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Bellus Health shares double on GSK buyout news

In today’s top stories, GSK is spending $2bn on biotech Bellus Health, adding the Canadian company’s chronic cough drug to its respiratory product line-up. Elsewhere, carmakers unveiled new EV models at Shanghai’s biennial auto show, while Indonesia is trying to persuade Volkswagen to invest in its nickel industry. US ed tech company Chegg has teamed up with OpenAI on a ChatGPT-powered study aide, while Capcom is to to launch a smartphone title that has been developed in partnership with Pokémon Go creator Niantic. Lastly, Swedish telecoms provider Ericsson anticipates a challenging year, yesterday’s earnings beat notwithstanding.

Volkswagen and Nissan unveil EV models for China

Shanghai’s biennial auto show kicked off on Tuesday. Volkswagen [VOW.DE] showcased a luxury electric sedan and Nissan [7201.T] unveiled an electric SUV, as carmakers bid to regain market share in China from domestic players like BYD [1211.HK]. Indonesia is trying to woo Volkswagen to invest in its nickel industry. Meanwhile, the company is losing access to EV tax credits in the US, as are BMW [BMW.DE], Nissan, Rivian [RIVN], Hyundai [005380.KS] and Volvo [VOLV-A.ST] due to new battery sourcing regulations.

Chegg launches AI-powered study buddy

In the US, ed tech company Chegg [CHGG] has announced it’s teamed up with OpenAI to launch a ChatGPT-powered study aide, CheggMate. “It's a tutor in your pocket,” CEO Dan Rosensweig told Reuters. Elsewhere, ChatGPT could return to Italy, but only if OpenAI agrees to adhere to data privacy rules. The country’s watchdog has demanded that users be informed as to how their data is being processed, and that they should be able to ask for their personal details to be changed.

GSK coughs up $2bn for Bellus Health

Another day, another biotech firm being acquired by a pharma giant. This time GSK [GSK.L] is spending $2bn on Bellus Health [BLU], adding the Canadian company’s chronic cough drug to its respiratory product line-up. GSK faces the prospect of a sharp drop in revenue as demand for its Covid-19 vaccine dries up. In addition, patents on some key drugs are expiring by the end of the decade. Shares in Bellus were up almost 100% pre-market.

Smartphone game sends Capcom shares higher

Shares in Capcom [9697.T] jumped 9% on Tuesday to an all-time high after the Japanese video game company announced it’s to launch Monster Hunter Now, a smartphone title that has been developed in partnership with Pokémon Go creator Niantic. “Even a minor success in the mobile game market would have a big impact on Capcom’s overall earnings, because its current smartphone revenue is so tiny,” Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Toyo Securities, told Bloomberg.

Ericsson warns of choppy year ahead

Swedish telecoms provider Ericsson [ERIC-B.ST] reported first quarter earnings on Tuesday that beat market expectations. Nevertheless, the company warned of a “choppy” year. The company intends to slash costs by SEK11.1bn this year, up from a previous target of SEK9bn “We are encouraged by the greater cost cutting, in particular, as we think that will help support margin expectations into 2024,” Citigroup analysts led by Andrew Gardiner and Amit Harchandani wrote in a note to clients, seen by Bloomberg.


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