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This Week in Business: Airline SAS, Stocks, and More

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Airline SAS Employees Asked To Take Pay Cut

Airline SAS has asked unions to consider a 20% pay cut in order to mitigate damages from the coronavirus. In addition, they also want to negotiate the same work cut. Recently. with the coronavirus outbreak, the company’s management also agreed to take the cut, but still work full time. Airline SAS is co-owned by Sweden and Denmark.

Airlines around the world are reporting similar strategies. For example, rival Norwegian Air said it plans to lay off staff and cut 3,000 flights. Other airlines are also canceling flights and reducing staff as well. With Italy’s recent quarantine, passenger numbers fell while flight cancelations rose. Airline SAS specifically stopped flights to northern Italy, but flights to Rome are still in the air.

Stock Markets Make A Comeback After Large Losses

US stocks felt a much-appreciated afternoon boost on Tuesday following Monday’s drop, the largest since the 2008 financial crisis. The three main US indexes closed about 5% higher, while stocks in Europe stayed fairly stagnant. On Monday, stocks fell about 30% due to fears of an oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“Obviously there has been concern voiced in the market that this is not being contained and more needs to be done,” said William Foster, vice president and lead US analyst for Moody’s Investors Service. “Now we’re starting to see a response from the US federal government, the administration and Congress that. I think that’s going to be part of the solution to supporting the economy… and ultimately stabilizing the markets.”

Trump Pressed Fed For More Aggressive Rate Cuts

President Trump attacked the US Federal Reserve, calling it ‘pathetic’ and ‘slow-moving’ in regards to interest rates. “Our pathetic, slow moving Federal Reserve, headed by Jay Powell, who raised rates too fast and lowered too late, should get our Fed Rate down to the levels of our competitor nations,” Trump said on Twitter. “They now have as much as a two point advantage, with even bigger currency help.”

Italy To Suspend Mortage Payments

Italy announced that it will suspend mortgage payments in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Right now, Italy’s government is taking steps to soften the economic repercussions of the virus. “Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households,” Laura Castelli, Italy’s deputy economy minister, confirmed.

Heineken To Invest $183M Into Brazil Expansion

Heineken announced plans to invest 865 million reais ($183.14M) into its Ponta Grossa plant in Brazil. As one of the world’s largest beer makers, Heineken plans to focus on its namesake brand as well as its Amstel brand. “We are bringing forward by one year all the investments of our strategic plan. Brazil is a key market for us,” Heineken Brazil Chief Executive Officer Mauricio Giamellaro said. “Basically, we are building a new brewery.”

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