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OTA chief cuts salary; event cancellations cost $1B | Daily Brief

03/11/2020| 12:24:19 AM| ChinaTravelNews

The direct economic loss from the cancellation from nine major tech conferences already surpassed USD 1 billion; A Disneyland Paris maintenance worker tested positive for coronavirus.

Trip.com CEO slashes salary as coronavirus slams travel

>> Trip.com, China's largest online travel platform, is feeling so much pain from the coronavirus outbreak that CEO Jane Sun and chairman James Liang will stop taking salaries to help the company cope with losses.

The company's stock slid more than 9% to USD 26.90 per ADS, and is down 31% from trading above USD 38 per share in mid-January, before the outbreak.

Sole underwriter Standard Chartered is facing a stern test as it steers a USD 1.2 billion loan for Trip.com Group through syndication amid dire conditions for the tourism industry as a result of the global coronavirus outbreak. The bank is seeking sub-underwriting commitments of USD 300 million apiece from a select group of international and Chinese lenders for the deal.

Booking withdraws first-quarter guidance

>> Booking Holdings announced that it is withdrawing its previously-announced first-quarter 2020 financial guidance as a result of the worsening impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on travel demand. The company believes it has "a strong operating model and solid balance sheet" to weather this disruption.

Investors look for buys as virus fears crush travel stocks

>> Bargain-hunting investors are eyeing the shares of airlines, hotels, cruise lines and other companies that have been among the worst-hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

The recent declines have brought down the valuations of travel and leisure-related companies to levels that some investors believe are attractive. 

Disneyland Paris worker tests positive for coronavirus

>> A Disneyland Paris maintenance worker tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend, a spokesman for the theme park said on Monday. Disneyland Paris said it was checking on staff who have been in contact with the worker. There were no plans to close the park, according to Reuters.

Cancellations of tech industry events pass $1B

>> The direct economic loss from the cancellation from nine major tech conferences including Google I/O, Facebook’s F8 event, Mobile World Congress and SXSW over coronavirus has already surpassed USD 1 billion, according to estimates the data intelligence company PredictHQ. 

Oxford Economics estimates that business conferences generate more than a trillion dollars in direct spending annually; so far these canceled tech conferences haven’t put a major dent in that.

Virgin Atlantic admits flying near-empty planes

>> Virgin Atlantic has confirmed it has been forced to operate some near-empty flights after bookings were dented by the coronavirus outbreak. It is operating the flights to try to retain take-off and landing slots at major airports such as Heathrow. Under European law, if flights are not operated, slots have to be forfeited.

Shiji plunges by limit as US forces sale of StayNTouch

>> Shiji's stock price fell by the daily exchange-imposed limit after the Trump administration ordered the Chinese firm to sell StayNTouch on the grounds that its ownership of the US hotel management software maker could present a danger to US national interests. 

The firm will reluctantly comply with the executive order from President Donald Trump to fully offload its holding in StayNTouch within a mandated 120 days, it said in a statement.

TAGS: Trip.com | Shiji | Booking Holdings | Daily Brief
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