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• On April 25 Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite Index fell 2.4 percent on concerns that the central bank may raise interest rates for the first time since 2014 to defend the currency. Banking stocks slid the most on the prospect of higher borrowing costs which would crimp loan growth and economic growth.
• On May 3 Xiaomi Inc., China’s largest smartphone maker, submitted paperwork for an Initial Public Offering which was set to be the biggest since 2014 and could value the company at $100 billion. Xiaomi started out in 2010, aiming to sell better and cheaper smartphones than competitors in China. Today, Xiaomi is the fourth-largest smartphone maker globally (behind Samsung, Apple, and Huawei) and has expanded into selling smart speakers.
• On May 15 Toshiba Corporation said management is confident the company will be able to cash in on the memory chips business and pay out part of the $18 billion windfall to shareholders. In September 2017 Toshiba agreed to sell the memory chips segment, widely seen as the jewel in the conglomerate’s crown, in a bid to stave off bankruptcy following an acquisition of a US nuclear company that went awry. Toshiba’s shares rose 3.5 percent on the day.
• On May 22 Sony Corporation announced intention to acquire the majority of music publisher EMI Music Publishing Ltd for $2 billion. EMI owns the rights to 4.4 million songs and forms part of the largest music publishing corporation in the world. The acquisition will allow Sony the opportunity to become a major content player in games (via the PlayStation platform) and entertainment. The market did not react favourably to the announcement and Sony’s shares fell 2.8 percent.
• On May 30 Nintendo Co Ltd., the creator of Super Mario, announced three new Pokémon games. The games build on the success of 2016’s Pokémon Go app and better-than-expected sales of the Nintendo Switch console. The games will launch later in 2018 and focus on mixing the easy-to-use nature of the app with the more in-depth storylines of traditional games. Nintendo was up 4.3 percent on the day.
• On June 11 Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. (CATL), the world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker, debuted on the stock market in China and reached a value of over $12 billion. CATL makes batteries for electric vehicles, going head to head with the likes of Panasonic which produces batteries with Tesla. Despite fierce competition, CATL boasts some big-name customers in the car world, like Volkswagen AG, Nissan Motor Company Ltd., and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW). CATL’s shares soared 44.0 percent on the day.