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Amazon Pauses HQ2 Construction

China set a 2023 GDP growth target at ~5%, eurozone business activity is quickly recovering, home prices fell YoY for the first time in a decade, UK firms are ditching London listings for NYC, Twitter revenue is down 40% YoY, Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman is leaving OpenAI's board, and Amazon paused construction of its HQ2 in Virginia.

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Good Morning,

China set a 2023 GDP growth target at ~5%, eurozone business activity is quickly recovering, home prices fell YoY for the first time in a decade, UK firms are ditching London listings for NYC, Twitter revenue is down 40% YoY, Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman is leaving OpenAI's board, and Amazon paused construction of its HQ2 in Virginia.

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Let's dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 3/3/2023 market close.

Markets

  • US stocks rallied for their biggest one-day gain in over one month on Friday as data pointing to economic growth boosted investors’ risk appetite

    • The S&P snapped a three-week losing streak

    • The Dow snapped a four-week losing streak to turn positive YTD

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.92%

  • The MSCI world equity index jumped 1.47% for a 5.8% YTD gain

  • 10-year German bond yield was at 2.68%, near its highest level since 2011

  • Dollar index fell 0.3% on Friday, on track for its biggest weekly loss since mid-January

  • J Pow will testify before Congress on the Fed's monetary policy this week

  • Bank of Canada and Bank of Japan will announce their latest monetary policy decisions on Wednesday and Thursday

  • On Wednesday, we'll receive January's jobs data and on Friday, February's labor market conditions

Earnings

  • What we're watching this week:

    • Tuesday: Dick's Sporting Goods, Dole

    • Thursday: Oracle, JD.com, Ulta Beauty

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • China set 2023 GDP growth target to ‘around 5%’ (CNBC)

  • US non-manufacturing new orders and employment rose to over one-year highs in February (RT)

  • Eurozone business activity recovery gathered pace in February (RT)

  • Investors poured $68B in cash funds last week in biggest inflow since Covid (RT)

  • Global commodity trading profits hit a record $115B last year (FT)

  • Home prices fell YoY for the first time since 2012 (AX)

  • UK firms are ditching London for New York for IPO plans (FT)

  • UK public inflation expectations unexpectedly rose in February (RT)

  • Fed exec Logan believes US financial system is vulnerable to bond market stress (RT)

  • Buyout firms are lending less as demand cools (RT)

  • EU agreed to world's first bond issuance rules to combat greenwashing (RT)

  • US is preparing new rules on investment in China (WSJ)

  • State Street will merge a $1.8B ETF into a larger fund and shutter three tiny ETFs (FT)

  • Twitter revenue and earnings fell ~40% YoY in December (WSJ)

  • TSMC will recruit 6k engineers this year (RT)

  • LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman will leave OpenAI's board (RT)

  • Airbnb cut 30% of recruiting staff (BBG)

  • Amazon paused construction of its HQ2 in Virginia (BBG)

  • Women now make up 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs (AX)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • Italy’s state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and Macquarie made a $22B offer for Telecom Italia’s landline network, which matches KKR’s bid but offers more in cash (BBG)

  • Marlboro maker Altria swapped its 35% minority stake in Juul Labs for some IP rights after its $12.8B investment plummeted by ~98% in four years (FT)

  • Goldman Sachs’ asset management arm is among the suitors for US-based sandwich chain Subway that could be worth ~$10B (RT)

  • Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is the frontrunner to buy a stake in luxury hotels group Rocco Forte Hotels at a potential ~$1.4B valuation (BBG)

  • Brand management company Authentic Brands Group is nearing a deal to buy Boardriders, the parent of the Quiksilver and Billabong surfwear brands, for ~$1.3B (BBG)

  • Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor agreed to buy Suncor Energy UK for $850M (BBG)

  • Investment firm Harris Associates sold its entire stake in struggling Swiss bank Credit Suisse (BBG)

  • Abu Dhabi investment group Yas is in talks to invest in RE investment company Peninsula Real Estate ahead of its planned IPO (BBG)

VC

  • Stability AI, the parent company of AI digital image tool Stable Diffusion, is seeking to raise funds at a ~$4B valuation (BBG)

  • Cybersecurity startup Wiz raised a $300M Series D at a $10B valuation led by Lightspeed Venture Partners (FRB)

  • Divert, a startup building technology / infrastructure to prevent food waste, raised a $100M round led by Enbridge (FN)

  • Industrial Sun, a developer of solar projects for industrial clients, raised a $90M round led by EIG and Modern Energy (FN)

  • Chinese automation software provider Kingsware raised a $72.4M Series C+ led by CDB Capital (FN)

  • Textile recycler Circ raised a $25M Series B extension from Zalando, Avery Dennison, and others (FN)

  • Oats Overnight, a spoon-free high-protein oatmeal startup, raised a $20M+ Series A from Singh Capital Partners, BFG Partners, and more (PRN)

  • Italian 3D printing startup Caracol raised an $11.3M Series A from CDP Venture Capital, Neva SGR, and others (FN)

  • immi, a low-carb high-protein plant-based instant ramen brand, raised a $10M Series A led by Touch Capital (FN)

  • Rubi Labs, a startup using CO2 emissions to create carbon-negative textiles, raised an $8.7M seed round led by Talis Capital, Tin Shed Ventures, and H&M Group (FN)

  • Customer video review tool Indent raised an $8.1M Series A led by SV Investment (TC)

  • Ramp, a London-based forecasting analytics startup, raised a $5M seed round led by AlbionVC and Eurazeo (FN)

  • Prana Thoracic, a Houston-based medical device company, raised a $3M Series A led by New World Angels (FN)

  • Munich-based healthtech startup Alfadocs.com raised a $2.1M seed round from BayBG and Bayern Kapital (FN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • SoftBank-own British chip firm Arm plans to raise over $8B in a US-only listing this year (RT)

  • Thai mobile firm True Corporation, created through a merger between Thailand’s number two and three mobile phone operators, was valued at ~$9B after its shares began trading in Bangkok on Friday (BBG)

  • British building materials company CRH will move its primary listing from London to New York (BBG)

Debt

  • Canada's Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is seeking to raise $1.35B via two bond offerings to help fund its $7.3B acquisition of US-based online vehicle marketplace IAA (MS)

Fundraising

  • Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management raised $2.67B for its fifth infrastructure debt fund (IPE)

  • Founders Fund slashed the size of its eighth VC fund in half from $1.8B to $900M (AX)

Crypto Corner

  • Texts from Binance reveal plan to elude US authorities (WSJ)

  • Crypto bank Silvergate suspended its crypto payments network (RT)

  • DOJ proposed SBF be only allowed a flip phone and limited internet access while on bail (RT)

  • SEC Chair said crypto exchanges may not be 'qualified custodians' (CD)

Exec's Picks

  • How to Invest is a master class on investing featuring conversations with the biggest names in finance, from the legendary cofounder of The Carlyle Group, David M. Rubenstein. Check out his latest book here.

  • a16z's Bryan Kim shared his thoughts on how to know if your social app will be a "hit."

  • U.S. News & World Report's Eric Gertler wrote about why top-tier law and medical schools dislike his company's academic ranking system.

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