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COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 13.05.24

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 13.05.24

A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 13 | 05 | 24

  • ROYAL MAIL OWNER BACKS £3.5BN TAKEOVER OFFER BY CZECH BILLIONAIRE

The owner of Royal Mail is poised to accept an improved takeover bid worth about £3.5bn from shareholder and Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

International Distribution Services (IDS) said it had received a revised proposal of 370p a share from Mr Kretinsky’s EP Group.

It marks an improvement on the initial 320p-a-share cash bid made in April for the shares in IDS that it does not already own.

IDS said Mr Kretinsky, whose investment vehicle currently owns a 27.6% stake in the firm, had agreed to offer a set of “contractual undertakings” to protect key public interest factors due to Royal Mail’s major role in UK national infrastructure.

Which includes commitments to Royal Mail’s plans to keep six-day-a-week first class letter deliveries under the universal service, protect workers’ rights as well as the Royal Mail brand, and keep its headquarters in the UK. The deal still faces a number of hurdles, but IDS said that both sides would carry on speaking about the proposal in more detail.

 

  • GAMESTOP SHARES SURGE AMID VOLATILE MARKET FRENZY

Last week, GameStop’s stock price skyrocketed, jumping 70% in a single day and exceeding $30 per share.

This surge was sparked by a post from “Roaring Kitty,” a key figure in a previous GameStop stock frenzy in 2021. Back then, Wall Street firms were betting against GameStop, expecting it to fail. However, independent investors on Reddit, led by Roaring Kitty, bought large amounts of the stock, pushing its price up to $70.

Roaring Kitty had been silent since 2021, but last week, he posted a drawing of a man leaning forward in a chair, which many took as a signal to buy GameStop stock again. This led to a quick surge in the stock price, marking its highest point since 2022. However, the excitement was short-lived, and by the end of the week, the stock had dropped 70% from its peak, showing how volatile these “memestocks” can be​.

A memestock is a stock that experiences dramatic price movements driven primarily by social media hype and online communities, rather than by the company’s fundamental business performance.

 

  • ANGLO AMERICAN CONSIDERS SALE OF DE BEERS DIAMOND BUSINESS

As part of the restructuring, Anglo American is exploring options for divestment of its steelmaking coal and nickel assets.

Anglo American has announced its intention to either sell or spin off its diamond business, De Beers, as part of a strategic restructuring aimed at simplifying its portfolio.

This move comes on the heels of the company’s decision to dismiss a takeover bid from BHP Group.

The announcement comes a day after Anglo American rejected BHP’s £34bn ($42.7bn) revised buyout proposal, stating that the offer significantly undervalues the company and its future prospects and poses execution risks.

As part of the restructuring, Anglo American is also exploring options for the divestment of its steelmaking coal and nickel assets, while Anglo American Platinum will be demerged in a responsible and orderly manner to optimise value for shareholders of both entities.

Anglo American said the restructuring will help it focus on key areas such as copper, premium iron ore and crop nutrients.

 

  • KLARNA EDGES CLOSER TO $20BN FLOAT

Buy now pay later firm Klarna has reportedly cleared a crucial hurdle on its journey towards a stock market flotation expected to value it at as much as $20bn (£15.9bn).

According to Sky News, the Stockholm-based consumer credit provider has secured backing from shareholders and regulators to establish a new UK-registered holding company.

Investors were informed earlier this week that the approvals, part of preparations for a high-profile initial public offering (IPO), would result in the exchange of their shares in Klarna Holding for Klarna Group plc stock taking place in about ten days’ time.

It was understood that investment banks have yet to be appointed for a New York flotation, with people close to the company saying that the first quarter of 2025 – after the next US presidential election – now looked to be the likeliest window for it to take place.

Klarna has previously declared itself in favour of “proportionate” regulation of the sector.

Klarna launched last year what it described as Britain’s first ‘credit opt-out’ product to give consumers greater control of their finances.

It said the idea had been suggested by Andrew Griffith, the then City minister, during a meeting with Mr Siemiatkowski.

A Klarna spokesperson told Sky News on Tuesday: “Following our announcement last year, yesterday we notified investors that we have received the necessary investor and regulatory approvals necessary to set up a new UK-based holding company.

 

  • ‘FINFLUENCERS’ CHARGED FOR PROMOTING UNAUTHORISED TRADING SCHEME

The FCA has brought charges against nine individuals in relation to an unauthorised foreign exchange trading scheme promoted on social media.

Emmanuel Nwanze has been charged with running an unauthorised investment scheme and issuing unauthorised financial promotions. 

The FCA alleges that, between 19 May 2018 and 13 April 2021, Mr Nwanze and Holly Thompson used an Instagram account (@holly_fxtrends) to provide advice on buying and selling contracts for difference (CFDs) when they were not authorised to do so. 

CFDs are a high-risk investment product used to bet on the price of an asset, in this case the price of foreign currencies. 

The FCA also alleges that Mr Nwanze paid Biggs Chris, Jamie Clayton, Lauren Goodger, Rebecca Gormley, Yazmin Oukhellou, Scott Timlin and Eva Zapico to promote the @holly_fxtrends Instagram account to their millions of Instagram followers.

Ms Thompson, Mr Chris, Mr Clayton, Ms Goodger, Ms Gormley, Ms Oukhellou, Mr Timlin and Ms Zapico each face one count of issuing unauthorised communications of financial promotions.

The defendants will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 13 June 2024.

 

  • NEW VISA RULES FORCE HSBC AND DELOITTE TO WITHDRAW UK JOB OFFERS

The UK government has recently raised the salary thresholds for skilled worker visas in an effort to reduce migration numbers. This increase means that many roles, particularly those outside of London, do not meet the new salary threshold, making it difficult for companies to sponsor visas for foreign employees.

As a result, major companies like HSBC and Deloitte have rescinded job offers to several foreign graduates.

This policy change has also led KPMG to cancel contracts for some international recruits.

The new rules, which came into effect in April, increase the salary requirement from £26,200 to £38,700 for skilled worker visas, and to £30,960 for workers under 26.

This has forced many large employers to rethink their hiring practices, especially regarding foreign graduates who no longer meet the new criteria.

 

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