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TOP 5 STOCKS TO WATCH OUT TODAY 20 JANUARY 2021

20-Jan
16:08 IST

1.KIA CORP- South Korean automaker Kia Corp said on Wednesday it’s reviewing cooperation on self-driving electric cars with multiple foreign firms, making no mention of a report linking it to a project with tech giant Apple Inc.

Kia’s comment, issued in a regulatory filing as its shares surged nearly 20% in Seoul, came after domestic online publication Edaily reported late on Tuesday that Kia’s parent, Hyundai Motor Group, had decided Kia would be in charge of proposed cooperation with Apple on electric cars. The report cited unnamed industry sources.

Hyundai Motor declined to comment. Apple was not immediately available for comment outside of U.S. business hours.

2.EBay :- EBay Inc said on Tuesday it has started a process to explore a range of strategic alternatives for its South Korean business, which includes Gmarket, one of the largest online marketplaces in the country.

The Korea Economic Daily, a Seoul-based newspaper, reported in March last year that the e-commerce firm was looking to sell its South Korean unit in a deal that could fetch nearly $5 billion.

3.ZOOM:- Zoom Video Communications Inc said on Tuesday it had resolved an issue that was preventing some users in Europe from accessing its desktop and mobile apps.

The issue, however, did not affect the access to the platform through a web browser,The popularity of video conferencing platforms such as Zoom has skyrocketed during the pandemic as people rely on such tools in the absence of in-person meetings at work or to stay in touch with family and friends.

4. PINTEREST:-Ankara has imposed advertising bans on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest after they failed to appoint local representatives in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions published on Tuesday.

Under the law, which critics say stifles dissent, social media companies that do not appoint such representatives are liable for a series of penalties, including the latest move by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

The law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past. It has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media.

The latest decisions in the country’s Official Gazette said the advertising bans went into effect from Tuesday. Twitter, its live-streaming app Periscope, and image sharing app Pinterest were not immediately available to comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth would be cut by 50% in April and by 90% in May. Twitter said last month it would shut down Periscope by March due to declining usage.

 5.LOGITECH:- Logitech International Chief Executive Bracken Darrell’s recent sale of $4.2 million of stock was due to the upcoming expiry of share options and should not be taken as any pessimism about the computer peripherals maker’s future, he said on Tuesday.

“It says nothing about how optimistic I am,” Darrell told Reuters. “I am super optimistic, and I have every intention to be here as long as they let me,” he said after Logitech reported an 85% surge in third-quarter sales and raised its guidance for the third time during its 2021 business year.

Darrell said following the record results, he would be surprised if Logitech did not raise its dividend from the 0.80 Swiss francs it paid out for 2020, although this was a matter for the board to decide.

14-Jan
18:42 IST

1.Airbnb:- Airbnb has been canceling home-sharing reservations in the Washington D.C. area for the week of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after law enforcement warned of a threat from armed militias, the rental platform said on Wednesday.

Airbnb said it made the decision after consulting local and federal officials and after a number of hosts worried about potential attacks sought to cancel bookings.

“We are aware of reports emerging yesterday afternoon regarding armed militias and known hate groups that are attempting to travel and disrupt the Inauguration,” Airbnb said.

The company did not comment on specific instances and said it did not see evidence on its platform of guests planning protests and attacks.

Critics of last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol have asked hotels to cancel bookings during inauguration week to prevent further attacks, but major hotel chains Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and Marriott International said they planned to uphold existing reservations.

2. Google  :Australia urged Google on Thursday to “focus on paying for original content, not blocking it” after the internet giant said it was running tests that limit access to domestic news content, deepening a rift between the tech giant and the government.

After the Alphabet Inc owned search engine provider said it was conducting experiments to determine the value of its service to Australian news outlets, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg accused it of “blocking” users when it should be paying for the content.

“The digital giants should focus on paying for original content, not blocking it,” Frydenberg told reporters, referring to Google and social media behemoth Facebook Inc .

The companies should “pay traditional news media businesses a fair sum of money for those news media businesses generating original content”, he added.

The spat shows the strong resistance by the so-called Big Tech firms to laws which will force them to negotiate with Australian news outlets over payment for the content which appears on their platforms.

3.Amazon:-Parler, a social media outlet favored by some supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, urged a court Wednesday to order Amazon.com Inc to put it back online.

Amazon had shut down Parler following the Jan. 6 riot by Trump supporters at the Capitol aimed at preventing Democrat Joe Biden from becoming president. Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Jan. 11, accusing it of making an illegal decision to shut it down to benefit Twitter Inc .In its filing, Parler argued that Amazon Web Services breached its contract by cutting it off. Amazon earlier had said it had warned Parler about ugly and threatening language on its site, citing posts with vile language used to describe former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as postings such as “the only good democrat is a dead one. Kill’em all.”

4. Paypal :-PayPal Holding Inc has become the first foreign operator with 100% control of a payment platform in China, according to Chinese government data, as the U.S. fintech giant eyes a bigger foothold in a booming market for online payments.

PayPal acquired the 30% stake it doesn’t already own in China’s GoPay, formally known as Guofubao Information Technology Co., on Dec. 31, 2020, according to shareholder data from the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.

Financial details weren’t disclosed in the data. The stake purchase came a year after PayPal bought a 70% stake in GoPay for an undisclosed amount,then becoming the first foreign company licensed to provide online payment services in China.

 5.Uber:-Uber Technologies Inc on Wednesday appealed a $59 million fine by a California regulator in a dispute over whether the company should share detailed information on sexual assault and harassment claims reported on its ride-hailing platform.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) fined Uber in December after the company refused to share the information, including full names and contact information, arguing that doing so would violate victims’ rights to privacy.

On Monday, an anti-sexual abuse group also appealed the decision and supported Uber’s “transparency and commitment to protecting survivors.”

13-Jan
16:44 IST

1.INTEL:- The head of Intel Corp’s self-driving car subsidiary said on Tuesday the company wants to shift toward using its own radar-based technology and use a single lidar sensor per vehicle by 2025 in a bid to lower the cost of autonomous driving.

Mobileye Has taken a different strategy from many of its self-driving car competitors, with a current camera-based system that helps cars with adaptive cruise control and lane change assistance. Those systems are on the road today and are gathering data to help Mobileye map the roads in new cities.

For more advanced systems, the company plans to add both radar sensors, which use radio waves to detect distance from objects, and lidar, a laser-based system that helps self-driving vehicles gain a three-dimensional view of the road. For a planned fleet of so-called robotaxis, which are commercial vehicles meant to ferry around passengers, the company is tapping sensors from Luminar Technologies Inc.

In a presentation a the Consumer Electronics Show, Chief Executive Amnon Shashua said on Tuesday that Mobileye’s robotaxis will use multiple Luminar units to gain 360-degree lidar, radar and camera coverage all around the vehicle. The robotaxis rolling out in at least eight cities starting in 2022 will each have four Luminar units, Shashua said in a subsequent question and answer session.

2. HUAWEI  :-Lawyers for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou argued in a court on Tuesday to let her leave home without the security detail that was a condition of her bail since she was released after her December 2018 arrest.

Meng’s husband, Liu Xiaozong, gave an affidavit citing the negative impacts his wife’s bail conditions have had on her and their family.

Meng, 48, was detained at the Vancouver International Airport two years ago by Canadian authorities acting on a U.S. arrest warrant. She faces charges in the United States of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC bank about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.

She has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.

“Allowing her to leave without her being in a vehicle or followed by Lionsgate Management (the security company) is the essence of our application,” defense lawyer Bill Smart said.

Beijing detained two Canadians soon after Meng’s arrest and has held them in prison for over two years, permitting them to see diplomatic representatives only rarely and subjecting them to interrogations.

Meng has been under house arrest after being released from jail on a C$10 million ($7.9 million) bail. She is permitted to leave home between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and pays for a round-the-clock security detail and wears a GPS tracking anklet.

3.GENERAL MOTORS:-General Motors on Tuesday unveiled its Cadillac flying car and electric shuttle concepts in a virtual presentation at the annual CES show.

Cadillac also is working on a battery-powered luxury two-seater, said GM design chief Mike Simcoe, as part of GM Chief Executive Mary Barra’s keynote presentation.

A senior GM executive described the concept as “reimagining the future of personal transportation”.

The single-passenger Cadillac – technically, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone – will be able to travel from urban rooftop to urban rooftop at speeds up to 55 miles per hour.

It is fully fully autonomous and all-electric, with a 90kW motor, a GM Ultium battery pack and an ultra-lightweight body with four pairs of rotors.

The flying Cadillac was presented in a video as part of a virtual keynote presentation by Chief Executive Mary Barra, along with a family-friendly Cadillac electric shuttle.

Barra last year revealed the automaker was exploring such alternative transportation modes as aerial taxis.

4. GOOGLE :-Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump’s channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters.

Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, DC.

Trump’s channel is now prevented from uploading new videos or live streams for a minimum of seven days, which may be extended, Youtube said in a statement.

Supporters of Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, trying to halt the certification by Congress of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win.

Trump, who has challenged the validity of Biden’s victory without producing evidence, initially praised his supporters but later condemned the violence.

 5.VISA:-Visa and financial technology company Plaid said on Tuesday that they would terminate their $5.3 billion merger agreement following a U.S. government lawsuit aimed at stopping the proposed transaction on antitrust grounds.

The U.S. Justice Department had sued to stop the deal in November, saying that Visa was a “a monopolist in online debit transactions” and that the proposed acquisition “would eliminate a nascent competitive threat” to that monopoly.

The deal, which was proposed in January 2020, was scrapped to avoid protracted litigation, said Al Kelly, chairman and CEO of Visa Inc..

“We are confident we would have prevailed in court as Plaid’s capabilities are complementary to Visa’s, not competitive,” he added.

Visa said in January it had agreed to buy the privately held startup Plaid in a $5.3 billion deal aimed at boosting the payments giant’s access to the booming financial technology sector.

12-Jan
17:44 IST

1.AMAZON:–  Amazon.com Inc on Monday said it was working to remove some QAnon products from its online marketplace, citing policies that prohibit offensive items or other inappropriate content.

The world’s largest online retailer drew scrutiny for having apparel with QAnon insignia and related books up for sale days after QAnon followers joined last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol, which left five people dead.

QAnon backers have pushed conspiracies on social media based on web postings from the anonymous “Q,” citing insider knowledge of U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. These include the baseless claim that Trump secretly is fighting a cabal of child-sex predators, among them prominent Democrats and figures in Hollywood.

2.INTEL  :-Intel Corp said on Monday it would ramp up the production of a new data center chip in the first quarter and that a new generation of chipmaking technology will become a key part of its output this year.

Intel, the biggest maker of central processor chips for both PCs and for the data center servers that power the internet, has struggled with delays in ramping up its current 10-nanometer semiconductor manufacturing process and its next-generation 7-nanometer process. The delays have allowed rivals such as Advanced Micro Devices Inc to gain market share.

3.NOKIA:-  Telecoms operator Tele2 will partner with Finland’s Nokia for the deployment of its 5G core network in Sweden and the Baltics, it said on Monday.

The Swedish company said that the new core infrastructure will support both 4G and 5G connectivity, allowing higherspeeds and lower latencies.

Sweden, home to Nokia’s rival Ericsson, said in October it would ban China’s Huawei and ZTE from its 5G rollout due to security risks.

European countries have been tightening controls on Chinese firms building 5G networks following pressure from Washington, which alleges Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied being a national security risk.

4.PAYPAL :PayPal Holdings Inc said on Monday it had blocked a Christian crowdfunding site, GiveSendGo, after it helped raise funds for people who attended last week’s event in Washington when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.

The digital payments processor also confirmed to Reuters that it closed an account held by Ali Alexander, one of the organizers of the gathering. The news was reported earlier by Bloomberg, which cited an unidentified source.

Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in last week’s violence in the U.S. Capitol.

 5. GENERAL MOTORS :-  General Motors Co , as part of a $27 billion initiative to match or surpass Tesla Inc in the electric vehicle sector, is working with “all the best startups” on next-generation EV battery technology while planning a big boost in production capacity for its new Ultium battery system, an executive said on Monday.

“We’re partnering with some great companies,” including Honda Motor and LG Chem, on electric vehicles and batteries, said Doug Parks, GM’s executive vice president of global product development. But “we’re also looking outside the company to startups to get on the front edge of that learning curve.”

Parks, speaking at an investor conference, said GM continues to build its relationship with Honda, with whom the U.S. automaker is jointly developing several future electric vehicles.

“There’s an opportunity for more,” Parks said. “We could extend that relationship to other segments,” including sharing combustion-engine vehicles and platforms with Honda.

11-Jan
16:54 IST

1.GOOGLE:– Alphabet Inc’s Google on Friday suspended the Parler social networking service from its app store, citing posts inciting violence and demanding “robust” content moderation from the app favored by many supporters of the U.S. President Donald Trump.

Apple Inc on Friday also gave the service 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan, pointing to participants using the service to coordinate Wednesday’s siege of the U.S. Capitol building.

The actions by the two Silicon Valley companies mean that the network seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter could become unavailable for new downloads on the world’s main mobile phone app stores within a day. It would still be available in mobile browsers.

2.  SAMSUNG  :-Samsung Electronics Co. rose the most in almost 10 months after Intel Corp. was said to be considering asking the South Korean giant and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make some of its most sophisticated chips, a major departure for the Silicon Valley pioneer.

After successive delays in its chip fabrication processes, Santa Clara, California-based Intel has yet to make a final decision less than two weeks ahead of a scheduled announcement of its plans, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Any components that Intel might source from Taiwan wouldn’t come to market until 2023 at the earliest and would be based on established manufacturing processes already in use by other TSMC customers, said the people, asking not to be identified because the plans are private.

Intel is still holding out hope for last-minute improvements in its own production capabilities. Talks with Samsung ,whose foundry capabilities trail TSMC’s, are at a more preliminary stage, the people said. TSMC and Samsung representatives declined to comment. An Intel spokesperson referred to previous comments by Bob Swan, the company’s chief executive officer.

3.HSBC:-  Major HSBC shareholders are calling on Europe’s biggest bank to toughen its commitment to cut lending linked to fossil fuels and to turn its climate “ambitions” into targets.

Investors collectively managing some $2.4 trillion in assets have filed the resolution to be voted on at HSBC’s annual general meeting, after HSBC in October stated its ambition to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

That pledge was criticised by campaigners for not directly addressing HSBC’s lending to fossil fuel firms, including a relatively large share of clients involved in the coal sector.

“HSBC is strongly committed to addressing climate change, in line with our clear ambition to align our financed emissions of our entire business portfolio to net zero by 2050 or sooner,” a spokesperson for the bank said.

But after a four-year period of engagement with HSBC, the investors coordinated by responsible investment group ShareAction and including Europe’s largest asset manager Amundi said they wanted to see the bank go further.

4.TESLA :Tesla Inc is searching for a design director in China, part of efforts to open a “full-function” studio in Shanghai or Beijing and design electric cars tailored to Chinese consumer tastes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The U.S. carmaker’s human resources managers, as well as several headhunters, have been trawling the industry over the past four months, the sources said.

They are looking for “bi-cultural” candidates with 20 or more years of experience who are familiar with Chinese tastes and can bridge the gaps between China and the United States, they added.

Some candidates have been interviewed by Tesla’s global design chief Franz von Holzhausen, according to the people, though it was not clear how many potential candidates had been approached by the company and recruiters.

All three sources spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity and confidential nature of the matter.

 5. GENERAL MOTORS :-  General Motors on Friday unveiled a new corporate logo, its first major logo change since 1964, as part of a new campaign to accelerate the automaker’s focus on electric vehicles (EVs).

The “m” in the new GM logo is a nod to the shape of an electrical plug, the company said.

The campaign includes a previously announced $27 billion investment in EV and autonomous vehicles (AV) through 2025 and the launch of 30 new EVs by 2025-end.

“There are moments in history when everything changes. Inflection points. We believe such a point is upon us for the mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Deborah Wahl, GM global chief marketing officer.

08-Jan
18:27 IST

1.HUAWEI:– Huawei has appealed against a court decision that allowed Swedish telecoms regulator PTS to resume 5G spectrum auctions when the Chinese telecom equipment maker is excluded from the country’s 5G rollout. A Swedish court on Dec. 16 backed an appeal by PTS against a ruling to stop the auctions, but also said Huawei could pursue a legal challenge over its exclusion.

PTS said on Dec. 18 that it would resume 5G spectrum auctions on Jan. 19, after a challenge from Huawei led to a court injunction that prevented them going ahead.

“There seems to be no willingness by PTS to revisit their decision,” Kenneth Fredriksen, Huawei’s Executive Vice President, Central East Europe and Nordic Region, told Reuters, after meeting with the telecoms regulator earlier on Thursday.

“We believe it’s critical that the auction is once again stopped until the legal uncertainties are removed, either through court settlement or out of court settlements,” he said.

2.  PAYPAL  :-PayPal Holdings Inc ‘s venture arm has made an investment in Salt Lake City, Utah-based tech startup Taxbit, which helps consumers and businesses calculate the taxes owed on cryptocurrency holdings, the companies said on Thursday.

Taxbit will use the cash injection, of an undisclosed amount, to grow the team and expand the business, said Austin Woodward , the company’s chief executive and founder.

“Going international is a huge piece of the puzzle,” Woodward said in an interview.

Taxbit has also raised funds via Coinbase Ventures, the venture capital division of the popular cryptocurrency exchange, and existing investor Winklevoss Capital, the family office founded by tech entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.

3.HYUNDAI:-  South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. is in early stage talks with Apple Inc. to co-operate on self-driving electric vehicles and batteries.

Hyundai Motor shares soared 20.15% to KRW247,500 ($226.55) by 11:33 PM ET (4:33 AM GMT). The news sent shares up as much as 24% earlier in the session, the biggest intraday stock surge since 1988.

“Apple and Hyundai are in discussion, but as it is at early stage, nothing has been decided,” the South Korean company said in a statement Friday.

Korean media reported the discussions earlier in the day. It was also reported that Hyundai has completed internal discussions on the collaboration and is currently awaiting approval from Chairman Eui Sun Chung.

4.MICRON :-Micron reported fiscal second-quarter earnings guidance that topped estimates Tuesday, and first-quarter results that topped expectations as a recovery in chip memory demand underpinned by an acceleration in the growing number of moving into the digital age.

Micron Technology shares gained 1% in after-hours trade following the report.

The company guided fiscal second-quarter EPS of 68 cents to 82 cents, above estimates for EPS of 64 cents, and revenue of $5.6 billion to $6.0 billion, just above consensus of $5.52 billion.

 5. BOEING Co :- Boeing Co will pay more than $2.5 billion in fines and compensation after reaching a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over two plane crashes that killed a total of 346 people and led to the grounding of its 737 MAX jetliner.

The settlement, which allows Boeing to avoid prosecution, includes a fine of $243.6 million, compensation to airlines of $1.77 billion and a $500 million crash-victim fund over fraud conspiracy charges related to the plane’s flawed design.

Boeing said it would take a $743.6 million charge against its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings to reflect the deferred prosecution agreement, a form of corporate plea bargain. Boeing had put aside reserves of $1.77 billion in prior quarters to provide for compensation to airlines.

The Justice Department deal, announced after the market close on Thursday, caps a 21-month investigation into the design and development of the 737 MAX following the two crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

06-Jan
20:38 IST

1.Facebook:- Facebook Inc chief of advertising integrity, who handled the company’s ad products around sensitive subjects such as politics and coronavirus misinformation, departed this week, according to an internal company post viewed by Reuters on Friday.

Rob Leathern, director of product management, said earlier this month on Facebook’s internal network that he would be leaving the company on Dec. 30. His exit had not been previously reported.

Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.

Leathern said in the post that he was “leaving Facebook to work on consumer privacy beyond just ads and social media,” without disclosing where he was headed.

Leathern was often the public face of the company’s controversial political advertising policies. Prior to the Nov. 3 U.S. election, Facebook was heavily criticized for allowing misleading claims and conspiracy theories to spread widely on its platforms.

2. Sony  :-Sony Corp  said on Friday its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console will be launched in India in coming weeks as it tries to capitalise on the pandemic-driven boom in gaming.

“We are happy to announce that PS5 shall be launched in India on 2nd of February 2021,” the Japanese firm tweeted from its PlayStation India Twitter handle.

Preorders for PS5 will begin on Jan 12 and will be available for orders at major retailers, including Amazon  and Flipkart, the tech firm said.

Microsoft Corp launched two models of its Xbox gaming console in November, seven years after the debut of the previous version, while Sony launched its PS5 in core markets two days later

3.Tencent:-Tencent’s online games were removed and then reinstated on Huawei’s app store on Friday in a dispute over revenue sharing by the Chinese companies.

Huawei was insisting on a 50% cut of Tencent’s game sales on the app store and the Tencent games were removed because the companies had been unable to agree a deal, a Tencent source said.

Tencent sells some of the top-ranked online games worldwide while Huawei has a 41.4% share of the China mobile phone market and 14.9% of the global market, data from market researchers IDC and Canalys shows.

The games were reinstated on the app store after further negotiations, Tencent said, adding that “both sides will continue to work together to bring better experiences and services to consumers”.

4. AMAZON:-Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it would acquire podcast startup Wondery, aiming to beef up non-musical content on its Amazon Music app.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the firms were in deal talks, pegging Wondery at a valuation of more than $300 million.

Amazon is relatiTechnology, which has been investing in big names in an effort to become the Netflix of audio content.

 5.LG:- Indonesia and a unit of South Korean firm LG Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a $9.8 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery investment deal, the head of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board said on Wednesday.

The deal was signed on Dec. 18 and includes investments across the EV supply chain.

An official at LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Group, South Korea’s fourth-largest conglomerate, confirmed it had agreed an MOU but could not provide details or the deal’s value. LG Group in Seoul referred Reuters to its affiliate.

04-Jan
17:23 IST

1.Facebook:- Facebook Inc chief of advertising integrity, who handled the company’s ad products around sensitive subjects such as politics and coronavirus misinformation, departed this week, according to an internal company post viewed by Reuters on Friday.

Rob Leathern, director of product management, said earlier this month on Facebook’s internal network that he would be leaving the company on Dec. 30. His exit had not been previously reported.

Facebook could not immediately be reached for comment.

Leathern said in the post that he was “leaving Facebook to work on consumer privacy beyond just ads and social media,” without disclosing where he was headed.

Leathern was often the public face of the company’s controversial political advertising policies. Prior to the Nov. 3 U.S. election, Facebook was heavily criticized for allowing misleading claims and conspiracy theories to spread widely on its platforms.

2. Sony  :-Sony Corp  said on Friday its PlayStation 5 (PS5) console will be launched in India in coming weeks as it tries to capitalise on the pandemic-driven boom in gaming.

“We are happy to announce that PS5 shall be launched in India on 2nd of February 2021,” the Japanese firm tweeted from its PlayStation India Twitter handle.

Preorders for PS5 will begin on Jan 12 and will be available for orders at major retailers, including Amazon  and Flipkart, the tech firm said.

Microsoft Corp launched two models of its Xbox gaming console in November, seven years after the debut of the previous version, while Sony launched its PS5 in core markets two days later

3.Tencent:-Tencent’s online games were removed and then reinstated on Huawei’s app store on Friday in a dispute over revenue sharing by the Chinese companies.

Huawei was insisting on a 50% cut of Tencent’s game sales on the app store and the Tencent games were removed because the companies had been unable to agree a deal, a Tencent source said.

Tencent sells some of the top-ranked online games worldwide while Huawei has a 41.4% share of the China mobile phone market and 14.9% of the global market, data from market researchers IDC and Canalys shows.

The games were reinstated on the app store after further negotiations, Tencent said, adding that “both sides will continue to work together to bring better experiences and services to consumers”.

4. AMAZON:-Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it would acquire podcast startup Wondery, aiming to beef up non-musical content on its Amazon Music app.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the firms were in deal talks, pegging Wondery at a valuation of more than $300 million.

Amazon is relatiTechnology, which has been investing in big names in an effort to become the Netflix of audio content.

 5.LG:- Indonesia and a unit of South Korean firm LG Group have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a $9.8 billion electric vehicle (EV) battery investment deal, the head of Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board said on Wednesday.

The deal was signed on Dec. 18 and includes investments across the EV supply chain.

An official at LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Group, South Korea’s fourth-largest conglomerate, confirmed it had agreed an MOU but could not provide details or the deal’s value. LG Group in Seoul referred Reuters to its affiliate.

30-Dec
16:16 IST

Apple:- A federal judge in Florida on Tuesday dismissed Apple Inc
copyright infringement claims against a Florida startup whose software
helps security researchers find vulnerabilities in Apple products including
the iPhone.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith ruled in favor of Corellium LLC, saying its
software emulating the iOS operating system that runs on the iPhone and
iPad amounted to “fair use” because it was “transformative” and helped
developers find security flaws.

Apple accused Corellium of essentially replicating iOS to create “virtual”
iOS-operated devices, whose “sole function” was to run unauthorized
copies of the system on non-Apple hardware.

But the Fort Lauderdale-based judge said Corellium “adds something new
to iOS” by letting users see and halt running processes, take live
snapshots, and conduct other operations.

“Corellium’s profit motivation does not undermine its fair use defence,
particularly considering the public benefit of the product,” Smith wrote.
The judge also rejected Apple’s argument that the Delray Beach startup
acted in bad faith by selling its product indiscriminately, including potentially to hackers, and by not requiring users to report bugs to Apple.

Intel :-Activist hedge fund Third Point) LLC is pushing Intel Corp to
explore strategic alternatives, including whether it should keep chip design
and production under one roof, according to a letter it sent to the
company’s chairman on Tuesday that was reviewed by Reuters.

Were it to gain traction, Third Point’s push for changes could lead to a
major shakeup at Intel, which has been slow to respond to investor calls to
outsource more of its manufacturing capacity. It could also lead to the
unwinding of some of its acquisitions, such as the $16.7 billion purchase of
programmable chip maker Altera in 2015.

Third Point Chief Executive Daniel Loeb wrote to Intel Chairman Omar
Ishrak calling for immediate action to boost the company’s position as a
major provider of processor chips for PCs and data centres. The New Yorkbased fund has amassed a nearly $1 billion stake in Intel, according to
people familiar with the matter.

LG:-Indonesia and a unit of South Korean firm LG Group have signed a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a $9.8 billion electric vehicle
(EV) battery investment deal, the head of Indonesia’s Investment
The coordinating Board said on Wednesday.

The deal was signed on Dec. 18 and includes investments across the EV
supply chain, the board head, Bahlil Lahadalia, told a news conference.
An official at LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Group, South Korea’s fourth largest conglomerate, confirmed it had agreed on an MOU but could not
provide details or the deal’s value. LG Group in Seoul referred Reuters to
its affiliate.

Bahlil said the agreement made Indonesia the first country in the world to
integrate the electric battery industry from mining to producing electric car
lithium batteries.

“We have signed an MOU for the construction of an integrated electric
battery factory from upstream to downstream,” Bahlil said.

“Mines, smelters, precursors, cathodes, cars to recycling facilities will be
built in Indonesia,” he said, adding that the project will be located in North
Maluku and Central Java.

Under the MOU, at least 70% of the nickel ore used to produce the EV
batteries must be processed in Indonesia, he said.

HONDA:-Honda to stop auto sales in Russia in 2022.
The Russian subsidiary of Japan’s Honda Motor Co said on Wednesday it
would stop supplying new cars to official dealers in Russia in 2022. It said the move was linked to Honda’s efforts to restructure its operations.

AstraZeneca: The coronavirus vaccine being developed by the
University of Oxford and AstraZeneca has been authorized for emergency
use in the U.K., marking another step in the global battle against the
pandemic.

The shot is expected to be rolled out next week and will be added to a
Covid-19 immunization program started by Britain in December. So far, the
Pfizer, Biontech vaccine has been given to 600,000 people in the U.K.,
according to government statistics.

In a statement, AstraZeneca said the first doses of the vaccine were being
released Wednesday “so that vaccinations may begin early in the New
Year.”

It added that it “aims to supply millions of doses in the first quarter” as part
of its deal with the U.K. government to supply up to 100 million doses in
total. As a two-dose vaccine, the agreement means up to 50 million people
in the U.K., which has a population of around 66 million, could be
inoculated.

29-Dec
16:12 IST
TOP 5 STOCKS

ANT Group:- China’s Ant Group on Thursday said it has received a meeting notice from regulators, and will strictly comply with all regulatory requirements.

China’s financial watchdogs including the central bank and banking and insurance regulator said will conduct regulatory talks with Ant Group within the next few days, while the country’s market regulator on Thursday said it has launched an investigation on the group for alleged monopoly conduct.

SAP:- Survey-software seller Qualtrics International Inc, owned by business software group SAP, filed for a U.S. initial public offering of up to $100 million on Monday, with tech stocks largely outperforming the broader market this year.

Qualtrics, which SAP bought for $8 billion two years ago, will have two classes of common stock upon completion of the offering, with SAP America Inc set to own all 423.2 million Class B shares and remain the controlling shareholder.

The company also said it had applied to list its Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “XM” and expects the IPO price to be between $20 and $24 apiece.

Total revenue of Qualtrics, which gathers real-time feedback from customers to help analyse how a firm’s products or services are performing, rose about 32% to $550 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30.

IBM :- IBM Corp has agreed to pay $24.25 million to resolve a pair of investigations by the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) over subsidies awarded to connect schools and libraries to broadband.

IBM payment will resolve two FCC investigations that have spanned nearly 15 years over its alleged violations of “E-Rate” program rules in connection with New York City and El Paso school districts. Under the agreement, IBM agreed to return $24.25 million to the Universal Service Fund that funds the E-Rate program, but did not admit wrongdoing.

The FCC said its investigations found IBM had not satisfied the competitive bidding rules in New York for 2005-2008 and provided ineligible equipment and services in El Paso for 2001.

NOKIA:- Telecom Italia has decided to retain Nokia as a supplier and reduce Huawei’s share of a planned purchase of equipment for building a 5G network, three sources close to the matter told Reuters, amid pressure to exclude the Chinese firm on security concerns.

The United States has lobbied Italy and other European allies to avoid using Huawei’s equipment alleging it could pose a security risk – a charge Huawei has rejected. Italy has so far declined to ban Huawei outright.

Former national phone company Telecom Italia (TIM) at the beginning of this year was considering dividing a supply contract for the radio access network (RAN) part of its 5G build-out between Huawei and Sweden’s Ericsson.

GOOGLE:- Alphabet Inc’s Google this year moved to tighten control over its scientists’ papers by launching a “sensitive topics” review, and in at least three cases requested authors refrain from casting its technology in a negative light, according to internal communications and interviews with researchers involved in the work.

Google’s new review procedure asks that researchers consult with legal, policy and public relations teams before pursuing topics such as face and sentiment analysis and categorizations of race, gender or political affiliation, according to internal webpages explaining the policy.

“Advances in technology and the growing complexity of our external environment are increasingly leading to situations where seemingly inoffensive projects raise ethical, reputational, regulatory or legal issues,” one of the pages for research staff stated. Reuters could not determine the date of the post, though three current employees said the policy began in June.

23-Dec
21:00 IST

LG : –  South Korea-based LG Electronics Inc said on Wednesday it has agreed to set up a $1 billion joint venture with automotive supplier Magna International Inc.

The JV, tentatively called LG Magna e-Powertrain, will manufacture e-motors, inverters, and onboard chargers, according to LG Electronics.

WALMART -The U.S. Justice Department sued Walmart Inc on Tuesday, accusing the world’s biggest retailer of fueling the opioid crisis in the United States, ignoring warning signs from its pharmacists and filling thousands of invalid prescriptions.

In a civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Delaware, the government said Walmart failed to take its gatekeeping duties as a pharmacy seriously, allegations the company rejected.

Walmart, whose shares closed down 1.2% following the news, said in a statement that the “Justice Department’s investigation is tainted by historical ethics violations, and this lawsuit invents a legal theory that unlawfully forces pharmacists to come between patients and their doctors, and is riddled with factual inaccuracies.”

KROGER:-After a strong year driven by increased shopping during the pandemic, Kroger’s (KR) stock has fallen 30% in the past three months. Does this make the stock a Buy? Read more to find out whether you should consider adding this to your portfolio.

Kroger (KR) has been sliding since hitting $36.60 on September 1. The stock is now down to $30.79, the same level it traded at in early April. Investors have clearly taken some of their profits off the table. Let’s take a look at whether KR is worthy of your investing dollars.

ARAMCO:-Saudi Aramco Development Co, a subsidiary of Aramco, has teamed up with Google Cloud to offer cloud services to customers in Saudi Arabia, Aramco said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia, under its Vision 2030 reform plans, has encouraged foreign investment particularly in the technology sector and courted Silicon Valley players.

Aramco said Saudi Arabia is being added to the global network of Google Cloud Platform regions, as part of a strategic alliance agreement signed between the company and Google Cloud this month.

Google Cloud will establish and operate a new cloud region in Saudi Arabia, while a new company will be formed after required regulatory clearances to supply cloud solutions and services to customers, Aramco said.

MICROSOFT CORP:-Microsoft Corp is working on in-house processors for the servers running its cloud-computing services and Surface line of personal computers, potentially cutting its reliance on Intel Corp, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The chips would use technology from Arm Ltd, the person said, which is in the midst of being acquired by Nvidia Corp for $40 billion.

Microsoft relies heavily on Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc to supply the chips for its Azure cloud computing services as well as its Surface PCs.

22-Dec
20:40 IST

AIRBUS SE-Aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE said it stands to lose more than $5 billion worth of aircraft orders if AirAsia X Bhd’s (AAX) debt restructuring scheme goes through, court documents showed, joining a dozen creditors that have challenged the Malaysian low-budget carrier’s plan.

Airbus’s challenge comes as AAX defended its scheme from key lessor BOC Aviation Limited’s (BOCA) allegations that it favored Airbus and lacked a debt-to-equity swap offer for creditors.

In a Dec. 16 affidavit filed at Kuala Lumpur High Court, Asia-Pacific Head of Region Anand Emmanuel Stanley said there was a strong possibility Airbus “will suffer substantial losses and prejudice” from termination of purchase agreements.

GOLDMAN SACH-U.S. bank shares outperformed the broader market on Monday, led by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley after the Federal Reserve said stress test results meant the sector could resume stock buybacks for the first time since the coronavirus-led downturn.

The Fed said the biggest U.S. banks had enough capital to withstand over $600 billion in losses from a short, sharp economic slump, as well as a moderate longer-lasting downturn, and would now be permitted to pay out dividends and buy back stock on a limited basis.

Earlier this year, the Fed barred banks from buying back stock to help them build capital reserves because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WALT DISNEY :-Walt Disney Co said on Monday it had named Alan Bergman as chairman of its Disney Studios Content division to oversee its famed movie studios including Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Searchlight Pictures.

Alan Horn will continue to serve as the division’s chief creative officer, and will oversee the creative aspects of content production, Disney said.

Horn and Bergman previously jointly led Disney Studios Content as co-chairmen.

“Our studios are unmatched in their ability to create incredible cinematic experiences, and with this new structure, we are ensuring a vital continuity of leadership,” said Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek, in a statement.

APPLE:-Apple Inc is moving forward with self-driving car technology and is targeting 2024 to produce a passenger vehicle that could include its breakthrough battery technology, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The iPhone maker’s automotive efforts, known as Project Titan, have proceeded unevenly since 2014 when it first started to design its vehicle from scratch. At one point, Apple drew back the effort to focus on software and reassessed its goals. Doug Field, an Apple veteran who had worked at Tesla (Inc, returned to oversee the project in 2018 and laid off 190 people from the team in 2019.

Since then, Apple has progressed enough that it now aims to build a vehicle for consumers, two people familiar with the effort said, asking not to be named because Apple’s plans are not public. Apple’s goal of building a personal vehicle for the mass market contrasts with rivals such as Alphabet) Inc’s Waymo, which has built Robo-taxis to carry passengers for a driverless ride-hailing service.

BYTE DANCE:-China’s ByteDance is in talks to buy into mobile games publisher CMGE Technology Group Ltd, four people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as the owner of short video app TikTok moves to strengthen its next pillar of growth.

The deal would come as the gaming industry continues to benefit from COVID-19 pandemic countermeasures which have forced people to stay at home, boosting game downloads.

ByteDance plans to buy part or all of the 27.6% CMGE stake held by Fairview Ridge Investment Ltd, controlled by CMGE chairman Xiao Jian and vice-chairman Sin Hendrick, said two of the people.

21-Dec
19:34 IST
  • FACEBOOK-Facebook has taken down content that spread lies in Israel against coronavirus vaccinations as the government seeks to drum up support for the programme, the Justice Ministry said on Sunday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday became the first person to be vaccinated in Israel. Opinion polls show some two-thirds of the public want to follow suit.

The Justice Ministry said that, at its request, Facebook took down four groups at the weekend that had disseminated texts, photographs and videos with “deliberately mendacious content designed to mislead about coronavirus vaccines”.

  • HUAWEI-Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou’s alleged actions had “no genuine connection” to the United States, her lawyers have argued in their latest bid to end her extradition from Canada, according to court documents released on Friday.

Meng, 48, was arrested two years ago at the Vancouver airport by Canadian police on an arrest warrant from the United States, where she is charged with bank and wire fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei Tech Co Ltd’s business dealings in Iran.

She has claimed innocence and is fighting the extradition while under house arrest in Vancouver. Witness testimony wrapped up earlier this week in her case.

Her lawyers have fought to add an additional allegation of abuse of process to the case, claiming that the United States misrepresented Meng’s actions to Canada in its request for her extradition, and that her actions did not cause HSBC to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran.

  • SOFT BANK :- The U.S. unit of SoftBank-backed robotics startup CloudMinds has changed its name to distance itself from the blacklisted China-based firm, two people with knowledge of the matter said, and is selling face-scanning temperature monitors through T-Mobile US.

The unit is selling its cloud-connected products under the new name at a time of heightened concern in the United States about the national security risk of Chinese firms collecting and using the personal data of U.S. citizens.

Documents filed in California showed the unit became Wright Robotics in August, after the United States in May added CloudMinds to its so-called Entity List citing the risk of the firm procuring items and technology for China’s military.

The United States can restrict sales to blacklisted firms of goods made domestically as well as goods made abroad containing U.S. technology.

It expanded the definition of military end-use in April to include any firm that supported the maintenance or production of military items even if they primarily did commercial business.

  • TESLA:-Tesla Inc and Wall Street made 2020 the year that the U.S. auto industry decided to go electric.

Tesla’s market capitalization surged above $600 billion, making the once wobbly startup founded by billionaire Elon Musk worth more than the five top-selling global vehicle making groups combined. The exclamation point came on Friday when Tesla rose to a record high in frantic trading ahead of the stock’s much-anticipated entrance into the benchmark S&P 500 INDEX..

For 2021, all signs point toward the industry accelerating its shift toward electrification, a turning point as historically momentous as the launch of Ford Motor Co’s moving assembly line for the Model T or General Motors 2009 bankruptcy.

  • AMAZON:-The New Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed India’s Future Retail’s plea that sought to restrain its partner Amazon.com Inc from interfering in its $3.4 billion asset sale deal with Reliance Industries.

Amazon is locked in a bitter legal dispute with Future Group, which in August sold its retail assets to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries. The deal breaches agreements made in 2019 by Future, according to the U.S. online retailer.

In October, Amazon had won an injunction to halt Future’s deal with Reliance from a Singapore arbitrator both sides had agreed to use in case of disputes.

Future later said the order was not binding, prompting Amazon to lodge a complaint with India’s market regulator

18-Dec
17:21 IST
  • TESLA- Tesla grand entrance into the S&P 500 is expected to be preceded by a huge trade, with an unprecedented $80 billion of the electric car maker’s stock changing hands by the end of the session on Friday.

Elon Musk’s Tesla on Monday will become the most valuable company ever admitted to Wall Street’s main benchmark, accounting for over 1% of the index. The electric car maker’s shares have surged about 60% since mid-November, when its debut in the S&P 500 was announced.

Its addition to the S&P 500 will force index-tracking funds to buy over $80 billion worth of Tesla shares by the end of Friday’s session so their portfolios correctly reflect the index, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. Those funds will simultaneously have to sell other S&P 500 constituents’ shares worth the same amount.

  • HYUNDAI MOTOR Co-South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co will end domestic sales of its best-selling electric vehicle (EV), the Kona EV, after a series of fires and faulty braking systems prompted mass recalls, local media reported on Friday. Cable news channel YTN said

Hyundai was reviewing the end of Kona EV sales in South Korea, while the JoongAng Daily cited an unidentified source as saying sales would continue in Europe.The Kona EV ranks among Europe’s best-selling EVs. Sales of the model outside its home market account for over three-quarters of the total.

  • SONY CORP:- Sony Corpsaid on Friday it is pulling CD Projekt SA’s Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation Store and offering full refunds after gamers complained that the flagship title was rife with bugs.

The unusual move is the latest bodyblow for Poland’s top video games maker, whose stock price has tumbled 30% amid fury from disappointed fans as well as industry reviewers who complained they were given limited access to the title ahead of its Dec. 10 launch.

The backlash against the repeatedly delayed game has led to hand wringing over the hype that surrounds new titles, the complicity of reviewers in driving that hype and the work environment for rank-and-file developers ahead of release dates.

  • TOSHIBA:-ToshibaCorp on Friday revised the support rate for the reelection of Chief Executive Officer Nobuaki Kurumatani at its shareholder meeting in July to 57.20% from 57.96%.

The Japanese firm corrected the voting results after finding over 1,000 postal voting forms went uncounted due to inappropriate vote-counting practices by its shareholder registry administrator Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

Toshiba also said 44.21% of its shareholders backed an activist fund’s proposal to elect its co-founder as board director, up from the original 43.43%.

  • HUAWEI:-China’s Huawei said on Thursday it would invest 200 million euros in building a mobile phone network equipment factory in the east of France, pressing ahead with the roll-out despite French curbs on firms using its 5G gear.

The plant will initially employ 300 people, growing to 500 in the longer term, and its products will go to Huawei’s European clients.

The Chinese technology company, which had already floated plans for a French factory, said in March it would persevere regardless of whether the French government cracked down on telecoms companies using its equipment.

The plant is part of efforts to ease worldwide concerns stoked by U.S. charges, repeatedly denied by Huawei, that Beijing could use the company’s equipment for spying.

17-Dec
21:15 IST
  1. ALIBABA- Technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has facial recognition technology which can specifically pick out members of China’s Uighur minority, surveillance industry researcher IPVM said in a report.

The report comes as human rights groups accuse China of forcing over 1 million Muslim Uighurs into labour camps, and call out firms suspected of complicity.

China has repeatedly denied forcing anyone into what it has called vocational training centres, and has also said the region of Xinjiang is under threat from Islamist militants.

Still, sensitivities have prompted caution among Chinese internet firms which often self-censor to avoid running afoul of a government which strictly controls online speech, and which last month published draft rules to police live streaming.

  • TWITTER-Twitter Inc is reversing changes made to its retweet function intended to curb the spread of misinformation during the U.S. presidential election, the company said.

The microblogging site had in October made it difficult for users to retweet a tweet with misinformation and promoted the use of quote tweets, which included commentary from the user.

It had also imposed curbs including labeling and removal of tweets calling for people to interfere with the election process or implementation of results.

Twitter said it will no longer prompt quote tweets from the retweet icon. “Retweet functionality will be returning to the way it was before,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

  1. UBER-A group of British Uber drivers took their employer to court in the Netherlands on Wednesday in a bid to get access to data the company collects about them.

The drivers say Uber determines the allocation of available rides and their fares based on information about their performance, behaviour and other personal traits it gathers through the app they have to use to do their job.

They demand full access to this information and the working of Uber’s algorithms, as they say it ultimately decides how much money they earn and how they could do better.

  • IBM:- International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna would take over as chairman from Jan. 1, replacing Ginni Rometty, who stepped down as its long-time CEO earlier this year.

Rometty, who was the tech pioneer’s first woman CEO, would occasionally be asked to act as an independent contractor after her retirement, IBM said.

Before assuming the role of CEO in April, Krishna was head of IBM’s cloud business and has been with the company since 1990.

  • GOOGLE:-Staff on Google’s Ethical AI research team on Wednesday demanded the company sideline a vice president and commit to greater academic freedom, escalating a confrontation with management following this month’s termination of scientist Timnit Gebru.

The personnel called on Vice President Megan Kacholia to be removed from the team’s management chain after she allegedly excluded Gebru’s boss from the decision to fire her, according to an internal document seen by Reuters.

Gebru had questioned Google’s demand for her to retract a paper describing harms from Google-like technology, and the company answered by saying it accepted her resignation.

The document also demanded an explanation of the dismissal, transparency into reviews of staff papers, and an investigation into how Google handles employee complaints about working conditions, like those Gebru raised while at the company.

15-Dec
14:33 IST
  1. UBER:- Ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies) Inc was fined $59 million on Monday for failing to provide the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) with information on certain sexual assault and harassment claims.

Uber’s permit could be suspended if it fails to pay the penalty within 30 days, according to the ruling

The administrative judge last year ordered Uber to answer questions regarding a safety report it released in 2019, which contained details of sexual assault cases that had occurred in the United States during 2017, 2018 and 2019 on trips taken using its ride-hailing platform.

  1. TESLA:-Tesla’s stock has jumped an astonishing 427% from the beginning of the year .Electric carmaker Tesla, received a significant boost on Monday (November 16) after market.

 Dow Jones announced that it would be adding the company to its benchmark S&P 500 index of top rated companies. 

In after-hours trading on Monday the stock skyrocketed more than 13% as traders celebrated the long awaited news. The following day in regular market trading the stock closed sharply higher by 8.2%.  Tesla qualified for inclusion in September after reporting four straight quarters of profit, but investors had to wait until now for the index committee to give the go-ahead. Tesla will be officially added to the index on December 21st.

  1. HYUNDAI:-Hyundai Motor nominated Jaehoon Chang, global head of its premium Genesis brand, as the co-CEO and president on Tuesday, it said in a statement. 

Lee Won-hee, existing president and co-CEO, will focus on securing a competitive edge in future automotive businesses such as optimizing global businesses and strengthening technology development, the automaker said.

  1. APPLE:- Apple Inc plans to manufacture up to 96 million iPhones in the first half of 2021, a nearly 30% year-on-year increase.It has asked suppliers to produce around 95 million to 96 million iPhones, including the latest iPhone 12 range as well as older iPhone 11 and SE, though shortage of key parts could threaten the target, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

This would mark a 20% rise from 2019 though the target will be regularly reviewed and revised in response to any changes in consumer demand, according to the report.

The tentative full-year forecast that the iPhone maker shared with its suppliers suggests it plans to make up to 230 million iPhones in 2021, including both old and new models, the report said.

  1. SOLARWIND:- IT company SolarWinds said Monday that ‘fewer than 18,000 customers’ had software compromised in a damaging hack that led to intrusions at the Departments of Treasury and Commerce.

In a statement that provided the first detailed outline of the compromise, SolarWinds said that the hack “was used to compromise the company’s emails” and possibly gather other data as well.

The company said it had retained third-party cybersecurity experts to assist in its investigation.

14-Dec
14:23 IST

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL):  Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc’s Google will allow its employees to work from home until September next year, extending the return to the office by a few months, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The company was also testing the idea of a “flexible workweek” once it is safe to return to the office, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai told the company’s staff in an email on Sunday, according to the report

As part of the plan, Google’s employees would be expected to work at least three days a week in the office while working from home the other days, the newspaper report said.

“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Pichai wrote in the email.

Tesla Inc.:  Tesla Inc. will shut down some production at its Fremont, Calif., factory for 18 days starting Christmas Eve, CNBC reported over the weekend.

Citing an internal email, it obtained, CNBC reported Saturday that production lines for Model S and Model X vehicles will be shut down from Dec. 24 to Jan. 11.

Workers on the production line are reportedly being offered full pay for just one of those weeks, with some paid holidays, and are being asked to take unpaid days off or find “limited” work with other teams during the down time. They are also encouraged to “volunteer” to make deliveries to customers during that time.

Tesla TSLA, -2.72% did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Chevron: Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has imposed a NIS 3.2 million fine on Chevron-Noble Energy for violating air emissions limits at the Leviathan offshore gas rig. This latest sanction follows a NIS 3.8 million fine that Noble Energy was handed last month for violating its permit for gas flow into the sea. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has demanded that Noble Energy act with, “transparency, responsiveness and full compliance with the terms of its emissions permit and in accordance with the Clean Air Law.”

Metlife’s (MET): MetLife announced a new share buyback program worth $3 billion. The leading financial services provider also said that it has completed repurchases under its previous repurchase authorization.

Metlife’s (MET) CEO Michel Khalaf said, “This new authorization highlights our continuing confidence in our financial strength and flexibility.”

Khalaf added, “Despite a challenging 2020, we expect by year-end to have invested about $3 billion to support new business growth at attractive returns and payback periods, deployed nearly $1.7 billion to growth-oriented and accretive M&A, and returned at least $2.6 billion to shareholders through common stock dividends and repurchases while maintaining a liquidity buffer well in excess of the $3-4 billion target.”

Concurrently, the company agreed to divest its Metropolitan Property and Casualty (P&C) Insurance unit to a subsidiary of the Zurich Insurance Group. The all-cash $3.94 billion deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN): Britain’s AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) has agreed to buy U.S. drug maker Alexion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALXN) for $39 billion in its largest ever deal, diversifying away from its fast-growing cancer business in a bet on rare-disease and immunology drugs.

The deal comes in a week that AstraZeneca said it was conducting further research to confirm whether its COVID-19 vaccine could be 90% effective, potentially slowing its rollout, and as a rival shot from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was launched in Britain and approved for use in the United States.

The British company said on Saturday that Alexion shareholders would receive $60 in cash and about $115 worth of equity per share – either in AstraZeneca’s UK-traded ordinary shares or in dollar-denominated American Depositary Shares

11-Dec
19:10 IST

Rolls-Royce (OTC:RYCEY):  British engineering company Rolls-Royce (OTC:RYCEY) stuck to its guidance to turn cash flow positive during the second-half of next year, despite warning that the outlook remains challenging and the pace of the recovery is uncertain.

The company, whose engines power Boeing (NYSE:BA) 787s and Airbus A350s, has been hit by the travel slump during the pandemic and in November raised 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion) from shareholders and took on 3 billion pounds of debt to help it survive COVID-19.

In a trading update on Friday, it warned that the pace of recovery for engine flying hours, a key measure of how much it is paid by airlines, had slowed due to a second wave of infections in some geographies.

“The outlook remains challenging and the pace and timing of the recovery is uncertain,” said chief executive Warren East in a statement.

MetLife (NYSE:MET):  Zurich Insurance and Farmers Exchanges have agreed to buy MetLife (NYSE:MET)’s U.S. property and casualty business for $3.94 billion.

The Swiss insurer will contribute $2.43 billion to the deal through its Farmers Group Inc (FGI) unit, while the Farmers Exchanges will contribute $1.51 billion, Zurich said on Friday.

The deal will give Farmers Exchanges, to which FGI provides certain administrative and management services, nationwide presence in the United States and access to new distribution channels, Zurich said.

It will also help Zurich deliver its growth targets for 2022.

“The acquisition significantly increases the potential for growth at the Farmers Exchanges and will further boost the share of Zurich’s profits linked to stable fee-based earnings,” Zurich Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco said.

Hyundai Motor Group: Hyundai Motor Group units and its chairman have agreed to buy an 80% stake in robot maker Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group Corp for around 800 billion to 900 billion won ($736 million-$828 million), a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Hyundai can leverage the robot technology to expand automation at its unionised car factories, as well as design autonomous vehicles like self-driving cars, drones and delivery robots, analysts said.

The move comes after newly-promoted chairman Euisun Chung pledged to reduce reliance on traditional car manufacturing, saying robotics will account for 20% of the company’s future business, with car-making taking up 50%, followed by urban air mobility at 30%.

Chung will own a 20% stake in Boston Dynamics, while Hyundai Motor and its affiliates, Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Glovis, will hold a combined 60% stake, two people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. One of the sources confirmed the value of the deal.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): Cybersecurity investigators at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) have traced a hacking group long suspected of spying on behalf of the Vietnamese government to an IT company in Ho Chi Minh City.

The announcement on Friday is the first time Facebook has publicly exposed an offensive hacking operation and, if confirmed, would be a rare case of suspected state-backed cyberspies being tracked to a specific organisation.

The hackers, known as OceanLotus or APT32, have been accused for years of spying on political dissidents, businesses and foreign officials. Reuters reported this year that the group had attempted to break into China’s Ministry of Emergency Management and the government of Wuhan as the COVID-19 outbreak first spread.

Facebook said it had found links between cyberattacks previously attributed to OceanLotus and a Vietnamese company called CyberOne Group, which lists an address on a sidestreet in a commercial district of Ho Chi Minh city.

CyberOne Group denied being connected to the hackers.

Lufthansa: Bookings at Lufthansa have tripled for next Summer boosted by the imminent approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, Chief Executive Carsten Spohr told a German magazine, adding he expects business on average to reach half of 2019 levels next year.

Spohr told Wirtschaftswoche that the concrete prospect of an effective vaccine against the coronavirus had boosted confidence among passengers.

“The fact that people have also already reserved flights for the Easter period shows how confident they are,” he was quoted as saying on Friday.

“I expect that next year we will be able to achieve half the level of 2019 again on average, and for the summer and autumn we calculate up to 70%.”

Lufthansa expects to stop bleeding cash next year and hopes to be profitable from 2022, he said.

Spohr hopes the German government, which gave the airline 9 billion euros ($10.94 billion) in state aid in May in return for a 20% stake, will be able to reduce its holding in Lufthansa from 2023.

10-Dec
18:11 IST

SoftBank Group Corp:  Shares surged 14% after the investment conglomerate scored a $11.2 billion gain in the value of its stake in DoorDash Inc following the U.S. food delivery app’s blockbuster stock market debut.

SoftBank, which invested $680 million in DoorDash in the last three years, saw the value of its 25% stake in the company rise to $11.9 billion on the first day of trading in New York.

SoftBank’s shares climbed as much as 19% in Tokyo trading and touched new two-decade highs.

DoorDash shares ended trading up 87.5% following their debut on Wednesday, valuing the company at $68.4 billion, more than four times its valuation in a private fundraising round six months ago.

Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS):  Asset-management arm will pressure U.S. companies to appoint more women and members of under-represented groups to their boards, an executive said, but will stop short of setting specific numerical targets for racial and ethnic diversity as some activists urge.

While the bank is not alone on Wall Street in developing such a policy, Goldman carries outsized influence with institutional shareholders as one of the oldest and biggest Wall Street firms. The move also shows the tension between the growing importance of racial justice to investors and the difficulty of effecting social change in the corporate arena.

After pushing companies in its investment portfolio to include at least one woman director since 2019, Goldman Sachs next year wants boards to have a second director from an under-represented background, Catherine Winner, head of stewardship efforts for the $1.8 trillion unit, said in an interview

Sony Corp: Sony Corp will buy AT&T Inc (NYSE:T)’s animation business Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion, the two companies said on Thursday, as the Japanese electronics conglomerate aims to beef up its entertainment content and distribution businesses.

The deal will give Sony (NYSE:SNE) access to Crunchyroll’s 3 million paying subscribers across more than 200 countries and regions, helping Sony compete more globally with entertainment giants such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX).

Sony’s Funimation Global Group, a U.S. animation distributor with 1 million paying subscribers, will own Crunchyroll, currently part of AT&T’s WarnerMedia segment.

AT&T has been looking to monetize its non-core assets since CEO John Stankey took over in June. The latest deal will allow it to invest in other focuses of WarnerMedia, including content creation and gaming.

General Electric Co: General Electric Co has agreed to pay a $200 million penalty to settle charges for misleading investors over how it was generating earnings in its power and insurance businesses, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday.

GE’s shares were down 1.2% at $11.25 in post-market trade following the news.

Securities regulators opened a probe into the company’s accounting practices following a 2017 surprise accounting charge of $6.2 billion by the company, which said it would need to set aside $15 billion for long-term care insurance payouts at the time.

The inquiry, which initially focused on long-term service agreements for maintenance of power plants, jet engines and other industrial equipment, was later expanded to include GE’s review of its insurance business.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA): The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) on Wednesday delayed a decision in a trade secrets case involving South Korean battery makers LG Chem and SK Innovation to Feb. 10.

LG Chem, an EV battery supplier for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and General Motors (NYSE:GM), filed its trade complaints against SK Innovation last year in the United States over allegations of trade secret theft, seeking to block SK from producing battery cells in the United States and importing the components necessary to make the cells. SK denied wrongdoing. The decision had been expected on Thursday.

An adverse ruling by the ITC could lead to an import ban on SK Innovation’s batteries and necessary components, potentially causing setbacks for Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) and Ford Motor (NYSE:F) as they move to build new electric vehicles.

SK Innovation is building its first battery factory in Georgia which is set to begin production in 2022 and could be affected by an adverse ruling. The factory with capacity of 9.8 GWh is intended to serve Volkswagen’s EV production in neighbouring Tennessee.

09-Dec
15:59 IST

Tesco (OTC:TSCDY):  Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco (OTC:TSCDY) said on Wednesday all conditions had been satisfied for the $10.6 billion sale of its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia to C.P. Retail Development Company Limited and the deal should be completed this month.

Tesco agreed the deal in March. It said that CP Group had now reviewed and was satisfied with the formal notice of approval from the OTCC in Thailand.

This, combined with the approval received from the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs in Malaysia on Nov. 10, means there are no further conditions outstanding and the disposal is expected to complete on or around Dec. 18.

Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY): Is launching another sales model in China that will see the automaker open showrooms in city centres for electric vehicles (EV) and offer fixed prices, departing from the conventional sales system used by the wider industry.

Last week, Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p)’s joint venture with SAIC Motor opened its first showroom under this system in the eastern city of Hangzhou, according to a social media post. The store, named “ID. Store X”, sells its ID. range of family cars.

The German automaker said on Wednesday that customers can order vehicles at a fixed price directly through the company website, phone app or from authorised dealers. The stores are invested and operated by selected dealers, not the automaker.

The dealers get a commission from vehicle sales and do not need to maintain the car inventory, Volkswagen said.

Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) Corp: Japan’s Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) Corp put its revamped Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car, with 30% greater range, on sale on Wednesday in a fresh push to promote zero-emission technology amid growing demand for electric vehicles, including its own.

Toyota has failed until now to win drivers over to fuel cell vehicles (FCV), which remain a niche technology despite Japanese government backing, amid concerns about lack of fuelling stations, resale values and the risk of hydrogen explosions.

“The new Mirai will serve as a new departure point for creating a hydrogen-based society of the future,” Toyota said in a statement. It will cost about 5 million yen ($48,000) after subsidies, about the same as its predecessor.

By the end of September Toyota had sold only 11,100 of its first generation Mirai, almost six years after its launch. Most other automakers have eschewed FCV in favour of electric vehicles (EV).

Amazon.com Inc: Amazon.com Inc is considering a nearly $100 million investment in India’s pharmacy chain Apollo Pharmacy, facing up to Reliance Industries Ltd and Tata Group in the country’s fast-growing drug market, the Economic Times reported on Wednesday, citing two people aware of the plans.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) already delivers medicines in India and the potential investment would come amid rising competition from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, which bought a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds.

Tata Group was reportedly in talks to pick up a majority stake in e-pharmacy firm 1mg.

Both Amazon and Apollo Hospitals, which owns Apollo Pharmacy, declined to comment.

Array Technologies, Inc. (ARRY): On the 7th of December, Brookfield Asset Management sold 37 million Array Technologies, Inc. (ARRY) shares for $1.2 billion at an average price of $33.95 per share. Shares of Array Technologies, Inc. are up 1.90% since the transaction.

Brookfield Asset Management’s holding in Array Technologies, Inc. decreased to about 36 million shares with the transaction.

07-Dec
22:05 IST

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS):  Head of Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Wassim Younan, who built the U.S. bank’s business in the region, is retiring after nearly three decades with the Wall Street bank, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

Younan, 58, came to the region in 2006 and oversaw the expansion of Wall Street bank’s presence and franchise in MENA with offices in Dubai, Doha and Riyadh.

Goldman has advised some of the top deals in the region such as Saudi Aramco (SE:2222)’s $29.4 billion initial public offering last year and the merger of Saudi Arabia lenders, National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO): Has agreed to buy London-based cloud communications software company IMImobile PLC for 595 pence per share in cash in a deal valued at about $730 million, including debt.

IMImobile provides software and services to businesses to connect with customers through interactive channels including social, messaging and voice.

Airbnb: Is requiring most professional hosts outside North America to include all service fees in the rate presented to guests, a move that mirrors how rival platforms operate.

Airbnb will require hosts who use third-party software to manage bookings to eliminate the “service fee” paid by guests that is traditionally tacked on to the listing price. Instead hosts will pay a standard fee of 15%, up from the typical 3% they are assessed now.

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM): Has hired UBS banker Peihao Huang to become the co-head of its equity capital markets (ECM) business in Asia, not including Japan, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

Huang was UBS’s head of Asia ECM but resigned from the Swiss bank on Monday to join the U.S. firm, the people said.

The sources could not be named because the information has not yet been made public. JPMorgan and UBS declined to comment.

At JPMorgan, Huang will be the co-head of ECM Asia, ex-Japan, alongside Gregor Feige.

UBS will have its head of Asia Pacific Capital Markets Lauro Baja cover Huang’s responsibilities, one of the sources said.

Chick-fil-A: U.S. fast-food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A sued top chicken suppliers alleging they artificially raised prices on billions of dollars of its purchases in the latest litigation facing the poultry industry.

The lawsuit filed Friday names 17 defendants including Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods Inc (NYSE:TSN), Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) and Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) Inc alleging they shared bids and pricing details, leading the Atlanta-based restaurant chain to overpay for supplies.

The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted 10 industry executives in separate cases this year and several suppliers have faced lawsuits alleging conspiracy to inflate broiler chicken prices from grocers, retailers and consumers. Broiler chickens account for most chicken meat sold in the United States.

04-Dec
17:30 IST

Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) Inc : On Thursday asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to designate its ride-hail and delivery drivers as non-health essential workers entitled to early COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The company, in a letter to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said its drivers provided critical transportation for essential workers and allowed others to stay home and order food.

“Early access to a vaccine would help drivers and delivery people continue to play their essential role while also reducing the risk that they may inadvertently contract, or possibly transmit, the virus,” said the letter, signed by Uber’s head of federal affairs, Danielle Burr.

AT&T Inc (NYSE:T)’s: Warner Bros studio will debut all of its 2021 films in theatres and on the HBO Max streaming service on the same day, the company said on Thursday, an unprecedented shift that hammered shares of struggling cinema operators.

The movies, which are expected to include “Godzilla vs. Kong” and “The Suicide Squad,” will be available on HBO Max for one month starting on the same day they hit theatres, the studio said in a statement.

“Mortal Kombat,” a new version of “Dune” and a “Matrix” sequel also are scheduled to follow the new release pattern.

Shares of AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), the world’s largest theater operator fell almost 16%, and rival Cinemark dropped about 22%. AT&T shares closed up slightly.

United Airlines: The U.S. passenger and cargo airline industry saw total employment fall by nearly 29,000 workers through the month ending in mid-October as government restrictions on laying off staff expired.

The U.S. Transportation Department said U.S. airlines employed 673,278 workers in mid-October, which was 81,749 fewer than in March when U.S. travel demand started falling dramatically due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The department said that since March, United Airlines had reduced its workforce by 32%, or 29,243 employees, while Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) eliminated 32% of its jobs, affecting 28,751 employees.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C): A federal judge on Thursday said Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C)’s lawsuit to recoup some of the nearly $900 million it mistakenly paid Revlon Inc’s lenders appeared on track for trial next week after receiving assurances he had authority to conduct it.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan had late Wednesday said he could not be sure all the defendants were citizens of different states than the bank’s South Dakota-based Citibank unit, a jurisdictional requirement for the planned Dec. 9 nonjury trial.

But at a hearing, lawyers for Citigroup and the defendants said they were making substantial progress on that issue, and confident at least most defendants could stay in the case.

Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX): U.S. oil major Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) on Thursday cut billions off its long-term capital and exploratory budget even after a major restructuring of its operations as it tries to ride out a collapse in oil prices and preserve its dividend.

Oil majors have written off around $80 billion in asset values this year, cut output and laid off thousands of staff to save money in the face of a sharp decline in oil demand and revenue.

Chevron said it expects total capital and exploratory budget through 2025 to be between $14 billion and $16 billion, well below the prior forecast of up to $22 billion.

Its move to restrain spending on new oil projects, hold outlays flat next year and cut about $6 billion from last forecast was a sign it expects low energy prices for years.

03-Dec
22:07 IST

Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) Inc: Proxy adviser Glass Lewis has urged Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ:ZIOP) Inc’s shareholders to elect all three of investment firm WaterMill Asset Management Corp’s proposed board members and vote to remove four incumbents, WaterMill said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes about a week after another proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services said Ziopharm should elect two of the three board members proposed by WaterMill, in a rare case of investor activism in the biotechnology industry.

WaterMill has said there was a need for a board shakeup at Ziopharm after the company’s shares fell over 75% during a five-year period.

“Glass Lewis … has endorsed its case for meaningful change at Ziopharm Oncology and recommended shareholders vote for all five proposals on WaterMill’s WHITE consent card,” WaterMill said in a statement.

Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW): Snowflake slumped after-hours Wednesday as the cloud company reported wider-than-expected third-quarter losses on a jump in costs.       

Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) fell more than 6% following the report.

The company reported Q3 losses of $1.01 a share, from a loss of $1.92 in the prior-year period, compared with Wall Street estimates for a loss of 26 cents a share. Revenue rose 115% to $148.5 million, beating estimates of $148.7 million

“The company now has 3,554 total customers and 65 customers with trailing 12-month product revenue greater than $1 million,” Snowflake said. “The period was marked by continued strong revenue growth coupled with improving unit economics, cash flow, and operating efficiencies.”

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company guided revenue of $162 million to $167 million, implying 97% to 103% growth year-on-year respectively.

Zoom Video Communications: Reported Monday guidance that topped estimates on better-than-expected third-quarter results, but warned of higher churn in the final quarter of the year.

Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) fell 5.6%, to $26.98.

The company said it expected to see increased churn in the fourth quarter when compared to historic churn levels due to a “higher percentage of customers who purchased monthly subscriptions.”

For the fourth quarter, the company sees earnings in the range of 77 cents to 79 cents on revenue of $806 million to $811 million, compared with consensus estimates earnings of 63 cents on revenue of $721.2 million.

Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) : Is seeking full marketing authorisation from Britain for its COVID-19 vaccine, an executive said on Wednesday as the U.S. drugmaker gears up to deliver by the weekend the first shots following approval for emergency use in the country.

The application for full approval is “in parallel” with emergency use approval (EUA), said Berkeley Phillips, medical director of Pfizer UK, in a briefing.

He said regulators will review the same data provided for the emergency use by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech for the full approval. He did not say when that decision may come.

Deliveries, which could land in British warehouses as soon as the weekend, could not have started until the regulators had given their go ahead, he said. Regulators will assess each batch of the vaccine for quality.

Nestle: Said on Thursday it plans to invest 3.2 billion Swiss francs ($3.58 billion) over the next five years, giving details on how it wants to reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

As first steps, it wants to halve its emissions by 2030 and use 100% renewable electricity at its 800 global sites by 2025, the world’s biggest food company said in a statement.

The maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nescafe coffee, which produced 92 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018, said it would finance these investments mainly through operational and structural efficiencies to keep the initiative earnings neutral.

The Swiss company will work with farmers and suppliers to promote regenerative agriculture practices – such as restoring soil health – saying it expects to source over 14 million tons of its ingredients from farmers using these techniques by 2030.

02-Dec
15:28 IST

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc:Said on Wednesday it would lift the $35 minimum order value that subscribers of its loyalty service had to meet for next-day or two-day shipping, as the retailer gears up for a holiday season dominated by online shopping.

The change, starting Friday, only applies to items on the retailer’s website such as toys, appliances and clothing, the company said, adding that groceries, which are delivered from stores, will still have the $35 minimum.

Walmart Plus, touted as a rival to Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s Prime subscription service, was launched just over two months ago aiming to attract new customers and make existing ones more loyal as consumers consolidate their shopping to just a few retailers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hyundai Motor Group: South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group said on Wednesday it will introduce an electric vehicle-only platform early next year that will use its own battery technology to cut production time and costs.

The plan underscores efforts by the world’s No.5 auto group to become a major player in the global EV market, as car makers around the world are pouring billions of dollars of investment to improve battery technology, which keeps EV prices high compared with combustion engine models.

Market leader Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) said in September it aims to halve the cost of its EV batteries and bring more production of the key auto component in-house to lower EV prices to $25,000 each.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP):The largest U.S. independent oil producer, said on Tuesday that it would lay off up to 500 Houston employees, about a fifth of its headquarters workforce, to match staffing with expected activity levels.

Oil and gas producers have cut the value of their assets by about $80 billion and shed tens of thousands of jobs this year as the coronavirus pandemic savaged global energy demand and pushed energy prices down.

ConocoPhillips posted a loss of $1.93 billion through the first nine months of this year, compared with a $6.47 billion profit in the same period last year. Its shares traded at $39.27 on Tuesday, down about 40% year to date.

Nikola Corp’s:Stock dropped 15% on Tuesday, extending its recent drop as certain insiders were allowed to sell shares of the electric truck maker a day after General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) revised its deal with Nikola.

The stock posted a fourth straight session of declines. The share lockup period expired on Monday, 180 days after the start-up’s June merger with VectoIQ Acquisition and its Nasdaq public debut.

By late Tuesday, more than $1.2 billion worth of Nikola’s shares had been traded on U.S. exchanges, compared with a daily average of about $1.9 billion over the past five sessions

Boeing (NYSE:BA) Co:Said on Wednesday it had completed tests with five surrogate jets operating autonomously in a team in Australia, where it is developing an unmanned fighter-like jet designed to cooperate with manned aircraft.

The 10 days of tests were part of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System programme, which has developed prototype “Loyal Wingman” aircraft with the Royal Australian Air Force that can carry weapons and shield manned fighter jets.

“With the size, number and speed of aircraft used in the test, this is a very significant step for Boeing and industry in the progress of autonomous mission systems technology,” said Emily Hughes, director of Boeing’s Phantom Works International.

01-Dec
18:10 IST

General Motors Co (NYSE:GM):The union representing workers for General Motors Co (NYSE:GM) in South Korea have voted against a preliminary labour deal with the automaker, a union official told on Tuesday.

The result came after union negotiators reached a tentative agreement with GM last Wednesday.

The two sides have had 24 rounds of negotiations since July.

GM’s union in South Korea votes against tentative labour deal: official

Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) Co Ltd: May discontinue its premium Galaxy Note phone next year, sources with knowledge of the matter said, a move that would reflect the sharp drop in demand for high-end smartphones due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Galaxy Note, known for its large screen and a stylus for note-taking, is one of two Samsung (KS:005930) premium phone series – the other being the more compact Galaxy S which draws in consumers with its state-of-the-art parts.

At present, the South Korean tech giant does not have plans to develop a new version of the Galaxy Note for 2021, three sources said, declining to be identified as the plans were not public.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc:South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd plans to more than double production capacity of battery cells it makes in China for Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc electric vehicles (EV) next year, sources said, to keep up with its U.S. client’s growth in the biggest car market.

The firm, a supplier for Tesla’s Shanghai-built Model 3, will also ship its increased output from China as well as Korea to Tesla’s factories in Germany and the United States, said two people with knowledge of the matter, signalling an increased role in the supply chain of the world’s leading EV manufacturer.

The plan comes as Tesla, LG Chem’s primary customer, scrambles to secure cells as part of an aggressive global production expansion plan, as it targets soaring demand fanned by governments promoting EVs to curb air pollution.

Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM):On Monday said it would write down the value of natural gas properties by $17 billion to $20 billion, its biggest ever impairment, and slash project spending next year to its lowest level in 15 years.

The oil major is reeling from the sharp decline in oil demand and prices from the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of bad bets on projects when prices were much higher. New cost cuts aim to protect a $15 billion a year shareholder pay-out that many analysts believe is unsustainable without higher prices.

The write-down lays bare the size of the miscalculation that the company made in 2010 when it paid $30 billion for U.S. shale producer XTO Energy as natural gas prices went into a decade-long decline. The write-down also includes properties in Argentina and western Canada.

Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN):Has named outgoing Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) Chief Executive Officer António Horta-Osório as its next chairman, it said on Tuesday, bringing the nearly decade-long tenure of outgoing Chairman Urs Rohner to a close.

“António Horta-Osório shall succeed Urs Rohner who will step down in 2021 as previously announced upon reaching the statutory term of 12 years,” Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said in a statement, referring to Rohner’s 12-year boardroom stint, first as vice-chairmen and since 2011 as chairman.

News of Osario’s appointment came a day after a replacement was announced for the 56-year-old Portuguese native at Lloyds, with HSBC banker Charlie Nunn due to take over from him next year.

30-Nov
14:21 IST

Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA):Universal Studios Japan will open its new Nintendo themed area on Feb. 4, the Osaka-based theme park said on Monday, after pushing back the opening from the summer due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The “Super Nintendo World” area will feature Mario Kart races and other attractions based on Nintendo games, according to Universal Studios Japan.

“Super Nintendo World” had originally been scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which have also been delayed due to the pandemic.

Universal Studios Japan is owned by Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA)

Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN): A Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) Group global property fund will wind down against the backdrop of low trading volume and a discount of more than 20% to underlying assets due to market corrections triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swiss bank said.

“The fund management company has decided to liquidate the Credit Suisse Real Estate Fund Global, partly because of the trading discount that has arisen on the stock market,” it said.

The properties held by the real estate fund are to be transferred to the Credit Suisse Real Estate Fund International in the first half of 2021, and the liquidation proceeds will be paid out to the investors, according to the bank.

Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO):Will look to a handful of external candidates in a narrowing field for its new chief executive, as the miner tries to win back investors dismayed by the blasting of an ancient Australian rock shelter, bankers and investors say.

The top priority for a new CEO will be strong stakeholder management skills, as the world’s biggest iron ore miner begins to repair its relationships with Aboriginal groups and navigates a host of government issues elsewhere, they said.

Some major mining executives have ruled themselves out, and there is not a long list of acceptable candidates with the skill set and appetite for the top job, according to interviews with a dozen investors and analysts.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN):The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is assisting an inquiry into an alleged adverse reaction during AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN)’s COVID-19 vaccine trial, but has found no reason to recommend halting it, a senior official at the regulator said on Sunday.

A 40-year-old man said in a complaint seen by Reuters that he had suffered serious “neurological and psychological” symptoms after receiving the vaccine in a trial being run by the British drug maker’s partner Serum Institute of India (SII).

“There was no immediate cause of concern at this stage,” Samiran Panda, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the ICMR, the research body involved in trials.

Microsoft:In 2018, Microsoft made one of its priciest acquisitions ever, spending $7.5 billion on code-sharing site GitHub. It wasn’t the cleanest fit. GitHub is used by over 50 million developers who tend to be outspoken, including when it comes to things they dislike about Microsoft.

The deal continues to pose unexpected challenges, like a recent spat with the Recording Industry Association of America. In October, the RIAA asked GitHub to take down youtube-dl, a piece of open-source software that enables people to download videos from YouTube and other online services.

The software disappeared from the internet, and users objected

17-Nov
17:42 IST

Saudi Aramco (SE:2222):Began marketing a five-tranche U.S. dollar-denominated bond sale on Tuesday, as the world’s largest oil producer seeks cash after low oil prices dented its finances.

The move is part of an onslaught on international debt markets by Gulf issuers seeking to plug finances hit by the pandemic and weak oil prices, which has pushed regional issuance past last year’s record to surpass $100 billion again.

Aramco needs the money to pay dividends of $37.5 billion for the second half of 2020 and fund its $69.1 billion purchase of 70% of Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) (SE:2010).

Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU): Reported on Monday third quarter earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts and revenue that topped expectations.

Baidu announced earnings per share of 20.35 on revenue of 28.23B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of 13.01 on revenue of 27.49B.

Baidu shares are up 16% from the beginning of the year, still down 2.17% from its 52-week high of 151.12 set on November 16. They are under-performing the Nasdaq which is up 32.89% from the start of the year.

Smithfield Foods:The world’s biggest pork processor, and a subcontractor face fines of more than $100,000 from California’s workplace safety regulator for failing to protect employees from COVID-19 and other violations during the pandemic.

The penalties increase pressure on Chinese-owned Smithfield over U.S. working conditions during the health crisis, after federal regulators hit the meatpacker and others with smaller fines.

California’s regulator, known as Cal/OSHA, issued “the largest citation at a meatpacking plant nationwide” to Smithfield’s Farmer John plant in Vernon, California, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents meatpacking workers.

Micron: Rose 5% on Monday after Barron’s said the outlook is improving and shares could double.

The memory chip maker has lagged the Nasdaq’s 2020 increase, up about 9% versus the index’s 32% rise. Shares are trading at a two-year high.

Demand for automotive chips has come back quickly after dipping as operations halted amid the spread of the coronavirus, and 5G smartphone sales — which use more DRAM and flash than 4G phones — should rise to 500 million units next year up from 200 million this year, Barron’s said.

Nissan Motor (T:7201):Costco Wholesale Corp. COST shares rose in the extended session Monday after the company declared a special dividend. Costco shares rose 2.4% after hours, following a 0.3% advance to close at $379.79 in the regular session. The wholesale club said its board declared a $10-a-share dividend to be paid Dec. 11 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 2 for a total payout of $4.4 billion out of its existing cash. “This special dividend, our fourth in eight years, is our latest step to reward shareholders,” said Richard Galanti, Costco chief financial officer, in a statement. “Our strong balance sheet allows us to pay this dividend, while preserving financial and operational flexibility to continue to grow our business globally.” Analysts have frequently predicted Costco’s special dividends, with one of the latest coming back in September.

16-Nov
20:30 IST

PNC Financial Services Group Inc (N:PNC):Said on Monday it would buy the U.S. business of Spanish lender BBVA (MC:BBVA) for $11.6 billion in cash, further consolidating the U.S. banking sector.

It is the second-largest U.S. banking deal since the 2008 financial crisis and creates a U.S. bank with nearly $560 billion of assets and a presence in two dozen states.

The move underscores how a loosening of financial regulations and lowering of corporate taxes under President Donald Trump has emboldened regional lenders to pursue scale through dealmaking, as they compete with bigger players such as JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co (N:WFC).

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways: Said on Monday it would start daily flights to Tel Aviv in March after the United Arab Emirates and Israel’s established formal ties this year.

Flight will start March 28 and will be timed to connect with Etihad services to and from China, Thailand, India and Australia, the state-owned carrier said in a statement.

The announcement comes as the aviation industry faces its worst-ever crisis because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has wrecked air travel demand.

Etihad has slashed jobs and pushed forward with plans to shrink into a mid-sized carrier focused on carrying passengers to and from Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital.

Walmart Inc (N:WMT) :Is selling a majority stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu to investment firm KKR (N:KKR) and e-commerce company Rakuten (T:4755) for over $1 billion, after years of struggling to make money amid stiff competition.

The deal, which values Seiyu at 172.5 billion yen ($1.65 billion), comes after on-off speculation about the U.S. retail giant looking to exit Japan. It is well below the 300-500 billion yen it reportedly sought a few years ago.

KKR will buy 65% of Seiyu while Rakuten, which already has an online venture with the chain, will acquire a 20% stake. Walmart will retain 15%, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

Huawei Technologies Co: Witness cross-examination in the U.S. extradition case of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou will resume in a Canadian court on Monday where Meng’s lawyers are trying to establish that her rights were violated during the events leading up to her arrest.

Meng, 48, was arrested in December 2018 at Vancouver International Airport by Canadian police, on a warrant from the United States. She is facing charges of bank fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC (L:HSBA) about Huawei Technologies CoLtd.’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break U.S. sanctions.

Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting the extradition from under house arrest in Vancouver, where she owns a home in one of Canada’s most expensive neighbourhoods.

Nissan Motor (T:7201): Is looking to sell some or all its 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors (T:7211), Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources, a move that would reshape a three-way alliance that includes France’s Renault (PA:RENA).

Nissan shares rose 5% on the news. Mitsubishi Motors was up 3%.

“There are no plans to change the capital structure with Mitsubishi,” a Nissan company spokeswoman told Reuters in an emailed statement. A Mitsubishi Motors spokesman said the same, adding the company would continue to collaborate within the alliance.

13-Nov
19:55 IST

Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY):French healthcare giant Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) has invested 50 million euros ($59 million) into Jeito Capital, an investment firm dedicated to biotech and biopharma, in a deal which Sanofi said would support French and European healthcare innovation.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Jeito Capital and its international team of pharma and biotech experts who are renowned for creating value through innovation,” said Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Paul Hudson (NYSE:HUD) in a statement on Friday.

Germany’s Daimler AG (DE:DAIGn): Its China commercial vehicle partner BeiqiFoton Motor Co (SS:600166) plan to invest 2.75 billion yuan ($415.32 million) to build Mercedes-Benz-branded Actros heavy trucks for the first time in China, a document showed.

The partners plan to revamp plants at their joint venture Beijing Foton Daimler (OTC:DDAIF) Automotive (BFDA) in China’s capital Beijing and add a production line, giving the plant a capacity of 50,000 Actros trucks a year

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) :Reported Thursday fourth-quarter results that topped analysts’ estimates, as well as strong demand for its streaming services.

Walt Disney shares gained 7.21% in after-hours trade following the report.

Walt Disney announced earnings per share of $-0.2 on revenue of $14.71B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $-0.73 on revenue of $14.15B.

Walt Disney shares are down 6% from the beginning of the year, still down 11.71% from its 52 week high of $153.41 set on November 26, 2019. They are under-performing the Dow Jones which is up 1.9% from the start of the year.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) : Forecast a recovery in revenue in the second quarter after reported on Thursday first-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations as margins improved.

Cisco shares gained 8.34% in after-hours trade following the report.

Looking ahead, the company guided fiscal first-quarter EPS in the range of $0.74-to-$0.76, with revenue expected to decline within a range of 0-to-2%.

Cisco announced earnings per share of $0.76 on revenue of $11.93B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $0.7 on revenue of $11.85B.

Emirates :   State-owned Emirates said on Thursday that Dubai would help it through the coronavirus crisis after losses of $3.4 billion tipped the airline’s holding company into its first half-year loss in more than thirty years.

Emirates said global travel restrictions meant revenue dropped by 75% to $3.2 billion as passenger traffic fell by 95% to 1.5 million in the six months to the end of September.

12-Nov
19:42 IST

Foxconn: The world’s largest contract electronics maker, reported near flat quarterly profit on Thursday, beating market estimates amid firm demand for telecommuting devices as the pandemic-induced work-from-home trend continues.

The Taiwanese company, whose clients include technology majors such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), booked July-September net profit of T$30.8 billion ($1.08 billion), Reuters calculations showed based on nine-month figures.

That compared with the T$28.61 billion average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv. Profit growth was nearly flat versus the T$30.7 billion of the same periods a year prior.

Japan’s Nissan (OTC:NSANY) Motor Co Ltd (T:7201): On Thursday cut its forecast for an annual operating loss by 28%, albeit to a still-whopping $3.2 billion, helped by restructuring efforts and better-than-expected sales.

In a reversal from the aggressive expansion pursued by ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn, Nissan is reducing production and its vehicle line-up by a fifth, and slashing costs by 300 billion yen in three years to improve profits.

Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta also told a briefing that Nissan will move to online sales globally – in a sign of the depth of its restructuring drive and the impact of the pandemic.

Siemens (DE:SIEGn):German engineering group Siemens (DE:SIEGn) on Thursday reported better-than-expected profit at its industrial business in the final set of results overseen by long-standing Chief Executive Joe Kaeser.

The trains to factory software-maker said it expected market conditions to improve next year as the global economy made a cautious recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Although an improvement, the recovery in company and government spending on machinery and systems will lag behind the recovery in gross domestic product, the company said.

Fiat Chrysler and Engie EPS: Fiat Chrysler and Engie EPS, a part of French utility Engie that focuses on energy storage systems and microgrids, plan to set up a joint venture to boost electric mobility, the two companies said on Thursday.

Fiat Chrysler’s Italian division and Engie EPS, which is also based in Italy, have entered into a memorandum of understanding aimed at creating the joint venture, they said in a statement.

The new venture will offer a full range of products and solutions, including residential, business and public charging infrastructure as well as green energy packages for electric vehicle customers across Europe, they said.

Rolls-Royce (L: RR): British engineering company Rolls-Royce (L:RR) said shareholders signed up for 94% of new shares it issued as part of a 2 billion pound ($2.64 billion) rights issue aimed at bolstering its pandemic-hit finances.

Airlines pay Rolls based on how many hours its engines fly and as such, the company’s finances have come under increasing pressure after COVID-19 stopped travel earlier this year.

The equity raise unlocks new debt options including 2 billion pounds from a bond issued in October and a bank loan worth 1 billion pounds, as part of a total 5 billion pound liquidity package for the company.

11-Nov
17:40 IST

Honda Motor Co (T:7267): Japan’s Honda Motor Co (T:7267) said on Wednesday it will be the world’s first automaker to mass-produce sensor-packed level 3 autonomous cars that will allow drivers to let their vehicles navigate congested expressway traffic.

“Honda is planning to launch sales of a Honda Legend (luxury sedan) equipped with the newly approved automated driving equipment” before the end of March 2021, Honda said in a press release.

United Internet AG:United Internet AG reported on Wednesday third quarter earnings that missed analysts’ forecasts and revenue that fell short of expectations.

United Internet AG announced earnings per share of €0.27 on revenue of €1.33B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of €0.5 on revenue of €1.34B.

United Internet AG shares are up 2% from the beginning of the year, still down 31.68% from its 52 week high of €43.88 set on August 13. They are outperforming the STOXX 600 which is down 7.56% from the start of the year.

Amazon (O: AMZN): The European Union charged Amazon (O: AMZN) with damaging retail competition, alleging on Tuesday that the U.S. company uses its size, power, and data to gain an unfair advantage over smaller merchants that sell on its online platform.

The move by competition chief Margrethe Vestager, the latest European salvo against U.S. tech giants, comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified Amazon’s role in the global economy, with online sales soaring in lockdowns.

The European Commission has been investigating Amazon’s position as both a marketplace for merchants and a rival seller, while the firm also faces scrutiny in the United States over its alleged mistreatment of sellers, as well as its dual role.

Apple Inc (O: AAPL): On Tuesday introduced a MacBook Air notebook and other machines with its first central processor designed in-house for Macs, a move that will tie its computers and iPhones closer together technologically.

The new chip, called the M1, marks a shift away from Intel Corp (O:INTC) technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years.

It is a boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company’s iPhone but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. Apple hopes developers now will create families of apps that work on both its computers and phones.

Boeing Co (N: BA): Lost another 12 orders for its grounded 737 MAX jetliner in October, and delivered 13 aircraft to customers, down from the 20 jets delivered in the same month a year ago, company data showed on Tuesday.

For the second straight month, the closely watched monthly snapshot revealed 787 Dreamliner quality flaws and the coronavirus pandemic kept hampering Boeing’s efforts to develop an alternative cash cow to the 737 MAX.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) appeared about a week away from lifting a March 2019 safety ban, although the pandemic kept hammering demand for jets from Boeing and European rival Airbus (PA:AIR).

09-Nov
15:51 IST

Norwegian Air (OL:NORR) :The Norwegian government will not provide additional financial support for pandemic-hit Norwegian Air (OL:NORR) the Industry Ministry and the Ministry of Transportation said in a statement on Monday.

Norwegian Air, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and grounded most of its fleet, said in August it would run out of cash in the first quarter of 2021 unless it could secure fresh funds and has held talks with the government in the hope of winning support.

A pioneer in low-fare transatlantic air travel, Norwegian Air’s rapid expansion left it with debt of close to $8 billion by mid-2020, making it vulnerable to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infineon (OTC: IFNNY): German chipmaker Infineon (OTC: IFNNY) forecast that revenue would grow by nearly 23% in the year ahead as it reported fiscal fourth-quarter results on Monday that were in line with analyst estimates.

The Munich-based chipmaker ditched its guidance in March as the coronavirus hit – just before its $10 billion acquisition of U.S. Cypress Technologies closed – but has since staged a recovery led by China and the autos sector.

CEO Reinhard Ploss said that Infineon had successfully completed “an exceptional and difficult fiscal year with a very respectable fourth quarter”

SoftBank Group Corp: Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp on Monday reported a 131.7 billion-yen ($1.27 billion) loss from speculation on technology stocks after an attempt to diversify using its massive cash pile backfired.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son in August said the firm would park excess cash from asset monetisation in tech stocks and derivatives in an attempt to capitalise on an uplift in valuations in the sector.

The bets, which come as SoftBank hopes to re-establish its investing chops after portfolio companies struggled, turned sour after the firm booked a 292-billion-yen derivative loss.

Mazda Motor Corp (T:7261):On Thursday posted a 7.59 billion yen ($73.4 million) operating loss in the three months ended Sept 30 as sales contracted amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 45.3-billion-yen loss in the first three months of the business year, which was its worst in quarter in 11 years.

Mazda posted a smaller loss in the second quarter after it benefited from a rebound in sales in North America, its biggest market. Vehicle sales there rose 1% from a year earlier.

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (T:4502) :Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) said on Monday it had opened three more logistics centres in Brazil to take advantage of the boost the COVID-19 pandemic has given to e-commerce in South America’s largest economy.

The new units are already operating in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul and the capital city of Brasilia. They increase the number of Amazon logistics centres in Brazil to eight, expanding its reach to all corners of the vast country.

The expansion, which adds 75,000 square meters (807,000 square feet) of distribution space, is Amazon’s biggest since it began operating in Brazil in 2012. It will create 1,500 direct jobs, the company said in a statement.

06-Nov
20:25 IST

Toyota Motor Corp (T:7203) :

More than doubled its full-year operating profit forecast on Friday, as vehicle sales rebound in China from a coronavirus pandemic squeeze earlier this year that contributed to a 24% slide in second-quarter earnings.

Japan’s top automaker said it now expects an operating profit of 1.3 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) for the year through March, 2021, up from the 500 billion it predicted previously. Operating profit for the previous financial year was 2.47 trillion yen.

Honda Motor Co (T:7267) :

On Friday more than doubled its full-year operating profit forecast as it reported second-quarter earnings grew 28% amid a rebound in China after auto sales were squeezed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s third-biggest automaker said it now forecasts a full-year operating profit of 420 billion yen ($4.06 billion) up from a previous prediction of a 200 billion yen profit.

Allianz (DE:ALVG) :

German insurer Allianz (DE:ALVG) on Friday posted an unexpected 6% rise in net profit in the third quarter from a year earlier, despite pressure on business from the coronavirus pandemic.

Net profit attributable to shareholders of 2.063 billion euros ($2.44 billion) in the three months through September compares with 1.947 billion euros a year earlier. It was higher than a 1.626-billion-euro consensus forecast.

Ford Motor Co ‘s (N:F) :

Chinese ventures reported higher vehicle sales for October from a year earlier, as strong demand for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans continued to support its recovery in the world’s biggest auto market.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s Chongqing-based venture with Changan (SZ:000625) said on Thursday it sold 26,305 vehicles last month, a 43% jump year-on-year.

Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) (SZ:000550), in which Ford owns a stake, said in a filing earlier this week it sold 34,008 vehicles last month, up 26% on year. Overall auto sales are expected to grow 11.4% on year in October.

Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (T:4502) :

Is looking at making vaccines a core business after completing asset sales to lower debt following its takeover of Shire Plc (LON:SHP), Chief Executive Christophe Weber said.

Japan’s biggest drug maker by revenue recently completed $10 billion in sales of mostly over-the-counter drug assets to reduce debt after its $59 billion purchase of Shire, saying it would focus on five key business areas.

05-Nov
22:51 IST

Lufthansa (DE:LHAG) : Warned on Thursday it will burn through more cash in the fourth quarter than in the third and that further restructuring measures will weigh on its results as it struggles to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of continuing travel restrictions to curb the virus outbreak, Germany’s flagship airline booked a net loss of 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in the third quarter, compared with a profit of 1.2 billion euros the previous year.

Third-quarter capacity was just 22% of last year’s level, leading to an average monthly operating cash drain of 200 million euros

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) :The British drugmaker working on one of the world’s leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, on Thursday beat third-quarter sales estimates as demand for its diverse portfolio of drugs remained strong during COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, and it maintained its 2020 forecasts.

The company reiterated it expected results from the late-stage trials on its experimental COVID-19 vaccine later this year, depending on the rate of infection among trial participants.

Product sales, which exclude payments from collaborations, rose 7% to $6.52 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30 on a constant-currency basis, ahead of a company-compiled consensus of $6.50 billion.

Johnson & Johnson’s (N:JNJ) :Nestle’s Purina brand is launching a line of pet food using insects, as the world’s biggest food group tests more environmentally sustainable protein sources.

The move addresses a trend of people seeking more eco-friendly or allergen-free diets for their pets, and puts the world’s largest food company into potential competition with smaller brands like Yora and Green Petfood’s InsectDog.

The Purina Beyond Nature’s Protein line, which launches in Nestle’s home country, Switzerland, this month, will be available in two variations – one using chicken, fava beans and protein from black soldier fly larvae, and one using chicken, pig’s liver and millet.

ArcelorMittal (LU:MT) (AS:MT) :The world’s largest steelmaker, reported third-quarter core profit above expectations on Thursday as the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns led to improved demand in all regions.

The company, which makes around 5% of the world’s steel, said core profit (EBITDA) fell 15% from a year earlier to $901 million, compared with an average expectation of $838 million in a company-compiled poll.

CEO Lakshmi Mittal said in a statement that steel markets had recovered from a very challenging second quarter, with particular improvement in profits in Brazil and its unit grouping South Africa, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

The company said its mining business also fared better, with higher iron ore prices and increased production. It now expects iron ore shipments sold at market prices to be about the same as in 2019. It had previously forecast a 5% decline.

Siemens Gamesa (MC:SGREN) : Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa (MC:SGREN) said on Thursday it expected to steadily fatten margins over the next three years, even though a timid return to operating profit in the fourth quarter was not enough to save it from an annual loss.

Beset by a slowdown in the Indian market, cost overruns in Northern Europe and disruptions linked to COVID-19, the German-Spanish company reported a net loss of 918 million euros ($1.08 billion) for its fiscal year ended September.

05-Nov
01:00 IST

BMW (DE: BMWG) : Said on Wednesday third-quarter profit rose almost 10% thanks to rebounding Chinese demand for luxury cars and it reiterated its outlook, even as a wave of coronavirus infections continues to sweep Europe and the United States.

Like rival Mercedes (DE:DAIGn), BMW’s quarterly pretax profit recovered in the third quarter, rising 9.6% to 2.46 billion euros ($2.87 billion), lifted by an 8.6% rise in deliveries of luxury cars.

The automotive EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin rebounded to 6.7%, from minus 10.4% in the second quarter and 6.6% a year earlier, despite a 50% jump in sales of lower-margin electric and hybrid cars during the same period.

Subaru Corp (T:7270) :Raised its operating profit forecast on Wednesday by more than a third to 110 billion yen ($1.05 billion) because U.S. vehicle sales rebounded more than it expected after the coronavirus pandemic hurt demand.

Like other automakers, Subaru, which sells two-thirds of its cars in the United States, had to shutter vehicle factories earlier in the year as the coronavirus spread. Customers also stayed away from dealerships leading to a drop in production and sales.

The improved profit outlook by Japan’s No. 7 automaker compared with a previous prediction of 80 billion yen. It is 48% less than it posted in the year that ended March 31 and also less than an average estimate for a 114 billion yen annual profit

Johnson & Johnson’s (N:JNJ) :Missouri’s highest court on Tuesday refused to consider Johnson & Johnson’s (N:JNJ) appeal of a $2.12 billion damages award to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in its baby powder and other talc products.

The Missouri Supreme Court let stand a June 23 decision by a state appeals court, which upheld a jury’s July 2018 finding of liability but reduced J&J’s payout from $4.69 billion after dismissing claims by some of the 22 plaintiffs.

Johnson & Johnson said it plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It said the verdict was the product of a “fundamentally flawed trial, grounded in a faulty presentation of the facts,” and was “at odds with decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer.”

Western Union Co (N:WU):The world’s largest money transfer firm, expects an improved outlook for 2021 as people adjust to the novel coronavirus and on expectations for additional U.S. government stimulus to help the economy, its chief financial officer said on Tuesday.

Remittance flows, a vital source of external financing for developing countries, have tumbled this year as new migration has slowed and some existing migrant workers return to their home countries after losing jobs.

Western Union, which relies on such transfers for its business, last week reported third-quarter revenue of $1.3 billion compared to a Refinitiv IBES estimate of $1.25 billion and reinstated its 2020 full-year financial outlook with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) earnings per share in the range of $1.72-$1.77.

Intel : Continues to snap up start-ups to build out its machine learning and AI operations. In the latest move, TechCrunch has learned that the chip giant has acquired Cnvrg.io, an Israeli company that has built and operates a platform for data scientists to build and run machine learning models, which can be used to train and track multiple models and run comparisons on them, build recommendations and more.

Intel  confirmed the acquisition to us with a short note. “We can confirm that we have acquired Cnvrg,” a spokesperson said. “Cnvrg will be an independent Intel company and will continue to serve its existing and future customers.” Those customers include Lightricks, ST Unitas and Playtika.

Intel is not disclosing any financial terms of the deal, nor who from the startup will join Intel. Cnvrg, co-founded by YochayEttun (CEO) and Leah ForkoshKolben, had raised $8 million from investors that include Hanaco Venture Capital and Jerusalem Venture Partners, and PitchBook estimates that it was valued at around $17 million in its last round.

03-Nov
15:38 IST

Bayer:Drugs and farming pesticides maker Bayer (DE:BAYGn) said the costs of its settlement over claims its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer, initially put at $11 billion, would be $750 million higher.

Bayer struck an agreement in principle with U.S. plaintiff’s lawyers in June but a judge later took issue with a side arrangement on future cases that may yet be lodged, known as a class plan.

BNP Paribas SA’s :BNPQY 2.64% net profit held steady in the third quarter as income from trading securities offset a decline in retail banking earnings.

The Paris-based bank said net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was €1.89 billion, the equivalent of $2.2 billion, slightly down from the same period in 2019. Pre-Tax profit from the bank’s global markets unit soared 67% to €648 million

PayPal :Reported on Monday third-quarter results that beat analysts’ forecasts and revenue that topped expectations.

PayPal Holdings Inc shares fell nearly 6% in after-hours trade following the report.

PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) Inc announced earnings per share of $1.07 on revenue of $5.46 billion. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $0.94 on revenue of $5.42 billion.

Total payment volume grew 38% to $247 billion, beating estimates of $232.26 billion, while 15.2 million net new accounts were added, taking the total to 361 million active accounts.

Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) :Reported Monday third-quarter earnings that met expectations and revenue that topped estimates on elevated demand in developed markets and improved quarterly performance in emerging markets.

Mondelez shares fell 1.4% in after-hours trade following the report.

Mondelez announced earnings per share of $0.63 on revenue of $6.67B. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $0.63 on revenue of $6.49B.

Skyworks (NASDAQ:SWKS): Reported on Monday fourth quarter earnings that beat analysts’ forecasts and revenue that topped expectations.

Skyworks announced earnings per share of $1.85 on revenue of $956.8M. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of $1.52 on revenue of $841.61M.

Skyworks shares are up 17.71% from the beginning of the year, still down 10.27% from its 52 weeks high of $158.57 set on October 12. They are outperforming the S&P 500 which is up 2.44% from the start of the year.

02-Nov
22:26 IST

ALIBABA: Chinese autonomous vehicle startup AutoX, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said it is preparing for tests in four more cities and will soon test its technology with FCA’S Pacifica minivan.

The four-year-old firm is also in talks with prospective investors to fund fleet expansion and development, Chief Executive Xiao Jianxiong told Reuters, without elaborating.

RENAULT: Steve Tomlin, who runs a Renault dealership in Britain, says sales of the Zoe small electric car have shot up this year, a turnaround he partly puts down to a fading of “range anxiety”, the fear of running out of power mid-journey. The revamped model, which has accounted for a third of Tomlin’s sales for a couple of months this year, has a range of 400 km (249-mile). By contrast, the previous model, which drew much lower sales, offered 300 km when fully charged.

Tencent:  Tencent’s flagship video game, announced a record 100 million daily active users worldwide and said it was expanding into other genres and forming a tie-up with British luxury group Burberry.       

The moves come as the world’s most lucrative mobile game celebrates its fifth anniversary and faces a challenge from a mobile version of League of Legends, the world’s most popular desktop game. League of Legends: Wild Rift, made by Tencent’s subsidiary, U.S. studio Riot Games, is currently being tested in Asia.

UBS: New UBS Chief Executive Ralph Hamers told staff to stay healthy and focus on clients as Switzerland’s biggest bank presses through the coronavirus pandemic.

On his first day as boss of UBS, Hamers, who is taking over as CEO of the world’s biggest wealth manager from Sergio Ermotti, said his priorities also included ensuring UBS continues to deliver good results and finding ways to do even better.

NIDEC CORP:  Nidec Corp will spend 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) on a new plant in Serbia to build motors for electric vehicles as it seeks to win more business from automakers turning away from internal combustion engines.

Nidec founder Shigenobu Nagamori has said he wants a 35% market share for energy-saving electric motor technology knows as e-axle or e-drive by 2030, which is expected to have grown ten times by then too as much as $30 billion a year.

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