FirstFT: Today's Top Stories | Financial Times

FirstFT: Today's Top Stories | Financial Times

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LVMH is in talks to renegotiate the $ 16.6 billion acquisition of U.S. jeweler Tiffany to save a pre-pandemic deal and avoid a showdown in the courtroom, four people said with direct Knowledge of the matter.

The world's largest luxury goods company agreed to pay Tiffany $ 135 per share in cash last November, but has been trying to cut prices since the coronavirus crisis erupted.

An increasingly bitter war of words between LVMH, led by billionaire founder Bernard Arnault, and Tiffany, known for its robin egg blue box engagement rings, escalated last month after the French group threatened to withdraw from the deal. This sparked competing lawsuits in the US Commercial Court in Delaware and opened up the prospect of a bloody legal battle.

However, Tiffany recently signaled that it is ready to consider a revised price as long as it is above $ 130 per share, and the French company has agreed to close the deal without further changes, two people said. (FT)

Coronavirus digest

Follow our live coverage as France reports the highest one-day death toll since April.

In the news

India and the US sign a defense agreement against China US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has vowed to work closely with India to counter an increasingly aggressive China as Washington and New Delhi have agreed to deepen their defense ties. Meanwhile, China said it would sanction three American defense companies for planning arms sales to Taiwan. (FT, WSJ)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday © AFP via Getty Images

Asylum seeker detained in Hong Kong Nineteen-year-old Tony Chung was arrested on bail after a national security arrest and was arrested along with two other activists while trying to seek asylum at the US consulate. Four other people who sought asylum later on Tuesday were reportedly "turned away". (Guardian, SCMP)

US elections rise prematurely A week before election day, more than 66 million Americans have cast their votes in the presidential election, indicating massive voter turnout. As the campaigns line up attorneys for a controversial outcome, Demetri Sevastopulo explains why Donald Trump's path to victory is through Pennsylvania, where Democrat Joe Biden currently leads, according to our poll tracker. (FT)

Outside polling stations like this one in Columbus, Ohio, long queues have formed as millions of voters cast their votes before polling day © AP

The embattled Prime Minister of Malaysia is getting a lifeline A key political ally of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Parti Islam SeMalaysia, pledged his "undivided loyalty" to the head of state after Muhyiddin's request for emergency power was rejected. Mr. Muhyiddin also won the support of the Umno leadership. (Straits Times)

Barrett confirmed before the Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed by the US Senate and only one Republican voted against Donald Trump's third Supreme Court Justice. Their endorsement cemented the court's conservative majority from 6 to 3 ahead of possible election-related cases. (FT, WaPo)

Big hit entertainment investors suffer from buyers' remorse A New Trend In K-Pop Forums: How To Get Your Money Back If You Regret Your Investment In South Korea's Most Famous Music Agency That Got Big Flurry In The Last Month. Meanwhile, another famous boy band member, Harry Styles of One Direction, has started his first business venture. (FT)

The seven members of BTS made up more than 97% of Big Hit's sales last year. © Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty

Spain and Gibraltar are aiming for a last-minute Brexit deal Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González and Gibraltar’s Prime Minister Fabian Picardo separately told the Financial Times that both sides could reach a "practical" deal that would limit disruption to cross-border workers if the UK leaves the EU internal market in December 31 . (FT)

Keep up to date with the latest developments on the UK's exit from the EU with our weekly Brexit Briefing newsletter. Sign in here.

AMD's $ 35 billion acquisition of Xilinx Advanced Micro Devices has agreed to buy rival California chipmaker Xilinx in an all-stock transaction valued at $ 35 billion, increasing the value of semiconductor dealmaking in 2020 in a blockbuster year for the sector over $ 100 billion. (FT)

The day ahead

Inflation figures for Australia The third quarter numbers will be released on Wednesday, when the quarterly consumer price index is projected at 1.5 percent, a rebound from the previous 1.9 percent. (FX Street)

Big Tech testifies before the US Senate The executives of Twitter, Alphabet and Facebook will appear before the Senate Wednesday to give a virtual testimony in a hearing on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. A new trend for big tech: live shopping, which is already huge in China. (FT, The Verge)

Summary of results Japan's Sony, e-commerce platform eBay, picture search platform Pinterest, and craft site Etsy reported profits on Wednesday. Nomura and Deutsche Bank, which are expected to close every fifth branch in Germany to return to profitability, also publish the results on the same day. We are also waiting for results from the pharmaceutical company GSK. (FT)

What else are we reading?

Beijing and Wall Street are deepening their ties A rare positive front in Sino-US relations as Beijing seeks to accelerate market reforms and attract foreign capital. Meanwhile, US efforts to strengthen ties in Southeast Asia are failing. (FT, Reuters)

The US global role is at stake in this election With much trial and error, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved democracy at home and abroad. The re-election of Donald Trump would destroy much, if not all, of that legacy, writes Martin Wolf. (FT)

© FT Montage

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is approaching the point of no return Russia and Turkey could be drawn into the fight if Azerbaijan captures Armenia's diaspora in the Caucasus, writes Carey Cavanaugh of International Alert and the University of Kentucky. Time is of the essence. (FT)

US slate tries to reclaim Wall Street Some investors are hoping that a wave of consolidation among operators with oil prices around $ 40 a barrel will create a far more efficient industry – and another one that will lure Wall Street. This is what a victory by Donald Trump or Joe Biden could mean for crude oil prices. (FT)

Read more in our special report: The energy transition.

The future of Nigeria rests in the hands of its young protesters The country's mass rallies are about more than just police brutality – they are a call for leaders fit for the 21st century, writes Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede. "The Nigerian state turned on its people," says author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (FT, NYT)

"Very nice": Kazakhstan hugs Borat The ex-Soviet state of Kazakhstan has warmed up to its fictional journalist Borat Sagdiyev and used the catchphrase of the film character to attract tourists. (Al Jazeera)

The city confronts its role in the slave trade On the occasion of Black History Month, the guides of the City of London offer “Slavery in the City” tours. The London Financial District walking tour explores an uncomfortable legacy. (FT)

Financial crisis fashion If Wall Street loves something, it's increasing in value. Shirts, hats and "banker bags" from companies that have since been dissolved, such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch or Bear Stearns – even Enron and Bernie Madoff – generate considerable sums of money. (FT)

A former Lehman employee with his own bag in the La Défense financial district of Paris while looking for a job in 2009, a year after the bank collapsed © Reuters

Video of the day

How the US elections will determine the balance of power in Asia The US military's security umbrella has helped maintain peace and stability across Asia. US President Donald Trump's threat to withdraw troops from parts of the region if governments such as Seoul and Tokyo refuse to cover a larger share of the costs could dramatically change the dynamics of power in the western Pacific.

Video: How the 2020 US elections will determine the balance of power in Asia

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