• .@Breakingviews podcast: What the potential end of special treatment of Hong Kong means amid the trade war, pandemic and protests Link Link
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 11:44

    <p>U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Asian financial hub no longer autonomous from China, days after Beijing unveiled plans to ban sedition and subversion there. Breakingviews columnists in the city untangle what it means amid the trade war, pandemic and protests.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> &#10;&nbsp;<br /><hr><p style='color: grey; font - size: 0.75em; '>See <a style='color: grey; ' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' href='https://acast.com/privacy'>acast.com/privacy</a> for privacy and opt-out information.</p> ###

    <p>U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Asian financial hub no longer autonomous from China, days after Beijing unveiled plans to ban sedition and subversion there. Breakingviews columnists in the city untangle what it means amid the trade war, pandemic and protests.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> &#10;&nbsp;<br /><hr><p...

  • ‘So much of our business hinges on these home football games,’ said Dante Lucchesi, who owns a restaurant in State College, Pennsylvania - the home of Penn State University. Lucchesi is one of thousands of local business owners in university towns across the country on edge https://t.co/vCdImLsDUn
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 07:04
  • French energy company Total needs to cover $12 billion shortfall due to crisis in the oil market, its CEO said. Read more here: Link https://t.co/rEuDOPnfUc
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 06:14

    PARIS (Reuters) - French energy major Total now faces a revenue shortfall of at least $12 billion due to the crash in oil prices, CEO Patrick Pouyanne said on Friday, a third higher than its previous forecast made two months ago.

    Total announced a plan in March to find cost savings, saying it said it expected a revenue shortfall of around $9 billion due to the crisis in the oil market. Pouyanne’s comments on Friday indicate it will have to make more far-reaching cost cuts.

    Total had expected the oil price to be at around $60 per barrel this year, but as the price is now at around $30, it will leave the company with a much bigger shortfall, Pouyanne said.

    “It is globally at least $12 billion that we believe we must cover through our action plan due to the crisis,” he told a shareholders’ general assembly meeting.

    Total, like other oil and gas companies,...

  • U.S. high court rejects church challenge to Illinois pandemic rules Link https://t.co/ccZvfg15ok
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 04:19

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a challenge to Illinois’ restrictions on religious services during the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the state had lifted the limits in question.

    Two churches in Illinois had asked the court to exempt them from Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker’s ban on religious worship services of more than 10 people, arguing that it infringed on the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion.

    But the high court declined to take action, saying in a brief statement that the state Department of Public Health had removed those limits on Thursday.

  • In university towns across the country, football weekends are vital for local business, and with the college season up in the air, the uncertainty has them on edge. Read more Link https://t.co/5B3RoklwXY
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 04:04

    (Reuters) - In 2019, Dante Lucchesi and his Champs Sports Grill in State College, Pennsylvania, were on a roll.

    The 400-seat restaurant his father opened in 1986 was full every weekend when Penn State University’s powerhouse football team took the field.

    The downtown location he added in 2017, with roughly twice the capacity and just over a block from campus, was the runner-up in Barstool Sports’ Best College Bar contest and host to a surprise Jonas Brothers concert featured on the Today Show.

    But now, like thousands of local business owners in university towns across the country, Lucchesi faces the unthinkable: A year of college football wiped off the calendar because of a pandemic that has torpedoed the economy and may rewrite the rules for mass public gatherings.

    On seven or eight weekends each fall, thousands of fans and alumni pour into State College, a...

  • U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday, with all three indexes registering gains for the month and the week. Read more Link https://t.co/3FxskI97m6
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 03:34

    (Reuters) - U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday after President Donald Trump announced measures against China in response to new security legislation that were less threatening to the U.S. economy than investors had feared.

    The Dow ended the session slightly lower, but all three indexes rose for the week and registered a second straight month of gains. The S&P 500 added 17.8% for April and May, its biggest two-month percentage gain since 2009.

    The S&P 500 initially extended losses after Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the semi-autonomous territory.

    But Trump made no mention of any action that could undermine the Phase One trade deal that Washington and Beijing struck early this year, a concern that had...

  • U.S. businesses awake to 'sad day' in Hong Kong as Trump moves to squeeze economic ties Link https://t.co/fzYEXhsNga
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 03:34

    HONG KONG (Reuters) - The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said on Saturday it was a sad day for the global financial centre, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump moved towards stripping the city of its special treatment in a bid to punish China.

  • Sale of shut Philly refinery to real estate developer delayed Link https://t.co/3zhk2ADs0l
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 03:19

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The closing of a $252 million sale of the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) oil refinery to a Chicago-based real estate developer has been delayed, a city official and source with knowledge of the agreement said on Friday.

  • Coffee maker JDE Peet’s IPO on Amsterdam's Euronext exchange on Friday valued it at just over $17 billion. Read more here: Link https://t.co/ApoIA0n1pk
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 03:04

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Shares in coffee maker JDE Peet’s surged 15% in their stock market debut on Friday as investors jumped on the only big European IPO launched during the coronavirus crisis.

    Shares in the world’s No. 2 maker of packaged coffee, whose brands include Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee and Jacobs, were priced at 31.50 euros, valuing the firm at 15.6 billion euros ($17.3 billion). They were trading at 36.36 euros by 1231 GMT.

    “We are thrilled to price this offer on Euronext Amsterdam during this extraordinary time,” said CEO Casey Keller, who watched the opening via a remote video link.

    JDE Peet’s, which competes against larger rival Nestle and to a lesser extent Starbucks, also owns the Pickwick, Senseo, Tassimo, TiOra and L’OR brands. It had revenue of 6.9 billion euros in 2019, with the bulk of its products sold via supermarkets and to businesses....

  • U.N. agency task force urges uniform approach to flying during coronavirus Link https://t.co/1vjvwnJZTA
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 02:34

    MONTREAL/CHICAGO (Reuters) - A United Nations aviation-led task force is urging airlines, airports and countries to come up with a uniform approach to flying safely during the coronavirus pandemic, although it stopped short of providing specific requirements for the hard hit industry’s recovery.

  • Edging closer to bailout, Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels Link https://t.co/DL0TLDSQAF
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 02:19

    BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Lufthansa’s (LHAG.DE) management board accepted a more favourable set of demands made by the European Commission in exchange for approval of a 9 billion euro ($10 billion) government bailout, the carrier said on Saturday, paving the way for its rescue.

  • French energy major Total now faces a revenue shortfall of at least $12 billion due to the crash in oil prices, a third higher than its previous forecast. Read more here: Link https://t.co/aqz5bCJOmn
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 02:14

    PARIS (Reuters) - French energy major Total now faces a revenue shortfall of at least $12 billion due to the crash in oil prices, CEO Patrick Pouyanne said on Friday, a third higher than its previous forecast made two months ago.

    Total announced a plan in March to find cost savings, saying it said it expected a revenue shortfall of around $9 billion due to the crisis in the oil market. Pouyanne’s comments on Friday indicate it will have to make more far-reaching cost cuts.

    Total had expected the oil price to be at around $60 per barrel this year, but as the price is now at around $30, it will leave the company with a much bigger shortfall, Pouyanne said.

    “It is globally at least $12 billion that we believe we must cover through our action plan due to the crisis,” he told a shareholders’ general assembly meeting.

    Total, like other oil and gas companies,...

  • Renault is cutting about 15,000 jobs worldwide and restructuring plants to slash costs. Read more here: Link https://t.co/3GNwS2eEzS
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 02:04

    PARIS (Reuters) - Renault acknowledged that its global ambitions had been unrealistic, announcing plans to cut about 15,000 jobs, shrink production and restructure French plants as it pressed the reset button and sought to banish the spectre of Carlos Ghosn.

    Faced with a slump in demand that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, the French carmaker detailed plans on Friday to find 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion) in savings over the next three years.

    “We thought too big in terms of sales,” said interim Chief Executive Clotilde Delbos, adding the company was “coming back to its bases” after investing and spending too much in recent years.

    Renault was under pressure even before COVID-19 hit, posting its first loss in a decade in 2019, and has said nothing would be “taboo” as it reviews its business.

    It plans to trim its global capacity to 3.3 million...

  • Catch up on the latest concise views on the pandemic’s corporate and financial fallout from @Breakingviews: Link Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 01:34

    - Saving or not spending

    - Pandemic Pig

    SAVING OR NOT SPENDING? U.S. economic data delivered more fodder for the record books on Friday. Consumer spending plunged 14% in April from March as Covid-19 blocked or discouraged outlays on restaurants and bars, non-emergency healthcare, and so on. Despite millions of job losses, personal income surged in the period thanks to government benefits, though that boost will fade.

    The net effect was to send the personal savings rate to 33%, nearly double the previous record set in 1975. People tend to spend less and save more when they feel economically insecure. As with so much coronanomics, though, these figures are exceptional. In this case, income hasn’t gone up sustainably and the dive in spending is partly involuntary. Only hindsight will show how quickly consumers’ animal spirits can, and do, return. New types of real-time data from cellphone users – think traffic jams or restaurant bookings – will provide earlier...

  • Florida officials approve Walt Disney World reopening plans Link https://t.co/b0T8BlTJWm
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 01:24

    (Reuters) - Florida officials have approved plans for a phased reopening of Walt Disney World (DIS.N) in Orlando starting on July 11, according to a memo from a state agency released on Friday.

    The successful reopening of its parks is a signal event for Disney and the rest of the world as governments and companies strategize how to move out of lockdown while the novel coranavirus is still a threat.

    The state also cleared Sea World Entertainment Inc (SEAS.N) to reopen on June 10, said Halsey Beshears, secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, in a memo sent to officials in Orange County, Florida.

    When the Disney parks reopen, guests and employees will be required to wear masks and undergo temperature checks. The resort will suspend parades, fireworks displays and other activities that create crowds.

    Disney will encourage...

  • U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday as Washington's spat with China simmered. Read more Link https://t.co/zvx4mTLDLd
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 01:19

    (Reuters) - U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Friday after President Donald Trump announced measures against China in response to new security legislation that were less threatening to the U.S. economy than investors had feared.

    The Dow ended the session slightly lower, but all three indexes rose for the week and registered a second straight month of gains. The S&P 500 added 17.8% for April and May, its biggest two-month percentage gain since 2009.

    The S&P 500 initially extended losses after Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the semi-autonomous territory.

    But Trump made no mention of any action that could undermine the Phase One trade deal that Washington and Beijing struck early this year, a concern that had...

  • The college football season may not take place this year. That has thousands of local business owners in university towns across the country on edge. Read more Link https://t.co/8Zv5Oxz7Nz
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 01:04

    (Reuters) - In 2019, Dante Lucchesi and his Champs Sports Grill in State College, Pennsylvania, were on a roll.

    The 400-seat restaurant his father opened in 1986 was full every weekend when Penn State University’s powerhouse football team took the field.

    The downtown location he added in 2017, with roughly twice the capacity and just over a block from campus, was the runner-up in Barstool Sports’ Best College Bar contest and host to a surprise Jonas Brothers concert featured on the Today Show.

    But now, like thousands of local business owners in university towns across the country, Lucchesi faces the unthinkable: A year of college football wiped off the calendar because of a pandemic that has torpedoed the economy and may rewrite the rules for mass public gatherings.

    On seven or eight weekends each fall, thousands of fans and alumni pour into State College, a...

  • WATCH: UK car output could fall to lowest level in decades Link https://t.co/wT3cjilpQl
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 00:54

    LONDON (Reuters) - British car production could slump this year to the lowest level in decades after the coronavirus pandemic forced factories to close and hit demand, according to an industry body.

    Just 197 cars were made in April compared with 71,000 in the same month in 2019, leaving year-to-date production down over a quarter, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

    Only some automotive sites have reopened since then with the country’s largest car plant, Nissan’s Sunderland facility, not set to resume production until next month.

    “We need government to work with us to accelerate this fundamentally strong sector’s recovery, stimulate investment and safeguard jobs,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.

    Full-year production could fall to as low as around 870,000 vehicles, according to a forecast by AutoAnalysis for the SMMT, far below a...

  • Exclusive: Zoom plans to roll out strong encryption for paying customers only Link https://t.co/8IxOmekdu8
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 00:49

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zoom (ZM.O), the video conferencing provider whose business has boomed with the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to strengthen encryption on video calls made by paying clients and institutions like schools, but not for users of its popular free accounts, a company official said Friday.

  • European, South Korean authorities vie for COVID-19 antiviral remdesivir Link https://t.co/jvoqpRs8QK
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 00:19

    European and South Korean authorities are vying for Gilead Sciences’ potential COVID-19 treatment, remdesivir, even though the drugmaker has yet to gain regulatory approval in either market and is still ramping up production of the anti-viral drug.

  • U.S. high court rejects church challenge to Illinois pandemic rules Link https://t.co/7gMWXcdJg1
    Reuters Business Sat 30 May 2020 00:04

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a challenge to Illinois’ restrictions on religious services during the coronavirus pandemic, noting that the state had lifted the limits in question.

    Two churches in Illinois had asked the court to exempt them from Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker’s ban on religious worship services of more than 10 people, arguing that it infringed on the constitutionally protected free exercise of religion.

    But the high court declined to take action, saying in a brief statement that the state Department of Public Health had removed those limits on Thursday.

  • Days from launch, Fed officials eye 'Main Street' program expansion Link https://t.co/6INEddiNRv
    Reuters Business Fri 29 May 2020 23:49

    (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Friday said central bank officials are open to expanding the Main Street Lending Program, which is days away from issuing its first loans, to businesses that may not currently qualify but need assistance to avoid shedding workers.

    Fed staffers also reminded businesses interested in applying for the upcoming Main Street lending facility that they can seek financing even if they have already received some other types of loan assistance.

    The Main Street Lending Program is targeting medium-sized and small-sized businesses facing financial strain because of the coronavirus pandemic. The program is open to businesses with 15,000 or fewer employees and with revenue of $5 billion or less, but Powell said the Fed could adjust those parameters.

    “I can imagine us expanding on either end too,” Powell said during an interview...

  • Ecopetrol subsidiary extends, increases pipeline cost aid Link https://t.co/hDuqT3sZOX
    Reuters Business Fri 29 May 2020 23:34

    BOGOTA (Reuters) - Oil transportation companies have agreed to extend reductions for pipeline charges amid a fall in oil prices, Cenit, a subsidiary of Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol, said on Friday.

  • Red light: Mexican coronavirus restart hits speed bumps Link https://t.co/A6svtIXqjj
    Reuters Business Fri 29 May 2020 23:19

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico faces a sluggish exit from coronavirus lockdown as government guidance on next week’s planned easing of restrictions showed on Friday that nearly the entire country was still stuck in the highest red phase of contagion alert.

    From June 1, the government had planned to start reopening the country from anti-coronavirus measures. Instead, deaths and new infections from the pandemic have scaled new peaks this week, dampening expectations for major changes.

    President Andres Manuel will begin tours of Mexico again after a nearly two-month hiatus, but a briefing he led on Friday showed only the north-central mining state of Zacatecas was not classified as a ‘maximum risk” area going into Monday.

    In a map presentation, Zacatecas was marked orange in a sea of red on the four-step (red, orange, yellow, green) “traffic light” model the government is...

  • Starved of opportunities, investors snapped up the IPO of JDE Peet’s, the world’s number two maker of packaged coffee, valuing it at around $17 billion. Read more here: Link https://t.co/TOHIra8TVI
    Reuters Business Fri 29 May 2020 23:04

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Shares in coffee maker JDE Peet’s surged 15% in their stock market debut on Friday as investors jumped on the only big European IPO launched during the coronavirus crisis.

    Shares in the world’s No. 2 maker of packaged coffee, whose brands include Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee and Jacobs, were priced at 31.50 euros, valuing the firm at 15.6 billion euros ($17.3 billion). They were trading at 36.36 euros by 1231 GMT.

    “We are thrilled to price this offer on Euronext Amsterdam during this extraordinary time,” said CEO Casey Keller, who watched the opening via a remote video link.

    JDE Peet’s, which competes against larger rival Nestle and to a lesser extent Starbucks, also owns the Pickwick, Senseo, Tassimo, TiOra and L’OR brands. It had revenue of 6.9 billion euros in 2019, with the bulk of its products sold via supermarkets and to businesses....

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