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Bank bonus disappointment; the cost of climate change; China's trade promises


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Investment Banking Essentials May 15

Bank bonus disappointment; the cost of climate change; China's trade promises

In this edition of Weekly News Spotlight, we look at the cost of Australia’s wildfires both to insurance companies and to those trying to purchase cover amid increasing risks from climate change. As the Trump administration hails its trade deal with China, we look at what is left out of the so-called phase-one agreement and the implications for U.S. energy exports if China is to meet the pledges it made under the pact. And investment bankers may be facing disappointment this bonus season.

Climate Change in Focus

Australia's largest insurers brace for greater bushfire severity as claims grow

The estimated total of insured losses from the ongoing Australian bushfires sits at A$1.34 billion thus far.

Certain perils becoming pricier, harder to cover as climate risks grow

Zurich's chief risk officer says some risks are getting harder to cover, or even uninsurable altogether, as climate change concerns dominate the World Economic Forum's global risks rankings.

BlackRock's Fink warns climate risk causing 'fundamental reshaping of finance'

In his annual letter, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink put climate change on center stage and revealed several new policies, including a more aggressive approach to voting against executives at companies that are not making strides on sustainability issues.

Deep Dives

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


US-China trade deal leaves '900-pound gorilla' on the loose

While a comprehensive trade agreement remains some way off, further escalation in the U.S.-China trade war should be avoided with the "phase one" deal.

To hit trade goals by 2021, US oil and gas industry needs 20% of China's market

One million barrels of U.S. crude oil at $60 per barrel would be just enough to meet the 2020 goal of $18.5 billion worth of additional energy purchases called for in the agreement. To hit the second year's goal of $33.9 billion would take 2 million barrels per day of crude and liquefied petroleum gas valued at $70 a barrel.

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Global Markets

High Beta was the winning trading strategy for US equities investors in 2019

While the S&P 500 index rose 28.9% last year, High Beta, which tracks stocks most sensitive to changes in performance, returned 32.6%, according to SPDJI Factor Indices. That represents a reversal of 2018, when High Beta was the biggest loser with a negative return of 16.5% as the S&P 500 index slid 6.2%.


Investment bankers set for disappointment over bonuses, surveys suggest

Some bankers' optimism ahead of bonus season might have been misplaced as employees in equities arms, in particular, face disappointment compared with last year.

Blank-check IPO proceeds hit new record in 2019 as Wall Street buys in

In 2019, special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, represented about 25% of all initial public offerings in the U.S. amid growing interest in the model from Wall Street institutions and executives.

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Energy and Utilities

Wind, solar total more than half of new US capacity added in 2019

A third of the 2019 additions is powered by wind and 19% by solar. The share of new capacity fueled by natural gas declined to 46% in 2019, compared to 75% in 2018.

US-style 'virtual' renewable power deals start to make inroads in Europe

A recent deal between a solar developer and a global brewing company is one of the first in Europe to mirror a financial off-take structure pioneered in the U.S., which could spur a wave of similar transactions across the continent.


Amazon could face antitrust suit in 2020, but asset breakup unlikely

If regulators find evidence that Amazon engaged in anti-competitive practices, the company could face enforcement actions ranging from new regulations to a breakup order, antitrust experts said.

Retailers intensify investment in technology to tackle organized theft, violence

Stores are reporting an increase in violence by organized retail crime perpetrators, according to the National Retail Federation.


Hong Kong may see healthcare listings rise in 2020 as market develops

Twenty healthcare companies, including device-makers, drug developers and medical service providers went public in Hong Kong in 2019, compared to 14 in 2018.

M&A Deals of the Week

Texas regulators OK $4.3B deal to take El Paso Electric private

Credit union-bank deal rejected by Colorado state regulator

Toyota invests $394M in aerospace company Joby to support urban air mobility

Fortum to acquire 100% of Finnish battery-metal recycling specialist

Brookfield Renewable makes $3.93B offer to acquire TerraForm Power

Lackluster M&A market could upend private equity's upstream model

The Big Number

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Weekly News Spotlight is a newsletter published every Monday that highlights exclusive industry-focused reporting, market news, and economic insights from the global newsroom here at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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