Finance Knuggets

Jan 30, 2024

I’ve been keeping up with the latest developments in Thailand’s diplomatic engagements, particularly with the United States and China. There have been high-level meetings with both countries in Bangkok, coinciding with U.S.-China talks in the same city. Additionally, there’s been a lot of analysis on evolving security, geopolitical, and geoeconomic trends, including scenarios for U.S.-China competition futures and the evolution of criminal networks in the Mekong subregion. Furthermore, the latest annual census released by the Committee to Protect Journalists highlighted the high number of journalists in jail in Asia, particularly in countries like China, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The news also covered a concrete plan for Holcim, the world’s largest cement maker, to spin off its North American business via an IPO that could value the unit at over $30 billion. Furthermore, private equity dealmaking and dividend recaps have made a comeback, with January being the busiest month for dividend recaps since November 2021. This has been seen as a sign of investor optimism about the future path of the economy and markets.

Today, I learned about the US government’s encouragement of green energy projects through tax credits and the challenges of funding artificial intelligence (AI) projects. These developments in green energy and AI financing are important to keep an eye on, as they could impact both the renewable energy sector and the future of AI development.

The FTC announced that it will be looking into the recent tech deals, specifically Microsoft’s influence over OpenAI and how it affects competition. Byju’s, the world’s most valuable edtech startup, has cut its valuation ask by 99% in a rights issue it launched Monday, seeking to raise $200 million to address its working capital needs. In other news, Evergrande is set to be dismantled, marking a ‘big bang’ end to years of stumbles as it faces liquidation, which will be a test for international creditors. These are just some of the financial headlines making waves in the market.

Stay Well!