Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Friday, May 27


Airbus’s New Facility To Research Cryogenic Fuel Systems, Focused On Hydrogen Technologies

  • Airbus SE EADSY is establishing a hydrogen-focused facility in the United Kingdom; its latest attempt to boost the design of its next generation of aircraft.
  • Airbus stated in a statement Wednesday that the Zero Emission Development Centre in Filton, Bristol, has already begun working on the technology’s development. One of the site’s main purposes will be to work on what Airbus calls a “cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system” for its ZEROe aircraft.
  • Airbus has said it wants to develop “zero-emission commercial aircraft” by 2035.


Google, India Discuss Collaborating Over Open E-Commerce Network

  • Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google and the Indian government have discussed integrating its shopping services with India’s open e-commerce network ONDC, Reuters reports.
  • Google’s talks follow the success of its payments business due to the government’s initiative for financial transactions, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • An expert emphasized ONDC’s need for a consumer player to drive mass adoption, which Google Pay did for UPI.

Abortion Pills - The Next Battleground In USA

  • The United States Supreme Court has not yet released its judgment, limiting abortion rights significantly. Still, one of the next legal battles has already begun in a Mississippi court.
  • Las Vegas-based GenBioPro Inc, the maker of a pill used in medication abortions, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the conservative state’s limits on the pill, which is used in more than half of all abortions in the United States.
  • If the Supreme Court guts or overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion worldwide, litigation over pharmaceutical abortion, which is permitted for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, is likely to take center stage.

Wall Street Journal

Big 4 Accounting Firm Ernst & Young Considers Separating Audit and Advisory Businesses

  • Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young is considering a global split of its audit and advising businesses amid regulatory scrutiny of potential conflicts of interest in the profession, reported WSJ, citing sources familiar with the situation.
  • This split will be the biggest structural shift at a Big Four firm since Arthur Andersen separated 20 years ago.
  • The potential split would create two giant professional firms. EY last year had global revenue of $40 billion, of which $13.6 billion came from audit work.

WeWork Appoints Andre Fernandez As Finance Chief; Affirms Outlook

  • WeWork Inc WE has appointed Andre J. Fernandez as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective June 10, 2022.
  • This is the third time the co-working space operator has hired a finance chief since March 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Fernandez recently served as the CFO of Atlanta-based enterprise software company NCR Corp NCR.


Workers Rebel Against China’s Major Apple Supplier, Question Country’s Covid Decree

  • Shanghai Apple Inc AAPL supplier, Quanta Computer Inc’s QUCPY low-wage workers, rebelled against their supervisors, demanding more freedom, Bloomberg reports.
  • The workers locked down by government ruling and isolated from the outside world for almost two months were a part of violent clashes, mounting infections, and vacant factory floors.
  • During the April lockdown, Quanta had to shut off most of its factories and seal workers.

Here’s Why DiDi Shares Are Trading Higher Premarket

  • State-owned biggest automobile conglomerate automaker China FAW Group Co is looking to scoop a significant stake in the troubled DiDi Global Inc DIDI.
  • FAW aspired to be a significant shareholder and help Didi pave the way for a Hong Kong listing.
  • Previously Beijing Tourism Group division Shouqi Group and other Beijing-based companies harbored similar aspirations.

McDonald’s Investors Demand Civil Rights Audit in Close Vote

  • McDonald’s Corp MCD investors have voted in favor of a proposal for an independent civil-rights audit, Bloomberg reported.
  • The civil rights audit was the only shareholder proposal to gain the backing of a majority of votes cast at McDonald’s annual meeting. About 52% of votes were in favor of the audit and 47% against.
  • A group of Black franchisees has demanded that the company should aid its minority franchisees who face discrimination in pay on the basis of gender and color.

Microsoft Joins Peers In Hiring Slowdown Amid Economic Volatility

  • Microsoft Corp MSFT looks to slow hiring in its Windows, Office, and Teams chat and conferencing software groups.
  • Recently, Microsoft disclosed plans to double its budget for salary increases and boosting stock grants to retain key workers.
  • Microsoft’s slowdown was not companywide, and overall it will continue to hire with additional focus on where those resources go.

Google Maps Contract Workers Lock Horns With Management Over Returning To Office Policy

  • Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google Maps contract workers are amid a standoff with their vendor Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp CTSH on resuming back office.
  • The workers who are paid an hourly rate of $16 - $28 and do not enjoy the same perks as direct employees are also subject to the company’s broader push to bring workers back to their offices without much leverage to exceptions.
  • Cognizant informed contract workers that their in-office work would be mandatory starting June 6.


Tesla, Other EV Makers Said To Have Asked Biden For Heavy-duty Truck Charging Investments

  • Tesla Inc TSLA, alongside other electric vehicle companies and environmental groups — has asked President Joe Biden’s administration to invest in charging infrastructure for electric buses, trucks and other medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, The Verge reported on Thursday, citing a letter.
  • The groups have in a letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week requested the administration to allocate 10% of the money for electric vehicle charging in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill signed last November.
  • The bill includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle infrastructure but does not cover for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles

Coinbase’s ‘Audacious’ India Strategy Deemed A Mistake By Crypto Experts

  • From suggesting a legal move against RBI in a tweet to calling out the government’s “subtle pressure” on exchanges, Coinbase Global Inc COIN CEO Brian Armstrong has been quite outspoken about India’s clampdown on cryptocurrency.
  • But industry experts don’t think it’s the right move if the company wants to do business in India.
  • Multiple sources from the cryptocurrency industry and the government have told CoinDesk that Coinbase’s communications strategy regarding India may not be the right approach.

Toyota Cuts Production Plan For June Again

  • Toyota Motor Corp TM has cut its June global production plan for the second time in a week due to the COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.
  • The auto major cut production by 50,000 vehicles and now anticipates producing about 800,000 units in June.
  • It has decided to suspend domestic factory line operations for the week of June 6, on top of the suspension announced earlier.
  • The company now sees an average global production plan from June through August to 850,000 units per month and 9.7 million units for the full period of Fiscal Year 2023.

Elon Musk And Twitter Both Sued By Shareholders Over ‘Chaotic Deal’

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk and Twitter Inc TWTR are being sued by the microblogging company’s shareholders over an ongoing chaotic $44 billion take-private deal, CNBC reported on Thursday, citing a lawsuit.
  • Twitter shareholders allege that the billionaire entrepreneur violated California corporate laws on several fronts, and in doing so engaged in market manipulation, as per a class-action lawsuit filed on Wednesday.
  • The lawsuit lists another potential violation, alleging that Musk benefited financially by late disclosures about his stake in Twitter and by temporarily concealing his plan in early April to become a board member at the microblogging site.

Brace For ‘Bear Market Tech Rally:’ Munster Predicts When Stock Market Could Actually Hit A Bottom

  • U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, even as underwhelming guidance from Nvidia Corp NVDA stoked fears of more pullbacks, but Apple Inc. AAPL and Tesla Inc. TSLA analyst Gene Munster thinks it isn’t yet time to call the bottom.
  • Munster, also a managing partner at Loup Funds, on Thursday, alerted investors on Twitter to gear up for a “bear market tech rally,” saying the Nvidia stock jump was a “classic sign” of near-term bad news being priced in.

Ethereum, Dogecoin Fall Harder Than Bitcoin: Crypto Investors’ Pain Shows No Sign Of Easing Even As Stocks Bounce

  • Ethereum fell sharply, while Bitcoin faced relatively lower strain at press time on Thursday evening, as the global cryptocurrency market cap decreased 3.7% to $1.2 trillion.
  • Cryptocurrencies failed to muster strength even as other risk assets like stocks soared on Thursday.
  • Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin traded below the $30,000, $2,000 and 8 cents levels, respectively, at press time. On Thursday, the S&P500 closed 2% higher and the Nasdaq added 2.7%.

7 Stocks Most Likely To Be Impacted By iPhone 14 Delays

  • As the largest tech company in the world, Apple Inc APPL has a global reach, unlike any other company.
  • Because of its scale, Apple has a bigger market share of the global supply chain than most companies, allowing it to demand higher quality products and impose harsher terms on its suppliers.
  • Some restrictions have eased in the greater Shanghai area, allowing suppliers to ramp up developmental efforts. Still, the consequences of the lockdowns have already impacted the production of the iPhone 14 Max model — to the tune of three weeks.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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