Coronavirus plunges Brazil into recession

Tuesday, September 1

16:00 GMT – South African state firms seek coronavirus crisis bailouts

South African state companies have asked for billions of rand in government funding to help them through the coronavirus crisis, a finance ministry presentation to parliament on Tuesday showed.

Loss-making state firms have been a long-term drain on Africa’s most industrialised economy, requiring bailouts that have strained public finances at a time of weak economic growth, helping to tip its sovereign credit to a “junk” rating.

The South African Post Office (SAPO) has requested 4.9bn rand ($293m) in support, while broadcaster SABC is seeking 1.5bn (90.1m) and airports operator ACSA has applied for an equity injection of 3.5bn (210.2m), the presentation showed.

Tuesday, September 1

16:00 GMT – South African state firms seek coronavirus crisis bailouts

South African state companies have asked for billions of rand in government funding to help them through the coronavirus crisis, a finance ministry presentation to parliament on Tuesday showed.

Loss-making state firms have been a long-term drain on Africa’s most industrialised economy, requiring bailouts that have strained public finances at a time of weak economic growth, helping to tip its sovereign credit to a “junk” rating.

The South African Post Office (SAPO) has requested 4.9bn rand ($293m) in support, while broadcaster SABC is seeking 1.5bn (90.1m) and airports operator ACSA has applied for an equity injection of 3.5bn (210.2m), the presentation showed.

15:00 GMT – Virgin Atlantic, eyeing approval of rescue deal, restarts more routes

Virgin Atlantic will resume flying to Delhi, Tel Aviv, Atlanta, Mumbai and Lagos from London in September as travel restrictions ease, the airline said on Tuesday, as it eyes the completion of its restructuring plan.

Virgin Atlantic is seeking court approval for a rescue deal on Wednesday after creditors overwhelmingly backed the deal last week.

The airline, which has already restarted flights to New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Barbados and Miami, said further routes would be added throughout 2020.

14:45 GMT – Workers on Spain’s furlough scheme down to 620,000 from 3 million in April

The number of workers enrolled on Spain’s coronavirus furlough scheme has fallen to around 620,000 from a peak of 3 million at the pandemic’s height in April, government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero told a news conference on Tuesday.

Around 5,000 people per day are coming out of the program, with most of the remaining workers involved in hard-hit industries linked to tourism, she added.

The government is considering expanding the scheme beyond the end of September when it is currently due to tend.

14:25 GMT – Senate Republicans likely to take up COVID-19 bill next week: Meadows

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said he expects Senate Republicans to bring up a targeted COVID-19 relief bill next week and that the Trump administration may take executive action to assist US airlines.

In an interview on CNBC, Meadows said he expected Republicans’ legislation would be “more targeted” than House Democrats’ offer and include about $500 bn in additional financial aid.

14:00 GMT – Coronavirus plunges Brazil into recession

Brazil’s economy contracted by a record 9.7 percent in the second quarter of 2020, plunging into recession as coronavirus lockdowns hit home, the official statistics agency.

“GDP is now at the same level as late 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis,” the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) said in a statement.

It was the biggest drop since the current system of records began in 1996, it said.

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