Hong Kong Eases Mortgage Rules for Commercial Properties
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority relaxed loan rules for commercial real estate, a step intended to ease the pressure on businesses which have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The loan-to-value ratio cap for commercial properties was raised to 50% from 40%, effective Aug. 20, the monetary authority said in a statement Wednesday. The previous limit on commercial property mortgage was lowered to 40% in 2013.
“With business confidence continuing to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising geopolitical tensions, non-residential property markets are likely to remain under pressure,” the city’s de facto central bank said in astatement late Wednesday. It is appropriate to ease the mortgage measures for non-residential properties in the current environment, it added.
Prosecutors: Berlin crashes were Islamic extremist attack
A series of crashes caused by a 30-year-old Iraqi man on a Berlin highway was an Islamic extremist attack, prosecutors told the German news agency dpa on Wednesday.
"According to the current state of our investigation this was an Islamist-motivated attack," the office said.
Six people were injured, three of them severely, when the man allegedly drove into several vehicles on Tuesday evening along a stretch of the German capital's highway. The series of crashes led to a complete closure of one of the main traffic arteries of Berlin.
There were also indications that the man was suffering from psychological problems, dpa reported.
Lowe's reports blow-out quarter with 30% surge in revenue
Lowe's on Wednesday said its second-quarter revenue surged 30% as consumers spent more on home improvement projects while stuck in the house.
Shares of the company rose more than 1% in premarket trading.
Here's what the company reported for the quarter ended July 31 compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:
- Adjusted EPS: $3.75 vs. $2.95 expected
- Revenue: $27.3 billion vs. $24.27 billion expected
Lowe's reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $2.83 billion, or $3.74 per share, up from $1.68 billion, or $2.14 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the retailer earned $3.75 per share, beating the $2.95 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
Net sales rose 30% to $27.3 billion, topping expectations of $24.27 billion.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Lowe’s Cos. Q2 adjusted earnings Beat Estimates
Lowe’s Cos. (LOW) announced earnings for its second quarter that advanced from the same period last year.
The company’s bottom line came in at $2.83 billion, or $3.74 per share. This compares with $1.68 billion, or $2.14 per share, in last year’s second quarter.
Analysts had expected the company to earn $2.95 per share, according to figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
The company’s revenue for the quarter rose 30.1% to $27.30 billion from $20.99 billion last year.
Lowe’s Cos. earnings at a glance:
-EPS (Q2): $3.75 vs. $2.15 last year.
-Analysts Estimate: $2.95
-Revenue (Q2): $27.30 Bln vs. $20.99 Bln last year.
Harmony Biosciences Prices Upsized IPO At $24/Shr, Above The Estimated Range
Harmony Biosciences Holdings, Inc. announced the pricing of its upsized initial public offering of 5.35 million common shares at $24.00 per share, above the estimated range. The offering is expected to close on August 21, 2020.
The company has originally filed to sell 4.65 million shares at a range of $20.00 and $23.00 per share.
The company shares are expected to begin trading on Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “HRMY” on August 19, 2020. The company expects offering gross proceeds, before expenses, to be $128.4 million.
In addition, Harmony has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 802,325 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Jefferies and Piper Sandler are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering.
Indonesia reports 1,902 new coronavirus infections, 69 deaths
JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesia reported 1,902 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday (Aug 19), bringing the total number of cases in the South-east Asian country to 144,945, data from the country’s Health Ministry showed.
The data recorded an additional 69 deaths, taking the total to 6,346.
TSX Set To Rise With Bond Yields
Canadian shares are seen opening a tad higher on Wednesday, tracking gains in U.S. stock futures and rising bond yields.
Oil prices rallied toward five-month high after industry data showed that U.S. inventories of crude fell more than analysts expected, raising hopes of a recovery in global oil demand.
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude stocks fell by 4 million barrels last week, beating expectations of draw of 2.9 million barrels.
The API data also showed gasoline stockpiles declined by 1.3 million barrels, while distillate inventories fell by 2.9 million barrels.
The Energy Information Administration will release its inventory data later today.
Gold prices cut early losses to turn flat after data showed Britain’s economy shrank by a fifth in the last quarter.
Spot gold had its steepest sell-off in more than seven years on Tuesday amid hopes about U.S. coronavirus stimulus and on news about Russia registering the first vaccine against the coronavirus.
Investors are pinning hopes for U.S. economic stimulus and Covid-19 vaccine, with the United States making a deal with Moderna to deliver 100 million doses of its novel experimental coronavirus vaccine.
The U.S. has already reached a vaccine dose deal with AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University for their vaccine. It also has an agreement with BioNTech and partner Dow drug giant Pfizer.
The benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index ended down 108.49 points, or 0.65 percent, at 16,497.01, on Tuesday due largely to a sell-off in the materials space.