48.82 +0.13 (0.27%)
After hours: 7:32PM EDT
|Bid||48.65 x 800|
|Ask||48.83 x 1300|
|Day's Range||46.69 - 48.75|
|52 Week Range||27.20 - 57.57|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.38|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||10.41|
|Earnings Date||Jul. 16, 2020 - Jul. 20, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.40 (2.98%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Apr. 29, 2020|
|1y Target Est||47.90|
(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley is in talks to buy Assurant Inc.’s collateralized loan obligation assets, taking another step in beefing up its leveraged credit business, according to people with knowledge of the matter.An agreement could be reached in the coming week, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. A deal hasn’t been finalized and it’s possible one may not be reached, they said.A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley declined to comment and representatives of Assurant didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.Assurant’s CLO notes exposure, at fair value, was $1.6 billion as of March 31, according to filings. Morgan Stanley would be paying a fraction of that total for the rights to manage the CLO assets.Last year, the lender signaled an ambition to throw its weight behind CLO sales, joining peers like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in assembling deals that package leveraged loans into bonds with varying risk and return.Morgan Stanley Investment Management in April 2019 hired longtime Assurant executive Michael Feeney as head of leveraged loans. Morgan Stanley committed $150 million in equity to MSIM’s CLO platform. The firm’s first deal, last November, raised $457 million.The market for CLOs was roiled as fear about Covid-19’s impact on corporate America took hold. Prices on the underlying debt plunged to their lowest level in more than a decade in March as the virus wiped out earnings.Read More: CLO warehouses liquidated by Axa, Steele Creek in rare stepPrior to the pandemic, the market for CLO issuance boomed, spurred on by investors deprived of yield by years of low interest rates. That led to some consolidation among managers of the deals, as larger investors tried to get in on the action. LibreMax Capital, Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. and Thomas H. Lee of Lee Equity Partners have bought or built up CLO platforms in recent years.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- It’s the rise of the robots: Japan’s second-largest company is now a maker of industrial automation systems, highlighting the rising importance of a less visible sector to a nation long associated with consumer-facing brands.Keyence Corp., a maker of machine vision systems and sensors for factories, has jumped 19% this year to become Japan’s second-largest company by market value. At a valuation of over 11 trillion yen ($100 billion), it has overtaken telecommunications giants SoftBank Group Corp., and NTT Docomo Inc., which have jostled for the honor to sit behind Toyota Motor Corp. over most of the past decade.Keyence is famed for its dizzying profitability with an operating profit margin of more than 50%, among the country’s highest. That’s enabled by its “fabless” output model, according to analysts, with production of its array of pressure sensors, barcode readers and laser scanners outsourced to avoid high capital costs.Its industry-leading sales system creates bespoke solutions for clients, and its frequently listed as the highest-paying company in Japan. The surge in its shares has also benefited founder Takemitsu Takizaki, who has overtaken SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son by a good margin to become Japan’s second-richest man.“It’s got everything — high growth, high dividends and a high operating margin,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. “It’s the type of long-term stock you want to leave to your kids or your grandkids.”Keyence has more than tripled in market value since early 2016. “We feel the sense of expectation from our shareholders,” said Keyence director Keiichi Kimura when asked to comment on the milestone. “We’ll do our best to live up to those expectations.”The rise has also underscored how important the country’s parts and robot makers have become to the stock market, shown in the weighting of companies that make up the the country’s benchmark Topix index. Japan stocks were once dominated by banks and automakers — but years of zero rates which now dip into negative have hurt the profitability of the former, while the importance of the latter was declining even before the coronavirus sent the industry into reverse gear.The weighting of the Topix’s Electrical Appliance sector, also home to the likes of Sony Corp., Murata Manufacturing Co., and Fanuc Corp., has increased to almost 15%, the highest in about a decade, as the importance of the Banks and Transportation Equipment sectors have declined. The Information and Communication sector, headed by the five listed companies that dominate Japan’s mobile carriers, is the second-most heavily weighted segment.The growing presence of IT shares has also been a feature in the U.S. stock market, with the sector making up the highest proportion of the S&P 500 Index since the dot-com bubble burst. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified a trend for investors to prefer companies that eliminate humans from the process — a trend Keyence benefits from both with its fabless production model, and by enabling companies to automate their own production.“It’s a business model that grows the more factory automation throughout the world progresses,” said Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities’ Fujito.Founder Takizaki holds about 23% of Keyence’s shares, Bloomberg-compiled data show. For the Topix, which takes the free float of the shares into account in its weightings, those holdings mean Keyence is less heavily weighted than Sony, whose market value trails by comparison. Toyota the biggest company on the index, and even forecasting an 80% drop in profit this year, the automaker remains Japan’s largest business with a market value double that of Keyence.“We like Keyence as it outsources production instead of owning factories, allowing it to focus on R&D,” HSBC analysts including Helen Fang wrote in a May 26 report that initiated coverage of the company with a buy rating. “It also uses a direct-sales model that keeps it close to clients. This strategy means it can better capture market share in a widening array of industries and can focus on high-value client solutions.”While the coronavirus pandemic will depress profits this year, Nomura sees a recovery “to record-high profit levels” the following year and sees a record profit the next, analyst Masayasu Noguchi wrote in a report May 28 raising its target price on the stock.“It’s unclear how long the coronavirus pandemic will continue,” Keyence’s Kimura said. “The global uncertainty is likely to continue and in the midst of that we’ll continue to do what we can.”Factory Automation in Asia May Be First to Recover From PandemicThe notoriously tight-lipped Osaka-based company does not provide earnings guidance in its sparse quarterly disclosure. It’s an outlier in a country where companies are being encouraged to boost their transparency and communication with the market.“They are an efficiency-above-any-other kind of company, so doing extra that doesn’t result in revenue addition is probably less of a priority,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Takeshi Kitaura. “They think generally those following the company are happy when they manage solid earnings and growth.”Yoshiharu Izumi, an analyst at SBI Securities Co., says that Keyence holds talks with shareholders and that reassures investors, and doesn’t view the paucity of disclosure as a problem. “Keyence has overtaken Sony, which is extremely proactive in responding to shareholders,” he said. “When Keyence starts putting energy into disclosure, that might be the time to sell.”(Updates with quotes from Keyence from sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi speak to Tom Michaud, KBW CEO about the current merger and acquisition market, future outlook for the banking industry with interest rates near zero and more.
(Bloomberg) -- Yandex NV will test a driverless car it developed with Hyundai Motor Co. in Detroit as the Russian technology giant makes plans to approximately double its fleet of self-driving vehicles.Yandex plans to buy 100 of the cars, which are souped-up versions of Hyundai’s Sonata, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The test-drives, which had been planned around the now-canceled Detroit Auto Show, will commence on public roads in the city once lockdown restrictions are lifted, it said.Yandex and the South Korean company announced their partnership last year, seeking to create both a prototype of a driverless car and an autonomous control system that could be marketed to rival car manufacturers and car-sharing startups. The new, fourth-generation Hyundai model has been tweaked to help the system better detect what’s around the vehicles.The new Sonata has nine sensors, up from six, and has moved the radar system from underneath the bumpers to the roof, improving the system’s ability to distinguish objects around the car. Lidars, laser-based systems for measuring distance from a target, have also been moved to improve visibility. A human driver will be present in the car, but the vehicle should operate autonomously.Yandex operates a taxi service with its autonomous vehicles in the Russian city of Innopolis, though most of its fleet is currently occupied with test runs, which will gradually teach its driving software the skills it needs to react to incidents on the road. The company’s autonomous fleet, which recently exceeded 100 cars, have run 3 million autonomous miles, in cities including Moscow and Tel-Aviv.The road to mass-market robo-taxis has been fraught, with developers burning cash to create cars that can safely operate without a driver and win regulators’ approval. And the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying lockdowns have hit the industry hard.Read more: The State of the Self-Driving Car Race 2020Competitors including General Motors Co.’s Cruise and Uber Technologies Inc. have cut staff recently, while Ford Motor Co. shifted plans to start self-driving services by a year to 2022. Self-driving trucks startup Starsky Robotics shut down in March with its founder saying that “supervised machine learning doesn’t live up to the hype.”Still, the promise of driverless vehicles and the revolution they could bring to everything from personal transportation to logistics, means the technology is still attracting investors. Amazon.com Inc. is in talks to acquire autonomous vehicle startup Zoox Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported last week. Analysts from Morgan Stanley estimate that Amazon could save $20 billion a year with the technology, which would also allow the e-commerce giant to compete in ride-sharing and food delivery.Read more: Amazon Buying Zoox May Save $20 Billion, Put Tesla on Its HeelsYandex, Russia’s largest internet-search engine and ride-hailing operator, has spent $35 million over the past three years to develop its self-driving cars, using technologies such as machine learning and image recognition from its other businesses.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
A consortium of three buyout funds including KKR <KKR.N> and Cinven is looking to launch a takeover bid for Spanish telecoms company MasMovil <MASM.MC>, two sources close to the matter told Reuters. The consortium, which also includes U.S. buyout fund Providence, is putting the finishing touches to its proposal to take control of the Madrid-listed company, which has a market value of 2.4 billion euros (2.2 billion pounds), the sources said. If the bid goes through, Providence, KKR and Cinven will have equal shares of Spain's fourth-largest telecoms company, the sources said.
A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment on the CNBC report. CNBC's report said the Wall Street bank expects only a small number of traders and workers in other departments will make use of the back-to-office option. New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday the city was "on track" to reopen on June 8, when it will begin phase one of the governor's reopening plan.
Morgan Stanley today announced it will make an investment of $10 million to support the New York Forward Loan Fund, part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s initiative to reinvigorate New York’s small businesses and critical non-profits. The New York Forward Loan Fund will provide sustainable capital to Community Development Financial Institution’s (CDFI) to make low cost recovery loans in communities hard hit by the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street giants such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have tens of billions of dollars at stake in China as political tension risks derailing the nation’s opening of its $45 trillion financial market.Five big U.S. banks had a combined $70.8 billion of exposure to China in 2019, with JPMorgan alone plowing $19.2 billion into lending, trading and investing. That’s a 10% increase from 2018.While their assets in the country are comparatively small, they have big expansion plans there that may come undone if financial services firms are dragged into the tit-for-tat between the two countries. Not only would that cloud their growth plans, it would also threaten the income they have generated over the years from advising Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.Profits in China’s brokerage industry could hit $47 billion by 2026, Goldman estimates, with foreign firms gunning for a considerable chunk. There are $8 billion in estimated commercial banking profits as well as a projected $30 trillion in overall assets to go after, also being pursued by fund giants such as Blackrock Inc. and Vanguard Group Inc.“If you’re an American financial institution and you have an approved plan to expand into China, you’re going to continue that plan to the extent that the U.S. government allows you to because you see great future profits,” said James Stent, a former banker who’s spent more than a decade on the boards of two Chinese lenders. “A U.S.-China cold war is not good for your plans to build business in China.”After years of trade war turmoil, U.S. policy makers are now starting to take aim at the financial industry amid growing skepticism over American firms plowing money into a country perceived as a big geopolitical foe. Policy makers and lawmakers are looking at restricting U.S. pension fund investments in Chinese companies and limiting the ability of Chinese companies to raise capital in the U.S.A body advising the U.S. Congress this week questioned Wall Street’s push, saying lawmakers need to “evaluate the desirability of greater U.S. participation in a financial market that remains warped by the political priorities of a strategic competitor.” Add to that potential sanctions against China and even its banks over the crackdown on Hong Kong, and the situation could further escalate.President Donald Trump said he’s “not happy with China” after the country passed a new security law on Hong Kong and will announce new U.S. policies on Friday. His top economic adviser said Beijing would be held accountable by the U.S.Here’s a run down on the biggest U.S. banks’ presence in China right now and their plans.GoldmanGoldman, which has spent years lobbying for control of its onshore business, won approval this year. Chief Executive Officer David Solomon has pledged to infuse its mainland business with hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital as the bank plans to embark on a hiring spree to double its workforce to 600 and ramp up a wide variety of businesses.Goldman put its “cross-border outstandings” to China at $13.2 billion at the end of last year. But its two onshore operations had capital of just 1.8 billion yuan ($251 million), making a profit of almost 300 million yuan.A spokesman for Goldman declined to comment.Morgan StanleyHosting an annual summit in Beijing with 1,900 investors and 600 companies last year, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said in a Bloomberg Television interview that the bank is in China “for the long run.” He highlighted its presence there for 25 years and its handling of hundreds of billions of dollars in equity and merger deals for Chinese businesses.Morgan Stanley won a nod to take majority control of its securities venture this year, and last year had a net exposure of $4.1 billion to Chinese clients. Its local securities unit, however, has revenue of just 132 million yuan, posting a loss of 109 million yuan last year.The bank has been overhauling senior management of the venture, installing its staff in key roles. It plans to apply for additional licenses to broaden its products and invest in new businesses, build market-making capability and expand its asset management partnership and ultimately take control.“It’s a natural evolution to bring the global investment banks into this market,” Gorman said in May last year.A Morgan Stanley spokesman declined to comment.JPMorganThe biggest U.S. bank has been doing business in China since 1921. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has said that his firm is committed to bringing its “full force” to the country. This year it applied for full control of an asset management firm as well as a securities venture, and is expanding its office space in China’s tallest skyscraper in downtown Shanghai.JPMorgan’s China total exposure in 2019 was $19.2 billion, including $11.3 billion in lending and deposits and $6.5 billion in trading and investing.JPMorgan China’s banking unit had 47 billion yuan in assets last year and made a profit of 276 million yuan, while its newly started securities firm had capital of 800 million yuan.A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment.CitigroupCitigroup Inc., which has been doing business in China since 1902, had total exposure to the country of $18.7 billion at the end of last year. Its local banking arm had total assets of 178 billion yuan, making a profit of 2.1 billion yuan.Citigroup, which is setting up a new securities venture in China, is the only U.S. lender that has a consumer banking business in the country with footprint in 12 cities including Beijing, Changsha and Chengdu.New York-based Citigroup said last month that it has doubled its overall revenue from China to more than $1 billion over the past decade.China represents 1.1% of Citi’s total global exposure and includes local top tier corporate loans and loans to US and other global companies with operations in China, a bank spokesman said.Bank of AmericaBank of America Corp., the only major bank to decide against pursuing a securities joint venture, is continuing to expand into the world’s second-largest economy. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender is looking to provide a fuller range of fixed income services in the country.Its largest emerging market country exposure in 2019 was China, with net of $15.6 billion, concentrated in loans to large state-owned companies, subsidiaries of multinational corporations and commercial banks. It followed only the U.S., U.K., Germany, Canada and France in terms of exposure for the bank.A spokeswoman for the bank declined to comment.(Adds Trump comments in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
A U.S. judge on Thursday said institutional investors, including BlackRock Inc <BLK.N> and Allianz SE's <ALVG.DE> Pacific Investment Management Co, can pursue much of their lawsuit accusing 15 major banks of rigging prices in the $6.6 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan said the nearly 1,300 plaintiffs, including many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, plausibly alleged that the banks conspired to rig currency benchmarks from 2003 to 2013 and profit at their expense. "This is an injury of the type the antitrust laws were intended to prevent," Schofield wrote in a 40-page decision.
Morgan Stanley <MS.N> has not been given an advisory role on the potential sale of a stake in Saudi Aramco's pipeline business, a deal worth over $10 billion (8.10 billion pounds), two sources told Reuters. The U.S. investment bank, which has previously advised the world's largest oil company, was originally looking to be part of the advisory group on any deal, the sources added.
(Bloomberg) -- Oil extended losses after an industry report showed a surprise jump in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell as much as 3.2% after the close in New York. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute reported that U.S. crude stockpiles rose 8.73 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data. Gasoline supplies also gained 1.12 million barrels, according to the report.If confirmed by government data Thursday, the crude build would reverse two weeks of inventory declines -- an indication that record supply cuts are not draining a massive supply glut fast enough. While oil has rallied about 70% this month, the market’s recovery from an historic crash remains fragile, with higher prices likely prompting producers to turn the taps back on even as the pandemic continues to quash energy demand.The API report also showed supplies at the key storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, fell by 3.37 million barrels, which would be the third consecutive weekly decline. The Energy Information Administration will release its weekly inventory report Thursday morning.OPEC+’s deal to cut global output by almost 10 million barrels a day starting in May has helped to lift prices from April lows. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday reiterated their cooperation on the agreement ahead of a June 9-10 meeting.Still, oil slipped from an 11-week high to close lower Wednesday, with investors uncertain about Moscow’s commitment to extending the deal that expires in July. The last time Russia and Saudi Arabia failed to agree on market action, the fallout culminated in a devastating price war that dragged oil prices to historic lows.“It’s really important to provide stability in the market going forward and have some kind of coordinated effort together that helps not only Russia but OPEC and provides stability in the prices,” said Phil Streible, chief market strategist for Blue Line Futures LLC.Separately, the U.S. is considering a range of sanctions to punish China for its crackdown on Hong Kong, including controls on transactions and freezing assets of Chinese officials and businesses. Additionally, the U.S. certified Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer politically autonomous from China. The deteriorating relationship between the world’s two largest economies could complicate the market’s comeback from a historic demand crash.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
James Gorman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley, will speak at the Annual Morgan Stanley U.S. Financials Conference which will be held in a virtual format on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (ET).
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s interest in acquiring a self-driving car pioneer is the prime example (pun intended) of how expectations for driverless vehicles have been recalibrated.The e-commerce giant is in advanced talks to buy Zoox Inc. for less than the $3.2 billion at which it was valued in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Given the California-based startup’s approach to autonomous cars, its fate is particularly instructive.In a very crowded field, Zoox was practically alone in aiming to build a whole new kind of electric-powered vehicle, and to operate the fleet itself. Peers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, General Motors Co.’s Cruise unit, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG’s joint venture Argo AI, and Aurora Innovations Inc. have focused solely on developing the self-driving technology that could subsequently be fitted into vehicles.Zoox wanted to be Tesla Inc., Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc. all rolled into one.Back in 2015, that seemed like an attractive proposition. If the triple threat to the automotive industry was autonomous technology, electric drivetrains and ride-hailing, why not embrace all three? After all, there were expectations that by 2020 robotaxis would ferry you around the world’s metropolises. Capital flowed into self-driving car startups, typified by the $1 billion GM spent acquiring Cruise in 2016.Those dreams, needless to say, have failed to materialize. Companies that had aimed to jump straight to the fourth of five levels of autonomy have quietly downshifted. (The first level of self-driving encompasses driver-assistance functions such as cruise control, and the fifth is full automation.) Bloomberg New Energy Finance doesn’t expect vehicles with Level Four automation to start gaining traction until 2034. Even then, they will likely represent just 831,000 of the 95 million-unit global car market that year.What’s more, the expense of developing, building and operating a fleet of self-driving cars would be considerable. Even deep-pocketed Alphabet and GM have sought outside investment for their efforts. Established carmakers are meanwhile focusing their capital on electric cars, a more imminent threat. And owning and operating a fleet is expensive too. Zoox had a tough sell to investors: In 15 years’ time, it might have been an attractive business.Which brings us to Amazon. Even if robotaxis aren’t coming any time soon, there are alternative applications for autonomous technology that fall squarely in the Seattle-based firm’s wheelhouse, namely, logistics. Given Amazon’s shipping costs are set to hit $90 billion a year, tech from Zoox could help save $20 billion in shipping costs, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. Its solutions could be used across warehousing and distribution. Buying Zoox could take Amazon's other moves in this field — an existing investment in Aurora and experiments with self-driving truck specialist Embark and electric vanmaker Rivian — to a whole new level.Amazon has become the fantasy acquirer for any number of companies seeking a soft landing: theater chains, brick-and-mortar retailers, food deliverers, mobile carriers, real estate brokers, dental suppliers, film studios and plenty more besides.Sometimes, just sometimes, those deals make sense. Zoox is one of them.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s talks to buy driverless vehicle startup Zoox Inc. has analysts speculating the deal could save the e-commerce giant tens of billions a year and put auto, parcel and ride-hailing companies on their heels.Shipping costs are one of Amazon’s largest expenses and may reach $90 billion in the coming years, Morgan Stanley’s internet, auto and transport analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. An autonomous offering could save the company more than $20 billion annually, they estimate.“Autonomous technology is a natural extension of Amazon’s efforts to build its own third party logistics network,” Morgan Stanley’s analysts wrote. They see the company being a “clear” competitor to the likes of Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co. and the potential for Amazon to compete in ride-sharing and food delivery. United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. also “will have to respond to keep up.”Other companies in the automotive and chip industries have also held talks with Zoox about a potential investment, according to people familiar with the matter. At least one other business besides Amazon has offered to buy the company, they added. Zoox is unlikely to sell for less than the more than $1 billion that it has raised, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.“Zoox has been receiving interest in a strategic transaction from multiple parties and has been working with Qatalyst Partners to evaluate such interest,” the startup said Tuesday. It declined to comment on Amazon’s interest. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment.Zoox had outsize ambition and financial backing. The startup wanted to build a fully driverless car by this year. However, after a 2018 funding round that valued Zoox at $3.2 billion, the startup’s board voted to oust Chief Executive Officer Tim Kentley-Klay. The executive criticized the move, saying the directors were “optimizing for a little money in hand at the expense of profound progress.”Dow Jones reported that Amazon is in advanced talks to buy Zoox for less than the $3.2 billion valuation from 2018.Amazon is willing to spend heavily to automate its e-commerce business. The online retail giant purchased warehouse robot-maker Kiva Systems Inc. in 2012 for $775 million and now has tens of thousands of robots in warehouses around the world.But paying drivers to deliver packages is still one of the biggest costs in the company’s operation. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos announced plans for drone delivery in 2013, though they have yet to materialize at scale. Last year, Amazon revealed an experimental delivery robot called Scout in the Seattle area that rolls on sidewalks like a shopping cart.Last year, Amazon invested along with Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital in self-driving startup Aurora Innovation Inc., a startup led by the former heads of Google’s driverless car project and Tesla’s Autopilot team. Amazon also backed Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric pickup and SUV maker. Those bets left Morgan Stanley’s auto analyst questioning earlier this month whether Tesla’s rich valuation is warranted given the competitive threats the company faces.“We often hear from investors that Tesla could potentially be the Amazon of transportation,” Adam Jonas, who rates Tesla the equivalent of a hold, wrote in a May 17 report. “But what if Amazon is the Amazon of transportation?”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
A majority of asset owners globally actively integrate ESG factors into their investment process, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Morgan Stanley Investment Management. The new survey polled 110 public and corporate pensions, endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth entities, insurance companies and other large asset owners worldwide, 92% of which had total assets over $1 billion. The survey gathered insights about trends, motivations, challenges and implementation approaches in sustainable investing. This work builds on the Institute’s extensive body of research tracking sustainable investing trends over the last six years through its Sustainable Signals survey series focused on individual investors, asset owners and asset managers.
Morgan Stanley announced today the Firm will launch the Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan, the industry’s first advisory 529 Plan, which strategically aligns with the Firm’s goals-based investing approach to help families save and invest for future education expenses. Morgan Stanley has contracted with the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) to sponsor the Plan. The Morgan Stanley National Advisory 529 Plan will be offered exclusively through Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Financial Advisors to their clients in North Carolina and nationally, and is expected to be available in the Fall.
The iconic New York Stock Exchange floor is back open for business. Here is what New York Stock Exchange President Stacey Cunningham told Yahoo Finance.
(Bloomberg) -- Meituan Dianping founder Wang Xing’s fortune has nearly doubled since his company emerged from the depths of China’s Covid-19 lockdown, cementing his place among a generation of the country’s most prominent tech entrepreneurs.Meituan’s stock climbed 10.4% on Tuesday after it reported better than expected revenue, driving its market value past $100 billion for the first time and stoking hopes the world’s largest meal delivery business will bounce back as China regains its footing. Based on his 11.3% slice of the company, the chief executive officer’s wealth has soared since Meituan plumbed a low on March 19 to about $10.3 billion as of Tuesday.Backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan’s sprawling services from food delivery to hotel booking helped establish the company as one of a coterie of upstart challengers to incumbent tech leaders, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent itself. Meituan’s businesses -- among the most vulnerable to a nationwide shutdown -- began to climb out of a trough in April and May, offsetting slumps in harder-hit areas such as hotels. As of March’s final week, more than 70% of restaurants surveyed had recovered over half their normal order volumes, while 30% had exceeded pre-pandemic levels, Wang told analysts on a call Monday.Wang relied on deals and expansion to turn what started as a Groupon-type service into a food delivery giant that now also spans food reviews and in-store dining services. A computer engineer by training, Wang -- whose role model is Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos -- is putting growth ahead of the bottom line to secure Meituan’s place among China’s pantheon of tech giants. He’s part of a new generation of up-and-comers, along with fellow billionaires like ByteDance Ltd.’s Zhang Yiming and Didi Chuxing’s Cheng Wei.“Looking into the next three quarters, we believe there will still be challenges as there are still uncertainties and potential downside from the ongoing evolution of the COVID-19 situation,” Wang said on the call. “Meanwhile, a large number of local service merchants are still struggling for survival. Short-term profitability is not our top priority.”Read more: The Greatest Delivery Empire on Earth Has Alibaba’s AttentionMeituan’s stock surge came after it reported better-than-expected sales of 16.8 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) in the three months ended March. Morgan Stanley and CICC were among the brokerages that subsequently lifted their targets on the company, citing resilience across business lines and easing competition.“COVID-19 had a negative impact on Meituan but results beat on top-line and bottom line by a wide margin,” Bernstein analysts led by David Dai wrote. In food delivery, the “long run potential is still there and the profitability level can be much higher” after the company pushes advertising, they added.Longer term, the internet services giant will have to grapple with China’s worsening economy, which may further dent consumer spending. Subsidies and measures to help restaurants and merchants during the outbreak will again pressure profitability in the June quarter, executives said. Meituan reported a lower-than-projected net loss of 1.58 billion yuan, but that was after three successive quarters of profit.What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysMeituan’s near-term growth may weaken as its in-store dining, hotel and travel businesses take time to fully recover from China’s coronavirus outbreak. Operating efficiency will likely improve in the longer term as the company expands its market-leading scale and competition with Alibaba moderates. Broadening service categories and providing technology solutions for merchants will aid sales and profit growth.\- Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam, analystsClick here for the research.Before the outbreak, Meituan had pushed aggressively into adjacent arenas from online travel to ride-hailing. While revenue from the business that encompasses hotels and travel plunged 31% during the March quarter, Meituan’s much smaller new initiatives segment -- which includes bike- and car-hailing -- grew sales 4.9%, aided by the launch of a new grocery delivery service. Hotels remained hardest-hit: in the week of May 11, domestic room nights were at about 70% pre-pandemic levels.While Meituan is expanding offerings to sell things like handsets and farm produce, rivals including Ant Group and SF Express, both backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., are elbowing their way into Meituan’s core takeout business. Alibaba’s food-delivery arm Ele.me is also engaging in a subsidy battle with the startup for market leadership.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Meituan Dianping’s shares soared after it reported a smaller than expected 13% slide in revenue that drove hopes the world’s largest meal delivery business is starting to recover as China emerges from Covid-19 lockdowns.Its shares climbed as much as 9.7%, extending strong gains since China began to return to normal in mid-March and propelling Meituan’s market value to more than $100 billion. That surge came after Meituan reported better-than-expected sales of 16.8 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) in the three months ended March. Morgan Stanley and CICC were among the brokerages that lifted their targets on Meituan, citing resilience across business lines and easing competition.Backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., Meituan’s sprawling services from food delivery to in-store dining and hotel booking were among the most vulnerable to nationwide shutdowns. But its businesses had begun to climb out of the trough, offsetting severe slumps in areas such as hotels, executives told analysts on a Monday conference call. As of March’s final week, more than 70% of restaurants surveyed had recovered more than half their normal order volumes, while 30% had exceeded pre-pandemic levels, Chief Executive Officer Wang Xing said.“COVID-19 had a negative impact on Meituan but results beat on top-line and bottom line by a wide margin,” Bernstein analysts led by David Dai wrote. In food delivery, the “long run potential is still there and the profitability level can be much higher” after the company pushes advertising, they added.Longer term, the internet services giant will have to grapple with China’s worsening economy, which may further dent consumer spending. Subsidies and measures to help restaurants and merchants during the outbreak will again pressure profitability in the June quarter, executives said.Meituan reported a lower-than-projected net loss of 1.58 billion yuan, but that was after three successive quarters of profit.“Looking into the next three quarters, we believe there will still be challenges as there are still uncertainties and potential downside from the ongoing evolution of the COVID-19 situation,” Wang said on the call. “Meanwhile, a large number of local service merchants are still struggling for survival. Short-term profitability is not our top priority.”What Bloomberg Intelligence SaysMeituan’s near-term growth may weaken as its in-store dining, hotel and travel businesses take time to fully recover from China’s coronavirus outbreak. Operating efficiency will likely improve in the longer term as the company expands its market-leading scale and competition with Alibaba moderates. Broadening service categories and providing technology solutions for merchants will aid sales and profit growth.\- Vey-Sern Ling and Tiffany Tam, analystsClick here for the research.Before the outbreak, Meituan had pushed aggressively into adjacent arenas from online travel to ride-hailing. While revenue from the business that encompasses hotels and travel plunged 31% plunge during the March quarter, Meituan’s much smaller new initiatives segment -- which includes bike- and car-hailing -- grew sales 4.9%, aided by the launch of a new grocery delivery service. Hotels remained hardest-hit: in the week of May 11, domestic room nights were at about 70% pre-pandemic levels.While Meituan is expanding offerings to sell things like handsets and farm produce, rivals including Ant Group and SF Express, both backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., are elbowing their way into Meituan’s core takeout business. Alibaba’s food-delivery arm Ele.me is also engaging in a subsidy battle with the startup for market leadership.(Updates with target increases by brokerages in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- China’s decision to impose a national security law on Hong Kong has spurred speculation of capital flight and an erosion of the city’s status as an international financial center. As a venue for share offerings, at least, the near-term future is looking bright. For that, the territory can thank worsening U.S.-China relations.U.S.-listed Chinese technology companies are lining up to sell stock in Hong Kong, seeking refuge from an environment that has become increasingly less hospitable. Nasdaq-traded JD.com Inc. and NetEase Inc. are planning secondary listings in the city next month, following a trail blazed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in November. Optimism that more companies will join them drove shares of Hong Kong’s exchange operator up more than 6% on Monday.There’s every reason to expect these stock offerings to do well, and push Hong Kong back up the rankings of the world’s largest fundraising centers. So far this year, the city is the sixth-largest market by capital raised. It topped the table for the whole of 2019 when New York-listed Alibaba sold $13 billion of stock, underscoring the existence of a strong local investor base for China’s most successful companies.The reception for Alibaba suggests that Asian institutional investors want to be able to trade China’s leading enterprises in their own time zone. JD and NetEase are also among the nation’s technology champions. Beijing-based JD competes with Alibaba in e-commerce, while Hangzhou-based NetEase is behind some of the most popular mobile games in China. Beyond these two, search-engine operator Baidu Inc. is considering delisting from Nasdaq and moving to an exchange nearer home, Reuters reported last week. The coronavirus has exacerbated tensions between Washington and Beijing, while scandals such as fabricated sales at Luckin Coffee Inc. have spurred politicians to push for tighter regulation, giving Chinese companies an incentive to list elsewhere.Hong Kong is an obvious choice. The city burnished its appeal for U.S.-traded companies last week when the compiler of the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index said it would change its rules to admit secondary listings and companies with dual-class share structures. Stocks that join the benchmark can expect inflows from passive investors such as exchange-traded funds that track the index.Citigroup Inc. reckons that 23 of the 249 Chinese stocks traded in the U.S. meet Hong Kong’s criteria for a secondary listing, which require companies to have a market value of $5.2 billion or, alternatively, a combination of $129 million in annual sales and a $1.3 billion market cap. JD tops the group with a value of $73 billion.An even more alluring prize would be inclusion of secondary listings in Hong Kong’s stock-trading links with the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges, which would enable mainland Chinese investors to buy these shares. Alibaba wasn’t included in the stock connect, to the disappointment of some investors. China’s government could yet decide to make this happen.It’s a reminder that Beijing has levers at its disposal to help shore up Hong Kong’s economy and financial industry, which accounts for a fifth of the city’s gross domestic product — as it did after the SARS epidemic in 2003, when half a million people demonstrated against the Hong Kong government’s first, aborted attempt to introduce national security legislation. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. surged the most in 18 months Monday even as unrest returned to the city. Listing of American depositary receipts may double the exchange operator’s revenue, Morgan Stanley said. The Hang Seng Index, meanwhile, stabilized after slumping 5.6% on Friday.An exodus of businesses, people and capital may yet imperil Hong Kong’s role as an international financial center. The IPO outlook suggests that, rather than a sudden demise, that’s likely to be a long drawn-out process. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Canbridge Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Chinese drugmaker backed by WuXi AppTec Co., is working with Morgan Stanley as it starts early preparations for a planned Hong Kong initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.The Beijing-based company is in talks with other banks seeking a role on the share sale and could add more arrangers in the coming weeks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The offering could raise as much as $250 million, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.Canbridge is planning to sell shares as soon as the autumn, the people said. Terms of the offering haven’t been set, and the size and timing of the transaction could change, the people said.The company raised $98 million in a series D financing round in February led by General Atlantic and WuXi AppTec. Canbridge said at the time it intended to use the proceeds to accelerate and expand its pipeline for rare disease drugs, through internal development as well as external partnerships.Canbridge also counts Qiming Venture Partners and Hangzhou Tigermed Consulting Co. among its investors, according to its website.Representatives for Canbridge and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Morgan Stanley (MS) to strengthen presence in Canada by establishing a new unit dedicated to service employees and executives in the country.
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Group generated about $2 billion of profit in the December quarter, underpinned by its push to help Chinese lenders dole out money to the country’s under-banked consumers.The finance giant generated about $721 million in profit for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. during the period, according to the e-commerce giant’s earnings filing. Based on Alibaba’s 33% equity share, that would roughly translate to $2 billion in profit for Ant. A representative for Ant declined to comment.Ant is now valued at about $150 billion, more than Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley combined. The company entered the banking arena as a disruptor, raising alarm bells for many of the nation’s 4,500 lenders. But about two years ago, it flipped the idea on its head, and began turning China’s lenders into clients by helping them provide loans and selling them cloud computing power.Ant’s sprawling network of more than 900 million active users means it can help China’s state-back lenders reach consumers in smaller cities that want credit. Outstanding consumer loans issued through Ant may swell to nearly 2 trillion yuan by 2021 according to Goldman Sachs analysts, more than triple the level two years ago, Bloomberg has reported.Ant has aspirations to go public, though it hasn’t decided on a timeline or listing destination.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In the same week that Facebook announced a redoubled effort to make a bigger mark in e-commerce, one of its long-time partners has closed a large round of funding. Ecwid, the startup that sells e-commerce tools directly and via third parties like Square and Wix, letting businesses build e-commerce experiences on their own websites and apps, as well as via Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Google, and more, has raised $42 million from Morgan Stanley and PeakSpan Capital. Notably, now San Diego-based Ecwid had only raised about $6.5 million since 2009, the year it was founded in Russia as a spinout of X-Cart, a previous company founded by the founder and CEO Ruslan Fazylev; and it's already profitable.