(Bloomberg) -- India’s capital New Delhi extended its lockdown for another week and adopted stricter controls. The country recorded more than 4,000 coronavirus deaths for a second consecutive day Sunday.Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. will set up a joint venture with BioNTech SE to produce the latter’s mRNA Covid-19 vaccine in China, a sign that the highly effective inoculation is moving closer to getting approved for general use in the country.U.S. deaths from Covid-19 have been undercounted, President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser said, with the nationwide toll approaching 582,000. New cases in the U.S. dropped over the past week to the slowest pace since the end of September. Hospitalizations dipped to a seven-month low.Key DevelopmentsGlobal Tracker: Cases total 157.9 million; deaths exceed 3.28 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 1.29 billion doses have been givenCDC limits reviews of vaccinated but infected, spurring concernsUnused shots pile up as mistrust blights Hong Kong vaccine driveTens of millions plunge into poverty in Covid-ravaged IndiaTokyo gives a taste of what Covid era Olympic games will be likeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on cases and deaths.IOC President to Visit Japan (10:47 a.m. HK)The International Olympic Committee is making arrangements for President Thomas Bach to travel to Japan in June, FNN reported, without saying where it got the information. Bach’s visit scheduled for May 17 has been canceled as a result of the extension of a state emergency covering Tokyo and other areas where the coronavirus outbreak is spreading.BioNTech’s China Venture (9:01 a.m. HK)Shanghai Fosun said on Sunday it will set up a 50:50 joint venture with BioNTech to produce mRNA Covid-19 vaccine in China. Both companies have committed up to $100 million investment through cash, production facilities and technologies. Fosun will set up a production facility capable of making 1 billion doses of the vaccine, according to the company’s filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.The Shanghai-based drug company struck a deal in March 2020 to license and develop the Covid shot in the Greater China region that includes Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, while Pfizer Inc. later agreed to co-develop and commercialize it in the rest of the world. The vaccine is now being reviewed by Chinese drug regulator. Fosun Pharmaceutical shares rose as much as 23% in Hong Kong.Vietnam PM Issues Warning (8:58 a.m. HK)Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh warned the nation could face political instability if the current coronavirus outbreak spreads nationwide, according to a post on the government’s website. Vietnam reported 78 new domestic virus patients this morning, and 411 since the latest outbreak began April 27. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have shut most schools. In both the capital and Ho Chi Minh City, cinemas, gyms and spas have been shuttered. Other areas of the nation have put in place similar restrictions.China Airlines to Reduce Cargo Flights (8:15 a.m. HK)The Taiwanese carrier will temporarily reduce cargo flights to deal with pilot shortage after one-sixth of its pilots got sidelined due to quarantine measures, the Central News Agency reported. The airline will cut its cargo flights globally and half of its cargo flight services to the U.S., Apple Daily reported on Saturday, without saying where it got the information. Around 200 pilots are unable to fly as a precaution after 12 pilots were confirmed to have Covid-19 since April 20.Virus Causing Spread of Fungal Infection (8:05 a.m. HK)Coronavirus is causing the spread of a deadly fungal infection called mucormycosis across the western state of Maharashtra, the Times of India reported. Hospitals in Mumbai, which are treating dozens of such patients, are facing a shortage of anti-fungal medicines. The infection can also lead to blindness. The fungal infection usually sets in two to three weeks after treatment for covid and was mostly found in patients who already suffer from diabetes and then got affected by Covid-19.Bolsonaro Leads Mother’s Day Parade Maskless (7:02 a.m. HK)A maskless President Jair Bolsonaro led a Mother’s Day motorcycle parade on Sunday as Brazil added almost 39,000 Covid-19 cases. Deaths increased by 1,024 to 422,340 in the latest daily count, according to Health Ministry data.The ministry will begin distributing 1.12 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Monday. The latest batch brings Brazil’s distribution to about 75.4 million doses and more than 46.8 million shots administered.England Set to Allow Indoor Mixing (5:56 p.m. NY)Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the next stage of lockdown easing in England will go ahead on May 17 as planned, as the Covid-19 infection rate reaches its lowest level since September.People will be allowed to stay overnight with friends or relations, and indoor hospitality will be reopened. The government said last week limited international travel will also resume then.U.S. Hospitalizations Reach Seven-Month Low (3:15 p.m. NY)The share of U.S. hospital beds occupied by Covid-19 patients fell to 5.37%, the lowest since Oct. 5, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.Michigan had the biggest percentage of beds occupied by Covid patients at 13.3% followed by Maryland at 10.8%, according to the latest HHS data, which reflect the situation on Thursday. Florida had 3,504 hospitalized Covid patients, the most of any state, followed by Texas with 3,080.L.A. to Offer Appointment-Free Vaccinations (2:30 p.m. NY)Los Angeles will offer appointment-free vaccinations at all sites starting Monday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, in an effort to “knock down barriers to vaccine access.” The city is expecting to administer more than a quarter million shots for a second straight week.Iran Sets Vaccination Goal (12:57 p.m. NY)President Hassan Rouhani said some 13 million people in Iran, about 15% of the population, will be vaccinated against the coronavirus by July 22, as the country tries to combat the Middle East’s worst outbreak.Rouhani said he expects all people in high-risk groups to receive at least their first dose by that date, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported, adding that two domestically developed shots will be ready for mass use by June.Third of U.K. Adults Fully Vaccinated (12:34 p.m.)More than a third of the United Kingdom’s adult population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and two-thirds of adults have received a first shot. The U.K. has now administered more than 53 million doses of coronavirus vaccines. The success of the vaccine rollout, coupled with strict lockdown measures that are now being eased, has led to a plunge in new cases and deaths. Health authorities on Sunday reported just two daily deaths from the virus in all of the U.K.Spain Celebrates (11:03 a.m. NY)Spaniards broke out in spontaneous celebration at midnight, after a national state of emergency that included curfews from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in most of Spain ended at midnight. In the capital of Madrid alone, the police intervened in more than 450 incidents, the Associated Press reported, as hundreds of people, mostly youth, took to the main plazas and streets in several large cities.“Freedom doesn’t involve holding booze parties in the street because street drinking is not allowed in the city of Madrid,” Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida said Sunday.Restrictions were eased on restaurants, travel between regions, and on social gatherings.Fauci Says U.S. Deaths Undercounted (10 a.m. NY)There’s “no doubt” the U.S. has undercounted its number of deaths from Covid-19, which now stand at over 581,000, President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser said.But Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a University of Washington analysis published May 6 that the true toll is probably over 900,000 is “a bit more than I would have thought.”U.S. Adds Fewer Than 35,000 Cases (8 a.m. NY)The U.S. added fewer than 35,000 cases on Saturday, sending the seven-day rolling average of new infections to the lowest since the end of September. While reporting often lags on weekends, the data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg is the latest sign that the pandemic in America is easing.Another 625 people nationwide died of Covid-19, bringing the toll to more than 581,000 since the outbreak began. Detroit and New York City had the most deaths per capita among major metro areas in the week through Wednesday, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report dated May 6.EU Hasn’t Renewed Astra Contract (7:15 a.m. NY)The European Union hasn’t renewed its contract for vaccines from AstraZeneca Plc, Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said Sunday on France Inter radio.The bloc started legal proceedings against the company over shortfalls last month. Breton also said the region is pushing for the establishment of vaccine factories in Africa, which is just as important as the question of intellectual property protections covering the technology.India Death Toll Stays Above 4,000 (4:20 p.m. HK)India reported more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths for a second day, as the nation battled the world’s worst outbreak of the virus. The country on Sunday recorded 4,092 fatalities and found 403,736 new cases, with the capital New Delhi and other big cities continuing to report surging infections.The lockdown in India’s capital will be extended until May 17, New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.The restrictions had been set to end Monday after being extended several times already.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
The actor discussed his relationship with his longtime friend and costar, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
Rescuers worked into the night on Sunday to free a small whale stranded in the River Thames in southwest London, local media reported. The minke whale, a species commonly found in the North Atlantic Ocean, will be assessed by a vet to ensure it is healthy enough to be released, according to the BBC.
Police believe that Tyrell Cohen was electrocuted while climbing electrical equipment.
(Bloomberg) -- A bidding war erupted for Crown Resorts Ltd. with rival casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd. proposing an all-stock merger and Blackstone Group Inc. sweetening its cash takeover bid.Star said its offer would create an Australian gaming and hospitality giant with a market value of A$12 billion ($9.4 billion) as it unveiled plans to cut costs, as well as sell and lease back property, at the enlarged group. Minutes earlier, U.S. private-equity firm Blackstone raised its offer for Crown by 4% to A$8.36 billion.Crown said it’s assessing both proposals.Bidders are circling Crown while it’s cornered by regulatory investigations. A damning inquiry in February found the company was unfit to run its new Sydney casino following years of money laundering at properties in Perth and Melbourne, which are now the subject of fresh probes.The competing proposals now offer Crown’s largest shareholder, billionaire James Packer, differing paths forward after he failed at least twice to sell his stake.Packer, whose influence on Crown was criticized in the regulatory report in February, has increasingly stepped back from corporate life to fight a mental health battle. The Blackstone bid would give him a potential clean break. Star’s proposal offers the billionaire the chance to swap at least some of his Crown stake for a smaller share in the merged entity.Stock GainsShares of Star leaped 8.2% to A$4.23 at 12:11 p.m. in Sydney. Crown jumped 7.3% to A$13, valuing the Melbourne-based company at A$8.8 billion.Crown Holders Spoilt For Choice After Wild Monday: M&A SnapshotThe board of Crown, with the outcome of the Perth and Melbourne inquiries hanging over the company, must now weigh up the instant reward of Blackstone’s cash offer with the potential long-term benefits of a union with Star.Star’s proposal “creates a long-term opportunity for the capital market which would not exist if Crown gets bought by an American private equity firm,” Star Chief Executive Officer Matt Bekier said in an interview after the proposal was announced. “We have a management team that is in good standing with all the regulators in all our jurisdictions so we think we can pull this off with relatively low risk.”Zero PremiumStar announced a nil-premium offer of 2.68 of its shares for each Crown share -- the equivalent of A$10.48 a share based on Star’s closing price Friday. Star’s bid also includes a cash alternative of A$12.50 per share for as much as 25% of Crown’s issued shares. Assuming the cash component is fully taken up, the offer equates to a value of A$7.44 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations.That’s way below Crown’s market value. But once savings and benefits from the merger are included, Star said its proposal implies a potential value of A$14 per Crown share.Star said it can deliver between A$150 million and A$200 million in annual cost savings from areas such as head office, marketing and technology, that would have a combined net value of A$2 billion.The company also plans a sale and leaseback of the enlarged group’s property portfolio. According to a Star presentation detailing the company’s proposal, the combined group’s key casino properties could sit in an unlisted fund that’s half owned by institutional wholesale investors.(Updates with comments Star’s CEO in the ninth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Nusantara Frasers Tower is led by Singaporean chef Firdauz Nasir, serving up healthy Nusantara cuisine cooked with no MSG, preservatives, less oil, and less sugar.
(Bloomberg) -- A China-focused hedge fund led by a 30-year-old who started trading as a teenager returned 120% in the first quarter, thanks in part to the unraveling of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management.Bullish bets on a pair of Chinese fintech consumer lending platforms accounted for more than half of the quarterly return for Henry Liang’s Seahawk China Dynamic Fund, he said in a telephone interview. Additional gains came from wagers against a “bubble basket” of over-hyped new-economy companies, including GSX Techedu Inc., the Chinese after-school online tutoring firm later caught up in the Archegos-induced selloff.The profits more than doubled the fund’s assets to nearly $700 million. Liang has given back $120 million to investors this year to manage the pace of asset growth and maintain performance. A Bloomberg index tracking hedge funds of all strategies advanced 4.6% in the first quarter. A gauge of hedge funds focused on Greater China rose 1.5%, according to Eurekahedge Pte.Unburdened by the scrutiny of more risk-averse institutional investors, Seahawk was able to make concentrated bets for its ultra-rich mainland Chinese and Hong Kong clients, including Liang’s long-time followers since his university days. His approach highlights how foreign asset managers with lower risk appetites have been struggling to woo wealthy Chinese customers, who are willing to stomach short-term losses for outsized gains.Read more on the struggles of global asset managers in ChinaSeahawk began to buy shares in FinVolution Group in the third quarter of 2019 and 360 DigiTech Inc. in the first quarter of 2020, adding more throughout the year when their stock prices were languishing.Liang is betting that the Shanghai-based duo has an edge in risk management that will help them emerge as winners from the multi-year Chinese crackdown on internet lending.The regulatory tightening has resulted in the demise of online peer-to-peer lending platforms that once numbered 5,000, according to data from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. FinVolution and 360 DigiTech operate in a different space, using technology to connect borrowers and financial institutions.Their share prices have at least doubled this year. Seahawk is now among FinVolution’s largest shareholders with a 13.5% stake at the end of February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Bubble ‘Stretched’In February, Seahawk dramatically boosted bearish bets against the “bubble basket,” including electric vehicle makers Tesla Inc. and Nio Inc., GSX Techedu, fintech firm OneConnect Financial Technology Co., toymaker Pop Mart International Group Ltd. and short-video platform operator Kuaishou Technology, Liang said.The “new-economy bubble has been stretched to an unprecedented level, where valuation of quite a few internet and consumer stocks can hardly be justified even with the wildest 10-year assumptions,” he wrote in his first-quarter newsletter.The collapse of Archegos led its prime brokers to dump shares including GSX Techedu. That contributed to the stock’s more than 80% tumble from this year’s peak, accelerating gains for Liang.Seahawk has largely covered the new-economy shorts while barely trimming its bullish wagers on FinVolution and 360 DigiTech, even when the two fintech firms have fallen at least 30% from this year’s peaks in mid-March.The Chinese antitrust clampdowns could benefit smaller players, especially fintech giant Ant Group Co.’s strongest second-tier rivals that aren’t part of larger platforms, Liang said.His optimism isn’t shared by everyone. Jefferies Financial Group Inc. analysts expect growth of second-tier fintech platforms to slow now that China’s policy makers are seeking to curb household leverage rather than encourage consumer borrowing. China now also requires platforms to obtain licenses to collect data for personal credit reports that they provide to banks for higher fees, and new rules limit behavioral data collection, the analysts wrote in a note.Pocket MoneyA Guangzhou native who is now based in Hong Kong, Liang began to trade stocks at 13, with pocket money from his parents. In his final year in high school, he began to manage assets for clients who found him through word of mouth. By the time he shut those accounts to join a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. long-short equity hedge fund as an analyst, he was overseeing $9 million with a nearly 25% annualized return over six years, he said.He started Seahawk in October 2017. Marketed as a macro fund, it has the flexibility to invest in all asset classes ranging from stocks and credit to currencies and derivatives. Liang sees the vanishing breed of bold investors including George Soros, Stanley Druckenmiller and Julian Robertson as his role models. When investors dumped the high-yield dollar-denominated bonds of Chinese property companies during the March 2020 market correction, he swooped in to buy, pocketing a gain of almost 20% that month.It hasn’t all been smooth sailing. The fund lost 11% in 2019, according to a newsletter.“We are naturally very contrarian,” Liang said. “We are embracing volatility.”(Updates with performance of China-focused hedge funds in third paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Conservative leaders are said to believe home ownership was the key to the party’s gains in the recent local elections.
(Bloomberg) -- The rise of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin has reached a new level after the token was used to pay for a lunar satellite launch.SpaceX, Elon Musk’s commercial rocket firm, will embark on a Moon voyage in 2022 carrying a so-called cubesat -- a mini-satellite used for space research -- from Geometric Energy Corp. that’s been paid for entirely in Dogecoin.The development is just the latest twist in the saga over the digital token, which started as a joke in 2013 but is now a dominating Internet meme and sitting on a 21,000% rally in the past year. Musk has been a key player in the drama, boosting the price with a succession of tweets in recent months.The so-called DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon is the first commercial lunar payload in history paid for entirely with Dogecoin, according to a statement from Geometric. The 40-kilogram (88 pounds) cubesat will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The company did not specify the amount of Dogecoin involved in the transaction with SpaceX. There was no immediate response to questions emailed after-hours.Geometric’s website describes the firm as a private Canadian company originally founded to invent renewable energy technologies, and which has since expanded into areas like space.“DOGE has proven to be a fast, reliable, and cryptographically secure digital currency that operates when traditional banks cannot and is sophisticated enough to finance a commercial Moon mission in full,” Geometric said in the statement. “It has been chosen as the unit of account for all lunar business between SpaceX and Geometric Energy Corporation and sets precedent for future missions to the Moon and Mars.”Mark Cuban, Snoop Dogg and Gene Simmons are among the other celebrities who have boosted Dogecoin. At the same time, warnings abound that its rally is unsustainable and that buyers could lose all their money.The phrase “to the Moon” is often used to express the hope that an asset’s price will continue to rise, and Musk employed the term in a Twitter post referring to the lunar deal. He also cited the token in a television appearance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- As China moves closer to rolling out the world’s first major sovereign digital currency, speculation over the global implications has reached a fever pitch.Historian Niall Ferguson is calling the digital yuan a “potentially fatal challenge” to decades of American financial hegemony. Franklin Templeton’s Michael Hasenstab says it could undermine the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency. Joe Biden’s White House is studying the potential threat to U.S. interests.Yet talk to people who’ve actually used the digital yuan in China, and you’re more likely to get a different response: shrugs of indifference.In Shenzhen, the high-tech metropolis that just extended China’s largest digital yuan trial, participants interviewed by Bloomberg showed little interest in switching from mobile payment systems run by Ant Group Co. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. that have already replaced cash in much of the country. Some balked at the possibility a digital yuan might give authorities easier access to real-time data on their financial lives.“I’m not at all excited,” said Patricia Chen, a 36-year-old who works in the telecom industry and was one of the more than 500,000 people in Shenzhen eligible to take part in the trial.While none of the seven participants who spoke to Bloomberg professed insight into the digital yuan’s future role in global foreign exchange markets, their lukewarm response underscores the challenge facing President Xi Jinping’s government as it lays the groundwork for adoption at home and abroad.Even if authorities ultimately convince -- or compel -- citizens to embrace the digital yuan, it’s far from clear they can do the same with international consumers and businesses already wary of China’s capital controls, Communist Party-dominated legal system and state surveillance apparatus.Those are just some of the concerns that have capped the yuan’s share of global payments at around 3%, well below levels commensurate with China’s contribution to world trade and economic output. A digital version of the currency is unlikely to boost its share by much more than 1 percentage point, according to Zennon Kapron, managing director of Singapore-based consulting firm Kapronasia.“The global impact will be very small” barring structural changes to China’s economy and financial system, said Kapron, author of “Chomping at the Bitcoin: The Past, Present and Future of Bitcoin in China.”Many China watchers suspect Xi has high hopes for international use of the digital yuan as he tries to lessen his country’s reliance on the U.S.-led global financial system. But so far at least, Chinese policy makers have given mixed signals about their ambitions in public.Zhu Jun, head of the central bank’s international department, said in an article last month that China faces an “important window” to promote global use of yuan as U.S.-China decoupling threatens to spread to finance from trade, technology and investment. She said China “should take advantage of the early progress” in the digital yuan’s development to explore potential areas for internationalization.Meanwhile, People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Li Bo told the Boao forum last month that the digital yuan, also known as the e-CNY, is aimed at domestic use and isn’t meant to replace the dollar.The project was started in 2014 by then-PBOC chief Zhou Xiaochuan, a longtime proponent of creating a new international reserve currency as an alternate to the dollar. Zhou saw the e-CNY as one way to fend off potential threats from digital currencies like Bitcoin or Facebook’s Diem (formerly called Libra). Chinese regulators, who banned cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017, have also said the digital yuan will help combat money laundering and increase financial inclusion.Other use cases are more controversial. The reams of data produced by digital yuan transactions could give China’s central bank valuable real-time insights into the world’s second-largest economy; they might also be used by security services to monitor political dissidents or international businesses that compete with state-owned Chinese enterprises.A programmable version of the currency allowing for expiration dates on stimulus payments could encourage spending during economic downturns -- or enable regulators to instantly turn off the e-wallet of anyone who runs afoul of Beijing. While global adoption of e-CNY could make cross-border payments cheaper and faster, it might also help the Communist Party weaken the impact of international sanctions. The PBOC has so far offered few details about how the e-CNY might be used overseas, other than to say it’s conducting cross-border tests with Hong Kong’s de-facto central bank.The domestic trial that began in Shenzhen last month was by far China’s most ambitious to date. Participants who downloaded the government’s e-wallet app on their phones and linked it to their bank accounts could transfer as much as 10,000 yuan ($1,548) into e-CNY at a one-for-one rate. Similar to Ant’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, transfers using digital yuan take place almost instantly via QR code. They can also be conducted with near-field communication technology in the absence of an internet connection.Using the digital yuan was easy enough for Vera Lin, a 25-year-old who works at a financial company in Shenzhen. At the same time, she said, incentives for making a permanent shift to e-CNY are lacking given China’s existing digital payment options are reliable and work seamlessly with other app-based services from social media to e-commerce platforms.Even discounts of as much as 10% from merchants participating in the digital yuan trial weren’t enough to win Lin over. Platforms operated by companies like Ant routinely offer discounts on everything from ride-hailing services to grocery delivery.Privacy concerns were among the turnoffs for Jan Chen, a 33-year-old civil servant. It’s “a little scary” that authorities might be able to trace every payment, she said. In a country where compliance with tax laws is often patchy, some merchants may also be wary of their transactions flowing directly into a government database.The PBOC has tried to quell those concerns by making the digital yuan free to use for merchants –- which currently pay service fees of around 0.6% for transactions on Alipay and WePay -- and by pledging that most payments will remain anonymous.The central bank won’t directly know the identity of users, though the government would be able to get that information from financial institutions in cases of suspected illegal activity, Mu Changchun, director of the central bank’s Digital Currency Research Institute, said in March.If the digital yuan fails to gain traction over the long term, China’s government might turn to coercion, according to Kapron. It has already started taking steps to assert more control over the data gathered by financial and tech companies including Ant and Tencent. “At the end of the day, I think it’s going to have to be the government saying: ‘You have to use this,’” Kapron said.Even if policy makers don’t go that far, they may ask merchants and Internet platform operators to add the digital yuan to their suite of payment options, according to Francis Chan, a senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. Ant-backed MYbank was listed as an option on the e-CNY app as of Monday, though it was unclear if users could link their Alipay wallets. Tencent-backed WeBank was also listed as an option but was grayed out and unavailable.Chan and fellow BI analyst Sharnie Wong predict the digital yuan will be in use nationwide before the Beijing Olympics in 2022 and comprise 9% of China’s domestic digital payments by 2025. That’s no small change, but still a long way from challenging the dominance of Alipay and WePay, which are estimated to have a combined market share of more than 90%.Persuading the world to embrace the digital yuan will be even harder. “The e-CNY addresses just one layer of it, the payment infrastructure part,” said Michael Ho, principal of financial services at Oliver Wyman. “But just tacking on this one layer will not solve the entire puzzle.”(Adds PBOC official’s comments in 11th paragraph and MYbank linking to e-CNY app in 23rd paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Beer, bass notes and the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb: my night at Brisbane’s revitalised Pub ChoirPub Choir is founded on the principle that everyone can sing and that it feels good, especially when done in large groups with added alcohol Pub Choir at the Tivoli in Brisbane, in the before-times. Over Sunday it was staged at Riverstage, with the amphitheatre at around half capacity. Photograph: Supplied
(Bloomberg) -- The pound rose after Prime Minister Boris Johnson emerged stronger from local U.K. elections, while the main party pushing for independence in Scotland failed to win an outright majority.Sterling gained as much as 0.4% to 1.4044 against the dollar during Asia trading Monday, as investors covered short positions and Japanese banks bought the currency, traders said.The U.K. prime minister had gone into the elections on the back foot, but emerged stronger after his party tightened their grip in northern England. While the Scottish National Party wants to press for another referendum on independence, it fell one seat short of an outright majority after the election.“Calls for an independence referendum certainly won’t go away, but the FX market doesn’t seem to be reading the election outcome as heralding fresh immediate political risks for the pound,” said Richard Franulovich, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney.The U.K. government has so far refused to grant Scotland permission to have a repeat of the 2014 referendum, throwing Johnson and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon into what could be a vicious and lengthy showdown over whether a new vote should be held.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Hallmark Channel’s flagship series When Calls the Heart wrapped its eighth season tonight with a Season 9 renewal. The announcement was made by series star Erin Krakow following the Season 8 finale. (You can watch it below) Eight seasons in, When Calls the Heart remains a strong ratings performer for Hallmark Channel. Its most recent […]
Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson homered, Huascar Ynoa won his fourth straight start and the Atlanta Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 on Sunday night. Freeman, the reigning NL MVP who began the game 1 for 24 in May, hit his ninth homer, a solo shot, to make it 5-1 in the third as the Braves won their second straight game and fifth in the last six. Freeman finished 3 for 3 and reached base four times, raising his batting average 20 points to .217.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 5 new deaths from COVID-19 and 248 new positive cases today. The number of new cases and deaths are likely to reflect reporting delays over the weekend, said the LA Department of Public Health. To date, the county tallied 23,999 total deaths and 1,235,651 cases. Today’s […]
(Bloomberg) -- It’s back to square one for the dollar.After Friday’s worse-than-expected U.S. employment data, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slumped definitively out of its 2021 uptrend and is back to little changed for the year. Posting its biggest one-day fall in five months, the greenback is now at risk of a decline toward its lowest since February 2018.The data miss is the latest blow to the world’s reserve currency that saw a brief early-year revival snuffed out by retreating Treasury yields, improving sentiment toward economies outside the U.S. and a dovish Federal Reserve. The dollar gauge has fallen almost 14% from a record high last March, and the likes of JPMorgan Asset Management and T. Rowe Price are predicting more losses ahead as the global economy recovers.“We continue to see the ‘peaking U.S. exceptionalism’ narrative playing out through a weaker dollar over time,” Citigroup Inc. strategists including Ebrahim Rahbari wrote in a note. That’s thanks to “views on a dovish Fed, benign risk appetite and a global recovery.”The dollar’s reversal gives some vindication to Wall Street bears who called for a weaker currency in January, but were left scrambling to cover their short positions when better-than-expected U.S. data pushed Treasury yields higher. That move has also faded with benchmark yields down about 18 basis points from their 1.77% high in March, denting one of the biggest appeals of the greenback.Selling the U.S. currency is now back in vogue, with aggregate net short positions versus major peers growing to about $10 billion last week from $4 billion in mid-April, according to the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Bearish bets totaled almost $31 billion in January.“We expect the dollar to weaken further, given its diminishing appeal as a safe-haven currency as long as the global economic picture and risk appetite improve further,” UniCredit S.p.A. strategist Roberto Mialich wrote in a note Friday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Investors are bracing for market fallout as state after state locks itself down in India to contain the spread of the coronavirus as infections and deaths surge.More than two thirds of states are shut if assessed by their contribution to national output, analysts at Jefferies calculated last week. Tamil Nadu, which houses foreign manufacturers including BMW and Dell, will also close from Monday, while Delhi extended its lockdown for another week. The measures come as pressure builds on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose strict nationwide curbs as he did last year.All of that is forcing a reassessment among investors who had hoped that less-severe curbs would soften the blow to economic growth. Earlier in May, India’s central bank assured markets that it expects the dent in aggregate demand to be moderate in comparison with a year ago, with “containment measures being localized and targeted.”The news of strict lockdowns in several states may hurt sentiment ahead, Ajit Mishra, vice president for research at Religare Broking Ltd., wrote in a report. Investors will be watching key macroeconomic data including inflation and factory output this week as well as the vaccine drive, he said.Vaccine shortages have complicated efforts to tame the outbreak, leaving investors assessing Modi’s next moves and guessing how long states will have to remain shut. Amid the uncertainty, foreign investors pulled $1.9 billion from India’s stocks and debt in April, the biggest outflow in a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“While India has refrained from a national lockdown thus far given its huge economic costs, the scales are tipping fast towards humanitarian benefits of curbing mass transmission, as new infections continue to rise with no peak in sight,” said Chang Wei Liang, an analyst at DBS Bank. “Even without a lockdown, mobility data for Indian cities are already showing that less and less people are moving out of their homes. This implies a natural brake to retail spending and business investment, until mass viral transmission ceases.”Here’s how the crisis is impacting markets:Sovereign BondsRecent interventions from the Reserve Bank of India have kept yields on 10-year sovereign bonds in check. But, the lockdowns could make it hard to keep borrowing costs low for much longerAny revenue shortfall would stoke fears of a further rise in government borrowings, already near records, adding upward pressure on yieldsEarlier this month, the central bank announced the second tranche of its Government Securities Acquisition Programme -- India’s version of quantitative easing -- under which it will buy 350 billion rupees ($4.8 billion) of sovereign bonds on May 20. Read about more steps that the RBI can take hereThe lockdowns risk higher prices for everything from essential drugs to cars, due to the disruption of supply chains. Consumer-price inflation was already on course to test the upper limit of the RBI’s 2%-6% target, and recent gains in wholesale prices signal more pressure. If those strains build, the RBI may struggle to sell bonds to investors at current yieldsRupeeRelative progress fighting the pandemic has been an important factor in global currency markets. India and South Africa present a case study in that among the so-called Fragile Five emerging-markets: Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, India and IndonesiaIndia’s rupee is down about 0.5% against the dollar this quarter even after a recent rebound, while South Africa’s rand has gained 5.1%. Read more about the rupee outlookIndia is facing the world’s worst outbreak, contributing to half of the fresh infections in the world, while South Africa has seen new cases fall about 90% from a recent peak in January. India reported 669 infections per 100,000 people over the past month, about 10 times that of South Africa, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data compiled by Johns Hopkins UniversityThe rupee has slipped down the rankings relative to Asian peers after leading the pack in the first quarter. Any national lockdown could deal a further blowStocksJefferies forecasts India’s economy will grow 10.2% in the year through March 2022, down 3 percentage points from its initial outlook. The figure already must be taken with a grain of salt given the contraction in the year-ago period. Any slowdown could weigh on corporate earningsAnalysts have started to cut price targets for stocks of some of the biggest banks and automobile giants“Markets will correct if the government announces a nationwide lockdown,” said Naveen Kulkarni, chief investment officer at Axis Securities Ltd. “However, the critical factor will be the duration. The longer any lockdown is, the greater will be the correction.”Corporate BondsGoldman Sachs turned neutral on Indian credits last month, expecting limited room for outperformanceCiting headwinds due to lockdowns, research firm CreditSights also changed its recommendation last month on local companies including Indian Oil Corp. and Reliance Industries Ltd. to underperformDBS Bank warned that the market is getting complacent after India’s dollar bonds showed some signs of recovery after a sell-off in the first half of AprilInvestors may be too optimistic given the likelihood of a more persistent impact from the pandemic fallout on the finances of companies and households, it saidFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
A small whale has been stranded along the River Thames in south-west London. Hundreds gathered at Richmond Lock and Weir on Sunday evening after the whale, believed to be a Minke whale - between three to four metres long, became stuck. Videos showed it being hosed down by a man, while a vet performed a check-up at the river's edge, before the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) arrived at the scene to cheers at around 9pm. A witness said that "quite the crowd" watched as the attempted rescue took place. Jake Manketo, 20, from Richmond, said: "Everyone here is just hoping they get it out. "We couldn't believe our eyes when we first saw the poor fella, not every day something like this happens in Richmond."
Luka Doncic’s below-the-belt swipe to Collin Sexton earned him an ejection. It didn’t slow down the Dallas Mavericks. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points and Josh Richardson had 20, allowing playoff-bound Dallas to overcome the loss of Doncic early in the third quarter and roll to a 124-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
Newly released “The Croods: A New Age” jostled with two previously-released titles to form a triumvirate at the top of the South Korean box office over the weekend of May 7-9, 2021. But after a sprightly Wednesday, which was a national holiday, the weekend numbers were weak. Aggregate takings between Friday and Sunday were a […]