A Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco) logo sits on an electronic display. (Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg)

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Saudi Aramco gets huge demand for its debut international bond, BlackRock aims to become one of China’s leading asset managers, and U.S. stocks rise for an eighth day. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about.

Amazing Aramco 

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has received $75 billion in orders for its debut bond sale, kickstarting an offering with yields likely to fall in line or below Saudi Arabia’s sovereign debt. It’s rare for bonds of a state-owned company to yield less than the sovereign, and the demand reflects intense investor appetite for high-quality paper. The early success in selling the bonds marks a turnaround after investors briefly shunned the kingdom last year following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. As part of its debut in the global debt market, Aramco has offered bonds in six portions, from three to 30 years, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Stocks Take Aim at Record

Asian stocks looked set to edge higher at the open after U.S. shares clocked an eighth day of gains to trade within 1.2 percent of their September record. The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2 percent. Bucking the trend, the Dow lost the most in two weeks.  Shares of General Electric Co. plunged the most in the S&P 500 after a JPMorgan analyst recommended selling the company’s stock, damping enthusiasm for a nascent turnaround. The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.2 percent as German equities retreated for the first time in eight sessions amid losses in BMW AG, which fell after saying it’s likely to take a charge exceeding 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

BlackRock’s China Ambitions

BlackRock Inc. Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink  said he’s seeking to make the firm one of China’s leading asset managers as it expands outside the U.S. “In China, which is one of the largest future growth opportunities for BlackRock, we are focused on building an onshore presence,” Fink said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders. The CEO said Asia is expected to drive 50 percent of the organic growth in assets under management for the industry over the next five years, largely driven by China. Fink focused in the letter on how his firm, which oversees about $6 trillion, is becoming increasingly local and investing in high-growth markets around the world.

No to No-Deal Brexit  

The European Union is zeroing in on its offer to the U.K. on the length of a Brexit delay. After several days of talks between diplomats of the EU’s 27 remaining governments, a compromise between France, which is very skeptical about extending Britain’s membership beyond April 12, and governments that think the U.K. should be given an extra year is beginning to emerge, four officials familiar with the matter said. It is now likely that the offer to the U.K. on its Brexit delay will fall somewhere between June 30, 2019, and April 1, 2020, they said. This comes as Theresa May is set to hold ``technical talks’’ with the opposition Labour Party in an attempt to find a new Brexit compromise. 

Tesla Cuts 

Tesla Inc. followed a disappointing deliveries report by cutting another swath of sales staff across the country, as the electric-car maker continues to pare back personnel and shift its ordering process online. The company dismissed several dozen sales team members on Thursday in Chicago; Brooklyn, New York; and Tampa, Florida; according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the details were private. The latest round of staff reductions are part of the retail retrenchment Tesla announced in February. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has said the decision to close some showrooms and embrace an online-only ordering model is designed to save money as the company ramps up production of cheaper Model 3 sedans and prepares to launch new models

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