General Motors, workers union to continue talks on new labor deal

Striking United Auto Workers members picket at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant on September 25, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 30 September 2019

General Motors, workers union to continue talks on new labor deal

  • Members of United Auto Workers went on strike on September 16
  • The strike is the first nationwide walkout at GM since a two-day work stoppage in 2007

General Motors Co. and United Auto Workers (UAW) said they will continue talks on a new labor deal on Monday, as a strike by the union’s members enters its third week.
UAW members went on strike on Sept. 16 seeking higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of the leading US automaker’s profit and protection of their health care benefits.
“Negotiations will resume first thing Monday morning and we will continue to look for solutions to reach an agreement,” said UAW, a union that represents the automaker’s 48,000 striking hourly workers in the United States.
GM said it would continue the talks aimed at reaching an agreement that “builds a stronger future for its employees and business.”
The strike is the first nationwide walkout at GM since a two-day work stoppage in 2007.
The UAW has been careful about deploying strikes to gain leverage in bargaining since a 54-day walkout that occurred in Flint, Michigan, in 1998 that cost GM more than $2 billion and accelerated the loss of UAW-GM jobs.


Sharjah sells $1bn sukuk

Updated 03 June 2020

Sharjah sells $1bn sukuk

  • Gulf states seek to bolster finances hit by pandemic and historic slide in oil prices

DUBAI: Sharjah, the third-largest emirate of the UAE, sold $1 billion in seven-year sukuk, or Islamic bonds, on Tuesday, according to a document from one of the banks arranging the deal.

The debt sale comes as several governments in the Gulf seek to bolster their finances to face the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a historic slide in oil prices.

Sharjah set the final spread at 245 basis points (bps) over midswaps for the sukuk, which are Islamic sharia-compliant bonds, according to the document seen by Reuters.

It tightened the spread by 30 bps from where it began marketing the notes earlier on Tuesday.

Sharjah, rated Baa2 by Moody’s ratings agency and BBB by S&P, is a relatively frequent issuer of US dollar Islamic bonds.

HSBC was hired as global coordinator for the transaction. Other banks on the deal were Bank ABC, Dubai Islamic Bank, Gulf International Bank, Mashreqbank and Sharjah Islamic Bank.

In May, the emirate raised 2 billion dirhams ($545 million) in privately placed one-year sukuk to support its economy during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement by Bank of Sharjah, which arranged that deal.

“Issued as 12 month dirham-denominated paper in several tranches, the Sharjah Liquidity Support Mechanism (SLSM) sukuk represents the first rated short term local currency tradeable instrument in the UAE, which can be used for liquidity management by banks,” the Sharjah Finance Department said in a statement on Tuesday, confirming that deal. It said that it was a first tranche and that further tranches with one or more other banks were expected to expand the SLSM to 4 billion dirhams.

S&P Global Ratings in April revised its outlook on the emirate to negative from stable due to lower oil prices and the impact of the new coronavirus.

“Although we expect GDP growth to recover in 2021, lower-for-longer oil prices and a protracted lockdown period could pressure the emirate’s fiscal position,” the agency said.