FTX Contagion Spreads To Hong Kong Exchange, Microsoft Outlines New Harassment Policies, Netflix Subscribers Can Terminate Freeloading Account Access: Top Stories Wednesday, Nov. 16


FTX Contagion Spreads To Hong Kong Exchange, At Risk Of Capital Deficit

  • Hong Kong-based global exchange AAX (AAB/USD) halted user withdrawals on Tuesday, saying it was at risk of a capital deficit and needed more investments to resume normal operations.
  • AAX said that it suspended withdrawals in the wake of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX (FTT/USD) saga.
  • "Some of our investors indicated their desire to withdraw their capital from AAX, putting us at risk of capital deficit," the platform said in a blog post.

Probe Into Bill Gates' Relationship With Microsoft Employee Reportedly Inspires New Sexual Harassment Policies At Tech Giant

  • Microsoft Corp MSFT is reportedly set to adopt new policies in the wake of sexual harassment allegations at the tech giant — including those against its co-founder Bill Gates.
  • The company will go ahead with the adoption after recommendations were made by a law firm Microsoft hired to review its practices.
  • ArentFox Schiff LLP made 11 recommendations in a 50-page report reportedly released Tuesday, according to a Microsoft blog post.

Netflix Freeloaders, Beware! If You Are Unwanted, A Subscriber Can Remotely Terminate Your Access To An Account

  • You can now remotely remove freeloaders from your Netflix Inc NFLX account without having to reset your password, thanks to a new feature introduced by the streaming giant.
  • Netflix launched the "Managing Access and Devices feature." It's available in 'Account Settings' and allows users to check recently-streamed devices and easily log out of a particular device.

Uber And Lyft NYC Drivers Likely To Get A Pay Boost

  • Uber Technologies Inc UBER and Lyft Inc LYFT will have to increase the minimum pay rates for drivers in New York City by the end of the year, Engadget reported.
  • The fare increase comes amid a driver shortage post-pandemic, primarily due to rising operational costs.
  • New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to increase the per-minute rates of ride-hail drivers by 7.42% and per-mile rates by 23.93%. Yellow and green cab rates will also increase by 23% by the end of this year.

Intel Liable To Pay $949M For VLSI Patent Infringement

  • A federal jury in Texas said Intel Corp INTC must pay VLSI Technology LLC $948.8 million for violating a VLSI patent for computer chips.
  • VLSI, a patent-holding company, is affiliated with the Softbank Group Corp SFTBF SFTBY-owned private equity firm Fortress Investment Group.
  • VLSI argued during the six-day trial that Intel's Cascade Lake and Skylake microprocessors infringed its patent covering improvements to data processing.

Target Grapples With Inflation, Q3 Bottomline Takes Huge Hit

  • Target Corp TGT reported third-quarter FY22 sales growth of 3.4% year-on-year to $26.52 billion, beating the consensus of $26.38 billion.
  • Comparable sales increased 2.7% on top of 12.7% growth last year.
  • The operating margin was 3.9%, and operating income for the quarter declined 49.2% to $1 billion.

Don't Use These 5 Non-Cost Effective COVID Treatments Including Antivirals From Merck and Gilead, Britain's NICE Says

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended stopping using five COVID-19 treatments, including Merck & Co Inc's MRK antiviral pill for high-risk patients, citing cost-effectiveness concerns.
  • NICE acknowledged that there is evidence that Merck's molnupiravir and Gilead Sciences Inc's GILD hospital-administered antiviral remdesivir are effective at treating COVID-19, not found to be cost-effective.

FDA Gives Emergency Use Nod To Roche's Monkeypox Test

  • FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization for Roche Holdings AG's RHHBY cobas MPXV for use on the cobas 6800/8800 Systems.
  • The test is a real-time PCR test for the qualitative detection of DNA from the monkeypox virus (MPXV) in lesion swabs collected from individuals suspected of monkeypox infection by their healthcare provider.

Restaurant Brands Appoints Former Domino's CEO Patrick Doyle As Chair

  • Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE: QSR) has appointed former Domino's Pizza Inc DPZ Chief Executive Officer Patrick Doyle as its Executive Chairman.
  • The appointment follows significant progress and investments at Tim Hortons Canada and Burger King U.S.
  • As the former CEO of Domino's Pizza from 2010 to 2018, Doyle oversaw the pizza chain's transformation into a digital powerhouse. During his tenure, he delivered 29 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases and system-wide sales growth of $5.6 billion to $13 billion.

Lowe's Q3 Earnings Edge Out Analysts' Expectation, Boosts Profit Guidance On Robust Demand

  • Lowe's Companies Inc LOW reported third-quarter FY22 sales growth of 2.5% year-on-year to $23.48 billion, beating the analyst consensus estimate of $23.13 billion.
  • Comparable sales increased 2.2%, while comparable sales for the U.S. home improvement business rose 3%.
  • Adjusted EPS of $3.27 beat the analyst consensus of $3.10.
  • Lowe's now expects FY22 comparable sales to be flat to down -1%.

Wall Street Journal

Activist Investor Calls Out Alphabet To Follow Suit With Other Tech Giants, Cut Costs

  • London-based activist hedge fund TCI Fund Management has called out Google parent Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL to cut costs substantially, claiming the company would be more efficient with fewer employees.
  • Mr. Hohn said Alphabet should make the suggested changes as soon as possible, pointing to recent decisions by other big technology companies.

Financial Times

Ford CEO Flags Need For More In-House Work Roles As Automaker Transitions Focus On EVs

  • In a conference in Detroit, Ford Motor Company F Chief Executive Jim Farley said the company would need 40% fewer workers to make electric vehicles than building cars and trucks powered by petrol.
  • "It takes 40 percent less labor to make an electric car, so . . . we have to insource so that everyone has a role in this growth," Farley said.
  • "We have a whole new supply chain to roll out in batteries and motors and electronics, and diversity has to play an even greater role in that," Farley said.


Meta Loses Yet Another Key India Official To Rival

  • Meta Platform Inc's META former policy head for India will assume a similar role at Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd's SSNLF local unit.
  • From December, Rajiv Aggarwal will take up the position, which entails liaising with and lobbying government officials on domestic policy matters.
  • Aggarwal was among several key executives to depart Meta's local operations this year, as U.S. internet giants, including Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOG Google, battled increasingly stringent oversight of content.

Tesla Supplier Plans Second EV Battery Facility In US

  • Tesla Inc TSLA battery supplier Panasonic Holdings Corp PCRFF would plan a second EV battery plant in the U.S.
  • The company aims to accelerate its EV battery capacity by three to four times by the end of FY2029.
  • Panasonic recently broke new ground for its $4 billion factory in De Soto, Kansas.

Tencent To Allocate $19.8B Meituan Stake As Special Dividend After Posting Consecutive Revenue Decline

  • Tencent Holdings Ltd TCEHY pledged to distribute the majority of its shares in meal delivery giant Meituan MPNGF MPNGY to investors as China's social media leader ramps up plans to reduce its extensive holdings across the world's largest internet industry.
  • Tencent reported a revenue decline for the second quarter, highlighting the impact of China's worsening economy and regulatory headwinds.
  • The stock to be paid out, valued at about HK$155 billion ($19.9 billion), marks about 91% of Tencent's Class B stake.
  • Apart from JD and Meituan, Tencent also owns part of Kuaishou Technology KSHTY, DiDi Global Inc DIDIY, and Bilibili Inc BILI.


Toyota Unveils Fifth-Generation Prius In Japan

  • Toyota Motor Corp TM has unveiled its latest iteration of the Prius, the hybrid vehicle.
  • Prius was first launched in 1997 as the world's first mass-produced hybrid car, leading the expansion of HEVs over the 25 years since it was first launched as a new-generation eco-car.
  • The latest is the fifth generation Prius which comes with Toyota's first 2.0-liter Plug-in Hybrid System.
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