Despite regular personal disbeliefs, it’s time to digest the fact that the Taliban is back in Afghanistan. Let’s try to spend some time today to dig deep into what’s changing in Afghanistan on the financial cash front.
Post US’s Afghan entry in the early 2000s, MoneyGram entered the country to provide a medium of international remittance. Interestingly, Afghanistan has grown to rely highly on the money received from families in the US, UK, and other countries for economical stability. Remittances are about $800 million a year, or about 4% of Afghanistan’s GDP.
But, as directed by the Whitehouse, MoneyGram is forced to stop all its operations directing money into Afghanistan. This stop is expected to create a big hole in the economy and further extend the increasing financial concerns.
Story Of the Week – Is Amazon building another Clubhouse?
To compete with other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Spotify’s new live audio platform, Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature.
Amazon is in touch with major record labels to come onboard on its plan of integrating live concerts into the Amazon Music app. This comes as an action when multiple live audio apps are gathering unprecedented attention. Initially, the feature will focus on live music, but the tech giant will also explore talk radio programs and podcasts as extensions to that effort, according to a source familiar with the plans.
According to two sources, Amazon also plans to integrate live audio into Twitch, its video streaming service.
Global Market Update
Global Equity Market
Global Commodity Market
Hurricane Ida shut down the only U.S. terminal able to unload supertankers in Louisiana, halting 95% of U.S. crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. After reaching a three-week high, oil prices have fallen back. (Reuters)
Companies in Focus
- TechCrunch reported that Ola Electric, an Indian EV maker, is talking to Falcon Edge Capital about raising $500 million at a valuation ranging between $2.75 billion and $3.5 billion.
- Chinese regulators have prohibited minors from gaming online for more than three hours per week, causing shares of NetEase and Tencent to fall.
- Payment processing company PayPal (+4%)’s platform may allow users to trade stocks
- ByteDance, which owns TikTok, is pursuing Facebook’s “moonshot,” according to TechCrunch, by buying a virtual reality headset company called Pico. The deal, first reported by Bloomberg last week, was confirmed by ByteDance today. Its terms have not yet been disclosed. Pico had raised some $62 million from Chinese firms in venture capital.
- There are talks between Intuit and Mailchimp over a $10 billion deal. (If the final figure gets to $12 billion, that would make Mailchimp America’s 10th dragon.) The email marketing firm is 100% owned by its two founders, Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius. (Bloomberg)
- In July, Virgin Galactic‘s Unity spacecraft deviated from the path it agreed to follow as it returned to the Spaceport America facility in New Mexico; now aviation regulators are investigating whether this deviation may affect public safety, and the company’s flights have been grounded.
- The Alibaba Group has signed on to Beijing’s plan to promote social equality by investing what equals $15.5 billion in fostering it. Alibaba is the latest big Chinese company to join the government’s “common prosperity” drive.
Thanks for Reading!
Shubham Agarwal (CFA L2 Candidate | Incoming MBA candidate at University of Cambridge, UK)