(Bloomberg) — American Airlines Group Inc. closed a $5.48 billion loan with the U.S. Treasury, increasing its pool of cash to help fund operations until travel demand begins to return.The credit facility, backed by American’s loyalty program, increased from an original $4.75 billion target after rivals such as Delta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. opted out of the funds and the remaining money was reallocated. American could receive as much as $2 billion more when the funds are adjusted a second time next month, according to a regulatory filing Friday.The deal makes American the first major carrier to tap U.S. loans that were included in the $2 trillion Cares Act for economic relief from the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the federal rescue, U.S. airlines earlier got $25 billion in payroll support, largely in grants, with American receiving $5.8 billion. Congress is debating whether to extend the payroll … Read the rest

Business Matters speaks to hundreds of SME’s each week and there’s not been one that hasn’t had to pivot and alter their offering product online in some way.

With the lockdown restrictions lasting another six months and Christmas fast approaching, now is the key time to understand why sales of your product aren’t converting and the best thing to do to alter it so that they are.

One bonus of covid cancelling physical events is that a number of them have pivot very quickly and gone online. Europe’s fastest growing product conference is one that’s gone virtual, it’s happening in early October and it’s speaker’s can’t be ignored. Business Matters is talking to Parul Goel, Head of Product at Paypal next week ahead of the conference, however we thought it only fair to alert you now of its presence so you can register.

Watch, learn and apply. Just in time

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Mexico’s leftist populist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Thursday that he might reverse the energy reform from 2013 if he can’t save state oil firm Pemex with existing laws, Reuters quoted the president as saying at a news conference.

López Obrador has repeatedly criticized the energy reform of his predecessor Enrique Peña Nieto, who opened in 2013 Mexico’s oil and gas sector to private investment for the first time in seven decades.

López Obrador plans to make heavily-indebted state oil firm Pemex the pillar of turnaround for the country’s declining oil production, but the oil price crash earlier this year further deteriorated the finances and the debt of the Mexican oil company.

The president seeks a greater role for Pemex in reversing the downward trend in Mexican oil production and is criticizing the energy reform and the foreign oil firms for failing to do so.

Earlier this week, … Read the rest

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One of Europe’s highest courts may have cancelled the $15 billion back-tax bill she forced on Apple, but Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is not giving up.

There’s too much at stake, not just in this specific case, but also in the European Commission’s wider quest to stop multinationals from enjoying specially advantageous tax deals—such as the one it claims was struck between Apple and Ireland, the base for Apple’s international operations outside of the Americas.

So, on Friday, Vestager announced her antitrust department’s appeal against the July ruling by the EU’s General Court, which said the Commission had failed to sufficiently demonstrate Ireland had given Apple special treatment—an action that would have meant Ireland had effectively granted Apple illegal state aid.

“The General Court judgment raises … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Just a week after revealing its plan to turn itself into a clean-energy giant, BP Plc watched its share price drop to a 25-year low.Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney and his new management team gave more than 10 hours of presentations over three days last week, in a bid to show the world that the oil and gas giant could adapt to a low-carbon future without sacrificing returns.The company’s shares closed in London on Thursday at 232.4 pence, the lowest level since October 1995. While falling crude prices and fears of the second wave of the coronavirus haven’t help BP, the slide suggests shareholders weren’t convinced by Looney’s pitch.“Investors remain skeptical,” said Mirza Baig, Global Head of Governance at Aviva Investors. “Particularly as this move is being forced on the company by climate change.”Looney took over as CEO in February, but the so-called “BP Week” this month was … Read the rest

The government and firms will top up workers’ wages covering up to two-thirds of their hours for the next six months, the chancellor has said.

Rishi Sunak said the Jobs Support Scheme will replace the furlough scheme when it ends on 31 October.

He set out his “winter economy plan” after the government introduced new measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

There are fears firms will make mass job cuts when the furlough scheme ends.

Nearly 3 million workers – or 12% of the UK’s workforce – are on partial or full furlough leave, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The chancellor said that employees will have to work for at least a third of their normal hours to quality for the new scheme, which begins on 1 November.

Businesses that have borrowed money through the government’s loan scheme will also be given more time to repay … Read the rest

Tesla lost as much as US$50 billion of its market capitalization after-hours on Tuesday, and continued to see its share price plunge on Wednesday after the EV manufacturer’s Battery Day event earlier in the day offered few details about the price of battery packs and not a single ground-breaking announcement.

Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares slumped by 5.6 percent in trading on Tuesday and shed another 6.9 percent in after-hours trade after what some analysts described as an “underwhelming” Battery Day event, especially compared to the hype it had generated among fans, followers, Tesla owners, analysts, and investors.

On Wednesday morning, Tesla was also down, by more than 8 percent, with a market cap of US$361 billion, although Elon Musk promised an affordable US$25,000 Tesla slightly better than a comparable gasoline car, in three years or more, and a drastic cut in battery costs.

Before the event, Musk warned on Twitter … Read the rest

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In journalistic argot, a “tick-tock” is a type of news story that focuses on the minute-by-minute chronology of events as they unfold. Reuters published a humdinger yesterday about a company named—you guessed it—TikTok.

The Reuters account goes a long way towards explaining how a White House “deal” to save the Chinese-owned short video app from a presidential ban blew up—and offers fresh ammunition for critics of the Trump administration’s chaotic and often contradictory dealings with China.

The broad contours of a TikTok agreement, according to Reuters, were hashed out by Friday in a frantic round of negotiations led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Key points were spelled out in a 20-page revision, “awash in red font with mark-ups,” to an initial proposal submitted four … Read the rest

(Bloomberg) — Oil dropped in London and New York following warnings over global energy demand and the state of the U.S. economy.Crude fell along with other risky assets after Federal Reserve officials said more fiscal stimulus is critical to sustain the U.S. recovery. In Europe, the head of commodity trader Mercuria Energy Group said global oil markets won’t be able to absorb OPEC+ production increases as demand is weaker than expected.Oil has lurched lower this month amid signs a resurgence in the coronavirus could lead to more lockdown measures, though the global Brent benchmark has bounced around near its 100-day moving average in recent days. The OPEC+ alliance, meanwhile, is slowly tapering its production cuts and Libya is unleashing fresh supply as its civil war abates.Crude declined Thursday even after U.S. crude and fuel stockpiles shrank, according to weekly data from the Energy Information Administration.“Downside risks remain much bigger than … Read the rest

Research carried out in April 2020 has revealed that 52% of Brits were happy to continue working from home for as long as is required.

However, over a third admitted that they were starting to feel the pressure and 6% admitted to already finding this new way of life a struggle.

Moneypenny, the outsourced communications provider, polled UK workers, who are all working from home.

In April, people were already finding it far more difficult to switch off from work, with three-quarters admitting they answer calls and emails after normal working hours.

Furthermore, 28% said they take shorter lunch breaks then they usually would when in the office. 15% stated that they don’t take any lunch breaks at all.

The research also highlighted that 72% of those people who work from home have experienced a day where they did not speak to any colleagues. Of those, almost a … Read the rest