COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

22 October 2021 | Business

ABB lowers sales guidance

ABB lowered its full-year sales outlook on Thursday, as the Swiss engineering and technology group became the latest company to flag shortages of key components limiting its ability to supply customers.

The maker of industrial robots and charging stations for electric cars said it now expects its full-year sales to increase by 6% to 8%, down from its previous view for an increase of just below 10%.

ABB said it was hit by a bottleneck in the third quarter and expected shortages to continue for the rest of the year.

"In the fourth quarter of 2021, ABB anticipates a continued tight supply chain to impact customer deliveries," ABB said as it reported its third-quarter earnings.

Companies including Canadian auto parts maker Magna, and Sweden's Ericsson have been hit by tight supply chains, as suppliers have made stuttering restarts to production following the pandemic shutdown. -Nampa/Reuters

Evergrande stake deal on hold

China Evergrande Group’s deal to sell a 51% stake in its property services unit has been put on hold, two people with knowledge of the matter said, in a blow to the embattled developer’s hopes of avoiding a potentially disruptive default.

Evergrande, teetering on the brink of collapse with more than US$300 billion in debt, was in talks to sell the stake in Evergrande Property Services to smaller rival Hopson Development Holdings for around HK$20 billion (US$2.6 billion), sources previously told Reuters.

However, the deal, which was set to be the biggest asset sale for the company, has been put on hold as it has yet to win the blessing of the Guangdong provincial government, which is overseeing Evergrande’s restructuring, one of the people said on Tuesday.

When contacted, a Hopson representative asked Reuters to await an announcement. Evergrande and the Guangdong provincial government did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Evergrande is scrambling to raise funds to pay its many lenders and suppliers, amid concerns about a possible offshore default later this week after it missed a series of interest payments due on its bonds. -Nampa/Reuters

GLP raises US$2.7 billion

Asia's biggest warehouse operator, GLP, said on Tuesday it raised 311 billion yen (US$2.73 billion) for its largest Japan-focused private real estate fund amid a global boom in the logistics sector spurred by growing e-commerce sales.

The fund, GLP Japan Development Partners IV, is expected to reach over 1 trillion yen of assets under management when fully deployed, GLP said in a statement.

It will focus on developing logistics facilities in Japan, in particular large-scale projects in the greater Tokyo and Osaka regions.

GLP, owned by a Chinese consortium, has more than US$120 billion of assets under management in real estate and private equity, the company said. -Nampa/Reuters

Facebook to pay US$14.25 mln

Facebook Inc has agreed to pay up to US$14.25 million to settle civil claims by the US government that the social media company discriminated against American workers and violated federal recruitment rules, US officials said on Tuesday.

The two related settlements were announced by the Justice Department and Labour Department and confirmed by Facebook.

The Justice Department last December filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of giving hiring preferences to temporary workers including those who hold H-1B visas that let companies temporarily employ foreign workers in certain specialty occupations. Such visas are widely used by tech companies.

Kristen Clarke, assistant US attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, called the agreement with Facebook historic.

"It represents by far the largest civil penalty the Civil Rights Division has ever recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision," Clarke said in a call with reporters. -Nampa/Reuters

Apple to sell fewer iPhones

JP Morgan on Tuesday became the second brokerage in two weeks to cut its forecast for Apple Inc's iPhone sales for the crucial holiday quarter as the global chip shortage and factory closures in Asia finally catch up to the technology giant.

The brokerage trimmed its iPhone revenue estimate to US$63 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which would be a yearly fall of nearly 4%, analyst Samik Chatterjee said in a note to clients.

Last week, Needham said it expected iPhone 13 shipments to total 80 million units in the first quarter and cut its estimates for the holiday quarter by 10 million units citing supply chain issues including the chip shortage.

For the fourth quarter, JPM expects iPhones to bring in revenue of US$46 billion after selling 58 million units, marginally higher than Wall Street's forecast of US$41 billion.

According to Refinitiv IBES, analysts are expecting about 45 million units for the holiday quarter and 79.4 million units in the first quarter. -Nampa/Reuters

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