Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, said bitcoin, the red-hot cryptocurrency, is in a bubble. While speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday, the billionaire co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates said “bitcoin is a highly speculative market.”
2. The value of Norway’s sovereign wealth fund officially hit $1 trillion early on Tuesday after outperforming all initial expectations, its manager said in a statement. “I don’t think anyone expected the fund to ever reach $1 trillion when the first transfer of oil revenue was made in May 1996,” said Chief Executive Officer Yngve Slyngstad of Norges Bank Investment Management, which operates the fund.
3. The US judge overseeing Toys ‘R’ Us approved the company’s request to borrow more than $2 billion to help stabilize itself to build inventory for the year-end shopping season. Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy Monday, squeezed by online shopping and discount chains.
4. Japan’s Nikkei share average was nearly flat on Wednesday morning after scaling more than two-year highs on the previous day. The Nikkei was flat at 20,302.96 in midmorning trade, after surging 2% to hit the highest level since August 2015 on Tuesday supported by a weaker yen and hopes for a snap election.
5. Shares of Tesla fell from record highs after an analyst warned that the electric car maker may take longer than expected to become profitable. Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois launched coverage of Tesla with an “underperform” rating, helping send shares of the company down 2% to $376.74.
6. German drugs maker Bayer said it would likely take until early next year to complete the planned $66 billion takeover of US seeds group Monsanto. The European Commission has been scrutinising the takeover with a deadline of Jan. 8. Bayer said in a statement it had asked the regulator for an extension to Jan. 22.
7. US wireless carriers T-Mobile US and Sprint are said to be in active merger talks, CNBC reported, citing sources. CNBC reported that the companies are still weeks away from finalizing a deal and believe the chances of reaching that deal are not assured.
8. Saudi Aramco will be able to release its audited financial accounts in early 2018 if the government decides on a venue for listing the oil giant’s IPO, Reuters reported. It will be the first public earnings disclosure for Aramco and one of the most important internal milestones in preparing for the initial public offering, which is expected to raise as much as $100 billion.
9. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said his company would continue to make a variety of vehicle types even as competitors develop more electric vehicles. “EVs (electric vehicles) are in focus at the moment but customers and the market will ultimately decide which powertrains will be successful,” he said.
10. Amazon is working on its first wearable device – a pair of ‘smart glasses’, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. The device, designed like a regular pair of spectacles, will allow Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa to be summoned anytime at all places, the report said, citing people familiar with the plans.