The daily business briefing: November 13, 2017
Uber approves SoftBank's investment offer, Hong Kong signs a free trade deal with ASEAN, and more
Uber seals big investment by SoftBank
Uber on Sunday approved SoftBank's offer to invest billions in the ride-hailing company. Softbank, a Japanese conglomerate, will lead a consortium of investors to buy at least 14 percent of Uber. SoftBank reportedly plans to buy about $1 billion of newly issued Uber stock at the ride-hailing service's current valuation of nearly $70 billion, and purchase about $9 billion worth of existing shares from current Uber shareholders. The deal is expected to pave the way for governance changes at Uber, which has shaken up its leadership following complaints about sexual harassment and a toxic corporate culture.
Hong Kong signs free trade and investment deals with ASEAN
Hong Kong on Sunday signed free-trade and investment deals with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Hong Kong Commerce Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah called the new free-trade accord "a loud and clear vote from all of us here for freer and more open trade" despite an upwelling of protectionist sentiment elsewhere. The agreements were signed on the sidelines of an annual ASEAN summit in the Philippine capital of Manila, which officially started on Monday. The gathering followed an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam where leaders agreed to battle "unfair trade practices" at the urging of President Trump, who has been defending his "America First" policy during his tour of Asia.
Qualcomm moves toward rejecting Broadcom's $103 billion bid
Qualcomm is preparing to reject rival chipmaker Broadcom's $103 billion takeover bid as early as this week, Reuters reported Sunday, citing four people familiar with the matter. The move could set up what would be one of the biggest takeover battles in history. Qualcomm's board reportedly sees the offer as too low, and believes it fails to price in the uncertainty that it will win the approval of antitrust regulators. Broadcom CEO Hock Tan has said he is open to launching a takeover battle, and his company is preparing to submit a slate of directors for Qualcomm's board, which would give Qualcomm shareholders an opportunity to replace the company's board and enter talks with Broadcom.
Global stocks edge down following last week's decline in U.S.
World stocks pulled back further from all-time highs on Monday due to lingering concerns over the fate of U.S. tax cuts, and investors awaited data releases and public comments by central bankers. MSCI's world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, fell by 0.2 percent after hitting record highs last week. U.S. stock futures held steady early Monday after posting their first weekly drop in two months last week. All three of the main U.S. benchmark indexes were down by 0.1 percent or less. Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.5 percent and the S&P 500 dropped by 0.2 percent.
Alibaba's Singles' Day breaks record with $25.3 billion in sales
Chinese online retail giant Alibaba reported $25.3 billion in sales during its Singles' Day event over the weekend. The sale reached shoppers from at least 225 countries and regions after a push to lure in international shoppers. Alibaba's marketing efforts included a gala featuring movie star Nicole Kidman and American rapper Pharrell Williams. Sales were up by 39 percent over the last annual event, exceeding estimates by Citigroup of a 30 percent gain. About 90 percent of the transactions were done with mobile devices.