New York-based artist Matthew Willey hopes to build awareness for bees by painting 50,000 murals across the globe as part of his ambitious project ‘The Good of the Hive.'
New York-based artist Matthew Willey hopes to build awareness for bees by painting 50,000 murals across the globe as part of his ambitious project ‘The Good of the Hive.'
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korean battery makers LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation Co agreed on Sunday to settle disputes over electric-vehicle (EV) battery technology, avoiding a potential setback for U.S. EV ambitions. The settlement after marathon talks by affiliates of two of South Korea's biggest conglomerates was announced just hours before a Sunday night deadline for President Joe Biden's administration to decide whether to take the rare step of reversing a U.S. International Trade Commission decision (ITC). In a statement, Biden called the settlement "a win for American workers and the American auto industry.... We need a strong, diversified and resilient U.S.-based electric vehicle battery supply chain".
(Bloomberg) -- India’s online-education startup Byju’s is raising about $1 billion from new investors including B Capital Group, founded by former Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin, Baron Funds and XN, a person familiar with the matter said.The infusion that values India’s online-lessons platform at about $15 billion is among the largest recent capital increases in India. Existing backers, including private equity giant Silver Lake Management, Owl Ventures and T Rowe Price, are investing about $100 million each in the funding round, which is yet to close, said the person, who did not want to be identified because discussions are confidential.The startup remains in discussions to close the round with a further $200 to $300 million in the coming weeks at a slightly higher valuation, the person said.The large investment into Byju’s comes as fundraising by Indian startups reaches a feverish pitch. Half-a-dozen companies announced unicorn-level capital raises earlier this week. A spokeswoman for Byju’s declined to comment on the fundraising.Byju Raveendran, the education company’s founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview earlier in the week that the platform is looking to make acquisitions to quicken the pace of growth in markets like the U.S. The 39-year-old former teacher and son of educators said the pandemic has dramatically improved attitudes about online learning among teachers, students and parents.The startup’s K-12 learning app has more than 80 million registered users in India, who mainly learn simplified math and science concepts through animated games and videos.It is now branching into offline exam preparation as well as one-on-one lessons in coding and math in global markets including the U.S., Latin America and Australia. The online lessons startup’s early investors include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers Ltd. and Tiger Global Management.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) -- India’s deepening coronavirus crisis slammed the nation’s stocks and currency on concern it will deliver a fresh blow to an economy that’s only just recovering from the worst contraction in nearly seven decades.The Indian rupee dropped past 75 to a dollar for the first time since August 2020, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index declined 3.4%, the most in almost two months. India reported a record 168,912 new infections for a day, taking the tally to 13.53 million cases, the government said Monday.Many provinces across the nation, from the financial hub Mumbai to capital New Delhi, are bringing back stricter restrictions on movement of people to curb the surge in cases. Reports are emerging of hospital beds running short and immunization centers turning away people as they run out of vaccines.That and a vaccine shortage “are unnerving markets and no one is sure whether lockdowns will help bring cases under control,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities. Given the uncertainty, “the incentive to try and bottom-fish at this point is limited for traders.”Taking a BeatingThe NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 3.5%, making India’s key stock indexes the worst performers in Asia on Monday. All 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. slipped, led by a gauge of property and industrial shares.India’s virus resurgence has prompted some brokerages to reconsider their preference for stocks, which are most sensitive to the economic recovery. Nomura cut the weight of financials and cement shares in its model portfolio, while Jefferies downgraded Indian banks to underweight from overweight.Not everyone is pessimistic. India’s long-term outlook remains strong and any decline in equities due to infections should be used as an entry point by investors, according to Prabhudas Lilladher Ltd. India’s gross domestic product is forecast to grow by as much as 12.5% this fiscal year, which would make it the world’s fastest-growing major economy.Bonds held on to last week’s gains, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year notes near the lowest since mid-February, amid optimism the central bank may keep its policy accommodative for long to support the economy. The rupee fell 0.4% to close at 75.0550 per dollar on Monday.“We expect the rupee to weaken versus the USD as have other EM currencies,” and given the slow progress of vaccination, the economy “will be slower to recover,” R Venkataraman, managing director at IIFL Securities, wrote in a note.(Updates with closing prices; adds IIFL analyst’s comment in last 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.
Max out your 401(k) each year, and be sure to get your 401(k) employer match, if you have one. And for you super savers, here are other ways to save for retirement.
Bill Reith felt the blast of February's freak cold snap in Texas almost immediately - from inside his office in northern Indiana. As head of the largest recreational vehicle division of REV Group Inc, a Milwaukee-based producer of specialty vehicles, he watched helplessly as the power grid in Texas buckled under some of the coldest temperatures seen in the state in decades, hobbling shipments of a mundane, but vital, commodity used in every one of his company's RVs: foam. Petrochemical plants of all types shut down in Texas because of the power cuts, including the only five in North America that produce propylene oxide - a critical raw material for the foam that goes into seat cushions and other RV components.
(Bloomberg) -- Toshiba Corp.’s Chief Executive Officer Nobuaki Kurumatani has seen a sharp drop in support from executives and other employees in internal surveys, according to people familiar with the matter.Employees who have confidence in the CEO fell to less than 60% in an internal January poll, down from more than 90% last year, said the people who asked not to be identified as the process is private. More than 20% expressed a lack of confidence in his leadership, up from less than 5% previously they said.The survey results prompted Toshiba to conduct detailed interviews with a narrower group of about 30 top executives and more than half of them expressed a lack of confidence in Kurumatani. Toshiba implemented its internal survey system in 2016 as the company was recovering from a years-long accounting scandal.Toshiba spokeswoman Midori Hara confirmed that the company conducts the survey every year without disclosing the results.Shares gave up some of their gains after Bloomberg’s report, with the stock up 5.7% after rising as much as 7.6% earlier in the day.The declining confidence raises questions about Kurumatani’s future at the company as it confronts activist shareholders and a potential buyout offer. CVC Capital Partners, a U.K.-based fund where Kurumatani previously worked as Asia chief, expressed preliminary interest in acquiring the company for about 5,000 yen per share, Bloomberg News has reported. The University of Tokyo graduate and longtime banker has been CEO and president of Toshiba since 2018.Kurumatani is aware of the survey results and that they may affect his future at the company, one of the people said. The board is skeptical of the CVC proposal because it included few concrete details, the person said, adding that the private equity firm said it would respect current management.Read More: Toshiba Board Urges Caution Over CVC Offer, Sending Stock LowerThe surveys don’t have any binding force. But the result could prompt Toshiba’s nominations committee to remove Kurumatani from its list of director recommendations put forward to shareholders in June, one person said, because the no-confidence levels were by far the highest since the system was installed.Kurumatani faces opposition outside the company too. He held on to his position by a slim margin last year, when only 57.2% of Toshiba shareholders approved of keeping him in the job. Questioning the transparency and process of that vote, Toshiba’s largest investor Effissimo Capital Management has requested an independent investigation, which was green-lit at an extraordinary shareholder meeting in March.(Updates with share price in fifth paragarph)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) -- For Ahmad BinDawood, last year’s share offering in the eponymous Saudi grocery business was a chance to shape his legacy at the family firm he’s worked at since the age of eight, while cementing a $3.1 billion fortune built over the decades by his father and uncles.As the October public offering of BinDawood Holding Co. got underway, details emerged of some $76 million in previously undisclosed loans made by the Saudi company to family members. In a departure from the traditional secrecy associated with the kingdom’s family firms, Jeddah-based BinDawood revealed everything, put the IPO on hold and gave buyers the chance to take their money back.As the loans were quickly repaid, the sale resumed and eventually raised about $500 million for the family, attracting $29 billion in bids along the way.“We have to be very transparent with investors,” BinDawood said in an interview in Riyadh last month. “If there is any disclosure at any time that we need to make, we will go ahead and do it. So we took this on the shoulder and decided to announce it.”The success of the IPO has helped establish BinDawood, 37, as one of a new breed of Saudi executives rising within a corporate world that was largely off-limits to foreigners until a few years ago. What’s more, it has made him emblematic of a drive to shake up traditional ways of doing business, dovetailing with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s goal of transforming the oil-rich kingdom into a regional business hub.That mold-breaking character can even be seen inside BinDawood stores. The past few months have seen the company doing prominent Valentine’s Day and Easter promotions, a move unthinkable just a few years ago in a country that has historically adhered to a strict Wahhabist interpretation of Islam.Prince Mohammed’s commitment to reshaping the economy isn’t all working in BinDawood’s favor. A sudden decision to triple value added tax last year hit consumer spending. Higher customs duties and fees on expatriates are driving up costs for Saudi firms, too. And all at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has been stoking unemployment.“We remain cautious of near-to-mid term growth across the consumers space as market size shrinks on potential expat depopulation,” said Mehwish Zafar, a senior equity analyst at Arqaam Capital in Dubai who has a “hold” recommendation on the shares. Like-for-like sales growth will probably be negative until at least 2022, he said, with growth only coming from new store openings or acquisitions.Shares in BinDawood jumped more than 30% in the days immediately after the sale. They have since slipped back, showing as of Monday a gain of about 11.5% from the listing price.It’s a performance that has helped buttress the family’s bid to diversify into other assets while strengthening the core business, a goal identified by Ahmad BinDawood as key to avoiding the kind of strife his father feared might undermine the business as it passed to a new generation.“The majority of family businesses don’t survive the transition to the third generation, and that’s something that concerned my father a lot,” BinDawood said.Pilgrims ProgressThe rise of the BinDawood business has been some 40 years in the making. Once a small-time vendor of Arabian perfumes and groceries to pilgrims visiting the Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina, it is now a nationwide concern spanning supermarkets and hypermarkets, hotels and distribution centers. The grocery business alone employs more than 10,000 people across 74 stores.Ahmad BinDawood’s own destiny was sealed as soon as his father, Abdulrazzag BinDawood graduated in the 1980’s from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran. Instead of following his peers into the oil industry, he decided to join his brothers Ismail and Abdullah in their burgeoning retail trade.Which is why Ahmad found himself on the front line at such a young age. At just eight, he was helping to sell items to the pilgrims during his school holidays, envious of friends who were away avoiding Saudi Arabia’s scorching summers.“Our friends were traveling and off enjoying themselves and sometimes we would would ask: why not us?” BinDawood said. “But that experience built the passion in us to stay in the business that our father and our uncles built.”A decision to push into online shopping and delivery helped prepare the firm for lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic, but couldn’t outweigh the hit from the absence of religious tourists who were prevented from entering the kingdom for much of the year. While profit climbed almost 7% last year, it had slumped more than 53% in the fourth quarter as Saudi Arabia reimposed travel restrictions.BinDawood is still optimistic that shoppers will return as travel resumes, though how quickly pilgrims come back to Saudi Arabia in anything like their previous numbers remains uncertain.Next up may be the purchase of a rival grocery chain to expand into neighboring countries, BinDawood said. At the same time, the IPO proceeds will help further develop the BinDawood Group family office, which Ahmad’s father is now running. That fortune, which is split across several family members, is estimated at about $3.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.“The IPO had two main angles to it -- sustainability and continuity of the business first, and second the diversification for the family,” he said. “We are in the process of building the family office and bringing in the right talent.”More family businesses are likely to follow in BinDawood’s footsteps. The IPO of Saudi Aramco in 2019, which many Saudis never thought they would see, “has been a massive driver in motivating families to take their operating businesses public to help grow their enterprises and generate new wealth,” said Tayyab Mohamed, co-founder of London-based family office staffing firm, Agreus Group.For all the challenges, Ahmad BinDawood is optimistic, citing his life-long involvement in the business as a foundation for success.“Retail is embedded in our DNA now,” he said.(Updates share performance in ninth 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.
HSBC and Huawei Technologies' Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou have reached an agreement in a dispute about the publication of documents relating to U.S. fraud allegations against her, their lawyers told a Hong Kong court. The legal dispute reached the Hong Kong court last month after a British judge in February blocked the release of internal HSBC documents relating to the fraud allegations against Meng.
Cannabis deals in Europe will help pot giant Aphria build up a war chest ahead of an expected frenzy of M&A in the U.S., the company’s chair and chief executive told MarketWatch ahead of the group’s earnings on Monday.
Top news and what to watch in the markets on Monday, April 12, 2021.
(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration is stepping up scrutiny of China’s plans for a digital yuan, with some officials concerned the move could kick off a long-term bid to topple the dollar as the world’s dominant reserve currency, according to people familiar with the matter.Now that China’s digital-currency efforts are gathering momentum, officials at the Treasury, State Department, Pentagon and National Security Council are bolstering their efforts to understand the potential implications, the people said.American officials are less worried about an immediate challenge to the current structure of the global financial system, but are eager to understand how the digital yuan will be distributed, and whether it could also be used to work around U.S. sanctions, the people said on the condition of anonymity.A Treasury spokeswoman declined to comment. A National Security Council spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment.The People’s Bank of China has rolled out trial issuance of a digital yuan in cities across the country, putting it on track to be the first major central bank to issue a virtual currency. A broader roll-out is expected for the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February, giving the effort international exposure.Many key details of the digital yuan are still in flux, including specifics on how it would be distributed. China’s recent establishment of a joint venture with SWIFT, the messaging nexus through which most cross-border settlements pass through today, suggests it is possible a digital yuan could work within the current financial architecture rather than outside of it.U.S. officials are reassured that China’s intentions aren’t to use the digital yuan to evade American sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter. The dollar’s current dominance in cross-border transactions gives the U.S. Treasury the power to cut off much of a business or even a country’s access to the global financial system.China’s officials have said the main intentions of the digital yuan are to replace banknotes and coins, to reduce the incentive to use cryptocurrencies and to complement the current private-sector run electronic payments system -- dominated by Ant Group Co.’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat Pay. The PBOC has been working for years on the digital yuan, also called the e-CNY, having set up a specialist research team in 2014.Here’s How a Central Bank Digital Currency Could Work: Chart“To provide a backup or redundancy for the retail payment system, the central bank has to step up” and provide digital-currency services, Mu Changchun, the director of the PBOC’s digital-currency research institute, said at an event last month.Beyond seeking a backup to privately run e-payments, Chinese regulators have more broadly been expanding their oversight of the country’s digital champions. Ant Group was told by Beijing to become a financial holding company, which will be regulated more like a bank. China also imposed a $2.8 billion antitrust fine on Ant’s affiliate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Read More: Ant to Be Financial Holding Firm in Overhaul Forced by ChinaThe PBOC is also examining the potential for using the digital yuan in cross-border payments, launching a project studying the issue with a unit of the Bank for International Settlements along with the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Hong Kong’s monetary authority.The Biden administration isn’t currently planning to take any action to counter longer-term threats from China’s digital currency, the people familiar with the discussions said. However, China’s plans have given renewed impetus to efforts to consider the creation of a digital dollar, they said.Members of Congress have also been increasingly interested in a digital dollar, aware of China’s moves, and asked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the issue in hearings earlier this year.Powell: Need for Digital Dollar Is an Issue for Congress, PublicPowell said in February the Fed was looking “very carefully” at a digital dollar. “We don’t need to be the first. We need to get it right.”Yellen has signaled interest in research into the viability of a digital dollar, a shift from a lack of enthusiasm under her predecessor, Steven Mnuchin.“It makes sense for central banks to be looking at” issuing sovereign digital currencies, she said at a virtual conference in February. Yellen said a digital version of the dollar could help address hurdles to financial inclusion in the U.S. among low-income households.A recent report from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence said the extent of the threat of any foreign digital currency to the dollar’s centrality in the global financial system “will depend on the regulatory rules that are established.”China’s currency makes up little more than 2% of global foreign exchange reserves compared with nearly 60% for the U.S. dollar. Policy decisions, rather than technical developments, will also be necessary to push forward yuan internationalization, as China maintains a strict regime of capital controls.China’s financial system is too “fragile and weak” to pose a real threat to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, according to Mark Sobel, U.S. chairman for the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.“At the end of the the day the markets have more confidence in the Fed” than China’s central bank, said Sobel, a former senior U.S. Treasury official for international matters.(Adds reference to China’s regulatory measures in 10th 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.
High-margin medical cannabis businesses in Europe will help bolster the balance sheet and build up a war chest for U.S. acquisitions.
If successful, the acquisition would be Microsoft's second-largest ever, behind 2016's $24 billion purchase of LinkedIn.
As the president mulls Democrat calls to cancel up to $50,000 in federally-backed student loan debt via executive order, a new analysis shows how $10,000 in forgiveness would affect borrowers in each U.S. state.
Millions are newly eligible for policies at less than $50 a month, federal data shows.
(Bloomberg) -- No matter the asset class, the outlook is turning bleak for China’s financial markets.The nation’s stocks, bonds and currency are losing their shine after an impressive start to the year, overshadowed by a stronger dollar, higher U.S. Treasury yields and a domestic campaign to cut financial risk.China’s benchmark stock index remains 13% below a 13-year high in early February, following a brutal selloff that wiped out more than $1.3 trillion in market value. The yuan just suffered its worst month in a year in March, erasing all its 2021 gains against the greenback. Chinese sovereign bonds, a sanctuary during the recent global rout, saw foreign investors lower their holdings last month for the first time in more than two years.The sharp reversal of fortunes came as confidence grew in a strong U.S. economic recovery that is reclaiming the allure of dollar assets around the world. The latest underperformance of Chinese markets also resulted from Beijing’s decision to resume a battle on debt that was interrupted by the trade war with Washington and the pandemic.Concerns about inflation and tighter monetary conditions mean appetite for Chinese shares will likely remain subdued, while the country’s government debt market faces the test of a supply glut later this year, investors and analysts say. The yuan could weaken further as the dollar extends its global resurgence.“China’s bull run is being tested,” said Adrian Zuercher, head of global asset allocation of UBS Chief Investment Office. “Volatility will stay elevated in the near term.”Subdued TradingAfter delivering a world-beating rally earlier in the year, Chinese shares have reversed course since February, when it became increasingly clear that policymakers were shifting their priority to taming asset bubbles and reducing financial leverage.The broader de-risking campaign also includes a crackdown on the country’s internet and fintech giants. In the latest of such moves, the authorities slapped a record $2.8 billion fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. over the weekend after an anti-monopoly probe found it abused its market dominance.While the penalty triggered a relief rally of as much as 9% in Alibaba’s shares in Hong Kong, those of its peers including Tencent, JD.com and Baidu fell by at least 2.7% amid concerns that they could be among the next targets of Beijing’s clampdown.The onshore benchmark CSI 300 Index fell 1.4% at Monday’s midday break, bringing its year-to-date loss to 4.7% and down 14.5% from a peak in February.The world’s second-largest stock market is $838 billion smaller than at its February peak and trading interest has been waning. Daily average turnover on China’s two stock exchanges was 670 billion yuan ($102 billion) so far this month, the lowest since May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.UBS’ Zuercher said he expects rising Treasury yields to be a major source of near-term volatility in China’s equity market, as it will continue to exert pressure on valuations of the country’s growth stocks and trigger rotation.Echoing the view, Herald van Der Linde, HSBC Holdings Plc’s head of Asia Pacific equity strategy, said there remains downside risk to Asian equities in the near term and “China is no exception”.Domestically, a central bank unwilling to keep funding conditions too loose, a contrast to its peers in other major economies, has also disappointed stock investors. Apart from its deleveraging campaign, signs of inflationary pressures, as shown in March’s consensus-beating 4.4% jump in China’s producer prices, could prompt Beijing to further dial back its pandemic-induced economic stimulus.“We believe monetary policy might be tightened,” Hanfeng Wang, a strategist at China International Capital Corp., wrote in a note this week, adding that investors should pay attention to policy signals from the next meeting of the Politburo, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body.Bonds PressuredWhile Chinese government bonds outpaced their competitors in the first quarter as their haven status helped them stand out as a bulwark amid the global slump, they are facing a host of challenges in the coming months.In addition to a longer-than-expected phase-in period for the inclusion in FTSE Russell’s World Government Bond Index, a surge in bond supply from local governments and a narrowing China-U.S. yield gap also threaten to reduce the appeal of Chinese debt.Now at 3.21%, yields on China’s benchmark 10-year sovereign notes are expected to rise to 3.5% by the end of this quarter, according to Becky Liu, head of China macro strategy at Standard Chartered Plc.As China’s yield premium over Treasuries thinned, global investors last month trimmed their holdings of Chinese government debt for the first time since February 2019, a trend that is expected to continue for some time. The yield gap fell to 144.8 basis points on March 31, the narrowest since Feb. 24, 2020 when it was 144.2 basis points.Weaker YuanThe dollar’s renewed strength, the tighter yield gap, as well as Beijing’s latest move to boost capital outflows also have prompted analysts, including ING’s, to lower their forecasts on the Chinese currency.After rising nearly 7% against the dollar last year and reaping further gains earlier this year, the yuan suffered its worst selloff in a year last month, arresting a steady advance since May.Read: Yuan Erases Year’s Gains Against Dollar as PBOC Steps AsideAlso weighing on the yuan is the slowing speed of capital inflows: Cross-border currency flows tracked by Goldman Sachs totaled $1.5 billion in the week ended on April 7, compared with about $3 billion in the previous week.“It’s about how views on the U.S. dollar have changed rapidly,” said Zhou Hao, an economist from Commerzbank AG. “People believe the U.S. economy will recover strongly in the next two years and that’s what stocks and bonds have been pricing in.”Zhou said he expects the yuan to weaken to 6.83 per dollar by the end of this year, from around 6.56 Friday.(Updates with performance of broader stock market and tech shares in the ninth and 10th paragraphs)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.
J.P. Morgan serves up three reasons why stocks are shrugging off fears of higher corporate taxes.
Bitcoin (BTC) is up 116% from the year's low of $27,734 on Jan. 4. It crossed the $60,000 mark for the first time on March 13, hitting a record $61,781.83 on Bitstamp exchange, just after U.S. President Joe Biden signed his $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus package into law. Justin d'Anethan, sales manager at digital asset company Diginex in Hong Kong, said investors had turned their attention to stock markets and other cryptocurrencies in the past couple of weeks, leaving Bitcoin idling in the upper 50-thousand dollar levels.
As trade and investment have grown between China and Nigeria, so has lending, leading to an increased focus on the balance of the bilateral relationship.
While some saw the legal dispute as a trademark-relation issue, others considered it to be a free speech one.