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Russia Adds 10,000 Cases Again; HK Eases Lockdown: Virus Update

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(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong will ease curbs on social gatherings and reopen shuttered schools, while California will start loosening its lockdown on Friday. Russia reported more than 10,000 cases for a third straight day and infections continued to decline in Germany.

The European Union will call for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus, Australia’s prime minister said. A New York Federal Reserve paper showed a link between the 1918 flu pandemic and the rise of the Nazi Party, in a warning for the potential political implications from the outbreak.

The economic fallout from the outbreak continued. India’s lockdown may have cost 122 million jobs, Spanish jobless claims surged again and U.K. car sales had the worst month since 1946. Qantas Airways Ltd. warned public appetite to fly overseas could take years to return.

Key Developments

Virus Tracker: global cases pass 3.5 million; deaths top 251,000Where Europe’s lockdowns are easing after weeks of restrictionsAntibody tests to get tighter oversight from U.S. regulatorsCoronavirus causes blood clots harming organs from brain to toesChina reports 1 new case, Germany’s fall for fifth straight day

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.

Russian Cases Top 10,000 Again (4:05 p.m. HK)

The number of confirmed cases in Russia rose by 10,102 in past day to total 155,370. This is the third straight day of more than 10,000 new infections, though the pace of increase has been slowing — Tuesday’s 7% increase in total cases is slowest gain since April 29. Total fatalities rose to 1,451 after 95 more people died.

EU to Propose Virus Investigation, Australia Says (3:55 p.m. HK)

The European Union will put forward a proposal to the World Health Assembly calling for an independent probe into the origins of the coronavirus, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The assembly will consider the proposal at its May 18 meeting, Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday. He added that he had written to all Group of 20 leaders this week in his bid to create support for the investigation into how the virus started and spread.

Australia’s previous calls for the probe have raised the ire of China, its largest trading partner. In the U.S., President Donald Trump has accused Beijing of deliberately mishandling an outbreak that has killed more than 4,600 Chinese citizens to damage him politically and promised a “conclusive” report on the virus’s origins.

Study Shows 1918 Pandemic Linked to Rise of Nazis (3:44 p.m. HK)

In a warning for the potential political implications of coronavirus, a New York Federal Reserve paper has shown a link between the 1918 flu pandemic and the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. The study shows that cities with the greatest fatalities saw a reduction in social expenditure and that “influenza deaths of 1918 are correlated with an increase in the share of votes won by right-wing extremists.”

Relaxed Lockdown Pays Off for Sweden (3:42 p.m. HK)

Sweden’s economy contracted far less than many of its European peers in the first quarter, according to a new indicator from Statistics Sweden that provides an initial economic assessment of the country’s controversial Covid-19 response. “This is clearly better than expected,” Handelsbanken chief strategist Claes Mahlen said. “However, Q2 will still print deeply negative and uncertainty surrounding this flash estimate is high.”

Sweden’s economic performance is being closely watched after it adopted a more relaxed approach to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving businesses, schools and restaurants open. France, Italy and Spain all reported GDP contractions of around 5% in the same period, while the euro area economy as a whole sank 3.8%.

U.K. Car Sales Have Worst Month Since 1946 (3:42 p.m. HK)

U.K. new-car registrations plunged 97% in April to a level not seen since February 1946, after the government closed auto dealerships and other businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus. About 4,000 cars were sold during the month, based on preliminary numbers — mostly through fleet orders.

Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper expects European sales to drop by about a third, given the weak economy and widespread social restrictions, and doesn’t expect a sustainable recovery in demand and production before 2021.

HK Eases Some Curbs as Cases Stay Low (3:25 p.m. HK)

Hong Kong will ease social distancing measures after largely containing the spread of Covid-19, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Tuesday. Cinemas and gyms will reopen while the limit on public gatherings will double to eight people from May 8. Restaurants will be allowed to have eight people per table, up from four, and bars can reopen with capacity restrictions, Lam said. Secondary school classes will resume in phases from May 27 although kindergarten levels 1 to 2 won’t return this academic year. The government also announced plans to give out re-useable face mask to Hong Kong identity card holders.

Netherlands Weighs Easing Timeline (3:16 p.m. HK)

The Dutch government will consider reopening outdoor spaces of bars and restaurants starting June 1, while barber shops and hair salons could resume next week, Dutch press agency ANP reported late on Monday, citing unidentified sources. The proposals are set to be discussed on Wednesday. Other measures being considered are requiring masks on public transport, as is the case in neighboring Belgium. Current lockdown measures have been put in place until at least May 19 with a ban on mass events until Sept. 1. Some schools will start to reopen under certain conditions starting May 11.

Spanish Jobless Claims Surge (3:10 p.m. HK)

The number of Spaniards filing for jobless claims surged for a second month, underscoring the damage from the coronavirus crisis on an already fragile labor market. Claims rose by 282,891, the biggest April increase on record, the Labor Ministry said on Tuesday. Most were in the services sector.

Sunglasses Hit, Meal Kits Surge: Earnings Wrap (2:50 p.m. HK)

Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica SA said business is getting worse in the second quarter because customers are putting off buying sunglasses and prescription lenses, while Germany’s Beiersdorf AG said sales of its high-end moisturizers and rejuvenation creams slumped as airports were closed.

A bright spot once again came from the food-delivery sector, with meal-kit firm HelloFresh AG raising its guidance as people being confined to their homes raised demand for its products. For more on European earnings, click here.

German New Cases Fall for Fifth Day (2:08 p.m. HK)

The number of new cases in Germany declined for the fifth day in a row as the government takes tentative steps to relax restrictions on daily life. There were 488 additional infections in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, bringing the total to 166,152, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Germany has slowly eased curbs on business and leisure activities, allowing playgrounds, museums, churches and zoos to reopen this week as the government tries to revive the economy without triggering a second wave of infections.

India Lost Nearly 122 Million Jobs in April (1:49 p.m. HK)

More than a quarter of India’s labor force are without a job after businesses were forced to shut during a nationwide lockdown that began in the last week of March, according to a survey by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. The study estimates nearly 122 million jobs were lost in April with daily wage workers and those employed by small businesses taking a massive blow. The unemployment rate was 27.1% in the week ended May 3, Mahesh Vyas, chief executive of CMIE wrote in the Business Standard newspaper. The government doesn’t publish regular jobless data, with investors relying on surveys from CMIE, a private-sector economic think tank, to give them guidance on the labor market.

Australia, NZ to Work on Shared Travel Zone (1:19 p.m. HK)

Australia and New Zealand committed to introducing a shared travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern said in a joint statement Tuesday. The zone would be put in place once necessary health, transport and other protocols had been developed and met, they said. Officials will work with business leaders from both nations as the plan develops. Earlier N.Z.’s Ardern attended Australia’s National Cabinet meeting via video link to discuss the zone and other aspects of the fight against Covid-19.

BNP Paribas Takes $1.2 Billion Virus Hit (12:59 p.m. HK)

BNP Paribas SA warned that full-year earnings will take a pounding from the coronavirus outbreak as it set aside more cash to cover problem loans and posted a $200 million hit at its trading unit. Net income could be 15% to 20% lower this year without any new crisis. The bank took more than $1 billion in charges and writedowns in the first quarter, including 502 million euros to account for future bad credit.

United Air to Cut Jobs (11:20 a.m. HK)

United Airlines Holdings Inc. will cut at least 30% of its managerial and administrative jobs in October, or about 3,500 positions, as the company braces for a prolonged travel slump. In addition, management and administrative employees must take 20 days off without pay between May 16 and Sept. 30 to help pare costs while workers in “non-operational” roles will begin working a four-day week, Kate Gebo, executive vice president of human resources, said in an internal memo.

Fauci Says There Are Regions Where Rules Can Relax (9:34 a.m. HK)

Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, said there are regions and counties in the U.S. where “you can pull back” restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic. While some locations have done well to manage the spread of Covid-19, other areas aren’t in a position to Fauci told CNN in an interview.

Qantas Raises More Funds (7:13 a.m. HK)

Qantas Airways Ltd. raised an additional A$550 million ($353 million) to weather the crisis and put plans for the world’s longest flights on hold as it extended international flight cancellations until the end of July. The Australian carrier warned it could take years before the public’s appetite to fly overseas returns as it extended domestic flight cancellations by a month to the end of June. In March, the company raised A$1.05 billion and furloughed most of its 30,000-strong workforce due to the coronavirus.

White House Disclaims Projection Showing Surge (6:45 a.m. HK)

An internal U.S. government projection shows the nation’s coronavirus outbreak vastly accelerating by June to more than 200,000 new cases and 2,500 deaths per day — far more than the country is currently experiencing.

The White House disclaimed the projection, calling it an “internal CDC document” but saying it had not been presented to Trump’s coronavirus task force and didn’t comport with the task force’s own analysis and projections.

It isn’t clear who produced the document, obtained and published earlier by the New York Times, or what assumptions underlie the forecasts. The projections, on two slides of a 19-slide deck, are dated May 1 and attributed to a “data and analytics task force.”

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Possible Raises Series B and Moves Fully Remote | State

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SEATLLE, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Possible raises $11 million in new equity funding to expand the team and to provide additional products for its customers. Union Square Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Canvas Ventures, Unlock Venture Partners, Columbia Pacific Advisors, Union Bay Partners, Tom Williams, and FJ Labs. The company has also secured $80 million in new debt financing from Park Cities Advisors.

Furthermore, the company is now fully remote and recently onboarded software engineers from across the US and the globe. Possible is committed to distributed work and actively recruiting for a number of other remote roles.

Possible provides friendly access to capital and a simple way to build credit for people who otherwise would get a payday loan or get hit with a bank overdraft fee. The company uses real-time financial data, rather than a credit score, to qualify customers and provide funds instantly through its iTunes and Android apps. Unlike payday loans or overdraft fees, Possible loans are paid back in small installments over multiple pay periods to allow customers to catch their breath. By reporting on-time payments to the credit bureaus, Possible enables its customers to build credit history and eventually qualify for cheaper, longer term financial products. On average, customers with low credit scores see their scores increase by 70 points within 4 months.

Tony Huang, Possible’s CEO explains, “So many people who live paycheck to paycheck can’t afford to build credit history. We’re helping them do it for the first time while providing them with a friendlier and more affordable small-dollar loan.”

Since launching in June 2018, Possible’s given out loans to hundreds of thousands of customers, helping meet short-term cash needs while building credit history or establishing credit for the first time. These customers, often with bad credit or no credit history, are underserved by traditional banks. Possible fills that gap and provides financial access to those who need it most while giving them the means to climb their way out.

Gillian Munson, Partner at Union Square Ventures, explains the thesis behind their new investment, “Through tech innovation, data-driven insights, and a focus on the customer, Possible is well on its way to winning the hearts and minds of both consumers and regulators alike, and building a trusted brand that endures.”

A 2019 Experian study shows 34.8% of consumers are subprime and can’t access money when they need it. They pay $106 billion in punitive fees each year to the existing financial system for short-term credit products. These consumers are trapped in predatory debt cycles of payday loans and overdraft fees without the means to rebuild their credit or improve their financial health. While there has been a number of new tech-enabled products in this space, most lead to similar debt cycles and don’t address the harder issue of improving long-term financial health. That’s where Possible comes in.

Since the company is now fully remote, Possible is actively hiring talent across the globe. Tyler, Possible’s CTO, explains, “Being fully distributed allows us to access the talent pool of the entire world. Our success so far is a reflection of the quality of our people, and we believe hiring globally will allow us to find exceptional people to join us in achieving our mission.”

About Possible

Possible is a fintech company based in Seattle, Washington. The company provides a friendlier and easier way for customers to access capital while also building credit history and improving long-term financial health.

About Union Square Ventures

Union Square Ventures is a thesis-driven venture capital firm based in New York City. USV manages over $1 billion in capital across seven funds and focuses investments in portfolio companies with the potential to transform important markets.

About Park Cities Advisors LLC

Park Cities Advisors LLC (“PCA”) is a privately held, SEC-registered alternative credit manager based in Dallas, Texas. PCA is focused on private lending across the specialty finance and FinTech sectors and provides debt capital to companies across a variety of industries through asset-based financing transactions.

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Possible Raises Series B and Moves Fully Remote | State News

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SEATLLE, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Possible raises $11 million in new equity funding to expand the team and to provide additional products for its customers. Union Square Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Canvas Ventures, Unlock Venture Partners, Columbia Pacific Advisors, Union Bay Partners, Tom Williams, and FJ Labs. The company has also secured $80 million in new debt financing from Park Cities Advisors.

Furthermore, the company is now fully remote and recently onboarded software engineers from across the US and the globe. Possible is committed to distributed work and actively recruiting for a number of other remote roles.

Possible provides friendly access to capital and a simple way to build credit for people who otherwise would get a payday loan or get hit with a bank overdraft fee. The company uses real-time financial data, rather than a credit score, to qualify customers and provide funds instantly through its iTunes and Android apps. Unlike payday loans or overdraft fees, Possible loans are paid back in small installments over multiple pay periods to allow customers to catch their breath. By reporting on-time payments to the credit bureaus, Possible enables its customers to build credit history and eventually qualify for cheaper, longer term financial products. On average, customers with low credit scores see their scores increase by 70 points within 4 months.

Tony Huang, Possible’s CEO explains, “So many people who live paycheck to paycheck can’t afford to build credit history. We’re helping them do it for the first time while providing them with a friendlier and more affordable small-dollar loan.”

Since launching in June 2018, Possible’s given out loans to hundreds of thousands of customers, helping meet short-term cash needs while building credit history or establishing credit for the first time. These customers, often with bad credit or no credit history, are underserved by traditional banks. Possible fills that gap and provides financial access to those who need it most while giving them the means to climb their way out.

Gillian Munson, Partner at Union Square Ventures, explains the thesis behind their new investment, “Through tech innovation, data-driven insights, and a focus on the customer, Possible is well on its way to winning the hearts and minds of both consumers and regulators alike, and building a trusted brand that endures.”

A 2019 Experian study shows 34.8% of consumers are subprime and can’t access money when they need it. They pay $106 billion in punitive fees each year to the existing financial system for short-term credit products. These consumers are trapped in predatory debt cycles of payday loans and overdraft fees without the means to rebuild their credit or improve their financial health. While there has been a number of new tech-enabled products in this space, most lead to similar debt cycles and don’t address the harder issue of improving long-term financial health. That’s where Possible comes in.

Since the company is now fully remote, Possible is actively hiring talent across the globe. Tyler, Possible’s CTO, explains, “Being fully distributed allows us to access the talent pool of the entire world. Our success so far is a reflection of the quality of our people, and we believe hiring globally will allow us to find exceptional people to join us in achieving our mission.”

About Possible

Possible is a fintech company based in Seattle, Washington. The company provides a friendlier and easier way for customers to access capital while also building credit history and improving long-term financial health.

About Union Square Ventures

Union Square Ventures is a thesis-driven venture capital firm based in New York City. USV manages over $1 billion in capital across seven funds and focuses investments in portfolio companies with the potential to transform important markets.

About Park Cities Advisors LLC

Park Cities Advisors LLC (“PCA”) is a privately held, SEC-registered alternative credit manager based in Dallas, Texas. PCA is focused on private lending across the specialty finance and FinTech sectors and provides debt capital to companies across a variety of industries through asset-based financing transactions.



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Business Loans – Make The Right Choice!

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Your business needs funding and there’s no denying that! ‘You need money to make money’ and this is most applicable in the business world! While it is fairly easy to start with an awesome idea, to make a business profitable, you need to invest a good chunk of capital.

Whether to buy equipment or hire the right minds, you need capital! And the best way to go about it is to search for the ‘right’ business loan solution. Finding the ‘right’ one amongst the plethora of available options is a tricky decision.

You’ll be under stress to match the repayment frequency. And thus, your business will suffer. Hence, finalizing the right business financing solution after analyzing your business structure, repayment terms, cash-flow, and urgency is the best practice.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of which business financing solution or small business loan will help your business better!

1. For Real Estate – SBA

SBA loan is one of the most popular loans for small business owners. This is pretty straightforward to understand but involves extensive paperwork. If you need a place to kickstart your business, this is most suited for you.

It is issued by a private lending party or a bank. But the interesting part is that this loan can be guaranteed up to 85% by the federal agency—Small Business Administration (SBA). Hence, lending institutions are free and content to give the loan.

The best things about this loan are the lowest down payments and low-interest rates. If you wish to pay in the very long term, you can do so. An SBA loan involves a lot of flexibility. The condition being you should have the right financial service provider to guide you.

2. For An Equipment Or Any One-Off Loan – Equipment Financing, Term Loan

Do you need a new computer, or a tablet for your employee, or maybe a vehicle for your business’ delivery needs? Equipment financing is best suited for such kinds of needs. You can also get up to 100% financing solutions.

But there is one drawback that you should be aware of. As long as the repayments are done on time, you’ll continue to have access to the equipment. But the moment you fail short of your commitment, the lending institution has completed control over ceasing it.

A business term loan is another solution for this kind of requirement. Term loans are based on the ‘term’ that can be anywhere from 1 to 5 years. So, the repayment has to be made in that time-frame. If you’re looking for business loans in Edgewater, NJ, this will be just about right for you!

3. Need To Balance Cash Flow – Business Line of Credit

Business Line of Credit is the best financing solution that can help you with balancing your cash flow or handling any emergencies.

You get access to a limited amount of funds for a set period of time that you need to pay with interest and as soon as you pay it back, your specific balance sheet is turned back to ‘0’. This indicates that you’re again eligible for using that fund.

You can do it repetitively. There is no drawback to this mechanism. So every time you have an emergency fund need, you can look towards the business line of credit.

The only shortcoming of this system is that the interest rate is high and may require collaterals for approval. However, it is one of the most appealing choices if you need capital and have a bad credit score!

4. Credit Card Based Businesses – Merchant Cash Advance

Do you own a business that involves payments via credit cards? If yes, then the merchant cash advance is the right solution for you.

A business like retail or food chain that makes use of credit card transactions the most, can utilize merchant cash advance to boost its business. The way this financing system works is, the lender will enquire about your daily credit card transactions to the terminal provider and get your exact details. Then, he will compare it with the asked amount. If both are in accordance, you’ll become eligible for the advance.

The repayment term is interesting for this financing solution. Instead of getting a fixed rate, the advance provider will give you the figure in percentage. So every day if you make $1000 and the decided percentage is 5, then $50 will be ‘withheld’.

A merchant cash advance acts more like an investment than a loan!

5. Have No Collateral – Invoice Financing, Equipment Financing

Not all businesses have the luxury of putting collateral on the line and getting access to the desired fund. If you fall into the same category, you do not need to worry! Invoice financing can help you out even in this crunch situation.

Your account receivables serve as collateral in this financing solution and can help you get a loan up to 85% of its worth.

The only downside is the interest rate that is marginally higher than the traditional solutions.

Bonus: For A Small Duration – Short Term Loan

What if you need a loan just for 18 months? You have some debt or need to manage the cash flow, but your requirement is small. Which loan is right for you?

Well, you can opt for a short term loan. This loan gives you instant access to a lump sum of money that should be paid within the next 18 months.

The best part about this loan is that bad credit doesn’t bother the process!

This can also support businesses that need temporary loans to manage or settle a few things. Businesses that do not need some loan that lasts for years!

But just like all other financing solutions, this loan as well comes with a few drawbacks.

The first one being the annual cost will be slightly towards the higher side and the second being that a few businesses may find it hard to cope-up with the weekly payments.

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