In today’s top stories, Credit Suisse tries to shore up its position following jaw-dropping losses, and Google launches a counter-offensive in the growing AI wars – with mixed results. Elsewhere, Disney is to implement layoffs and restructuring despite its recent earnings beat, while Shell board members are facing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit on the company’s energy transition. Lastly, a $15bn buy-out proposal for Toshiba could become Japan’s largest on record.
Credit Suisse reports largest loss since financial crisis
Credit Suisse [CS] reported losses of CHF1.4bn ($1.5bn) Thursday morning, its largest in a single quarter since the 2008 financial crisis. Falling investment banking revenues and $100bn wealth management outflows were responsible for the loss. As part of a major overhaul, Credit Suisse has agreed to buy investment banking group Klein Group for $175m.
AI war heats up as Google unveils search enhancements
Google [GOOGL] made its next move in the brewing AI war with Microsoft [MSFT] Wednesday, unveiling a suite of AI enhancements to its maps and search functions, including lengthy textual responses to subjective queries. Earlier in the week, Google unveiled its ChatGPT competitor Bard, inadvertently including a factual error generated by the AI in marketing material; shares for the company closed nearly 8% lower Wednesday.
Disney to cut 7,000 jobs in $5.5bn savings plan
Disney [DIS] will cut 7,000 jobs as part of a $5.5bn cost-cutting drive, in the most significant action since CEO Bob Iger’s return in November. The move follows first quarter (Q1) results in which Disney beat expectations on earnings and revenue. As well as the lay-offs, Disney will split into three divisions: parks and experiences, entertainment, and ESPN.
Shell board faces environmental lawsuit
11 Shell [SHEL.L] board members face a first-of-its-kind lawsuit over the company’s failure to approve an energy transition strategy compatible with the Paris Agreement. The claimants, led by ClientEarth and supported by Shell shareholders, argue that this failure marks a breach of directors’ duties and leaves Shell “seriously exposed to the risks that climate change poses to [its] future success”.
Private equity firm submits $15bn Toshiba buy-out bid
A consortium led by Japan Industrial Partners has submitted a $15bn buy-out proposal for Toshiba [6502.T], which could become Japan’s largest on record. Toshiba was rocked by an accounting scandal in 2015 which ultimately led the board to seek a buyer. Meanwhile, Toyota [7203.T] unveiled its 2024 Grand Highlander on Wednesday, which will include the option to choose between three different engines, two of them hybrid.
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