COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

26 October 2021 | Business

Exxon calls for carbon price

Exxon Mobil Corp is pursuing carbon capture storage (CCS) hubs across Asia and has started talks with some countries with potential storage options for carbon dioxide, the company's head of low carbon solutions said on Monday.

One of Exxon's key projects is to build CCS hubs in Southeast Asia, similar to one being built in Houston, Texas, ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions President Joe Blommaert told Reuters.

CCS advocates, including oil majors and the International Energy Agency, see the technology as being essential to help meet net zero emissions and key to unlocking large-scale economic hydrogen production, although critics say CCS will extend the life of dirty fossil fuels.

Melbourne-based Global CCS Institute said in October that global plans to build CCS projects surged 50% over the last nine months.

For CCS to take off, a transparent carbon price and cross-border pricing adjustment systems will be necessary to enable CO2 to be captured in one country and stored elsewhere, Blommaert said in an interview ahead of the Singapore International Energy Week. -Nampa/Reuters

HSBC surprises with Q3 profit

HSBC Holdings reported a surprise 74% rise in third quarter profit as concerns about pandemic-related bad loan receded, allowing it to announce a share buyback of US$2 billion.

HSBC however said its cost projections for 2022 had increased to US$32 billion from US$31 billion, due to the pressures of inflation.

"While we retain a cautious outlook on the external risk environment, we believe that the lows of recent quarters are behind us," Chief Executive Neil Quinn said in the results statement on Monday.

Quinn, who was confirmed in the role in 2020 just as the pandemic-induced economic crisis began, is betting on Asia to drive growth, by moving global executives there and ploughing billions into the lucrative wealth business.

The bank posted pre-tax profit of US$5.4 billion for the quarter to September, versus US$3.1 billion a year earlier and the US$3.78 billion average estimate of 14 analysts compiled by HSBC. -Nampa/Reuters

Tesla’s software rolled back

US electric car maker Tesla Inc on Sunday rolled back the latest version of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software, less than a day after its release, after users complained of false collision warnings and other issues.

The setback comes as Tesla is under regulatory scrutiny over the safety of its semi-autonomous driving technology, which it calls "FSD."

"Seeing some issues with 10.3, so rolling back to 10.2 temporarily," Chief Executive Elon Musk said in a Twitter post on Sunday.

"Please note, this is to be expected with beta software. It is impossible to test all hardware configs in all conditions with internal quality assurance (QA), hence public beta," he said.

The release of the new driving assist system to some owners of Tesla models, which the company said featured several improvements, had been announced for Friday, Oct 22.-Nampa/Reuters

Evergrande, EV unit shares jump

Shares in China Evergrande Group and its EV unit rose on Monday as the embattled property developer moved to prioritise growth of its nascent electric vehicles business over its troubled core real estate operations.

Evergrande, reeling under more than US$300 billion in liabilities, averted a costly default last week with a last-minute bond coupon payment, buying it more time to head off a looming debt crunch with its next major payment deadline on Friday.

An announcement by its chairman, Hui Ka Yan, reported by state media on Friday, that it would make its new electric vehicle venture its primary business, instead of property, within 10 years, cheered investors on Monday.

Evergrande rose as much as 6% while China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd as much as 17%, although both later trimmed their gains. The benchmark Heng Seng Index (HSI) climbed 0.1%.

Raymond Cheng, CGS-CIMB Securities' head of China research, said the business shift makes sense given Beijing's growing support for EVs and its increased tightening of the frothy real estate sector. -Nampa/Reuters

Rogers reiterates support for CEO

Rogers Communications Inc reiterated support on Sunday for Chief Executive Joe Natale following attempts by former Chairman Edward Rogers to remove him from the Canadian company.

"We unequivocally support Joe Natale as CEO and support his management team," Rogers said in a statement.

Rogers' board last Thursday voted out Rogers, son of the late founder, Ted Rogers, after he tried to replace Natale with another executive. The move put him at odds with his sisters and mother, all of whom are fellow board directors and said they supported Natale.

The company also said no other individuals had the authority to act as the board of Rogers after the ousted chairman tried to reconstitute the board by removing the directors who acted against him and replace them with his own candidates.

"We remain as duly elected members of the Rogers Communications Inc Board and represent the majority of the Board members of the company," the board members said in the statement. -Nampa/Reuters

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