- ECONOMIC IMPACT -
Last Updated July 26 2021
United States: The country is leading the chart with the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported globally. As of July 25, 2021, the United States reported approximately 34.43 million confirmed cumulative COVID-19 cases wherein the associated fatality rate stood at 1.77%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 49.67% of the population of the country is fully vaccinated as of July 25, 2021. Multiple factors contributed to the 5.32% increase in the inflation rate in June 2021, including the rising economic demands, large inflows of government aid, and supply-chain constraints as compared to the previous year. The rising COVID-19 variant cases and spiking inflation rate is slowing the expected economic recovery of the country. During this week’s revision, the 2021 real GDP growth of the United States has been revised downward to 6.34% from 6.41% of the previous weekly forecast for 2021.
India: The total cumulative cases in India stood at 31.37 million as of July 25, 2021, with an associated fatality rate of 1.34%. About 6.79% of the population is fully vaccinated with a total of 433.15 million administered doses. Rising global energy prices coupled with high domestic taxes have been pushing the fuel prices in the country. The Reserve Bank of India has cautioned against the inflationary pressures emanating from this sector. Fuel inflation could become an impediment in achieving the required economic growth since rising petrol and diesel prices have raised transportation costs, which has subsequently impacted the food and other commodity prices in the country. During the current weekly revision exercise, GDP growth rate revisions remain unchanged for India from that of last week, keeping the real GDP growth numbers at 9.34% for 2021.
Brazil: The country registered a total of 19.67 million cases with an associated fatality rate of 2.79% as of July 25, 2021. Brazil’s death count experienced a steep decline of 73.92% over the past four months; with 1108 deaths noticed on July 25, 2021, as compared to the deaths in April 2021. About 17.60% of Brazil’s population is fully vaccinated with a total of 126.44 million administered doses. As per the Quarterly Inflation Report by the Central Bank of Brazil, the economy is expected to grow steadily in H2 2021, owing to the fall in government debts, increased tax receipts, and progressed COVID-19 policies, thus holding an opportunistic outlook for the Brazilian economy. During this week’s revision, the 2021 real GDP growth of Brazil has been revised upward to 4.64% from 4.56% of the previous weekly forecast for 2021.
France: As of July 25, 2021, the cumulative COVID-19 cases in France were observed at 6.04 million, with an associated fatality rate of 1.85%. About 44.40% of the population is fully vaccinated with a total of 68.24 million administered doses. Recently, the government has passed a bill mandating vaccination for the healthcare workers and the issuance of health-pass to the fully vaccinated population of France to avail public access privileges along with dining alternatives in restaurants and bars. Large protests on the government's recent bill have erupted in numerous parts of France amidst the threat of growing COVID-19 variants, heightening the likelihood of increased infection rates in the country. During this week’s revision, the 2021 real GDP growth of France has been revised downward to 5.77% from 5.84% of the previous weekly forecast for 2021.
IMF has revised its 2020 global GDP forecast to -4.4% from an estimate of -4.9% made in June.
The global economy is estimated to contract by 4.2% in 2020 and bounce back by 5.3% in 2021.
Impact of Covid-19 on equity indices
- SECTOR IMPACT: Finance -
Last Updated March 12, 2021
Clinical trial market impact
Trial disruption is leveling off and disrupted trials saw a small dip, with 1,032 trials still disrupted and 579 pharma/biotech companies and contract research organisations associated with disrupted clinical trials.
There are currently 3,414 clinical trials underway for Covid-19, including 172 multinational trialsroboto slab and 2,818 single-country trials.
Local business conditions for wealth management to improve in 2021: Poll
Wealth management remains one of the most vulnerable sectors due to COVID-19 as it is closely linked to capital market performance.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the local business conditions for wealth management in 2021 amid COVID-19. Analysis of the poll results shows that a majority 54% of the respondents expect better local business conditions compared to 2020. While 33% of the respondents expect a high improvement, 21% expect slight improvement.
Conversely, 33% of the respondents expect the local conditions to worsen in 2021, including 19% who predict the conditions to be a lot worse than 2020 and 14% who expect the conditions to be slightly worse.
The remaining 13% of the respondents expect no change in the local business conditions for the wealth management industry in 2021.
Goldman Sachs, HSBC to reopen Hong Kong offices
Goldman Sachs Group and HSBC are set to reopen their offices to all employees as Covid-19 cases drop.
According to a Bloomberg report, both the banks permitted their workers to return to offices from Monday.
In an internal memo, Goldman Sachs noted that the decision was taken following an ‘extended period’ of low reported cases in the region.
It also noted that around 50% of its workforce has been partially or completely vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.
The US-based investment bank has around 1,700 employees in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, HSBC has been allowing up to 50% occupancy at its offices. The lender will now allow its staff to return based on capacity in individual departments.
However, remote working option will remain available for those who wish to continue working from home.
UBS may allow majority of workforce to embrace hybrid work model
UBS is reportedly mulling to let two-thirds of its employees to mix working from home and the office permanently as it looks to beef up its workforce.
The move is expected to give the banking giant a competitive edge in recruiting over other Wallstreet banks, which are not offering as much flexibility to their employees.
UBS chief executive Ralph Hamers and his senior managers have devised the new hybrid model, Bloomberg reported citing a person with knowledge of the development.
The bank will provide hybrid work model depending on roles and location of the employees, the source told the news agency.
An internal analysis by UBS showed that two-thirds of its workers were in roles suitable for hybrid working.
Employees whose roles requires their presence in the office due to their supervisory rules or for implementing certain tasks, such as traders and branch staff, will have no or little flexibility.