Company news in brief

11 January 2018 | Business

Boeing set to top Airbus in 2017

Boeing Co said on Tuesday it delivered 763 jetliners in 2017, likely retaining the title of the world's biggest plane maker compared with European rival Airbus SE.

Boeing also garnered 912 net new aircraft orders worth US$134.8 billion last year, compared with 668 worth about US$94 billion in 2016. Airbus was on track last month to rack up more than 1 000 gross new orders, excluding cancellations, compared with the 1 053 gross orders Boeing announced.

The annual tallies confer more than just bragging rights; they show the companies' ability to run factories smoothly, make new sales and ultimately generate profits. Both companies report 2017 results in coming weeks. – Nampa/Reuters

Car giants launch US$1 bln venture capital fund

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance said it is setting up a venture capital fund that plans to invest as much as US$1 billion over five years, the latest move by major carmakers as they seek to adapt to rapid industry change by investing in startups.

It is set to be largest corporate venture capital fund in the auto industry over the period until 2022, the companies said in a statement.

The fund expects to invest up to US$200 million in its first year and key potential areas of investment include vehicle electrification, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, the statement said. – Nampa/Reuters

Huawei's AT&T smartphone deal collapses

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's planned deal with US carrier AT&T Inc to sell its smartphones in the United States has collapsed at the eleventh hour, people with knowledge of the matter said, in a blow to the Chinese firm's global ambitions. A separate person familiar with the discussions said that security concerns had arisen, without elaborating further.

Huawei said that its flagship premium smartphone Mate 10 Pro - Huawei's challenger to the iPhone - will be sold in the United States only through open channels. – Nampa/Reuters

Areva signs China nuclear facility pact

France's Areva signed a protocol agreement on Tuesday to build a nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in China worth 10 billion euros (US$12 billion), but has yet to secure a firm contract for a deal seen as vital to reviving the French nuclear industry.

The French nuclear industry has struggled to secure new business since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident stunted orders worldwide. It has also suffered from growing competition from renewable energy and cheap natural gas.

The initial target had been to commission the plant by 2030, meaning work would have to start by around 2020 latest. – Nampa/Reuters

Shrinking balance sheet may protect Fed

The Federal Reserve has begun shrinking its US$4.4-trillion balance sheet because the US economy's recovery from the 2008 financial crisis means less need for central bank support and the Fed wants to keep its powder dry for the next recession.

But Fed research published on Monday says a smaller portfolio would also insulate the central bank from potential future losses on its bond holdings and any political criticism that might result from losses to the taxpayer.

The research by five central bank economists and an independent professor finds there would be about a 30% chance that the Fed would log losses on its holdings in the years ahead were it to hang on to all of its current assets.

In each year since 2012, the Fed has sent between US$79 billion and US$97 billion in remittances to the US Treasury. The payments are derived from profits on its bond holdings and, while they are projected to decline, they represent a quiet windfall for taxpayers thanks to the central bank's unprecedented crisis-era decisions to prop up the economy by buying bonds. – Nampa/Reuters

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