5 Top Stories

France Fines Amazon; Tesla China Showcase; EV Batteries Latest

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets.

France Fines Amazon Over Surveillance

The French data protection watchdog has said it will fine Amazon [AMZN] €32m over its “excessively intrusive” monitoring of employee activity — specifically, the scanners the tech giant uses to track employee activity and performance. Amazon has pushed back, saying that “Warehouse management systems are industry standard and are necessary for ensuring the safety, quality, and efficiency of operations”.

Can Formula E Help Legacy Carmakers Catch Up?

Tesla [TSLA] is to showcase its new cybertruck in China later this month. Eight trucks will be on display simultaneously in eight cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. Meanwhile, legacy carmakers seeking to close the gap with the likes of Tesla are increasingly leaning on their Formula E electric racing teams to lead on innovation, Reuters reported: the technology developed for the cars can be adapted to enhance the performance and range of mass-market vehicles.

EV Batteries: Latest News

As part of its circular economy strategy, Italian truck-maker Iveco [IVCGF] is to partner with Germany’s BASF [BASFY] on recycling of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Min-suk Sung, Chief Commercial Officer of South Korea’s SK On [096770:KS], told the Financial Times that Europe risks becoming overdependent on Chinese EV batteries. Exports of natural graphite from China — a material used in EV batteries — fell off a cliff in December, Bloomberg reported, after the imposition of curbs.

Sanofi Buys Biotech, Expands Drug Portfolio

France’s Sanofi [SNY] is to spend up to $2.2bn to buy US biotech Inhibrx [INBX], in a bid to boost its drug development portfolio. The deal will give Sanofi access to Inhibrx’s INBRX-101, an experimental treatment for a rare genetic disease that is in the second of three phases of clinical trials. Sanofi last year dropped its sales targets for 2025, in order to focus on R&D.

Lean Year Ahead for Ericsson

“We work on what we can control, we work on our cost side,” CEO Börje Ekholm told Bloomberg, after Stockholm-based telecoms giant Ericsson [ERIC] reported a drop of 9% in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes, to kr7.4m. Ekholm said that the firm’s market outside China will decline further in 2024, as many operators’ investment levels are “unsustainably low”. Rival Nokia [NOK] reports on Thursday.

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