Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Tuesday, May 3

Bloomberg

Here’s How PayPal Helped Trigger EU Antitrust Allegations Against Apple

  • PayPal Holdings, Inc PYPL helped provoke a formal antitrust complaint against Apple Inc AAPL and its iPhone payments system by raising concerns with the European Commission.
  • Apple allegedly only lets its payment system use the iPhone’s NFC chip. Apple’s act hampered PayPal, Block, Inc’s SQ Cash App, Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd SSNLF, and Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google.
  • European regulators attacked Apple for allegedly abusing its influence over mobile payments by reserving the iPhone’s tap-to-pay abilities for its own Apple Pay service.
  • PayPal, which has its payment service, offers a tap-to-pay option on Android phones and wants to provide the same feature on Apple’s iPhone.

Facebook Pulls Out Of Podcast Endeavour

  • Facebook rebranded Meta Platforms, Inc FB has pulled out of podcasts, looking to remove them from the social-media service starting June 3, taking the edge off Spotify Technology S.A. SPOT.
  • Facebook had announced various audio efforts in April 2021 to tap the budding market ruled by Spotify.
  • The metaverse-focused company seemed more focused on its growing rivalry with TikTok via short-form videos Reels. Reels now make up over 20% of the time spent on Instagram.
  • Facebook will halt its short-form audio product Soundbites and remove its central audio hub.
  • Facebook will integrate Live Audio Rooms into Facebook Live, suggesting users can choose to go live with just audio or audio and video.

India’s Largest IPO Raises $736M Ahead of Listing, Attracts Foreign Investment

  • India’s largest-ever public offering attracted anchor investors, including Norway’s sovereign wealth fund and the Singaporean government, raising ₹56.3 billion ($736 million) ahead of its IPO.
  • The 123 anchor investors joining Life Insurance Corp of India’s IPO committed to purchasing shares at ₹949 per share, the top end of a marketed range.
  • The investors included the Norwegian fund, the Singapore government, and 15 domestic mutual funds accounting for 71% of the anchor allocation.
  • LIC has a 60% market share of India’s 24-company-strong life insurance market.

Citigroup’s Erroneous Transaction Behind Drop In European Stocks

  • As per the Bloomberg report, a Citigroup Inc’s C trader made a mistake “inputting a transaction,” the bank said, after a selloff in Swedish stocks in five minutes wreaked havoc, wiping out €300 billion ($315 billion) at one point.
  • The bank said it identified the error “within minutes” and corrected it.
  • The incident is a fresh setback to Citigroup’s efforts to improve controls.

Citigroup In Talks With Potential Buyers For Russia Retail Ops

  • Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser said that Citigroup Inc (NYSE: C) is reportedly in “active dialog” with potential buyers of its consumer and commercial banking operations in Russia.
  • Investors had grown increasingly concerned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting financial sanctions upon many of Russia’s largest banks -- would thwart Citigroup’s efforts to exit its operations in Russia.
  • Fraser said Citigroup still intends to sell those divisions, even as it continues to serve corporate clients in the region, writes Bloomberg.

Amid SEC Suit, Former Nomura Trader Admits Lying to Clients

  • A former Nomura Holdings Inc’s NMR senior trader admitted lying to clients about bond prices but said it was a common practice and never impacted clients’ investment decisions.
  • James Im, who led Nomura’s commercial mortgage-backed securities trading desk from 2009 to 2014, took the stand in his defense against the Securities and Exchange Commission suit, accusing him of lying to boost the firm’s profits and bonus Bloomberg writes.

Reuters

Google’s Internal Conflict Over AI Research On Chip Design Jeopardizes Millions Of Dollars In Government Grants

  • Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google recently terminated a senior engineering manager for allegedly debunking and harassing its landmark research on AI software.
  • Google scientists Azalia Mirhoseini and Anna Goldie discovered that AI could complete a critical step in the design process for chips, or floorplanning, faster and better than an unspecified human expert.
  • However, other Google scientists, led by Satrajit Chatterjee, found that two alternative approaches based on essential software outperform AI.
  • Goldie accused Chatterjee of harassing her and Mirhoseini for years by spreading misinformation about them.
  • The conflict could disrupt the flow of millions of dollars in government grants for research into AI and chips.

Venture Capitalists Exhibit FOMO, Invest in Growing Crypto Universe

  • Venture capital investment in crypto projects reached a record $10 billion globally in the first quarter of 2022.
  • The full-year VC investment in crypto projects for 2019 was $3.7 billion, $5.5 billion for 2020, and $28 billion for 2021.
  • The M&A deals involving crypto target companies also ballooned globally, with 73 deals sealed in 2022 worth $8.8 billion versus 51 deals worth $6.8 billion in 2021.
  • Experts saw that investment levels in crypto continued to grow amid a bitcoin price slump in 2022 and another decline last summer, and a slump in the tech-heavy Nasdaq benchmark helping crypto firms bag good bargains.

Wall Street Journal

Activist Investor Ancora Urges Hasbro To Sell Entertainment One Unit

  • Ancora Holdings Inc, the activist investor that has a 1% stake in Hasbro Inc HAS has urged the toy maker to sell its Entertainment One unit.
  • Ancora, through a letter sent to the company’s board, also wanted Hasbro to replace longstanding directors on its board.
  • Ancora has joined the ranks of the other activist investor, Alta Fox, that had earlier urged the toy maker to consider spinning off its Wizards of the Coast gaming unit.

Financial Times

Nvidia Fallout: Boris Johnson Makes Final Attempts To Woo Arm To List In London Instead Of New York

  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is giving a final push to convince SoftBank-backed chip maker Arm Ltd to list in London instead of New York, according to a Financial Times report.
  • The report added that U.K. ministers, alongside executives from the London Stock Exchange (LSE), are trying to persuade the Japanese conglomerate amid growing concerns over lasting damage if Britain’s best-known tech company chooses New York for its public offering.
  • Meanwhile, a U.K. government spokesperson told Reuters by email that “Following last year’s record number of tech IPOs in London, we continue to work hard to support and encourage all firms to list here. We hope Arm will continue to build its business here, drawing on the U.K.’s unrivaled mix of skills and capital.”
  • This came after SoftBank shelved the sale of Arm to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp NVDA in a deal valued at up to $80 billion, citing regulatory hurdles.

Benzinga

Tesla Confirms Annual Shareholder Meeting In August, Delays Proxy Filing: What This Means For Investors

  • After delaying the filing of its proxy statement, Tesla, Inc. TSLA confirmed the date for its annual shareholder meeting.
  • Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting will be held on August 4 in Austin, Texas, the company confirmed through a tweet on its official Twitter handle.
  • The announcement comes close on the heels of the filing of an amended 10-K/A annual report on Monday, wherein Tesla said it would delay the filing of its definitive proxy statement for the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders.
  • Tesla sounded out its intention of announcing a stock split through an 8-K filing in late March. When Tesla solicited questions from shareholders that needed to be addressed on the earnings call, the most upvoted question was regarding the split ratio.

Edward Snowden Reacts To Roe V. Wade: ‘Someone May Have Put A Lot On The Line To Warn You Of This’

  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden early Tuesday reacted to a Politico report — citing a leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito — that said the Supreme Court is planning to overturn the historic 1973 judgment of Roe V. Wade.
  • “Someone may have put a lot on the line to warn you of this. It doesn’t matter who they are or why they did it: their role is complete,” Snowden, who now resides in Russia, said. “What matters now is how you respond.”
  • Someone may have put a lot on the line to warn you of this. It doesn’t matter who they are or why they did it: their role is complete.
  • The Roe V. Wade judgment ensured constitutional protection of abortion rights for women.
  • This is the first time Snowden has tweeted in over two months. The computer intelligence consultant sent out his last tweet in February to address Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which was in contrast to his predictions.

You Can Now Stream Apple Music On Roku Devices

  • Apple Inc’s AAPL music streaming service is now available on Roku Inc’s ROKU platform globally.
  • Apple Music’s subscribers would be able to stream music on any Roku device, including streaming players, Roku TV models, and Roku Streambar Pro.
  • Roku users who sign up for Apple Music through the Roku channel store can receive a 1-month free trial, according to the statement.
  • Other music options on Roku include Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Spotify Technology S.A.’s SPOT platform.
  • Apple TV has been available on Amazon.com, Inc’s AMZN Fire TV service since 2019.

Rumors Of Alibaba Founder Getting Arrested Spread After Report Says China Put ‘Curbs’ On Person With Same Surname

  • Chinese authorities have placed an individual with the last name Ma under “compulsory curbs” in the city of Hangzhou, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing state broadcaster CCTV.
  • Hangzhou is the home base of Jack Ma-founded Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA and its affiliate Ant Group.
  • The person was placed under “curbs” on April 25 after being accused of inciting subversion of state power and other activities that endangered national security, the report said.
  • The usually flamboyant Ma has had numerous run-ins with the Beijing administration and has been keeping a low profile since late 2020.
  • Alibaba shares slid more than 9% in Hong Kong following the news.

Cathie Wood Sells Another $6.4M In Tesla - Adds To Stake In These 2 Stocks

  • Cathie Wood-led Ark Investment Management booked more profit in Tesla Inc TSLA on Monday as shares in the electric vehicle firm rose and increased exposure to zero-commission trading app maker Robinhood Markets Inc HOOD.
  • St. Petersburg, Florida-based Ark Invest sold 7,146 Tesla shares, estimated to be worth $6.45 million.
  • The popular stock-picking firm owns shares in Tesla through three of its six actively traded exchange funds: Ark Innovation ETF ARKK, Ark Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF ARKQ, and Ark Next Generation Internet ETF ARKW.
  • The three ETFs held 1.3 million shares worth $1.13 billion in Tesla before Monday’s trade.
  • ARK bought 189,451 shares, estimated to be worth $2.83 million, in Draftkings Inc DKNG. The sports betting company’s stock closed 9.58% higher at $14.99 on Monday and is down 46% YTD.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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