|Bid||132.90 x 900|
|Ask||132.92 x 1800|
|Day's range||129.47 - 133.00|
|52-week range||64.75 - 145.09|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.22|
|PE ratio (TTM)||36.07|
|Earnings date||28 Apr 2021 - 03 May 2021|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.82 (0.62%)|
|Ex-dividend date||05 Feb 2021|
|1y target est||152.50|
(Bloomberg) -- After China imposed a record antitrust fine on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the e-commerce giant did an unusual thing: It thanked regulators.“Alibaba would not have achieved our growth without sound government regulation and service, and the critical oversight, tolerance and support from all of our constituencies have been crucial to our development,” the company said in an open letter. “For this, we are full of gratitude and respect.”It’s a sign of how odd China’s crackdown on the power of big tech has been compared with the rest of the world. Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook would likely not express such public gratitude if the U.S. government were to hit Facebook Inc. or Apple Inc. with record antitrust fines.But almost everything about China’s regulatory push is out of the ordinary. Beijing regulators wrapped up their landmark probe in just four months, compared with the years that such investigations take in the U.S. or Europe. They sent a clear message to the country’s largest corporations and their leaders that anti-competitive behavior will have consequences.For Alibaba, the $2.8 billion fine was less severe than many feared and helps lift a cloud of uncertainty hanging over founder Jack Ma’s internet empire. The 18.2 billion yuan penalty was based on just 4% of the internet giant’s 2019 domestic revenue, regulators said. While that’s triple the previous high of almost $1 billion that U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. handed over in 2015, it’s far less than the maximum 10% allowed under Chinese law.The fine came with a plethora of “rectifications” that Alibaba will have to put in place -- such as curtailing the practice of forcing merchants to choose between Alibaba or a competing platform -- many of which the company had already pledged to establish.Read more: China Fines Alibaba Record $2.8 Billion After Monopoly ProbeAlibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang on Saturday declared his company now ready to move on from its ordeal, while China’s Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily issued assurances that Beijing wasn’t trying to stifle the sector.The Hangzhou-based firm “has escaped possible outcomes such as a forced breakup or divestment of assets. The penalty will not shake up its business model, either,” said Jet Deng, an antitrust lawyer at the Beijing office of law firm Dentons.Still, neither Zhang nor state media addressed lingering questions around the extent to which Beijing remains intent on reining in its internet and fintech giants, a broad campaign that’s wiped more than $250 billion off Alibaba’s valuation since October. The e-commerce giant’s speedy capitulation also underscores its vulnerability to further regulatory action -- a far cry from just six years ago, when Alibaba openly contested one agency’s censure over counterfeit goods on Taobao and eventually forced the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to backtrack on its allegations.Beyond antitrust, government agencies are said to be scrutinizing other parts of Ma’s empire, including Ant Group Co.’s consumer-lending businesses and Alibaba’s extensive media holdings. And the shock of the crackdown will continue to resonate with peers from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. to Meituan, forcing them to tread far more carefully on business expansions and acquisitions for some time to come.What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysChina’s record fine on Alibaba may lift the regulatory overhang that has weighed on the company since the start of an anti-monopoly probe in late December. The 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) fine, to penalize the anti-competitive practice of merchant exclusivity, is equivalent to 4% of Alibaba’s 2019 domestic sales. Still, the company may have to be conservative with acquisitions and its broader business practices.-- Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam, analystsClick here for the full research.The investigation into Alibaba was one of the opening salvos in a campaign seemingly designed to curb the power of China’s internet leaders, which kicked off after Ma infamously rebuked “pawn shop” Chinese lenders, regulators who don’t get the internet, and the “old men” of the global banking community. Those comments set in motion an unprecedented regulatory offensive, including scuttling Ant’s $35 billion initial public offering.It remains unclear whether the watchdog or other agencies might demand further action. Regulators are said, for instance, to be concerned about Alibaba’s ability to sway public discourse and want the company to sell some of its media assets, including the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper.Read more: China Presses Alibaba to Sell Media Assets, Including SCMPChina’s top financial regulators now see Tencent as the next target for increased supervision, Bloomberg News has reported. And the central bank is said to be leading discussions around establishing a joint venture with local technology giants to oversee the lucrative data they collect from hundreds of millions of consumers, which would be a significant escalation in regulators’ attempts to tighten their grip over the country’s internet sector.“The high fine puts the regulator in the media spotlight and sends a strong signal to the tech sector that such types of exclusionary conduct will no longer be tolerated,” said Angela Zhang, author of “Chinese Antitrust Exceptionalism” and director of the Centre for Chinese Law at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s a stone that kills two birds.”For now, it appears investors are just glad it wasn’t worse. In its statement, the State Administration for Market Regulation concluded Alibaba had used data and algorithms “to maintain and strengthen its own market power and obtain improper competitive advantage.” Its practice of imposing a “pick one from two” choice on merchants “shuts out and restricts competition” in the domestic online retail market, according to the statement.The firm will be required to implement “comprehensive rectifications,” including strengthening internal controls, upholding fair competition and protecting businesses on its platform and consumers’ rights, the regulator said. It will need to submit reports on self-regulation to the authority for three consecutive years.Alibaba said it will hold a conference call Monday morning Hong Kong time to address the antitrust watchdog’s decree. The company will have to make adjustments but can now “start over,” Zhang wrote in a memo to Alibaba’s employees Saturday.“We believe market concerns over the anti-monopoly investigation on BABA are addressed by SAMR’s recent decision and penalties,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a research note entitled “A New Starting Point.”Indeed, The People’s Daily said in its commentary Saturday that the punishment was intended merely to “prevent the disorderly expansion of capital.”“It doesn’t mean denying the significant role of platform economy in overall economic and social development, and doesn’t signal a shift of attitude in terms of the country’s support to the platform economy,” the newspaper said. “Regulations are for better development, and ‘reining in’ is also a kind of love.”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.
In a few months, Tim Cook will celebrate his 10th anniversary serving as Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) CEO. Steve Jobs had stepped down back in August 2011 due to ongoing health struggles, naming Cook as his successor. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Cook (who turned 60 last year) acknowledged that he would probably not be Apple CEO for another 10 years, although there are no specific plans at this time for his retirement.
(Bloomberg) -- Investors led by EIG Global Energy Partners LLC agreed to acquire a roughly $12.4 billion stake in a Saudi Aramco oil-pipeline rights company.The group will acquire a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Co., a newly formed entity with rights to 25 years of rate payments for oil shipped through the Saudi oil giant’s network of conduits, EIG said in a statement. The deal implies a total equity value of about $25 billion for Aramco Oil Pipelines.The deal is part of Saudi Arabia’s drive to open up to foreign investment and use the money to diversify its economy. Asset disposals also go some way to helping the energy giant maintain payouts to shareholders, as well as investments in oil fields and refinery projects. The company paid a $75 billion dividend last year, the highest of any listed company, almost all of which went to the state.Aramco has become the world’s third-largest company by market value, trailing only Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp., after an initial public offering in 2019 in which the oil giant raised $25.6 billion for less than 2% of its shares.“This landmark transaction defines the way forward for our portfolio optimization program,” Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said in the statement. “Aramco’s strong capital structure will be further enhanced with this deal, which in turn will help maximize returns for our shareholders.”The deal was described as a lease-and-lease-back agreement. The state-controlled company will lease the usage rights in its pipelines to Aramco Oil Pipelines. The new entity will grant back to Aramco the exclusive right to operate and maintain the network for 25 years and collect rates from the parent company in return. Aramco will continue to retain ownership of the pipelines.“This transaction aligns perfectly with EIG’s philosophy of investing in high-quality assets with contracted cash flows in critical infrastructure,” Robert Blair Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of EIG, said in the statement. The Washington-based firm owns about $22 billion in energy-related assets globally.(Updates with deal details in sixth 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.