Company news in brief

26 February 2019 | Business

Barrick intends to propose changes at Newmont

Newmont Mining Corp said on Sunday that Barrick Gold Corp, owner of a tiny fraction of the US mining company, intends to propose lowering the ownership threshold needed to call a meeting of Newmont shareholders.

The proposals would be to lower the ownership threshold necessary to call shareholder meetings to 15% from the current 25%, and to repeal all bylaw amendments implemented since October 24, Newmont said in a statement.

If successful, the proposals would make it easier for shareholders to call a vote to oust Newmont's board, and come as further sign that Barrick could be moving ahead with preparations for a hostile bid for Newmont.

Barrick, already the world's largest gold miner, said on Friday it considered making an all-stock bid for Newmont, a deal that would create a monolith in the global gold sector.

Last month, Newmont said it would buy smaller rival Goldcorp Inc, for US$10 billion, creating the world's biggest gold producer in the face of dwindling easy-to-find reserves of the precious metal. – Nampa/Reuters

LG unveils dual-screen 5G smartphone

South Korea’s LG Electronics unveiled a 5G smartphone on Sunday with a dual screen, the latest handset maker to pitch a new design feature in an effort to revive flagging sales.

The two screens on the new V50ThinQ work independently, so a user can watch a film on one screen while browsing the Internet on the other.

LG, the world's No.7 smartphone maker, saw its sales decline by a quarter last year as Chinese rivals Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi grabbed market share in a slightly weaker global market.

LG did not set release dates or announce prices for the new phones, but said the 5G model should hit stores in the first half of the year.

Nokia 9 PureView launched with five-camera array

HMD Global, the Finnish company which owns the rights to use the Nokia brand for mobile phones, has launched a smartphone with an array of five camera lenses designed to appeal to camera enthusiasts.

The Nokia 9 PureView heads a range of smartphones announced by HMD on Sunday, including an entry-level and two mid-level handsets, all designed to work with Google's Android One, which guarantees two years' of operating system upgrades.

HMD also refreshed its devices in the mid-market, where it already has a top-five ranking in many markets, and introduced a feature phone - the Nokia 210 - able to connect to the internet using an Opera Mini browser, priced at an average US$35.

The Nokia range would serve users, particularly in emerging markets, from feature phone to mid-market devices.

The company said the mid-market Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 4.2 also appealed to users who wanted good value combined with the simplicity of a "pure" Android operating system, unencumbered with software installed by the device maker and with guaranteed upgrades. – Nampa/Reuters

China's Xiaomi sees growth in Africa

China's Xiaomi has launched its contribution to a new wave of smartphones that will be able to take advantage of faster 5G mobile networks at a lower price than analysts expect from rivals such as Samsung.

The world's fourth-largest smartphone maker unveiled the handset on Sunday, trumpeting prices starting from 599 euros (US$680) when it hits the market in May, prompting gasps in the hall at the mobile industry's biggest global event in Barcelona.

Xiaomi initially targeted Asian markets, notably India, where it toppled Samsung as the No.1 smartphone seller last year. Since 2017, it has launched into Spain, France and Italy with devices enabled for 4G. Now its is turning its attention to growth potential in Africa, Xiaomi senior vice president Xiang Wang Wang said.

"We see the African countries building, accelerating their migration from 3G to 4G," he said.

"We only have 4G products, so I think it's the right time for us to learn that market, to serve the customers first and learn more so we can have more products for Africa." – Nampa/Reuters

Huawei breaks price ceiling with folding 5G

Huawei Technologies unveiled a US$2 600 folding smartphone on Sunday which it said was primed for next generation 5G mobile connections, even as the United States campaigns to bar the Chinese company from such networks over security concerns.

Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor after Samsung, said it had taken the lead on developing phones for 5G - which promise super fast internet speeds for consumers and businesses - because it was also involved in developing the networks.

Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer business group, said the Huawei Mate X will have two back-to-back screens which unfold to become an eight-inch tablet display.

Yu said the Mate X would be able to download a 1 gigabyte movie in three seconds but also be priced at 2 299 euros (US$2 607) when it goes on sale later this year, setting a new upper limit for consumer smartphones.

Huawei, which is also the world's biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is under intense scrutiny in the West over US-led allegations of enabling Chinese state espionage, accusations which the company denies. – Nampa/Reuters

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