Hyundai eyes India IPO
Hyundai Motor Co is set to hire banks including Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co for an initial public offering (IPO) of its Indian unit that could raise about US$2.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. India’s second-largest carmaker is also in talks with other banks as it pulls together a roster of advisers for the offer that might come this year, the people said. If the South Korean company does proceed with an IPO, it will use the cash raised to expand operations, Bloomberg News reported this week. India accounted for 13 percent of Hyundai’s global sales last year.
Citi urges moderate drinking
Citigroup Inc dealmakers were told to be disciplined when consuming alcohol at client events after the bank received complaints of unruly behavior, according to people with knowledge of the matter. In calls late this week, bankers at all levels — from analysts to managing directors — were reminded to keep the firm’s reputation in mind when drinking, the people said. The senior bankers leading the calls did not put a complete curb on consumption of alcohol, noting that drinking in business settings has wide cultural acceptance, the people said. Citigroup’s management is cutting 20,000 roles, but has so far left investment banking less affected than other divisions.
Meta frees Singapore space
Meta Platforms Inc is giving up its lease for seven floors of office space in Singapore that is set to expire at the end of September, the Business Times reported on Thursday. The Facebook parent had conveyed its decision to not renew its lease at South Beach Tower in June last year, the newspaper reported, citing Samantha Tan, general manager of developer South Beach Consortium Pte Ltd. That was just three months after a round of global layoffs by Meta in March last year. Meta started moving staff out of its 115,000-square-feet South Beach Tower offices in the first half of last year, consolidating its teams at its office in Marina One in the financial district, the report said.
Petroleos Mexicanos ‘caa3’
Petroleos Mexicanos would be near default without the Mexican government’s support, Moody’s Investors Service said, downgrading the state oil company’s debt further into junk territory. The credit rating company lowered Pemex’s corporate debt to “B3” from “B1” and maintained its “negative” outlook, according to a statement on Friday. Another measure that considers government dependence, which Moody’s calls the Baseline Credit Assessment, was cut to “ca” from “caa3,” indicating the company would be highly likely to default without backing from the state. Pemex, the world’s most indebted oil company, has seen its debt burden balloon to around US$106 billion while production lags and profits slump.
Neuralink goes to Nevada
Elon Musk’s brain implant company, Neuralink Corp, switched the location of its business incorporation to Nevada from Delaware, according to the office of the Nevada secretary of state and a notice sent to shareholders in the company. The change, completed on Thursday, follows Musk’s outburst against Delaware after a judge there struck down his US$55 billion Tesla Inc compensation package. In a post on X, the social network he owns, Musk advised founders not to incorporate in the state.
Jobs data raise eyebrows
A stronger-than-expected jobs report on Friday led some of Canada’s more dovish forecasters to revise their views on when they think the central bank will start cutting interest rates. The shift came after the nation’s job market on Friday reported the biggest gains in four months last month. The unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent, the first such decline since December 2022. Capital Economics’ Stephen Brown and Desjardins Securities’ Royce Mendes joined the consensus of economists in a Bloomberg survey who see the Bank of Canada lowering its policy rate at its June 5 decision. Previously, both firms were expecting a cut in April.
BASF to shed China stakes
German chemical company BASF AG said on Friday it was speeding up the sale of stakes in two joint ventures in China after its local partner was accused in media reports of human rights abuses. BASF said in a news release that the market for the industrial chemicals made at the production sites in Korla in China’s Xinjiang region was under increased competitive pressure and oversupplied. The company said it had already begun the divestment process. However, it added that recent reports had contained “serious allegations” about activities “inconsistent with BASF’s values.” The company said it remained committed to the China market.
Sony buying half of Jackson
Sony Group Corp is acquiring a half interest in pop star Michael Jackson’s music catalog from the late singer’s estate for at least US$600 million, Billboard reported, saying it’s the largest such deal ever. The agreement might also include songs from other artists that are part of the Mijac publishing catalog, the music industry publication reported, citing sources it did not identify. The assets include ownership of master recordings and publishing for Jackson’s share of his songs, as well as the Mijac catalog. Jackson’s estate had earlier sold its half interest in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a joint venture that included the Beatles songs.
Bezos unloads shares
Jeff Bezos unloaded 12 million shares of Amazon.com Inc this week, the first time the billionaire has sold the company’s stock since 2021. The sales took place on Wednesday and Thursday and netted just over US$2 billion, according to a filing. Amazon disclosed on Feb. 2 that Bezos plans to sell as many as 50 million shares of Amazon over the next 12 months, potentially cashing in on a stock surge that has put him within reach of becoming the world’s richest person. His fortune has climbed US$22.6 billion this year to US$199.5 billion as of Friday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Mergers to ramp up: Ebel
The surge in energy industry mergers and acquisitions — marked by a series of megadeals among oil producers last year — is set to ramp up further this year as interest rates decline, Enbridge Inc chief executive officer Greg Ebel said on Bloomberg Television on Friday. “After a couple years of tightening you see a couple years of easing, and people will be looking for those growth opportunities,” Ebel said. The energy industry has seen a wave of consolidation in recent months, including Exxon Mobil Corp’s US$60 billion purchase of Pioneer Natural Resources Co and Chevron Corp’s US$53 billion takeover of Hess Corp.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing’s (TSMC, 台積電) first wafer fab in Kumamoto, Japan is still set to launch commercial production in the fourth quarter of this year as planned, the world’s largest contract chipmaker said on Saturday in response to reports that mass production might begin ahead of schedule. TSMC said the monthly production capacity of the joint venture fab, Japan Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing (JASM), is expected to hit 55,000 units of 12-inch wafers, using the mature 12-nanometer, 16-nanometer, 22-nanometer and 28-nanometer processes. JASM is owned by TSMC and its Japanese business partners Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corp and Denso Corp, with the Taiwanese company
US President Joe Biden’s administration is in talks to confer more than US$10 billion in subsidies to Intel Corp, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be the largest award yet under a plan to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to US soil. Intel’s award package is expected to include both loans and direct grants, the source said. They stressed that negotiations are still under way. The US Department of Commerce and Intel declined to comment. The incentives would come from the 2022 Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, which set aside US$39 billion in direct grants as
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that promises to create short videos from simple text commands has raised concerns along with questions from artists and media professionals. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT and image generator DALL-E, on Thursday said it was testing a text-to-video model called “Sora” that can allow users to create realistic videos with simple prompts. The San Francisco-based start-up said that Sora can “generate complex scenes with multiple characters, specific types of motion, and accurate details of the subject and background,” but added that it still has limitations, such as possibly “mixing up left and right.” Examples of Sora-created clips
Super Micro Computer Inc’s lengthy rally came to a shuddering halt on Friday, with a selloff that derailed what had looked to be the server maker’s best week on record. Shares fell 20 percent, their biggest one-day percentage drop since August last year. The decline comes in the wake of a nine-session run of gains, the longest such streak for the stock since 2016. However, even with the day’s selloff, the stock rose 8.5 percent for the week. Despite Friday’s drop, recent gains show how Super Micro has become one of the hottest names in artificial intelligence (AI). The stock has risen