Private-equity giant KKR in talks to back Animoca Brands in latest funding round doubling the metaverse-maker’s valuation to $5 billion

  • Private equity giant KKR is in talks to back Sandbox-owner Animoca Brands in its latest funding round.
  • KKR’s investment would bring the funding round to a total of $500 million, Bloomberg reported.
  • Animoca Brands said it’s targeting another round as early as this year.

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The owner of the hit metaverse known as The Sandbox may get backing from private equity behemoth KKR.

KKR is in talks to back Animoca Brands’ latest funding round, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg that cited people familiar with the matter. With an infusion from KKR, the company’s latest funding round would hit approximately $500 million, Bloomberg reported.

The metaverse creator initially announced a $358 million funding round in January involving the Winklevoss Twins and billionaire investor George Soros. KKR, according to Bloomberg, is in talks to add to that round. KKR declined to comment on the matter. A representative from Animoca Brands did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The funding round valued Animoca Brands at $5 billion, more than doubling a prior funding round from October. Bloomberg said the company is aiming for another funding round as early as this year to bring its valuation to $10 billion.

Insider previously reported that the company plans to use the cash infusion to fund acquisitions, product development, and licenses for intellectual property. Animoca Brands has been focused on the booming market for digital collectibles known as NFTs as well as the emerging virtual venue known as the metaverse.

The company is invested in more than 150 of these types of businesses, including metaverse-game Axie Infinity, NFT-marketplace OpenSea, and CryptoKitties-maker Dapper Labs.

In the metaverse — a virtual reality where people interact and play as digital avatars — property sales are booming. On top of that, sales of NFTs have also surged. Last year, the market grew to $41 billion, according to one estimate.

NFTs and the metaverse run on the blockchain, the same technology that powers cryptocurrencies. Venture capital funds from the Winklevoss Twins and Andreessen Horowitz have been pouring into the crypto world. For private-equity firm KKR, Animoca Brands could become one of several blockchain-related companies it has invested in recently, Bloomberg said.

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Source: https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/currencies/kkr-animoca-brands-funding-round-winklevoss-twins-george-soros-2022-2?op=1

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The project having carpet area for sale of 6 lakh sq. ft. is expected to generate approximately Rs 3,000 crore over next 4 to 5 years

Man Infraconstruction’s subsidiary — MICL Properties LLP is jointly developing an ultra-luxurious residential high rise tower at Tardeo, next to Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai under asset-light Development Management (DM) model. While MICL group has a very strong real estate portfolio in the western and central suburbs of Mumbai, this project addition will establish the group’s presence in South Mumbai.

The project having carpet area for sale of 6 lakh sq. ft. is expected to generate approximately Rs 3,000 crore over next 4 to 5 years. This landmark Project will be one of the tallest residential structures in India having proposed height of around 250 plus mtrs. Apart from managing the design, sales and marketing of the Project, the company will also execute the construction work leading to timely delivery of the project.

Man Infraconstruction (MICL) is an India-based company engaged in the business of civil construction. The Company’s operations consist of construction / project activities/real estate activities.

Source: https://www.sharesbazaar.com/news/view/877932

2 penny stocks to buy if stock markets crash again – Peak Hours News – Investing tips, Stock, Economy News

Investor confidence took an almighty battering last week as news of coronavirus ‘super variant’ B.1.1.529 emerged. Shareholders all over the world engaged in heavy selling as they considered the possibility of a fresh stock market crash. The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 both sank on Friday and I wouldn’t be shocked to see extra weakness in the days and weeks ahead.

So what’s my plan as a UK share investor myself, you may well ask? It’s probable that the cyclical stocks I own will slump in value if Covid-19 cases soar again and the economic recovery hits the skids. But I’m not planning to cut these loose from my shares portfolio. I’m a long-term investor and I look at what returns I can expect to make over a number of years from the stocks I buy. And I’m confident the companies I own will make me great returns over the next decade even if another stock market crash occurs in the near future.

A long-term boost to UK share prices?

While no-one, of course, wants to see the public health emergency worsen, such an event could actually be beneficial for my long-term returns. As chief investment offer at BMI Wealth Management, Dan Boardman-Weston, commented: “if [B.1.1.529] is going to take the world backwards from a Covid perspective then it’s likely that inflation will abate and monetary policy will stay looser for a long time”.

Low central bank interest rates and quantitative easing programmes boost stock prices as they encourage consumers and businesses to borrow money. This in turn boosts the amount they spend, in turn providing a helping hand to the economy.

Two penny stocks I’d buy right now

This is why today I’m continuing to scour the market for the best cheap UK shares to buy. Here are two top-quality penny stocks I’d buy even if the Covid-19 situation worsens.

Sylvania Platinum could be a great way for me to hedge my bets as economic uncertainty rises. Investment demand for the safe-haven precious metals it produces will rise if concerns over the Covid-19 saga worsen. Conversely, the outlook for industrial demand will improve if concerns over the destructive potential of the B.1.1.529 variant prove unfounded. I’d buy this penny stock even though production problems are a constant threat to mining shares like this.
Energy generators like Greencoat Renewables provides a service that will remain essential even if coronavirus cases balloon. As an investor this gives me terrific peace of mind as revenues should remain largely stable. And I think profits could rise strongly over the long term as demand for low-carbon electricity soars. I’d buy this renewable energy stock even though it could suffer if the wind refuses to blow.

I always treat stock market crashes as an opportunity to go bargain hunting. There are many other dirt-cheap UK shares I’d consider buying if markets continue reversing, too.

The post 2 penny stocks to buy if stock markets crash again appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Low central bank interest rates and quantitative easing programmes boost stock prices as they encourage consumers and businesses to borrow money. This in turn boosts the amount they spend, in turn providing a helping hand to the economy.

Source: https://peakhoursnews.com/2021/11/28/2-penny-stocks-to-buy-if-stock-markets-crash-again/

Rapid fluctuations in EV stocks attract enthusiastic options trading

According to Trade Alert data, sentiment for electric car makers’ choices on Wednesday leaned towards bearish and defensive bets.

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| Published: November 28, 2009 4:17 pm IST

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Tesla, Lucido, and Rivian made up three of the six most actively traded option names.

Traders are being attracted to the sharp fluctuations in stocks of companies such as Tesla, Rivian Automotive and Lucido Group, and are accumulating options trading for electric vehicle manufacturers. On Wednesday, Tesla, Lucido and Rivian made up three of the six most actively traded option names, alongside Apple Inc and Advanced Micro Devices and others.

A large volume of options comes shortly after the big profits of many stocks of these companies. Rivian’s stock, which has just begun selling vehicles and has little reporting revenue, has increased by about 80% since its initial public offering last week. Lucid increased by 20% this week. Gores Guggenheim, a blank check company that has signed a contract to open Swedish electric car maker Polestar, has risen 17% this week.

Tesla’s share price rose Wednesday, but some other electric car makers withdrew.

Randy Frederick, Managing Director of Trading and Derivatives at Charles Schwab, said: “They seem to be involved in a memestock-type frenzy.”

Lucid, Rivian and Gores Guggenheim were one of the top 20 most actively traded options in the options market this week, according to Trade Alert data.

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Tesla’s share price rose Wednesday, but some other electric car makers withdrew.

A surge in stock options trading can exacerbate the volatility of the underlying stock. But it wasn’t immediately clear how they affected the stocks of electric car makers, Frederick said.

According to Trade Alert data, sentiment for electric car makers’ choices on Wednesday leaned towards bearish and defensive bets.

Lucid Put, which prevents stocks from falling below $ 50 by Friday, was one of the company’s most actively traded deals.

Puts are often used to convey the right to sell shares at a fixed price in the future and to prevent stock prices from falling.

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Rivian shares fell 17.0% on Wednesday to $ 142.7, with Rivian trading at $ 150, $ 140 and $ 130 levels.

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Rapid fluctuations in EV stocks attract enthusiastic options trading

Source link Rapid fluctuations in EV stocks attract enthusiastic options trading

A large volume of options comes shortly after the big profits of many stocks of these companies. Rivian’s stock, which has just begun selling vehicles and has little reporting revenue, has increased by about 80% since its initial public offering last week. Lucid increased by 20% this week. Gores Guggenheim, a blank check company that has signed a contract to open Swedish electric car maker Polestar, has risen 17% this week.

Source: https://indianewsrepublic.com/rapid-fluctuations-in-ev-stocks-attract-enthusiastic-options-trading-2/560644/

Multispecific Bispecific Trispecific Antibodies Market Opportunity and Clinical Development Insight

Designer Antibodies To Drive Next Era Of Antibody Development Market Says Kuick Research

Delhi, Nov. 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Delhi, India: In recent years, the palliative care and the treatment of diseases have seen a revolution with the arrival of more targeted therapies and biological drugs. The advent of these drugs has shown potential in tackling cancer, auto immune diseases, diabetes and many other chronic diseases. With the increase in prevalence of cancer, the pharmaceutical companies are competing to become key players in the biologics field. Among all targeted therapies, therapeutic antibodies have gained maximum share in the market owing to their ability to significantly improve survival outcomes, favorable properties, and safety profiles.

“Currently 3 Blincyto, Hemlibra and Rybrevant Are Commercially Available In Market, Hemlibra Accounts For More Than 80% Of Global Bispecific Antibody Market”

The progress made by science and technology and advancement in protein engineering has further led to development of designer or multispecific antibodies. These designer antibodies present a number of advantages in terms of their biological activities and, therefore, it is likely that interest in using them in diverse therapeutic applications will increase in the coming years. In addition, these have small molecular size when compared with monoclonal antibodies and thus have shown high penetration in target cancer cell and ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The increased interest in these molecules has led to development of several bispecific and trispecific antibodies in management of wide range of diseases.

Download Global Bispecific Antibody Market Opportunity, Drug Sales, Price and Clinical Trials Insight 2028:

https://www.kuickresearch.com/report-global-bispecific-antibodies-antibody-market-size-blincyto-hemlibra-rybrevant-sales

Presently, three bispecific antibodies are available in market including Blincyto, Hemlibra, and Rybrevant. Although only three bispecific constructs have been approved in market but they have shown robust sales in the market. This has encouraged further pharmaceutical giants to actively invest in this sector. Several pharmaceutical giants have developed their proprietary bispecific development platforms including CrossMab (Roche), Duobody (Genmab), DVD-IgG (Abbvie), DART (Macrogenics), XmAb (Xencor), and several others. Apart from bispecific antibodies, trispecific antibodies which have triple binding affinity have also entered the clinical development, and have shown promising results.

Download Global Trispecific Antibody Market Opportunity & Clinical Trials Insight 2028 Report:

https://www.kuickresearch.com/report-trispecific-antibody-antibodies-market-clinical-trials-development-companies

However, the increased complexity associated with the multi targeting modality possesses challenge during drug development and designing process. As designer antibodies are a whole new concept, therefore it involves research and development from scratch which requires huge investment. This ultimately leads to high cost of therapy, which acts as barrier to the growth of market. To overcome this, regional government has developed several favorable reimbursement policies to reduce the financial toxicity on patients. In addition, the advent of cost efficient biosimilars will also reduce the cost of therapy to patients.

Despite several restrains to the growth of market, designer antibodies are poised to grow during the forecast period. The high growth rates can be justified by the large number of ongoing clinical trials and robust pipeline of drugs which are expected to enter the market during the forthcoming years. To date, around 500 clinical trials are ongoing which are evaluating around 60 designer antibodies in wide range of diseases including cancer, auto-immune disorders, HIV, infections, and others. Apart from this, several pharmaceuticals have entered into collaboration or partnerships to secure their position in the market. The major players in the market are Jounce Therapeutics, Affimed Therapeutics, Genmab, EMD Serono, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Roche, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Sanofi, Immunomedics, Neovii Biotech, Eli Lilly, Amgen, Merus, Ablynx, Genentech, MacroGenics, NovImmune SA, Adimab, Emergent BioSolutions, and AstraZeneca.

The global market for designer antibody is primarily driven by rising incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases coupled with rise in research and development activities in genomics. Additionally, the rising drug approval and launches of novel designer antibodies in coming years will also drive the market. US has the dominant share and is expected to maintain its dominance which is mainly attributed to the presence of well-established healthcare infrastructure. Moreover, its broad base of the patient population, well-established reimbursement policies, high awareness regarding diseases, government support in infection control and management, rising incidence of lifestyle-associated diseases, and higher investment in research and development activities by the government for cancer contribute to the growth of regional market.

CONTACT: Contact: Neeraj Chawla Research Head neeraj@kuickresearch.com +91-9810410366

The progress made by science and technology and advancement in protein engineering has further led to development of designer or multispecific antibodies. These designer antibodies present a number of advantages in terms of their biological activities and, therefore, it is likely that interest in using them in diverse therapeutic applications will increase in the coming years. In addition, these have small molecular size when compared with monoclonal antibodies and thus have shown high penetration in target cancer cell and ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The increased interest in these molecules has led to development of several bispecific and trispecific antibodies in management of wide range of diseases.

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/multispecific-bispecific-trispecific-antibodies-market-105300496.html

Impact of COVID-19 on the global economy

It’s no secret that the pandemic has hit the world economy hard. The purpose of this blog is to consolidate data on economic trends and events during the pandemic in one place, so that it can serve as a useful resource for anyone who wants to study or analyze this tumultuous economic period in the world. Let’s get straight into it.

Overview

Business

One of the main determinants of the strength of any economy is its business sector, which during the pandemic was severely affected.

The vicious cycle of an economic downturn is such that companies suffer from lack of spending. When companies don’t work well, companies can’t afford to pay all their employees and are therefore forced to say goodbye or keep working. This leads to higher unemployment rates, which in turn further reduce the spending power of the citizenry.

One study reports that small businesses that have more than $ 10,000 in expenses only had cash for two weeks.

The result of all this was a large number of companies that went bankrupt. Euler Hermes projected that by the end of 2021, globally, we will see double-digit insolvencies reported. This, however, has yet to be seen because, as the chart below shows, the stock market is starting to recover with the announcement and distribution of vaccines.

Image from: bbc.com. Original source: Bloomberg

E-commerce

While businesses in general, especially small ones, were struggling with sales and a healthy cash flow, buying trends also experienced a change with an increase in online shopping. This was the inevitable result of a viral outbreak and the fast-growing e-commerce industry was ready for it.

The following two graphs show two trends: increased online shopping but reduced overall spending power. These graphs are part of a study published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 8 October 2020.

Relief efforts around the world

Governments around the world have tried to combat the adverse economic effects through different policies and relief efforts. Some of them are detailed below.

United States relief efforts

Being called the American Rescue Plan, it is larger than the country’s annual output. It was signed by Joe Biden in March 2021. Earlier, Donald Trump had authorized $ 2.5 trillion in aid by 2020 and Congress passed another $ 200 billion bill. Therefore, the United States has been at the forefront of conducting relief efforts.

These relief efforts include the deployment of vaccines, as well as providing direct support through stimulus checks worth $ 1,400 for individual taxpayers and $ 2,800 for married couples filing taxes together (jointly) and $ 5,600. as a contribution to collect taxes from married couples with two children.

UK relief efforts

The UK has provided £ 48.5 billion to the NHS (National Health Service), £ 29 billion for small businesses and £ 8 billion to support vulnerable people.

Relief efforts vary from country to country due to the difference in the size of the economy, and unfortunately economies that are already struggling have suffered the most. You can find a complete record of the economic impact in different countries and their subsequent relief efforts on the IMF website here.

Effects of COVID-19 on investment and trade

One of the most important events in the field of investment and trade that was the product of the conditions created by the pandemic was the debacle of GameStop.

With unprecedented market conditions and large companies (e.g. JCPenney) declaring bankruptcy while others like GameStop, which had been marked by investors as good shortening opportunities, were rising in the ranks, it is safe to say that 2020- 2021 have caused investors to rethink their strategies. .

Cryptocurrency and NFTs became more common, with ethereum gaining more recognition universally and bitcoin still going strong.

In the first quarter of 2020, the volume of the foreign exchange market exceeded $ 6 trillion, something that had not happened since 2018 with Forex signals and other services gaining popularity. Brokers such as eToro reported a 200% increase in trading volume.

With the onset of global vaccine distribution and governments actively introducing policies and taking steps to provide relief to the economy, things are looking up. However, it is difficult to say how long it will take for the world economy to recover and what this new normalcy would look like.

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Source: https://www.yourinvestmentnews.com/impact-of-covid-19-on-the-global-economy/

Gold and silver trade higher heading into the European open


Editor’s Note: With so much market volatility, stay on top of daily news! Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today’s must-read news and expert opinions. Sign up here!

(Kitco News) – Gold and silver trade higher leading into the European open despite some weakness in the aftermath of the FOMC announcement. Gold is now trading at $1773/oz while silver resides at $23.50/oz. Copper is also 0.15% higher while spot WTI is half a percent in the black.

Equities in the Asia Pac area traded well as the Nikkei 225 (0.93%), ASX (0.48%), and Shanghai Composite (0.81%) all traded higher. Futures in Europe are pointing towards a positive open.

In FX markets, the dollar index has pared its losses to trade 0.29% higher. The biggest mover overnight was EUR/USD which fell 0.33%. In the crypto space, BTC/USD is trading -0.87% lower.

(From yesterday) The Federal Reserve will taper from this month, rate of $15bn/month. Chair Jerome Powell stated that the tapering doesn’t mean policymakers will hike rates any time soon

Travel from Hong Kong to mainland China is set to begin again in December.

Japan’s Trade Minister Kajiyama has asked the US to abolish extra tariffs on steel, aluminum.

China’s President Xi says will extend international shipping cooperation.

US Pentagon says China’s nuclear arms stockpile is growing even faster than thought.

Australian retail sales, excluding inflation, for Q3 -4.4% q/q.

Australian September trade balance AUD +12.243bn (vs. expected surplus 12.2bn AUD).

Japanese Jibun Bank / Markit Services PMI for October 50.7 (prior 47.8)

NZ ANZ Commodity Price index for October +2.1% m/m (prior +1.5%).

German September factory orders +1.3% vs +2.0% m/m expected.

Looking ahead to the rest of the session highlights include EZ services and composite PMI’s, BoE rate decision, U.S. initial jobless claims, comments from ECB’s Lagarde, Elderson, and Schnabel.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

Source: https://www.kitco.com/news/2021-11-04/Gold-and-silver-trade-higher-heading-into-the-European-open.html

Love them or hate them: Cryptocurrencies are here to stay

Bitcoin has come a long way since someone or a group of someones under the name Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a paper in 2008 about how to harness computing power around the world to create a digital currency that can’t be double-spent.

Love cryptocurrencies or hate the very idea of them, they’re becoming more mainstream by the day.

Cryptocurrencies have surged so much that their total value has reached nearly $2.5 trillion, rivalling the world’s most valuable company, Apple, and have amassed more than 200 million users. At this size, it’s simply too big for the financial establishment to ignore.

Firms that cater to the world’s wealthiest families are increasingly putting some of their fortunes into crypto. Hedge funds are trading Bitcoin, which has big-name banks starting to offer them services around it. PayPal lets users buy crypto on its app, while Twitter helps people show appreciation for tweets by tipping their creators with Bitcoin.

And in the latest milestone for the industry, an easy-to-trade fund tied to Bitcoin began trading on Tuesday. Investors can buy the exchange-traded fund from ProShares through an old-school brokerage account — without having to learn what a hot or cold wallet is.

It’s all part of a movement across big businesses that see a chance to profit on the fervour around the world of crypto as a new ecosystem further builds up around it, whether they believe in it or not.

“The one thing you can say for certain is that the advent of the era of the Bitcoin ETF opens up the opportunity for Wall Street to make money on Bitcoin in a way that it hadn’t been able to previously,” said Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research at Morningstar. “The winners in all of this are the exchanges and the asset managers and the custodians. Whether investors win or not is a big, bold question mark.”

Bitcoin has come a long way since someone or a group of someones under the name Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a paper in 2008 about how to harness computing power around the world to create a digital currency that can’t be double-spent. The price has more than doubled this year alone to roughly $62,000. It was at only $635 five years ago.

Supporters of cryptocurrencies say they offer an important benefit for any investor: a price that moves independently of the economy, rather than changing with it like so many other investments. More high-minded fans say digital assets are simply the future of finance, allowing transactions to sidestep middlemen, with fees tied to a currency that’s not beholden to any government.

Critics, meanwhile, question whether crypto is just a fad. They say it uses too much energy and point to all the stiff regulatory scrutiny around it. Last month, China declared Bitcoin transactions illegal, for example. The Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission Gary Gensler said in August that the world of crypto doesn’t have enough investor protection and that “it’s more like the Wild West.”

That hasn’t been enough to halt the immense momentum for crypto, as it’s gone from an online curiosity to a bigger part of the cultural and corporate landscape.

In a survey by Citi Private Bank, which manages money for wealthy people at offices around the world, roughly 23 percent said they have made some investments in crypto. Another 25 percent said they are researching it.

The growing acceptance of crypto on Wall Street has created a new crop of darlings that help people buy it. Crypto trading platform Coinbase has a market value of roughly $64bn, for example, putting it on par with such established companies as Colgate-Palmolive, FedEx and Ford Motor.

In the end though, what many on Wall Street see sticking around may not be so much Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but the technology that underlies them.

Called the blockchain, it allows for a public ledger that everyone can check and trust — and many expect it to lead to a wealth of innovations. It’s akin to today’s Netflix, Facebook and other services that sprung out of the infrastructure built during the boom and bust of the dot-com bubble.

JPMorgan Chase, for example, is already using blockchain technology to improve fund transfers between global banks. That’s the same JPMorgan Chase run by CEO Jamie Dimon, who said in an interview with Axios this month that Bitcoin has “got no intrinsic value”.

Source: https://newsdaylight.com/2021/10/20/love-them-or-hate-them-cryptocurrencies-are-here-to-stay/

Merck-Rivaling Covid Pill Flops; Where Does Maker Atea Go Now?

Atea Pharmaceuticals (AVIR) said Tuesday its Merck (MRK)-rivaling antiviral Covid pill flopped in a midstage test, leading AVIR stock to crash.

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The antiviral pill failed to significantly lower the viral loads of patients with mild to moderate Covid. But in patients with a high risk of severe Covid and underlying health conditions, the results were more promising, Atea said in a news release.

Now, Atea and its partner, Roche (RHHBY), are scrambling to assess whether they can modify the patient population and ultimate goal of the upcoming Phase 3 study.

“We remain committed to our goal of developing and delivering (the drug called) AT-527 as an oral antiviral that will address treatment needs as Covid-19 continues to evolve,” Atea Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Sommadossi said in a written statement.

But on today’s stock market, AVIR stock plummeted 66% to 13.82. Merck stock, on the other hand, rose 3% to 79.49.

AVIR Stock Crashes On Antiviral Miss

Atea and Merck are both working on antiviral treatments for Covid. These drugs are oral medicines that look to stop the virus’ replication in the body. Merck has already asked the Food and Drug Administration to grant its Ridgeback Biotherapeutics-partnered drug emergency authorization.

So, investors in AVIR stock had high hopes for a second potential oral antiviral.

In the midstage test, Atea’s drug failed to “show a clear reduction” of viral load in mild-to-moderate Covid patients compared to a placebo. Overall, two-thirds of patients had mild symptoms with no underlying health conditions. On average, patients were 37 years old. The test also enrolled people who were vaccinated against Covid. Merck’s study focused on unvaccinated people.

Promisingly, high-risk patients showed a stronger viral load reduction, Atea said. Atea also said the presence of variants and greater vaccination numbers could have impacted the results.

Still, the news sent AVIR stock to its lowest-ever point. Shares went public in October 2020. AVIR stock enjoyed some gains recently on Merck’s antiviral momentum. But Atea stock’s downfall on Tuesday put it below its 200-day line, according to MarketSmith.com.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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“We remain committed to our goal of developing and delivering (the drug called) AT-527 as an oral antiviral that will address treatment needs as Covid-19 continues to evolve,” Atea Chief Executive Jean-Pierre Sommadossi said in a written statement.

Source: https://www.investors.com/news/technology/avir-stock-crashes-after-merck-rivaling-covid-pill-misses-in-midstage-test/

IMF warns cryptocurrencies may threaten financial stability without regulation

While cryptocurrency has the ability to improve the global payment system, digital coins still pose considerable challenges to market conditions worldwide, the International Monetary Fund warned in a new report on Tuesday.

In its latest Global Financial Stability Report, the fund stated that risks stemming from the booming crypto trading and the proliferation of digital coins “appear contained for now,” but they should be monitored closely.

As crypto grows in adoption, the potential impact on the economy and the risks will grow, according to the IMF. The international body added its voice to a growing chorus on the need for more oversight, underscoring that crypto has inadequate regulations and deficiencies in its operating structure — pointing to exchanges that go down during major selloffs.

“Challenges posed by the crypto ecosystem include operational and financial integrity risks from crypto asset providers, investor protection risks for crypto assets and DeFi [decentralized finance], and inadequate reserves and disclosure for some stablecoins,” the IMF’s report said.

On its list of worries is that increased trading of crypto assets in emerging markets — like El Salvador, which recently began accepting bitcoin as legal tender — could lead to destabilizing capital flows.

Stablecoin jitters

A man stand next to a sign reading

A man stand next to a sign reading “Bitcoin accepted here”, outside a moto reapair shop where the cryptocurrency is accepted as a payment method, in Aguilares, El Salvador October 6, 2021. Picture taken October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

Separately, the IMF warns the risk of runs for stablecoins could also trigger a fire sale of commercial paper. Also, as stablecoin and cryptocurrency use grows, the IMF warns that it could harm fiscal policy by enabling tax evasion.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose values are tied to fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar, precious metals, or short-term securities as a way to mitigate the inherent volatility of cryptocurrencies. They are used by traders to get in and out of trades, settle trades.

Tether (USDT-USD), the world’s largest stablecoin by market capitalization, holds nearly $70 billion worth of commercial paper. The IMF warns if there’s a run on Tether then it could create a run on commercial paper, noting that such a contagion risk could happen for other stablecoins in the future.

The report suggested risks can be further amplified by the use of leverage offered in crypto exchanges, which has been as high as 125 times the initial investment, according to the IMF.

The market capitalization for stablecoins has quadrupled in 2021 to more than $120 billion, while trading volumes outpace other crypto assets, since they’re used for settling spot and derivative trades on exchanges.

Most stablecoins don’t offer transparent disclosure of what’s backing them. While Tether has disclosed the composition of its backed assets, the IMF says those disclosures aren’t audited by independent accountants — and some important information is still missing, including domicile, denomination of currencies, and sector of commercial paper holdings.

U.S. authorities are expected to roll out a regulatory proposal for stablecoins later this month, and mandating transparency of what exactly backs stablecoins is expected to be part of the recommendations.

The IMF also warns that using stablecoins as means of payment and store of value could pose more challenges, by reinforcing economies to align their currencies with the U.S. dollar. The issue is that it could hurt central banks’ ability to make monetary policy, and lead to financial stability risks through currency mismatches on the balance sheets of banks, firms, and households.

Additionally, the IMF cautioned the banking sector could come under pressure if the crypto ecosystem becomes an alternative to bank deposits or even loans.

Stronger competition for bank deposits through stablecoins held on crypto exchanges or private wallets could push local banks toward less stable and more expensive funding sources to maintain similar levels of loan growth, according to the report.

Generally unsound economic policies, combined with inefficient payment systems in some emerging markets and developing economies, is boosting crypto adoption there, the fund stated.

However, the international body isn’t in favor of countries adopting cryptocurrencies as the main national currency, noting that it “carries significant risks and is an inadvisable shortcut.” It’s partly why El Salvador’s experiment with bitcoin (BTC) is being watched closely.

GUARDING AGAINST RISKS

Some of Bitcoin enthusiast Mike Caldwell&#39;s coins are pictured at his office in this photo <a href=illustration in Sandy, Utah, January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES – Tags: BUSINESS)” src=”” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/F5aqMXlXmGqIbstOrgvngA–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MA–/https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2020-10/68f7d9d0-13a4-11eb-ab93-12d6ce0fc0fe”>

Some of Bitcoin enthusiast Mike Caldwell’s coins are pictured at his office in this photo illustration in Sandy, Utah, January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart REUTERS/Jim Urquhart (UNITED STATES – Tags: BUSINESS)

To guard against systemic risks to the global financial system, the IMF said global standards for crypto assets should be adopted—notably for taxes — and that national regulators should coordinate for effective enforcement to prevent regulatory arbitrage.

The IMF also appeared to side with Securities and Exchanges Commission Chair Gary Gensler, noting in the report that if crypto exchanges deal with tokens that meet the definition of securities, then those tokens should be regulated as securities. The exchanges should then be required to meet those disclosures, both domestically and internationally.

For stablecoins, the international body says disclosure requirements for what stablecoins are backed by should be mandated, along with independent audits of those reserves.

“Globally, policymakers should prioritize making cross-border payments faster, cheaper, more transparent and inclusive through the G20 Cross Border Payments Roadmap,” the IMF said.

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Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/imf-warns-cryptocurrencies-may-threaten-financial-stability-without-regulation-143013295.html