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  • Pierre Fournier

Prof. Fournier Press Review: September 27 – October 1

Agenda: Carnival, Lululemon, Booster vaccines/USA, UK and gasoline shortages, Blackstone, Evergrande, Market Review.

Gradual resumption of activities for Carnival. Following a long interruption of its activities due to the pandemic, the American cruise giant Carnival is gradually starting to welcome passengers onto its ships. According to Cruise Fever, by the end of October, the company expects half of its boats to return to service and by the end of 2021, 65% of the fleet is expected to be back in service. Holland America Line and Seabourn are expected to return to full capacity in spring 2022.

Partnership between Lululemon and Canadian Olympians. According to CTV News, Vancouver clothing brand Lululemon will become Team Canada's new official dresser. For several years, it has been Hudson’s Bay Company’s role to dress Canadian athletes, however, this torch has been delegated to the Canadian multinational athletic apparel retailer. This partnership with the Lululemon company will be valid for the Olympic as well as the Paralympic Games starting from the year 2022 to 2028. Canadian athletes will wear Lululemon's creations for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as for the awarding of medals. Lululemon was founded in 1988 in Vancouver and offers yoga-inspired sportswear.

Booster vaccines in the United States are worth billions in profits. As the United States moves towards the distribution of booster doses to tackle COVID-19, billions of dollars in profits are at stake for vaccine makers. The US government has approved booster shots of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine for all Americans 65 years of age and older, and in the coming months, booster doses are expected to be offered to a wider range of the population. Most of the vaccines that have been injected in the United States are from producers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, while Johnson & Johnson comes third place. Read more from CNN.

Lack of UK truck drivers and gasoline shortages. In the past few days, the oil industry has experienced a change in consumer behaviour as car drivers are rushing to buy vehicle parts and are encountering a shortage in gasoline at several service stations in the UK. According to CTV, the British government is considering resorting to the military to temporarily fill the shortage of truck drivers. Long queues have multiplied in gas stations and particularly in large cities, especially the capital London.

Image: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. All rights reserved.

Blackstone sells The Cosmopolitan located in Las Vegas. According to ABC News, the American investment fund Blackstone has announced the sale of its casino and hotel The Cosmopolitan, located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The transaction was made for an amount of $5.65 billion USD. Blackstone bought the complex from German bank Deutsche Bank in 2014 for $1.73 billion USD. Blackstone has mentioned spending more than 500 million US dollars to renovate the 3,000 rooms of the hotel and to build new ones.

Evergrande tries to honour his debts. According to Reuters, the ultra-indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande has announced that it wants to sell a stake of $ 1.5 billion USD in a regional bank in order to raise capital, which it is in desperate need of for bail out. Strangled by 260 billion euros in debt, the company has struggled for several weeks to honour its interest payments. Last week, Evergrande was due to pay US $ 83.5 million in US dollar bond interest. The group has not confirmed the payment of the sum.

Market Review. The New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange closed higher on Friday, excited by news of the possible arrival of an anti-COVID pill, which outweighed inflation. According to CNBC, the market has welcomed the announcement of the US laboratory Merck, whose clinical trials of its anti-COVID-19 pill, Molnupiravir, have shown that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 50%.


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