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November 26, 2022 – rdspinvestments

November 26, 2022

Protests erupt in Xinjiang and Beijing after deadly fire

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Coronavirus 12 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 04:06PM ET)

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Protests erupt in Xinjiang and Beijing after deadly fire© Reuters. Protests against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak measures in Urumqi city, Xinjiang Uygur, China in this screen grab obtained from a video released November 25, 2022.Video obtained by Reuters/via REUTERS

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By Yew Lun Tian

(Reuters) – Public anger in China towards widening COVID-19 lockdowns across the country erupted into rare protests in China’s far western Xinjiang region and the country’s capital of Beijing, as nationwide infections set another record.

Crowds took to the streets on Friday night in Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi, chanting “End the lockdown!” and pumping their fists in the air, after a deadly fire on Thursday triggered anger over their prolonged COVID-19 lockdown according to videos circulated on Chinese social media on Friday night.

Videos showed people in a plaza singing China’s national anthem with its lyric, “Rise up, those who refuse to be slaves!” while others shouted that they wanted to be released from lockdowns.

Reuters verified that the footage was published from Urumqi, where many of its 4 million residents have been under some of the country’s longest lockdowns, barred from leaving their homes for as long as 100 days.

In the capital of Beijing 2,700 km (1,678 miles) away, some residents under lockdown staged small-scale protests or confronted their local officials over movement restrictions placed on them, with some successfully pressuring them into lifting them ahead of a schedule.

A crucial spark for the public anger was a fire in a high-rise building in Urumqi that killed 10 on Thursday night, whose case went viral on social media as many internet users surmised that residents could not escape in time because the building was partially locked down.

Urumqi officials abruptly held a news conference in the early hours of Saturday to deny COVID measures had hampered escape and rescue, but internet users continued to question the official narrative.

“The Urumqi fire got everyone in the country upset,” said Sean Li, a resident in Beijing.

A planned lockdown for his compound “Berlin Aiyue” was called off on Friday after residents protested to their local leader and convinced him to cancel it, negotiations that were captured by a video posted on social media.

The residents had caught wind of the plan after seeing workers putting barriers on their gates. “That tragedy could have happened to any of us,” he said.

By Saturday evening, at least ten other compounds lifted lockdown before the announced end-date after residents complained, according to a Reuters tally of social media posts by residents.

A separate video shared with Reuters showed Beijing residents in an unidentifiable part of the city marching around an open-air carpark on Saturday, shouting “End the lockdown”.

The Beijing government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

ASKING TOUGH QUESTIONS

Dali Yang, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, said the comments from authorities that the residents of the Urumqi building had been able to go downstairs and thus escape was likely to have been perceived as victim-blaming and further fuelled public anger.

“During the first two years of COVID, people trusted the government to make the best decisions to keep them safe from the virus. Now people are increasingly asking tough questions and are wary about following orders,” Yang said.

Xinjiang is home to 10 million Uyghurs. Rights groups and Western governments have long accused Beijing of abuses against the mainly Muslim ethnic minority, including forced labour in internment camps. China strongly rejects such claims.

China defends President Xi Jinping’s signature zero-COVID policy as life-saving and necessary to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system. Officials have vowed to continue with it despite the growing public pushback and its mounting toll on the world’s second-biggest economy.

China said on Friday it would cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves for the second time this year, releasing liquidity to prop up a faltering economy.

The next few weeks could be the worst in China since the early weeks of the pandemic both for the economy and the healthcare system, Mark Williams of Capital Economics said in note this week, as efforts to contain the current outbreak will require additional localised lockdowns in many cities, which will further depress economic activity.

For Friday, the country recorded 34,909 daily local cases, low by global standards but the third record in a row, with infections spreading numerous cities, prompting widespread lockdowns and other curbs on movement and business.

Shanghai, China’s most populous city and financial hub which endured a two month lockdown earlier this year, tightened testing requirements on Saturday for entering cultural venues such as museums and libraries, requiring people to present a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours, down from 72 hours earlier.

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India’s first private rocket company looks to slash satellite costs

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Stock Markets 13 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 07:15AM ET)

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India's first private rocket company looks to slash satellite costs© Reuters. Employees pose in front of Vikram-S rocket, India?s first private rocket developed by Skyroot, an Indian Space-Tech startup, at a spaceport in Sriharikota, India, November 18, 2022. Skyroot/Handout via REUTERS

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By Nivedita Bhattacharjee

BENGALURU (Reuters) – The startup behind India’s first private space launch plans to put a satellite into orbit in 2023 and expects to be able to do so at half of the cost of established launch companies, the founders of Skyroot Aerospace told Reuters in an interview.

The Hyderabad-based company, backed by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, says the $68 million it has raised will fund its next two launches. Skyroot has been in contact with more than 400 potential customers, it says.

Thousands of small satellite launches are planned in coming years as companies build out networks to deliver broadband services like SpaceX’s Starlink and to power applications like tracking supply chains or monitoring offshore oil rigs.

Skyroot faces both established and up-and-coming rocket launch rivals that also promise to bring down costs. In China, startup Galactic Energy put five satellites into orbit last week in its fourth successful launch.

In Japan, Space One, backed by Canon Electronics and IHI Corp, plans to launch 20 small rockets per year by the middle of the decade.

But Skyroot, which launched a test rocket last week, expects to cut the cost of a launch by 50% compared with current pricing for established competitors like Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit and California-based Rocket Lab USA Inc.

Pawan Chandana, one of Skyroot’s two co-founders, told Reuters he expected a surge in demand for the company’s launch services if it proves itself with launches set for next year.

“Most of these customers have been building constellations and will be launching them in the next five years,” he said.

The Modi government’s push to increase India’s share of the global space launch market from just 1% has given investors confidence that Skyroot and other startups have government backing for their efforts, Skyroot says.

“Three or four months back when we were talking to investors, one of the biggest questions they asked was if the government was supporting us,” Skyroot co-founder Bharath Daka told Reuters.

India opened the door to private space companies in 2020 with a regulatory overhaul and a new agency to boost private-sector launches.

Before that, companies could only act as contractors to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a government space agency with a reputation of its own for frugal engineering. The country’s Mars mission in 2014 cost only $74 million, less than the budget of the Hollywood space movie “Gravity”.

Building on India’s record for cost efficiency will be key, said Chandana. Skyroot, founded in 2018 when Chandana and Daka quit jobs at ISRO, has set a target to develop rockets for one-fifth of the current industry costs.

The Skyroot rocket that reached 89.5 kilometers altitude in last week’s test launch used carbon-fibre components and 3D-printed parts, including the thrusters. That boosted efficiency by 30%, the company says, cutting weight and procurement costs, although it meant Skryoot engineers had to write the machine code for vendors who fabricated the rocket because few had experience working with carbon fibre.

With 3D printing, Skyroot believes it can build a new rocket in just two days as it works towards reusable rockets, a technology pioneered by SpaceX.

Chandana and Daka believe the per-kilogram launch cost for a satellite can be brought down to nearly $10, from thousands of dollars currently, a stretch target that could upend the economics of space commerce and one that draws inspiration from their idol: Elon Musk.

“SpaceX is a symbol of great innovation and great market validation,” said Chandana, who added they have not had the chance to speak to Musk.

“Right now, we think he’s probably busy running Twitter.”

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Taiwan president quits as party head after China threat bet fails to win votes

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World 15 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 04:08PM ET)

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Taiwan president quits as party head after China threat bet fails to win votes© Reuters. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen attends a campaign rally of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of the local elections, in Taipei, Taiwan November 25, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

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By Sarah Wu and Yimou Lee

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Saturday after her strategy to frame local elections as showing defiance to China’s rising bellicosity failed to pay off and win public support.

The elections for mayors, county chiefs and local councillors are ostensibly about domestic issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and crime, and those elected will not have a direct say on China policy.

But Tsai had recast the election as being more than a local vote, saying the world is watching how Taiwan defends its democracy amid military tensions with China, which claims the island as its territory.

The main opposition party the Kuomintang, or KMT, was leading or claimed victory in 13 of the 21 city mayor and county chief seats up for grabs, including the capital Taipei, compared to the DPP’s five, broadly in line with expectations and similar to the results of the last local elections in 2018.

“The results failed our expectations. We humbly accept the results and accept the Taiwanese people’s decision,” Tsai told reporters at party headquarters as she quit as party head, which she also did after 2018’s poor results.

“It’s not like the DPP has never failed before,” Tsai, who will continue serving as president until 2024, added. “We don’t have time to feel sorry. We fell, but we will stand up again.”

Tsai said she had rejected a resignation offer from Premier Su Tseng-chang, also a senior DPP member, adding she had asked him to stay in office to ensure her policies would be properly implemented.

The Cabinet said Su had agreed to stay due to the need for stability amid the “arduous” domestic and international situation.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said the result showed that mainstream Taiwanese public opinion was for peace, stability and “a good life”, and that Beijing would keep working with Taiwan’s people to promote peaceful relations and to oppose Taiwan independence and foreign interference.

‘RED’ ACCUSATIONS

Both the DPP and KMT, which traditionally favours close ties with China though strongly denies being pro-Beijing, had concentrated their campaign efforts in wealthy and populous northern Taiwan, especially Taipei, whose mayor from the small Taiwan People’s Party could not run again due to term limits.

The KMT has accused Tsai and the DPP of being overly confrontational with China, and of trying to besmirch the party for being “red” – a reference to the colours of the Chinese Communist Party.

It focused its campaign on criticising the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially after a surge in cases this year.

KMT Chairman Eric Chu celebrated their victory, but said they would also protect Taiwan’s freedoms.

“We will insist on defending the Republic of China and protecting democracy and freedom,” he told reporters, using Taiwan’s official name. “We will also work hard to keep regional peace.”

China carried out war games near Taiwan in August to express anger at a visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and its military activities have continued, though on a reduced scale.

The election took place a month after the 20th congress of China’s Communist Party, where President Xi Jinping secured an unprecedented third term in office – a point Tsai repeatedly made on the campaign trail.

Focus will now turn to the 2024 presidential and parliament election, which Tsai and the DPP won by a landslide in 2020 on a pledge to stand up to China and defend Taiwan’s freedoms.

Tsai is serving her second term in office and cannot stand again as president because of term limits.

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U.S. Black Friday online sales hit record $9 billion despite high inflation- Adobe Analytics

Economic Indicators Nov 26, 2022 04:05PM ET

U.S. Black Friday online sales hit record $9 billion despite high inflation- Adobe Analytics© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman passes by signs advertising sales of Black Friday in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

(Reuters) -U.S. shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion online this Black Friday, a report showed on Saturday, as consumers weathered the squeeze from high inflation and grabbed steep discounts on everything from smartphones to toys.

Online spending rose 2.3% on Black Friday, Adobe (NASDAQ:) Inc’s data and insights arm Adobe Analytics said, thanks to consumers holding out for discounts until the traditionally big shopping days, despite deals starting as early as October.

Adobe Analytics, which measures e-commerce by analyzing transactions at websites, has access to data covering purchases at 85% of the top 100 internet retailers in the United States.

It had forecast Black Friday sales to rise a modest 1%.

Adobe expects Cyber Monday to be the season’s biggest online shopping day again, driving $11.2 billion in spend.

Consumers were expected to flock to stores after the pandemic put a dampener on in-store shopping over the past two years, but Black Friday morning saw stores draw less traffic than usual with sporadic rain in some parts of the country.

Americans turned to smartphones to make their holiday purchases, with data from Adobe showing mobile shopping represented 48% of all Black Friday digital sales.

Belarus foreign minister Makei dies suddenly – Belta

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World 10 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 11:30AM ET)

Belarus foreign minister Makei dies suddenly  - Belta© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei looks on during a joint news conference with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (not pictured), in Tehran, Iran October 26, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) – Belarus’s long-standing foreign minister has died suddenly, the state news agency Belta reported on Saturday, two days before he was meant to meet his Russian counterpart.

“Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei has passed away suddenly,” Belta reported without giving further detail. Makei had held his post since 2012.

Makei, 64, attended a conference of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) – a military alliance of several post soviet states – in Yerevan earlier this week and was due to meet Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

Before the presidential elections and mass anti-government protests in Belarus in 2020, Makei had been one of the initiators of efforts to improve Belarus’ relations with the West and had criticised Russia.

However, he abruptly changed his stance after the start of the protests, saying they were inspired by agents of the West.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, Makei, a supporter of close ties between Moscow and Minsk, said the West had provoked the war and that the Ukrainian authorities should agree to the Russian terms of peace.

A few days before the start of the war, Makei promised that there would be no attack on Ukraine from the territory of Belarus. A few days later, Russian troops proved that he was wrong.

“We are shocked by the reports of the death of the Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Vladimir Makei,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova posted in her Telegram channel. “Official condolences will be published soon.”

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who retained power despite the protests of 2020, also expressed his condolences.

Exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, commenting on the minister’s death called Makei a traitor to the Belarusian people.

“In 2020, Makei betrayed the Belarusian people and supported tyranny. This is how the Belarusian people will remember him,” Tsikhanouskaya said.

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Ukraine wants lower cap on Russian oil, at $30-$40 per barrel

Ukraine wants lower cap on Russian oil, at $30-$40 per barrel© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits Kherson, Ukraine November 14, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) – The price for Russian seaborne oil should be capped at between $30 and $40 per barrel, lower than the level that Group of Seven nations have proposed, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Saturday.

European Union governments, seeking to curb Moscow’s ability to fund the Ukraine war without causing an oil supply shock, are split over a G7 push that the cap be set at $65 to $70 per barrel. It is due to enter into force on Dec. 5.

“The limit that is being considered today – about $60 – I think this is an artificial limit,” said Zelenskiy, who has consistently pushed allies to impose tougher sanctions of all types against Russia.

“We would like the sanctions to be very effective in this fight, so that the limit is at the level of $30-$40, so Russia feels them (the sanctions),” he told a news conference.

The idea of the cap is to prohibit shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than the price set by the G7 and its allies.

Poland, Estonia and Lithuania are pushing for a much lower cap than $65-70 per barrel while Greece, Cyprus and Malta want a higher cap.

Chevron can resume key role in Venezuela’s oil output, exports

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Commodities 15 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 05:50PM ET)

Chevron can resume key role in Venezuela's oil output, exports© Reuters. The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Chevron (CVX) is seen in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

By Daphne Psaledakis and Marianna Parraga

WASHINGTON/HOUSTON (Reuters) -Chevron Corp on Saturday received a U.S. license allowing the second-largest U.S. oil company to expand its production in Venezuela and bring the South American country’s to the United States.

The decision grants broader rights for the last big U.S. oil company still operating in U.S.-sanctioned Venezuela. However, it restricts any cash payments to Venezuela, which could reduce the oil available to export.

License terms are designed to prevent state-run oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, from receiving proceeds from Chevron (NYSE:)’s petroleum sales, U.S. officials said. The license lasts for six months and will be automatically renewed monthly thereafter, the U.S. Treasury said.

The U.S. authorization “brings added transparency to the Venezuelan oil sector” and allows Chevron to benefit from sales of “oil that is currently being produced” by its joint ventures with PDVSA, the California-based company said in a statement.

POLITICAL TALKS

Following oil sanctions on Venezuela in 2019, Chevron received an exemption to trade its Venezuelan crude to recoup pending debts. But those privileges were suspended a year later. Chevron’s four PDVSA joint ventures produced about 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil and exported the crude around the world prior to the sanctions.

The United States issued the license on the same day that Venezuela and opposition leaders began a political dialogue in Mexico City by agreeing to ask the United Nations to oversee a fund providing food, healthcare and infrastructure to Venezuelans.

Terms bar Chevron from helping the OPEC member develop new oilfields but provides a way for the company to recoup some of the billions of dollars owed by PDVSA through the oil sales. It also allows the U.S. company to import supplies to help process the country’s crude oil into exportable grades.

Oilfield service firms Baker Hughes, Halliburton (NYSE:), Schlumberger (NYSE:) and Weatherford International (NASDAQ:) had their U.S. licenses renewed but not expanded. That limits any wider expansion of Venezuelan oil production.

Spokespeople for the four, only two of which still have equipment in the country, did not immediately respond to requests for comment, or had no immediate comment.

The United States, which first levied sanctions on PDVSA in 2017, said it reserved the right to rescind or revoke the license at any time. A spokesperson insisted the authorization was not a response to this year’s sharp rise in energy prices.

“This action reflects longstanding U.S. policy to provide targeted sanctions relief based on concrete steps that alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and support the restoration of democracy,” the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

The United States over the years has increased sanctions on Venezuela, seeking to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro over his 2018 reelection, which was not recognized by the west. Maduro has clung to power with the help of PDVSA, Russia and Iran.

Maduro has gained new clout with the rise of leftist leaders in Latin America and a fractured opposition struggling from a lack of funds, and with leaders exiled or imprisoned.

U.S. officials traveled to Caracas this year and held talks that led to the release of seven Americans held in Venezuelan jails in return for the release of two relatives of Maduro held on drug convictions.

U.S. REFINERS

The authorization provides limited new supplies of crude to a market struggling to replace Russian barrels shunned by Western buyers over its invasion of Ukraine. Chevron and other U.S. oil refiners could benefit from supplies of Venezuela’s heavy crude flowing to their U.S. Gulf Coast processing plants.

Analysts cautioned that Maduro is likely to bristle at license restrictions, including the lack of cash payments that his administration sought.

The authorization bans any payment of oil royalties and taxes to the Venezuelan government, or in-kind payments to PDVSA. It also bars Chevron from transactions with Russian-controlled companies operating in Venezuela.

Terms will “require significant reporting by Chevron on financial operations of their joint ventures to ensure transparency,” a U.S. official said, adding that other sanctions on Venezuela and its officials remain in place.

“There is not a big incentive in the short term” for Venezuela, said Francisco Monaldi, an expert on Latin American energy policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Terms could be relaxed over time, he added.

“We’ll see how Maduro’s government reacts to it and how many cargoes will be assigned to Chevron after,” Monaldi said.

The United States earlier this year began considering Chevron’s request to expand operations with more urgency as Washington sought oil to replace supplies hit by sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and more recently as OPEC cut its output.

Venezuela holds about 300 billion barrels of oil reserves, the world’s largest, but has been unable to hit its production targets due to underinvestment, poor maintenance, lack of supplies and U.S. sanctions.

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Ukraine wants lower cap on Russian oil, at $30-$40 per barrel

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Stock buybacks of the week: Autodesk authorizes $5 billion

Stock Markets Nov 26, 2022 04:04PM ET

Stock buybacks of the week: Autodesk authorizes $5 billion© Reuters.

Here are some of the biggest share-buyback announcements from this holiday-shortened week, all first covered on InvestingPro+.

Autodesk (NASDAQ:) approved a $5 billion share-repurchase authorization as it also issued in-line Q3 earnings and under-consensus guidance for Q4.

Following the soft guidance, Mizuho downgraded ADSK to Neutral from Buy with a $210 per share price target (down from $260). “Given an increasingly uncertain operating environment, we find it difficult to continue recommending the name going into a more challenging FY24,” the analyst said. Oppenheimer cut the price target to $220 from the prior $255 per share. Autodesk shares were off 8.3% for the week to $200.66.

Azenta Inc (NASDAQ:) said it had entered into a $500 million accelerated share repurchase agreement with JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:), pursuant to its previously announced $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization. In addition to this, Azenta also said it intends to repurchase at least an additional $500 million in stock over the next year. Shares were off 4.3% to $57.79 for the week.

Gaotu Techedu Inc DRC (NYSE:) said it would buy back up to $30 million in shares, said CEO Larry Xiangdong Chen, “to demonstrate our management’s unwavering confidence in our company’s future development.” He added, “I also intend to personally purchase up to US$20 million of our shares.” Shares lost 3.7% to $1.05 for the week.

Verra Mobility (NASDAQ:) Corporation said it would repurchase up to $100 million of its Class A common stock over the next 18 months. CEO David Roberts said, “We remain committed to delivering value to our stockholders through a disciplined and flexible capital allocation strategy,” Shares were up 1.1% to $15.86 for the week.

ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc (NYSE:) increased its share-repurchase authorization to $1.5 billion from the prior $1 billion and extended the effective time by one year, through June 30, 2024. Shares added 5.4% to $22.99 for the week.

Senad Karaahmetovic contributed to this article.

6 biggest deal reports this week: Manchester United open to selling the club

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Stock Markets 8 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 05:02PM ET)

6 biggest deal reports this week: Manchester United open to selling the club© Reuters.

Here are 6 head-turning deal dispatches from the past week, as covered first on InvestingPro+.

1. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:) stock slipped this week after Politico reported the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:) $69 billion takeover bid, which would be the biggest in the history of the gaming industry.

“We are committed to continuing to work cooperatively with regulators around the globe to allow the transaction to proceed, but won’t hesitate to fight to defend the transaction if required,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said, according to Reuters. “We are prepared to address the concerns of regulators, including the FTC, and Sony (NYSE:) to ensure the deal closes with confidence,” said Microsoft’s spokesperson, per Reuters. Activision shares were down 4.1% following the news Friday, and off 0.9% for the week, to $73.47. Microsoft added 1.7%.

2. RingCentral (NYSE:) has approached 8×8 Inc (NASDAQ:) about a potential takeover, according to a source cited by Investing.com. RingCentral is said to be working with an investment bank to evaluate a potential transaction. The news followed a last week that 8X8 was approached by a strategic buyer. With shares of 8×8 and RingCentral down down some 75% and 81.5%, respectively, for the year, investors have been calling for consolidation in the sector, a separate source relayed. However, it is unclear if the 8×8 board of directors would be open to a deal with its share price depressed.

Given the heavy debt loads of both companies, a cash deal may be hard for investors to swallow. However, a stock-for-stock deal could be one potential option. RingCentral said it does not comment on rumors or speculation. 8×8 has not responded to a request to comment on the rumor. RingCentral shares sank 6.3% for the week to $35.60. 8×8 shares were down 2.1% to $4.30.

3. Manchester United (NYSE:) confirmed heavy speculation that they are open to selling the club, saying its Board of Directors has authorized a process to “explore strategic alternatives for the club.” The club hired the Raine Group, which handled the sale of rival Chelsea to the consortium led by U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly earlier this year, as its exclusive financial advisor.

Manchester United will easily attract buyers, according to Jefferies. The analyst believes MANU is “a truly unique asset with significant global reach (>1B fans/followers) and plays in the strongest realm within the current media landscape — live sports.” Shares surged 66% to $21.21 for the week.

4. Coupa Software (NASDAQ:) stock closed nearly 29% higher Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is exploring a deal to acquire the tech company. Several analysts see a potential deal price at $80 or more per share. Shares ended the week up 28.1% at $62.69.

5. Merck & Company Inc (NYSE:) agreed to acquire Imago Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:) for $36.00 per share in cash for an approximate total equity value of $1.35 billion. CEO Robert M. Davis said, “This acquisition of Imago augments our pipeline and strengthens our presence in the growing field of hematology.” Imago shares rocketed 93% for the week to $35.66. Merck gained 4.8% for the week at $107.50.

6. Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:) is attracting fresh takeover interest from large pharma companies ahead of updates on its drug pipeline, according to Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Mirati is working with an advisers, and large drugmakers have been studying the merits of a transaction, through there are currently no formal bids on the table and a deal isn’t imminent. The stock jumped 34% for the week to $98.62.

Senad Karaahmetovic contributed to this article.

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Insider trades this week: amid Carvana collapse, a big insider buy

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Stock Markets 10 hours ago (Nov 26, 2022 06:31PM ET)

Insider trades this week: amid Carvana collapse, a big insider buy© Reuters.

Sizable insider moves can serve as useful bellwethers for investors. Here are some of the biggest such moves from the past week, as first reported on InvestingPro+.

Carvana (NYSE:) Chief Product Officer Daniel Gill acquired 133,000 shares on November 21 at $7.62 for over $1.01 million. Carvana shares have plummeted 96.7% year to date amid shrinking demand for used cars.

Also this week, Cowen significantly reduced Carvana’s price target to $10 from $55 per share, stating, “industry & macro headwinds have impacted unit growth and revenue trajectory while lengthening the path to profitability.” It also pointed to recent cost-cutting efforts not resulting in the company meeting 2022 profit targets, as well as Carvana’s significant debt load.

The stock lost 7.2% for the week to $8.

Helbiz Inc (NASDAQ:) shares rose after CEO and founder Salvatore Palella bought 4,019,293 shares at $.1766, to “further underlining his belief in the future of the company and recent changes to the structure.” Shares have sunk 96% for the year. They jumped 16.2% for the week to $0.23.

Canoo Inc (NASDAQ:) stock closed Friday up 4.6% after CEO Tony Aquilla bought over 9 million additional shares of the EV maker. Filings with the SEC showed that on November 9, 2022, Canoo entered into the Subscription Agreement providing for the purchase of an aggregate of 9,009,009 shares of Common Stock at a price of $1.11 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $10.0 million.

Mr. Aquila and AFV-10, a special-purpose vehicle managed by entities affiliated with Mr. Aquila, were purchasers of the shares. Aquilla and related entities now own 62,479,217 shares of Canoo, or 19.2% of the shares outstanding. Canoo shares were off 11.4% to $1.13 for the week.

Sabre (NASDAQ:) CRO Michael Randolfi bought 100,000 shares on 11/22/22 at $4.75-$4.80 per share. The latest purchases brings his stake to 209,170 shares. Shares were down 0.9% for the week to 5.3%.

Sam Boughedda contributed to this article.

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