2020.04.16

News Headlines - 16 April 2020

Japan declares nationwide state of emergency amid virus spread

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expanded on Thursday the state of emergency beyond Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures to the entire nation in an attempt to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading further and straining the health care system.
With the declaration now covering all 47 prefectures in the country of around 126 million people, Abe said the government will provide cash handouts of 100,000 yen ($930) to all citizens. He also approved a rare reworking of a state budget days before its planned submission to parliament.

South Korea's ruling party wins parliamentary majority as nation votes amid pandemic | The Japan Times

The country uses a mix of first-past-the-post seats and proportional representation, but even before all the individual constituencies were decided, Moon’s Democratic party had taken 163 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, an absolute majority.
Its sister party was expected to win another 17 proportional representation seats - due to be declared later Thursday - for a total of 180.
The main conservative opposition United Future Party (UFP) and its satellite party were forecast to secure a total of 97 seats.

Sweden: 22 Scientists Say Coronavirus Strategy Has Failed As Deaths Top 1,000

Sweden's relatively relaxed approach to controlling the spread of the coronavirus has come under fire in international media and from many locals in the capital Stockholm, where more than half the country's deaths have been recorded. Now, 22 researchers have publicly criticized the strategy and called on politicians to make changes.
In an opinion piece published today in Dagens Nyheter, the group of researchers from a range of top Swedish universities and research institutes make harsh criticism of the Swedish Public Health Agency and their present coronavirus strategy. They say that elected politicians must now intervene with "swift and radical measures."

Amazon stops accepting new online grocery customers amid surging demand - Reuters

Amazon will begin to put new grocery delivery customers on a wait list and curtail shopping hours at some Whole Foods stores to prioritize orders from existing customers buying food online during the coronavirus outbreak, the company said on Sunday.
Many shoppers recently seeking to purchase groceries from the Seattle-based e-commerce company found they could not place orders due to a lack of available delivery slots. Amazon said it would have to relegate all new online grocery customers to a wait list starting Monday while working on adding capacity each week.

24% of world's large companies risk running out of cash - Nikkei Asian Review

The coronavirus pandemic has battered the global economy, sending cash flows plunging and drying up liquidity for small and midsize enterprises. Now, large companies have been threatened with the same, making it imperative that governments step up support for these bedrock companies lest they suffer the same fate as their smaller counterparts.
Using data from QUICK-FactSet, the Nikkei Asian Review calculated the cash flows of over 3,400 listed companies and discovered that a quarter of them will run out of liquidity if a 30% year-on-year drop in sales lasts for six months... If sales fall 10% over three months, 9% of large companies will run out of liquidity, assuming companies do not roll over maturing debt. In case sales drop 30%, 24% of the companies will run out of liquidity in six months, and 38% in 12 months.

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