The British government has abandoned plans to sell down its shareholdings in RBS and Lloyds (NYSE:LYG) in light of the Brexit referendum, leaving a multi-billion pound hole in its finances. The Treasury had planned to cut its exposure to the domestic banks, raising £9B through stock sales, but the date has now been pushed back until at least 2017 given market volatility.
Moody's will revise the outlook of "a number of big U.K. lenders" to negative from stable today due to fallout from last week's EU referendum, sources told Sky News. The plan comes just hours after rival Standard & Poor's stripped the U.K. of its coveted triple-A rating and Fitch downgraded the sovereign. Related tickers: HSBC, BCS, RBS, LYG,OTCPK:SCBFF
A large "Four Points by Sheraton" sign has gone up outside the Havana hotel that this week becomes the first in Cuba to operate under an American brand since the 1959 revolution. The military-owned Gaviota 5th Avenue Hotel, close to the Caribbean seafront, is one of two hotels that Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HOT) agreed to manage in a multi-million dollar deal in March.
Biotech news roundup: Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP) has held discussions with P-E firms about potential asset sales to reduce its more than $8B debt pile. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is investing $350M to build its first biotech center in China. Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ:HZNP) has hired Bank of America to help it explore selling a significant equity stake that would bolster its balance sheet.
Looking to revive falling cola sales, PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is bringing back aspartame, an artificial sweetener it removed from Diet Pepsi in the U.S. last year. Diet Pepsi's sales volume fell 5.8% last year and dropped roughly 11% at retail during Q1 2016.
Chipotle is introducing a three-month loyalty program intended to get customers back into its stores following a string of food safety lapses last year. "Chiptopia" will reward customers for making multiple paid visits within a month rather than on the total amount spent, or by accumulating points. It comes after Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) doled out freebies over the past months to regain traffic.
An airbag made by Takata has been linked to a crash that killed a woman in Malaysia over the weekend, potentially raising the number of deaths caused by the faulty devices to 15 worldwide. Has the news finally pushed senior management over the edge? At the company's annual meeting today, CEO Shigehisa Takada offered to resign once a "new regime" is found for Takata (OTCPK:TKTDY).
The flight data recorder of EgyptAir flight MS804 has been successfully repaired, paving the way for investigators to analyze data that could help explain what caused the plane to crash. The Airbus A320 (OTCPK:EADSY) vanished over the Mediterranean Sea while en route from Paris to Cairo on May 19, killing all 66 people on board.
Could Lyft be looking for a buyer? That's the conclusion one might glean based on a report that said the San Francisco-based unicorn hired Qatalyst Partners, a boutique investment bank that specializes in finding suitors for tech companies. LYFT, valued at $5.5B last year, may be one of several highly valued start-ups that look to M&A as venture funding dries up in tech.
Line Corp., the Japanese rival to WhatsApp (NASDAQ:FB), is largely sticking to its earlier IPO target despite market turmoil following the Brexit vote. The messaging service has set a price range for its offerings in Tokyo and New York next month at ¥2,700-¥3,200 ($26.50-$31.50) a share. This sets the stage for an IPO that could raise up to ¥112B ($1.09B) and puts it on track to become the biggest tech listing of 2016.
Addressing potential conflicts of interest, SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) is forming a special committee to help it evaluate an acquisition bid from Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). The committee consists of Donald Kendall, a founder of investment manager Kenmont Capital Partners, and Nancy Pfund, a founder of venture-capital firm DBL Investors. The two are SolarCity's directors without any special connections to Tesla.
Williams Cos. is continuing its legal fight to close the merger with Energy Transfer Equity (NYSE:ETE) after shareholders voted to approve the deal at yesterday's shareholder meeting. Williams (NYSE:WMB) is appealing Friday's ruling that said Energy Transfer had not breached their merger agreement by raising tax issues that would prevent the deal from closing by the agreed upon termination date.
The U.S. Commerce Department has extended the temporary lifting of sanctions on ZTE Corp. (OTCPK:ZTCOY) through Aug. 30, as the Chinese maker of telecom equipment tries to rebuild its reputation after allegedly breaking sanctions against Iran. The extension of temporary relief is good news for ZTE, which has been scrambling to cope with the potential damage on its global operations and brand image.
Replacing Live Nation's Ticketmaster (NYSE:LYV), eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) StubHub has won a 6.5 year revenue-sharing deal to resell tickets for the New York Yankees. The move ends a long standoff between the two companies, which had previously been at odds over a price floor for tickets. Reports suggested the deal was worth around $100M, but a StubHub spokesman said the value of the agreement was "definitely not that high."
The EU is taking steps that could lead to a third antitrust complaint against Google (GOOG, GOOGL), this time over its dominance in advertising. Margrethe Vestager, the bloc's antitrust chief, has already filed formal antitrust charges against the tech giant for allegedly skewing its search results to favor its own shopping service, and more recently in April, over Google's conduct with its Android mobile-operating system.