Europe Business

Copper rebounds as China's factories unexpectedly return to growth

03h46 Copper prices rose on Tuesday, with Shanghai copper touching a near two-week high, as top consumer China surprisingly reported an expansion in factory activities this month. The Purchasing Managers' Index for. . .  Full story

Crude rises after U.S., Russia agree to oil market talks

02h55 Oil recovered some ground on Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to discuss stablising energy markets, but prices remain near 18-year lows as the coronavirus shutdown destroys demand.. . .  Full story

Shell drops out of major U.S. LNG project, Energy Transfer delays decision

02h03 Royal Dutch Shell Plc pulled out of a major U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant under development following the recent crash in energy prices, quickly followed by its partner, Energy Transfer LP, delaying its. . .  Full story

UK business confidence crashes on coronavirus hit - Lloyds

01h01 Confidence among British companies slumped in the second week of March as the coronavirus crisis gathered pace but before the government shut much of the economy to slow its spread, according to a survey. . .  Full story

Crude prices in key U.S., European markets scrape new lows as supply glut looms

00h39 Physical crude prices slumped worldwide on Monday, falling faster than comparable benchmark futures as merchants offered big discounts on shipments and the market braced for a flood of oil from Saudi Arabia and Russia.. . .  Full story

G20 ministers agree to keep markets open, tackle pandemic supply disruptions

00h20 Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Monday to keep their markets open and ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies, equipment and other essential goods as the world battles. . .  Full story

Credit Suisse weighs curbing bonuses at time of coronavirus -CEO

30/03 Credit Suisse bank could restrain 2020 bonuses in a show of unity with victims of the coronavirus epidemic in Switzerland, Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Another plunge takes crude benchmarks to lowest levels since 2002

30/03 Global oil benchmark Brent crude plunged to its cheapest level in almost 18 years on Monday and U.S. crude briefly tumbled below $20 a barrel as investors faced the growing prospect that the global. . .  Full story

FCA executives, salaried employees to take pay cuts during coronavirus pandemic

30/03 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's top executives and salaried workers around the globe will take pay cuts in an act of "shared sacrifice" brought on by the coronavirus pandemic that has shuttered the automaker's plants in. . .  Full story

Bulgaria revises 2020 budget to run fiscal deficit of 2.9%/GDP

30/03 Bulgaria revamped its fiscal plans to run a deficit of 2.9% of economic output this year and raised the ceiling on new debt it can raise to 10 billion levs ($5.65 billion) due to. . .  Full story

Russia's Transneft settles part of dirty oil claims with Total

30/03 Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft said on Monday it has partially settled claims with French energy major Total over contaminated oil that flooded the Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline in April 2019.. . .  Full story

EU clears 1.75 bln euro Estonian aid schemes for virus-hit firms

30/03 EU state aid regulators approved on Monday two Estonian schemes with a budget of 1.75 billion euros ($1.93 billion) to help companies hit by the coronavirus outbreak, similar to other proposals cleared recently in other. . .  Full story

BP will not cut jobs over next three months - CEO Looney

30/03 Oil major BP PLC will not cut jobs over the next three months, Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney said, even as the company seeks to reduce spending following an oil price crash.. . .  Full story

Europe aims for quick economic response to coronavirus crisis

30/03 The European Union is likely to focus on tools offered by the euro zone's ESM bailout fund and the European Investment Bank in its economic response to the coronavirus epidemic, so that they can. . .  Full story

Poland's PGNiG wins $1.5 bln in court battle with Gazprom

30/03 Poland's largest gas distributor PGNiG said on Monday that an international arbitration court had ruled that Russian gas giant Gazprom must pay it about $1.5 billion in a pricing dispute case.. . .  Full story

Fimalac to provide new financing for Casino's holding company

30/03 French financial group Fimalac has agreed to provide new financing facilities for Rallye , the holding company behind supermarket retailer Casino which has been under pressure to cut its debts.. . .  Full story

Montenegro introduces lockdown to fight coronavirus

30/03 Montenegro introduced a lockdown on Monday to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected dozens in the small Adriatic republic.. . .  Full story

Morocco's Bank of Africa posts 5% profit rise for 2019

30/03 Bank of Africa (BOA), one of Morocco's biggest lenders with operations in Africa and Europe, on Monday reported a 5% rise in 2019 net profit of 1.9 billion dirhams ($193 million).. . .  Full story

Hungary's PM wins emergency powers to fight coronavirus

30/03 Hungary's parliament granted nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban the right to rule by decree on Monday to fight the coronavirus, ignoring calls by opponents and rights groups to put a timeframe on the extra powers.. . .  Full story

Swiss wealth manager Vontobel feeling impact of virus spread, oil shock

30/03 Swiss asset and wealth manager Vontobel said on Monday it is feeling the negative effects of the spread of the coronavirus and the oil price shock.. . .  Full story

Poland's PKN readies Lotos concessions as EU concerns loom

30/03 Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen said it is ready to present concessions on its planned Lotos purchase once European Union competition regulators set out their concerns.. . .  Full story

Standard Chartered freezes hiring, warns of bonus cuts - memo

30/03 Standard Chartered has told staff it is freezing all external and internal hiring for two months and signalled it is likely to cut bonuses for 2020, as the Asia and Africa-focused lender grapples with. . .  Full story

Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica halts dividend as postpones AGM

30/03 Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica is suspending its dividend due to the coronavirus pandemic and said on Monday it was delaying its annual shareholder meeting by a month.. . .  Full story

Barclays sets 2050 'net zero' carbon goal after investor pressure

30/03 Barclays, one of the biggest lenders in Europe to the fossil fuel industry, on Monday set itself a target to reach "net zero" for its own carbon emissions and the activities it finances by. . .  Full story

Aluminium hits four-year lows, fears of deep recession reinforced

30/03 Aluminium prices hit four-year lows on Monday as worries about prolonged shutdowns around the world due to the coronavirus reinforced fears of a deep recession and tumbling demand for industrial metals.. . .  Full story

UK bus companies to be promised coronavirus bailout this week - FT

30/03 UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps will offer millions of pounds to bus companies this week in the latest bailout by the government since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported on. . .  Full story

FTSE 100 turns around on AstraZeneca jump, weaker pound

30/03 The UK's exporter-heavy FTSE 100 closed higher on Monday, helped by a jump in AstraZeneca's shares and a weaker pound, but the prospect of a prolonged coronavirus-led shutdown in Britain weighed on midcap shares.. . .  Full story

Polish miner KGHM operating below break-even due to low copper prices, says PM

30/03 Poland's state-run KGHM , one of the world's biggest copper and silver producers, is currently operating below its break-even point with the copper price below $5,000, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.. . .  Full story

UK's Melrose cancels 2019 dividend as coronavirus bites

30/03 Turnaround specialist Melrose Industries on Monday cancelled its 2019 final dividend and said it could not provide outlook as its markets had been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.. . .  Full story

Indian police fire tear gas at jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

30/03 Police in India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said. . .  Full story

Euronext says it will not make a counter-bid for Spain's BME

30/03 Euronext said on Monday it would not make a takeover offer for Spanish stock exchange operator Bolsas y Mercados.. . .  Full story

European shares reverse course to end higher on defensive plays

30/03 European stocks closed higher on Monday after last-minute gains, with buying focused largely on defensive sectors amid plummeting oil prices and continued anxiety over the coronavirus.. . .  Full story

Fitch downgrades Deutsche Bank outlook, cuts Commerzbank

30/03 Fitch has put Deutsche Bank on a negative credit outlook and cut the rating of Germany's second biggest listed lender Commerzbank to BBB due to the coronavirus crisis.. . .  Full story

Italy's IVASS tells insurers to be prudent on dividends - source

30/03 Italy's insurance watchdog IVASS is calling on companies in the sector to be prudent about dividends and bonus payments to protect their capital position during the coronavirus crisis, a source familiar with the matter said. . .  Full story

Finnish government pushes Fortum to strive for carbon neutrality

30/03 Finland's centre-left government on Monday gave its blessing to majority state-owned Fortum's strategy to cut emissions, but promised to push the company further towards carbon neutrality, the minister in charge wrote.. . .  Full story

UBS defies Swiss dividend freeze call with $2.6 bln payout plan

30/03 UBS plans to pay a 2019 dividend that is more than half its annual profit, defying calls by the Swiss government and financial markets supervisor for lenders to limit payouts during the coronavirus crisis.. . .  Full story

ECB comes to governments' rescue with record weekly buys

30/03 The European Central Bank made its biggest asset purchases ever last week as it stepped up its efforts to keep credit cheap for euro zone governments hit by the coronavirus pandemic.. . .  Full story

Euro zone banks heed ECB dividend warning, Swiss ignore regulators

30/03 Banks across the euro zone are tearing up plans to return cash to shareholders at the behest of regulators, instead shoring up reserves as the coronavirus outbreak threatens to tip the world into a. . .  Full story

Norway proposes new oil exploration blocks, but none in Barents Sea

30/03 Norway on Monday offered oil firms the chance to bid for 36 new offshore exploration blocks in an annual licensing round in mature areas, but for the first time in a decade that did. . .  Full story

Most Lufthansa staff to work reduced hours over virus

30/03 At least 27,000 staff of Lufthansa will work reduced hours, it said on Monday, as the German airline is struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.. . .  Full story

German Bund yield falls to two-week low as economic uncertainty persists

30/03 Germany's benchmark 10-year bond yield fell to a two-week low on Monday as high-rated fixed income assets drew support from the global economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.. . .  Full story

The transatlantic divide on how banks handle coronavirus loans

30/03 The United States has given banks a two-year break from provisions for loans soured by the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to keep credit flowing while borrowers struggle to stay afloat as economic activity grinds to a. . .  Full story

Sweden expands jobless benefits to cushion coronavirus hit

30/03 Sweden proposed on Monday to temporarily boost unemployment benefit to help cushion the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic.. . .  Full story

Short-term funding crunch pushes European companies into bonds

30/03 A slew of European corporate bond issues over the past week have brought some cheer to shell-shocked markets, but a key reason for the rush may be more concerning: A scant commercial paper market.. . .  Full story

Danish financial watchdog urges banks not to pay dividends or buy back shares

30/03 The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority said on Monday the banking sector should not pay out dividends or buy back shares amid the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak.. . .  Full story

Ivory Coast rain and sun to boost cocoa mid-crop - farmers

30/03 Abundant rain mixed with sunny spells in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa regions last week will boost the mid-crop in the world's biggest producer, farmers said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Portugal's solar energy auction postponed due to coronavirus

30/03 Portugal has postponed its second solar energy licensing auction due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but still hopes to launch it by June if the spread of the outbreak starts to slow,. . .  Full story

Finland's UPM scraps 2020 outlook due to coronavirus

30/03 Finnish paper producer UPM has scrapped its outlook for 2020 because of the significant uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic although its business was not hit in the first quarter, it said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Poland expects sharp rise in coronavirus cases

30/03 Poland expects rapid growth in coronavirus infections, Health Minister Lukasz Szumowski said on Monday, as the country braces for new restrictions aimed at curbing the pandemic.. . .  Full story

Swiss may have to top up coronavirus aid package amid rush for loans

30/03 Switzerland may have to expand its emergency fund for companies hit by coronavirus disruption, a government official said on Monday, after banks loaned out 6.6 billion Swiss francs ($6.89 billion) in the first four. . .  Full story

EU urges countries to open borders to seasonal farm workers

30/03 EU countries should allow the hundreds of thousands of seasonal migrant workers who plant or harvest crops to cross borders despite national measures to contain the coronavirus, the European Commission said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Spanish designer dresses last brides as coronavirus halts weddings

30/03 Wearing a surgical mask and latex gloves, Spanish wedding dress designer Inma Garcia cuts lengths of ivory satin and frothy net in her Barcelona workshop to make a bridal gown for a Mexican client.. . .  Full story

Bulgaria to provide over 1 bln levs to support employment

30/03 Bulgaria will spend more than 1 billion levs ($566 million) to pay part of workers' salaries in companies whose operations have been hit by the coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Commerzbank cancels its 2019 dividend recommendation

30/03 Commerzbank said on Monday that it will not propose a dividend for 2019.. . .  Full story

EU pushes Britain to extend Brexit talks over virus outbreak

30/03 The European Union expects Britain to seek an extension of its post-Brexit transition period beyond the end of the year, diplomats and officials said on Monday, as negotiations on trade have ground to a. . .  Full story

Oil crash compounds coronavirus hit for cash-strapped OPEC states

30/03 Collapsing oil prices are costing some OPEC members not only lost revenue when they most need it to tackle the coronavirus crisis, but also market share they may never recoup.. . .  Full story

German inflation slows below ECB target in March on cheaper oil

30/03 German annual inflation slowed sharply in March to well below the European Central Bank's target, data showed on Monday, giving the ECB additional leeway to deploy stimulus policy to counter the economic fallout from the. . .  Full story

EU clears French 1.2 bln euro scheme for small firms hit by pandemic

30/03 The European Commission authorised on Monday France's scheme to support small companies and self-employed people affected by the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.. . .  Full story

Germany expands export loan guarantees in response to coronavirus

30/03 Germany said on Monday it was expanding export loan guarantees on short-term payments to include transactions within the EU and with Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Britain and the United States.. . .  Full story

EasyJet grounds fleet as pandemic pushes airlines to the brink

30/03 Britain's EasyJet has grounded its fleet of 344 planes and has no clear idea when it might resume flights, the company said on Monday, in another sign of the strain on airlines battling to. . .  Full story

Lockmaker Assa Abloy cuts dividend after Swedish call for action

30/03 Assa Abloy, the world's biggest lockmaker, lowered proposed 2019 dividend on Monday and said it had begun cost cuts because of uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.. . .  Full story

Swiss banks have granted around 6.6 bln Sfr of Covid loans

30/03 Swiss banks had granted around 6.6 billion Swiss francs ($6.89 billion) worth of emergency loans to businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak as of Sunday night, a government official said.. . .  Full story

Carbon-free hydrogen production needs multi-billion dollar subsidies to make it cost effective -research

30/03 The falling cost of producing hydrogen from renewable power offers a promising route to cutting emissions, but governments need to step in and provide $150 billion of subsidies over the next decade to scale up. . .  Full story

Short-selling bans not useful - stock exchanges federation

30/03 Bans on the short-selling of shares when stock markets are experiencing extreme volatility gives the impression of a decisive response without achieving any useful result, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) said on Monday.. . .  Full story

UK banks could review 2020 dividends due to pandemic - trade body

30/03 Britain's banks are likely to want to review their dividend plans for 2020 given the impact of coronavirus on the economy, banking industry body UK Finance said on Monday.. . .  Full story

IAG says British Airways extends credit facility

30/03 British Airways has extended its revolving credit facility by one year to June 2021, with $1.38 billion currently available under it, giving the carrier some flesh to weather out hardships due to the coronavirus. . .  Full story

Disruptions in Dutch telecoms networks affect some hospitals - ANP

30/03 Dutch news agency ANP reported on Monday that problems on telecommunications networks in the Netherlands were affecting communications at some hospitals.. . .  Full story

Russia's economy ministry backs proposal to limit grain exports

30/03 Russia's economy ministry is backing a proposal made by the agriculture ministry last week to limit Russian grain exports to 7 million tonnes from April through June because of the coronavirus pandemic, it said. . .  Full story

French regulated gas prices to fall 4.4% in April - energy regulator

30/03 France's CRE energy market regulator on Monday recommended a 4.4% reduction in regulated gas tariffs from April 1 paid by about 4.6 million residential customers in France to Engie.. . .  Full story

German economy could shrink by 5.4% this year due to coronavirus - advisors

30/03 The coronavirus outbreak will push Germany into recession in the first half of this year and could result in output in Europe's largest economy contracting by up to 5.4% this year, Germany's council of. . .  Full story

One in five Britons fear a coronavirus depression: YouGov

30/03 One in five people in Britain fear an economic depression because of the impact of coronavirus and a further 52% expect the country's economy to be in recession within a year, a poll by. . .  Full story

Polish BioMaxima registers real time PCR coronavirus test, shares jump

30/03 Shares in Polish company BioMaxima jumped by as much as 86% on Monday on news that it has registered a coronavirus test based on the Real Time PCR method recommended by the World Health. . .  Full story

Russia weighs nationwide coronavirus lockdown after Moscow acts

30/03 Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked regional governors to consider introducing a partial lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus after Russia on Monday recorded its biggest one-day rise in cases for the sixth day. . .  Full story

Swiss economic indicator plunges to lowest level in 5 years

30/03 The outlook for the Swiss economy has sunk to its lowest level in five years, a leading indicator showed on Monday, in the first reading of how the coronavirus outbreak will hurt the country's. . .  Full story

Euro zone sentiment in record plunge as coronavirus strikes

30/03 Euro zone sentiment suffered its steepest ever monthly decline in March as the coronavirus led to declining confidence among consumers and all sectors of the economy, in many cases even before crippling lockdowns were imposed.. . .  Full story

Russian steelmaker Severstal reports first confirmed coronavirus case

30/03 Russian steelmaker Severstal said on Monday that one of its employees was confirmed to have the coronavirus.. . .  Full story

Japan submits updated emissions plan, leaving carbon target unchanged

30/03 Japan has maintained its carbon emissions reduction target in its updated emissions plan submitted to the United Nations as part of an international process to address climate change.. . .  Full story

Gazprom workers leave hospital after negative coronavirus tests

30/03 Twenty Gazprom workers, who were airlifted to hospital following a coronavirus scare last week, have been discharged after the tests came back negative, a Gazprom spokesman said on Monday.. . .  Full story

Serbia to invest 5 bln euros to cope with coronavirus impact

30/03 Serbia plans to offer about 5 billion euros ($5.54 billion) in loans and subsidies to businesses to help them cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus, President Aleksandra Vucic said.. . .  Full story

Italy's Banca Generali, Mediolanum adopt ECB recommendation on dividends

30/03 Italian asset managers Banca Generali and Banca Mediolanum on Monday joined the country's biggest bank UniCredit in suspending dividend payments in line with guidance from regulators.. . .  Full story

US investigates child labour in Ivory Coast cocoa supply chains

30/03 U.S. customs authorities have asked cocoa traders to report where and when they encounter child labour in their supply chains in top grower Ivory Coast, three industry sources said, following calls from American lawmakers to. . .  Full story

Troubled payments group Finablr's auditor Ernst & Young leaves

30/03 Finablr said on Monday Ernst & Young LLP has resigned as its auditor after the company could not accommodate some of the requested adjustments on time that included changes to the composition of the. . .  Full story

Carmaker Renault: all plants closed apart from in China and South Korea

30/03 French carmaker Renault said production at all its plants across the world had been halted due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, apart from its plants in China and South Korea.. . .  Full story

Spain's Banco Sabadell to sell depositary unit to BNP Paribas for 115 mln euros

30/03 Spanish bank Banco de Sabadell said on Monday it agreed to sell its depositary unit to France's BNP Paribas for 115 million euros ($127.40 million).. . .  Full story

Equinor says Sverdrup oilfield output to beat expectations

30/03 Norway's Equinor said on Monday its Johan Sverdrup oilfield is ramping up output at a faster pace and will produce more barrels per day than initially expected.. . .  Full story

UK public sector contractor Kier cuts pay for 6,500 employees

30/03 British contractor Kier Group will cut wages for about 6,500 employees, including executives and board members, by between 7.5% and 25% for the three months beginning April, it said on Monday.. . .  Full story

ABB warns on profit after hit from coronavirus, low oil prices

30/03 Swiss engineering group ABB said on Monday profits of all its businesses would suffer in the first quarter because of the fallout from the coronavirus and due to plunging oil prices.. . .  Full story

ABN Amro warns on Q1 loss, scraps dividend

30/03 Dutch bank ABN Amro said on Monday it expected the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak to drive it to a loss in the first quarter, while it scrapped dividend payouts until at least. . .  Full story

AIB won't proceed with payment of its final dividend for 2019

30/03 Allied Irish Banks (AIB) said on Monday it would not be proceeding with the payment of its final dividend for 2019 following a recommendation from the European Central Bank.. . .  Full story

ING bank suspends dividend payments due to coronavirus outbreak

30/03 Dutch banks ING said on Monday it would follow the advice of the European Central Bank (ECB) and suspend any payment of dividends until at least Oct. 1 in light of the global coronavirus. . .  Full story

FOCUS-From quills to qwerty: Lloyd's underwriters adapt to home working

30/03 Thousands of London's underwriters took their stamps and fountain pens home last week, which they use to sign insurance contracts, but they won't need them.. . .  Full story

Ukraine sunflower oil exports jump 71.6% so far in 2019-20 - APK-Inform

30/03 Ukraine, the world's top exporter of sunflower oil, has increased its seaborne exports of the commodity by around 71.6% so far in the 2019-20 season, preliminary data from the APK-Inform consultancy showed on Monday.. . .  Full story

Qantas says pilots approve pay deal covering Sydney-London flights

30/03 Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd said on Monday that pilots had voted in favour of a pay deal that would pave the way for the airline to fly the world's longest non-stop commercial flights from. . .  Full story

Shanghai tops world's IPO league table despite coronavirus

30/03 Shanghai has topped global initial public offering (IPO) league table for the first time in nearly three years, even as the coronavirus epidemic which originated in China rocked markets around the world.. . .  Full story

Italy's UniCredit puts 2019 dividend, share buyback on hold after ECB recommendation

30/03 UniCredit on Sunday became the first Italian bank to comply with regulatory calls to preserve capital to support the economy against the coronavirus, putting on hold plans to pay dividends on 2019 results and. . .  Full story

Coronavirus lockdowns give Europe's cities cleaner air

30/03 Air pollution has decreased in urban areas across Europe during lockdowns to combat the coronavirus, new satellite images showed on Monday, but campaigners warned city-dwellers were still more vulnerable to the epidemic.. . .  Full story

Polish presidential challenger urges boycott of May vote, halts campaign

29/03 The main Polish opposition candidate running for president called on Sunday for a boycott of the country's May election due to the coronavirus and completely suspended her campaign, adding to doubts about whether the vote. . .  Full story