Activists have launched 37 campaigns in the first quarter of 2021, beating last year’s first quarter, and topping 2019’s first quarter, according to data from Lazard.
Savills and Cineworld shareholders revolt over executive pay. Backlashes at estate agent and cinema chain over reward packages handed to bosses during Covid crisis
(Bloomberg) -- Oil slumped the most in over a month alongside a commodities downturn as growing inflation concerns raise the specter of a less accommodative U.S. Federal Reserve.West Texas Intermediate futures fell 3.4% on Thursday to the lowest since the end of April. Prices paid to U.S. producers rose in April by more than forecast, adding to signs of rising inflationary pressures that have gripped broader markets recently. Elsewhere, China’s Premier Li Keqiang urged the country to deal effectively with the commodity price surge and its impact, according to a state television report, echoing previous comments from officials.The latest data “are cementing the view we’re going to have markets that are just fixated on inflation,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda Corp. “All these pricing pressures are ramping up those rate-increase bets. For crude, we’re trying to get a sense of what the path of the dollar’s going to be, and that’s uncertain.”Meanwhile, the Colonial Pipeline -- a key source of gasoline for the East Coast -- is returning to service after a cyberattack last week, adding on Thursday that each of its markets should receive product from its system by mid-day. Still, the pipeline remains running at less than half of its capacity, according to people familiar with the matter.Still, there were some glimmers of hope for the oil market. India’s largest oil refiner is shopping for crude again after a one-month hiatus, providing some optimism that the South Asian country’s demand hasn’t been stalled by a rampant virus resurgence. Indian Oil Corp. issued three tenders to buy crude for loading in the next two months. Going forward, the bullishness of the company’s move will depend on how much it actually ends up purchasing.See also: India’s Top Refiner Shops for Oil Again After Month-Long HiatusWhile the Colonial Pipeline has restarted, fuel shortages are still lingering. The Biden Administration has temporarily eased a U.S. shipping requirement so a single foreign tanker could transport gasoline and jet fuel to the East Coast. A White House official said that the Jones Act waiver was applied to one tanker, but other requests are under consideration.Further resumption of flows on the pipeline will bring relief to motorists after panic-buying emptied out some gas stations and retail prices topped $3 a gallon. In futures markets, the spread between crude and gasoline slumped toward $24 a barrel after topping as much as $27 a barrel earlier this week.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.
(Bloomberg) -- JD Logistics Inc. has attracted SoftBank Vision Fund and Temasek Holdings Pte as cornerstone investors in its Hong Kong initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said, as the warehousing and shipping firm is set to kick off one of the year’s biggest share sales in the city. Blackstone Group Inc. and Tiger Global also committed to buy stock in the offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.SoftBank Vision Fund is set to invest $600 million in the offering, accounting for 40% of the $1.5 billion worth of shares the company has set aside for about seven cornerstone investors, the people said. That would make the prolific investor one of the largest shareholders in the company after its parent, JD.com Inc.Temasek is signing up to buy $220 million worth of stock, the people said. China Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd., Matthews Asia and Oaktree Capital have also agreed to purchase shares, they said.JD Logistics is targeting to raise as much as $3.5 billion in the first-time share sale and is set to start taking orders as soon as next week, the people said. It would be the second-largest IPO in the city this year, after Kuaishou Technology’s $6.2 billion listing in February.Bank of America Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. are the joint sponsors of the offering, according to its preliminary prospectus.Cornerstone buyers typically agree to hold stock for a set period of time in exchange for early, guaranteed allocation. JD Logistics is still finalizing terms of the offering, and details could change, the people said.An external representative for JD Logistics and representatives for Blackstone, SoftBank Vision Fund and Temasek declined to comment. Representatives for China Chengtong, Matthews and Oaktree did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Tiger Global didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside of U.S. business hours.(Updates with SoftBank Vision Fund response in eighth 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Discover what’s driving the global economy and what it means for policy makers, businesses, investors and you with The New Economy Daily. Sign up here.Money markets are wagering on an increase in Bank of England borrowing costs as soon as next year, having only recently erased bets on negative rates.Traders now see 15 basis points of tightening in September 2022. That’s a sharp turnaround from the second half of last year, when traders were contemplating rates of as low as minus 0.1% after the central bank said it was studying the feasibility of such a move. They only removed bets on further loosening in February, when policy makers stressed that negative rates are not imminent as the U.K.’s vaccine rollout transformed the nation’s monetary policy debate. A larger-than-expected increase in U.S. consumer prices on Wednesday triggered a global rates selloff, sending benchmark gilt yields to their highest level in around two months and spurring traders to bring forward their expectations for a BOE rate hike.The central bank traditionally shifts its key interest rate by multiples of 25 basis points, though it cut rates by 15 basis points in March 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. If officials wanted to tighten financing conditions, a move back to 0.25% is seen by strategists as a plausible first step.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.
(Bloomberg) -- The largest gasoline pipeline in the U.S. is returning to service following a cyberattack that took the fuel artery offline for five days, offering hope that fuel shortages in several states will soon come to an end.Colonial Pipeline Co., operator of a conduit that handles more fuel than Germany consumes, said it began to resume shipments around 5 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday. In an update on Thursday morning, it said deliveries have begun to most of the pipeline’s markets.Despite the resumption of operations, disruption persists in large parts of the Eastern and Southern U.S. as motorists contend with fuel shortages, and it’s likely to be days before normal supplies are returned to normal. President Joe Biden urged Americans “to just purchase what they need, and not hoard fuel, as supply is restored,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday.“Resumption of flows is the start, but the race to logistically replenish retail gas stations is the next step,” said Michael Tran, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “The restarting of the Colonial pipeline is the beginning of the end of the crisis, not the end.”In an effort to provide relief, the Biden administration temporarily waived century-old shipping restrictions to allow one foreign-flagged ocean-going tanker to help relieve the shortages. Still, the sailing time alone for a ship to take fuel from Houston to New York would be six or seven days.Gasoline stations ran dry from Florida to Virginia after Colonial was forced to take systems offline on May 7. In parts of the U.S. South, three in every four gas stations had no fuel as of Wednesday, while in Washington, D.C., cars were lining up for blocks as they waited to fill up.Optimism that the situation will start returning to normal sent benchmark gasoline futures down as much as 3.1% in New York trading. Earlier in the week, pump prices soared above $3 a gallon for the first time in six years.The administration temporarily issued a waiver to the 101-year-old Jones Act for one unidentified company. The act stipulates goods transported between U.S. ports be carried on ships built in the U.S. and crewed by American workers.Widespread waiving of the requirements could allow foreign-flagged tankers to help fill the supply gap left by the interruption to the pipeline. The initial waiver is for one tanker although more are under consideration, a White House official said. Typical cargo deliveries into the U.S. East Coast are about 300,000 barrels.Earlier this week, the White House announced several other measures to blunt the crisis, including waiving some gasoline requirements and empowering 10 states to allow heavier-than-normal truck loads of fuels.Despite the improved outlook, the disruption underscores just how vulnerable America’s fuel supply system has become in the wake of increased attacks on energy infrastructure by hackers over the past few years. Colonial is only the latest example of critical infrastructure being targeted by ransomware. Hackers are increasingly attempting to infiltrate essential services such as electric grids and hospitals.The attack on Colonial also came just as the nation’s energy industry is preparing for summer travel and as fuel demand rebounds from pandemic-related lockdowns. It was reminiscent of a 2018 cyberattack that brought down a third-party communications system used by several natural gas pipelines operators across the U.S.Colonial normally ships about 2.5 million barrels (105 million gallons) each day, an amount that exceeds the entire oil consumption of Germany. The pipeline’s operator warned the line may go down again from time to time during the restart process.In a separate bulletin to its shippers, it also said the company was physically starting operations before its business systems -- which process nominations for space on the pipeline and schedule them -- are back up and running. As a result, Colonial will be using schedules that were set five days ago until its systems are back in service, the notice shows.Feeling ReliefAs the pipeline resumes, the states suffering from the most acute shortages may start to feel relief this weekend.In North Carolina, some fuel supply should appear right away, said Gary Harris, executive director of the North Carolina Petroleum & Convenience Marketers, a trade association. “People will have to be running trucks a lot to just catch up because so much is out at this time,” he said.Major branded stations will get fuel first as they are under contract with suppliers, said Harris. Fuel may still be scarce for independent stations that are not under contract.Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it was pursuing alternative supply points, where possible, and working in close coordination with wholesalers to address supply and logistical challenges.In Virginia, consumers should be able to see a difference by Monday, said Michael O’Connor, president of the Virginia Petroleum & Convenience Marketers Association.This isn’t the first time Colonial has been forced to shut down. In 2016, an explosion kept the system offline for days, raising gasoline prices and forcing the New York Harbor market to become more dependent on imports of fuel from overseas.The Federal Bureau of Investigation attributed the attack on Colonial to ransomware created by a group called DarkSide. Some evidence emerged linking DarkSide to Russia or elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Biden said Russia has “some responsibility” to address the attack but stopped short of blaming the Kremlin, saying “there’s evidence” the hackers or the software they used are “in Russia.”(Updates gasoline futures price in seventh 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.
USA TODAY answers the most asked questions regarding the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack and what states are struggling to keep gas stations stocked.
(Bloomberg) -- A crack in a bridge over the Mississippi River has stranded more than 700 barges, cutting off the biggest route for U.S. agricultural exports when the critical waterway is at its busiest.The route is shut near Memphis while the Tennessee Department of Transportation inspects a large crack in a highway bridge spanning the river, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. A queue has expanded to 47 vessels and 771 barges, with 430 of those heading north and the rest going south, Petty Officer Carlos Galarza of the Coast Guard’s 8th District said Thursday afternoon by email.The Mississippi River is the main artery for U.S. crop exports, with covered barges full of grain and soy floating to terminals along the Gulf of Mexico, while crude oil as well as imported steel also travel through sections of the waterway. Any sustained outage would disrupt shipments out of the Gulf. Corn futures tumbled by the most allowed under CME Group rules partly on speculation that exports would back up.“The river is the jugular for the export market in the Midwest for both corn and beans,” said Colin Hulse, a senior risk management consultant at StoneX in Kansas City. “The length of the blockage is important. If they cannot quickly get movement, then it is a big deal. If it slows or restricts movement for a longer period it can be a big deal as well.”The stoppage along the Mississippi River is the latest calamity to upend the commodities world in recent weeks. Back in March, the Suez Canal was blocked by a giant container ship that got stuck sideways in the vital waterway for almost a week, paralyzing global shipping. And late last week, a cyberattack brought down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. for five days, leading to widespread gasoline shortages from Florida to Virginia.A lengthy halt on the Mississippi River could further roil crop markets, where soybeans and corn futures have hit multiyear highs amid adverse weather in Latin America and a buying spree from China. Corn futures fell Thursday by the exchange limit of 40 cents, or 5.6%, to $6.7475 a bushel in Chicago.As a workaround, traders could in theory also send some supplies on trains and divert to ports along the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Few grain and soy buyers were bidding for barges north of the river closure amid uncertainty on when vessel traffic would resume.The crack halting vehicle and waterway traffic is in the truss of the Interstate 40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge, which was found during a routine inspection, according to a Tuesday statement from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.“The timeline is still undetermined” for the waterway reopening, department spokeswoman Nichole Lawrence said Thursday morning by email.The Army Corp of Engineers could figure out a way to keep automotive traffic closed in order for water traffic to resume under the bridge, according to CRU Group analyst Josh Spoores. It may cause bottlenecks, but most consumers already used to waiting months for supplies to ship are probably fine with some added delays, he said.The New Orleans Port Region moved 47% of waterborne agricultural exports in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The majority of these exports were bulk grains and bulk grain products, such as corn, soybeans, animal feed and rice. The region also supports a significant amount of edible oil exports, such as soybean and corn oils and even attracted 13% of U.S. waterborne frozen poultry exports in 2017.Some traders speculated that, based on past experience, the river might be partially opened for restricted movements while repairs are being done.“My sense is that it is not a big deal for river traffic as it will be a short-term disruption,” said Stephen Nicholson, a senior analyst for grains and oilseeds at Rabobank. “The good news is most of fertilizer has already come up river and soybean exports are at their low point. However, corn exports continue at a strong pace, so we may see a slight delay in corn barges reaching” New Orleans.It may be difficult for exporters to shift much volume to rail, as the capacity to unload trains outside of the New Orleans area is limited, according to Curt Strubhar, vice chairman and risk management consultant at Advance Trading Inc.“There aren’t many rail unloaders South of the issue,” he said, adding that New Orleans “port elevators aren’t equipped to handle a sharply higher share of rail unloads either.”Of agricultural supplies that floated on barges north of Memphis, about 84% was corn and about 13% was soybeans, according to Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, citing USDA data. Overall shipments of corn and soy during the week ended May 8 were 18% higher than a year ago.Agricultural co-operative Growmark’s St. Louis port, which sends corn and soybeans south to New Orleans for export mostly to China and receives fertilizers, will likely close Friday, according to Matt Lurkins, executive director of the firm’s grain division.“Freight was already tight,” Lurkins said in a phone interview. “Then this kind of sent us over the edge.”If the pause drags on, he said, Growmark could send more grain to processors rather than loading it on barges for export.Small volumes of crude and partly refined oil are shipped by barge on the river as well. In February, 2.85 million barrels moved from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast via barge and tanker, according to government data.Imported steel on barges will be delayed as long as traffic is halted. About 25% of imported steel travels through at least a section of the Mississippi River, according to Wood Mackenzie analyst Cicero Machado, though he said newly arriving foreign steel to ports in New Orleans or Mobile, Alabama can be diverted onto rail cars or trucks.The river also is a major artery for steel shipments within the U.S. and delays could become an issue for automakers in the South that depend on high-strength steels produced in the Midwest, he said.“At this stage the big question is: is this going to last?” Machado said. “The issue is not actually in the river, it’s in a bridge over the river -- so perhaps they’re going to find a way to manage the traffic there.”(Adds Coast Guard update 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.
The Tesla CEO sent the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies plummeting. But he may be aiming to turn crypto-mining green in ways that benefit Tesla.
The Walt Disney Co. blew away earnings expectations with a Thursday report, but shares still fell in late trading as the pandemic-fueled growth of its streaming services slowed down.
The IRS sent out COVID-19 relief checks to nearly 1 million more Americans in the ninth batch of payments made under Biden's American Rescue Plan.
(Bloomberg) -- Stock sales are reaping a windfall for the world’s richest shareholders.Corporate insiders including Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos and Google co-founder Sergey Brin have ramped up stock sales recently, cashing in on a 14-month long bull market that’s helped boost fortunes to the tune of trillions.U.S. public company insiders offloaded shares worth $24.4 billion this year through the first week of May, with about half sold through trading plans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s almost as much as the $30 billion total they disposed of in the second half of 2020.Large shareholders frequently sell stock in planned intervals, often through pre-arranged trading programs. Yet the prolonged rally in equities markets has made the value of these disposals, whether planned or opportunistic, strikingly high.There are multiple reasons an investor of any size might be motivated to sell. After the pandemic-defying rally, valuations are increasingly under pressure from rising inflation. Investors are wary the post-Covid recovery could prompt tightening measures from the Federal Reserve. And President Joe Biden’s proposed tax hikes -- including a near doubling of the capital gains rate -- have created uncertainty.Bezos, EllisonWhatever the reason, the sales are flooding the market with yet more liquidity, the consequences of which will ripple through philanthropy, the art market, real estate and other niches.Bezos has sold $6.7 billion worth of Amazon shares this year. While a relative pittance for the world’s richest person, it’s more than two-thirds the value of shares he sold in 2020. Larry Ellison unloaded 7 million Oracle shares in the past week for total proceeds of $552.3 million.Brin, who has signaled that he intends to sell as many as 250,000 Alphabet Inc. shares, has disposed of $163 million worth of stock in recent days, his first sales in more than four years, filings show.Mark Zuckerberg and his charitable foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, meanwhile, accelerated their sales of Facebook stock in the fall. Zuckerberg or his charity has divested shares at a near-daily clip since November, for a cumulative total exceeding $1.87 billion.The surging markets have exacerbated the concentration risk of the single-stock-dominated fortunes typical of many tech billionaires, said Thorne Perkin, president of Papamarkou Wellner Asset Management.“From a portfolio-management perspective, it makes sense to spread it around,” he said.Covid EconomyAlso among the biggest sellers are some noteworthy beneficiaries of the Covid economy. Zoom Video Communications founder Eric Yuan and used-car retailer Carvana Co.’s Ernest Garcia II have together received more than $1.75 billion from stock sales since March 2020, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. George Kurtz, chief executive officer of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, has sold shares worth at least $250 million over that period.Zoom founder Yuan -- the poster child, in many ways, for the coronavirus economy -- has stepped up his sales this year as the firm’s share price slumped. In 2020, he typically offloaded about 140,000 shares a month through a trading plan, which generated more than $350 million over the course of the year.Since March, he’s sold almost 200,000 shares a month on average, yielding him about $185 million. He also donated more than a third of his stake in the San Jose-based company as part of “typical estate planning practices,” according to a spokesman. Some of the cash from his share sales fund donations to unspecified “humanitarian causes.”(Updates sales figure in 12th 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.
Now that the IRS knows what you earned last year, you may be eligible for more support.
Shares of Plug Power Inc. surged Friday, after they hydrogen and fuel cell systems company completed its restatement, removing a "shroud of uncertainty" that has been weighing heavily on the stock the past couple months.
Need more relief? The White House says that's up to Speaker Pelosi and company.
The Japanese tech investor smashed profit records in its home country, capping a wild year in which it rode roller-coaster stock markets from the lows at the beginning of the pandemic to recent highs.
The company that operates America's biggest fuel pipeline has reportedly paid a ransom of nearly $5m (£3.5m) to hackers who shut down the facility last week triggering fuel shortages and price hikes across the East Coast. Colonial Pipeline paid the extortion fee on Friday, Bloomberg reported, despite reports that it had no plans to do so and concerns that paying a ransom simply encourages hackers. The pipeline is not yet back at full force following the cyberattack on Friday, when the criminal gang Darkside locked computers controlling the pipeline. The pipes transport 2.5m barrels a day of diesel, petrol and jet fuel across 5,500 miles of pipelines linking refiners on the Gulf Coast to the eastern and southern US. The shutdown triggered fuel shortages from Virginia to Florida and panic buying, with the national US gasoline price rising above $3 a gallon and jumping as much as 11 cents in a day in some areas.
CEO Brian Armstrong said on the company’s Q1 earnings call that it would list coins on the first day that they trade.
(Bloomberg) -- Fisker Inc.’s existing agreement to develop an electric vehicle with Foxconn Technology Group will now include a factory in the U.S.The joint project -- codenamed Project PEAR -- is targeting a start of production in the U.S. by the fourth quarter of 2023, the companies said in a statement Thursday. The companies are considering multiple sites around the world to support eventual global manufacturing capacity of 250,000 units a year. The partners plan to unveil a prototype of their jointly developed car later this year.Fisker climbed 11% to $11.01 at 9:40 a.m. Friday in New York after advancing as much as 18%, the most intraday in two months. The stock was down 32% this year through Thursday. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the main listed arm of Foxconn, is up 14% this year in Taipei.Electric vehicles have risen in prominence in recent months, with everyone from established automakers like Geely to smartphone purveyor Xiaomi Corp. making big investments in the category. Foxconn has an EV platform that will be used to launch two light vehicles in the fourth quarter of this year, Chairman Young Liu said in February. The company has also inked a manufacturing deal with Chinese startup Byton Ltd. and been among a coterie of suppliers and assemblers linked with a potential Apple Inc. car.Read more: IPhone Maker Foxconn to Help Launch Electric Cars This YearFisker is one of a wave of startups to go public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, and seek a fast-track challenge to Tesla Inc. in the EV market. It’s also the second battery-powered-car venture founded by its namesake founder and chief executive officer, Henrik Fisker, a longtime auto designer. Fisker’s first venture, Fisker Automotive, filed for bankruptcy in 2013.China Tech Giants Bet $19 Billion on Global Electric Car FrenzyUnder the agreement, Fisker and Foxconn will jointly invest in Project PEAR -- short for Personal Electric Automotive Revolution -- with each company taking proceeds if the launch is successful. Spending on the partnership will be hefty. Liu told analysts on Friday that building 10,000 cars per month in the U.S. will require $1 billion of capital expenditure, though he declined to elaborate on how the two companies will split the costs.Foxconn has said it will decide between Mexico and Wisconsin for the site of its first electric-car plant this year. The companies didn’t disclose any specifications of the vehicle they’re developing.The companies said the jointly developed vehicle will be priced below $30,000. Taiwan-based Foxconn, best known for assembling iPhones, is the second major manufacturer with which Fisker has announced a partnership since reaching a deal to go public last year. In October, the EV startup said Magna International Inc. would help it build its debut model. The Ocean electric SUV is scheduled to start production in late 2022 at a Magna facility in Graz, Austria.(Updates shares in third 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.
A metal coatings plant in China's manufacturing hub has been hit by price increases of up to 30% for raw materials including steel, aluminium, thinner and paint since the Chinese New Year in February. The firm has had no choice but to pass most of these higher costs on to its clients, including those in the United States, said King Lau, who helps run Dongguan-based Kam Pin Industrial Ltd, in Guangdong province. With their profit margins already tight, Chinese factories are passing on higher raw material and component costs to overseas clients, which will only reinforce the inflation loop.
James Anderson says to forget value investing and be ready for stomach-churning swings in stock prices.