Benzinga Before The Bell: Tesla's AI Exec Quits, Hyundai Unveils Ioniq 6 EV, Taiwan Semiconductor's Massive Q2 Profit Surge And Other Top Financial Stories Thursday, July 14


United Airlines, Pilots’ Union To Improve Agreement By Renegotiating

  • United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL and its pilots’ union are renegotiating a new contract, a setback for the carrier after it was the first to achieve a tentative agreement since the pandemic began, reported CNBC.
  • Renegotiations are taking place since the current agreement “fell short” of some pilots’ expectations.
  • “Management has agreed to reengage in discussions to remove objectionable items and work with us to reach a new, improved agreement,” stated Capt. Mike Hamilton, chair of the United Master Executive Council, part of ALPA.


Barclays Plans To Enter This Lucrative $4.3 Trillion Asset Management Market: Report

  • Barclays Plc BCS is seeking a Chinese banking partner to set up an asset management joint venture in the country, Reuters reported citing two people with knowledge of the matter.
  • If successful, Barclays will join the wagon of other financial firms planning to or have started operating in the $4.3 trillion bank-dominated asset management market.
  • The report said that Barclays’ majority-owned China asset management venture would be set up via its unit Barclays Investment Managers (BIM), which currently operates in Europe and Japan.


EU Court Hits Volkswagen With Software Seen As ‘Defeat Device,’ Potentially Opens Door To More Consumer Claims

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY suffered a setback at the European Union’s top court over its right to deploy IT software technology that protects car components from damage at certain temperatures and altitudes.
  • In dispute emerging from the aftermath of the diesel scandal, judges at the EU Court of Justice said there was no exemption to EU regulations for the use of software that changes pollutant gas emissions in cars based on the outside temperature.
  • The ruling opens the door to potential lawsuits for compensation over sales contracts for affected cars.


Tesla Loses Key AI Executive: How Elon Musk Reacted

  • Tesla Inc’s TSLA senior director of artificial intelligence, Andrej Karpathy, has quit. CEO Elon Musk said it was an “honor” working with the deep learning and computer vision expert.
  • Musk thanked Karpathy for his five-year stint at Tesla on Wednesday. He tweeted, “Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you.”

Tesla Owners, Beware: Your EV Can Be Stolen With This $20 Device, Here’s How To Safeguard It

  • Donut Media, a Los Angeles-based firm that runs an eponymous channel on Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL GOOG, says it broke into a Tesla Inc TSLA vehicle with a $20 device.
  • Donut’s Jeremiah Burton detailed how he was able to “steal” a Tesla using a relay attack in the video.
  • Helping Burton on his quest was the principal security consultant and researcher at NCC Group, Sultan Qasim Khan. NCC is a U.K.-based information assurance firm that engages in cybersecurity consulting.

Deutsche Telekom Divests 51% Stake In GD Towers To DigitalBridge & Brookfield

  • German telecommunications company, Deutsche Telekom AG DTEGY, revealed the sale of a 51% ownership stake in GD Towers, comprising its tower business in Germany and Austria, to a consortium of Canada’s Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP BIP and DigitalBridge Group, Inc. DBRG affiliated funds.
  • The transaction values GD Towers at €17.5 billion, or $17.5 billion, on a consolidated basis, including the assumption of net debt.
  • The German telecom giant will keep the remaining 49% stake, and the deal is expected to close towards the end of this year.

This Tesla Battery Supplier Will Build A $4B Plant In Kansas: Why It’s Important For Elon Musk’s Company

  • Tesla, Inc. TSLA battery supplier Panasonic Holdings Corp’s PCRFY subsidiary has zeroed in on the U.S. state of Kansas as the site to build its second U.S. lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant.
  • The midwestern state of Kansas, known as America’s bread basket, has approved a state incentive application filed by Panasonic Energy, the Japanese company and Kansas Governor Laura Kelly jointly announced. De Soto, Kansas, has been identified as the potential site for the project.

Asian Auto Giant Launches First Electric Sedan To Take On Tesla Model 3

  • South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co HYMTF HYMLY unveiled its first electric sedan Ioniq 6 in Seoul on Thursday, as the automaker seeks to capture the lion’s share of the rapidly evolving EV market at home.
  • Rivaling the likes of Tesla Inc TSLA, Nio Inc NIO, Xpeng Inc XPEV, and other EV makers, Hyundai is looking to launch as many as 31 electric models by 2030 to secure a projected 12% of the global EV market.

Analyst Says Qualcomm Shifting Allegiance Will Help This Apple Supplier Stay Markedly Ahead Of Samsung

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited TSM will likely be the sole supplier of Qualcomm, Inc.’s QCOM 5G chips in 2023 and 2024, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a tweet on Wednesday.
  • The assumption, according to the TFI International Securities analyst — best known for his accurate predictions around Apple, Inc. AAPL products — is based on his latest survey.
  • “It’s a super win-win for the two companies,” Kuo said.

Cryptocurrency Exchange OKX Awarded Dubai VARA Provisional License, Plans To Open Hub

  • The Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange OKX has been awarded a provisional virtual assets (VA) license to provide services to qualified investors in the U.A.E.
  • Granted by the Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), OKX’s provisional license for Dubai allows it to extend certain exchange products and services to pre-qualified investors and financial service providers.
  • The company also plans to open a regional hub in Dubai to contribute to developing the ever-expanding virtual asset ecosystem both in Dubai and globally.

Despite Inflationary Pressures, Taiwan Semiconductor Records 76% Jump In Q2 Profits

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd TSM said its second-quarter profit surged over 76% to NT$237.03 billion (equivalent to $8.06 billion). Revenue jumped 43.5% to NT$534.14 billion (~$18.2 billion), almost in line with the consensus of $18.25 billion.
  • The company posted EPS of NT$9.14 ($1.55 per ADR unit), beating the consensus of $1.47.
  • Its gross margin reached 59.1%, operating margin was 49.1%, and net profit margin was 44.4%.

$18M Bitcoin Longs Liquidated In 35 Mins As US CPI Hits 9.1%

  • U.S. consumer inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% on Wednesday, sending cryptocurrency markets plummeting briefly.
  • According to data from Benzinga Pro, Bitcoin BTC/USD plunged from $19,898 to a low of $18,999 after the numbers were released.
  • The immediate aftermath of the sudden and sharp decline was a series of cascading BTC long liquidations. According to on-chain liquidation data from CoinGlass, $17.6 million Bitcoin longs were liquidated within 60 minutes of the negative price action.

Novavax Secures FDA Emergency Authorization For Adjuvanted Covid-19 Vaccine

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants emergency use authorization (EUA) to Novavax’s NVAX lead candidate Adjuvanted (NVX-CoV2373) COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and over.
  • The adjuvanted (NVX-CoV2373) vaccine is tested to provide a two-dose primary series for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 18 years of age and over.

‘Mind-Boggling’: Dogecoin Co-Founder Calls Out Bankrupt Celsius For Still Advertising 17% APY

  • Dogecoin DOGE/USD co-founder Jackson Palmer took to Twitter Inc TWTR to share his disapproval of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network.
  • “Mind-boggling that even though they’ve filed for bankruptcy, you can still click “Get Started” on the Celsius website and they’ll advertise you the 17% APY on the registration page,” said Palmer in a tweet on Wednesday.

Crypto Lender Celsius Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

  • Distressed cryptocurrency lending platform Celsius Network has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
  • What Happened: In a press release on Wednesday, the company said it had initiated voluntary petitions for reorganization in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • “This is the right decision for our community and company,” said Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky.

Shiba Inu Makes’ Huge Addition’ To Metaverse Team: What You Should Know

  • Lead developers of the Shiba Inu SHIB/USD metaverse announced the addition of a new advisor to its team.
  • In an update on Twitter, Shiba Inu’s Shytoshi Kusama said the metaverse team had brought on David Kern – a former technical artist at Sony Group Corp’s SONY Zipper Interactive
  • Kusama described the development as a “huge addition” to the Shiba Inu metaverse team.

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