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EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING - Stocks Rise, Inflation -2-

11/15/2021 | 06:33am EST

Oil prices were down, with DNB Markets' Helge Andre Martinsen citing "continued speculations regarding a U.S. [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] release," after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said at the weekend that President Biden should release crude from the country's emergency reserves amid energy-price inflation.

Still, Martinsen noted remarks from the Saudi Energy Minister that he expects oil inventories to build from next month. Elsewhere, benchmark European gas prices are up 5% at EUR79.70 per megawatt hour with investors watching out for auctions on Monday for December pipeline capacity through Poland and Ukraine.

Metals fell, tracking coal prices, and amid fresh concerns over China's embattled property companies. Concerns about struggling Chinese real-estate firms were weighing on sentiment, Marex said.

Sunac China said Sunday that it would issue shares and sell off a stake in its property-management unit in an attempt to pay off its debts. Kaisa Group said it was scrapping its dividend.

"The question now is whether there is enough cash to be had for the Chinese developers to escape a liquidity crisis," said Marex. Chinese coal prices were under pressure, which was also dragging down metals prices, said Marex. China's metals producers require the fuel to power their smelters.

EMEA HEADLINES

Shell to Move HQ to London, in Historic Shift Amid Energy Transition

LONDON-Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it plans to consolidate its dual British and Dutch structure and move its headquarters to London, a historic shift the oil giant said would help it navigate the transition to low-carbon energy.

The company said Monday that the plan to end its long-held, complex dual structure was intended to make it easier for investors to value the company, help it facilitate returns to shareholders and make it simpler to amend its portfolio of assets.

Airbus Says It Can't Meet Current Demand for Single-Aisle Jets

DUBAI-Airbus SE said it can't ramp up production of its popular single-aisle jet fast enough to meet demand and forecasts delivery constraints for another three years as airlines clamor for new planes again.

Airbus Chief Financial Officer Dominik Asam, in an interview ahead of the Dubai air show that started Sunday, said airlines are asking for delivery of new aircraft after most of them stopped ordering new jets and tried in many cases to defer or cancel orders during the Covid-19 pandemic. Airbus is pushing sales-what the industry calls sales "campaigns"-but is constrained on what it can promise, Mr. Asam said.

China Bought Italian Military-Drone Maker Without Authorities' Knowledge

In 2018, a Chinese state-controlled company bought an Italian manufacturer of military drones. Soon after, it began transferring the company's know-how and technology-which had been used by the Italian military in Afghanistan-to China.

The Italian and European authorities had no knowledge of the move, revealing how Beijing is skirting weak investment-screening in Europe to acquire sensitive technology.

Eurozone Trade Surplus Fell by More Than Expected in September

The eurozone's trade surplus slipped by more than expected in September as growth in imports continued to exceed that of exports, data from the European Union's statistics agency showed Monday.

The eurozone's trade surplus in goods--the difference between exports and imports--stood at 7.3 billion euros ($8.35 billion) in September, sharply down from the EUR24.1 billion registered the same month a year earlier.

Spain's BBVA to Buy out Turkey's Garanti for $2.58 Bln

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA has decided to launch a takeover bid for financial-services company Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS for roughly 2.25 billion euros ($2.58 billion).

The Spanish bank said Monday that it would offer TRY12.20 in cash per share to buy out a remaining 50.15% stake in Garanti. BBVA already owns 49.85% in the Turkish company.

Heineken to Take Control of Distell, Namibia Breweries

Heineken NV said Monday that it has agreed to buy Distell Group Holdings Ltd. for around 2.2 billion euros ($2.52 billion) as part of a plan to create a new South African business.

The Dutch brewer also said it is buying 25% of Heineken South Africa from Namibia Breweries Ltd. for EUR1.5 billion as well as Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies' 50.01% interest in NBL Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Ltd. Heineken already owns the 49.99% of NBl Investment.

Ahold Delhaize Aims to Grow Sales by EUR10 Bln by 2025

Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said Monday that it will aim to grow sales by 10 billion euro ($11.44 billion) by 2025, and will launch a EUR1 billion share-buyback program at the beginning of 2022.

As part of its investor day presentation, the Dutch grocer provided a set of targets for 2025. It will seek to maintain industry-leading margins whilst doubling online sales and delivering high single-digit annual underlying earnings-per-share growth.

Vantage Towers 1H Revenue, Earnings Increased

Vantage Towers AG said Monday that earnings and revenue rose in the first half of fiscal 2022 as tenancies at its sites increased in recent months.

The European mobile-towers company said revenue excluding pass-through for the six months ended Sept. 30 rose to 494 million euros ($565.4 million) from EUR482 million.

Vodacom 1H Net Profit Fell

Vodacom Group Ltd. on Monday reported a decline in net profit and said that it is focused on delivering its growth targets.

South Africa's largest mobile operator by subscribers posted a net profit for the six months ended Sept. 30 of 8.87 billion rand ($578.7 million) compared with ZAR9.27 billion for the same period a year earlier.

In Belarus Border Standoff, Europe's Debates Converge on Poland

WARSAW-On Europe's hot-button issues of the day, from abortion to migration and relations with Russia, all roads now run through Poland.

For half a decade, the country's nationalist government has been locked in an escalating culture war within the European Union. Now, Poland finds itself on the front lines of Europe's external conflict.

At COP26, World Governments Agree to Strengthen Emissions Pledges but Questions Loom

GLASGOW-More than 190 nations reached a deal at the United Nations summit here that aims to accelerate greenhouse-gas-emissions cuts across the world, but leaves big questions over how governments will follow through in the coming decade to try to avert the worst effects of global warming.

Supporters say the deal-struck Saturday evening after two weeks of negotiations-signals new determination among the world's governments to shift away from burning fossil fuels, the main source of greenhouse gases that scientists say are causing the earth to warm. The agreement, though, features weaknesses that have hamstrung U.N. climate talks over the decades.

GLOBAL NEWS

Biden Weighs Choice of Jerome Powell or Lael Brainard as Fed Chair

President Biden is expected to decide as soon as this week whether to appoint Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell or governor Lael Brainard to a four-year term leading the central bank beginning next February.

Because Ms. Brainard's views on inflation and interest rates have been similar this year to Mr. Powell's, policy continuity seems likely no matter who is chosen.

Economy Week Ahead: Industry, Consumers and Inflation

Data out this week will show how economies are performing at the start of the fourth quarter.

China Posts Robust Growth in Factory Output and Consumer Spending

BEIJING-Chinese factory activity and consumer spending were surprisingly robust in October, official monthly figures showed Monday, though fresh signs of weakness in the property sector underscored concerns for the outlook of the world's second-largest economy.

Industrial production rose 3.5% from a year earlier in October, China's National Bureau of Statistics said, accelerating from September's 3.1% pace and beating the 2.8% median forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Inflation Surge Pushes Gold to Five-Month High

A three-decade high in inflation has broken gold from its long 2021 rut, a sign investors are seeking greater protection from the prospect of lingering consumer-price increases.

Ocean Shipping Rates Fall but Ports Are Still Jammed

The cost to move a container across the Pacific fell by more than one-quarter last week, the biggest decline in two years. The decline signals that the huge demand for Asian exports is easing, though shipping executives say it will be months before the logjam of ships outside of U.S. ports clears up.

The decline in ocean-freight rates coincides with the winding down of the traditional peak shipping season, which starts in August when Western importers start to load up on cargo ahead of the year-end holidays. With most products at least on their way, space is gradually opening up on the front end of the trip, leading to lower prices.

Singh's Take: Fundraising Open, Targets Optional

Private-equity managers are increasingly opening their data rooms for investors ahead of their latest fundraising efforts without communicating to those investors exactly how big those funds will be.

Historically, private-equity firms specified a fund's target before they launched official marketing efforts in order to give prospective investors a sense of the size and scope of the portfolio they plan to build. As demand for private equity has grown and investors scramble to secure allocations with top performers, veteran private-equity firms can afford to delay communicating such goals, if not dispensing with them altogether.

Beijing Stock Exchange Launches With Some Big First-Day Gains

The Beijing Stock Exchange opened for trading Monday, marking the debut of a venue that China hopes will channel funds into innovative smaller companies, as it tightens its grip on companies seeking listings overseas.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

11-15-21 0632ET

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