New South African COVID Variant Found in Hong Kong, Didi Delisting Rumors
Asian markets sold off overnight on growing concerns around a new COVID-19 variant identified in South Africa. Several cases have cropped up outside South Africa, including two cases in travelers staying in a Hong Kong quarantine hotel. The volatility surge was likely exasperated by a low number of market participants in the US following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Bloomberg News published a report stating the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has asked top Didi executives to devise a plan to delist from the New York Stock Exchange. According to Bloomberg, measures under consideration include taking the company private or re-listing in Hong Kong. This headline comes from a media outlet outside mainland China and is attributed to unnamed sources, so its veracity should be taken with a grain of salt. Furthermore, no date has been set for delisting and the company is still considering its options, which include relisting in Hong Kong and going private. Due to a CAC review launched after Didi’s IPO in June, the company was not included in the CSI Overseas China Internet Index.
In signs that Ant Group’s business revamp is bearing fruit, China’s central bank accepted the company’s application to form a credit-scoring joint venture with Zhejiang Tourism Investment Group. Each company will own a 35% stake in the newly formed Qiantang Credit Rating Co.
Nikkei Asia reported that the US and China are trying to arrange a meeting of top defense officials before the end of the year. This would be the first such meeting under the Biden Administration. The goal of the talks would be to increase trust, defuse tensions, and help the powers avoid accidental confrontations.