Posts belonging to Category banks



BREXIT: Prepare for the worst

Brussels and Westminster run out of time

Even with the current heatwave and hosepipe ban, there is a chill in the air when it comes to Brexit. Repeat after me in a gravelly, Northern accent: “Winter is coming.” Britain is sweating under the pressure of a loud ticking countdown, and the EU is nervously glancing at its watch, looking away, and then frantically checking the time once again. Project Fear is becoming Project Reality as both Brussels and Westminster run out of time. Since Theresa May triggered Article 50 in March 29 last year, formally notifying the EU of Britain’s exit, the prime minister started a two-year process. In just two years, Britain would have to negotiate both its divorce and future relationship with the bloc.

In many ways, the British government has only got the ball rolling, producing its starting position on trade post-Brexit. And even then, it caused cabinet disarray, resulting in resignations from ministers including Brexit secretary David Davis and foreign secretary Boris Johnson. As time runs out, there are those who bracing themselves for the worst case scenario. Britain will leave the EU on March 29, 2019 (and with a transition period until December 31, 2020), but they could be doing so without completing a deal with the bloc.

BREXIT: May warns rebels

Back me or risk ‘no Brexit at all

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned her divided party on Sunday that there may be “no Brexit at all” if they wrecked her plan to forge a close relationship with the European Union after leaving the world’s biggest trading bloc.

“My message to the country this weekend is simple: we need to keep our eyes on the prize,” May wrote on Facebook. “If we don’t, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all.”

Linking the fate of Brexit to her own survival in such an explicit way indicates just how precarious May’s position remains after her government was thrust into crisis and U.S. President Donald Trump publicly criticised her Brexit strategy.

Trump Says May’s Brexit Plan Likely to Kill Off U.S. Trade Deal

U.S. president backs Boris Johnson as future prime minister

President Donald Trump dealt a double blow to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, saying her plans for a soft Brexit would likely end hopes of a trade deal with the U.S. and that Boris Johnson, who quit her cabinet this week, would be a “great” leader.  “If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the U.K., so it will probably kill the deal,” Trump said in an interview in the Sun newspaper to be published Friday.

His comments in the Sun, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, a political ally of the president, appeared after May had hosted Trump at a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

Weak debut fot Xiaomi shares

Unprofitable territory?

Millions of shares in Xiaomi Corp. could be in unprofitable territory right from the start. According to the smartphone maker’s prospectus, a total 48,787,104 Series F-1 preferred shares were issued to investors between December 2014 and August 2017. Early backers came into the startup through preferred stock that converts to ordinary shares upon Xiaomi’s IPO. Accounting for splits and adjustments, the preferred stock converts to Class B shares at a cost that’s 18.82 percent below the expected offer price, Xiaomi’s prospectus states, implying a price of HK$15.83 per share.

Brexit secretary David Davis resigns

Government into crisis

David Davis has resigned as Brexit secretary, shattering the hard-won consensus around Theresa May’s Chequers deal and plunging her government into crisis.

His resignation was swiftly followed by that of fellow Department for Exiting the EU ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman. It forces May to reshuffle her government, at the same time as trying to convince backbenchers to support her plan.

Davis sent a bluntly worded resignation letter to Theresa May, saying he would not be a “reluctant conscript” to the plan agreed at Chequers, which he said was “certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense”.

https://www.the guardian.com/

Amazon Makes $1 Billion Splash in Health Care, Buying PillPack

Formidable challenge to pharmacy chains 

Amazon.com Inc. is buying its way into the heart of the U.S. health-care system, instantly shaking up a prescription-drug industry already in the midst of a broader transformation. Insurance companies and drug-benefit managers have struck a series of deals in recent months designed in part to thwart a potential big splash in the health world from Amazon. But the online retail giant’s decision to buy online pharmacy PillPack rapidly accelerates the threat posed to entrenched retailers, suppliers and middlemen.

Most immediately, the move represents a formidable challenge to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp., the two largest drugstore chains in the U.S. Walgreens shares sank 8.5 percent at 10:49 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares shed 8.9 percent.

https://www.bloomberg.com/

Looming ‘financial panic’ in China

Chinese stocks are in a bear market

Sentiment on the Chinese economy has taken a turn for the worse. Chinese economic data has started to falter after a period of near-relentless consistency over the past couple of years. Recent months have seen Chinese stocks and the Chinese yuan tumbling.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index has fallen over 20% since late January, leaving it in a technical bear market. It currently sits at the lowest level since May 2016, having been at a two-year high earlier in the year. The Chinese yuan has also been hammered, losing over 6% since late March, leaving it at the weakest level since late last year.

https://www.businessinsider.com/

Export-Import Bank vital to U.S. growth

Restoring the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s full lending powers

Restoring the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s full lending powers is vital to the country’s economic growth and to shrinking trade deficits, planemaker Boeing Co (BA.N) said on Wednesday after President Donald Trump nominated Kimberly Reed as the trade bank’s president.

“Restoring the Export-Import Bank to full strength with a Board quorum is the best thing Washington can do right now to grow our economy through exports, shrink our trade deficits, and level the playing field so American workers can win,” Tim Keating, Boeing’s executive vice president of government operations, said in a statement.

https://www.reuters.com/

FED raises rates

“The economy is doing very well”

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, a move that was widely expected but still marked a milestone in the U.S. central bank’s shift from policies used to battle the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.

In raising its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent, the Fed dropped its pledge to keep rates low enough to stimulate the economy “for some time” and signaled it would tolerate inflation above its 2 percent target at least through 2020.

“The economy is doing very well,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee released its unanimous policy statement after the end of a two-day meeting.

Paris beats London as Europe’s favorite investment destination

BREXIT impact  + “Macron effect”

An Ernst & Young survey shows Paris has overtaken London as Europe’s most attractive destination for foreign investors for the first time since EY began such reports 15 years ago.

The change in the continent’s pecking order is a sign of the impact of both Brexit and the “Macron effect”.

The French capital was ranked No. 1 for foreign direct investment by 37 percent of businesses, based on a survey of 502 companies and data from EY and IBM covering 2017.