The European Central Bank launched its coronavirus economic stimulus package with €30 billion of bond purchases last week through its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program, according to the figures detailing settled transactions. A revaluation of the ECB's existing Asset Purchase Program increased the total by a further €4 billion.
Pricing of futures contracts tied to dividends of S&P 500 companies indicates corporate payouts will not top the 2019 level until 2028.
Environmental, social and governance investment strategies provided investment funds with relative safety from market turbulence during March, figures from Morningstar show. UK-based funds put in the strongest showing with the average active ESG fund losing 14% of its value against 16.8% for non-ESG equivalents, while all the ESG-focused passive funds beat equivalent non-ESG rivals.
UK fixed-income funds saw a record £3.7 billion of redemptions last month, figures from transaction network Calastone reveal. "The temporary loss of fixed income as a safe-haven asset class to counterbalance some of the huge losses in equity markets left investors with little option but to ride it out or park their money in cash or cash-equivalents like money market funds," the firm's head of global markets Edward Glyn said.
Financial firms working to replace Libor with another reference rate are concerned that hedge funds may buy up instruments for which the legality of changing the interest rate is questionable, in order to sue the entities making the change. The possibility was first raised last year and Marc Florent, a litigation partner at the Baker McKenzie law firm, comments "It would greatly surprise me if the more imaginative and aggressive hedge funds did not have armies of people looking at this."
A wave of ratings downgrades saw around $90 billion of corporate debt lose investment-grade status in March. A further $110 billion could follow this year, analysts warn.
The New York Stock Exchange has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to waive the requirement for companies to maintain a certain average share price over a 30-day period, as some may have failed in this respect due to the coronavirus crisis. "We are committed to advocating on behalf of our issuers during these challenging economic times and continue to speak with the SEC staff about this and other proposed rule changes," a NYSE spokesperson said.
The New York Stock Exchange plans to check the effectiveness of its market circuit breakers after they were triggered a number of times during last month's volatile market trading.
China Three Gorges Renewables, an energy company owned by the Chinese government, aims to raise $3.5 billion in an initial public offering in Shanghai, according to a prospectus filed with the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Most of the proceeds will be used to build offshore wind farms and for working capital.
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