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Fintech disruption has accelerated tremendously in recent years. Should traditional banks be worried?
Fintech disruption has accelerated tremendously in recent years. Should traditional banks be worried?
(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).
Investors have been diversifying out of bitcoin and into altcoin investment products, according to CoinShares.
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.
Satori Fund founder Dan Niles is warning that inflation might force the Fed's hand into sparking a 20% market collapse.
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.
The crypto car drove to the dump Monday as most blockchain assets fell.
(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.
Oxford analysts are now warning that OPEC+, largely responsible for the recovery in crude markets, could see its efforts thwarted once again by chief rival: U.S. shale
(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.
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) -- It’s a Wall Street nightmare. You score hundreds of millions of dollars on a trade and you just can’t get paid.That’s what Goldman Sachs Group Inc. faces in a transaction pitting its traders against Mexico’s dominant power company, championed by none other than President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, according to people with knowledge of the matter. At issue: roughly $400 million the Wall Street bank believes it’s owed from a natural-gas trade that went wild when a deep freeze hit Texas in February.In private discussions with Goldman Sachs, state-owned utility Comision Federal de Electricidad has blamed rogue traders, ejected staff and even hinted that the side lacking financial sophistication in the trade was, perhaps, the Wall Street bank, the people said.If the impasse continues to escalate, it risks dragging the bank into a political blowup.The freakishly cold storm that battered the central U.S. set off sweeping blackouts as ice formed on wind turbines and some pipelines froze, forcing oil and gas wells to shut. As power suppliers and traders struggled to track down fuel to meet obligations, prices skyrocketed. The surge benefited companies that happened to be on the right side of trades, but their ability to collect depends on what happens to gas suppliers, power generators and utility customers, some of whom have filed price-gouging lawsuits.The cost of paying Goldman Sachs could ultimately come from Mexican households, many of whom were left without power in the winter -- not so much because of local malfunctions but because authorities in Texas cut off fuel exports when their own lightly regulated system failed. It’s little surprise then that officials south of the border are reluctant to write a check to a giant U.S. bank.Yet anybody who bails on such a bet risks becoming persona non grata on Wall Street, complicating their future access. On the other side, Goldman’s leaders have to consider how angry they want to make the government of Mexico, a market where the firm has been expanding.The descriptions of the dispute and the underlying transaction between Goldman and a CFE subsidiary were provided by people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified publicly discussing the talks. A representative for Goldman Sachs didn’t comment for this story.The bank and CFE are heading into arbitration over the matter, a spokeswoman for the utility told a Whatsapp chat room with journalists on Monday, noting “the CFE considers that it has solid and sufficient arguments.”On the face of it, it was a routine natural-gas contract. Goldman had entered into the arrangement with CFE International, an arm of CFE. The investment bank’s obligations were tied to a monthly index of gas prices, while the CFE unit would be exposed to daily rates at certain hubs, such as the Waha hub in West Texas.The daily price there surged by nearly 100 times, whereas the monthly price was left largely unchanged, leaving the CFE subsidiary on the hook for an unusually large amount. But instead of the contract getting settled in the Wall Street firm’s favor, the situation has devolved into an acrimonious spat.The Mexican utility has argued that the traders who initiated the deal at its subsidiary weren’t authorized to do so, and some of them have since left, the people said. CFE has also argued it shouldn’t have to fulfill the contract because of the unforeseeable, extreme price action. And it has asserted that Goldman failed to strike a rock-solid contract because it didn’t get an explicit nod from the parent company as a guarantor on the trade, undermining the bank’s ability to extract the money.For Goldman, the dispute boils down to a contractual obligation that its counterparty is duty-bound to fulfill, even if the debt resulted from unforeseen disaster. The bank has also privately argued that such a trade was routinely carried out between the two sides and that the subsidiary even represented in documentation that it had a guarantee from the parent company, a person close to Goldman said. Chat logs during the deal indicate that CFE’s subsidiary was seeking approvals on various aspects of the trade from its parent, the person said.It’s unclear how and when Goldman will be able to realize the money it insists it’s owed, especially as CFE becomes a central part of the Mexican president’s campaign to reshape the domestic energy market.Read More: Mexico Blames U.S. as Energy Crisis Spills Across the BorderSince winning in a landslide in 2018, Lopez Obrador has sought to roll back energy reforms by his predecessor and has said he wants to turn CFE back into an economic champion. He’s broadly blamed private companies for fleecing the nation in deals hatched with corrupt officials, and he’s taken particular issue with gas contracts that he says unfairly benefited businesses at the expense of the state utility.“We are going to continue to comply with the commitment not to increase the price of electricity, even with speculation and the increases in gas prices that are taking place in Texas and the United States,” he said during his morning press conference on Feb. 18.(Updates with comment from CFE spokeswoman in ninth 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) -- 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.
Stocks fell on Monday, resuming last week's declines as investors' concerns around rising inflation persisted.
(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) -- 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.
(Bloomberg) -- iFast Corp., an online brokerage that’s been Singapore’s best-performing stock over the past year, is betting on China and a retail-trading frenzy to help it grow assets by more than fivefold by 2028.Although the firm’s Chinese operations are loss-making, Chief Executive Officer Lim Chung Chun said the nation is poised to become the wealth-management platform’s fastest-growing market and is key to the group’s goal of reaching S$100 billion ($75 billion) of assets under administration by 2028. Investors have bought into that vision, with iFast shares soaring more than 500% in the past 12 months -- beating all members of the FTSE ST All-Share Index.“The potential of the China market is immense, and the kind of losses we are generating today are a very manageable amount considering the size of the market,” Lim said in an interview. iFast’s shares rose as much as 4.7% on Tuesday.Singapore-based iFast has benefited from a surge in retail trading by stuck-at-home investors trying their hands at equities, which helped the firm more than double net income last year. But to achieve the S$100-billion goal, first stated in 2018, assets will need to expand at a compounded annual rate of 27% through 2028, Lim said. That compares with an annualized rate of 34% the past two years.“The group continues to be in investment mode which it expects will help reap benefits at a later stage,” Krishna Guha, an analyst at Jefferies Financial Group LLC, wrote in a note last month, referring to iFast’s China business.iFast has good “growth momentum” in China, Lim said, though it reported S$4.9 million in losses in that market last year. The CEO said there is “no timeline for breaking even.”iFast, which counts Singapore as its biggest market, initiated private-fund management in China this past February. The broker relies on other businesses including financial advisers and internet firms to sell its funds in the large Chinese market, Lim said, adding that about 80 such companies are being used to make those connections.The broker remains focused on expansion. In addition to being registered as a private-fund manager in China, iFast also won a contract for Hong Kong’s pension fund platform and started stockbroking activities in Malaysia over the past year. It’s also applying as part of a consortium for a digital-banking license in Malaysia -- though the firm lost out on getting one in Singapore last year.Even after the market-leading rally the past year, iFast shares are poised for further gains, according to analysts who cover the stock. All five of them have a buy rating and their consensus price target implies a gain of about 25% more over the next 12 months, compared with an estimated 13% rise in the broader FTSE gauge, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.(Adds Tuesday performance in third paragraph; updates prices throughout.)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The Biden administration confirms the payments will follow the schedule set down in law.