Financial Daily Dose 4.13.2021 | Top Story: Ant Group Agrees to Sweeping Overhaul to Appease Chinese Regulators
April 13, 2021
Mere days after Chinese regulators hit Jack Ma’s Alibaba with a staggering $2.8 billion antitrust fine, the e-commerce giant’s sister company, Ant Group, announced “that it would undertake a sweeping, government-ordered overhaul of its business to allay regulators’ concerns about the way it competes with rivals, its large-scale collection of user data and the risks it business may post to the wider financial system” - NYTimes and WSJ
Microsoft made it official on Monday after a weekend of speculation—it will fork over $19.7 billion to buy AI software and speech-recognition company Nuance “as it pushes to expand its health care technology services.” The deal is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition since it bought LinkedIn 6 years ago - NYTimes and WSJ and TechCrunch and MarketWatch
Another day, another noteworthy SEC warning—this time related to the blank-check company crazy that’s swept through the financial world in recent months. The SEC is warning that SPACs “may need to refile regulatory documents to correct accounting errors involving the classification of warrants” based on the revelation that they “may be considered liabilities rather than equity under certain circumstances.” The announcement threatens to upend what’s been a “red-hot” market – Law360 and Bloomberg and WSJ
But before that guidance sinks in, Singapore-based Grab Holdings—a “ride-hailing, food-delivery and digital-wallet group that operates across much of Southeast Asia”—secured a “near $40-billion valuation” through a SPAC merger that will take it public on the Nasdaq - WSJ and Bloomberg and TechCrunch
The White House met with a virtual gathering of business execs from a spate of U.S. and international companies on Monday to address “semiconductor supply chains amid a global chip shortage.” As detailed here, the shortage has forced automakers to shutter factories around the globe, and the Biden administration is using the crisis as an opportunity to advance its pitch for an infrastructure plan that “aims in part to bolster high-tech domestic manufacturing” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg
In the latest sign of a rebounding economy amid increasing vaccine numbers, Uber reported “record monthly bookings for March,” with its ride-hailing business posting its highest booking figures in a year and its food-delivering unit marking a new record - WSJ
Treasury Secretary Yellen appears poised to “sidestep a fresh clash with Beijing” by declining to “name China as a currency manipulator in her first seminannual foreign-exchange report” on Thursday - Bloomberg
The coming public listing of Coinbase has helped push bitcoin to a new high, with the crypto topping the $63k mark “even as skeptics doubt the durability of the boom” - Bloomberg
The Journal lays out the options for Credit Suisse’s investment banking arm in the wake of a pair of scandals—Greensill and Archegos—that have cost the company billions in just the past few months. The primary dilemma? “Its investment bank, which takes on more risk, has been its profit engine, making up for its larger, slower-growing wealth-management business,” which means that any scale-back for safety will come with a corresponding hit to the bottom line - WSJ
French firms Veoila Environnement SA and Suez SA are joining forces in a $15.5 billion deal to create “a water and waste-management giant that aims to soak up a global surge in infrastructure and climate-change spending” in the years ahead - WSJ
Not gonna lie, they had me at 7-10 split, but I stayed for the kid’s nickname - HuffPost
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