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Business

Britains Banks Brace for $22 Billion Loan Losses as Outlook Darkens

LONDON—Britains banks took a gloomier view than almost all their European peers in their second quarter earnings, as coronavirus fears, Brexit and low interest rates caused them to bake tougher “worst-case” scenarios into their risk models. Investors had expected a torrid set of half-year results, but Barclays, Standard Chartered, Lloyds, NatWest Group, and HSBC fell short of these low expectations. Provisions for potential loan losses across the five banks topped $22 billion, blowing past analyst forecasts and increasing selling pressure on shares already hammered by the pandemic this year. A Natwest bank in Wimbledon, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 1, 2020. (Hannah McKay/Reuters) By contrast, Frances BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse beat analyst forecasts, benefiting from bumper trading volumes as well as relatively modest provisions. HSBC and Lloyds were punished for poor results, with shares in both banks plumbing their lowest l..

Business

Retailer WH Smith to Cut up to 1,500 Jobs in the UK

British retailer WH Smith announced on Wednesday that up to 1,500 jobs could be cut due to the impact of the CCP virus. This is a part of the groups proposed plans to restructure its UK store operations. The decision to restructure is a result of low passenger numbers and low footfall on the UK high street, WH Smith said in a statement. In April, WH Smiths airport and train station store revenue was down 92 percent year-on-year, while high street store revenue was down 71 percent. It has seen encouraging improvement since stores reopened in June. In July, travel and high street revenue was down 73 percent and 25 percent year-on-year, respectively. The retailer said it expects to deliver a headline loss before tax for the financial year ending Aug. 31, 2020, of between 70 million pounds ($92 million) and 75 million pounds ($98 million), compared with a headline pretax profit of 155 million pounds ($203 million) last year. The restructure is estimated to cost between 15 million pound..

Business

BMW Losses Almost $800 Million as Sales Slide During Lockdowns

FRANKFURT—BMW expects to make an operating profit this year despite losing 666 million euros ($787 million) in the second quarter for its first loss since 2009 as sales of its luxury cars slumped during coronavirus lockdowns, the company said on Wednesday. The German manufacturer of BMWs, Minis and Rolls-Royces, said deliveries had begun to recover, including in China, but the rebound would not be enough to make up for the shortfall in sales lost to the pandemic. Shares in BMW fell 3 percent following the results with some analysts saying they had not expected such a big loss in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). BMW also said its outlook did not factor in the potential impact of a second wave of COVID-19 infections, nor the prospect of a more sustained or deeper recession in its key markets. The pandemic has hit Fiat Chrysler, Ford and Daimler particularly hard at a time when the traditional auto industry is ramping up spending on low-emission technologies ahead of stringe..

Business

Motor racing: Softer tyres throw up a fresh challenge for Hamilton

SILVERSTONE, ENGLAND (REUTERS) – Softer tyres and hotter temperatures will pose a fresh test for Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone on Sunday (Aug 9) after the Formula One championship leader won last weekend's British Grand Prix on three wheels and a flat. Tyre supplier Pirelli had always planned a change of compounds for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, second of two at the circuit where the championship began in 1950, but there will be more scrutiny now. Hamilton's win after a last lap tyre failure will go down as one of his most dramatic and came after he completed more than three quarters of the race on a single set. "One step softer is going to be a challenge for us all and no doubt will move us all to at least a two-stop," the six-times world champion, now 30 points clear of team mate Valtteri Bottas, said last Sunday. "Obviously, our cars are a lot quicker this year, we're using the same tyres as last year, they (Pirelli) weren't able to develop a better tyre..

Business

Coronavirus: Growing hope that sports leagues, competitions in Singapore will resume soon

SINGAPORE – For the past six weeks, Singapore Premier League (SPL) footballers have trained diligently day in, day out, even as a question mark hovers over whether they will play another competitive game this year. The league, which began on Feb 29, was halted on March 24 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Teams returned to training – albeit in groups of five and with no contact allowed – in Phase Two from June 20 and with the Government slowly easing measures in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, there is growing hope that the SPL can resume soon. Tanjong Pagar United defender Delwinder Singh said it would be a "big morale booster" not just for football. "At the end of the day, everyone wants to be able to go back to the way it was before without restrictions," he added. Athletes' hopes have been raised with the gradual easing of restrictions in other sectors of society. From Aug 7, 12 religious organisations will be allowed to hold worship services with up to 100 peop..

Business

Football: History will not repeat itself, vows Fulham boss Parker after immediate return to Premier League

LONDON (AFP) – Scott Parker says newly promoted Fulham must avoid the mistakes they made when last in the English Premier League two seasons ago, after securing a return to the top flight with victory over Brentford in the League Championship play-off final. The 39-year-old former Fulham and England midfielder's pragmatic approach got the better of the more adventurous style of Brentford counterpart Thomas Frank as his side won 2-1 after extra time on Tuesday (Aug 4) at an empty Wembley. Parker's approach to tactics may not be crowd-pleasing but they could be the right recipe to prevent the Cottagers going straight back down like they did last time. Huge investment in players was not rewarded with results on the pitch with many of the influx looking hideously over-priced. Parker was a first-hand witness to the debacle, having replaced Claudio Ranieri in February 2019 when they were all but doomed. However, one of owner Shahid Khan's better investments was to hand hi..

Business

MAS to enhance transparency, data availability of Sora rate benchmark to spur its adoption

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will prescribe the Singapore Overnight Rate Average (Sora) as a financial benchmark under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA), as well as enhance its transparency and data availability, as part of a slew of measures to support the adoption of the MAS-administered Sora. These initiatives aim to catalyse greater activity in Sora markets, safeguard the benchmark's integrity and enhance market confidence in Sora, given its growing importance as a key interest rate benchmark in Singapore dollar (SGD) financial markets, said the MAS in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 5). They aim to complement the industry-led transition roadmap set out by the Steering Committee for SOR Transition to Sora (SC-STS), to develop "vibrant and robust" Sora markets, said the MAS. Singapore is transitioning from the Swap Offer Rate (SOR) to Sora, which is the volume-weighted average rate of borrowing transactions in the unsecured over..

Business

Indonesian tycoon Kris Wiluan faces 112 charges of alleged false trading, market rigging of Singapore-listed KS Energy shares

SINGAPORE – Indonesian tycoon and chief executive of offshore and marine company KS Energy Kris Taenar Wiluan was slapped on Wednesday morning (Aug 5) with 112 charges in relation to violations of Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act, which deals with false trading and market-rigging transactions. Wiluan, also founder of Indonesia's Citramas Group, was accused of instructing his employee, Ho Chee Yen, to instruct a trading representative from CIMB Securities (Singapore) to execute trades in the shares of KS Energy through the trading account of Pacific One Energy, a company controlled by Wiluan, on various occasions between December 2014 and September 2016, to "push up" the share price of the mainboard-listed company. For her alleged role, Ho, 56, faces 92 counts of violating the Securities and Futures Act. If convicted, offenders can be jailed for up to seven years and fined a maximum of $250,000. Wiluan, 71, who was ranked Indonesia's 40th richest man by Forbes..

Business

Samsung launches pricey new Note as pandemic shrinks smartphone market

Business Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei and Apple as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump. FILE PHOTO: People wears masks in front a Samsung Store at a main shopping area as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus in downtown Shanghai, China February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo 05 Aug 2020 10:16PM Share this content Bookmark SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy Note smartphone on Wednesday hoping to regain ground against rivals Huawei and Apple as the smartphone market begins to recover from its COVID-19 slump. Samsung launched its previous premium model, S20, in February at the start of the pandemic but since then it has ceded its top ranking in the smartphone market to China's Huawei, as people opt for cheaper models in straitened times. Advertisement Advertisement The new Note 20 boasts a large..

Business

White House unveils partnership to boost quantum science education

Business The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said on Wednesday the Trump administration is launching a national education partnership to expand access to K-12 quantum information science (QIS) education with major companies and research institutions. FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in this illustration picture taken February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo 05 Aug 2020 10:55PM Share this content Bookmark WASHINGTON: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said on Wednesday the Trump administration is launching a national education partnership to expand access to K-12 quantum information science (QIS) education with major companies and research institutions. The public-private initiative with the National Science Foundation includes Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Web Services, Boeing Co, Alphabet Inc's Google, IBM Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp , Microsoft Corp, the University of Illinois and University of Chicago. The ..

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