News

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Wants to Invest $1 Billion in Auto Tech Startups

The world’s largest automotive alliance will invest as much as $1 billion to fund mobility startups over the next five years as it looks to make inroads with new technology at a time of rapid upheaval for the transportation sector.

Carmaking partners Renault (RNSDF, +0.25%), Nissan Motor (NSANY, +0.38%) and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF, -0.07%) will invest as much as $200 million during the venture capital fund’s first year, the alliance said in a statement Tuesday. The fund, called Alliance Ventures, will finance new developments in electrification, autonomy, connectivity and artificial intelligence.

The fund’s first strategic investment is in Ionic Materials, a Woburn, Massachusetts-based company developing cobalt-free solid-state battery materials that can be used in electric vehicles.

In September, the Franco-Japanese alliance announced plans to introduce 12 new purely electric vehicles by 2022 while extending the models’ range and cutting battery costs. It also plans to bring to market 40 vehicles with autonomous-drive technology. ...

Jan. 11, 2018


Robots and artificial intelligence are the most profitable for investment

Artificial intelligence is developing rapidly, and creating plentiful investment opportunities in its wake.

That development is likely to carry with it major money-making opportunities. The trick is figuring out which corporations stand to benefit most.

"Companies that are early adopters of AI into their business may benefit from the first-mover advantage, increased productivity, reduced costs and potentially greater market shares," a group of HSBC global equity strategists led by Ben Laidler wrote in a client note.

In order to help in the stock selection process, HSBC has identified three primary categories — areas that focus on the hardware components and technology needed to support AI. This is where the firm thinks there's ample opportunities — not necessarily just in software, but also in machinery and tools.

Here are the group (all rationale from HSBC):

Sensors— The development of natural language processing and a range of new enhanced sensors.

Semiconductors — The high performance logic chips that ...

Jan. 9, 2018


Apple and Amazon Can Start Investing in Saudi Arabia

Apple and Amazon engage in negotiations with the authorities of Saudi Arabia on obtaining the licenses for investments in the country, ET reports quoting Reuters, which refers to its own sources.

The negotiations started upon the initiative of the hereditary prince Mohammad bin Salman, aimed at high-tech development of Saudi Arabia.

The sources inform that Apple conducts negotiations with the state agency SAGIA, which deals with attraction of foreign investments in Saudi Arabia.

The license agreement can be concluded in February 2018, and it is planned to open the retail stores in 2019.

The negotiations of Amazon are at the early stage; there are no concrete deadlines or plans yet.

It should be reminded that Saudi Arabia will build the innovation city for half a trillion dollars.

/Source: Independent Auditor/

Dec. 29, 2017


Bloomberg gives $50 million to aid shift from coal worldwide

Former New York mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg is donating $50 million to help nations around the world shift from coal to combat pollution and climate change, expanding his funding outside the United States.

The European Climate Foundation, a non-governmental group, will be the leading partner in Europe, it said.

“Bloomberg’s announcement marks his first investment in efforts outside the U.S. to decrease reliance on coal and shift to renewable, cleaner energy sources,” Bloomberg’s charity said in a statement.

In the United States, Bloomberg has given $110 million to a Beyond Coal campaign to close mines since 2011.

“A growing number of European countries have made plans to go 100 percent coal-free, which sets a great example for the rest of the world - but coal still kills around 20,000 people in the European Union each year,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

The closures have continued this year despite President Donald Trump’s plan to pull ...

Nov. 9, 2017


Japanese now hold 1,000tn yen ($8.8T) worth of foreign assets

Foreign assets held by Japanese institutional and individual investors appear to have topped 1,000 trillion yen ($8.79 trillion) for the first time, according to Nikkei estimates. The amount has increased roughly 50% during the past five years and now is more than twice as much as the country's gross domestic product.

The U.S. holds more external assets than any other country, $23 trillion worth, according to the International Monetary Fund. But in terms of growth, Japan is far-outpacing the U.S. and other leading economies. U.S. foreign asset growth came in at less than 10% over the five-year span. Foreign assets held by Germany and France shrank during the same period.

Securities seem to have accounted for nearly half of the 1,000 trillion yen that has escaped overseas. Japanese investors were holding 453 trillion yen worth at the end of June, up 100 trillion yen or so over the past three years.

Japanese investors ...

Oct. 24, 2017


Metals rally needs more than China’s anti-pollution rhetoric

After years of rapid expansion that stoked tensions with China’s trading partners, Hongqiao was this year ordered to close 2.7m tonnes of annual capacity. 

The shutdowns are part of President Xi Jinping’s plans to cut excess capacity and clean up the environment after years of rapid expansion that has made China one of the most polluted countries in the world.

Environmental inspectors have been sent across the country to fine and shut down polluting plants guided by Xi’s slogan that “green mountains and clear water are equal to mountains of gold and silver”. 

Investors in the global metals market have taken Mr Xi’s ambitions to curb pollution-generating production seriously. Zinc, a metal used to galvanise steel, has climbed 22 per cent this year and is trading at its highest levels in a decade at more than $3,000 a tonne. Aluminium has advanced 25 per cent to a four-year high.

That, in turn, has helped ...

Sept. 1, 2017


Global Economies Grow in Sync

For the first time in a decade, the world's major economies are growing in sync, a result of lingering low-interest-rate stimulus from central banks and the gradual fading of crises that over years ricocheted from the U.S. to Greece, Brazil and beyond.

All 45 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development are on track to grow this year, and 33 of them are poised to accelerate from a year ago, according to the OECD. It is the first time since 2007 that all are growing and the most countries in acceleration since 2010, when many nations enjoyed a fleeting snapback from the global financial crisis.

The International Monetary Fund in July projected global economic output would grow 3.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018, up from 3.2% growth in 2016.

In the past 50 years, simultaneous growth among all the OECD-tracked countries has been rare. In addition to happening last ...

Aug. 23, 2017


Samsung predicts highest ever profit in its history

Samsung believes that the second quarter of 2017 was the best in the company’s history. According to earnings guidance issued today, Samsung expects to have made about 14 trillion won ($12.1 billion) in profit off 60 trillion won ($52 billion) in revenue; that’s significantly beyond the previous highest profit of 10.16 trillion won set in the third quarter of 2013. Revenue is expected to be up 18 percent year on year, while profit should be up by 72 percent.

The figures follow two quarters of similarly positive results, which both saw Samsung post its biggest profit in more than three years. Samsung hasn’t offered any more details on the current quarter yet — they’ll come with the full earnings report later this month. But recently the company has said its display and components divisions are driving profit growth, and the most recent quarter likely also received a boost from the Galaxy ...

July 7, 2017


Global Spending on Robots Projected to Hit $87 Billion by 2025

The global market for robotics is growing far faster than expected and is projected to reach $87 billion by 2025, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Updating its previous estimate of $67 billion from three years ago, the management consulting firm recently revised its forecast sharply higher, mostly because of soaring consumer demand. In a new paper released today, “Gaining Robotics Advantage,” BCG projects an additional $14 billion of growth in the consumer sector to $23 billion, an increase of 156% over its earlier estimate. (See exhibit.)

“Much of the accelerated growth will come from the consumer market because of applications such as self-driving cars and devices for the home,” explains Vlad Lukic, a BCG partner and coauthor of the paper. “Projected growth in the commercial sector accounts for the rest of the adjustment—a 34% increase to 22.8 billion.”                    ...

June 21, 2017


Glencore Makes Informal Takeover Approach to Bunge

Glencore, the mining and energy giant, said Tuesday that its agriculture business had made an informal takeover approach to the commodity company Bunge Limited.

The talks are at a very early stage and may not result in a deal. If it is consummated, the transaction will make Glencore a large player in the United States market for buying and selling agriculture commodities, namely grain.

Glencore, which is based in Baar, Switzerland, said that its agriculture joint venture, Glencore Agriculture Limited, had approached Bunge “regarding a possible consensual business combination.”

Such a deal would add to the consolidation reshaping big agricultural companies. China National Chemical Corporation is closing in on a $43 billion takeover of Syngenta, the Swiss farm chemical and seed company. Dow Chemicals and DuPont, which both have big agricultural businesses, are working to close their merger. And Bayer AG, the German industrial conglomerate, is trying to complete a multibillion-dollar takeover of ...

May 23, 2017