• India rejects Walmart-owned Flipkart's proposed foray into food retail business
    TechCrunch

    India rejects Walmart-owned Flipkart's proposed foray into food retail business

    The Indian government has rejected Flipkart’s proposal to enter the food retail business in a setback for Walmart, which owns majority of the Indian e-commerce firm and which recently counted its business in Asia’s third-largest economy as one of the worst impacted by the global coronavirus pandemic. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), a wing of the nation's Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told Flipkart, which competes with Amazon India, that its proposed plan to enter the food retail business does not comply with regulatory guidelines -- though it did not elaborate, according to a person familiar with the matter. Rajneesh Kumar, chief corporate affairs officer at Flipkart, told TechCrunch that the company was evaluating the agency's response and intended to re-apply.

  • The Station: Amazon eyes Zoox, Aurora goes back to school and Cabana hits the road
    TechCrunch

    The Station: Amazon eyes Zoox, Aurora goes back to school and Cabana hits the road

    A photo below, courtesy of Cris Moffitt, shows a sliver of the thousands of bikes at the yard in North Carolina. Keaks (Kirsten Korosec) has been working on a big(ish) story about JUMP for the last week. Meanwhile, we noticed Superpedestrian, the startup that makes self-diagnosing electric scooters, has teamed up with Zagster.

  • Why Costco Could Be a Loser in the E-Commerce Boom
    Motley Fool

    Why Costco Could Be a Loser in the E-Commerce Boom

    The warehouse retailer does a lot of things well, but online retail hasn't traditionally been one of them.

  • Bloomberg

    I Wish Hong Kong Were Just Another Chinese City

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China after a monthslong crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. This has paved the way for the Trump administration to strip the territory of some of its privileged trade status. But alas, sometimes, I wish Hong Kong could be just another Chinese city.Hong Kong is defined by its financial hub. With a common law system, a currency pegged to the U.S. dollar, and sitting at the gate to mainland China, the city’s banking industry has blossomed, especially since the global financial crisis.Seeking exposure to China's great economic engine, investors have funneled billions of dollars into the city. For evidence, look no further than its monetary base. The so-called aggregate balance has swollen to as much as $51 billion since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008.It’s no surprise the economy has morphed. Financial services now contribute about 20% of gross domestic product, from 10% two decades earlier. Meanwhile, manufacturing has become almost nonexistent. Once we include real-estate services, the finance industry would overtake trading and logistics — Hong Kong’s traditional bread-and-butter — as the city’s most important sector.But such economic growth hasn't been matched by a surge of good jobs. In the decade after the 2008 crisis, the added value from financial services grew an annualized 6.8%, but employment rose only 2.5%. As of 2018, the sector comprised 6.8% of the workforce, or 263,000 people. Tourism, which constitutes only 4.5% of GDP, employed almost as many.This is because finance is capital intensive, not labor intensive. An experienced banker can arrange a mega initial public offering just as well as a mid-cap listing, and a star trader can execute a $1 billion order just as efficiently as a $100 million one. As the industry grew, what it needed was experience and access to China, not more headcount.Read More: Hong Kong isn’t becoming just another Chinese cityAcross the border, Shenzhen has taken a very different turn. A dozen years ago, it was a still a small city, where Hong Kong residents went for cheap food and shopping. Now, its economy is bigger than Hong Kong’s. Industrials, a labor-intensive sector, remains prominent, accounting for about 40% of the city’s GDP.Many technology companies made Shenzhen their home: Tencent Holdings Ltd., Huawei Technologies Co., Foxconn Industrial Internet Co., ZTE Corp., Warren Buffett-backed electric-vehicle maker BYD Co., to name a few. Along the way, billions were made and millionaires were minted. Publicly listed companies headquartered in Shenzhen now command $1.5 trillion in total market cap, almost three times as much as those based just across the border. Hong Kong is where bankers live, but Shenzhen — China’s Silicon Valley — is where they spend their time, searching for the next Tencent.This is the outcome of a deliberate decision made by the Shenzhen government. Its most recent five-year land plan says it all. Just like Hong Kong, the city has vowed to keep at least half of its land in its natural ecological condition. Of the space allocated for urban use, at least 30% is intended for industrial development, such as traditional manufacturing and science parks. By comparison, Hong Kong’s planning department reserves only 3.6% of its usable land for such purposes.Along with big plots came generous subsidies. Always keen to lure tech firms, Shenzhen mandated that corporate tax rates at the Qianhai free trade zone be lower than Hong Kong’s. To weather the coronavirus-induced slowdown, the local government is offering to reimburse up to 70% of tech startups’ bank-loan interest repayments.Most likely, Hong Kong’s high-finance industry will survive all the negative headlines, because the conditions that have spurred its prosperity remain. U.S. President Donald Trump’s China rant at his press conference Friday has been seen as all bark, no bite. The billions of dollars unleashed by the Federal Reserve’s new quantitative easing programs will once again find their way to Hong Kong, and bankers and corporate lawyers have shown some willingness to stomach Beijng’s new security law.The industry may even thrive from a great divorce between the U.S. and China. Mega IPOs are on the horizon again, this time not from China’s state-owned giants, but its U.S.-listed technology titans such as JD.com Inc. and Netease Inc. Both are seeking refuge in Hong Kong in case they get kicked out off U.S. stock exchanges. And despite all the political uncertainty, index provider MSCI Inc. said last week it would move licensing for 37 derivatives from Singapore to its rival financial hub, simply because Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. has “the access to Chinese institutional and retail investors.” Hong Kong is still the gateway to China.But this is bad news for the rest of the city. It takes a crisis for a government to devise drastic measures. If its key industry remains intact, Carrie Lam’s administration has no incentive to seek new sources of economic growth.The dominance of finance has created a social mobility problem in Hong Kong. The industry naturally favors bilingual “sea turtles” like me over local university graduates, for our business and cultural connections to China. But in Shenzhen, your socioeconomic background doesn't matter as much. Oftentimes, all it takes is a product prototype, a PowerPoint presentation, and suddenly you've got office space — and subsidized housing nearby, too. Hong Kong has a lot to learn from its tech savvy neighbor.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • AUD/USD and NZD/USD Fundamental Weekly Forecast – RBA Takes Backseat to Demand for Risk
    FX Empire

    AUD/USD and NZD/USD Fundamental Weekly Forecast – RBA Takes Backseat to Demand for Risk

    The RBA is expected to leave its benchmark interest rate at 0.25%. We’re also looking for policymakers to leave monetary policy measures intact.

  • With Protests Raging in U.S., Amazon Curbs Operations and Apple Keeps Some Stores Closed
    Bloomberg

    With Protests Raging in U.S., Amazon Curbs Operations and Apple Keeps Some Stores Closed

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. scaled back deliveries and adjusted routes in cities including Chicago and Los Angeles, Apple kept some outlets shut, while Target Corp. extended store closures nationwide after the death of George Floyd sparked demonstrations across the country.“We are monitoring the situation closely and in a handful of cities we adjusted routes or scaled back typical operations to ensure the safety of our teams,” an Amazon spokeswoman told Bloomberg News.Apple had reopened about 130 of its about 270 stores following the coronavirus pandemic, and most of them were closed on Sunday, the company said in a statement.Protests around the country are complicating operations for companies from Amazon, which has been one of the few consumer-facing companies to generate new business during the pandemic, to Target, which still retains a heavy bricks-and-mortar presence.Based in Minneapolis where Floyd died in police custody, Target had already closed 32 stores in the area. On Sunday, it said it was closing dozens more around the nation, at least temporarily.“We are a community in pain,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said in a statement shortly after Floyd’s death. “That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities -- it extends across America.”In Chicago and Los Angeles, Amazon delivery drivers received messages Saturday night that said: “If you are currently out delivering packages, stop immediately and return home. If you have not completed your route, please return undelivered packages to the pick-up location whenever you’re able to do so.”Amazon was “in close contact with local officials and will continue to monitor the protests,” and would only re-open delivery stations when it’s safe and will plan delivery routes by monitoring demonstrations in every zip code, according to messages reviewed by Bloomberg.(Adds Apple from first paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 2 Top Tech Stocks for a Post-Pandemic World
    Motley Fool

    2 Top Tech Stocks for a Post-Pandemic World

    This is forcing data center operators to upgrade their capacities and capabilities to handle the increased load. Chinese giant Alibaba recently announced that it will spend $28 billion to bolster its data center infrastructure over the next three years in preparation for a post-COVID-19 world. Market research firm TechNavio estimates that spending on data center construction could increase at an annual rate of 10% through 2024.

  • Better Buy: Amazon.com vs. Google
    Motley Fool

    Better Buy: Amazon.com vs. Google

    It goes without saying that two of the very best companies in the world are Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the parent company of Google. In fact, Google and Amazon ranked Nos. Amazon and Alphabet tend to compete more and more with each other as time marches on, but each company still has a dominant market share of their respective core businesses: e-commerce for Amazon; digital advertising for Google.

  • 3 Buffett Stocks That Are Trouncing Berkshire Hathaway So Far This Year
    Motley Fool

    3 Buffett Stocks That Are Trouncing Berkshire Hathaway So Far This Year

    Three Buffett stocks, in particular, are trouncing Berkshire in 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt many companies, Amazon's business has thrived. The impact of the global novel coronavirus outbreak has turned Amazon's business upside down -- mostly in a good way.

  • Financial Times

    Chinese tech groups boost Singapore presence in south-east Asia push

    Chinese technology groups such as ByteDance and Alibaba are boosting their presence in Singapore as they vie with US rivals for dominance in south-east Asia. Artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime, online travel platform Ctrip, social network site YY and telecoms provider China Telecom are also among those that have either increased their office footprint or plan to raise their headcount, according to multiple people involved in the discussions. The trend comes against a backdrop of souring US-China relations and as companies from the world’s two biggest economies compete for regional influence in cutting-edge technologies.

  • Financial Times

    Amazon blames ‘bad actor’ for racial slurs

    Amazon said a “bad actor” was to blame after listings containing racial slurs appeared on its store within searches for Apple’s AirPod earphones and similar products. Shoppers using Amazon’s UK-facing site and app discovered listings had replaced the product image with an abusive message that contained several instances of the N-word. Many of the listings appeared on the highly coveted and trafficked first page of results for “airpods” or “bluetooth headphones”.

  • 3 Ways to Invest in the Acceleration of E-Commerce That Aren't Amazon
    Motley Fool

    3 Ways to Invest in the Acceleration of E-Commerce That Aren't Amazon

    Online sales have exploded during the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers try to stay home more. Online sales at Walmart, Target, and Best Buy in the first quarter increased by 74%, 141%, and 155%, respectively. Meanwhile, the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) continued its steady march, growing global online sales by 24% (Amazon's fiscal quarter ends a month before the other retailers mentioned).

  • Data show why HBO Max's slow start may not tell the whole story
    Yahoo Finance

    Data show why HBO Max's slow start may not tell the whole story

    HBO Max made its official entrance into the streaming wars on Wednesday — and its day-one performance highlights how consumers are embracing the new platform.

  • Reuters

    US STOCKS-Futures steady amid U.S. protests, simmering China tensions

    Futures tracking the S&P 500 index were trading flat on Monday following a strong showing in May, as investors turned cautious after protests erupted across the country over race, and simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing heated up. National Guard troops were deployed in 15 states and Washington, D.C. on Sunday in an attempt to quell a sixth night of violence that began with peaceful protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody.

  • Amazon (AMZN) to Retain Employees to Meet Spike in Orders
    Zacks

    Amazon (AMZN) to Retain Employees to Meet Spike in Orders

    Amazon (AMZN) plans to convert a few of its temporary workers to permanent ones in a bid to meet the flurry of online orders amid this pandemic.

  • Barrons.com

    Amazon, Target, Apple and Walmart Adjust Operations as Protests Turn Violent

    Two retailers that have largely held up better than most of their peers during the pandemic confront a new challenge.

  • Reuters

    Walmart's Flipkart to re-apply for food retail license in India

    Walmart Inc's Indian e-commerce unit Flipkart said on Monday it would re-apply for a food retail license in India after reports said its earlier proposal was rejected by the government last week. India's Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) last week rejected the e-tailer's proposal to sell food products through online and mobile platforms, the Times of India newspaper reported https://bit.ly/2XNtkhc on Monday. "We are evaluating the department's response and intend to re-apply as we look to continue making a significant impact on small businesses and communities in India," the company said in a statement.

  • With Rumors Swirling of a Zoox Acquisition, How Would Amazon Use Autonomous Driving?
    Motley Fool

    With Rumors Swirling of a Zoox Acquisition, How Would Amazon Use Autonomous Driving?

    Putting new self-driving technology to use would cut some costs but also create new problems that still cost money to solve.

  • Here’s why the ‘unloved but welcome’ U.S. stock market rally from March lows won’t last, Goldman says
    MarketWatch

    Here’s why the ‘unloved but welcome’ U.S. stock market rally from March lows won’t last, Goldman says

    Brief hopes that U.S.-China trade tensions may subside appear to have been dashed.

  • Reuters

    US STOCKS- Futures edge lower on U.S. protests, simmering China tensions

    U.S. stock index futures slipped on Monday following a strong showing in May, as investors turned cautious after violent protests across the country over race as well as simmering tensions between Washington and Beijing. National Guard troops were deployed in 15 states and Washington, D.C. on Sunday in an attempt to quell a sixth night of violence that began with peaceful protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody. Target Corp and Walmart Inc shuttered stores, while Amazon.com Inc scaled back deliveries amid the unrest that included looting in many cities.

  • Barrons.com

    Europeans Want to Travel Again. What That Means for Booking Stock.

    Increased interest in travel in Europe could bode well for Booking Holdings stock, one analyst says.

  • Barrons.com

    Not All Cyclical Stocks Are Created Equal. These 7 Are Resilient.

    The pandemic crisis has exposed the weakness of many old-economy stocks, especially those with too much debt. Some are more resilient.

  • Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Invests In UK Freight Startup Beacon
    SmarterAnalyst

    Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Invests In UK Freight Startup Beacon

    Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos is investing in UK freight and supply chain finance company Beacon.The London-based company said that it raised over $15 million in its Series A fundraising round from investors including Amazon’s Bezos and US venture capital firm 8VC. The money raised will be invested in new hires, technology and market expansion.Investors in Beacon's initial seed round included Uber Technology (UBER) founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, former Google (GOOGL) CEO Eric Schmidt, as well as venture capital firms such as Neo, Red Sea Ventures, Manta Ray and FJ Labs.Established in 2018, Beacon was founded by CEO Fraser Robinson and COO Dmitri Izmailov, both former Uber executives. The startup seeks to simplify and digitize how companies import and export goods globally and is engaged in the optimization of shipping routes and processes to reduce costs, while increasing booking speed and transport efficiency.The company deploys AI, data science, cloud and automation technologies to unlock operational efficiencies.“With digitalisation accelerating globally as a result of COVID-19, we believe the future of the traditional freight forwarder is more precarious than ever,” said Robinson. “Shippers are seeking technology-led products and services that will meet their needs more effectively, enhance their experience and cut their costs.”It looks like Bezos is also looking for investment targets for Amazon as the economic crisis induced by the coronavirus pandemic is creating opportunities for mergers & acquisitions. The e-commerce giant is reportedly in talks to buy driverless vehicle startup Zoox Inc., in a deal that would expand its automation capabilities. The acquisition would also put Amazon in a position to offer food-delivery and ride-sharing services and grow to be a rival to automotive companies.“AMZN’s innovation focus, capital to invest, and leading shipping volumes (and the miles driven along with them) make it one of the few companies that could build a product to compete with Waymo, Uber, Lyft and others,” five-star analyst Adam Jonas  at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note to investors.The analyst has a Buy rating on the stock with a $2,600 price target (6.5% upside potential to current levels).Turning now to Wall Street, TipRanks data shows that overall analysts have a bullish outlook on Amazon stock. Out of the 40 analysts covering the shares in the last three months, 37 have Buys and the rest are split between 2 Holds and 1 Sell adding up to a Strong Buy consensus.The $2,673.17 average price target still implies 9.5% upside potential in the coming 12 months despite the stock’s 46% rally since mid-March. (See Amazon stock analysis on TipRanks).Related News: Apple Snaps Up AI Startup Inductiv, As Analysts Boost PTs On Store Reopenings KKR Invests $1.5 Billion in Reliance’s Jio Platforms In Biggest Deal In Asia Microsoft Seeks $2B Stake In India’s Jio Platforms- Report More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Eli Lilly’s Taltz Injection Gets FDA Nod For Inflammatory Spine Arthritis Treatment * Zynga Snaps Up Peak For $1.8B In Its Largest Deal To Date; Shares Up 7% * Eli Lilly Starts Dosing Patients In World’s First Covid-19 Antibody Trial * Drugmaker Abbvie Teams Up With Jacobio To Develop Cancer Inhibitor