Benzinga Before The Bell: Amazon Wages Price War On Tesco, Biden's Campaign Promise To Free Cannabis Prisoners, H&M Exits Russia And Other Top Financial Stories Monday, July 18

Benzinga Before The Bell: Amazon Wages Price War On Tesco, Biden's Campaign Promise To Free Cannabis Prisoners, H&M Exits Russia And Other Top Financial Stories Monday, July 18

Reuters

GSK Completes Spin-Off Of Its Consumer Healthcare Business

  • GSK plc GSK has completed the demerger of the Consumer Healthcare business to form the Haleon Group.
  • Reuters reported that shares in Haleon started trading at 330 pence on Monday morning, giving the business a market valuation of around £30.5 billion ($36.4 billion).
  • The company’s debut price was in line with market expectations, according to two bankers involved in the deal. However, Haleon’s current valuation is lower than expected.

Airbus CEO Anticipates Engine Delivery Delays To Peak Mid-Year

  • Airbus SE EADSY Chief Executive Guillaume Faury expects delays in engine supplies that have been holding back aircraft deliveries to peak at mid-year, reported Reuters.
  • Airbus has been compelled to build several narrow-body A320 neo-family jets without engines to keep assembly lines operating.
  • “It’s going to peak probably mid-year, and then we think we’ll get more engines in the second half,” Faury told Flightglobal in an interview.

Wall Street Journal

Boeing’ Very Close’ To Delivering 787 Dreamliner After 2 Years — Gives Update On 737 MAX Status

  • Boeing Co BA is reportedly nearing the end of regulatory hurdles for resuming deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after a nearly two-year pause over some production defects.
  • The U.S. planemaker is “very close” to restarting deliveries of the wide-body jet, its commercial airplanes chief Stan Deal said at a news conference ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow near London, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
  • There will be no “extra innings added” with regard to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reviews for the 787 Dreamliner, Deal reportedly said.

Here’s Why Stellantis Looks To Discontinue Its China JV

  • Stellantis NV STLA braces to terminate the joint venture accounting for the manufacturing and distribution of its Jeep brand in China and focus on selling imported Jeep vehicles in the country.
  • It would book a non-cash impairment charge of €297 million in its first-half results due to its decision.
  • Stellantis reasoned a lack of progress in its plan to take a majority share in the joint venture with China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, Ltd GNZUY.

Bloomberg

This Tesla, Ford Supplier Weighs 2 Sites In Mexico For $5B Battery Plant

  • Tesla, Inc.’s TSLA battery supplier Contemporary Ameprex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL) has set its sights on constructing a manufacturing plant in Mexico at a project cost of $5 billion.
  • The Chinese company is considering two locations – Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua and Saltillo in Coahuila, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. Both the locations are close to Texas, where Tesla has one of its newest Gigafactories.
  • Ciudad Juarez could be a relatively more attractive option, given its proximity to the San Jeronimo-Santa Teresa port of entry into the U.S. state of New Mexico, Bloomberg said. This would provide CATL a “route around the border crossings of Texas,” it added.

Financial Times

TSMC Overtakes Samsung In Chip Race By Capitalizing On Latter’s Strengths

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM toppled Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd SSNLF within three years after the latter swore to become the leading chipmaking foundry.
  • “We will be the world’s number one player in the non-memory sector” by 2030, vice-chair Lee Jae-Yong, Samsung’s de facto chief, said in 2019. Since then, TSMC has added about eight points to its lead.
  • TSMC’s growing market share at the cost of Samsung prompted the latter to undergo executive restructuring.

PwC Rejects Audit & Consulting Split, Forecasts Record Annual Revenue Of $50B

  • PricewaterhouseCoopers’ global chairman said the firm would report record revenues of about $50 billion this year as he defended not going for an audit and consulting split.
  • In an interview with the Financial Times, Bob Moritz said that keeping the audit and advisory arms together was essential to attract staff. The benefits of the model outweighed the difficulty of managing the risk of conflicts of interest between the two divisions.
  • The biggest constraint on expanding the business was being able to hire the right people rather than access to capital or rules on conflicts of interest, said Moritz.

Benzinga

Dogecoin (DOGE) Daily Transactions Spike To One-Year High

  • The number of daily transactions on the Dogecoin DOGE/USD blockchain surged to a one-year high of 74,986 on Sunday.
  • According to blockchain data from BitInfoCharts shared by Dogecoin creator Billy Markus on Twitter, the number of DOGE transactions saw a massive spike on July 17.
  • Some users attributed the sudden increase in daily DOGE transactions to the integration of posting memes on the self-custodian MyDoge wallet.

Oil Shoots Up As Joe Biden’s Saudi Arabia Visit Concludes Without Any Solid Commitment On Output Hike

  • Oil climbed higher on Monday post a 7% fall last week after U.S. President Joe Biden concluded his landmark visit to Saudi Arabia without any firm commitment to an output hike by the oil-producing country. A weak dollar also aided the rise in oil prices.
  • Although U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein was confident Persian Gulf producers would hike output post the U.S. President’s visit to Saudi Arabia, local ministers maintained that policy decisions would be based on market logic and within the OPEC+ coalition, which includes Russia, Bloomberg reported.
  • Benzinga’s Take: At a time when U.S. inflation came in at over 9%, any drop in oil prices is a win-win for the Biden administration. A rise in output would have further boosted the US’ efforts in taming inflation.

Amazon Wages Price War Against Britain’s Leading Supermarket Chain: Key Takeaways

  • Amazon.com, Inc’s AMZN U.K. grocery business aims to match prices on everyday items versus Tesco PLC TSCDY, intensifying rivalry against Britain’s largest supermarket chain, the Business Times reports.
  • Amazon chose to fight out Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty initiative in the produce, meat, and fish categories.
  • Amazon expanded its business selling groceries in the U.K. under its Amazon Fresh banner, reaching 19 stores, including one outside London in the town of Sevenoaks.

Liquid Ethereum Staking Solution Surges 200% Weekly As Merge Gets Tentative Date

  • Lido DAO LDO/USD, a staking solution for Ethereum ETH/USD+10.9%, has rallied by 215% over the last week.
  • According to data from Benzinga Pro, LDO rallied from a weekly low of $0.58 on July 12 to a high of $1.83 on July 17. The majority of LDO’s price action took place after July 15, following the Ethereum developers floating a tentative target date for the Merge.

H&M Begins Russia Exit Citing Operational Difficulties

  • Swedish fashion giant Hennes & Mauritz AB HNNMY said it would exit Russia, citing the operational challenges and an unpredictable future.
  • H&M has run operations in Russia since 2009.
  • H&M said it could not carry out business under the current circumstances and that many colleagues are affected as a consequence.
  • As part of its winding-down process, the company plans to temporarily reopen physical stores for a limited period to sell the remaining inventory in Russia.

Biden Says He’s “Working On” Campaign Promise To Free Cannabis Prisoners

  • President Joe Biden told reporters Saturday night upon his return to the White House from Saudi Arabia that his administration is “working on” fulfilling his campaign pledge to free non-violent cannabis prisoners, reported Marijuana Moment.
  • “I don’t think anyone should be in prison for the use of marijuana,” said the President, reiterating the campaign promise.
  • Biden told New York Post reporter Steven Nelson that “we’re working on” the issue. Apparently, the full response was difficult to understand over the whirring helicopter Marine One that had just landed on the White House lawn.

Hong Kong’s Swire Pacific Acquires Coca-Cola Bottling Operations In Vietnam & Cambodia

  • Hong Kong-based business conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd said its wholly owned subsidiary, Swire Coca-Cola Limited, is planning to acquire the packaging and distribution operations of Coca-Cola Co KO in Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • The company will acquire Coca-Cola Indochina for $1.02 billion in cash.
  • The transactions will be Swire Coca-Cola’s first investments in South East Asia.

Coinbase Secures Regulatory Approval In Italy

  • Coinbase Global Inc COIN has secured approval from Italian regulators to provide ongoing crypto services to its resident, the cryptocurrency exchange stated in a blog post.
  • The new requirement implemented by the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (OAM) mandated that all companies offering crypto trading, custody, or other services, meet set criteria. COIN is among the first companies to meet these benchmarks.

More Powerful MacBooks Coming? Apple Could Unleash Models With M2 Chips This Fall

  • Apple Inc AAPL MacBook Pro laptops with M2 Pro and M2 Max processors could arrive within months.
  • The Tim Cook-led tech giant has a fast-paced schedule for the two processors, according to Apple watcher Mark Gurman, reported AppleInsider.
  • The M2 Pro and M2 Max chips could arrive in 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models as early as fall or as early as 2023.

Coinbase Customers Withdraw $248M Stablecoins Amid Liquidity Fears

  • Coinbase Global Inc COIN customers recently withdrew a significant portion of their holdings after rumors of a potential “liquidity crisis” began circulating on social media.
  • On-chain data from CryptoQuant, first reported by CryptoSlate, revealed that $248 million of stablecoins left Coinbase on July 15. Essentially, the exchange lost 50% of its stablecoin reserves on Coinbase Pro in a single day.
  • Comparatively, exchanges like Binance only saw 1% of stablecoin reserves withdrawn on the same day.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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