As cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin join the $100bn club and a US senator wants to ban tech giant members from ever buying anything again, we’re finding value in unlikely places. Someone thought it worthwhile to pinch the world’s largest rabbit, while the story of a man who stole $21m of NASA’s lunar rocks so he could consummate his relationship with his girlfriend ‘on the moon’ is being told in print. A man who’s spent 100 days live-streaming being locked in a room says he’ll do it for five years for $5m as a custom piece of live wall art. Dating app Hinge is paying people to go on a date as lockdown restrictions ease but there’s no love lost between Reeta Chakrabarti and Jeremy Paxman after his jibe that ‘any fool’ can read the news.
Corporates are finding value everywhere in a post-lockdown splurge, with French water and waste giants Veolia and Suez agreeing a $15bn merger and Asian ride-hailing and food delivery group Grab being bought for $40bn. PensionBee’s founder could be worth £140m when the firm floats. Manchester United is said to see value in buying and relocating Australian football side Central Coast Mariners. Deutsche Bank says the new Mercedes-Benz car could be a ‘game changer’ for electric vehicles. Just Eat’s home delivery orders were up 79% in the first quarter.
What isn’t being valued? Some 4.6 million people missed out on hospital treatment in England last year due to COVID-19, defence group Babcock International is shedding 1,000 jobs and London’s last heritage Routemaster bus is being retired. An activist investor in Toshiba says the $20bn private equity bid for the company is too low. The FTSE All-Share is not going anywhere today.
GETTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
As Britain celebrates meeting its vaccine deadline for the over-50s, Bhutan has inoculated 62% of its 800,000 population in just 16 days. And tourists in India have been forced to write ‘sorry’ 500 times for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules.