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Nestlé Buys Majority Stake in Hipster Brand Blue Bottle Coffee

Nestlé Buys Majority Stake in Hipster Brand Blue Bottle Coffee


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The specialty coffee chain is valued at $700 million

Mejini Neskah / Shutterstock.com

Nestlé has purchased a majority stake in Oakland, California-based Blue Bottle Coffee, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. The new acquisition, announced on Sept. 14, values the chain at $700 million, as reported by Financial Times, and adds another specialty brand to the higher-end coffee rat race. Blue Bottle is expected to grow to 55 coffee shops in the U.S. and Japan by the end of 2017, up from 29 locations in December 2016. The company also recently launched premium, pre-bottled coffees in addition to its ground coffee products.

Nestlé is already the world’s largest coffee producer — the Swiss conglomerate is one of the 10 companies that make almost everything you eat and drink — and Blue Bottle will join their lineup alongside Nespresso coffee capsules and Nescafé coffee. The deal with Blue Bottle is expected to boost the coffee chain into retail outer space, massively increasing their pricey caffeine sales. The acquisition also gives Nestlé a foothold in the high-end coffee market, where it hopes to compete with two other coffee giants: Keurig Green Mountain (which JAB investment group bought two years ago for $13.9 billion) and Starbucks.

“This move underlines Nestlé’s focus on investing in high-growth categories and acting on consumer trends,” Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said in a statement. “Blue Bottle Coffee’s passion for quality coffee and mission-based outlook make for a highly successful brand. Their path to scale is clearly defined and benefits from increasing consumer appreciation for delicious and sustainable coffee.”

Blue Bottle was founded in the early 2000s and has raised $120 million in backing from investors, including U2 lead singer Bono and the founders of Twitter and Instagram. For something to go with an artisanal cup of joe: Here are 26 morning pick-me-ups that aren’t coffee.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

The 37.5% decline in May is beat only by September 2011's 40%.

Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

Cryptocurrency Ethereum extended gains to rise more than 8% on Monday to $2,587 but remained 40% below a record high of above $4,300 hit earlier this month. In the latest salvo against the cryptocurrency, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said much of the trading was speculative.

Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

The move, which comes just weeks after Cathay said it would close a pilot base in Canada and proposed to shut those in Australia and New Zealand, points to a move away from a long-term strategy of employing many expatriates. Last year Cathay closed its regional arm Cathay Dragon, putting hundreds of pilots out of work, many of them citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong.

China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

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Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

Cryptocurrency Ethereum extended gains to rise more than 8% on Monday to $2,587 but remained 40% below a record high of above $4,300 hit earlier this month. In the latest salvo against the cryptocurrency, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said much of the trading was speculative.

Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

The move, which comes just weeks after Cathay said it would close a pilot base in Canada and proposed to shut those in Australia and New Zealand, points to a move away from a long-term strategy of employing many expatriates. Last year Cathay closed its regional arm Cathay Dragon, putting hundreds of pilots out of work, many of them citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong.

China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

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Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

Cryptocurrency Ethereum extended gains to rise more than 8% on Monday to $2,587 but remained 40% below a record high of above $4,300 hit earlier this month. In the latest salvo against the cryptocurrency, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said much of the trading was speculative.

Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

The move, which comes just weeks after Cathay said it would close a pilot base in Canada and proposed to shut those in Australia and New Zealand, points to a move away from a long-term strategy of employing many expatriates. Last year Cathay closed its regional arm Cathay Dragon, putting hundreds of pilots out of work, many of them citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong.

China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

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Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

Cryptocurrency Ethereum extended gains to rise more than 8% on Monday to $2,587 but remained 40% below a record high of above $4,300 hit earlier this month. In the latest salvo against the cryptocurrency, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said much of the trading was speculative.

Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

The move, which comes just weeks after Cathay said it would close a pilot base in Canada and proposed to shut those in Australia and New Zealand, points to a move away from a long-term strategy of employing many expatriates. Last year Cathay closed its regional arm Cathay Dragon, putting hundreds of pilots out of work, many of them citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong.

China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

The 37.5% decline in May is beat only by September 2011's 40%.

Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

Cryptocurrency Ethereum extended gains to rise more than 8% on Monday to $2,587 but remained 40% below a record high of above $4,300 hit earlier this month. In the latest salvo against the cryptocurrency, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said much of the trading was speculative.

Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

The move, which comes just weeks after Cathay said it would close a pilot base in Canada and proposed to shut those in Australia and New Zealand, points to a move away from a long-term strategy of employing many expatriates. Last year Cathay closed its regional arm Cathay Dragon, putting hundreds of pilots out of work, many of them citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong.

China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

The 37.5% decline in May is beat only by September 2011's 40%.

Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

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Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

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Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

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China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Nestlé and Blue Bottle couldn't be more different — but here's why the companies could be the perfect match

At first glance, the two companies have little in common: one is a hip coffee chain with roughly 50 locations, and the other is a $259 billion mega-company that owns brands including Nescafe, Nespresso, and Coffee-mate.

According to Blue Bottle's CEO, the acquisition — which reportedly cost Nestlé up to $500 million — wasn't a deal the trendy coffee company was seeking out.

"We weren't looking for it, but I sort of blame [Nestlé CEO] Mark Schneider," Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan told Business Insider.

After he took on the role of CEO in January, two of Schneider's goals were to build Nestlé's North American and coffee businesses. In February, he reached out to Meehan and the pair soon met in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York where Blue Bottle has a cafe and roastery.

While it was a somewhat unlikely match, both companies had attributes the other needed.

In addition to building its coffee portfolio, Nestlé was seeking a reputation boost.

"Nestlé is trying to become a company more focused on healthier food products," Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at market research firm Euromonitor, said in an email on Thursday. "The fact that they would spend so much money buying Blue Bottle at a time they are thought to be trying to shed some of their unhealthier brands, such as their confectionary products, shows that they think coffee is an important part of that shift."

Meanwhile, Nestlé can offer Blue Bottle extensive funding and support. Instead of appealing to dozens of investors (Blue Bottle has raised $120 million, including from celebrities like Bono and Tony Hawk), Meehan says he is looking foward to only dealing with a single investor who is focused on the brand's long-term plans.

Nestlé also has the experience and global presence necessary to help Blue Bottle grow its ready-to-drink coffee business. Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and McDonald's are all investing in their own bottled coffee beverages, and Euromonitor predicts the category is set to grow from a $2.9 billion business in the US to $4.4 billion in retail sales by 2021.

"No one is dominating this segment yet," Barry said of the quickly growing premium ready-to-drink market. "But, with Nestlé behind it, Blue Bottle could be the one to break out from the pack."

There is one very visible potential downside to the deal for Blue Bottle. While acquiring Blue Bottle will likely boost Nestlé's reputation, association with the enormous company could damage the hip coffee brand's own rep. Nestlé is currently known for instant coffee, not high-end, specialty beverages. And, for many customers, acquisition is equivalent to "selling out."

However, Meehan is convinced that customers will see in the coming months and years that Blue Bottle's quality will remain unchanged.

"You can't run your business by worrying what people will think," he said. "You have to run your business by believing in what you do. And, I know how things will be in the future — our customers don't."

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Exxon Exits Oil Exploration Prospect in Ghana After Seismic Work

(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is pulling out of a deep-water oil prospect in Ghana just two years after the west African nation ratified an exploration and production agreement with the U.S. oil titan.The company relinquished the entirety of its stake in the Deepwater Cape Three Points block and resigned as its operator after fulfilling its contractual obligations during the initial exploration period, according to a letter to Ghana’s government seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.Exxon controlled 80% of the block, with state-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corp. holding 15% and Ghana Oil Co., the remaining 5%. The two partners will now have to search for a new operator for the block, the people said.The work done so far included processing about 2,200 square kilometers (850 square miles) of seismic data, but Exxon didn’t drill any exploration wells, the people said.Exxon couldn’t immediately comment during the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. Representatives for Ghana National and Ghana Oil couldn’t immediately be reached.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Zimbabwe Threatens to Seize Platinum Concession From Eurasian Resource Affiliate

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s mines minister has informed Todal Mining Ltd., a venture controlled by Eurasian Resources Group, that its platinum mining concessions could be seized because no progress has been made in developing them.The Bokai and Kinonde concessions may be taken over under the “use-it/lose-it principle” which allows the state to repossess idle mining claims, Minister Winston Chitando said in a letter to Todal dated May 28 and seen by Bloomberg. The mines ministry confirmed the veracity of the document.“I note with concern that over the last few years there have been several changes to the work program to make this project progress to production stage,” Chitando said in the letter.Zimbabwe, which has the world’s third-biggest platinum group metal reserves, has struggled to develop its mining potential with investors from Russia, Cyprus, Nigeria and Kazakhstan yet to bring projects into production.The Todal assets were taken from Anglo American Platinum Ltd., which does operate a mine in Zimbabwe, more than a decade ago and handed to Central African Mining & Exploration Co. That company was bought by Eurasian Natural Resources Co., which later became Eurasian Resources Group. Central African Mining lent the Zimbabwean government $100 million at the time.‘Chance to Respond’“This is due process in the spirit of administrative justice,” Polite Kambamura, Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, said by phone. “We will give the asset holder a chance to respond through the mining affairs board. If there are any developments that they have made on it which we are not aware of they will make those submissions and a final decision will be made after all due process has been done.”ENRC, China Move Toward Platinum Output at Zimbabwe Deposits ERG didn’t immediately respond to questions sent by email and text message.In 2013, the government said production on the mine was due to start that year. In 2008, Camec said a mine producing 150,000 ounces of platinum annually could be built for $200 million.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ethereum extends gains to rise 8% bitcoin firms

Cryptocurrency Ethereum extended gains to rise more than 8% on Monday to $2,587 but remained 40% below a record high of above $4,300 hit earlier this month. In the latest salvo against the cryptocurrency, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said much of the trading was speculative.

Cathay Pacific to recruit more local pilots despite plunge in travel demand

The move, which comes just weeks after Cathay said it would close a pilot base in Canada and proposed to shut those in Australia and New Zealand, points to a move away from a long-term strategy of employing many expatriates. Last year Cathay closed its regional arm Cathay Dragon, putting hundreds of pilots out of work, many of them citizens and permanent residents in Hong Kong.

China Huarong’s Journey From Safe Bet to Bad News: A Timeline

(Bloomberg) -- It’s nearly two months since turbulence erupted around China Huarong Asset Management Co.At the end of March, its 4% perpetual dollar bond was trading at 102 cents on the dollar as investors figured the January execution of former chairman Lai Xiaomin for bribery put a line under past wayward behavior. But the failure of the company to release 2020 results by a March 31 deadline, and a subsequent report by mainland media Caixin that the firm will restructure, sparked weeks of turmoil. The same bond is now at 57 cents.The heart of the matter is whether the central government will rescue a state-owned company that’s integral to the smooth running of the financial system. While there are signs Beijing wants to ensure China Huarong can repay its debts on time, uncertainty prevails.Here’s a look at the key events for China Huarong:May 28The company has wired funds to repay $978 million of notes maturing within the following week, according to Bloomberg News, the biggest bond payment since the 2020 results delay.May 27Liang Qiang, who currently heads another bad-debt manager, is on track to become president of China Huarong, reports Bloomberg News.May 24China Huarong dollar bonds climb after the managing editor of Caixin Media wrote in an opinion piece that the asset manager is “nowhere near” defaulting on its more than $20 billion of offshore notes.May 21Some of China Huarong’s thinly traded onshore bonds slump after having held up better than the company’s dollar-denominated notes, signaling broadening concern about the firm’s financial health.May 18China Huarong has transferred funds to repay a $300 million note maturing May 20, Bloomberg News reports, the first dollar bond to come due since the delayed 2020 results. Prices for the firm’s dollar bonds slump earlier in the day after the New York Times reports China is planning an overhaul that would inflict “significant losses” on both domestic and foreign China Huarong bondholders.May 17The company has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August, by which time China Huarong aims to have completed its 2020 financial statements, according to a Bloomberg News report. That as at least two of its onshore bonds see big price declines in recent days, worrying some investors.May 13The firm says it’s prepared to make future bond payments and has seen no change in the level of government support, seeking to ease investor concerns after a local media report that regulators balked at China Hurarong’s restructuring plan.May 6The company says it transferred funds to pay five offshore bond coupons due the following day, its latest move to meet debt obligations amid persistent doubts about its financial health.April 30China Huarong breaks its silence, with an executive telling media it is prepared to make its bond payments and state backing remains intact. The official also says the week’s rating downgrades “have no factual basis” and are “too pessimistic.”April 29Moody’s Investor Service downgrades China Huarong by one notch to Baa1, adding the firm remains on watch for further downgrade. The cut reflects the company’s weakened funding ability due to market volatility and increased uncertainty over its future, according to the statement.April 27China Huarong units repay bonds maturing that day. The S$600 million ($450 million) bond was repaid with funds provided by China’s biggest state-owned bank, according to a Bloomberg News report.April 26Fitch Ratings downgrades China Huarong by three notches to BBB while dropping the company’s perpetual bonds into junk territory. The lack of transparency over government support for the firm may hamper its ability to refinance debt in offshore markets, Fitch said.April 25China Huarong says it won’t meet an April 30 deadline to file its 2020 report with Hong Kong’s stock exchange because auditors needed more time to finalize a transaction the company first flagged on April 1. Securities and asset-management units said in the days before that they wouldn’t release 2020 results by month’s end.April 22The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission asks lenders to extend China Huarong’s upcoming loans by at least six months, according to REDD, citing two bankers from large Chinese commercial lenders.April 21China is considering a plan that would see its central bank assume more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) of China Huarong assets to help clean up the firm’s balance sheet, according to a Bloomberg News report. Peer China Cinda Asset Management Co. was said to be planning the sale of perpetual bonds in the second quarter.April 20China Huarong’s key offshore financing unit says it returned to profitability in the first quarter and laid a “solid” foundation for transformation. Reorg Research reports that regulators are considering options including a debt restructuring of the unit, China Huarong International Holdings Ltd.April 19Huarong Securities Co. says it wired funds to repay a 2.5 billion yuan local note.April 16The CBIRC says China Huarong’s operations are normal and that the firm has ample liquidity. These are the first official comments about the company’s troubles. Reuters reports Chinese banks have been asked not to withhold loans to Huarong.April 13Fitch and Moody’s both put the company on watch for downgrade. The finance ministry, which owns a majority of Huarong, is considering the transfer of its stake to a unit of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reports. Chinese officials signal they want failing local government financing vehicles to restructure or go bust if debts can’t be repaid.April 9China Huarong says it has been making debt payments “on time” and its operations are “normal.” Bloomberg News reports the company intends to keep Huarong International as part of a potential overhaul that would avoid the need of a debt restructuring or government recapitalization. S&P Global Ratings puts China Huarong’s credit ratings on watch for possible downgrade.April 8China Huarong is preparing to offload non-core and loss-making units as part of a broad plan to revive profitability that would avoid the need for a debt restructuring or government recapitalization, Bloomberg News reports.April 6Selling gains steam in China Huarong’s dollar bonds, following a holiday in China. Huarong Securities says there has been no major change to its operations, in response to a price plunge for its 3 billion yuan local bond.April 1China Huarong announces a delay in releasing 2020 results, saying its auditor is unable to finalize a transaction. Stock trading is suspended and spreads jump on the firm’s dollar bonds while China Huarong tells investors its business is running as usual. Caixin reports the company submitted restructuring and other major reform plans to government officials and shareholders.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Bitcoin Eyes Second-Biggest Monthly Drop on Record

The 37.5% decline in May is beat only by September 2011's 40%.

Exclusive-G7 to back minimum global corporate tax and support economy - draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Finance ministers from the group of seven rich nations (G7) will vow this week to support their economies as they emerge from the pandemic and reach an "ambitious" deal on a minimum global corporate tax in July, a draft communique showed. G7 officials, set to meet in London on June 4-5, will also say that once the recovery is well established, they will need to "ensure long-term sustainability of public finances", which is understood to be code for a gradual withdrawal of stimulus. The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

Futures, Stocks Decline With Jobs Data in View: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. futures slipped along with European stocks on Monday as traders await fresh catalysts, with the key American jobs data later this week set to provide further clues on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy amid lingering inflation concerns.Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq declined, with trading hours curtailed due to the Memorial Day holiday in the U.S. The dollar weakened against a basket of peers. The euro gained after data showed Germany’s inflation rate rose to the highest level since October 2018, while price pick-ups in May were also reported by Spain and Italy. There’s no Treasuries cash trading today, after the 10-year yield closed just below 1.6% on Friday.The utilities sector dragged the Stoxx Europe 600 index lower as Spain’s Endesa SA declined following reports the Spanish government is preparing to rein in windfall profits for power producers. Deutsche Bank AG dropped after the Federal Reserve warned that its compliance programs aren’t adequate. U.K. markets are closed for a holiday.Oil climbed as OPEC and its allies forecast that inventories will fall sharply this year if the group sticks to its plan. Gold headed for the biggest monthly advance since July and most industrial metals gained.Global stocks remain near a record, lifted by the ongoing economic recovery from the pandemic and injections of stimulus. The rally has so far weathered concerns that price pressures could force an earlier-than-expected reduction in central bank support. But investors remain sensitive to the risk, and Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report could buffet markets if it changes perceptions of the rebound’s strength.“Policy makers have committed to accepting a higher level of inflation, higher volatility in inflation and as that happens you will see inflation moving structurally higher,” Mixo Das, JPMorgan Asia equity strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t think this is in the prices yet.”The offshore yuan weakened after China forced banks to hold more foreign currencies in reserve for the first time in more than a decade, its most substantial move yet to rein in the surging currency. Bitcoin rebounded from Friday’s slump to trade above $36,500.Here are key events to watch this week:U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. U.K. markets will be closed for the Spring Bank holidayReserve Bank of Australia policy decision TuesdayOPEC+ meets to review oil production levels TuesdayPhiladelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan speak WednesdayU.S. employment report for May on FridayThese are some of the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 fell 0.2% as of 4:31 p.m. New York timeFutures on the Nasdaq 100 dropped 0.2%The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.5%The MSCI World index was little changedCurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%The euro rose 0.3% to $1.2227The British pound rose 0.1% to $1.4206The Japanese yen rose 0.3% to 109.55 per dollarBondsGermany’s 10-year yield was little changed at -0.19%Britain’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.79%CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $67 a barrelGold futures rose 0.2% to $1,910 an ounceMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Exclusive-Eni, BP in talks over oil and gas assets in Algeria

BP and Eni are in talks over the future of their oil and gas assets in Algeria as the two groups increase efforts to refocus their businesses to tackle falling margins, rising debt and climate pressures, three sources said. Europe's top energy companies are cutting back their oil and gas portfolios to keep only the assets most likely to be profitable and redeploy capital for a transition to clean energy as uncertainty mounts over future demand for fossil fuel. The sources, asking not to be named, said BP and Eni are in early-stage talks for the Italian group to take over BP's assets in Algeria.


Watch the video: Blue Bottle Coffee Tokyo - Hand dripped perfection in Nakameguro (June 2022).