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EV impact; vaccines to boost job market; coal supply constraints

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EV impact; vaccines to boost job market; coal supply constraints

Exclusive features and news analysis of key sectors and markets. Subscribe on LinkedIn >

In this edition, we take a close look at the surge in electric-vehicle sales fueled by skyrocketing demand in Europe, China and the U.S. This year's EV fever has set the stage for the latest phase of cross-sector innovation and development as manufacturers shake up the supply chain with new technologies. Prices for lithium products, which are used in rechargeable batteries, across multiple indexes have been gaining steam for months on the back of booming EV sales and strong market fundamentals, especially in China.

Economists believe that vaccine mandates in the U.S. could help boost the job market just as employment gains are starting to slow down. The healthcare industry has long required vaccines for workers, but mandates have also spread to restaurants, retailers and other business sectors, with new hires potentially feeling safer working at companies that require the shot.

Coal demand and prices are booming as natural gas prices soar, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration warned that constraints in capacity and transportation will limit the ability of producers to meet that demand.

Electric Vehicles in Focus

EV Impact: Battery disruptors are jolting metal supply chains

Companies are feverishly innovating to bring down raw-material costs, shorten charging times and improve the safety of their electric-vehicle batteries in an effort to keep ahead of battery metal shortages.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Lithium prices soar to new heights thanks to EV sales

Prices for lithium products across multiple indexes have been gaining steam for months on the back of booming electric-vehicle sales and strong market fundamentals, especially in China.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

EV Impact: Electric-vehicle surge resonates across global economy

Pivoting on a step change in demand for electric vehicles in 2021, global automakers are betting hundreds of billions of dollars on a new era of cross-sector industrial development.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Deep Dives

In-depth features looking at the impact of major news developments in key industries.

Financials

Top Japanese banks have long way to go to become as efficient as Asian peers

Among the 39 largest Asia-Pacific banks by assets, six of the 10 least efficient lenders were Japanese, despite year-over-year declines in their cost-to-income ratios for the quarter ended June 30, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Big banks holding more than 60% of bonds to maturity to protect capital

Facing lackluster loan growth, the U.S.'s largest banks have deployed more cash into bonds and increasingly have sought to shield those portfolios from swings in market values that would come with increases in interest rates.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Some US banks cut bait on insurance, while others seek diversity through M&A

A handful of U.S. banks are exiting the insurance business to reallocate those resources elsewhere, but others are ramping up their M&A efforts to offset the slow growth and quickly scale.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

More banks exceeded CRE loan concentration guidance in Q2

The number of U.S. banks exceeding federal guidance on commercial real estate loan concentration rose sequentially in the second quarter for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2018.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Insurance

Progressive policy growth at new 4-year low as underlying profitability improves

With catastrophes pushing combined ratios in the company's agency and direct auto channels above 100% for the first time in four years, the company might have additional motivation to seek rate increases.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

High demand for life insurance continues in Q2 as total premiums rise YOY

MassMutual and Sammons Enterprises were among the biggest movers in the life insurance space as total sales and premiums climbed.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Credit and Markets

US job growth prospects strengthen as COVID-19 vaccine mandates expand

Potential new hires might feel safer working at companies that require the shots, economists say.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Retail market: Surprise sales jump in August; 4 new bankruptcies

Experts believe that the rest of 2021 will be bumpy but that sales will end the year on a positive note.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Energy and Utilities

Chevron's $10B plan for energy change is high-risk break from the pack

Critics pointed out that it fails to hit net-zero emissions and Paris agreement climate goals, but they noted it could play to a major oil company's strengths: liquid fuels and putting stuff underground.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Clean energy storage may give coal-fired plants a second life

Utilities such as Xcel Energy and Duke Energy hope to preserve local jobs and boost investments in renewables by retrofitting coal plants with long-duration energy storage systems.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Utilities face greatest threat as climate risks intensify

Utilities face the highest combined physical risk from climate hazards like droughts, storms and wildfires — topping other capital-intensive sectors like industrial manufacturing, oil and gas and real estate.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Fintech

Fintech SPACs pick up deal pace as revenue clarity allays regulatory concerns

Financial analytics firm Pagaya Investments is adding to a rebound in fintech SPAC mergers that has seen five billion-dollar fintechs announce deals in the past six weeks.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Technology, Media and Telecommunications

Vodafone, BT may see profit boost from return of roaming fees

The extra revenue will come at little extra cost, thanks to the telcos' operations across Europe.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Metals and Mining

US coal demand is rising, but supplies remain tight

Coal prices and demand are increasing as the price of natural gas also rises, but mining companies' supply response has been limited by various factors.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

Lithium market's growing transparency to pull in more investment, producers

Lithium is entering a new era of transparency after years of being notoriously opaque due to private contracts and having not been historically traded on a public platform, according to Ken Brinsden, CEO and managing director of Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals Ltd.

—Read the full article from S&P Global Market Intelligence

The Week in M&A

US Bancorp joins superregional M&A trend with 'scale play' for Union Bank
Read full article

Domestic deals fuel bank M&A wave in Europe
Read full article

Fintech M&A 2021 deal tracker: The summer of buy now, pay later
Read full article

Entergy proposes divesting or merging New Orleans utility
Read full article

The Big Number

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