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5 Top Stories

Robert Smith boosts Apptio stake; Ernie outperforms ChatGPT; Lordstown bankrupt.

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. 

Robert Smith doubles down on Apptio

On Monday, IBM [IBM] agreed to buy software maker Apptio [APTI] for $4.6bn; this is the tech behemoth’s seventh acquisition this year, as it pursues its cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) ambitions. Then on Tuesday, Robert Smith’s Vista Equity Partners announced that it has more than doubled its initial investment in Apptio. Smith’s firm — which acquired a $1.9bn stake in Apptio in 2019 — is renowned for buying out and exiting software companies.

Indian tech stocks’ clean pair of heels

So far this year, India’s consumer tech firms have done better than their larger and better-established Chinese peers, Bloomberg reports. A custom index of India’s five major internet stocks — among them One97 Communications [PAYTM.NS] and Zomato [ZOMATO.NS] — is up more than 20% this year. This performance reflects both the dynamism of India’s economy and the desultory showing of China’s, as well as broader geopolitical shifts.

Has Ernie Bot bested ChatGPT?

Baidu [BIDU] has proclaimed that Ernie 3.5 — the latest version of its AI chatbot — outperformed Microsoft [MSFT]-backed OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 in general abilities, and its newer GPT-4 in certain Chinese-language abilities. The company cited state newspaper China Science Daily, which carried out a test using benchmarks including AGIEval and C-Eval, designed for evaluating AI models. Meanwhile, Mizuho Financial Group [MFG] has given all of its 45,000 core lending staff access to Microsoft’s Azure.

More than 10% of Renault’s EV spin-off will float free

Renault [RNO.PA] CEO Luca De Meo has said that more than 10% of Ampere will remain as free float on the stock market. Sources have told Reuters the electric vehicle (EV) spin off could be valued at €10bn when it IPOs later this year. Meanwhile, the US state of Washington has followed Texas in mandating that EV charging companies must use Tesla’s [TSLA] North American Charging Standard (NACS). GM [GM], Ford [F] and Rivian [RIVN.O] have all said they will adopt NACS.

Lordstown files for bankruptcy, sues Foxconn

US electric truck-maker Lordstown Motors’ [RIDE] stock plunged by some 52% in premarket trading Tuesday, after it announced it is to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and put itself up for sale. It also announced it is suing Taiwan’s Foxconn [2354.TW], for its alleged “wilful failure to live up to its commercial and financial commitments to the company”, Lordstown said in a statement, referring to Foxconn’s reneging on a $170m investment last May.

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