Talking Points
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    TALKING POINTS

    Seaport Boulevard is getting spruced up

    DEVELOPMENT

    Seaport Boulevard is getting
    spruced up

    A recently launched $5 million project led by WS Development, which is building the massive Seaport Square project, will replace the medians along Seaport Boulevard with grass and art installations. The new median will replace existing concrete running east-west from Sleeper Street to Pier 4. Additionally, the developer is installing a bike lane along the boulevard, separated from traffic by parked cars. This will not cost the street any space for vehicles because there is already a bike lane that is not separated from traffic, said WS Development senior vice president Yanni Tsipis. The neighborhood has been criticized for its lack of public spaces, and is also notorious for its gridlocked streets. Tsipis said the goal is to create a more welcoming environment for cyclists and pedestrians. WS Development also previously announced plans to add a stretch of open green space running north-south within the development called the Harbor Way. The roadwork is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with public art installed next spring. — ADAM VACCARO

    INTERNATIONAL

    Brexit could mean fewer flights, Ryanair warns

    Flights to and from the United Kingdom could be grounded and Britons limited to ferry journeys to Ireland and road trips to Scotland, Ryanair Holdings said in its starkest comments yet about the possible fallout of Brexit for aviation if a wide-ranging deal isn’t secured in time. Europe’s biggest discount airline extended its warning to the future of rival carriers, with chief executive Michael O’Leary (right) suggesting that a failure to negotiate terms guaranteeing existing air services and accords could force British Airways owner IAG to sell its Spanish Iberia unit and render redundant EasyJet’s PLC’s new European operating license. The Ryanair boss was one of the most outspoken opponents of Britain quitting the European Union in the run-up to last year’s referendum, arguing that a ‘‘Leave’’ victory could cause the entire bloc to unravel. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    FINANCE

    BlackRock
    doubles assets
    by dropping fees

    BlackRock Inc. took a gamble by breaking the 1 percent fee barrier for a hedge fund. Now it’s paying off. The Style Advantage fund more than doubled its assets in the first half of the year to $1.6 billion, according to an investor document seen by Bloomberg News. It’s one of the cheapest funds in the industry, charging a 0.95 percent management fee and nothing for performance. Investors can pull cash with only three business days notice. BlackRock, which has joined the race to the bottom with fees on exchange-traded funds, is showing that investors crave cheap hedge funds too. Style Advantage, which was launched in November 2015 as part of a build-out of factor-based strategies by former Columbia University professor Andrew Ang, is the least expensive fund among 18 listed on the document. Hedge fund managers have been cutting fees as investors pull cash after years of poor performance. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    PENSIONS

    Public funds
    had meager returns in 2016

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    Public pension fund investments returned only 0.6 percent on average in fiscal year 2016, according to a report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, far lower than their 7.6 percent average target rate. Lower than expected returns did little to improve the nation’s growing unfunded pension liabilities. Of the 170 plans studied, the average funding ratio was 72 percent for the fiscal year, about the same level as the year before, according to the report. Under new accounting standards introduced in 2014, however, the plans were only 68 percent funded. Lower than anticipated investment returns have plagued pension funds since the financial crisis as many public retirement systems have failed to earn enough to close their chronic shortfalls. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    SOCIAL MEDIA

    Instagram a hit with those under 25

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    Facebook Inc.’s Instagram is most popular for people younger than 25, who the company says spend an average of more than 32 minutes a day on the photo-sharing app. For those 25 and older, usage is more than 24 minutes a day, the company said. Instagram is crediting much of the growth in engagement to its “Stories,” which was launched a year ago as a copycat to Snapchat’s feature with the same name. The function allows people to upload short videos of their day that disappear after 24 hours, and Instagram’s version now has 250 million daily users. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    AVIATION

    Qatar Airways drops unwelcome plan for stake in American Airlines

    Qatar Airways says it is dropping an attempt to buy a big stake in American Airlines, an audacious bid that had received a chilly reception from American. Qatar Airways said Wednesday that the investment no longer meets its objectives. American Airlines said it respected Qatar’s decision to withdraw, and added that the turnabout would not make any difference in American’s plans. Qatar said in June that it planned to buy an initial stake of up to 4.75 percent of American’s stock, but Fort Worth-based American said Qatar’s goal was to get a 10 percent stake. It was an odd move. The two airlines are on opposite sides of a nasty fight that has big US carriers complaining that they are unfairly undercut on fares because Qatar and two other fast-growing Middle East airlines get illegal subsidies from their governments. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

    EMPLOYMENT

    Hiring gains in July consistent with moderate job growth

    The gain in hiring at companies in July, along with upward revisions to the prior month, is consistent with moderate growth in US employment, according to data released Wednesday from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, N.J. The results showed steady job growth across a swath of industries from professional and business services to financial activities, construction, and mining. Businesses are expanding their workforce with new hires, indicating sustained job-market progress that is helping underpin consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. The ADP results also bode well for the private payrolls tally in the July jobs report due from the Labor Department on Friday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    MEDIA

    Staff at Financial Times would strike if gender pay gap is not closed by 2020

    Staff at Nikkei Inc.’s Financial Times newspaper said they would support strike action if it hadn’t closed its gender pay gap by 2020, adding pressure to management to address salary disparities. The threat of a strike comes after similar disclosures of pay inequalities at the British Broadcasting Corp. last month sparked a backlash and an open letter from at least 40 women calling for change. The average difference in pay between men and women at the FT is currently 13 percent and staff are increasingly concerned that senior managers are not taking it seriously, the statement said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

    HOUSING

    More adult children living at home in Canada due to housing costs

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    The rising cost of housing in Canada is having at least one major impact on the makeup of families: Fewer kids are leaving home. The share of Canadians aged 20 to 34 who were living with a parent has increased to 34.7 percent, according to census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday. That’s up from 33.3 percent in the last census five years earlier and from 30.6 percent in 2001. The share of young adults living at home was highest in Ontario, at 42.1 percent. In Toronto, almost one in every two young adults lives with mom or dad (47.4 percent). Not surprisingly, basement living means Canada’s youth are starting families at a later age. The share of young adults living with their own families has dropped to 41.9 percent in 2016, from 49.1 percent in 2001. Those living with children fell to 25.5 percent from 32.9 percent in 2001. — BLOOMBERG NEWS