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Donald Trump Suspends Immigration into US, WTI Oil Trades Below $0 For First Time

Professor of Financial Economics and Part-time Value Investor, Transfin.
Apr 21, 2020 1:25 PM 5 min read

US WTI crude trades below $0 for the first time ever. Global markets, stocks and Brent crude climb down. Tata Sons planing to raise $1bn for European operations. Vijay Mallya loses appeal against extradition to India. Donald Trump to temporarily suspend immigration into US. Hackers sell data of 267m Facebook users for merely $547.




US WTI crude trades below $0 for the first time ever. Global markets, stocks and Brent crude climb down.

All Fall Down

Oil prices fell sharply in the past 12 or so hours. A Futures contract for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, the main US oil benchmark, fell more than $50 a barrel to end the day at $30 below zero, meaning WTI crude oil prices went negative for the first time since trading began.


While the sharp decline in the price can largely be explained by the slump in the WTI May Futures contract (set to expire on April 21st), the fall of over 300% nonetheless reflects the fastest and furthest fall in oil prices since records began in 1946.


The oil crash hit global markets and stocks. Brent crude also climbed downwards to the low $20s. [Reuters]


Red Alert

An argument could be made that part of the reason for WTI's free fall is the United States Oil Fund (USO). Exchange-Traded Products (ETFs) like USO are not created to take physical delivery of the oil contracts they hold, so in a long squeeze, the fund’s managers have to dump oil. Here's more on that. [Forbes]


Cut the Clutter

What do negative oil prices mean? Why did US oil fall below zero? And how does OPEC+ feature in all this? Head to this article to have all your questions answered. [TRANSFIN.]



Tata Sons planing to raise $1bn for European operations.

Revolver Lines

Tata Sons is planning to raise nearly $1bn for its European operations and is in talks with at least half a dozen banks including Citi, ANZ, HSBC, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Standard Chartered regarding the same. 


The conglomerate may raise the money through a revolving credit facility (RCF), often called "revolver lines". [ET Corporate Trends]


Vijay Mallya loses appeal against extradition to India.

The King of Not-So-Good Times

Kingfisher Airlines tycoon Vijay Mallya has lost his appeal at a UK High Court against a decision to extradite him to India to face allegations of a £1bn ($1.2bn) fraud. 


What Next

Mallya can now apply for permission to appeal to the UK Supreme Court. If he does apply, the UK home office would wait for the outcome of that appeal. If he doesn't, under the India-UK Extradition Treaty, it would then be expected to formally certify the court order for the extradition of Mallya to India within 28 days. [The Guardian]



Donald Trump to temporarily suspend immigration into US.

Two Together

US President Trump in a tweet has said that he will temporarily suspend immigration through an executive order to protect American jobs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic as states are quickly burning through cash for unemployment payments.


There were no other details on the timing or scope of the proposed executive order and no official policy statement from the White House. [The Guardian]


Companies move jobs away from India as coronavirus shakes up back offices.

An Upside Down World

Coronavirus is permanently shaking up the global outsourcing industry as lockdowns across the globe are forcing companies to “reshore” jobs.


With the extended lockdown in India, companies are finding it rather difficult to figure out the logistics of working from home.


Moreover, many workers in places like India neither have the best internet connectivity nor enough equipment like laptops. [AFP]



VC fund managers likely to seek lifecycle extension to withstand the pandemic.

Needle in the Haysack

A number of venture capital (VC) fund managers are likely to ask investors to extend the lifecycle of their funds in an attempt to tide over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely hit the startup ecosystem in India and brought deal-making and fundraising to a grinding halt. 


A deep dive into the matter here. [ET Tech]


Self-drive vehicle rental companies posed to gain amidst social distancing norms.

Saviour and the Saved

Self-drive car and bike rental firms such as Zoomcar, Drivezy and Revv are expected to turn out to be the only bright spots for the Indian automotive sector this year as consumers prefer personal vehicles to public transport or shared mobility, in the wake of increased social distancing measures to curb the virus outbreak.


These vehicle subscription firms could also emerge as the only large buyers of new vehicles, including unsold inventories of BS4 and BS6 vehicles lying with dealers. [ET Tech]



Hackers sell data of 267m Facebook users for merely $547.

How Much For Your Personal Data?

According to cyber risk assessment platform Cyble, hacking groups have sold personal information of over 267m Facebook users for merely $547 in March.


As per the report, the data included email addresses, names, Facebook IDs, dates of birth and phone numbers. No passwords were available. [Forbes]


Apple extends App Store, Music, iCloud, and other services to a dozen more markets.

More For Entertainment

Tech giant Apple today announced it is launching its services App Store, Apple Podcasts, iCloud, and Apple Music to dozens of additional markets in Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Middle East among others in what is one of its biggest geographical expansions till date. 


The services are now available in 20 additional nations, whereas the iPhone-maker’s music streaming service, Apple Music, was launched in an additional 52 countries. [TechCrunch]


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