The week in IR: Apple and Amazon could disrupt ETFs, and easing tensions between US and China
According to CNBC, technology giants Apple and Amazon could enter the ETF space in the next five years and it is likely to be through an acquisition. The publication noted that the brand and reputation of these firms could convince consumers to trust them with financial products.
In Washington, high-level discussions between the US and China opened with a goal of easing a trade standoff that is clouding the global economy, reported The New York Times. According to the paper, both parties are aiming to reach a deal by March 1 to prevent an escalation of US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods.
Glencore, Shell and BP are facing pressure from Climate Action 100+, according to Bloomberg. The investor initiative group aims to push the world’s biggest emitters to reduce their pollution to act on climate change. It backs more than 300 investors managing $32 tn. The publication reported that Glencore has already made a decision to limit coal investment due pressure from this group of investors.
The Financial Times asks: ‘How worried should we be about a US economic slowdown?’ It reported that disappointing retail earnings released last week dented the US stock market recovery, and fanned concerns that the economic slowdown that panicked investors last year might not be a blip.
Pension funds performing well on ESG factors don’t incur higher asset management costs, Investment & Pensions Europe reported. The publication cited a report by Dutch consultant Gaston Siegelaer who suggested that improvements to investors’ ESG policies did not increase costs either.
The UK competition regulator could block J Sainsbury’s planned £7.3 bn ($9.5 bn) takeover of rival Asda, according to The Financial Times. The Competition and Markets Authority has expressed ‘extensive concerns’ over whether there was any way the deal could continue without undermining supermarket competition in Britain.
The Wall Street Journal said Barclays has come up with an answer to the activist investor who wants big cuts to its investment bank. According to the paper, the British bank revealed plans for a share buyback and more than doubled its dividend after decent 2018 results.