COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

30 November 2021 | Business

Nissan to spend US$17.6 bln

Nissan Motor Co announced it will spend 2 trillion yen (US$17.59 billion) over the next five years to accelerate vehicle electrification, betting tighter carbon emission restrictions will spur demand for electric cars and hybrids.

Japan's No. 3 car maker said on Monday it will introduce 23 electrified vehicles by 2030, including 15 electric vehicles (EVs), and plans to introduce all solid-state batteries by March 2029.

Nissan, which was among the first mass-market EV makers with its Leaf model, is aiming to win market share with its deeper push into electrified vehicles and fend off rivals, including newer entrants such as Tesla Inc.

Its renewed commitment to battery-powered cars comes as consumer demand for such vehicles grows in key auto markets such as China and the United States.

Chief Executive Makoto Uchida said Nissan aimed to make EVs affordable for more drivers. "We will advance our effort to democratise electrification," he said in an online presentation. Nissan shares fell as much as 4.9% in morning trading in Tokyo, underperforming its major rivals. -Nampa/Reuters

Evergrande shares fall after stake cut

Shares in China Evergrande Group fell as much as 4.8% on Monday morning, after its chairman trimmed his stake in the cash-strapped property developer to raise about US$344 million.

The group's electric vehicle unit, China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd, also dropped more than 5% after it said the company was still exploring ways to pump capital into the unit with different investors.

Evergrande has been scrambling to raise capital as it grapples with more than US$300 billion in liabilities and Chinese authorities have told its chairman, Hui Ka Yan, to use some of his personal wealth to help pay bondholders, sources have said.

Evergrande failed to pay coupons totalling US$82.5 million due on Nov. 6 and investors are on tenterhooks to see if it can meet its obligations before a 30-day grace period ends on Dec 6.

The developer disclosed late on Friday that Hui had sold 1.2 billion shares in the company at an average price of HK$2.23 each, lowering his stake in the Shenzhen-based real estate developer to 67.9% from 77%. -Nampa/Reuters

Suncity Group shares suspended

Shares in gambling group Suncity Group Holdings were suspended from trade on Monday with its chief executive believed to be among 11 people arrested by Macau authorities over alleged links to cross-border gambling and money laundering.

Macau authorities said police were questioning Alvin Chau on Saturday after a Chinese city issued an arrest warrant for the mogul, accusing him of operating gambling activities in mainland China.

The South China Morning Post reported that Macau police said on Sunday a 47-year-old businessman surnamed Chau was among those arrested.

Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings operates gambling rooms across Asia. Chau is also founder of a separate junket operator, which is also called Suncity. Junket operators are go-betweens who bring high rollers to play at casinos, extending them credit and collecting on their debts.

Shares of Macau casino operators slid early on Monday, with Wynn Macau down more than 10%, Sands China falling more than 7% and MGM China dropping over 6%. Casino gambling is illegal in China outside Macau, the world's largest gambling hub. -Nampa/Reuters

Amazon comment on new variant

A senior Amazon.com Inc executive said it remains too early to predict how the Omicron coronavirus variant will impact consumer spending during the holiday season but suggested that shoppers will press ahead for now.

"It’s very early in the process of understanding what’s happening with the new variant," said Dave Clark, chief executive of Amazon's worldwide consumer business, during a Sunday morning interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."

Clark said he was "incredibly optimistic" about the ability of scientists and pharmaceutical companies that have developed effective vaccines to respond to the new variant while shoppers take stock of developments.

"Consumers are going to wait and see in terms of what happens but are going to move on with their lives into this holiday season," Clark said.

Clark's comments came amid a backdrop of recent supply chain disruptions the Biden administration has linked to the spread of another coronavirus variant, Delta. -Nampa/Reuters

Chip shortage to cost Daimler billions

Daimler Truck Chief Martin Daum expects the global chip shortage to hit revenues by several billion euros this year and sees the problem continuing into next year, Automobilwoche reported on Sunday.

The world's largest commercial vehicle maker, to be spun off from Daimler on Dec. 10, has outlined cost-cutting measure aimed at boosting profit margins as it struggles with chip shortages hurting the entire sector.

Daum said there would be a significant financial hit. "It is a huge sum," Daum told Automobilwoche, saying the company would sell a "mid five-digit number" fewer vehicles than it could have.

With an average price of 100 000 euros (US$113 170) per vehicle, this means several billion euros in lost revenues, reported Automobilwoche.

"We also have many vehicles sitting in the factory where just one part is missing. These deliveries are a priority because they are already sold," said Daum. -Nampa/Reuters

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