Headlines

The collapse in China of a complex web of debt guarantees involving several private firms highlights risks in its financial system and opens up a potentially hazardous front for an economy in the grip of its slowest growth in nearly three decades, Reuters reported. It is the last thing Beijing needs as it tries to fight off intensifying pressure on growth from a months-long trade dispute with the United States.

Read more

Nissan lowered its profit forecast for the full year on Tuesday, partly due to special charges related to alleged false financial reporting by its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn. Nissan Motor Co.'s profit in the October-December quarter was 70.4 billion yen ($637 million), down from 301.6 billion yen the previous year, he International New York Times reported on an Associated Press story. Quarterly sales grew 6 percent to 3.05 trillion yen ($27.5 billion). The main factor behind the sharp weakening in profit for the fiscal third quarter was the absence of a lift from U.S.

Read more

UK shares lagged their euro-zone peers on Tuesday as growing risks of a disorderly Brexit rattled investors, while poor results from tour operator TUI and a profit warning from online trading platform Plus500 sapped appetite for stocks. The mood soured on the main indices in choppy afternoon trade as Prime Minister Theresa May urged lawmakers to back her Brexit deal and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned again of the economic damage if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.

Read more

The powerful Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah on Tuesday urged the new government to launch talks with banks to bring down the cost of servicing the state's massive public debt, setting out its view on the major problem in unusually clear terms, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. The remarks by a Hezbollah lawmaker in parliament point to the wider influence his heavily armed group aims to exercise over the way Lebanon is governed as it departs from the more marginal role it has played in the past.

Read more

The European Central Bank should pause plans to ditch its crisis-era stimulus, the governor of the Dutch central bank has said, in a sign that concerns over disappointing economic growth have spread to the eurozone’s most hawkish circles, the Financial Times reported. Klaas Knot, a contender to replace Mario Draghi as ECB president, told the Financial Times that the central bank needed to gauge how badly the economy was faring before pressing ahead with plans to normalise monetary policy.

Read more

Thyssenkrupp shares fell to a three-year low on Tuesday after the company warned that economic and political uncertainties were growing as it unveiled disappointing results, the Financial Times reported. The German industrial group, which produces a range of products from steel to elevators, reported a sharp 37 per cent drop in operating earnings in the last three months of 2018 — the first quarter of the company’s financial year.

Read more

Severe blackouts have South Africans firing up candles, flashlights and generators as crisis-plagued Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which provides most of the country’s electricity, struggles to meet demand. The state-owned power company took almost 10 percent of its generation capacity offline to prevent the collapse of the national grid, a consequence of construction problems at two new plants and years of deferred maintenance, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. But Eskom’s problems run far deeper than temporary shortfalls.

Read more

Chinese investors are snapping up the safest assets in the bond market, complicating authorities’ efforts to help revive the economy by directing funds into cash-strapped private firms, Bloomberg News reported. Traders are piling into corporate debt with high credit ratings, and bonds sold by the central government and local authorities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Junk notes, many of which are sold by the kind of smaller private companies that officials vowed to support, are falling out of favor; spreads are at the widest in almost seven years.

Read more

Banco Santander SA reminded investors that juicy bonds can come with nasty surprises. The Spanish lender rattled the bank Additional Tier 1 market by saying it will skip an option to call 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) of perpetual contingent-convertible notes next month, sending the bonds tumbling, Bloomberg News reoprted. The announcement came late Tuesday, right at the deadline for a decision, after the bank kept investors in the dark for weeks regarding the call option and in the aftermath of another deal, a sale of dollar AT1 notes on Wednesday.

Read more

Debenhams Plc secured a lifeline from some of its lenders, giving the troubled U.K. department-store chain 40 million pounds ($51 million) in liquidity as it attempts a broader refinancing, Bloomberg News reported. The company, which operates middle-market stores that anchor many of Britain’s malls, also struck an agreement with export and logistics company Li & Fung Ltd. on a sourcing partnership for Debenhams own-brand products. The deal will help the retailer anticipate trends more quickly and boost quality, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Bucher said in a statement Tuesday.

Read more