26 Aug 2021

1.Deutsche Bank:The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Deutsche Bank ‘s asset manager DWS over how it used sustainable investing criteria to manage its assets, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The news, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, sent DWS shares down almost 13% in morning trade.

The two people spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing investigations. DWS and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

If it progresses, the case will be watched closely by the asset management industry.

Fund managers have rapidly amassed billions of dollars of assets that are meant to have an environmental or social profile, but is facing growing scrutiny over how firms define and apply environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

The SEC investigation follows a report earlier this month, also by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing the former head of sustainability at DWS saying the investment firm overstated how it used sustainable investing criteria to manage investments.

The former manager, who could not immediately be reached for comment, left DWS earlier this year after less than a year in the job.

An SEC spokesperson said: “The SEC does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of a possible investigation.”

2.Barclays : Barclays said on Thursday it is pumping in more than $400 million into its India arm to tap rising corporate and investment banking activity in the country that is now recovering from the pandemic.

This is Barclays (‘ single largest capital infusion in its Indian business in the last three decades. It comes after the British lender pulled out of the retail business in Asia’s third-largest economy in 2011 and exited its equity investment business in 2016.

Barclays said the investment would help grow its corporate and debt investment banking, as well as private clients businesses.

Revenue from investment banking in India so far this year was $498 million, versus $339 million in the same period last year and $538 million in 2020, according to Dealogic.

Barclays leads India’s debt capital market by USD bond volume, with a year-to-date share of 14%, according to Dealogic. Rivals such as JPMorgan  and Standard Chartered have a share of 13% each, while HSBC has 12%.

“As economic activity gathers momentum, there is increased demand for capital from clients,” said Jaideep Khanna, Barclays country CEO for India.

Barclays India mainly lends to corporates with exposures largely to highly rated clients and subsidiaries of multi-national companies, according to Fitch unit India Ratings & Research.

“Last year was a very good year for debt capital market in India, particularly as domestic bank credit didn’t take off much. There was a lot of interest in global credit and the overall market has been robust,” said Ananth Narayan, associate professor of finance at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research.

With the fresh capital infusion, Barclays India’s Tier-1 capital has increased by 55%.

“According to central bank norms, there are limits placed on what a lender can do with respect to their balance sheet, but now that the bank’s overall capital base has expanded, its ability to lend more has increased,” according to a source familiar with the matter, who did not wish to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

3. PFIZER-Pfizer Inc on Wednesday said a booster dose of its two-shot COVID-19 vaccine spurs a more than threefold increase in antibodies against the coronavirus, as the company seeks U.S. regulatory approval for a third injection.

The drugmaker and its German partner BioNTech SE aim to complete the submission for use of booster shots in people aged 16 and over by the end of this week.

That eight-month gap is likely to be narrowed to six months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Pfizer said 306 people given a third dose of its vaccine between five and eight months after their second shot showed levels of neutralizing antibodies that were 3.3 times the levels seen after their second shot.

The study, details of which have not yet been published, also found that side effects of a third shot were similar to second-dose reactions, including mild to moderate fatigue and headache, the company said.

4.CIGNA:-Cigna Corp said on Thursday it would now sell health insurance plans on online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly known as Obamacare, in three new U.S. states and 93 new counties.

The company will offer individual and family plans to customers in Georgia, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, as well as counties in Arizona, Florida and Virginia through individual exchanges, totaling to 313 counties spanning 13 states.

In February, CVS Health Corp  said it would return to selling individual health insurance plans on the ACA-created online marketplaces, citing stability in the market.

CVS Health’s Aetna  insurance unit and other large health insurers such as UnitedHealth Group Inc  exited these online exchanges in 2017 and 2018, due to financial losses and uncertainty as Republicans took aim at former U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature law.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Republican bid backed by former President Donald Trump’s administration to invalidate Obamacare, preserving the landmark healthcare law for the third time since its 2010 enactment.

.5.SAMSUNG –  Google will tap Samsung Electronics  Co Ltd to supply the 5G modem for its next flagship Pixel smartphone, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, signaling the first win for the Korean firm in a U.S. market dominated by Qualcomm  Inc.

Earlier this month, Google disclosed that it has designed its own processor chip to power its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro high-end phones, ending its complete reliance on Qualcomm, which will still supply chips for the lower-priced Pixel 5A.

Nikkei Asia earlier reported Samsung  will manufacture the processor for Google, a unit of Alphabet  Inc. Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters Samsung will also supply the 5G modem technology.

Samsung’s move to provide the Pixel’s modem technology is important because the Korean firm is one of only three companies in the world capable of making 5G modems that connect devices to wireless data networks. The others are Qualcomm, the market leader by a wide margin, and Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc.

Samsung widely uses its Exynos modem technology in its own flagship smart phones in Asia and Europe. But it has long relied on Qualcomm to provide modems for U.S. versions.

That is in part because Qualcomm has a technology lead in a variant of 5G networking called millimeter wave, which provides the fastest speeds available with the new networks. To date, all smart phones released in the United States – including Apple Inc’s iPhone – have used Qualcomm chips to tap millimeter wave networks.

Samsung told Reuters its new modem technology was capable of millimeter wave networking, and Google said its new phones will support millimeter wave networks as previous versions did, though neither company would comment directly on whether they are working together on the new Pixel.