Hello! Here’s what you need to know on Thursday.
1. President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that transgender people could not serve in the US military. No one’s sure what that means for an estimated 10,000 people currently in service, but The Justice Department appears to be gearing up for a legal fight with the LGBTQ community. A retired a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs who is transgender, Kristin Beck, wants Trump to tell her she’s not worthy to her face, and there’s a theory that the announcement is all about saving a bill to fund the Mexican border wall.
2. Trump then took credit for a $US10 billion factory Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn is building in the US. The maker of Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Xbox will open its first major American factory in Wisconsin. “If I didn’t get elected, he definitely wouldn’t be spending $US10 billion,” Trump said of Foxconn CEO Terry Gou.
3. British prime minister Theresa May is breaking her promise to give all primary school children free breakfasts. Two months after the Tories were narrowly re-elected, that pledge became the latest part of the election manifesto abandoned, with school system minister Lord Nash saying “we do not plan to introduce free breakfasts”.
4. Facebook beat Wall Street’s expectations for earnings with $US9.32 billion in revenue. Mobile ads delivered big time as the world’s largest social network maintained steady 17% year-over-year user growth, with 66% of its 2.01 billion users visiting the service every day.
5. Meanwhile, Slack just got a $US4.82 valuation in a mega funding round led by SoftBank and Accel. The company’s revenues are around 20% of that figure.
6. China’s top 100 government owned enterprises must become limited liability or joint stock companies by the end of 2017. The State Council direction follows a decision earlier this month to reduce state sector debts and shut down “zombie companies”, declaring that 90% of the nation’s state-owned companies have already been restructured. State firms are believed to account for around 70% of China’s total non-financial debt.
7. Amazon made its first foray into South-east Asia today, launching the delivery service Prime Now in Singapore. The US e-commmerce coming is taking on Lazada, the region’s largest e-commerce site, owned by Chinese tech giant Alibaba. Lazada has a membership programme called LiveUp, offering deal on Netflix, Uber, UberEats and others.
8. Asian stocks are at their highest in nearly a decade. Bulls acted on a belief that the Federal Reserve’s confidence on inflation keeping U.S. interest rates low for longer is softening.
9. Oaktree Capital Management founder Howard Marks says cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are “not real”. The billionaire’s latest 22-page Oaktree memo show unconvinced he’s that they hold any long-term promise. He’s also concerned that markets are entering “too bullish territory” and that a bubble could be forming.
10. These are the 16 highest paid CEOs in the world of banking. For some reason, the Financial Times left Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO Ian Narev, who pocketed $AU12.3 million ($US9.88m, £7.53m) in FY16, off the list. He would have been in 12th place behind Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam.
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