|Day's range||6.05 - 6.25|
Bank of America announced today that it will host the company’s 2020 annual meeting of shareholders virtually due to public health concerns resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the related protocols federal, state, and local governments have implemented. The 2020 annual meeting of shareholders will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, April 22. Shareholders will not be able to attend the 2020 annual meeting in person.
Bank of America (BAC) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
As previously announced, Bank of America will report its first-quarter 2020 financial results on Wednesday, April 15. The results will be released at approximately 6:45 a.m. ET, followed by an investor presentation at 8:30 a.m. ET.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- We are seeing glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel that is the Covid-19 crisis. China, where the pandemic first struck, had its first day with no new deaths to report. Europe’s worst hit countries, Italy and Spain, are recording a slowing of their respective death tolls. And governments are now talking openly about lifting draconian lockdowns that have restricted movement for half of the world’s population, torpedoed economic activity and imposed a global recession. This is a big moment.The tunnel is a long one, though. The coronavirus outbreak hasn’t spread uniformly, and, in Europe, country-by-country lockdowns have been applied in haphazard ways. For now, only a handful of states are outlining plans to lift restrictions within days.The most confident public signals aren’t coming from countries with the most heavy-handed measures, such as Italy or Spain, or those taking a more lax stance, like Sweden (which is belatedly getting tougher). They’re coming from Austria and Denmark, which acted early relative to their coronavirus outbreaks and saw their infection rates come under control. Data compiled by Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government shows these two countries introduced lockdowns when they had fewer than 1,000 cases and almost no deaths. When France and Spain began theirs, their case count was closer to 10,000 and their death tolls in the hundreds.If there’s a lesson to heed from the likes of Austria and Denmark — which were themselves following in China, Italy and Israel’s footsteps — it’s twofold. First, as Bank of America’s Ethan Harris put it last week, the least expensive shutdown for one’s economy is a “quick, air-tight” one, rather than one that’s slow and indecisive. And second, ending such a shutdown should be done very, very carefully.It’s already clear that 9 million Austrians will not suddenly swarm the streets of Vienna or the mountains of Tyrol to toast and sing their liberation, Sound-of-Music style. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has laid out his plan for a “step-by-step” re-opening on April 14, which is as cautious as it sounds. Everyone will have to wear a mask on public transport, in supermarkets, and in the stores that are due to re-open. The resuscitation of the economy will happen in two-week phases, starting with small stores and parks, then bigger stores and malls, then restaurants and bars. Schools are going to remain closed for the time being. It’s a broadly similar story in Denmark.This speaks to the underlying fear that stalks life after lockdown: A potential flare-up in infections and deaths as the virus becomes free to mingle once again, overloading critical-care facilities. It would be a nightmare if a country opened the flood-gates only to shut them again a few days or weeks later. How long would Europeans’ support for being confined to their homes last if lockdowns ran through spring and summer, making partial unemployment potentially something more permanent? Enforcing a shutdown would be doubly hard the second time around. A phased recovery is calculated to avoid the possibility of that happening.Yet it also suggests that hopes for a sharp bounce-back in the economy — the longed-for “V-shaped” recovery — are looking distant. More movement, more spending and more activity are clearly good for private consumption in Austria, which according to Raiffeisen Bank International analyst Gunter Deuber accounts for just over 50% of GDP. But how much pent-up demand will be unleashed in a country of masked consumers, respecting social-distancing measures and grappling with the highest unemployment rate since World War II?Google location data for Austria points to a drop-off in shopping trips and recreation of around 87% from the pre-virus baseline, and 64% fewer trips to the grocery store and pharmacy. That’s not all going to be clawed back immediately. Research by RBC Capital Markets found that in China, where restrictions first began to be eased last month, there had been no return to “normalcy” on a countrywide basis.And if no man is an island, so it goes for Austria, a small land-locked European Union country deeply integrated into the bloc’s single market. Some 70% of Austria’s foreign trade is with other EU members. There won’t be much victory in leap-frogging one’s closest partners given the trade disruptions that will remain; Austria’s border closures and travel bans will probably be the last measures lifted. That suggests energy still needs to be expended in backing more cooperation and resource pooling to fend off the coronavirus at the European level.So while the overall direction is positive, it could be months before post-lockdown life looks anything like normality for Austria or its neighbors. A vaccine is likely a year away, and Europe hasn’t ramped up its testing capacity enough to start sending people back to work without heavy-handed safety measures. Until then, though, Austrians can at least start planning their next trip to the park — to model the latest mask fashions.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. is in talks with investors to take on as much as $1 billion in additional debt after announcing a $1 billion debt and equity deal Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.The travel platform company announced Monday that it was raising $1 billion in debt and equity from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. The company has held discussions about raising $500 million to $1 billion more by either issuing first-lien debt, which would give its holders priority in case of a default, or a convertible note or selling an equity stake, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information wasn’t public.The additional funds would give Airbnb an extra financial cushion as prospects dim for an initial public offering this year. The money could help Airbnb weather the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic without going public, and could also allow the company to make acquisitions, a strategy it has been weighing, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg last month.Airbnb hasn’t disclosed the terms of its deal with Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners. People familiar with the matter have said that the transaction was comprised of second lien debt, along with warrants for about 1% of the company’s equity. The warrants give Airbnb an $18 billion valuation, one of the people said. That compares with a value earlier of $31 billion.Monday’s deal carried an 11% to 12% interest rate, the people said. The investment doesn’t entitle the investors to a seat on Airbnb’s board of directors, one of the people said.Raising second lien debt, means that Airbnb has room to take on more senior debt, which it is considering. The company could also raise a convertible note or equity instead, the people said.As the home-sharing company raises debt, it is canceling a $1 billion credit facility with several banks that is administered by Bank of America Corp. Those banks include Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., both of which advised on the Silver Lake-Sixth Street transaction, one of the people said. A representative for Bank of America declined to comment.The deal announced Monday was meant to help the home-sharing company make it through the pandemic that is devastating the global travel industry, Airbnb said in a statement.“The new resources will support Airbnb’s ongoing work to invest over the long term in its community of hosts who share their homes and experiences, as well as the work to serve all stakeholders in the Airbnb community,” the company said.(Updates with details about fundraising talks starting in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Bank of America Corporation today announced the Board of Directors has authorized regular cash dividends on the outstanding shares or depositary shares of the following series of preferred stock:
(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus pandemic has pressured nearly every corner of the global economy, but analysts continue to see sunny days ahead for cloud computing and the ecosystem that surrounds the technology.The sub-sector is seen as a rare bright spot in the current environment, particularly as the outbreak pushes more people to work remotely, contributing to a long-term trend of rising demand. The boost is expected to be broad based, helping software companies, communication firms, and chipmakers that focus on data-center products, which are processors used in cloud computing.“The lasting impact of Covid-19 could actually be a net positive,” wrote Richard Baldry, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners. Cloud-based communication companies “should see increased customer activity, at least once operational bandwidth returns to a somewhat more normal level for prospects.” He listed Five9, Medallia, eGain and LivePerson as names that could see stronger demand and which were trading at valuations he views as attractive.So far this year, the Global X Cloud Computing ETF -- an exchange-traded fund that tracks an index of companies involved in the space -- is down 6.4%. A different ETF, the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF, is down 9.2%. Both have outperformed the S&P 500’s drop of more than 15% over the same period.According to Wedbush, the pandemic has thrown “sales cycles, procurement/IT departments, and budgets into a tornado-like state of chaos,” resulting in unprecedented risks to IT spending. Even in this environment, analyst Daniel Ives wrote, “cloud remains a theme”; he expects $1 trillion to be spent on cloud computing over the coming decade.Ives named Microsoft as “the Rock of Gibraltar cloud stock to own,” but said the trend would also support the cloud-computing businesses of both Amazon and Alphabet.Earlier this week, Bank of America referred to cloud-focused chipmakers as a “shining house in [a] tough neighborhood,” referring to the headwinds facing other areas of the industry. Analyst Vivek Arya expects cloud capex to rise 13% in 2020. While this is down from a prior view of 16% growth -- the lower estimate reflects “the most current Covid-19 headwinds” -- it represents a “robust acceleration” from 2019, when capex grew just 3.5%.The firm listed Broadcom, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, Marvell Technology and Intel among the chipmakers most exposed to this trend. Nvidia has been one of the rare semiconductor gainers this year, and analysts have pointed to its data-center business as a tailwind.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
During his daily White House appearances, President Trump has not shied away from calling out companies by name. Here’s a running tally of the companies he’s focused most of his attention on.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1,232.49 points, or 5.85%, to 22,285.02, the S&P 500 gained 139.16 points, or 5.59%, to 2,627.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 415.36 points, or 5.63%, to 7,788.44. All 30 Dow components were in positive territory, led by a gain of 17.54% in Boeing shares, while the defensive utilities, up 7.59%, was the best performing of the 11 major S&P sectors. The S&P 500 banking index jumped 6.78% and was poised for its best day in more than a week.
The Federal Reserve will backstop the Small Business Administration’s emergency loan program, as lenders continue to work through the Paycheck Protection Program.
'I am hoping that civility, humanity, empathy and the goal of improving America will break through. We have the resources to emerge from this crisis as a stronger country,' writes Jamie Dimon in his annual letter.
(Bloomberg) -- Half a million of Bank of America Corp.’s 66 million customers have deferred loan payments because of financial fallout from the coronavirus.“The idea is to defer the payment, defer the impact,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in an interview Friday on CNBC. “We’re working with our customers who need help, who are losing their jobs. We have to preserve their ability to have cash flow.”The lender is also dealing with a deluge of requests for funds from the government’s small-business relief program. By Friday evening, it had received 85,000 applications requesting $22 billion.The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender earlier said it was prioritizing 1 million of its existing small-business borrowers because they had already been vetted and could receive funds most quickly, Moynihan said.That approach sparked criticism, including from Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, who tweeted that the policy isn’t from the government but rather from Bank of America. “They should drop it,” he said.The bank later said it would broaden its lending soon.“In this first initial launch, we have focused on our full-relationship clients” comprised of current borrowers, Dean Athanasia, president of the bank’s consumer and small-business division, said in a memo to staff. “We are also highly focused on responding to the needs of our core small-business customers who do not currently have any borrowing relationship. We will expand our process soon and, in the meantime, are addressing these through an escalation process.”President Donald Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Friday that a “great job” is being done by Bank of America and many community banks. “Small businesses appreciate your work!”Some banks, including Wells Fargo & Co., said they weren’t ready as lenders across the country grappled with a lack of detailed guidelines from the government. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started taking applications Friday afternoon after warning clients Thursday night it was still awaiting guidance and may not be ready the following day.Separately, Moynihan said in the CNBC interview that only 5% of Bank of America’s trading employees are working from the company’s offices.(Updates with loan application volume in third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Amid reports of problems with early rollout of the ‘Paycheck Protection Program,’ one of the key negotiators of the deal acknowledged “there will be some glitches.”
Banks were supposed to start processing loan applications on Thursday at midnight from small businesses under the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, but they weren't prepared for the onslaught.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. employment plummeted last month by a degree not seen since the last recession, in just an early glimpse of the devastation from the coronavirus pandemic.Payrolls fell 701,000 from the prior month -- compared with the median forecast of economists for a 100,000 decline -- according to Labor Department data Friday that mainly covered the early part of March, before government-mandated shutdowns forced firms to lay off millions more workers. This was the first decline in monthly payrolls since 2010.The jobless rate jumped to 4.4% -- the highest since 2017 -- from a half-century low of 3.5%, and is expected to surge in the coming months. Bloomberg Economics sees the rate rising to 15% soon, while Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said it may hit 30% this quarter.Click here for a transcript of Bloomberg’s TOPLive blog on the jobs report.The numbers are already outdated. Because the reference period for the jobs report is based on the 12th of the month, it didn’t capture the vast majority of the nearly 10 million people who have filed for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks alone.Such projections are a dramatic shift from just a month ago, when job gains topped 200,000 and employers were having so much difficulty finding qualified workers that they were hiring previously marginalized populations such as people with criminal records. President Donald Trump has frequently touted strong employment figures as he runs for re-election this year.But in the last few weeks, the disease known as Covid-19 has rapidly spread across the U.S., killing thousands and leading an increasing number of states to encourage or order their citizens to stay home.“The abruptness with which the economy has taken this step down is so striking,” FS Investments Inc. Chief U.S. Economist Lara Rhame said on Bloomberg Television. “It’s like a hurricane but hitting the entire country at the exact same time.”What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“Workers who were paid for just a few hours during the early part of the month were still counted as a nonfarm payroll, so the March data are only an early snapshot illustrating the start of unprecedented job losses -- in terms of both speed and magnitude -- in the economy. April job losses will be at least 30 times larger, in the vicinity of 20 million. Unemployment will soar toward 15% next month.”\-- Carl Riccadonna, Yelena Shulyatyeva and Andrew HusbyClick here for the full note.Treasury yields and U.S. stocks were lower Friday following the report. The Bloomberg dollar index held gains.Congress and the Trump administration are trying to help individuals and small businesses rocked by the economic shutdown, with a loan program for small firms getting off the the ground Friday and direct checks en route to many households in coming weeks.But the program that provides up to $350 billion in aid to small businesses, aimed at preventing further layoffs, has been mired with website glitches and a lack of communication with lenders. Additionally, some of the $1,200 checks meant to soften the economic toll on Americans may not arrive until September.Employment in leisure and hospitality was hit particularly hard, falling by 459,000 in March, nearly wiping out two years of job gains. The losses were mainly in food services and drinking places. Private payrolls overall dropped by 713,000.Average hourly earnings rose 0.4% from the prior month and were up 3.1% from a year earlier, both above estimates -- and potentially due to the removal of low-wage workers from the ranks of the employed.The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the unemployment rate would have been almost 1 percentage point higher if workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to “other reasons,” were classified as unemployed on temporary layoff. The BLS said that this discrepancy might result from respondents misunderstanding a survey question.“The jobs report was extremely weak, sending an ominous signal of what is to come,” said Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America Corp. “Not only were the numbers terrible but the BLS noted that they could have been worse.”In addition, the figures may be less reliable than usual because survey response rates were significantly below typical levels from both households and businesses.The Labor Department said in a special note that “It is important to keep in mind that the March survey reference periods for both surveys predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures in the second half of the month.”A separate report Friday from the Institute for Supply Management showed measures of business activity and employment at U.S. services firms contracted in March, an abrupt reversal from solid growth the previous month.Other DetailsThe average work week fell to 34.2 hours, the lowest since 2011, in a sign companies began pulling back before laying off workers. Temporary workers fell by 49,500, the largest decline since 2009; retail jobs fell by 46,200.The initial wave of layoffs hit Hispanic and Asian Americans harder, with their unemployment rates each jumping 1.6 percentage points to 6% and 4.1%, respectively. The white jobless rate rose 0.9 point to 4%, and it was up 0.9 point to 6.7% for black Americans.Government jobs rose by 12,000, with a 17,000 rise in temporary jobs tied to the decennial census count.The number of people classified as unemployed on temporary layoff totaled 1.85 million, up from 801,000 in February, for the biggest one-month increase in records going back to the 1960s.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If the past two days of trading in U.S. Treasuries are any guide, yield-curve control might have already reached the world’s biggest bond market.On Thursday, Labor Department data showed a record 6.65 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended March 28, blowing past estimates for 3.76 million. When added to the previous week’s tally, it showed almost 10 million Americans were out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic. And yet, 10-year Treasuries took those figures in stride. The borrowing benchmark fluctuated by less than 7 basis points, the tightest range since Feb. 19, the same day the S&P 500 Index hit a record high. It closed 1 basis point higher than where it started the day, at 0.597%.On Friday, Labor Department data showed U.S. payrolls fell 701,000 in March compared with February, the first decline since 2010 and far exceeding the median forecast for a 100,000 drop. The jobless rate rose to 4.4%, the highest since 2017, and strategists are already expecting the April report to show nothing short of a crash, with 20 million jobs lost and an unemployment rate of 15%. Again, 10-year Treasuries barely budged at about 0.59%.From an economic state-of-play perspective, Friday’s jobs report was always going to be stale. It only captured payrolls from the week that included March 12 — when many people were still reporting to work as usual. Bond traders are paid to look ahead, and no employment figures right now will help in that effort. They have the same question as the rest of America: “Is the worst over yet?”Until they get an answer, the best way forward seems to be counting on the Federal Reserve to take whatever actions are necessary to keep the $17 trillion Treasuries market in order. Effectively, bond traders seem to be entering a period of unofficial “yield-curve control” as long as the world’s largest economy deliberately grinds to a standstill.The increase in the Fed’s balance sheet since the job report’s reference date has been nothing short of extraordinary. The central bank gobbled up $1.5 trillion of assets in the past three weeks, far and away the steepest climb on record. It has started to scale back only slightly, while also introducing a temporary repurchase agreement facility that lets other central banks swap Treasuries for dollars. That should stem forced sales by so-called foreign official holders.It seems reasonable to expect the Fed to continue outright purchases for the foreseeable future, given that the Treasury will ramp up issuance to cover the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package. Taking cues from the central bank is at least a more reliable strategy than trying to read between the lines of horrid jobs data. Wage growth, once the most important figure in the monthly release, is now meaningless. Average hourly earnings actually beat expectations in March by rising 3.1%, likely because a large group of lower-paid workers lost their jobs.I have called yield-curve control, an idea championed last year by Fed Governor Lael Brainard, a bond trader’s nightmare. That’s probably still true, though the wild price swings of March were arguably even more frightening. To be clear, the central bank has not officially set any sort of target. But it has provided clear forward guidance: the Fed will buy “in the amounts needed to support the smooth functioning of markets for Treasury securities and agency MBS.”With so much still unknown about how long it will take the U.S. to slow the pace of the coronavirus outbreak and what the ultimate economic damage will look like, it makes sense that traders would find comfort in a range. While Bank of America Corp. technical strategists said this week that 10-year yields could hit zero in the next three months, somewhere around the current 0.6% feels about right, given what’s known about the labor market and nationwide shutdowns so far, as well as what’s contained in the relief package.Treasuries have little data to trade on except glimmers of hope that the global economy will get to the other side of this crisis sooner rather than later. That’s not a backdrop for decisive trades. It’s not quite yield-curve control, but it’s close.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. is preparing for a flood of applications from U.S. small businesses seeking government relief to weather the coronavirus outbreak.“We know for these businesses speed is of the essence,” the bank said in a statement. “We can move fastest with our nearly 1 million small-business borrowing clients. That is our near-term priority. As the administration has made clear, going to your current lending bank is the fastest route.”The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company had staff working overnight Thursday to prepare for expected high volumes of applications Friday. The initiative is part of the $2.2 trillion government stimulus package and is aimed at helping small businesses survive the devastating impact of the pandemic.“We’re setting up shop and activating thousands of people to be able to take the applications,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television. The bank has been heavily involved in talks with the White House and Treasury on the program, he said.On Thursday, the Small Business Administration bumped up to 1% the interest rate lenders may charge small businesses after banks complained that the previous approved rate of 0.5% was below even their own cost of funds.U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza released additional guidelines for the program just a few hours before it’s expected to become widely available Friday.“This is a very important program,” Mnuchin said in a news conference Thursday. “Please bring your workers back to work if you’ve let them go.”(Updates with Mnuchin’s comment in last paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Market condition: severe. That’s Bank of America Corp.’s new assessment of a corner of the U.S. mortgage industry facing a deluge of applications from homeowners looking to shore up their finances.The coronavirus pandemic, which is prompting nervous Americans to tap into record amounts of home equity as a buffer against an economy tipping into recession, has also led Bank of America to aggressively tighten its standards for home equity lines of credit, or Helocs. Wells Fargo & Co. has taken similar actions, and JPMorgan & Co. may change its policies too.Homeowners looking for ways to build up a cash cushion while capitalizing on interest-rate cuts by the Federal Reserve can do so through Helocs -- open-ended credit lines that use properties as collateral -- or through cash-out refinancings. But banks are getting choosier about underwriting Helocs, with the aim of ensuring that customers will actually use the loans rather than hoarding the money for a rainy day.Applications for home equity loans and lines of credit jumped as much as 33% from a year earlier in recent weeks, before stay-at-home orders cut application volumes, according to data from Informa Financial Intelligence. At Nations Lending Corp., which originated some $2 billion of mortgages last year, applications for cash-out refinancings have doubled, a spokesman said.The surge in applications comes as economists warn that the U.S. economy will contract as a result of government-imposed shutdowns to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus, putting millions of people out of work and erasing trillions of dollars of wealth.‘Fear Is Building’“If you’re a homeowner, you’ve always been told that one of the easiest ways to access cash in a pinch is to tap the equity in your home,” Nations Lending Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Sopko said in an email. “In a normal environment, this is absolutely true. But this is no normal environment. And so fear is building.”But at big banks, the worsening economy is leading them to restrict who they’ll lend money to, one illustration of how banks are working to bolster their balance sheets ahead of the coming downturn.Bank of America significantly tightened its standards for loans to homeowners wanting to borrow against their equity, ratcheting up an internal gauge that measures market conditions from the company’s lowest level to its highest, “severe,” according to records reviewed by Bloomberg. The minimal credit score it’ll accept from borrowers is now 720, up from 660.JPMorgan, meanwhile, may boost its minimum credit score for new Helocs to 720 as well, up from 680, and is also considering other changes, such as limiting approvals to customers who already have a mortgage or checking account with the bank, said a person with knowledge of the matter. The bank’s goal is to slash application volume by as much as 75%.Stingier ValuationsWells Fargo cut the maximum amount homeowners can borrow and reduced how much the bank will lend relative to a property’s value, according to a person with knowledge of the changes. The bank is applying stingier valuations to homes due to a lack of inspections and appraisals resulting from the pandemic.Representatives for Bank of America and JPMorgan declined to comment. A Wells Fargo spokesperson said the bank is “focused on continuing to support our customers and meet their needs, while appropriately managing risks in the current environment.”The banks’ move to limit loan approvals for homeowners stands in contrast to their lending to businesses, which increased almost 13% last quarter, according to figures from the Bank Policy Institute, a trade association representing large financial firms.Piggy BanksHelocs function like credit cards, with lenders setting a maximum amount homeowners can borrow at any one time. Their use exploded in the years leading up to the housing crash more than a decade ago, as surging property values prompted homeowners to use their dwellings as piggy banks. Heloc borrowing dropped off after the housing bubble burst and scarred homeowners sought to reduce their debt.The property recovery since then has inflated homeowners’ net worth, leading to a record $6.2 trillion of housing equity that U.S. homeowners could borrow against as of December, the highest ever year-end total, according to analytics firm Black Knight Inc.The average homeowner has about $119,000 in equity to use as collateral, Black Knight figures show. For residences with a mortgage, homeowners collectively owe the equivalent of 52% of their homes’ value, making their properties prime targets for taking out loans against.“The uncertainty around the depth and length of the economic contraction caused by the coronavirus is prompting people to act,” Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at online marketplace LendingTree Inc., said in an email. “Having a line of credit available can be a buffer against loss of income or employment, an insurance of sorts.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil tanks at one of the world’s largest storage hubs on Africa’s southern tip are filling up fast, said people familiar with the matter, depriving many traders of vital capacity just as the market is hit by a historic flood of crude.The 45 million-barrel Saldanha Bay oil storage terminal, the largest in the southern hemisphere, has been a vital outlet for surplus crude in past slumps, such as the great recession of 2008 to 2009. This time around, as the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and Saudi Arabia’s price war with Russia creates a record-breaking oversupply, its role may be more limited.The facility is close to full, said four people with knowledge of the site’s operations. Several other people said all of the capacity there had been leased to trading houses, but space remained in some of their tanks and they expected additional crude deliveries.A spokesman for South Africa’s Central Energy Fund, which manages the country’s energy assets, declined to comment. Saudi Arabia is only a couple of days into a record supply surge above 12 million barrels a day, but the oil market has already been contending with a vast surplus for weeks. International lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus are emptying roads, shutting businesses and factories, and keeping billions of people at home.Oil has slumped 60% this year as about a quarter of global demand was wiped out. The market structure is deep into contango -- when future prices are higher than near-term contracts -- making it profitable to store the commodity for any trader with access to tanks.Multiple analysts have predicted that, based on current supply, demand and inventory levels, the world is just weeks from running out of places to store the glut.Saldanha’s six tanks -- completed in the 1980s during the apartheid era to ensure oil supplies for the then politically isolated country -- are generally leased out to trading companies. A joint venture of Hamburg-based Oiltanking GmbH and local company MOGS Oil & Gas Services, has been building over 13 million barrels of additional storage with smaller tanks that allow more flexible blending options.(Updates with differing views on status of tanks in third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.