Business News

Puerto Rico: Not a Good Bet

Puerto Rican government debt prices slid yesterday as investors sold off positions after the US commonwealth failed to make a requisite payment on one its bonds this weekend, setting off what is likely to be a long restructuring process for the territory's $72bn debt load (2035 General Obligation bonds are now trading at $.70 on the dollar).  Puerto Rico's payment this weekend totaled a paltry $628,000 - toward a $58m obligation! (FT)

The sharp rise in the US dollar may slice more than $100bn off corporate revenues at some of America's largest multinationals this year, a sum larger than the sales of Nike, McDonald's, and Goldman Sachs combined.  Companies within the S&P 500 earned roughly 48% of their revenues abroad in 2014.  Diverging monetary policies have pushed the dollar 19% above year-ago levels, including a 22% gain against the euro. (FT)

Auto makers are prospering: industry sales rose 5.3% to 1.51 million vehicles in July, and are on pace to exceed 17m for the first time since 2001.  With the national average for fuel prices at $2.65 a gallon, consumers are snapping up trucks and SUV's.  Auto makers have already begun lobbying to relax fuel economy restrictions, arguing their capital investments in improving fuel economy have been made in vain. (WSJ)

Worldwide acquisition-related debt issuance has reached $290bn so far this year, which is the highest year-to-date total on record and triple the amount seen at this time last year.  With interest rates low in the US - at least for the time being - and the European Central Bank's launch of quantitative easing, credit is cheap. At the same time, for many companies, organic growth is hard to come by, prompting companies to look at acquisitions for growth. (Dealogic)

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