News

Apple will give $2.5 billion to address the affordable housing crisis in Silicon Valley

Apple said Monday it will contribute $2.5 billion to try and alleviate California’s housing crisis, raising the bar for tech companies to commit to the communities in which they reside.

“Before the world knew the name Silicon Valley, and long before we carried technology in our pockets, Apple called this region home, and we feel a profound civic responsibility to ensure it remains a vibrant place where people can live, have a family and contribute to the community,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO in a blog post Monday. 

The announcement comes as Silicon Valley communities put more pressure on tech companies who have rapidly expanded in the Bay Area and contributed to the displacement of local residents who can’t afford skyrocketing housing prices. The announcement follows housing commitments from other tech giants like Google, which announced in July it would be giving $1 billion for affordable housing in the Bay Area. Facebook ...

Nov. 8, 2019


Spirit Boosts Aftermarket Reach With Bombardier Aerostructures Buyout

The sale of Bombardier’s aerostructures business to U.S. company Spirit Aerosystems was finalized late last week with some aftermarket services included as part of the $1.1 billion deal. Bombardier has looked to shed its commercial business units to focus on its business aviation and rail interests.

Spirit, which spun off from Boeing in 2005 and specializes in nacelle products and the manufacture of aircraft structures, announced the acquisition on Oct. 31.

It will pay Bombardier $500 million in cash and take on $300 million in pension liabilities and $290 million worth of repayment obligations to the Canadian government.

The deal includes the OEM’s aerostructures activities and aftermarket services operations, which Spirit says will more than double its services' reach globally. This includes its aerostructures manufacturing and aftermarket sites in Belfast, UK, where it produces wings for the Airbus A220, formerly known as the CSeries, along with components for the A320neo and Bombardier regional ...

Nov. 5, 2019


Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot agree to pursue giant auto merger

France’s PSA, which owns Peugeot, and Fiat Chrysler have agreed to pursue a merger that would create the world’s fourth-largest carmaker and reshape the automotive sector.

PSA and FCA said their boards had agreed to “work towards” a tie-up that would give shareholders of each group 50 per cent ownership in the new entity. 

The deal would create a company with revenues of €170bn, recurring operating profit of more than €11bn and combined vehicle sales of 8.7m, putting it ahead of General Motors and Hyundai-Kia in sales. In Europe, the company’s sales would even outpace Volkswagen, which has historically dominated the region’s industry.

At current market prices, the combined entity is worth just under €43.4bn.

FCA shareholders will receive a €5.5bn cash payout and proceeds from the sale of its robot-making Comau unit, estimated at between €200m and €300m.

The two companies intend to forge a 50-50 all-stock merger in which PSA chief executive Carlos ...

Nov. 1, 2019


Virgin Galactic to begin trading on the NYSE as the first space tourism stock

Private space tourism is about to go public.

Shareholders approved Virgin Galactic’s merger with one of Chamath Palihapitiya’s ventures, setting up the space tourism company to list directly on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

“Virgin Galactic is making history again today as it becomes the world’s first and only publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company. For the first time, anyone will have the opportunity to invest in a human spaceflight company that is transforming the market,” CEO George Whitesides said in a statement.

The merger was announced in July, with Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia taking a 49% stake in Virgin Galactic. The deal gives the combined company a valuation of $1.5 billion, with Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson retaining a 51% controlling stake.

Palihapitiya’s company already trades on the NYSE, under the ticker “IPOA.” The new combined venture’s shares will trade under the ticker symbol “SPCE” on the NYSE on Monday.

A ...

Oct. 29, 2019


Facebook to Buy Startup for Controlling Computers With Your Mind

Facebook Inc. agreed to acquire CTRL-Labs, a technology startup that is building software to let people control a digital avatar using only their thoughts. The world’s largest social network is paying between $500 million and $1 billion, according to people familiar with the deal.

The closely held four-year-old startup, which has dozens of employees and has raised tens of millions in venture capital, uses a bracelet to measure neuron activity in a subject’s arm to determine movement that person is thinking about, even if they aren’t physically moving. That neuron activity is then translated into movement on a digital screen. Facebook declined to comment on the price of the acquisition.

Technology like CTRL-Labs’s may someday be a crucial part of products like augmented reality glasses, where a user might want to control a computer without the need for buttons or a keyboard. 

Facebook has been pushing deeper into augmented reality technology, including the ...

Oct. 24, 2019


Global renewable power capacity to rise by 50% in five years - IEA

Global renewable energy capacity is set to rise by 50 per cent in five years' time, driven by solar photovoltaic (PV) installations on homes, buildings and industry, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Total renewable-based power capacity will rise by 1.2 terawatts (TW) by 2024 from 2.5 TW last year, equivalent to the total installed current power capacity of the United States.

Solar PV will account for nearly 60% of this growth and onshore wind 25%, the IEA's annual report on global renewables showed.

The share of renewables in power generation is expected to rise to 30% in 2024 from 26% today.

Falling technology costs and more effective government policies have helped to drive the higher forecasts for renewable capacity deployment since last year's report, the IEA said.

"Renewables are already the world's second largest source of electricity, but their deployment still needs to accelerate if we are to achieve long-term climate, air quality ...

Oct. 21, 2019


South Korea Speeds Up Plans for Autonomous, Electric and Flying Cars

South Korea unveiled plans to speed up the adoption of electric cars, self-driving vehicles and even flying automobiles in the coming years to help revive a sagging economy.

President Moon Jae-in said in a speech Tuesday Korean companies will invest 60 trillion won ($50 billion) over the next decade into the future of transportation. The government will spend 2.2 trillion won to help develop related technology and help lay the groundwork for the infrastructure needed for things such as robocars, he said. Commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles will occur by 2027, or three years earlier than planned, he said.

Moon is betting that the investments will create jobs and spur an export-dependent economy that’s been among the hardest hit from global trade tensions, with the central Bank of Korea warning as recently as this month that it will be difficult to achieve 2.2% growth this year.

Moon also predicted that electric and hydrogen-fueled ...

Oct. 16, 2019


Relativity Space raises $140M to stay on track for 3D-printed rocket’s launch

Relativity Space, a rocket startup founded by former Blue Origin and SpaceX engineers, just quadrupled its funding by raising $140 million.

CEO Tim Ellis says it's enough cash to fund Relativity through the first launch of its Terran 1 rocket in 2021.

It also sets the company apart from many of its competitors in the crowded arena of rockets dedicated to launching small satellites. The industry has dozens of startups with pitchbooks and blueprints, but very few have significant cash and factory space.

Smallsat launch companies like Relativity aren't looking to compete directly with firms such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. Those outfits are focused on building large rockets that can haul spacecraft or big communications satellites to orbit.

Relativity's rocket is part of a new sector focused on launching smallsats. The idea is to build lightweight vehicles cheaply and quickly, offering express access to orbit for payloads ranging from the size of a ...

Oct. 11, 2019


Freedom Holding Corp. Announces Uplisting to The Nasdaq Capital Market

Freedom Holding Corp. (FRHC), a financial services company with operations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, today announced that its common stock has been approved for listing on The Nasdaq Capital Market. Trading on the exchange is expected to commence at the opening of trading on October 15, 2019 under the symbol "FRHC."

Since July 2018, the Company's common stock has been listed on the OTCQX Best Market, which is operated by the OTC (Over-the-Counter) Markets Group. The Company was named to the OTCQX Best 50 list in January 2019.

"We are pleased to announce our Nasdaq exchange listing. I believe we are the first Kazakhstan-headquartered financial services firm to be listed on the exchange. This is an important accomplishment for our company as we continue executing our business plan. We expect this listing will facilitate our efforts to communicate our vision to a broader audience and further develop strategic synergies we ...

Oct. 7, 2019


Norway Withdraws $6 Billion Investments in Oil and Gas Stocks

Norway’s enormous $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund decides to sell oil and gas stocks worth $5.9 billion. The decision is a moderate divestment action as an answer to a radical initial proposal to dump all its oil investments in two years.

The fund, widely known as oil fund, had already asked the government for permission in 2017 to sell about $40 billion in such stocks, to reduce the overall risk for Norway, one of the world’s biggest oil producer.

The final decision from the Finance Ministry released on Tuesday evening outlines a gradual divestment instead.

The divestment plan includes companies classified as crude oil producers.

Moreover the fund’s investments in such companies and funds will continuously be blocked from now on.

Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen called the decision as the most important climate decision the coalition has agreed on.

/Source: The Nordic Page/

Oct. 2, 2019