• China's banking regulator says U.S. sanctions would not shake Hong Kong
    Reuters

    China's banking regulator says U.S. sanctions would not shake Hong Kong

    Hong Kong's financial markets and currency peg with the U.S. dollar are stable and sanctions proposed by some U.S. politicians will not have a material impact, a spokesperson at the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Thursday. The spokesperson said Hong Kong's separate customs area status is set by the World Trade Organization, and that its status as an international financial hub will not be shaken, according to a Q&A published by the regulator. The comments came after Beijing moved to impose a national security law on Hong Kong and Washington threatened to respond by cancelling Hong Kong's special trading status with the United States.

  • Pandemic raises hard questions for policymakers, Bank of England says
    Reuters

    Pandemic raises hard questions for policymakers, Bank of England says

    Markets have recovered their poise after bouts of extreme volatility in March caused by the coronavirus pandemic that left "hard questions" for policymakers to answer, a senior Bank of England official said on Thursday. "Financial markets could come under strain again if there is another leg to the global infection cycle, or if economic data come out persistently worse than expected," Andrew Hauser, the BoE's executive director for markets, told a Bloomberg webinar. Hauser said policymakers need to look at how markets can amplify the "dash for cash" seen in March and April.

  • Grab accelerates expansion of deliveries across Southeast Asia
    Bloomberg

    Grab accelerates expansion of deliveries across Southeast Asia

    Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant, is expanding delivery services from convenience stores and supermarkets across 50 cities in the region.

  • SoftBank creates $100m fund for black entrepreneurs
    AFP News

    SoftBank creates $100m fund for black entrepreneurs

    Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group said Thursday it was setting up a $100-million fund for black entrepreneurs, the latest firm aiming to burnish diversity credentials amid US protests over racial injustice. The Opportunity Growth Fund "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of colour," said the firm's executive vice-president Marcelo Claure in an internal letter obtained by AFP. Originally set up as a telecoms company, SoftBank Group has become an investment and tech behemoth with stakes in some of Silicon Valley's hottest start-ups through its $100-billion Vision Fund.

  • OPEC+ may meet this week if laggards agree to comply: sources
    Reuters

    OPEC+ may meet this week if laggards agree to comply: sources

    OPEC+ oil producers could still hold a virtual ministerial meeting this week if Iraq and others that have not fully complied with current oil supply cuts agree to boost their adherence, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters on Thursday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, are stilldebating when to hold their virtual ministerial meeting to discuss a possible extension of oil supply cuts. A suggestion by current OPEC president Algeria to hold the meeting on Thursday was held up by discussions over some countries' poor level of compliance in May.

  • German economy should reach pre-crisis level in second half of 2022 - minister
    Reuters

    German economy should reach pre-crisis level in second half of 2022 - minister

    German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Thursday that his aim is for Europe's largest economy to return to pre-crisis levels in the second half of 2022. "There is light at the end of the tunnel," Altmaier told reporters, adding that he aimed for Germany to return to growth in the second half of this year. Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition on Wednesday agreed a bumper stimulus package amounting to 130 billion euros to speed up Germany's recovery from the coronavirus.

  • AFP

    China de-escalates airline spat with US

    China said Thursday foreign airlines blocked from operating in the country over virus fears would be allowed to resume limited flights, apparently de-escalating a row with Washington following US plans to ban Chinese carriers. Beijing's announcement comes as tensions between the world's two superpowers are sent soaring by a series of issues including Donald Trump's accusations over China's handling of the pandemic, Hong Kong and Huawei. The latest spat was rooted in the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) deciding to impose a limit on foreign airlines based on their activity as of March 12.

  • Hong Kong legislature passes national anthem bill amid protests
    Reuters

    Hong Kong legislature passes national anthem bill amid protests

    Hong Kong's Legislative Council passed a bill on Thursday that would criminalise disrespect of China's national anthem, a move critics see as the latest sign of Beijing's tightening grip on the city. The ruling comes as people in Hong Kong are set to light candles across the city to commemorate the 1989 crackdown by Chinese troops in and around Tiananmen Square.

  • ‘Careless’ Users Are Ruining Ethereum’s Privacy: Paper
    Coindesk

    ‘Careless’ Users Are Ruining Ethereum’s Privacy: Paper

    Ethereum's account-based model makes it more susceptible to surveillance than some other protocols and users aren't helping, a research paper argues.

  • Euro zone retail sales in record slide in April as even food down
    Reuters

    Euro zone retail sales in record slide in April as even food down

    Euro zone retail sales fell at a new record pace in April, but not as steeply as expected, as shopping declined for nearly all items, including food and drink, during a full month of coronavirus lockdowns across the bloc. Sales in the 19 countries sharing the euro zone fell by 11.7% in April from March and by 19.6% year-on-year, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on Thursday. The month-on-month decline was the steepest in Eurostat data going back to 1999, going beyond the previous record from March of -11.1%.

  • Germany launches €130bn stimulus to kickstart economy
    The Telegraph

    Germany launches €130bn stimulus to kickstart economy

    Germany is cutting VAT, ramping up spending on infrastructure and offering big incentives to buy electric cars in a radical new stimulus package to boost the corona-stricken economy. Angela Merkel’s €130bn (£115bn) package is bigger than economists had anticipated, raising hopes it will give a powerful boost to Europe’s largest economy as it moves from lockdown mode back into growth. It cuts the headline rate of VAT from 19pc to 16pc for the rest of the year, chopping prices for shoppers, at a cost of roughly €20bn to the public coffers. Households will also get a handout of €300 per child, while businesses’ social security contributions will be capped to reduce the costs of keeping workers on the payroll. A €50bn investment programme aims to decarbonise the economy, boosting rail and broadband networks. It will double the subsidy for buyers of electric vehicles from €3,000 to €6,000. Extra financial help is also on offer for small businesses.

  • Outside bidders keen on Thyssenkrupp elevator assets: RAG CFO
    Reuters

    Outside bidders keen on Thyssenkrupp elevator assets: RAG CFO

    A consortium that agreed to buy Thyssenkrupp's <TKAG.DE> elevator division for 17.2 billion euros ($19.25 billion) earlier this year is getting regular requests to sell parts of the business, one of the co-investors said. "Currently this is not the aim of the consortium," said Juergen Rupp, finance chief of the RAG foundation that successfully bid for the unit along with private equity firms Advent and Cinven. Thyssenkrupp has said that it expects the deal to close by the end of September at the latest.

  • Ships visiting UK ports hits highest since start of COVID lockdown
    Reuters

    Ships visiting UK ports hits highest since start of COVID lockdown

    The number of ships arriving in British ports in late May rose to the highest since the start of the country's coronavirus lockdown, Britain's statistics office said on Thursday. The Office for National Statistics, which publishes short-term data to track the economic impact of the COVID crisis, said there was an average of 341 daily ship visits between May 25 and May 31, the highest rolling average since March 23.

  • World food price index hits 17-month low in May - U.N.
    Reuters

    World food price index hits 17-month low in May - U.N.

    World food prices fell for a fourth consecutive month in May, hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic which has stymied demand, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food priceindex, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 162.5 points last month, down 1.9% on April. The dairy index dropped 7.3%, led by sharp falls in both butter and cheese, partly because of lower import demand.

  • Bryter raises $16M for a no-code platform for non-technical people to build enterprise automation apps
    TechCrunch

    Bryter raises $16M for a no-code platform for non-technical people to build enterprise automation apps

    Automation is the name of the game in enterprise IT at the moment: we now have a plethora of solutions on the market to speed up your workflow, simplify a process, and perform more repetitive tasks without humans getting involved. Now, a startup that is helping non-technical people get more directly involved in how to make automation work better for their tasks is announcing some funding to seize the opportunity.

  • BPCL sees gasoline, diesel demand returning to pre-Covid levels in July
    Reuters

    BPCL sees gasoline, diesel demand returning to pre-Covid levels in July

    India's gasoline and diesel demand is expected to return to pre-lockdown levels in July, an executive at the country's second largest fuel retailer Bharat Petroleum Corp said on Thursday. "The current demand for petrol and diesel is at 70% of levels seen before the lockdown," Vijayagopal N, director of finance at BPCL, said in a call with analysts on Thursday. Demand was recovering more quickly for gasoline than for diesel, he said, adding that it would take longer for consumption of other crude products such as bitumen and jet fuel to return to levels seen before the pandemic struck.

  • Asian markets mixed as rally stalls
    AFP News

    Asian markets mixed as rally stalls

    The further easing of lockdown measures and signs that economies could be past the worst of the coronavirus crisis kept investors upbeat Thursday, but markets fluctuated on profit-taking and concerns over China-US tensions. With more countries slowly re-opening their battered economies after months of shutdowns and the backing of trillions of dollars in stimulus and central bank support, global markets have been on a roll for weeks. With bars, cafes and popular attractions back up and running across Europe, several countries -- including Germany, Italy, Austria and Belgium -- began easing border restrictions, fanning hopes for the shattered tourism sector as summer gets underway.

  • BreadTalk to be delisted on 5 June
    The Smart Investor

    BreadTalk to be delisted on 5 June

    The food and beverage player has seen its share of ups and downs over the years.The post BreadTalk to be Delisted on 5 June appeared first on The Smart Investor.

  • Citi defies coronavirus with Western European corporate lending push
    Reuters

    Citi defies coronavirus with Western European corporate lending push

    Citigroup <C.N> is looking to ramp up its commercial banking operations across Europe, Middle East and Africa, plugging gaps left by rivals facing fallout from a coronavirus-induced recession. The U.S. bank plans to expand its business lending division catering to companies with annual turnover between $25 million and $2.5 billion with a slew of new hires and office launches in several Western European countries by the end of 2020. Competitors, including HSBC <HSBA.L> and Standard Chartered <STAN.L>, have made similar bids to win business from small and mid-sized European companies in the past few years, hoping to increase revenues in a market traditionally dominated by local banks.

  • South Korea says mulling leaflet ban after Kim's sister threat
    AFP News

    South Korea says mulling leaflet ban after Kim's sister threat

    South Korea may ban defectors from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the North, officials said Thursday, hours after leader Kim Jong Un's sister threatened to scrap a military agreement with Seoul. Kim Yo Jong, the influential younger sister and key adviser to the leader, issued the warning with inter-Korean ties in a deep freeze despite three summits in 2018 between her brother and the South's President Moon Jae-in, who has consistently promoted engagement with Pyongyang.

  • Ethereum Has Become Bitcoin’s Top Off-Chain Destination
    Coindesk

    Ethereum Has Become Bitcoin’s Top Off-Chain Destination

    The most popular way to use bitcoin off-chain is on Ethereum, recent data indicates.

  • Reuters SG

    Oil products trade on Platts slumps in May as coronavirus hits demand - data

    The trades are used by Platts to assess prices for millions of barrels of oil products sold in Asia. "Demand has been destroyed mainly by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Matt Stanley, oil broker at StarFuels, adding that price volatility and the absence of notable local oil traders had also hurt confidence and credit liquidity. Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, one of Asia's largest oil traders, stopped trading in the window after it ran into financial trouble in April, followed by ZenRock Commodities Trading Pte Ltd in May. Platts did not respond to a request for comment.

  • Indian property shares fall as minister dampens hopes for support measures
    Reuters

    Indian property shares fall as minister dampens hopes for support measures

    Indian property shares fell on Thursday after commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal asked developers to cut prices and offload inventory instead of waiting for the market to recover at a webinar organised a day earlier. The real estate sector has been pressured by a lack of liquidity for both developers and buyers due to the shadow banking crisis and changes in tax rules, among other factors, over the past few years. The National Real Estate Development Council had sought $200 billion in reliefs to help the industry weather the impact from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Car dealer Lookers cuts 1,500 jobs and closes 12 showrooms
    The Guardian

    Car dealer Lookers cuts 1,500 jobs and closes 12 showrooms

    Car dealer Lookers cuts 1,500 jobs and closes 12 showrooms. UK firm to axe almost one-in-five jobs to help save £50m as car sales slump during Covid-19 crisis

  • Oil prices fall on doubts over output cuts, surging U.S. diesel inventories
    Reuters

    Oil prices fall on doubts over output cuts, surging U.S. diesel inventories

    Oil prices dropped on Thursday, reversing gains in the previous session, on concern over whether major crude producers will be able to agree to extend record output cuts, heightened by worries over a huge build in U.S. distillate inventories. Brent crude futures fell 1.18%, or 47 cents, to $39.32 a barrel as of 0652 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slid 1.80%, or 67 cents, to $36.62 a barrel. Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world's biggest oil producers, have agreed to support extending into July the 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in supply cuts backed in April by the OPEC+ group, comprised of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers.