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(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.
EUR/USD managed to get above the resistance at 1.2175 and is moving towards the next resistance at 1.2220.
The British pound has rallied significantly during the course of the trading session on Tuesday to reach towards and above the 1.42 handle.
Tesla has the highest short interest of any company, according to S3 Partners.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for the New Economy Daily newsletter, follow us @economics and subscribe to our podcast.The surge in commodities prices is failing to trigger some of the traditional responses in bonds and currencies.Unlike recent commodities rallies in 2008 and 2011, yields on Treasuries and currencies of major exporters like Australia have barely budged. Likewise, the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of inflation expectations has disconnected from moves in raw materials.The biggest buffer: Central bank credibility. Led by the Federal Reserve, policy makers have consistently doubled down on lower-for-longer rates and projections for “transitory” inflation. That’s left investors wary to bet against commitments to keep policy loose for the foreseeable future.“The big change this time around is central bank policy,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Melbourne. Ultra-easy monetary policy is now “weighing down currencies that would have naturally risen a lot more during a cycle where commodity prices are rising.”The Australian and New Zealand dollars -- two major currencies whose fates usually rely heavily on trends in commodities consumed by China’s booming economy -- are indisputable laggards. Each has increased less than 0.5% over the past three months.The Canadian dollar, meanwhile, has surged more than 5% as the central bank signaled it may dial back stimulus. The loonie’s rapid rise could give way to pressure on officials to slow development and curb capital inflows, as is usually the case during commodities booms in Canada.Last week, both the U.S. consumer and producer price index reports surprised to the upside, adding fuel to the global inflation debate on the heels of strong Chinese producer price data. Yet the market reaction was relatively muted after the PPI figures -- with 5-year and 10-year yields easing alongside a weaker greenback.The Fed’s own new “common inflation expectations” quarterly gauge, which aggregates a range of such measures, is hovering around 2%, a level that officials want to see overshot for some time.Meanwhile, prices have accelerated for materials as disparate as copper, cotton, rubber and lumber, as well as semiconductors, amid supply disruptions and surging demand.The disparity is a sign of the times amid an evolution -- perhaps revolution -- of central banking. The Fed’s commitment to run the economy hot has rattled markets in part because it means abandoning what has long been a core of their strategy: to act preemptively to curb inflation.In this brave new world, market participants are still grappling with whether to trust that officials will act before price surges get out of control and do more harm than good -- balanced against the full-employment mandate.That message is getting through to traders of the Australian and New Zealand currencies, while for others, hints of monetary policy tightening are giving reason to pile in.“The Bank of Canada and Norges Bank are the only central banks in the developed world to give an unambiguous signal that they’re contemplating withdrawing monetary accommodation,” said Stephen Miller, Sydney-based investment consultant at GSFM, a unit of Canada’s CI Financial Corp. “The RBA has been so aggressively beating the drum on keeping the pedal to the metal that it’s worked in terms of keeping the Aussie lower despite iron ore prices soaring.”A closer look at breakeven rates offers further evidence that investors largely aren’t acting on any inflation worries. The U.S. 10-year breakeven, which has jumped to an eight-year high, isn’t sending a clear runaway-inflation message when viewed against long-term trends.If potential for runaway inflation were the trigger, the spot and forward breakeven curves would be upward-sloping, Cornerstone Macro analysts, led by ex-Fed official Roberto Perli, said in a May 11 report. Yet both are inverted, implying a market bet that inflation is temporary.To be sure, some of the usual correlations have broken down due to other pandemic-related worries.The Philippine peso, which usually moves in inverse with oil prices, is relatively stable given that inflation is damped by weak economic growth -- rising more than 1% over the past three months, the most across a dozen Asia currencies. That relationship underscores the central banking mantra these days that growth and employment should remain a greater focus than prices.Looking ahead, persistence in materials prices and further hints of wage gains could start to sway the Fed’s message -- and build momentum for investors to respond.“Recent record highs in metal prices are probably just the beginning,” Howie Lee, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., said in a May 11 report. Chinese demand and green-economy investment should keep iron ore and copper, especially, on the upswing, he said.(Updates currency data in fifth, third-to-last paragraphs, and second chart.)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) -- GDS Holdings Ltd. is considering acquiring GLP Pte’s data centers business as the Chinese cloud computing company seeks to expand its digital infrastructure capacity in the world’s second-largest economy, according to people familiar with the matter.GDS, a developer and operator of high-performance data centers across China, is holding preliminary talks with Singapore investment manager GLP over a potential transaction that could value the assets at $8 billion to $10 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. As part of the deal GLP would become a shareholder in Shanghai-based GDS, the people said.Considerations are at an early stage and the companies could decide against pursuing a transaction, the people said. Details including valuation and structure of a deal could change, they said. Representatives for GDS and GLP didn’t respond to phone calls, emails and text messages requesting comment.GDS’s American depositary shares jumped as much as 5.4% Tuesday. They were up 4.2% at 12:41 p.m. in New York, giving the company a market value of $14.8 billion and putting it on track to close at the highest level in more than two weeks.Booming Interest The prospective deal comes as digital infrastructure swells in importance to the global economy, with data centers supporting everything from the video streams that enable remote working to the online gaming and social media that fill our leisure time.Read More: Global Switch’s Chinese Owners Said to Mull $11 Billion SaleGDS, China’s largest independent data center operator by market value, raised $1.9 billion in a Hong Kong secondary listing last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer William Huang said in a November Bloomberg Television interview that the company plans to use the proceeds primarily to invest in data centers in China, Hong Kong and possibly Southeast Asia. GDS might also look at M&A opportunities in China and beyond, Huang said.GLP has substantial data center holdings of its own in China. The company has been developing GLP Huailai Internet Data Centre in Hebei province, northern China, with a total investment of about 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), according to its website. The facility will offer more than 15,000 cabinets, which can hold about 200,000 servers, once the project is finished.Founded in 2009, the firm is a global investment manager in logistics, real estate, infrastructure and technology, the website shows. It operates in markets including China, the U.S., Brazil, Europe, India, Japan and Vietnam and counts more than $100 billion in assets under management.A sale of the data center assets would follow other blockbuster deals by GLP. In 2019, it sold its U.S. urban logistics properties to Blackstone Group Inc. in an $18.7 billion transaction.(Updates with New York trading in fourth 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) -- Indonesian online travel company Tiket.com is exploring going public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company as it seeks to expand its business, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The startup is in talks with COVA Acquisition Corp. for a deal that would value the combined entity at about $2 billion, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is advising Jakarta-based Tiket, which is valued at more than $1 billion and owned by diversified Indonesian conglomerate Djarum Group, they said.The startup may also pursue a traditional initial public offering, a merger or an acquisition to expand, the people said. Negotiations between the two firms aren’t finalized and it’s possible discussions may not result in a deal, they said.Tiket joins a slew of Southeast Asian internet companies considering SPAC listings or initial public offerings to fuel growth as online commerce gains popularity in the region. Indonesian rival Traveloka is in advanced talks to go public through merging with Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., a blank-check firm backed by billionaire Richard Li and Peter Thiel.As part of the deal, Tiket could raise about $200 million in a so-called private investment in public equity, or PIPE, that often accompanies a SPAC merger, the people said. Representatives of Tiket, Goldman and COVA Acquisition declined to comment.Tiket.com was founded in 2011, a year before Traveloka. Djarum acquired Tiket in 2017 and put it under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer George Hendrata, previously Djarum’s director of business development and diversification. Tiket’s platform lets consumers buy tickets for flights, trains as well as concerts and other events. Users can also book hotel and rental cars in Indonesia. It has a network of more than 90 airlines, 2.8 million hotels and other lodgings, and more than 400 corporate partners.Tiket’s sales of plane tickets and hotel bookings surged more than 300% in the first three months of 2021 compared with the second quarter of 2020, when business was hurt by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the company’s press release in April.Djarum is led by Michael Bambang Hartono and his younger brother Robert Budi Hartono, who inherited a clove cigarette manufacturing business from their father Oei Wie Gwan upon his death in 1963. They grew the business into a diversified conglomerate including PT Bank Central Asia, whose market capitalization of about $55 billion makes it Indonesia’s most valuable company. Budi Hartono is the richest Indonesian with a net worth of $16 billion, while Michael has a net worth of $15 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Luminar Backer’s $300 Million SPAC Seeks Southeast Asia TargetCOVA Acquisition is led by Jun Hong Heng, the founder of San Francisco-based Crescent Cove Advisors LP, which backs high-growth technology, media and telecommunications ventures in the U.S. and Southeast Asia. Crescent Cove was one of the earliest and largest investors in Luminar, a driverless-car startup founded by entrepreneur Austin Russell.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
A paper that my colleague Anqi Chen and I wrote last year — “How Much Taxes Will Retirees Owe on Their Retirement Income?” — keeps hitting the “top 10” list on a major listserv for social sciences research. As people approach retirement, they tend to add up their financial resources — Social Security benefits, defined benefit pensions, defined contribution balances, and other assets. The question we look at is just how large the tax burden is for the typical retired household and for households at different income levels.
‘Will she still be able to use our daughter as a tax deduction? My concern is also with the coming child tax credit this summer.’
I think the main driver of the rally is that gold investors believe the Fed when it says it is going to hold policy accommodative.
AT&T's stock is the biggest loser in the S&P 500 on Tuesday. Its valuation depends on how much credit investors give the combined WarnerMedia/Discovery for its future streaming efforts.
Experienced hands look to be buying the dip as a key bitcoin price indicator suggests the pullback may be coming to an end.
Learn the basic structure of a 401(k) and why it may not be enough to sustain you during retirement.
Amid the slump sweeping across crypto assets Tuesday, investors were turning their attention to a meme asset, SafeMoon, that has garnered increased attention was recently drawing fresh looks after comments made by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy on Twitter.
Raoul Pal tells bitcoin investors that current volatility is to be expected, but big things are around the corner.
‘Everybody wants to have asset prices forever going up and the cost of financing to be next to nothing,' Kerry Killinger says.
SafeMoon debuted its cryptocurrency in March, claiming to solve common problems that plague Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin.
(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies slumped after the People’s Bank of China reiterated that the digital tokens cannot be used as a form of payment.The largest cryptocurrency fell as much as 5.3% to $42,430 in New York, continuing a week-long slide sparked by Elon Musk’s back-and-forth comments on Tesla Inc.’s holdings of the coin. Bitcoin is now at its lowest level since early February. Ether lost more than 7%, while last week’s sensation, Internet Computer, continued its plunge. Dogecoin also slid.“This is the latest chapter of China tightening the noose around crypto,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner and co-founder of Nexo in London, a crypto lender.Virtual currencies should not and cannot be used in the market because they’re not real currencies, according to a notice posted on PBOC’s official WeChat account. Financial and payments institutions are not allowed to price products or services with virtual currency, the note said.Beijing since 2017 has abolished initial coin offerings and clamped down on virtual currency trading within its borders, forcing many exchanges overseas. The country was once home to about 90% of trades but the lion’s share of mining and major players have since fled abroad.Read more: Bitcoin Chartists See Rout Worsening With $40,000 in FocusChina has recently taken steps to issue its own digital yuan, seeking to replace cash and maintain control over a payments landscape that has become increasingly dominated by technology companies not regulated like banks.“It’s no surprise to me, as Chinese capital controls can be challenged by cryptocurrency purchases in the country and transfers out of the country,” said Adam Reynolds, CEO for APAC at Saxo Markets. “So avoiding use of them in the country is essential to maintaining capital controls. The only tolerable digital currency to a government with strong capital controls is their own CBDC.”Many chartists and technical analysts are looking at Bitcoin’s 14-day Relative Strength Index (RSI), which entered oversold levels Tuesday. In addition, an acceleration in its selloff could mean the coin approaches its next support around $40,000. A fall to that level would mark the first time since September that Bitcoin would test its average price over the past 200 days. And breaching it could mean it drops to $30,000, where it’s previously found support.For Stephane Ouellette, chief executive and co-founder of FRNT Financial, the moves have more to do with Musk’s recent tweets about Bitcoin.“It’s just a bit of a mess. TSLA’s entrance into the space saw some of the most aggressive BTC buying I’ve personally ever seen -- and it has to unwind,” he said. The EV-maker’s retraction that it will accept Bitcoin as payment “was the catalyst that accelerated the spread consolidation. Then over the weekend, little comments here and there have continued to confuse.”Meanwhile, the latest Bank of America fund manager survey showed that “Long Bitcoin” is the most crowded trade in the world right now. The poll captures 194 fund managers with $592 billion worth of AUM overall.“The fact that the BofA manager survey shows that the ‘long Bitcoin’ trade is the most crowded one on the Street right now isn’t helping either,” said Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. “When an asset becomes the most crowded trade in the BofA survey, it has frequently signaled a near-term pullback in the past. When you combine this with the news out of China, it’s not a surprise that Bitcoin is seeing some more weakness.”(Updates throughout, adds technical analysis, adds Ouellette comments)More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
GameStop and AMC overcame rocky starts to the trading day as comments on social media surged and retail traders mused once again about “squeeze"s on both stocks.
The payments will reach more than 65 million children, according to senior administration officials.