Jaguar Land Rover, UK’s largest auto manufacturer is in talks with government to borrow more than £1 billion ($1.2 billion) through the UK’s emergency coronavirus lending program. Owner Tata Motors Ltd. may be required to back part of the UK government loan to secure the funding.
Tech giant IBM announced that it’s laying off undisclosed number of workers across US. These would be IBM’s first big layoffs under incumbent CEO Arvind Krishna, who on April 6 replaced Ginni Rometty.
US Labor Department released a report showing that more than 20% of American workforce filed for unemployment due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus all across the United States. Moreover, unemployment rose all across the nation, the most affected states being Nevada and Michigan with more than 23% of workforce filing for unemployment.
Hertz Global Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday. Burdened with about $19 billion in debt and nearly 700,000 vehicles that have been largely idled because of the coronavirus, the company had challenges even before the current economic crisis.
Impostors from a Nigerian fraud ring have used the stolen information of tens of thousands of people in Washington to fraudulently receive unemployment benefits. The state’s Employment Security Department head Suzi LeVine confirmed an investigation. LeVine said she can’t release specific numbers but countermeasures ’prevented hundreds of millions of additional dollars from going out’.
While a new report touts that the net worth of US billionaires has increased by $434 B during the pandemic, an analysis by MarketWatch has revealed otherwise. For a start, the period of study has been March 18 and May 19. Instead MarketWatch studied the net worth from the Feb. 19 peak in the market till Tues. this week. Cumulatively, the top 50 billionaires lost $232 billion during this time.
Nearly 15 million credit cards, or about 3.2% of the US’ accounts, were either frozen, in forbearance or had a deferred payment in April, according to credit-reporting company TransUnion. The same was true for almost 3 million, or 3.5%, of the nation’s auto loans. Last year in April, only 0.03 percent of credit cards and 0.5 percent of auto loans were in similar situation, the company said.
About 2,500 jobs have been lost and 64,000 bookings cancelled with the insolvency of Specialist Leisure Group. The UK based company operated Caledonian Travel and hotel businesses such as Bay Hotels, Coast and Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels and well-known coach holiday brands Shearings and National Holidays.
The UK govt borrowed a record amount in April, adding £62.1bn to the country’s budget deficit, £51.1bn higher than the same month last year. The figure is twice as high than expected. It comes amid efforts by the govt to prevent job losses from the pandemic by furloughing many of the country’s workers. Public debt jumped to almost 98% of GDP - the highest share of GDP by that measure since 1963.
FB CEO Zuckerberg said half of its employees could be working remotely within next five to 10 years, and FB will allow certain employees to WFH on a full-time basis. However such employees will have to inform FB by Jan. 1 and their pay would be adjusted to the respective taxes and accounting of relocation. He also warned of severe ramifications for employees being dishonest in this WFH process.
19 Ikea stores are set to be reopened across England and Northern Ireland. The retailer has announced that the stores will reopen on the 1st of June and new social distancing measures will be put into effect. Each and every store will be patrolled by social distancing wardens according to the homeware chain.
UK mortgage payment holiday scheme which began in March has been extended by three months. The scheme was to support homeowners as the Covid-19 pandemic has seen many businesses being closed, resulting in job losses for some and furlough for many others. More than 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays have been applied till date and the application deadline too has been extended to October.
UK retail sales in Apr fell by a record 18.1% owing to Covid-19 lockdown. Among the sectors to suffer was clothing, where sales declined by 50.2% in Apr compared with Mar, which had seen a 34.9% fall. The household stores sales fell 45.4%, on the back of an 8.7% drop in Mar. However increase in non-store retailing at 18% and alcohol stores sales growth of 2.3% was the only bright spot.
Luckin Coffee shares ended 35.8% lower on Wednesday after it resumed trading again after more than a month. Its shares have plunged ~93% for YTD. Luckin is being investigated for financial misconduct and has fired its top executives, including Qian, former CEO. The company is accused of fabricating transactions worth ~$310mn. Amid these uncertainties, Nasdaq has sent company a delisting notice.
Millions of Americans used their $1,200 relief checks to buy everything from video games to sewing machines even as the country struggles with record job losses, providing a fillip to sales of major retailers. Walmart and Target Corp noted in their earnings call that quarterly comparable sales, which rose about 10%, got a major boost from increased demand for non-essentials end of last month.