GLOBAL MARKETS LIVE: Thomas Cook, WeWork, Boeing, Atlantia…

09/23/2019 | 09:55am

The venerable British tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed, leaving 21,000 employees and several hundred thousand customers destitute. US stock-index futures and European shares are down.

 

US MARKETS:

S&P 500 futures down 0.2% to 2,983.00

Brent futures up 0.4% to $64.51/bbl

Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,519.44

US Dollar Index up 0.2% to 98.74

 

GLOBAL NEWS:

End of the journey. British group Thomas Cook was forced into bankruptcy: hundreds of thousands of passengers are to be repatriated. The oldest travel agency in the world is in liquidation as of today. "I would like to apologize to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years," wrote Managing Director Peter Fankhauser in a statement. The group employs around 21,000 people and has an air fleet of around 100 aircraft.

WeWork under stress. Pressure is increasing on the CEO of WeWork, through directors, including the representative of Softbank, who are asking for his departure after the successive reversals on the IPO.

Purge. After the announcements by Société Générale and Commerzbank last week, the European banking industry has made a total of 44,000 job cuts since the beginning of the year. Newspaper Agefi also reports this morning that BNP Paribas AM is expected to cut around 100 jobs in Paris, or 10% of its workforce.

Bakkt is active. Since yesterday evening, the Intercontinental Exchange has been offering Bitcoin futures contracts via its dedicated Bakkt platform. Bitcoin prices are not reacting and remain this morning around USD 10,000.

The investigation is progressing. Indonesia is implicating the design and supervision of the Boeing 737 MAX in the investigation into the Lion Air crash, the Wall Street Journal reports. The preliminary conclusions of the report were not commented on by the various parties. The business daily also understands US air disaster investigators are about to announce a series of safety recommendations, targeting both the aircraft manufacturer and the FAA.

Tax compromise. L'Oréal has entered into an agreement with the French tax authorities to settle a dispute on the taxable basis of several subsidiaries, which will result in an exceptional charge of approximately €320 million in the 2019 financial statements. The litigation concerned the Lancôme Perfumes and Beauty, Active Cosmetics International and Prestige and Collections International divisions, mainly concerning corporate income tax for the years 2014 to 2018. The group points out that the dispute is settled "without penalties". There will be no additional impact.

Mayday. XL Airways, the French budget airline facing difficulties, called Air France-KLM for help. "Air France can move. The group's CEO, Ben Smith, has the power to do so. He must put XL at Air France," Laurent Magnin, XL's CEO, told the French press. The carrier would need €35 million to recover.

Coming to the Nasdaq. French group Innate Pharma has filed its foundation document for an introduction to Nasdaq. The laboratory has not yet determined the size of the offer or the price of the shares to be offered.

In other news. S&P downgraded Atlantia's credit rating to "BBB-", the lowest level in the investment category. Leonardo's CEO criticizes a rapprochement with his compatriot Fincantieri, recently mentioned by former Council President Matteo Renzi. Walmart will stop selling electronic cigarettes, Reuters learned on the basis of an internal memo. Vonovia will buy Hembla for €1.14 billion, or SEK 215 per share. Indian group Petronet LNG signs an agreement with the American Tellurian to develop the Driftwood liquefied natural gas project in Louisiana.

Romain Fournier
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