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Singapore banks may see worst-case hit of 14-18% on revenue over consumer loan relief: Jefferies

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – In a worst-case scenario, Singapore banks may see a 14 to 18 per cent hit to their revenue in 2020 following the latest coronavirus relief measures for consumers, said Jefferies Research in a report on Wednesday (April 1). The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday announced measures that showed how financial institutions should allow distressed property owners and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to defer debt repayments or payments on insurance policies, amid the virus crisis. Banks and finance companies must allow deferments on principal repayments of qualifying mortgages and secured corporate loans through to the end of the year. Insurers can also offer deferments of instalment payments on health insurance policies, and design instalment payment plans on general insurance held by both individuals and corporates. Assuming the bank's entire mortgage and personal loan book is available for interest deferment or lower rates, J..

Business

Ugly Qantas feud with Virgin Australia puts spotlight on ethics of airline bailouts

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – An ugly feud is escalating between Qantas Airways and its closest Australian competitor over the ethics of state aid, just as airlines facing collapse around the world race to secure bailouts. With demand all but gone, Qantas is hunkering down to weather the coronavirus crisis after a run of record profits. It has furloughed most staff and used planes as collateral to swell its cash reserves to A$3 billion (S$2.6 billion). Meanwhile Virgin Australia Holdings, unprofitable for seven years, has asked for a A$1.4 billion government loan that would convert into equity if unpaid. Qantas argues that Virgin's record should not be rewarded with a bailout, while Virgin has accused Qantas of spreading false rumours about Virgin's cash position. The dispute intensified on Wednesday (April 1) after Australia's corporate regulator said it is investigating allegations against Qantas, which may have influenced the share prices of both airlines. Qantas said the..

Business

KKR suspends $2.85b sale of Singapore’s Goodpack amid market turmoil

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG, REUTERS) – Private equity giant KKR & Co is suspending its planned sale of Goodpack, a Singapore provider of intermediate bulk containers, after bids fell short of expectations, according to people familiar with the matter. The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the sale, which was expected to fetch at least US$2 billion (S$2.85 billion), said the people, who asked not to be named as the information is private. Potential buyers have expressed difficulties in getting financing and offers were below what the New York-based buyout firm anticipated, the people said. Any successful sale of Goodpack for US$2 billion would mark one of the biggest exits by a private equity of a Singapore-based company, according to data complied by Bloomberg. KKR may resume the process within the next few months once concerns over the coronavirus ease, the people said. A representative for KKR declined to comment, while a representative for Goodpack didn't immediately respond to r..

Business

Futures tumble as coronavirus crisis intensifies

REUTERS: U.S. stock index futures sank on Wednesday following stark predictions of a rising U.S. death toll and economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak, a day after the S&P 500 ended its worst quarter since the 2008 financial crisis. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Americans of a "very, very painful" two weeks, with White House health officials modeling an enormous jump in virus-related deaths even with strict social distancing measures. Advertisement Advertisement Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester said reports measuring U.S. economic activity are likely to be "very bad" in the first half of 2020 and the unemployment rate could rise above 10per cent due to efforts to stem the virus outbreak. The rapid worldwide spread of the disease has forced entire countries to shut down, stalling business activity and raising fears of corporate defaults. The S&P 500 lost about US$7 trillion in market value to post its worst first quarter on record, while the..

Business

Oil majors slash 2020 spending by 20per cent after prices slump

Business The world's biggest oil and gas companies are cutting spending this year following a collapse in oil prices driven by a slump in demand because of the coronavirus crisis and a price war between top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia. FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. . REUTERS/Angus Mordant 2 related media assets (image or videos) available. Click to see the gallery. 01 Apr 2020 05:55PM Share this content Bookmark LONDON: The world's biggest oil and gas companies are cutting spending this year following a collapse in oil prices driven by a slump in demand because of the coronavirus crisis and a price war between top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia. Cuts already announced by eight major oil companies, including Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell, come to a combined US$28 billion, or a drop of 20per cent from their initial spending plans of US$142 billion. Advertis..

Business

Exclusive: China may ease electric car quotas, delay emission rules to help automakers – sources

Business China is considering temporarily easing quotas designed to boost production of electric cars to help automakers badly bruised by the coronavirus pandemic to revive slumping sales, people familiar with the matter said. FILE PHOTO: Baojun E100 and E200 all-electric battery cars at a parking lot operated by General Motors Co and joint-venture partners in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo 2 related media assets (image or videos) available. Click to see the gallery. 01 Apr 2020 05:45PM Share this content Bookmark BEIJING: China is considering temporarily easing quotas designed to boost production of electric cars to help automakers badly bruised by the coronavirus pandemic to revive slumping sales, people familiar with the matter said. Policymakers in the world's biggest auto market may also delay the implementation of a new emission particle restriction by six months to help the car industry, which has s..

World

Ecuador Struggles to Collect the Dead as Coronavirus Spreads

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador—Ecuadorean authorities said on Monday they would improve the collection of corpses, as delays related to the rapid spread of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, has left families keeping their loved ones bodies in their homes for days in some cases. Residents of Guayaquil, Ecuadors largest city, have complained they have no way to dispose of relatives remains due to strict quarantine and curfew measures designed to prevent spread of the disease. Last week, authorities said they had removed 100 corpses from homes in Guayaquil. But delays in collecting bodies in the Andean country, which has reported 1,966 cases of the CCP virus and 62 deaths, were evident midday on Monday in downtown Guayaquil, where a mans dead body lay on a sidewalk under a blue plastic sheet, according to a Reuters witness. Police said the man had collapsed while waiting in line to enter a store. Reuters could not identify the man or the cause of his death. Hours later on Mon..

World

Canadian Forces Prepare to Do Battle With CCP Virus

The Canadian Armed Forces are preparing to fight an invisible enemy. As many as 24,000 members could be engaged against the CCP virus, doing everything from delivering supplies to helping enforce quarantine orders. “We will be there. Were ready to help,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said at a press conference March 30. Sajjan gave three directives to Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance: slow the virus; support vulnerable communities, especially the Indigenous and northern ones; and preserve the forces ability to assist with fires and floods. Regular members, reservists, and rangers have been put on the ready for what could be the greatest response at home since the Quebec and Eastern Ontario ice storms of 1998. At the discretion of Ottawa, the forces could be asked to come alongside provincial, federal, or municipal efforts. Military brass are considering both short- and long-term scenarios. “These forces will be organized down to individual level into task forces abl..

World

NGO Urges Adoption of New Pandemic Paradigm for COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Researchers at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), an international nongovernmental organization, are calling for a new model of vaccine development for pandemics. The team argues in a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine that overlapping otherwise linear stages of vaccine development and investing early in manufacturing capacity can bring pandemic vaccines to market faster and blunt the impact of a major outbreak such as COVID-19. “Vaccine development is a lengthy, expensive process. Attrition is high, and it typically takes multiple candidates and many years to produce a licensed vaccine,” the CEPI team explained in the scientific article, published on March 30. A researcher works on virus replication in order to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on March 26, 2020. (Douglas Magno/AFP/Getty Images) The team says overlapping phases of vaccine development would shorten the time-to-market for a viable candidate, bu..

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