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2019 was one of the busiest years for IPOs, and the calendar was packed with big tech unicorns and popular consumer brands. Here are some of the hottest market debuts we saw this year.
An inflation rate of 2.1% will send no one running for the hills; we might even look at these figures as somewhat "Goldilocks" \-- not too hot, not too cold.
(Bloomberg) -- The slump in SoftBank Group Corp.’s shares could prompt Masayoshi Son to play an ace card -- cashing in part of his stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Son is likely to sell Alibaba stock to help pay for another buyback in an attempt to bolster SoftBank shares, according to Jefferies Group analyst Atul Goyal. It’s a surprise the Japanese technology giant’s shares are “languishing” despite its large stake in Alibaba, Goyal wrote in a note. The shares have become “decoupled,” and SoftBank is seeing little upside from its holding, he said. SoftBank’s stock is up 16% this year, while Alibaba’s has surged 45%. SoftBank’s market cap is about $82 billion, though its Alibaba shares alone are worth about $128 billion.SoftBank’s February announcement of a record 600 billion yen ($5.5 billion) buyback sent its shares to a peak in April, but the stock has since lost most of the gains. Investors have been spooked by the one-two punch of Uber Technologies Inc.’s plunge after an initial public offering in June and WeWork’s meltdown that forced a bailout by SoftBank. The poor performance of Son’s two marquee investments called into question the billionaire founder’s deal-making approach just as he’s trying to raise a successor to his $100 billion Vision Fund.As the current stock price is “well below” the average price paid in the stock repurchase earlier this year, “we will not be surprised if SoftBank Group funds yet another buyback, perhaps in February 2020, by selling some more stake in Alibaba,” Goyal said.SoftBank’s sale of part of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant earlier this year and using Alibaba shares as collateral for a loan indicate Son’s willingness for such a move, Goyal said. In addition to buybacks, proceeds could be used for investment in the second Vision Fund, the analyst said.Responding to criticism about his reluctance to exit successful investments, Son in June 2016 unveiled a plan to sell 73 million American Depositary Shares in the online mall operator. The complex transaction, structured so that he could retain some upside if the stock rose, took three years to complete. SoftBank booked 1.2 trillion yen in pre-tax profit from the deal and still holds about 26% of Alibaba.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Schussler in Tokyo at email@example.com;Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lianting Tu at email@example.com, ;Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Elstrom, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The recent production cut of 500,000 BPD from the OPEC+ group is set to result in total output cut of 1.7 million BPD, which represents 1.7% of global demand.
Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) is leaving no stone unturned to fortify presence in the digital media industry and expand content offerings on Youku.
Alibaba (BABA)-backed AutoX applies for testing its self-driving vehicles, without in-car driver backup, thereby stirring competition in the autonomous-vehicle tech space.
Manchester United have signed a partnership deal with Alibaba - the Chinese e-commerce company. Under the arrangement, aimed at raising the Premier League side's profile in the world's second-largest economy, Alibaba will provide club content on its online video platform Youku.com. The deal will also lead to the creation of a Manchester United store on Alibaba's business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com, the club said.
Peak globalization is one of 10 investing themes Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has highlighted for the next decade. Shifting demographics and automation are two other stories with investment implications.
Premier League soccer club Manchester United have agreed a partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba in an effort to extend the club's engagement with fans in China. The deal will see Alibaba provide club content on its online video platform Youku and develop a future club store on the company's business-to-consumer platform Tmall.com. The deal is the latest move by United to engage with the Chinese market following the launch of a Chinese language app and plans for "experience centres" across the country.
Manchester United (NYSE: MANU) – one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world - today announced a new partnership with Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA and HKEX: 9988) that will bring exclusive rights to club content in China to Alibaba’s ecosystem for the first time, further extending the club’s engagement with its massive Chinese fanbase.
(Bloomberg) -- As protests jolt Hong Kong business, organizations from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to universities are adapting by going digital, switching to video-conferencing app Zoom to conduct online investor briefings and virtual lectures.Zoom Video Communications Inc. joins a number of internet services that have taken off since the unrest began over the summer, from mobile messenger Telegram to work-at-home apps. In a financial hub that thrives on face-to-face deal-making and power lunches, Zoom helps fill a void created by transport disruptions and concerns about personal safety.Hong Kong’s business community leans on the app’s features, which include slide-sharing and support for up to 1,000 call participants, to carry on cross-border communications and with mainland China, where WhatsApp, Telegram and Google alternatives are banned. There’s a local version of Zoom that’s compatible, which is why the app’s downloads in Hong Kong soared 460% in November, after an escalation in protest violence first triggered a spike in September, according to researcher Sensor Tower.Read more: Zoom’s Eric Yuan, the CEO Who Made Videoconferencing Bearable“As schools continue to be in lock-down mode, we’ve had to move our lectures online to minimize disruption,” said Cheung Siu Wai, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, adding Skype has been another option.Now valued at $19 billion, Zoom’s shares have almost doubled since listing on the Nasdaq this year. It’s unclear how the spike in downloads may translate into revenue growth for Zoom, founded by Chinese emigrant Eric Yuan, who now resides in California.The company has various pricing tiers and recently added HSBC to a roster of paying clients that includes Uber Technologies Inc. and Zendesk Inc., underpinning 85% growth in revenue to $167 million in the October quarter. Representatives for the company, which is backed by investors including Salesforce.com Inc., Tiger Global and Qualcomm Inc., declined to comment on how the Hong Kong protests have affected its business.”With the periodic traffic disruptions, our colleagues have no choice but to use video-conferencing apps,” said Derek Chan, co-founder of Master Concept, a Hong Kong-based cloud service provider.To contact the reporters on this story: Carol Zhong in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Weeks after his billion-dollar bailout of WeWork, SoftBank Group Corp's founder and CEO Masayoshi Son reiterated his belief in an instinct-led investing style, in a discussion with Alibaba Group Holding Inc's co-founder Jack Ma. SoftBank owns 26% of China's Alibaba, with its origin in a $20 million investment in 2000, and the stake is now worth more than the Japanese firm's market capitalization. Son on Friday said the decision to invest in Alibaba was driven by a gut feeling.
(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was among the many Wall Street banks that missed out on underwriting Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Hong Kong share sale. Now, its analysts are showering China’s largest company with compliments.Goldman stock analysts just initiated coverage of the shares with a buy rating, predicting they can rally another 31% in the city over the next year. Reasons include its “experienced senior” management team and reach in China’s digital economy.Alibaba can capture nearly a third of China’s retail payments this year, analysts led by Piyush Mubayi wrote in the report. It also has the potential to surpass core growth, Goldman added.Shares of the Chinese technology firm rose 2.7% to HK$197.50 on Friday, extending the advance since their Nov. 26 debut to 12%. The company raised about HK$88 billion ($11.2 billion) in its share sale, the biggest equity offering in the financial hub since 2010.Alibaba may see about $5 billion of mainland inflows over the next three years if it’s included in the trading links with Shanghai and Shenzhen, the bank added.Some investors have cautioned against unrealistic expectations on the stock, saying certain restrictions may curtail trading in the Hong Kong shares.Still, Goldman says that around 8% to 10% of Alibaba’s stock should eventually trade in Hong Kong as U.S. investors should be able to convert their American shares into Hong Kong ones and vice versa. The stock could have a free-float market capitalization in the city of about $48 billion.Analysts at Jefferies Group LLC initiated the stock with a buy rating.(Updates prices in fourth paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Livia Yap in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sofia Horta e Costa at email@example.com, Philip Glamann, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son unveiled a $184 million initiative Friday to accelerate artificial intelligence research in Japan, enlisting Alibaba’s Jack Ma to expound on his goal of commercializing the technology.Son’s company announced a partnership with the University of Tokyo that includes spending 20 billion yen ($184 million) over 10 years by mobile arm SoftBank Corp. to establish the Beyond AI Institute. He roped in the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder for an on-campus chat, during which the two billionaires discussed their vision for the future of technology.The institute will support 150 researchers from various disciplines and focus on transitioning AI research from the academic to the commercial using joint ventures between universities and companies. Health-care, city and social infrastructure and manufacturing will be the primary areas of focus, SoftBank Corp. said in a statement. That dovetails with its own goals: in November, SoftBank and Korea’s Naver Corp. said they plan to merge Yahoo Japan and Line Corp. into an internet giant under SoftBank’s control, to combine resources on AI and challenge leaders from Google to Tencent Holdings Ltd.Read more: SoftBank to Create Japan Internet Giant to Battle Global RivalsSon has long advocated AI as the most revolutionary new field of technological development. The Beyond AI Institute marks an investment in accelerating that research on his home turf, where he has previously bemoaned the relative under-performance of Japan’s startup scene. At the same time, he’ll be eager to put behind him a tough 2019 thanks to the calamitous implosion at WeWork and the shrinking values of Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc.Offering a reminder of his most fruitful investment, Son hosted a talk with Ma, whose online retail empire has been the crown jewel in SoftBank’s investment portfolio. The two exchanged compliments and advocated passion, optimism and world-changing visions as essential to successful entrepreneurship.“In the past 20 years, we’ve been friends, partners and like soulmates in changing people’s lives,” said Son. Ma, in turn, said: “He probably has the biggest guts in the world when doing investment.”In a rare expression of contrition, Son recently said “there was a problem with my own judgment” after the WeWork debacle. He has imposed greater financial discipline on startups since then. On Friday, he said his enthusiasm for grand projects was undimmed. “My passion and dream is more than 100 times bigger than what I am right now. I am still only at the first step to my 100 steps.”To contact the reporters on this story: Vlad Savov in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Vlad Savov, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.