Uber has announced a deal to regroup its operations in south-east Asia:
Ride-hailing firm Uber has agreed to sell its south-east Asian business to bigger regional rival Grab, marking the US company’s second retreat from an Asian market.
The deal is the industry’s first big consolidation in south-east Asia, home to about 640 million people, and puts pressure on Indonesia’s Go-Jek, which is backed by Alphabet’s Google and China’s Tencent.
A shake-up in Asia’s fiercely competitive ride-hailing industry became likely earlier this year when Japan-based SoftBank’s Vision Fund made a multi-billion dollar investment in Uber. SoftBank also invested in Grab.
As part of the transaction, Uber will take a 27.5% stake in Singapore-based Grab and Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, will join Grab’s board.
Here’s the full report:
The agenda: US tariff tensions continue, GKN unveils improved Dana deal
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Donald Trump’s plans to impose $60bn worth of tariffs on China – on top of wider sanctions on steel and aluminium – raised fears of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies and sent shivers through global stock markets.
Those tensions are not going away quickly, and despite signs that China and the US may be attempting to resolve the issue behind the scenes, investors remain nervous.
After Wall Street endured another tough day on Friday in the wake of the tariff announcements – the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 424 points or 1.77% – Asian markets have also been under pressure.
Here is our latest report:
So European markets are expected to open in a rather mixed fashion:
Michael Hewson at CMC Markets UK said:
As we come to the end of this first quarter of 2018 all of the optimism that we saw at the end of January now appears to be an almost distant memory, and it will need a significant change of tone to prevent stock markets finishing this quarter lower, despite this year’s record highs.
China’s initially measured response to last week’s announcement of tariffs to the US administrations announcement does appear to offer some hope in terms of a possible stabilisation this week, but sentiment is likely to remain volatile, particularly if Chinese authorities follow up with further large scale measures which target, larger US corporations like Boeing or Apple. US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin’s comments at the weekend that he was cautiously optimistic that a US agreement with China could be reached also offers hope that some form of accommodation can be reached in the coming days or weeks.
At the beginning of the month President Trump indicated that he would implement tariffs in a “loving way”, maybe in an attempt to suggest that he didn’t want to spook equity investors. If recent price action is any guide markets are clearly not “loving” what is happening right now, which is also being exacerbated by rising concerns that the tech sector, which has driven most of the gains in US equity markets, could be on the cusp of being clobbered by increasing regulation, as well as possible taxation changes.
On a pretty quiet day for corporate and economic news, GKN continues to try and persuade its shareholders to back its management rather than be tempted by the £7.8bn offer from turnaround specialist Melrose.
Investors have until Thursday this week to decide, and ahead of that GKN has just announced an improvement in the terms of its deal to merge its Driveline business with US group Dana.
Dana has added another $140m (£100m) in cash, making a total of $1.77bn in cash after deducting $1bn for the transfer of the pension deficit to the combined group.
GKN plans to return £700m to shareholders as soon as possible after the Dana deal is down, the first part of a £2.5bn cash return programme.
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