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Decade-Low Dealmaking in 2023

US mortgage rates hit their lowest rate since May, global dealmaking hit a decade-low in 2023, Google settled a $5B consumer privacy lawsuit, Argentina’s top unions are calling for a strike against Milei’s reforms, and Biden is struggling to push trade deals with allies as election approaches.

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Good Morning,

US mortgage rates hit their lowest rate since May, global dealmaking hit a decade-low in 2023, Google settled a $5B consumer privacy lawsuit, Argentina’s top unions are calling for a strike against Milei’s reforms, and Biden is struggling to push trade deals with allies as election approaches.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 12/28/2023 market close.


  • US stocks closed relatively unchanged as the Dow closed at a record high

    • The Dow rose 0.14%, while the Nasdaq fell 0.03%

  • Asian stocks rose, led by a pop in Chinese stocks as overseas investors bought $1.9B worth of Chinese equities on a net basis (BBG)


Headline Roundup

  • Mortgage rates in US fall to lowest since May, dropping to 6.61% (BBG)

  • Global dealmaking drops below $3T for first time since 2013 (FT)

  • Google settles $5B consumer privacy lawsuit (RT)

  • Apple is being overtaken by Chinese smartphone rivals - in cars (WSJ)

  • Bridgewater CEO’s past office romance led to favoritism claims (BBG)

  • L’Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers becomes first woman with $100B fortune (BBG)

  • Elon Musk’s X fails to block California’s content moderation law (RT)

  • Soft landing talk prompts 1990s flashbacks (WSJ)

  • Argentina’s top unions call strike against Milei’s reforms (BBG)

  • Biden struggles to push trade deals with allies as election approaches (WSJ)

  • China’s Xiaomi unveils its first EV as it looks to compete with Porsche, Tesla (CNBC)

  • Electric car companies from China are flocking to Hong Kong (BBG)

  • Rate cuts may offer a lifeline for highly indebted companies (WSJ)

  • Boeing urges inspections of 737 Max planes for ‘possible loose bolt’ (CNBC)

  • A top Penn Entertainment shareholder seeks board seats (WSJ)

  • Nvidia’s China customers to get hobbled version of gaming chip (BBG)

  • Maine becomes second state to bar Trump from 2024 primary ballot (WSJ)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Canadian investment fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec will acquire a 15% stake in natural gas pipeline firm TAG from Engie Brasil, the subsidiary of France’s Engie, for $641M (RT

  • Industrial technology company Enpro will acquire Advanced Micro Instruments, a provider of analyzers and sensing technologies, for $210M cash (BW

  • Spain's defense systems maker Indra is considering acquiring a stake in satellite operator Hispasat, which is partly owned by state-controlled grid operator Redeia (RT

  • Japanese brokerage firm Monex Group will acquire a majority stake in Canada's 3iQ Digital Holdings to boost its appeal to crypto-hungry institutional investors (RT)

  • Altice USA sold financial news streaming service Cheddar News to media company Archetype (CNBC)


  • Fasal, a precision farming startup, raised a $15M Series A led by TDK Ventures, ITI Growth Opportunities Fund, Navam Capital, and more (FN)

  • Heranova Lifesciences, a biotech company focused on women’s health, raised $13.5M in funding led by Pivotal bioVenture Partners China, Sinovation Ventures, Emerging Technology Partners, and others (VC)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Kazakhstan-based fintech heavyweight Kaspi.kz made its US IPO paperwork public; the company already has a ~$19B valuation on the London Stock Exchange (RT

  • Indian retailer FirstCry’s parent Brainbees Solutions is seeking to raise $218M through a local IPO (RT)


  • Global logistics service provider PSI Group will merge with AIB Acquisition Corp. in a $200M deal (GNW)  

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • PE-owned Air Methods, a medical helicopter company, emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and cut ~$1.7B debt (RT

  • Signa Prime Selection, a key unit of Rene Benko’s retail empire that owns most of the group’s high-end property investments, filed for restructuring under self-administration (BBG

  • South Korea’s Taeyoung Engineering & Construction asked for its debt to be reorganized, sparking concerns of a credit crunch in the country (BBG)

Crypto Corner

  • India is moving to block local access to crypto exchanges including Binance, KuCoin, Huobi, and Kraken which it says are operating illegally there (BBG

  • Cathie Wood’s ARK Next Generation Internet ETF exited its remaining position in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust due to ETF uncertainty and purchased a stake in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BBG

  • Binance’s user base grew 30% in 2023 even after US legal settlements (CD)

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