Many Maryland school districts are already planning for fall enrollment, but will students return to public schools?
Many Maryland school districts are already planning for fall enrollment, but will students return to public schools?
The company, owned by billionaire Jack Ma, one of China’s most successful entrepreneurs, has been accused of abusing its dominant market position for several years.
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) -- Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.The price being discussed could value Nuance at about $56 a share, though the terms may still change, one of the people said. That would give Nuance an equity value of about $16 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price would be a 23% premium to Friday’s close.An agreement could be announced as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Talks are ongoing and the discussions could still fall apart.A representative for Microsoft declined to comment. A spokesperson for Nuance, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Nuance’s shares have climbed 3.4% this year, giving the company, which laid the groundwork for the technology used in Apple Inc.’s Siri voice software, an almost $13 billion market value but still trailing the 9.9% jump in the S&P 500 Index. Microsoft has climbed 15%.Nuance CollaborationMicrosoft and Nuance have collaborated since 2019 on technologies to do things like allow doctors to capture voice conversations from patient visits and enter the data into electronic medical records.“This can really help Microsoft accelerate the digitization of the health-care industry, which has lagged other sectors such as retail and banking,” said Anurag Rana, a Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst. “The biggest near-term benefit that I can see is in the area of telehealth, where Nuance transcription product is currently being used with Microsoft Teams.”Nuance, whose products include Dragon speech-recognition software, had net income of $91 million on revenue of $1.48 billion for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30., after losing $217 million the previous year.Microsoft, with a market value of $1.93 trillion, remains active on the deals front.Discord, ZenimaxLast month, Bloomberg News reported that the software giant was in talks to acquire Discord Inc., a video-game chat community, for more than $10 billion. It also bought video-game maker Zenimax Media Inc. for $7.5 billion in cash in a deal that closed this year.A deal for Nuance would rank as Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition, behind only the $24 billion LinkedIn Corp. transaction in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Microsoft entered the artificial intelligence space decades ago with research projects and an early focus by co-founder Bill Gates on finding ways to make it easier for people to speak to computers using plain English.In recent years, the company has assigned thousands of employees to its artificial intelligence work and released tools customers can use to build applications that understand and translate speech, recognize images and detect anomalies. The company views AI as a key driver of future sales of cloud services.Microsoft faces fierce competition in the space with rivals such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. also investing heavily in the field.(Updates with analyst’s comment in eighth 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) -- Grab Holdings Inc. and Traveloka are poised to become public companies in coming months, kickstarting a coming-out party for Southeast Asia’s long-overlooked internet scene.Grab will this week unveil a listing via a U.S. blank-check company that’s drawn backers from T. Rowe Price to Temasek Holdings Pte and values the ride-hailing giant at more than $34 billion, people familiar with the matter said, in the largest-ever deal of its kind. Indonesia’s Traveloka will follow suit, listing at a valuation of about $5 billion via a special purpose acquisition company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, other people with knowledge of the matter said. Terms on both deals could still change, the people said.The mega deals will front a chain of initial public offerings from the region’s most valuable startups from 2021, from Grab arch-foe Gojek and e-commerce giant Tokopedia to Singapore’s PropertyGuru. Their debuts allow investors to bet on the industry’s ascendancy in the post-Covid mobile era over the financial institutions and industrial conglomerates that have long dominated Southeast Asia’s corporate landscape. Over the longer term, market watchers expect fast-growth technology firms to dominate attention like they have in China and the U.S., overhauling a Southeast Asian roster now led by gaming and e-commerce leader Sea Ltd.“We have seen a similar trend across other more established markets, and it’s now Southeast Asia’s golden period,” said Rajive Keshup, a director at Cathay Capital, a global investment fund with $4 billion of assets under management. “We expect a lot more capital to flow into the region on the back of this mega announcement. And that is a very good leading indicator about the health of the region.”The tech industry in Southeast Asia, home to about a 10th of the world’s population and some of the fastest-growing economies like Indonesia, is overdue for recognition. The region didn’t have a single major tech company listed till Sea went public in New York in 2017. That’s despite a smartphone-using population growing at rates unmatched in much of the world, driven by economic growth and government policies that encourage investment in technology. That potential is attracting the likes of Amazon.com Inc. and Chinese majors including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., who see Southeast Asia’s increasingly affluent consumers as key to their global ambitions.Interest in the region is mounting in part because of external factors. Money has flown out of China’s biggest internet names since Beijing launched a campaign to curtail Alibaba and its peers late last year. Washington-Beijing tensions, meanwhile, threaten to escalate and suppress the Asian country’s presence in America and even get Chinese firms tossed off U.S. bourses. At the same time, concerns are mounting that a bubble is forming after the worst tech selloff in half a year.More immediately however, investors are gambling on the region’s takeoff. Southeast Asia’s internet economy cooled during the pandemic but spending online should bounce back rapidly and triple to more than $300 billion by 2025, research from Google, Temasek Holdings Pte and Bain & Co. shows.“As some of these companies begin to list it could be quite transformative to capital markets, which have been dominated by traditional sectors such financials, real estate and commodities,” said Joshua Crabb, a senior money manager in Hong Kong at Robeco, which oversees $186 billion. “This has had a huge impact on the nature of the market in China over the past decade and may be just starting in ASEAN.”Read more: Southeast Asia’s Internet Economy on Verge of a Post-Covid BoomTo more quickly tap investor enthusiasm, many startups like Grab and Traveloka that remain unprofitable are considering blank-check firms -- but the influx of capital into SPACs is raising hackles among regulators from New York to Singapore, who worry that traditionally more lax disclosure and accountability requirements may burn investors. Listing through a SPAC can be completed in a matter of weeks compared with the 12 months it would take to go public in the regular way.SPAC veterans have warned that some newer entrants may be overvaluing their targets: closely held entities often lacking proper governance or operational maturity to hold stock offerings of their own. Tech firms still working on their main products, such as aerospace startup Archer Aviation Inc. and electric-vehicle maker Lucid Motors Inc., have merged with SPACs and become public companies based not on their revenue but future projections.In Southeast Asia, the rush of IPOs is driven in part by Sea’s astonishing run-up since the start of 2020, which demonstrated the enormous pent-up appetite for the region’s internet firms. The Tencent-backed gaming and online shopping leader has emerged as a stock-market sensation since its IPO. Among companies valued at $100 billion or more, the stock is the No. 1 Asian performer since the start of last year and trails only Tesla Inc. globally.Gojek and Tokopedia, Indonesia’s two most valuable tech startups, are seeking investor approval for a merger that could create the country’s largest internet company ahead of a dual IPO. Others exploring listings include Singapore’s PropertyGuru and Indonesia’s Bukalapak.“Grab’s listing provides a much-awaited exit for existing investors, meanwhile, providing exciting opportunities for U.S. investors to invest in Southeast Asia growth companies,” said Kerry Goh, chief investment officer at Kamet Capital Partners Pte. “This should accelerate investors’ attention and hence, more listings should be expected.”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 head of Switzerland's financial regulator FINMA questioned Credit Suisse over risks in its dealings with now-insolvent finance firm Greensill Capital "months" before the bank was forced to close $10 billion of funds liked to Greensill, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported Sunday. Alongside formal discussions on a technical level between the bank and FINMA, the watchdog's head Mark Branson personally discussed the risks with outgoing Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner and Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein during a meeting on an unspecified date, the paper reported, citing information it had obtained. FINMA declined to comment.
(Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds look steadfastly bullish on the Australian dollar despite its decline against the greenback in March. The nation’s employment data this week may provide an insight into why.The currency saw its worst performance in five months against the dollar in March, falling 1.4%, as a combination of rising Treasury yields and confirmation of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s dovish monetary policy weighed. However, signs are emerging that the Aussie could be due for a rebound after key support around the $0.75 level remained intact, a closely-watched gauge of momentum known as slow stochastics turned bullish and the economy continues to trump expectations.Leveraged funds are certainly signaling that they think the currency will strengthen. Speculators increased their net long Aussie positions to the highest since November by the end of March despite the currency’s weakness, before a modest pullback last week, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.Bulls searching for catalysts to spur the currency higher may have to look no further than this week’s Australian employment data. The unemployment rate fell to an eleven-month low of 5.8% in February, and a further decline this week could boost the Aussie as confirmation the economy is on a strong footing.Gross domestic product grew by a larger-than-expected 3.1% year-over-year in the final three months of 2020.A falling unemployment rate isn’t the only positive factor for Australia’s currency. Treasury yields look to have put a near-term high in place, retreating from their recent peak despite strong U.S. employment and ISM data. In addition, iron ore prices remain close to this year’s highs, helping to support the Aussie.The Australian dollar “can appreciate further because it is undervalued relative to its fundamentals,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategists including Kim Mundy wrote in a recent note. “We forecast a further strengthening in commodity prices over 2021.”There are still headwinds facing the Aussie, including an expected cut in Chinese steel production and carbon border fees which could weigh on the currency, the strategists added.But the risks still appear skewed to the currency appreciating against the dollar over coming months, with a rise to $0.80 possible by June, they concluded. The Aussie traded around the $0.7620 level Monday.Below are the key Asian economic data and events due this week:Monday, April 12: India CPI and industrial production, Japan PPITuesday, April 13: Australia business confidence, China trade balance, New Zealand retail card spendingWednesday, April 14: RBNZ policy decision, Singapore 1Q GDP and MAS policy decision, Japan core machine orders, India wholesale pricesThursday, April 15: Australia employment, Bank of Korea policy decision, Indonesia trade balance, Philippine overseas remittances, India trade balanceFriday, April 16: China 1Q GDP, industrial production, retail sales and fixed assets ex-rural, New Zealand BusinessNZ manufacturing PMI, Singapore NODXFor 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) -- It isn’t hard these days to find investors trumpeting the demise of the decades-long bull run in Treasuries.But after the worst quarter since 1980, the bulls are ready to grab back some of the limelight. The result is that the debate about the next step in the world’s biggest bond market -- one with far-reaching implications for all asset classes -- is only intensifying.On one side stand the likes of Bill Gross and Ray Dalio, who were among those declaring a bear market in 2018, when 10-year yields surpassed 3%, and who are again downbeat. For the other camp, including fund managers at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. and Northern Trust Asset Management, that’s all just noise. They say Treasuries are attractive on the view that inflation will remain tame and growth fueled by fiscal stimulus will fade.It’s possible the bears have finally nailed it, with the Federal Reserve saying it will allow inflation to run hot for a bit, while unprecedented amounts of fiscal stimulus appear to be jumpstarting the rebound from the pandemic. Yet the bulls are resolute that there’s a long road to recovery, and they see paltry overseas rates stoking demand for Treasuries.There’s even another take, in which neither side proves quite right -- Ben Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management says heightened volatility is the new reality, with the era of big trends essentially over.Below is a collection of investors whose views capture the scope of the debate. They spoke as 10-year yields have retreated from pre-pandemic heights near 1.8%, and with inflation expectations near multiyear highs. Meanwhile, traders are assessing the tax proposals in the next U.S. stimulus plan, a likely key to the path of Treasuries, and potentially all markets, for the rest of 2021.The BullsAkio Kato, a portfolio manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai, which manages over 17 trillion yen ($155 billion), says Treasuries are appealing in part because of the Fed’s commitment to easy policy. The central bank is buying roughly $120 billion of Treasuries and mortgage debt each month combined. It’s also signaling that it won’t raise its policy rate through at least the end of 2023, even as the market is pricing in a more aggressive timing.“Around 1.7% could be a peak level after pricing in the potential U.S. economic recovery,” Kato said. “Fed policy makers have repeatedly said they will stick with their current monetary policy. If the market’s perception for the economic outlook comes closer to the Fed’s, 10-year yields could fall to about 1.5%.”Peter Yi, director of short-duration fixed income and head of credit research at Northern Trust Asset Management, which oversees roughly $1 trillion, says they’ve been “opportunistically” buying Treasuries when yields rise. With millions still unemployed, he sees the broad-based recovery the Fed is seeking as years away, even after robust March jobs figures.“U.S. Treasuries at about 1.7% is a pretty good relative value compared to the S&P 500’s estimated forward dividend yield at just below 1.5%,” Yi said. “If rates get too high there will be a bite to risky assets and the economy, and the Fed will do something to prevent that.”Steven Oh, global head of credit and fixed income at PineBridge Investments, which manages about $126 billion, says the climb in 10-year yields has pulled forward increases he expected over several years. When 30-year bonds reached around 2.5% last month, they became “tactically attractive,” he said.“We are of the view that we are going to continue to be in a lower inflationary environment both in the U.S. and globally,” Oh said. “Growth will pick up after Covid but it won’t accelerate to the point sufficient to cause a material rise in yields.”Jim Leaviss, chief investment officer of public fixed income at M&G Investments, which manages 339 billion pounds ($465 billion), says the firm has been buying 30-year Treasuries in its multi-asset portfolios. A key for him has been the increase in long-term expected interest rates to levels that exceed the most hawkish projections from FOMC members for the longer-term fed funds rate.“It’s time to start scaling back into U.S. Treasury bonds,” he said. “There’ve been inflation scares over my entire career, but they’ve never come to fruition. And as such, I’ve always learned to hold my nerve, look through them and expect these things to be transitory.“The Bears:Susan Buckley, managing director for global liquid strategies at QIC Ltd. in Brisbane, which manages 85 billion Australian dollars ($65 billion), sees U.S. 10-year yields heading above 2% this year, a level last seen in August 2019.“We’ve seen a rapid increase in yields, even further and faster than we’ve expected from the end of last year,” she said. “As markets have gained greater confidence in the rollout of the vaccine, particularly the success in the U.S., economic activity continues to surprise on the upside. Yields will push higher from here.”Ed Yardeni, founder of Yardeni Research Inc., says the 10-year yield will hit 2% potentially within the next few months and then 3% or higher by the end of next year. He bases that on the U.S. vaccine rollout and all the stimulus in the economy, which he expects to boost measures of growth to pre-pandemic levels. He’s also watching the jump in the ratio of the price of copper to gold -- an indicator of risk sentiment that has historically correlated well with yields.“Higher yields make a lot of sense given the extraordinary strength of the economy and mounting inflationary pressures,” he said. “Over the next few months economic indicators, particularly real gross domestic product, will probably return back to where they were before the pandemic.”Luca Paolini, chief strategist at Pictet Asset Management, which oversees 242 billion Swiss francs ($262 billion) says the risk of inflation readings -- not just inflation expectations -- starting to tick higher is a concern.“It’s a problem for markets because it may force the Fed to tighten,” Paolini said at a webinar the firm held on March 31. “It may at some point even limit spending, because obviously the spending power will be eroded by inflation. There is a genuine risk of inflation surprising on the upside.”Elaine Stokes, a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co., which manages about $348 billion, says the unknowns ahead are hard to handicap -- including how additional stimulus works through the economy. She sees 10-year yields rising just about 20 basis points to 50 basis points over the next year or two.“I don’t expect runaway anything,” Stokes said, referring to inflation, growth and yields. “A lot of the pain is already done and felt. And we have to remind ourselves that we are also going back to all the issues we were dealing with pre-Covid,” such as huge debt loads, demographic trends and technological changes, and trying to figure out how those forces may have changed.Just Volatility:Carlson, director of institutional asset management at Ritholtz, casts aside the notion of the big trends that characterized recent decades in Treasuries. His outlook is marked by bouts of volatility. More fluctuations may be in the offing in part because duration in the debt market is near a record high. That means that yield changes will cause bigger price swings, and potentially fuel quicker flows in and out of the market.“We have all been conditioned to believe there are always these huge long cycles,” he said. “But we maybe are just going to have shorter cycles where there are spikes, and people come back in and yields move all around. That’s kind of the new regime.”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 program used past bid data to boost the tech company’s win rate in advertising auctions, according to a court filing.
(Bloomberg) -- After taking over the helm of the world’s biggest pension fund in 2015, Hiromichi Mizuno helped chart a course that not just made sustainable investing big in Japan, but also raised the strategy’s global profile.The Government Pension Investment Fund’s former chief investment officer sidestepped public bemusement and criticism at home, as he sought to turn GPIF into a fund that -- as one Harvard Business Review article put it -- tried to “change the world” through its approach to environmental, social and governance investing.But at a time when the pandemic has accelerated the global push toward ESG themes, the $1.63 trillion-fund seems to be mostly treading water. While its peers around the world have cut fossil-fuel investments and threatened to pull funds from firms that fail to meet ethical standards, the GPIF, constrained by stricter legal restraints, has largely been quiet on impact investing since Mizuno was succeeded in April 2020 by the more reclusive Eiji Ueda.“The GPIF doesn’t have a mandate to pursue ESG investing in the face of lower returns,” said Takatoshi Ito, a professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs who headed a government panel to reform the fund. “It’s difficult to balance with the fund’s fiduciary duty.”The GPIF’s overriding principle is legally mandated gains -- the fund is required above all else to pursue a real investment return of 1.7%. With Japan’s massive working generation retiring in droves and not being replaced, pensions are a more sensitive subject than climate change, and despite the fund’s long-term returns, questions are asked whenever it posts a quarterly loss.Some rules also prevent the GPIF from taking a more hands-on approach to governance: it can’t legally hold direct stakes in companies, or vote at shareholder meetings, and it outsources investments to asset managers.The hands-off approach stands in contrast to Norway’s wealth fund, which blacklisted Glencore Plc and other firms, and put Japan’s own Kirin Holdings Co. on watch due to ties to Myanmar. Two of Finland’s largest pension funds plan to make their portfolios carbon neutral over the next decade and a half.“Under current legislation, we can’t sacrifice returns for the sake of buying environmental names or ESG names,” Kenji Shiomura, senior director of the fund’s investment strategy department, who oversees selection of ESG indices, told Bloomberg News in an interview.Japan-focused ESG funds returned 5.2% on average this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, underperforming the 8.6% return of the benchmark Topix index. Fiduciary MonsterMizuno once called fiduciary duty the “monster in the room,” arguing that failing to integrate ESG factors ran contrary to the duty for clients with long-term investing horizons. The fund’s investing principles say it promotes incorporating ESG factors into the investment process but only in addition to financial factors.At the same time, GPIF is coming up against other hurdles that prevent it from keeping pace with other pension funds -- from the lack of a unified scoring method for sustainable investing to legal restraints that handcuff its ability to change companies’ behavior.“I acknowledge that we need to produce results by dealing with ESG investment over the long term,” said Hirohide Yamaguchi, the newly-appointed chairman of the GPIF board of governors, which oversees the fund.‘Gone Quiet’The GPIF had about 5.7 trillion yen ($52 billion) invested in five ESG equity indices as of March 2020, the most recent date for which information is available. Last December, it added two more for overseas equities, with 1.3 trillion yen invested against them, and has formed a number of partnerships globally to promote green bonds. But that’s still less than 5% of its assets, and how the funds are allocated is opaque.“To say we’ll invest 10 or 20 trillion yen in ESG is not the most appropriate for our goals. We’re not driven by a numerical target,” GPIF’s Shiomura said. “When you consider those factors, we can’t give a set amount or percentage of ESG investing we will do.”Masaaki Kanno, chief economist at Sony Financial Holdings Inc. and another former member of the expert panel to reform the fund, said there needs to be more disclosure.“It’s laudable that the pension fund promoted ESG so early on,” he said. “But it needs to do a better job of explaining the relationship between returns and ESG to the wider public.”Unlike the outspoken Mizuno, who now shares his views on ESG investing and other subjects on his increasingly prolific Twitter account, his successor Ueda prefers to operate from the background. He has yet to give a media appearance in more than a year overseeing the fund, with President Masataka Miyazono deflecting questions in January by saying he, not Ueda, would be the one to face the public. He declined to give the size of GPIF’s ESG investments, citing the potential impact on the market.“The fund’s ability to communicate externally has gone quiet,” said Tamami Ota, a researcher at Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd. “Mizuno was a skilled communicator.”(Updates with data on ESG returns in the 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.
Bill Gates appeared on CNBC on Good Friday to discuss his climate-related work for the Economic Club of New York. The conversation veered off into the wild and wooly world of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Gates, an early backer of QuantumScape (NYSE:QS) and QS stock, suggested that people do what he’s doing and only get involved with quality SPACs. Source: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock.com The assumption here is that QuantumScape is such a company. Is he right? I’ll explore this subject further. It Helps to Own QS Stock If You’re a Billionaire If you bought 100 shares of QuantumScape stock on three occasions in 2021: Jan. 6 ($63.03), Feb. 17 ($66.52), and March 22 ($64.29), a back-of-the-napkin estimate suggests you’ve got a paper loss of $35,134, 26% less than the $19,384 you would have paid for 300 shares. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips That’s not so great. Of course, if you bought 100 shares each time it fell back to earth, you’d be a very happy person. Maybe not Bill Gates-happy, but content, nonetheless. 7 Great Stocks to Buy Under $10 Bloomberg Quint contributor Chris Bryant recently discussed how Gates is right to suggest private companies are going public way too quickly, in large part, because SPACs are raising gobs of money and issuing boatloads of shares to merge with these immature businesses. Never mind that they’re doing so at ridiculously high financial projections. However, Bryant’s link to Yet Another Value Blog makes me think most of these SPAC IPOs aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. I had been moving in that direction myself in February when I wrote that I was skeptical of Lucid Motor’s ability to garner 8% of the global electric vehicle (EV) market share. Here’s what I wrote on Feb. 25: Companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) have struggled for years before tasting success. So, I’m highly skeptical when someone implies it will be simple to go from zero production to 8% global market share of any product, let alone something as complicated as an electric vehicle. In that regard, this SPAC era reminds me of the dot-com bubble. The fact that Canoo’s (NASDAQ:GOEV) business model is leaking profusely tells me that even SPACs, I think, have a chance really don’t. Mind you, in fairness to myself; I did say on March 15 – before it released a dreadful Q4 2020 report on March 29 – that it was only a fun money play below $15. Everyone else should stay away. If you bought at $9, your margin of safety is significantly higher, although not by much. So, back to billionaire Bill Gates. Gates Can Afford to Be Wrong Bill Gates didn’t become one of the richest people in the world by being wrong a lot. Sure, as a lifelong risk-taker, he’s probably failed more than you or I, but he’s got the lakefront home in Seattle to lick his wounds. The fact that Gates is backing QuantumScape – not to mention Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VWAGY) is in for an additional $100 million investment on top of its original $100 million – suggests that if there’s a company whose projections might pan out, it would be the maker of next-generation solid-state lithium-metal electric batteries. On the other hand, while his risks might get bigger and bigger, they become less and less of his financial net worth. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about losing money – every penny lost is a penny that doesn’t go to the big issues his foundation is trying to overcome – that was evident by his statement he’ll try to stick to quality SPACs like QS. InvestorPlace’s Tom Taulli recently stated that its stock remains extremely volatile, as evidenced by the big move when it announced issuing 10.4 million shares. As part of the additional $100 million from VW, it will issue an additional 15.2 million shares. That, too, will likely rile investors. As a result, Taulli suggests caution is wise in this situation. Especially if the market is worth the estimated $1 trillion by 2040 that Baird analyst Ben Kallo says it is. More volatility might enable you to buy QS stock below where it’s currently trading. As volatile as QS stock has been in 2021, it appears $42 is the resistance line. Year-to-date, it’s bounced off $42 on three occasions, just as it’s bounced off $65 on the high side. The Bottom Line Bill Gates is right about SPACs and QuantumScape. Be skeptical about most SPACs and cautiously optimistic about QS stock. I know I will be. On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now. Top Stock Picker Reveals His Next Potential 500% Winner Stock Prodigy Who Found NIO at $2… Says Buy THIS Now The post Bill Gates Is Right About SPACs and QuantumScape appeared first on InvestorPlace.
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.
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.
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.
(Bloomberg) -- That the immediate fate of emerging markets is likely to be determined by the path of the dollar and Treasury yields is barely in dispute.But what is less clear is which direction the U.S. currency and bond market will take, as investors weigh the competing forces of Covid-19 infections and the prospects of a global economic rebound. Another uncertainty is which developing economies are best-placed to ride the recovery.This week “will continue to be dominated by rate volatility, issuance and Covid resurgence,” said Abdul Kadir Hussain, the head of fixed-income asset management at Arqaam Capital in Dubai. “If rate volatility declines, supply is constrained and the Covid resurgence in places like India is controlled we can go tighter in spreads. Otherwise, I think we will continue to see weakness in fixed income.”Last week’s performance provided plenty of pointers. Emerging-market dollar bonds had their best week since December, while local-currency debt rose by the most in two months, according to Bloomberg Barclays indexes. Meantime, developing-nation stocks fell 0.6% amid concerns about rising inflation, while the implied volatility for currencies declined for a second week.Chinese data will take the spotlight this week as a slew of releases including first-quarter gross domestic product will be watched for clues on the strength of its economic recovery. Inflation data from the U.S. and developing economies from India to Russia will also garner scrutiny as investors seek guidance on the path for monetary policy.Turkey’s interest-rate decision on Thursday will be in focus as the new central bank governor seeks to win over investors with a commitment to tight monetary policy after his predecessor was fired last month. The Bank of Korea is likely to hold its benchmark rate too.On HoldTurkey’s authorities will probably keep the benchmark one-week repo rate unchanged at 19%, according to most economists surveyed by BloombergTurkish central bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu said last month markets shouldn’t take for granted that he’ll cut interest rates as soon as AprilThe lira slumped 10% last month after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s shock decision to replace the country’s central bank chief.The benchmark rate was raised by a larger-than-expected 200 basis points at Naci Agbal’s final rate-setting meeting as governor on March 18“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like the new-look central bank to lower interest rates, but market forces will likely delay the delivery of his orders,” with inflation rising and the lira weakening, Bloomberg Economics said in a reportBank of Korea is likely to hold its benchmark rate at 0.5% at its Thursday meeting. In late March Governor Lee Ju-yeol dismissed calls to tighten policy early to tackle rising financial risks, even as he said he expects faster inflation and economic growth this yearSouth Korea is scheduled to announce its unemployment rate for March on Wednesday. Bloomberg Economics forecasts the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate to slide further to 3.8% in March from 4% in the previous monthElection WatchA Sunday presidential runoff vote in Ecuador is being closely watched by bondholders as career banker Guillermo Lasso is leading over the protege of self-exiled former President Rafael Correa with majority of the votes countedLasso has pledged to attract foreign investors and create jobs via policies that help the private sectorPeru is likely heading to a presidential runoff in June after early results of Sunday’s election showed no candidate getting anywhere close to the threshold needed to win outrightPedro Castillo, a community organizer and union leader, was leading the race with 18.1% of the votes, according to a closely-watched quick count by the Ipsos polling firmHe was followed by Keiko Fujimori, an ex-legislator, with 14.4% and conservative businessman Rafael Lopez Aliaga with 12.4%. Hernando de Soto, an economist, was in fourth place with 10.8% of the vote,The Peruvian sol led last week’s currency gains on speculation that Soto will secure enough support to advance to the runoffPeru Vote Key to Bonds After Biggest Sol Rally Since 2008China CheckData on Friday is set to show China’s economy accelerated by a record 18.3% in the first three months of 2021, according to the median estimate of analysts surveyed by BloombergBefore that, trade figures are forecast to show a continued export boom while industrial production and retail sales are also expected to jumpThe People’s Bank of China is also seen injecting cash in the banking system via medium-term lending facilities on Thursday as 100 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) of one-year loans come due. Traders will be on the watch for any additional cash injection as liquidity is expected to tighten this quarter due to a surge in local government bond sales and tax payments“Looking ahead to April and May, we expect liquidity to stay on the tight side,” said David Qu, who covers China for Bloomberg Economics. “In our view, the PBOC is trying to avoid fueling financial risks -- without putting a choke on the economy. We think the central bank will need to inject more liquidity into the banking system”What Else to WatchTraders will watch out for further escalation between Russia and Ukraine after Russia warned that growing violence in Ukraine could set off a broader military conflictJPMorgan Chase & Co. moved to market-weight from overweight on the ruble and Russian rates due to escalating geopolitical tensions and asset underperformanceThe ruble was the second-worst performing emerging-market currency last week amid the tensionIndia will release March consumer prices on Monday and inflation is expected to rebound further above the central bank’s 4% mid-point targetThe Reserve Bank of India will probably look past the near-term surge however and continue its hold on interest rates, according to Bloomberg IntelligenceIndia’s benchmark 10-year yield fell 15 basis points last week after the RBI announced 1 trillion rupees ($13.4 trillion) of debt purchasesIndustrial production is expected to decline further in February; India will also release trade figures alongside IndonesiaThe Philippines will release February overseas remittances data on ThursdayThe Czech Republic and Poland will report March’s consumer prices data on Tuesday and Thursday, respectivelyThe koruna and the zloty were among the best-performing emerging-market currencies last weekTraders will watch a reading of Peru’s economic activity gauge for February, which is expected to add to evidence that recovering growth lost momentum early in the first quarter, in line with increasing infections and lockdowns, according to Bloomberg EconomicsIn Brazil, investors will be watching for news on the nation’s 2021 budget gridlock, a significant local drivers this monthFebruary retail sales data on Tuesday, and unemployment figures on Friday will offer more information on how rising coronavirus cases has affected the economy.Colombia will post retail sales figures for February on ThursdayThe nation has had to return to lockdowns to fight the spread of Covid-19, which may imply downside risk for March, according to Bloomberg EconomicsBloomberg Economics expects Argentina’s March CPI data to show persistent inflationary pressure, despite price and currency controlsFor 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.
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.
If successful, the acquisition would be Microsoft's second-largest ever, behind 2016's $24 billion purchase of LinkedIn.
While some saw the legal dispute as a trademark-relation issue, others considered it to be a free speech one.
Millions are newly eligible for policies at less than $50 a month, federal data shows.
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.
(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.The 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 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.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.