China's Antitrust Regulator Planning to Fine Meituan About $1 Billion
Topic of the day
China's antitrust regulator is preparing to impose a roughly $1 billion fine on food-delivery giant Meituan for allegedly abusing its dominant market position to the detriment of merchants and rivals, according to people familiar with the matter. The penalty could be announced in the coming weeks, and Meituan would be required to revamp its operations and end a practice that has been dubbed "er xuan yi" - literally, "choose one out of two," the people said. Such exclusivity arrangements have forced many small businesses to pick sides in China's competitive retail industry. Meituan, with a market capitalization of about $170 billion, has raised billions of dollars from global investors and is China's third-most valuable publicly listed internet company after Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Beijing-headquartered firm operates an online marketplace for millions of restaurants and other merchants, and is the biggest provider of food-delivery and related services in China. It also offers hotel bookings and sells groceries online.
The Swiss stock market recorded losses on Friday. The topic of the day was the labour market report from the USA, which signalled a massive recovery. However, this positive signal for the economy translates into the danger of a tightening of monetary policy in the near future. As a result, the SMI fell slightly in the wake of the data. In early trading, the all-time high proved to be an insurmountable hurdle, as the leading index turned down at exactly this level. The SMI lost 0.2 per cent to 12,176 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 11 price losers and 9 price winners. 29.82 (previously: 25.73) million shares were traded. The overall market was held back by heavyweight Roche (-1.4%). Near record highs, investors took recent accumulated gains; the stock has outperformed the benchmark index by about 5 percentage points this year. The other two heavyweights Novartis and Nestle remained inconspicuous. Swisscom and Lonza were even weaker than Roche, with losses of up to 1.6 per cent. Luxury goods stocks were on the upswing. Swatch rose by 1.9 per cent and Richemont by 0.5 per cent.
European equity markets rose for a sixth straight session on Friday after the US reported better-than-expected job creation last month. The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended flat at 470.1 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 gained 0.1% and the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.04%. Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC said Friday that it has agreed to an increased offer from SoftBank Group Corp.’s Fortress Investment Group that values the U.K.’s fourth-largest grocer at 6.7 billion pounds, equivalent to $9.33 billion. Under the offer, accepting Morrison shareholders will get 270 pence a share, plus a special dividend of 2 pence. The new price per share is a 7% premium to the original Fortress offer of 254 pence a share. Fortress, which is leading a team of investors to buy Morrison, said the new deal followed extensive talks between the two parties, and that it “remains committed to becoming the new owner of Morrison.” Fortress also said that it notes recent speculation about a possible counteroffer from Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S reported robust earnings helped by a frenetic global shipping market, announced it bought two e-commerce logistics companies together valued at nearly $1 billion, and mapped out more, potentially larger acquisitions. Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping line by capacity, said Friday that is acquiring Salt Lake City-based Visible Supply Chain Management LLC, which operates nine fulfillment centers across the U.S., and Netherlands-based B2C Europe in separate deals with a combined enterprise value of $924 million.
U.S. stocks mostly rose on Friday after a better-than-expected jobs report showed the economy continuing to rebound but raised fresh questions about Federal Reserve policy. The gains were modest, though two indexes set fresh record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 144.26 points, or 0.4%, to 35208.51. The S&P 500 added 7.42 points, or 0.2%, to 4436.52, setting it 44th record-high close of 2021. The Nasdaq Composite fell 59.36 points, or 0.4%, to 14835.76. A strengthening U.S. labor market added cushion to the economic recovery in July ahead of the surge in cases of the coronavirus’s Delta variant, with employers creating jobs at the best pace in nearly a year and the unemployment rate falling sharply. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 943,000 in July, the best gain in 11 months, the Labor Department said Friday. The unemployment rate, derived from a separate survey of households, fell to 5.4% last month from 5.9% in June to touch the lowest level since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. in March 2020. The latest data also showed some additional workers were drawn off the sidelines, and wages rose at a strong rate. News Corp reported a 30% increase in revenue for the June quarter, fueled by gains in its digital real-estate, book-publishing and Dow Jones units. The New York-based media company, whose holdings include The Wall Street Journal and the HarperCollins publishing unit, narrowed its net loss to $14 million, or two cents per share, from a loss of $397 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-earlier period, which included a large impairment charge.. Novavax Inc. said it would delay seeking U.S. emergency authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine until the fourth quarter as it works to complete the manufacturing portion of its application.
Slight gains are recorded on the stock exchanges in East Asia and Australia on Monday. There is no trading in Japan due to the compensation day for the "Day of the Mountain". In Shanghai, stocks recovered from their strart losses, with the Shanghai Composite rising 0.9 per cent. Inflation data showed inflation slightly higher than expected. Bohai Securities expects a sideways trading pattern to continue in the coming weeks. Corporate second-quarter results are likely to diverge, according to experts: Consumer companies are likely to be under pressure due to Covid-19, while the commodity sector is expected to show strong growth.
U.S. Treasurys weakened further in Asia, sending the yield on the 10-year note above 1.30%.
Citi rises the Siemens target to 184 (168) EUR – Buy
JP Morgan rises the Merck target to 220 (165) EUR – Overweight
UBS rises the Delivery Hero target to 151 (147) EUR – Buy
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