—— Cryptocurrency platform FTX considers acquiring Robinhood; Pending home sales unexpectedly rose in May; California approves $17 billion in inflation grant; GSK consumer goods arm is about to split and go public; Wanzhenjia shareholder passed away; Siemens took a stake in Volkswagen’s electric car charging department.

1. Crypto Platform FTX Considers Buying Robinhood

FTX, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, is inquiring about whether the company can acquire Robinhood Markets, a stock trading platform, according to people familiar with the matter.

FTX is discussing the possibility and method of acquiring Robinhood, but Robinhood has not received an official acquisition intention or offer from FTX.

Today, shares of Robinhood bucked the trend and rose more than 10% on news of a potential acquisition.

The cryptocurrency trading platform FTX also recently announced to expand its stock trading business, and the acquisition of Robinhood can help it rapidly improve its user base and the platform’s user experience.

The two platforms have a large overlapping user base, so M&A can indeed bring some efficiency gains


2. Pending home sales rise in May

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors released today showed that an index tracking U.S. Pending Sales rose 0.7% from April, compared with the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of a 4% decline.

A sale of a home for sale is a transaction in which the contract is in effect, but the closing has not yet been completed. In addition, sales of second-hand homes fell again in May, the decline continued for four months and reached the lowest point in nearly two years.

Based on the median single-family price and a 10 percent down payment, the NAR notes that the monthly cost of housing for Americans has risen by $800 since the beginning of the year.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yen said while sales were up slightly, home prices were clearly experiencing some correction. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell also said last week that the rise in house prices would soon slow and that interest rate hikes could effectively help cool the housing market.

Pending sales in May rose 0.7% month-on-month, but still fell 12% year-on-year


3. California approves $17 billion in inflation aid funding

On Sunday night, California Gov. Gavin Newson said he had negotiated an agreement with state lawmakers to provide California residents with a total of $17 billion in inflation aid. Millions of California residents can get up to $1,050 in aid to cover escalating food and gas bills.

In addition, the California government has approved $47 billion in capital funding to build and upgrade infrastructure and transportation over the next several years. The government will also suspend the collection of petrol taxes from October 1, valid for up to one year.

California’s tax and budget surplus is healthier, so it’s better able to subsidize citizens


4. GSK’s consumer products division is about to be split and listed

Haleon, the consumer goods arm of pharmaceutical giant GSK Plc, recently hired Citigroup and UBS to lead the division’s spin-off, people familiar with the matter said.

It is reported that the market value of Haleon’s independent listing may reach $49 billion, and it is expected to become one of the largest listed companies in the UK. Well-known products owned by Haleon include Advill pain reliever and Sensodyne toothpaste.

Haleon could begin trading as soon as July 18, according to filings. Unilever had previously tried to buy Haleon for £50bn but was rejected by shareholders of both companies.

GSK’s consumer goods branch is already large enough to break away and become an independent public company


5. Top Gun Becomes Tom Cruise best seller

“Top Gun: The Lone Ranger” has surpassed $1 billion at the global box office, officially becoming Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing film, according to Paramount. Of that, North America and the rest of the World grossed $520 million and $486 million, respectively.

Sales of movie tickets in North America tripled last week from a year ago to $3.6 billion, according to Bloomberg, but still only a third of the level of the same period in 2019.

Several blockbusters have been released in the past month, but only Tom’s film box office exceeded expectations, which shows that consumers’ purchasing power has been affected to a certain extent.

Although a large number of movies have gathered recently, the sales of theaters are still far from the level of 2019


6. Ray-Ban’s billionaire shareholder passed away

Leonardo Del Vecchio, the billionaire shareholder of Ray-Ban, a well-known high-end eyewear brand in the United States, has died at the age of 87. Ray-Ban did not disclose the cause of death but said the company’s board of directors was already discussing the next steps.

Today, Ray-Ban is the world’s largest eyewear manufacturer, with a market value of over 65 billion euros and more than 180,000 employees worldwide. Leonardo was the company’s largest shareholder, controlling 32% of the shares during his lifetime.

Ray-Ban’s parent company, EssilorLuxottica, was officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1990 and has since acquired American eyewear retailers Lenscrafters and Sunglass Hut.

In 1999, Leonardo officially acquired Ray-Ban, the seller at that time was Bausch & Lomb.

Leonardo’s wife will inherit 25% of the shares of Ray-Ban’s parent company, and the six children will each inherit 12.5% ​​of the shares of the holding company


7. Siemens takes stake in Volkswagen’s electric car charging unit

Volkswagen AG will sell a minority stake in U.S. electric vehicle charging unit Electrify America LLC to Siemens AG in a deal that could reach $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

After the stake sale, VW can use the funds to help Lectrify America expand its network of charging stations. The company aims to have a total of 1,800 charging points by 2026.

Germany’s Siemens AG will invest in Electrify America through its financial services arm. In August last year, the technology electrician giant Siemens announced that it would build more than 1 million electric vehicle charging stations in the United States in the next four years. A stake in Electrify America can provide more support.

At present, Tesla still operates the most charging stations in the United States, but only Tesla models can use it. Beginning in November last year, Tesla began to develop a network of charging piles in Europe that other brands of vehicles can use.

Volkswagen and Siemens team up to speed up the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure


The content of this article comes from various financial news media such as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Bloomberg.