As China continues to shake off the impact of coronavirus, it has also offered a glimpse into the role consumption has played in the wider economic recovery. Some economists maintain that households will soon be ready for a more sustained rush to spend after months of caution.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson has told parliamentarians they will have an opportunity to vote on England’s coronavirus restrictions in January. About 70 Conservative MPs have expressed concerns about the new system which will see millions of people experience tougher restrictions.
Fund managers have slashed the amount they are willing to pay for sellside research analysts’ insights during the pandemic, as the shift to digital meetings has reduced the value placed on these interactions. One-to-one analyst meetings are a long-established and lucrative part of the investment research market.
Toxic side-effects from the pandemic will cause further damage to the world’s pension systems, a study of 158 retirement plans in 17 countries shows. Nine out of 10 funds surveyed warned that they expected investment returns to be lower in the current decade than the last and three-quarters expected inflation to increase.
Americans splashed out billions of dollars from smartphones and laptops on Black Friday as those who have never shopped online before fuel a boom in ecommerce. But retailers are nervous. “Consumers still face uncertainty with rising Covid cases and high unemployment,” said Sonia Syngal, chief executive of Gap.
Spain’s BBVA and Sabadell have given up merger talks they confirmed less than two weeks ago because of disagreements over pricing. Sabadell had expressed interest in merging with another bank and the talks came as Spain’s lenders face a rise in past-due loans because of the pandemic-induced economic crisis.
The pandemic is spurring deals in Italy’s luxury hotel sector as international travel restrictions aggravate financial woes. Italy is the only European country with more than 1m hotel rooms and big chains account for only 5 per cent of them, with the rest of the market dominated by small family-owned businesses.
HSBC is weighing a complete exit from retail banking in the US. In February the bank outlined $4.5bn in cost savings and 35,000 job cuts but Executives decided the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and ultra-low interest rates required more drastic measures.