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Deutsche Bank picks Christian Sewing as new CEO, replacing John Cryan

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The bank is conducting a global review of the investment bank, known internally as Project Colombo, a person with direct knowledge of the matter has said.

Cryan, the son of a jazz musician, is married into the wealthy Du Pont family of the United States. He was appointed to the helm of Deutsche in 2015 to overhaul the bank after years of rapid growth under investment bankers.

But his tumultuous tenure as CEO highlights many of the bank’s underlying issues.

Early on, Cryan quickly announced thousands of job cuts to trim costs but reversed the bank’s plans to sell its Postbank retail unit after tepid interest from buyers.

Meanwhile, the bank announced earlier this year that it would report its third consecutive annual loss for 2017.

The German government and some of the nation’s most senior politicians criticized Cryan for paying 2.3 billion euros ($2.8 billion) in staff bonuses despite those losses, four times higher than the previous year.

One board member, Kim Hammonds, told leadership at a recent meeting that the bank was “the most dysfunctional company” she had ever worked for, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Over the past weeks, a number of names have surfaced in the media as possible replacements for Cryan. But some analysts wonder whether anyone would be able to do a better job on turning the bank around.

“There has been actually a disciplined execution in a tough environment by this team,” said Peter Nerby, who analyses the bank for Moody’s. “I wonder if anyone really has a better way to get there. It’s not obvious to me what that way would be.”

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Three dead and several wounded after a terror attack in Nice, France

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French policemen stand guard a street after a knife attack in Nice on October 29, 2020.

VALERY HACHE | AFP via Getty Images

A man armed with a knife on Thursday killed three people and wounded several others at a church in the southern French city of Nice, police have confirmed to NBC news.

The attack took place inside the city’s Notre Dame church at around 9:10 a.m. local time, 4:10 ET a.m. The suspect was injured by police and is now in hospital.

A man and a woman inside the church both died after being attacked with a knife, police confirmed to NBC news. The third victim, police said, was a woman who sought refuge in a cafe next to the church, but was followed and killed.

National and local police, as well as bomb squads, were at the scene to ensure no other threat.

Police said the incident was considered to be a terrorist attack. The national Anti-Terrorist Parquet is now officially in charge of the investigation.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi said via Twitter on Thursday that the suspect had been arrested, before adding the city had “paid too heavy a price in the same way as our country in recent years.”

Estrosi said French President Emmanuel Macron would visit the city later this morning.

France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he had chaired a crisis meeting at the Interior Ministry. He said a police operation was in progress and urged people to stay away from the area and follow the instructions.

The attack comes 13 days after French middle school teacher Samuel Paty, 47, was killed in Paris.

The history teacher was decapitated by an 18-year-old after showing his pupils caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The attacker was shot dead by police.

The attack provoked global condemnation, with demonstrators in France taking part in gatherings in support of freedom of speech.

Caricatures of Prophet Muhammad are considered blasphemous by Muslims.

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Dow futures rise more than 200 points after Wall Street worst sell-off in months

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Shares of Japan’s Sony after firm raises annual profit forecast

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A man walks past the logo of Japans Sony displayed at the company’s showroom in Tokyo on October 28, 2020.

KAZUHIRO NOGI | AFP via Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Shares of Sony surged in Tokyo on Thursday, a day after the Japanese electronics giant raised its annual profit forecast.

Sony shares in Japan were up 6.3% in Thursday afternoon trade even though Japan’s broader index, the Nikkei 225, was lower by around 0.3%

On Wednesday, Sony raised its forecast for its annual operating income by 13% to 700 billion yen (approx. $6.7 billion). It came as the firm announced a operating profit of about 317.8 billion yen (around $3.04 billion) for the three months ended Sept. 30.

Jefferies Asia’s Atul Goyal told CNBC on Thursday that he’s “extremely bullish” on Sony. The firm owns the stock and currently has a “buy” rating on Sony, with a price target of 13,230 yen per share — more than 50% higher than where the price currently sits.

… this is one of the best companies that we have seen in our coverage.

Atul Goyal

Managing Director, Jefferies Asia

Sony is set to release its next generation video game console, PlayStation (PS) 5, which would come on the back of the blockbuster success of PlayStation 4.

“It is looking very solid, very strong for PlayStation 5 and the whole cycle that lies ahead of us for the next 5 to 6 years,” Goyal, a managing director at Jefferies Asia, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday. He highlighted Sony’s claims that the company received as many preorders in 12 hours for the PS5 as it did in 12 weeks for the PS4.

“You would hear shortages of PlayStation 5 because there’s more demand than supply,” the analyst said.

It’s not due to supply disruptions as “they have been able to recover from the … supply-side shortages that they were facing early on because most of the assemblies are happening in China and most of the supply chains have recovered almost entirely in China.”

“Demand is so strong for the product that that will keep the news flow that this product is sold out in most places for a while,” Goyal added.

Coronavirus impact

The video game sector has been among the few that have benefited from more people staying at home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. That has raised questions over the sustainability of that bounce in a post-pandemic environment.

“The increase of gaming that we have seen partly is because of stay home, not just working from home, but vacationing from home where people are not traveling, and even the weekends you stay home,” Goyal pointed out. “This increase, part of that will be reverted as and when Covid goes away, and in my base case it doesn’t go away entirely until the end of 2021.”

Still, he said some of these habits that have changed as a result of the pandemic “could last longer.”

“We’re not factoring in (the) next five, six years of Covid-driven earnings increase. What we are factoring is Playstation 5-driven upside, driven by digital sales,” the analyst added.

Looking beyond Sony’s gaming business, which accounts for a sizable chunk of its operating income, Goyal said the firm’s music business is “also spectacular” while its image sensing business is also set to recover.

“All in all, this is one of the best companies that we have seen in our coverage,” he said. “Businesses in these three areas are all duopoly or oligopoly, and Sony’s a leader in all of them, with meaningful growth ahead.”

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