Good Morning, here’s all you need to know before you head out to work.
1. Ex Prime Minister Najib Razak found guilty of all seven corruption charges
Disgraced Malaysian PM Najib Razak, famous for his part in the 1MDB trial linked to Jho Low (yes, that one), has been found guilty of all 7 corruption charges in his first trial.
Let’s take a quick refresher. The 1MDB trial has been widely documented and is a billion dollar scandal that stemmed from a state fund.
Najib could now face decades in jail, but he is expected to be kept out until all appeals have been exhausted. He of course, denied all charges and claims he was misled by financial advisers.
2. LVMH H1 2020 earnings hit by the pandemic, big brands still profitable
Luxury powerhouse LVMH posted H1 results and revenue dropped 27%, but profit from recurring operations are down by 68%, with net profit down by 84%. These numbers are not great, but were anticipated considering the pandemic.
However, China is seeing a rebound in Q2 as shoppers gradually resume their splurges. What else? bigger brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior outperformed other brands in the group like Tag Heuer.
“Our big brands have proven quite resilient, often more than the smaller ones, in terms of top and bottom line,” said chief financial officer Jean Jacques Guiony to the Financial Times.
Analysts predict that luxury good sales will contract by 20-30% this year. Much of the recovery will depend on Chinese shoppers, who accounted for roughly 40% of sales globally last year but drove 80% of the growth, according to investment bank firm Jefferies.
3. Google to extend WFH for all employees until next summer
Google will keep its employees home until at least July 2021 as the pandemic continue to spread, making it the first company to publicly commit to an extension.
The move will affect nearly all of the roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet.
The extended timeline applies to employees in most of its major offices, including the HQ in Mountain View, Calif.
According to reports, In New York City, only 8% of the employees who work in downtown office buildings managed by office colossus CBRE Group have returned from sheltering in place from the pandemic.
However, financial-services firms, especially those in businesses that require sophisticated trading floors and other technology that can’t be replicated in most home offices, have a stronger incentive to return workers to offices. Tech companies are typically more agile in their day to day operations, which gives them a bit more flexibility in terms of physical workspaces.
4. Hong Kong’s new tech index rose 3.5% on second day
Hong Kong’s new Hang Seng tech index had a good second day as it rose by 3.51%. The top 5 firms listed are Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, Xiaomi & Sunny Optical.
Analysts are bullish. The index has a bit of everything, from ecommerce to insurance and fintech with the potential of drawing attention away from Nasdaq.