Business briefing

The daily business briefing: March 6, 2017

GM agrees to sell its European brands, Deutsche Bank stock drops after company approves share sale, and more

1

GM selling European brands Opel and Vauxhall

General Motors said Monday that it had reached a deal to sell its Opel and Vauxhall brands to French auto maker PSA Groupe for $2.2 billion. The sale will end GM's presence in Europe as a major manufacturer. The sale will also let the U.S. auto maker focus resources on developing self-driving cars, and vehicles for its profitable North America and China businesses. Its European operations lost money for 16 straight years. "This was a difficult decision for General Motors," GM CEO Mary Barra said. "But we are unified in our belief that it is the right one." PSA Groupe, which already has the Peugeot and Citroen brands, will become the region's second largest auto maker with 17 percent of the market, behind only Germany's Volkswagen.

2

Deutsche Bank stock drops after announcement of share sale

Deutsche Bank on Sunday approved selling $8.5 billion in shares to shore up its finances. The troubled bank, Germany's largest, also will scrap part of CEO John Cryan's 17-month-old turnaround effort by holding onto Postbank, the retail banking business that the company had been expected to sell. Deutsche Bank shares fell by 5.4 percent early Monday after gaining 44 percent in the last six months.

3

Bird flu detected in Tennessee commercial flock

A strain of bird flu has been detected at a Tennessee farm affiliated with Tyson Foods, the nation's largest chicken meat producer. Tyson said Sunday that it was working with state and federal officials to prevent the virus from spreading by killing 73,500 breeding birds. "Based on the limited scope known to us at this time, we don't expect disruptions to our chicken business and plan to meet our customers' needs," said a spokesman for Tyson. It is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza in a U.S. commercial poultry flock in more than a year.

4

Geopolitical turmoil weighs on stocks

European stocks and U.S. stock futures fell ahead of Monday's market open as investors fretted over North Korea's latest missile tests and President Trump's wiretapping allegations against former President Barack Obama. U.S. stocks surged to the latest in a series of records last week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 21,000 for the first time, on expectations of an economic boost from Trump's promised tax and regulation cuts. Some investors have started to worry that some stocks have become overvalued in the post-election rally.

5

Oil prices drop after China says growth to slow this year

Oil prices fell by just under 1 percent early Monday on fears that slowing growth in China will reduce global oil demand. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Sunday at the annual meeting of Parliament that the government expected China's economy to expand by about 6.5 percent this year, down from 6.7 percent in 2016. Concern that Russia would not comply with a global deal to cut production also weighed on prices.

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