Rewards for employees. Amazon announced on Saturday an increase in overtime pay for employees working in its U.S. warehouses. Meanwhile, Walmart announced a $2 per hour increase in the minimum wage for employees working in its warehouses.
Manufacturing masks. Fiat Chrysler will manufacture masks in one of its factories in Asia to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Bandwidth. After Netflix, Facebook is in turn reducing its bandwidth in Europe to avoid network congestion.
Kering quantifies the impact of the crisis. Kering estimates that its turnover for the first quarter of 2020 should fall by 15% on a like-for-like basis and that the second quarter will also be heavily affected by the coronavirus. Management cannot at this stage make any forecasts on the results. Several of the group's brands (Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint-Laurent) are also starting to manufacture masks. Kering is a good indicator of what the luxury sector will experience in the coming weeks.
Boeing is making commitments. Boeing will suspend dividend payments and cease all share buyback programs, after having requested the help of American authorities. CEO David Calhoun and Chairman Larry Kellner have waived their 2020 compensation. Boeing is not suspending production at its plants for the time being.
Airbus hit. Airbus cancels its 2020 forecasts, withdraws its 2019 dividend proposal and is negotiating a €15bn credit facility. The group is also going to suspend the voluntary financing of its complementary pensions to protect its treasury. The industrialist also announced the partial resumption of its activity as of this morning on its French and Spanish sites.
Airlines want urgent support. The heads of the major US airlines have asked Congress for immediate help "on behalf of the 750,000 airline employees". The Financial Times says that the British government is considering taking a stake in airlines such as International Consolidated Airlines, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.
Softbank in slimming cure. Criticized for its gigantic size and irrelevant acquisitions, Softbank is planning to sell or monetize up to $41bn of assets to buy back shares and reduce its debt, allowing the stock to rebound by 19% in Tokyo this morning.
In other news. German auto groups such as BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are suspending production in the United States. Goldman Sachs injected more than $1bn into two of its money market funds (Goldman Sachs Financial Square Money Market and Goldman Sachs Fund Square Prime Bonds), which are facing large outflows. Occidental Petroleum and Carl Icahn are said to be close to burying the hatchet. SFS Group has temporarily reduced its production capacity to cope with the pandemic. Equinor, Shell, Pearson and others have decided not to buy back shares. Hugo Boss's managing director, Mark Langer, will leave in September, his successor is not yet known.