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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Germany To Ban Unvaccinated People From All But Essential Businesses; Omicron Rapidly Becoming Main Variant In South Africa; Grab Makes Biggest Wall Street Debut By Southeast Asian Firm; IOC: Peng Shuai Reconfirmed She Is Safe In Second Video Call; Top U.S. And Russian Diplomats Discuss Ukraine Concerns; Electric Carmaker Polestar To Unveil Three-Year Plan; Volatility Jolts Major Averages; Electric Taxi-Bikes For Africa. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired December 02, 2021 - 09:00   ET



ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Alison Kosik in for Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE. And here's your need to know.

Omicron spread. World leaders plan more restrictions as the variant surges.

Beijing boycott. The Women's Tennis Association suspends tournaments in China over concern for Peng Shuai.

And SPAC Grab. Asia's superapp, Grab, prepares for a $40 billion Nasdaq debut. I will be talking with the president.

It's Thursday. Let's make a move.

Welcome back to FIRST MOVE.

And welcome back to volatility on the markets. What started off as a very promising session on Wall Street, Wednesday, ended up deep in the red. Wild

swings have been par for the course over the last few days, and that will likely continue in the near term with uncertainty over the impact of the

Omicron variant. High inflation and supply chain issues.

President Joe Biden tried to reassure Americans, Wednesday, saying shelves will be stocked for the holiday season. And he's set to outline in the

coming hours the next steps to combat COVID-19 in the winter months. Expect tightening of rules around testing when traveling and a further push for

people to get vaccinated.

Investors remain on edge with futures pointing to a better open for blue chips than tech. Travel-related stocks are the early gainers.

In Europe which had already been struggling with a surge in Delta variant cases even before the new variant was discovered. Concerns over potential

new lockdowns there dominating the picture. The DAX is, the laggard with more restrictions on the way, and more on that in a moment.

In Asia, the session was mixed. The KOSPI had a second strong day in a row, but the Nikkei and the Shanghai composite fell as China struggles to

contain a new COVID outbreak.

Now let's get right to the drivers.

The U.S., India, and Greece have joined the growing list of countries that have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. Dr. Anthony Fauci says the

U.S. patient is fully vaccinated and had recently traveled to South Africa. At least 30 countries and territories have now identified cases of the


In just the last few minutes, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor, Olaf Scholz, announced that Germany will ban unvaccinated people

from accessing all but the most essential businesses to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Fred Pleitgen joins me now.

Fred, this news break now, how is this going to be enforced?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Alison. This is something that really just broke a couple of minutes ago. And

essentially, what businesses are going to have to do is they're going to have to check vaccine certificates for people who come into their stores or

wherever else those businesses might be.

In part, that is already something that is going on in parts of Germany. For instance, in some sports facilities and certain states in this country,

it is already the case that you have to show your vaccine certificate. Also, normally in restaurants as well, those vaccine certificates are very

often checked. So that's something that is going to be the case on a broad scale in all of Germany now.

And the German chancellor even going a step further and saying that in areas where there is a lot of COVID-19, where there are a lot of new daily

infections, that businesses can go a step further and the state governments can go a step further, and not only demand that only vaccinated people can

enter those places, but only vaccinated people who have been tested can -- with a fresh test can access those areas. So, you can really see the

Germans really clamping down, if you will, on unvaccinated people.

There's a flurry of other restrictions as well. For instance, for public gatherings but also for private gatherings, where once again, unvaccinated

people will be limited to an amount of other people that they can have contact with, in those settings. So, the German government really saying

they want people to get their vaccinations.

Of course, one of the things about the situation here in Europe is that Germany has one of the lowest vaccination rates in all of Western Europe.

It has really been struggling to get people to get their jabs.

And has now also -- and this is also something that Angela Merkel announced and her designated successor Olaf Scholz as well. They really want to get

that booster campaign going. They say that their target is to try and get 30 million booster shots administered by the end of this year. So that's a

pretty tall order, but the German government really saying it's going to get very, very serious about enforcing all of those rules and try and make

sure that they come to terms with this latest wave of coronavirus infections which has really hit this country so very hard, Alison.


KOSIK: Yeah. We shall see if these new harsh restrictions actually motivate people to go ahead and get vaccinated.

Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much.

In South Africa, the Omicron variant is rapidly becoming the main coronavirus variety. In a sample of 249 tests from Gauteng province, which

includes Johannesburg, 74 percent of sequencing checks were identified as the new variant.

Eleni Giokos is there for us.

Eleni, great to see you.

I'm curious if you are hearing that -- whether any of these cases where you are, what kind of symptoms they are showing. Are they showing, you know,

stronger symptoms or more mild symptoms with this new variant?

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly what they're trying to ascertain. So, we know that with the genomic sequencing that is occurring

that has verified that of the sample that you allude to, 74 percent is the Omicron variant, whether this has resulted in more severe illness or an

increase in hospitalization rates.

Now, from what we understand from health authorities, and remember, this is still very much in a situation where they're collating data to understand

the variant. That the hospitalization rates in South Africa still very much among the unvaccinated.

The anecdotal evidence that we're seeing right now that it does not cause severe illness for people under the age of 40. But when you look at the

older demographic, that is the big question. The other one is transmissibility. And of course, vaccine efficacy.

Right now, we're seeing evidence that vaccines are still working against the Omicron variant. It's also important to note and we have to look at the

daily infection rates. We have seen a doubling occurring over a week.

Now, the numbers are very low in comparison to what you're seeing in the likes of Europe. We're talking about 8,500 positive cases in the last 24

hours. We're talking about 28 deaths in the last 24 hours. So again, very low levels, but it is anticipated that it will grow further.

The surge that we're seeing is what experts are saying as we head into the fourth wave in South Africa. Gauteng, as you mentioned, seems to be the

epicenter of the outbreak at this point in time.

The earliest identified case, Alison, was on the 8th of November. You're seeing a lot of backtracking in terms of sequencing that's occurring, not

only in South Africa, but many countries around the world. And that's why you're seeing cases that are being identified in many regions around the


The Africa CDC has also come out with a statement today that's saying 20 - Africa as a whole has seen a 20 percent increase in new COVID cases. And

that's mostly being driven by an increase in positive cases in Southern Africa, particularly in South Africa. And this concern that this is being

driven by the Omicron variant. But again, we're talking about data that needs to be collated.

The Africa CDC says that they hope as this data comes through the fall, and we understand more about the Omicron variant, that we'll see a lifting of

these very stringent travel bans that have been implanted against the region. And of course, there's been a lot of resentment towards this from

African leaders, from scientists saying that these travel bans hold absolutely no benefit, and they are discriminatory. And also, Malawi

president called it "afrophobic."

Not to mention that this is going to have an extremely catastrophic impact on many of these economies that were already battling to, you know, emerge

out of the last two years, Alison, where we've seen enormous pain. And you've got to keep this in mind that African countries do not have the

fiscal space, do not have the mandatory resources to be able to pump stimulus into their economies like what we've seen in the U.S. and in

Europe as well.

KOSIK: Yeah. Many scientists saying it's not if, but when we see this new variant actually make its way around the globe. One case already found here

in the United States in San Francisco, California.

Eleni Giokos, thanks very much.

Grab Southeast Asia's so-called superapp making its big market debut here in New York. It comes after a record SPAC merger that values the company at

about $40 billion.

Selina Wang has the details.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For this popular restaurant in Bangkok, the coronavirus pandemic posed a major threat to business. 40

percent of the dine-in customers disappeared.

We were saved by joining delivery services, the owner says. It has covered what we have lost. It has sailed us through this crisis, but with some


The restaurant says most of its customers use Grab, a self-proclaimed superapp based in Singapore. It offers ride hailing, food delivery, digital

payments and financial services.

Grab says its business has grown during the pandemic. Each month, 25 million users make a transaction on the app across eight countries. Founded

as a taxi booking app in 2012 by two Harvard Business School classmates from Malaysia, Grab quickly attracted a bevy, big-league investors.


The founders wanted the company to make money, but also have a positive social impact on the region.

ANTHONY TAN, CEO AND FOUNDER, GRAB: Usually, if you think about it, you know, rich people, they take the money, they put it in a compounding

interest. Today, you give it to the bottom of the pyramid. They are growing it. They're spending it. They're developing it. They're upscaling. And

that's the power of the ability to capture capital, use human capital, and convert it and enable millions. That I think is the power of a gig economy.

WANG (voice-over): But like other ride hailing apps, Grab has faced protests from drivers seeking higher pay. Grab argues its local know-how

provided an edge in building relationships with customers, drivers, and governments. That strategy seems to have paid off.

In 2018, rival Uber quit eight countries in the region. Selling its business to grab in exchange for a stake in the company. Yet it still faces

heavy competition in some markets from Indonesia's Gojek.

Like many venture-backed startups, Grab has yet to turn a profit. When it lists under the symbol Grab on the Nasdaq, the deal will be the biggest so

far to involve a SPAC or special purpose acquisition company.

Under a SPAC deal, a private entity merges with a shell company that is already publicly traded. It's a way to go public without all the regulation

and uncertainty of a traditional IPO. Grab's deal backed by Altimeter Growth valued the company at nearly $40 billion, a huge valuation, built

bit by bit for millions of motorcycle taxi rides and noodle sales across Southeast Asia.

Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.


KOSIK: And joining me now is president of Grab, Ming Maa.

Fantastic to have you with us today.

MING MAA, PRESIDENT, GRAB: Thank you for having me, Alison.

KOSIK: And congratulations on Grab's public debut happening in about 20 minutes. I'm curious how your company's going to use the money raised

today. Grab is receiving $4.5 billion as part of this deal.

MAA: Well, first of all, we're very excited and very honored to be listing today. I think this is the largest U.S. listing for a Southeast Asia

company. And it is an incredible honor for us to be representing the entire region, particularly the tech sector.

In terms of how we'll be using the capital, first of all, we'll be very capital-efficient and very deliberate about capital allocation. But we are

very excited about three main growth areas for the business.

First is to continue growing our deliveries business. So, whenever a consumer is thinking about anything to eat, whether it's a restaurant meal,

groceries to cook at home or just snacks and drinks at night, we want them to think of Grab first.

The second is to continue driving financial inclusion across our entire business. And that's really long build the lines of affordability and

accessibility of financial services for the masses. What this means to us is developing microinsurance products, microlending products and micro

savings products. We're also very excited about the digital banking opportunity and turning banking into something as easy as ordering a ride.

The last area that we're very excited about is to continue developing the infrastructure to support the rise of e-commerce, whether that's through

our on-demand delivery network, the largest and the lowest cost network in the region, or its through our buy now, pay later services.

KOSIK: But you have your challenges. Analysts with Moody's are saying your businesses are susceptible to intense competition, and there are

uncertainties around Grab's ability to achieve profitability at this point. Talk with me about how you overcome this.

MAA: Well, the key to our superapp strategy, and that's how we created resilience throughout the last 18, 24 months. Now if you look at our

markets today, where we have had the blessing to compete with good competitors over the last nine plus years. And I think competition is good

for consumers. But today, we are the only regional superapp across Southeast Asia. And we're also the category leader in all of our three core

segments, from mobility to deliveries and financial services.

That's true, not just across the entire region but also in some of our more competitive markets like Indonesia. And how we really got here was by

really focusing on developing technology, investing into our tech stack, really investing into our shared driver fleet strategy, and really focus

around having the lowest cost delivery network in the region, because we believe that the lowest cost leadership is what drives category and market


KOSIK: Fintech, obviously a challenging area for your business with Moody saying that is really a drag on your profitability, kind of eating - eating

your cash. How are you going to grow that area of the business?


MAA: Well, first of all, I think profitability and growth are never mutually exclusive. In fact, if you look at our Q3 now, we have had three

record - three consecutive quarters of record GDP growth, while making very good strides reaching profitability.

In fact, in our most mature segments, ridesharing, we have been -- adjusted segments in a profitable since Q4 2019. We maintained that stands

throughout all of COVID. Our deliveries business is obviously much younger, three years. But we're now break even in a majority of our markets, and

financial services while also quite young, it's a key enabler for our superapp ecosystem. It's what drives the transactions across our platform,

and it's ultimately -- it will follow the same path as our other segments.

KOSIK: Any - any plans to expand into the United States?

MAA: We are completely focused around Southeast Asia and the opportunity here. The region is one of the most attractive digital ecosystems and

market opportunities on a global scale. Penetration rates are tiny compared to the similar opportunities in the U.S. or China. And we're just going to

stay very laser focused around Southeast Asia and continue to drive our superapp strategy and the digital opportunities in the region.

KOSIK: You know, a lot of companies, they haven't been able to do what you do. They haven't been as successful. What is it about what Grab does to

bring people into the formal economy?

MAA: I think it all starts with our mission. Grab was founded as a company focused around a double bottom line. And what that means to us is

delivering financial profits as well as true social impact. And this is what has really been the ethos of the company from day one. It's what

allows us to partner with the governments and the regulators in each of our countries. And really - really around nation-building and creating

opportunities to uplift informal workers into the formal economy.

KOSIK: OK. Ming Maa, president of Grab. Congratulations again on your public debut today. And thanks for your time.

MAA: Thank you so much.

KOSIK: Still to come on FIRST MOVE.

Fueling a cleaner future. The CEO of a Rwandan electric bike startup on his plan to change the way Africa travels.

And investing in the age of inflation. Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of the world's biggest hedge fund gives us his advice.



KOSIK: And these are the stories making headlines around the world.

The International Olympic Committee says that it held a second video call Wednesday with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, and that she reiterated that

she's safe.

Peng vanished from public view for more than two weeks after publicly accusing China's former vice premier of coercing her into sex three years


CNN's David Culver joins us live now from Beijing.

David, news about this second call comes one day after the Women's Tennis Association suspended all tournaments in China.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that was a huge move, Alison. When you think certainly from first, a business perspective. I mean, you're talking

about a deal that is estimated to be about a billion dollars over 10 years. And then if you just think from a geopolitical perspective to stand up

against China as many are seeing this to be perceived as, well, it's significant, especially since most companies don't go that far. Certainly,

the NBA didn't want to venture into that. So, the WTA, the Women's Tennis Association under its chairman and CEO Steve Simon doing what many believe

no one really had the confidence to do, and that is to challenge China on this.

For its part, China is not backing down. In fact, we have seen a new rush of really attacks, I should say, towards the U.S., towards the WTA in

particular, saying that they're politicizing this, saying that this is a representation of desires to really put the Chinese people in a containment

measure. That's how it's often seen. That anything that's done from the west is to contain China. And so, they're very negative in how they're

perceiving this.

What's also rather interesting, Alison, is you're not going to find any news of this situation here in China domestically, but you are seeing state

media report about it on their western media feeds. So, they have Twitter. They have Facebook. And that's where they're putting this information out.

It's also worth noting is that folks here while it's not widely talked about, there are certain attempts it seems to discuss this. It even shows

support for Peng Shuai. And we're seeing that on other threads that may be somewhat related to tennis or a tennis player's retirement for example.

So, they'll post that on Weibo, the Chinese social media site. And then you'll see as a part of that, under the comment section, people weighing

in, and having conversations about Peng Shuai. They don't last long. They're quickly censored, scrubbed clean, and they'll have to move to

another form to try to have that conversation. But it shows there is an attempt to try to continue on with this dialogue and push forward some sort

of support in what's now been taken place here.

And that's really going to likely continue if the WTA continues to press forward with this, which it seems that they're determined to do. I mean the

suspension of all tournaments for the WTA is going to have ramifications here. Now, certainly right now, it's happening amidst COVID-19 measures.

And so, most everything of public gatherings has been shut down or rescheduled or postponed, but they're certainly looking long-term because

next year, the WTA finals expected to overturn to Shenzhen in Southern China. These are events that get a lot of attention here, hold a lot of

pride. And now of course, will not be taking place should this suspension stay in place.

And it seems the WTA is also challenging what the IOC is saying, the International Olympic Committee saying that they had another video call

with Peng Shuai yesterday. They say they offered wide-ranging support and that they're confident that she's at least being taken care of. She's in a

comfortable situation. And that they'll continue the dialogue and hope to be with her in-person when you have the Olympics here in February. So, they

plan to be here of course, early next year as part of that.

All of this though is not settling well back really in the tennis world. You have a lot of folks who are stepping up in support of the WTA, and

their bold move. You have people like Chris Evert, you have Billie Jean King, you have Novak Djokovic. And so, big names are weighing in, but China

for its part not backing down. And really, Alison, it seems that they're going to stay this course for the near future.

KOSIK: Yeah. And I'm sure you'll stay on top of this story.

David Culver in Beijing, thanks so much.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday amid rising concern in NATO over Russian troop

movements near the border with Ukraine. It came shortly after Blinken met Ukraine's foreign minister at a summit in Sweden. Blinken said the U.S. and

NATO remain committed to Ukraine's territorial integrity.


CNN's Matthew Chance is in Ukraine and has been following all of these diplomatic exchanges.

So, I'm curious what came out of this meeting. Did Secretary Blinken deliver a message to get the Russians to stand down?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alison, well I think, you know, what we know in terms of the outcome of this meeting as

far as the statements that have been released by the -- from the State Department side, is that I think they phrased it no clear path has been set

out to resolve this issue at yet. But they promised that they would remain in close diplomatic contact to try and, you know, kind of resolve this, and

to try and get some solution that would avert a full-scale military crisis in this region.

I certainly know that going into that meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was you

know pretty strident in what he wanted from the U.S. side and from the side of the U.S. allies in terms of assurances about Russian security.

Take a listen to what Sergey Lavrov had to say.


SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): -- considering the Ukrainian issue.

The fact that everyone is talking about the escalation of tensions in Europe on the border between Russia and Ukraine -- well, you know very well

how we treat this. We, as President Putin stated, do not want any conflicts, but if our NATO partners have stated that no one has a right to

dictate to a country that would like to join NATO whether it can do or not, we can say that every country is able to define its own interests to

guarantee their security.


CHANCE: Alison, thanks very much.

The - the Ukrainian position on the -- what the Russians have done is they have called for NATO not to be expanded any further east towards their

borders. They're very concerned about the military challenge that is posed by the U.S. and NATO allies putting, you know, offensive weapons systems

into Ukraine as well. That represents a military threat to them.

And so, you know, for Moscow, it's become an increasingly you know thick red line that's not to be crossed and it's one of the reasons perhaps why

there is so much saber-rattling going on. Now, as you heard, the Ukrainian position on that is that look, you know, when it comes to NATO expansion,

Russia doesn't have a voice. If Ukraine wants to have negotiations about entering Ukraine, that's Ukraine's sovereign interest. And in the words of

the Ukrainian foreign minister yesterday I think, he said that any calls or demands by Russia for a limit to be put on that is illegitimate. Alison?

KOSIK: OK. Thanks for all of that, great context.

Matthew Chance live for us in Kyiv. Thank you.

And you're watching FIRST MOVE. The market open is next.



KOSIK: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. I'm Alison Kosik.

The opening bell has rung, and trading on Wall Street has begun.

This is how the markets are doing. Positive sentiment is waning though, and uncertainty -- amid uncertainty caused by the Omicron variant. In the last

hour, weekly jobless claim numbers came in broadly in mind with expectations. 222,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment

insurance. That's slightly higher than the previous week's record low. Crucial data coming on Friday with the monthly new job numbers giving a

check on the state of the U.S. economic recovery.

Let's look at some of the biggest movers at the open. Shares in the cloud data company still jumping after its results beat expectations. Boeing is

surging after China's aviation regulator cleared the Boeing 737 MAX to return to flying. And Apple is down on reports, demand for the iPhone 13 is


EV maker Polestar gearing up to unveil its 3-year business plan. The car maker founded by Volvo and China's Geely says Tesla is its only rival as an

EV maker with mass production and global reach. These next three years will be key to proving that case. Polestar is set to go public via a SPAC deal

that values it at $20 billion. It's also set to launch three new EVs before 2025.

And joining me now is Thomas Ingenlath. He is the CEO of Polestar.

Great to have you on the show today.

THOMAS INGENLATH, CEO, POLESTAR: Good morning. Nice to be here.

KOSIK: Good morning, Thomas. So, this - this week you're in New York City, and right behind you, you're showing off the Precept EV, the concept car,

but something tells me there's much more to this road show that you are on more than just the concept car's debut.

INGENLATH: Yeah, indeed. And when you say this show car standing here, it was a show car a year ago. Since then, we actually made it part of our

product portfolio. And the Polestar Precept will be the Polestar 5 that we will roll out in 2024. Until then, two other cars in between, and that

means really in the next three years, three new cars coming out year after year. So, a big, nice product expansion ahead of us.

KOSIK: Yeah. And - and, you know, to add to your product expansion, there are plans for Polestar, as I said to go public via SPAC being listed on the

Nasdaq under the symbol PSNY. Talk with me a bit about how this combination will, you know, propel Polestar forward. Does this combination pave the way

for Polestar to even become the next Tesla? Is that what you want?

INGENLATH: Well, our plan is obviously to be that independent, strong company that we have in mind for Polestar. And finding now this SPAC merger

together was a very, very solid experience. Gores Guggenheim makes of course a big, big step for us. On one hand for the funding to really give

us access to capture the market, our expansion plan of course, needs that access. On the other hand, as well, when it means to growing up as a

company, and being recognized as somebody who is a serious player in a game.

KOSIK: The EV space is certainly -- it's very crowded. Plus, Polestar is not exactly a household name at least here in the U.S. So, along with that,

the competition is fierce.


What are Polestar's plans to create more brand awareness?

INGENLATH: Yeah. Our footprint here in the U.S. is of course, of importance. We've made a big, big step in `21 now expanding from four

spaces, locations all the way up to 25 by the end of this year. This is of course, the foundation to build brand awareness here.

But let's face it. We are a company that is in three - in the three big regions, in Asia, in Europe and in the U.S. Delivering 29,000 cars already

this year. So, we are a company that's up and running, and that volume will grow over the years. But we've proved that delivering to customers, having

satisfied customers, having a great product out in a market is something that we don't have in the plans. It's actually something that is happening

here right now.

KOSIK: Right, right. Now I know that you attended the COP26 climate conference, and when you were there, you were quoted as saying that car

companies are still talking about selling petrol and diesel cars until 2040. Do you think part of that struggle with, you know, regular car

manufacturers, is that there's such a high price point on these EVs that it winds up pricing out just so many people? Like, your EVs are for the

premium luxury market. It makes it difficult, let's just say for everyday Americans to be able to afford an EV.

INGENLATH: The introduction of this path to zero emissions, of course, go through the premium and the luxury market. This is where all high-tech like

air bags, and safety belts, all of that happen that way. And today, already the cost of a combustion engine car, if you are really honest about what it

means in CO2 is already today higher than for an electric car. So, I think we just have to face reality. And I think the market will prove anyway a

much, much faster transition towards electrification.

KOSIK: OK. Well, your cars look amazing. I can't wait to see them on the road and maybe drive one myself one day.

And Thomas Ingenlath, CEO of Polestar. Thanks very much.

INGENLATH: Thank you. Thanks for the compliment.

KOSIK: You got it.

Coming up on FIRST MOVE.

Omicron fuels market volatility as investors struggle to assess the potential impact of the new variant. We've got some advice for you from

billionaire Ray Dalio, next.



KOSIK: Welcome back. We've seen volatility all week on Wall Street, but despite the swings, billionaire investor Ray Dalio says inflation is

killing investors who sit on the sidelines holding cash. It's part of his new book called "The Changing World." Take a listen.


RAY DALIO, CO-FOUNDER, BRIDGEWATER ASSOCIATES: The things about it as an investor at this stage is to understand, for example, the consequences of

money printing. OK? You don't get richer because of money printing, it produces inflation, and it moves through the system to change asset prices

in a certain way. So, I explain how that works.

And so, for example, you don't want cash. You don't want -- people think that the safest investment is to hold money in cash. It is the worst

investment because you lose constantly to inflation, something like three, four or five percent a year would be the tax, and your money will not be

worth it.

So, to be able to know how to develop a balanced portfolio, so not in any one thing, but to achieve balance and diversification is a very, very

important thing. So as an investor, I think -- so there's many things that are in the book about how to do those kinds of things.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Let's just for a pause on that, if we may.

DALIO: Sure.

QUEST: And talk about that, because constantly, we are told, as you as you said, diversification. Diversification in portfolios and investment assets.

Now, for somebody who is a large-scale investor like yourself, that has a variety -- that has access to enormous options, opportunities in different

areas, but most of our viewers will say -- will be looking and saying, all right, Ray Dalio, tell me what does it mean? I've got a pension fund. I've

got a bit of money in the bank. I've got a house, a car, and a bit of savings. What do you mean for somebody like me to diversify?

DALIO: Well, if you watch the market every day, that you will see -- notice what goes up and what goes down and the relationship between them. For

example, you'll notice that when the pandemic comes along, and the stock market goes down, that the bond market goes up, and that the gold changes

in this way. Just watch how those movements occur relative to each other, and that gives you a sense of how that balance is going to occur.

There is a mistake of a lot of people to think that one asset class is a better than another asset class and put all your money in that. Markets, if

one asset class was better than another asset class, then everybody would make a lot of money because all you do is go shortly at one that's less

good, and you go long on the other.

Markets have a way of handicapping. It's like horses at a horse race. You know, the favorite to win is not going -- the bet on the favorite to win

won't improve your odds any better than they are on the least likely to win because the odds get changed.

QUEST: Right, right.

DALIO: And so, to know that and to be able to achieve that balance is an important thing, and I won't be able to cover it, and I probably already

took too long.

QUEST: On that point, are you optimistic at the moment? Is there cause for optimism?

As the Omicron came along, everybody is walking around, and I'm not asking about Omicron per se, but everybody is walking around with an air of the

sky is falling or worse. This is never going to end. We've got to chase for yield in the market, even at low interest rates, even if they go up. Is

there room for optimism?

DALIO: I would say that if people understand that and that dynamic, there is plenty of room for optimism. But it is really you need to understand

those lessons of history and see those patterns and understand what we're doing over and over again.

And then related to that, there -- although, those first four that I mentioned are sources of great concern, but man's adaptability and

technology and creativity. And so, if man can reflect on, how do we want to be with each other, and how do I want to take care of my finances in a way.

The capacity certainly exists.


KOSIK: Great discussion there. That was Ray Dalio speaking with Richard Quest. Dalio's new book is called "The Changing World Order."

Coming up after the break, our startup star, replacing petrol engines with electric. One motorbike at a time. Ampersand's mission to bring a green

energy revolution to Africa.



KOSIK: Let's take another look at the U.S. markets. And we are seeing some recovery from Wednesday's falls in the early trading here. The Dow is

seeing the biggest gains with Boeing, consumer spending and retail staples among the pace setters here.

Oil prices. They're following after OPEC+ agreed to go ahead with plans to increase crude oil output in January.

Taxi motorcycles remain a great way to get around in Africa. And in Rwanda, drivers are being offered a clean energy alternative to noisy, polluting

petrol engines. Kigali based startup Ampersand says their electric bikes emit 75 percent less carbon than traditional motorcycles with no tail pipe


Drivers pay about $37 a week for a rent to own contract with swappable batteries costing about 25 percent less than fuel.

Julia asked the founder and CEO to explain how it works on the ground.


JOSH WHALE, FOUNDER AND CEO, AMPERSAND USA: So, we exist to serve the large population of motorbike taxis that are operating in Africa. And the way

that we do that is with a network of battery swap stations that is spread across the city. And so, we build battery packs specifically to be cost

competitive with fuel, and then we rent, these battery packs to these motorbike taxi drivers from this network of swap stations. And that solves

two problems. One is the high upfront cost of the battery, especially a battery that's robust enough to serve these drivers. It also means that

they don't have to wait around recharging, spending hours a day when they should be working.

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN ANCHOR: What about maintenance costs and insurance and things? Can they get that with you as well?

WHALE: Yes. So, we have a package that we offer for maintenance. It usually costs about 20 percent less than the typical cost of maintenance. I mean,

one thing is that the driver is normally with a petrol bike having to do an oil change every one or two weeks. It ends up costing about $200 a year.

You just don't need that with an electric motorbike, but the biggest savings are definitely from the fuel cost.

We're able to sell a motorbike also cheaper than a conventional petrol motorbike. And not only that but the motorbike itself actually has more

power than a petrol motorbike, and that comes from separating our - that cost of the battery pack from the cost of the motorbike. So, basically

making the battery cost not a hard way cost. Let's say, included in the cost when you buy at Tesla or Rivian. It's a separate cost and becomes an

energy cost or fuel cost. Think of it a bit like an electric gas bottle that you just swap out and exchange.

CHATTERLEY: OK. So, who's making the bikes, and who's making the batteries? I guess for you in particular, and we can talk about scaling up, but other

supply chain risks, where is all this coming from?

WHALE: So, the -- there's a few different pieces, and because we were setting this up more or less from scratch, we had to hit all ecosystem to



The motorcycles we still build ourselves, we use components that we source from China. And I try to use as much off the shelf as possible, but there

are changes that we have had to make.

In time, what we actually hope to do is work with the existing big motorcycle manufacturers from India and from Japan who dominated the market

here in Africa. And focus ourselves on the energy network which we really see as a strong suit, and the real value.

And so, we build the battery packs ourselves here in Rwanda. We didn't actually originally set out to build the battery packs. We hope we could

also get those off the shelf, but what we soon discovered was that there aren't really a lot of battery packs, and they aren't built to be robust,

to be used in a B2B applications, or 150 kilometers a day, day in, day out. And also, so that the cost per charge ends up being cheaper than the cost

of fuel, even when you add on the cost of electricity and the charging infrastructure.


WHALE: So, that's why we ended up having to go and build a battery pack ourselves and that's what we've actually succeeded in doing.


KOSIK: At the moment, Ampersand is a small-scale operation, but Josh says they're well-funded and have major growth ambitions into the wider

continent. Take a listen.


WHALE: We currently have just 60 motorbikes on the road, been operating now -- some of them, about 20 of them for over two years though, day in, day

out. 2 million kilometers traveled well over 50,000 battery swaps performed and we have 8,000 drivers on our waiting list ready to take a bike. So,

people want it too. It works, and the word of mouth has really gotten around. We haven't done any advertising for that either.

What we're looking ahead to, we're expanding now into Kenya, so to a second market, from here at home based in Rwanda. There are about 5 million

motorbike taxis across East Africa. We're looking at about 2030 to see all of them electrified, which would take about $3 billion in working capital,

and that's far less than the $8 billion a year that these drivers will spend on fuel. For shorter term, we're looking at about 3,000 motorbikes in

service by the end of next year to early in 2023.

CHATTERLEY: 5 million motorbikes on the roads of East Africa. That gives you a sense of the numbers here. Government - government support clearly

vital, and what more do you need? Because this is a cash-intensive business as I think you've alluded to as well, and you're doing this all yourself at

the moment.

WHALE: Yeah. So, we already had an investment from TotalEnergies. So, Africa's largest fuel station operator which is - which is really valuable

in scaling this up rapidly. We also have strong venture capital investment from fintech from the Bay Area called Ecosystem Integrity Fund.

We're raising a Series B next year, hoping to get into the tens of millions for that one. But there is a capital need for sure, but it pales in

comparison to the market opportunity, the scale of the market. And the need to electrify the global south and not just the global north.


WHALE: And actually, I would think that it's the global south, and it's particularly this two and three-wheel vehicle segment that is actually the

lowest hanging fruit when it comes to really pushing past that crucial magic line where an electric vehicle just makes pure economic sense now

from day one on a really large scale.


KOSIK: In the last part of the interview, Josh is keen to point out the cost savings to drivers and how that's lifting the quality of life for

their families.


WHALE: Yes. So, Rikondo (ph) was actually our very first driver. He's been on an electric motorbike now for two years. Just last week, he actually

joined our team, and he does the quality control for the next generation of vehicles which we're building right now. We're building another 500

motorbikes in our factory here in Kigali right now.

Rikondo's (ph) in the image there, you've got the -- you can see he's there with his family. He was able to put the roof on their house. He was able to

pay for his floors and put another building on the same plot, buy some goats and chickens. I mean, it really makes -- it has made a huge

difference. He tells us for his life, and it really hits home.

I mean, the savings for drivers like Rikondo (ph) are enormous because they spend so much money every year on fuel. Rikondo (ph) before would spend

about $1,700 a year buying fuel. That's more than the cost of a new motorbike, and that's about three times more than his take-home pay.


So, for him, just saving 25, 30 percent on fuel means greatly, you know, it's hugely increasing his take-home income.


KOSIK: And finally, on FIRST MOVE.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in New York City.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one.


KOSIK: It is so pretty. The holiday season has begun with the lighting of the Christmas at Rockefeller Center. The 79-foot-tall Norway spruce is

decorated with 50,000 LED lights and a Christmas star. If you want to see it by the way, it's on display until January 2nd.

President Biden will light the national tree in Washington D.C. at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

That's it for the show. Thanks for joining us. Be sure to connect with me on Instagram and Twitter @alisonkosik.

"CONNECT THE WORLD WITH BECKY ANDERSON" is next. I'll see you soon.