Jul 19, 2019

Anheuser-Busch InBev sells Australian operations after IPO failure

Photo: STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to sell its Australian operations to Japan's Asahi for $11 billion. It also is considering divestitures of its South Korea and Central America businesses.

Why it's a big deal: This is quick consequence of AB InBev canceling its Asia-Pacific IPO, whose $9 billion-plus in expected proceeds had been largely earmarked for debt reduction.

It's also yet another indictment of Warren Buffett's pals at 3G Capital, whose leverage-laden consolidation strategy for AB InBev is working out similarly at Kraft Heinz.

Bottom line: "The world’s largest brewer has struggled to cut into its debt as it confronts challenging emerging markets and declining beer consumption in key regions. In the U.S., its biggest market, AB InBev’s flagship Budweiser and Bud Light brands have lost share to rivals as consumers abandon American lagers for wine, spirits, craft beers and Mexican imports." — Jennifer Maloney & Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ

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House votes to suspend debt ceiling through 2021

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The House voted 284-149 on Thursday to pass a budget that suspends the debt ceiling through 2021 — allowing the government to borrow money for 2 more years — and raises spending caps by about $320 billion.

The big picture: The federal debt exceeded $22 trillion in February and the Congressional Budget Office projects it to reach "unprecedented levels" over the next 30 years if current laws go unchanged. The federal deficit has grown 23% this fiscal year. Thursday's deal passes the buck on the next federal debt showdown until after the 2020 elections.

Go deeperArrowJul 25, 2019

South Koreans boycott Japan as trade tensions increase

President of South Korea Moon Jae-in (L) is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) on the first day of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 2019. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A boycott of Japanese goods and services is picking up steam among South Koreans as trade tensions between the 2 countries continue to rise, reports AP.

Why it matters: The standoff began when Japan restricted exports of 3 chemicals used by South Korean tech manufacturers for semiconductors and display screens. That has hit chipmakers hard and angered South Koreans, some of whom have canceled trips to Japan or refused to buy Japanese products.

Go deeperArrowAug 1, 2019

Senate passes $2.7 trillion budget deal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Senate voted 67-28 to pass a $2.7 trillion budget deal Thursday that would suspend the debt ceiling through 2021, sending the package to President Trump's desk after the House passed it last week.

Why it matters: The Congressional Budget Office projected that the national debt would reach "unprecedented levels" in the next 30 years should laws remain the same. It exceeded $22 trillion in February, and the federal deficit has grown 23% this fiscal year.

Go deeperArrowAug 1, 2019