1.Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs has appointed Andy Tai as head of investment banking in Southeast Asia, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Tai, who retains his senior role as a technology, media and telecom banker at the U.S. bank, will relocate to Singapore from Hong Kong to take up the new position, the memo said.
It was sent to staff on Thursday by Todd Leland and Iain Drayton, co-heads of investment banking in Asia excluding Japan.
A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs confirmed the contents of the memo.
Tai replaces Harry Naysmith who was hired by Citigroup (NYSE:C) as the vice chairman of its Southeast Asian banking and capital markets advisory business.
Tai joined Goldman Sachs in 2007 as an analyst in New York and was appointed managing director in 2019.
2.VIRGIN MONEY:-Virgin Money UK will close almost one in five branches in the coming months as more customers shift to online banking, the British bank said on Thursday, the latest lender to cut back its high-street presence after the pandemic.
The bank, which had promoted its branches as “community-focussed spaces” to “brighten … lives”, said customer’s willingness to bank online or using their mobile phones had prompted it to scale back.
Announcing the cuts, it said there was an ever greater willingness to use “digital self-service”.
It will close 31 of its 162 branches in the coming months. It will also cut its office space, a move the bank said would give staff greater flexibility around their working location.
Several banks paused branch closures in the early months of the pandemic but several have resumed cutbacks.
Earlier this year, HSBC announced plans to cut 82 branches. In the second half of 2020 Britain’s biggest domestic lender Lloyds resumed plans to cut 56 branches and Sabadell’s TSB announced it was axing 164 branches.
Such closures are controversial because they can hurt some customers
3.DIAEGO- Johnnie Walker whisky maker Diageo Plc said on Thursday its new financial year was off to a “strong start” and forecast a boost to operating margins as people opt for premium brands and spend more at restaurants and bars.
Recovery in Europe has been ahead of its own expectations, while in North America, despite supply constraints, the business has been “performing strongly”, the company said in a statement ahead of its annual general meeting later in the day.
Sales at bars and restaurants, hit by COVID-led restrictions last year, are recovering strongly in both regions as higher vaccination rates encourage more people to venture out.
Sales in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean markets are also performing well, but Diageo warned it expects some volatility in these markets to persist.
“We have made a strong start to fiscal ’22 … as we benefit from resilience in the off-trade (retail) and continued recovery in the on-trade (bars and restaurants),” Chief Executive Ivan Menezes said.
The company is also benefiting from customers trading up to more premium drinks and from a rise in sales through higher margin channels such as e-commerce, Menezes added.
4.AMAZON:–Amazon.com Inc and the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said on Wednesday the company had reached a settlement with two former employees who alleged they were fired last year for criticizing the working conditions at the e-commerce giant’s warehouses.
Amazon had terminated the employment of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, who had accused the company of enforcing policies in a discriminatory fashion and instituting rules that “chill and restrain” the staff from exercising rights, according to their charge filed in October.
The NLRB found in April that Amazon illegally fired them after they advocated for better working conditions during the pandemic.
“Amazon will be required to pay us our lost wages and post a notice to all of its tech and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon can’t fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights,” Cunningham and Costa said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The U.S. agency said the company had reached a non-board settlement, a private agreement between parties in which terms were not disclosed, with the former employees.
The NLRB regional director, however, is required to review and approve the settlement agreement before allowing the charges to be withdrawn.
“We have reached a mutual agreement that resolves the legal issues in this case and welcome the resolution of this matter,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
5.NIKE: Athletic apparel giants Adidas and Nike have been under considerable selling pressure this past week amid supply chain issues.
ADDYY and NKE stock are now down around 21% and 16%, respectively, off their recent all-time highs.
Undoubtedly, Adidas and Nike are two high-quality companies behind legendary brands. Their respective managers are exceptional, as too are their growth stories.
COVID-19 headwinds will abate, and supply chains will return to order in due time. The real question is when supply chain disruptions will resolve, and whether such pandemic-induced disruptions will be intermittent, as lockdowns have been.