Top Financial Stories Monday, September 12: Netflix Collaborates With Assassin's Creed Maker, Gun Sales Could Soon Be Tracked Via Payment Processors, Xi Jinping To Meet Vladimir Putin In First Foreign Trip And More...


Tesla, Nio Supplier CATL's Chinese Rival Eyes $2B Hong Kong IPO

  • Chinese battery maker CALB Co., a rival to companies like Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd. (CATL) and Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co. BYDDF, has started gauging investor demand for its $2 billion Hong Kong initial public offering.
  • The Jiangsu-based lithium battery maker will analyze the demand for its shares from September 12 to September 22, per terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg.

Wall Street Journal

Deere Invests Billions In Self-Driving Tractors, Smart Crop Sprayers

  • After conquering the farm industry hardware, Deere & Co DE aims to extend its dominance to software to boost the productivity of those machines and agriculture.
  • Deere is rolling out self-driving tractors capable of plowing fields and sprayers that distinguish weeds from crops.
  • Deere, which helped make satellite-guided tractors universal in the U.S. Farm Belt over the past two decades, invested billions of dollars in developing more innovative machines to boost farming productivity.


Gun Sales At US Stores Could Soon Be Tracked As Visa, Mastercard, And American Express Plan To Adopt New ID Code

  • Payment processors have agreed to adopt a merchant code approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for identifying arms purchases.
  • The ISO on Friday approved the creation of a merchant code for gun retailers, bowing to pressure from activists who see this as a measure to track suspicious weapons purchases.
  • Previously, gun store sales were categorized as general merchandise.

Activist Investor Daniel Loeb Retracts Stance Over Disney Spinning Off ESPN

  • Billionaire activist investor Daniel Loeb backed off from pushing Walt Disney Co DIS to spin off ESPN, saying he has a "better understanding" of the sports television network's potential for growth.
  • Recently, Disney Chief Bob Chapek reaffirmed the value of ESPN to the media company.
  • Loeb looks forward to seeing ESPN Chair James Pitaro execute the growth and innovation plans, "generating considerable synergies as part of" Disney, he said in a tweet.

More Regulatory Brunt For Apple, Google Over Antitrust Practices; This Time From Mexico

  • Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Google faced an investigation over anti-competitive practices in Mexico following a complaint from the country's former telecom chief.
  • Mony de Swaan Addati complained to Mexico's telecom regulator IFT, accusing Apple and Google of thwarting competition by exploiting monopoly in app stores to tie use of their payment processing systems for in-app purchases.

Chip Wreck Ahead? Biden Administration Said To Be Mulling More Curbs On Semiconductor, Tool Exports To China

  • Nvidia Corporation NVDA and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD) announced earlier this month that the U.S. government had restricted artificial intelligence chip exports to China, triggering concerns among tech investors.
  • A new report now suggests that more curbs could be announced next month.
  • The Biden administration is contemplating a move to broaden restrictions on AI chip and semiconductor manufacturing equipment exports to China. A decision in this regard could be announced as early as next month.

Roblox Targets 3D Ad Launch To Beat The Slowdown

  • Online gaming firm Roblox Corp RBLX looks to launch 3D advertising on its platform next year to diversify its revenue stream beyond in-game purchases.
  • Roblox will test ads with developers and a handful of advertisers by the end of this year.
  • The 3D advertising, better known as "immersive ads," experience will only reach audiences aged 13 and above.

Xi Jinping To Meet Vladimir Putin In First Foreign Trip Since Onset Of COVID-19: Analysts On What To Expect With This Meeting

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on his first foreign trip in more than two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Xi will be on a state visit to Kazakhstan on Wednesday. He would then meet the Russian President at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's summit in the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

Nissan Extends Production Halt In St Petersburg Plant, Russia

  • Nissan Motor CO Ltd NSANY is planning to extend the production halt of an assembly plant in Saint Petersberg, Russia, till late December.
  • The plant's production was suspended in March when Russia invaded Ukraine and was slated for resumption in late September.
  • The company said difficulties in sourcing parts from Europe and Japan have led to suspension extension.


JPMorgan To Buy This California Payments Startup To Take On Jack Dorsey's Block

  • Financial services giant JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM has agreed to acquire California-based Renovite Technologies to solidify its presence in payment processing.
  • Renovite provides cloud-native software products and services to mission-critical payment systems.
  • JPMorgan reportedly ran trials with Renovite as a vendor last fall and decided to go ahead with the acquisition after being impressed with the latter's products, especially a cloud-based switch that routes payments to various providers.


iPhone 14 Series Will Be Pricier In Japan And South Korea But Not China — Here's Why

  • Japanese and South Korean consumers will have to shell out relatively more for the latest iPhones this year than last year's model as currencies of both these countries have depreciated significantly against the dollar.
  • The iPhone 14, which will be available in Japan beginning September 16, is priced at 119,800 yen, according to the Apple website. This is about 21% higher than the price of the iPhone 13 when it was released a year ago.
  • In comparison, despite historically high inflation, the iPhone 14 in the U.S. is still $799, the same as last year's model, according to the report.

Bolt Scraps $1.5B Deal To Acquire Crypto Company Wyre

  • Leading U.S. online checkout company Bolt Financial Inc has announced that it is not going ahead with the $1.5 billion deal to buy crypto infrastructure provider Wyre Payments.
  • In April, the firm declared that it would acquire Wyre amid growing demand for purchasing goods and services with cryptocurrency and the opportunity of Web3.
  • Post-acquisition, both companies were supposed to build commerce solutions for mainstream, secure cryptocurrency usage for millions of shoppers, retailers, and developers.

Unfazed By $917M Write-Off In Q2, MicroStrategy Plans To Add More Bitcoin Using Proceeds From Proposed $500M Stock Offering

  • MicroStrategy Inc MSTR filed a Form 8-K with the SEC late Friday regarding an agreement with Cowen & Co. for selling up to $500 million worth of its Class A stock.
  • The company also filed a prospectus supplement with the SEC in connection with the offering under its existing automatic shelf-registration statement, which became effective on June 14.

Amgen's Lumakras Cuts Risk Of Progression By 34% In KRAS-Mutated Lung Cancer Patients

  • Amgen Inc AMGN announced detailed results from the global Phase 3 CodeBreaK 200 trial. These data will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress 2022
  • The data showed that oral Lumakras/Lumykras (sotorasib) led to significantly superior progression-free survival (PFS) and higher objective response rate (ORR), in KRAS G12C-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), compared with intravenous chemotherapy, docetaxel.

Johnson & Johnson Reaches $300M Settlement In Australian Pelvic Mesh Lawsuit

  • Johnson & Johnson JNJ has reached a A$300 million settlement in two Australian class action suits filed by Shine Lawyers for selling defective pelvic mesh implants to Australian women.
  • The settlement, reached on September 9, is the largest in a product liability class action in Australian history. It follows multiple court proceedings involving more than 11,000 claimants, JNJ, and its subsidiary Ethicon.

Netflix Goes Aggressive In Gaming Stance, Collaborates To Piggybank On Popular Franchises

  • Netflix Inc NFLX and UbiSoft Entertainment Inc UBSFF collaborated to create three mobile games from some of the popular game franchises for Netflix, starting in 2023.
  • The three games will expand on the Valiant Hearts, Mighty Quest, and Assassin's Creed universes and will be available exclusively on mobile to Netflix members.
  • A new Valiant Hearts game, the sequel to Ubisoft's multi-award-winning game Valiant Hearts: The Great War, will be available to Netflix members in January 2023.

Burger King To Shell Out $400M To Ramp Up Sales In the US

  • Restaurant Brands International Inc QSR said its fast-food hamburger chain Burger King is planning to spend $400 million in two years on advertising and renovation of its restaurants.
  • The move is a part of its 'Reclaim the Fame' strategy to revive sales in the U.S.
  • The investment includes $150 million in advertising and digital investments and $250 million in technology developments.
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