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MEF BUSINESS NEWS 15 APRIL 2024 Gold surged close to a record high following Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, driving demand for safe-haven assets. The conflict escalated as Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles, though most were intercepted and there were no casualties reported. Gold initially rose by 1.2% before retracing half of that gain. It had breached $2,400 an ounce but closed lower as technical indicators suggested an overheated rally, leading to investor liquidation. However, renewed concerns over potential Israeli retaliation are expected to support gold in the short term. —————- Oil and Asian equity markets were muted following Iran’s military strike on Israel as traders shrugged off fears the conflict could escalate into a full-blown war and curb supplies from the region. Brent crude, the international benchmark, edged down to $90.31 a barrel as trading began in Asia on Monday morning. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was also broadly unchanged at $85.44 a barrel. The subdued reaction suggested markets were betting that the fallout from the strike would be contained after Iran said it considered the matter “concluded” and Washington sought to de-escalate tensions. ——————- Aluminum prices surged to a record on the London Metal Exchange following new US and UK sanctions prohibiting deliveries of Russian supplies produced after midnight on Friday. The move aims to limit President Vladimir Putin’s funding for the war in Ukraine. Despite the restrictions, Russian sales are expected to continue, but the sanctions have injected significant uncertainty into commodities markets. Aluminum spiked by as much as 9.4%, the largest increase since the contract’s inception in 1987, while nickel rose by up to 8.8%, indicating anticipation of supply chain disruption. ——————- Economists in The Wall Street Journal’s latest survey are more optimistic about the U.S. economy, with reduced recession probabilities and higher growth forecasts. The likelihood of a recession within the next year dropped to 29%, the lowest since April 2022. Forecasts now expect growth to reach 1.4% in the third quarter, compared to sub-1% in earlier predictions. Only 10% of respondents anticipate negative growth in the next 12 months, down from 33% previously. —— —— MEF MOBILE NEWS 15 APRIL 2024 Beijing has ordered Chinese telecom carriers, including China Mobile, to replace foreign chips in their core networks by 2027, according to the Wall Street Journal. This directive could impact US chipmakers like Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. China’s state-owned mobile operators, such as China Unicom and China Telecom, are required to inspect their networks and establish timelines for replacing non-Chinese processors. The move is part of Beijing’s broader effort to reduce reliance on American technology and circumvent US sanctions by promoting domestically developed alternatives. ———————- Samsung overtook Apple as the leading smartphone provider in the First quarter, while Chinese brands gained market share, per International Data Corporation. Apple’s shipments fell 9.6% to 50.1 million units, and Samsung’s dropped 0.7% to 60.1 million, making it the top seller. Overall shipments rose 7.8% to 289.4 million units. Apple’s market share fell to 17.3%, and Samsung’s to 20.8%. Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Transsion saw increased sales. Despite economic challenges, the smartphone market is rebounding, with consumers opting for pricier phones and holding onto them longer. ———————- KKR & Co. is reportedly considering appointing Luigi Ferraris, the current head of state-controlled rail company Ferrovie dello Stato, to lead the telecom network business it is acquiring from Telecom Italia, for about 22 billion euros — Bloomberg reports citing people familiar with the matter. The move is part of a series of corporate appointments following an agreement between Telecom Italia, KKR, and the government to spin off the company’s most valuable asset to reduce debt. Stefano Donnarumma, the former CEO of electricity grid operator Terna SpA, is expected to replace Ferraris at Ferrovie as part of the reshuffle. ————- And telecom CEO Pietro Labriola is convinced that the sale of the Telecom network will be concluded in June. In an interview, Labriola explained that If the group remained vertically integrated – quote – “it would not be able to participate in the consolidation nor combine its infrastructure with that of Open Fiber. The context and the industrial and financial constraints — Labriola added — cannot be ignored when evaluating the operation on the network”. ————- The Canadian operator Rogers Communications is being advised against the reappointment of Edward Rogers as Chairman. Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis argued that the board lacks sufficient female representation, with only three out of 14 directors being women. The departure of Martha Rogers and Melinda Rogers-Hixon in January exacerbated this issue. Edward, who holds significant sway over the company as the son of the late founder, is facing criticism for the lack of diversity on the board of Canada’s largest wireless provider and media conglomerate. —— —— MEF TECH NEWS 15 APRIL 2024 Rubrik, a cloud and data security startup, plans to raise up to $713 million in its IPO, Bloomberg reports. The shares will be priced between 28 and 31 dollar each, Reuters had previously reported. Founded in 2013 and backed by Microsoft, Rubrik serves over 6,100 customers, including major institutions and companies like Goldman Sachs, PepsiCo, and Home Depot. Despite revenue growth, the company reported a net loss of $354 million for the year ended Jan. 31. ———- Salesforce’s Marc Benioff is reportedly pursuing a major acquisition of Informatica to enhance the company’s data capabilities, Bloomberg reports. Talks are ongoing, with a deal possibly imminent within a week, though final agreements could take longer. The move follows criticism from activists regarding Salesforce’s acquisition strategy. Informatica competes with Salesforce’s MuleSoft, and regulatory scrutiny is anticipated in the software-as-a-service industry. ———- The leading online used-car marketplace Southeast Asia’s Carro is in talks to raise approximately $100 million in a pre-IPO funding round, potentially valuing the company at over $1.5 billion. CEO Aaron Tan said in a na interview that he aims to solidify Carro’s position in the region’s market, backed by investors like SoftBank, GIC, and Temasek. Having recently achieved its first annual operating profit, Carro seeks to navigate a competitive landscape by introducing innovations to its platform. ———- Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Hanoi for a two-day trip, with plans to enhance the company’s commitments to Vietnam, news website VnExpress reported. Cook will meet with local programmers and content creators during his visit. Apple intends to increase spending on suppliers in Vietnam and support a clean water initiative at a local school. Since 2019, Apple has invested nearly $16 billion in the country through its supply chain partners.
MEF BUSINESS NEWS 15 APRIL 2024 Gold surged close to a record high following Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, driving demand for safe-haven assets. The conflict escalated as Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles, though most were intercepted and there were no casualties reported. Gold initially rose by 1.2% before retracing half of that gain. It had breached $2,400 an ounce but closed lower as technical indicators suggested an overheated rally, leading to investor liquidation. However, renewed concerns over potential Israeli retaliation are expected to support gold in the short term. —————- Oil and Asian equity markets were muted following Iran’s military strike on Israel as traders shrugged off fears the conflict could escalate into a full-blown war and curb supplies from the region. Brent crude, the international benchmark, edged down to $90.31 a barrel as trading began in Asia on Monday morning. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was also broadly unchanged at $85.44 a barrel. The subdued reaction suggested markets were betting that the fallout from the strike would be contained after Iran said it considered the matter “concluded” and Washington sought to de-escalate tensions. ——————- Aluminum prices surged to a record on the London Metal Exchange following new US and UK sanctions prohibiting deliveries of Russian supplies produced after midnight on Friday. The move aims to limit President Vladimir Putin’s funding for the war in Ukraine. Despite the restrictions, Russian sales are expected to continue, but the sanctions have injected significant uncertainty into commodities markets. Aluminum spiked by as much as 9.4%, the largest increase since the contract’s inception in 1987, while nickel rose by up to 8.8%, indicating anticipation of supply chain disruption. ——————- Economists in The Wall Street Journal’s latest survey are more optimistic about the U.S. economy, with reduced recession probabilities and higher growth forecasts. The likelihood of a recession within the next year dropped to 29%, the lowest since April 2022. Forecasts now expect growth to reach 1.4% in the third quarter, compared to sub-1% in earlier predictions. Only 10% of respondents anticipate negative growth in the next 12 months, down from 33% previously. —— —— MEF MOBILE NEWS 15 APRIL 2024 Beijing has ordered Chinese telecom carriers, including China Mobile, to replace foreign chips in their core networks by 2027, according to the Wall Street Journal. This directive could impact US chipmakers like Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. China’s state-owned mobile operators, such as China Unicom and China Telecom, are required to inspect their networks and establish timelines for replacing non-Chinese processors. The move is part of Beijing’s broader effort to reduce reliance on American technology and circumvent US sanctions by promoting domestically developed alternatives. ———————- Samsung overtook Apple as the leading smartphone provider in the First quarter, while Chinese brands gained market share, per International Data Corporation. Apple’s shipments fell 9.6% to 50.1 million units, and Samsung’s dropped 0.7% to 60.1 million, making it the top seller. Overall shipments rose 7.8% to 289.4 million units. Apple’s market share fell to 17.3%, and Samsung’s to 20.8%. Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Transsion saw increased sales. Despite economic challenges, the smartphone market is rebounding, with consumers opting for pricier phones and holding onto them longer. ———————- KKR & Co. is reportedly considering appointing Luigi Ferraris, the current head of state-controlled rail company Ferrovie dello Stato, to lead the telecom network business it is acquiring from Telecom Italia, for about 22 billion euros — Bloomberg reports citing people familiar with the matter. The move is part of a series of corporate appointments following an agreement between Telecom Italia, KKR, and the government to spin off the company’s most valuable asset to reduce debt. Stefano Donnarumma, the former CEO of electricity grid operator Terna SpA, is expected to replace Ferraris at Ferrovie as part of the reshuffle. ————- And telecom CEO Pietro Labriola is convinced that the sale of the Telecom network will be concluded in June. In an interview, Labriola explained that If the group remained vertically integrated – quote – “it would not be able to participate in the consolidation nor combine its infrastructure with that of Open Fiber. The context and the industrial and financial constraints — Labriola added — cannot be ignored when evaluating the operation on the network”. ————- The Canadian operator Rogers Communications is being advised against the reappointment of Edward Rogers as Chairman. Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis argued that the board lacks sufficient female representation, with only three out of 14 directors being women. The departure of Martha Rogers and Melinda Rogers-Hixon in January exacerbated this issue. Edward, who holds significant sway over the company as the son of the late founder, is facing criticism for the lack of diversity on the board of Canada’s largest wireless provider and media conglomerate. —— —— MEF TECH NEWS 15 APRIL 2024 Rubrik, a cloud and data security startup, plans to raise up to $713 million in its IPO, Bloomberg reports. The shares will be priced between 28 and 31 dollar each, Reuters had previously reported. Founded in 2013 and backed by Microsoft, Rubrik serves over 6,100 customers, including major institutions and companies like Goldman Sachs, PepsiCo, and Home Depot. Despite revenue growth, the company reported a net loss of $354 million for the year ended Jan. 31. ———- Salesforce’s Marc Benioff is reportedly pursuing a major acquisition of Informatica to enhance the company’s data capabilities, Bloomberg reports. Talks are ongoing, with a deal possibly imminent within a week, though final agreements could take longer. The move follows criticism from activists regarding Salesforce’s acquisition strategy. Informatica competes with Salesforce’s MuleSoft, and regulatory scrutiny is anticipated in the software-as-a-service industry. ———- The leading online used-car marketplace Southeast Asia’s Carro is in talks to raise approximately $100 million in a pre-IPO funding round, potentially valuing the company at over $1.5 billion. CEO Aaron Tan said in a na interview that he aims to solidify Carro’s position in the region’s market, backed by investors like SoftBank, GIC, and Temasek. Having recently achieved its first annual operating profit, Carro seeks to navigate a competitive landscape by introducing innovations to its platform. ———- Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Hanoi for a two-day trip, with plans to enhance the company’s commitments to Vietnam, news website VnExpress reported. Cook will meet with local programmers and content creators during his visit. Apple intends to increase spending on suppliers in Vietnam and support a clean water initiative at a local school. Since 2019, Apple has invested nearly $16 billion in the country through its supply chain partners.
MEF