Majority Rules Executive Director Jim Mowrer, former Bush 43 Presidential Writer Ned Ryun and Independent Women’s Forum Policy Analyst Hadley Heath Manning on the Electoral College vote and the election.
Majority Rules Executive Director Jim Mowrer, former Bush 43 Presidential Writer Ned Ryun and Independent Women’s Forum Policy Analyst Hadley Heath Manning on the Electoral College vote and the election.
GBP/USD settled above the resistance at 1.3835 and is testing the next resistance at 1.3865.
A quarter of employees want to work from home forever FTSE holds on to 7,000 points Pound nears $1.39 Issa brothers seal deal worth up to £100m for food chain Leon Bootle: Covid recovery will bring higher inflation along for the ride Sign up here for our daily business briefing newsletter
LONDON (Reuters) -British finance minister Rishi Sunak told the Bank of England on Monday to look at the case for a new "Britcoin", or central bank-backed digital currency, aimed at tackling some of the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. "We're launching a new taskforce between the Treasury and the Bank of England to coordinate exploratory work on a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC)," Sunak told a financial industry conference. Soon after, Sunak tweeted the single word "Britcoin" in reply to the finance ministry's announcement of the taskforce.
(Bloomberg) -- James Packer has a potential new exit path from troubled casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd. after Oaktree Capital Management LP offered to help Crown fund a purchase of the billionaire’s shares.Oaktree has offered as much as A$3 billion ($2.3 billion) in financing for the deal through a “structured investment,” Crown said Monday. According to the proposal, Crown would use the funds to buy some or all of Packer’s 37% stake in Crown.Removing Packer from Crown’s shareholder registry might go some way toward rehabilitating the company as regulators across Australia assess its suitability to run casinos. A report for the gaming watchdog in New South Wales state in February found widespread management and cultural failings at Crown and said Packer’s influence had “rather disastrous consequences for the company.”Crown hasn’t been allowed to start gaming operations at its new A$2.2 billion Sydney casino resort.Read more: Packer’s Casino Dream Dashed as Crown Seen Unfit for License Crown said it will assess Oaktree’s offer. Packer’s Crown shares are held by his private investment company, Consolidated Press Holdings Pty.It’s not clear whether Oaktree -- an alternative investment manager that focuses on credit strategies -- plans to invest directly in Crown or just finance a buyback of Packer’s stock. But the U.S. firm’s offer puts the billionaire’s cornerstone stake at the center of a bidding war. Blackstone Group Inc., which owns 10% of Crown, last month offered to buy the rest of the company in an A$8.02 billion deal.Crown shares rose 0.7% to A$12 at the close in Sydney, valuing the company at about A$8.1 billion. Blackstone has offered A$11.85 a share in cash for Crown stock.Oaktree’s offer is a possible quick fix for Crown before independent inquiries into the company’s fitness to operate casinos in Perth and Melbourne deliver verdicts this year.Buying Packer’s stake would solve some of the conflicts of interest identified in the report for the New South Wales regulator -- without ceding control of the entire company. Blackstone also needs to wait for permission from regulators to own and operate Crown’s casinos.Packer has already distanced himself from Crown since the explosive report in February, and his board nominees have quit Crown’s board. Last week, the New South Wales gaming regulator said Packer has also agreed not to strike information-sharing arrangements with Crown or start discussions with the company other than through public forums.Read more: Blackstone Doubles Down on Hospitality in $6.2 Billion Crown BidA representative for Consolidated Press declined to comment on Oaktree’s proposal. Oaktree declined to comment when asked whether the firm planned to own a stake in Crown.Packer, who has stepped back from Crown and corporate life to fight a mental-health battle, has previously failed at least twice to find a suitor.Wynn Resorts Ltd. in early 2019 abruptly ended talks to buy Crown for about A$10 billion, just a few hours after the discussions leaked to the media. Last year, Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. scrapped a deal to buy 20% of Crown from Packer.(Adds no comment from Oaktree in 11th 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.
This is the first sign the Bank of England exploring the launch of a CBDC following the release of a discussion paper in March 2020.
Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) has been hard to ignore lately, as the meme-based cryptocurrency rose to become the sixth-largest with over $46 billion in market cap. What Happened: With 7,000% year-to-date returns and considerable outperformance against several top cryptocurrencies, DOGE’s appeal to retail investors has steadily been on the rise. However, several crypto influencers and traders have cautioned against going “all-in” on DOGE, citing concerns of a few large holders controlling the majority of its supply. See also: How to Buy DOGE Over 65% of Dogecoins are distributed among just 98 wallets across the world, while the single largest wallet holds 28% of all Dogecoins. In fact, just five wallets control 40% of the coin’s supply. Essentially, around 100 people control the entire $46 billion DOGE market. “The scam is simple - Hold on to Dogecoin till there is enough traction after it multiplies, dump all coins and cash out - Become instant billionaires,” said Akand Sitra of cryptocurrency risk management platform TRM Labs. Why It Matters: Sitra’s analysis of DOGE’s supply distribution was possible due to the nature of blockchain transactions, which are available for anyone to see on the open distributed ledger. Some on-chain analytics of the top DOGE holders led experts to believe that the cryptocurrency’s supply is concentrated among just a few holders. “The Dogecoin bubble will burst by the end of this year, easily,” said Sitra. Other traders in the space echoed this sentiment, calling it the reason why they will never be in DOGE “no matter the gains.” Why I'm not in $DOGE and will never be no matter the gains. https://t.co/jFVU2yQf03 — QuartzHands (@NFTiepie) April 19, 2021 At press time, DOGE was trading at $0.3976, up 32% overnight and 394% in the past seven days. DOGE holders were preparing for April 20, where a large group of retail traders has predicted the coin will touch $0.69. See Also: Dogecoin Creator Defends Meme Crypto's Supply: Doesn't 'Matter For Price' Image: Ivan Radic via Flickr See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaDeFi Blue Chip Season? Here's What Cryptos Coinbase Employees Are Buying Right NowInvestors In Disbelief As DOGE Becomes Top 5 Crypto With B Market Cap© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Stocks were down Monday morning even after encouraging comments on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The IRS commissioner now says the monthly payments to families will indeed start in July.
There's speculation about forgiving $10,000 or $50,000 per person, but no real plan yet.
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company said retail sales, a measure of demand at its dealerships, surged 30% to 32,800 motorcycles in North America in the first quarter, its first increase in six years. Since the middle of last year, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company has recalibrated its strategy by focusing on big bikes, traditional markets such as the United States and Europe, as well as older and wealthier customers. In February, the motorcycle maker unveiled a new turnaround plan, targeting low double-digit earnings growth through 2025.
(Bloomberg) -- A planned $3.1 billion merger of two Australian miners is set to create one of the world’s biggest producers of lithium products key to meeting fast-growing global demand for electric vehicle batteries.The deal between Orocobre Ltd. and Galaxy Resources Ltd. is the biggest mining sector deal of the year so far, according to Bloomberg data, with shares of both companies closing at the highest in three years in Sydney. The merger would create the world’s fifth-biggest producer of lithium chemicals, the refined form of the raw materials that are used to make electric vehicle batteries.Miners to battery makers have rushed to secure lithium supply amid expectations the EV frenzy will create a structural deficit as soon as this year, and prices are already roaring back after a three-year slump. Battery demand is expected to surge tenfold by 2030, according to BloombergNEF, as the global clean-energy transition accelerates.The new company “is going to be a globally relevant player in terms of lithium chemical production,” said Reg Spencer, head of mining research at Canaccord Genuity Australia Ltd. He said that it could grow to be number three producer by 2025 if all growth projects go ahead.The A$4 billion deal values Galaxy at about A$3.53 a share, a 2.2% discount to Friday’s close, and has the backing of both company boards. Orocobre’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Perez de Solay will head the new group.Orocobre will offer 0.569 of its shares for every Galaxy share and will own 54.2% of the merged company, with Galaxy holding 45.8%. Orocobre was advised on the deal by UBS AG, while Galaxy’s adviser was Standard Chartered Plc. The deal is targeted for completion in mid August 2021.Diverse AssetsThe merged group, which has yet to be formally named, will have its headquarters in Buenos Aires, but its primary share listing will remain in Australia.The deal gives the companies a geographically diversified set of assets. Orocobre sells lithium carbonate from its Olaroz operation in Argentina, while Galaxy has a mine in Australia and growth projects in Canada and South America.Lithium raw materials are most commonly extracted at brine operations which pump liquid from underground reservoirs into vast evaporation ponds, or in traditional hard rock mines. China is the biggest player in electric vehicle batteries, with the majority of the world’s production capacity, and has a stranglehold over processing of the required commodities.The growth profile of the combined group’s existing assets put it on track to grab a 10% share of the lithium market over the next five to seven years, Perez de Solay said in an interview, backed by “a strong balance sheet that will enable us not only to deliver those projects but to continue to grow.” Top global lithium producers currently include Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA and Albemarle Corp.Argentina RiskCanaccord’s Spencer said there were risks in having the largest part of an operation in Argentina, given its history of geo-political and financial volatility, although Orocobre’s local management team had so far proven adept at navigating those risks.“From Galaxy’s perspective, we were looking for a partner which had deep in-country Argentinian experience and we’ve got that in Orocobre,” said Simon Hay, Galaxy’s CEO, who will take on the role of president of international business in the new organization. The merger will help to de-risk Galaxy’s Sal de Vida growth project in the South American country, he said.(Updates to add lithium chemicals and processing information in second, ninth 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.
Global oil markets are stressed, not only due to OPEC+ or Iran JCPOA issues but also because international financials are predicting gloomy pictures for oil demand.
The price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was climbing on Monday, after a rough weekend that resulted in the biggest drop since February.
More employers are actively recruiting job candidates, even for low- and middle-level white collar jobs as fewer answer ads during COVID crisis.
When Robinhood suddenly set buying restrictions at the height of the GameStop trading frenzy in the early months of 2021, users reacted with fury. April19 is the initial court date following a judicial panel’s decision to bunch together nearly 40 lawsuits — and possibly more — in front of one Miami federal judge who will handle the “multi-district litigation.”
(Bloomberg) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to respond to the latest round of U.S. sanctions threats as he has to past ones: by speeding his drive to make Russia’s economy more self-sufficient.In the seven years since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin’s government and central bank have stripped back the country’s exposure to dollars, shifted assets out of the U.S. and sold a smaller share of its debt to foreigners.“The Americans are saying: be careful or we could do more, but Russia is just going to continue down the path toward economic autarky,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington.The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is keeping the threat of sanctions hanging over Russia even after a sweeping round of penalties imposed last week. On Sunday, the U.S. warned of “consequences” if jailed opposition activist Alexey Navalny dies in prison.These four charts show how Putin has responded to past rounds of sanctions by increasing Russia’s economic isolation.The share of gold in Russia’s $581 billion international reserves jumped above dollars for the first time on record last year following a multi-year drive to reduce exposure to U.S. assets. The precious metal made up 24% of the central bank’s stockpile as of the end of September 2020, the latest date for which the breakdown is available. The share of dollar assets was 22%, down from more than 40% in 2018.That trend also shows up in the share of Russia’s international reserves held in the U.S., which plummeted to just under 7% by the end of September, down from about 30% before the Crimea annexation. Most of the shift happened in the second quarter of 2018 just after sanctions on aluminum giant United Co. Rusal revealed how vulnerable Russia was to sanctions.What Our Economists Say...Russia’s resilience to successive waves of sanctions provides a false sense of security. With the U.S. running out of options, the next round could be more disruptive, and the measures already in place are holding back trade and investment.-- Scott Johnson, Bloomberg EconomicsOf course, there’s only so much that Russia can do without cutting itself off entirely from the global economy. But officials in Washington are also restrained by the fact that if they go too far (as they did with the Rusal sanctions that were later revoked), they risk sending tremors through global markets.Acting on a pledge by Putin to “de-dollarize” trade, Russia has been slowly cutting back on use of the greenback in its exports with the European Union, China and India. The euro has almost overtaken the dollar in Russia’s trade with the EU and has already surpassed it in exports to China. About two-thirds of Russia’s exports to India, meanwhile, are paid for in rubles.How Virus-Panicked Markets Showed Dollar’s Still King: QuickTakeLast week’s penalties included a ban on purchases of bonds on the primary market, so the next big targets could be secondary-market debt and Russian banks’ access to the financial messaging system used for most international money transfers. Russia is already looking for alternatives to the system, known as SWIFT, to make itself less vulnerable, though attempts so far haven’t led to much.One reason the Finance Ministry wasn’t too concerned about the latest sanctions measure on government debt is that Russia has mostly been selling to local banks at its weekly auctions anyway. Borrowing was ramped up during the pandemic even though foreign demand was weak, which increased the overall size of the market and pushed down the share of foreigners.U.S. banks can still buy new debt on the secondary market after the penalties come into force in mid-June. Russia is “well positioned” for a near term market disruption because it has a high cash buffer and demand from local banks is “robust,” Fitch Ratings said in a research note published late on Friday.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 Bank and the Treasury set up a taskforce to examine how a central bank digital currency would work.
It’s natural to want to buy into a rising stock, so much so that following upward trends as a market strategy has a name: momentum investing. It’s the art of following the upward trends. Momentum investing has its advocates and detractors, as do all investing styles. While past performance does not guarantee future returns, it's still a a useful indicator that investors should pay attention to. With this in mind, we used TipRanks' database to identify two stocks that boast a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating and considerable upside potential – on top of impressive recent gains. Let's take a closer look. Identiv (INVE) The first momentum stock we’ll look at, Identiv, is a tech company providing solutions for authentication and security systems online. Identiv’s products protect users’ identity, and prevent malware and other malicious attacks in the IoT world. The importance – and value – of this niche can be seen in the company’s share growth over the past year. INVE is up 65% year-to-date, and longer term, over the past 12 months, the stock has gained 404%. The strong share growth has gone hand-in-hand with strong revenue growth. The company reported 31% year-over-year top-line growth, to $24.8 million, in 4Q20, along with solid prospects going forward. Entering Q1, the company had $10.5 million in backlogged orders, a 121% gain over the year before. Growth was driven by gains in the company’s RFID segment, which was up over 100% yoy, and in the Identity segment, which registered a 53% yoy gain. While revenues were solid, earnings were down. EPS had been positive in Q3, but turned negative in Q4, coming in at a 5-cent net loss per share, and missing the expectation of a 1-cent EPS profit. Investors have not appeared too concerned by the earnings loss; Identiv’s historical earnings pattern is to show a Q4 loss after a Q3 profit, and the 4Q20 loss was 7 cents per share less than the year-ago result. Management has moved to take advantage of the company’s rising share value, by putting a public offering of stock earlier this month. The offering, of 3.78 million shares at $10.65 each, closed on April 12 and raised – before expenses – over $40 million. There’s a lot here to get an analyst’s attention, and 5-star analyst Craig Ellis of B. Riley initiated coverage of this stock with a Buy rating and a $21 price target, indicating ~50% one-year upside potential. (To view Ellis’s track record, click here) "We believe the recent capital raise is transformative and will accelerate growth from 10% over the past two years to +20% as the company broadens its RFID IoT portfolio. To start, $38M in net proceeds suggests $50M in incremental sales potential at current GMs," Ellis opined. The analyst added, "We believe that INVE’s custom engagement, design, and prototype model is strong and that CY22 proceeds sales conversion is likely, led by RFID IoT, where 3Q20 and 4Q20 sales surged 100% Y/Y and where CY21TD backlog is robust. Success with healthcare, consumer electronics, and medical devices early adopters could tilt high-volume industries INVE’s way, thus enriching growth." Ellis is not outlier in his view of this stock; there are 3 recent reviews on file here, and all are to buy, making the analyst consensus a unanimous Strong Buy. The shares are priced at $14.04, with an average target of $17.33 suggesting room for 23% growth in the year ahead. (See INVE stock analysis on TipRanks) Tronox (TROX) Next up, Tronox, is a miner and manufacturer of specialty metals used in the production of titanium chemicals. The company mines titanium ores and zircon, and uses them in the production of titanium dioxide and chemical sands, both essential ingredients in industrial dyes. The company’s products are found in a range of everyday products, including paints, papers, and plastics, and useful byproducts of the manufacturing process include caustic soda and gypsum. While the industry lacks the cachet of high-tech, it is still vital to the modern economy, and Tronox has ridden that fact to a 37% year-to-date share gain. For the past 12 months, the stock’s gain has been 224%. For the full-year 2020, Tronox showed a top line of $2.76 billion, up 4.5% from 2019. The 4Q20 results show that the top line gains are accelerating – the fourth quarter revenues of $783 million were up 13.6% yoy. The company saw quarterly titanium dioxide sales volume increase 8% yoy in the fourth quarter, indicating improved global demand as world economies reopen. Looking ahead, Tronox expects titanium dioxide sales to continue gaining, in the range of 11% to 15% for 1Q21. With all of that in the background, BMO analyst John McNulty listed TROX as one of his top picks for 2021 “Rarely can we recall a time when the stars aligned in such a way that the risk/reward pointed to dramatic upside potential with relatively minimal risk--the current outlook for TiO2 and TROX is one of those times. TiO2 is poised for a steady tightening over the next 2-3 years, driving volumes and prices higher,” McNulty noted. The analyst summed up, "We listed TROX as one of our top picks for 2021 for a host of reasons, including our belief that the strength of the cycle would surprise investors in the near term on the volume side and in the intermediate term on the pricing side." In line with this upbeat outlook, McNulty rates TROX shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $29 price target implies a one-year upside potential of 45%. (To watch McNulty’s track record, click here) The analyst consensus on this stock is not unanimous – but it is decisive. The reviews break down 4 to 1 in favor of Buy versus Hold, for a Strong Buy consensus rating. The average price target of $24.40 suggests a 22% upside for the next 12 months. (See TROX 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.
(Bloomberg) -- China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd.’s expansive pop-up showroom sits at the heart of Shanghai’s National Exhibition and Convention Center. With nine models on display, it’s hard to miss. The electric car upstart has one of the biggest booths at China’s 2021 Auto Show, which starts Monday, opposite storied German automaker BMW AG. Yet its bold presence belies an uncomfortable truth -- Evergrande hasn’t sold a single car under its own brand.China’s largest property developer has an array of investments outside of real estate, from soccer clubs to retirement villages. But it’s the recent entry into electric cars that’s captured investors’ imaginations. Shareholders have pushed Evergrande NEV’s Hong Kong-listed stock up more than 1,000% over the past 12 months, allowing it to raise billions of dollars in fresh capital. It now has a market value of $87 billion, greater than Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.Such exuberance over an automaker that has repeatedly pushed back forecasts for when it will mass produce a car is emblematic of the froth that has been building in EVs over the past year, with investors plowing money into a rally that briefly made Elon Musk the world’s richest person and has some concerned about a bubble. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in China, home to the world’s biggest market for new energy cars, where a mind-boggling 400 EV manufacturers now jostle for consumers’ attention, led by a cabal of startups valued more than established auto players but which have yet to turn a profit.Evergrande NEV was a relatively late entrant to that scene.In March 2019, Hui Ka Yan, Evergrande’s chairman and one of China’s richest men, vowed to take on Musk and become the world’s biggest maker of EVs in three to five years. Tesla Inc.’s Model Y crossover had just had its global debut. In the two years since, Tesla has gained an enviable foothold in China, establishing its first factory outside the U.S. and delivering around 35,500 cars in March. Chinese rival Nio Inc. earlier this month reached a significant milestone when its 100,000th EV rolled off the production line, prompting Musk to tweet his congratulations.Read more: Nio, Xpeng Exude Optimism as EVs Boom: Shanghai Auto ShowDespite his lofty ambitions and Evergrande NEV’s rich valuation, Hui has repeatedly pushed back car-production targets. The tycoon’s coterie of rich friends, among others, have stumped up billions, but making cars -- electric or otherwise -- is hard, and hugely capital intensive. Nio’s gross margins only flipped into positive territory in mid-2020, after years of heavy losses and a lifeline from a municipal government.Speaking on an earnings call in late March after Evergrande NEV’s full-year loss for 2020 widened by a yawning 67%, Hui said the company planned to begin trial production at the end of this year, delayed from an original timeline of last September. Deliveries aren’t expected to start until some time in 2022. Expectations for annual production capacity of 500,000 to 1 million EVs by March 2022 were also pushed back until 2025. Still, the company issued a buoyant new forecast: 5 million cars a year by 2035. For comparison, global giant Volkswagen AG delivered 3.85 million units in China in 2020.It’s not just Evergrande’s delayed production schedule that’s raising eyebrows. A closer look under the company’s hood reveals practices that have industry veterans scratching their heads: from making selling apartments part of car executives’ KPIs, to attempting a model lineup that would be ambitious for even the most established automaker.‘Weird Company’“It’s a weird company,” said Bill Russo, the founder and chief executive officer of advisory firm Automobility Ltd. in Shanghai. “They’ve poured a lot of money in that hasn’t really returned anything, plus they’re entering an industry in which they have very limited understanding. And I’m not sure they’ve got the technological edge of Nio or Xpeng,” he said, referring to the New York-listed Chinese EV makers already deploying intelligent features in their cars, like laser-based navigation.A closer look at Evergrande NEV’s operations reveals the extent of its unorthodox approach. While it’s established three production bases -- in Guangzhou, Tianjin in China’s north, and Shanghai -- the company doesn’t have a general car assembly line up and running. Equipment and machinery is still being adjusted, according to people who have seen inside the factories but don’t want to be identified discussing confidential matters.In a response to questions from Bloomberg, Evergrande NEV said it was preparing machinery for trial production, and would be able to make “one car a minute” once full production is reached.The company is targeting mass production and delivery next year of four models -- the Hengchi 5 and 6; the luxe Hengchi 1 (which will go up against Tesla’s Model S); and the Hengchi 3, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has told investors it aims to deliver 100,000 cars in 2022, one of the people said, roughly the number of units Nio, Xpeng Inc. and Li Auto Inc., the other U.S.-listed Chinese EV contender, delivered last year, combined.Its workers are also being asked to help sell real estate, the backbone of the Evergrande empire.New hires are required to undergo internal training and attend seminars that drill them on the company’s property history and have nothing to do with car making. In addition, employees from all departments, from production-line workers to back-office staff, are encouraged to promote the sale of apartments, whether through posting ads on social media or bringing relatives and friends along to sale centers to make them appear busy. Managerial-level staff even have their performance bonuses tied to such endeavors, people familiar with the measure said.Meanwhile, the ambitious targets have Evergrande NEV turning to outsourcing and skipping procedures seen as normal practice in the industry, people with knowledge of the situation say.While it’s hiring aggressively and recently scored Daniel Kirchert, a former BMW executive who co-founded EV startup Byton Ltd., the firm has contracted most of the design and R&D of its cars to overseas suppliers, some of the people said. Contracting out the majority of design and engineering work is an unusual approach for a company wanting to achieve such scale.14 Models At OnceOne of those companies is Canada’s Magna International Inc., which is leading the development of the Hengchi 1 and 3, one of the people said. Evergrande NEV has also teamed with Chinese tech giants Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. to co-develop a software system for the Hengchi range. It will allow drivers to use a mobile app to instruct the car to drive via autopilot to a certain location and use artificial intelligence to switch on appliances at home while on the road, according to a statement last month.A spokesperson for Evergrande said it was working with international partners including Magna, EDAG Engineering Group AG and Austrian parts maker AVL List GmbH in developing “14 models simultaneously.” Representatives from Magna declined to comment. A Baidu spokesperson said the company had no further details to share, while a representative for Tencent said the software venture is with a related firm called Beijing Tinnove Technology Co. that operates independently. Tinnove didn’t respond to requests for comment.Rather than staggering model releases, Evergrande NEV appears to be rolling out every type of car all at once under its Hengchi brand, which sports a roaring gold lion on the badge and translates loosely to ‘unstoppable gallop.’ The nine models being launched span almost all major passenger vehicle segments from sedans to SUVS and multi-purpose vehicles. Prices will range from about 80,000 yuan ($12,000) to 600,000 yuan, although the final costs could change, a person familiar said.That’s a completely different product development strategy to EV pioneers like Tesla, which only has four models on offer. Nio and Xpeng have also chosen to focus on just a handful of marques, and even then are struggling to break into the black.“The market has proved the effectiveness of the ‘one product in vogue at one time’ strategy,” said Zhang Xiang, an automobile industry researcher at the North China University of Technology. “Evergrande is offering many products and expects a win. There’s a question mark over whether this will work.”Without any long-term carmaking nous, Evergrande has issued uncompromising directives to meet its latest production targets, according to the people. Two models, including the Hengchi 5, a compact SUV that rivals Xpeng’s G3, are targeting mass production in a little over 20 months. To hit that timing, certain industry procedures, like making mule cars, or testbed vehicles equipped with prototype components that require evaluation, may be skipped, people familiar with the situation said. Evergrande told Bloomberg it has entered a “sprint stage toward mass production.”As it is, Bloomberg could only find one instance where the Hengchi 5 has been showcased in public, in photos and grainy footage released by Evergrande in February as the cars drove around a snow-covered field in Inner Mongolia. The company’s shares surged to a record.Glossing over those steps is unusual, said Zhong Shi, a former automotive project manager turned independent analyst.“There’s a standard engineering process of product development, validation and verification, which includes several laboratory and road tests” in China and everywhere else, Zhong said. “It’s hard to compress that to shorter than three years.”While there’s no suggestion Evergrande’s approach violates any regulations, its stock-market run could be in for a reality check. After similarly hefty market gains, some EV startups in the U.S. that have yet to prove their viability as revenue-generating, profitable entities have lost their shine over the past few months amid concern about valuations and as established carmakers like VW move faster into EV fray.Read more: The End of Tesla’s Dominance May Be Closer Than It AppearsThe industry’s multi-billion dollar surge also hasn’t escaped Beijing’s attention. Evergrande NEV shares dipped lower last month after an editorial from the state-run Xinhua news agency highlighted concerns about how the EV sector is evolving. Of particular worry are companies that are shirking their responsibility to build quality cars, a blind race by local governments to attract EV projects, and high valuations by companies that have yet to deliver a single mass-produced car, according to the missive, which named Evergrande specifically in that regard. “The huge gap between production capacity and market value shows there is hype in the NEV market,” it said.Still, Evergrande NEV’s stock has gained 18% since then, buoyed by the outlook for China’s electric-car market. EVs currently account for about 5% of China’s annual car sales, BloombergNEF data show, with demand forecast to soar as the market matures and electric-car prices fall. EV sales in China may climb more than 50% this year alone, research firm Canalys said in a February report.With competition also on the rise, some outside Evergrande NEV’s loyal shareholder base remain skeptical.“The market is getting crowded but unless you have a preferred lane, there’s not much chance to win,” Automobility’s Russo said. “Maybe there’s some synergy with the property businesses but right now it’s an EV story, and a pretty expensive one.”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.
GameStop shares were on a tear early Monday, as Kieth "RoaringKitty" Gill announced he was doubling his stake in the firm and CEO George Sherman said he is stepping down.