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Laura is now expected to strengthen to a category 4 hurricane, producing a life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding when it makes landfall over eastern Texas and Louisiana later today. The hurricane is projected to inflict billions in damages and keep some of America's largest oil refineries shut for months. Oil is holding steady close to five-month highs with investors expecting any impact to supply from the hurricane to be short-lived. (Bloomberg)

 

Ant Group revealed it earned $2.6bn in net profit last year as it filed documents for an initial public offering that may raise a record $30bn.  The Chinese payments company has said it wants to sell at least 10 per cent of its shares in a dual offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and one person close to the process suggested it was considering selling as much as 15 per cent at a valuation of between $200bn to $300bn. Ant’s valuation rests on the dominance of Alipay, which is used monthly by more than 700m people and 80m businesses in China to make mobile payments, invest in mutual funds, buy insurance and pay bills.  Ant processes $17tn worth of payments annually, about twice as much as Visa.  (FT)

 

Data analytics firm Palantir has filed to go public, confirming prior reports that the company would pursue a direct listing - the same unconventional route taken by Slack and Spotify.  The secretive tech business co-founded by Peter Thiel is reportedly hoping for a valuation of about $26B, despite losing $588M in 2019. Another Thiel-backed business, called Luminar, went public on Monday via a $3.4B SPAC merger, while workplace app Asana filed for direct listing on NYSE. (SA)

 

With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.

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