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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING : Stocks Rebound But -2-

09/21/2021 | 06:23am EST

In early trading, the company's stock rose 38% above the reference price of 18.50 euros, set Monday evening by the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam. At the current price, the world's largest music company, which is being spun off from French media conglomerate Vivendi SE, has a valuation of more than EUR45 billion, equivalent to $52.75 billion.

Shell to Sell Permian Assets to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 Billion

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to sell all of its assets in the Permian basin, the most active U.S. oil field, to ConocoPhillips for around $9.5 billion in cash.

The deal, disclosed by both companies on Monday, comes as Shell is attempting to cut its carbon emissions and invest more in renewable energy. The sale is one of the largest recent transactions in the shale patch as large oil companies come under increasing pressure to diversify outside of fossil fuels.

Credit Suisse's Archegos Disaster Exposes Cracks in Bank Regulation

When Archegos Capital Management blew up, it saddled Credit Suisse Group AG with $5.5 billion in losses. One reason investors and regulators were blindsided: a gap in the regulatory oversight of big international banks.

That is the conclusion of financial risk consultants who have sifted through the wreckage.

Stagecoach Is in Merger Talks With National Express Group

U.K. transportation group Stagecoach Group PLC said Tuesday that it is in talks for an all-share takeover by peer National Express Group PLC that will give its shareholders about 25% of the combined group if the deal proceeds.

Under any takeover, Stagecoach shareholders will get 0.36 new National Express ordinary shares for each Stagecoach ordinary share held.

Kingfisher 1H Adjusted Pretax Profit Rose, Came in Ahead of Market Views

Kingfisher PLC on Tuesday reported an expectations-beating jump in adjusted pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022, boosted by strong demand for home improvement, and said its outlook for the full year has improved.

The home-improvement retailer posted a pretax profit of 677 million pounds ($924.65 million) for the six months ended July 31, compared with GBP398 million for the same period a year earlier. Adjusted pretax profit came in at GBP669 million, ahead of the company-compiled market estimate of GBP657 million.

Compass Group Says 4Q Underlying Revenue to Be 86% of FY 2019's

Compass Group PLC said Tuesday that it expects fourth-quarter underlying revenue on a constant currency basis to improve to 86% of 2019 revenue, and for it to be slightly ahead of the previous guidance range of 80% to 85%.

The U.K. catering contractor said although it expects most of its sectors to continue performing well, it remained cautious about its Business & Industry segment given the continuing uncertainty surrounding the pace of office reopenings in its major markets.

AstraZeneca to Build $360 Mln Manufacturing Plant in Dublin

AstraZeneca PLC said Tuesday that it will invest $360 million in a manufacturing facility in Ireland.

The pharmaceutical company said it is planning to build an active pharmaceutical ingredient-manufacturing facility for small molecules near Dublin to ensure that its supply network is fit for future growth.

Surging Energy Prices Push U.K. to Weigh Helping Hard-Hit Industries

LONDON-The U.K. government is considering measures to soften the fallout from a sharp increase in energy prices that has put power suppliers to consumers out of business and stoked problems for a range of industries from steel to brewing and fertilizers.

Natural-gas prices across Europe have surged as economies bounce back from the pandemic at a time when stores of the fuel are low and Asian demand is strong.

Glasgow Climate Summit Faces 'High Risk of Failure,' U.N. Leader Says

NEW YORK-The coming climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, runs a "high risk of failure" unless world leaders take stronger measures to stem greenhouse-gas emissions, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday.

Mr. Guterres made his comments to reporters following a two-hour closed session with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and other leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Pfizer, BioNTech Say Covid-19 Vaccine Is Safe for Children Aged 5 to 11

Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE said their Covid-19 vaccine was found to be safe in children ages 5 to 11 years in a late-stage study and generated a strong immune response in them, bringing the prospect of broader vaccination coverage closer.

Pfizer said it would share the results with regulators in the U.S. and other countries and seek emergency use authorization in the U.S. as early as the end of the month.

Flying Taxis' Best Ride Is to the Helicopter Market

Cabdrivers don't need to worry about being replaced by flying cars. Helicopter makers might need to a little bit.

Vertical Aerospace, a British startup devoted to the development of electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles, or eVTOL, has just received a preorder for 25 aircraft plus an option for 25 more from Bristow Group, a U.S.-owned operator of civil helicopters, the air-taxi company told The Wall Street Journal.

GLOBAL NEWS

Powell's Taper Tightrope Could Be Complicated by Fed 'Dots'

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell faces the risk of another dot dilemma this week.

Mr. Powell has stressed in public remarks that the Fed's decision about when to slow its bond buying shouldn't fuel inferences about officials' intentions to lift rates.

U.S. Stock-Market Tumble Hasn't Quelled Optimism

U.S. stocks are facing their most uncertain outlook since the Covid-19 pandemic sent the market tumbling last year. But many investors say there is no better place to be right now.

Major U.S. stock indexes sank Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 600 points, or 1.8%, as concerns grew that a default by real-estate developer China Evergrande Group could spur a widespread retreat from riskier assets. Percolating worries about a slowdown in economic growth, ongoing supply-chain issues and rising deaths tied to the Delta variant of the coronavirus added to the volatility.

China Evergrande Fallout Hits Western Bond Funds

The potential default of real-estate developer China Evergrande Group is taking a toll on funds in Europe and the U.S. that chased high yields in the Chinese corporate bond market.

Concerns that Evergrande might not pay its bonds this month triggered selling of other companies in the country's property sector, weighing down funds managed by Ashmore Group, BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co., among others.

Retailers Navigate Freight Costs, Scarce Inventory and Uncertain Future

Finance executives in the retail industry continue to face a multitude of challenges as they plan for the fall and the holiday season despite being generally optimistic on their companies' earnings outlook.

Retailers are grappling with ongoing supply-chain disruptions that are keeping inventory low and often causing delays, forcing companies to pay premiums to accelerate shipments. Deliveries from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries have slowed as local governments limit factories' production capacity due to the Delta variant, potentially resulting in delays and shortages of certain products. Companies say they are experiencing a level of uncertainty not seen since the onset of the pandemic, putting their financial plans in doubt.

Why Container Ships Can't Sail Around the California Ports Bottleneck

There appears to be no sailing around the breathtaking backup of container ships off the jammed ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Newly-arriving vessels are adding to a record-breaking flotilla waiting to unload cargo that on Sunday reached 73 ships, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, nearly double the number a month ago and expanding a fleet that has become a stark sign of the disruptions and delays roiling global supply chains.

Democrats Add Debt Limit to Spending Measure, Sparking Showdown With GOP

WASHINGTON-Democratic leaders said Monday they would attach a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022 to a short-term spending bill, setting up a clash with Republicans over preventing both a partial government shutdown and a potential default on U.S. debt.

The House is expected to vote on the combined measure this week, but GOP opposition in the Senate cast uncertainty over how and when lawmakers will act to prevent the federal government from running out of cash. Many Republicans said Monday they wouldn't supply any votes for an effort to raise the government's borrowing limit in protest to Democrats' plans to move trillions of dollars in new spending through Congress.

Bitcoin Price Slides as China Jitters Hit Crypto Markets

Bitcoin fell sharply on Monday as a wave of selling triggered by tumult in China's indebted property sector hit the crypto markets.

The world's largest cryptocurrency was trading at about $43,489 at 5 p.m. ET, down 8.6% from Friday, according to CoinDesk.

Biden to Stress Importance of Alliances in U.N. Speech

WASHINGTON-President Biden will outline a U.S. foreign-policy vision rooted in diplomacy and global alliances during his first address to the United Nations as commander-in-chief, calling for a shift away from armed conflict after two decades of war.

At a moment when some U.S. alliances are facing strain, Mr. Biden is expected to make the case that the biggest issues facing the world-from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change-can only be solved with cooperation among countries with varying national interests, according to U.S. officials. He'll encourage competition among rising powers but make clear that he doesn't want another Cold War, the officials said.

U.S. Pledge to Vaccinate Poor Countries Stutters Amid Logistical Challenges

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

09-21-21 0622ET

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