Latest updates: Australian aristocrat buys UK gambling group for £ 2.7 billion deal

Goldman Sachs obtains full ownership of securities firm in China

Goldman Sachs has received regulatory approval to take full ownership of its securities joint venture in China, allowing the investment bank to expand in the country as Beijing relaxes restrictions on foreign companies in its financial sector.

The green light from the China Securities Regulatory Commission “will allow us to position our business for long-term growth and success in this market under a single 100% -owned entity,” the bank said in an internal memo.

“This marks the start of a new chapter for our business in China after a successful 17-year joint venture. “

A person close to the company called the approval a “milestone.” This will allow the bank to operate as Goldman Sachs in China and inject more capital, personnel and technology into its operations in the country.

Goldman applied to take full control of the joint venture, Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, in December 2020 after Beijing introduced rules allowing investment banks to own 100% of their local operations for the first time.

Goldman previously controlled 51% of the company, which was the first of its kind in China when it launched in 2004.

China’s economy grows 4.9% in Q3 as post-pandemic momentum slows

China’s economic growth weakened in the third quarter due to a slowdown in real estate and energy shortages, underscoring the country’s incomplete recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and posing a formidable challenge to China’s political agenda. President Xi Jinping.

Gross domestic product rose 4.9% in the third quarter, compared to the same period last year, according to data released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics. But compared to the second quarter of this year, growth was only 0.2%.

The numbers add to the pressure on Xi as he enters the final year of his second term and pursues an ambitious “common prosperity” agenda.

His priorities include an unprecedented crackdown on real estate debt that could mark the beginning of the end of the country’s debt-fueled economic model.

Policymakers are also grappling with an energy crisis that has led to rationing of electricity across the country, pushing factory gate inflation to its highest level since 1995 and forcing the government to increase production. of coal despite pledges to reduce carbon emissions made last year.

Learn more about China’s GDP here.

Morning markets in Asia

Asian markets opened cautiously on Monday morning ahead of third-quarter China’s gross domestic product data and rising fuel costs.

Analysts polled by Reuters and Bloomberg both expect GDP to grow 5.2% year on year when the figures are released, the slowest in nearly a year, suggesting that the initially strong economic recovery China after the pandemic is weakening.

US futures were flat as Asian markets opened after a strong day of trading on Friday.

  • The Australian S & P / ASX 200 rose 0.4% in morning trading.

  • South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8%, while Japan’s Topix fell 0.5%.

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index opened higher but quickly fell 0.7%.

  • China’s CSI 300 was down 0.2% as markets opened, falling to 1.3% in morning trading.

Aristocrat buys UK gambling group for £ 2.7bn deal

Australian gaming company Aristocrat has announced a deal to buy UK gambling group Playtech for £ 2.7 billion with the aim of increasing its presence in the online betting industry.

The offer offers Playtech shareholders £ 6.80 per share, which is a 58.4% premium over its closing price on Friday.

Aristocrat expects to earn additional single-digit earnings per share in the first year after the purchase, the company said.

Playtech’s board said it unanimously intends to recommend the deal to shareholders, who are expected to approve it with a 75 percent majority.

Aristocrat said he hoped to benefit from Playtech’s presence in North America and Europe, which he expanded through the 2018 purchase of a 70% stake in Italian company Snaitech and a series of launches in American states in recent years.

“The company will be uniquely positioned to create sustainable shareholder value by seizing opportunities in the rapidly growing global online marketplace. [real-money gaming] segment as they continue to open up, particularly in North America, ”said Trevor Croker, CEO of Aristocrat.

Venezuela breaks off talks with opposition after extradition of key Maduro ally

The Venezuelan government suspended internationally sponsored negotiations with the opposition and revoked the house arrest of six American prisoners after the United States extradited a close ally of President Nicolás Maduro to face money laundering charges silver.

Venezuela’s chief negotiator Jorge Rodríguez said in a televised statement his side will not attend the next round of talks to be held in Mexico City on Sunday. This followed news that Alex Saab, a Venezuelan envoy, was flown to the United States on Saturday from the West African island of Cape Verde, where he was arrested last year.

The delegation’s withdrawal is the latest blow to negotiations in Mexico, which are aimed at trying to find a solution to the political crisis that has plagued Venezuela since Maduro was accused of clinging to power in a rigged election in 2018.

As part of wider retaliation against Saab’s extradition, Venezuela also revoked the house arrest of six U.S. executives from the oil company Citgo who have been detained in Venezuela since 2017 and sentenced to long prison terms for it. which the US government regards as false accusations. .

Learn more about extradition here.

The Hungarian opposition chooses an outsider as Orban’s challenger

Hungarian conservative politician Peter Marki-Zay became Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s surprise challenger on Sunday in elections slated for April 2022 after winning the country’s first national primary against center-left candidate Klara Dobrev.

Marki-Zay is a 49-year-old conservative, father of seven and mayor of the small southern town of Hodmezovasarhely – a post he won as a candidate for a unified opposition against the political machine of the ruling Fidesz party in Orban.

Ahead of the two-round primaries, Marki-Zay, who is not a member of any of the contending parties in the selection process, was widely regarded as a feature film behind Dobrev, Budapest mayor Gergely Karacsony and Peter Jakab. , leader of the Jobbik Good Night Center. But after a late push in the initial ballot, he dominated a second-round campaign to face Orban.

More than 600,000 Hungarians have participated in each round of the primaries, a level of commitment in a country of 10 million inhabitants which, according to Marki-Zay, gives it great legitimacy.

Learn more about Hungarian politics here.

Bank of England chief warns “will have to act” to curb inflation

The Governor of the Bank of England warned on Sunday that she “will have to act” to curb inflationary pressures, making no attempt to contradict movements in financial markets which incorporated the first interest rate hike before the end of the year. ‘year.

Speaking from home to the G30 central banker group, Andrew Bailey said UK inflation has already risen and will continue to rise in a way that would justify measures to contain inflation over the medium term .

Speeding up rhetoric ahead of the budget and the BoE’s next forecast on November 4, he signaled that his concerns about inflation during the current energy crisis had increased.

The governor stuck to his long-held view that the rise in inflation, which jumped to 3.2% in August, would ultimately be “temporary”, but noted that the sharp price increases would last until next year.

Learn more about the governor’s comments here.

What to watch in Asia today

China’s GDP data The release of the third quarter economic growth estimate comes today at a critical time for the world’s second-largest economy. Here are five things to watch out for.

Beijing Olympic Winter Games Torch Lighting Ceremony Two activists opposed to the 2022 Games over China’s human rights record were arrested in Athens on Sunday ahead of today’s torch-lighting ceremony.

More statistics China also publishes its industrial production, retail sales and unemployment figures. Singapore, meanwhile, publishes its monthly trade balance data.

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