Morning Brief: Top Financial Stories Dominating on Tuesday, June 14


Warren Buffett-Backed EV Maker Ranked Amongst Top 3 Automakers in China Beating Tesla, Nio, Xpeng

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B) -backed Chinese EV maker BYD Co, Ltd’s BYDDY sales more than doubled in May, making it one of the top three automakers in China, CNBC reports.
  • BYD dominated new energy vehicles, including hybrid and battery-powered cars, and ranked among the top three brands in the largest automobile market by passenger car sales.
  • BYD accounted for two of China’s top three bestselling new energy models in May. BYD’s feat remained unattainable by Tesla, Inc TSLA, NIO Inc NIO, and XPeng Inc XPEV.


Facebook, Twitter, Google Set To Face Hefty EU Fines If Found Not Tackling Fake Accounts

  • The updated European Union code of practice is set to bring in tighter rules for social media giants in order to curb fake accounts on the platforms.
  • According to an EU document accessed by Reuters, tech giants like Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL GOOG Google, Meta Platforms Inc’s META Facebook, and Twitter Inc TWTR will have to take measures to counter deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms, else they would be penalized with hefty fines under an updated code of practice.
  • The report noted that the European Commission is expected to publish the document on Thursday in a bid to crack down on fake news.

Ryanair CEO Expects Summer Rates To Increase By 7-9% Compared To 2019

  • Ryanair Holdings RYAAY Chief Executive Michael O’Leary stated that bookings are strengthening, and he expects summer fares to be between 7% and 9% higher than pre-pandemic levels, reported Reuters.
  • In an interview with Reuters, he predicted that the load factor, a measure of how well an airline fills available seats, should be around 94% in June, nearly matching pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.
  • “And July, August, and September look very strong with higher load factors and also higher fares,” he added.

Sequoia Capital Closes Largest India and Southeast Asia Dedicated Fund

  • As Sequoia Capital looks beyond current investment weakness in new companies in Asia, it has raised $2.85 billion to fund Indian and Southeast Asian startups.
  • According to the Reuters report, the fundraising is Sequoia’s largest so far for India and Southeast Asia.
  • Money raised included $850 million in Sequoia’s first fund dedicated to Southeast Asia. It has invested in Southeast Asian startups since 2015 from a common India fund.

EU, Bavarian Nordic Ink Supply Pact For 110,000 Monkeypox Vaccines

  • European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) has ordered 110,000 doses of Bavarian Nordic A/S’s BVNRY MVA-BN smallpox/monkeypox vaccine.
  • Deliveries of vaccines to HERA will commence immediately and be completed during the following months.
  • The vaccines will be bought with EU funds and delivered to EU states, Reuters reported citing EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides. Doses are to be delivered proportionately to the population, starting with states with the most urgent needs.

Wall Street Journal

Elon Musk’s First All-Hands Twitter Meet To Happen On Thursday: Report

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk will have his first all-hands meeting with Twitter Inc TWTR employees on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing the social media company.
  • Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal told employees on Monday over an email that they could submit questions for the billionaire entrepreneur in advance.
  • This would be the first time Musk will participate and interact with Twitter employees since his bid to acquire the microblogging company began in April.


Air France-KLM Raises $2.4B Via Rights Issue, Aims To Reduce Debt

  • Air France-KLM AFLYY raised €2.26 billion ($2.4 billion) to expand low-cost and transatlantic flights. The airline introduced the funds through a heavily discounted share sale to return a portion of the public subsidy that helped it survive the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • The proceeds of the rights issue will be used to decrease debt and reimburse the French government for around €1.7 billion in bonds issued last year and held by the French government, according to the Franco-Dutch airline on Tuesday.
  • The new shares were sold at a subscription price of €1.17 each or a discount of about 73% to the May 20 close.

Financial Times

ESG Regulatory Heat Intensifies With Latest Raid In DWS

  • Around 50 German police officers intruded the Frankfurt office of fund manager DWS in May amid a greenwashing probe triggered by a whistleblower.
  • DWS CEO Asoka Woehrmann resigned the day after the police arrived to question the staff.
  • Former BlackRock sustainability executive alleged that ESG investing was little more than “marketing hype.”
  • The SEC disclosed its first case against BNY Mellon’s investment arm over alleged ESG misdeed in May. It also investigated Goldman Sachs’s asset management division over similar claims.


This Alibaba Competitor Undertakes Aggressive Job Cuts Across Multiple Southeast Asian Markets

  • Sea Limited’s SE e-commerce arm Shopee laid off staff across multiple markets, DealStreetAsia reports.
  • The layoffs to rationalize its e-commerce business encompassed several Southeast Asian markets, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Shopee’s payments arm ShopeePay and food delivery business ShopeeFood also faced cuts.

SpaceX Gets One Step Closer To First Starship Orbital Test Flight

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk-owned SpaceX said on Monday that it is now a step closer to the first orbital flight test of its Starship from the Boca Chica launch site in Texas following a key Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) review.
  • The FAA on Monday gave a green light for SpaceX to test its huge Starship rocket provided the privately-held space company takes more than 75 actions to mitigate the environmental impact on the area.
  • The key review, originally expected to be cleared late last year, was pushed back several times and has held back SpaceX’s plans to conduct test flights. The reviews were delayed to include public comments and views of other agencies.

Tencent Buys $264M Stake In Walmart’s Indian Unit

  • Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. TCEHY has bought a $264 million stake in Walmart Inc WMT -owned Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, Press Trust of India reported.
  • The outlet citing official documents, said the company bought shares from Indian internet entrepreneur Binny Bansal, Flipkart’s co-founder, through its European subsidiary.
  • Bansal now holds a 1.84% stake in Flipkart after selling part of his stake to Tencent Cloud Europe BV — Tencent’s European subsidiary.

Lilly-Incyte Snag FDA Nod For Patchy Hair Loss Treatment — Smaller Rival’s Stock Shoots Up In Sympathy

  • Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss, now has a new treatment that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Eli Lilly & Company LLY and Incyte Corporation INCY announced that the FDA approved Olumiant, a once-daily pill, as the first systemic treatment for adults with severe alopecia areata. It is available in tablet formulation, in 4-mg, 2-mg and 1-mg strengths.
  • Systemic treatments are those which travel through the bloodstream and reach all cells of the body.

Tesla To Begin Getting Battery Deliveries From Warren Buffett-Backed EV Company Next Year: Report

  • Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co BYDDY will begin mass supplying batteries for Tesla Inc’s TSLA Model Y as early as next year, CnEVpost reported on Tuesday, citing local media.
  • The development follows a confirmation from China-based BYD last week that it plans to begin delivering batteries soon.
  • “Tesla is a very successful company no matter what, BYD respects Tesla and we admire Tesla,” CnEVpost reported a week ago, citing a BYD executive.

Apple’s iPhone 14 Front Camera Upgrade: 7 Suppliers That Stand To Benefit

  • Apple Inc. AAPL is widely expected to upgrade the iPhone 14’s front camera from the existing fixed-focus to auto-focus. Noted Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo sees a slew of supply chain partners benefiting from this planned camera upgrade.
  • Improved Factors: The TFI International Securities analyst sees the transition to significantly improve selfie and video performance. The hardware upgrades needed for this include adding a voice coil motor and upgrading from a 5P lens to 6P lens, the analyst said.

Amazon-Backed Tesla Rival Said To Delay EV Deliveries Amid Supply Challenges

  • Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN could be facing a setback with its R1S SUV that was launched in December.
  • The delivery schedules of the R1S have been pushed back from anywhere between one month, and nine months, Autoevolution said, citing a letter Rivian sent to reservation holders and information shared among forum members.
  • Inc. AMZN -backed Rivian reportedly attributed the delay to supply chain challenges and prioritization of deliveries to locations where service infrastructure is in place to “provide full ownership experience” to users from day one.

How Low Does Bitcoin Have To Fall Before MicroStrategy Is Forced Out Of Its Massive Pile Of Coins?

  • MicroStrategy Incorporated MSTR is the biggest Bitcoin BTC/USD holder among U.S. companies, but the Michael Saylor-led company may have to shed some of it if the apex coin keeps on tumbling.
  • The Borrowing: In March 2022, MicroStrategy borrowed $205 million from Silvergate Capital Corp’s SI Silvergate Bank, collateralized against its Bitcoin holdings to buy cryptocurrency and pay fees, interest, and expenses linked to the loan transaction.
  • MicroStrategy holds 129,218 BTC, valued at $2.76 billion, according to Bitcoin Treasuries data, making it the largest holder of the apex coin ahead of Tesla Inc TSLA.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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