Investor Relations Week: Fake Letter Writer Fink Strikes Again, Trump Spac Shares Jump, WeWork Finally Goes Public


– “The team behind BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s 2019 fake letter has struck again,” said Institutional investor. Targeting Vanguard and Marvel Entertainment this time, “a group of activist comedians” known as Yes Men issued fake dueling press releases to reporters on Tuesday, Institutional investor reported, in a stunt apparently designed to push Vanguard to take action on climate change.

The publication said a fake press release from Vanguard announced that the company had set up a “sustainable investments” department that would help it develop a shareholder engagement strategy. The bogus announcement also claimed that by 2030, Vanguard would create “fossil-free, deforestation-free funds.” [the] default option ”for investors, and that it would launch a“ Vanguardians of the Galaxy ”ESG fund for young investors. Additionally, the Yes Men issued a fake press release from Marvel, which produced the guardians of the galaxy film in 2014, denouncing “the abuse of intellectual property to green the financing of fossil fuels”.

– The Financial Time (paywall) reported that a group of 11 hedge funds made millions of dollars in potential earnings in a single day this week after a special purpose acquisition company (Spac) that merged with the new group of Donald Trump’s social media rose 421% on Thursday. . The former US president this week launched a social media outlet called Truth Social that aims to compete with Facebook and Twitter, creating a platform for his right-wing supporters ahead of a possible bid for power in 2024. Shares in Spac have soared from $ 9.96 to $ 51.90. They ultimately closed at $ 45.50, up 357% from the previous day, the newspaper said.

– “After two years, a failed IPO, a plunging valuation and a pandemic that reset many workers’ relationships with the office,” coworking company WeWork has started “a new life” as a state-owned company, said The New York Times (paying). The newspaper’s Dealbook newsletter said that SoftBank, the company’s largest funder, “faces a tough climb just to break even on its multibillion-dollar investment.” WeWork was once valued at $ 47 billion; it is now expected to trade at a market cap of around $ 8 billion. “I made a bad decision,” Masa Son, head of SoftBank, said last year. The NYT also noted that Adam Neumann, co-founder and former CEO of WeWork who was ousted by the company after its failed IPO, still owns an 11% stake in the company and can attend board meetings administration starting next year. “This raises questions as to whether WeWork will ever be able to escape its shadow,” the newspaper said.

– Fossil fuel companies have not been given any official role in the COP26 climate summit, revealed the Guardian, amid “growing concern among British officials that the net zero plans of the big oil companies do not add up”. Last year, the document revealed that fossil fuel companies had held a series of private meetings with UK officials in an attempt to be part of COP26. Documents seen by the Guardian revealed that some of the world’s biggest polluters had lobbied the government, “offering money in exchange for exposure at the event and in a case saying they could act as a go-between between those responsible British and other governments “. Now, however, the UK’s COP unit has confirmed that no fossil fuel major will have a formal role.

– A ‘struggle for ownership’ of a vast power grid in Australia looms as a test of the country’s attitude towards foreign investment in critical infrastructure, months after Canberra tightened approval rules for foreign owners, said Nikkei Asia (paywall). AusNet Services, which owns and operates the electricity transmission network and gas and electricity distribution assets in the country’s second most populous state, Victoria, is at the center of a bidding battle between Canadian investment firm Brookfield and Australia’s largest pipeline operator, APA Grouper.

This is the first time since new rules were put in place at the start of the year that a controlling stake in an asset perceived to be “sensitive” has been for sale, and the Canadian firm’s stake means that global investors are very attentive, reported the news agency. “Since the rules reflect Australia’s sensitivity, particularly to investments by Chinese state-owned companies, a further twist with AusNet is that one of the vendors would be the State Grid Corporation of China, which currently owns 19, 9% of the company. Approval of a deal would remove State Grid from the image. ‘

– It seems Bitcoin ETFs are like buses: you wait for one for ages, then two arrive at the same time. This is what happened this week when not one but two Bitcoin ETFs started trading in the United States. Shares of the first US Bitcoin-linked ETF rose on Tuesday when they debuted on the market: CNBC reported that the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, ticker BITO, jumped 4.8% to close at $ 41.94. The fund follows CME[Chicago Mercantile Exchange?? If not, what is CME??] Bitcoin futures contracts, or contracts speculating on the future price of Bitcoin, rather than the cryptocurrency itself. “This means that ETF investors should expect the price and performance of stocks to differ somewhat from the price of Bitcoin itself,” he said.[who? CNBC?] Explain. “It’s not ideal for existing investors; many take a long-term view of cryptocurrencies and were hoping for an ETF that would track physical Bitcoin that investors could buy and hold. The Bitcoin Valkyrie strategy is launched today.

– CNBC said some oil and gas companies are joining dozens of state-owned companies across industries that tie ESG to executive pay. Last year, 51% of S&P 500 companies used some form of ESG metrics in their executive compensation plans, according to a report by Willis Towers Watson. Half of companies include ESG in annual bonus or incentive plans, while only 4% use it in long-term incentive plans. A related survey of board members and senior executives last year found that nearly four in five respondents are considering changing the way they use ESG with their executive incentive plans over the course of the next three years. This reflects the current debate on purpose rather than profit in the corporate world, with the environment being the top priority.

– New Zealand became the first country to pass laws requiring banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their businesses, Reuters reported. About 200 of the country’s largest financial firms, including banks with total assets of over NZ $ 1 billion ($ 718.90 million), major insurers, and issuers of stocks and debt securities listed on the country’s stock exchange will have to make declarations, and several foreign companies that reach the NZ $ 1 billion threshold – including Australia’s four largest banks – will also be subject to the legislation.

– According to The Wall Street Journal (paying), the craze for sustainable investment extends to the world’s oceans via “blue bonds”. Debt is the latest iteration of investments known as green bonds, which aim to tackle climate change and help transition to fossil fuels by lowering the cost of financing such projects. For example, Seaspan, which has an operational fleet of 132 vessels, initially brought in asset managers for $ 500 million in bonds in July – the company’s first U.S. blue bond – to pay for vessels that are shrinking. carbon emissions, and the sale attracted more investors than expected. . The deal shows how investor demand for environmentally friendly debt has grown in recent years, as Wall Street rushes to sell investments that take ESG factors into account.

– The WSJ also reported that, according to two new studies, U.S. public companies have added the most diverse roster of new directors ever to their boards in the past year, with an increase in black nominees and a number high number of women and new directors. Gains have been uneven, according to a study by the Conference Board and data analytics firm ESGAUGE, with around half of public company boards adding no new members and small businesses lagging behind. to their larger counterparts. In addition, more and more companies of all sizes have started to disclose the racial and ethnic makeup of their boards.

– Reuters announced that US buyout firm Silver Lake will acquire Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) stake in securities settlement platform Euroclear Holding for € 709 million ($ 822 million). NYSE owner ICE held a 9.85% stake in Euroclear. Following the investment, which is expected to be finalized in the first half of next year, Silver Lake wants one of its representatives to join Euroclear’s board of directors, the companies said.


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