Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Friday, May 20

Reuters

Your Gaming Options Are Set To Explode — Thanks To TikTok

  • ByteDance-owned TikTok is testing games on its short-form video platform through a tie-up with Zynga Inc ZNGA as it plans to foray into new waters.
  • TikTok is planning to make gaming more widely available in Southeast Asia as early as the third quarter, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
  • The Chinese company is reportedly carrying out tests in Vietnam, where 70% of the population is under 35 years, and an attractive market for TikTok rivals such as Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc FB and Alphabet Inc GOOGL GOOG.

Harley-Davidson Suspends Motorcycle Production, Shipping For Two Weeks

  • Harley-Davidson Inc HOG said it will stop assembling and shipping motorcycles for two weeks except for its electric models due to a problem with parts from a supplier.
  • The motorbike maker said a third-party supplier that it did not identify has a regulatory compliance matter with a component.

Danone Scales Up Baby Formula Shipments To US To Combat Shortage

  • Danone SA DANOY has stepped up shipments of infant formula from Europe to address a shortage in the U.S., analysis of ocean cargo data by U.S. customs data and shipping consultancy Ocean Audit for Reuters shows.
  • Danone is the world’s second-biggest baby milk formula maker but a relatively small player in the U.S.
  • It has shipped most of the product from Britain and the Netherlands by ocean freight through its Nutricia North America arm.

Canada Joins Five Eyes Allies, Bans Huawei/ZTE 5G Equipment: Reuters

  • Canada bans the use of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp ZTCOF 5G equipment from China to protect national security, joining the rest of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network.
  • “We intend to exclude Huawei and ZTE from our 5G networks. Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it under the plans we’re announcing today,” Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters in Ottawa.
  • Champagne further added that companies who will be required to remove their 5G gear by June 2024 would not be reimbursed. Companies using their 4G equipment must be removed by the end of 2027.

Crown-Blackstone Deal’s Prospect Hangs Subject To Regulatory Approval

  • Blackstone Inc’s BX $6.3 billion buyout of Crown Resorts Ltd CWLDY got delayed pending regulatory approval from New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.
  • Crown’s license for the flagship A$2.2 billion casino skyscraper in Sydney remains suspended over a year after it was due to open. Its Melbourne casino has been operating with a government-appointed supervisor since 2021.

Wall Street Journal

Boeing’s Starliner Spacecraft Rockets Towards International Space Station

  • Boeing Co. BA spacecraft blasted into orbit and began racing toward the International Space Station, despite facing an issue with two of the thrusters the vehicle uses.
  • Later Thursday, Boeing and NASA officials revealed that two of the thrusters used to maneuver the Starliner in orbit had failed. According to Mark Nappi, Boeing’s vice president focused on the Starliner program; after those failures, a third thruster activated, allowing the vehicle to complete a key maneuver.

Bloomberg

Diagnostic Chain With Indian Presence Looks To Raise Over $300M, In Talks With Walmart, Amazon

  • Metropolis Healthcare Ltd diagnostics chain operating in India and Africa, is looking to raise over $300 million and grab a strategic partner by selling a significant minority stake.
  • Metropolis looks to start 1,800 collection centers in the next three years and boost its home collection service to 200 locations within two years.
  • Walmart Inc WMT-owned retailer Flipkart was among potential strategic investors. Amazon.com Inc AMZN has held preliminary discussions.

Financial Times

Here’s How Microsoft Addressed Complaints From Smaller European Cloud Companies

  • Microsoft Corp’s MSFT pitch to Brussels directly addressed competition worries with a clear geopolitical purpose prompted by recent complaints from smaller European cloud companies, the Financial Times reports.
  • Microsoft laid out a series of “principles” that it would follow out of respect for Europe’s concerns.
  • Any customer who has paid to license Windows or Office under Microsoft’s standard Software Assurance license will not have to pay extra as long as they used a European cloud company.

Benzinga

Netflix Launches’ Mystery Box’ Feature: What Does It Do Exactly?

  • Netflix Inc NFLX is launching what it calls a “Mystery Box” — a feature that the company says will help them discover new shows.
  • Netflix’s director of product innovation for kids and family TJ Marston said in a blog post Thursday that the feature will be available around the world and provide a “fun and safe” space for children to discover films and series.
  • Kids, parents and caregivers can make use of the feature by logging into a Kids profile on Netflix and going to the “Favorites Row” at the top of the homepage. Hovering over the “mystery box” brings up the title “new for you.”

Is Crypto Dead? Coinbase Has A Message For Skeptics As It Turns 10

  • Major crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc COIN released a new ad targeted at doubters of the cryptocurrency industry.
  • What Happened: “Long live crypto,” said Coinbase in its latest advertisement that is being broadcast across national television to commemorate the exchange’s tenth anniversary.
  • The ad features tweets from multiple users across the years claiming that “Crypto is dead.”

CDC Recommends Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Booster Shots For Kids Aged 5-11 Years

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children ages 5 to 11 receive the newly authorized COVID-19 booster shot from Pfizer Inc PFE and BioNTech SE BNTX.
  • Following the recommendation, many of the nation’s doctors, pharmacies, and other vaccination sites are expected to begin offering the extra doses to the 28 million U.S. children in the age group.
  • The shots are to be given five months after the second dose. The extra dose is one-third of those 12 years old and above receive.

Bullish Tesla Analyst Cuts Delivery Estimates, PT On This ‘Epic Disaster’ Headwind

  • Tesla, Inc. TSLA shares are languishing at their lowest level since August 2021, and it may not be yet time to call the bottom, given the looming risks. A longtime Tesla bull on Thursday slashed his price target for the EV maker’s shares, with concerns in China at the center of his tempered expectation.
  • The Tesla Analyst: Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives maintained his ‘outperform’ rating and reduced Tesla’s price target to $1,000 from $1,400.
  • The Tesla Thesis: Strict Shanghai lockdowns have been an “epic disaster” thus far in the second quarter, Ives said in a note.

Ford Recalls Over 39,000 Expedition, Navigator SUVs Over Fire Risk, One Injury

  • Ford Motor Co F said on Thursday it is recalling 39,013 Expedition and Navigator sports utility vehicles in the U.S. that were built between Dec. 1 2020 and April 30 2021 over potential fire risks under the hood.
  • The Dearborn, Michigan-based company has asked owners to park their vehicles outside in open areas and away from buildings while the automaker investigates the issue.

Nio Shares Jump 20% In Singapore Debut: What You Should Know

  • U.S.-listed Chinese electric carmaker Nio Inc NIO on Friday made its debut on the Singapore stock exchange, with shares jumping 20% in early trading, as it laid out plans to open a local research center focused on artificial intelligence and self-driving cars.
  • Shanghai-based Nio said it has successfully listed its Class A shares on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (SGX-ST).
  • “Nio has further strengthened its footing in the global capital markets with Singapore’s strategic significance,” founder and CEO William Li said.

‘Wild Allegations:’ Elon Musk Points To ‘Political Lens’ Amid Reports Of Sexual Misconduct

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk said on Friday attacks against him should be viewed through a “political lens” after being blamed for a sexual misconduct incident that took place in 2016.
  • The world’s richest man said on Twitter he will continue “fighting for a good future and your right to free speech.”
  • The billionaire entrepreneur has been accused of exposing his erect penis to a SpaceX flight attendant, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage.

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