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July 27 (Reuters) - King's Flair International (Holdings) Ltd:
* WONG YING WAI, DENNIS HAS RESIGNED AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:
July 27 (Reuters) - King's Flair International (Holdings) Ltd:
* WONG YING WAI, DENNIS HAS RESIGNED AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:
(Bloomberg) -- Christopher Giancarlo, the former chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission who’s known as “Crypto Dad” for his early embrace of digital assets, joined the board of cryptocurrency lender BlockFi.Giancarlo, 61, headed the CFTC when the Chicago Board Options Exchange and CME Group Inc. first offered Bitcoin futures contracts. He gained tens of thousands of followers on Twitter after his February 2018 congressional testimony in which he advocated for a “do no harm” regulatory stance toward blockchain products, the comments that earned him his nickname.“It’s been fascinating to see how the whole ecosystem around crypto is morphing so fast,” Giancarlo said in an interview. There’s a healthy combination of retail and institutional interest in the market for digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether, he said. Yet the banks have been slow to embrace the new asset class.“The opportunity for the BlockFis of the world is the traditional lenders haven’t showed up yet, and yet there’s incredible demand” for dollars and other fiat currency to be used to buy crypto, he said. “The future of money and things of value is digital.”Giancarlo joins a range of former regulators and Wall Street executives who have jumped to industry roles, including Ben Lawsky, the former head of the New York State Department of Financial Services who’s on the board of Ripple Labs Inc. Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., serves on the board of blockchain startup Spring Labs.Read More: Crypto Shadow Banking Explained and Why 12% Yields Are CommonSome of the largest non-bank firms in cryptocurrency, including BitGo, BlockFi, Galaxy Digital and Genesis, are stepping up to meet investor demand for dollars amid a longstanding wariness by banks to lend to individuals or companies associated with Bitcoin and other digital assets. They’re lending to hedge funds that need cash to buy Bitcoin for a trade with minimal risk that has been paying out annualized returns that have recently hit 20% to 40%.BlockFi is a akin to a bank for the virtual-currency realm, paying interest on crypto deposits and making cash loans using those holdings as collateral. It also offers a credit card with Bitcoin rewards, as well as a Bitcoin Trust that gives investors exposure without requiring actual purchases of the digital currency.Giancarlo recalled his time at the CFTC when Cboe and CME Group self-certified the first U.S. Bitcoin futures contracts.“It was not without its controversy,” he said, adding that Thomas Peterffy, chairman of Interactive Brokers, placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal decrying the move and saying words to the effect of, “Don’t let Bitcoin futures come about or the western world will end.” Even Wall Street’s futures group, the Futures Industry Association, was against the idea, he said.While Cboe dropped its Bitcoin contract, CME Group’s has been a success, and the exchange recently added Ether futures.Giancarlo also serves as senior counsel to law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, is on the advisory board of the Chamber of Digital Commerce and acts as an independent director of the American Financial Exchange. He was recently nominated to the board of Nomura Holdings Inc. and is a co-founder of the Digital Dollar Project.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) -- Oil slumped alongside a broader market rout as a resurgent virus in some of the world’s top oil importers highlighted the uneven road to recovery.West Texas Intermediate fell as much as 3% with U.S. equities on track for their first back-to-back decline since late March. While the oil futures curve suggests growing confidence in a demand recovery, the virus is rampant in countries such as India. Annual crude imports in the Asian country fell for the first fiscal year since the late 1990s as refiners cut run-rates amid lower demand.“Oil is dropping along with the broader risk market decline,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities. At the same time, “variants are wreaking havoc on some economies, and it’s uncertain how the whole demand picture will evolve.”Still, the market is a far cry from where it was a year ago today, when an unprecedented crisis saw U.S. benchmark crude futures closing at negative $37.63 a barrel. The historic plunge came as lockdowns savaged demand and key producers Saudi Arabia and Russia flooded the market in a price war. A restoration of OPEC+ unity marked by deep supply cuts, as well as vaccine distribution around the world, have helped prices to climb back.Despite the near-term headwinds surrounding surging caseloads in top oil-consuming regions, there are also points of optimism for an upcoming surge in global oil consumption. Driving is soaring in the U.K. as more than 60% of its population over 18 has received a first vaccine dose. Vitol Group, the world’s biggest independent oil trader, expects demand to come roaring back, echoing optimistic views from OPEC and the International Energy Agency.Along with concerns around the lagging demand recovery in some regions, signs of progress being made in talks on the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal raises the prospect of additional Iranian supply further out. A return to the deal could include lifting U.S. sanctions on the Persian Gulf country’s oil exports.Meanwhile, U.S. oil stockpiles are expected to have fallen last week, which would extend the streak of drawdowns to four weeks, according to a Bloomberg survey. The American Petroleum Institute will report its figures later Tuesday ahead of U.S. government data.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 Bank of Canada is poised to pare back its asset purchases amid a stronger-than-expected economic recovery, taking one of the biggest steps yet by a developed country to reduce emergency levels of monetary stimulus.Governor Tiff Macklem is expected to cut the central bank’s weekly government bond purchases on Wednesday to C$3 billion ($2.4 billion), from the current pace of C$4 billion. Officials may also give clues to whether they expect to bring forward their timeline for interest rate hikes, with current guidance pointing to no move before 2023.The policy decision, due at 10 a.m. in Ottawa, is a pivotal one for the central bank. Its quantitative easing program is too large given the size of Canada’s bond market. Just on technical grounds, it needs to be pared back as the government’s financing requirements drop.At the same time, a case is growing for less stimulus. The economy is running at a much faster clip than the Bank of Canada has been projecting, forcing officials to start laying the groundwork for the start of policy normalization.“The economic outlook has improved markedly since January”, Dominique Lapointe, an economist at Laurentian Bank Securities Inc., said by email. “The Bank of Canada is ready to take its foot off the accelerator.”Officials won’t want to get too far ahead of other major central banks like the Federal Reserve, which has been wary to talk about scaling back. If the Bank of Canada moves alone, it could trigger a currency appreciation that would be self-defeating.To be sure, the Bank of Canada’s asset purchases have been more aggressive than others in the Group of Seven, at least relative to the size of the nation’s bond market.The central bank has bought a about C$280 billion in Canadian government bonds over the past year, ballooning its balance sheet to around one-quarter of economic output. It now owns more than 40% of outstanding bonds and is on pace to go above 50% in a few months as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government reduces its issuance by about C$90 billion this year, according to estimates by Ian Pollick, head of fixed income, currency and commodity research at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.It’s a massive footprint that threatens to create financial distortions -- a concern that led Macklem to reduce minimum weekly purchases in October, from C$5 billion initially. At the time, officials characterized the taper as neutral in terms of stimulus, because they shifted purchases toward long-term bonds concurrently. The more the tapering takes place in the short end of the yield curve -- two-year and three-year bonds -- the less the impact on financial conditions.“In some ways they’re being forced into a taper,” Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, said by phone.What Bloomberg Economics Says...“The economy is working through a third wave of Covid-19 and new restrictions, but the growth and labor market outlooks are still significantly stronger than the BoC envisioned in January, meeting the guideline for a reduction.”--Andrew Husby, economistFor the full report, click hereBut the improving economic outlook does give the central bank more scope to pare back now, and policy makers have been clear that a stimulus pullback is coming for reasons beyond those technical issues. The bank laid the ground rules for what that would look like in a speech last month by Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle, who said tapering will be “gradual and in measured steps.”What the central bank won’t do is touch its short-term benchmark interest rate, its primary monetary policy tool. Economists unanimously see the bank holding it unchanged at 0.25% at the announcement. Not only is the rate at historic lows, but the central bank has pledged not to raise it until all economic slack is full absorbed, so inflation can return sustainably to its 2% target.When that will be depends on a lot of guess work.Up until January, when the Bank of Canada last released economic forecasts, it projected that threshold wouldn’t be reached until 2023.The economy, however, has outperformed spectacularly relative to the Bank of Canada’s projections since then. As a result, markets are anticipating the central bank will bring forward its rate increase, with a 60% probability of a hike this time next year.There is scope for Macklem to push back against those expectations.Economic slack is hard to measure and that gives him leeway to argue faster growth doesn’t mean there will be less excess supply. The central bank can also express heightened concern about the uneven recovery in the labor market -- giving it even more discretion. Then there is the seriousness of the current wave of Covid-19 cases, which is the worst so far in parts of the country. That prompted Canada’s largest province, Ontario, to take its most aggressive steps yet to restrict the movement of people last week.“I think they will keep to this cautious optimism,” Dawn Desjardins, deputy chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said by phone.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) -- It was supposed to be a temporary buffer -- more than $1 trillion of debt taken on by U.S. companies last year to ride out the economic devastation caused by Covid-19.But with the economy rebounding and interest rates still near all-time lows, it’s becoming increasingly tempting for corporations including Home Depot Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to spend those cash cushions on acquisitions and dividend hikes. In many cases, they’re now borrowing more.The risk is that unfettered access to cheap debt -- even for less creditworthy companies -- will ease the pressure on executives to pay down their liabilities. That could extend a decade-long trend of swelling corporate debt levels, increasing the chances of a greater reckoning once interest rates rise or the next time capital markets seize up.“Today’s liquidity becoming tomorrow’s leverage is going to be the story of 2021 for at least some companies,” said David Brown, co-head of global investment grade fixed income at Neuberger Berman, which has $405 billion in assets.Rising CashTotal debt loads for U.S. companies outside the financial industry rose 10% in 2020 to $11.1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve, in part because lower interest rates have made it less burdensome for many companies to shoulder more debt. So far, corporations have largely been hoarding the money rather than spending it. Non-financial companies in the S&P 500 index that reported results before March 31 had about $2.13 trillion of cash and marketable securities on their books in the most recent quarter, up more than 25% from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.But that’s likely to change, according to strategists at Barclays Plc. With the U.S. giving Covid-19 jabs to more than 3 million people a day now, and the economy showing signs of a resurgence as more consumers feel safe to go out and spend, companies are likely to be more aggressive in deploying cash.That’s likely to show up in the form of dividends, share buybacks, acquisitions, capital expenditure, and debt repayments, Barclays strategists led by Shobhit Gupta wrote in a report on Friday. Their analysis of comments on company conference calls shows that more management teams have been talking about making one-time dividend payments in recent months, and have been discussing buying back shares. The volume of acquisitions has also been growing.Generally, companies with higher credit ratings, in particular those at least four steps above junk, are likely to feel comfortable maintaining higher debt levels, the strategists said. Those with lower grades are more likely to pay down obligations.Home Depot sold $5 billion of bonds in March 2020, saying soon after that it wanted to make sure it had enough cash to tide it over during the pandemic. Then in January it borrowed $3 billion more for its acquisition of HD Supply Holdings Inc., its former subsidiary serving professional contractors. In February, the retailer said it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 10%. Meanwhile, total debt jumped by about $5.8 billion over the company’s fiscal year.Higher EarningsInvestors don’t always get hurt when a company boosts its borrowings. In the case of Home Depot, its earnings have risen alongside its liabilities, as the pandemic has spurred house-bound people to fix up their properties.The retailer prepaid $1.35 billion of bonds in March, and credit-rating firms aren’t looking at downgrading the company, which is ranked five steps above junk by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings. But analysts have said the boom in home improvement may fade in the coming year as people finish their projects and spend more time outside the home as the pandemic eases.Most money managers viewed companies’ extra debt as being short-term. Verizon said in April 2020 that it was issuing notes to boost its cash levels, describing the move on a call with investors as a step to help it “manage through the impacts of the Covid pandemic.”Then last month it sold more than $30 billion of bonds in multiple currencies, swelling its total debt to a record high in the process, to help finance purchases of 5G spectrum. The company views the rise in leverage as a temporary move to fund a strategic asset that positions the company for growth, according to an emailed statement from Treasurer Scott Krohn in response to an inquiry from Bloomberg.“For many industries, this liquidity was supposed to be temporary,” said Terence Wheat, senior portfolio manager of investment-grade corporate bonds at PGIM Fixed Income, who declined to comment on any specific corporation. “Now some companies may use it for acquisitions rather than paying down debt.”Lower PenaltiesCorporations are borrowing more now for the same reason they’ve been boosting debt levels for years: because they can. The average yield on an investment-grade corporate bond was just 2.2% as of Monday, far below the mean of the last decade of around 3.17%, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data.And companies are finding that adding on more debt doesn’t necessarily hurt them much. The penalty for a ratings downgrade is generally minimal. A corporation in the BBB tier, or between one and three steps above junk, pays about 0.47 percentage points more yield than companies in the A tier, or four to six steps above speculative grade, according to Bloomberg Barclays index data. That’s close to the lowest difference in a decade, and according to Barclays strategists, reflects the fact that insurance companies have been buying more BBB debt.That shrinking penalty may be why more than half of investment-grade corporate bonds by market value are in the BBB tier, versus just 27% in the early 1990s. Typically, most investment-grade companies can choose to pay down debt and merit higher ratings if they wish.“Companies have chosen to lever up,” said Richard Hunter, global head of corporate ratings at Fitch Ratings. “The wild card is going to be companies’ choices now.”Acquisition Time?For some North American companies, buying competitors looks like a good use of cash, as it can allow them to boost future earnings. Canada’s Rogers Communications Inc. said last month that it plans to acquire Shaw Communications Inc. for $16 billion. Its debt levels are expected to rise to more than five times a measure of earnings, a leverage ratio commonly associated with junk credit ratings. But the company said it plans to delever to a ratio of 3.5 times over the next three years.Rising profits for companies have helped make their debt levels look less worrisome by at least one measure. The ratio of corporations’ earnings to their interest costs has been climbing for the last few quarters, signaling they have more income available to pay their debt. For investment-grade firms in aggregate, that ratio is now better than it was pre-Covid-19, while the metric for junk-rated companies has almost returned to levels before the pandemic, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.High cash levels at companies make indebtedness look lower now by some measures. Net leverage, which subtracts cash from debt and compares that net debt level to a measure of earnings, is near pre-Covid-19 levels for both blue chip companies and riskier speculative grade corporations on average. Total leverage, which doesn’t subtract out cash, remains significantly higher that it was pre-pandemic, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis of the investment-grade and high-yield corporate bond Bloomberg Barclays indexes.If companies keep spending their money instead of paying down debt, net leverage will rise, said Noel Hebert, director of credit research at Bloomberg Intelligence.“Ratings agencies have become comfortable with higher and higher leverage, thus companies are more and more happy to take advantage of it,” Hebert said. “There’s an incentive to hold leverage at elevated levels because there’s no real mechanism that’s punishing you.”(Updates with detail on insurance company demand in paragraph 16)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.
Procter & Gamble said it would raise prices between 5 to 9% on baby care, feminine care and adult incontinence products in the U.S.
Asda deal raises competition concerns, says watchdog FTSE 100 falls below 7,000 Pound touches $1.40 on recovery optimism UK intervenes in $40bn Nvidia-Arm deal on national security grounds US market tumble from all-time highs dragged by tech Matthew Lynn: The Brexit exodus will fundamentally reshape our economy Sign up here for our daily business briefing newsletter
The office-sharing provider will hold the cryptocurrency on its balance sheet and pay landlords and third-party partners in crypto.
The government says an estimated 8,800 bondholders of the collapsed scheme will receive a share of the money.
The US dollar got hit rather hard during the trading session on Monday, reaching down towards the ¥108 level.
(Bloomberg) -- Emerging-market bulls who’ve benefited from moderating U.S. Treasury yields are bracing for a relapse as political risks pile up.MSCI Inc.’s developing-nation stock gauge extended a three-week winning streak on Friday, while a basket of currencies capped its biggest weekly advance since early February. The risk premium on emerging-market sovereign debt narrowed to 339 basis points over U.S. Treasuries, its lowest since February 2020, according to data compiled by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Investors continued to pour money into exchange-traded funds dedicated to emerging markets.Yet the rally is prompting some traders to reassess their bets. Russian shares, which led last week’s equity advance, may come under pressure as the Biden administration evaluates its options to escalate sanctions. South Africa’s rand, the top currency performer in the developing world, is particularly exposed to a potentially stronger dollar, Andres Jaime, a New York-based strategist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note. There’s also concern that Treasury yields, which have declined for two straight weeks, will revert back to their trend in the first quarter, when U.S. bonds suffered their worst rout since 1980.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it closed its trade recommendation on a basket of developing-nation currencies after the rapid rebound.“Some profit taking on rallies and re-engagement on market wobbles makes sense, even as we keep the faith on cyclical upside over the longer term,” Goldman strategists including Zach Pandl and Kamakshya Trivedi wrote in a note Friday. “The idiosyncratic risks that have weighed on EM FX in 2021 are likely to continue to generate volatility and create opportunities.”Listen: EM Weekly Podcast: Easing U.S. Yields; Russia, Indonesia RatesAside from Russia, political risks are gathering pace in Latin America and Asia. Peruvian stocks dropped to their lowest since January after an admirer of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez won the most votes in the first-round of the nation’s presidential election. In China, the credit stress engulfing one of the country’s largest distressed-debt managers is also weighing on shares and bonds.Investors will turn their attention this week to key rate decisions. Indonesia’s central bank may leave borrowing costs unchanged while their Russian counterparts hike. President Vladimir Putin will also make his annual address to the nation on Wednesday, potentially unveiling new measures to boost the economy through spending. He’s facing condemnation from Western officials over the deteriorating health of jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny as well as the Kremlin’s hack attacks and actions toward Ukraine. The ruble has posted the third-biggest decline in emerging markets this past month.Central BanksIndonesian policy makers are expected to keep their key rate on hold Tuesday as the weakening rupiah deters further easingAt a briefing following the March meeting, Governor Perry Warjiyo said the central bank will guard the currency to keep it in line with its fundamentalsThe rupiah has dropped 3.4% this year, the second-worst decline in emerging AsiaPolicy makers last lowered the seven-day reverse repo rate in February, cutting to a record low of 3.5%“With the rupiah under pressure, BI’s desire to maintain external stability means rate cuts are off the cards,” Krystal Tan, an economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Singapore, wrote in a noteRussia’s central bank may extend its new tightening cycle on FridayBloomberg Intelligence predicts a quarter-point hike, though U.S. sanctions “raise the risk of a bigger move”China’s central bank will announce one- and five-year loan prime rates on TuesdayPolicy makers last cut the benchmarks in April 2020 to support the economy from the pandemicThe yuan tops emerging Asia currency gains this year after the Taiwan dollarTrade DataThe Philippines will release balance-of-payments data for March after reporting a deficit in FebruaryThe peso has dropped 0.7% this year, beating most peersTaiwan will publish export orders for March on Tuesday and industrial-production data on FridaySouth Korea, a barometer of global commerce, releases trade data on the first 20 days of April on WednesdayThailand will publish customs-trade figures for March on ThursdayThe baht’s 4.0% drop leads emerging Asia losses in 2021What Else to WatchBrazil traders will monitor federal budget negotiations ahead of an April 22 deadline for President Jair Bolsonaro to decide on a vetoOn Monday, a reading of the nation’s February economic activity is expected to show a 10th straight monthly increase while slipping on a year-over-year basis, according to economists surveyed by BloombergThe country’s benchmark stock index extended on Friday its longest winning streak since last NovemberArgentina’s February economic activity may reflect a slide in industrial and construction activity, interrupting the nation’s recovery, according to Bloomberg EconomicsThe peso, which led declines among major currencies last year, is once again trailing all global peers to start 2021Colombian economic activity for February may reflect a recovery while lingering below pre-pandemic levelsThe nation’s benchmark equity gauge has posted the biggest slide in Latin America so far this yearMexico is set to post bi-weekly consumer price figures on Thursday, which may show the uptrend continuing in the first two weeks of April, according to Bloomberg EconomicsFebruary retail sales data on Friday, meantime, are expected to fall from a year earlier, reflecting the pandemic’s lingering impact, Bloomberg Economics saidThe peso has advanced 3.4% over the past month, the biggest gain in emerging markets during that spanSouth Africa will probably report on Tuesday that headline inflation accelerated in March amid higher fuel pricesThe rand has jumped 3.2% this year, beating all major global currenciesMalaysia posts March inflation data on Friday after reporting its first positive reading for the consumer price index in a year in February(Adds ETF line 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG is considering selling some of the troubled assets in a group of funds linked to financier Lex Greensill to help accelerate the liquidation of the scandal-hit strategy.The bank weighs selling the notes at a discount to distressed debt firms, according to people familiar with the matter. Other options include enforcing claims on insurance policies, or seeking to recover assets from debtors in court, the people said, asking not to be identified in discussing internal deliberations.A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment.Credit Suisse has so far repaid about half of the $10 billion held in the strategy when it froze the money pools in March over valuation uncertainties, setting of a chain of events that culminated in the collapse of Greensill Capital. Investors in the funds, including some of the lender’s wealthiest clients, are facing potentially steep losses after the bank last week indicated that it may not get full recovery on about $2.3 billion of assets.The questionable notes in the funds are related to three counterparties -- Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, SoftBank Group Corp. portfolio company Katerra Inc., and Bluestone Resources Inc., a coal-mining company owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice II. Of these, the exposure to Gupta is the largest at $1.2 billion, Credit Suisse has said.Gupta’s metals and commodity trading group is seeking to stave off insolvency after Greensill, its largest backer, collapsed in March. Katerra ran into troubles last year and needed a bailout from SoftBank. Bluestone has said in a lawsuit that it faces a “clear and present threat” after Greensill’s demise.Credit Suisse marketed the Greensill-linked funds as some of the safest in its lineup, because the loans they held were backed by invoices usually paid in a matter of weeks. But as the strategy grew, they strayed from that pitch and much of the money was lent through Greensill Capital against expected future invoices, for sales that were merely predicted.The Swiss bank is leaning toward letting clients foot the bill for eventual losses because it considers that the risks around Greensill were known and the funds were only marketed to investors able to assess such risks, a person familiar with the matter has said.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) -- Barclays Plc pulled out of its role as the lead underwriter of a municipal-bond sale that was set to build prisons for CoreCivic Inc. after criticism that the bank was backtracking on a pledge to no longer provide financing to for-profit jail companies.KeyBanc Capital Markets, another manager, also said it was resigning from the transaction.The $634 million bond issue was set to be sold as soon as last week through a Wisconsin agency to raise money for a CoreCivic-owned company that was planning to build two prisons in Alabama. The facilities were set to be leased and run by the state’s Department of Corrections.The bank’s lead role in the deal drew controversy because it appeared to be at odds with Barclays’ announcement two years ago that it would no longer provide new financing to private prison companies, whose model of profiting from incarceration has drawn controversy for years. Other banks, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., also said at the time that they were severing ties with the industry.The banks’ last minute decision to abandon the deal was highly unusual and may reflect the growing clout of investors who are pouring into socially minded investment funds, creating a lucrative and growing business that financial institutions are eager to court.Bloomberg News was first to report Barclays’ involvement in the muni-bond deal earlier this month.“We have advised our client that we are no longer participating in the transaction intended to provide financing for correctional facilities in the State of Alabama,” Barclays said Monday through a spokesman in an emailed statement. “While our objective was to enable the State to improve its facilities, we recognize that this is a complex and important issue. In light of the feedback that we have heard, we will continue to review our policies.”KeyBanc Capital Markets has “resigned” from the transaction, a bank spokesperson said via email. A representative for Stifel Financial Corp., another underwriter, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The banks’ retreat may not derail the project, though the departure of the lead underwriter will almost certainly delay the financing. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican who has spearheaded the overhaul of the prisons, said in a statement that the state was disappointed by the decision but would move forward with the projects.CoreCivic spokesperson Amanda Gilchrist said in an emailed statement on Monday that the company is proceeding with efforts to “deliver desperately needed, modern corrections infrastructure to replace dilapidated, aging facilities.”“The reckless and irresponsible activists who claim to represent the interests of incarcerated people are in effect advocating for outdated facilities, less rehabilitation space and potentially dangerous conditions for correctional staff and inmates alike,” she said.The taxable municipal bond sale was expected to provide about 68% of the financing totaling $927 million, according to investor roadshow documents dated March 31. Those plans included the potential sale of $215.6 million in debt issued through a private placement and an equity contribution from CoreCivic.Barclays had defended its work on the deal, saying it wasn’t at odds with its 2019 decision because the money was financing facilities that would be run by Alabama. The state’s officials said the deal with CoreCivic will help it improve conditions within its prison system after the state and its corrections department were sued by the U.S. Justice Department in December for failing to protect male prisoners from violence and unsanitary conditions.Governor Ivey said in the statement that the new facilities would be safer and provide more secure correctional environments.“These new facilities, which will be leased, staffed, and operated by the state, are critical to the state’s public infrastructure needs and will be transformative in addressing the Alabama Department of Corrections’ longstanding challenges,” the statement said.Related: Barclays Bond Deal Shows Limits to Vow on Financing Prison FirmsBarclays nevertheless drew fire from advocacy groups and the public portion of the debt sale was reduced last week, a step that usually indicates that a bank is having difficulty lining up buyers for securities.Last week, the American Sustainable Business Council and partner organization Social Venture Circle, which represents 250,000 businesses to advocate for responsible practices and policies, announced that they would refund Barclays’ membership dues. Barclays joined the group in 2019.“We applaud Barclays’ decision to not underwrite the Alabama private prison bonds,” said David Levine, president of American Sustainable Business Council in a statement on Monday. He said that he invites the bank and other financial institutions to “chart a responsible and beneficial path forward for investing and rebuilding our communities, and our economy.”Related: Barclays Kicked Out of Business Group Over Prison-Bond Work(Adds comment from Alabama governor starting in ninth paragraph and CoreCivic comment in 10th 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.
It is possible that bond yields have stabilized as traders accept the Fed’s reiteration that the rise in inflation will be short-term.
Dogecoin briefly replaced XRP as the fourth-largest coin early Monday.
The commercial aerospace giant raised its retirement age for CEO Dave Calhoun, 64, and announced that 54-year-old CFO Greg Smith is retiring.
The Dogecoin faithful have declared April 20 “Doge Day,” but on Wall Street, having your own ‘day’ is no guarantee of legitimacy or longevity.
Just last Friday, the S&P 500 had closed at a record high. This week, the index can’t seem to find its footing.
(Reuters) -Harley-Davidson Inc on Monday raised its full-year earnings forecast after smashing analysts' quarterly profit estimates, vindicating Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz's decision to focus on more-profitable touring bikes at the expense of cheaper entry-level models. The company, however, also received a setback in the European Union - its second-biggest market - where all of its products, regardless of origin, will be subjected to a 56% import tariff from June following a new EU ruling. The ruling revokes the credentials that currently allow Harley to ship certain motorcycles to the EU from its international manufacturing facilities at a 6% tariff.
Rebates required under Obamacare could put hundreds of dollars back in your pocket.
Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) has been hard to ignore lately, as the meme-based cryptocurrency rose to become the sixth-largest with over $46 billion in market cap. What Happened: With 7,000% year-to-date returns and considerable outperformance against several top cryptocurrencies, DOGE’s appeal to retail investors has steadily been on the rise. However, several crypto influencers and traders have cautioned against going “all-in” on DOGE, citing concerns of a few large holders controlling the majority of its supply. See also: How to Buy DOGE Over 65% of Dogecoins are distributed among just 98 wallets across the world, while the single largest wallet holds 28% of all Dogecoins. In fact, just five wallets control 40% of the coin’s supply. Essentially, around 100 people control the entire $46 billion DOGE market. “The scam is simple - Hold on to Dogecoin till there is enough traction after it multiplies, dump all coins and cash out - Become instant billionaires,” said Akand Sitra of cryptocurrency risk management platform TRM Labs. Why It Matters: Sitra’s analysis of DOGE’s supply distribution was possible due to the nature of blockchain transactions, which are available for anyone to see on the open distributed ledger. Some on-chain analytics of the top DOGE holders led experts to believe that the cryptocurrency’s supply is concentrated among just a few holders. “The Dogecoin bubble will burst by the end of this year, easily,” said Sitra. Other traders in the space echoed this sentiment, calling it the reason why they will never be in DOGE “no matter the gains.” Why I'm not in $DOGE and will never be no matter the gains. https://t.co/jFVU2yQf03 — QuartzHands (@NFTiepie) April 19, 2021 At press time, DOGE was trading at $0.3976, up 32% overnight and 394% in the past seven days. DOGE holders were preparing for April 20, where a large group of retail traders has predicted the coin will touch $0.69. See Also: Dogecoin Creator Defends Meme Crypto's Supply: Doesn't 'Matter For Price' Image: Ivan Radic via Flickr See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaDeFi Blue Chip Season? Here's What Cryptos Coinbase Employees Are Buying Right NowInvestors In Disbelief As DOGE Becomes Top 5 Crypto With B Market Cap© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.