Europeans Unwillingly Hoarded Cash During Lockdowns, ECB Says

Bank of England to propose simpler rules for small banks

FILE PHOTO: People walk in front of the Bank of England, as the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases grow around the world, in London, Britain, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will adopt less bureaucratic financial rules after Brexit, starting with simpler regulation of small banks, Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods said on Tuesday.

The BoE will propose the simpler rules for smaller lenders in a month or so, a step that would have been impossible to agree if Britain was still in the European Union, Woods told a City Week online event.

Bank of England to propose simpler rules for small banks

LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Britain will adopt less bureaucratic financial rules after Brexit, starting with simpler regulation of small banks, Bank of England Deputy Governor Sam Woods said on Tuesday.

The BoE will propose the simpler rules for smaller lenders in a month or so, a step that would have been impossible to agree if Britain was still in the European Union, Woods told a City Week online event.

GEA Sells Compressor Maker Bock To NORD Holding For Undisclosed Terms; Stock Up

Shares of GEA Group AG (GEAGF.PK,GEAGY.PK) were gaining around 2 percent in Germany morning trade after the technology company announced Tuesday that it is selling the compressor manufacturer Bock, which is in GEA’s Refrigeration Technologies division, to NORD Holding. The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the deal.

The sale, part of the company’s continued focus on strategic core markets – the food, beverages and pharmaceutical industries, remains subject to regulatory clearance. Closing of the transaction is expected in early 2021.

Bock is a manufacturer of open and semi-hermetic piston compressors in the lower and medium refrigeration capacity range. The company, which employs around 340 people, generated sales of almost 90 million euros in 2019.

Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA Group, said, “In GEA’s Refrigeration Technologies division, we will concentrate in the future on our industrial compressors business. Our portfolio here includes customized solutions for the optimum use of waste heat, enabling our customers to operate their production facilities ever more sustainably or even become carbon neutral.”

In Germany, GEA Group shares were trading at 29.79 euros, up 1.92 percent.

Argentina: Provincial healthcare strained as COVID cases spread

From the capital city and into the provinces – the coronavirus makes its way relentlessly across Argentina.

Even though Argentina was one of the first countries to impose a lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, infections continue to rise.

Recorded cases have passed 630,000 as COVID-19 spreads from the capital Buenos Aires into the provinces.

Al Jazeera’s Teresa Bo reports from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Soaring food prices hit Sudanese as floods ravage the country

Sudan is expecting more rain. Floods have already destroyed homes and killed people, now food prices are soaring too.

Flooding is adding to the misery of the Sudanese people, who have been struggling with a steep rise in the price of food.

The inflation has also affected the provision of aid to tens of thousands of people displaced by the floods in 17 of the country’s 18 states.

Prices of essential commodities like bread and sugar are rising to more than double and long queues for bread are now almost everywhere.

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports from Khartoum, Sudan.

Judge fast-tracks Tiffany suit against LVMH over abandoned $16B deal

A Delaware Chancery Court justice on Monday agreed to fast-track Tiffany & Co.’s lawsuit against French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH for trying to back out of its $16 billion deal to acquire the US jeweler.

Vice Chancellor Joseph Slights said he would set a four-day trial beginning Jan. 5, 2021, which is after the Nov. 24 “drop-dead” date for the biggest luxury merger deal to close but before antitrust approvals begin to expire.

Slights said he hoped both Tiffany and LVMH could have “productive discussions to avoid the need for litigation,” referring to a potential settlement.

The US jeweler had pushed for a November trial before the drop-dead date of Nov. 24. The French luxury goods conglomerate argued for a trial beginning in March or April of next year.

The decision is Slights’ first time weighing in on the broken deal, the most high-profile of a series of abandoned transactions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany hit the rocks in September after the Louis Vuitton owner said it could no longer complete the purchase, citing an intervention by the French government and the U.S. jeweler’s weakening performance

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Europeans Unwillingly Hoarded Cash During Lockdowns, ECB Says

Europeans struggled to spend their money in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking a surge in savings, according to the European Central Bank.

With economies in lockdown and millions of consumers forced to stay at home, people in the euro area were unable — rather than unwilling — to consume as normal in the first half of the year, the ECB said in its economic bulletin published Tuesday.

While consumers hoarded more cash over concerns about job losses, “forced savings seem to be the main driver of the recent spike in household savings,” the researchers said, citing first-quarter data and indications for the second quarter.

The findings are important because economists across the globe are trying to gauge whether the crisis will lead to a prolonged period of weak demand. While the figures suggest that people weren’t necessarily holding on to cash for precautionary reasons, the ECB warned that could change.

Recent surveys indicate that consumers plan to spend less on big-ticket items over the next 12 months than at the beginning of the year, despite having saved more than usual, the ECB said in its report.

Such a spending pattern could keep savings rates higher than pre-Covid levels, but with the balance shifting toward precautionary motives, according to the central bank.