Hipgnosis Songs Names Ted Cockle and Amy Thomson to Senior Posts

Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis named Ted Cockle president and Amy Thomson as chief catalogue officer of the company.

Cockle was most recently president of Virgin EMI in the U.K., which under his tenure managed the recorded music for artists including Queen, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, George Michael, Justin Bieber, Emeli Sande, The Killers, Lorde and Lewis Capaldi. Previously, Cockle served for 10 years at Sony Music before joining Universal to as co-president Island Records.

Thomson is a veteran manager of artists including Swedish House Mafia, DJ Snake, Seal and others. She managed Swedish House Mafia to the peak of their success, which included a sold-out headlining concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden and a farewell tour in 2013 (they have since reunited), and DJ Snake during the time of his global 2019 smash “Taki Taki.” She also worked with Kanye West on the marketing of his “Yeezus” album. She closed her management business in December to focus on catalogue management and designed an online system to help artists find, track and trace their catalogs; that product will launch, including Hipgnosis’ catalog, in 2021.

Hipgnosis Songs recently released its annual report, which showed its revenues soaring in its first full year of business, climbing to $81 million in the 12 month period ended in March 2020 from around $8.9 million in the preceding period. The firm, which has been on an unprecedented acquisition binge of hit songwriter and producer catalogs —  been buying up catalogs by hitmakers ranging from Timbaland and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker —  began trading on the London Stock Exchange in July of 2018. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the company spent nearly $700 million to acquire 42 catalogs.

Mercuriadis said, “It’s a testament to the iconic song catalog that we have assembled over the last two-plus years, and our songwriters, that we have been able to attract executives with the extraordinary talent, pedigree and success of Ted and Amy. I’ve been very vocal about disrupting the world of traditional publishing with “Song Management.” In Song Management we actively manage our songs with great responsibility to higher levels of success. I don’t believe there’s a traditional publisher that has brought together this level of expertise to manage its songs.”

Cockle said, “Each year of my career, I’ve witnessed how the excellence and magic of individual songs proves to be the catalyst for streaming success, album sales, artist careers, filled venues and growing market shares. Alongside Merck, Amy and the Hipgnosis team I’m very much looking forward to help re-establish and to help grow the value of these classic songs.”

Thomson said, “I genuinely love managing songs. They’re like stories to me, chapters in the life of the songwriter and the impact they have in creating new stories for the listener. Over the last three years I became obsessed with diving into the care of catalog as we see songs become pensions. The care and attention of nurturing it for its entire life. Songs are legacies and managing them as if each one was its own artist has become a passion and now I have a chance to work on some of the greatest catalogs on earth.”


Coffee with RSVP date turned into sexual assault, woman tells court

A woman has told a Sydney court she thought she was just meeting a man for coffee after connecting on a dating app, when he took her to his apartment and sexually assaulted her.

French father-of-two David Gabrieli presented himself as an “outdoorsy” doctor on the dating app and website RSVP, and had texted and called the woman a few times before they arranged to meet in August of 2017, she told the court.

David Gabrieli is on trial accused of sexual offences against four women he met on dating apps RSVP and Bumble.

David Gabrieli is on trial accused of sexual offences against four women he met on dating apps RSVP and Bumble.

Mr Gabrieli is accused of a string of sexual offences relating to four women he met via the dating apps RSVP and Bumble between August 2017 and January 2018.

He has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to 13 counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual intercourse without consent, two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of detaining for advantage.


On Tuesday, the first woman to give evidence in the trial said she contacted police in 2018 after recognising Mr Gabrieli in a news story, which said he had been charged after allegedly raping a woman he had met on Bumble.

The woman told the court Mr Gabrieli had invited her for coffee in Maroubra at 4.30pm on August 16, 2017, and as she arrived the cafe was closing. Mr Gabrieli suggested they have a coffee in his apartment, which turned out to be across the road.

The woman told the court she “didn’t know Maroubra at all” and didn’t know anywhere else they could go and thought ‘what’s the harm in it?'”

The pair spoke on the couch for about 20 minutes, she said, before Mr Gabrieli started kissing her. She said she kissed him back initially, but when he “groped” her, she told him to stop, and words to the effect of “this is going too fast for me”.

She repeated the phrase, but instead of stopping, she told the jury he grabbed her wrist, moving her hand onto his groin.

She couldn’t remember whether she said anything to him at that stage, but she said he was holding her wrist “quite forcefully” and “he would have known that I was trying to pull my hand away but he kept my hand there.”

She said his tone was “demanding” and it “wasn’t a request, it was a command”.

“I was scared because I had already said several times to stop and he hadn’t stopped, and I was quite fearful that he would try to rape me,” she said.

She agreed with defence barrister Mark Brady that Mr Gabrieli never shouted at her, struck her or verbally threatened her.

The trial continues.

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China asks Indian students to stay in touch with their college return

China has asked hundreds of Indian students stranded back home due to the coronavirus pandemic to remain in touch with their respective colleges and follow instructions to protect their academic progress through online courses as foreign students are still not allowed to enter the country.

Over 23,000 Indian students studied different courses in Chinese universities and colleges of which over 21,000 were enrolled to study MBBS, according to last year’s data.

Most of these students left for India during the Chinese New Year holidays in January, just around the time when the coronavirus pandemic began spreading in China following which international travel has been badly disrupted.

At present, foreign students in China cannot enter the country for the time being, but the Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of foreign students in China,” the Chinese Ministry of Education informed the Indian Embassy here.

Earlier, the Indian Embassy took up with the Chinese officials the concerns of a large number of Indian students following an official announcement that foreign students and teachers will not return to their colleges until further notice.

In its response, the Chinese Education Ministry said: It requires relevant universities in China to maintain close contacts with the students, immediately notify relevant information and try their best to protect students’ academic progress through online courses, properly respond to students’ reasonable demands and help solve their practical difficulties.

In view of the fact that the epidemic situation in the world is still unclear and relevant policies on entry and exit in China are being gradually adjusted, it is suggested that Indian students should maintain close contact with relevant Chinese Colleges and Universities and arrange to study in China in strict accordance with the suggestions and guidance of the Colleges/Universities, it said, according to a press release issued by the Indian Embassy on Monday.

Indian students are accordingly advised to remain in touch with their respective Universities/Colleges, the Indian Embassy said, adding that they are advised to monitor the website of the Indian Embassy/Consulates in China and their social media channels to remain updated about the evolving situation in respect of the return of foreign students to China.

The coronavirus pandemic that first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has killed 892,443 people globally and infected about 27,339,132 others, according to the John Hopkins coronavirus resource centre.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


After ban, PUBG ends ties with China’s Tencent Games for India franchise

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) on Tuesday announced it had ended its ties with China’s Tencent Holdings for its PUBG MOBILE franchise in India. The move comes in the wake of the recent ban imposed on the game’s mobile version, both full and light, by the Indian government citing security concerns.

“In light of recent developments, PUBG Corporation has made the decision to no longer authorise the PUBG MOBILE franchise to Tencent Games in India. Moving forward, PUBG Corporation will take on all publishing responsibilities within the country. As the company explores ways to provide its own PUBG experience for India in the near future, it is committed to doing so by sustaining a localised and healthy gameplay environment for its fans,” PUBG Corporation said in a statement published on its web portal.

ALSO READ: Tremors of PUBG Mobile ban shake up India’s entire gaming ecosystem

The PUBG game is an intellectual property owned and developed by PUBG Corporation, a South Korean gaming company. It is available for PC, Xbox and PlayStation. However, its mobile versions, full-fledged and light variants, are developed in partnership with China’s Tencent Games, a sister company of Tencent Holdings.

ALSO READ: PUBG ban to upset Tencent’s ‘chicken dinner’ in India

Going forward, the company said, it was actively monitoring the situation around the recent bans of PUBG MOBILE Nordic Map: Livik and PUBG MOBILE Lite in India. Its statement added: “PUBG Corporation fully understands and respects the measures taken by the government as the privacy and security of player data is a top priority for the company. It hopes to work hand-in-hand with the Indian government to find a solution that will allow gamers to once again drop into the battlegrounds while being fully compliant with Indian laws and regulations.”


Federation Kids & Family Boards TeamTO’s ‘Presto! School of Magic!’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Federation Kids & Family and leading European kids entertainment company TeamTO are joining forces on the new animated comedy series “Presto! School of Magic,” a spinoff of Studiocanal’s animated feature hit “The House of Magic.”

Federation Kids & Family will be repping the series in international markets outside of China. Set to be launch this fall, “Presto! School of Magic” is produced by TeamTO with Belgian partners Panache Productions and La Compagnie Cinématographique.

French broadcasters M6 and Canal Plus have already commissioned the series. It revolves around a band of talented and curious kids who dream of becoming magicians, including Dylan and Lisa who are new students of the school which used to be an old mansion. Each kid has a different reason for attending the school, but they have one thing in common: a passion for illusion, conjuring and the art of magic.

“Presto! School of Magic” was an Official Selection at Cartoon Forum 2017 where the series’ producer, Corinne Kouper, was twice honoured as Producer of the Year in 2010 and 2015. Kouper, who is behind popular shows and films such as “Mighty Mike,” “Angelo Rules” and “Yellowbird the movie,” also won two Emmy Awards and one Pulcinella Award.

“We’re thrilled to begin this partnership with our good friends at Federation, a company that – like TeamTO – has established itself as a leading player in the global kids market,” said Guillaume Hellouin, president and co-founder of TeamTO. “Our creative visions for Presto! School of Magic are perfectly aligned, making them an ideal choice to distribute to all our friends around the world,” said Hellouin.

Monica Levy, the head of sales at Federation Kids & Family pointed that “TeamTO has a solid reputation as one of the most creative studios in the industry today, and their unique productions share the same high-end values that complement our existing premium titles.”

“‘Presto! School of Magic’ is an amazing series that has all the exceptional ingredients to inspire magic-loving kids the world over, and the timing for such an uplifting exceptionally crafted production is perfect,” added Levy.


Irish stars head Cup weights, Russian Camelot the hope of Australia

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck is the first ever Epsom Derby winner to be entered for the Melbourne Cup – and he heads the weights for not just Australia’s greatest race but the other leg of the big spring double, the Caulfield Cup.

In both races he has been given 58.5 kilos, while last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare has gone up five kilos and will have to shoulder 57 if he is to repeat his 2019 Flemington win.

There is a full house of Derby winners from Australia this year including one of the most exciting gallopers to have been prepared for a spring campaign in many years, the Danny O’Brien-trained Russian Camelot, a northern hemisphere three-year-old, who has raced his entire career in Australia.

Vow And Declare won the 2019 Melbourne Cup.

Vow And Declare won the 2019 Melbourne Cup. Credit:Getty Images

His victory in the South Australian Derby in May, when he beat highly rated Dalasan and the Victoria Derby winner Warning, was widely regarded as one of the most impressive seen in recent times. He has been given a racing weight of 53.5 in the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup.


Anthony Van Dyck, a son of Galileo out of the one-time Mark Kavanagh-trained mare Believe’n’ Succeed, has run some fine races but has yet to win since his Derby victory.

But such is the quality of his form lines – he has been competitive against the world’s current highest ranked horse, Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath, and the world’s best stayer, Stradivarius – that Cup handicapper Greg Carpenter had little hesitation putting him at the top of the weights, on his own for the Flemington contest, and joined by his stable companion Japan, a dual group 1 winner over middle distances in Europe, in the Caulfield Cup.

Coolmore actually has the top three in the weights for the Caulfield race as their star mare Magical has been asked to carry 58 kilos, the highest weight allotted to a mare since Makybe Diva was given the same burden in 2005.

Last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign – recently runner-up to superstar mare Enable in the group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot – has been handicapped at 57 in both Cups.

How many of the O’Brien battalion will actually make the trip remains to be seen.

Racing Victoria’s international manager Paul Bloodworth said the Coolmore supremo had indicated he would be bringing multiple horses to run in the carnival despite the difficulties posed by COVID-19 and the restrictions on travel.

“A lot of them are going around in the Irish Champions weekend and the Irish St Leger next weekend and that will determine [which come and which stay],” he said.

The highest-weighted, locally trained galloper is the James Cummings prepared Avilius – himself a French import, although he has been here for several years now. He has 57 in both Cups.

Other horses of interest include the Chris Waller-trained mare Verry Elleegant, who has 55 kilos in the Melbourne Cup, the Joseph O’Brien-trained and Lloyd Williams-owned Buckhurst, who has 55 in both Cups and Team Hawkes Master of Wine (53.5 ).

One of the pre-post favourites Surprise Baby, fifth last year, has 54.5 in both races while Coolmore’s globetrotting mare Magic Wand, fourth in last year’s Cox Plate and a group 1 winner of the MacKinnon Stakes at Flemington last year, has 55 in the Caulfield Cup.

Aside from the Australasian entries there are potential Cup runners from England, Ireland, France, Germany and Hungary in the shape of Nancho, the former Hungarian Horse of the Year and last start German Group 1 winner, who is already based in Australia with Anthony Cummings. He has been handed 54.kg

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Fitch revises India GDP forecast for FY21 to -10.5% from -5% earlier

Fitch has sharply lowered its forecast for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the current fiscal 2020-21 (FY21) and now expects the country’s GDP to contract 10.5 per cent versus its earlier estimate of 5 per cent contraction in this period. This, at a time, when the rating agency has revised upwards, albeit modestly, its forecast for global GDP – from the earlier estimated fall of 4.6 per cent to 4.4 per cent now.

The downward revision in India’s forecast for FY21 comes on the heels of a sharp contraction in Indian economy in the April – June 2020 period, when the GDP came in at a negative to 23.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY) – the worst performance in nearly four decades.

“The severe fall in activity has damaged household and corporate incomes and balance sheets, amid limited fiscal support. A looming deterioration in asset quality in the financial sector will hold back credit provision amid weak bank capital buffers. Furthermore, high inflation has added strains to household income,” Fitch said.

That said, the rating agency expects GDP in India to rebound strongly in the third quarter of calendar year 2020 (Q3-20) as the economy re-opens. However, it cautions that the recovery has been sluggish and uneven.

“The PMI balances have bounced back but they imply that the level of activity is still well below its pre-pandemic level in Q3-20. Still-depressed levels of imports, two-wheeler sales and capital goods production indicate a muted recovery in domestic spending,” Fitch said.

ALSO READ: India’s GDP contraction should alarm everyone: Ex RBI Guv Raghuram Rajan

As coronavirus cases rise and force some states and union territories to re-tighten restrictions, the continued spread of the virus and the imposition of sporadic shutdowns across the country has depressed sentiment and disrupted economic activity. “Supply-chain disruptions and excise duties increases have caused prices to rise. However, we expect inflation to slow amid weak underlying demand, an easing in supply-chain disruptions and a good monsoon,” Fitch said.


Besides Fitch, the fall in Q1FY21 GDP has seen most forecasters cut India’s economic growth projection for calendar year 2020 (CY20) and FY21. Those at Nomura, for instance, has slashed GDP growth projection to -9.0 per cent YoY in 2020 (versus -5 per cent previously) and -10.8 per cent in FY21 (versus -6.1 per cent earlier).

Pranjul Bhandari, chief India economist at HSBC, too, expects growth to remain negative until December 2020, before turning slightly positive in early 2021 (that too led largely by a weak statistical base). “Despite our forecast for a positive 7.2 per cent GDP growth next year, GDP is only likely to return to pre-pandemic levels in early 2022,” Bhandari believes.

Global view

Fitch expects global GDP to fall by 4.4 per cent in 2020, a modest upward revision from the 4.6 per cent decline expected earlier. The recovery in economic activity after the unprecedented severe coronavirus-related recession in March and April has been swifter than anticipated, Fitch said, but they expect the pace of expansion to moderate soon.

“China has already regained its pre-virus level of GDP and retail sales in the US, France and the UK now exceed February levels, but we doubt this will become the much-lauded V-shaped recovery. Unemployment shocks lie ahead in Europe, firms are cutting capex, and social distancing continues to directly constrain private-sector spending”, said Brian Coulton, chief economist, Fitch Ratings.


Fitch now expects the US economy to contract by 4.6 per cent this year compared to a fall of 5.6 per cent earlier. Their China growth forecast for 2020 now stands at +2.7 per cent compared to +1.2 per cent in June.

“These revisions have been partly offset by cuts to our 2020 GDP forecasts for the Eurozone to -9.0 per cent (-8.0 per cent), the UK to -11.5 per cent (-9.0 per cent) and for emerging markets (EM) excluding China to -5.7 per cent (-4.7 per cent),” Fitch said.


We need to adopt rules that reflect the risk in each region

As Victorians, we need to stay positive and optimistic about the future, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question some of the decisions that are being made to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

Forest regrowth in East Gippsland after the summer fires.

Forest regrowth in East Gippsland after the summer fires.Credit:Joe Armao

Too many of the decisions being made by city-based politicians and bureaucrats fail to acknowledge the fundamental differences between life in metropolitan areas and regional communities.

Coming off years of drought and summer bushfires, we are hurting too many people unnecessarily in regional Victoria with some of the restrictions described in the Premier’s latest road map.

Every job is worth fighting for. Every job is worth saving. Because it means one less job will need to be created as we move to the recovery phase from this virus.


Family businesses, in particular, are the foundation block of our regional economy and many won’t be there to reopen under the Premier’s road map, which strangely lumps Gippsland into the results achieved in Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong.

When you consider that Wellington and East Gippsland shires cover the same land mass as Belgium, it’s time for localised rules and municipality-based solutions to this wicked problem.

Let me stress, no responsible person is suggesting open slather. But we have already proven in regional areas that we can safely operate many more hospitality and accommodation businesses with social distancing, hand sanitiser, customer limits, face coverings, testing and people staying home if they are unwell.

Other states with low case numbers like regional Victoria aren’t destroying their economies in the same way. We need to adopt rules that reflect the risk in each region.

For example, there’s no reason whatsoever why Gippsland, the Mallee, Goulburn Valley and the north-east shouldn’t be offering “locals only” sit-down meals to get our restaurants, pubs and clubs operating again with reduced numbers. Flash your licence at the door, follow all the rules, and help keep more people working locally until we can safely invite our much-loved Melbourne friends to return for a visit.

Under the Premier’s road map, we are many weeks away from achieving that and only if case numbers drop in other parts of regional Victoria, including the major provincial centres.

If we can have a large hardware chain servicing thousands of customers every week in every regional store, with no community transmission, I’m confident our hospitality sector can manage 40-50 customers a night in regions with low case numbers.

Under stage two restrictions we did restart dining very successfully with no outbreaks and if we don’t do it again soon, we risk losing that workforce to states where jobs are available now.

And remember, if you don’t want to go out, because you are vulnerable, have pre-existing health issues or think it’s too risky, then keep ordering takeaways.

There is an element of risk in everything we do, and every decision we make. Some people ride trail bikes or choose to parachute out of aeroplanes because they manage and accept the risks involved, while others wouldn’t dream of such activities.

It is impossible for the state government to manage all risk in our lives and there need to be elements of personal responsibility and decision-making restored as soon as possible.

The current rules are the equivalent of closing the Princes Highway between Orbost and Cann River because of a car crash on the Monash Freeway. Conversely, it’s like closing the Royal Botanic Gardens because there’s a bushfire at Wilson’s Prom. The rules don’t make sense to people living in communities where physical distancing is built into everyday life.

There has to be more consideration of regional variations when you acknowledge that 294 postcodes (mainly in regional areas) have recorded no cases of coronavirus in the past fortnight.

It is frustrating and disappointing at the moment, but I must stress there’s plenty of positives in our regional communities to be confident about.

The agriculture sector has turned around with good rains and residential construction is booming in many towns. We’re likely to see more Victorians recognise the opportunity to live and work in regional areas in the aftermath of the coronavirus.

But we just need to get more businesses operating with COVID-safe plans and more people back to work as soon as possible.

We are all in this together but that doesn’t mean we will all be affected in the same way. This is not a time for political point-scoring but it is a time for sensible decision-making with input from the regions.

Darren Chester is the Nationals member for Gippsland.

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Masayoshi Son makes a big options bet and SoftBank investors are worried

Just when investors thought Masayoshi Son was reining in risk at SoftBank Group Corp, the Japanese billionaire’s foray into highly leveraged derivatives is giving them fresh reason to worry.

SoftBank shares tumbled 7.2% on Monday in Tokyo, erasing about $9 billion of market value. The drop came after the conglomerate made massive bets on high-flying technology stocks using equity derivatives — and despite one report that it has billions in paper gains.

Son’s career has been full of head-scratching acquisitions and strategic shifts, but the 63-year-old had spent much of this year taking investor-friendly steps that made it seem he was finally listening to shareholders like activist Elliott Management Corp. His latest move touched off concern that SoftBank is embarking on another risky endeavor that could lead to losses like those it suffered on office-sharing startup WeWork. Son himself is leading the options trading with a small staff that executes his ideas, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Son is a speculator — not this visionary everyone claims he is,” said Amir Anvarzadeh, a market strategist at Asymmetric Advisors in Singapore who has been covering SoftBank since it went public in 1994. “This is yet another proof of that, as he is never too far from the action when a bubble is formed.”

SoftBank disclosed in August that it was establishing an asset management arm to trade public securities and mentioned it could use derivatives. What has alarmed shareholders is that Son appears to be using options to amplify his exposure to a corner of the market where valuations have soared and mercurial individual investors are playing an ever-greater role. SoftBank hasn’t disclosed details of its trading and the company declined to comment for this story.

Son’s announcements earlier this year that he would sell 4.5 trillion yen ($42 billion) in assets and buy back 2.5 trillion yen of shares had helped SoftBank’s stock recover from a plunge after the WeWork missteps and coronavirus outbreak. Shares more than doubled from their March lows, touching the highest levels in two decades last month.

It’s far from certain that SoftBank’s options bets have exposed the company to undue risk. Indeed, derivatives are designed to help investors hedge their exposure to sudden stock moves or surges in volatility. SoftBank’s derivatives trading began in June with relatively conservative positions, such as collar trades, according to one person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.


The Financial Times reported that SoftBank spent about $4 billion on options focused on tech stocks with an overall exposure of about $30 billion. The company is sitting on paper profits of about $4 billion in gains from those stakes, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Son has experimented with dozens of businesses since founding SoftBank in 1981. He began his career in software distribution, trade shows and magazines, before expanding into telecommunications and startups. He built his reputation when he took stakes in hundreds of fledgling companies, including what became Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Son’s big bets have often baffled his investors. In 2006, SoftBank acquired the Japanese wireless operations of Vodafone Group Plc in the largest leveraged buyout ever in Asia at the time. Few gave him any chance of turning around the troubled business, but he succeeded by getting exclusive rights to the first iPhone in Japan.

He tried a similar playbook with his purchase of wireless operator Sprint Corp. in the U.S., but that turnaround proved far more difficult and Son sold the business this year. His $32 billion purchase of chip designer Arm Ltd. four years ago sent his stock tumbling, and he’s now negotiating to sell the business.

In another controversial move, he set up the $100 billion Vision Fund to take stakes in scores of tech startups. The fund reported $17.7 billion in losses for the fiscal year ended in March after writing down the value of holdings, including WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc. The outlook for those types of investments has since brightened thanks to a market surge that helped boost startup valuations and demand for initial public offerings.

“SoftBank keeps changing its strategy and we are now a long way from ‘taking minority stakes in technology startups,’” said Atul Goyal, senior analyst at Jefferies. Still, Goyal said betting against SoftBank shares was risky as long as the company remains committed to its buyback program.

As for SoftBank’s potential impact on the broader stock market, the idea that any single options buyer could drive market-wide swings has drawn skepticism in the past. Several analysts have pointed out that the heft of large institutional players remains relatively small compared with the rest of the market.

But as volumes have surged in specific stock options over the summer, some analysts are beginning to revise their thinking.

“SoftBank has a bit of a reputation for taking big, one-way bets. It wouldn’t surprise me if market participants looked at what they were doing — throwing around big directional exposure — and trying to ride their coattails to some extent,” said Ilya Spivak, head Asia Pacific strategist at DailyFX. “But could they be solely responsible for driving markets in a direction? Sounds very far-fetched.”

What’s clear is that news of SoftBank’s position has injected a jolt of uncertainty into the market, with questions about Son’s exposure and his plans for future trading.

“Now that these trades have been uncovered they are likely to continue to influence trading so expect a bumpy ride ahead as we find an equilibrium and traders look to exploit their newfound knowledge,” Jim Reid, a global strategist at Deutsche Bank AG, wrote in a note. “Experience tells you we haven’t heard the last of this story and that unintended consequences often happen around these type of events.”


Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ Is No. 1 for a Sixth Consecutive Week, as Sales Enjoy an Uptick

Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” continued its run at the top of the Rolling Stone album chart for a sixth consecutive week, as sales actually increased from week five.

In the latest frame, “Folklore” collected 91,2000 album units, a figure that combines sales and streaming numbers. That’s up from 87,400 album units the week before.

Actual full-album sales in week six amounted to 42,900, an increase from 38,900 in week five. In both of these weeks, independent record shops reported getting shipments of autographed “Folklore” CDs, designated as a gesture to help boost traffic for brick-and-mortar indies during the pandemic, though these would not have accounted for more than a small portion of Swift’s overall tally. Streams for “Folklore” in the sixth week were tallied at 47 million.

The top new entries were Katy Perry’s “Smile” at No. 5 and Metallica’s “S&M2” at No. 6. These fell behind a slate of four recurrently popular albums that landed in exactly the same formation as they had the week before.

Repeating at Nos. 2-3 were the posthumous releases from Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD, with 72,700 and 60,500 album units, respectively. The “Hamilton” cast album spent yet another week at No. 4, collecting another 47,400 album units.

Perry’s “Smile,” her first album in three years, had 45,600 album units adding up to to a No. 5 debut. Full-album sales stood at 28,900 copies, individual song sales were 16,000 for the week, and the album was streamed 16.2 million times.

Metallica’s live album with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, a sequel to a 21-year-old collaboration that went double-platinum, premiered in sixth place with 37,400 album units. Of that, 29,800 were in full-album sales, slightly above Perry’s number of actual album sales. But it fell behind Perry in the overall ranking due to a much more modest 2.7 million in streams.

There was a third album debuting in the top 10: Internet Money’s “B4 the Storm,” in at No. 8 with 30,000 album units. In full-album sales, Internet Money’s album didn’t even crack four figures — with only 696 albums sold — but it was a success in streaming, with 37.2 million streams.

Holdovers in the top 10 included Lil Baby at No. 7, DaBaby at No. 9 and Post Malone at No. 10. Harry Styles’ recently resurgent album slipped just out of the top 10 to land at No. 11.

Lil Wayne’s “No Ceilings” ran into a big ceiling on the chart, debuting at No. 18 with 20,900 album units. Other debuts from name artists included Needtobreathe at No. 21, Jaden at No. 39, the Avett Brothers at No. 65 and Toni Braxton at No. 139.

Last week’s top-debuting albums had big slides. Nas, who had premiered at No. 5, fell to No. 46 in week two. The Killers had a bigger chart decline, falling in week two from No. 11 to No. 197.

On the Rolling Stone songs chart, “WAP” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion was a rerun in the top spot, commanding the No. 1 slot for the third time in four weeks. Its streaming number for the this fourth week stood at 39.3 million.

The top-debuting song was “Ice Cream” by Selena Gomez and Blackpink, in at No. 9 with 10 million streams.