FDA Permits Pharmacies To Distribute Abortion Pills, Tesla's Aggressive Discounting May Have Hit Gross Margins, Goldman Sachs Bullish On M&A Activity In Late 2023: Top Stories Today


Goldman Sachs Bullish On M&A Deals Activity Picking Up In Late 2023

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS seems to be bullish on the recovery of global mergers & acquisition deals in the second half of 2023 despite slow economic growth and a weak credit market.
  • The projections come after global M&A activity fell almost one-third to $3.78 trillion in 2022 from a record $5.91 trillion in 2021, according to Dealogic data. 

Chevron Eyes First Cargo Export Of Venezuelan Crude After Winning US License

  • U.S. oil producer Chevron Corp CVX plans to export its first cargo of Venezuelan crude to its Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery after bagging a U.S. license in 2022.
  • The 500,000-barrel cargo of Hamaca heavy crude, to be loaded at state-run PDVSA's Jose port, comes from the Petropiar oil joint venture operated by both companies.
  • Another Chevron-chartered vessel, the UACC Eagle, arrived on Tuesday in Venezuelan waters, carrying some 500,000 barrels of heavy naphtha to help operate Petropiar's crude upgrader.

SEC Charges Former CFO of SPACS For Fund Embezzlement

  • The SEC disclosed fraud charges against Cooper J. Morgenthau, the former CFO of African Gold Acquisition Corp AGAC, a special purpose acquisition company, for stealing over $5 million from the company and investors in two other SPACs that he incorporated.
  • From June 2021 through July 2022, Morgenthau allegedly embezzled money from African Gold and stole funds from another SPAC series, Strategic Metals Acquisition Corp I, and II.
  • Morgenthau allegedly concealed unauthorized withdrawals by falsifying African Gold's bank account statements. 

Tokyo Gas Poised To Acquire US Natural Gas Producer From Private Equity In Almost $5B Deal

  • Tokyo Gas Co Ltd's TKGSY TKGSF unit is reportedly in advanced talks to buy Rockcliff Energy from Quantum Energy Partners for about $4.6 billion.
  • The unit, TG Natural Resources, which is 70% owned by Tokyo Gas, is expected to announce the deal sometime this month, the sources told Reuters. Castleton Commodities International (CCI) owns the rest of TG Natural Resources.


Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Nears Workers' Union Debut In US

  • A group of Microsoft Corp MSFT employees voted to mark the debut of the software company's labor union in the U.S.
  • The group comprises about 300 quality-assurance testers in Microsoft's ZeniMax unit, the Communications Workers of America, which is representing it.
  • In June, Microsoft disclosed its acceptance of labor unions.

Southwest Airlines Tries To Calm Affected Passengers With 25K Flier Points

  • Southwest Airlines Co LUV has added 25,000 frequent-flier points in addition to ticket refunds and reimbursement to travelers affected by its cascade of flight cancellations over the holidays.
  • The airline did not disclose the number of passengers affected by nearly 16,000 flight cancellations and the number of points it issued. 



Panasonic Plans To Shift Rice Cooker Production From Japan To China

  • Panasonic Holdings Corporation PCRFY is planning to end the production of its famous rice cookers in Japan.
  • The industrial devices manufacturer is taking the step after declining demand and high production costs.
  • The company will shift the rice cooker production to Hangzhou, China, by June 2023.

Jack Ma's Ant Group Gets Regulatory Nod For $1.5B Capital Raise Plan

  • Chinese regulators have reportedly cleared a plan by billionaire Jack Ma's Ant Group Co. to raise 10.5 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) for its consumer unit.
  • The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission division approved the company's plan to raise its capital to 18.5 billion yuan.
  • Following the deal, Ant, which contributed 5.25 billion yuan, will control half of its shares while a unit owned by the city of Hangzhou will hold 10%.

Walmart Liable For $1B Tax To Indian Regulator

  • Walmart Inc WMT and other PhonePe shareholders are liable to $1 billion in tax after the digital payments company shifted its headquarters to Bangalore, India.
  • The bill stems from the relocation and growth in the value of PhonePe Pvt, which Walmart took majority ownership of after acquiring parent outfit Flipkart Online Services Pvt.
  • Now separated from Flipkart and re-domiciled from Singapore to India, the fintech firm raised funds at a $12 billion pre-money valuation from General AtlanticQatar Investment Authority, and others, triggering the tax.



Chinese Startup Nezha Delivered More EVs Than Nio In 2022

  • Chinese electric car startup Nezha has been grabbing eyeballs after claiming it made 152,000 vehicle deliveries in 2022, surpassing 122,486 deliveries by Nio Inc NIO.
  • Nezha, a brand under startup Hozon Auto, asserted its car deliveries more than doubled in 2022.
  • The company's best-seller, Nezha V, is priced at 83,900 yuan ($12,000). Whereas Nio's larger SUVs start from the price range of 400,000 yuan.



FDA Permits Retail Pharmacies To Distribute Abortion Pills, Expanding Access After Supreme Court Ruling

  • The FDA will allow pharmacies to offer abortion pills, mifepristone, in the U.S. Pharmacies must complete a form for certification to distribute the abortion pills. 
  • "Under the Mifepristone REMS Program, as modified, Mifeprex and its approved generic can be dispensed by certified pharmacies or by or under the supervision of a certified prescriber," the agency said.
  • If successful, the pharmacies can dispense it directly to patients upon receiving a prescription from a certified prescriber.

Tesla's Aggressive Price Discounting May Have Hurt Gross Margins By This Much In Q4

  • Tesla Inc TSLA shares started the year on the back foot, as light fourth-quarter deliveries spooked investors.
  • The bad news, however, may not all be in the rearview as the electric vehicle maker's recently-announced price cuts across regions are expected to hurt margins and, in turn, profitability. More details on the margin impact will emerge when the company reports its fourth-quarter results on January 25.

Nvidia And Foxconn Joined Forces To Build Autonomous Vehicles

  • Chipmaker Nvidia Corp NVDA and key Apple Inc AAPL supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd HNHPF Foxconn collaborated to develop autonomous vehicle platforms.
  • Foxconn will be a tier-one manufacturer, producing electronic control units (ECUs) based on NVIDIA DRIVE Orin for the global automotive market. 
  • Foxconn-manufactured electric vehicles (EVs) will feature DRIVE Orin ECUs and DRIVE Hyperion sensors for highly automated driving capabilities.

Sanofi Forecasts Foreign Exchange, Record Flu Vaccine Sales To Boost Q4 Earnings

  • As Sanofi SA SNY schedules to report Q4 FY22 earnings early next month, it expects a positive currency impact in Q4 2022.
  • The company expects growth driven by Dupixent, while Neurology & Immunology be slightly down. It also expects record flu season sales.
  • Sanofi said its preliminary estimate of currency movements be approximately +4.5% and +5.5% on Q4 sales and a positive impact of +6% and +7% on its Q4 business EPS.

Amazon Bags $8B Loan To Beat Market Headwinds

  • Amazon.Com Inc AMZN bagged an $8 billion loan from DBS Bank, Mizuho Bank, and others, the loan which will mature in 364 days (January 3, 2024).
  •  The loan carried an option to extend for another 364 days will serve general corporate purposes.
  • Amazon told TechCrunch that the loan adds to the range of financing options the company has tapped recently to hedge against the "uncertain macroeconomic environment."

Photo by Thomas Breher from Pixabay

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