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European Stocks Climb With Asia Shares; Pound Weakens Before BOE

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European equities gained while Asian stocks advanced, rebounding from their worst day since the aftermath of the Brexit vote, as crude oil held onto a recovery. The pound retreated with the Bank of England expected to cut interest rates.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained after U.S. shares advanced Wednesday. Mining shares and energy producers drove the Asian index up from its lowest level since June 24, the day when referendum results showed Britain had decided to leave the European Union. U.S. crude extended gains into a second session after the steepest drop in American gasoline supplies since April soothed concern over a glut. The greenback rose before Friday’s jobs data and metals declined amid concern about increased supply from China.

The global equity rebound that took hold in July started to falter as August opened, with oil descending into a bear market and data failing to bolster confidence in the world economy. While central banks and governments have signaled unprecedented support, Japan’s latest efforts — which include monetary and fiscal stimulus — haven’t had their intended effect amid concern the plans won’t be enough to revive price growth. The Bank of England is expected to cut benchmark interest rates on Thursday, while non-farm payrolls data in the U.S. Friday could provide clues for Federal Reserve policy.

“The theme remains dominant in markets that monetary policy has effectively done as much as it can and that reflation, if required, should come via other means,” Sharon Zollner, a senior economist in Auckland at ANZ Bank of New Zealand Ltd., said in a note to clients. “The reality is that interest rates remain at record-low levels and, in an environment of moderate growth and low inflation, that is supportive of higher-yielding assets and Asia-Pacific markets should continue to benefit, as long as the growth picture holds together.”

Stocks

The European index rose 0.5 percent as of 8:07 a.m. in London. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent, following last session’s 1.9 percent slide. The index, which jumped 5.8 percent in July, is down about 1 percent this week.

The Topix index climbed 0.9 percent as the yen reversed some of its recent advance. The stocks gauge had also dropped by the most in more than five weeks on Wednesday.

India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 0.2 percent, led by automakers and logistics companies that benefit from the passage of a national sales tax bill on Wednesday. Tata Motors Ltd., owner of Jaguar Land Rover, jumped 4 percent to be the strongest performer.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed, following a 0.3 percent increase in the underlying index on Wednesday. The U.S. benchmark had fallen 0.8 percent over the previous two sessions.

“There’s slow movement in a market that’s looking for a reason to go up or go down — it just hasn’t found any,” said Jeff Carbone, managing partner of Cornerstone Financial Partners, which oversees almost $1.1 billion in assets in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We haven’t seen that breakout that would suggest the market is based on fundamentals, it’s still very tied to central banks.”

Currencies

The yen weakened 0.3 percent to 101.54 per dollar, adding to its 0.4 percent slide on Wednesday.

Japan’s currency has gained about 0.5 percent this week, as traders weigh the BOJ’s decision last Friday to only bolster purchases of exchange-traded funds, as well as a fiscal package flagged Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Aussie added 0.1 percent and Malaysia’s ringgit bounced with oil, climbing 0.3 percent from a four-day low. The rupee rose 0.1 percent.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, a gauge of the greenback against 10 major peers, was up 0.1 percent after rising 0.3 percent on Wednesday, when emerging-market currencies led declines.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told reporters Wednesday that a rate hike “could be appropriate this year.” Odds on the Fed boosting benchmark borrowing costs in 2016 have dropped to 39 percent, with last week’s weaker-than-expected U.S. growth data damping expectations of tightening.

Sterling declined 0.2 percent to $1.3295. The BOE is expected to cut its benchmark from a record low of 0.5 percent and may boost an asset purchase program that stands at 375 billion pounds ($500 billion).

Bonds

Australian sovereign bonds retreated, with 10-year yields rising two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 1.95 percent, building on Wednesday’s 11 basis-point jump. Similar maturity Japanese debt yielded minus 0.08 percent, up 1 1/2 basis points.

Treasuries were little changed, with yields on notes due in a decade steady at 1.55 percent. Ten-year rates jumped at the start of this week, as the record-setting rally in global bonds appeared to falter. Yields on German 10-year bunds were also steady, at minus 0.04 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $40.84 per barrel, after Wednesday’s 3.3 percent rebound that came when U.S. government data showed gasoline stockpiles fell by 3.26 million barrels last week, the most since April. Brent crude fell 0.2 percent to $43 a barrel.

WTI is still down more than 1 percent this week, after the commodity sold off on Monday and Tuesday amid resurgent concern over a global glut. Citigroup Inc. to Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted the slump would be short-lived, while Societe Generale SA said the price correction would be limited due to a better balance between supply and demand.

“We’re seeing rebalancing,” Scott Darling, regional head of oil and gas at JPMorgan Chase & Co., said in a Bloomberg TV interview. “We think in the near-term, oil will be under pressure because demand is moderating.”

Gold for immediate delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $1,351.59 an ounce, after declining 0.4 percent on Wednesday. Last session’s retreat halted the precious metal’s longest rally in a month.

Copper dropped 2 percent to $10,525 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel also fell 2 percent, while Aluminum was down 0.4 percent.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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USAID/Power Africa Announces $2.6m in Healthcare Electrification Grants to Solar Energy Companies in Nine Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

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 Power Africa, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announces grants totaling $2,620,650 to solar energy companies to provide reliable, affordable off-grid electricity to nearly 300 healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nearly 60 percent of all healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity, and of those that do, only 34 percent of hospitals and 28 percent of health clinics have reliable, 24-hour access.  Energy is critical for powering essential devices, medical and sterilization equipment, diagnostics, cold storage for vaccines and medication, information technology, and lights to enable the delivery of continuous health care services. Efficient health services and responses to diseases – including COVID-19 – depend on reliable access to electricity.

In support of the accelerated provision of off-grid solar energy to healthcare facilities in sub-Saharan Africa, Power Africa is awarding grants to the following solar energy companies: 

  • Havenhill Synergy Ltd. (Nigeria)
  • KYA-Energy Group (Togo)
  • Muhanya Solar Ltd. (Zambia)
  • Nanoé (Madagascar)
  • OffGridBox (Rwanda)
  • OnePower (Lesotho)
  • PEG Solar (Ghana)
  • SolarWorks! (Mozambique)
  • Zuwa Energy (Malawi)

These companies will utilize Power Africa funding to provide off-grid solar electricity solutions to 288 healthcare facilities across the nine countries represented.

“Solar energy holds great potential to expand and improve health care delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, and off-grid solar technology offers a clean, affordable, and smart solution to electrify healthcare facilities located beyond the reach of national electricity grids,” said Mark Carrato, Power Africa Acting Coordinator. “Power Africa’s experience shows that off-grid solar energy systems can be rapidly deployed to even the most rural facilities.”

“These awards demonstrate what we can accomplish when the public and private sectors join together to break down the barriers to reliable electricity for rural healthcare facilities,” said Chris Milligan, Counselor to USAID, on September 22, 2020 during a virtual event announcing the grant awardees.

ABOUT THE GRANTEES AND HOW THEY WILL POWER HEALTHCARE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

Havenhill Synergy will electrify 21 rural healthcare facilities in Oyo State, Nigeria, using an energy-as-a-service business model. The facilities are mostly within peri-urban communities with limited reliable electricity access. Havenhill will provide long-term operation and maintenance of the solar energy systems.

KYA-Energy Group will electrify 20 health centers in Togo. In addition to electricity access, KYA will provide automated solar hand washing stations for infection prevention and solar phone charging stations for generating additional income.  

In partnership with the Churches Health Association of Zambia, Muhanya Solar Ltd. will provide electricity access to seven rural health facilities in Zambia. Muhanya will also electrify staff housing to generate revenue for the operation and maintenance of the solar systems installed at the health facilities. 

Nanoé will electrify 35 rural health facilities in the Ambanja and Ambilobe districts of Madagascar. The company will deploy nano-grids with the health facilities as anchors and connections running to staff housing. Electricity will be sold to the surrounding communities to generate income for the operation and maintenance of the nano-grids. 

With their containerized solution, OffGridBox will provide renewable energy and clean water to six rural clinics in Rwanda. The company will also set up a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) business model, selling electricity and clean water to the surrounding communities.

OnePower will electrify seven rural health facilities in Lesotho, using the facilities as anchor loads for mini-grids. In addition to powering the health facilities, the mini-grids will provide electricity access for rural communities served by the facilities. 

PEG Solar will provide electricity access to 91 rural community healthcare facilities in Ghana. PEG will adopt a private sector approach to energy service delivery for public health facilities, enabling rapid electrification of the facilities while significantly reducing the upfront financial burden of transitioning to solar energy. 

SolarWorks! will electrify 92 rural healthcare facilities in Mozambique’s Sofala province. To ensure sustainability of the systems beyond the grant implementation period, SolarWorks! will cover operational and maintenance costs of the solar energy systems for five years.

Zuwa Energy will install solar energy solutions in nine health facilities in Malawi. Electricity access will enable the facilities to provide higher-quality health services throughout the day and more comprehensive services at night. Additionally, Zuwa will electrify staff housing with the aim to increase staff wellbeing and retention rates.

“Through these grants, USAID is investing in a set of pilot projects that demonstrate how healthcare electrification can be delivered in a commercially sustainable manner, with strong private sector involvement,” said David Stonehill, the Lead for Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative.  “These grants demonstrate the Power Africa model in action:  We use a modest amount of public funding to de-risk transactions, thus opening the door for private investment.”

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Market Cap of Five Largest Hotel Chains Decline by $25.2bn Amid Coronavirus Crisis

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World`s Five Largest Hotel Chains Lost $25.2bn in Market Cap Amid Coronavirus Crisis

The coronavirus outbreak has affected every sector across the globe, but the hotel industry is among the hardest hit. Although hotels implemented increased safety and sanitation measures and cautiously reopened for the summer travel season, recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels could take years.

According to data presented by Stock Apps, the combined market capitalization of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Marriott International, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, as the five largest hotel chains in the world, hit $79.2bn in September, a $25.2bn plunge since the beginning of 2020.

Marriot International Witnessed the Biggest Market Cap Drop in 2020

To curb the spread of the virus, countries across the world have imposed lockdown rules, leading to thousands of canceled vacations, and closed hotels between March and May. Although many of them lifted off travel restrictions in the last three months, the first two quarters of the year produced colossal revenue and market cap drops to the largest hotel chains globally.

The market cap of Wyndham Worldwide, the biggest hotel chain in the world by the number of hotels, stood at $5.89bn in December, revealed the Yahoo Finance data. By the end of March, this figure dropped to $2.93bn. Although the second and third quarter of 2020 brought a recovery, the combined value of stocks of the U.S. corporation, which owns 8,092 hotels, stood at over $5bn in September, an $870 million plunge since the beginning of the year.

The second-largest hotel chain globally, Choice Hotels International, lost $440 million in market capitalization amid the coronavirus crisis. In December 2019, the total value of stocks of the company that owns 7,118 properties amounted to $5.76bn. During the last nine months, this figure dropped to $5.32bn.

However, statistics indicate that Marriot International, the third-largest hotel chain with 5,974 hotels in more than 110 countries, witnessed the most significant drop in market capitalization since the beginning of the year. In December, the combined value of stocks of the Washington-based corporation stood at $49.51bn. By the end of the second quarter, it halved to $24.25bn. Although the company’s market cap recovered to $33.86bn in September, this figure still represents a 31% plunge since the beginning of 2020.

Intercontinental and Hilton Lost $8.3bn in Total Stock Value

Intercontinental Hotels Group ranked as the fourth largest hotel chain globally, with 5,070 hotels across nearly 100 countries. Statistics indicate the market capitalization of the British multinational hospitality company amounted to $12.3bn in December 2019. After falling to $6.2bn in March, it rose to $9.7bn in September, a 21% plunge amid the coronavirus crisis.

The total value of Hilton Worldwide Holdings stocks, the fifth-largest chain of hotels globally, dropped by $5.66bn since the beginning of 2020. In December, the market cap of the hotel group that generated around $9.45bn in revenue last year stood at $30.94bn. After a sharp drop caused by the Black Monday crash, it recovered to $25.28bn in September. Nevertheless, the figure represents an 18% fall since the beginning of the year. Statistics show two hotel groups lost $8.3bn in combined market capitalization amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Premier League Brand Value Hit €8.5bn, Bigger than La Liga and Bundesliga Combined

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Brand Value: Premier League Worth €8.5bn, More than La Liga and Bundesliga Combined

The revenues of the big five European football leagues have soared in the last twenty years, reaching €17bn in the season 2018/2019. However, English Premier League convincingly tops the list of professional football competitions in Europe, both in terms of profit and brand value.

According to data presented by Safe Betting, Premier League hit €8.5bn in brand value in 2020, 19% more than La Liga and Bundesliga combined.

€1.5 bn Higher Revenue than Other Top Football Leagues

Besides leading in brand value, the Premier League also generates the highest revenue of all the European football leagues and has the highest operating profit. Although the coronavirus outbreak caused a massive financial hit to England’s top division teams, Premier League clubs are still expected to generate at least €1.5 bn more than their counterparts in Germany and Spain, revealed the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2020.

The reason for that is broadcasting rights. Statistics indicate the Premier League clubs are set to reach €2.4 bn in revenue from broadcasting rights this season. Commercial revenues are forecast to hit €1.7bn value in 2020, a €139 million increase year-on-year. Matchday profits follow with €614 million in revenue this season.

Manchester United tops the list of the professional football clubs in England, with over €1.3bn in brand value in 2020, revealed the Brand Finance Football 50 – 2020 survey. Statistics show the club generated €627 million in revenue last year, while its wage costs amounted to €352 million. The 2019 Global Sports Salaries Survey also revealed that Manchester United’s first-team players earned an average of €6.8 million last season, ranking as the second leading football club in Premier League and seventh globally.

Liverpool FC hit over €1.2bn brand value this year, the second-largest among all Premier League clubs. Deloitte’s Annual Review of Football Finance 2020 showed the club generated €533 million in revenue in season 2019/2020, while its first-team members earned an average of €6.1 million last year. Liverpool also represents the second most-expensive football team globally, with €1.02bn in the combined market value of its 30 players.

Manchester City ranked as the third most valuable football brand in England, with over €1.1bn in brand value in 2020. However, statistics show the club, which generated €538 million in revenue last season, tops the list of the highest-priced football teams in 2020, with €1.04bn in the combined market value of its 31 players. In the 2019/2020 season, Manchester City had an average annual first-team member salary of €7.7 million, the highest among all Premier League clubs.

La Liga Has the Most Valuable Football Club Brands

Although La Liga ranked as the second leading European football league with almost €4bn in brand value in 2020, statistics show the two top Spanish clubs represent the most valuable football brands globally.

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona both hit over €1.4bn in brand value this year, accounting for 70% of the total brand value of the highest-leveled Spanish football league.

Statistics show the first-team players of Real Madrid, the world’s largest football brand, earned an average of €9.45 million this season. At the same time, their combined market value hit €930.3 million, ranking them as the fifth most-expensive football team in the world.

FC Barcelona, the second most valuable football brand in the world, tops the list of European football clubs with a €10.4 million average annual player salary in the season 2019/2020. The club’s players also represent the third most expensive football team globally, with €1bn in their combined market value. Moreover, the Spanish football giant hit a record revenue of €813.3 million in the season 2018/2019 and ranked as the biggest cash-generating football club for the first time.

With €3.2bn in brand value or 2.6 times less than Premier League, Bundesliga ranked as the third most valuable European football league. The leading German football club and the sixth globally, FC Bayern München, accounts for one-third of that figure, with over €1bn in brand value this year.

Italy’s Serie A and French Ligue 1 follow, with 1.8bn and 1.2bn in brand value, respectively.

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