The liquidation sales at Nordstrom stores across Canada will begin Tuesday.
March 13 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden pledged on Monday to do whatever was needed to address a banking crisis threatened by the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB.O) and Signature Bank (SBNY.O) which forced regulators to step in with emergency measures.
Biden’s address came after weekend moves by the United States to guarantee deposits at collapsed tech-focused lender SVB failed to reassure investors about the health of other banks around the world.
Europe’s STOXX banking index (.SX7P) fell 5.8% on Monday and was on track for its biggest two-day fall since March 2022, soon after Russia invaded Ukraine. Germany’s Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) fell as much as 12.7%, while Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) hit a new record low after falling more than 15%.
Biden said his administration’s rapid action over the weekend should give Americans confidence that the U.S. banking system is safe, adding that he was going to ask Congress and regulators to strengthen bank rules.
“Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe. Your deposits will be there when you need them.”
U.S. bank shares had declined in pre-market trading, with Bank of America (BAC.N) down 3.7%. Smaller lenders remained under pressure with privately owned First Republic Bank (FRC.N) plunging around 60% and PacWest (PACW.O) down around 40%.
In the money markets, a closely-watched indicator of credit risk in the U.S. banking system edged up, as did other indicators of credit risk in the euro zone. Europe’s volatility index (.V2TX) jumped to its highest level since October 2022.
Meanwhile, the price of gold raced towards the key $1,900 level, emboldened by bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve may have to tone down its rate hikes as investors sought safe havens.
“There is a sense of contagion and where we see a repricing around financials is leading to a repricing across markets,” said Mark Dowding, chief investment officer at BlueBay Asset Management in London.
Dowding said he did not think that a lot of the issues affecting U.S. banks would be present in European lenders.
Bonds held by SVB were “worth next to nothing in a short space of time, so against that backdrop, that has an effect that is translated on a more widespread basis,” he added.
U.S. regulators on Sunday stepped in after the collapse of SVB – the largest U.S. bank failure since 2008, which suffered a run after a big hit on a portfolio of bonds.
SVB’s customers will have access to all their deposits starting Monday and regulators set up a new facility to give banks access to emergency funds. The Federal Reserve also made it easier for banks to borrow from it in emergencies.
Regulators moved swiftly too to close New York’s Signature Bank , which had come under pressure in recent days. But more stress is expected.
First Republic Bank said on Sunday it had secured additional financing through JP Morgan Chase, giving it access to a total of $70 billion in funds through various sources.
In Germany, the central bank convened its crisis team on Monday to assess the possible fallout on the local market, even as no emergency action was foreseen in Europe.
Swiss financial regulator FINMA said it was closely monitoring the situation surrounding failed U.S. lenders and looking for signs of contagion from the banks’ collapse.
After marathon talks over the weekend, early on Monday in London HSBC HSBA.L announced it was buying the British arm of SVB for one pound ($1.21). It said Silicon Valley Bank UK had loans of around 5.5 billion pounds and deposits of around 6.7 billion pounds as of March 10.
While SVB UK is small – HSBC’s balance sheet exceeds $2.9 trillion – concerns that SVB’s failure would cause Britain’s start-up industry to seize up had prompted calls from the sector for government to intervene.
Meanwhile, a furious race to re-price interest rate expectations also sent waves through markets as investors bet the Fed will be reluctant to hike next week while the mood is febrile and delicate.
Markets are now pricing in a roughly 40% chance that the U.S. central bank will not raise rates at all, according to the CME’s Fedwatch tool. Earlier last week a 25 basis point hike was fully priced in, with a 70% chance seen of 50 basis points.
Two-year U.S. Treasury yields were last down 55 bps at around 4.09% set for their biggest one day fall since 1987 according to Refinitiv data. SVB’s collapse comes alongside the closure of crypto-focused bank Silvergate (SI.N), which last week disclosed plans to wind down operations and voluntarily liquidate, in the aftermath of FTX’s implosion last year.
U.S. banks lost more than $100 billion in stock market value late last week following SVB’s failure, while European banks have now lost a similar amount, a Reuters calculation showed.
Nordstrom is expected to begin liquidating its stores across Canada today.
The start of the department store chain’s closing sale comes a day after the U.S. retailer’s Canadian branch got permission from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to start selling off merchandise.
Nordstrom’s liquidation efforts are being led by Hilco Merchant Retail Solutions ULC and Gordon Brothers Canada and are expected to be complete by late June.
Furniture, fixtures and equipment will be liquidated alongside most of Nordstrom’s merchandise, but goods from third parties aren’t part of the sale because they were removed from stores over the weekend.
Nordstrom required court approval to liquidate because it is winding down its Canadian operations under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, which helps insolvent businesses restructure or end operations in an orderly fashion.
As part of the wind down, Nordstrom will close its six Canadian department store locations and seven Nordstrom Rack shops, which sell designer goods at discount prices.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 21, 2023.
UBS’ “shotgun wedding” with Credit Suisse might have done the trick, at least for now, as U.S. equities markets rallied Monday following the latest moves to shore up the global banking system. Now, Wall Street’s focus is almost entirely on what’ll come of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting, which kicks off Tuesday and concludes Wednesday. The money is still on a quarter-point rate hike, even though many are arguing for a pause on increases, given the recent banking sector tumult. At this point, though, markets are more likely to react to what the Fed and its chairman, Jerome Powell, say about what’s next in the central bank’s battle with inflation. Follow live markets updates.
Yes, but what about First Republic? The regional bank – which, like Silicon Valley Bank, caters to clients with big, uninsured deposits – is teetering. Shares of First Republic are down about 90% this month after another brutal session Monday, even after 11 banks announced last week they were depositing a total of $30 billion with the bank. Now, JPMorgan Chase, which led that effort, is advising First Republic on strategic alternatives, including a capital raise, which would dilute shareholders, or even a sale, according to CNBC’s David Faber.
Amazon will lay off another 9,000 employees over the coming weeks, the company said. These cuts come on top of the 18,000 layoffs the e-commerce and cloud computing giant executed between November and January, and some market observers think there could be more to come. The decision is the latest difficult moment for CEO Andy Jassy, who took over from founder Jeff Bezos nearly two years ago. Over that time, Amazon’s shares have fallen 44%, as the company’s big gains during the lockdown era of the pandemic were wiped away while life started to return to normal. So while he’s now slashing costs, Jassy will face intense pressure to reignite growth, writes CNBC’s Annie Palmer.
Virgin Orbit seemed to have everything going for it. Name recognition. Wealthy backers. The excitement over a new space race fueled by private investment. Now it’s on the verge of bankruptcy. A filing could come as soon as this week as the company struggles to find a buyer, according to CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz. And many of the company’s employees, from executives to engineers, are actively looking for new jobs. Virgin Orbit, which was spun out of Virgin Galactic, counts charismatic billionaire Richard Branson as its largest shareholder. After going public in December 2021 during the final stretch of the SPAC wave, its shares are now trading at around 50 cents a pop.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a second day of meetings Tuesday in Moscow. The two leaders are working to increase ties between their two countries in the face of economic, diplomatic and military opposition from the west, led by the United States. Xi invited Putin to visit China some time this year, while the two are expected to sign a series of pacts and discuss cooperation over Russia’s war in Ukraine. Follow live war updates.
– CNBC’s Yun Li, Jesse Pound, David Faber, Annie Palmer, Michael Sheetz and Holly Ellyatt contributed to this report.
— Follow broader market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.
The upscale department store chain has a store at the Rideau Centre mall as well as a Nordstrom Rack location at the Ottawa Train Yards shopping centre
The liquidation sales at Nordstrom stores across Canada will begin Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Nordstrom confirmed the impending sales period Monday in an email to The Canadian Press, just after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice gave the U.S. retailer’s Canadian branch permission to start selling off its merchandise.
The upscale department store chain that primarily sells designer apparel, shoes and accessories has six Canadian stores and seven discount Nordstrom Rack locations, including its Rideau Centre location and a Nordstrom Rack at the Ottawa Train Yards shopping centre, which sells merchandise at discounted prices.
When Nordstrom announced the move in early March, it said it expected the Canadian stores to close by late June and 2,500 workers to lose their jobs.
The company initiated the exit from the market because chief executive Erik Nordstrom said, “despite our best efforts, we do not see a realistic path to profitability for the Canadian business.”
Nordstrom opened its first Canadian store in Calgary in 2014, followed by the Ottawa store at the Rideau Centre, which occupied the second and third levels of a former Sears location.
The Rideau Centre store has an alterations and tailoring shop and an energy drinks bar. Merchandise ranges from brand name to designer apparel, housewares, furnishings and beauty products, including brands such as Geox shoes, Gucci, Adidas and Adidas by Stella McCartney.
Later on came Nordstrom Rack, which made its Canadian debut in 2018 at Vaughan Mills, a mall north of Toronto. At the time, Nordstrom said as many as 15 more Rack locations could follow.
Nordstrom promised each Rack store would deliver savings of up to 70 per cent on apparel, accessories, home, beauty and travel items from 38 of the top 50 brands sold in its Canadian department stores.
Nordstrom had trouble with profitability because of its selection of products and the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tamara Szames, executive director and industry adviser of Canadian retail at the NPD Group research firm, a day after Nordstrom announced its exit.
“You would hear a lot of Canadian saying that the assortment wasn’t the same in Canada that it was in the U.S.,” she said.
She noticed Nordstrom started to shift its product mix away from some luxury brands around 2018 and saw it as a sign that the retailer was struggling to maintain its original vision and integrity.
The pandemic made matters worse because many stores were forced to temporarily close their doors to quell the virus and shoppers were less likely to need some of the items Nordstrom sells like dressy apparel because events had been cancelled.
Despite stores reopening and many sectors rebounding, Szames said the apparel business is the only industry NPD Group tracks that has yet to recover from the health crisis.
“The consumer has really been holding back in terms of spendâ¦within that industry.”
At a hearing at Osgoode Hall in Toronto, lawyer Jeremy Dacks, who represented Nordstrom, said the company has “worked hard to achieve a consensual path forward” with landlords, suppliers and a court-appointed monitor to find an orderly way to wind down the business.
The monitor, Alvarez & Marsal Canada, suggested five potential third-party liquidators and Nordstrom was approached by another five. The company decided to go with a joint venture comprised of Hilco Merchant Retail Solutions ULC and Gordon Brothers Canada, which were involved in the liquidation of Target, Sears and Forever 21 in Canada, Dacks said.
They will oversee the sale of merchandise, furniture, fixtures and equipment, but not goods from third parties, which removed products this past weekend, Dacks said. He added that all sales will be final and no returns will be allowed.
Lawyers for Nordstrom landlords Cadillac Fairview, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Oxford Properties Ltd. and First Capital Realty testified Monday that they were pleased with how “smoothly” and “organized” the process has gone so far.
In approving Dacks’ liquidation request, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz agreed, saying Nordstrom is facing a “difficult time, but this process is unfolding in a very cooperative manner.”
Nordstrom required court approval to begin the liquidation because it is winding down its Canadian operations under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, which helps insolvent businesses restructure or end operations in an orderly fashion.
With files from Joanne Laucius
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