Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Wednesday, June 8


‘Cryptocurrency A Threat To The Safety Of Global Payment Systems,’ Starling CEO Says

  • The CEO of Goldman Sachs GS backed digital bank Starling has stepped up her criticism of cryptocurrency, calling it a threat to the security of payment infrastructure, reported CNBC.
  • “It is very dangerous,” Anne Boden, who established Starling in 2014, cautioned at the Money 20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday.
  • “A lot of crypto wallets are being connected directly to payment schemes,” Boden stated. “This is a threat to the safety of our payment schemes around the world.”


DiDi Discusses Stake Acquisition In Sinomach Automobile’s EV Division For $150M

  • DiDi Global Inc DIDI discussed acquiring a third of the EV unit of state-backed Sinomach Automobile, Reuters reports.
  • Recent reports suggested possible ease in the regulatory crackdown on the ride-hailing company.
  • Didi was amid advanced discussions to acquire shares in small-sized automaker Sinomach Zhijun Automobile from minority shareholders, costing over 1 billion yuan ($150 million). Didi looks to inject fresh capital into the firm.

COVID-19 Vaccine Patent Waiver Expected Soon, Says WTO Head

  • In a telephone interview with Reuters, WTO’s Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an agreement on waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines is within reach.
  • A key World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting is scheduled next week to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver debate.
  • “If we get one or two deliverables, that will be good,” Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters in a telephone interview. “I think we are within shouting distance of that.”

Wall Street Journal

Walmart Heir Rob Walton Buys American Football Franchise Denver Broncos

  • Rob Walton, one of the heirs of Walmart Inc’s WMT fortune, has agreed to acquire the American football franchise, Denver Broncos.
  • The deal was sealed for $4.65 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The purchase and sale agreement calls for the Walton-Penner family to acquire the Denver Broncos from the Pat Bowlen Trust.
  • Chicken Company Foster Farms Sold to Private Equity Firm.


Credit Suisse Warns On Q2 Loss, Mulls Workforce Reduction To Save Costs

  • Credit Suisse Group AG CS is looking for another round of job cuts to manage costs after warning of a second-quarter loss, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.
  • The people said that the bank is mulling headcount reductions across divisions and regions. Final numbers are still to be decided, they said.
  • The dismissals come ahead of the bank’s update to investors on risk, compliance, technology, and wealth management on Jun 28.

Apple, Tesla Supplier TSMC Forecasts Strong 2022 Growth

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM, which supplies chips to the likes of Apple, Inc. AAPL and Tesla, Inc. TSLA, is purportedly weathering external risks fairly well and is confident of seeing strong growth in 2022.
  • TSM expects revenue growth to accelerate from 24.9% in 2021 to 30% in 2022, the foundry’s chairman Mark Liu said at the annual shareholder meeting, Bloomberg reports.
  • The company also reiterated its June quarter revenue guidance of $17.6 billion to $18.2 billion and a gross margin of 58%.


PayPal Gets A Full Virtual Currency License In Crypto Push

  • Payments company PayPal Holdings Inc PYPL has converted its conditional virtual currency license into a full-fledged “BitLicense.”
  • According to a report from CoinDesk on Wednesday, PayPal has been awarded an official virtual currency license from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).
  • PayPal is one of the 20 recipients to receive the official license, which allows businesses to have well-regulated access to the New York marketplace through partnerships and licensed firms.

Why Elon Musk Is Advising Against Using Tesla’s Cabin Recirculation For Now

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday advised an electric vehicle owner to avoid using the cabin recirculation mode as the range advantage is small.
  • What Happened: The billionaire entrepreneur was responding to a Tesla owner’s complaint related to spiking carbon dioxide levels in the cabin every time the recirculation mode is turned on.
  • “Note that when recirculation is on in Teslas, the ambient CO2 concentration in the air spikes to extremely high levels. I used to get headaches on road trips but w/o recirc I do not,” Twitter user Jeremy Chrysler said.

Western Digital Weighed Strategic Alternatives, Including Business Split

  • Western Digital Corp WDC had weighed strategic alternatives, including splitting its businesses focused on traditional hard drives for computers and flash memory.
  • Western Digital settled with activist investor Elliott Management Corp calling for the $19 billion company to consider splitting into two, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Walmart Expands Transportation Partnerships To Reduce Emissions

  • Walmart Inc WMT said it is transforming its transportation fleet through collaborations with manufacturers of three different fuel types – renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and electric.
  • The retail giant will partner with Cummins Inc CMI and will receive new 15-liter Natural Gas Engines and add them to a few of its trucks.
  • It has also secured agreements with Chevron Corp CVX to supply its trucks with CNG linked to renewable natural gas.

Trading Target’s Bearish Q2 Guidance: ‘It’s Bouncing Right Where It Should’

  • When a company comes out with bad news two times in only a few weeks, the issue does not necessarily act in the same manner.
  • That is certainly true for Target Corporation TGT, for which the potential price action was dissected on Tuesday’s PreMarket Prep show, making it the PreMarket Prep Stock of the Day.
  • Target’s Last Bombshell: Before the opening on May 18, Target dropped a bomb on investors with its first-quarter report. Not only did the retailer have a huge EPS miss with an EPS of $2.19 vs. the $3.07 estimate, but the company also announced it continues to expect low-to-mid single-digit revenue growth for FY22.

Twitter Fights Jan 6 Panel Demand For Internal Slack Messages During Capital Riots: Report

  • Twitter Inc TWTR is reportedly pushing back against demands from a committee probing the Jan 6 Capitol riots to hand over its internal communications about moderation on its platform.
  • According to a Rolling Stone report, the social media giant is asserting the First Amendment to fight the committee’s requests for internal communications about moderating tweets during the Capitol insurrection that happened during former President Donald Trump’s administration.
  • Those requests include internal exchanges on Slack, Salesforce Inc’s CRM business messaging application, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Novavax’s COVID-19 Vaccine For Adults Over 18 Backed By FDA Advisors: What’s Next?

  • Novavax, Inc. NVAX announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted 21 to 0, with one abstention, to recommend that the FDA grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine (NVX-CoV2373) for individuals aged 18 years and over.
  • The FDA considers the recommendations of VRBPAC when making decisions on EUA.

EV Company Phoenix Motor Hits The IPO Path - Checkout For Details

  • Phoenix Motor Inc PEV has priced its initial public offering of 2.1 million shares at $7.50 per share.
  • The offer price falls around the low end of its predicted range of $7 - $9 per share.
  • Phoenix Motor is a California-based company that designs, assembles, and integrates electric drive systems and light and medium-duty electric vehicles.

‘Lawyers Are On It:’ Fortnite Developer Dubs Crypto Project A ‘Scam’

  • Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Tencent Holdings Ltd TCHEY, owned Epic Games, has labeled the Fornite Token (FNT) “a scam.”
  • In a tweet on Monday, Sweeney said that there isn’t a Fortnite cryptocurrency and condemned crypto exchanges for facilitating trading of the token.

Washington D.C. Council Passes Law Prohibiting Companies From Firing Workers For Cannabis Use

  • Private companies in Washington D.C. will not be allowed to fire workers who test positive for marijuana use, under a law unanimously passed by the D.C. Council Tuesday. It will now head to the desk of Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) for her signature.
  • Although recreational marijuana use has been legal in the District since a 2014 ballot initiative, employment laws that require drug testing have allowed companies to penalize workers who use cannabis. DC Council members said they believe no worker should be fired for using a legal substance.
  • The new law makes exceptions, however, for workers in “safety-sensitive jobs,” such as those who operate heavy machinery, construction workers, police and security guards who carry weapons, and medical professionals, the Washington Post reported.

Atlas Holdings Scoops Foster Farms For Undisclosed Terms

  • Atlas Holdings acquired Foster Farms from entities associated with the Foster Family for an undisclosed sum.
  • Foster Farms is a family-owned provider of fresh, frozen, and prepared poultry products.
  • Foster Farms generated annual revenues of $3 billion and will continue to operate under the Foster Farms name.

Why Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘Deeply Fears’ Withering Away Of Privacy

  • Apple Inc AAPL CEO Tim Cook touched on privacy and its gradual erosion in a recent interview.
  • Cook said in a conversation with John Simons, the executive editor of Time magazine at the Time100 Summit, “I fear deeply the loss of privacy.”
  • “If we feel that we are surveilled all the time our behavior changes. We begin to do less. We begin to think about things less ... In a world like that where we’re restraining ourselves, it changes society in a major way.”

Warren Buffett-Backed EV Maker To Soon Supply Batteries To Tesla: Report

  • Warren Buffett-backed Chinese electric vehicle and battery maker BYD Co BYDDY will soon begin supplying batteries to Tesla Inc TSLA, CnEVpost reported on Wednesday, citing the EV maker’s interview with a local media outlet.
  • Lian Yubo, BYD’s executive vice president, and director of its automotive engineering research institute, praised Tesla’s prowess and confirmed plans to begin deliveries of the batteries soon.
  • “Tesla is a very successful company no matter what, BYD respects Tesla, and we admire Tesla,” the report said, citing Yubo.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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