Not much news today. Companies don't really want to communicate in the current context. There are still some earnings releases from companies like Vail Resorts and Thor Industries in the US.
Apple suffers in China. Apple sold less than 500,000 smartphones in China in February compared to 1.27 million over the same period last year, according to official Chinese government figures, as the coronavirus epidemic has considerably slowed demand.
Compensation. Lyft and Uber have announced compensation measures for drivers whose activity is affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
Partial unemployment. The airline sector is suffering, even if its kerosene rating will fall: Lufthansa is said to have asked for Berlin's support to get through the crisis. The carrier could resort to short-time working with loss of earnings paid for by the state, a scheme known as "Kurzarbeit". Lufthansa's management talks of a "huge" impact on bookings from the current chaos, estimating that "it may take months before the first signs of stabilization are seen". In France, the government is also faced with requests for short-time working in several sectors.
Telecom partnership in Italy. Vodafone and Telecom Italia have been given the green light by the European Commission to bring their telecom tower activities closer together in Italy, subject to compliance with commitments already made. This involves in particular making 4 000 antennas available to their competitors in Italian cities with more than 35 000 inhabitants.
Still grounded. The B737 MAX continues to come under severe criticism, particularly from US parliamentarians. The aircraft is "fundamentally defective and dangerous" and demonstrates the need for regulatory reform, according to the Congressional Transportation Committee. At the same time, the FAA is asking Boeing to further improve the aircraft's wiring, the Wall Street Journal learned, a decision that would affect the 800 aircraft already produced as well as new ones.
K+N reduces its UK wingspan. Logistics company Kuehne + Nagel has sold part of its UK assets to XPO Logistics. The Drinks Logistics, Food Services and Retail & Technology divisions will be sold after the green light from the competent authorities, under financial conditions which have not been communicated. These activities generated 2019 sales of CHF 750 million with 7 500 employees.
In other news. Tesco sells its activities in Thailand and Malaysia for $10.6bn. FDA approves Novartis Isturisa for the treatment of Cushing's disease.