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Daily Pulse

Canada

Cineplex Inc. struck a deal with lenders for $250 million in new financing as it deals with an uncertain future after a failed takeover. Canada’s dominant chain of movie theaters said lenders had agreed to relax covenants because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though some of the new money it’s borrowing must be used to repay existing debt. The company shut all of its venues on March 16 and most remain closed, though it plans to open some outlets in six provinces starting on Friday. The Toronto-based company reported a loss of $178 million for the quarter ended March 31. Cineplex said the loss included a writedown of $173 million on property and other assets and acknowledged that the business will take a long time to recover from the pandemic.

United-States

Nearly all of the largest U.S. banks said Monday that they performed well enough on the Federal Reserve’s most-recent stress test to maintain their current quarterly dividend. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup all said they will maintain their current dividend. Wells Fargo said the Fed’s assessment of its business will This link will open in a new tab. warrant a reduction to its quarterly payout. While the nation’s largest banks were quick to drop stock buybacks at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the group is often loathe to cut its dividend payments, which are viewed as a steady source of income for investors.

This link will open in a new tab. Amazon has maintained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, increasing its worth by almost a third to $415.9 billion compared to last year, according to a ranking by consultancy Kantar published Tuesday. The annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranks companies by combining their market capitalization with consumer research of over 3.8 million people around the world. This link will open in a new tab. Apple came in at second on the list, valued at $352.2 billion followed by This link will open in a new tab. Microsoft at $326.5 billion, which this year overtook This link will open in a new tab. Google to become the world’s third-most-valuable brand. This rise is due in part to the increased use of its Microsoft Teams collaboration software as employees worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.

Europe

Oil giant This link will open in a new tab. Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday it will write down the value of its assets by up to $22 billion in the second quarter, after revising down its long-term outlook for oil and gas prices. It comes after the energy company announced in mid-April an ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Shell said in a statement to investors that it had reviewed a significant portion of its business given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the “ongoing challenging commodity price environment.” It said it would take aggregate post-tax impairment charges in the range of $15 billion to $22 billion in the second quarter. Shares of the Anglo-Dutch company were over 2.4% lower during early morning deals.

Asia

China’s official manufacturing PMI for June came in at 50.9, This link will open in a new tab. according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Economists in a Reuters poll had a median forecast of 50.4 for the data print. PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below that indicate contraction. In May, the official manufacturing PMI was at 50.6, according to the NBS. However, data from Japan Tuesday showed that industrial production in May dropped 8.4% month on month, according to data released in a preliminary report by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed the Hong Kong national security law, state media reported on Tuesday saying the top decision-making body in China’s parliament has voted to approve the legislation. Few details have been unveiled, but Beijing says the legislation is This link will open in a new tab. aimed at prohibiting secession, subversion of state power, terrorism activities and foreign interference. It is unclear when the law will take effect. Critics say the security law will undermine the autonomy promised to Hong Kong for 50 years after it was handed over from the U.K. to China on July 1, 1997. Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the handover.

The author

Michel Doucet

Michel Doucet

Vice-President and Portfolio Manager
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Université du Québec in Montréal and his Master’s degree, Michel Doucet began his career as a junior economist at the National Bank head office in Montreal. In 1992 he joined the institutional equities and fixed income group at Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion as an economist and market analyst. Over the years, he has led various projects related to the North American and international economies as well as Canadian public finances. In 1996, the team of institutional economists to which he belongs was ranked first in Canada by Brendan Wood International. In August 1997, Mr. Doucet joined the personal services division of Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion where he served as an economist, fixed income market analyst and vice president. In 2004, he joined the Desjardins Securities full service team as Vice President. He now occupies the roles of fixed income strategist, economist and portfolio manager. He manages the Securities Portfolio Advisory Group, advisor marketing and distribution of financial planning and insurance.