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WEEKLY MARKET ROUND-UP – 18/09/20

Who’s putting their energy into renewables?

Global investment into renewable energy has almost doubled over the last decade, but a lack of investor traction has seen Europe sacrifice its lead as investment levels have been significantly overhauled by those in China and the United States.

UK unemployment: quiet before the storm

Figures released on Tuesday (15 Sep) show that UK unemployment crept up modestly in the three months to the end of July, despite the lifting of the lockdown.

But the figures continue to be bolstered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme, which is rapidly approaching its 31 October cut off.

The figures show UK unemployment rose from 3.9% in the previous quarter to 4.1% between May and July. However, some 700,000 Britons have lost their jobs since the end of March, bringing the unemployment rate to a two-year high.

Last month’s figures revealed that in the three months to the end of May, UK employment suffered its biggest quarterly decline in a decade. Unfortunately, worse news is expected.

Currently, the government’s furlough scheme is subsidising the salaries of some 9.8m UK workers but when the scheme winds up on 31 October and UK employers resume this cost, a painful surge in layoffs is expected.

Son cashes in his chips in record deal

Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of the colossal Japanese investment fund SoftBank, has agreed to part with Cambridge-based Arm Holdings in a $40bn sale to Nvidia marking the biggest-ever deal in the global chip industry

Shares in SoftBank jumped just shy of 10% on Monday (14  Sep) following confirmation the previous day that Nvidia, the all-conquering maker of graphics chips for gaming and cryptocurrency mining, had agreed to part with $40bn in a cash and stock deal in return for the UK chip design business.

The deal represents a coup for Softbank, which paid $31bn for the business in 2016. Even so, analysts welcomed the deal as a natural acquisition for Nvidia, which has seen its own valuation jump from around $30bn in 2016 to almost $300bn today.

Meanwhile, rumours continue to circulate that SoftBank could use the proceeds, along with its cash pile, to take the company private while its market capitalisation still languishes at around $105bn – less than half the value of its underlying portfolio.