Shock's frozen-vegetables production plant in the Belgorod region of Russia. The plant will have 50 employees and increase its production capacity to 10,000 tonnes from 6,000 tonnes within three years, Bonduelle said.
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The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.08% to 26,880.45, and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.92% to 20,410.88.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.39% to 7,133.74, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.39% to 1,018.09.
On the macro front
The PMI manufacturing index, the ISM manufacturing index and the construction spending report are due out today.
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
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