Son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, paid roughly $150 million for a ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ mansion. Yahoo Finance’s Julie Hyman, Dan Roberts, Brian Cheung and Pras Subramanian discuss on On The Move.
Son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, paid roughly $150 million for a ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ mansion. Yahoo Finance’s Julie Hyman, Dan Roberts, Brian Cheung and Pras Subramanian discuss on On The Move.
Euro zone politicians, courts and policy hawks will pose a stiff challenge this year to the ECB's resolve to pin down the bloc's borrowing costs, precisely at a time when higher U.S. Treasury yields are tempting investors away from European markets. The European Central Bank has held sovereign debt yields low through bond purchases, and recently increased buying in its 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.22 trillion) emergency stimulus scheme, known as PEPP. And it is no longer battling alone to support the euro economy, as the pandemic induced governments to spend more and to create an 800 billion-euro Recovery Fund, seeded by joint European Union borrowing.
(Bloomberg) -- Lai Xiaomin, former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., was found guilty of accepting $277 million in bribes, as well as bigamy, crimes serious enough to see him summarily executed in January.Such extreme behavior -- and consequences -- are rare in any country. But in China, more modest but still flagrant mismanagement is common in the $54 trillion financial industry.In 2020 alone, the country’s top banking regulator issued almost 3,200 violations against institutions and 4,554 against individuals ranging from senior executives to rank-and-file staff; it levied fines totaling 2.3 billion yuan ($352.2 million). In the U.S., which has a much longer history of bank regulation, the Federal Reserve took 58 enforcement actions in total.Among the infractions, Chinese investigators found fabricated financial statements, executives’ nannies and chauffeurs installed as controlling shareholders, and favorable rates and sweetheart deals for investors and relatives.The state has also bailed out three poorly-run small lenders and merged dozens more since its first crackdown three years ago. Still, out of 4,400 financial institutions, 12.4% are designated at high risk for failure by the central bank. Now, the government is rewriting the commercial banking law and will have “zero tolerance” for transgressions.“Poor governance is obviously a risk for financial stability,” said Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia economist of Natixis SA. If it’s contained within the country’s smallest institutions, the potential for damage is minimal, she added.“The issue is that we don’t really know whether governance problems are really contained and this is the big risk.”The past week offered a fuller picture of the costs of mismanagement and unchecked corruption. Huarong, which has around $42 billion in outstanding debt at home and abroad, delayed its earnings report in early April, beginning a spiral that’s seen its bonds fall to a record low of about 52 cents on the dollar. Its shares are down 67% since the 2015 debut and currently suspended.A China Huarong spokesperson said Thursday the company “learned the lesson from Lai Xiaomin’s case, firmly implemented central government policies, continued to eliminate the toxic influence, restored our corporate governance, accelerated business transformation and management reform, and enhanced corporate governance to move toward stable and better development.”It’s the second time in two years that creditors have been left at the mercy of bad actors. In 2019, China jolted global markets with a surprise seizure of Baoshang Bank Co., once seen as a model for funding regional economies. Triggered by the misappropriation of funds by its controlling shareholder, the takeover and eventual bankruptcy of Baoshang also called into question long-held assumptions of a perpetual government backstop.In general, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has placed the blame for problems in the financial system on bank directors, shareholders and executives, saying in a December statement that “ineffective corporate governance is the root cause.”In one example, a rural bank lent the equivalent of 95% of its net capital to its shareholders and affiliates, according to the CBIRC, which didn’t name the bank. Most of those loans defaulted or are non-performing.The largest shareholder at one bank inflated revenues by 80 million yuan to make the institution look profitable. Elsewhere, one person and 22 of what the regulator described as his “shadow affiliates” held stakes in 17 banks, far exceeding the limits on banking ownership.The regulator has also identified bad behavior in its own ranks, putting its official in charge of oversight of the rural banks under investigation for severe disciplinary and law violations.Social media, too, has allowed employees to air grievances and reports of wrongdoing. Earlier this year, a whistle-blower at China Life Insurance Co. claimed on the social network Sina Weibo that the branch head fabricated client signatures and pocketed millions of dollars of non-existent marketing expenses. Following a CBIRC investigation, the company said in a statement that it was fined 510,000 yuan for inadequate internal controls broadly and pledged to enhance compliance education.In response to the rising risks, the central bank is revising its commercial bank law. The proposed changes include a new chapter on corporate governance, which for the first time specifies the responsibilities of shareholders and the key role of the board of directors. It also bars entities from using borrowed money to invest in banks and prohibits directors from holding posts at more than one affiliated institution.Unlike in the U.S. and Europe where misconduct and mismanagement often lead to public outcry, regulatory probes, and even high-profile firings, top leaders have been so far insulated in China. Senior executives are rarely held responsible for branch-level violations, and the financial penalties pale compared with the 1.9 trillion yuan of profit the industry earned last year.“This is work in progress,” said James Stent, author of China’s Banking Transformation and a former banker who’s spent more than a decade on the boards of two Chinese lenders. “Governance is generally good at priority large banks, but problems remain at lower level financial institutions. Addressing them will take time, and governance will always be imperfect.”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 Pritzkers built an empire spanning hotels to manufacturing before agreeing two decades ago to split up their fortune among 11 descendants.Karen Pritzker, one of the heirs, has parlayed that wealth into venture capital, backing firms such as Snap Inc. and Spotify Technology. Now she’s joined the wave of investors turning to blank-check firms.The Pritzker Vlock Family Office is the anchor investor for Thimble Point Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company that raised almost $300 million in an initial public offering in February. Executives from the family office, named after Pritzker and her late husband Michael Vlock, are leading the venture, which will focus on software and technology.“It allows us to be able to take companies public and kind of complete the full life cycle,” said Elon Boms, 40, Thimble Point’s chief executive officer and managing director of the family office, which committed $50 million to the SPAC ahead of its IPO.Growing ForceThe SPAC boom has attracted financiers, former politicians, athletes and celebrities willing to use their fame to attract retail and institutional investment. About 600 blank-check companies have raised more than $182 billion since the beginning of 2020, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.But family offices — the discrete, sometimes secretive firms that manage the affairs of the ultra-rich — have been one of the biggest driving forces.While large family offices have long been investors in private equity and real estate, the recent flurry of SPAC bets show how they’re becoming a growing force in public markets. This comes at a time when some critics are pushing for more regulation of the investment firms following the implosion of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management, which has inflicted billions of dollars of losses from banks.Family offices are largely exempt from registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but SPACs have to file with the regulator, providing insight into how billionaires are managing their money.Family offices and firms linked to them have launched — or sponsored — at least a dozen SPACs that have raised about $4.5 billion in the past year with a further $1 billion in pending offerings, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Och, SternlichtFormer hedge-fund manager Dan Och has been particularly active through his Willoughby Capital. The New York-based firm has invested in a blank-check company targeting China’s consumer industry and also holds a stake in Thimble Point, according to a person familiar with the deal. A SPAC he’s sponsored, Ajax I, is merging with U.K.-based used-car platform Cazoo in a deal valued at about $7 billion.Barry Sternlicht’s family office is affiliated with the creation of six SPACs. Meanwhile, a blank-check firm set up by a co-founder of Michael Dell’s family office raised almost $600 million in its IPO last month, while Tom Barrack’s family office Falcon Peak is sponsoring Falcon Acquisition, a blank-check company that’s filed for a $250 million public offering.Most SPACs have been created in the U.S., but the trend has gone global. Black Spade Capital, the Hong Kong-based family office of casino mogul Lawrence Ho, has got in on the action. London-based billionaire Mohamed Mansour’s Man Capital invested in Grab Holdings Inc., Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup, before it announced a $40 billion tie-up on Tuesday.Rich families are even joining forces. NNS Group, the family office of Egypt’s Nassef Sawiris, teamed with an investment firm for the Frere and Desmarais families to launch Avanti Acquisition Corp., which is targeting European businesses after raising $600 million through its U.S. offering.‘Very Active’“Sophisticated family offices have been very active,” said Luigi Pigorini, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citi Global Wealth. “They have incredible connections, knowledge and investment capabilities — all of these are important characteristics.”The SPAC mania is showing signs of wear and tear with clogged deal pipelines, heightened regulatory scrutiny and concerns over the quality of the deals that have been done.Real estate titan Sternlicht joked that a member of his domestic staff — his “very talented house manager” — probably could pull off a SPAC. He told CNBC last month that “if you can walk, you can do a SPAC,” and pointed out that many of the people behind blank-check firms are failed money managers or executives.“Three days due diligence means you check the letterhead and find out if the company exists,” Sternlicht told CNBC. “It’s a little out of control. No, it’s a lot out of control.”But Sternlicht is convinced he’s got the secret sauce. His Jaws Spitfire Acquisition Corp. is merging with Velo3D, a maker of 3-D metal printers, valuing the company at $1.6 billion. Jaws Acquisition Corp., another SPAC he’s backed, is merging with health-care provider Cano in a deal valued at $4.4 billion.Bolster ReturnsEven if SPACs flounder, it won’t necessarily hurt the family offices that have already launched blank-check companies.SPAC sponsors typically buy shares in firms they create at a fraction of the standard $10 price offered to IPO investors. They usually own about 20% of the blank-check firm’s equity after it goes public and can bolster their returns further through debt or equity financing and stock options.The family office of payments-processing entrepreneur Ed Freedman, for example, is linked to the sponsor of Stable Road Acquisition Corp., which agreed in October to merge with space-transportation company Momentus. The blank-check firm, which has until next month to complete the deal, is seeking shareholder approval to extend the deadline.If they fully vest, a group of shares the sponsor acquired for about $5 million will be worth more than nine times that amount — an 800% gain — even if the company’s stock price remains at $10, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Freedman’s family office has also loaned the SPAC $300,000 and agreed to invest an additional $3 million at a price of $10 per share, filings show. Stable Road closed Thursday at $10.56 a share.A Stable Road spokesperson declined to comment.SPACs typically have as long as two years to find a company to acquire. If they fail to do so, they have to return cash plus interest to investors, while the sponsor forfeits their original investment.Thimble Point’s Boms said he began considering a SPAC about a year ago after trying to take companies public through reverse mergers. He said he’s had more than 100 meetings with prospective acquisitions since the company’s IPO. Of the roughly 600 SPACs that have listed since the start of last year, less than a third have announced deals and about 30 have completed them, according data compiled by Bloomberg.“We have a very, very solid hit list,” Boms said. “We are talking to people right now.”(Updates with details of Tom Barrack family office in 11th 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.
Grab’s record-breaking deal to merge with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) will raise an eye-popping $4.5 billion in cash. A quick recap: Singapore-based Grab is poised to have a market value of around $39.6 billion after it combines with a SPAC called Altimeter Growth. Altimeter is basically a $500 million pot of money listed on Nasdaq that was looking for a target to merge with (which is why SPACS are sometimes called “blank check” companies).
(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe is considering penalizing domestic banks, telecommunications operators and other businesses over what the government describes as profiteering off the hard currency it makes available at auctions.Lenders could face fines and suspensions, while companies that charge a premium for foreign exchange may be banned from participating in the auctions, central bank Governor John Mangudya said in a phone interview from the capital, Harare.“All the malpractices will be targeted,” he said. “There’s no need to chase foreign currency as if it will run out.”President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday threatened unspecified actions against “sharks in the financial sector,” according to the state-owned Herald newspaper, which said unidentified entities are profiteering at the public’s expense. The president’s comments were made during a wide-ranging interview he gave to state-owned television that will be aired on April 17 on the eve of Independence Day celebrations, the paper said.Exchange ClosedMnangagwa has previously issued warnings to private companies he blames for undermining his efforts to turn around an economy plagued by annual inflation of 241% and foreign-currency shortages.Last year, his government closed the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for five weeks and singled out the largest mobile operator, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd., for undermining the nation’s currency through its mobile-money service. Econet denied the allegations.The impending action is an attempt to prevent manipulation of the foreign-currency auction system, according to the Herald. The system has provided over $800 million to companies since its introduction in June, though high demand for U.S. dollars by importers means that there is only a limited supply.Monetary authorities met with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe on April 12 to discuss “due diligence and know-your-customer requirements” in order to ensure economic stability, Mangudya said.Ralph Watungwa, president of the Banker’s Association of Zimbabwe, didn’t immediately answer two calls to his mobile phone seeking comment.Zimbabwe reintroduced its own currency in 2019 after a 10-year hiatus and has been battling bouts of high inflation and shortages of everything from foreign currency to food. The local unit, which was pegged at parity to the U.S. dollar as recently as February 2019, has plunged to 84 per U.S. dollar.The gap between the official exchange rate and parallel market has widened by 36%, with a U.S. dollar selling for 115 Zimbabwean dollars on the streets of Harare.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.
Gold is rallying because U.S. Treasury yields are trading lower, despite strong weekly jobless claims and booming monthly retail sales data.
(Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds have been a major player in this year’s Treasury selloff, offloading more than $100 billion of the securities since the start of January, according to holdings data.The world’s biggest net sales of U.S. government debt so far in 2021 has been in the financial center of the Cayman Islands, well known as a domicile for leveraged accounts. Investors there dumped $62 billion of US. sovereign bonds in February, after selling $49 billion the previous month, Treasury Department data show.The January and February selling flow also appears to offer some clues about recent price action. Treasuries rallied on Thursday despite stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data, with many participants pointing to short-covering demand as the reason.“Hedge funds overall were probably keenly involved in the rates move, but I don’t think they were alone,” said Richard Kelly, head of global strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “The market broadly built up some decent short positions in a relatively short time.”U.S. 10-year yields have jumped more than 60 basis points since the end of December to trade at 1.58% on Friday. Among the catalysts for the bearish tilt were Democratic victories in the Georgia Senate run-off race that paved the way for another round of stimulus spending, and the rollout of coronavirus vaccines. Rising yields then prompted a return of convexity-type hedging flows.Hedge Fund Research Inc.’s Macro Total Index, which tracks discretionary macro managers among others, climbed 0.2% in January and clocked a 2.8% gain in February.(Updates with Toronto-Dominion Bank comment in fourth paragraph and hedge fund index data in final 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) -- U.S. stocks jumped to record highs with retail sales and weekly jobless claims data signaling an accelerating recovery in the world’s biggest economy. Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes dropped the most since February.The S&P 500 advanced to an all-time high, led by the real estate, health care and technology sectors. Financial shares declined with yields falling, even after Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. posted better-than-forecast trading revenue. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq 100 indexes also reached all-time peaks.“The consumer is ready to go out and spend, after nearly a year of lockdowns from Covid-19,” said Vanessa Martinez, managing director and partner at The Lerner Group, a Chicago-based wealth management firm. “There is plenty of pent-up demand in the economy.”The ruble slid as the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on some Russian debt, individuals and entities in retaliation for alleged misconduct related to the SolarWinds hack and the U.S. election. Traders suggested international concerns may have helped fuel the rally in Treasuries, with many investors caught positioned for higher yields.“This continues to be one of the more confusing dynamics in markets at least right now,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for the U.S. SPDR exchange-traded fund business at State Street Global Advisors. “I think part of it is that you saw the 10-year make a very rapid move over a very short period of time, so this could be a pause before it starts to move higher again.”Expectations of a strong economic recovery, combined with optimism over monetary and fiscal stimulus, have pushed equities to record levels this week as company reporting continues. Still, investors are closely monitoring developments on the vaccine rollout, while also keeping an eye on the threat from rising inflation.“We are probably entering the last stage of the pricing of the growth acceleration, and we see encouraging signs suggesting the ‘reflationary’ environment can continue and be supportive for risky assets in the near term,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists led by Alessio Rizzi wrote in a note. “Across assets we continue to prefer equity over credit, and favor a pro-cyclical stance within equity.”Elsewhere, Bitcoin gained and Coinbase Global Inc. fell even following news that three funds at Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management bought shares at Wednesday’s debut of the largest digital asset exchange. Oil edged higher in the wake of Wednesday’s surge.Some key events to watch this week:China economic growth, industrial production and retail sales figures are on Friday.These are some of the main moves in financial markets: StocksThe S&P 500 Index rose 1.1% to a record high as of 4:02 p.m. New York timeThe NASDAQ Composite Index rose 1.3%, more than any closing gain since April 5The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% to a record highThe MSCI World Index rose 0.9% to a record highCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%, falling for the fourth straight day, the longest losing streak since April 6The euro was unchanged at $1.20The British pound climbed 0.1%, rising for the fourth straight day, the longest winning streak since Feb. 24The Japanese yen climbed 0.2%, rising for the fourth straight day, the longest winning streak since Feb. 22BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries declined 8.1 basis points, more than any closing loss since Feb. 26Germany’s 10-year yield declined 3.2 basis points, more than any closing loss since April 1Britain’s 10-year yield declined 6.7 basis points, more than any closing loss since March 2CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3%, climbing for the fourth straight day, the longest winning streak since Feb. 25Gold futures rose 1.7%, the most since March 30For 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 firm saw a social media backlash after a nurse claimed staff were turned away for beauty treatments.
(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp.’s traders and investment bankers joined their Wall Street rivals in capitalizing on the stock market’s wild ride this year, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy investors also looking for more lending activity.Shares fell as much as 4.2% Thursday -- their biggest intraday decline in five months -- after the company reported a decline in loan balances and its executives said higher costs from the pandemic would persist for longer than expected.“Like all banks, BofA is waiting for loan growth, which was weak this quarter,” said Alison Williams, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. “Higher expenses are likely a disappointment.”The company’s stock slid even after it reported a 17% surge in revenue from sales and trading in the first quarter, a bigger jump than expected, while equity underwriting fees more than tripled. The results echo blockbuster profits at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which benefited from increased trading amid stock-market volatility and a flurry of activity by blank-check companies.As the Covid-19 pandemic drags on, U.S. banking giants have remained resilient. Their Wall Street operations picked up the slack for other divisions, bringing in deal fees and activity from clients who were reacting to financial-market gyrations. Main Street units fared worse, as millions of Americans lost their jobs and businesses were shuttered. But there are some indications that consumers are starting to spend again as the vaccine rollout and stimulus efforts help the economic revival pick up steam.“We see an accelerating recovery” that has “gained momentum and continues to be supported by fiscal monetary policies,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan told analysts on a conference call. “We remain highly focused on capturing loan growth as the economy expands and continues to recover.”Bank of America’s fixed-income traders delivered a 22% climb in revenue, while its stock desks saw a 10% increase. The overall jump didn’t reach the blowout numbers that JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs announced Wednesday, but the bank’s total haul of $5.1 billion beat analysts’ $4.37 billion forecast.Investment-banking fees climbed more than 60% to a record $2.25 billion, led by a surge in equity-underwriting fees to $900 million.The bank’s net interest income, or revenue from customer loan payments minus what the company pays depositors, decreased 16% to $10.2 billion. Loans in the consumer banking unit dropped 8%.“We believe 4Q 2021 NII could rise as much as $1 billion from this quarter’s level,” Chief Financial Officer Paul Donofrio told analysts.Noninterest expenses rose 15% to $15.5 billion, driven by costs linked to the coronavirus, compensation changes and charges for shrinking the bank’s real estate footprint.“Obviously we’re sitting here in the middle of a pandemic with a lot of Covid expenses that have been a little more sticky than we had all hoped, but they’re going to come out -- there’s no question about that,” said Donofrio, who fielded several analyst questions about costs during the earnings call.The bank joined rivals in releasing reserves as the worst-case pandemic scenarios didn’t play out. It released $2.7 billion from its stockpile last quarter after stashing away more than $11 billion last year to cover loans likely to sour. Reserves will probably decline in coming quarters as the economy gets back on track and uncertainty eases, Donofrio told reporters on an earlier conference call.Client balances in the Merrill Lynch Wealth Management business surged 32% to a record $2.9 trillion, while assets under management jumped 36% to $1.1 trillion.Also in the first-quarter results:Net income rose to $8.05 billion from $4.01 billion a year earlier. It exceeded the $6.25 billion estimate of 13 analysts. Per-share earnings of 86 cents beat analysts’ 66-cent forecast.Total revenue increased slightly to $22.8 billion.Bank of America also said Thursday that it plans to boost its capital returns once restrictions from the Federal Reserve are lifted. The bank’s board authorized $25 billion of stock buybacks over time.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) -- Europe’s auto sales soared last month from a depressed level a year ago, making up for a dismal start to the year even as virus-related restrictions persisted in key markets.New car-registrations rose 63% in March, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said Friday. The gains erased an early-year decline to leave sales up 0.9% for the quarter.While automakers are benefiting from easy comparisons to a year ago, when countries were locking down to contain the spread of Covid-19, last month’s sales stack up well even relative to pre-pandemic. The 1.39 million vehicles registered was the highest since June 2019.Carmaker shares advanced on sales regaining momentum and Daimler AG reporting better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter. The Mercedes-Benz maker cited strong sales in all major regions.The Stoxx Europe 600 Automobiles & Parts Index climbed 1.5% in early trading, led by gains for Volkswagen AG, parts maker Continental AG and Daimler.Consumers returning to dealerships are a welcome development for the industry after months of Europe’s car market lagging behind rising sales seen in China and the U.S. Carmakers’ concerns have shifted dramatically from demand to supply issues, with the global chip shortage hampering production for the likes of VW, Stellantis NV and Renault SA.“Only the critical global supply situation for various semiconductor categories currently has a limiting effect on this upswing,” VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said at the Hannover Messe trade fair Thursday.March tends to be a seasonally strong time of year for Europe’s auto industry, so registrations were still about 13% below what the industry averaged for the month in the decade before the pandemic, according to the ACEA.While Italy -- the epicenter of Europe’s initial virus outbreak -- saw sales rise almost 500% last month, they remained 12% below 2019 levels as virus-related measures curb economic activity.Carmakers have been coping with restrictions by moving sales processes online and taking advantage of government subsidies for electric vehicles. Economic forecasters have said the continent’s growth prospects rest on a vaccination program that started slowly but has begun to accelerate.Even as many areas slowly return to normal, carmakers are benefiting from health concerns about using public transport or ride-hailing services during the pandemic.Among Europe’s five largest markets, sales rose 29% and 21% in Italy and France in the first quarter. Registrations fell 15% in Spain, 12% in the U.K. and 6.4% in Germany.The industry witnessed historic consolidation during the quarter, with France’s PSA Group merging with Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler to form Stellantis. About 47% of vehicles registered in the first three months of the year were VW or Stellantis models.(Updates with shares, Daimler earnings in 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.
China has given domestic and international banks permission to import large amounts of gold into the country, five sources familiar with the matter said, potentially helping to support gold prices after a months-long decline. China is the world's biggest gold consumer, gobbling up hundreds of tonnes worth tens of billions of dollars each year, but its imports plunged as the coronavirus spread and local demand dried up. With China's economy rebounding strongly since the second half of last year, its appetite for gold jewellery, bars and coins has also recovered, and since January domestic prices have been higher than global benchmark rates, making it profitable to import bullion.
Bitcoin fell early on Friday, after Turkey’s central bank decided to ban cryptocurrency payments from the end of the month.
It’s not a good sign that wide divergences between the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) have become almost commonplace. Consider the number of trading sessions in which there is at least one percentage point spread between the returns of these two indices. On Tuesday, the Nasdaq rose 1.1% while the Dow fell 0.2%.
China's GDP expanded by a dizzying 18.3% in the first three months of 2021 from a year earlier, sealing its status as COVID-19's "first in, first out" economy. It was the only major economy that showed an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) last year after successfully controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic at home. HOW BIG IS CHINA'S FIRST-QUARTER GDP GROWTH EXACTLY?
Citibank has hinted there won't be any possible layoff and closure of physical branches in the countries it is exiting.
The IRS sent out COVID-19 relief checks to nearly 2M more Americans, including over 700,000 'plus-up' payments for people eligible for more money.
The IRS commissioner says the child credit payments will arrive on time after all.
Coinbase is the first of many crypto startups to go public. But, as crypto continues to eat traditional finance, will those listings matter?
(Bloomberg) -- The chief executive officer of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. said the movie-theater chain is once again “under attack” from short sellers after skirting bankruptcy during the Covid-19 pandemic.The volume of short sales -- bets that the stock will go down -- rose about 50% in March to 73.8 million shares, CEO Adam Aron said in a discussion with the social-media finance commentator Trey Collins. In a wide-ranging interview, he also touched on a proposal to raise new equity and praised the meme investors who bid the stock up to more than $20 a share in January.The shares have since retreated from that lofty level. But they rose as much as 9.4% on Thursday after Aron said he has no immediate plans to issue any of the 500 million new shares the company is asking shareholders to authorize. The company won’t seek to sell those shares in 2021 but rather in the coming years. Aron is seeking to carry out a long-term growth plan that could silence AMC’s doubters.“There are strategies we have that are very good for AMC, to come out of this pandemic, to rebuild this company,” Aron said. “But not only get back to where we were, I’d like to keep going. And I’d like to grow this company even more so.”Shirting CollapseAron also reflected on the difficult stretch the theater chain endured. In 2019, revenue averaged $450 million a month. It slumped virtually to zero a little over a year ago, after the pandemic forced theaters to close. The chain was weeks away from running out of cash at least five times, and has since restructured its finances, banking enough cash to last through most of 2021.Other theaters have succumbed to the Covid-19-struggle. ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres, two jointly owned California movie-theater chains, announced plans this week to close permanently, underscoring the still-tenuous state of the industry.If short-term funding needs arise, AMC has a prior authorization to sell 43 million new shares. Aron said that’s enough to get the company through the pandemic, but limits its growth opportunities. If investors at the May 4 annual meeting approve the plan for additional stock, he’ll gain flexibility to buy back debt at a discount or acquire another chain at an attractive price, which would counteract any dilution.The theater chain has about 450 million shares outstanding now, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Aron’s remarks were included in a regulatory filing Thursday.Praise for TradersAron, who has long been known as outspoken, also praised the internet investors who see themselves as fighting against “conventional” market participants, like short sellers who profit when stock prices decline. He connected with Collins, who offers online investment commentary under the username Trey’s Trades, after his 30-year-old son saw a tweet that Collins had sent to his nearly 50,000 followers, known as “apes.”“My hat’s off to you,” Aron said. “I’m well aware that you have been talking about AMC a lot over the last few months and you have, you know, hundreds of thousands of subscribers, tens and tens of thousands of people watching your shows on the YouTube channel,” Aron said.“I actually work for you,” he said, “and for that reason it’s a special reason for me to engage with all of you.”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.