U.S. manufacturing production rises steadily in October

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. manufacturing output increased for a fifth straight month in October, shrugging off a sharp decline in motor vehicle production and suggesting underlying strength in factory activity despite signs of a slowdown in the sector.

The Federal Reserve said on Friday manufacturing production rose 0.3 percent last month. Data for September was revised up to show output at factories increasing 0.3 percent instead of advancing 0.2 percent as previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast manufacturing output rising 0.2 percent in October.

Motor vehicle production slumped 2.8 percent after increasing 1.3 percent in September. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, manufacturing gained a solid 0.5 percent last month, boosted by a strong increase in the output of business equipment. That followed a 0.2 percent rise in September.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.

Manufacturing, which accounts for about 12 percent of the economy, is being supported by a strong domestic economy. But growing capacity constraints amid labor shortages and more expensive raw materials are slowing momentum. A strong dollar and cooling global growth are restraining exports.

Reports on Thursday offered a mixed picture of regional manufacturing activity in early November. Factory activity in New York state expanded moderately this month, but it slowed sharply in the mid-Atlantic region.

October’s rise in manufacturing production offset decreases in mining and utilities output, leading to a 0.1 percent gain in industrial production last month. Industrial output rose 0.2 percent in September.

The Fed said Hurricanes Florence and Michael had lowered the level of industrial production in both September and October, but the effects of the storms “appear to be less than 0.1 percent per month.”

Mining output fell 0.3 percent in October after slipping 0.1 percent in September. Oil and gas well drilling rebounded 1.6 percent after declining for three straight months.

Utilities output dropped 0.5 percent in October after dipping 0.1 percent in the prior month.

Capacity utilization for the manufacturing sector, a measure of how fully firms are using their resources, rose to 76.2 percent in October, the highest since July 2015, from 76.1 percent in September. Overall capacity use for the industrial sector fell to 78.4 percent from 78.5 in September. It is 1.4 percentage points below its 1972-to-2017 average.

Officials at the Fed tend to look at capacity use measures for signals of how much “slack” remains in the economy — how far growth has room to run before it becomes inflationary.

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Brexit chaos shares slide persists for builders and banks

After taking a hammering in the wake of government resignations over the draft withdrawal deal, the sectors have continued to suffer falls.

Among stocks on the FTSE 100 Index, Royal Bank of Scotland fell another 3%, while peers Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays dropped 2% and 1% respectively.

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Construction is also taking a hit, with Persimmon and Barratt Developments falling another 2%.

Investors are also bracing themselves for further turmoil, amid reports that Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to face a confidence vote over her leadership.

:: How Tory MPs could force out May as leader

Meanwhile, the pound has steadied after enduring its biggest one-day decline for more than two years. Sterling nudged 0.2% higher to just under $1.28.

The pound also rose 0.2% to just under €1.13 and was higher against most major currencies.

The FTSE rose 15.1 points to 7053.1 in morning trading.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, warned a leadership challenge for Mrs May was unlikely to end the Brexit chaos.

He said: “Any new leader will face the very same problems that the current incumbent is now facing, which means that for all the sound and fury that is currently buffeting currency markets, the ultimate calculus remains the same in that there is no majority in the House of Commons for a no-deal Brexit.

“It was fears around a possible election, a no-deal Brexit and a Corbyn government that saw UK banks and housebuilders fall sharply yesterday, though the rise in UK gilt prices suggests that the bond markets think this an unlikely scenario for now.”

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Theresa May says she wants ministers to feel they can stay in their posts amid calls for her to stand down during furious radio phone-in

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said she wants all Cabinet ministers to feel they can stay on in their jobs, amid furious speculation in Westminster over the future of Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

After losing four ministers in the wake of her poorly received Brexit deal, Mrs May faced calls to stand down from members of the public on a radio phone-in.

One caller to the half-hour grilling on LBC told the Mrs May that Jacob Rees-Mogg would make a better leader, while another said she had “appeased” the EU like Neville Chamberlain in his negotiations with Hitler.

Mr Gove remained tight-lipped when asked about his intentions as he arrived for work at the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as reports suggested that he had decided to stay in Mrs May’s Government.

Now the most senior member of the Leave campaign in the Cabinet, Mr Gove was reported to have been offered the post of Brexit Secretary vacated by Dominic Raab, but to have said he would only take it if he could renegotiate the EU withdrawal agreement.

Asked whether she could afford the loss of Mr Gove from her team, Mrs May told LBC: “I want all of my colleagues in the Cabinet to feel able to carry on doing the excellent job they are doing.”

  • Read More: Irish shares suffer a hammering after Brexit bedlam engulfs May

The British PM said she had “a very good conversation” with Mr Gove on Thursday, but declined to say what they had discussed, other than the future of the fishing industry after Brexit.

She said the Environment Secretary had been doing “a great job”, adding: “I haven’t appointed a new Brexit Secretary yet, but obviously I will be doing that over the course of the next day or so.”

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Hedge Fund Billionaire Battles Patrician Family for Campbell Soup

Daniel Loeb is happy to play the barbarian at the gate. He’s got the money, about $3.1 billion. He’s got the office, a sleek white space that is a quintessential hedge fund aerie, with art by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol. And in taking on the old-money family that owns more than 40 percent of Campbell Soup Company, he’s found the perfect foil for his new-money ambitions.

Third Point, Mr. Loeb’s hedge fund in Manhattan, is pushing for the sale or restructuring of Campbell, a slumping food giant that has called Camden, N.J., home for nearly 150 years.

He’s up against the descendants of John T. Dorrance, a chemist who devised the formula for condensed soup at the turn of the last century. Dozens of family members depend on the dividends they receive from the company to underwrite their comfortable lives. And for the most part they find Mr. Loeb’s proposals anathema.

“We’re interlopers who’ve come in and they’ve decided to stick with the status quo,” Mr. Loeb said in an interview.

His hedge fund and the company have spent months exchanging barbed letters. Their battle will culminate on Nov. 29, when Campbell shareholders vote on a proposal by Third Point to take five seats on the company’s board. Mr. Loeb has even persuaded one dissident Dorrance heir and a former Campbell board member, George Strawbridge Jr., to join his campaign.

“My cousins were complacent and ignored the truth,” said Mr. Strawbridge, who owns nearly 3 percent of the company. “It’s very much a shame. The company has run into very hard times and has been undermanaged and under-supervised.”

But Mr. Loeb, who controls more than 7 percent of Campbell stock through Third Point, will need to win over many more shareholders to be successful. His board nominees won the endorsement of Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy advisory firm, on Wednesday. The hedge fund, I.S.S. said, “has presented a compelling case that change at the board level is warranted.”

Campbell is clearly struggling. Earnings were down 50 percent last quarter, soup sales have been eroding and the company’s chief executive, Denise Morrison, stepped down under pressure in May.

Multibillion-dollar acquisitions under her watch have done little to lift profits while leaving the company with billions in debt. In the last two years, Campbell’s stock has badly trailed the broader market, as well as other food businesses, and has lost more than a third of its value.

Executives and board members acknowledge the company’s problems. “Simply put, we lost focus,” the interim chief executive, Keith R. McLoughlin, told investors in August. But they say Mr. Loeb is just looking to make a quick profit on his investment and doesn’t have the company’s long-term interests at heart.

Archbold D. Van Beuren, a Dorrance descendant and one of three family members on the Campbell board, said the company was working on a plan to turn itself around before Mr. Loeb showed up. “We need change,” Mr. Van Beuren said. “We’re seeking change.”

Campbell Soup is more than an inheritance or an investment for the Dorrance heirs. It’s a tradition — Mr. Strawbridge enjoys a bowl of Campbell Soup every day, usually tomato. As children, family members would summer in Bar Harbor, Me., and dress up as Campbell kids and soup cans.

Theirs is a world of privilege, complete with flying private planes and breeding and racing thoroughbreds. Like his father before him, Mr. Strawbridge rode horses and hunted fox. His son, Stewart, won the Maryland Hunt Cup in 2007, among the world’s most arduous steeplechase races.

Mary Alice Malone, a board member and a granddaughter of John T. Dorrance, splits her time between horse farms in Florida and Pennsylvania and has a net worth of $3.1 billion — putting her at par with Mr. Loeb — according to Forbes. Her daughter is also an equestrian, specializing in dressage, and co-founded a high-end shoe line called Malone Souliers.

Bennett Dorrance, another board member, is worth $2.6 billion. He is a real estate developer who collects vintage cars and is a pilot with his own private hangar in Arizona. Mr. Dorrance’s son, Bennett Dorrance Jr., is an organic farmer in Hawaii who owns the Blue Dragon Restaurant and Spa there.

It may be hard to think of a fellow billionaire as an outsider in this milieu, but that’s how Mr. Loeb and Third Point portray their fight with the Dorrance clan. It’s an approach he has used before as an activist investor with a knack for acquiring stakes in companies that have been underperforming. He has previously waged campaigns at Nestlé, Yahoo, Baxter International and Sotheby’s, many of which entailed months of bruising public-relations battles.

Munib Islam, a Third Point partner who is one of the hedge fund’s candidates for a board seat, said Campbell had lost sight of the interests of nonfamily shareholders. The family’s opposition to Third Point, he said, “was on the basis of bloodlines as opposed to what’s good for the company. If they want to run the business that way, then take the company private.”

Michael Silverstein, a former food industry consultant with Boston Consulting Group who is advising Third Point, suggested the heirs were a big part of the problem.

“I worked with the family two decades ago,” Mr. Silverstein said. “They are proud of Campbell’s but introverted. They are fearful of outsiders, fearful of their wealth being taken away. More than 100 family members are dependent on the dividend and fearful of what to do.”

Campbell is, of course, fighting headwinds like declining consumer interest in packaged food and a preference for fresh ingredients over highly processed soup from a can. But analysts say the company has done too little to adapt to those changes. Campbell Soup cans, for example, have barely changed since 1900, and the top sellers remain tomato, chicken noodle and cream of mushroom.

Third Point has proposed modernizing labels on Campbell’s trademark red-and-white cans, an icon whose status in American culture was immortalized by Andy Warhol. (One of the artist’s soup can paintings hangs in the company’s boardroom.)

But Mr. McLoughlin, the interim chief executive, said that Mr. Loeb and his deputies had painted an overly pessimistic picture of the company. The company estimates that 95 percent of American homes have at least one Campbell product in the cupboard.

“We’ve got a great brand, great products and great cash flow,” he said. “There’s lots to work with.”

In late August, management released a plan to revitalize the company. It calls for selling international operations, like Arnott’s Biscuits in Australia, getting out of the refrigerated soup business and unloading its Bolthouse Farms unit. The company would return its focus to soup and popular snack brands like Goldfish, Pepperidge Farm cookies and Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels.

Mr. McLoughlin also disputes the idea that the Dorrance descendants wield too much influence at the company or that they are responsible for its problems. He said family board members frequently chime in with helpful advice. He said he had gotten calls from Ms. Malone during store visits, complaining about the packaging of its new Well Yes! line of ready-to-eat soups. “She’s into clean labeling, no artificial flavors and no chicken antibiotics,” Mr. McLoughlin said. “She’s as strong on the product as anyone on the board.”

Bennett Dorrance, Mr. McLoughlin said, is an expert in merchandising and pricing for Campbell’s products. “He’ll call me and say, ‘Why is Prego at this price point vs. Ragu?’”

“These people are committed financially and committed personally,” Mr. McLoughlin added. “They’re all in. They’re sophisticated and they know the New York hedge fund game.”

When they are not making the case for why their approach is far superior, people on both sides of this corporate fight say they are open to a compromise. Campbell could, for example, give Mr. Loeb a few seats on the board while letting the family retain its influence.

Mr. Strawbridge said that’s the kind of deal he was hoping for when he teamed up with Mr. Loeb. “Third Point should be an ally, not an enemy,” he said. “Soup was de-emphasized and ignored and Third Point is right that it is the first thing that has to be addressed. Soup of all products is our savior.”

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Weak credit growth raises odds of first China rate cut in years

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s stubbornly weak credit growth has spurred talk of its first cut in benchmark lending rates in three years, but economists and policy insiders say concerns about a potential knock to its currency will likely give the central bank pause.

While the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has already slashed banks’ reserve requirements four times this year and pushed money market rates lower, analysts are now wondering if policymakers are considering wheeling out bigger guns.

China’s economic growth has cooled to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis and is expected to soften further in coming months if domestic demand is slow to recover and the United States piles more tariffs on Chinese goods.

Beijing has announced a raft of growth-boosting measures in recent months to cushion the fall – ranging from more construction spending to tax cuts – and more steps are likely on the way.

But analysts say it will take some time before the world’s second-largest economy starts to stabilize, with business conditions expected to get worse before they get better.

Data this week showed credit growth slowed sharply in China in October, despite increased injections of liquidity by the central bank into the financial system and pressure on banks from regulators to help keep cash-starved companies afloat.

“There is a need to cut interest rates,” Chen Zheng, senior analyst at China Merchants Bank said, adding that if weak lending data persists for another month the market will likely lose confidence.

The PBOC has not cut its benchmark 1-year lending rate since October 2015 – it is now 4.35 percent – opting instead to use other more targeted policy tools to influence borrowing costs, such as extending more loans specifically to struggling sectors.

Authorities are also concerned that more aggressive easing measures could undermine their recent campaign to reduce a mountain of debt left over from the last stimulus binge during the global crisis.

But speculation about a possible rate cut was stirred after the PBOC changed some wording in its latest policy report.

Its second-quarter report said the PBOC would “resolutely not engage in flood-like strong stimulus”. That phrase was missing from the third-quarter report released on Nov. 9.

The possibility is that much more powerful stimulus may be applied “on top of already kitchen-sink measures that reek of desperation. The market hasn’t woken up to the disturbing implications,” said Sue Trinh, head of Asia FX Strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

However, Premier Li Keqiang did use the same phrase about avoiding strong stimulus in a speech in Singapore this week.

CAN’T BE RULED OUT, BUT….

One policy insider said a benchmark rate cut could not be ruled out, but noted authorities would carefully weigh the potential adverse effects.

The yuan currency CNY=CFXS has lost more than 6 percent against the dollar so far this year and would likely come under more pressure if China starts cutting rates while the U.S. central bank is steadily tightening policy.

“The trouble with cutting rates is related to the exchange rate. The exchange rate is a very thorny issue … They are trying to stabilize it,” said a second policy adviser.

“There is still room for a rate cut as our rate levels are still higher than those of the United States, but the space won’t be very big,” said the insider.

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise rates again in December and several times more in 2019.

China would then have to decide whether to use more of its foreign exchange reserves to defend the yuan, or allow the currency to slide, risking capital outflows.

Researchers at Morgan Stanley expect the PBOC to cut RRR by another 100 basis points per quarter from this one through the end of 2019, while a benchmark interest rate cut is “less likely”, they wrote in an emailed response to a Reuters’ query.

Capital Economics, on the other hand, has forecast for some time that China would have to cut benchmark rates on top of other easing measures.

A bold move to reduce borrowing costs across the economy in one fell swoop could help the central bank resolve a major policy conundrum.

Repeated cash injections by the PBOC into the market to encourage banks to lend are not producing results as quickly as authorities had hoped, as cautious lenders worry about a surge in bad loans as the economy continues to slow.

“It’s the ineffective monetary transition mechanism rather than high interest rates that is suffocating China’s small businesses,” said Serena Zhou, economist at Mizuho Securities in Hong Kong.

One big question mark is the China-U.S. trade row.

Some economists believe the central bank will wait to gauge the impact of the trade war and slowing global growth next year before deciding on another round of broad-based easing. China’s exports to the U.S. have been remarkably resilient so far, but face much higher tariffs from Jan. 1.

Nie Wen, economist at Hwabao Trust in Shanghai, said the biggest uncertainty faced by China is whether trade frictions with the United States will escalate.

“An interest rate cut is not necessary at the moment,” Nie said. “They are likely to hold off until the second half of next year. And before that, the central bank can still use RRR cuts to fairly effectively lowering funding costs.”

All eyes are now on a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later this month to see if the two sides can de-escalate their feud, giving Beijing more room to concentrate on domestic pressures.

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China's U-turn on market curbs brings back the speculators

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Speculators are staging a forceful comeback in China’s stock market, bidding up shares in loss-making companies as regulators ease rules around trading, fundraising and backdoor listings to prop up struggling bourses.

In a bid to stop the kind of market meltdown China saw in 2015-16, authorities are urging funds to invest in cash-strapped companies and encouraging others to do mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

The measures mark a reversal of the more restrictive curbs introduced two to three years ago, which were designed to prevent a repeat of the boom-and-bust cycle that triggered the last major rout.

The relaxations, however, have resulted in an immediate surge in speculative bets on possible acquisition targets and trading in small-cap shares.

(Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2PtbYoh)

For some, the moves simply clear unnecessary regulatory interference that inhibits robust and open capital markets. But for others, the new policies are a dangerous “Faustian Bargain” that delivers short-term stability at the expense of sustainable valuations.

“Currently, all the emergency measures are deals with the devil,” said Yuan Yuwei, partner at Water Wisdom Asset Management. Imploring speculators to rescue the market could set the stage for trouble, he added.

Over the past year, speculators have largely laid low due to a relentless crackdown on market manipulation and insider trading.

However, a pledge by China’s top securities regulator on Oct. 19 to boost market confidence through a series of measures has prompted a rapid return of the punters.

An index tracking so-called “Special Treatment”, or ST, stocks – loss-making companies that involve high risks or are candidates for possible delisting – has surged over 30 percent since Oct 19.

That compares with a mere 3 percent rise in the CSI300 index .CSI300, whose blue-chip constituents were market darlings last year.

Money is also pouring into companies that speculators think might become acquisition targets for backdoor listings, dubbed “shell companies”.

One company that appears to have benefited is Hengli Industrial Development Group Co (000622.SZ), whose share price tripled over the past three weeks as investors bet on a possible acquisition.

Speculators have ignored repeated warnings by the automotive air conditioner maker, who said the price surge defied fundamentals.

Based on current profitability and valuation, investors buying the stock would need to wait 2,800 years to recoup investment through dividend payments. An investor relations official at Hengli declined to comment, saying the company had no undisclosed information.

Speculators have also piled into Changsheng Bio-technology (002680.SZ), the company at the center of a nationwide vaccine safety scandal that faces the risk of delisting.

A “special treatment” stock, Changsheng rose the maximum 5 percent on Thursday for the sixth consecutive session, despite the Shenzhen Stock Exchange flagging risks to investors. Changsheng could not be reached for a comment.

MARKET LUBRICATION?

Between 2013 and 2015, lax regulation contributed to a boom in M&As and private share placements, which led to reckless expansion, overpriced deals, bubbly stock prices and mountains of inflated goodwill sitting on companies’ books.

Following the crash of 2015-16, the China Securities Regulatory Commission tightened scrutiny of share sales and M&As to prevent the rapid buildup of speculative positions.

The regulator’s moves in recent weeks, however, reverse these curbs. On Oct. 19, the CSRC said it had initiated fast-track approvals for M&A deals. The next day, it said it would support backdoor listings by companies whose applications for initial public offerings (IPO) are rejected.

And last week, the CSRC revised regulations to allow listed firms to issue additional shares more frequently, and for broader use.

Easier fundraising enables indebted firms to pay debts and expedite M&As. Also fuelling investment flows are expectations the central bank will loosen the monetary spigot by cutting interest rates.

However, Yuan, of Water Wisdom, said that relaxing rules to prop up companies that might otherwise fail is a concession to interest groups and a sign the government has been “kidnapped by populism”.

Shen Weizhen, a fund manager at LC Securities, said the moves skewed market behavior.

“If buying garbage companies can make a lot of money … who would be interested in blue-chips any more?”

The CSRC did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment for this story.

For now, market authorities appear more worried about falling share prices than a new speculative bubble.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Nov. 2 that it would seek to avoid interfering with trading, and vowed to largely refrain from restrictive measures such as suspending trading accounts. CSRC said on Oct. 30 it would reduce “unnecessary intervention” in the market.Retail investor Wu Beicheng said he welcomed what he saw as “corrective” measures by the government.

“Speculation is the lubricant of the market,” he said. “Without speculation, the market would be lifeless.”

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Fifth of employers consider quitting Dublin to beat spiralling costs

One in five employers are considering moving outside of Dublin due to rising costs, according to the latest ‘Quarterly Employment Market Monitor’ from Cpl Resources.

This comes on the back of new figures from the Central Statistics Office showing that property prices continue to rise. While the median, or middle, price for a property nationwide at the moment is €255,000, in Dublin this rises to €364,998.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Gráinne Barry, regional operations director at sports data company Stats, said that cost was a factor in the US-headquartered firm choosing Limerick over Dublin as its EMEA headquarters.

“There were three main factors behind choosing Limerick; availability of talent, the size of the city, and from a cost perspective it is very attractive compared to Dublin,” Ms Barry said.

Meanwhile, Susanne Kerins, head of marketing at Cora Systems, a project management solutions company based in Carrick-on-Shannon, said that the company’s decision not to locate its main office in Dublin had now turned into an advantage.

“We are finding that people want to move out of the big hubs such as Dublin and London for a better work-life balance and a reduction in their cost of living,” Ms Kerins said.

Overall the CPL report finds that there continues to be growth in business sectors which are largely representative of foreign direct investment in Ireland.

IT and telecoms has grown its number of jobs postings by 16pc since the same quarter of last year, while science, engineering and supply chain as a sector had a 9pc growth in the same period.

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Ronan in fourth bid to build Dublin's tallest building

Developer Johnny Ronan has renewed his bid to deliver Dublin’s tallest building next to Tara Street station just weeks after his plan for the site was rejected for a second time by Dublin City Council.

Planning agents representing Ronan Group company, Tanat Ltd, wrote to An Bord Pleanála earlier this week to request an oral hearing for its appeal of the decision. Should the board accede to the developer’s request, it would be the second time its officials have convened a public meeting to consider the merits of Mr Ronan’s plan for an 88m (288 ft), 22-storey tower at Tara Street. The proposed building would comprise 16,557 sq m of office and hotel accommodation. The scheme would be capable of accommodating 890 office workers, a 106-bedroom hotel over four storeys and a restaurant on the top floor.

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Bankrupt Sears wins court approval for plans to sell stores

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp (SHLDQ.PK) won U.S. bankruptcy court approval on Thursday to move forward with plans to stay in business and sell itself, even as it continues to evaluate offers to liquidate its business.

The 125-year-old retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month, faces opposition to its plan to sell from some creditors, who argued in court papers that Sears would be squandering hundreds of millions of dollars by pursuing a sale instead of winding down its business.

To address the creditors’ concerns, attorneys for Sears said the retailer would be considering offers for its business from liquidation firms that sell companies’ assets in pieces and shut them down.

Liquidators won an auction for the assets of sporting goods retailer Sports Authority in 2016 and then sold them off in pieces. Retailer Toys “R” Us decided to liquidate this year, shutting all of its U.S. brick-and-mortar shops.

Ray Schrock, an attorney for Sears, told the court that liquidating Sears right away would destroy value, and potentially lead to the failure of profitable businesses, such as the retailer’s home services division.

“We recognize that we have a tough task ahead to save the company,” Schrock said. Sears employs about 68,000 people.

Sears filed for bankruptcy with its bank lenders promising to give it $300 million in bankruptcy financing. The retailer late Wednesday filed papers with the court showing that it had secured an additional $350 million bankruptcy loan from Great American Capital Partners, an affiliate of liquidation specialist Great American Group.

The company faces a mid-December milestone to find a bidder for its approximately 500 remaining stores and other assets. Sears already announced it plans to close about 180 of its stores.

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, a billionaire who runs hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, is working “around the clock” with possible lenders to finance a bid to keep Sears in business, according to bankruptcy-court papers.

Lampert, who was Sears’ chief executive until it filed for bankruptcy, has loaned the company billions of dollars over the years, and plans to use some of the money he is owed to finance his offer for company assets, according to court papers.

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Securities watchdog asks Bombardier to halt exec share sales plan

(Reuters) – The Canadian province of Quebec’s securities watchdog said on Thursday it has asked Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO) to suspend sales of securities under a program set up to aid share sales by certain senior executives.

The Automatic Securities Disposition Plan (ADSP), which Bombardier established in August, allows for the exercise and sale of vested securities earned by certain senior executives of the company as part of their overall performance-based compensation. (bit.ly/2TdkbeG)

The regulatory body, AMF, has asked the company to suspend all sales of securities under the ASDP until further notice and to notify the executing brokers.

Bombardier and AMF were not immediately available for comment.

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