Not fast enough. Donald Trump, judging that General Motors is dragging its feet, is forcing the automaker to produce respirators on the basis of an old piece of legislation. True to his strategy, after having sharply criticized the company, he has ended up praising its qualities with superlative force in recent hours.
Bank support. The European Central Bank has asked banks in the euro zone not to pay dividends or buy back own shares as long as the Covid-19 pandemic lasts. The Belgian KBC Group is following the instructions by renouncing its 2019 dividend and share buybacks. ING and ABN Amro are also doing the same.
Debate over rents. In Germany, Adidas' decision to stop paying rent is causing controversy, but the group points out that its landlords are usually insurers or landowners who have "shown understanding". H&M is in the same situation and is seeking a compromise with its landlords. A complex debate: should the big players, who are arguably more solid in terms of liquidity, give up benefiting from support measures?
Amazon is still in full swing. In the United States, Amazon.com is migrating its volunteer employees from its logistics warehouses to its food division in exchange for higher salaries. Employees are paid $19 per hour compared to $17 in the warehouses. The group has doubled in size in grocery stores with the takeover of Whole Foods in 2017. It's too early to tell, but the American group once again seems to be doing well despite the complicated circumstances for the economy.
Novartis believes in hydroxychloroquine. Novartis is testing several products against coronavirus, including an antimalarial drug containing hydroxychloroquine, as well as Jakavi, Gilenya and Ilaris. Hydroxychloroquine is the greatest hope for coronavirus treatment, according to CEO Vas Narasimhan in an interview published Sunday by the Sonntags Zeitung.
Washington shareholder? New rumors are circulating about the possibility of the US government taking a stake in the airlines that it would help get through the coronavirus earthquake. There have been rumors in recent days of a give-and-take operation. American airlines, in trouble, has asked for rapid support to avoid a liquidity crisis.
Luxury hit. LVMH will publish its sales for the 1st quarter on Thursday 16 April after the close of trading, and expects a fall "in a range between 10 and 20% compared to last year". A contraction of the magnitude predicted by Kering, which had revised its objectives a little earlier.
In other news. Russian group Rosneft has taken the decision to sell or close all its assets in Venezuela. Microsoft is exiting from the capital of AnyVision, a controversial company involved in facial recognition, and reducing its exposure to these technologies. Qatar Airways is going to call for public aid. ABB gives up its objectives.