Banks are pushing down the supply of loans to European companies and households pending higher bad loans due to the impact of lockdowns, a report from the European Central Bank showed. The ECB’s quarterly survey of banks found that a growing proportion of them are tightening credit conditions, particularly in France.
Unemployment rate in Hong Kong reached its highest point in 16 years as its economy was ravaged by the coronavirus epidemic. The number of unemployed from October to December rose to 6.6 percent, an increase of 0.3 percent from the previous three months. The retail, hospitality and food sectors suffered from stringent social distance measures.
The United Arab Emirates is accelerate the rollout of its coronavirus vaccines as the Gulf Federation seeks to overtake its new ally Israel as the world’s most vaccinated nation. The UAE, which has vaccinated about 20 percent of the population, is starting to catch up with Israel, leading at a rate of 29 percent.
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer has said the country will return to “sort of normal” this year following the Covid-19 vaccination program, but international travel is still a while away. Paul Kelly said the vaccination effort would not allow Australia reopen its limits, due to high infection levels elsewhere.
The Ring at the London Metal Exchange
The London Metal Exchange will propose permanently close his ring, where metals have been traded since its founding in 1877, a move that would end the personal commodity trade in Europe. The stock market’s decision would come after it temporarily halted trading in the Ring last year due to the pandemic.
Halliburton, one of the three largest oilfield service companies in the world, reported a fourth quarter decrease in income to $ 160 million, or 18 cents a share, from $ 285 million a year ago. That was a 60 percent increase from the previous three months, when oilfield activity in the company’s main US market remained under pressure.
Bank of America’s net income in the fourth quarter increased by almost $ 600 million, driven by the release of loan loss reserves, capital market income and net interest income that rose for the first time in more than a year. Quarterly net income rose to $ 5.5 billion, but total revenue was $ 20.1 billion, did not live up to expectations of $ 20.5 billion.
Travel restrictions, store closings, and less festive gatherings dented Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli’s company. Organic sales fell 6.1 percent to SFr 4.02 billion ($ 4.52 billion) in 2020, resulting in a decline of nearly 11 percent year-on-year. Shares in Lindt fell 2 percent on Tuesday.