|Bid||34.80 x 4000|
|Ask||34.90 x 800|
|Day's range||34.42 - 35.39|
|52-week range||32.97 - 41.90|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.34|
|PE ratio (TTM)||7.61|
|Forward dividend & yield||1.52 (4.37%)|
|Ex-dividend date||04 Mar 2020|
|1y target est||N/A|
The future of Australia's Supercars series is under a cloud following the decision by U.S. auto maker General Motors to scrap the iconic Holden brand that has underpinned the touring car championship for decades. General Motors Co said on Monday it would retire the Holden brand by 2021 as it winds down Australian and New Zealand operations in the latest restructuring of its global business. The move has rocked the V8 Supercars series in which eight of the 13 teams race Holden's Commodore model cars.
NEW YORK/BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co is retreating from more markets outside of the United States and China, saying on Sunday that it will wind down sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand and retire the Holden brand by 2021. It also said China's Great Wall Motor Co Ltd had agreed to buy GM's Thailand car manufacturing plant and an engine factory, a transaction expected to be completed by the end of 2020. In rearranging its global operations, GM is accelerating its retreat from unprofitable markets, becoming more dependent on the United States, China, Latin America and South Korea.
NEW YORK/BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co said it would wind down its Australian and New Zealand operations and sell a Thai plant in the latest restructuring of its global business, costing the U.S. auto maker $1.1 billion. The moves will accelerate GM's retreat from unprofitable markets, making it more dependent on the United States, China, Latin America and South Korea, and give up an opening to expand in Southeast Asia. GM has forecast a flat profit for 2020 after a difficult 2019, and is facing ballooning interest in electric car rival Tesla Inc .
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If it involves a flurry of announcements, filings, subpoena disclosures, a stock with Lebowski levels of insouciance, a surprise equity raise and Larry Ellison backing up the truck, then we must be talking about Tesla.It’s been a busy Thursday morning for the electric-vehicle phenomenon. Not long after Tesla Inc. filed its 10-K annual report, the company announced it would sell up to $2.3 billion worth of new equity, with CEO Elon Musk and director Ellison indicating their “preliminary interest” in buying $10 million and $1 million worth, respectively.The 10-K itself contained several interesting details. There was a reference to a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking information on unspecified contracts and financing arrangements. Regional data for 2019 showed sales in Tesla’s biggest market, the U.S., fell by 15%. Meanwhile, the full cash flow statement confirmed that $204 million of fourth-quarter cash from operations was largely a mix of foreign-exchange gains and amortization and write-down effects. As I wrote here, along with a positive swing in working capital and sales of regulatory credits, those “other” items contributed more than half of Tesla’s free cash flow in the quarter.Let’s stay with free cash flow. Another item in the 10-K was Tesla’s capital expenditure guidance. This is notable because management was unusually reticent on that item when it announced year-end results about two weeks ago, telling investors and analysts to wait for the filing. It is also notable because the new guidance implies a jump of somewhere between 88% and 164% this year — and maybe staying there through 2022.One of the strange things about Tesla is that its valuation and ambitious narrative are pure growth-stock stuff, but its capex in 2019 was more like that of an old car business. At 62%, its ratio of capex to depreciation wasn’t much different from the 54% reported by General Motors Co. Now it seems as if Tesla will make up for that and then some. Plotting the new guidance versus consensus forecasts shows just how much last year stood out in this regard.The final capex bill for 2019 was $1.3 billion. That’s about $1.2 billion lower than the original guidance given a year ago. Meanwhile, Tesla’s free cash flow in 2019 was $1.1 billion.Which brings us back to the surprise equity raise. It’s a surprise because, about two weeks ago, Musk answered a question on this very subject by saying “it doesn’t make sense to raise money because we expect to generate cash despite this growth level.” It’s also a surprise because Tesla had $6.3 billion of cash and equivalents on its balance sheet at the end of December. Plus, the company expects “positive quarterly free cash flow going forward, with possible temporary exceptions.” Certainly, current consensus forecasts for free cash flow imply Tesla could absorb the jump in capex without resort to new financing.It shouldn’t be that surprising, though. Tesla’s stock has gone parabolic. Just six months ago, a $2.3 billion equity raise would have diluted shareholders by almost 6%; at today’s price, it’s just 1.6%. Investors may as well be begging the company to sell more equity (Musk’s compensation package encourages this too).In that sense, Tesla is doing the sensible thing by giving the punters what they want and shoring up its balance sheet. And yet, alongside the stalled growth in revenue, losses and capex-budget boomerang, doing the sensible thing also happens to undercut the price-boosting narrative that Tesla has turned the corner on self-funding. Even if companies can sell equity cheaply, they tend not to do so unless they think they need the money. To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Brandless Inc., a direct-to-consumer personal care and packaged goods company, is closing down. Brandless will stop taking orders and cut about 70 employees, less than two years after SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund said it would invest $240 million in the startup.“I’m proud of what we created at Brandless,” Interim Chief Executive Officer Evan Price said in a statement, adding that it had become to difficult for the company to compete in the direct-to-consumer market. “I'm confident the next great brands of tomorrow will be built from this experience.” The closure marks an embarrassing failure for SoftBank, which is struggling with other investments made by its $100 billion tech fund, including Oyo, Uber Technologies Inc., and most notably, WeWork. SoftBank bid up the valuation of WeWork parent company We Co. to $47 billion before a failed attempt at an initial public offering sent its value plummeting and forced the Japanese conglomerate to bail out the co-working startup. Uber, another major investment, is trading below its IPO price and faces mounting regulatory pressure from governments, although it has said it expects to turn a profit this year.Brandless’s board had been evaluating its position for several weeks and ultimately decided to shut down and use the remaining cash for severance for employees, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The company is cutting all of its staff except for about 10 employees, who will say on to fulfill outstanding orders, handle customer questions and the like. The news was earlier reported by tech site Protocol.The Brandless website will no longer accept orders starting Monday, although all existing orders will be delivered and customer service will remain available. In a statement, Brandless’s board said “the direct-to-consumer market is fiercely competitive and ultimately proved unsustainable for their business model,” but added that employees’ work on sustainability and health products “moved an entire industry forward.”Brandless started shipping consumer staples, mostly at prices around $3 apiece, in 2017. SoftBank invested the following year after its chief executive, Masayoshi Son, inspected an array of its products—from olive oil to eyelash curlers—flown to Tokyo for his perusal. At the time, the Vision Fund was stunning Silicon Valley with investments like $2.5 billion into India’s Flipkart and another $2.25 billion into General Motors Co.’s autonomous vehicle business, Cruise.The Vision Fund paid out about $100 million of its promised investment into Brandless up front, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the details of the deal were private. But a promised second tranche never arrived as the company struggled to hit targets while building out its own warehouse and distribution network. Co-founder Tina Sharkey stepped down as CEO last spring, and the company pivoted to selling CBD, or cannabidiol, products, which tap an ingredient in cannabis to help lessen anxiety and promote better sleep.The CEO who spearheaded that plan, John Rittenhouse, stepped down in December.(Updates with the amount SoftBank invested in Brandless in the penultimate paragraph. )To contact the author of this story: Sarah McBride in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at email@example.com, Mark MilianFor 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.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would kill a loan program that an electric-truck company is counting on to revive an Ohio factory vacated last year by General Motors Co., which angered Trump.The company, Lordstown Motors Corp., is seeking a $200 million loan from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. The Energy Department initiative doled out billions of dollars to help companies retool factories to build advanced electric vehicles, including a $465 million loan to Tesla Inc. for its Model S in 2010, which the company repaid in 2013, according to the department’s website.Lordstown Motors plans to hire as many as 400 workers by the end of 2020, according to Representative Tim Ryan, an Ohio Democrat who has urged the department to approve the loan.“We will put the money back in” the budget, Ryan, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview. “I know they have been having fairly significant meetings with the Department of Energy.”A company representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.According to a budget summary obtained by Bloomberg News, Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget calls for canceling the Energy Department program and a loan guarantee program that have been under fire from conservatives after it famously backed a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee to failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC. According to the Energy Department, the program has made the government nearly $3 billion in interest.Lordstown Motors in November bought the former GM plant, where it plans to build plug-in electric pickups, beginning in late 2020. GM triggered a political firestorm when it announced in 2018 that it had no plans to build anything there, essentially closing the plant. Trump harshly criticized GM and later lauded the prospect of a new company building trucks there.(Updates with comment from Ohio lawmaker in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Erik Wasson.To contact the reporters on this story: Ari Natter in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ryan Beene in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth WassermanFor 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.
(Bloomberg) -- The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak reached 910, higher than during SARS, and one estimate put the mortality rate from the disease at 1%. Britain reported four more cases, warned of an imminent threat to public health and tightened quarantine rules. Globally, 40,626 have been infected so far.Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Chaoyang district in Beijing Monday, according to state-run media Xinhua, which published photos of Xi wearing a mask and having his temperature taken. Canada’s finance minister said the outbreak will have an impact on the country’s economy. Key DevelopmentsChina death toll at 908; confirmed cases at 40,171Coronavirus may soon peak in Wuhan with 500,000 people infectedNissan to suspend output in Kyushu auto plant, Nikkei reportsWhen Coronavirus Takes Over Ship It’s Too Late to Batten HatchesCoronavirus Anxiety Decimates the Biggest Airshow in AsiaBloomberg is tracking the outbreak on the terminal and onlineCanada Predicts Significant Impact From Virus (12:14 p.m. NY)Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau warned the spread of the coronavirus is likely to have a “real” impact on Canada’s economy.At a breakfast speech in Calgary, Morneau said the deadly viral outbreak that began in China is expected to have a significant effect on global growth that will spill into Canada as it disrupts tourism and supply chains, and lowers commodity prices. He said oil prices have fallen 15% as a result of reduced demand, for example.Read the full story here. Ford Reopens China Plants (11:30 a.m. NY)Ford Motor Co. has resumed production at its Chinese plants, a spokesman said.The U.S. automaker is working with its supplier partners, some of which are located in Hubei province, to assess and plan for parts supply, according to Anderson Chan, a spokesman.Ford was among the major automakers that halted production at China plants late last month as the government extended the traditional Lunar New Year holiday by a week.Tesla Inc. also reopened its plant near Shanghai on Monday.Carnival Cruise Finally Finds a Port (11:30 a.m. NY)Carnival Corp.’s Holland America Line appears to have finally found a port for its Westerdam cruise ship to disembark after reports of coronavirus on board prompted various jurisdictions to turn it away. Holland America said the reports were unfounded, but the ship has been denied debarking in Manila, Guam, and effectively from various ports in Japan.The two-week cruise that left from Hong Kong was able to call in only one port -- Kaohsiung, Taiwan -- and authorities there cut off access part of the way through its visit. The cruise will end in Laem Chabang, Thailand, on Thursday, and guests will receive a full refund and a future cruise credit, Holland America said Monday.NTT Docomo Pulls Out of Mobile Conference (10:55 a.m.)Japanese carrier NTT Docomo Inc. became the latest company to pull out of the mobile industry’s most important annual gathering because of the coronavirus. Ericsson AB, Amazon.com Inc., Nvidia Corp. and Sony Corp. have already said they won’t attend MWC Barcelona, while others have reduced their presence. The biggest participants spend millions of dollars to exhibit -- money they stand to lose if they scrap their plans.New Estimate Puts Virus Death Rate at 1% (10:37 a.m. NY)The mortality rate from the coronavirus is an estimated 1%, researchers at the Imperial College London said in a new report that attempts to account for mild cases as well as more severe ones at the center of the outbreak in China.Researchers have been trying to estimate how severe the virus is, and to calculate how fast it spreads as well as how many people get severe illnesses or die. In China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak began, the fatality rate may be 18% for patients with severe symptoms, the researchers calculated.“The impact of the unfolding epidemic may be comparable to the major influenza pandemics of the twentieth century,” Neil Ferguson, an infectious disease researcher at Imperial College London, said in a statement.The researchers said the 1% mortality rate was an estimate of what will happen once all cases are counted, and after previously undiagnosed ones drive the rate down.Any estimates ”should be viewed cautiously” given the numerous uncertainties involved, the researchers warned in in their report. Mortality rates tend to shift in the middle of an outbreak as new and milder cases are found.The U.K. researchers estimated that the typical time between onset of symptoms and death has been about 22 days, meaning that there may be a multiweek time lag between reporting of cases and when deaths from those cases become apparent.Overall, the Imperial College London researchers estimated that 1.3% of Wuhan residents were infected with the virus as of Jan. 31, but only 1 in 19 of them were being tested for the virus – suggesting that the actual number of cases could be far higher than the official numbers indicate.Toymaker: Closing May Hurt Holiday Sales (10:15 a.m. NY)The CEO of one the world’s largest toymakers said many of its largest Chinese suppliers remain shuttered because of the coronavirus outbreak, with some pushing reopening dates back to the end of next month.“It’s bad,” said Isaac Larian, who also founded closely held MGA Entertainment Inc. “People don’t realize. This won’t just affect the toy business; it’s going to have a major economic effect worldwide.”While the idled factories haven’t had a major impact on MGA so far, prolonged closings could delay orders for the holiday-shopping season, according to Larian. China is by far the biggest maker of toys, with the industry’s hub in Shenzhen, and February and March is when factories do the bulk of production for Christmas goods that hit shelves beginning in late October.U.K. Issues Tighter Quarantine Rules (9:55 a.m. NY)Britain imposed new regulations allowing health authorities to keep individuals in quarantine if they’re considered to be at risk of infecting others. The move came as the U.K. government called the novel coronavirus a “serious and imminent” threat to public health.The rules apply to anyone seeking to leave isolation before a 14-day quarantine is complete and will be in place for future cases, the government said Monday. Four more patients in England tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the U.K. to eight. The country has also flown back Britons from the virus epicenter of Wuhan, China, and they’re now being held in quarantine.British Airways Extends China Flight Cancellations (6:55 a.m. NY)British Airways extended a halt to flights to mainland China until March 31. All flights to and from Beijing and Shanghai are now canceled, while trips to Hong Kong remain unaffected. The company made the decision in line with the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s continued advice against all but essential travel to China, according to a spokeswoman.Foxconn Delays Return of Workers to Main IPhone Plants (6:09 a.m. NY)Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has told some employees at its main iPhone-making unit that it’s postponing the resumption of production. Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, sent a message via its internal app on Sunday that it wouldn’t be able to decide on a back-to-work date “until further notice” for its iDPBG business unit, according to a version reviewed by Bloomberg News. That division makes gadgets for Apple at a factory in the so-called iPhone city of Zhengzhou and two other plants in Shenzhen.Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover Warn of Supply-Chain Disruptions: (6:32 p.m. HK)Jaguar Land Rover updated a presentation to investors late Sunday, saying its supply chains outside China could be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The luxury-car maker said on Friday that it expects the virus to affect its fiscal fourth quarter but that it’s too early to quantify.Nissan Motor Co. is suspending work at a Japanese assembly plant for two days in the coming week because of disruption to the supply of automobile parts due to the outbreak.GM to Restart Production in China From Feb. 15 (6:09 p.m. HK)General Motors Co. will restart production in China from Feb. 15, according to a company representative. Plans to restart production in plants with local partners would be based on preparedness of supply chain and product inventory, Reuters reported earlier.U.K. Confirms Four More Cases (5:49 p.m. HK)Four further patients in England have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the U.K. to eight. The new cases are all known contacts of a previously confirmed British case, and the virus was passed on in France.Hong Kong’s Richest Tycoon Donates $13 Million (5:25 p.m. HK)The Li Ka Shing Foundation donated HK$100 million ($13 million) to help Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the outbreak. The money will be distributed via the Red Cross Society of China,Li Ka-shing, 91, has a net worth of about $28.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Taiwan to Temporarily Ban Entry of HK, Macau Residents (5:24 p.m.)Residents from Hong Kong and Macau are barred from entering Taiwan starting from Feb. 11 as the island tries to contain the coronavirus. Those approved for entry will be quarantined for 14 days on arrival.Taipei-Hong Kong is one of the busiest international flight routes.WHO Watching 10 Chinese Provinces as Possible Hot Spots (5 p.m. HK)The World Health Organization is closely watching other Chinese regions for signs that new infection hot spots are emerging as the outbreak spreads beyond the epicenter of Hubei.The 10 provinces, including Zhejiang, Guangdong and Henan, have seen numbers of cases slowly rise, WHO’s China representative Gauden Galea said in an interview on Bloomberg TV.HK Loses Contact With Two People in Quarantine (4:51 p.m. HK)The government lost contact with two people who are in mandatory quarantine and the police have issued wanted notices, Radio Television Hong Kong reported, citing Sophia Chan, the city’s secretary for food and health. A total of 1,193 are now under quarantine and 90% of them are Hong Kong residents, Chan said.The Asian financial hub started a mandatory two-week quarantine for mainland arrivals on Saturday as it tries to contain the novel coronavirus.Global Growth Could Stall, Capital Economics Says (4:04 p.m. HK)The outbreak will cost the global economy more than $280 billion in the first three months of the year, putting an end to a 43-quarter global growth streak, according to Capital Economics Ltd. Based on those forecasts “global GDP will not grow in quarter-on-quarter terms for the first time since 2009,” the firm said.U.K. Calls Coronavirus a Serious, Imminent Threat (3:34 p.m. HK)The U.K. government is labeling the novel coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health.”Britain is enacting regulations to stem further transmission, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. The declaration of a serious and imminent threat comes alongside measures the government hopes will be an effective means of delaying or preventing further transmission.Singapore Braces as Cases Emerge in Financial Center (3:32 p.m. HK)Singapore’s coronavirus outbreak has spread to its financial center, with some staff at major companies being told to work from home for at least the next few days and temperature screening checkpoints set up at the front doors of several towers.A worker at an unnamed firm in Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1 has been confirmed as being infected with the virus over the weekend, according to a circular to tenants by the building’s manager. Another case at nearby Clifford Centre, in the heart of the central business district, is an employee of United Industrial Corp., according to an advisory to tenants in the building where UIC is located.Japan Cruise Ship Finds More Cases (3:25 p.m. HK)The operator of the cruise ship quarantined off Japan confirmed more cases of coronavirus, nearly doubling to more than 130 the number of people on the vessel who have contracted the disease.The increasing number of patients on Carnival Corp.’s Diamond Princess has raised worries about a possible spread among the people still aboard. Risks have been mounting that the virus could spread in the confined spaces of the ship, where many on board have increased vulnerability due to their advanced ages.Airbnb Freezes Beijing Check-Ins Till March (2:19 p.m. HK)Airbnb Inc. is suspending check-ins at all of its Beijing listings until March to comply with local regulations intended to curb the coronavirus outbreak. The San Francisco-based company said in a statement that it will offer refunds to all those affected or that cancel their bookings.China Seeks to Minimize Impact on Foreign Investment (12:03 p.m. HK)China’s Ministry of Commerce is seeking to minimize the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on foreign investment. The ministry will push forward foreign projects to ensure investment is implemented as planned, according to a statement. The ministry will also help foreign enterprises resume production and operations; foreign producers of masks and other protective wear are urged to resume output quickly.Fallout May Be Just Beginning for Tech Firms (11:28 a.m. HK)As Chinese-based manufacturers begin to restart factories Monday, no one knows for sure when they’ll be back at full speed -- or what sort of chaos may ensue.Tech producers led by Foxconn, which makes the majority of the world’s iPhones a few hundred miles from the coronavirus outbreak’s epicenter, had begun preparing investors for the potential bedlam when hundreds of thousands make their way back to factories. Apple Inc.’s most important partner warned investors of the daunting task of securing enough workers despite widespread transport blockades, quarantining thousands, and the “nightmare” scenario of an on-campus epidemic that could shut down production altogether.Read the full story here.Experts Get Creative in Measuring Economic Blow (9:29 a.m. HK)Economists are grappling with ways to gauge the real-time impact of the coronavirus on the world economy, even as the outbreak continues to confound forecasters. Store closures, flight-tracking websites, factory shutdowns and the latest numbers on infections and fatalities are just some of the high-frequency data points economists are scouring for clues on the hit to growth.“To track the impact of the virus on the global economy, we have had to look at indicators I have never looked at before in my 25 years of doing macroeconomic forecasting,” said Torsten Slok, chief economist for Deutsche Bank AG.WHO Chief Concerned Over Virus Spread (6:35 a.m. HK)WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet that there have been concerning instances of coronavirus being spread from people with no travel history to China, saying “we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the virus.“The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries,” he said in the tweet.He called on countries to step up efforts to prepare for the coronavirus’s possible arrival. Donors have contributed toward the WHO’s efforts and those directed at vulnerable countries, he said, but the organization hasn’t reached its goal of $675 million to fight the outbreak.\--With assistance from Miao Han, Tara Patel, Philip J. Heijmans, Rebecca Choong Wilkins, Bradley Davis, Steve Geimann, Emi Nobuhiro, Yoshiaki Nohara, Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, Faris Mokhtar, Krystal Chia, Debby Wu, Gao Yuan, Fion Li, Laura Benitez, Cindy Wang, Chunying Zhang, Charlotte Ryan, Matt Townsend, Katsuyori Suzuki, Jonathan Levin and Keith Naughton.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Jason Gale in Melbourne at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Eric Pfanner at email@example.com, ;Drew Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org, Kenneth Wong, Mark SchoifetFor 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.
Concerns about widespread impact of coronavirus on Chinese and global economy overshadowed stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report, dragging benchmarks into negative territory on Friday.
General Motors said on Monday it would restart production in from Feb. 15 in China, where the country is dealing with a coronavirus epidemic which has killed more than 900 people. Automakers in China had halted production for the Lunar New Year holidays at the end of January. The U.S. automaker would have a staggered start to production across plants with local partners over the next two weeks, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.
General Motors said on Monday it would restart production in from Feb. 15 in China, where the country is dealing with a coronavirus epidemic which has killed more than 900 people. Automakers in China had halted production for the Lunar New Year holidays at the end of January. The U.S. automaker would have a staggered start to production across plants with local partners over the next two weeks, a company spokeswoman told Reuters.
(Bloomberg) -- Legendary activist investor Paul Singer is taking on one of his most high-profile targets yet: Masayoshi Son.Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. has built a stake of close to $3 billion in SoftBank Group Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. The New York-based hedge fund believes SoftBank is one of the world’s most undervalued companies and could easily finance a share buyback of as much as $20 billion by trimming investments in companies like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Sprint Corp. and others. SoftBank’s shares jumped as much as 8.2% in Tokyo, the biggest intraday advance since the announcement of a record buyback a year ago.Elliott has held discussions with SoftBank’s leadership team including founder Son, the people said. The firm thinks SoftBank’s net asset value could be about $230 billion, but that it trades at a huge discount because of concerns around its Vision Fund, as well as how the failed initial public offering of WeWork last year was handled.SoftBank traded around 5,074 yen in early trading on Friday, giving it a valuation of 10.6 trillion yen ($96 billion). The company’s own sum-of-parts calculation puts its total value at 12,259 yen a share.Board DiversityElliott isn’t seeking any board seats at SoftBank, but wants the company to boost independence and diversity on its board, the people said. At most, two of the 11 directors are independent and all are male, they said. At the last earnings call in November, Son said he was committed to improving corporate governance. A person familiar with the matter said the company was currently seeking independent board members.“SoftBank always maintains constructive discussions with shareholders regarding their views on the company and we are in complete agreement that our shares are deeply undervalued by public investor,” a representative for SoftBank said, adding that the company welcomes feedback from fellow shareholders.Elliott also wants SoftBank to set up a special committee to review the investment process at its venture capital arm, the Vision Fund, which it thinks has dragged on the share price despite making up a small portion of assets under management, the people said. It also wants greater transparency around the fund, which discloses the names of its investments but not the size of the stakes or the valuation they were made at, the people said.Known for showering companies with far more cash than they were seeking to raise, the Vision Fund’s strategy has often been to anoint a category leader that no competitor can catch up with. That strategy is working in some cases -- Vision Fund-backed Coupang, for example, is South Korea’s largest online retailer -- but it has also created casualties.“For SoftBank shares, things started to go sideways from second half of last year, when the market reception for initial public listings shifted,” said Iwai Cosmo Securities equities manager Toshikazu Horiuchi. “There are going to be some hits and misses, but the question is what is the performance of SoftBank’s investments as a whole.”SoftBank-backed companies Getaround, Wag Labs Inc., Fair and Brandless Inc. have all had to cut staff or change business models once it became apparent revenue and profits were not living up to their once-grand ambitions. In the case of Oyo, the India-based hotel company, antitrust regulators are now examining its business model. And most notably, co-working company WeWork had to cancel its planned IPO as potential investors backed off, spooked by steep losses and profligate spending.Fund DepartureOn Monday, Vision Fund managing partner Michael Ronen, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, said he was leaving. He had overseen several investments, including a $2.25 billion deal for General Motors Co.’s Cruise self-driving unit.Elliott’s investment in SoftBank is one of its biggest, but the firm has never been afraid to take on some of the world’s largest and most high-profile companies, including AT&T Inc., EBay Inc., Hyundai Motor Group, BHP Group Ltd., and others in recent years.“Elliott’s substantial investment in SoftBank reflects its strong conviction that the market significantly undervalues SoftBank’s portfolio of assets. Elliott has engaged privately with SoftBank’s leadership and is working constructively on solutions to help SoftBank materially and sustainably reduce its discount to intrinsic value,” the activist firm said in an emailed statement. It declined to comment on the size of its stake in SoftBank.(Updates with SoftBank’s share reaction from second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Pavel Alpeyev and Shintaro Inkyo.To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Deveau in New York at email@example.com;Sarah McBride in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at email@example.com, ;Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, Matthew MonksFor 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.
(Bloomberg) -- The Chinese doctor who issued an early warning about the coronavirus has died, said the hospital where he worked, ending hours of confusion about his status.The city of Wuhan told residents to begin reporting their body temperature daily, and the large port city of Tianjin said it would restrict residents’ movement, part of steps across the country to stop the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. In Beijing, the Chinese government voiced anger as countries placed more restrictions on travelers.Tesla temporarily closed its stores in the nation, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV warned that a China-related parts shortage could force it to idle a European plant, according to a report. Equities rose on China’s plans to cut tariffs on U.S. imports and optimism the global economy can withstand the impact of the virus.Bloomberg is tracking the outbreak on the terminal and online.Key DevelopmentsChina death toll at 563; mainland cases at 28,018, with 3,859 severeWhy Reports of Drugs for Coronavirus Are Premature: QuickTakeWhat You Need to Know About the Spreading Coronavirus: QuickTakeMan vs. Microbe: We’re Not Ready for Next Global Virus OutbreakTerminal subscribers: Join TOPLive Q&A on risks to the economyChinese Doctor Has Died, Hospital Says (3 p.m. NY)Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who was one of the first to warn about the coronavirus in Wuhan, has died, according to the hospital where he worked.The doctor’s status had been subject to hours of confusion after earlier reports of his death on Chinese social media were deleted and replaced by messages saying he was being treated.“Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist at our hospital had unfortunately been infected when he worked on fighting against the coronavirus outbreak,” Wuhan Central Hospital said in a post on the Chinese social platform Weibo.The hospital said he died at 2:58 a.m. in China “after all efforts to save him failed.”Li was in his 30s, according to a report by the Chinese media outlet Caixin.Social Media Posts About Doctor’s Death Are Deleted (2:14 p.m. NY)Confusing reports emerged about the status of the Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who was earlier reported dead, after posts about his death by a Chinese state media-affiliated publication were removed from social media.The doctor had been one of the first to warn about the coronavirus in Wuhan, but had been reprimanded by local authorities for doing so.Posts by the Global Times, which is affiliated with the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, saying the doctor had died were deleted from the social media platform Weibo sometime before midnight in Beijing. Another post mourning the doctor by Hu Xijing, the Global Times’s editor-in-chief, was also deleted.They were replaced later with suggestions the doctor was alive. Hu said in a Weibo post around 1 a.m. Beijing time that attempts were still being made to save Li. “We wish a miracle of life could happen,” Hu said.Bloomberg earlier reported Li’s death, citing a person familiar with the matter and state-affiliated media. The doctor had been infected with coronavirus before his death.Li’s reported passing quickly became a trending topic on the Chinese social-media platform Weibo around midnight local time, with the hashtags DoctorLiPassedAway and LiWenliangPassedAway attracting hundreds of millions of views. The World Health Organization, which had posted a tweet mourning Li, issued an update saying it had no information his status.The Wuhan doctor became well-known after, in early December before the outbreak of coronavirus exploded, he posted a warning on a social media platform about a SARS-like illness. Days after his warning, he was reprimanded by police for rumor-mongering online, according to his social media account.Canadian Evacuation From Wuhan Begins (2 p.m. NY)Canada’s first evacuation of citizens from Wuhan is underway.A plane with 194 people on board was stationed at a Wuhan airport and set to depart as soon as passengers go through the screening and boarding process. A separate U.S. plane will take a smaller number of Canadians; the two planes combined will account for two-thirds of the 347 Canadians who requested assistance evacuating.Another Canadian plane will depart Feb. 10 with the remaining passengers, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne said at a press briefing.Canada has reported five cases of coronavirus infection; three in Ontario and two in British Columbia.Report Claims Attempts to Save Chinese Doctor (1:01 p.m. NY)Confusing reports emerged about the status of the Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who was earlier reported dead. The editor of the Chinese state media Global Times, which hours before said that Li had died, said in a social media post that efforts were being made to save him. Wuhan Central Hospital, where Li worked, also said that there were attempts being made to rescue him. Li’s status was not immediately clear.American Airlines Extends Flight Cancelations (12:11 p.m. NY)American Airlines Holdings Inc. extended the suspension of flights to Hong Kong from Los Angeles through March 27, citing reduced demand. Service previously had been scheduled to resume Feb. 21. Flights to Hong Kong from Dallas-Fort Worth remain scheduled to resume Feb. 21.The airline is one of the major U.S. carriers serving China.Chinese Doctor Who Warned of Virus Is Dead (10:30 a.m. NY)A Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang, who was reprimanded by police after warning colleagues about a new respiratory disease emerging in Wuhan, has died after falling ill, according to a person familiar with the matter.Li had been admitted to a hospital in early January and later confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to a post on his social media account. The exact cause of death wasn’t immediately known.Li on Dec. 30 posted in a social media group about a SARS-like illness that within weeks would explode into the coronavirus epidemic that has infected more than 25,000 people. Days after his warning, he was reprimanded by police for rumor-mongering online, according to his social media account. The Chinese Supreme Court later said the police were wrong to have taken the actions they did.The death was reported earlier by the Global Times, a Chinese state-run media organization, and other Chinese outlets. A person familiar with the situation confirmed Li’s death to Bloomberg.Economic Impact Will Be Limited, Envoy Says (9:45 a.m. NY)The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Chinese economy will be limited and short-term, the country’s envoy to the European Union, Zhang Ming, said in an interview. Smart investors shouldn’t lose confidence on the country’s prospects, the ambassador told Bloomberg TV.The priority of the Chinese government is to contain the virus and save lives, Zhang said. Asked about any fallout from the outbreak to the China-U.S trade deal, he reiterated that any impact will be limited, though he did acknowledge that the virus will affect both the Chinese and the global economy.Port City of Tianjin to Restrict Residents’ Movement (9:08 a.m. NY)Tianjin, a Chinese port city of some 15.6 million people, said it will restrict movement in residential compounds citywide in an effort to slow the coronavirus’s spread there.The city borders Beijing and has only reported 78 cases and one death so far, but authorities across China have taken drastic measures to slow the virus’s spread outside the center of the outbreak in Wuhan. There are more than 25,000 cases across China, concentrated mainly in Hubei province.Tianjin authorities said that residential areas will check and register people who come into communities, limit the access of deliveries and food orders, and restrict entrances and exits, according to the state media People’s Daily.The notice also calls for keeping track of people with electronic registration systems and enhancing management of rentals.Wuhan Tells Residents to Report Body Temperature (8:35 a.m. NY)The city of Wuhan told residents check their body temperature on a daily basis and report it to local health authorities, part of new steps to contain the coronavirus in the city of 11 million that’s the center of the outbreak.The city is conducting door-to-door inspections as well, and will send someone to check on people displaying a fever, according to a notice posted by the provincial government. People with symptoms will be sent to a community health center for evaluation.Fiat Chrysler Warns Disruption Could Shut Europe Plant (8:33 a.m. NY)Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV could be weeks away from needing to idle one of its plants in Europe because it’s running out of parts sourced from China, Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley told the Financial Times.Manley said one critical maker of components is putting European production at risk. He didn’t name the company or specify what type of parts, or say which of Fiat’s European factories may have to close.Hyundai Motor Co. said earlier this week it was halting production in South Korea because of the shortage of a wiring component sourced from China.Estee Lauder Cuts Profit Outlook Again, Citing Coronavirus (7:03 a.m. NY)Estee Lauder Cos. cut its earnings outlook for a second straight quarter, saying the coronavirus outbreak in China would crimp demand for luxury cosmetics. ArcelorMittal SA is also slowing steel production in the country after the Beijing extended national holidays due to the outbreak.Chinese Government Calls for Return to Normal Production (6:36 a.m. NY)A meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang said resources should be allocated rationally to avoid panic, according to CCTV. Coal, power, oil and gas supplies must be secured. Sixteen provinces will provide medical staff to Hubei.OPEC+ Recommends Output Cut (6:46 p.m. HK)The OPEC+ Joint Technical Committee recommended an output cut of 600,000 barrels a day to offset the demand impact of the coronavirus, a delegate said. The recommendation will still have to be discussed by OPEC+ ministers and the group hasn’t yet agreed on a date for an early meeting.Melco Scraps Plans to Invest in Crown Resorts (6:45 p.m. HK)Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited pulled out of a deal to invest in Australia’s Crown Resorts Limited, citing a “severe drop” in tourism to Asia and Macau’s decision to close casinos following the coronavirus outbreak.Tesla Temporarily Closes China Stores, CNBC Says (6:22 p.m. HK)Tesla has temporarily closed its stores in China as of Feb. 2, CNBC reported, citing a WeChat post from an unidentified company sales employee on that date. It wasn’t immediately clear if closures also applied to Hong Kong. The company had previously said it expects a delay in Model 3s built in Shanghai.Tesla China didn’t respond to a Bloomberg request for comment and Tesla US declined to comment.Separately, Nikkei Asian Review said Honda would extend Wuhan site closures until late February and that Toyota might prolong its production halt at Wuhan plants.Hong Kong Banks Plan Temporary Relief Measures (6:03 p.m. HK)Measures being considered include principal moratorium on residential and commercial mortgages, fee reductions on credit card borrowing and restructuring of repayment schedules for corporate loans.Indonesia Eyes Empty Islands for Quarantine Hub (5:49 p.m. HK)Indonesia plans to build a medical and rehabilitation center on an uninhabited island to isolate infectious disease victims. The country is yet to record a single case, but has quarantined 243 people on the island of Natuna after they were evacuated from China.China Objects to Countries Imposing Travel Restrictions (5:39 p.m. HK)Authorities in Beijing are growing increasingly angry and have registered “strong objections” with countries imposing harsh travel restrictions on visitors from China.Nations are ignoring recommendations from the World Health Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization, which have advised against canceling flight routes and limiting travel to affected nations, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.Coronavirus Cluster Linked to Singapore Business Event (5:35 p.m. HK)A Malaysian woman whose brother caught the coronavirus in Singapore also has the virus, widening a multinational cluster of cases linked to a meeting in the city-state.The 40-year-old woman’s older brother was the first Malaysian to be diagnosed with the pneumonia-causing illness. He was among more than 100 people who had attended a business event at Singapore’s Grand Hyatt hotel.GM China Car JV to Produce Millions of Face Masks (4:24 p.m. HK)SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, one of GM’s joint ventures in China, will start making face masks to help ease a shortage caused by the spread of the coronavirus in the country.More Businesses Caution on Virus Impact (4:20 p.m. HK)Volvo Car AB said two plants in China have not reopened and the shutdown would last a “few weeks,” Osram Licht AG also said some of its manufacturing facilities were temporarily shut, while Publicis Groupe SA said it was too soon to quantify the impact from the virus.CNOOC Declares Force Majeure on LNG Contracts (3:10 p.m. HK)China National Offshore Oil Corp. told some suppliers it won’t take delivery of liquefied natural gas cargoes, a rare step that shows how deeply the coronavirus is impacting global commodity flows.It’s among the first reports of a so-called force majeure clause being invoked in the global commodity market after mounting speculation that Chinese buyers of everything from copper to LNG could be forced to take the step. Separately, the China Iron & Steel Association -- the nation’s most influential mills’ group -- said the situation this quarter that “does not look optimistic.”Japan’s Abe Says Olympics Won’t Be Postponed (2:10 p.m. HK)Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would not be canceled or postponed despite fears about the novel coronavirus. However, travel restrictions have already begun to affect some qualifying events.China Car Sales May Fall Over 10%, LMC Says (12:48 p.m. HK)China’s auto market, the world’s largest, may shrink 10% or more this year if the coronavirus outbreak persists through the third quarter, researcher LMC Automotive said.That’s the worst of three scenarios outlined by the researcher and involves the virus undergoing further mutations and the epidemic not being contained until late in the year, LMC said in a note to clients. More likely would be for the outbreak to be under control by June, resulting in industry sales falling 3% to 5% in 2020, it said.China Offers Incentives to Firms Helping Battle Virus (12:09 p.m. HK)China is stepping up efforts to contain the spread of the new coronavirus with a series of relief measures for companies directly engaged in the fight against the disease.The steps include reduction in value-added taxes and nudging banks to offer loans carrying interest rates of less than 1.6% for key enterprises that produce, sell or transport essential medical products and daily necessities, China’s State Council said on its website last night. Separately, the nation’s airlines will also be exempt from a civil aviation fund fee starting Jan. 1, it said.Commodity Shippers Face ‘Crisis in Demand’ (11:27 a.m. HK)The global commodity-shipping industry faces an extremely challenging quarter as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China adds to other headwinds including seasonally low demand and the impact of recent fuel-rule changes, according to IHS Markit.The spreading health emergency in Asia’s top economy, the world’s largest importer of iron ore, has sent shock waves through raw material markets, and the companies that ferry goods across the world’s oceans. Freight rates have swooned amid gathering indications that demand for cargoes will slump.There are signs of congestion building up at ports, and reports mills are cutting output, Rahul Kapoor, global head of commodity analytics and research for maritime and trade, told Bloomberg Television.Want to Avoid Virus on a Plane? Wash Your Hands (9:37 a.m. HK)Forget face masks and rubber gloves. The best way to avoid the coronavirus on a flight is frequent hand washing, according to a medical adviser to the world’s airlines.The virus can’t survive long on seats or armrests, so physical contact with another person carries the greatest risk of infection on a flight, said David Powell, a physician and medical adviser to the International Air Transport Association. Masks and gloves do a better job of spreading bugs than stopping them, he said.Read the full story here.Vietnam Quarantines Ships From China Ports: VietnamPlus (9:24 a.m. HK)Ships arriving at Vietnam’s northern Haiphong city port that have visited China in the last two weeks will be quarantined to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, news website VietnamPlus reported.The regulation went into effect Feb. 4, the report said, citing a regulation of the port authority under the Vietnam Maritime Administration.Japan Finds 10 More Cases on Cruise Ship (8:35 a.m. HK)Japan’s Health Ministry said it found an additional 10 cases of the novel coronavirus on a quarantined cruise ship off Yokohama. That would bring the total number of cases on the vessel to 20.The Diamond Princess was placed under quarantine this week before it reached Japan and checks were conducted after a passenger from Hong Kong who had been on the ship tested positive for the virus.More than 7,000 passengers and crew are being held in quarantine in Hong Kong and Japan as their cruises turned into confinement. In Hong Kong, the cruise ship World Dream, owned by Genting HK’s Dream Cruises, was quarantined after three travelers who disembarked in China were diagnosed with the coronavirus.The new infections bring to 45 the number of people in Japan confirmed to have the disease.(Earlier versions of this article were corrected to remove and clarify a reference about an apology to Chinese doctor following reprimand by officials, and to correct the spelling of the city of Tianjin.)\--With assistance from Linly Lin, Kyunghee Park, Chunying Zhang, Isabel Reynolds, Angus Whitley, Krystal Chia, Haidi Lun, Takashi Hirokawa, Abbas Al Lawati, Belinda Cao and Shelly Hagan.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at email@example.com;Jason Gale in Melbourne at firstname.lastname@example.org;Drew Armstrong in New York at email@example.com;Dong Lyu in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org;Haze Fan in Beijing at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Drew Armstrong at email@example.com, Mark SchoifetFor 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.