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World Street: Altman’s countermoves, uranium rally, fading ESG, Chinese EVs and PE power

Tech world gets stormed in the weekend by the ouster of OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman. From China's rare earth rules to ebbing charm of ESG practices and private equity's dash for cash, here's a look into the global markets

November 20, 2023 / 07:05 AM IST

World Street

Reverse Drive

Sam Altman, whose ouster as the CEO of OpenAI has rocked the tech world, is discussing a possible return to the company even as he considers launching an artificial intelligence (AI) venture of his own, reports Reuters. A day after the board fired him, Altman was talking with OpenAI executives about improving the company's governance structure while he discussed with some core OpenAI researchers and other loyalists how they could start a new AI company.

Promises to Keep

Wall Street brokers would be able to market some investments with projections of future performance and promise targeted returns when selling securities to  institutional and wealthy individuals, under a rule proposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra). The rule change floated by the industry self-regulatory body would mark a departure from a general ban on brokers promising specific outcomes. But some investor advocates are worried.

Rare earths

China could potentially disrupt the global rare earth oxide supply by cutting off 40–50 percent, impacting suppliers of advanced components used in the US defence systems, according to a report to the Congress. On August 1, China implemented export controls on gallium and germanium. The Pentagon holds a strategic stockpile for germanium but has no inventory reserves for gallium.

Fading ESG charm

Wall Street is quietly closing funds or scrubbing their names after disappointing returns that have investors cashing out billions, reports WSJ. The third quarter was the first time more sustainable funds liquidated or removed the ESG criteria from their investment practices than were added, according to Morningstar.


Goldman Sachs expects OPEC to not let the oil price slide too much below $80 per barrel next year and use its pricing power to keep it in the $80-$100 range, the bank said in a note this week, ahead of the OPEC+ meeting on November 26.


The uranium market is having a breakout year, with prices rising more than 50 percent year-to-date, reaching the highest levels in 15 years. This renewed interest is spurred by the need for energy diversification, especially after the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the global push away from fossil fuels, reports Recent supply disruptions in Niger, another key uranium source, is also adding fuel to the rally.

Vocal for local

Chinese brands are taking the lead in the country’s rapid shift to new energy vehicles, putting Volkswagen China sales on track for a 11-year low. Nissan is on track for its worst year in the market since 2009, while Hyundai is set for its lowest sales since at least that time, CNBC’s analysis showed. The Chinese automotive industry is developing faster than the market’s growth rate.

Weighing in

Retail flows into US pharma major Eli Lilly spiked to a more than two-year high in November, as small investors rushed to buy the stock after the company received a highly anticipated approval for its weight-loss drug Zepbound. Daily net purchases surged to $14.4 million on November 8, when Zepbound was cleared in the US and the UK, hitting their highest levels since January 2021, as per data from Vanda Research.

PE Power

Blackstone is planning to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to give its flagship private credit fund added investment firepower. The private equity behemoth is in the final stages of raising just under $400 million through a so-called collateralised loan obligation secured by the very loans held by its $52-billion Blackstone Private Credit Fund, known as BCRED, according to documents obtained by the Financial Times.

Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 20, 2023 07:05 am

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