GLOBAL MARKETS LIVE: Varian bought by a European company, HSBC faces hard times…

08/03/2020 | 09:41am

The pace of earnings reports slows down a bit this week, but there are still a few important companies on the agenda, in particular HSBC, Heineken and Societe Generale this morning. A European company will make a nice acquisition in the US: Siemens Healthineers will buy Varian for $16.4bn.


Earnings season. HSBC, NTT Docomo, Heineken, Global Payments, Siemens Healthineers, Ferrari, The Clorox, Société Générale, CNP Assurances, Natixis are among companies reporting their results today.

A structuring acquisition. Siemens Healthineers acquires its American competitor Varian for $16.4 billion. This friendly transaction, if successful, will strengthen the German group's positions. Part of the financing will be carried out through a capital increase, which will at the same time allow the parent company, Siemens, to slightly dilute its stake.

Times are hard, even in beer. Heineken has announced a net loss of €297 million at the end of the first half of 2020. The Dutch brewer posted sales of €9.24 billion over the period, down 16%, for an adjusted operating profit of €827 million, down 53%, in line with the indications provided on July 16. Management believes that the financial commitments will be met, but will not pay an interim dividend as a precautionary measure.

HSBC is suffering. HSBC's second quarter results were below expectations, with pre-tax net profit of $2.59bn, down 57% and below market expectations of $2.94bn. Credit impairment charges were $6.9bn in H1, compared with $1.2bn a year earlier. The impact of the coronavirus is expected to continue to affect results in the second half of the year, the bank warned, and plans to continue to reduce costs. HSBC will communicate on its dividend policy and its medium-term objectives at the time of the publication of the 2020 results, i.e. in 2021.

Divorce at the Murdochs. James Murdoch, disagreeing with the editorial line of the group created by his father, is leaving the board of News Corp. Initially, James was expected to succeed his father, but a gulf has grown between the two men. His departure does not surprise the good connoisseurs of the file.

7-Eleven gets Speedway. Marathon Petroleum sells its network of gas stations in the United States to 7-Eleven for $21 billion. This transaction is the largest of the year in the oil sector in the United States, and the biggest in history for the convenience store operator, which belongs to the Japanese Seven & i Holdings. The acquired perimeter includes 3900 Speedway stores. 

The Brazilian courts have fined Facebook 1.92 MBRL for failing to comply with an order to block access worldwide to certain accounts controlled by supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro.

In other news. Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein wants to cut the bank's costs by 2% to 3% each year, he told Finanz und Wirtschaft. The pilots of British Airways (International Consolidated Airlines) have approved a plan that includes temporary wage cuts of 20 percent to limit the number of redundancies to 270. A 17-year-old American boy from the US charged in connection with the hacking of celebrity Twitter accounts in mid-July. Zur Rose finalised the takeover of TeleClinic. Hammerson confirms that he is considering a capital increase. Noble Corp is filing for bankruptcy protection. Dufry posted a net loss of CHF 903.2 million in the first half of the year, slightly less than expected.


Romain Fournier
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