Porsche to invest billions more in electrification

Porsche is investing around 10 billion euros in the hybridisation, electrification and digitalisation of its vehicles by 2024 and, according to their statements, is “consistently expanding” the product range in the field of electric mobility.

The Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer announced this at the presentation of its annual figures for 2019. Despite the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus, plus the high investments in the electrification of the product range, digitalisation, and the expansion and renewal of locations, the company wants to ensure that it continues to meet its high earnings expectations, said CFO Lutz Meschke in the announcement.

Porsche does not provide more detailed information in the communication which areas and plants will benefit from the investments into electromobility. As confirmed earlier, the next electric car to be launched on the market will be the first derivative of the Taycan, the Cross Turismo. The new generation of the Macan is to follow ...

March 23, 2020

Black Monday for markets due to falling oil prices and coronaviruses

The New York Stock Exchange had its biggest drop in 11 years, while the Mexican Stock Exchange had its worst level since 1995.

Wall Street collapsed on Monday, with its biggest drop in 11 years, crushed by the oil crash and the world coronavirus crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7.79% to 23,851.02 points, with a drop of 2,000 points, while the technological Nasdaq lost 7.29% to 7,950.68 units, and the S&P 500, of the main companies on the stock market, fell 7.60% to 2,746.56 points.

The New York stock market was also hit since the opening by the fall in crude oil, which had its worst day since the first Gulf War in 1991, with a loss of almost 25%.

Mexican stock market has worst level since 1995, when the drop was -6.65%.The leading S & P / BMV IPC index closed at 38,730.56 units, with a loss of 6.42%. 

In Latin America ...

March 21, 2020

Morgan Stanley, Goldman See Virus Causing Greater Economic Pain

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economists said the coronavirus will inflict greater economic pain than they previously expected as they warned of a record plunge in the U.S. output in the second quarter and a deeper global recession.

Morgan Stanley’s U.S. economists led by Ellen Zentner told clients in a report on Sunday that they now see American gross domestic product falling at an annual rate of 30.1% in April-June. That will drive up unemployment to average 12.8% over the period, they said.

At Goldman Sachs, Jan Hatzius’s team said in a report that they now expect the world economy to contract about 1% this year, which would be a bigger decline than even that witnessed in 2009 amid the financial crisis. They were already projecting a 24% annualized drop in U.S. output in the next quarter.

The dire forecasts from two of Wall Street’s biggest banks reflects the sudden stop ...

March 18, 2020

Karius raises $165 million for its liquid biopsy technology identifying diseases in a drop of blood

Liquid biopsy technology has been widely embraced in cancer treatments as a way to identify which therapies may work best for patients based on the presence of trace amounts of genetic material in a patient’s bloodstream that are shed by cancer cells.

Karius applies the same principles to the detection of pathogens in the blood — developing hardware and software that applies computer vision and machine learning techniques to identify the genetic material that’s present in a blood sample.

As the company explains, microbes infecting the human body leave traces of their DNA in blood, which are called microbial cell-free DNA (mcfDNA). The company’s test can measure the that cell free DNA of more than 1,000 clinically relevant samples from things like bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi, and parasites. These tests indicate the types of quantities of those pathogens that are likely affecting a patient. 

“We’re through the early stages of adoption and clinical ...

March 9, 2020

Investment bank Morgan Stanley is buying digital stock brokerage E*Trade for $13 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the consolidation will give Morgan Stanley an inroad with E*Trade’s 5.2 million retail investors in what will be Wall Street’s largest deal since the 2008 financial crisis. The bank is targeting this market, though Morgan Stanley’s current $2.7 trillion in assets under management dwarfs E*Trade’s mere $360 billion.

Despite lagging in assets, E*Trade’s client base is far larger than Morgan Stanley’s three million. But it’s also a different share of the investments landscape; while Morgan Stanley mostly appeals to high-dollar and institutional investors, E*Trade’s zero commission structure brings in more consumer-level, retail accounts.

It may also bring the wealth management giant closer to cryptocurrency markets. E*Trade reportedly toyed with launching a bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) trading platform in April 2019. That service could now get wrapped into Morgan Stanley’s, though there’s no word yet on what that would look like.

This all-stock deal will grant E*Trade ...

Feb. 27, 2020

Wanda Sports Considering $1 Billion Sale of Ironman Triathlon

Wanda Sports Group Co., the China-based sports marketing and event promoter, is considering selling the Ironman triathlon business it bought in 2015, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company, part of Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s conglomerate, is working with an adviser and has held discussions with some private-equity buyers that expressed interest in the business, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Wanda Sports is seeking to fetch about $1 billion for the triathlon business, one of the people said.

Shares of Wanda Sports rose a record 46% in New York on Tuesday.

A deal could come after Wanda Sports declined to enter talks last year with The Professional Triathletes Organisation, which was interested in acquiring the Ironman business. The organization said at the time that excessive leverage has hampered Wanda Sports’s ability to invest in Ironman operations. On Feb. 4, the PTO renewed ...

Feb. 24, 2020

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion to fight climate change

Jeff Bezos is throwing his weight — and wealth — behind the fight against climate change months after Amazon employees publicly pressured him and the company to do more to address the issue.

The Amazon (AMZN) CEO on Monday announced a new fund to back scientists, activists and organizations working to mitigate the impact of climate change. Bezos will commit $10 billion "to start," he said in an Instagram post.

The initiative, called the Bezos Earth Fund, will begin giving out grants this summer. The $10 billion commitment constitutes less than 8% of the world's richest man's estimated $130 billion net worth. Even so, it is one of the biggest charitable pledges ever, according to a ranking by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Bezos has been under pressure from his employees to do more to protect the environment. Thousands of Amazon employees signed a letter last May asking how the company planned to respond ...

Feb. 18, 2020

UNIQA to Acquire AXA Subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Uniqa Insurance Group AG said Friday it reached an agreement with AXA and a subsidiary, Societe Beaujon, to acquire AXA subsidiaries in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

AXA said under the terms of the deal, it will sell 100% of its Life and Savings, Property and Casualty and Pension businesses in Central and Eastern Europe.

"The acquisition of the companies is in line with Uniqa's strategy of growing further in countries in which it is already present," Uniqa said.

Uniqa said the purchase price would be about EUR1 billion ($1.09 billion). The company said it expects to finance the acquisition through borrowing rather than via a capital increase.

"This transaction marks another step in the simplification of AXA's footprint," AXA Chief Executive Thomas Buberl said. "We are convinced that AXA's operations in Central and Eastern Europe will benefit from UNIQA's strong presence and local expertise in the region to create new growth opportunities ...

Feb. 13, 2020

Uber Founder Backs 3D-Printed Hotel Start-Up

A hotel company using 3D printing to manufacture modular buildings has raised $20 million from a cabal of investors, including Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, dating app Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen, and the Indian ad-tech billionaire Div Turakhia.

The company, called Habitas, manufactures its hotel rooms in Mexico before shipping them off around the world, where they are fitted into the local landscape, limiting construction time to six to nine months. This earns Habitas a return on investment within two years, a fact that co-founder Oliver Ripley told the Financial Times is, “unheard of for traditional hotels.”

Habitas will use its fresh $20 million to expand to new markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

“We assemble them like Lego,” Oliver Ripley states. The company will have around eight locations by the end of 2020 and aims to build 10 to 12 a year afterward.

With rooms costing $200-$400 a night, Habitas is pitched ...

Feb. 10, 2020

George Soros to Start $1 Billion School to Fight Nationalists, Climate Change

Billionaire George Soros said he will commit $1 billion to start a global university to fight authoritarian governments and climate change, calling them twin challenges that threaten the survival of our civilization.

The Open Society University Network will offer an international platform for teaching and research, the 89-year-old said Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The university will be launched through a partnership of the Soros-backed Central European University and Bard College.

“As a long-term strategy our best hope lies in access to quality education, specifically an education that reinforces the autonomy of the individual by cultivating critical thinking and emphasizing academic freedom,” Soros said.

Last year, Soros warned of the “mortal danger” of China’s use of artificial intelligence to repress its citizens under the leadership of Xi, whom he called the most dangerous opponent of democracies.

He has also lashed out at social-media giants including Facebook and Google, saying they ...

Feb. 5, 2020