The British government extended its pay-protection plan until October, through which furloughed workers receive 80% of their wages subject to a salary cap. But the government said that in the summer it would ask companies to start sharing the scheme’s cost in order to ease the strain on public finances.
Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the IMF, warned that the outlook for the global economy had worsened since the fund published a gloomy scenario just last month. PNC Financial, America’s ninth-largest bank, announced the sale of its 22% stake in BlackRock. The stake is worth around $17bn.
PNC was BlackRock’s biggest shareholder, but as a regional bank it is potentially exposed to souring loans in the energy and hospitality industries during the pandemic. Selling its holding bolsters its capital defences.
Turkey’s financial regulator lifted a brief ban on BNP Paribas, Citigroup and UBS from trading in its currency market. According to the regulator the banks were barred because they had not settled with their Turkish counterparts. But the ban coincided with the lira falling to another record low, suggesting that the government was trying to prop it up.
Vehicle sales in China rose by 4.4% last month compared with April 2019, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. It is the first increase since mid-2018 (when a tax break on car purchases ended) and was driven by a surge in sales of commercial vehicles. Sales of passenger cars remain subdued.
Toyota said it expects operating profit for the current financial year to fall by 80%. The world’s second-biggest carmaker thinks its sales will drop to a nine-year low.
While industries in the physical world bear the brunt of locked-down economies, those in the virtual realm continue to thrive. Tencent, one of the world’s biggest tech conglomerates, reported a 26% rise, year on year, in quarterly sales, as the number of subscribers to its video service surged to 112m and that for its music service to 43m. It made a profit of 28.9bn yuan ($4.1bn) in the quarter.
Uber was reportedly in talks to merge Uber Eats, its food delivery service, with Grubhub, a rival in that market. The combined operations would take a 55% slice of the food-delivery industry in America. That might be too much to swallow for trustbusters in Washington.