Rivian, FedEx, Cerner, Oracle: What to | Stock Market News Today

Stock futures are down at the end of a week that saw major central banks chart divergent courses as they confront inflation. Here’s what we’re watching in Friday’s action:

Cerner’s stock got a premarket boost after it was reported that Oracle was in talks to acquire the company.


Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Associated Press

Chart of the Day
  • Investors say Chinese authorities are likely to ease up somewhat on the embattled real-estate sector and to loosen monetary policy, helping support Chinese corporate borrowers more broadly.

Write to James Willhite at [email protected]

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Latest News Today – Nirmala Sitharaman Asks Ministries To Spend More On

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked ministries to spend on large projects

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked Secretaries of all key infrastructure sector ministries to push expenditure on large important projects, to ensure that achievements are commensurate with timelines. The departments have also been urged to achieve more than their capacity expansion targets.

During a review meeting of the infrastructure sector, the Finance Minister suggested that all ministries should explore the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for viable projects.

With the Centre keen to give a boost to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector, Ms Sitharaman also asked the ministries and their public sector undertakings to ensure clearance of all MSME dues by July 31, 2021.

While reviewing the capital expenditure performance of the infrastructure ministries and their undertakings, the Finance Minister emphasised that enhanced capital expenditure will play a critical role in revitalising the economy post-pandemic and encouraged the ministries to front-load their capital expenditure.

She directed the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry to expedite the capital expenditure and make efforts for front loading it. The Steel Ministry was asked to front load capex and facilitate private investment by providing support and removing bottlenecks.

Similarly the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry was asked to expedite monetisation of assets during 2021-22. 

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SoftBank Latin America Fund Leads $28 Million Atom Finance | Sidnaz Blog

SoftBank Group Corp.

9984 -0.18%

is investing in startup investing platform Atom Finance, in a bet by the Japanese conglomerate that a retail trading boom is here to stay.

Atom Finance, founded in 2018, lets individuals track investments and research holdings. In addition to SoftBank, existing investors General Catalyst and Base Partners also took part in the latest $28 million funding round. The investment values Atom at around $150 million, said a person familiar with the matter.

Atom was founded by

Eric Shoykhet,

who covered financial services firms and other sectors from 2015 to 2018 at hedge fund Governors Lane. He believed falling trading costs would prompt more individual investors to trade. This meant that they would need new kinds of tools to guide them.

‘The narrative we never bought into was that active investing was dead,’ said Atom Finance founder Eric Shoykhet.


Atom Finance

In 2019, major brokerages launched no-commission stock trading to stave off the threat from digital upstart Robinhood Markets Inc. Now, all kinds of brokerages compete against each other for retail traders with free trading having become a booming business. It has been particularly transformative in the past year as more investors with free time during the pandemic have wielded growing power over markets, sending meme stocks such as

GameStop Corp.


Atom isn’t a trading platform but it has still been a beneficiary. Hundreds of thousands of users have signed up since its platform launched in 2019. Paying customers increased in the past year, though the firm declined to provide exact details about user numbers.

“We think a lot of that increase in investor participation in markets is here to stay,” said Mr. Shoykhet, 29 years old. “The narrative we never bought into was that active investing was dead.”

Mr. Shoykhet hopes his firm will grow as individuals seek cheap tools to help them invest. A full Atom subscription goes for $9.99 a month, a fraction of how much a Bloomberg Terminal costs.

Atom also plans to license its product to banks and brokerages.

SoftBank led the Series B funding round in Atom through a $5 billion fund it created to focus on Latin America. It reflects SoftBank’s wager that the rise of individuals in U.S. markets will take off in that region too.

This year, Atom pursued a deal on its own to provide products for Banco Inter, a digital bank in Brazil that SoftBank’s Latin America fund has also invested in.

Shu Nyatta,

managing partner for SoftBank’s Latin America fund, said SoftBank later introduced Atom to other portfolio companies in hopes of fueling similar deals.

“The whole idea is to bring high-quality data to people who wouldn’t have access to them,” he said.

Mr. Nyatta said he was drawn to Mr. Shoykhet’s opportunism and willingness to make Latin America a strategic focus. Mr. Shoykhet recently moved to Miami and is planning to open an office there, in part to make it easier to do business with Latin America.

But there is one thing Atom Finance isn’t planning to do for now: It doesn’t want to become a trading application.

Mr. Shoykhet is skeptical about many e-brokerages’ practice of routing trades to big trading firms in exchange for payments. The industry has defended this practice, known as payment for order flow, arguing that it lowers the cost of trading for individuals. Others argue it hurts investors as firms will encourage heavy trading by users to maximize profits—even if those investors take too much risk.

“We don’t think it has users’ best interests in mind,” he said.

Write to Dawn Lim at [email protected]

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Private-Equity Group Nears Deal to Buy Medline for Over $30 | Sidnaz Blog

Medline is a little-known but major player in the field of medical equipment, with some $17.5 billion in annual sales.


Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Associated Press

A group of private-equity firms including

Blackstone Group Inc.

BX 0.95%

is nearing a deal to acquire Medline Industries Inc. that would value the medical-supply giant at more than $30 billion, in one of the largest leveraged buyouts since the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal could come together as soon as this weekend assuming the talks don’t fall apart, the people said. The Blackstone consortium includes

Carlyle Group Inc.

CG 0.63%

and Hellman & Friedman LLC. They beat out a rival bid from the private-equity arm of Canadian investing giant

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.,

BAM 0.12%

the people said.

Including debt, the transaction would be valued at about $34 billion, and north of $30 billion excluding borrowings, the people said. That could potentially make it the largest healthcare LBO ever.

Based in Northfield, Ill., family-owned Medline is a little-known but major player in the field of medical equipment. It manufactures and distributes equipment and supplies used in hospitals, surgery centers, acute-care and other medical facilities in over 125 countries. It has some $17.5 billion in annual sales, according to its website.

Brothers James and Jon Mills founded the company in 1966, taking it public in 1972. The brothers bought back the shares five years later. James’s son Charlie has been Medline’s CEO since 1997.

The family will remain the single largest shareholder in the company after the buyout and the management team will remain in place, some of the people said.

Write to Cara Lombardo at [email protected] and Miriam Gottfried at [email protected]

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Latest News Today – ‘Greater Capex To Play Crucial Role In Revitalizing

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the virtual meeting with senior government officials

While reviewing the capital expenditure performance of the key ministries and their central public sector enterprises or CPSEs today, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman emphasized that an enhanced capital expenditure or capex will play a crucial role in economic revival after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Finance Minister chaired a virtual meeting on June 4 with senior government officials and encouraged the ministries to front-load their capital expenditure and also to ensure the clearance of MSME dues. (Also Read: GST Council To Discuss Tax Rate On COVID Essentials, Compensation To States )

According to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance on Friday, June 4, Ms Sitharaman also asked the ministries to aim to achieve more than their capex targets. She said that the budget for the financial year 2021-22 provided a capital outlay of Rs.5.54 lakh crore. This is a sharp 34.5 per cent over the budget estimate of the previous fiscal 2020-21. 

This was the fourth review meeting by the finance minister with the ministries or departments and the second in the series of meetings scheduled on the infrastructure roadmap ahead of Budget 2021-22. Capital expenditure plans of ministries and their CPSEs, the status of the implementation of budget announcements, and various measures to expedite infrastructure investment were discussed.

Ms Sitharaman highlighted that the infrastructure expenditure is not just central government budgetary expenditure on infrastructure and includes infrastructures pending by state governments and the private sector. She added that it also includes the government expenditure through the extra-budgetary resources.

Ministries have to work actively on getting projects funded through structuring and financing and provide support to the private sector for enhancing infrastructure spending, according to the Finance Minister. She directed that ministries also need to explore public-private partnership (PPP)) mode for viable projects.

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As Blackstone Barrels Toward Trillion-Dollar Asset Goal, Growth | Sidnaz Blog

Blackstone Group Inc.

BX -0.77%

became an investing powerhouse by making successful bets on undervalued companies. For the next leg of its expansion, the firm is focused on companies with big growth prospects, even if it has to pay up for them.


Jonathan Gray

became Blackstone’s day-to-day leader in 2018, he has encouraged the heads of its businesses, who collectively manage $619 billion of assets, to develop big-picture convictions and invest in companies or assets that stand to benefit from those trends.

The new approach has led the New York firm to plow billions into faster-growing companies—including in the technology sector—to which it previously paid less attention.

It has taken Blackstone out of its traditional comfort zone of turning underperforming companies around through cost cuts and efficiency improvements—and juicing returns by employing ample helpings of borrowed money.

The growth bug has bitten nearly every corner of the sprawling firm, including its real-estate, credit and hedge-fund businesses. Among the assets in its main buyout fund is a big stake in

Bumble Inc.,

BMBL 2.98%

which Blackstone acquired in 2019 in a deal that valued the owner of the dating app at $3 billion. The stake has nearly quintupled in value as the company’s market capitalization shot to about $14 billion following its February initial public offering.

Mr. Gray’s thematic approach and the growth orientation it has spawned show how the 51-year-old heir-apparent to Chief Executive

Stephen Schwarzman

is making his mark on the firm as it barrels toward a goal of managing $1 trillion in assets by 2026.

“Investing is about looking forward, but the future is now coming faster,” he said in an interview. “You want to be exposed to businesses that benefit from this change.”

A big goal of his is for employees in the firm’s disparate businesses to all think about the same themes and discuss them with each other.

The company’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. Blackstone currently manages $619 billion of assets.

Blackstone has long been interested in identifying growing industries, but under Mr. Gray has become more clear about what it won’t buy, said

Joseph Baratta,

global head of private equity at the firm. In addition to brick-and-mortar retailers, that list includes established media-and-telecommunications providers and companies reliant on single-use plastics.

“There are certain types of companies that we’re just not going to invest in, no matter how cheap they are,” Mr. Baratta said.

The strategy isn’t without risk. The assets the firm is collecting could be among the first to get hit if, for example, the recent increase in interest rates continues as the economy emerges from the pandemic-induced lockdown.

Rivals such as

Apollo Global Management Inc.

have largely resisted the allure of the growth strategy, preferring instead to put money into hard-hit areas like gaming and physical retail. But even the historically value-focused Apollo has done more technology-related deals in its most recent buyout funds. The firm also raised two blank-check companies targeting growth-oriented deals.

Among the themes that have guided recent Blackstone investments are the ongoing shift to e-commerce and the technology-fueled advancement of the life-sciences industry.

The firm has launched a new business dedicated to investing in life sciences—including by backing new drugs in the late stages of development, the last thing a traditional leveraged buyout would target. It hired

Jon Korngold,

a veteran of growth-investing pioneer General Atlantic, to build a new business taking minority stakes in growing companies.

Blackstone, which previously had virtually no West Coast presence, has opened a San Francisco office and hired executives and advisers from technology companies such as

Amazon.com Inc.


Snowflake Inc.

SNOW 1.90%

And in November, it hired

Jennifer Morgan,

former co-chief executive of business-software giant SAP SE, to lead a team helping the firm’s 200-plus portfolio companies “drive growth through digital transformation.”

‘Investing is about looking forward, but the future is now coming faster,’ says Blackstone’s day-to-day leader.

Blackstone isn’t alone. An increasing number of its rivals and stock investors have embraced growth as a decadelong bull market pushes up the price of all manner of assets and leaves fewer and fewer pockets of value. The two-year rolling average of purchase-price multiples for U.S. buyouts reached a record 12.8 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2020, according to an analysis by McKinsey & Co. That’s up from 11.9 times in 2019 and 10.2 times in 2015.

Mr. Gray’s thematic push was born from personal experience. He led Blackstone’s $26 billion deal to buy

Hilton Hotels Corp.

HLT -0.99%

on the eve of the financial crisis. As the hotel chain’s business suffered during the ensuing economic downturn, outsiders would often label the deal a failure. Instead, Hilton became one of the most successful private-equity investments of all time, ultimately reaping more than $14 billion in profits, or more than three times Blackstone’s initial investment.

Mr. Gray said the experience taught him that the efforts of Blackstone and Hilton’s management may not have been enough if the company weren’t the beneficiary of a long-term growth trend in global travel, the thesis that underpinned the investment.

“In the fullness of time, what mattered was you picked the right neighborhood, not the right house,” Mr. Gray said.

(Mr. Gray’s fondness for hotels abides, witness Blackstone and Starwood Capital Group’s agreement this month to acquire

Extended Stay America Inc.

STAY 0.26%

in a bet that a rare bright spot for the lodging industry during Covid-19 will continue to thrive.)


How do you expect Blackstone’s investment strategy to play out in the long term? Join the conversation below.

He also led the firm’s first foray into industrial warehouses in 2010, betting on the ascendance of e-commerce around the world. Blackstone is now the largest owner of warehouses used for e-commerce, with a roughly $100 billion portfolio consisting of 880 million square feet of such properties around the world.

The two highly successful real-estate bets helped propel Mr. Gray’s rise at the private-equity giant.

One example of how his growth-related themes are being applied across the firm is Blackstone’s April 2020 investment in biotech company

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc.

ALNY 2.94%

The $2 billion deal consisted of a $1 billion investment led by Blackstone Life Sciences in a portion of the future total royalties of a cholesterol drug.

Its credit arm also provided Alnylam with a term loan of up to $750 million, and Blackstone bought $100 million of the company’s stock. The firm’s real-estate business also owns Alnylam’s landlord, BioMed Realty, which consists of 91 life-science properties. Blackstone last year agreed to sell the company from one of its funds to another in a deal that valued BioMed at $14.6 billion.

The growth bug has bitten nearly every part of Blackstone, including its real-estate, credit and hedge-fund businesses.

Write to Miriam Gottfried at [email protected]

What You Need to Know About Investing

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Funds unlikely for Telangana infra projects | Hyderabad News | Hyderabad News

HYDERABAD: With a major dent in state’s own income due to Covid-19-induced economic slowdown, many infrastructure projects may be brought under zero budget category. An obvious step to make for budget estimations, the state government is likely to propose a cut in capital expenditure this time for the next fiscal.

The state said there was a shortfall of about Rs 52,000 crore for the budget estimates of the 2019-20. The government had presented budget of Rs 1.82 lakh crore, but has not been able to generate income, partly because of recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission and also reduction in transfer of state’s share of funds from the Centre.
The only respite for the state in terms of own income seems to be excise revenue thanks to increase in the prices despite no sale during the lockdown. Due to temporary freeze, the income from registration has touched around Rs 3,500 crore whereas budget expectation was around Rs 10,000 crore.
Excise income has reached the expected level, the budget expectation was about Rs 16,000 crore. It has already crossed Rs 10,000 crore. Ever since the formation of Telangana, there has been consistent increase in excise income . For the financial year 2018- 19, the state had earned Rs 1,000 crore more than expected revenue.
“There will not be any cut in welfare schemes as they were promised to people, but we can certainly wait on building infrastructure till finances improve. The expenditure on infrastructure like expansion and building of roads, projects like irrigation are covered under the capital expenditure,” a top source told TOI. They might be under zero budget category with no allocation.
Sources say there was a possibility of increasing the number of bars in the state and increase in prices to make up for losses. The land registration prices might also go up in the mean time.

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Finance Minister Proposes Sharp Increase In Capital | Sidnaz Blog

Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a sharp 34.5 per cent hike in capital expenditure to Rs 5.54 lakh crore

The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed a sharp 34.5 per cent hike in capital expenditure to Rs 5.54 lakh crore in financial year 2022 in order to push growth. Ms Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Budget in Parliament today at a time when the country is facing a once-in-a-lifetime health crisis. 


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U.S. Considers Adding Alibaba, Tencent to China Stock Ban | Sidnaz Blog

U.S. officials are considering prohibiting Americans from investing in

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

BABA -4.22%


Tencent Holdings Ltd.

TCEHY -0.43%

, said people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, State Department and Department of Defense officials have held conversations on expanding a blacklist of companies that are prohibited to U.S. investments because of claimed ties to China’s military and security services. The U.S. government announced its original blacklist in November with 31 companies.

The departments have debated with the Treasury Department over whether adding these firms could have wide capital-markets ramifications, the people said. The plan is still under deliberation and may not go through as agencies debate its impact on markets, the people added.

Tencent and Alibaba are China’s two most-valuable publicly listed companies with a combined market capitalization of over $1.3 trillion, and their shares are held by scores of U.S. mutual funds and other investors. If enacted, the move would be a major escalation by the exiting Trump administration on its efforts to unwind U.S. investors’ holdings in major Chinese companies.

Alibaba and Tencent are tracked by major indexes including those created by


and FTSE Russell. Alibaba, listed in both New York and Hong Kong, and Hong Kong-listed Tencent are heavyweights in widely followed global stock indexes. Like most foreign companies, the stocks aren’t included in the Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Biggest Chinese companies by market value

In the last few weeks of the Trump presidency, U.S. government officials have clashed over the scope of the list of companies off limits to U.S. investors. Pentagon and State officials have been pushing for a list with broad reach that includes high-profile companies and subsidiaries of already-named companies in China. The agencies have urged a tougher line to curb China’s military and security services’ access to data troves, advanced technologies and expertise. Treasury, fearing forced selling could rock financial markets, wants a more narrow list.

The Pentagon, the lead agency managing the list, had no immediate comment. The State Department and Treasury Department had no immediate comment.

A spokeswoman at Alibaba didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokesman at Tencent declined to comment.

China’s Ministry of Commerce didn’t respond to a request sent outside business hours, and the Chinese embassy in the U.S. referred to a December comment by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that said “China firmly opposes the wanton suppression of Chinese companies by the United States,” and “the Chinese government will continue to safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate and lawful rights and interests.”

Write to Dawn Lim at [email protected], Jing Yang at [email protected] and Gordon Lubold at [email protected]

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