The big four


Xiaomi applies to sell shares in Hong Kong 

Xiaomi, the world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker, will launch its initial pubic offering in Hong Kong in July. Its fundraising target of US$10 billion would make it the fourth-largest IPO in Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post. According to Reuters, the listing is expected to give the Beijing-based company a market value of between US$80 billion and US$100 billion. The IPO application came amid new regulations designed to attract tech listings. Hong Kong approved through rules to let pre-revenue biotechnology firms and technology firms with multiple classes of stocks sell equity.

EY to fight tax evasion in Albania 

EY signed a deal with Albania to help its government fight tax evasion and economic crimes. Despite efforts to enforce the widespread use of receipts for goods bought and sold, the black economy in Albania is estimated to be worth about a third of its gross domestic product, according to Reuters. The EY team will be led by people with previous experience in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in managing Germany’s economic crime unit. “There is still money out there that belongs to the people and the country, and is now where it should not be,” said Prime Minister Edi Rama at the signing ceremony.

Uber reports soaring sales growth 

Uber revealed in a financial statement a 70 percent rise in first-quarter revenue from the previous year to US$2.59 billion, as the San-Francisco based ride-hailing company prepares for a potential initial public offering next year. The total number of rides and food deliveries made, or gross sales, increased by 55 percent. “We expect to reinvest every outperformance this year even more aggressively, both in our core business and in big bets like Uber Eats globally,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer of Uber. The company reported an annual profit of US$2.46 billion compared with a loss of US$847 million last year.

Pret A Manger sold to German conglomerate

Private investment group JAB Holdings will purchase sandwich shop Pret A Manger for £1.5 billion (HK$15.6 billion), according to media reports. JAB, controlled by the German Reimann family, has predominantly focused on the coffee sector, making it a stiff competitor of Nestlé. It owns Krispy Kreme, espresso retailer Caribou Coffee and bakery-café restaurants Panera Bread and Au Bon Pain. Private equity owners Bridgepoint bought the United Kingdom-based company in 2008 for around £350 million. The chain announced recently that all employees will receive a £1,000 bonus during the week the deal completes this summer.

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