For more than five years, Frank Hunt’s moving company has been a pillar of his community in Barrie, Ont., but he says his award-winning business is now on its knees — and he blames his insurance company. 

“They’re killing us. They’re literally shutting down the business,” he told CBC News. He says onerous demands from his insurer have led to a loss of about 75 per cent of his revenue.

Hunt, 73, says his company pays about $10,000 for commercial vehicle insurance each year. He says there have been no claims or accidents. “Not even a broken windshield,” he said.

His problems began in May, when his insurer suddenly demanded his drivers upgrade their licences to beyond what Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation requires. He and his drivers are legally allowed to drive the company’s five-ton moving trucks with a basic G licence.

“This year, the insurance company comes up with, ‘Oh, you’ve got to have a different licence, a D licence, or you can’t drive.’ I only have a G licence, so I can’t even drive my own vehicles anymore,” Hunt told CBC News.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada says if small business owners want to know why their policy requirements are getting tighter and their premiums are getting higher, they should look no further than COVID-19. The bureau says insurers “have been confronted with increased costs” due to the pandemic.

But that’s little consolation to Hunt and his wife Karina Shaak, 65. They tried to switch insurance companies. They were told they couldn’t, unless they agreed to pay much higher premiums — as much as $25,000, more than double what they previously paid.

So the couple hired new drivers with D licences, or higher. Their insurer refused to cover them, though, claiming the new hires didn’t have three years

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank said Sunday it will purchase rival lender Samba Financial Group in a deal valued at $14.8 billion, creating what would become the kingdom’s largest bank.

The bank will control some $223 billion in assets and a market capitalization of $46 billion after the merger wins regulatory approvals and is completed, National Commercial Bank said in a filing on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock market announcing the deal.

The new bank will control a quarter of all banking in the kingdom, it said.

NCB will pay Samba a premium of 3.5% on the closing price of its stock Thursday in the deal, which will see it dissolve into the NCB brand.


The bank’s largest shareholders will be Saudi Arabia’s Private Investment Fund, the Public Pension Agency and the General Organization for Social Insurance, all government entities.

The two banks described the merger as fitting into the kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, the brainchild of Saudi Arabia’s assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. That plan calls for Saudi Arabia to ween itself off of relying on oil exports while creating new jobs for its millions of young people.

“Saudi Arabia is undergoing a historic transformation with Vision 2030,” NCB chairman Saeed al-Ghamdi said in a statement. “Our ambition is to create a national champion that can facilitate the transformation envisaged under Vision 2030 and create a pioneer for next-generation banking services that nurtures tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

NCB was Saudi Arabia’s first bank to be officially licensed in the kingdom back in 1953, created out of two currency trading houses. Samba grew out of Citibank, which established a presence in the oil-rich kingdom in 1955. The bank became Saudi American Bank following a royal decree in 1980, with Citibank slowly divesting over time until selling

Back in March, in a Herculean effort to create liquidity, the Federal Reserve pledged a multi-trillion dollar expansion of its balance sheet through the purchase of a broad swath of securities. In September Chair Jay Powell declared that interest rates would stay at or near zero through 2023.

This largesse has finally come to REITs. Here are just a few recent examples of the action.

HTA

Earlier this month, Health Trust of America (HTA) announced issuance of $800MM 2.00% ten-year notes. They will use the proceeds to redeem $300MM 3.7% notes due 2023, reducing annual interest expense by $5.1MM (increasing income by $0.0233/share). On 9/22 they increased their dividend. On 9/23 they reinstated a $300MM share repurchase program which will further increase FFO/share.

HR

On 9/18 Healthcare Realty Trust (HR) announced the issuance of $300MM 2.05% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2031. Simultaneously, they announced the redemption of $250MM 3.75% Senior Notes due 2023. While the 1.7% lower coupon of the new notes will save them ~$4.2MM/annum in interest expense ($0.031/share), the $21.5MM early extinguishment charge HR will take in the 4th quarter makes the maneuver look a little dubious.

DLR

Even bolder, On 09/07, Interxion (Digital Realty’s recently acquired European unit) announced a strategic land acquisition in Madrid. On 09/09, they acquired Altus IT to establish a business presence in Croatia. On 09/14, they simultaneously announced the redemption of €300MM 4.75% Guaranteed Notes due 2023 and that they would pay for the redemption with the issuance of €1.05B super cheap, long dated debt. Not done yet, and this is where it gets really interesting, on 09/15 they announced the redemption of Digital’s 5.875% Series G Preferred Stock.

UMH

On August 20 UHM Properties (UMH), a small cap REIT in the manufactured housing sub-sector, announced the completion of a $106MM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank said Sunday it will purchase rival lender Samba Financial Group in a deal valued at $14.8 billion, creating what would become the kingdom’s largest bank.

The bank will control some $223 billion in assets and a market capitalization of $46 billion after the merger wins regulatory approvals and is completed, National Commercial Bank said in a filing on Riyadh’s Tadawul stock market announcing the deal.

The new bank will control a quarter of all banking in the kingdom, it said.

NCB will pay Samba a premium of 3.5% on the closing price of its stock Thursday in the deal, which will see it dissolve into the NCB brand.

The bank’s largest shareholders will be Saudi Arabia’s Private Investment Fund, the Public Pension Agency and the General Organization for Social Insurance, all government entities.

The two banks described the merger as fitting into the kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, the brainchild of Saudi Arabia’s assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. That plan calls for Saudi Arabia to ween itself off of relying on oil exports while creating new jobs for its millions of young people.

“Saudi Arabia is undergoing a historic transformation with Vision 2030,” NCB chairman Saeed al-Ghamdi said in a statement. “Our ambition is to create a national champion that can facilitate the transformation envisaged under Vision 2030 and create a pioneer for next-generation banking services that nurtures tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

NCB was Saudi Arabia’s first bank to be officially licensed in the kingdom back in 1953, created out of two currency trading houses. Samba grew out of Citibank, which established a presence in the oil-rich kingdom in 1955. The bank became Saudi American Bank following a royal decree in 1980, with Citibank slowly divesting over time until selling


Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Several Wall Street banks have come to dominate a corner of U.S. commercial real estate finance over the past seven months, even as the coronavirus pandemic has cast a long shadow over the market.

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Deutsche Bank (DB) Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan Chase (JPM) each significantly grew their share of the roughly $550 billion commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market during the pandemic, according to a new report by Deutsche’s research arm.

The CMBS market is a type of property finance where Wall Street banks make loans on hotels, skyscrapers, and other types of commercial buildings to package into bond deals that investors buy.

This chart shows which Wall Street banks won — and lost — market share since the pandemic took hold in the U.S.

Deutsche Bank Research, Index data

Researchers categorized loans as pre-COVID from January to March, but as post-COVID as of April. Loans made by more than one bank went into the “other” category.

By those metrics, Deutsche, long a major player in U.S. commercial real estate finance, ranked as the top lender in the sector, with a 20% market share of the “COVID-19” lending pie.

Deutsche Bank has been a key financier of the sprawling Hudson Yards complex development on Manhattan’s far West Side, as well as a long time lender to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner‘s real estate company.

Goldman Sachs ranked second with a 18% lending share during the pandemic and JP Morgan third with a 15% slice.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Goldman and JP Morgan did not respond to requests for comment.

Investors have been looking forward to major banks providing an update on their commercial real-estate exposure for clues about the shape of the broader economy, when the third-quarter U.S. corporate