COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF
04 January 2022 | Business
A booster dose of Johnson & Johnson Inc's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine was 84% effective at preventing hospitalisation in South African healthcare workers who became infected as the Omicron variant spread, researchers said on Thursday.
The real-world study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was based on a second dose of the J&J vaccine administered to 69 092 workers between Nov. 15 and Dec. 20.
An initial course of inoculation has been shown to offer only greatly reduced protection against infection by Omicron, which is spreading quickly through many countries after first being identified in southern Africa and Hong Kong in late November.
However, several studies have suggested that a booster dose provides significant protection against severe illness from the variant.
The South African study showed the J&J vaccine's effectiveness at preventing hospitalisation rose from 63% shortly after a booster was administered to 84% 14 days later. Effectiveness reached 85% at one to two months post-boost. -Nampa/Reuters
Tesla delivers almost 1 mln cars
Tesla said Sunday it delivered nearly one million vehicles in 2021, almost twice as many as in the previous year, results that were better than expected despite global supply challenges.
The US electric carmaker delivered more than 936 000 cars of all models in 2021, an increase of 87 percent over the previous year, the company said in a statement.
Tesla had announced last January that it was aiming to increase deliveries by 50 percent per year over several years, so Sunday's results far exceeded that goal.
The group, which recently moved its headquarters from Palo Alto, California to Austin, Texas, sold 911,208 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles as well as 24 964 vehicles of its luxury S and X models at a price of US$90 000 and US$100 000 respectively.
In the fourth quarter alone, Tesla delivered 308 600 cars. Tesla has managed to overcome global logistics issues that have plagued the auto industry. Its chief Elon Musk previously said he was able to get around much of the semiconductor shortage by using new chip designs and rewriting software. -Nampa/AFP
Evergrande suspends share trading
Embattled Chinese property giant Evergrande announced Monday it was once again suspending trading of its shares with no reason stated.
Drowning in US$300 billion in liabilities, the firm has struggled to repay bondholders and investors after becoming ensnared in Beijing's deleveraging crackdown on China's bloated property sector.
"Trading in the shares of China Evergrande Group will be halted at 9:00 a.m. today," the group said in a short statement on the Hong Kong stock exchange. It previously saw a period of suspended share trading back in October.
The troubled developer was already labelled as being in default by international ratings firms last month, after it failed to repay liabilities on time.
Earlier struggles to pay suppliers and contractors due to the debt crisis led to sustained protests from homebuyers and investors at the group's Shenzhen headquarters in September.
Last week, Evergrande momentarily cheered investors by insisting it would be able to deliver tens of thousands of units this month, and pay off some debts. -Nampa/AFP
Morgan Stanley to pay US$60 mln
Morgan Stanley agreed to pay US$60 million to settle a lawsuit by customers who said the Wall Street bank exposed their personal data when it twice failed to properly retire some of its older information technology.
A preliminary settlement of the proposed class action on behalf of about 15 million customers was filed on Friday night in Manhattan federal court, and requires approval by US District Judge Analisa Torres.
Customers would receive at least two years of fraud insurance coverage, and each can apply for reimbursement of up to US$10 000 in out-of-pocket losses.
Morgan Stanley denied wrongdoing in agreeing to settle, and has made "substantial" upgrades to its data security practices, according to settlement papers.
Customers accused Morgan Stanley of having in 2016 failed to decommission two wealth management data centers before the unencrypted equipment, which still contained customer data, was resold to unauthorized third parties. -Nampa/Reuters
LG Energy Solution opens books
Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution has opened the books to investors to raise up to $10.8 billion in the country's largest initial public offering (IPO), according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.
The shares will be sold in a price range of 257 000 won to 300 000 won (US$216.19-US$252.36) apiece to raise between US$9.2 billion and US$10.8 billion, the term sheet showed.
The IPO will beat the previous South Korean record held by Samsung Life Insurance's 4.9 trillion won (US$4.12 billion) offering in 2010.
LG Energy Solution (LGES) will be valued at US$51 billion to US$59 billion. The company said on Monday it was continuing to "execute remaining processes to launch a successful IPO".
Cash raised will be mostly used to expand the company's current production facilities and debt repayment, according to the term sheet. The company will sell 34 million primary shares and its parent company will sell 8.5 million secondary shares in the IPO.
Demand from investors is expected to be high with the pricing, due to be finalised on Jan. 14, already likely to be at the top of the range, according to sources Reuters spoke to last month. -Nampa/Reuters