The art collective that sold the customised sneakers will recall the shoes and offer full refunds.
(Bloomberg) -- China slapped a record $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. after an anti-monopoly probe found it abused its market dominance, as Beijing clamps down on its internet giants.The 18.2 billion yuan penalty is triple the previous high of almost $1 billion that U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. had to pay in 2015, and was based on 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic revenue, according to China’s antitrust watchdog. The company will also have to initiate “comprehensive rectifications,” from protecting merchants and customers to strengthening internal controls, the agency said in a statement on Saturday.The fine -- about 12% of Alibaba’s fiscal 2020 net income -- helps remove some of the uncertainty that’s hung over China’s second-largest corporation. But Beijing remains intent on reining in its internet and fintech giants and is said to be scrutinizing other parts of billionaire founder Jack Ma’s empire, including Ant Group Co.’s consumer-lending businesses and Alibaba’s extensive media holdings.Alibaba used its platform rules and technical methods like data and algorithms “to maintain and strengthen its own market power and obtain improper competitive advantage,” the State Administration for Market Regulation concluded in its investigation. The company will likely have to change a raft of practices, like merchant exclusivity, which critics say helped it become China’s largest e-commerce operation.“The high fine puts the regulator in the media spotlight and sends a strong signal to the tech sector that such types of exclusionary conduct will no longer be tolerated,” said Angela Zhang, author of “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism” and director of Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s a stone that kills two birds.”Alibaba’s practice of imposing a “pick one from two” choice on merchants “shuts out and restricts competition“ in the domestic online retail market, according to the statement.The government action sends a clear warning to the tech sector as the government scrutinizes the influence that companies like Alibaba and social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. wield over spheres from consumer data to mergers and acquisitions.The investigation into Alibaba was one of the opening salvos in a campaign seemingly designed to curb the power of China’s internet leaders and their billionaire founders. The company has come under mounting pressure from authorities since Ma spoke out against China’s regulatory approach to the finance sector in October. Those comments set in motion an unprecedented regulatory offensive, including scuttling Ant Group Co.’s $35 billion initial public offering.Alibaba said it will hold a conference call Monday morning Hong Kong time to address lingering questions around the antitrust watchdog’s decree.“China’s record fine on Alibaba may lift the regulatory overhang that has weighed on the company since the start of an anti-monopoly probe in late December,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam said, describing the fine as a small price to pay to do away with that uncertainty.”Further ActionStill, it remains unclear whether the watchdog or other agencies might demand further action. Regulators are said for instance to be concerned about Alibaba’s ability to sway public discourse and want the company to sell some of its media assets, including the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper.The Hangzhou-based firm will be required to implement “comprehensive rectifications,” including strengthening internal controls, upholding fair competition, and protecting businesses on its platform and consumers’ rights, the regulator said. It will need to submit reports on self-regulation to the authority for three consecutive years.“Alibaba accepts the penalty with sincerity and will ensure its compliance with determination. To serve its responsibility to society, Alibaba will operate in accordance with the law with utmost diligence, continue to strengthen its compliance systems and build on growth through innovation,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.Faced ChallengesChief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in a memo to employees on Saturday that Alibaba always reflected and adapted when it faced challenges. He called for unity among staff, saying the company should “make self-adjustments and start over again.”The Communist Party-run People’s Daily newspaper said in a commentary on Saturday that the punishment involves specific anti-monopoly measures regulatory authorities take to “prevent the disorderly expansion of capital.”“It doesn’t mean denying the significant role of platform economy in overall economic and social development, and doesn’t signal a shift of attitude in terms of the country’s support to the platform economy,” the newspaper said. “Regulations are for better development, and ‘reining in’ is also a kind of love.”(Updates with company’s comment from 14th paragraph)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 reflation trade that dominated the start of 2021 in the bond market has taken a breather, leaving investors bracing for a key set of data in the week ahead that has the potential to reaffirm expectations that price pressures will build as the economy rebounds.All eyes will be on Tuesday’s release of the U.S. consumer price index for March, which is expected to show a significant jump. The number will likely be distorted by the huge slump in year-earlier figures at the outbreak of the pandemic. But traders may be reluctant to dismiss an acceleration -- as they did to some extent with Friday’s stronger-than-projected producer price data -- if there’s a growing sense that it marks the beginning of a trend.The statistics come at a crucial time for bond bears betting on reflation. Market measures of inflation expectations, fueled by ultraloose Federal Reserve policy and immense amounts of fiscal stimulus, have stalled near multiyear highs and have yet to be backed consistently by actual data. The same goes with gauges of the yield curve, which have retreated from recent peaks. It’s not just bond positions at stake: Without follow-through from data, bets on Fed tightening as soon as late 2022 may fade, potentially sapping demand for the surprisingly resilient dollar.“We don’t have strong reflation-trade momentum at the moment because people are waiting for more data,” said Daniel Tenengauzer, head of markets strategy at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. “As the data comes in, we are probably going to see the reflation trade play out again more strongly” toward the middle of the year.Tenengauzer says every inflation reading counts from this point because “the longer inflation stays at 2.5%,” an annual CPI reading last seen before the pandemic took hold, “the more underwater you are from holding fixed income.”Ten-year Treasury yields rose Friday, while finishing below the day’s high, after the PPI report showed a 4.2% increase from March 2020. Although it was relative to a period when the pandemic caused price pressures to crash, it was the biggest annual gain since 2011. The benchmark yield has retreated since approaching 1.8% last month, the highest since January 2020.There are strong arguments on both sides of the inflation debate as the market moves from a phase where it was driven by rising expectations for price pressures, to one where investors are seeking backup from the data. There’s also a view that expectations for growth, not inflation, may end up dominating the narrative for Treasuries later this year, through higher real yields.Inflation ‘Psychosis’Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who’s scheduled to appear on “60 Minutes” Sunday and will also speak Wednesday, has said any pickup in inflation will likely be temporary. Hoisington Investment Management Co., meanwhile, said in its latest quarterly report that inflation fears are a “psychosis” that will fade.But that doesn’t mean that a jump in the consumer price index won’t spook bond investors at least briefly. The March figure is forecast to show a year-over-year increase of 2.5%, which would be the highest since January 2020 and above every point on the yield curve. It’s a development that may also undermine stocks.“The market’s been pricing in a reflation theme already since the second half of 2020, but strong, realized prints would almost add fuel to the fire,” said Shahid Ladha, head of Group-of-10 rates strategy for the Americas at BNP Paribas SA.That, in turn, would produce upside risk to yields on intermediate maturities because of the possibility that the Fed might have to tighten sooner than expected, he says.Investors are also tasked with absorbing a combined $120 billion of coupon auctions next week, including 30-year debt, as they ponder the inflation question. While expectations for an elevated CPI reading may be a concern, the past month has shown that there’s sufficient demand for Treasuries, which should help “grease future bond auctions,” Tenengauzer said.What to WatchEconomic calendar:April 12: Monthly budget statementApril 13: NFIB small business optimism; CPI; average earningsApril 14: MBA mortgage applications; import/export prices; Fed’s Beige BookApril 15: Jobless claims; retail sales; Empire manufacturing; Philadelphia Fed business outlook; industrial production; Langer consumer comfort; business inventories; NAHB housing index; TIC flowsApril 16: Building permits; housing starts; University of Michigan sentimentFed calendar:April 12: Boston Fed’s Eric RosengrenApril 13: Philadelphia Fed’s Patrick Harker; San Francisco Fed’s Mary Daly; Richmond Fed’s Thomas Barkin; Atlanta Fed’s Raphael Bostic, Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester and Rosengren at event on racism and the economyApril 14: Dallas Fed’s Robert Kaplan; Powell speaks to the Economic Club of Washington; Beige Book; New York Fed’s John Williams; Vice Chair Richard Clarida discusses new policy framework; BosticApril 15: Bostic; Daly; New York Fed Executive Vice President Lorie Logan; Clarida; MesterApril 16: Kaplan in two appearancesAuction schedule:April 12: 13-, 26-week bills; 3-, 10-year notesApril 13: 30-year bondsApril 15: 4-, 8-week billsFor 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) -- Stocks climbed to another record as investors shrugged off concern over inflation and focused on prospects for an economic rebound. Treasuries fell, while the dollar advanced.The S&P 500 closed above 4,100 and posted its third-straight weekly rally -- the longest winning streak since October. Volume on U.S. exchanges hit a new low for this year. Honeywell International Inc. led gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on an analyst upgrade. Boeing Co. retreated after grounding dozens of 737 Max jets to repair an electrical flaw that emerged in recently delivered models.Equities extended a surge from their March 2020 lows to about 85% as Federal Reserve officials reassured markets that policy will remain supportive. Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the Fed is looking for evidence on whether it’s reaching the goals on price stability and employment before adjusting rates. Still, a report showing the rise in producer prices added fuel to the debate about the path of inflation.“It’s noisy data,” said Giorgio Caputo, senior fund manager at J O Hambro Capital Management. “It’s important to remember the positive elements of what is actually happening -- prices are going up because we’re getting demand back together.”These are some of the main moves in markets:StocksThe S&P 500 climbed 0.8% at 4 p.m. New York time.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.1%.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.5%.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.1%.The euro fell 0.1% to $1.1904.The Japanese yen weakened 0.4% to 109.65 per dollar.BondsThe yield on two-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 0.16%.The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 1.66%.The yield on 30-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 2.33%.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.5% to $59.32 a barrel.Gold slid 0.7% to $1,742.83 an ounce.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 Honest Co., co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, has filed to list on the Nasdaq in an initial public offering.The Los Angeles-company said in a prospectus to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that it will seek a listing size of $100 million, a placeholder amount that will likely change.A share sale could value Honest at about $2 billion, Bloomberg News reported in January.Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc. are advising the company. It is expected to trade under the symbol HNST.Launched in 2012, Honest sells diapers, moisturizer, shampoo and other products online at honest.com and at thousands of retail locations. Makers of consumer products have seen a steady rise in demand for goods that are seen as free of chemical and artificial additives in recent years -- a trend that has been accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic.The filing comes amid heightened demand for personal care and cleaning supplies during the pandemic. Sales last year were just over $300 million, according to the filing, a 28% increase from 2019 in part because of soaring interest in household supplies. The company recorded a net loss of $14.5 million in 2020 and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $11.2 million.Since its launch in 2012, Honest has forged relationships with a number of the country’s largest retailers, including Target Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. Honest said it generated 55% of its sales last year from its own website, which has experienced gains during the pandemic as shoppers turn away from physical stores.As consumers faced shortages of products like wipes at the height of the pandemic and mandatory closures, they turned to online brands that could meet the demand. Higher spending on hygiene and cleaning products are expected to persist, as well as a higher reliance on e-commerce.Honest counts L Catterton’s global co-chief executive officers Scott Dahnke and Michael Chu among its largest shareholders. The filing also lists Lightspeed Venture Partners, Fidelity and General Catalyst as investors.(Updates to include financial metrics in seventh paragraph.)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.
The president is being urged to roll more direct aid money into his infrastructure bill.
(Bloomberg) -- Indonesia’s Traveloka is in advanced talks to go public through merging with Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., a blank-check firm backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, according to people familiar with the matter.A deal could value Southeast Asia’s online travel leader at about $5 billion, said the people who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The potential transaction could also involve raising between $500 million and $750 million through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, the people said. Details including the amount to be raised could change as the companies start discussions with potential investors, they added.Representatives for Bridgetown and Traveloka declined to comment.Shares in Bridgetown Holdings rose about 6% in pre-market trading in New York, extending their 13% gain on Thursday.The deal would make Jakarta-based Traveloka one of the first Southeast Asian unicorns to go public through a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. Grab Holdings Inc. is in advanced talks to go that route through Altimeter Capital’s first SPAC, which may value the company at about $40 billion, Bloomberg News reported last month.Read more: Traveloka Is Said to Pick JPMorgan for U.S. Listing via SPACTraveloka was valued in 2020 at around $2.75 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.Bridgetown raised about $595 million in a U.S. initial public offering in October. The company’s sponsor is a collaboration between Thiel Capital, Thiel’s personal investment vehicle based in Los Angeles, and Pacific Century Group, a Hong Kong-based investment company led by Li.Founded in 2012, Traveloka has expanded its reach across six Southeast Asian nations and also covers Australia, making it easier for consumers to book flights and hotels across countries. Like other startups in the region, the company has sought to grow its offering with complementary services, extending into finance alongside its travel, lifestyle and accommodation booking portfolio.Traveloka’s backers include Expedia Group Inc., Rocket Internet, East Ventures, Li’s FWD Group Ltd. and Singapore’s GIC Pte.(Adds pre-market trading in fourth paragraph.)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.
Americans have tons of questions about their stimulus checks and 2020 taxes. Here’s what you need to know about 2021 COVID-relief payments and more.
You should be able to roll over your 401(k) plan account into a Roth IRA, but be sure you first understand the tax consequences of doing so.
(Bloomberg) -- Inflation fears that just drove the Treasury market’s biggest quarterly loss in decades are a “psychosis” that will fade over the course of the year, according to Hoisington Investment Management Co., among the biggest U.S. bond bulls.“Contrary to the conventional wisdom, disinflation is more likely than accelerating inflation,” according to latest quarterly report from the firm, which manages about $5 billion in Treasuries. After moving higher in the second quarter, the annual inflation rate “will moderate lower by year end and will undershoot the Fed Reserve’s target of 2%,” and “the inflationary psychosis that has gripped the bond market will fade away.”Hoisington, whose leadership includes founder Van Hoisington and chief economist Lacy Hunt, rode its optimism to huge returns last year. Its Wasatch-Hoisington Treasury Fund gained 20%, more than any other actively managed U.S. government bond fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. But this year has been a completely different story amid the carnage in Treasuries, with the fund down about 15% since Dec. 31, trailing all peers, Bloomberg data show.It’s had an annual average return of about 7.5% since its 1986 inception.While U.S. GDP is likely to grow in 2021 at the fastest pace since 1984 -- and possibly since 1950 -- several factors will restrain inflation, Hoisington said. They include:Inflation is a lagging indicator, reaching lows an average of 15 quarters after recessions endProductivity tends to rebound vigorously after recessionsSupply-chain restoration will be disinflationaryPandemic has accelerated technological advancementsGrowth numbers don’t reflect reflect the costs of rampant business failuresAs inflation “is the key determinant for the level and direction of long term Treasury yields,” yields also tend to reach cyclical lows long after the start of recessions, with an average lag of 76 months since 1990, Hoisington said. “While no two cycles are ever alike, the trend in long bond yields remains downward.”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.
Investing is a crucial part of accumulating enough money in retirement — and the best results come with proper asset allocation. Retirement tip of the week: Check the asset allocation of your retirement portfolios, and if you’ve done it recently, make it a regularly scheduled task once a year. “The time to review your asset allocation and overall retirement investment strategy should be a proactive process throughout the year,” said Jon Ulin, chief executive officer of Ulin & Co. Wealth Management.
The price action comes just ahead of a highly anticipated Nasdaq listing for leading U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase.
Melvin Capital is giving the Reddit crowd something to cheer about on a Friday, after the hedge fund rang up a 49% first-quarter loss, according to a report from Bloomberg News on Friday.
After a volatile first quarter, Q2 has kicked off in style, and the major indexes sit at – or hover near – all-time highs. The government bond market has also been steadying as yields have pulled back after rising higher earlier in the year, soothing investor fears that inflation could get out of hand. Moreover, the economic recovery seems to be gathering steam at a faster pace than anticipated. “We had been expecting the data to improve about this time, and early signals are that the recovery is absolutely on track,” said Hugh Gimber, J.P. Morgan’s global market strategist. “This is the period where the forecast of a strong recovery in growth is starting to look more like the fact of a strong recovery in growth.” Against this backdrop, the analysts at J.P. Morgan have pinpointed 2 names which they believe are set for strong growth in the year ahead; both are expected to handsomely reward investors with at least 80% of gains over the coming months. We ran them through TipRanks database to see what other Wall Street's analysts have to say about them. Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) We’ll start in China, where Tencent Music Entertainment is the offspring of China’s giant online venture company, Tencent, and Spotify, the Swedish streaming company that makes music and playlists easy. Tencent Music has seen consistently strong sales and earnings for the past year, with the top line growing year-over-year in each quarter of 2020. The Q4 report showed $1.26 billion in the top line, the highest in the last two years, along with 12 cents per share in earnings, up 33% year-over-year. Strong streaming revenue, which showed 29% growth, helped drive the results. And, Tencent Music, through its variety of apps, is the top music streaming service in the Chinese online market – as shown by the 40.4% yoy increase in paid subscribers during Q4. In its quarterly results, the company reported 4.3 million net new users in Q4, to reach 56 million active premium accounts across its apps. That said, the stock has pulled back sharply recently, as like many other high-flying growth names, worries regarding an overheated valuation have come to the fore. But pullbacks often spell opportunity, and covering the stock for JPM, Alex Yao notes the strong subscription growth, as well as the potential in the company’s other businesses, online ads and long-form audio, for monetization. “We believe TME is entering a healthy development cycle with successive growth engines: 1) music subscription remains the core revenue driver with consistent paying ratio improvement, 2) ads revenue ramps up quickly, and 3) active investments in long-form audio initiative, which could become a new growth driver in 2022 and afterwards," Yao noted. To this end, Yao puts a $36 price target on TME, suggesting a one-year upside of 84%, to back his Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating on the stock. (To watch Yao’s track record, click here) Overall, TME has a thumbs up from Wall Street. Of the 11 reviews on record, 7 are to Buy, 3 are to Hold, and 1 says Sell, making the analyst consensus a Moderate Buy. The shares are priced at $19.50, and their $30.19 average price target implies an upside of 55% for the months ahead. (See TME stock analysis on TipRanks) Y-mAbs Therapeutics (YMAB) The next JPM pick we’re looking at is Y-mAbs, a late-stage clinical biopharma company with a focus on pediatric oncology. The company is working on the development and commercialization of new antibody-based cancer therapeutics. Y-mAbs has one medication – Danyelza – approved for use to treat neuroblastoma in children age 1 and over, and a ‘broad and advanced’ pipeline of drug candidates in various stages of the clinical process, as well as five additional products in pre-clinical research stages. Having an approved drug is a ‘holy grail’ for clinical biopharmaceutical companies, and in 4Q20 Y-mAbs saw considerable income from Danyelza. The company announced at the end of December that it had agreed to sell the Priority Review Voucher for the drug to United Therapeutics for $105 million. Y-mAbs will retain the rights to 60% of the net proceeds from the sale, under an agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering. Also in December, the company announced a license agreement with SciClone. The partnership gives Y-mAbs and Danyelza an opening for treating pediatric patients in China. The agreement includes Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, and is worth up to $120 million for Y-mAbs. The company has entered other agreements making Danyelza available in Eastern Europe and Russia. Danyelza is Y-mAbs flagship product, but the company also has omburtamab in advanced stages of the pipeline. This drug candidate saw a setback in October last year, when the FDA refused to file the company's Biologics License Application, proposed for the treatment of pediatric patients with CNS/leptomeningeal metastasis. Y-mAbs has been in steady communication with the FDA since then, with a new target date for the BLA at the end of 2Q21 or early in 3Q21. These two drugs – one approved and one not yet – form the basis of the JPM outlook on this stock. Analyst Tessa Romero writes, “Our thesis revolves around the de-risked nature of the pediatric oncology pipeline. Our recent KOL feedback is enthusiastic about use of lead asset Danyelza in patients with high-risk neuroblastoma (NB). For second lead asset omburtamab in NB metastatic to the central nervous system (CNS/LM from NB), while the ‘Refuse to File’ last year and subsequent regulatory delays were certainly disappointing, we still see a high probability of approval for the product in the 2Q/3Q22 timeframe…” Looking ahead, Romero sees an upbeat outlook for the company: “Coupling our anticipation of a healthy launch for Danyelza, with regulatory/clinical momentum expected in the near- to mid-term, we see shares poised to rebound and see an attractive buying opportunity at current levels.” The analyst puts a $52 price target on YMAB shares, implying an upside of 86% for the year ahead, and supporting an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating. (To watch Romero’s track record, click here) Overall, the Wall Street reviews break down 3 to 1 in favor of Buys versus Holds on Y-mAbs, giving the stock a Strong Buy consensus rating. The shares have an average price target of $61.25, suggestive of a 121% upside potential this year. (See YMAB stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Stock picking is ripe for a shift away from passive investing, which could suffer a decade of low or nonexistent returns, says Bill Smead.
The German economy is back in focus today, with industrial production and trade data due out. Following fresh highs on Thursday, the majors will need support to go higher.
Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai sold another chunk of shares this week, valued at nearly $7 million, as the stock surged to record highs.
(Bloomberg) -- The battle for control of Arm Ltd.’s China business is escalating with new lawsuits aimed at keeping the unit’s controversial chief executive in power, further complicating SoftBank Group Corp.’s efforts to sell the business to Nvidia Corp.The dispute erupted almost a year ago in June after the board voted to oust Arm China Chief Executive Officer Allen Wu for conflicts of interest, but he refused to leave. Now the Chinese unit, which remains under Wu’s control, has filed lawsuits against three senior executives the board designated to replace him, according to people familiar with the matter. The previously unreported suits could take years to resolve, suggesting Wu may remain entrenched.Wu fired the three men -- including co-CEO Phil Tang -- but they were subsequently reinstated by the board. In the new lawsuits, Arm China is suing the trio, demanding they return company property, according to the people.Arm China declined to comment on any ongoing legal cases or possible settlement talks. It did say the three executives had caused “material damages” to the company and they had been terminated for legitimate reasons.Tang didn’t return requests for comment. Arm Ltd. declined to elaborate, saying it won’t comment on pending legal matters.The complex tussle has thrown into question the future of Arm, whose semiconductor technology is the world’s most widely used for smartphones and is increasingly deployed in computers. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son agreed to sell the British chip designer to Nvidia for $40 billion last year, but the path for completing that transaction is growing increasingly difficult.The China dispute also raises questions about Beijing’s willingness to protect foreign investment in the world’s second-largest economy. Arm Ltd. sold a majority stake in the China unit to a consortium of investors, including Beijing-backed institutions. That has complicated the British firm’s efforts to manage Arm China and Wu, who has support from local authorities in Shenzhen.Both sides appear to be at a stalemate. Wu, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, pulled back from signing settlement agreements worth tens of millions of dollars if he would leave the company, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about legal matters. At the same time, two minority shareholders in Arm China linked to Wu have filed lawsuits to overturn his June 4 dismissal, they said.SoftBank opened negotiations with him last year and had hoped to reach some sort of resolution, they said. Instead the court battles are deepening and the Japanese company has soured over the increasingly complicated dispute, the people said. SoftBank is now resigned to letting the legal proceedings take their course and there are no current negotiations with Wu, according to one of the people.“We are going through a leadership change in China; it’s taking time to resolve,” said Arm Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer Simon Segars in an interview with Bloomberg Television recently. “It’s hard. But we are confident that’s going to get resolved.”SoftBank and Nvidia declined to comment on the dispute in China.Arm China said in a statement that Wu’s position “is compliant with legal registration and confirmed by China law and regulations.”Read more: Arm Takes Aim at Intel Chips in Biggest Tech Overhaul in DecadeThe standoff accords a relatively unknown executive outsized influence over one of the industry’s most important pieces of technology, in the world’s biggest internet and semiconductor market. Chinese companies need unfettered access to Arm’s products to push forward with the country’s attempts to make itself more independent in chip technology, an area where it’s largely reliant on imports. Beyond resolving the stalemate, Nvidia and SoftBank also need Beijing’s signoff to seal their deal, and it’s unclear whether Wu’s presence would complicate that.Wu’s hold on Arm China is partially due to local laws which make it difficult to change control of a company unless you’re physically in control of the company stamp and registration documents. He’s refused to give them up and has used company funds to pay for legal fees incurred in his attempt to fight off his dismissal, the people said.Arm China said payment of legal fees “is made in compliance with company policies as well as China laws and regulations.”His ultimate goals appear to be a large cash payoff and immunity from subsequent legal action, according to people who’ve spoken with him. Inside Arm China, which is responsible for selling licenses to its chip designs and fundamental technology in the country, Wu has told local staff he’s not going anywhere. He recently gave employees Chinese New Year cash presents in a red envelope with his surname on it.Arm China said the money came from Wu personally to show his appreciation to colleagues, a tradition at Chinese New Year in the country.Hearings in the case against the three executives are expected to take place in late May, one of the people said. Separately, two minority shareholders in Arm China have sued the Chinese entity in Shenzhen to nullify the board’s decision to oust Wu. These two cases are now being merged and hearings are slated for late April, the people said.Son told investors as recently as February that he expects to close the Arm sale and “I don’t have any Plan B.”Arm, for its part is trying to make sure that its technology remains pervasive in China despite U.S. sanctions intended to curb the supply of American technology to major companies like Huawei Technologies Co. While Arm is a U.K.-based company part of its operations are in the U.S. making its products subject to controls.The Chinese government has not stated its position on the Arm China leadership struggle, but the unit has several government-backed shareholders including sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp. and the Silk Road Fund.In his interview with Bloomberg Television, Arm Ltd. CEO Segars said that the ten-month standoff hasn’t hurt Arm’s business in China. Lack of travel for face-to-face meetings during the pandemic has prolonged the process of changing leadership in China, he said.“When we announced the deal in September, we said it would take about 18 months,” he said. “We remain confident in that timeline.”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.
For all the hard-charging talk about electric cars, you might think that they were taking over the U.S. market. Electric cars there are suddenly 14% of the market, or 23% if we count plug-in hybrids that burn fossil fuel for backup. In the U.S., meanwhile, a $7,500 credit for every electric vehicle phases out after companies sell 200,000 of them, so (TSLA) (ticker: TSLA) and (GM) (GM), the biggest EV players, no longer benefit.
With the S&P 500 Index hitting another record high April 9, there’s a lot of concern among investors that stock valuations relative to earnings have gotten too rich. Wall Street analysts — that is, the ones who work for brokerage firms — are known as “sell-side” analysts in the securities industry. There are majority “sell” ratings for only two companies: American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) and Lumen Technologies Inc. (LUMN) which was formerly known as CenturyLink before changing its name in October.