Global Business Daily: Santander's $13bn Q2 loss, Kodak pivots, EV hurdles
Patrick Atack in London
"The domino effect has been unprecedented. Two million cancellations … because of the uncertainty the announcement has created."
That's the answer given by Gloria Guevara of the World Travel and Tourism Council, when asked by my colleague what had been the impact of the UK changing its quarantine policy on those flying in from Spain.
In our video today, Rahul Pathak brings us the Spanish view. They are not pleased.
In other news, the CEO of PSA, the company that owns French car maker Peugeot, says cost is the main barrier for affordable electric vehicles and European subsidies are propping up the sector. He said this needs to change, and had a few ideas about how to do it.
As the world continues to change and pivot at what feels like break-neck speed, Kodak is the latest firm to change its business. The 20th century's leading camera and film producer (the best-known, at least) is now Kodak Pharmaceuticals and will produce chemicals needed for generic (non-branded) drugs.
Finally, let me draw your attention to our graph today.
We know you've probably seen a lot of creative industry people talking about the knock-on effect of the pandemic on their industries, but we now have quantifiable data to prove how at least one sector has suffered.
We took a look at the UK box office figures in the first week of July 2020 (as cinemas reopened) compared with that same week in 2019. The results are stark.
Digital business correspondent
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Spanish lender Santander has revealed a $13 billion second-quarter loss. Many of the losses stemmed from the European bank's UK arm, which wrote off $11.7 billion in "goodwill" (non-quantifiable assets) it held since the purchases it made to create its UK banking business.
Price is the biggest hurdle for electric vehicle producers, according to the CEO of PSA, which owns Peugeot. Carlos Tavares said $14,000 of incentives from the EU per electric car sold is currently making the EV market profitable, but cutting distribution and sourcing costs will be key, he added.
The UK has agreed to buy 60 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine being produced by GlaxoSmithKline and French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi. The deal is in addition to a previous deal with AstraZeneca for 100 million doses of the vaccine being worked on at Oxford University.
The UK universities central pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, has hit a record deficit of $15.2 billion, due to COVID-19-linked market turbulence. The scheme has at least 460,000 members across 340 institutions.
Remington Arms Company, which makes guns in the U.S. and is benefiting from a surge in commercial weapons sales, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Alabama for the second time since 2018. It is thought the firm lacks funds to pay legal costs related to a wrongful death lawsuit from families of the children murdered at Sandy Hook school in 2012.
Japanese car maker Nissan has warned shareholders it expects an operating loss of $4.5 billion in the financial year ending March 2021. It made the forecast when revealing its COVID-affected latest quarterly loss of $1.4 billion.
Kodak, the former leader of the camera and film market, has flipped its business in the U.S. to manufacture chemicals needed for generic drug making. Kodak Pharmaceuticals has won a $765 million loan from the U.S. coronavirus funds and praise from the White House and President Donald Trump.
MacKenzie Scott, who was formerly married to Amazon CEO and the world's richest man Jeff Bezos, revealed on a Medium post she has given away $1.7 billion of her $62 billion fortune to various charities and historically black universities and colleges (HBCUs) in the U.S.. Scott and Bezos divorced in 2019 after a marriage that started before Bezos founded the company, which would later become the web sales and tech behemoth we know today.
Jes Staley, the CEO of Barclays bank, said he wants employees to return to "physical concentrations" after stating in April the pandemic may cause the end of big central offices. He told Bloomberg the firm had 60,000 staff working from home, but 20,000 are back in offices or working in branches.
Starbucks, one of the largest coffee shop chains in the world, has recorded a quarterly loss for the first time in seven years. Through pandemic-linked loss of custom and expenses, the Seattle-based chain lost $3.1 billion in the three months to June.
German sportswear brand Puma said "uncertainty surrounding the virus" meant it cannot release a full-year forecast. Second-quarter sales were down approximately 30 percent, leading to losses of $132 million.
Chinese industrial chemicals giant Hengli said it is planning to convert coal to polyester yarn, in an attempt to make clothes from the dirty energy source. The project is based in Shaanxi province.
All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's biggest airline, has made an operating loss of $1.4 million between April and June. Like many others, it did not give a full-year forecast. Chief Financial Officer Ichiro Fukuzawa said ANA is hoping to reach pre-pandemic levels on its domestic routes by the end of fiscal year 2021.
South Korea has launched an investigation into Tesla Motors and the U.S. electric vehicle firm's "Autopilot" feature, which makes cars semi-autonomous. The transport ministry did not elaborate, but it is understood the Tesla Model 3 is being tested and the inquiry could take up to year.
WATCH: Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has gone on the offensive following Britain's decision to reimpose a 14-day quarantine for tourists arriving from the Mediterranean hotspot. He said Britons are safer on the beaches of the Balearic and Canary Islands than back home in the UK.
Ian Chapman is the CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. He spoke to CGTN Europe yesterday, following the news that France had constructed a new nuclear fusion plant.
What are some of the other things that fusion could support?
One of the problems with fusion is that you have something of that enormous heat. And so you have a lot of heat and that could be used for district heating, it could be used for desalination. That could be used for hydrogen production. There's enormous potential with this energy source.
Fusion has been researched for 60 years – why are there no usable fusion power generators so far?
It's a journey. What we're doing is extremely difficult. We produce some 16 million watts from fusion power. But we had to put 24 million watts in in the first place to get the fuel hotter than the sun.
Collaboration isn't a word you hear very much in global politics at the moment, but it seems to be alive and well, at least in this discipline of science?
Science has the ability to transcend politics and to transcend borders. And we are so much more productive working together as scientists. And this is one brilliant example of scientific collaboration.