Tag Archives: Content produced in Bangalore

Afterpay Australia explores global records as first-half sales double | Instant News

(Reuters) – Afterpay is exploring additional overseas listings amid growing US investor interest, Australia’s buy-now-pay-later said on Thursday after reporting first-half sales more than doubled.

Fintech Australia and its global competitors such as Klarna, Affirm and Sweden’s Zip Co have seen explosive growth since the pandemic locked in large parts of the world and made more people turn to online shopping.

Afterpay shares have gained more than 1,500% since March, establishing itself as the 12th most valuable company in Australia.

Afterpay also said it raised A $ 1.25 billion ($ 995 million) in convertible banknotes in a complex deal to buy Matrix Partners stock from its US business – which accounts for 43% of its sales. The United States is also a key growth market for the industry where it struggles with fast-growing Klarna.

Klarna, who is reported to be tapping into more private funding, posted his full-year results on Thursday evening.

Afterpay’s legal losses more than doubled to A $ 79.2 million as the strong growth of its UK business pushed the unit’s valuation higher and increased the value of put options held by other companies. Zip also posted a much bigger half-year loss after buying New York counterpart Quadpay.

While Afterpay’s gross transaction loss fell to 0.7% – indicating fewer customers skipping payments – margins also fell slightly to 2.2% from six months ago.

Transactions made through Afterpay totaled A $ 9.8 billion in the six months to December 31, double the A $ 4.8 billion processed last year, supported by strong holiday spending.

Active subscribers jumped 1.9 million to 13.1 million in the three months to December.

($ 1 = 1.2547 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Edited by Forward Samuel


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Frontline workers, the BAME group will not be prioritized for the UK vaccine: Guardian | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: A health worker prepares a vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) dose at a vaccination center inside Blackburn Cathedral, in Blackburn, England, 19 January 2021. REUTERS / Molly Darlington

(Reuters) – Frontline workers and black, Asian and minority (BAME) ethnic groups in the UK will not be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination at the next stage of the vaccine rollout, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization is ready to reject the priority of vaccines based on occupation or race, and vaccines will continue in the adult age group up to 18 years of age, the paper said. bit.ly/3ux4T72, citing government sources.

The committee updated its advice on Wednesday to recommend that people with learning disabilities be invited for vaccinations to ensure people at higher risk of developing the disease are protected as soon as possible, according to the Guardian.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; edited by Jonathan Oatis


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Viva Energy Australia posted an annual loss as the pandemic hit demand | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: Logo of Viva Energy refinery and fuel distributor, depicted in Corio, Victoria, Australia, 28 June 2020. REUTERS / Sonali Paul

(Reuters) – Australian fuel supplier Viva Energy Group on Wednesday reported a full-year loss compared to last year’s gain, impacted by falling global fuel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus-related curbs on international travel and a domestic lockdown hit the refinery market for most of 2020, impacting their profits and jeopardizing the future of their factories.

Viva’s underlying net loss on taxes on a replacement cost basis was A $ 35.9 million ($ 28.4 million) in the year ended December 31, compared to A $ 135.8 million profit in the prior year.

The Victoria-based company said sales volumes for the year fell 16% to 12,339 million liters, within the company’s forecast range of 12,250 to 12,350 ml provided in December.

The company’s refinery operations resulted in an underlying EBITDA loss on a replacement cost basis of A $ 95.1 million in 2020 due to the pandemic. Replacement costs eliminate the impact of crude oil inventories and foreign exchange movements.

Viva also said it had made material progress in developing its gas terminal project at Geelong in Victoria, which the company wanted to revive following threats of closure.

($ 1 = 1.26 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Nikhil Subba and Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Edited by Forward Samuel


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Woolworths Australia warned of slowing sales growth after a surge in first-half profit | Instant News

FILE PHOTOS: People walk past Woolworths supermarkets following easing of restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, 16 June 2020. REUTERS / Loren Elliott

(Reuters) – The Woolworths Group on Wednesday warned of slowing sales growth ahead after a pandemic-driven surge in demand helped Australia’s biggest supermarket chain post a 28% jump in first-half profit.

The launch of the COVID-19 vaccine and easing restrictions will likely weigh on retailers, who have benefited from customers hoarding household items during the lockdown.

“We expect sales to fall over the period March to June compared to the previous year across all of our businesses … as we cycled the COVID surge last year,” said Group Chief Executive Brad Banducci.

Earlier this month, smaller rival Coles Group had also forecast a “significant” moderation in supermarket sales.

Woolworths, which operates more than 3,000 shops in the country, said the separation of its beverage and hospitality business, Endeavor Group, was expected to be completed in June.

Profit attributable to continuing operations was A $ 1.14 billion ($ 901.63 million), compared with A $ 887 million a year ago.

The company declared an interim dividend of 53 Australian cents per share, up from 46 cents a year earlier.

($ 1 = 1.2644 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Edited by Arun Koyyur


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EMERGING MARKETS-Asset Latam recovers from recent losses, Petrobras rebound supports stocks | Instant News

    * Drop in U.S. yields helps risk assets
    * Brazil stocks recover from worst day in 10 months
    * Mexican peso rises for first time in 7 sessions

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    By Susan Mathew
    Feb 23 (Reuters) - Brazil shares rose on Tuesday as oil
major Petrobras bounced back from a bruising sell-off, with most
Latin American assets recovering from a slew of recent losses as
pressure from high U.S. yields eased. 
    The Bovespa stock index rose 2.1% after a near 5%
slide on Monday, as shares in Petroleo Brasileiro
recovered 10% from a 22% plunge that wiped out 71 billion reais
($13 billion) in market value. 
    Petrobras' board is set to meet on Tuesday to rule on
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's appointment of former
Defense Minister Joaquim Silva e Luna to helm the state-run
    "Bolsonaro's decision to replace Petrobras' CEO is dashing
hopes of Brazil's return to economic orthodoxy," said
strategists at BCA Research. Analysts broadly note that the
president is adopting populist policies instead of fiscal
consolidation ahead of elections 20 months down the line.
    "The central bank is likely to lift the policy rate in
response... which would keep government borrowing costs above
the nominal GDP growth rate," they said. "A violation of the
fiscal spending rule would weigh further on the real amid higher
inflation expectations, and bonds are likely to underperform as
rates rise." 
    The real rose 0.3% after marking its worst
session in a month on Monday, while dollar bonds and the cost to
insure exposure to Brazil's sovereign debt steadied following
dramatic falls on Monday.
    Charts show that Brazil's weighting is declining in the main
JPMorgan EM bonds index.   
    A recent spike in U.S. treasury yields had weighed on
risk-driven assets, particularly emerging market bonds and
currencies, as investors sought safer investment paths. Latin
American assets fell the most among their peers.
    But yields dropped on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman
Jerome Powell said the economy still needed central bank
    "One reason for Latam FX struggles may be that markets
expect that an inflation overshoot in the U.S. would spill over
to other economies, and would be harder to contain in Latam,
where central bank credibility is perceived to be weaker," said
Ilya Gofshteyn, senior EM macro strategist at Standard
    Mexico's peso rose for the first time in seven days
against a stronger dollar. The peso lost 3.7% over the last six
days on concerns about factory activity as fuel supply from
Texas was impacted by a deep freeze.
    Chile's peso, which has outperformed its regional
peers thanks to strength in the copper price, extended gains
into an eight consecutive session. 
    Key Latin American stock indexes and currencies:
                              Latest     Daily % change
 MSCI Emerging Markets         1393.90             -0.27
 MSCI LatAm                    2330.32              2.07
 Brazil Bovespa              114975.20              2.05
 Mexico IPC                   45274.80              0.73
 Chile IPSA                    4506.23             -1.38
 Argentina MerVal             47672.85            -3.239
 Colombia COLCAP               1351.21             -0.07 Currencies             Latest     Daily % change
 Brazil real                    5.4380              0.30
 Mexico peso                   20.5595              0.75
 Chile peso                      705.4              0.14
 Colombia peso                 3583.72              0.20
 Peru sol                       3.6517              0.00
 Argentina peso                89.5300             -0.10
 (Reporting by Susan Mathew and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru,
graphic by Marc Jones in London; Editing by Nick Macfie and
Rosalba O'Brien)


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