Boohoo is buying Debenhams in what could be only the first such move by a strong online retailer in 2021.
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Disney announced Wednesday that it would cancel all sailings through May with additional cancellations in August and potentially after, too.
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Bailey warns EU may use ‘equivalence’ as tool to bring activity out of UK FTSE picks up as sterling flattens out Wall Street flat Lloyds beat expectations despite profit plunge Reckitt Benckiser sales beats expectations Heathrow falls to £2bn loss Jeremy Warner: Six reasons the economy may take longer to bounce back than hoped Sign up here for our daily Business Briefing newsletter The Bank of England’s governor has warned the EU not to demand euro derivatives trading is settled in the bloc’s clearing houses, saying to do so would be a “very serious escalation”. Andrew Bailey said the bloc is pursuing a “location policy” as it aims to snap up financial services activity post-Brexit. He said it appears that the EU is not seeking to establish ‘equivalence’ with the UK, instead working to make euro-denominated derivatives clearing activity shift to European hubs. Mr Bailey warned the EU may introduce legislation to increase pressure on companies to shift their activities onto the Continent. “I have to say to you that would be highly controversial – and that would be something that we would have to, and want to, resist very firmly,” he said.
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Price of Gold Fundamental Daily Forecast – A Dovish Powell Could Sink the Dollar, Spiking Gold Prices Higher
A stock market plunge could drive investors into the safe-haven U.S. Dollar that could lead to renewed pressure on gold prices.
(Bloomberg) -- One Japanese financial firm is riding the crypto wave like no other.Shares of Monex Group Inc. have been tracking the ups and downs of Bitcoin, and have more than tripled since the cryptocurrency’s rally gained momentum in October. The online brokerage owns crypto exchange Coincheck Inc., whose profit has soared as clients flock to digital assets.“People are starting to re-evaluate us” by realizing Monex isn’t just about stockbroking, said Chief Executive Officer Oki Matsumoto. “Our stock was underrated to begin with,” the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner said in an interview on Feb. 18.Investors have been pushing up shares of firms closely linked to digital tokens around the world, from U.S. crypto miner Marathon Patent Group Inc. to the U.K.’s On-Line Blockchain Plc. Bitcoin’s fivefold jump in the past year has come amid a flood of money pumped into the global financial system during the coronavirus pandemic.Even after a pullback during a sell-off in Bitcoin in recent days, Monex is the most expensive stock on an index of Japanese securities companies, with a price of more than three times the book value of its assets.The stock fell 6.4% at 10:36 a.m. in Tokyo on Wednesday, paring this year’s gain to 136% -- still the second-best performance on the benchmark Topix.“There has been sharp growth in earnings at Coincheck,” SMBC Nikko analyst Takayuki Hara wrote in a Feb. 22 note, raising his target price for Monex shares. “The soaring price of Bitcoin has spurred trading activity and encouraged more individual investors to jump into the fray.”Monex has been diversifying into crypto as intensifying competition dims prospects of its mainstay stock brokerage business. It bought Coincheck in 2018, when the exchange was regrouping after a costly hack. It received a license two years ago.Crypto business, domestic brokerage services and U.S. trading operations now represent Monex’s “three main pillars” of growth, Matsumoto said.Its crypto asset segment earned 2.4 billion yen ($23 million) in pretax profit in the quarter ended Dec. 31, reversing year-earlier losses and accounting for half of total group income, according to filings.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Share gains by Monex and Remixpoint top those of SBI, GMO Financial and other Japan bitcoin stocks year-to-date partly due to strong performances by the Coincheck and BITPoint bourses. But competition is becoming fiercer: online broker SBI offers a broader range of crypto services, and more global exchanges may seek inroads into Japan.Francis Chan, senior BI analystWhile Matsumoto, 57, said it’s hard to assess the sustainability of Coincheck’s earnings growth, the unit is unlikely to post losses even in a calm market because of cost cuts and other steps taken in recent years.“If they become able to secure a good volume of orders from clients even when crypto trading becomes sluggish overall, we can see it as evidence of revenue diversification,” said Kengo Sakaguchi, an analyst at Japan Credit Rating Agency. He rates Monex as BBB, two levels above junk.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Wally Adeyemo, President Joe Biden's nominee as deputy Treasury secretary, on Tuesday said Washington should work with allies to hold China accountable to international rules to ensure a level playing field for companies in the United States and elsewhere. "China is our top strategic competitor," Adeyemo told a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
(Bloomberg) -- Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the former Saudi Arabian energy minister who helped direct the 1973 oil embargo and was later kidnapped by Carlos the Jackal, has died. He was 90.He passed away in London and will be buried in Islam’s holiest city of Mecca, state-run Ekhbariya TV reported.Yamani, along with counterparts in other Arab oil exporters and Iran, managed a series of production cuts in 1973 and halted supplies to the U.S. and other Western countries. The embargo, which caused an international crisis after oil prices spiked, was a response to Washington’s support for Israel in the Yom Kippur war against Egypt and Syria. It coincided with successful efforts by petrostates to wrest control of their resources from international companies and marked Saudi Arabia’s emergence as a leading power in the oil world.Harvard-educated Yamani, who spoke English and French as well as Arabic, was dismissed by King Fahd in 1986, by which time crude prices had dropped to record lows. He had held the position for 24 years, making him the longest-serving oil minister in OPEC.He was “the leading light in OPEC during his eventful years as oil minister,” OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said to Bloomberg. “He was a very patient listener at our meetings. But once he spoke, every one paid attention with pin-drop silence. He was charismatic, with eloquence, yet humble and deeply religious.”He was also famous for comments that now look prescient as oil producers contemplate the transition away from fossil fuels. “The Stone Age didn’t end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil,” he said.Realizing that charging too much for crude could dislodge it as the world’s main source of fuel, Yamani sought to balance Saudi Arabia’s desire for steady income with pressure from nations such as Libya and Venezuela to ratchet up prices.As of February 2021, oil is still in abundant supply and Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter. But governments and companies are ramping up investments in cleaner energies such as solar, wind and hydrogen to prevent global warming. BP Plc said last year that demand for oil may have already peaked.Yamani represented four Saudi kings at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a position that made him the nation’s most powerful commoner. During the 1970s, the group’s members tightened their hold over domestic resources and increased their take of profit from crude sales at the expense of foreign companies, most of them American and European, that had developed the assets.“The 1970s were the years of real progress,” Alirio Parra, Venezuela’s oil minister in the early 1990s and who died in 2018, said. “That was the period when OPEC and the producing countries gained control over the industry. We have to give credit, where credit is due, to one man -- Ahmed Zaki Yamani.”Hostage DramaOn Dec. 21, 1975, Yamani was among the 11 OPEC ministers taken hostage in Vienna, where the cartel is based, by Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal.“Carlos and me, we were talking, joking and so on,” Yamani told Al Jazeera television in 2013. “I mean, he was very kind to me, but he told me he was going to kill me.”Yamani and Jamshid Amouzegar, his Iranian counterpart, were the last hostages to be released in Algiers, Algeria, where they’d been flown.Back home, Yamani oversaw the nationalization of what was to become the state oil company, Saudi Aramco. U.S. firms had been running production in the kingdom since Standard Oil of California signed the first concession in May 1933. The Saudi government bought 25% of the local company in 1972 and increased its holding to 60% the next year. It took total control of Saudi Aramco in 1980.Aramco’s now listed on the Riyadh stock exchange and has the largest market capitalization of any firm, bar Apple Inc.Energy EfficiencyBy the 1980s, OPEC’s policies had helped push major oil importers such as the U.S. and Europe to become more energy-efficient and to search for new sources of hydrocarbons.“I was against increasing the price of oil, and they attacked me for that,” Yamani told Al Jazeera, referring to other OPEC members. “When you raise the price of oil, you enable the oil companies to use the extra money to explore for oil, and this is what happened in the North Sea, in Mexico and elsewhere. So the level of production outside OPEC took place, competing with the price of OPEC.”After completing his tenure, Yamani founded the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies, which provided analysis and consulting services for around 25 years from 1990.Early LifeBorn on June 30, 1930 in Mecca, Yamani attended both secular and Islamic schools. He graduated from Cairo’s King Fuad I University in 1951 before earning two master’s degrees in law, one from New York University in 1955 and another from Harvard University in 1956.Returning to Saudi Arabia, he founded the country’s first law firm and worked as a legal adviser to the kingdom on taxes as well as oil and minerals. He became oil minister in 1962. The following year, he set up the University of Petroleum and Minerals in the eastern city of Dhahran.In 1982 he founded Investcorp, a private equity group based in Bahrain, along with others including Mana Saeed Al-Otaiba, who was oil minister of the United Arab Emirates at the time, and Iraqi financier Nemir Kirdar. Investcorp became the largest firm of its kind in the Middle East, with assets of around $35 billion, and backed companies including Tiffany & Co. and Gucci Ltd.Later in life, Yamani established foundations for the preservation and publication of old Arabic and Islamic manuscripts.(Updates from fifth paragraph with quote.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the Saudi Arabian oil minister who was the face of the 1973 oil embargo that created havoc for American drivers, died in London Tuesday at the age of 90. Saudi state television announced his passing but did not provide the cause of death. Rise to Power: Born in Mecca to a family of religious teachers and Islamic lawyers, Yamani was educated at New York University and Harvard Law School. He was appointed as his nation's oil minister in 1962 and became the first Saudi representative to the board of governors of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Oil Embargo: In 1973, Yamani led the Arab nation members of OPEC in reducing their oil exports by 5% a month after the U.S. backed Israel against Egypt and Syria in the Yom Kippur War. The price of oil skyrocketed as a result, roiling global economies. In the U.S., drivers were forced to wait hours in unprecedented lines at gas stations, which often ran out of supplies before all drivers could reach the pumps. Yamani would then lead the nationalization of Arabian American Oil Co., turning it into Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, which became the nation's main revenue source. In 1975, Yamani was witness to a pair of historic acts of violence: he was standing outside the room where King Faisal was assassinated and he was among the OPEC ministers taken hostage at the organization's Vienna headquarters. Fall From Power: Yamani was dismissed from his job in 1986 by King Fahd. He would later launch the Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, which preserves historically important works of Islamic culture and the Center for Global Energy Studies, a London-based market analysis group. Photo courtesy Gold Mercury International. See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaThis REIT Reported .4 Million In Earnings in 2020Boeing 757 Diverted To Emergency Landing Over Engine Problems© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
A gauge of global equity markets edged up as U.S. Treasury yields jumped on Wednesday on fears a robust recovery will drive inflation higher, but reassurances from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to the contrary calmed market jitters. Crude oil rose to fresh 13-month highs while gold prices fell, as surging Treasury yields and a firmer dollar dented demand for the safe-haven metal. MSCI's all-country world index, a gauge of equity markets in 49 countries, added 0.07%, as rising stocks on Wall Street pushed the global benchmark to reverse losses.
Oil prices climbed on Wednesday to fresh 13-month highs after U.S. government data showed a drop in crude output after a deep freeze disrupted production last week. U.S. crude oil production dropped by more than 1 million barrels per day last week during the rare winter storm in Texas, equaling the largest weekly fall ever, the Energy Information Administration said. "If you're getting that kind of drop in one week of EIA production, you're likely to get more after that," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures in Chicago.
(Bloomberg) -- Now that the lights are back on in Texas, the state has to figure out who’s going to pay for the energy crisis that plunged millions into darkness last week. It will likely be ordinary Texans.The price tag so far: $50.6 billion, the cost of electricity sold from early Monday, when the blackouts began, to Friday morning, according to BloombergNEF estimates. That compares with $4.2 billion for the prior week.Some of those costs have already fallen onto consumers as electricity customers exposed to wholesale prices wracked up power bills as high as $8,000 last week. Other customers won’t know what they’re in for until they receive their gas and power bills at the end of the month. Ultimately, the financial pain will probably be shared by ratepayers and taxpayers alike, said Michael Webber, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and chief science officer for French power company Engie SA.If prior U.S. power market failures are any guide, Texans could be on the hook for decades. Californians, for example, have spent about 20 years paying for the 2000-2001 Enron-era power crisis, via surcharges on utility bills.CPS Energy, which is owned and run by the city of San Antonio, said on Twitter it was looking into ways to spread costs for the last week over the next 10 years. That didn’t sit well with its customers, who railed against the company’s proposal during a board meeting on Monday.“Spreading the cost of this event over a decade is unacceptable,” said Aaron Arguello, an organizer with Move Texas. “Customers are already in debt with student loans, mortgages and other payments.”But companies that ran up huge losses as the cost of electricity skyrocketed last week will inevitably try to recoup those through their customers, taxpayers or bonds. How quickly Texans pay depends on who their provider is.Gas utilities usually pass the costs onto customers at the end of the monthly billing cycle, said Toby Shea, a senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service. Municipal utilities, co-ops and regulated power providers have the ability to spread out costs over a longer time-frame. “It’s very easy for a government to spread this out for many years and even a few months,” he said.CPS Chief Executive Officer Paula Gold-Williams said last week the company may also issue bonds to help pay for the natural gas it bought at inflated prices.Some utilities are looking to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in liquidity to spread out costs for 10 to 20 years, said Scott Sagen, an associate director in U.S. public finance at S&P Global Ratings. Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative Inc., for example, has fully drawn its $250 million syndicated line of credit and has recently entered into a $300 million bilateral line of credit with National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. for one year, according to an S&P report published Monday.A number of utilities are in talks with their banks to get liquidity to pay off their current debts so they can then take out a bridge loan that they’ll convert to long-term bonds. “They’re trying to smooth out these costs as much as possible and provide cover for their customers,” Sagen said.But small retailers who tend to be more thinly capitalized and less robustly hedged have limited options. One such company, Griddy, said last week it would challenge the prices set by the grid operator during the crisis, in an apparent bid to recoup losses for itself and its customers. Another company, Octopus Energy, said Monday it would forgive any energy bill in excess of the average price of electricity for the week, and eat the resulting losses which could be millions of dollars.The state’s utility regulator on Sunday blocked power sellers from disconnecting customers for non-payment, saying the governor and lawmakers need time to come up with a plan to address sky-high bills, first. Texas lawmakers will likely take up the discussion of consumer relief as part of their committee hearings on the crisis which will begin this week, a spokesman for the Public Utility Commission of Texas said.In theory, the legislature could pass an emergency bill that could cover the excessive costs charged by generators during the crisis, said Julie Cohn, an energy historian with affiliations at Rice University’s Center for Energy Studies and the University of Houston’s Center for Public History. “Another piece would be to say you can have a competitive power market that we have, but prohibit the provider from linking the price directly to the wholesale price, as Griddy does.”That would be easier to do in a state that takes a more heavy-handed regulatory approach to its electricity market, according to Webber. But Texas decided to take a more hands off approach with its deregulated system, he said.“The question is where is the money going to come from?” Shea said. “Will Texas go and bail out certain customers? That’s not their attitude toward how they manage their market or manage their economy.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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It's the exact opposite of Murphy's law (the name is "Murphy" spelled backward). Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) seems to be experiencing the effects of Yhprum's law with the COVID-19 vaccine it developed and marketed with BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX). Pfizer and BioNTech have delivered nothing but good news for their COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty (BNT162b2) so far.
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Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active...
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If you want to know who really controls Gamma Communications plc ( LON:GAMA ), then you'll have to look at the makeup...
Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said he expects the government to "take a call" on cryptocurrencies.
(Bloomberg) -- A year anticipated to be full of headwinds for Hong Kong’s stock exchange turned euphoric instead. The challenge is now to add to the momentum.Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. on Wednesday reported that profit rose 23% to a record HK$11.5 billion ($1.48 billion) in 2020.Incoming Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Aguzin is preparing to take the helm after a year when trading jumped 60%, the bourse saw the biggest initial public offering flood in a decade and inflows of cash through links to Shanghai and Shenzhen doubled. Political tension drove a bevy of high-profile Chinese firms to find a new home in Hong Kong on concern they would be booted off U.S. exchanges, their long-time source for funding.The boom has continued in 2021 and investors have cheered. The stock is up 150% in the past 11 months. The bourse is now the world’s biggest in terms of market value, far bigger than its London rival and four times as big as Nasdaq Inc., for example.The exchange’s shares fell on Wednesday amid reports the city will raise the stamp duty on stock trading for the first time since 1993, potentially cutting trading volumes. The shares were down 5.4% as of noon. “HKEX faces several uncertainties,” said Alex Wong, director of asset management at Ample Capital Ltd., citing a push to open up to yuan-denominated products and getting further links to China, such as ETF Connect and Primary Connect.Aguzin, who’s slated to take over in May but still needs regulatory approval, faces pressure to build on the legacy of his successor Charles Li, who became known as “Mr. China” for convincing Beijing to set up mainland stock trading links, which now account for 10% of the exchange’s revenue.The appointment of Argentina-native has been met with skepticism in the city because of his outsider status. Being the first non-Chinese CEO, his ability to navigate the halls of power in Beijing, has come under question.That could now largely fall on Chairman Laura Cha, who as the former vice chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission, is well connected in the country. But Cha is also seen as less likely than Li to try to push reforms on Beijing.Plans to allow mainland investing in IPOs and trading in futures of Chinese shares have so far seen little progress. In an effort to build up its own exchanges, Beijing has also so far nixed allowing investments in dual listed companies -- technology giants such as JD.com Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and NetEase Inc.“As H.K. and mainland China markets become increasingly connected, the relationships of the company and the new CEO with mainland China regulators would increasingly matter to further broaden the mutual market access,” said Yafei Tian, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., in a recent report.The appointment of a veteran investment banker rekindled some anticipation that the bourse would again try its hand at acquisitions. Plans to internationalize have largely been put on hold since Li famously embarked on a failed bid to buy the London Stock Exchange in 2019.“There’s a broad array of organic and inorganic growth options in front of us,” said Fred Hu, a board member and founder of Primavera Capital Ltd. “And Aguzin is well positioned to take HKEX into the future, to further deepen the connectivity with China but also connectivity with the rest of the world.”Analysts for now are bullish the exchange can continue to ride the current boom of more mega-IPOs. It could also get a boost from a proposal by Hang Seng to expand the city’s benchmark index from the current 50.Hang Seng Proposes Major Overhaul of Hong Kong Stock Index (2)That could propel the share price above HK$600, according to Steven Leung, executive director at UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong). China International Capital Corp. has a target price of HK$634.“IPOs and the daily turnover level matters more to the HKEX share price than the new CEO’s strategy, which is more mid- to long-term,” said Leung. Nonetheless, the exchange should explain further the decision to name a non-Chinese speaker as CEO and why it was announced before getting the regulatory approval, he said.(Updates with earnings in second paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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During the fourth quarter, the six biggest cable television services (which account for more than 90% of the U.S. cable industry) collectively lost nearly 1.2 million customers. It comes as no surprise that AT&T (NYSE: T) led the charge, losing 616,000 "premium TV" customers (mostly DirecTV subscribers). The company has discontinued lower-priced plans and raised the price of remaining ones in recent months, seemingly unconcerned about preserving the satellite cable company's value in front of a frequently rumored sale of the service.
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On Monday, the House Budget Committee approved President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, moving Americans one step closer to a third round of direct stimulus payments. The president's bill -- known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) -- will next go to the House Rules Committee. For example, most House Republicans have made it clear that they will fight Biden's $15 minimum wage proposal, meaning it may have to be shelved for the time being.
- USA TODAY
CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Rite Aid and other major pharmacies are offering COVID-19 vaccines at certain locations.
(Bloomberg) -- Supply Lines is a daily newsletter that tracks Covid-19’s impact on trade. Sign up here, and subscribe to our Covid-19 podcast for the latest news and analysis on the pandemic.China regained its position as India’s top trade partner in 2020, as New Delhi’s reliance on imported machines outweighed its efforts to curb commerce with Beijing after a bloody border conflict.Two-way trade between the longstanding economic and strategic rivals stood at $77.7 billion last year, according to provisional data from India’s commerce ministry. Although that was lower than the previous year’s $85.5 billion total, it was enough to make China the largest commercial partner displacing the U.S. -- bilateral trade with whom came in at $75.9 billion amid muted demand for goods in the middle of a pandemic.While Prime Minister Narendra Modi banned hundreds of Chinese apps, slowed approvals for investments from the neighbor and called for self-reliance after a deadly clash along their disputed Himalayan border, India continues to rely heavily on Chinese-made heavy machinery, telecom equipment and home appliances. As a result, the bilateral trade gap with China was at almost $40 billion in 2020, making it India’s largest.Total imports from China at $58.7 billion were more than India’s combined purchases from the U.S. and the U.A.E, which are its second- and third-largest trade partners, respectively. Heavy machinery imports accounted for 51% of India’s purchases from its neighbor.That said, India did manage to lower imports from its Asian neighbor amid demand disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The South Asian nation also managed to increase its exports to China by about 11% from a year ago to $19 billion last year, which makes any further worsening of ties with Beijing a threat to New Delhi’s export revenue.The tense relations are already weighing on India’s ambitions to bolster its manufacturing capabilities. New Delhi has been slow to issue visas to Chinese engineers needed to help Taiwanese companies set up factories under a so-called production-linked incentive program, or PLI, to promote local manufacturing.“Still a very long way to go” is how Amitendu Palit, an economist specializing in international trade and investment at the National University of Singapore, described New Delhi’s efforts to wean itself away from Beijing. “The PLI schemes will take at least four-five years to create fresh capacities in specific sectors. Till then reliance on China would continue.”(Updates with details on machinery imports in the fourth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
One of the more fascinating platform items of the Biden presidential campaign was the idea of transferring consumer credit ratings from Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Experian PLC (OTC: EXPGY) and TransUnion...