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Musk asks Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of Tesla stock

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November 6, 2021

By Ann Maria Shibu

(Reuters) -Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Saturday asked his 62.5 million followers on Twitter in a poll if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” Musk wrote in a tweet referring to a “billionaires’ tax” proposed by Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

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Musk tweeted that he will abide by the results of the poll, whichever way it goes.

The poll received over a million responses in three hours since he posted it, with 54% of respondents approving the proposal to sell the shares. The Poll is scheduled to end around 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Sunday.

Musk’s shareholding in Tesla comes to about 170.5 million shares as of June 30 and selling 10% of his stock would amount close to $21 billion based on Friday’s closing, according to Reuters calculations.

Analysts say he may have to offload a significant number of shares anyway to pay taxes since a large number of options will expire next year.

The comments from Musk comes after the proposal in the U.S. congress to tax billionaires’ assets to help pay for President Joe Biden’s social and climate-change agenda.

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Musk is currently the world’s richest person and owner of several futuristic companies, including SpaceX and Neuralink. He has previously criticized the billionaires’ tax on Twitter.

His tweet raised some eyebrows in the world of finance.

“We are witnessing the Twitter masses deciding the outcome of a $25B coin flip,” Venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya wrote on Twitter in response to Musk’s tweet.

“Looking forward to the day when the richest person in the world paying some tax does not depend on a Twitter poll,” Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman tweeted.

Musk got into trouble with a tweet about Tesla in 2018.

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued him after he tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The agency said the tweet, which sent Tesla’s share price up as much as 13.3 percent, violated securities laws. Musk later reached a deal with the SEC to end the dispute.

“Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,” Musk said on Twitter.

Tesla shares recently hit record high after it received its biggest-ever order of 100,000 electric rental cars from Hertz.

Tesla board members including Elon Musk’s brother Kimbal have recently sold shares of the electric carmaker. Kimbal Musk sold 88,500 Tesla shares while fellow board member Ira Ehrenpreis sold shares worth more than $200 million.

Musk recently said on Twitter he’d sell $6 billion in Tesla stock and donate it to the World Food Program (WFP), provided the organization disclosed more information about how it spent its money. Musk and WFP head David Beasley have been engaging in a heated debate since Beasley last week challenged billionaires to give more of their wealth to end hunger.

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(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco;Editing by Alistair Bell and David Gregorio)

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Apple starts legal action against Russian regulator in App Store dispute -RIA

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December 6, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Apple has started legal proceedings against Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator in a dispute concerning alternative payment options on its App Store platform, the RIA news agency reported on Sunday citing court filings.

Russia opened an antitrust case against Apple in late October, accusing it of failing to allow app developers to tell customers about alternative payment options when using its App Store. It said Apple could face a fine based on its revenue in Russia if found guilty.

In documents published on Dec. 1, the Moscow Arbitration Court listed Apple as a claimant and Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) as a defendant in “economic disputes over administrative legal relations.”

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Apple, which did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, demanded that additional documents be added to the case on Dec. 2, RIA reported.

Forbes Russia cited a FAS representative as saying that the proceedings related to a warning it issued on Aug. 30 over Apple’s alleged failure to inform users they could also pay for purchases outside the App Store.

The FAS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Apple faced pushback over its App Store rules in the United States in September when a federal judge issued a ruling forcing the company to allow developers to send their users to other payment systems.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Weaker foreign demand sinks German industrial orders in October

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December 6, 2021

By Michael Nienaber

BERLIN (Reuters) -Weaker demand from abroad drove a much bigger than expected drop in German industrial orders, including cars, in October, data showed on Monday, further clouding the growth outlook for manufacturers in Europe’s largest economy.

A pandemic-related scarcity of microchips and other electronic components has caused massive supply bottlenecks and production problems in Germany’s mighty automobile industry and other important sectors of the economy.

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Orders for goods ‘Made in Germany’ dropped 6.9% on the month in seasonally adjusted terms after a revised rise of 1.8% in September and a plunge of 8.8% in August, figures from the Federal Statistics Office showed.

A Reuters poll of analysts had pointed to a smaller decline of 0.5% on the month in October.

“After incoming orders climbed to an all-time high in mid-2021, the index has lost more than 16 points in recent months,” the economy ministry said, adding that the second sharp decline within three months put a further damper on the economic outlook.

Excluding distorting factors from bookings for big ticket items such as planes, industrial orders were still down 1.8%, the data showed.

The drop was driven by a decline in foreign orders of more than 13% on the month, with demand from countries outside the euro zone such as China particularly weak. Orders from domestic clients rose 3.4%.

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“New lockdowns in Asia are slowing industry in Germany,” VP Bank analyst Thomas Gitzel said. He added that the current wave of coronavirus infections across the globe was putting a renewed burden on the world economy.

Gitzel said that domestic demand should remain strong, helped by the new ruling coalition’s commitment to massive investment in the green economy.

“The decarbonization of the economy requires major investments in new technologies. German industry can and will benefit from this,” Gitzel said.

The weak orders data suggest that manufacturing will hamper overall economic growth in the coming months, with analysts expecting stagnation at best in the final quarter of this year.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Kirsti Knolle and Philippa Fletcher)

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Marketmind: Chasing the Omicron dip

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December 6, 2021

A look at the day ahead from Julien Ponthus.

Buying the dip triggered by the Omicron COVID-19 variant across global markets has proven a costly strategy so far. But some investors seem determined to have another go.

European and U.S. stocks futures are trading sharply higher after ending last week on a sour note and notwithstanding a dismal day in Asia where an MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost about 0.9%.

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The region has seen a series of corporate setbacks after ride-hailing giant Didi decided to withdraw from the New York stock exchange last week.

Shares in China Evergrande, the world’s most indebted developer, plunged 14% after it said there was no guarantee it would have enough funds to meet debt repayments.

Another giant, Alibaba dropped 5% after announcing it would reorganise its international and domestic e-commerce businesses. And U.S. regulatory opposition to the sale of Softbank-owned chip firm Arm pushed the Japanese conglomerate 8% lower.

But the mood is lighter already across Europe, allowing 10-year Treasury yields to claw back some of Friday’s falls which took them below 1.4% for the first time since late September.

There are five trading sessions left before Friday’s U.S. consumer price report which some reckon will provide the green light for the Federal Reserve to accelerate its tapering of bond purchases.

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Oil prices too rose by more than $1 a barrel after Saudi Arabia raised prices for its crude sold to Asia and the United States.

And if the market mood is perking up, there is no sign of that in Bitcoin which has fallen further and is now at $48,244 — some $20,000 below peaks hit a month ago.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Monday:

-Vivendi is open to discuss with Rome over state control on TIM’s network

-Alibaba overhauls e-commerce businesses, names new CFO

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-Swiss National Bank Vice Chairman Zurbruegg to retire in July 2022

-Weaker foreign demand sinks German industrial orders in October

-CBI cuts UK economic growth forecasts on supply chain hit

-Euro zone finance ministers to discuss 2022 draft budgets, euro summit

– Russian President Vladimir Putin visits India

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– UK construction PMI/new car sales

-Euro zone finance ministers to discuss 2022 draft budgets, euro summit

BOE deputy Governor Broadbent, ECB Governor Lagarde and board member Panetta speak:

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; editing by Sujata Rao)

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