Wednesday preview: UK GDP, TUI in focus

updated: 12 May 2020 at 1:54pm Author: Alexander Bueso

(Sharecast News) - The focus on Wednesday will be on readings for UK gross domestic product growth for the first quarter and in the month March.

Data from the Office for National Statistics at 0930 GMT are expected to show a 2.5% quarter-on-quarter pace of decline in GDP for the first three months of 2020 and a 7.5% collapse in month-on-month terms as economic activity falls to roughly 65% of capacity, Barclays Research said.

Construction is expected to have taken the biggest hit in March, the broker added.

Stateside meanwhile, the spotlight will be on the US central bank chief, Jerome Powell, as he discusses current economic issues at the Petersen Institute for International Economics from 1400 GMT onwards.

Further afield, rate-setters in New Zealand are set to meet to decide on policy.

For TUI's third quarter update, Morgan Stanley's Jaime Rollo said he will be looking out for any new information regarding customer deposits and working capital outflows, as well as on monthly cash-burn and possible ways to boost liquidity.

Among the latter, he broached the possibility of issuing more debt against its unsecured assets and raising fresh equity.

He was also looking for a progress update on the disposal of HL Cruise and any comments around booking later in 2020.

Nevertheless, he thought it unlikely that the travel operator would provide any "firm" guidance for the full financial year.

The analyst pegged the company's liquidity at €3.1bn as of the end of the month in March and estimated that it was burning cash at a pace of about €300-400m each month due to operating expenses and finance costs.

"Encouragingly, the company has also secured a covenant waiver for its next three tests (March 2020, September 2020, March 2021). However, our recent work on modelling post-Covid financials suggests TUI faces a roughly €1bn liquidity shortfall in [the first quarter of 2021]."

Rollo had penciled in a loss, in terms of earnings before interest and taxes of €753m for the quarter, versus -€605m during the prior quarter and -€218m in the comparable year ago period.

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