Carney Urges U.S. to Step Up in Climate Battle: Davos Update

  • In World
  • 2020-01-22 09:35:10Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- The rich and powerful are in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum's 50th annual meeting, and the gathering is being closely watched to see how the global elite aims to tackle problems they helped create, above all climate change.

Day two kicks off with Donald Trump taking breakfast with American business executives, including Apple Inc.'s Tim Cook. The U.S. leader, whose impeachment trial began on Tuesday, also holds talks with the presidents of Kurdistan and Iraq.

Later, we'll have speeches from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, as well as a panel with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid.

To get all the highlights delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Davos Diary newsletter. Here's the latest (time-stamps are local time in Davos):

Saudi Aramco's International Listing Isn't Coming Soon (10:21 a.m.)

The international listing of Saudi Aramco is "still on the cards" but likely won't happen soon, Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan told Bloomberg TV.

In the oil giant's IPO, Aramco opted for a local listing after global investors balked at its hopes of valuing the company at $2 trillion. Instead, Aramco relied heavily on local investors and funds from neighboring Gulf Arab monarchies.

Al-Jadaan said he's "very confident" that the Saudi economy is picking up. After issuing a $5 billion eurobond, he said the country could borrow another $4 billion more this year and is considering debt in euros, riyals as well as sukuk.

AstraZeneca Sees Climate Change Bigger Risk Than China Virus (9:35 a.m.)

While the spread of the coronavirus is "a threat that must be taken seriously," it appears to be relatively contained, AstraZeneca Plc Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

"I personally think there's a much bigger threat that is facing the world today, and it's global warming and climate change," said Soriot. "We all need to do something about it."

Thiam Says European Bank Mergers 'Desirable' (9:25 a.m.)

Consolidation among top European banks should be pursued, but work is still needed to convince taxpayers that larger lenders won't be a threat to the financial system, according to Credit Suisse Group AG Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam.

"I think it's desirable," Thiam told Bloomberg TV when asked if European banking mergers should take place. "It will happen, but it will take some time. We still have a job to do to convince the public that larger banks can be safe and not endanger the whole economy."

Thiam said he's "moderately optimistic" about the euro-region economy and "still very positive" about the global economy. "It's early days, but I think people are positive about 2020 and so are we. The U.S.-China agreement is very positive for markets," he added.

Carney Bemoans Lack of U.S. Climate Engagement (9:22 a.m.)

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned of mounting risks to the financial sector and the economy from climate change and urged the U.S. to play bigger role.

"Something which was largely on the periphery of finance has come into the mainstream," Carney said at the Bloomberg Climate Forum. "Transition risk has become more important."

Asked if the world could contain global warming without the U.S., the governor said: "It's much more difficult."

Messina Sees Future European Banking Champions (9:10 a.m.)

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA Chief Executive Officer Carlo Messina says Europe needs to create banks on the scale of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in order to compete with the U.S. and China in geopolitics. That means common rules that could facilitate mergers across the bloc.

"If you look at Europe, U.S.A and China, you need absolutely to create some champions with scale that can compete with U.S.A.," said Messina in a Bloomberg TV interview. "In the medium term in Europe, we need to have consolidation, but at the same time, we need to have rules of the game that could be the same in all the European countries. That is the problem of Europe."

While these issues will unlikely be resolved this year, he said he expects it to happen in the future. The banking sector in Italy is under control, and Intesa's non-performing loans are close to European levels, he added.

Staley Sees 'Extraordinary' Tech Valuations (8:45 a.m.)

Asset valuations are currently "quite high," particularly in the tech sector, and vigilance is needed in case of a correction, according to Jes Staley, chief executive officer of Barclays Plc.

Asked in a Bloomberg TV interview what the biggest risk is to the economic outlook, Staley said: "Having been in this industry for some 40 years now, it generally starts with credit somewhere. People may get overextended and if there's a shock to interest rates that could be quite a correction."

Staley said there are "extraordinary valuations in some tech sectors, particularly the large tech players in the U.S."

"When you have zero to negative interest rates almost by definition you're going to have asset bubbles," he added. "You want to ride that wave while it's happening but keep your eyes wide open in case there's a correction."

After a tumultuous 12 months, Barclays is sticking to a strategy that keeps Staley in charge of its closely scrutinized investment bank, he added.

ABB Chairman Sees Chance for Smaller Deals (8:09 a.m.)

ABB Ltd. sees potential for smaller divestments and acquisitions ahead as it refines its portfolio of businesses, Chairman Peter Voser said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

The Swiss engineering company has identified units with 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in revenue that it plans to fix or sell. As that program continues, ABB is also expanding its reach, such as its purchase of a stake in a Chinese electric-car charging company last year. But bigger deals aren't planned, Voser said.

"There is no talk about bigger portfolio transactions at this stage," he said, adding that the focus of the new CEO will be on improving ABB's operational performance and executing on the board's strategic plan.

Fake News Is Biggest Risk: Malaysia's Leiking (7:28 a.m.)

Malaysian Trade Minister Darell Leiking said recent indicators such as purchasing managers' indexes suggest the economic outlook is positive.

"Continuously, we see encouraging PMI results all over the world, Malaysia as well," Leiking said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "We hope that some positiveness will continue throughout this year. The biggest risk for the Malaysian economy is a lot of fake news about things."

Malaysia is unlikely to suffer any loss in its palm oil business from China, despite Beijing pledging to boost soybean purchases from the U.S. amid the trade war, Leiking added.

UBS Focused on Gaining U.S. Market Share (7:22 a.m.)

UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber said the Swiss bank wants to focus on its wealthy clients and expand particularly in the U.S.

"We now want to focus on efficiency in wealth management," Weber said in a Bloomberg TV interview. "We want to maintain our No. 1 one position globally, and we want to build the market where we're not among the top four and that is in the U.S. And really build that part."

Negative interest rates in Europe are more a distortion than a useful tool, Weber added.

Zimbabwe Dealing With Inflation: Ncube (6:50 a.m.)

Zimbabwe is on track in dealing with inflation, even with consumer prices increasing more than 500% on an annual basis, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

Annual inflation remains high, "but that's expected, that happens when you liberalize a currency," Ncube told Bloomberg TV. "We believe are on our way to deal with inflation. It will take time, but we are headed there," Ncube said.

Wednesday Highlights

9:15 a.m. | U.S. President Trump breakfast with U.S. CEOs, business leaders10:30 a.m. | Finance Panel with U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, UBS's Weber, IMF's Kristalina Georgieva11:00 a.m. | Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez special address11:30 a.m. | European Commission President von der Leyen special address2:15 p.m. | Hong Kong Chief Executive Lam addresses WEF6 p.m. | Iraqi President Barham Salih special addressBe on the lookout for Bloomberg Television's interviews withBarclays CEO Jes StaleyCredit Suisse CEO Tidjane ThiamMorgan Stanley CEO James GormanFrench Finance Minister Bruno Le MaireSaudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-JadaanU.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine ChaoChina Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai

Tuesday Catch Up

Trump's victory lap | Trump boasted about his handling of the U.S. economy in a speech to business and political leaders in Davos, hours before his impeachment trial started in Washington.Opening doors | Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng said his country's trade deal with the U.S. won't hurt rival exporting nations as complaints mount from governments that were left out of the agreement.Vowing to stay | Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Lam told Bloomberg she has no plans to step aside to help resolve protests that have racked the city: "I will do my utmost to stay in this position to help arrest the current situation."Austerity bashing | The co-leader of Germany's Greens sided with the U.S. in demanding more spending from Berlin, saying that Chancellor Angela Merkel should drop her balanced-budget "fetishism."

--With assistance from Haslinda Amin and Francine Lacqua.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Reiter in Berlin at;Iain Rogers in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at

For more articles like this, please visit us at

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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