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Good morning. Elon Musk has subpoenaed the head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in litigation over a 2018 tweet claiming the Tesla chief had “funding secured” to take the electric-car maker private.
Tesla’s legal team served papers to an office administrator for PIF governor Yasir al-Rumayyan on December 19, according to court documents filed in California federal court on Tuesday. Musk’s team is seeking to have Rumayyan, who is also the chair of Saudi Aramco, testify at the trial, which is scheduled to start in San Francisco later this month.
Any eventual testimony from Rumayyan could focus on discussions the PIF had held with Musk before his “funding secured” pronouncement. The investors who brought the lawsuit claim Musk manipulated Tesla’s stock price when he tweeted in August 2018 that he had financing in place to take the carmaker private at a price of $420 per share. A deal never materialised.
Musk has previously said, in public appearances and in court documents, that a “handshake” deal had been reached with Rumayyan and the fund to stump up the money required to take Tesla off the public markets.
Market news: Tesla shares tumbled on the first day of trading in 2023 after the group’s new vehicle deliveries fell short of Wall Street expectations, while the US tech rout also pushed Apple’s market capitalisation $1tn below its peak.
Five more stories in the news
1. EU set to demand Covid testing for travellers from China The EU is expected to impose pre-departure Covid-19 tests on travellers from China within days to try to prevent a surge in infections in that country spreading to Europe. The “overwhelming majority” of the 27 EU members asked for the move at a meeting in Brussels yesterday, a European Commission spokesman said.
More on China’s Covid outbreak:
The EU has offered free Covid-19 vaccines to China, an offer promptly rejected by the Chinese government.
China’s factory activity contracted in December, according to a private survey, highlighting the economic costs of the country’s abrupt abandonment of its strict zero-Covid regime.
2. Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to criminal charges The founder of FTX entered the plea in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, just weeks after his arrest in the Bahamas at the request of US federal prosecutors and subsequent extradition. The eight charges include wire fraud, conspiracy to commit commodities and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and campaign finance violations.
3. Kevin McCarthy loses first two Speaker votes Kevin McCarthy was in the fight of his political life after he lost two votes to be elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, becoming the first majority party leader in a century to falter in the early ballot.
4. Israel’s new security minister makes surprise visit to al-Aqsa Itamar Ben-Gvir arrived at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, just after dawn under heavy Israeli security protection. His tour of the compound, historically a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian tensions, lasted about 15 minutes and passed without incident, according to Israeli authorities.
5. Oil price decline helps to tame Turkey’s inflation Turkish inflation slowed in December for the second consecutive month, recording a steep drop as the cost of fuel and food eased. Annual consumer price inflation was 64.3 per cent in December, according to data released by the state statistics office on Tuesday. It was the fastest drop in the annual rate in at least 22 years.
The day ahead
Myanmar Independence Day The nation will celebrate the 75 years since it declared independence from Britain.
Philippine president visits China President Ferdinand Marcos Jr continues his three-day visit to China, where he is expected to meet Chinese president Xi Jinping. On the agenda is a discussion of China’s actions in the South China Sea. (Reuters)
UK transit strikes About 40,000 RMT members will stage walkouts today, Friday and Saturday in a dispute over pay, job security and changes to working practices. Rail users have been warned to “only travel if it is absolutely necessary”.
What else we’re reading
China’s Covid generation: the surging inequality behind Xi’s U-turn Xi Jinping’s administration took a dramatic U-turn last month, ending its zero-Covid policy of lockdowns, mass testing and fastidious contact tracing. One of the least-discussed reasons for this was how the policy had sharpened China’s already high levels of social inequality, especially between urban and rural residents.
Make work better in 2023 From rethinking networking in the hybrid era to getting a pay rise and leaving a job well — here is a round-up of some of the FT’s most useful career guidance over the year to help you hit the ground running in 2023.
Opinion: Bank of Japan needs the courage to change course Japan’s yield curve control was introduced in 2016 to boost economic activity and spur inflation. With the core inflation rate in November at its highest level in 40 years, a shift in policy is necessary. It will be painful but the longer the delay in acting the worse it will be, Meghan Greene writes.
Top Glove strives for image as clean as its products After suffering a reputational crisis in recent years, the world’s leading rubber glove maker has a strong incentive to convince outsiders that it is committed to employee welfare and business ethics. But as western policymakers tighten scrutiny of global supply chains, the Malaysian company’s struggles could be an indicator of the trouble to come for other industries.
Asset managers brace for tough year of cost-cutting Global asset managers are facing a long-delayed reckoning as falling assets force them to cut costs and make tough decisions about where to invest for growth. Most are also under pressure to find money to upgrade their technology and win new customers, resulting in squeezed personnel costs and bonus cuts.
Take a break from the news
From a new Vermeer exhibition at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to Joni Mitchell’s first full solo show for 20 years, here are 2023’s hottest tickets from the worlds of art, music and entertainment.
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