Tuesday, November 29, 2022

FirstFT: Binance ditches FTX | Financial Times

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Binance will abandon its deal to rescue Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange, citing concerns about its business practices and investigations by US financial regulators.

The move comes a day after Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto trading venues, tentatively agreed to buy FTX after it suffered a liquidity crunch.

“As a result of corporate due diligence, as well as the latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations, we have decided that we will not pursue the potential acquisition of FTX.com,” Binance said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The about-turn came as the Securities and Exchange Commission expanded an investigation into FTX, which includes examining the platform’s cryptocurrency lending products and the management of customer funds, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Do you think Binance was right to abandon its deal with FTX? Tell me what you think at firstft@ft.com. Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. — Emily

1. Russia orders retreat from Kherson Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu has ordered troops to withdraw from the strategic city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, in another major setback for President Vladimir Putin’s nine-month invasion of the country.

2. US Congress hangs in balance Joe Biden and the Democrats avoided sweeping defeats but still risked losing control of Congress to the Republicans after US midterm elections showed Americans are unwilling to hand a strong political mandate to either party. Track the results with our live results map.

3. Germany blocks another Chinese acquisition Germany’s economy minister announced the decision to block a Chinese acquisition of a domestic semiconductor company, but declined to name the company affected. However, a person familiar with the matter said it was ERS Electronic. The government also confirmed that it had stopped the sale of Dortmund-based Elmos’s semiconductor plant to Chinese-owned Silex Microsystems.

4. China factory gate prices contract for first time since 2020 China’s factory gate prices fell into deflationary territory last month and consumer prices rose less than expected, in further signs of the damping effect of Covid-19 lockdowns on domestic demand. The country’s producer price index, a gauge of prices for goods as they leave factories, fell 1.3 per cent in October year on year.

5. Musk outlines ambitious payments vision for Twitter Elon Musk laid out his long-term vision for bringing payments to Twitter — which could include offering high-yield money market accounts and debit cards and peer-to-peer transactions — as the social media company filed paperwork with US authorities to become a financial services business.

The day ahead

Inflation data Japan’s producer price index for October will be released today, as will the closely watched US consumer price index. Last week, the Japanese government unveiled a $200bn stimulus package to fight the negative impact of inflation. In the US, Wall Street has forecast CPI to have increased 8 per cent year over year in October, down from 8.2 per cent in September.

Philippines Q3 GDP figures Growth is expected to have slowed in the third quarter when data is released today. Economists point to rising inflation and a weak peso. (CNN Philippines)

Pakistan march set to continue The countrywide march at which Imran Khan was shot is set to restart today without the former prime minister, who is still recovering from his injuries.

What else we’re reading and listening to

‘There was no hope’: Chinese factories struggle to survive Factory managers in southern China are reporting a fall in orders in October of as much as 50 per cent on the back of full inventories in the US and Europe, deepening the gloomy outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

Taiwan rallies drone makers to prepare military for China threat Taiwan is attempting to build a domestic supply chain within a year for drones that its military could use in a war with China. The strategy is part of President Tsai Ing-wen’s effort to make the armed forces focus on an increasingly pressing threat from Beijing.

Republican blame game begins The US midterm elections were supposed to deliver a thumping Republican victory that would easily flip control of the House of Representatives. Instead, it seemed to confirm, yet again, the country’s entrenched divisions.

  • Opinion: Things could have been much worse for the Democrats last night, writes Edward Luce in our Swamp Notes newsletter. But they made it worse for themselves by sticking their head under a rock.

Mark Carney clings to his dream of a greener finance industry One year after COP26 in Glasgow, where former Bank of England governor Mark Carney pledged that $130tn — four in every 10 dollars under management globally — would be deployed to limit global warming, his alliance risks falling short of expectations and promises. Here’s why.

Global wealth graphic

The loneliness of the long Covid employee Tens of millions of people worldwide are believed to be suffering from long Covid, experiencing symptoms lasting for more than four weeks after they had Covid-19. This week’s Working It podcast explains why workplaces have been reluctant to address the issue.

Obituary

British banker Evelyn de Rothschild, 91, who advised the late Queen Elizabeth II on financial matters, has died “after a short illness”, the family said yesterday. The businessman, who trained racehorses, dedicated 42 years of his career to his family’s bank.

Evelyn de Rothschild
© Bloomberg

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