Investor Relations Week: Russia Doubles Oil Revenue, Tesla Shares Deal on Twitter, and Retail Loses Momentum

– Russia nearly doubled its revenue from fossil fuel sales to the EU during the two-month war in Ukraine, benefiting from soaring prices even as volumes were reduced, according to The Guardian. Russia received about 62 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in oil, gas and coal exports in the two months since the start of the invasion, according to an analysis of maritime movements and freight by the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research. For the EU, imports amounted to around €44 billion in the last two months, compared to around €140 billion for the whole of last year, or around €12 billion per month , the newspaper said, adding that Germany was the biggest importer.

CNBC (and everyone else) reported that Twitter’s board accepted an offer from Elon Musk to buy the social media company and take it private. “Free speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital public square where issues vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating spambots, and authenticating all humans.”

the FinancialTimes (paywall) added that Tesla shares fell more than 12% on Tuesday – wiping more than $125 billion from the electric car maker’s valuation – on the same day Musk ‘closed the deal to buy Twitter’ .

– Robinhood’s revenue ‘slumped’ as retail lost steam, reported the FT. Shares of the brokerage firm fell 11% on news that Robinhood revenue fell more than expected in the first quarter, coronavirus-focused retail fervor in meme stocks and cryptocurrencies s breathless in the wake of market uncertainty. The results came as retail brokers who experienced “a pandemic-induced boom” reported a pullback in retail investors from 2021, the newspaper said. Market uncertainty, rising interest rates, lack of fiscal stimulus, return to pre-lockdown routines and inflation – which is compressing household earnings – have contributed to investors’ reluctance to invest.

Bloomberg (paywall) added that the online brokerage, which popularized no-fee commissions, is cutting 9% of its full-time staff, “having racked up more than $2 billion in losses since going public in July.”

– Apple shares also took a hit, continued the FT, after warning of a potential hit of up to $8 billion in the current quarter due to headwinds including supply chain shortages and factory shutdowns in China, underscoring how the challenges posed by the pandemic are far from over for the world’s most valuable company. “Supply constraints caused by Covid-related disruptions and industry-wide silicon shortages are impacting our ability to meet customer demand for our products,” analysts told Thursday. Apple’s chief financial officer, Luca Maestri.

CityWire reported that ‘booming resource stocks’ have driven UK dividend growth so far this year and a rebound in commodity prices has led to improved forecast payouts, which are now expected reach £92bn ($116bn) in 2022. He said while data from Link Group’s latest UK Dividend Monitor initially looked “disappointing”, once special dividends and the departure of mining giant BHP of the UK stock market are taken into account, the underlying total jumped 12.2% to £13.3 billion, as a- repayments were well below those of the previous year.

The results reveal just how much income investors are profiting from mining and oil stocks this year, as the war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on trade with Russia send the price of oil skyrocketing along with other commodities , said CityWire.

– Fidelity must allow customers to invest in Bitcoin through their 401(k) accounts, according to The block. The company, which manages about $4.2 billion in assets, said it plans to allow investors to add a Bitcoin account to their retirement savings plans, as long as their employers allow it. Reports suggest that the new feature could be rolling out as early as summer of this year. Fidelity would allow retirement savers to allocate up to 20% of their portfolio to bitcoin, although this number could change.

The block also reported that two former Jefferies executives are launching Crossover Markets Group, a crypto exchange for institutional traders. The exchange reportedly aims to increase the speed at which investors can trade cryptocurrencies by reducing latency, which describes the time it will take for a stock to complete. Institutional interest in this “nascent space is growing,” he said, with research from Fidelity Digital Assets showing that seven out of 10 institutional investors plan to buy or invest in crypto assets in the near future.

– “Allocator enthusiasm for hedge funds hasn’t been this high since 2015,” said Institutional investor. Institutional investors deployed $19.8 billion in hedge funds in the first quarter, marking the highest quarterly inflow in seven years, the publication said, citing data from Hedge Fund Research. The largest hedge funds continued to dominate inflows, with those managing at least $5 billion in assets alone attracting $16.8 billion over the past three months, according to the report. Total hedge fund assets have grown by more than $1 trillion in the past eight quarters, after falling below $3 trillion in the first quarter of 2020.

– Hong Kong IPO drought has placed Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing among the worst performing exchanges, according to Bloomberg, citing China’s “prolonged corporate crackdown and pandemic-related woes” as driving the demise of large initial public offerings. Hong Kong has not staged an IPO above $1 billion so far this year, the news agency said, adding that the Asian financial hub’s overall proceeds had collapsed, with the vast majority newcomers dipping below the listing price after their debut. Losses on Chinese equities have deepened this year as tight lockdowns add to lingering worries about regulation and rising global interest rates. Shares of the exchange apparently fell 28% in 2022, second only to those of the Moscow exchange and cryptocurrency platform Coinbase Global.

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