GameStop draws scrutiny
The top securities regulator in Massachusetts thinks trading in GameStop Corp stock, which on Tuesday skyrocketed for a fourth straight day, suggests there is something “systemically wrong” with the options trading surrounding the stock, Barron’s reported. The video game retailer’s after-hours surge added to a 93 percent jump during Tuesday’s trading session, with the stock propelled by traders on WallStreetBets, many of them buying volatile call options. “This is certainly on my radar,” Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William Galvin told the magazine. “I’m concerned because it suggests that there is something systemically wrong with the options trading on this stock.” GameStop stock surged 50 percent in extended trade after Elon Musk tweeted “Gamestonk!!” “Stonks” is a tongue-in-cheek term for stocks widely used on social media.
Foreign house buying falls
Foreigners snapping up private apartments declined to a 17-year low last year, as travel restrictions and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic deterred them from traveling to the city-state. Purchases of units fell to 742, real-estate consultancy firms ERA Realty Network and OrangeTee & Tie Pte said. That is the lowest since 2003, when non-permanent residents bought 671 units during the SARS epidemic. The figures are based on analysis of government data as of Tuesday that takes into account new, sub-sale and second-hand apartments. Non-permanent resident apartment purchases last year accounted for just 4.1 percent of total sales, the lowest in more than two decades, the data showed.
Goldman slashes CEO pay
Goldman Sachs Group Inc cut the salary of CEO David Solomon for last year by US$10 million to US$17.5 million because of the bank’s role in the 1MDB Malaysian bribery scandal, documents filed on Tuesday showed. “The amounts of remuneration reflect the decision announced by the board of directors,” a securities filing that also detailed pay cuts for chief operating officer John Waldron and chief financial officer Stephen Scherr showed. While the three were not “aware of the firm’s participation in any illicit activity at the time the firm arranged the 1MDB bond transactions, the Board views the 1MDB matter as an institutional failure,” it said.
Volta to launch electric truck
Anglo-Swedish start-up Volta Trucks is to launch its urban electric truck this year, the group said yesterday, tapping into keen demand for electrified transport. Volta Trucks has developed what it bills as the world’s first purpose-built fully electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle that is designed to criss-cross cities for short journeys. The young firm, founded in Sweden in 2019, this week sealed a US$20 million investment to help boost production of the Volta Zero, which has a driving range of 150 to 200km.
Brewer to head Walgreens
US drugstore giant Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) on Tuesday named Starbucks Corp executive Roz Brewer as its new CEO — an appointment that US media said would make her the only black woman leading a Fortune 500 company. “Brewer brings to WBA a proven track record of leadership and operational expertise at multinational corporations,” WBA said in a statement, adding that outgoing CEO Stefano Pessina would become executive chairman of the board.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Alibaba is one of a number of Chinese firms that has answered Beijing’s call to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) yesterday unveiled a new server chip that is based on advanced 5-nanometer technology, marking a milestone in China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency. The Chinese tech giant’s newest chip is based on micro-architecture provided by the SoftBank Group Corp-owned Arm Ltd, it said. Alibaba, which is holding its annual cloud summit in Hangzhou, China, said that the chip is to be used in its own data centers in the “near future” and would not, for the time being, be sold commercially. “Customizing our own server chips is consistent with our ongoing efforts toward boosting our computing capabilities with better
‘SHORT-TERM ECONOMIC PAIN’: A military takeover would only temporarily weigh on wafer production on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, IC Insights said Taiwan has more chip manufacturing capacity than any other economy in the world, US-based market information advisory firm IC Insights said in a research paper last week, cautioning that the nation’s strength could prompt China to attempt to take over Taiwan. Taiwan commanded 21.4 percent of global installed IC capacity, ahead of South Korea’s 20.4 percent, Japan’s 15.8 percent and China’s 15.3 percent, North America’s 12.6 percent and Europe’s 5.7 percent, IC Insights said. Taiwan is one of two countries that uses 10-nanometer technology or better to produce wafers, holding 62.8 percent of global capacity, with South Korea holding the remaining 37.2
AGGRESSIVE STEP: With the new processors, Apple is aiming at the high-end chips Intel has provided for the MacBook Pro and other top-end Macs for about 15 years Apple Inc on Monday took the most aggressive step yet to strip Intel Corp chips from its computers, announcing more powerful homegrown Mac processors alongside a total revamp of its MacBook Pro laptop computers. The company showcased the chips at an event called “Unleashed,” which also included its latest audio products. The new components, called the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, are 70 percent faster than its M1 predecessors, Apple said. It also unveiled a redesigned MacBook Pro, adding larger screens, MagSafe charging and better resolution. With the new processors and devices, Apple is aiming squarely at the high-end chips that Intel has
PRICE SPREAD: Oil trading under the Brent futures contract is giving the US a hefty edge in pricing, increasing the rush to secure cheap fuel as winter approaches Asian demand for US oil is rising as the energy crisis boosts prices for other crudes that are priced against the global Brent futures contract. China and other Asian buyers have been snapping up supertankers of US oil for delivery next month and seeking more for December, some traders have said. Most buyers are seeking US grades that had recently slumped to the lowest levels in more than a year, with an added incentive after Beijing awarded millions of tonnes of crude oil import quotas. A wide spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures is accommodating higher US crude