Business, labor groups urge G20 to close “stimulus gap” in COVID-19 crisis

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 nations must offer poorer countries a longer freeze in debt payments and other help to protect the global economy from long-term scarring inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading business and labor groups said.

Warning of job losses, increasing poverty, rising child mortality and high business failure rates in poorer countries, the groups urged G20 finance ministers, who will meet by teleconference next week, to take immediate action.

“The required contribution from the world’s leading economies is minute compared to the social and economic costs of inaction,” the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Trade Union Confederation, and Global Citizen, a group pushing to end extreme poverty by 2030, said in an open letter.

The G20’s freeze in official bilateral debt payments for the poorest countries should be extended through to end-April 2022 and broadened to include lower-middle and

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U.K. Finance Split on Case for Extending Crisis Capital Measures

(Bloomberg) — U.K. bankers and investors are split on whether emergency measures that are making it easier for companies to raise much-needed capital during the coronavirus crisis should be extended beyond the summer.

Financial standard-setters recommended in early April that shareholders support U.K.-listed companies that want to sell as much as 20% in new stock — double the usual ceiling — to ease themselves through the pandemic.

U.K.-listed companies including Informa Plc, Compass Group Plc and Asos Plc have sold 14.4 billion pounds ($18.7 billion) in additional equity since then, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, a more than threefold increase on the same period in 2019. The 20% cap is due to expire on Sept. 30.

“Long may it continue, as it is a useful tool,” Luke Bordewich, a managing director at Numis Securities Ltd., said in a phone interview. “The increased cap on equity placings to 20% has

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