1.APPLE: -Apple boss Tim Cook took aim on Wednesday at proposed European rules aimed at curbing the power of U.S. tech giants, saying they could pose security and privacy risks to iPhones.
Cook, in his first public comments about the Digital Markets Act (DMA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, said parts were good but others were not. He said he feared the draft rules would lead to more installing of apps that do not come via Apple’s App Store, or “side-loading”.
“You take an example here where I don’t think it’s in the best interest (of the user): the current DMA language that is being discussed would force side-loading on the iPhone,” the Apple CEO, speaking remotely, said at VivaTech, France´s biggest tech conference.
“And so this would be an ultimate way of getting apps onto the iPhone,” he said. “It would destroy the security of the iPhone, and a lot of the privacy initiatives that we’ve built into the App Store or the privacy intrusion labels and app-tracking transparency,” he added.
Earlier this month, EU lawmaker Andreas Schwab, who is leading the European Parliament scrutiny of the draft rules, said he wanted to beef up the legislation and narrow its scope to just big companies like Google ,Amazon , Apple and Facebook
2.BYTE DANCE:- TikTok Owner ByteDance’s gross profit surged 93% to $19 billion last year, while its net loss for 2020 totaled $45 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing a memo.
The company’s revenue last year more than doubled to $34.3 billion, the newspaper said
3.TOSHIBA:- The chairman of Toshiba Corp, facing calls to resign amid a corporate governance scandal, said he may step down after revamping its board and appointing a new CEO, according to the Wall Street Journal.
An independent investigation has alleged that Toshiba management colluded with Japan’s trade ministry to block foreign investors from gaining board influence, reviving concerns about Japanese corporate governance and prompting calls for Board Chairman Osamu Nagayama to resign.
“These are the two major tasks if I remain as a board member and the chairperson of the board,” Nagayama was quoted as saying in the Journal interview.
“When I see the whole thing set in the right order, it’s an appropriate time I consider myself to resign.”
4. BLACKSTONE:- Blackstone Group Inc will take control of SOHO China Ltd in a HK$23.7 billion ($3.05 billion) deal and maintain its stock market listing, the Chinese office developer said in a filing on Wednesday, while the founders will retain a 9% stake.
The U.S. private equity firm will offer HK$5 per share, 31.6% higher than the last closing price of HK$3.8 on Friday, in what would be its largest real estate deal in China.
SOHO China’s shares jumped as much as 25.8% to HK$4.78 early on Thursday, as they resumed trading after being suspended since Tuesday.
Blackstone , which currently owns around 6 million square metres (65 million square feet) of properties in China, is seeking to expand there as it is confident about the country’s long-term economic prospects and the Beijing and Shanghai office market, the filing said.
SOHO China, a major developer well known for its futuristic office buildings on the mainland, has 1.3 million square meters of commercial properties in the country.
The company is 64% owned by the husband-and-wife founding team of Chairman Pan Shiyi and Chief Executive Zhang Xin. After the deal, they will become its second-largest shareholder with a 9% interest.
The offer is conditional on Chinese competition authorities granting clearance, the filing added.
Founded in 1995, SOHO China went public in Hong Kong in 2007. Its shares have gained 62% in the past month and it had a market value of $2.55 billion at the stock’s last close, according to Refinitiv data.
The company has been scouting for buyers for its prime commercial property assets as the founders looked to shift their focus to overseas markets. Reuters reported last year Blackstone was in exclusive talks to take SOHO China private in a $4 billion deal, but later halted the talks.
5.GOLDMAN SACHS –Global banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs are delaying plans for workers to return to U.K. offices after the government extended its COVID-19 restrictions until mid-July due to the rapid spread of the more infectious Delta variant.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc , which required most U.S. staff to return to offices this week, told U.K. staff on Tuesday that working at its London office will remain voluntary for now, according to a memo seen by Reuters. Social distancing and mask-wearing is required, while the broader return to office plans are postponed until July, the bank said.
JPMorgan Chase & Co, which is requiring the majority of U.S. staff to return next month, notified U.K.-based employees that its broad return-to-office plans are on hold until July, according a memo to its staff.
The investment banks had planned to bring more staff back to offices–on a rotational basis, subject to a 50% occupancy cap–on some of the quickest timelines.
For both banks, roughly 20-30% of staff had been working in offices for several months, which allowed them to work out social distancing and health check protocols.
But the U.K. said delaying full reopening until July 19 will allow it to get more people fully vaccinated. Currently, about 41 million people have received their first shot and nearly 30 million have had both doses – about 57% of the adult population.
The majority of Goldman Sachs employees have “either had their first dose (of the vaccine) or expect to receive it before Monday, 21 June,” Richard Gnodde, head of Goldman Sachs International, wrote in his memo to staff.
Studies on Monday showed the Delta variant doubles the risk of hospitalization, but two doses of vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca offer more than 90% protection against hospitalization.