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Activist investor Starboard acquires 5% of Splunk shares

In today’s top stories, Starboard takes a 5% stake in Splunk, Goldman outlines a massive overhaul to its business and South Korea’s Kakao tumbles 9% after an outage. Meanwhile, Hong Kong is set to open a carbon trading platform and Morgan Stanley names stocks likely to be impacted by an impending inventory headwind.

Activist investor takes position in Splunk

Starboard has taken a 5% stake in software maker Splunk [SPLK]. The activist investor’s CEO Jeffrey Smith is set to discuss the investment at today’s 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit, reported the Wall Street Journal. The Splunk share price was up more than 8% in pre-market trading Monday, a clear sign that shareholders are optimistic that Starboard can successfully press the company to improve its valuation.

Goldman Sachs to rejig structure

Goldman Sachs [GS] is set to overhaul the structure of its business. In one of the biggest reorganisations in the company’s history, its investment banking and trading divisions will comprise one entity, while it’ll combine asset and wealth management divisions into a separate one. A third will be home to its fintech portfolio. Goldman Sachs will no doubt be pressed for comment when it reports earnings later today.

Kakao plunges after data centre outage

South Korea’s number one messaging app, KakaoTalk, suffered a major outage after one of its data centres caught fire over the weekend, sending the share price of its parent Kakao [035720.KS] tumbling more than 9% and closing down 5.9%. Users of the app rely on it for messaging, online payments and gaming, making the impact of the outage “no different from the national communication network”, according to president Yoon Suk-yeol. 

Hong Kong set to offer carbon credit trading

The HKEX is close to establishing a voluntary carbon trading platform that would consolidate its position as one of the largest green and sustainable finance hubs in Asia. The South China Morning Post reported on Monday that startup Allinfra, private equity firm ADM Capital and renewable energy firm Ultimate Carbon are pooling $10m to fund decarbonisation projects and buy carbon credits that they hope could eventually be listed on the HKEX.

Inventory headache ahead for tech

Supply chain bottlenecks across the US are unwinding but demand for goods is slowing down. This two-fold problem is potentially creating an inventory headache as we head into earnings season, argued Morgan Stanley strategists Michelle Weaver and Mike Wilson in a note seen by CNBC. Stocks more likely to be highly impacted are those with exposure to tech and hardware, including Apple [AAPL] and Hewlett Packard Enterprise [HPE].

Barratt cuts back on land spending

Cracks are appearing in the housing market after Barratt [BDEV.L] detailed a major cutback in land spending in a trading update. With demand falling and mortgage rates rising, “people are simply less likely to wander into a show home, and even less inclined to sign on the dotted line,” says Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Sophie Lund-Yates. Analysts are expecting Bellway [BWY.L] to cut its forecasts when it reports preliminary results this morning.

Copper price cycle could impact Antofagasta

Chilean copper miner Antofagasta [ANTO.L] has been hampered by pipeline spills and a hostile ecological climate. Investors will be hoping that it managed to produce at least 186,000 tonnes in the third quarter when it reports on Wednesday, but a recession could cause a temporary downturn in copper prices. “[C]opper prices will be at the low end of the cycle in the short-term,” CEO Ivan Arriagada warned.

 

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