Business News and financial newsen-usMon, 22 Jun 2020 21:34:13 +0000Spirit Aero says Boeing has asked it to further cut 737 production[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 21:34:13 +0000 - Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc said on Monday customer Boeing Co has asked the aero parts maker to reduce 2020 737 production to just 72 shipsets, from 125 planned earlier.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

T-Mobile launches stock offering to facilitate SoftBank's stake sale[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 21:23:57 +0000 - T-Mobile on Monday launched a stock offering to facilitate SoftBank Group Corp's <9984.T> plan to sell a portion of its stake in the telecom operator.

For every share T-Mobile sells in the offering, it will repurchase one share from a subsidiary of SoftBank at the same price, T-Mobile said in a statement.

T-Mobile said it was offering about 134 million shares and the underwriters will have access to an additional 10 million shares.

SoftBank was widely expected to try and monetize its T-Mobile stake as it looks to raise capital through asset sale to prop up its floundering tech investing empire and fund a record share buyback. (

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan have been appointed as joint lead book-running managers for the offering.

(Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

U.S. fights bail bid by men accused of helping former Nissan boss escape[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 21:10:20 +0000 Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters) - A U.S. prosecutor on Monday urged a judge to keep a former Green Beret and his son locked up as Japan prepares to formally seek their extradition on charges that they helped former Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> boss Carlos Ghosn flee the East Asian country.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hassink argued during a virtual hearing that Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, have a "clear and present reason to flee" after being accused of helping Ghosn, who faces financial misconduct charges in Japan.

"They're actually some of the best defendants that I’m sure this court has seen positioned to actually succeed in that flight," Hassink said.

He argued the men, who have been held without bail since being arrested in Massachusetts last month, helped smuggle Ghosn out of Japan in a box on Dec. 29, 2019. Ghosn then allegedly fled to Lebanon, his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Ghosn, Nissan's former chief executive, was charged with engaging in financial wrongdoing by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. He denies wrongdoing.

The Taylors' lawyers countered that had they wished to avoid prosecution they could have remained in Lebanon, where they were when Japan in January said it would seek their arrest, rather than return to Massachusetts.

"If he's an expert of escape, he would not have returned to the United States," Robert Sheketoff, a lawyer for Michael Taylor, argued.

He and other defense lawyers argued the case against their clients was flawed and that Michael Taylor, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and private security specialist, is at heightened risk of complications from COVID-19, which could spread in the jail.

The hearing itself was held through a Zoom videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell said he hoped to rule "as quickly as I can."

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

Bayer wins court ruling restricting California's Roundup warning: Bloomberg News[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 21:09:40 +0000 - Bayer AG won a court ruling blocking California from requiring the German-based company to tell consumers that a chemical in its Roundup herbicide is known to cause cancer, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

A federal judge in Sacramento on Monday granted Bayer's request to block the state from requiring the company or any businesses from providing a "clear and reasonable warning before exposing any individual to glyphosate," the report said

Bayer did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Bayer, which acquired Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in a $63 billion deal in 2018, to date has faced three juries over claims that Roundup causes cancer.

The company has denied the allegations made by more than 42,700 plaintiffs in the United States, saying decades of studies have shown Roundup and glyphosate are safe for human use.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Air Canada raises additional C$1.23 billion[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 20:51:51 +0000 - Air Canada said on Monday it had closed two additional financing deals for net proceeds of C$1.23 billion ($909 million), as it shores up funds to meet expenses amid the coronavirus crisis.

Canada's largest carrier said it had raised C$5.5 billion of liquidity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020.

"The fact Air Canada was able to add C$1.23 billion to its liquidity ... without utilizing any of its previously disclosed unencumbered assets leaves the airline in an excellent position to access additional funds should the need arise," Air Canada Treasurer Pierre Houle said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Ackman sees economy beginning to recover in 2020, true confidence will take time[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 20:47:19 +0000 Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) - Billionaire investor William Ackman, whose hedge fund survived a historic stock market sell-off with double-digit gains, said it will take until the middle of 2021, at least, for the economy to shake off the worst effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We will begin recovery by year-end," Ackman said at the Bloomberg Invest Global Conference on Monday, but said the economy won't return to anywhere near normal before the middle of 2021. "Confidence won't return until people feel truly safe," he said, adding that a vaccine for the virus, which has killed roughly 120,000 people in the United States, would make an enormous difference.

Ackman's roughly $10.7 billion Pershing Square Capital Management has returned about 30% since January thanks in part to a $27 million hedge that paid off into a $2.6 billion windfall that has been reinvested in stocks since mid-March.

As an activist investor, Ackman earns his living by suggesting how management should perform better, but on Monday he sidestepped questions about the management of the U.S. economy or which presidential candidate is better suited to lead. "Who the president is is not something we make bets on," he said, adding that the election's outcome won't shape his portfolio.

With this year's gains, Ackman has put a few rocky years into the distant past and vowed to never again take his eye off the investing roadmap. "At 54 I'm done making mistakes," he said. "We will be watchful of veering from the course."

Known as a passionate tennis player, Ackman said another sport -- rowing -- helped shape his sense of grit and perseverance. Recalling the four years he spent grinding out miles on the Charles River as a member of Harvard's crew team, Ackman said rowing helped him learn how to "endure large amounts of pain."

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

Kynikos Associates closed Hertz short bet right before bankruptcy: Chanos[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 20:32:01 +0000 Saqib Iqbal Ahmed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jim Chanos' Kynikos Associates covered its long-held short position in Hertz Global Holdings Inc right before the company went bankrupt, Chanos said at the Bloomberg Invest Global conference on Monday.

"I had publicly said I didn't think they were going to survive the next recession and they didn't," Chanos said of Hertz.

The car rental firm filed for bankruptcy protection in late May after its business was decimated during the coronavirus pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in much- needed relief.

Hertz shares were down more than 80% for the year when it filed for bankruptcy protection on May 22.

The short seller, most famous for his bet against energy company Enron, also said troubled payments company Wirecard was the largest position in Kynikos Associates' global short accounts and global hedged accounts.

Wirecard said on Monday that 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) it had booked in its accounts likely never existed.

"We think the evidence was almost irrefutable by late last year that something was very wrong here," Chanos said.

Chanos, founder and president of Kynikos Associates, which managed assets of $932 million as of March 30, said he remains short Tesla .

Short sellers bet against a company by borrowing stock to sell, hoping to buy it back at a lower price.

Chanos also said he was concerned that investors are not properly pricing the risks associated with U.S.-casino operators' Macau concessions coming up for renegotiation next year.

Companies like Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands get a large portion of their revenue from the Macau concession. But their permits expire in 2022.

"If that were to be negotiated downward, which is a real possibility particularly if the trade war continues, that would have material effect on their cash flow and profits," Chanos said.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Megan Davies, Richard Chang and Dan Grebler)

'Yield curve control' meant less market intervention in Japan: NY Fed[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 20:00:54 +0000 Howard Schneider

(Reuters) - The central banking strategy known as "yield curve control" has helped the Bank of Japan set long-term interest rates with less need to intervene in markets, though it has yet to prove itself in boosting inflation, two top New York Federal Reserve Bank officials wrote on Monday.

The comments by Matthew Higgins and Thomas Klitgaard, both vice presidents in the New York Fed's Research and Statistics Group, are part of a debate within the Fed over whether yield curve control might help the U.S. central bank meet its full employment and 2% inflation goals.

Yield curve control is a complement to the strategy known as quantitative easing, in which a central bank buys long-term government bonds and other securities to keep longer-term interest rates low. Rather than announcing a set amount of monthly bond purchases, as the Fed did in fighting the 2007 to 2009 crisis, the central bank announces a target rate for longer-term bonds and buys what is necessary to enforce it.

"Does YCC help a central bank achieve its policy goals?" the two wrote. For Japan, which adopted YCC in 2016, "the jury is still out," since low long-term interest rates have yet to push inflation to the bank's 2% target.

"Still, YCC has had one clear benefit... The BOJ has been able to exert fairly close control... without resorting to large-scale interventions in the JGB (Japanese government bond) market. Investors accept that the Bank can buy whatever quantity of JGBs is needed to keep yields from rising and, as a result, it has not had to buy many at all," they wrote.

While the BOJ still purchased around 20 trillion yen ($187 billion) of bonds over the past 12 months, that compares with as much as four times that amount annually before it began using yield curve control.

The study's conclusion does point to a something-for-nothing benefit to YCC. As with other Fed programs announced in response to the coronavirus pandemic, knowledge that central bank support is available often means the bank has to do less in terms of actual lending or market intervention.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Trump to suspend certain foreign worker visas despite tech, business group opposition[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 19:56:10 +0000 Ted Hesson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will suspend the entry of certain foreign workers, a senior administration official said on Monday, a move the official said would help the economy, but which business groups strongly oppose.

Trump will block the entry of foreign workers on H-1B visas for skilled workers and L-1 visas for workers being transferred within a company through the end of the year, the official said. Trump will also block seasonal workers on H-2B visas, with an exception for workers in the food service industry.


Businesses including major tech companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have said the visa suspension would stifle the economic recovery after the damage done by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Critics of the measure say Trump is using the pandemic to enact his longstanding goal to limit immigration into the United States. Trump owned- or Trump branded businesses have used the H-2B program to hire seasonal guest workers.

The immediate effects of the proclamation will likely be limited, as U.S. consulates around the world remain closed for most routine visa processing. A senior Department of Homeland Security official said the proclamation will not affect valid visa holders already in the United States.

Republican Trump is running for re-election on Nov. 3 and has made his tough immigration stance a central pitch to voters, although the coronavirus, faltering economy and nationwide protests over police brutality have overshadowed that issue.

The visa suspension announced on Monday will open up 525,000 jobs for U.S. workers, the senior official said on a call with reporters, saying it was geared at "getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible." The official did not explain how the administration arrived at that figure.

The temporary visa suspension will include work-authorized J visas, which are available for cultural exchange opportunities in the United States, and visas for the spouses of H-1B workers.

BSA, The Software Alliance, whose members include Microsoft and Slack, strongly urged the administration to “refrain from restricting employment of highly-skilled foreign professionals”, adding that “these restrictions will negatively impact the US economy” and decrease job opportunities for Americans.

Doug Rand, co-founder of Boundless, a pro-migrant group that helps families navigate the U.S. immigration system, said the fact that H2-A visas used to bring in foreign farmworkers were exempt signals that "big agriculture interests are the only stakeholder with any sway over immigration policy in this administration."

Many other business groups were lobbying against a temporary visa ban before it was announced.

"The immigration restrictionists would like us all to believe that every single company bringing over foreign-born workers is nefarious and just wants to bring in people who are underpaid," said Rand. "That is a false premise."

Trump also will renew an April proclamation that temporarily blocks some foreigners from permanent residence in the United States, the senior administration official said on Monday. The official said that proclamation freed up roughly 50,000 jobs for Americans, but did not provide details.

An exemption for medical workers in Trump's April ban on permanent residence will be narrowed to people working on coronavirus research and care, the official said.

In addition to the new visa suspension, the Trump administration will take several other moves to tighten rules around temporary work visas.

The administration plans to rework the H-1B visa program so that the 85,000 visas available in the program each year go to the highest-paid applicants, instead of the current lottery system.

In addition, the administration plans to issue rules that make it harder for companies to use the H-1B visa program to train foreign workers to perform the same job in another country, the official said.

Both moves would likely require regulatory changes.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia will use the department's statutory authority to investigate abuse of the H-1B visa program, the senior official said.

The Trump administration also finalized a regulation on Monday that will lift a requirement to process work permits for asylum seekers within 30 days, a move that will likely result in longer waits for work authorization.

Trump rolled out new health-focused rules in March that allow for the rapid deportation of immigrants caught at the border and virtually cut off access to the U.S. asylum system.

At the same time, he announced the land borders with Canada and Mexico would be closed to non-essential crossings, a measure that has been extended several times.

(Reporting by Ted Hesson and Steve Holland in Washington; Additional reporting by Raphael Satter in Washington and Mica Rosenberg in New York Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool)

Egypt seen keeping rates on hold even as inflation dips: Reuters poll[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:44:23 +0000 (Reuters) - The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is expected to leave its main interest rates steady this week despite a decline in inflation in May and continuing economic pain caused by the coronavirus, a Reuters poll showed.

All but one of the 17 analysts polled predicted the central bank would keep rates steady at its regular monetary policy committee meeting on Thursday. The one dissenting analyst forecast a 100 bps cut.

The overnight lending rate is currently 10.25% and the overnight deposit rate 9.25%, the lowest rates since early 2016, before Egypt embarked on a three-year, International Monetary Fund-backed economic reform programme.

"The trend in inflation is favourable, at least in the short term, and a further cut will not do much for supporting economic activity at the present time," said Pascal Devaux, an economist with BNP Paribas.

Egypt's annual urban consumer price inflation slowed to 4.7% in May from 5.9% in April, the official statistics agency CAPMAS said. Core inflation, which strips out volatile items such as food, fell to 1.5% year-on-year in May from 2.5% in April, according to central bank data.

"More importantly, even with IMF support, the external situation in Egypt is less comfortable than before given a rising current account deficit and more uncertain capital flow. So there is a need to keep the attractiveness of the Egyptian debt for foreign investors and support EGP (the Egyptian pound currency)," Devaux said.

The coronavirus has ravaged some of Egypt's main sources of foreign currency. The tourism industry has all but shut down since mid-March and remittances from workers abroad have slowed.

The government says tourism represents 5% of GDP, but analysts say the figure may be as high as 15% if indirect jobs and spending as well as investment are included.

The IMF last month approved a $2.77 billion package through its Rapid Financing Instrument designed to help Egypt close its balance of payments gap.

The lender's board is scheduled to consider on Friday yet another $5.2 billion in financing under a stand-by arrangement which has already been approved at staff level.

The central bank left interest rates on hold at its last two meetings after having slashed them by 3 percentage points at an unscheduled meeting in March as a pre-emptive move to support the economy in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.

(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Canada needs targeted response for future COVID-19 waves to avoid large setback: BoC[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:27:22 +0000 Julie Gordon and Kelsey Johnson

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A quick response and targeted containment for future waves of COVID-19 will be needed to prevent "a very large setback" caused by another round of broad-based shutdowns, Tiff Macklem said on Monday, in his first speech as Bank of Canada governor.

The Canadian economy was hammered as officials shut down all nonessential businesses across the country to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Businesses have begun to reopen, but Macklem warned the recovery will be long and slow.

"There are going to be outbreaks as the economy reopens, we’re seeing this around the world," Macklem said, responding to an audience question about a second wave. "The key is going to be responding quickly and trying to contain those."

Macklem said Canada will need good contact tracing, testing, and the ability to implement localized shutdowns.

"If we can’t do that ... we’re going to have to get back to broad-based containment and that will be a very large setback." He later noted the Bank is not including a second economy-wide shutdown in its scenarios.

Macklem earlier said the pandemic is likely to inflict some lasting damage to supply and demand, with supply likely to be restored more quickly than demand, which could put "a lot of downward pressure on inflation."

"Our main concern is to avoid a persistent drop in inflation by helping Canadians get back to work," Macklem said, adding that the Bank's 2% inflation target remains its beacon.

Macklem also reiterated that the bank's policy interest rate of 0.25% is at its effective lower bound, adding the central bank feels moving rates into negative territory could distort the behavior of financial institutions.

With financial markets functioning better, Macklem said the bank's bond-buying program is providing stimulus to the economy by keeping a lid on long-term rates.

The Canadian dollar tracked stocks higher, rising 0.5% on the day to 1.3540 to the U.S. dollar, or 73.86 U.S. cents.

Money markets do not expect further rate moves this year.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon and Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Additional reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Grant McCool and Matthew Lewis)

Canada will not reopen borders quickly, Trudeau tells anxious airlines[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 18:17:20 +0000 David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday pushed back against pressure from airlines to reopen the nation's borders, saying moving too quickly could spark a second wave of the coronavirus.

"I understand there are a lot of tourism firms and airlines who would like us to be able to once again to welcome tourists," Trudeau told a daily briefing.

"But these people all need to understand that if we take steps too quickly, if we are not sure of what we're doing at each stage, we risk hitting a second wave ... and having to close our economy again."

Last week, a group of 27 leading executives added to calls for looser air travel restrictions in a open letter published in the Globe and Mail newspaper.

A senior official with Air Canada - the country's largest airline - urged the government on Monday to quickly reopen borders and dilute quarantine requirements, citing what other nations were doing.

"Otherwise our sector and the Canadian economy will suffer far longer than it needs to," Ferio Pugliese, senior vice president of government relations, told the House of Commons health committee.

Air Canada said in mid-May it had decided to reduce its workforce by up to 60%.

Canada and the United States last week extended a ban on non-essential travel to late July. Washington and Ottawa introduced month-long restrictions in March and renewed them in April and May.

"I understand how difficult this is and how frustrating this is for some people but ... we are going to be very, very careful about when and how we start reopening international borders," Trudeau said.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem told reporters later on Monday that "airlines are going to take longer to come back than some other parts of the economy".

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by David Gregorio and Nick Macfie)

U.S. existing home sales slump to nine and a half year low[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:45:36 +0000 (Reuters) - U.S. home sales dropped to their lowest level in more than 9-1/2 years in May, strengthening expectations for a sharp contraction in housing market activity in the second quarter following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales fell 9.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million units last month, the lowest level since October 2010. Last month's sales reflected closings of contracts signed in March and April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales would fall 3% to a rate of 4.12 million units in May.

Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, decreased 26.6% on a year-on-year basis in May, the largest annual decline since 1982.

May was probably the nadir for the existing housing market, with applications for home loans surging to an 11-year high in recent weeks amid record low mortgage rates. Data last week showed a sharp rebound in building permits in May.

Though businesses have reopened after being shuttered in mid-March to control the spread of COVID-19, nearly 20 million people are unemployed. In addition, the supply of homes available for sale is still tight, indicating a strong housing market recovery is unlikely.

Last month's slump in home sales, together with a modest rise in homebuilding in May, suggested a decline in residential investment this quarter after it grew at its fastest rate in more than seven years in the first quarter.

Home sales last month declined in all four U.S. regions.

There were 1.55 million previously owned homes on the market in May, down 18.8% from a year ago. The median existing house price rose 2.3% from a year ago to $284,600 in May. That was the smallest gain since February 2012.

At May's sales pace, it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the current inventory, up from 4.3 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)

Dior revives fashion shows - but with no front row[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:29:44 +0000 (Reuters) - French luxury label Christian Dior said on Monday it would press ahead with a calendar of fashion shows for this year starting in July with an Italian catwalk display - but without the celebrated front-row audience of A-listers.

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated a rethink among high-end brands of how collections are presented, with some opting out of costly events and restricting the number of clothing ranges they produce.

Dior, one of the LVMH conglomerate's biggest labels, said it was maintaining its calendar of industry fashion weeks that brings buyers and bloggers to Paris, and would produce other collections in between.

It will premiere a mid-season "cruise" range in the Italian city of Lecce on July 22 with a streamed live show, Chief Executive Pietro Beccari said, after a presentation planned for May was postponed.

"We would like to send a message of support, of hope, of optimism and of rebirth," Beccari said. "I'm thinking about big suppliers but also the small ones, many tiny family businesses of artisans in France and in Italy ... many of them didn't know and still do not know how to survive."

High-end brands often rely on firms to manufacture luxurious cloth or products that require special treatment, such as items covered in feathers or tinted by hand.

Dior planned to go ahead with a womenswear fashion show usually held in Paris in September, Beccari said, adding that by then it might even bring in a front-row audience.

"Fashion week is important not only for the fashion family, it's also important for the city where the shows are," Dior's designer Maria Grazia Chiuri said.

Fashion events are usually big business for cities like Paris, with hotels normally rammed during that period.

(Reporting by Sarah White; editing by Barbara Lewis)

Canada's biggest city, Toronto, to reopen businesses, ending three-month lockdown[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:25:05 +0000 Moira Warburton

TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto, Canada's most-populous city and financial capital, will allow businesses to reopen starting on Wednesday, joining other regions in the province of Ontario in ending a three-month pandemic lockdown, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Monday.

Malls and restaurants in Toronto, along with Peel Region, which includes some of the city's densely populated suburbs, will be able to open their patios, according to the government's plan.

Ontario, Canada's largest province by population, started gradually reopening its economy this month, but Toronto was left off the initial list.

Ford said the government would continue to monitor health trends and consult daily with the province's medical experts, and asked people to stay vigilant.

"It can turn and bite us in the backside in about a heartbeat," Ford said.

Downtown Toronto is home to some of Canada's biggest banks and insurers, and many of them have agreed to allow their staff to work from home until at least September, Toronto Mayor John Tory said last month.

Canadian provinces imposed lockdowns in March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed 8,430 people in Canada and infected 101,337, according to the latest government data. Toronto has recorded more than 1,000 deaths.

Windsor-Essex, in southwestern Ontario near the Michigan border, is the only health region still in Phase 1 of the three-phase reopening, where an outbreak is hitting migrant workers on farms.

Ford said the province began sending mobile testing units to the largest farms and food-processing plants on Saturday, but blamed Windsor-Essex's continued closure on farmers who will not get their workers tested.

"Farmers just aren't cooperating," Ford said, adding the province cannot force anyone to get tested. "We'll give it another shot ... but then we're going to have to pull out other tools."

Separately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed back on Monday against pressure from airlines to reopen the nation's borders.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Peter Cooney)

Eurobank FPS loan servicer renamed doValue-Greece after sale[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:14:03 +0000 (Reuters) - Eurobank's loan servicing unit FPS, which is being bought by Italian debt recovery firm doValue , will be renamed doValue-Greece, Eurobank said on Monday.

Eurobank, Greece's third-largest lender, has agreed to sell 80% of FPS to doValue along with a chunk of mezzanine and junior notes from a 7.5 billion bad loan securitisation dubbed Project Cairo.

Under a 14-year deal, Eurobank will transfer the servicing of all its non-performing exposures (NPEs) as well as the servicing of all loans that are less than 90 days in arrears.

On top of this, doValue-Greece, with a staff of 1,000, will continue to service the 7.5 billion euro soured loans portfolio, the largest bad loan securitisation that Eurobank has completed in Greece, as well as Eurobank's other bad-loan portfolios.

Out of more than 26 billion euros of impaired loans being serviced by doValue Greece, 40% relate to Eurobank loans and the remainder to other parties.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Fed's Rosengren sees difficult second half for U.S. economy[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:10:24 +0000 - Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren on Monday said the central bank's newly launched Main Street Lending Facility provides "insurance" against what he expects to be a difficult second half of the year.

"If I'm right and the second half of the year is more difficult than many people are anticipating, I think having this facility up and running will be an important insurance policy for the economy," Rosengren told Yahoo Finance in an interview. "I view every loan that we are going to be making as actually helping those businesses avoid very significant layoffs that they would get if they couldn't get the financing that the Federal Reserve's providing."

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Carnival extends operations pause as cruise industry troubles persist[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:02:29 +0000 Helen Coster

(Reuters) - Carnival Cruise Line said on Monday it has extended its pause in operations for North American voyages until Sept. 30, as it determines how to safely resume service amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cruise line, owned by Carnival Corp , had previously said it would resume some voyages on Aug. 1.

Industry trade group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said on Friday its ocean-going cruise line members, which include Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd , and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd , would voluntarily extend their pause in operations from U.S. ports until Sept. 15.

The cruise industry has taken a major hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest large clusters of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, occurring aboard cruise ships in which thousands of passengers and crew were packed in tight quarters.

On March 14 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a no-sail order for all cruise ships, which it subsequently extended to July 24.

To survive for months without revenue, the companies have issued debt and pursued additional funding. In May, Norwegian completed a $2.4 billion fundraising through debt and equity offerings. Norwegian Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio told Reuters at that time that the $3.5 billion in cash that the company had on hand would be enough to bankroll it for "at least 18 months" without new revenue.

In April, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), disclosed an 8.2% stake in Carnival Corp.

The major cruise operators are not eligible to receive funding from the CARES Act, which was passed by Congress in March to address the economic fallout from the pandemic, because they are incorporated outside of the United States.

Amid worldwide travel restrictions, operators have struggled to repatriate foreign workers living aboard idled ships.

(Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Paul Simao)

Trump backs more aid for Americans amid coronavirus: Scripps[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 16:57:51 +0000 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said he supported the idea of giving Americans a second round of financial aid to mitigate the effect of shutdowns to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Asked if he backed another payment to individual Americans, Trump told Scripps Networks in an interview that he supported the idea of sending out a second check.

"We will be doing another stimulus package" with the U.S. Congress, he added, saying the bipartisan measure would come "over the next couple of weeks probably."

Republicans and Democrats in Congress agreed to provide direct payments of up to $1,200 each to millions of Americans, with additional payments of $500 per child, in legislation that Trump signed into law in March.

Another $3 trillion bill that passed the House of Representatives on May 15 contains a second round of economic stimulus payments of up to $6,000 per U.S. household.

But the Republican-controlled Senate has not taken up the House package and lawmakers are not expected to move toward another coronavirus bill until sometime in July.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and David Morgan; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

NYSE makes new push with the SEC for IPO alternative[email protected] (Thomson Reuters)Mon, 22 Jun 2020 16:53:27 +0000 Joshua Franklin

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) submitted an amended rule change with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday in a bid to enable companies that debut on the stock market through a direct listing to raise capital.

The move has the potential to transform the market for initial public offerings (IPOs), which are arranged by investment banks acting as underwriters rather than allowing companies to sell shares directly to investors.

The SEC declined an earlier request by NYSE in December to allow companies going public through direct listings to sell stock. It did not disclose the reasons for its decision at the time.

"We want to provide (companies) what is arguably a more efficient pricing mechanism for their IPO," NYSE Vice Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer John Tuttle said in an interview.

"While the current IPO works for many companies, we want to create an additional option that could arguably allow for more efficient pricing," Tuttle added.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In its latest submission, NYSE laid out in detail a mechanism for the first trade under a capital-raising direct listing, including how a floor price for the shares would be set.

NYSE also dropped a proposal for the SEC to waive a requirement that companies have at least 400 shareholders of so-called round lots at the time of the listing.

"With the IPO market surging as it is right now, the time is ripe to further advance this option," Tuttle said.

Some 56 companies have gone public in the United States so far this year, raising $18.4 billion, compared to 160 companies raising $46.3 billion in all of 2019, according to Renaissance Capital. The IPO market was largely subdued for two months earlier this year due to the coronavirus outbreak but activity has rebounded in recent weeks.

Several venture capital investors, including Benchmark's Bill Gurley, have criticized the traditional IPO structure, arguing it allows banks to sell stock at a discount to their clients, who can then reap large gains when the stock begins trading.

The SEC already allows direct listings for companies that do not raise capital in the process. In 2018, music streaming business Spotify Technology SA was the first major company to go public through a direct listing.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)