Scare tactics lift prices for smokers

    • Scare tactics lift prices for smokers

    • The ECB’s continued support for Athens is crucial given that Greek banks are almost entirely dependent on the European central bank for funding. Analysts had feared that the ECB’s seemingly tough Greek stance could lead to the collapse of the Greek banking system, whose borrowings from the ECB topped €100bn ($145bn) last month.

    • Given that consumption will likely continue to       decline in the mid-single digit range, pricing is necessary to drive top-line growth,” said Bonnie Herzog, analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.

    • The ECB would rely on the principle of using the best rating available from the agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch and their smaller Canadian rival DBRS – the official said. The comments came after S&P on Monday became the first agency to warn that a plan, pushed by France and endorsed by Germany, for banks to roll over their holdings of Greek debt into new bonds would constitute a “selective default”

    • the judgment on behalf of the four dissenting judges, said that while there were questions about the validity of the suit as a class a

    •  The European Central Bank will continue to accept Greek debt as collateral for loans unless all four credit rating agencies it uses declare it to be in default, said a senior finance official.

    • More US cigarette makers are expected to raise prices in response to antismoking initiatives that are scaring off new customers, tobacco analysts say.

    • The move to raise prices comes as the US government has been ramping up its efforts to deter smoking through taxes, bans and most recently, a move to impose graphic labels depicting the medical consequences of smoking. With fewer people taking up the habit, analysts say companies are trying to squeeze more revenue from smokers who are already addicted.

    • French and German officials said they were not unduly concerned by the S&P statement. They underlined that a rollover was unlikely to constitute a so-called credit event, which would trigger payments on credit default swaps, a form of insurance against default.  

       

          “The important thing is that we avoid a credit event, with all the resulting negative impact on credit-default swaps which occupied us after the Lehman bankruptcy,” a German official said.

    • Walmart succeeded by squeezing costs out of every aspect of its business, from the real estate it developed to its trucking fleet to the wholesale prices it paid for toothpaste and the wages and benefits it paid to employees. These savings were turned into low prices for shoppers and profits for the company’s shareholders. If there is beauty in efficiency, then Walmart is the Sistine Chapel of business.

    • Lorillard has the most to lose from a possible move by the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes. In March, an advisory panel to the regulator said removing menthol cigarettes from sale would benefit public health       and the FDA is deciding whether to follow that advice. Menthol cigarettes account for 90 per cent of Lorillard’s annual sales.

    • Walmart lobbied for years to create a flexible, low-cost labour environment, without the inconvenience of unions. Politicians gave it what it asked for. But when a company is allowed to rid itself of unions to grow more aggressively, it is expected to repay that trust by treating workers fairly.

    •  Lorillard, the third-biggest US cigarette maker by sales, on Friday raised prices by 11 cents a pack on its Newport non-menthol cigarettes, and by 5 cents a pack on its Newport menthols. Analysts at Wells Fargo said this increase would probably be followed by similar rises this week by rivals RJ Reynolds, which makes Camel, and Altria, which owns Philip Morris, maker of Marlboro.

    • Investors said DBRS had a reputation of often being late to downgrade countries.

    •  Fitch, the third-largest rating       agency, has also indicated it is likely to call a rollover a default. But Moody’s and DBRS have yet to comment.

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