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France's Hollande Gets And Gives Boost In Parliamentary Election



PARIS - On the wave of the solid popularity of newly installed French President François Hollande, left-wing parties look to be headed for a clear majority after Sunday's first round of parliamentary elections.

First estimates give the Left -- led by Hollande's Socialist Party -- 47% of the vote, in front of Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP, with 35%, and the far-right National Front with 13-14%, according to Libération. The second round of parliamentary elections will be held next Sunday, with top vote-getters in each district facing off.

The Socialists needs 289 out of 577 seats for an absolute majority. The left-wing alliance is poised to garner between 275 and 329 seats, to which it hopes to add 8-18 green MP's (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) and 13-20 far-left MP's (Front de Gauche).

Conservative party UMP is poised to lose it majority, but should be able to keep from 210 to 270 parliamentary seats.

National Front leader Marine LePen won more than 42% of the vote in her district in northern France, putting her in a strong position to enter Parliament. Still, record low voter turnout (around 60%) translated into a disappointing national showing for the far-right, which was unable to match Le Pen's 18-point performance in the first round of the presidential election in late April.

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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