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5 Top Stories

Musk’s ‘Spicy’ Chatbot; Telecom Italia Sale; Klarna Union Deal

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.

 

Musk Launches ‘Spicy’ Chatbot

xAI, Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, has launched its first chatbot. Called Grok, the company has said it will “answer spicy questions that are rejected by most other AI systems”. The platform has “real-time access” to X, formerly Twitter. It will launch as a premium service after testing. Meanwhile, Beijing has given the green light to Ant Group, Alibaba’s [BABA] fintech unit, for the public launch of Bailing, its own large language model.

KKR to Buy Telecom Italia

Junk-rated former monopoly Telecom Italia (TIM) [TIT:MI] on Sunday approved the €19bn sale of its fixed-line network to US private equity firm KKR [KKR], in a deal that could be worth as much as €22bn. Selling its landline grid was a key element of CEO Pietro Labriola’s drive to reverse TIM’s fortunes; it is the first major European national telecom to do so. Vivendi [VIVHY], TIM’s largest shareholder, may try to block the move, however.

Klarna Caves to Union

Sweden’s privately owned Klarna Bank, a world-leading buy-now-pay-later provider, has staved off a strike by signing a collective bargaining agreement with the Financial Sector Union of Sweden. At the weekend, Klarna announced it had set up a new holding company in the UK, which some have interpreted as a first step towards its hotly anticipated IPO.

Polestar Deal; New Tesla

Swedish electric vehicle (EV) maker Polestar [PSNY] announced on Monday that it has signed a deal with South Korea’s SK On, which will supply it with battery cell modules. These will be used in its soon-to-be-released Polestar 5 EV. Elsewhere in the EV space, Reuters reported that Tesla [TSLA] plans to build a new €25,000 model at its factory outside Berlin.

Epic! Sale

Indian edtech firm Byju’s is set to sell Epic! Creations, its US digital reading platform for children, to Joffre Capital for approximately $400m. Bloomberg reported that Duolingo [DUOL] was also interested in buying the platform. Byju’s needs the funds to pay down a $1.2bn loan on which it has missed an interest payment, having taken it out during Covid-19 in order to acquire a number of businesses.

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