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  • Patreon Becomes Latest Social Media Platform to Take On QAnon

    Patreon Becomes Latest Social Media Platform to Take On QAnon

    (Bloomberg) -- Patreon Inc. is known as a place where podcasters and other internet creators go to make money through subscriptions. But on Thursday, it became the latest social media company to address the growing presence of the conspiracy group QAnon.The company announced in a blog post that they would be taking action against accounts who use their platform to actively spread QAnon’s beliefs. The post detailed how “QAnon-dedicated creators that are identified by our Policy and Trust & Safety teams will have their accounts removed from Patreon.”Patreon said accounts that analyzed the QAnon phenomenon wouldn’t be impacted by the ban. Creators who have spread some QAnon ideas but “are not dedicated to spreading QAnon content” would also be given the opportunity to bring their accounts into compliance, according to the company.A search of Patreon by Bloomberg showed that many of the larger QAnon accounts had been removed. One of the few that were still active linked directly to, the domain of a popular QAnon website that went offline last month after a now former Citigroup employee was identified as its developer. A second Patreon account found by Bloomberg featured multiple videos explicitly promoting QAnon.A Patreon spokesperson told Bloomberg that both pages were being reviewed by the company’s Trust & Safety team.QAnon is a pro-Trump conspiracy theory that first emerged in late 2017. Many of its followers believe that President Donald Trump is engaged a secret battle against a cabal of pedophiles that includes many members of the Democratic Party and several Hollywood celebrities. While it began in the U.S., versions of the conspiracy exist in many countries around the world.Patreon’s announcement follows other measures by social media companies to curb QAnon. Facebook Inc. said it would remove accounts associated with QAnon, and Google’s YouTube said it would ban videos promoting the group. In July, Twitter Inc. announced it was banning thousands of accounts associated with QAnon.The measures have had varying degrees of effect, with many users notably taking to Twitter following Patreon’s move to complain that they had been censored. YouTube’s more limited crackdown also allowed a number of videos associated with the conspiracy theory to remain on their platform. This isn’t the first time that Patreon has had to contend with far-right extremists using their platform. In 2018, the company banned the accounts of several far-right figures who had been raising money using the site to raise money.The presence of QAnon on Patreon was highlighted in report earlier this week from not-for-profit Media Matters for America.“For most QAnon influencers, the grift has become more about money than Q,” said Olivia Little, a Media Matters researcher and author of the report. “The conspiracy theory has been contorted in so many different directions that followers are able to cash in on anything Q-adjacent, from car decals to books.””Followers of QAnon have attempted to monetize the conspiracy theory on other sites too. Etsy Inc. recently removed QAnon-related merchandise from its online marketplace, and Spotify Technology SA took down several QAnon podcasts from its service.However, QAnon merchanside remains readily available on the internet. Third-party sellers continue to sell multiple products affiliated with the QAnon conspiracy via Inc.’s website. A rudimentary search of their website surfaced everything from books about QAnon to apparel bearing hashtags and phrases associated with the conspiracy theory.A similar range of products could also be found on EBay Inc.’s and Alibaba Group’s AliExpress marketplaces.An Amazon spokesman declined to comment about the presence of QAnon merchandise on the site.EBay and AliExpress didn’t respond to a request for comment.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ant’s IPO Lures Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, UBS Asset

    Ant’s IPO Lures Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, UBS Asset

    (Bloomberg) -- T. Rowe Price Group Inc., UBS Asset Management and FMR LLC, the parent of Fidelity Investments, are among the money managers angling for a piece of Ant Group Co.’s blockbuster initial public offering, a person familiar with the matter said.Each of the firms is considering investments worth several billion dollars in Ant’s Hong Kong-listed shares, though they’ve yet to finalize plans and there’s no guarantee they’ll get an allocation, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.Ant is expected to start taking orders for the Hong Kong portion of its dual listing on Oct. 26 and price shares as soon as Oct. 29, people familiar with the matter said. The company may raise about $35 billion in Hong Kong and Shanghai combined, plus another $5 billion after it exercises so-called greenshoe options, the people said, adding that the numbers and timeline are subject to change. That would give Ant a valuation of around $320 billion, making it bigger than JPMorgan Chase & Co.Ant, T. Rowe Price and UBS Asset declined to comment. FMR didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request.Jack Ma’s Chinese fintech giant is one of the most hotly anticipated IPOs in years, on course to make history by surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion share sale in 2019.Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Temasek Holdings Pte and China’s $318 billion National Council for Social Security Fund are also jockeying for a slice of the deal, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month, as are myriad other investment firms and thousands of mom-and-pop traders in China and Hong Kong. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will also buy new Ant shares to maintain its ownership stake at around 32%.Read more: As IPO Looms, All You Need to Know About Jack Ma’s Ant GroupAnt will price the Shanghai portion of its listing on Oct. 27 and allow subscriptions on Oct. 29, it said in a prospectus published Wednesday. That means investors will have to commit to the deal just days before a U.S. presidential election that could have ramifications for both Ant’s overseas expansion plans and investor risk-appetite generally. Shares will almost certainly start trading only after the U.S. vote on Nov. 3.Ant has recently added CCB International as a joint global coordinator for the IPO in Hong Kong, a person familiar said. The deal will have eight joint book runners, including recent addition Mizuho Financial Group Inc., the person said.Mizuho declined to comment and CCB didn’t immediately reply to an e-mailed request.Ant has picked China International Capital Corp. and CSC Financial Co. to lead its Shanghai leg of the IPO. CICC, Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are heading the Hong Kong offering.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Citigroup Declares Common Stock Dividend; Citigroup Declares Preferred Dividends
    Business Wire

    Citigroup Declares Common Stock Dividend; Citigroup Declares Preferred Dividends

    The Board of Directors of Citigroup Inc. today declared a quarterly dividend on Citigroup’s common stock of $0.51 per share, payable on November 25, 2020 to stockholders of record on November 2, 2020.