AXA planning IPO
AXA SA, Europe’s second-largest insurer, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of its US operations to fund expansion and potentially return money to shareholders. AXA intends to list a minority stake in its US businesses and expects to include its US Life and Savings unit and stake in money manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP in the IPO, the company said in a statement yesterday. The listing would take place in the first half of next year, subject to market conditions, helping speed up AXA’s achievement of its 2020 profit goals. Axa plans to reinvest the proceeds into its priority businesses, which include health, protection and commercial property and casualty lines.
Apple to monitor sleep
Apple Inc already tracks its users footsteps and fitness levels and now it wants to analyze people’s sleep. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has acquired Beddit, a maker of sleep-tracking hardware and software, according to a message on the Finland-based company’s Web site. Beddit sells a US$150 sensor strip that can be placed under bed sheets and transfers sleep-related information to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch for analysis. The accompanying Beddit app can tell users how long they slept and break down the night into categories such as “restless sleep,” “snoring” and “awake.” Like the Apple Watch, it also provides heart rate data to an iPhone. The deal would allow Apple greater access to the health tracking business. The company has been working on sleep tracking functionality for the Apple Watch for a number of years. Beddit’s technology is expected to help with that.
Merger faces probe
Just Eat PLC’s ￡200 million (US$259 million) acquisition of Hungryhouse faces an in-depth probe by UK regulators over concerns it could lead to poorer service for British restaurants using either delivery service. The planned merger is to be referred to a Phase 2 investigation, the British Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement yesterday. Its concerns are based on the fact that the two are close competitors because of similar services and broad geographical coverage and a merger could lead to “worse terms” for its restaurant clients, the regulator said. Just Eat in December last year agreed to buy Hungryhouse from Delivery Hero Holding GmbH to fend off growing competition from competitors like Deliveroo, UberEATS and Amazon Restaurants, which were also cited in the authority’s statement.
Credit Suisse hiring in US
Credit Suisse Group AG is adding 1,200 jobs to its offices in Raleigh, North Carolina. Credit Suisse is to increase its finance, technology and operations workforce this year through a combination of moving roles from New York and making new hires, the bank said. The firm already employs about 1,500 people in the area and is to receive US$40.2 million in tax reimbursements over 12 years if it meets hiring and investment targets, the state’s governor said in a statement. While Credit Suisse is retrenching globally as part of a turnaround plan, its cost-cutting efforts have been a boost to the operations in North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. Global banks including Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc have been moving a greater portion of employees to lower-cost locations as part of plans to trim expenses amid low interest rates, weak trading revenue and legal bills tied to past misconduct.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion