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5 Top Stories

Threads launch; EV maker pact; Socionext stock plummets

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. 

Meta’s Threads sees strong start

Launched on Wednesday, Threads — Meta’s [META] rival to Twitter — logged more than 10 million sign-ups in its first hours, according to a post on Mark Zuckerberg’s own account on the app. Threads has many features in common with Elon Musk’s beleaguered Twitter, but still has some way to go to match the latter’s 300 million users. Threads is available in some 100 countries, but not yet in the EU.

16 EV makers agree to limit “abnormal pricing”

Tesla [TSLA] and China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) makers have signed a deal pledging they will strive towards fair competition and steer clear of “abnormal pricing”, suggesting 2023’s EV price war could be coming to an end. In a ceremony at the China Auto Forum in Shanghai on Thursday, executives of 16 companies — BYD [1211.HK], Nio [9866.HK], Xpeng [9868.HK] and Geely [0175.HK] among them — committed to four stipulations outlined in the agreement.

Reliance launches phone; Tata weighs IPO delay

Reliance Jio, the telecommunications arm of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries [RELIANCE.NS], has launched an internet-enabled, $12 phone. Called the Jio Bharat, it is aimed at reducing the connectivity gap between rural and urban areas in India. Elsewhere, Tata Group is considering whether to push back Tata Play’s IPO, and instead offering to buy back its stake in the content platform from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

Socionext share price plummets

Shares in Japanese chip startup Socionext [6526.T] fell by 23%, and the firm lost its place as the TOPIX index’s top performer year-to-date, after it announced that its biggest shareholders are to offload their entire stakes. Panasonic [6752.T], Fujitsu [6702.T] and Development Bank of Japan will sell some 12.6 million shares in overseas markets. The firm’s share price had risen by up to 560% since its IPO last October.

UK banks sign on for AI fraud prevention

Nine of the UK’s leading banks, among them Lloyds [LLOY.L], Natwest [NWG.L] and Bank of Scotland, have enrolled in Mastercard’s [MA] new offering, a tool that aims to detect fraudulent money transfers using artificial intelligence (AI). The innovation comes ahead of new guidance from the Payment Systems Regulator which will require banks to compensate customers impacted by scams. In India, cyberattacks have been on the rise in the past six months, threatening the country’s economic ambitions.

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