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Emerging Markets Daily - November 22
Singapore Unicorn Grab Readies US IPO, India's Paytm IPO: A Rough Start, China Hypersonic Weapons, Putin Says West Escalating Tension, Somaliland's New Airport
The Top 5 Stories Shaping Emerging Markets from Global Media - November 22
Singapore Unicorn Grab Poised for U.S Listing by Early December
“Singapore unicorn Grab could list in the U.S. by early December after the special purpose acquisition company it plans to merge with said it will vote on the proposed deal next week...”
“A prominent homegrown tech startup in Southeast Asia, Grab's listing would provide U.S. investors with a fresh opportunity to invest in a fast-growing region that has been underrepresented in the global stock market.”
“Grab's market valuation will be closely monitored, as it could be a benchmark for valuation of other Southeast Asian startups planning to go public in the U.S. in the near future. Altimeter Growth valued the Singapore company at nearly $40 billion when they announced the merger deal in April.”
“Grab will receive $4.5 billion through the deal including a $4 billion private investment in public equity, or PIPE.”
“According to its filings, Grab CEO Anthony Tan will become chairman and CEO of the new company, while his co-founder Tan Hooi Ling will be chief operating officer and director. The company will have four independent directors, including Uber Technologies CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.”
“Founded in 2012, Grab offers services such as ride-hailing, food delivery and mobile payment in a one-stop app under what it calls a ‘superapp’ strategy. It is focused on Southeast Asian markets and operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar.”
“The company reported a net loss of $988 million for the three months through September, versus a $621 million net loss in the same period last year.” Kentaro Iwamoto reports.
India’s High Profile IPO Paytm: One of the Worst Tech Debuts Ever
“Shares of India’s pioneering digital payments startup Paytm plummeted for a second day after its $2.5 billion initial public offering, marking one of the worst debuts ever by a major technology company.”
“The stock fell about 13% on Monday after a 27% plunge in its debut Thursday, cutting its market value to about $12 billion. The drop has hit individual investors and global institutions such as BlackRock Inc. and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board that had scooped up shares.”
“Paytm’s parent company, One 97 Communications Ltd., raised a record IPO sum, but its disastrous trading debut sparked criticism the company and its investment bankers had pushed too hard in the offering. Founder and Chief Executive Officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma had persistently made clear that he wanted Paytm to surpass the long-standing IPO record set by Coal India Ltd. in 2010. Indian markets were shut Friday for a holiday.”
“‘Investors should wait a bit for the stock to settle down,’ said Mohit Nigam, a fund manager with Hem Securities Ltd. ‘There is too much volatility and pessimism in the stock.’” Sarita Rai and Nupur Acharya report.
China Unprecedented Hypersonic Weapon Test Shakes Washington
“China’s hypersonic weapon test in July included a technological advance that enabled it to fire a missile as it approached its target travelling at least five times the speed of sound — a capability no country has previously demonstrated.”
“Pentagon scientists were caught off guard by the advance, which allowed the hypersonic glide vehicle, a manoeuvrable spacecraft that can carry a nuclear warhead, to fire a separate missile mid-flight in the atmosphere over the South China Sea, according to people familiar with the intelligence.”
“Experts at Darpa, the Pentagon’s advanced research agency, remain unsure how China managed to fire countermeasures from a vehicle travelling at hypersonic speeds, said the people familiar with details of the demonstration.”
“Russia and the US have also pursued hypersonic weapons for years, but experts say the firing of countermeasures is the latest evidence that China’s efforts are significantly more advanced than either the Kremlin or the Pentagon.” Demetri Sevastopolu reports.
Putin Accuses West of Escalating Tensions
“Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of ‘escalating’ military tensions by selling arms to Ukraine, holding unscheduled naval drills in the Black Sea and flying bombers near its borders in a speech on November 18.”
“Temperatures have risen dramatically in the last two weeks after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that Russia was building up troops near Ukraine and could possible invade the country. He called the situation the ‘most dangerous since 2014’, when Russia annexed the Crimea.”
“The talk of war has been increasing in volume noticeably in the last week, made worse by the escalating migrant crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus engineered by Lukashenko in ‘revenge’ for the four rounds of sanctions imposed on him since he retook office in a disputed election last August 9.”
“Putin defended Russia and pointed to increased military manoeuvres by Nato forces on Russia’s borders, which he said the Kremlin found threatening. = Moreover, Turkey recently supplied Ukraine with an unmanned military attack drone that was used to take out a rebel artillery position at the end of October that will escalate the conflict in the Donbas, as Russia is likely to upgrade the separatist’s arsenal to counter the new threat. Putin talked about ‘red lines’ after that attack…”
“As bne IntelliNews reported following the 2014 annexation of Crimea and again in April following the build-up of troops on Ukraine’s border, Russia has been calling for a new pan-European security deal to replace the Cold War era Nato arrangements since 2008.” Ben Aris reports.
Somaliland Launches Renovated International Airport in Berbera
The East African
“Somaliland, the self-declared independent region north of Somalia, on Saturday officially launched a renovated Berbera International Airport, seeking a slice of the growing aviation earnings in the region.”
“President Muse Bihi, alongside Somaliland government officials and a delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), cut the ribbon, officially announcing that the airport, locally known as madaarka caalamiga ah ee Berbera, is open to commercial operations.”
“The airport is located a short distance off the port town of Berbera. With nearly five kilometres of runway, the airport will have a new expanded passenger terminal, including the much-needed separation between arriving and departing passengers as well as the security separation from the airside.”
“Officials say they want the modernised airport to start attracting major airlines in the region. With a major seaport, Somaliland hopes the airport could add to lucrative connectivity, aiding business with neighbours.” Abdulkadir Khalif reports.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill
What We’re Also Reading and Watching…
Europe Lockdown Protests Escalate
“Protests against fresh Covid-19 restrictions have rocked Europe over the weekend, with demonstrations breaking out in places such as Brussels, Vienna, Rome and Amsterdam.”
“There were protests in Vienna on Sunday after Austria entered its fourth national lockdown due to the current pandemic wave, with people now being asked to work from home and non-essential shops closing.”
“Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg has said that the lockdown would run for a “maximum of 20 days.” Covid vaccinations will be mandatory from Feb. 1 next year, making Austria the first European country to introduce compulsory vaccination.”
“In Belgium, protesters clashed with police after tens of thousands of people gathered in a march through Brussels’ city center on Sunday. The “Protest for Freedom” march, primarily aimed at protesting against stricter Covid restrictions, was attended by around 35,000 people, the police estimated.”
“Meanwhile, demonstrations continued for a third day in the Netherlands, following violent scenes and dozens of arrests in Rotterdam, with thousands more gathering in Amsterdam over the weekend.”
“After Rotterdam’s riots, there was further trouble in various neighborhoods in The Hague on Saturday night, as well as reports of disorder in several other smaller Dutch towns.” Holly Ellyatt reports.