UPDATE 2-Britain scraps business rates for small firms

* “Exceptional step” to deal with coronavirus * Tax cut, worth 1 bln stg, is for 2020-21 year * Launches fundamental review into future of business rates * Interest rates cut after sharp fall in trading conditions (Adds detail, reaction) By James Davey LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak scrapped business rates for small firms in […]

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BAML cuts Latam 2020 GDP forecast to 0.7% on coronavirus, oil shocks

BRASILIA, March 11 (Reuters) – Economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch have substantially lowered their 2020 economic growth forecast for Latin America, citing the hit to activity from the global coronavirus outbreak and the region’s exposure to lower oil prices. They now expect growth of just 0.7%, compared with 1.2% as recently as two weeks ago, and in the […]

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Coronavirus puts private credit to the test

NEW YORK, March 11 (LPC) – Private credit funds face a challenging fundraising environment, as investors grapple with a potential decline in portfolio values while the coronavirus outbreak tests the solidness of a market that has yet to experience a significant shakeup. Also known as non-bank lending, the private credit asset class has erupted since the financial crisis, boosted by […]

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UPDATE 1-Big-spending Sunak ditches taunts and jokes in his first UK budget

(adds spending details) By William James LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak announced a spending splurge to ward off the economic effects of coronavirus in his maiden budget on Wednesday, ditching the taunting preferred by his predecessors in favour of an earnest tone more in tune with worrying times. Sunak, a 39-year old former Goldman Sachs […]

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Boutique economy slammed as coronavirus makes personal touch toxic

GENEVA (BLOOMBERG) – Health authorities recommend keeping a distance of one metre from fellow human beings to lower your chances of catching the new coronavirus. For people like Scout Robi in Sydney, that means no more trips to the hairdresser. “It’s an environment with lots of close contact with others,” the 31-year-old art therapy student said. “Because I have a […]

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UK finance minister to investigate changing fiscal rules

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he would consider changing the fiscal framework used by the government, speaking in his first annual budget on Wednesday as he ramped up spending. “It is important that we update our fiscal framework to remain at the leading edge of international best practice,” Sunak said. “I will review the […]

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Air freight rates skyrocket amid passenger flight cuts, Chinese factory restarts

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Air freight rates are skyrocketing after the grounding of many passenger flights in Asia has left shippers scrambling to book limited spots on cargo planes as Chinese industrial production restarts, according to industry insiders. About half of the air cargo carried worldwide normally flies in the belly of passenger jets rather than in dedicated freighters. But […]

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