© Reuters. Ankuash Mitiap Kapuchak and Shapiom Noningo Sesen, indigenous leaders from Peru and Ricardo Perez of the environmental activist group Amazon Watch pose in front of Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, June 27, 2022. Picture taken June 27, 202
By Tom Sims and Marta Orosz
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Climate activists from Peru to Uganda are descending on Deutsche Bank (ETR:DBKGn)’s headquarters in Frankfurt this week to call on Germany’s largest lender to stop financing fossil fuel companies.
The demand comes as Deutsche Bank markets itself as a lender that firms can turn to as they transition to a greener future, a strategy it views as key to delivering its own turnaround and boosting profits.
On Monday, two leaders of indigenous Peruvians and several climate activists met with Deutsche Bank staff in the sustainability department to demand it stop working with Peruvian state oil company Petroperu, which they say is harming wildlife and waterways in the Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
On Tuesday, Fridays for Future activist Luisa Neubauer from Germany and Evelyn Acham from the Rise Up Movement in Uganda will also meet with Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing to insist he distance the bank from an oil pipeline plan in Africa.
Sewing has said sustainability is “at the core of our strategy”, but for many activists, the bank isn’t doing enough.
In a blow to its green credentials, Deutsche Bank’s fund unit DWS is facing allegations of so-called “greenwashing” for allegedly misleading investors over how sustainable its investments are. DWS has denied the allegations.
Deutsche Bank declined to discuss the meetings or its dealings with Petroperu, but said it understood and appreciated demands and views of activists.
“We are committed to reducing our own CO2 emissions and in particular those of our loan portfolio to net zero by 2050,” it said.
In Peru, the government wants to ramp up oil production in some of its dormant Amazonian fields as global crude prices soar on supply fears linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Deutsche is a lead bank for a $1.3 billion loan for Petroperu and played a key role in recent talks with creditors to extend a deadline for the energy firm to provide its 2021 audited financial statements, according to Petroperu.
Missing that deadline prompted credit agencies to downgrade Petroperu to junk status and sent its bonds tumbling.
The bank financing has helped Petroperu modernise a refinery to increase its ability to process more crude oil.
Shapiom Noningo Sesen, an indigenous leader of the Wampis Nation and part of Monday’s meetings, said he asked Deutsche to reevaluate its role, and that activists would keep the pressure on the bank until it drops Petroperu.
He said locals couldn’t eat fish anymore due to pollution and toxins were ending up in their blood.
“These companies are just playing with our lives, our culture and our history,” he said through an interpreter.
Petroperu didn’t respond to a request for comment. It said this month it was “committed to caring for the environment through responsible practices”.
Ricardo Perez, an official with Amazon Watch, said he would also visit other banks to pressure them to end dealings with Petroperu.
But for now his focus was on Deutsche, which Perez said “has invested in the biggest driver of new oil production in the Amazon for the next decade”.
Morgan Stanley: bear market rally to continue
One of Wall Street’s best-known bears, Michael Wilson, thinks the S&P 500 will rise another 7% before turning down, so the bear market rally will continue for now, writes Market Watch.
After the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite joined their strongest weekly gains since at least May last Friday, Wilson, who is chief strategist and head of U.S. equity markets at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), told clients that there could be another 5% to 7% before the downward trajectory of U.S. stocks resumes during the latest bear market recovery.
Wilson has held a bearish view of the stock market for about 2 years and correctly predicted a sell-off this year.
Wilson explained in a research note sent out to clients on Monday that a pullback in the 38-50% drop in the stock market this year “would not seem like something unnatural, not consistent with the previous bear market rally.”
While growth concerns have triggered a sell-off in commodities and lowered inflation expectations, the fact that the U.S. economy is already slowing and heading toward recession means that any market rally is likely to be short-lived, and U.S. stocks are likely to eventually fall.
Wilson mentioned in the note that the bear market is not over yet, although it may appear otherwise in the next few weeks as the market takes the rate cut as a sign that the Fed can still manage a “soft landing” and prevent a meaningful revision to earnings forecasts.
U.S. stocks rose last week as investors now hope the slowing economy and falling commodity prices may inspire the Fed to raise interest rates less sharply. Federal funds futures, a derivative used by investors to bet on the pace of the Fed’s monetary policy changes, estimate with a high probability that the Fed will be forced to start cutting interest rates again as soon as next summer.
They also consider the lower peak in the federal funds rate: it will peak around 3.5% at the end of 2022 instead of 3.75% just a couple of weeks ago. Wilson also pointed out the drop in Treasury yields: the 10-year Treasury bond yield went from 3.230% to a low of 3.07% on Friday before rebonding again on Monday.
Wilson expects the S&P 500 index to fall to around 3,400 points if the U.S. Federal Reserve manages to get a “soft landing” for the economy — which Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week would be “a very difficult thing to do.”
Wilson expects that if the U.S. economy plunges into recession, the S&P 500 index will fall to around 3,000 points. In any case, Wilson believes that U.S. stocks are still highly valued because the risk premium — that is, the measure of compensation that investors receive for the extra risk of owning stocks instead of bonds — remains about 300 basis points higher than the 10-year Treasury bond yield, which is considered a “risk-free rate.”
Easing chip shortages to help Volkswagen in H2 – CEO
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen logo is pictured at the 2022 New York International Auto Show, in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., April 13, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p) sees a strong second half of 2022 and expects progress in catching up with rival Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) as easing chip shortages start to offset supply chain bottlenecks and rising costs, the carmaker’s CEO said on Tuesday.
“We are earning more than ever,” Chief Executive Herbert Diess said at a works meeting, adding Volkswagen is ramping up electric vehicle volumes in its biggest markets in Germany and China thanks to easing semiconductor shortages.
This should allow the carmaker to narrow the Volkswagen-Tesla gap this year and meet its goal of becoming market leader by 2025 if it seizes the moment while the U.S. electric car maker burns cash on large investments, the CEO said.
“Elon (Musk) has to ramp up two highly complex factories in Austin and Gruenheide at the same time – as well as expand production in Shanghai. That’s going to take strength out of him,” Diess said.
Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani steps down as director of telecom arm
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, arrives to address the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai, India July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
BENGALURU (Reuters) – Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has stepped down as director of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the conglomerate’s telecom arm said on Tuesday.
Reliance Jio said https://refini.tv/3Nrs773 it has appointed Mukesh’s son and non-executive director Akash Ambani as the chairman of its board. Akash has been involved with the telecom unit since its launch in late 2016, where he started as a director.
India’s telecoms sector had been upended after the entry of Jio, which triggered a price war that forced some rivals out of the market and turned profits into losses.
Jio, which started out offering mobile teleservices, has been aggressively investing in services like internet broadband and forging ties with handset makers to launch low-cost smartphones and providing 5G services.
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