Buying ships from Chinese state-owned enterprises, Evergreen: It is purely a private commercial activity

The US think tank pointed out that Evergreen’s purchase of ships from Chinese state-owned enterprises may indirectly reduce the cost of upgrading the navy on the other side. Evergreen responded that the purchase of new ships is purely a private commercial activity, and major information has been released on the stock exchange in accordance with regulations, and the competent authorities and investors have been informed.

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) reported that Evergreen purchased 44 ships from China in 2018. Except for 2 ships, the rest were ordered from shipyards that produce Chinese warships. Three aircraft carriers of China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).

Evergreen responded in writing today that the procurement of its own ships was conducted through international public bidding. In addition to China, new ships were also ordered in Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. The cumulative number of container ships built by Korean shipyards is 58, with a transport capacity of more than 730,000 TEU, more than the 35 built by Chinese manufacturers with a transport capacity of about 240,000 TEU.

Evergreen emphasizes that the purchase of new ships is purely a private commercial act. The Chinese manufacturers that build some of Evergreen’s ships belong to the merchant shipping department of China Shipbuilding Corporation, and have nothing to do with the military industry department; and many shipyards in many countries follow this practice, with different commercial and military use. department.

Evergreen said that Evergreen Shipping is a listed company, and that the procurement of assets such as new ships will release major information on the stock exchange in accordance with regulations, and inform the competent authorities and investors.

Epic teams up with LEGO to create a kid-friendly metaverse

Epic and LEGO have formed a long-term partnership to “shape the future of virtual worlds” by building digital experiences for children to play safely. While the two companies’ announcements didn’t specify specifics, they set out three basic principles that drive the development of virtual worlds: prioritizing children’s well-being; protecting children’s privacy; and providing children and adults with the tools necessary to shape personal digital experiences.

Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, said: “The LEGO Group has engaged children and adults with creative play for nearly a century, and we’re delighted to be working with LEGO to create virtual worlds that are fun, new and designed for kids and families. Design space.”

There are thousands of definitions of the metaverse by vendors, but it is generally considered the next transformation of the Internet: a virtual cyberspace that opens up new avenues for users and brands, services and online interactions. Sweeney has previously said that he envisions the Metaverse as an online playground, a public space where people interact with brands and other users, switching seamlessly between multiplayer games, streaming entertainment platforms and other digital experiences.

It’s unclear how the new program content or the LEGO brand will affect the Epic metaverse, and Epic Games declined to give further details.

With Epic’s Unreal Engine and extensive game development experience, the collaboration will enhance the potential of LEGO Sandbox mode to compete with popular creative game platforms such as Roblox and Be a God of Creation. Epic has achieved success with Stronghold Heroes, which generated more than $9 billion in revenue in 2018-2019.

The decision to partner with Lego was not part of Lego game studio TT Games, a decision that could be related to work environment issues identified in a Polygon report in January. Ex-employee alleges poor working conditions, says management has ambitious plans for the latest game “LEGO Star Wars: The Legend of Skywalker” to make games at the expense of employees working 80-100 hours a week, the question is whether to use Epic Unreal Engine. Polygon said employees warned management that continuing to make LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga using the studio’s proprietary engine, NTT, could strain the already scarce development time. Although employees supported the switch to Unreal Engine, management opted to use the NTT engine to save on royalties.

Mustang and Bumblebee are in trouble, the supply chain is short of material, and American muscle cars are announced to stop production

Ford and Chevrolet have announced that production of their flagship performance models, the Mustang and Camaro, will be halted for a week due to material shortages, after which it will be subject to supply chain conditions.

It’s getting harder and harder to buy a car these days. Ford’s best-known muscle car line, the Mustang, has announced a one-week shutdown due to chip shortages. At the same time, the Chevrolet muscle car Camaro was also discontinued at the same time. Will this sports car, famous for its role in the movie “Transformers” Bumblebee, accelerate its complete discontinuation?

Ford once again emphasized that the shortage of chips is the main reason why they are currently unable to produce Mustangs. It seems that Ford can only obtain a small amount of chips, and then distribute them in turns to different models. It was previously reported that their pickup truck F-150 production was reduced, and later The off-road vehicle Bronco ran out of material, and now it’s the Mustang’s turn to be stabbed. Earlier this year, it was reported that they began to sell a castrated version of Explorer, and some functions were removed due to insufficient chips.

Another major American automaker, General Motors, has not had a better time. Its Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac CT4 are both assembled in the same factory, but they stopped production together last year. Due to the shortage of chips, GM has closed six factories in the United States and removed some functions, such as wireless charging of mobile phones, intelligent fuel consumption control system, etc. Due to insufficient production, GM has even been the best-selling car factory in the United States for nearly a hundred years. Give it up to Toyota.

The issue of chips has been troubling for a long time. GM and Ford both announced last year that they would directly sign contracts with chip factories to ensure stable supply, and even have plans to jointly develop special chips.

Although some automakers have managed to find a solution to the shortage of chips, new crises continue to besieged. German automakers have encountered new supply chain problems due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; Tesla’s main factory, Giga Shanghai, has been affected by the closure of Shanghai, Japan Automakers are also suffering from chip problems, and many production lines have been shut down to reduce production.

Unsurprisingly, the reduction in production will make the price of cars higher and longer, and the waiting period for delivery will also lengthen. In some models, there is even a miracle that used cars are sold for more than the original price.

TSMC grabs Huida’s 4nm GPU order and will monopolize the newly released GPU foundry in 2022

According to foreign media reports, NVIDIA, the world’s largest GPU manufacturer with market share, has decided that the next-generation H100 GPU will be produced by TSMC’s 4-nanometer process. The new GPU will be released in the third quarter of 2022 and is expected to process 40TB of data per second, which is equivalent to 4,200 1.2GB movies. Huida’s RTX 4000 series GPUs are also mass-produced using TSMC’s 5nm process.

South Korean media “BusinessKorea” reported that industry insiders expect Huida’s next-generation H100 GPU to be produced by TSMC’s 4nm process, and TSMC will monopolize all of Huida’s GPU orders in 2022. Previously, Huida cooperated with Samsung to produce RTX 3000 series GPUs, but Samsung’s yield was too low, causing Huida’s RTX 3000 series to continue to be out of stock in the market.

Huida has been outsourcing data center and consumer GPU production to TSMC until 2020, when Huida chose Samsung as the RTX3000 series GPU foundry manufacturing partner, in order to diversify suppliers, reduce production prices and increase product competition force. However, Samsung’s production situation disappointed Huida, so it decided to hand over the foundry orders to TSMC. With Huida holding 80% of the global GPU market share, it is expected that TSMC’s global foundry share will further expand.

Market sources said that it is very painful for Samsung to hand over its foundry customers to TSMC. Not only Huida, but Samsung has also reported that it will lose another major customer, which is Qualcomm, a mobile processor manufacturer. Even though Samsung has obtained orders for Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile processors, the yield rate cannot be improved and cannot meet Qualcomm’s market demand. It is reported that Qualcomm has decided to cooperate with TSMC to produce the next-generation 3nm process mobile processor that is being developed for release in 2023. Qualcomm also handed over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, an improved version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile processor released in the second half of the year, to TSMC for production, which is equivalent to completely stealing the big order from Qualcomm to Samsung.

After repeated orders transfer, Kyung Gye-hyun, head of Samsung’s foundry business department, said at a regular shareholders’ meeting in mid-March that after initial improvements, foundry production has stabilized, and Samsung is actively cooperating with Qualcomm in the medium and long term.

Explore the Metaverse to establish a virtual currency

The Financial Times reported that although Facebook parent Meta may abandon the development of the cryptocurrency Diem, the company is still exploring financial products, including a virtual currency called “Zuck Bucks” by employees.

The Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that Facebook’s financial arm, Meta Financial Technologies, has been exploring the creation of a virtual currency for the virtual world, which internal employees refer to as Zuck Bucks. It was named after Mark Zuckerberg. However, Zuck Bucks may not be a new cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology, instead Meta tends to be an in-app virtual currency that is centrally controlled by the company, similar to the tokens used in games, such as the virtual currency of the gaming platform Roblox. CurrencyRobux. Since Roblox has built a huge business selling Robux, Meta may try to replicate its successful model on its own platform.

Meta is also exploring offerings of “social tokens” or “reputation tokens,” which, for example, offer rewards for contributing members of Facebook groups. In addition, people familiar with the matter said Meta has been exploring more traditional financial services, focusing on providing small and medium-sized enterprises loans at attractive rates. While the plan has yet to take shape, the company has discussed the matter with its lending partners.

However, Meta has not completely abandoned blockchain products, as the company is also considering issuing and sharing NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) on Facebook. According to a memo inside Meta obtained by the Financial Times, NFT-related tests are planned to be launched on Facebook in mid-May, followed by a test of membership in Facebook groups with NFTs, as well as membership in minting NFTs. The Financial Times reported Meta’s thoughts on Facebook and Instagram’s NFT plans as early as January, and Zuckerberg announced in March that Instagram would introduce NFTs.

A statement provided by Meta spokesperson Lauren Dickson to foreign media The Verge only stated that there is no more information to share on this matter. Meta is constantly thinking about the possibility of product innovation for individuals, businesses and creators. Build the Metaverse, which includes payments and financial services.

In fact, this is not the first time Facebook has introduced virtual currency products to its services. As early as 2009, it launched the virtual currency Facebook Credits, which allows users to make in-app purchases, usually used in games such as FarmVille. According to Barclays, Facebook Credits accounted for 16% of the company’s revenue at the time of its IPO in 2012, but shut down the service in 2013 due to high maintenance costs.

US lawmakers propose to exclude China from international financial system if it threatens Taiwan’s security

Remembering the lessons of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US Congressman Lucas proposed the “China Exclusion Act” on the 6th. Once China poses any threat to Taiwan’s security or social and economic systems, the bill will exclude China from the international financial system.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said at a House Financial Services Committee hearing that the U.S. is prepared to impose sanctions on China if China, as some fear, acts of aggression against Taiwan, just as the U.S. and its allies sanctioned Russia for its invasion of Ukraine .

US Congressman Frank Lucas introduced the “Ostracize China Act” on the 6th. Lucas said in a statement that the greatest generational challenge facing the United States comes from China’s economic, political and national security threats. To prevent China from following the example of Russia’s aggression, Congress should take the necessary steps to subject the People’s Republic of China to significant financial and economic sanctions if Beijing threatens the security, social, or economic system of Taiwan’s people.

He pointed out that coercion and growing efforts to reshape the Indo-Pacific region by China’s use of economic influence and military power must not be left unchecked. The “China Exclusion Act” sends a signal to Beijing that Chinese aggression against Taiwan will Facing accountability from both economic and financial parties.

According to the bill, the bill will seek to exclude Chinese government officials from meetings and related activities of some international financial organizations, including the Group of 20 (G20), Bank for International Settlements (BIS), International Financial Stability Board (Financial Stability Board, Barcelona) Banking Supervisory Commission (BCBS), International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and other international financial organizations.

Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine has sparked international concerns about whether China will follow suit to threaten Taiwan’s security. Yellen said in response to a question from Republican Chief Congressman Patrick McHenry at the House Finance Committee hearing that the U.S. government and the Treasury Department opposed Any practice that unilaterally changes the status quo in Taiwan. The United States is working closely with allies to ensure that the tools are available to address possible threats to Taiwan.

She said the United States has imposed sanctions on China due to China’s forced labor in Xinjiang and provocation of Hong Kong. “Of course we care about Taiwan and will take appropriate action.” The U.S. actions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine proved that the U.S. can do it with significant consequences, “and should not doubt our ability and determination to do the same in other circumstances”.

Warren Buffett strikes again! Berkshire buys $4.2 billion in HP stock

According to the latest report, Berkshire Hathaway, run by Warren Buffett, has purchased nearly 121 million shares of personal computer maker Hewlett-Packard (HP), holding a total of about 11.4% of HP’s shares. The shares, worth about $4.2 billion at Wednesday’s closing price of $34.91, spurred HP’s after-hours gains of nearly 10 percent.

According to Berkshire’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Berkshire bought HP shares in batches, with the purchase price falling between $34.645 and $36.6775 per share, the most since February 26. The third major investment, and the latest in a series of large investments.

Buffett once lamented that he could not find suitable investment opportunities in the stock market, but he has made frequent shots this year, ending the lack of large-scale investments for several years. For example, since the end of February, Buffett has increased his holdings of Occidental Petroleum for three consecutive weeks. A total of 136.4 million shares, valued at more than $7 billion, accounted for 14.6% of Occidental’s outstanding shares.

Then Buffett’s Berkshire announced on March 21 that it would acquire insurance company Alleghany for $11.6 billion, increasing its portfolio of insurance companies including Geico. This is Buffett’s largest acquisition plan in six years, and promised to be on hand At least $30 billion in cash.

Worrying about the U.S. recession, retail, energy, medical stocks are attacked by bears

Fears of a recession have intensified, and investors have begun betting on a U.S. economic slowdown, with retail, energy and health care stocks targeted by bears.

CNN reported that U.S. consumer stocks have become the focus of bears, in part because investors worry that soaring prices will dampen people’s willingness to spend, which will eventually lead to an economic slowdown that could even trigger a recession. “As of mid-March, consumer discretionary stocks remained the most shorted group, largely due to a contraction in discretionary spending due to a surge in inflation,” S&P said.

According to data from S&P, as of mid-March, the short position ratio in consumer discretionary stocks was 5.24%, the highest since mid-January 2021. Consumer stocks with the highest ratio of short positions include sporting goods retailer Big 5 Sporting Goods, retail clothing chain Citi Trends and RV and related products retailer Camping World Holdings.

As of April 6 this year, energy giant Chevron’s shares soared 40.44%, the highest gain in the Dow Jones index. But investors seem to believe that soaring oil prices will soon subside, hurting earnings and share price momentum for energy companies.

S&P pointed out that the short position ratio in energy stocks climbed to 3.91% in mid-March, the highest since mid-October 2020, as investors expected oil prices to remain unlikely to remain at record highs.

Healthcare stocks have also become short targets. As more people get vaccinated and oral antiviral drugs for COVID-19 become available, healthcare stocks may become less attractive as investments. Diagnostic services company Quest, analytical instrument maker PerkinElmer, pharmaceutical company Jazz Pharmaceuticals and medical device maker Tandem Diabetes were the most shorted healthcare stocks, according to Refinitiv data.

Deutsche Bank (Deutsche Bank) fired the first shot on the 5th to warn that the Federal Reserve (Fed) made a big move to fight inflation, which may trigger a recession in the US economy at the end of next year, becoming the first large investment bank to warn of a recession in the US.

Under the high inflation pressure, Fed Chairman Powell (Jerome Powell) recently released a radical hawkish signal, saying that the next rate hike will not be ruled out by more than 1 yard (0.25 percentage points).

Realize that the action is behind? Fed slams on the brakes to fight inflation, doubles the speed of contraction

Federal Reserve officials in March discussed aggressively shrinking the balance sheet by $95 billion a month starting in May, new records show. The record also strongly suggests that the Fed could expand to two yards (50 basis points) in a single future rate hike.

CNBC, the British Financial Times and other foreign sources reported that the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) March 15-16 meeting disclosed by the Fed on the 6th showed that the participating officials “generally agreed” that the balance sheet should be reduced by up to 95 billion US dollars per month. , let the principal not be invested after the maturity of $60 billion in government bonds and $35 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The action to reduce the balance sheet will be gradually implemented within three months, and it is likely to start in May.

In other words, this time the pace of shrinking the balance sheet is twice as fast as in 2017-2019, and it is also a historic turning point for the Fed to withdraw from its ultra-loose monetary policy stance.

However, demand for MBS is now low, people are not willing to refinance loans, and the 30-year mortgage yield has exceeded 5%. Records show that Fed officials admitted that passively letting MBS not invest after it expires may not be enough, and will consider selling directly after the balance sheet reduction operation is well under way.

The record also shows that central bank officials are considering raising the rate of a single rate hike from the original one yard (25 basis points), followed by multiple rate hikes of two yards, especially if inflation pressures linger or even heat up Down. In fact, many officials prefer to raise interest rates by two yards in March, but the war between Russia and Ukraine has deterred some people.

The record also mentioned that all participating members expressed their strong determination to take necessary actions to restore price stability.

This means that the Fed will shrink its balance sheet by nearly $1 trillion a year. U.S. stocks fell after the announcement of the FOMC record, but the losses in late trading were restrained. The S&P 500 ended the day down 0.97% on the 6th. In contrast, U.S. 10-year yields rose 6 basis points to 2.61 percent.

The Fed’s dovish governor, Lael Brainard, hinted on the 5th that the central bank may take a more aggressive approach to tightening money, and will begin a “rapid” reduction in the central bank as soon as May Balance sheet of nearly $9 trillion in size.

Market consensus is that the Fed will raise interest rates by a total of 250 basis points this year (2022). It’s a warning to any investor who believes the Fed will be modestly anti-inflation, said Quincy Krosby, chief equity strategist at LPL Financial. The Fed’s message is, “You’re wrong.”

Eric Winograd, an economist at AllianceBernstein, said the Fed clearly realized it was falling behind the curve and had to catch up.

IEA members agree to release 120 million barrels of crude, WTI falls below $100 a barrel mark

According to Bloomberg, members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) agreed to release 120 million barrels of crude. The 60 million barrels have been included in the 180 million barrels of oil released by the US Department of Energy last week, and the two combined will release 240 million barrels of crude oil from the global strategic energy reserve.

The U.S. Department of Energy said on the 4th that it will release 180 million barrels of oil from war reserves, the first 90 million barrels will be released in May-July, and the remaining 90 million barrels will be released in August-October.

As soon as the news came out, and the Federal Reserve stated that the rate of interest rate hike would be lower than originally planned, oil prices fell immediately, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) falling below the $100 per barrel mark, a drop of nearly 5%.