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The utility rose along with its peers, but its focus on reducing its carbon footprint is making it increasingly attractive to investors.
The utility rose along with its peers, but its focus on reducing its carbon footprint is making it increasingly attractive to investors.
(Bloomberg) -- Beijing threw the spotlight on trade tensions with its top commodities supplier, Australia, after the government’s economic planning agency said it’s looking to diversify China’s supply of iron ore.Chinese firms should boost domestic exploration for the steel-making input, widen their sources of imports, and explore overseas ore resources, the National Development and Reform Commission said at its monthly briefing.The NDRC also said Australia should stop damaging economic and trade cooperation with China and take measures to promote the healthy development of bilateral ties.Iron ore is Australia’s biggest export earner, and relations with Canberra have taken a turn for the worse in recent weeks. But adding the mineral to a raft of curbs already in place on Australian commodities would be a risky move given near-record prices and China’s dependence on Australia’s high-quality supply for about two-thirds of its imports.“While an outright ban would be almost unimaginable, various forms of restrictions, delays or increased administrative burdens on Australian iron ore imports could yet happen,” Wood Mackenzie said in a recent note.Chinese industrial commodities prices powered on, meanwhile, recovering much of their poise after last week’s pullback.Citigroup said further gains for markets like steel, aluminum and coal are supported by solid demand and a policy agenda that includes “domestic production crackdowns for environmental, energy and safety control purposes,” according to a note from the bank.At the same time, an acceleration in credit tightening is unlikely in the foreseeable future after the central bank expressed only limited concern about the surge in commodities prices feeding through into CPI, Citigroup said.Otherwise, the day’s agenda is led by China’s agricultural imports for April. Purchases of corn, wheat and sorghum are likely to stay elevated, as China’s buying binge continues to help fuel a global grains rally.Events Today(All times Beijing unless noted otherwise.)China’s 2nd batch of April trade data, incl. agricultural imports; LNG & pipeline gas imports; oil products trade breakdown; alumina and rare-earth product exports; bauxite, steel & aluminum product importsLONGi Green, Goldwind execs among speakers at Macquarie Group conference in Hong KongEARNINGS: Daqo New EnergyToday’s ChartChina’s data dump for April suggests the economy’s expansion may have plateaued as policy makers seek to rein in commodities-intensive spending on real estate and infrastructure before new growth drivers of consumer spending and manufacturing investment have recovered.On the WireShaanxi province, China’s third-biggest coal producing region, hit a clean energy milestone last month when generation from renewables briefly topped thermal power for the first time.In a town on the edge of the Gobi desert is a sign in English and Chinese that reads “Oil Holy Land.” Nearby, a preserved drilling rig marks the spot of China’s first commercial oil well.JinkoSolar Announces Change to Senior ManagementChina Is Drafting Carbon Peaking Plans for Steel, Power SectorsAsian Copper Stocks Rise on Top Producer Chile’s Election ResultHuadian Power Downgraded to Sell by Citi on Rising Coal CostsBank of China, Citigroup, BNP Lead Green Bond Offshore MarketCGN Wind Energy Adds Zhejiang Province’s Largest Offshore FarmGCL-Poly Energy Says Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Resigns as AuditorBrazil Iron Ore Miners Seen Lifting Output Coming Months: IbramChina’s Tapering of Monetary Stimulus Could Pop Oil Price BubbleThe Week AheadWednesday, May 19China’s monthly loan primes rates, 09:30China’s April output data for base metals and oil productsHOLIDAY: Hong KongThursday, May 20China’s 3rd batch of April trade data, including country breakdowns for energy and commoditiesSMM battery materials conference in Changsha, Hunan, day 1USDA weekly crop export sales, 08:30 ESTFriday, May 21Ganfeng Lithium, EVE Energy, Huayou Cobalt execs among speakers at Macquarie Group conference in Hong KongChina weekly iron ore port stockpilesShanghai exchange weekly commodities inventory, 15:30SMM battery materials conference in Changsha, Hunan, day 2AGMs: Cnooc, Tianqi Lithium, CATLMore stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Michael Burry, the investor who rose to fame for making billions off bets against mortgage securities during the financial crisis, has placed a sizable wager against Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc.Burry’s Scion Asset Management owned bearish puts against 800,100 shares of the electric-car maker as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing Monday. The puts give Scion the right to sell Tesla shares on or before an unidentified date in the future.Tesla shares closed at an all-time high of $883.09 on Jan. 26, after a yearlong rally jolted the stock higher by almost 700%. It had lost a quarter of its value by the end of March, and is down 35% from its peak as of the close Monday.The bet against Tesla isn’t Burry’s first. He said in a since-deleted tweet in early December that his firm was short shares of the EV maker. The hedge fund manager also advised Musk to sell shares to raise capital while his stock, then on a torrid run from the pandemic lows, was at what Burry called “ridiculous” levels.Tesla earned record profit in the first quarter, sidestepped an industry chip shortage, improved its manufacturing and even made money off Bitcoin, its earnings results showed in late April. Yet shares fell in a sign of the lofty expectations the company now contends with. Among the quibbles from analysts: Tesla didn’t offer a specific estimate for vehicle deliveries in 2021.It’s impossible to know when Burry’s Scion made the bets against Tesla, at what price the puts are in the money and how much the firm paid for them. The filing, a quarterly rundown of holdings required of hedge funds of a certain size, said the position was worth $534 million -- an amount likely derived by multiplying Tesla’s share price on March 31 by the number of shares Scion bet against.“Tesla is down 14% since the end of the first quarter, so on balance, these puts have been profitable, though it’s impossible to know for sure,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers LLC. “He’s expressing the type of skepticism that many have on Tesla. I would have to believe that he accumulated various Tesla options at various strikes, and some of them probably have expired.”Burry was played by Christian Bale in the film version of Michael Lewis’s best-selling account of the 2008 financial crisis, “The Big Short.”(Updates with quote in seventh paragraph)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc has sold nearly all of its holdings in Wells Fargo & Co, as Warren Buffett abandoned a more than 31-year-old investment that had been among his most successful before the bank was felled by scandals for mistreating customers. In a regulatory filing on Monday, Berkshire said it owned just $26.4 million of shares in the fourth-largest U.S. bank as of March 31, down from around $32 billion in January 2018.Berkshire began investing in San Francisco-based Wells Fargo in 1989, and spent at least $12.7 billion on its shares, building a 10% stake.The bank's reputation was shattered by revelations that employees facing aggressive sales goals opened millions of unwanted accounts, charged unnecessary mortgage fees and forced drivers to buy car insurance they did not need.
The drop seems to confirm what some equity analysts had pondered at the time of Coinbase’s listing – that COIN might act as a proxy bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Stock futures traded slightly higher Monday evening after falling during the regular session, with technology stocks underperforming and dragging the Nasdaq lower as inflation concerns persisted.
The European Commission wants to propose in 2023 a more unified way of taxing companies in the European Union, hoping that such rules, which have failed to win support in the past, will stand a better chance if they follow global OECD solutions expected this year. The Commission will present a plan on Tuesday including this proposal and other measures for adjusting the EU's business taxation to make it more up to date with the modern world, where cross-border business, often carried out via the Internet, is commonplace. The deal is aimed at stopping governments competing with each other through lowering tax rates to attract investment and at creating a way to tax profits in countries where the customers are rather than where a company sets up its office for tax purposes.
Satori Fund founder Dan Niles is warning that inflation might force the Fed's hand into sparking a 20% market collapse.
The crypto car drove to the dump Monday as most blockchain assets fell.
(Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and partners are investing $400 million in Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group Corp.’s retail arm, a deal that will expand the Chinese e-commerce giant’s online groceries business in Southeast Asia.Alibaba and Baring Private Equity Asia are leading a consortium that will take a 5.5% stake in The CrownX, which holds Masan’s interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce, while the conglomerate will own 80.2% of the firm following the investment, according to a statement Tuesday. The deal implies a pre-investment valuation of $6.9 billion for The CrownX, the statement showed.Masan is in advanced talks with other investors on a further investment of $300 million to $400 million into The CrownX that is expected to close in 2021, the company said. Shares of the Vietnamese corporation rallied as much as 2.7% in early trading Tuesday.As part of the deal, the Vietnamese retail firm will team up with Alibaba’s Southeast Asian unit Lazada to expand its digital business in the country. Jack Ma’s corporation is seeking to expand its foothold in Southeast Asia, home to more than 650 million people, as competition and regulatory scrutiny intensify in its home market of China. Vietnam’s digital economy is forecast to grow to $52 billion by 2025, an annual 29% increase from 2020, according to estimates by Bain & Co., Google and Temasek.“The move should strengthen Lazada’s competitive position by broadening its offerings in groceries, similar to the RedMart acquisition in Singapore,” Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst Vey-Sern Ling said. “The Southeast Asia e-commerce markets are nascent and Alibaba will probably invest much more in the future, especially since competition in the region is increasing.”VinCommerce will provide groceries to Lazada’s e-commerce platform in Vietnam and turn its physical stores into pick-up points for online orders, according to the statement. Groceries account for half of the country’s retail market and a quarter of consumer spending, but online penetration is still nascent, the statement said.“Our immediate priority is to modernize Vietnam’s grocery market and develop an unparalleled consumer proposition from assortment to shopping experience,” said Danny Le, chief executive officer of Masan Group.Masan Group is controlled by Vietnamese tycoon Nguyen Dang Quang. Founded in 1996, the Ho Chi Minh City-based firm is best-known for its fish sauce which it sells under brands including Chin-Su and Nam Ngu, according to its website. It has interests in retailing and mining as well as a stake in Vietnam Technological & Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, commonly known as Techcombank. Its VinCommerce arm operates one of the country’s largest convenience store chains.The CrownX is targeting online gross merchandise value to account for at least 5% of total sales in the coming years.(Updates with Masan’s share performance in third paragraph, analyst comment in fifth paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Bitcoin hit record outflows last week, as investors diversified into cryptocurrency assets with new developments in their specific network such as ethereum, data from digital currency manager CoinShares showed on Monday. For the year, total bitcoin inflows amounted to $4.3 billion. In 2020, investors pumped $15.6 billion into bitcoin products and funds, while ethereum inflows reached nearly $2.5 billion, data showed.
(Bloomberg) -- Global banks are losing share in the $186 billion lending market for Chinese borrowers offshore, falling behind local rivals boosting their presence just as the nation’s corporate sector recovers from the pandemic.Their portion of such lending has steadily dropped over the past decade, hitting 37% so far this year to May 17, well below the 11-year average of 51%, according to Bloomberg-compiled data. Last year the share fell to 29%, the lowest since at least 2010. Taking over the slack are local lenders led by Bank of China Ltd., which has made the most offshore loans in the country for at least the last three years.The increased prominence of Chinese banks in the offshore loan market reflects the growth in general of the lenders as the economy expands. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. has seen its total assets more than double in the past decade to $5.1 trillion in 2020, making it the world’s largest bank by that measure, and the holdings of its big three state-owned rivals have also ballooned at a similar pace.For foreign banks, the increased competition from their Chinese rivals could lead to shrinking profit margins on deals, said Gary Ng, economist at Natixis SA in Hong Kong.Deals in China’s offshore loans, which are non-yuan debt clubbed or syndicated in Asia excluding China for the nation’s borrowers, have grown eightfold to $44.7 billion last year from $5.2 billion in 2010, Bloomberg-compiled data show. Bankers expect mergers and acquisitions to help drive such borrowings this year as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. The rebound in China is also likely to extend into the second quarter, according to Bloomberg economist Chang Shu.A look at the share of China offshore loans among the top global banks highlights their retreat. Standard Chartered Plc’s portion fell to 5% last year from 9% in 2010 while HSBC Holdings Plc dropped to 3% from 6% in the same period. Market leader Bank of China’s share climbed to about 8% from 2% in the period.Spokespeople at Standard Chartered and HSBC declined to comment. There was no immediate reply from Bank of China to an email seeking comment.Some international lenders are already reducing staff for the loans or exiting the market completely. Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp. said it aims to close its mainland China and Hong Kong branches next year, subject to local regulatory approval.“For a lot of international banks, the competitive pressure on margins and terms may not meet their returns hurdle, making it less appealing for them to participate,” according to Augusto King, co-head of Asia debt capital markets - loans and bonds at MUFG Securities Asia.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Tesla has dominated the EV sector in recent yeas, but this “second wave” of electric vehicles could benefit 2 stocks that are not EV manufacturers
(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. exited a bet on Synchrony Financial during the first quarter as the company continued to pare back its investments in financial firms.Berkshire reported Monday that it no longer held any shares in Synchrony, a bet that had totaled nearly $699 million at year-end, and trimmed its Wells Fargo & Co. holding to just over 675,000 shares as of March 31. It added shares in insurance broker Aon Plc, which is seeking to close a deal with rival Willis Towers Watson Plc.Buffett’s company has spent the last year revamping its holdings in financial firms, sticking by a massive stake in Bank of America Corp. valued at $39.1 billion, while exiting investments in JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. A more than three-decade investment in Wells Fargo, which once ranked as the company’s largest common stock bet, has been slowly disappearing in recent years and totaled just $26.4 million at the end of the first quarter.Meanwhile, Berkshire has dug even deeper into the insurance-brokerage industry. The bet on Aon, disclosed in a quarterly filing, comes just months after Berkshire revealed a stake in its rival Marsh McLennan. Aon and Willis Towers Watson have agreed to sell some assets to help ease regulatory concerns around their proposed combination. The Aon holding was valued at about $943 million at the end of the first quarter.In February, Berkshire disclosed three bets, including the Marsh McLennan stake, that it had been building up in secret. The company then spent the first quarter taking those bets in different directions, ramping up its stake in Marsh McLennan and Verizon Communications Inc. while cutting a Chevron Corp. holding roughly in half.Buffett and two of his key deputies, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler, oversee investments for the conglomerate’s $282 billion stock portfolio. The firm ended up increasing two other bets -- a stake in Kroger Co. and a holding in furniture company RH -- during the first quarter.(Updates with stake sizes, Verizon, Chevron, Kroger and RH starting in second paragraph.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk continued to whipsaw the price of Bitcoin, briefly sending it to the lowest since February after implying in a Twitter exchange Sunday that Tesla Inc. may sell or has sold its cryptocurrency holdings.Bitcoin slid below $45,000 for the first time in almost three months after the billionaire owner of the electric-car maker seemed to agree with a Twitter post that said Tesla should divest what at one point was a $1.5 billion stake in the largest cryptocurrency. It traded at $45,270 as of 5:51 p.m. in New York, down about $4,000 from where it ended Friday.The online commentary was the latest from the mercurial billionaire in a week of public statements that have roiled digital tokens. He lopped nearly $10,000 off the price of Bitcoin in hours last Wednesday after saying Tesla wouldn’t take it for cars. A few days earlier, he hosted “Saturday Night Live” and joked that Dogecoin, a token he had previously promoted, was a “hustle,” denting its price. Days later he tweeted he was working with Doge developers to improve its transaction efficiency.Musk’s disclosure in early February that Tesla used $1.5 billion of its nearly $20 billion in corporate cash to buy Bitcoin sent the token’s price to record and lent legitimacy to electronic currencies, which have become more of a mainstream asset in recent years despite some skepticism.His latest dustup with Bitcoin started with a tweet from a person using the handle @CryptoWhale, which said, “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him...”The Tesla chief executive officer responded, “Indeed.”The twitter account @CryptoWhale, which calls itself a “crypto analyst” in its bio, also publishes a Medium blog on market and crypto trends.Musk has spent hours Sunday hitting back at several different users on Twitter who criticized his change of stance on Bitcoin last week, a move he said was sparked by environmental concerns over the power demands to process Bitcoin transactions. He said at the time that the company wouldn’t be selling any Bitcoin it holds.An outspoken supporter of cryptocurrencies with cult-like following on social media, Musk holds immense sway with his market-moving tweets. He has been touting Dogecoin and significantly elevated the profile of the coin, which started as a joke and now ranks the 5th largest by market value.Dogecoin is down 9.6% in the last 24 hours, trading at 47 cents late Sunday afternoon, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.Tesla didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Musk’s tweet on Sunday.Read More: Elon Musk Just Reopened an Old Wound in the Bitcoin WorldMusk’s Sunday social-media escapades were the latest chapter in one of the zaniest weeks in a crypto world famous for its wildness. For die hards, the renewed slumps in Bitcoin and other tokens have done nothing to deter crypto enthusiasts who say digital coins could many times their current value if they transform the financial system.“We’re looking at the long-term and so these blips, they don’t faze us,” Emilie Choi, president and chief operating officer of crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc., said last week on Bloomberg TV about the wild swings prevalent in the market. “You’re looking for the long-term opportunity and you kind of buckle up and go for it.”Seat belts were needed by anyone watching the crypto world in the past eight days. Aside from Musk’s antics that sent Doge and Bitcoin on wild rides, a host of other developments pushed around prices.Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin, disclosed a reserves breakdown that showed a large portion in unspecified commercial paper. Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management announced that it would begin trading cryptocurrencies. And a longstanding critique of the space reared its head again: illicit usage.It was reported that the owners of the Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom in untraceable digital currencies to hackers that attacked its infrastructure, while Bloomberg also reported that Binance Holdings Ltd., the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, was under investigation by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service in relation to possible money-laundering and tax offenses.But, “for many crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the long-term story has not changed,” said Simon Peters, an analyst at multi-asset investment platform eToro. “This emerging asset class continues to revolutionize many aspects of financial services, and while nothing goes up in a straight line, the long-term fundamentals for crypto assets remain as solid as ever.”Bitcoin was already swinging wildly on the weekend before Musk tweeted. The two days tend to be particularly volatile for cryptocurrencies, which -- unlike most traditional assets -- trade around the clock every day of the week. Bitcoin’s average swing on Saturdays and Sundays so far this year comes in at 4.95%.That type of volatility is owing to a few factors: Bitcoin’s held by relatively few people, meaning that price swings can be magnified during low-volume periods. And, the market remains hugely fragmented with dozens of platforms operating under different standards. That means cryptocurrencies lack a centralized market structure akin to that of traditional assets.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The European Union is about to complete bond sales for its regional jobs program, widely considered a warm-up act to a landmark borrowing spree that’s due to start in the second half of the year.The bloc is set to sell eight- and 25-year securities on Tuesday to help finance its so-called SURE package of loans for member states, capping around 76 billion euros ($92 billion) of issuance so far. The EU’s first major foray into global debt markets has been a huge success, with orders last year breaking records, buoyed by the bloc’s top-bill credit rating and the European Central Bank’s bond purchases.“The first few EU SURE syndications were a smashing success in terms of demand,” said Martin van Vliet, a strategist at Robeco. “There will be structural demand for triple AAA paper such as the EU, so the recovery fund issuance will be digested, but we’re not sure demand will be as astronomical.”It bodes well for the EU’s flagship recovery fund, which will see the bloc issue 800 billion euros of debt over half a decade to fund fiscal stimulus across member states. That’s equivalent to the size of Spain’s entire bond market, a test of investor appetite for securities that some say could even serve as a new haven asset to rival U.S. Treasuries.Yet with the market in the throes of a reflation-fueled selloff and investors preparing for the ECB to begin tapering its bond-buying program later this year as the pandemic recedes, there are concerns over how well future offerings will be absorbed. In a sign of waning demand, the yield on 10-year SURE bonds has climbed more than 40 basis points since they were issued in October.The bond sales are ready to start by July, according to the European Union, though all member states need to have ratified the program by then. The Commission announced Monday that it would use an auction system operated by France’s central bank to issue debt later in the year, relying on syndications in the meantime. Sales are expected to average around 150 billion euros per year for the duration of the program.Still, EU bonds will outperform “core” European sovereign peers because investors face a serious shortage of notes in both the short- and long-term, Commerzbank AG analysts wrote in a note to clients last month. Any attempt to extend the size of the package is likely to be politically difficult, they argue.The EU mandated Deutsche Bank AG, LBBW, Morgan Stanley, Natixis SA and NatWest Markets for the sale of SURE bonds. Commerzbank expects the EU will sell as much as 15 billion euros of bonds.Elsewhere, government bonds are starting to see demand ebb, with German 10-year bond yields climbing to their highest level since 2019 last week. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects them to breach 0% for the first time since 2019 this year. Italian 10-year bond yields rose to the highest level since July on Monday as investors speculated an economic growth rebound could mean less central bank support.“Over the last couple of weeks things have definitely turned more challenging,” said Christoph Rieger, head of fixed-rate strategy at Commerzbank. “Lower ECB buying may require somewhat higher premiums.”More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The activist seeking to revamp the board of Exxon Mobil Corp. received a boost Monday with another prominent shareholder advisory firm recommending investors support two of its four nominees.Glass Lewis & Co. said it agreed with activist investor Engine No. 1 that Exxon’s board had failed to demonstrate the foresight needed to position the company for long-term value creation. The advisory firm said shareholders should elect Gregory Goff and Alexander Karsner from Engine No. 1’s slate to the board because they would bring a “fresh independent perspective and relevant industry, operational and regulatory experience.”“While Exxon claims to have evolved its strategy and maintained its historical leadership position among oil majors, our review finds the company’s competitive position and financial returns have eroded, and its stated strategy to address the underlying reasons for this diminished performance is generally insufficient,” Glass Lewis said in its report late Monday.The advisory firm said Exxon’s leading position in the industry is “slipping” and its long-term shareholder returns have lagged certain European peers. Its long-term return on capital has also deteriorated to levels at or even below its estimated cost of capital, Glass Lewis said.“While the Exxon board has recently refreshed itself with needed oil and gas, capital allocation, investor perspective and climate-related business transformation experience, we believe the board remains lacking in critical areas, such as energy and cyclical business experience, scientific and technological research expertise and regulatory experience,” Glass Lewis said.Representatives for Exxon and Engine No. 1 were not immediately available for comment.Last week, another advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., said it agreed with the first-time activist’s arguments that more independent industry expertise was needed on the board to help improve its performance and guide Exxon through its energy transition plans. It urged investors to support three of Engine No. 1’s nominees.Engine No. 1 has been locked in a war of words with Exxon since disclosing a stake in Exxon in December. The San Francisco-based investment firm owns roughly a $57 million stake in the $263 billion Exxon. Its push for changes has garnered the support of pension plans in California and New York, as well as the Church of England and insurer Legal & General Group Plc.Exxon, for its part, has argued that it has one of the strongest boards in corporate America, and that additional changes were not necessary after it appointed three new directors, including activist investor Jeff Ubben, earlier this year. It has also argued that Engine No. 1 refused to engage with it and was focused on Exxon quitting its existing business, something it argues puts its $15 billion annual dividend at risk.Glass Lewis said it agreed with Engine No. 1 that past refreshment of the board, in accordance with the company’s “seemingly outdated framework” has not resulted in a significant change in strategic direction or improvement in performance.“We believe incremental changes will help to ensure the Exxon board is composed of individuals who possess the range of relevant, successful experience, skillsets and perspectives that will be needed for the company to address the critical issues it faces, and to more fully explore the potential pathways and role Exxon might play in the energy sector going forward,” the advisory firm said.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Japan's biggest lender, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), said it will aim for net zero emissions in its finance portfolio by 2050, responding to pressure to align its business with the targets set in the Paris Agreement on climate change. The bank will also be the first Japanese lender to join the United Nations' Net-Zero Banking Alliance, it said in a statement. "In order to lead the way to solutions for climate change, one of the most serious issues facing the world, we will further expand support for customers' efforts towards decarbonisation," the statement said.
(Bloomberg) -- Stanley Druckenmiller said last week that pretty much anyone could make money in the markets right now and that he was up 17% this year.The latest regulatory filing from his Duquesne Family Office shows some of the ways he’s done this and what he’s betting on going forward.The investor, worth $10.4 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, took a new $154.6 million position in Citigroup Inc., and a smaller stake in JPMorgan Chase & Co., a bet that could benefit from rising rates.Duquesne also amassed a $69.7 million stake in online travel company Booking Holdings Inc. and boosted its holdings of Starbucks Corp. and Expedia Group Inc. -- a nod to the rapidly vaccinated U.S. and a potential return to more travel and work from the office.Overall, the firm disclosed on Monday $3.9 billion of U.S. equity holdings in the 13F filing, a slight increase from the prior quarter.Druckenmiller made some sizable trades involving consumer businesses inordinately impacted by the pandemic. He liquidated stakes in Walt Disney Co. and cruise liner Carnival Corp. Duquesne also trimmed its holdings in used-car retailer Carvana Co. and miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc., which is up 70% this year.Extremely PrivateFamily offices, the closely held investment vehicles of the ultra-wealthy, are often impenetrably discreet. The 13F filings are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission of money managers overseeing more than $100 million in U.S. equities and must be filed within 45 days of the end of each quarter.Only a handful of family offices out of the thousands operating globally file the forms. Most are too small or farm their equity investments out to external money managers. Some, such as Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management, buy securities through swap arrangements with banks, which keeps their holdings hidden. Hwang’s family office, which blew up at the end of March, never filed a 13F.For those required to file the forms, they offer a glimpse into the investment strategies of some of the world’s wealthiest people.Soros Fund Management, for instance, revealed on Friday it snapped up shares of ViacomCBS Inc., Baidu Inc., Vipshop Holdings Ltd. and Tencent Music Entertainment Group. The investment firm, which oversees $27 billion, didn’t hold the shares prior to Archegos’s implosion, said a person familiar with the fund’s trading.Iconiq, WildcatBlue Pool Capital, which manages part of the fortunes of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founders Joe Tsai and Jack Ma, increased its investments in U.S. tech giants and trimmed exposure to health-care stocks in the first quarter, according to its latest filing.The Hong Kong-based firm took new positions in Uber Technologies Inc. and Twitter Inc. and added to its bets on Microsoft Corp. and Facebook Inc. In total the seven-year old firm disclosed it held 31 U.S. stocks worth a combined $446 million at the end of the quarter.Bluecrest Capital Management, the investment firm of billionaire trader Michael Platt, disclosed it held $3.8 billion of U.S. equities, a jump of more than $400 million from the prior period. The firm’s largest new positions were NRG Energy Inc., China Biologic Products Holdings and blank check firm Churchill Capital Corp VII.Iconiq Capital, the San Francisco-based multifamily office that has managed money for high-profile Silicon Valley billionaires like Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Zuckerberg and Reid Hoffman, reported that the value of its disclosed holdings surged 121% from the previous quarter, to $8.9 billion.Iconiq boosted its biggest position, in cloud-computing company Snowflake Inc., and revealed holdings of Roblox Corp. and Twilio Inc. Its Snowflake stake now makes up the vast majority of the total value of Iconiq’s disclosed portfolio.Another family office betting on Snowflake was David Bonderman’s Wildcat Capital Management, which disclosed $819 million of U.S. equities at the end of the quarter.The firm, which shares its name with the location of a home Bonderman owned near Aspen, Colorado, revealed a new position in South Korea’s Coupang Inc., which went public in March. Its largest holdings remain Skillz Inc. and Costar Group Inc.(Adds detail on Bluecrest Capital Management in 13th paragraph)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Stocks fell on Monday, resuming last week's declines as investors' concerns around rising inflation persisted.
(Bloomberg) -- Masaru Tange says the strategy that turned his company into one of Japan’s best-performing stocks may be surprising: He buys smaller firms and boosts their workers’ pay.Tange’s Shift Inc., a software tester, acquires other businesses near the bottom of the industry supply chain and raises their engineers’ salaries. He says he’s able to do this and still charge competitive prices by cutting out layers of companies that serve as middlemen in the outsourcing process. And having more workers leads to higher sales.Shift’s shares have risen more than 5,300% since it went public in 2014, the second-best performance on Tokyo’s benchmark stock index. The company’s market capitalization has surged to about $2.3 billion, pushing the value of Tange’s 33% stake to about $745 million.Tange, 46, says his business model is an attempt to remove inefficiencies in Japan’s software industry, where layers of subcontractors take cuts on orders before passing the work to another company below. It’s also, he says, a break from the M&A strategy of buying a business and looking to reduce costs.“I have a strong urge to rescue these young employees,” Tange, Shift’s founder, president and chief executive officer, said in an interview. “I want to create a fair working environment through M&A.”Tange grew up in what he describes as an ordinary family in Hiroshima in southwestern Japan, where both his parents were civil servants. He established Shift in 2005 after majoring in mechanical engineering and spending more than five years working for a consulting firm.Shift started out advising companies on how to improve profits. In 2009, it entered the software testing business.Tange said he wanted to change engineers’ perception that software testing was a second-rate job, including by paying them more money.For example, for a service where the market price was 2 million yen ($18,320), Shift would charge 1.5 million yen. This would enable it to win customers. At the same time, it would raise the amount paid to the engineer to about 800,000 yen from 500,000 yen. It could do so, Tange said, by getting rid of middlemen.Shift acquired Yusuke Sato’s company in 2016. Since then, the software developer says his salary has jumped by more than 70%.“Joining Shift was a huge turning point in my career,” Sato said.Shift has 3,308 engineers as permanent employees as of the end of February, up more than 14-fold from 228 at the end of November 2015. The company acquired at least 14 firms during that period.Increasing engineers leads directly to revenue growth because it enables the company to do more business, according to Go Saito, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG who initiated coverage on the stock in February with an outperform rating.“Sales can be derived by multiplying the number of engineers and the unit price for engineers,” Saito wrote in a report that month. “The company has already created a framework for the skills development of engineers, enabling it to cultivate high-quality human resources.”Revenue rose to 28.7 billion yen in the 12 months ended August 2020, more than triple the level three years earlier. Profit increased to 1.6 billion yen, compared to 208 million yen three years before. Shift forecasts that sales will jump to a record 45 billion yen this fiscal year.Software engineers are underpaid in Japan compared to the U.S. and there’s a shortage of them, according to Saito. That’s one reason why Shift’s model of outsourcing software testing works, he said.“We’re the biggest in Japan in this area,” Tange said. “I do see revenue reaching 100 billion yen,” he said, referring to the company’s goal for the fiscal year ending August 2025.Shift’s soaring shares haven’t been immune to pullbacks. They’ve fallen about 22% from a record in October as investors sold high-growth technology stocks. Even after the drop, the company trades at about 87 times estimated earnings.For veteran investor Mitsushige Akino, the stock may see more volatility in coming months and could fall in market downturns. But its “fundamentals are solid and Shift is making progress on the vision it laid out,” the senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. said. “It won’t be strange to see more buying of these types of shares if investors focus once more on growth stocks.”Credit Suisse’s Saito says the key will be whether Shift is able to continue to increase its number of engineers.Whether that will happen remains to be seen, but Tange, at least, isn’t short of confidence.“We’re just getting started,” he said.(Updates numbers throughout)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.