Business Standard

World Coronavirus Dispatch: Problem of being neither too rich nor too poor

Global investment banks earn record $125 bn in fees this year, Australia's billionaires reap rare Covid gains, Wuhan's outbreak may be 10x higher and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Sinovac, Vaccine

Some countries like South Africa, are neither too rich to buy the doses on their own nor too poor to expect international aid or subsidies are stuck in the middle

Akash Podishetty Hyderabad
Some countries are neither too rich nor too poor to get vaccines

As countries rush to seal billion dollar deals with vaccine makers, whether they get the shots or not depends on how much money they have or how poor they are. But some countries like South Africa, who are neither too rich to buy the doses on their own nor too poor to expect international aid or subsidies are stuck in the middle. They might have to wait till middle or end of the next year to roll-out immunisation. While the rich world has already started vaccinating its people, many middle-income nations, largely unable to compete in the open market, rely on a complex vaccine sharing scheme called Covax, a WHO initiative. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 81,338,464

Change Over Yesterday: 545,562

Global deaths: 1,775,661

Nations with most cases: US (19,308,467), India (10,224,303), Brazil (7,504,833), Russia (3,073,923), France (2,619,616).

Global investment banks earn record $125 billion in fees this year

Investment banks around the world have raised record $125 billion in the pandemic year, pushed by record underwriting of equity and debt by companies. The pandemic has led to a decline in merger and acquisition advisory fees, after deal-making slowed down, that was countered by underwritings. Some of the largest US banks including JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs among others raised just under $37 billion of investment banking revenues, 30 per cent of the fees earned this year, their highest share since 2013. Read here

Samsung to continue LCD factories in S Korea on strong Covid demand

Samsung did an about turn on its decision to stop producing LCD screens in South Korea, driven by strong coronavirus demand for televisions. Facing pressure from low cost Chinese makers, the electronic maker had earlier decided to halt LCD factories in Korea. The company said the LCD production in South Korea would continue through at least the first quarter of 2021. However it is unclear, whether the electronic giant's move to continue producing LCDs will extend through for a longer period or is it just made to cash in on Covid opportunities. Read here

Australia's billionaires became 50 per cent richer during pandemic

As is the case with most countries, the widening divide between rich and poor has been worsened by the pandemic in Australia too. New reports suggest that the country's billionaires had seen their wealth increasing by as much as 50 per cent last week as compared to the same period last year, while the rest of regular families, already struggling to make ends meet, have seen their living conditions worsening, with house hold debts soaring to record highs. According to a bloomberg index, rich guys in the US and UK saw an increase of about 25 per cent in their wealth during the same period. Read here

Wuhan’s outbreak might be 10 times higher

The coronavirus outbreak in Chinese city of Wuhan might be much worse than the official estimates, a serological survey, which was conducted in April showed. The results of the survey, recently made public, suggested that 4.4 per cent of those tested in the city of 11 million were found to have developed antibodies. That ratio indicates that there were nearly 10 times more infections than the ones officially reported by health authorities. China has been at the receiving end of global criticism for its handling of outbreak, a narrative which it is seeking to change by going on the offensive. Read here

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First Published: Dec 29 2020 | 3:29 PM IST

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