In today’s top stories, Apple and Mercedes-Benz reveal their plans to target India, semiconductor firm AMD reveals AI chips, and AstraZeneca secures its latest M&A deal. Evercore analysts pick the tech stocks to watch in 2023 and Alibaba’s share price jumps as co-founder Jack Ma gives up control of Ant Group.
Apple and Mercedes-Benz eye India opportunity
Big firms have their sights set on India in 2023. Mercedes-Benz [MBG.DE] is expecting double-digit growth this year, despite concerns that a weak rupee could push up car prices. The automaker has also announced it plans to launch 10 new models, including electric vehicles (EVs). Meanwhile, Apple [AAPL] is hiring retail staff amid a push that includes plans to open its first flagship stores in the country.
AI chips could boost PC demand
The Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] share price plunged in 2022 as demand for PCs worsened – a situation president and CEO Lisa Su described as “messy” on the Q3 2022 earnings call in November. Now, the chipmaker is hoping that PCs powered by AI will help demand to recover. At AMD’s CES 2023 press conference, the company discussed how its new Ryzen 7000 mobile processors will be the first chips of their kind with a dedicated AI engine.
AstraZeneca buys blood pressure drugmaker
UK pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca [AZN.L] has agreed to buy clinical-stage biopharmaceutical CinCor [CINC] for $1.8bn or $26 per share, a 120.7% premium on the 6 January closing price of $11.78. CinCor’s blood pressure drug is used in treatment-resistant cases of hypertension and will be added to AstraZeneca’s cardiorenal pipeline. Acquisitions are a key part of AstraZeneca’s growth and innovation strategy through 2025, in an effort to build on its success with Covid-19 vaccines.
Evercore’s tech picks for 2023
After a rough 2022, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended the first trading week of the year marginally higher. While tech-focused investors should remain cautious, Evercore ISI head of research Mark Mahaney is bullish on the sector. “We have seen a good number of companies take cost actions [and] reduce their workforces to better manage their costs. So there’s a good set-up here,” Mahaney told CNBC. His top picks are Netflix [NFLX], Uber [UBER] and Wix [WIX].
Jack Ma cedes control of Ant Group
Hong Kong-listed shares of the ecommerce giant Alibaba [BABA] closed 8.7% higher yesterday following the announcement over the weekend that co-founder Jack Ma is ceding control of Ant Group. The move may lead to Beijing’s regulators looking upon the fintech more favourably, but listing rules mean its highly-anticipated IPO will now be delayed further. An Ant spokesperson told Reuters its current focus is on business optimisation.
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