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WeWork has taken the decision to shelve its initial public offering after struggling to drum up enough investor interest in the multibillion-dollar listing.

The delay is an embarrassing setback for the lossmaking property group, which had planned to price and list shares next week. The offering will now be completed by year-end, according to WeWork’s parent company.

The flotation was met with a chilly reception from institutional investors, with some raising concerns about the influence of co-founder and chief executive Adam Neumann. Advisers for the New York-based company had tested appetite for the IPO at a valuation as low as $15bn, a sharp reduction from the $47bn WeWork attained during its last private fundraising.

The company has nonetheless been under pressure, with Mr Neumann giving advisers at JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs until the end of September to finalise the listing, which was expected to raise between $3bn and $4bn.

Last week, the FT reported that Japan’s SoftBank, its biggest outside shareholder, had urged WeWork to delay its public listing. (FT)

In the news

Trump points to Iran over Saudi oil attack
Donald Trump said Iran appears responsible for a strike against Saudi Arabian oil facilities that halved the kingdom’s production and roiled energy markets. People close to the Saudi government, meanwhile, tell the FT it could take weeks to restore output to its maximum level. In the FT’s view Iran’s provocation could spin into all-out war and Gideon Rachman writes the leaders in this geopolitical drama are all headstrong and prone to taking risks. (FT)

JPMorgan metals traders charged with market manipulation
US prosecutors have charged three JPMorgan metal traders with a “massive, multiyear scheme” to manipulate markets and warned they are continuing to probe the higher echelons of the US’s largest bank. (FT)

GM workers walk out
Nearly 50,000 General Motors workers began a strike on Monday. The walkout, the first in the US auto industry for more than a decade, occurred after talks broke down between GM and the United Auto Workers over pay and healthcare benefits at the company’s US factories. (FT, WXYZ Detroit)

Trump trade moves
Donald Trump announced an “initial” deal on tariff barriers with Japan on Monday, while the chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce cast doubt on the prospects of an interim US-China trade pact. The World Trade Organization will allow the US to target the EU over subsidies to Airbus. (FT, NYT)

UK ‘misleading’ public over no-deal Brexit
The UK has been accused of playing down the disruption a no-deal Brexit could cause to ports, after documents seen by the FT revealed that tens of thousands of vehicles will be deemed “non-compliant”. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s visit to Luxembourg ended in an abandoned press conference and a visibly angry Xavier Bettel, the British prime minister’s host. Back in the UK and the Supreme Court is meeting to decide whether Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament was lawful. (FT)

Elevator makers’ sales pitch
Advent International, Cinven and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority are teaming up to bid for ThyssenKrupp’s lifts business, setting the stage for a multibillion-euro battle. The joint bid that could reach more than $20bn is likely to face competition from Kone, the Finnish elevator maker, and Japan’s Hitachi. (FT)

Hong Kong off the rails
A subway train derailed in Hong Kong during Tuesday morning’s rush hour, the latest blow to the city’s MTR corporation, which is facing an “unprecedented” challenge, its chief executive told the FT, as the company is caught between protesters and Beijing. A private equity investor argues that protesters should focus on realistic goals. (FT)

Bill Gates on inequality
Few figures have been as influential in the worlds of technology or philanthropy as Bill Gates, who sat down with our Moral Money newsletter (sign up here) to discuss inequality and progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. (FT)

The day ahead

Israeli election
Israelis go to the polls for the second time in five months on Tuesday, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking for a record fifth premiership. But this Big Read examines a potential spoiler to Mr Netanyahu’s ambitions. The FT says the rightwing stalwart has raised the stakes in this election with his inflammatory pre-vote ploys. (FT)

Fed’s policy meeting
The Federal Reserve convenes a two-day monetary policy meeting today that is expected to result in a second consecutive quarter point cut to interest rates. The attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure at the weekend adds to the long list of geopolitical uncertainties the US central bank must consider before reaching a decision. This column argues for co-ordinated action among policymakers to revive the global economy. (FT)

Apple in court
Judges in Luxembourg will hear arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday over the European Commission’s allegations that Apple dodged taxes and took €13bn of illegal state aid from Ireland. (FT)

What else we’re reading

SoftBank braced for writedowns
SoftBank’s $97bn Vision Fund has shaken Silicon Valley since 2017, lifting the valuations of 80 companies, including Uber, Slack and ByteDance to new heights. But only two Vision Fund-backed companies are trading above the IPO price, and investors are concerned that SoftBank will be forced to swallow writedowns. (FT)

The hedge fund split
In 1987, three computer programmers launched AHL, a pioneering hedge fund that helped spawn the $300bn financial trend-tracking industry. But after a long period, prolific performance gave way to lean, lossmaking years and managers, including AHL’s own founders, are now divided over whether trend-spotting algorithms remain relevant. (FT)

Amazon’s search algorithm adjustment
The ecommerce company has adjusted its product-search system to prioritise listings that are more profitable for the company — a move, contested internally, that could favour Amazon’s own brand, and comes amid attention from antitrust regulators. (WSJ)

Germany’s green laboratory
In the battle against climate change, Freiburg offers a rare success story: over more than three decades, the Black Forest city has used every lever at its disposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and invest in renewable energy and infrastructure. (FT)

War on misinformation
The Internet Archive, founded in 1996, is best known for the Wayback Machine, a free repository of archived web pages. It’s now focused on another, related mission: combating misinformation but preserving an unalterable record of who said what, when. Meanwhile, WiFi, launched 20 years ago this week, nearly never happened. (FT, Wired)

Business Book of the Year 2019
The shortlist for this year’s Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year award includes reads on data privacy, bias against women and the rise of Koch Industries. The prize will be presented in New York on December 3. (FT)

Inside an art fortress
Yellow warning signs mark the doors of a nondescript warehouse in New York — and a secret free-trade zone. Take a visual tour inside a climate-controlled, biometrics-protected stronghold for fine art. Meanwhile, Banksy’s “Devolved Parliament”, estimated to be worth £1.5m-£2m, will be auctioned next month by Sotheby’s. (NYT, FT)

Video of the day

Charts that Count: a new debt record for companies
Corporate debt issuance has been on the rise in recent years, and demand from investors is spiking. Companies have taken advantage of the situation to issue bonds with low borrowing costs. (FT)



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