Tesla’s German EV factory gets the green light. This bolsters the carmaker’s push to expand in Europe’s fast-growing electric-vehicle market. The long-awaited decision is a boon to Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who plans to challenge the likes of Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, and Mercedes-Benz AG on their home turf just as they broaden their own EV offerings. Read more here.
Investors face deep losses on $170bn in Russian assets. Pension plans and hedge funds are among big asset managers that have begun writing down the value of their holdings. If you’re left holding Russian assets either you sell at a very low price, assuming that it’s possible and you can actually find a buyer. Otherwise, you may have to write them off to zero.
Nearly all Russian ETFs are halted in the U.S. It started Friday morning when the NYSE ARCA exchange halted trading in the iShares MSCI Russia exchange-traded fund. The Franklin FTSE Russia ETF (FLRU) and Direxion Daily Russia Bull 2X Shares (RUSL) were also halted. BlackRock released a statement acknowledging the halt. Read more here.
Companies are putting the brakes on IPOs. They are also halting equity capital markets transactions as investors pull back following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the U.S., companies pulled equity-capital-markets transactions valued at $1.17 billion in February, up from the $350 million in deals that were withdrawn a year before. Read more here.
Single-family rents have grown faster than mortgage payments, apartment rents, incomes, and inflation over the last 21+ years, partially due to its strength in the early 2000s. Very steady growth too. Mortgage payments and apartment rents are poised to catch up soon.
Office occupancy is increasing. Employees are headed back to the office. As they return, companies want more space. Occupancy is increasing in major tech metro areas, the rising occupancy in these tech metro areas indicates that tech companies are contributing to the demand for office space. As of February, office occupancy continued to increase, with 84% of 390 metro areas seeing a rise, according to CoStar data.
Amazon will close all 68 of its quirky, one-off brick-and-mortar concepts. The company will be closing down all 68 bookstores, 4-Star stores, and Pop Up locations while focusing on its agglomeration of grocery store concepts. The decision proves just how hard retail is. Supply chain woes and a protracted labor shortage mean brick-and-mortar retailers have a whole new set of challenges to overcome. Read more here.
WHAT TO WATCH
Volkswagen to build a $2.2bn new EV plant to keep up with Tesla. Volkswagen AG is moving ahead with a plan to add an electric-car factory in Germany. VW’s new plant will be built close to its sprawling facility in Wolfsburg. The site, which will make a new model named code-named Trinity, will start construction in 2023 with cars rolling off the production line from 2026.
Berkshire Hathaway reveals a $5 billion stake in oil giant Occidental Petroleum. It’s been moving sharply higher along with the price of oil, which has soared to around $115 barrel in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Berkshire only owns around 9% of Occidental’s common shares. But it also has warrants to buy another 83.9 million shares at $59.62.
Coal runs hot as the Russia-Ukraine war risks Europe’s climate agenda. A surge in a benchmark thermal coal price to a record high of $446 a metric ton this week reflected this reordering of priorities among governments that have been trying to phase out fossil fuels because of their contribution to climate change. Read more here.
Disney plans to launch an ad-supported tier for Disney+ later this year. The company did not exactly say when or what the price would be, only that the ad-supported offering would expand internationally in 2023. Motley Fool's Emily Flippen thinks this move is to increase the monthly revenue per user and bring them more in line with existing offerings. Source(21:45)
The ripple effects of sanctions can be prevented by government intervention, according to Chamath Palihapitiya. The global economy mainly from Japan, Europe, Canada, and the US can collectively support $5-7 trillion of subsidies to blunt the economic impact of sanctions and at the same time, shut Russian exports off for at most 10 years. Source(49:05)
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