Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Tuesday, May 24


Analysts See Consumer Electronics Get Costlier As Major Chipmakers TSMC, Samsung, Intel Boost Prices

  • Analysts suggested that products relying on semiconductors will likely get more costly as chip foundries prepare to increase their prices, CNBC reports.
  • Global semiconductor lead at Accenture Plc ACN saw the magnitude of any price increases depending upon the share of semiconductor cost in the overall product cost, the ability of manufacturers to cut costs in other areas, and the competitive landscape of each product category.
  • Products using more advanced chips like GPUs (graphics processing units) and high-end CPUs (central processing units) are likely to go up in price, unlike smartphones which saw reduced demand, Alam said.

Who Can Beat Tesla On EV Sales? This Company CEO Believes So

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY CEO Herbert Diess said Volkswagen can overtake Tesla, Inc. TSLA as the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles by 2025, CNBC reported.
  • Stabilizing supply chain woes would help the German carmaker to increase production in the coming months, the CEO said.
  • He expects some relief from the semiconductor supply market to occur in the middle of 2022.

Why Is Airbnb Exiting The Chinese Domestic Market?

  • Sources tell CNBC that Airbnb Inc ABNB is shutting down its domestic business in China.
  • According to two sources, the company plans to remove all of its listings in China by this summer, CNBC reports. Employees of Airbnb in China will be informed of the decision as early as Tuesday morning.
  • The company plans to maintain a presence in the country, with hundreds of employees working out of an office in Beijing. Even though Airbnb is ending its listings in mainland China, sources say providing homes and experiences for those traveling abroad will become the company’s focus.


Samsung Looks To Invest $356B Over Five Years in Next-Gen Technologies - Here’s Why

  • Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd SSNLF looks to invest 450 trillion won ($356 billion) in the next five years to accelerate growth in semiconductors, biopharmaceuticals, and other next-generation technologies.
  • The investments through 2026 will likely help Samsung drive long-term growth in strategic areas like the chip sector while pledging aggressive investments in the biopharmaceutical sector.
  • Samsung clarified that 80% of investments catered to South Korea, and the investment includes a 240 trillion won investment pledge made in August 2021.

WHO Says Monkeypox Outbreak’ Unusual’ But ‘Containable’

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said that there had been 131 confirmed monkeypox cases and 106 further suspected cases, Reuters reported.
  • While the outbreak is unusual, the WHO said it remains “containable” and limited. It convenes further meetings to support member states with more advice on how to tackle the situation.
  • The majority of the recent cases have been reported in Europe.

This Auto Giant Cuts Production Plans Citing Parts Shortage - Read More For Details

  • Toyota Motor Corp TM plans to cut global production by about tens of thousands of units to roughly 850,000 vehicles in June due to the semiconductor shortage.
  • The auto major expects to produce 9.7 million units for the full period of the fiscal year 2023.
  • The average global production plan from June through August is around 850,000 units.

This Cybersecurity Firm Raised Significant Amount In KKR Led Funding Round - Read How Much

  • Semperis, a cybersecurity software startup based in the United States, has announced a $200 million funding round led by private equity firm KKR & Co Inc KKR at a significantly higher valuation than its previous round.
  • Existing investors such as Insight Partners and new investors such as Ten Eleven Ventures joined KKR in the round, according to Semperis.
  • KKR invested through its Next Generation Technology Growth Fund II, which raised $2.2 billion from investors in January 2020.


Big Wall Street Banks Do Not Want Fed-Backed Digital Dollar Crypto Alternative - Read Why

  • Wall Street bankers are urging the U.S. government to postpone the debut of a digital dollar, arguing that a virtual currency backed by the Federal Reserve will drain hundreds of billions of dollars from the banking system.
  • According to the American Bankers Association and the Bank Policy Institute, an American central bank digital currency, or CBDC, would be a direct rival to private bank deposits, making credit less available to businesses and households.
  • “As we have evaluated the likely impacts of issuing a CBDC it has become clear that the purported benefits of a CBDC are uncertain and unlikely to be realized, while the costs are real and acute,” the ABA said in a May 20 letter to the Fed.

Financial Times

SEC Working On Pending Rules On Misleading ESG Investment Claims

  • Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing rules to specify disclosures to be made by investment funds with terms such as environmental, social, and governance (ESG), sustainable, or low-carbon in their names.
  • Financial Times writes that the broader ESG investing category covers environmental and climate considerations, “impact” investing for the social good, and funds that screen out industries such as tobacco or firearms.
  • On Monday, SEC announced a $1.5 million legal settlement, first related to funds’ ESG descriptions, against BNY Mellon’s investment adviser division over allegations of misstating and omitting information about ESG criteria for mutual funds it managed.

Amazon Shareholders Seek To Question Pay, Tax, Working Conditions in CEO Andy Jassy’s First Annual Meet

  • Inc AMZN shareholders look to challenge its executive pay, tax transparency, working conditions, and unionization as CEO Andy Jassy faces his first annual meeting.
  • The Amazon Labor Union leader Chris Smalls will call Amazon to issue a report detailing its “freedom of association” policies and collective bargaining.
  • Influential investor advisory groups Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis backed a proposal for a racial equality audit and independent audit on working conditions at Amazon facilities that Norwegian pension fund Norges Bank agreed to support.


Nio To Invest $32M Toward Vertical Integration Of Battery Manufacturing: Report

  • Nio, Inc. NIO is pursuing vertical integration amid the supply crunch and input price inflation.
  • The Chinese electric vehicle startup is planning to set up lithium-ion battery labs and a pilot production line for batteries in Shanghai, the CnEVPost reported, citing an environment assessment report filed with the local municipal body.
  • The company plans to invest about 218.5 million yuan ($32.75 million) in the plant and commence construction between August and October.

Dogecoin Daily: Price Slumps Again, Declining Trader Sentiment And More

  • Dogecoin DOGE/USD traded 3.2% lower at $0.08 over 24 hours leading up to early Tuesday morning.
  • DOGE traded lower in tandem with other major coins as the global cryptocurrency market cap slipped 3.4% to $1.3 trillion at press time.
  • DOGE was among the most mentioned coins on Twitter at press time. The three most mentioned coins were Bitcoin, Solana and Terra, according to Cointrendz data.

Instagram Undergoes Visual Refresh: Here Are The Details

  • True to the adage “necessity is the mother of all invention,” the necessity to stay alive in the competitive race has led Meta Platforms, Inc.’s FB Instagram app to do a makeover.
  • Instagram will have a refreshed visual identity, with new colors, typeface, logo and other brand elements, the photo and video sharing app said in a blog post on Monday.
  • To feel illuminated and alive, Instagram reimagined its gradient using an innovative 3D modeling process, the Facebook parent Meta-owned app said. The illuminated moving gradient signals moments of discovery in its marketing, logo and even in-app, it added.

Netflix’s ‘Love, Death + Robots’ Features NFT Scavenger Hunt With Hidden QR Codes

  • The new season of Netflix Inc’s NFLX ‘LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS’ (LDR) features a scavenger hunt for nine hidden QR codes.
  • LDR’s official Twitter account tweeted, “the hunt begins,” as season 3 of the David Fincher-produced adult animated series aired on May 20.
  • The nine QR codes have been scattered across the shows’ social media and within the episodes themselves. Users that find the hidden codes can scan them to mint non fungible tokens (NFTs) which will be displayed on their OpenSea accounts.

Cathie Wood-Backed Tesla Rival Xpeng Gets A 7% Lower Price Target But Why Analyst Is Still Bullish

  • Tesla Inc. TSLA rival Xpeng Inc XPEV is expected to overcome near-term COVID-19 lockdown challenges in China on resilient demand, US Tiger Securities Inc said, after the Guangzhou-based electric vehicle maker posted a disappointing delivery forecast for the current quarter.
  • The Xpeng Analyst: Analyst Bo Pei has maintained a ‘buy’ rating on the stock but lowered his price target to $40 from $43 — the second such cut since March.
  • The Xpeng Thesis: The New York-based analyst said he expects the operating environment to improve meaningfully in the third quarter for the EV maker as China is on track to fully reopen in June.

Snap CEO Hints At Hiring Slowdown, Spending Cuts After Warning Of Q2 Shortfall

  • Snap, Inc. SNAP shares tumbled to a two-year low in after-hours trading on Monday after the Snapchat parent company warned that it might miss its second-quarter guidance.
  • Following an 8-K filing to this effect, the company’s CEO Evan Spiegel reportedly sent an internal memo to employees, seeking to clarify the company’s position.
  • Revenue Slowing: Revenue at Snapchat continues to grow, although, at a slower pace than anticipated, Spiegel said, according to a copy of the memo shared by Bloomberg.

Lockheed Martin And Crypto Firm Explore Hosting A Blockchain In Space

  • Defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation LMT and Filecoin FIL/USD are looking into hosting a blockchain network in outer space.
  • A Monday report from CoinDesk detailed the partnership between Lockheed Martin and the Filecoin Foundation that was announced at World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.
  • The two organizat=ions have plans to identify a satellite or other space-faring platform capable of supporting an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) node. The next steps will be to assess the platform’s needs and select a test mission.

Apple Seeks FCC Approval For ‘Mystery’ Accessory: Here’s What We Know About It

  • Apple, Inc. AAPL is trying to get regulatory approval for a new network adapter that runs its iOS, documents filed with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) show.
  • The product, registered under the name A2657, is mentioned as a network adapter belonging to the class of low-power communication device transmitters.
  • The development was reported earlier by 9to5Mac.

Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Service Now Available For RVs: Is It For You?

  • Elon Musk-owned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is now available for recreational vehicles and campers.
  • Starlink announced the “Starlink for RVs” service and pitched it as an ideal option for those customers traveling to locations without steady connectivity.
  • It, however, cautioned that the service is not designed for use while in motion. Sharing the news on Twitter, Musk suggested “Starlink for RVs” may not be available for cars, given the antennas may be too big to be accommodated.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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