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Walmart Invests $200 million in Indian Fintech PhonePe

Indian digital payments company PhonePe announced on Friday that it had raised $200 million from Walmart, its largest backer, at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion.

The most valuable payments company in India and one of the most valuable startups there, PhonePe, said the investment is part of its ongoing $1 billion fundraising effort.

In the last two months, it has raised $400 million at the same $12 billion valuation from private equity firm General Atlantic and $100 million from Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, and TVS Capital Funds.


Germany and Japan reached an agreement to work closely together on economic security on Saturday during their first-ever high-ministerial government consultations, which were held amidst tensions over international supply chains and the economic disruptions brought on by the conflict in Ukraine. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is exploring ways to lessen Germany's reliance on Chinese raw materials while visiting Japan with six ministers.

Since European banks are subject to stricter regulations than regional U.S. banks, the European Central Bank (ECB) is likely to continue raising interest rates, according to Pierre Wunsch, the head of the Belgian central bank. This is because a repeat of the financial crisis of 2008 is unlikely. The ECB raised interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday, leaving room for additional increases as it anticipated that inflation would stubbornly remain above its 2% target through 2025.


The U.S. dollar dropped on Friday as markets were rattled by further declines in the shares of Credit Suisse and First Republic Bank, raising concerns about the possibility of a recession due to the effects of tighter monetary policy. The U.S. dollar index, which compares the greenback to a basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.55% to 103.520.


Gold reached 11-month highs on Friday, breaking free from the clutches of mid-$1,900 pricing to head for bullion bulls' long-term target of $2,000, as the U.S. banking crisis pushed more investors to safe havens. Gold futures jump by 3.68% to $1,993 per ounce.


Oil prices settled lower Friday, reversing early gains of more than $1 per barrel, as concerns about the banking sector caused both benchmarks to post their biggest weekly losses in months. Brent crude futures fell by 2.99% to $72.47 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate dropped by 2.94% to $66.34 a barrel.


USA: S&P500 -1.10%, Dow Jones Industrial Average -1.19%, Nasdaq Composite -0.49%

Europe: FTSE 100 -1.01%, DAX -1.33%, CAC 40 -1.43%

Asia: Nikkei 225 +1.20%, Hang Seng +1.64%, CSI 300 +0.50%, Nifty 50 +0.67%


Moderna May Charge $130 for its COVID Vaccine in USA

Moderna president Stephen Hoge said in an interview on Monday that the company expects to price its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States at around $130 per dose in the future as government purchases shift to the private sector.

Hoge stated this in advance of a Congressional hearing on Moderna's pricing strategies chaired by Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. "There are different customers negotiating different prices right now, which is why it's a little bit complicated," he added.

Credit Suisse Takeover and Central Bank Action Calms Tense Markets

Market confidence increased on Monday as a result of government efforts to prevent a global banking crisis. Investors welcomed the historic Swiss-backed purchase of troubled Credit Suisse by UBS Group as well as the emergency dollar liquidity provided by leading central banks.

UBS will pay 3 billion Swiss francs ($3.23 billion) for the 167-year-old Credit Suisse Group AG and take on up to $5.4 billion in losses as part of a deal arranged by Swiss regulators on Sunday.

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