|Day's range||0.0900 - 0.0900|
Alibaba fell modestly, but near session highs after sinking to 189.85 intraday, just above a 188.38 buy point. The volume on the pullback hasn't been as strong as the breakout.
If granted the permit, AutoX would be able to test self-driving cars with a backup provided by a remote human operator rather than a driver in the vehicle, a step forward in the race to operate the first commercial driverless delivery vans or taxis in the state. Google-backed Waymo is the only company so far to have secured a full licence for testing without a safety driver.
(Bloomberg) -- Some of China’s wealthiest tycoons steered billions of dollars into electric-car companies in order to fuel the country’s dreams of becoming a leader in the field. Now a reckoning may be looming as car sales slow and the government reduces subsidies for the nascent industry.That leaves the flagship companies of Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hui Ka Yan and Robin Li facing an increasingly steep path to profitability on their bets that electric vehicles can be smartphones-on-wheels connecting passengers to other businesses. Their capital, along with dozens of startups raising $18 billion, helped inflate an electric bubble that now looks to be in danger of popping.China’s car market is experiencing a prolonged sales slump, prompting EV makers to slash earnings outlooks. With China considering further cuts to the subsidies for consumer purchases in order to force automakers to compete on their own, a shakeout is looming that not even the tycoons’ support may be able to prevent, said Rachel Miu, an analyst with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong. “For the new kids on the block in the EV space, it’s a steep uphill climb,” she said.Here’s what China’s richest people have to show for their companies’ EV investments:Alibaba: Xpeng Coupe, AccusationsJack Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in September after amassing a $40 billion-plus fortune, but China’s richest man retains his board seat -- and influence -- at the e-commerce emporium he created. Alibaba has participated in several funding rounds for Guangzhou Xiaopeng Motors Technology Co., or Xpeng Motors, including one in 2018 that raised 2.2 billion yuan ($313 million) for the carmaker co-founded by former Alibaba executive He Xiaopeng.Xpeng launched its first vehicle, the five-seat G3 SUV, last year and has sold 11,940 vehicles so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The company, founded in 2014, also is teaming up with more-established automakers. A factory built with Haima Automobile Co. can produce 150,000 EVs annually. Another should soon begin assembling the P7 coupe, scheduled to begin deliveries next year.The journey hasn’t been without controversy, though, as some engineers bound for Xpeng stand accused of stealing from their ex-employers in the U.S. In March, Tesla Inc. sued a former engineer, alleging he uploaded files, directories and copies of source code to his personal cloud storage account before resigning. Also, a former Apple Inc. engineer was indicted last year for allegedly pilfering self-driving car secrets on his way to an Xpeng job. His trial is upcoming.Xpeng wasn’t accused of wrongdoing.“We are very adamant that we pursue our own R&D,” President Brian Gu said. “Copyright is very important to us.”Hangzhou-based Alibaba, the second-largest shareholder in Xpeng, didn’t answer specific questions about the automaker.Xiaomi Corp., the consumer-electronics company, participated in another $400 million fundraising round, the automaker said Nov. 13.Tencent: NIO Lists, Then CutsPony Ma’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., whose WeChat messaging app helped make him China’s second-richest person, led a $1 billion investment round in NIO Inc. in 2017. With more than 26,000 vehicles sold, NIO’s one of the few Chinese startups making multiple models, and it beat rivals with an initial public offering in New York last year.But losses piled up with the overall sales slump and as the company, which has been described as “China’s Tesla,” plowed money into marketing and real estate. It sponsored a Bruno Mars concert and opened luxury clubs for NIO owners that feature showrooms, coffee bars and performance spaces. By August the company had opened 19 NIO Houses over 22 months, and combined rental expenses were equivalent to 6.3% of revenue during the 12 months ended March, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.“NIO chooses the direct sales mode and pays great attention to user experience,” the company said. It doesn’t plan to close its existing clubs -- or open new ones.NIO lost $2.8 billion in the 12 months ended June on revenue of $1.2 billion, and its shares have plunged this year. The Shanghai-based company cut about 20% of its workforce through September. Separately, NIO has said that Tencent and Chief Executive Officer William Li planned to inject $100 million each into the company, though the carmaker hasn’t clarified whether the investment has been completed.“Our sales have been under pressure since the subsidies went down,” Li said. “It has come to a new era that one can only win customers with quality products and services.”Shenzhen-based Tencent expressed support for EVs but didn’t answer specific questions about NIO.Evergrande: High HopesOne of the more startling entrants in the EV industry is property developer China Evergrande Group, which declared it wanted to be the world’s biggest manufacturer within three to five years. That means surpassing Tesla, which just opened a factory in Shanghai. Between September 2018 and June 2019, Evergrande invested more than $3.8 billion in EV-related companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, and will start producing its Hengchi brand next year.Evergrande, which wants to open 10 production bases, plans to spend 45 billion yuan on new-energy vehicles between 2019 and 2021. On Nov. 10, a unit announced it would spend almost $3 billion to boost its stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB to 82% from 68%.Billionaire chairman and founder Hui Ka Yan, who’s diversifying into businesses such as soccer and health care, acknowledged there isn’t much overlap between Evergrande’s real-estate business and its EV ambitions.“We don’t have any talent, technology, experience, or production base in manufacturing cars,” Hui said. “How can we compete with the century-old automakers in the world?”His answer: by opening Evergrande’s wallet.“Whatever core technology and company we can buy, we will buy,” he said.Yet Hui’s whatever-it-takes strategy may take a toll on Evergrande because of the cash-burning nature of NEV investments. The company’s forecast of spending 45 billion yuan is probably an underestimate, and that may exacerbate its cash crunch, according to BI.“This could crimp its home-sales margin given an urgency to sustain price cuts to boost cash collection from sales,” analyst Kristy Hung said in a Nov. 22 report.Baidu: WM Factories, LawsuitRobin Li, the CEO of China’s dominant internet search-engine company, made WM Motor Technology Co. part of Baidu Inc.’s move into autonomous driving. Baidu led a fundraising round this year that generated 3 billion yuan for the Shanghai-based automaker. Baidu owns a 13% stake.WM rolled out an electric SUV last year and has delivered more than 19,000 vehicles, Chief Strategy Officer Rupert Mitchell said. So far this year, WM sold 14,273 of its battery-powered SUVs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That puts WM behind market leader BYD Co. -- backed by Warren Buffett -- and NIO, but ahead of Xpeng. WM launched a second SUV model on Nov. 22.WM has an advantage over rivals started by employees from internet companies, Mitchell said. Founder Freeman Shen used to run Volvo Car Group in China.“We are not moonlighters from the technology industry that are having a crack at mass-market automotive,” he said.Volvo parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has sued WM, seeking 2.1 billion yuan compensation for alleged copyright infringement, Chinese state media reported in September. WM has denied wrongdoing.WM is producing vehicles at fully owned factories, which helps maintain quality control, Mitchell said. The company, which is opening a second factory next year that can make 150,000 vehicles annually, wants to raise another $1 billion, Mitchell said.Baidu declined to comment.(Updates 16th paragraph to clarify status of NIO investment)\--With assistance from Emma Dong, Tian Ying and Gao Yuan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org;Chunying Zhang in Shanghai at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Emma O'Brien at email@example.com, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A top-performing JPMorgan fund focused on emerging-market stocks trimmed its bet on Tencent Holdings Ltd., selling shares of what was its largest holding in July as the Chinese technology company struggles to stage a comeback.JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $6.5 billion Emerging Markets Equity Fund, which outperformed 94% of peers this year, reduced its position in Tencent by 14% as of Oct. 31, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Shares of Tencent, the largest company in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index by market capitalization, fell to a nine-month low on Oct. 30. JPMorgan declined to comment.Tencent has been trying to recover from 2018 losses after a nine-month Chinese freeze on game approvals gutted its most profitable business last year. Yet the stock dropped 16% in U.S. dollar terms from an April high as China’s economic slowdown weighed on efforts to revive growth. Even so, 50 of the 57 analysts tracked by Bloomberg recommend investors buy the stock.While trimming its Tencent exposure, its fifth-biggest holding, the JPMorgan fund boosted wagers on Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Ltd., ITC Ltd. and Bank Rakyat Indonesia Persero Tbk PT, the data show. The fund also added 2% to its position in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., currently its top holding.(Updates to add chart)\--With assistance from Sofia Horta e Costa and Stephen Tan.To contact the reporter on this story: Andres Guerra Luz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Carolina Wilson at email@example.com, Alec D.B. McCabe, Philip SandersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s landmark $11 billion share sale and listing in Hong Kong on Nov. 26 was galvanized by expectations the Chinese e-commerce giant will attract a vast pool of capital from its home country. But some investors caution against unrealistic expectations, especially by mainland investors, and highlight certain restrictions that still govern -- and potentially curtail -- trading activity in Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares.The company’s sheer size and the unprecedented nature of its secondary listing (the primary listing is still in New York) and unique management structure present challenges for investors hoping to gauge everything from Alibaba’s inclusion in indexes -- crucial because they direct the flow of capital from tracker funds -- to its listing status.Here’s what we know.1\. Will Alibaba get added to the Hang Seng Index?Not right now. Alibaba will be added to Hang Seng Composite Index on Dec. 9, but it isn’t qualified to join the benchmark Hang Seng Index or the Hang Seng China Enterprise Index because they comprise only primary listings and corporations without so-called weighted voting rights (WVR).Membership of the 50-member Hang Seng is coveted by corporations because it could trigger billions of dollars of inflows from funds tracking the 50-year-old gauge. Hang Seng Indexes Co. plans a consultation in the first quarter to discuss issues including whether firms with weighted voting rights, like Alibaba, should be eligible for the HSI. Any conclusions should be published by May, Daniel Wong, its head of research and analytics, said in a statement. Even if the index compiler decides to overhaul its rules, the required process means it may not be until late 2020 before Alibaba could join the major Hang Seng benchmarks.Representatives for HKEx and Alibaba declined to comment.Read more: Why Now, and Why Hong Kong, for Alibaba’s Share Sale?: QuickTake2\. Will Alibaba be included in the stock connect program?Maybe, but a lot hinges on policy makers. China doesn’t spell out criteria or qualifications for joining the program, which allows mainland investors to buy stocks listed in Hong Kong. Unlike the HSI, the program isn’t limited to primary listings. It does require review by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the stock market watchdog.The first companies in stock connect with weighted voting rights were Meituan Dianping and Xiaomi Corp., which mainland investors got access to in late October through the program. That’s after similarly structured Chinese firms started listing in July on Shanghai’s new tech-focused Star board. Many investors expect Beijing to ultimately allow Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares to trade through the stock link with the city as well.But it may not necessarily be in China’s best interest to do so. That’s because other U.S.-listed Chinese firms -- among the country’s largest corporations, from JD.com Inc. to Baidu Inc. -- may be encouraged to follow in Alibaba’s footsteps and conduct their own secondary listings in Hong Kong, bypassing the Shanghai or Shenzhen bourses. That may run counter to Beijing’s longstanding ambitions of developing healthy, vibrant mainland exchanges, particularly as unrest grips Hong Kong.3\. Can Alibaba change its primary listing to Hong Kong?It’s possible -- thereby attracting investors with a preference for main listings, and at the same time scoring brownie points with some in Beijing who could view that as supporting China’s policy ambitions. Alibaba was given the green light to list in Hong Kong based on a new “Secondary Listing” rule, or Chapter 19C. It allows companies to conduct follow-on share offerings without complying with more stringent rules laid down by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. governing first-time listees.Alibaba may enjoy special status in having more freedom to comply with Hong Kong listing requirements. Under rules laid out in a consultation paper in April last year, Chinese firms that went public before Dec. 15, 2017 don’t need to comply with “WVR” safeguards if they later switch their primary listing to Hong Kong. Alibaba, which debuted in New York in 2014, said in its Hong Kong listing prospectus it’s a “WVR” company similar to Meituan and Xiaomi.Meanwhile, Alibaba employs a fairly unique structure in which a group of partners have the right to nominate a majority of the firm’s board -- exerting outsized influence on Alibaba’s direction.In addition, Hong Kong listing rules say if trading volume there exceeds 55% of global turnover over an entire fiscal year, the stock has to adopt primary listing status in Hong Kong. HKEx gives such Chinese companies a year to comply. But with Hong Kong’s stock registration office listing just 23% of outstanding Alibaba shares as of Nov. 28, a majority of trading volume occurring there may be a tall order.\--With assistance from Paul Geitner and Fox Hu.To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Edwin Chan, Kevin KingsburyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The company has received approval to list 75 million over-allotment shares at HK$176 per share, the same price it offered under its secondary listing, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Alibaba on Nov. 20 raised up to $12.9 billion in a landmark listing in Hong Kong, the largest share sale in the city in nine years and a world record for a cross-border secondary share sale. In their first session of trade on Nov. 26, Alibaba's Hong Kong shares closed up 6.6% higher from the issue price in heavy trading.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterTwitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey returned from a trip touring African startups ready to go back.He said in a Twitter post last week that he’ll spend three to six months somewhere on the continent next year. Dorsey had spent much of November meeting with startups and people in the tech industry in South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana.But investors have appeared less convinced of the executive’s intentions over the following days. Twitter’s shares have declined since Dorsey announced his plans -- down about 2.4% since Nov. 27 -- and his other company, payments firm Square, has fallen almost 4% compared to a 1.3% drop in the S&P 500 Index.The continent is one of the fastest growing regions for tech adoption thanks to a young population and an emerging middle class. People there have become early users of new technology, such as payments apps. Funding of African startups more than doubled last year to $1.16 billion, mainly driven by fintech investments, according to a report from venture capital firm Partech Partners.Dorsey’s Square fits in well with Africa’s embrace of mobile payments, though the company doesn’t currently have an office there.According to the GSMA industry association’s report this year, Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest growth in wireless adoption, with a large number of jobs and economic growth tied to mobile. African leaders are also working to establish the world’s largest free-trade zone, the African Continental Free Trade Area, which would cover a market of 1.2 billion people. The deal is set to kick in next year.Read more about the African trade dealJack Ma, the co-founder of Chinese tech company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said last month that African entrepreneurs will find countless opportunities in e-commerce, logistics and e-payments as the continent prepares for the start of a the deal.Some large companies from the continent have started to go public. African e-commerce platform Jumia Technologies AG listed in New York this year at a value of more than $1.9 billion. South African giant Naspers Ltd. spun off its Dutch technology investment unit, Prosus NV, in September.To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Nate LanxonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988)’s shares in Hong Kong continued to dip on Monday after having risen nearly 10% since its high-profile debut last week.
What went down in Hong Kong this week is worth digging into.There was a notable election, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Trump weighed in.
(Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s newest billionaire is a former government employee who rode mobile sensation Free Fire into the ranks of the ultra-wealthy this week.The battle royale or fight-to-the-death title distributed by Sea Ltd. ranked among the five most downloaded games on the Apple and Google app stores for three straight quarters this year and has amassed $1 billion in adjusted revenue since launching in 2017. That propelled a tripling in Sea’s market value and the fortune of co-founder Gang Ye, a Carnegie Mellon University alum who’s worked for Wilmar International Ltd. and Singapore’s Economic Development Board.The 39-year-old joins fellow co-founder Forrest Li, whose larger stake in the fast-growing games-to-shopping company earned him a ten-digit fortune earlier this year. Ye, who moved to Singapore from China in the 1990s as a teenager and became a citizen shortly after his return from the U.S., has served as Sea’s chief operating officer since 2017.The executive holds an 8.4% stake in the company and is worth $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. A company representative declined to comment on his net worth.Read more: Singapore’s Sea Surges Most in Six Months After Hiking OutlookShares in the company, which is part-owned by Chinese social media titan Tencent Holdings Ltd., reached a record on Wednesday after Sea reported a tripling in revenue to $610.1 million in the third quarter. The shares have risen 234% this year.Read more: The Tencent of Southeast Asia Isn’t Really Like Tencent at AllWhile gaming is Sea’s biggest business, e-commerce platform Shopee is also growing fast. The segment’s revenue more than tripled in the quarter, helping narrow net losses to $206 million. Sea’s dependence on the success of “just a few game titles” was listed as one of its business risks in a 2018 annual report.Shopee, whose television and online ads feature Juventus soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, topped the mobile shopping category in Southeast Asia by monthly active users and downloads in the third quarter, according to researcher Iprice Group. While an influx of e-commerce giants from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Amazon.com Inc. onto Sea’s turf has sparked concerns over its growth, the company has a “firm lead in the region that’s tough to break,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Kanterman wrote in November.Ye and Li are the latest billionaires to emerge from the gaming scene. Tim Sweeney, founder of Fortnite maker Epic Games, has a $7.2 billion fortune while Gabe Newell -- whose Valve Corp. operates the Steam platform -- has a net worth of $5.7 billion, according to Bloomberg’s ranking.(Updates with Sea’s share performance in the fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Tom Metcalf and Pei Yi Mak.To contact the reporters on this story: Yoojung Lee in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org;Yoolim Lee in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HK:9988)’s shares in Hong Kong rose again on Thursday in Asia and has jumped more than 10% so far since its debut.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Has the golden age of asset management finally arrived in Asia? For years, Asia’s hottest unicorns left their homelands to list in New York for one simple reason: a deep pool of U.S. money. And they have been rewarded. From Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to JD.com Inc., more than a dozen Chinese companies listed there have a market capitalization of $10 billion or more. But Alibaba’s Hong Kong listing may be changing things. The e-commerce giant raised about $11 billion in the city’s largest issuance of stock since 2010, with about one-third of the tranche taken up by mainland Chinese fund managers. Other regional buyers were enthusiastic, too. Taiwan’s life insurer Fubon Financial Holding Co., for instance, placed a $500 million order.This all goes to show that Asian investors are just as wealthy and eager as those in New York, which could go a long way toward making Hong Kong and Singapore more attractive listing venues. The region’s aging savers have amassed more than $10 trillion of wealth in the form of pension funds, mutual funds and insurance policies, HSBC Holdings Plc estimates.(1) With billions to deploy, Taiwan’s insurers and China’s mutual funds may find benefits to trading stocks in their own time zone, if only for their portfolio managers’ work-life balance. Asia’s bustling IPO market also bodes well for the region’s restless unicorns, whose listing window in the U.S. is closing fast after a series of high-profile flops. If Americans can’t stomach Uber Technologies Inc., how will they have an appetite for Southeast Asian clones like Grab or Go-Jek? To make matters worse, U.S. investors have been pulling money out of emerging markets over the past several months. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index peaked in January 2018, while the S&P 500 Index continues to hit daily records.There's one major caveat, however. Local investors can be a tough sell. Foreign money managers tend to think of Asia's biggest startups as a proxy for the macro scene, much in the same way that New York investors saw Alibaba as a bet on China's rising consumer class. Domestic players, on the other hand, are living and breathing the macro picture, so they’re concerned primarily with company metrics. If you’re sitting in Jakarta traffic, you’re acutely aware of the challenges a ride-hailing company there faces; a foreign billionaire like Masayoshi Son just sees a thriving population with thousands of young, mobile-phone users.Super-apps are another example. The region’s hottest unicorns like to pitch these all-in-one platforms to venture-capital investors. To improve operational efficiency, they argue, more cash is needed to expand regionally. But that business model relies on the assumption that the social-media habits of a 22-year-old Vietnamese wouldn’t be too different from an Indonesian’s. This might not fly with a local investor, who's more adept at discerning cultural differences.Deeper local knowledge can also help avoid expensive mistakes. In October, Indian startup Oyo Hotels and Homes raised $1.5 billion from SoftBank Group Corp., among other investors, as it looked to expand into foreign markets. Yet Chinese fund managers largely stayed away — and for good reason. This week, Reuters reported that Oyo is unlikely to hit profitability in India and China until 2022. Similar reports had circulated in local Chinese media months ago, pointing out that the company had no traction on the mainland, even though it boasted of being the largest single hotel brand there. SoftBank’s Son may now have a tough time convincing investors in Hong Kong that Oyo is worth more than $10 billion, the valuation at its latest funding round.In truth, Alibaba may not be the best test case to determine if Asia’s pool of money will slosh toward young companies. Within two business days, institutional investors can swap their Hong Kong-listed shares for stocks in New York, should they feel liquidity in the Asian city is thin. That option to flee to a U.S. haven may have brought hesitant investors on board in the first place. As Asia’s unicorns grow bigger, many are looking at dual listings to ensure there’s enough demand to absorb their sizable offerings. Indonesia’s e-commerce platform Tokopedia PT, for instance, is considering a listing on multiple bourses as it seeks a pre-IPO funding round. This, to me, is a sign that Asia isn’t ready to be self-sufficient just yet. Saudi Arabia may be able to jam Aramco down local investors’ throats; but Asia’s startups are still stuck with a New York investor base that has a diminishing appetite for them. (1) This figure excludes Japan.To contact the author of this story: Shuli Ren at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Silver Lake Management’s expensive foray into British soccer reflects the soaring value of live matches in the streaming era and the potential for new apps to cash in on the global following of teams like Manchester City.The U.S. private equity firm is buying just over 10% of City owner City Football Group Ltd. for around $500 million, the companies said Wednesday. At that price, City Football would be valued at $4.8 billion, based on simple math. But Silver Lake acquired preferred shares in the transaction, which would normally demand a premium, so the real valuation may be lower, according to people familiar with the matter.In any case, the deal puts City Football, controlled by Abu Dhabi’s royal family, among the highest-priced professional sports organizations. It lit a spark under shares of City’s crosstown rival, Manchester United Plc, which jumped as much as 14% in New York trading Wednesday. That’s the biggest intraday gain since the team’s 2012 listing, and gives the company a market capitalization of about $3 billion.Silver Lake is best known for tech investments such as Dell Technologies Inc. and China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., and could bring that expertise to the English Premier League club. The firm is also well versed in sports through its stake in Madison Square Garden Co., the owner of New York’s Knicks and Rangers.While the big clubs still make most of their money from broadcast rights and merchandising, they’re looking for ways to use technology to sell privileged access to fans.Some have developed apps showing exclusive content such as player interviews, short documentaries, press conferences and even match highlights. A platform developed recently by London’s Chelsea Football Club found an enthusiastic audience.Manchester City demonstrated the potential value of behind-the-scenes content last year when it partnered with Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Video streaming service for an eight-part documentary charting the path to its 2018 title win.“There are large international audiences and fan bases for Premier League clubs, particularly in Asia,” said Richard Broughton of Ampere Analysis. “There is potentially a large and arguably under-served opportunity outside the U.K. -- albeit at a lower price point.”The bigger teams will have to tread a careful path, offering enough to entice fans without upsetting the leagues that bring them TV revenue.Prized ContentIncome from sports broadcasts has been surging since media companies latched onto the live events as one of the remaining ways to bring in advertisers, which are increasingly moving online. The emergence of the big U.S. streaming platforms in rights contests has helped to buoy valuations for the most sought-after content.The Silver Lake deal values the business among some of the world’s top sports names including the New York Yankees baseball team, worth $4.6 billion, and basketball giants the New York Knicks, at $4 billion, according to Forbes estimates.While Manchester United’s market capitalization might be lower than the new Man City valuation, “any bid by a company wanting immediate exposure in Asia would generate a significant premium if the controlling Glazer family ever decided to sell,” said John Tinker, a media analyst at Gabelli & Co., referring to United’s owner.KPMG valued Manchester City at $2.8 billion in May, though that estimate didn’t include City Football’s other teams, such as New York City FC and Melbourne City FC.“Then you have to take into account any synergies the buyer might have with the asset,” said Andrea Sartori, global head of sports at KPMG. “And then there’s a strong branding factor, given the exposure associated with a football club.”Few TV shows can match the audience pulling power of a big live sporting clash. Manchester City was the world’s fifth-highest revenue-generating soccer club in the 2017-18 season, according to a study by Deloitte, following a strong run of success in domestic and European competitions.Comcast Corp.’s European pay-TV unit Sky has said recent Premier League audiences were 23% higher than last season.“We remain very optimistic for continued increases in global football broadcast rights,” said Manchester United Vice Chairman Ed Woodward in an earnings call with analysts last week.Private-equity investors have long been drawn to sports clubs and agencies. Last year, Apax Partners agreed to acquire data and technology company Genius Sports, fresh on the heels of a purchase by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and private equity firm TCV of a minority stake in Sportradar AG, another sports data analysis firm. Providence Equity Partners sold its interest in Major League Soccer’s media and marketing arm back to the league in 2017, tripling its initial investment in Soccer United Marketing.Silver Lake is plowing more money into sports and entertainment, including an investment in Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., which runs sports leagues, hosts fashion events and represents top athletes and entertainers.City Football Group plans to use the deal funds to expand its business overseas and develop technology and infrastructure assets, according to a statement. No existing shareholders sold their stake, and Abu Dhabi United Group remains the majority shareholder.\--With assistance from Joe Easton.To contact the reporters on this story: David Hellier in London at email@example.com;Scott Soshnick in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at email@example.com, ;Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Nothing could be more American than pecan pie at Thanksgiving — right? Well, not this year.Thanks largely to the impact of Hurricane Michael, which smashed through Georgia’s pecan patch last year, domestic production is likely to have fallen to its lowest level in a decade in the year through September, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Combined with a record volume of net imports, that’s likely to mean that about 41% of the nuts consumed in the U.S. this year came from overseas.The majority of that total will be from Mexico, whose rapidly rising pecan production has been threatening to overtake its northern neighbor since 2016. With their lower wages, Mexicans (and Mexican-Americans) have been key to the laborious business of growing and shelling pecans for the American market for a century. The key ingredient in this latest boom, however, is China.Hickory nuts are a popular treat in China, where they’re considered a delicacy of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s hometown of Hangzhou. Pecans, which come from another type of hickory native to the southern U.S. and northern Mexico, make a decent substitute. As a result, China and Hong Kong have become the most important export end-market for American kernels in recent years, accounting for about a fifth of global consumption.The trade war has devastated that fledgling business. As part of the tit-for-tat of tariffs with the Trump administration, Beijing has imposed a 47% levy on pecan imports from the U.S., making the American product prohibitively expensive when competing against the 7% imposed on Mexican nuts. Exports of American pecans to Hong Kong and China have fallen by about three-quarters, from 59.6 million pounds (27 million kilograms) in the year through September 2018 to 15.6 million pounds in the most recent 12 months. Those from Mexico to China, meanwhile, increased more than 3,000% in 2018.That’s caused U.S. growers to miss out on one of the main reasons for growing fruit and tree nuts. Most orchard crops take years to grow to maturity (in the case of pecans, it’s five to 10). At a time of rising global demand, that can create supply-demand imbalances that are very attractive for producers, with supply deficits pushing up prices for years at a time. China’s differential tariffs appear to have wiped that out: While Mexican pecans have been attracting prices well in excess of $3 a pound, north of the border payments to growers slipped below $2 a pound this year.The pecan wasn’t part of the original Pilgrim-Native American holiday feast. But by the time what’s now thought of as the standard Thanksgiving menu started coming together in the 19th century, the nut was well-established in the southeast and Texas. The basic pie that we know today surged in popularity in the 1920s thanks to a recipe appearing on the label of a popular brand of corn syrup. Over the past century, it went national and is now the well-established complement or alternative to the iconic pumpkin pie. A Thanksgiving breakthrough in the trade tensions between Beijing and Washington would certainly help to rebalance things in favor of American farmers, but there’s a further issue looming.Chinese horticulturalists haven’t failed to notice their compatriots’ taste for pecan, and have been busily planting orchards to meet the demand. To date, China’s pecan production has been approximately zero, but once those trees reach maturity, there’s going to be a new player on the global market. Already, 47,000 hectares (116,000 acres) have been planted, mainly in southwestern Yunnan province and the hickory-growing region near the lower Yangtze River. That’s a larger area under pecan cultivation than America’s main producing states, Texas and Georgia, can boast. By the time American growers re-establish relationships in China damaged by the current trade war, Chinese import demand could already be on the wane.American holiday feasts won’t be short of pecans. But U.S. farmers are likely to have less to be thankful for in future. To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.