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Limerick secures GBP 85 million from EIB toward urban development

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:03:20 +0530

The EIB (European Investment Bank) has recently signed off a record loan worth GBP 85 million for the Limerick city. Reportedly, the bank is likely to provide funds to the city and County Councils to transform the 1.68-hectare Limerick Opera Center site that is situated in the heart of the city into a commercial hub. Sources reveal that, the sum that has been agreed upon to be lent by the bank is confirmed as the largest ever EIB support package for urban investment in the Republic of Ireland. As per reports, the Opera site is one of the four major projects under the Limerick 2030 urban renewal plan. The council has planned a huge commercial development with a new office and retail commercial, and residential spaces. Reportedly, the 2030 program was launched in 2016, with the aim to deliver over GBP 500 million worth of transformed and refurbished infrastructure across key sites in Limerick. The program already seems to be witnessing rapid progress, as the GBP 17 million worth LEED Gold Gardens International office accommodation project with 80,000 sq. ft. area is slated for completion in late 2018. On completion, the project is likely to employ over 750 workers. The construction work of the old Cleeves site near the River Shannon and the Troy studios project in Castletroy is also under way. Commenting on EIBs GBP 85 million commitment record, the Chief Executive of Limerick City Council said that the money will provide the city with the chance to accelerate its infrastructure projects and become a truly international city. For the record, the new multi-million project with the potential to create 3,000 jobs, was signed at the Corporate headquarters in Limerick by the Chief Executive of Limerick City and Country Council, Mr McDowell and Conn Murray. The Chairman of Limerick Twenty Thirty program - Denis Brosnan, Mayor of the City County of Limerick - Cllr Stephen Keary, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty - David Conway, Oireachtas and other public representatives, were also apparently in attendance.



HSBC settles French money laundering tax fraud case for EUR 300 million

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:15:02 +0530

HSBC Private Bank, the Swiss subsidiary of the British giant, has apparently reached an agreement with the French Government to circumvent a trial for money laundering tax fraud. Reportedly, the banking mammoth has agreed to pay a fine of almost GBP 300 million for the settlement of a long standing criminal investigation by the National Finance Prosecutor (PNF) into allegations of tax evasion by French citizens. As cited by reliable sources, the deal struck between the PNF and the bank is the first instance under the French governments new negotiated procedure, that was introduced in 2016. For the uninitiated, the new French legal framework has been possible due to the judicial convention of public interest (CJIP) - it allows firms under the suspicion of tax fraud to negotiate a lawsuit for settling the case without being officially convicted. In this regard, HSBC has been under scrutiny for a while now, regarding its conduct during 2006 and 2007, in the much-hyped SwissLeaks controversy. Reportedly, the case against HSBC ramped up once again in 2015, when the banking giant was in controversy over a global tax-dodging scheme, that allegedly helped around hundreds of French nationals evade taxes. If investigators opinions are to be believed, HSBCs private banking unit offered its clients several ways of hiding their assets from the French tax authorities, especially via the deployment of offshore tax havens. Amidst the speculation of its failure of maintaining proper supervision over its private banking sectors, the investment giant was finally under the indictment that it actively participated in fraudulent practices. Last year, HSBC was alleged for helping its French clients to hide tax assets that sum up to almost EUR 1.67 billion from the tax authorities, cite sources close to the probe. For the record, before HSBC, UBS Group, another renowned Swiss global financial service company, and its French unit faced a similar trial for tax fraud.



Geely purchases Terrafugia, plans to launch flying cars by 2019

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:37:56 +0530

Flying fleets apparently may very well commence on the open roads by 2019, as it is reported that Volvos parent company, Geely Auto, has finalized the acquisition of Terrafugia, a next-generation startup company. With the support of the Zhejiang-headquartered Geely, TF-X and Transition, both of Terrafugias innovative futuristic flying car designs, are likely to set new trends for aircrafts, claim experts. Since 2016, Terrafugia has reportedly been working on flying cars and has a wide range of prototypes under its umbrella. The startup plans to launch its first flying fleet in the market by 2019 and by 2023, its first vertical take-off and landing flying car, TF-X may be directly available for consumers, cite sources. Reportedly, Terrafugia states that with the launch of Transition, it aims to offer personal road-to-sky mobility to consumers. Acknowledging the efforts made by Terrafugias RD team, Geelys founder and Chairperson, Mr. Li Shufu, stated that the companys research team has been at the top with regards to believing in the vision for aerial cars and producing ultimate transportation facility. In fact, Terrafugias development team has been working on Transition since 2009. In other news, Uber has launched a flying taxi design in Dubai and plans to get the cars operational by 2020. The design is apparently similar to that of TF-X, though the latter is likely to gain more popularity among consumers, pertaining to its capability of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). Speaking along the same lines, experts claim that the additional benefit offered by flying cars - such as their ability to run on the roads will add more value to this product line in the ensuing years. The cost estimation of flying cars for consumers has not been revealed by Terrafugia, but as of now, TF-X is predicted to cost nearly as much as a high-end luxury car. As per analysts, this next-generation innovation is likely to change the future of mobility across the globe.



AT&T & Verizon enter tower agreement to eliminate oligopoly

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:43:55 +0530

ATT Incorporation and Verizon Communications Inc. have signed a pact with Tillman Infrastructure, operator of smart cities infrastructure and towers, that will help the firms lease many of the new cell towers from the latter. The initiative will provide both the telecom firms with an added benefit in their dealings with key U.S. based tower vendors such as Crown Castle International Corporation, American Tower Corporation, and SBA Communications Corporation. Experts cite that the strategic move will help the telecom giants enter a deal with new vendors other than these three and secure reasonable tower costs for transmitting wireless signals. This marks a new phase in the field of wireless infrastructure sector across the U.S, which will assist in best serving the interests of the telecom firms through improved connectivity. According to reliable sources, both the firms are aiming to expand their network capacity and offer myriad services to end-users who use a high proportion of mobile data. As a part of the transaction, Tillman will reportedly build the towers and Verizon as well as ATT will be serving as tower residents. The construction of the towers is anticipated to commence in the first half of 2018, with the three firms working together to compete against the three big tower vendors based in the U.S. The new tower constructions are predicted to make noteworthy contributions towards the enhancement of the overall communications infrastructure across the U.S. Furthermore, it has been predicted to offer new avenues for wireless carriers to move the equipment from current towers to the newly constructed ones. After the declaration of the telecom giants to align with Tillman, the stock prices of all the three key tower vendors were adversely impacted and witnessed a considerable decline. The share prices of American Towers were flat in the afternoon trading while the stocks of SBA Communications came down by 1.9%. The stock market also witnessed the share prices of Crown Castle falling down by 0.3%.



NY governor signs bill, sanctioning medical marijuana use for PTSD

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:46:25 +0530

In a series of prominent developments witnessed in New York, the governor of the state has scarcely signed a law that appends post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) to the list of the diseases that can be treated with medical marijuana. The PSTD bill was a part of the set of five legislations that the governor has signed to mark the inauguration of Veterans day. As per reliable sources, the potential beneficiaries include police officers, veterans, and survivors of domestic violence, rape, accidents, and crimes. Experts have projected that nearly 19,000 of New Yorks residents affected due to post traumatic stress disorder could benefit from medical marijuana. According to the state law, patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, and Parkinsons are permitted the intake of medical marijuana in the non-smokable form. The governor has also signed another legislation to sanction extra leaves for war veterans in the state service to avail health and counselling benefits at home or outside of the country. The third legislation comprising of fee waive-offs for civil services exams for those veterans, who receive an honorable discharge from their duties and desire to get employed in the public sector, was also signed by the New York governor on Saturday. The governor has further quoted that the very existence of the nation was based on the ideals principles for which the veterans had risked their lives. He also added that the signing these five pieces of legislation was a part of the support for New York veterans, while simultaneously aiming to provide them with improved healthcare facilities when they return to New York. Another most important legislation directing the military naval affairs department of the state to keep a list of all the non-profit making institutions funding the army was also signed. Sources have claimed that the passing of the five legislations by the governor was the act of gratitude displayed by the state for the combat veterans who defend the borders by risking their lives.



Ford-Ekso Bionics exoskeleton proposition to enhance workers’ safety

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 17:32:55 +0530

Ford Motor Company, the U.S. second largest automaker, in a bid to enhance employee safety and productivity, this Thursday, unveiled its move of incorporating mechanical exoskeletons to lower workers injury rates. The company in collaboration with Ekso Bionics, the California based exoskeleton manufacturer is reportedly testing these upper-body exoskeletons at two of its factories in the U.S. Allegedly, the cost of these Bionics, which were manufactured as a collaborative attempt of Ford and Ekso Bionics has not been disclosed. For the record, Ekso Bionics initially manufactured exoskeletons for the military and medical sectors, and seemingly in 2013, expanded its portfolio for the manufacturing and construction industries. The company was earlier acclaimed for developing a full-body powered exoskeleton for patients suffering from strokes and spinal cord injuries. The latest, non-powered EksoVest, designed by the company, claims to ease the strain on workers upper bodies and reportedly, aids in providing lift assistance of five to fifteen pounds per arm. As per reliable estimates, over 2005-2016, the automotive giant recorded more than 80% decline in the rate of injuries or incidents that resulted in work restrictions, job transfers, or days away from work. However, the company seems to remain concerned over the shoulder injury, which is reported to be the most frequently occurring impairment by Ford. The latest exoskeleton venture, as claimed by the American automaker, not only reduces the workplace injuries but also parallelly increases the employees productivity. The exoskeleton dubbed as EksoVest is reported to be extraordinarily light-weight, which enables the workers to perform overhead tasks, preventing muscle strain and workplace accidents. The exoskeletons are deemed fit for load-bearing work environment, spanning factories, construction sites, and distribution centers. Allegedly, two workers at the companys Flat Rock and Wayne Factories have been examining the exoskeletons since May. The automotive conglomerate further revealed its plans to pilot exoskeletons in Europe and South America.



Uber-NASA to launch flying taxis in Los Angeles by 2020

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:52:06 +0530

After announcing its resolve to establish an on-demand flying taxi service last year, the U.S. based ride-hailing giant, Uber, has now revealed its partnership with NASA to collaborate in building of an unmanned traffic management system at a low altitude to boost its aim of launching Uber Elevate by 2020. On November 8, speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Ubers Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden announced more details of Ubers flying taxis venture. He further named Los Angeles as the companys third test city, as the ambitious project, titled as Uber Elevate, has already involved Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to test its low-flying taxi fleet. Uber had experienced a major setback recently, as the company was stripped of its license to operate in London. The latest Space Act Agreement with NASA might prove to be of some respite to the company, as the alliance may assist in leveraging the federal agencys decades of airspace experience to tackle upcoming challenges to be faced by Uber Elevate. The jointly developed traffic management system seeks to automate the air traffic control to lower their dependence on the human staff on the ground who monitor and verbally guide take-off and landing procedures. Uber has commenced mapping virtual corridors in the Dallas-Fort Worth region where the air traffic is anticipated to fly at the earliest. However, Ubers plan to fly taxis without the guidance of air traffic control staff is yet to receive an approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. The company has recently inked multiple partnerships with aircraft manufacturers to build the flying taxis and to lead the manufacturing of the required EVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. Apparently, Uber seems to be gearing up to compete with companies such as Boeing and Air Bus who are making a concerted effort to manufacture their own flying vehicles fleet.



EU’s vehicle emission propositions to boost electric vehicles sales

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 20:26:38 +0530

While speaking on the mobility and climate change package at a news conference held on Wednesday, European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, proposed stricter car emission targets to boost the roll-out of electric vehicles in the continent. The news conference convened at the EUs headquarters in Brussels witnessed an enthusiastic push for a legislation to stimulate the European industry to produce an increased number of electric vehicles. The European Commissions Vice President, Maros Sefcovic expressed his deep concern towards the unsatisfactory growth of electric vehicles market in Europe, as he cited the instance of a Brussels based taxi firm using Chinese electric cars in its fleet. The Commissions executive board appeared anxious as the European manufacturers have reportedly been trailing the Chinese, Japanese and U.S. car makers, in terms of electric vehicles production. The proposal intends to lower the magnitude of greenhouse gases from the transport industry by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Furthermore, the Commission announced a credit system for car manufacturers to encourage the production of electric vehicles and fines for surpassing carbon dioxide limits. The proposal aims to cut the average CO2 emission of carmakers fleets by 30% till 2030 when compared with 2021 levels. Apparently, if the carmakers are found to violate the new guidelines, they are bound to face huge penalties which might run into millions of Euros. The European carmakers lobby ACEA published a statement in which it termed the 30% target as overly challenging and the proposal to be very aggressive with regards to the low and fragmented market penetration of electric vehicles across the continent. To assuage the concerns raised by car manufacturers, the Commission is set to pledge 800 million Euros to encourage the expansion of charging points for electric vehicles and 200 million Euros to assist battery development. The outrage sparked over Volkswagen emissions scandal in U.S. has pressurized the European regulators to tighten controls for emissions tests, with several European governments stipulating complete prohibition against combustion-engine cars in the upcoming two decades.



Fox-Disney deal may pose challenges to other media giants

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 18:24:38 +0530

The globally reputed Manhattan-based multinational mass media corporation, 21st Century Fox has been in talks with Walt Disney Co., to sell most of its media assets excluding Fox news and sports. It is unclear though, if Fox business would be involved in an upcoming Disney-Fox deal. As per media reports, in recent weeks, both the companies held a discussion about the sale of Foxs movie studio, its National Geographic and FX channels and other international assets to Disney. Speaking about the current media landscape, which has changed drastically in the last few years, Fox has been reexamining its scale and size, taking into account the current scenario in global media, pertaining to the dominating emergence of Netflix, Google, and Facebook in the field of digital media content development and distribution. Reportedly, in order to compete with these tech giants, the media mammoth would need to retain its bonding with consumers, which is only possible if Fox signs an agreement with Disney. For the record, Disney already has a wide range of family-friendly assets, from its animated movies to Star Wars and Marvel. However, this upcoming deal is likely to favor Disney with wider range of media products. With regard to the competitive potential of the media industry landscape, the collaboration of Fox and Disney is likely to emerge crucial for one of the pivotal media behemoths - Netflix. According to analysts, most of the investors of Netflix have sold their shares, which has resulted in depreciation of Netflixs share by more than 2%. Meanwhile, the shares of Fox and Disney rose approximately 1% each. As Disney looks forward to launching its own streaming facilities, the acquisition of a major movie studio, having had substantial exposure to the international media landscape is likely to emerge beneficial for the Disney group. Besides, even Fox is reported to have believed that focusing on news and sports would turn out to be more effective in current era of digital media.



Supreme Court orders Samsung to pay USD 120 million to Apple

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 17:20:59 +0530

After years of combing through strenuous legal battles, Apple has finally won the judiciary case against Samsung. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Samsungs appeals of lower court ruling and another long-term dispute related to patent infringement among the top two smartphone makers. Nearly marking an end to the long-standing battle, the Supreme Court has ordered Samsung to pay USD 120 million to Apple. Reports cite that the case revolved primarily around the slide-to-unlock and other features of smartphones, which had been patented by Apple, and encroached upon by Samsung. Earlier, Samsung was ordered to pay USD 1 billion to Apple, but the case was recalled for a new trial with regards to issues related to the amount to be paid. Initially, in 2016, the Jury awarded USD 119.6 million to Apple, even as the California based iPhone maker was looking forward to claim USD 2.2 billion from the South Korean electronics giant. The appeals panel of Samsung has objected over the decision of court, but full appellate panel recalled the same decision by a vote of 8-3. Samsung had apparently stated that the patented advancements in smartphone features were obvious and not eligible for legal protection. In addition, the company has added that many other companies believed that court has to hear the case once again to reestablish significant standards and avoid the unfair use of patent system. Samsung and Apple have been significantly engaged in a quarrel since a considerably long while now, accusing each other regarding patent infringements about their tablets and smartphone products. In 2014, it was reported that both the smartphone makers had decided to drop out all the disputes outside the U.S. related to patents, however, the recent suit depicts that the battle is still likely to continue, according to experts.



Broadcom likely to unveil an unsought proposal to take over Qualcomm

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:51:52 +0530

After an unsuccessful acquisition attempt last year, the leading producer of digital and analog semiconductors, Broadcom, in a renewed bid, is reportedly drafting a fresh proposal to acquire the leading chipmaker, Qualcomm Inc. According to sources familiar with the development, the buyout offer, consisting of as much as $70 a share, equaling approximately to $103 billion, might be presented to the board of Qualcomm on Monday. With the latest proposal, Broadcom aims to establish itself as the worlds third-largest supplier of communications chips to the wireless market with large influence over the supply chain. The unsolicited offer has, reportedly, displeased the board and management of Qualcomm Inc., as the chipmaker believes the offer undervalues the company and would create anti-trust issues. However, the board shall give due importance to the proposal but is likely to suggest its shareholders to decline it as the deal may further create regulatory complexities, the sources close to the company said. Interestingly, the deal comes amid the pending takeover of NXP Semiconductors, delayed due to government scrutinies, by Qualcomm, as it plans to complete the acquisition by the end of 2017. Qualcomm has been struggling in the recent past due to the fines slapped by Taiwan and South Korea, add to it, its ever-growing legal disputes with Apple and an anti-trust petition filed by the U.S. government. Broadcom had moved a proposal a year ago, to buy Qualcomm Inc. However, the proposal didnt get recognized by the board members of Qualcomm. The fresh attempt to acquire Qualcomm is being viewed, by the company management, as an opportunistic bid of Broadcom to buy it out cheap, people close to the company said. Qualcomm, by all accounts, will make an effort to argue that the proposal shall face regulatory hurdles as Broadcom hasnt received approval for its recent purchase of Brocade Communications System Inc., a significantly modest deal.



DOJ may file antitrust suit to impede AT&Ts Time Warner takeover

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 13:06:09 +0530

The tech tabloids have lately been ablaze with the news of the Department of Justice turning the tables on ATTs deal. Apparently, the DOJ has been on the verge of considering an antitrust lawsuit to prevent ATT from acquiring Time Warner. As per authentic reports, ATT Inc., the renowned American telecom conglomerate had reached a constructive agreement with Time Warner to purchase the cable television company. The deal had almost been finalized in October last year, for a rumored valuation of close to USD 85 billion, and in July 2017, it had even been reported that the deal was likely to attain closure within the next 2 months. Presently, the Department of Justice, post reviewing the acquisition agreement, has been planning for litigation in the event that it would need to sue for blocking the deal from closure. Simultaneously though, it has been reported that the DOJ and both the involved parties have been negotiating with one another to arrive at a plausible solution that may enable the agreement to receive government approval. The representatives of the Dallas-headquartered telecom company have in fact, arranged meetings with the officials of the Department of Justice in the recent weeks, cite sources familiar with the proceedings. However, while the DOJ has not yet reached the ultimate decision, neither of the parties are close to a compromise. ATTs official statement claims that when the DOJ reviews agreements, it is expected that both the parties be thoroughly prepared for all the plausible scenarios. The company however, has refused to comment on its ongoing discussions with the DOJ, though DOJs plan to file an antitrust suit against the deal has not exactly come as a surprise to the Texas based conglomerate. Sources state that both, Time Warner and the Department of Justice have refused to comment on the ongoing matter. However, post DOJs plan to file a suit against the deal made headlines across every tabloid in town, Time Warner shares scrambled down 4.1%, while ATTs stock fell 1.2%, claim reports



Qualcomm files fresh lawsuit in San Diego court to sue Apple

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 19:31:42 +0530

In what seems to be a never-ending legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, that has been making headlines since January this year, the latter has filed yet another lawsuit against Apple. Qualcomm, in its latest suit, has accused the iPhone maker of non-compliance of the contract terms of a software needed to make chips that communicate with the other parts of mobile phones and networks. The lawsuit filed in a San Diego court, further states that Apple misused its seamless access to Qualcomms chip code, which might have helped Intel access vital details regarding competitor technologies. The legal tussle began with Apple suing Qualcomm in three countries, U.S., U.K. and China. Qualcomm apparently responded with a counter-suit asking the U.S. regulators to ban iPhones imported in U.S. from China. In the fresh lawsuit, Qualcomm has reportedly been cited to hold evidence to prove its claims. Its distribution list of engineers contains the name of an engineer who, Qualcomm claims, worked with Intel. Interestingly, this lawsuit comes in the wake of reports ablaze with the news of Apple planning to launch its products bereft of Qualcomms components in 2018. As per some tech experts, this move of Apple might affect the revenue graph of the chipmaker. For the record, according to recent sources, Qualcomm is already battling to retain its present revenue flow, as back to back lawsuits by Apple had led to quite an impact on the chipmakers revenue estimates in the first quarter of 2017. Even after the legal disputes, Apple has been utilizing Qualcomms chip codes and modems, though reports claim, the tech giant has attempted to lessen its dependence on Qualcomm by joining hands with Intel. There seems to be no end in sight to the prolonged legal squabbles between the wireless telecommunications and chipmaking giant, Qualcomm and the technology behemoth, Apple, state experts. It now remains to be seen how the legal battle plays out between both the companies.



Google to shut down QPX Express API services by 2018

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 15:31:24 +0530

Google Incorporation has apparently declared that it plans to deny software developers the access to the automated information pertaining to airfare search engines. Industry experts have claimed that the move may, in all likelihood, impact the business of third-party travel websites such as Kayak, Orbitz Expedia, etc. The search engine giant has also put up a notice on its FAQ webpage for developers, demonstrating its intention to shut the QPX express API services on April 10, 2018. The firm, a global web service provider, also stated that it will end new user registrations for flight services and mail its existing data users, notifying them about the policy change. As per reliable sources, Google had declared its firm resolve to purchase ITA Software, an organization that influenced most of the online flight services in 2010. During the period, the acquisition plan was under the scrutiny of the Obama administration, which had raised concerns over the firm trying to monopolize the online flying services. However, antitrust officials in the U.S. granted the nod of approval to the USD 700 million acquisition deal on the grounds that the administration will monitor Googles business behavior and that the tech giant would back up its API services for five years. Now, with the elapsing of the ultimatum in 2015, the firm has wound up its API service portfolio, citing the reason that it is not accountable to public rules. Experts have predicted that Google has not disclosed anything regarding the offering of any other alternative API services to its consumers. So, it is more likely that the software professionals may use web portals such as Fareportal, Skypicker, and Skyscanner, cite sources. For the record, the firm has been trying to penetrate consumer-facing flight service business, on the grounds of which it has appended the cost-saving features on its graph displaying how a person can determine the costs of air travel that vary over a period.



Rockwell Automation declines Emerson’s USD 27 billion acquisition bid

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 18:16:38 +0530

Rockwell Automation Incorporation, a key manufacturer of industrial automation products, has reportedly declined the takeover bid made by Emerson Electric Company for over USD 27 billion. The former cites the reason of the offer having devalued the credentials of the firm. Earlier in August 2017, Emerson had made an offer of USD 200 per share, split in cash and shares, however, it was conveniently rejected by Rockwell. Apparently, Emerson had brought forth the acquisition bid with the perspective that the merger could bring forth a revenue of USD 6 billion through collaborations. Before the rejection of its acquisition proposal, Emerson had made every effort to bring Rockwell to the negotiating table by offering higher share price. Currently in fact, the price amounts to USD 215 per share and concessions on social issues, including an initiative to rename the merger. The share price of Rockwell has increased by over 13%, since Emerson had made its first acquisition offer. Rockwell has confirmed the rejection of the offers and stated that the decision was based on the outlook of the Board of Directors with regards to their concerns about stakeholders interests. Experts have however, pointed that the key reason for the decline of the acquisition bid was Emersons failure to effectively integrate its earlier acquisitions. Since the rejection of the proposal, Rockwell has gained 7.4% at USD 200.82 per share. The shares are up by 46% year-to-date as compared to the 16% increase in the shares of Emerson. Industry experts have claimed that the successful closure of the acquisition deal would have mutually benefitted both the firms, with Rockwell accomplishing huge gains from Emersons technological expertise, and Emerson successfully expanding its software portfolio through the purchase. It has also been claimed that the deal, if signed, could have assisted the latter in successfully linking its industrial businesses to its technical operations.



Vistra acquires Dynegy to form a power producer giant in Texas

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 18:29:27 +0530

Vistra Energy and Dynegy, two independent power producers, have scarcely announced their merger in an all stock-deal, which has reportedly been in the works since May. Reports claim that Vistra Energys acquisition with Dynegy for USD 1.74 billion would make the combined unit the states largest power producer and one of U.S.s biggest electricity generators. The purchase would also help Vistra expand its reach into the Northeast and Midwest regions, where Dynegy has already established its footprints and operates several coal-fired and natural gas plants. For the record, the Houston-based power producer Dynegy operates a total of 27,000 MW of power producing facilities throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Texas. Sources reveal that, the combined company will have a power production capacity of more than 40 gigawatts, of which over 60 percent of power will be generated from natural gas-fired plants, and the rest from nuclear, coal, and solar power. Vistra and Dynegys move of consolidation among the independent power producers, is the latest trend witnessed amidst industry MAs, cite experts. It has also been observed that of late, the independent power producers have been striving to find successful business models since the industry deregulation, that was introduced to promote healthy competition in the utility sector and lower the power costs. Moreover, the astonishing boom in natural gas production in the U.S. has also significantly lowered power prices, making it difficult for the companies to garner profits. On these grounds, analysts claim that power companies like Dynegy, who have seen their profit margins shrink, have harnessed the growth strategy of MAs. Sources state that the combined company will have a market valuation of more that USD 10 billion and is anticipated to generate over USD 350 million in earnings prior to its amortization and income taxes on an yearly basis. According to the recent premarket trading, Dynegy shares went up by 13% to USD 12.65. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, cite sources.



LloydsPharmacy shuts 190 UK outlets, blames it on govt funding cuts

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 18:01:37 +0530

LloydsPharmacy will cease trading in nearly 190 stores across England, as announced by the chains Coventry-based parent company in Celesio UK. The managing director of LloydsPharmacy, scarcely revealed that the organizations decision to shut down the stores was in response to the changes made in government policies regarding extensive fund reimbursement cuts over the past year. Experts state that quite a percentage of staff may be affected due to the companys decision, as the firm employs a workforce of around 17,000 across its 1500 pharma stores. However, according to a spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy, the company would be taking effective measures to support its staff and minimize disruption for patients. No confirmation was given regarding the number of staff that could be affected by this move. The managements decision to close down stores will also lead to lesser access to qualified healthcare professional and medicines. In consequence, this would increase pressure on the other parts of the National Health Service (NHS) in England, cite sources. According to reports, the changes in government policies over past years have eventually made the operation at several Lloyds Pharmacy stores commercially unviable. Authorities state that the decision to close down the pharmacies was necessary for the business to adapt to the changing landscape of the healthcare industry. A spokesperson further revealed that the company aims to adopt the emerging digitalization trends that would shape a new framework and ensure its business sustainability in the future. It has also been reported that Celesio UK further aspires to work closely with the department of health and NHS England a move that would allow the pharmacy giant to innovate, invest, and make necessary improvements to enhance its service portfolio. Moreover, in an attempt to mitigate the impact on patients and staff as much as possible, the company will be looking for potential buyers other alternatives for the affected pharmacies in the area.



BT to cut down charges for up to a million landline customers

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:42:46 +0530

British Telecom, a leading telecommunication giant has recently agreed to slash the amount it charges to landline-only customers by 37 percent. Sources revealed that about one million customers subscribing to BTs telephone service will see their once-a-month landline bills lowered by GBP 7 GBP 11.99. This represents an annual saving of GBP 84, apparently. BTs move to cut down landline prices comes after the rising pressure from the telecom firm Ofcom, which is seeking to protect elderly and vulnerable people. For the record, Ofcom had raised concerns over the amount Britains dominant telecom service providers charge to the countrys landline-only customers. The regulator also criticized the telecom provider for giving poor value for money to the landline-only subscribers compared with those who buy package services including broadband and TV, cite sources. If report statements are to be believed, Ofcom said that it stepped into this matter only due to the fact that bills for landline-only customers have soared exponentially, of which it said that more than two-third of customers were above 65 years of age, and more than 75% of these customers have never switched their telecom service provider. Moreover, Ofcom extended its focus on BT because the telecom company accounts for two-thirds of UKs 1.5 million customers. Ofcoms competition group director, Jonathan Oxley, with respect to the elderly citizens that have been with BT for ages, quoted that their landline is their lifeline. Ofcom revealed it on October 26th, that BT had agreed to the changes, which are likely to come into effect from April 2018. The regulator further said that in its analysis, all major landline providers had raised their line rental charges by 23% to 47% in recent years, however their cost of providing the service plunged by over 27%. According to reports, Ofcom further expects its rivals who overcharge their customers to follow suit.



Federal government declares largest O&G lease sale in the U.S.

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 18:58:08 +0530

The Interior Department of the Federal Administration has scarcely announced its decision of encouraging oil and gas development extensively across the nation. The department has proposed nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico on sale for energy companies, which are willing to purchase oil and gas leases. Sources claim that this is one of the largest offering ever in the history of United States. Toward the next year, the Interior Department is planning to execute lease sales off Mississippi, Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana, though it would take several years before the drilling operations commence. The President of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, Don Briggs has stated that this oil and gas lease sale is likely to prove beneficial for several energy companies over the years ahead. Experts cite that this oil and gas lease sale is one of the most significant steps undertaken toward reducing dependency on foreign oil, as the President of United States, Trump is looking forward to increasing the energy dependency on domestic oil. Senator John Neely Kennedy, one of 12 lawmakers and governors has openly supported the announcement of the Federal Government, stating that, this sale is likely to generate many job opportunities and will contribute majorly to enhance economy of the nation. In addition, Mississippi Gov., Phil Bryant (R) also added a few lines in favor of governments decision, claiming that this will strengthen the status of Mississippi as a prominent region for oil and gas exploration. It has been reported that some of the energy conservation groups have opposed the announcement of the Interior Department, as in 2010, this part of the Gulf coast experienced one of the worst environmental disasters, owing to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the 2015 crude oil spill. In favor of Federal governments decision however, The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management assured that the environment would be protected by means of additional leases, which are sold in the Gulf.



Spire Healthcare turns down acquisition proposal from Mediclinic

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 14:37:06 +0530

In what may be touted as an unforeseen rejection of sorts, acclaimed UK-based medical care firm, Spire Healthcare Group, has spurned a takeover proposition from its largest shareholder - Mediclinic International. If reports are to be believed, the representatives of the countrys second largest provider of private healthcare state that the proposed deal was offered for a valuation that significantly undervalues Spire and its prospects. For the record, Mediclinic, based in South Africa, owns more than 30% of stake in Spire Healthcare, making the firm one of the most pivotal shareholders of the UK-based company. Mediclinics investments in Spire commenced back in 2015, when the companys top shots recognized the need to tap into the robustly expanding private healthcare service domain. Experts cite that acquiring Spire would prove to be rewarding for the Stellenbosch-headquartered behemoth, which has been carousing through a series of profitable acquisitions since a while now, across Europe, Africa, and Middle East, under the tutelage of Mediclinics current CEO, Danie Meintjes. Plausibly in a bid to conduct its fourth transaction for 2017, Mediclinic approached Spire with an offer of around GBP 1.2 billion (USD 1.6 billion). Reportedly, the offer valued Spires shares at 298.6 pence apiece in cash and stock. Sources claim that this represents a 29% premium to the private hospital operators closing price prior to the day the offer was made, perhaps on the grounds of which the rejection stands currently. Analysts cite that Spires rejection may have also additionally stemmed from the fact that Mediclinic is still attempting to digest the UAE-based Al Noor Hospital assets it acquired in a reverse takeover about two years ago, and perhaps, currently lacks the competence for another major acquisition. Spires shares have had an arduous run so far in 2017. The companys shares fell nearly by 40% from 361 pence in July, as the profits from the first two quarters dropped by almost 75% on the grounds of lawsuit settlements. Quite surprisingly though, post Spires rejection of Mediclinics takeover bid, the shares of the UK-based private hospital operator jumped 12% in the morning trading.



US regulators indict Rio Tinto’s chief officials for fraud

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:41:37 +0530

The U.S. authorities have reportedly charged Rio Tinto, the London-headquartered Anglo-Australian mining behemoth, and its former chief executive and chief financial officers on the basis of fraud. The indictment rides on the heels of the statement that the officials supposedly inflated the value of Mozambique coal assets and allegedly tried to cover up multi-billion-dollar losses in business. For the uninitiated, the Mozambican coal business was acquired by Rio Tinto from Riversdale Mining for a valuation of approximately USD 3.7 billion (around GBP 2.8 billion) in 2011 under Mr. Albaneses leadership and was reportedly sold for a devalued price of USD 50 million in 2014. The lawsuit filed in the New York federal court accuses the former chief executive officer, Tom Albanese, and Guy Elliott, the ex-chief financial officer, of failing to follow the accounting standards conveniently misleading the investors in the valuation of coal deposits by hiding the fact that the multi-billion-dollar transaction was a failure. SEC further reported that, by making unrealistic claims, Rio Tino was able to raise USD 5.5 billion from the US investors. In retaliation, Rio Tinto has posted its statement in an email, pledged to fight against the charges the company and its high-ranking ex-officials have been accused of. The mining giant clearly believes that the SEC case is unwarranted at the moment, cite reports. Furthermore, it has come to notice that Rio Tinto believes all of SECs claims would be discarded, when the authentic facts would soon be brought into light. The Securities and Exchange Commission concluded that Rio Tinto had breached the transparency disclosure rules, in accordance with which it has been fined GBP 27 million over the African coal purchase. Post the accusation, shares of Rio Tinto plummeted by 1.2% or 87 cents, and stood at USD 70.59 in the latest trading on the Australian stock market.



UK to tighten its merger regime over national security concerns

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:27:56 +0530

The UK government has announced proposals that would expand its ability to intervene in takeover and merger deals that are likely to raise national security concerns. These changes are particularly targeted at the domains where the deals involve companies that design or manufacture military dual use products, subject to export controls. The proposals are also expected to cover companies that entail the design of computer chips and quantum technology. Currently the Government can take action only against mergers that in particular, involve businesses generating a turnover amounting to more than GBP 70 million, or in specific cases where the merger could result in the new company having a share of 25% or more in the UK market. However, under the currently intended proposals, the government will now be able to close these loopholes and ensure the stability of the UK financial system. If the proposals are enacted as proposed, the upcoming laws will witness the UK government lower their threshold to a turnover of less than GBP 1 million, and entirely remove the requirement for the merged outfit to increase its business share to more than 25% in the UK market. As on one side, the rule change will give ministers the power to scrutinize investments made in businesses, while on the other hand, the changes will widen the scope for the big shots to embrace smaller businesses. In the second part of consultation, the government is also focusing on longer-term proposals that would allow for potential scrutiny of transactions that spark national security threats. These in particular, could include the rising risks of sabotage, espionage, or the ability to exert inappropriate leverage. Experts cite that in the light of this uncomfortable scenario, the UK market players would have to go the extra mile where caution and adherence to rules are exercised, in addition to ensuring that the rule changeover does not give the UK government an opportunity to block takeovers that might actually prove to be beneficial for the nations economy.



Greenpeace targets tech giants for environmental pollution

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:06:10 +0530

Greenpeace, a Netherlands-based non-governmental environmental organization, working toward the maintenance of a green environment, has marked low scores for Huawei technologies company limited, Samsung electronics, and Amazon Incorporation over their failure to contribute toward the reduction of GHG emissions in the environment. As per its report, most of the giant technology firms have failed completely in abiding by the renewable energy standards. Reportedly, the group has evaluated the functioning of seventeen top global technology firms within a span of three years. Consecutively, the failure of the firms to deliver on their promises of making maximum use of recycled materials in their manufactured items as well as phasing out of toxic supplies has been categorically highlighted. The organization emphasized that the production processes of the tech firms are as eco-friendly as they have been predicted to be. Apparently, the Greenpeace observed that the power consumption across the technology sector has increased rampantly leading to a rise in supply chain activities data centers and enhanced production of goods. These activities though, have also led to greenhouse gas emissions, adding further to the already existing environmental damage. As per reports, Greenpeace graded Samsung with a D in the category of renewable energy consumption. The firm also received low scores on its effort in minimizing the use of harmful chemicals in factories devising durable green products. Greenpeaces report affirms that reputed smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Vivo, and Xiaomi have all acquired below average grades in all categories due to their lack of commitment towards green energy. The U.S. based firm Apple scored maximum in the renewable energy consumption category, however, in a surprising turn of events, it was found that Amazon was the only American firm to have received the lowest grade (F) based on its environmental performance. Greenpeace has formally requested these seventeen firms to switch to green energy sources to leverage their supply chain activities, thereby providing evidence of its commitment toward effectively handling the issue of global warming by promoting the use of renewable energy across the tech world.



Toyota to test self-driving electric cars by 2020

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:57:46 +0530

Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the acclaimed automotive industry behemoths, has declared that it would commence the testing of its self-driving electric vehicle range embedded with artificial intelligence technology in 2020. Experts predict that the AI tech will help Toyota to enhance driving user driving experience, in addition to helping the company generate a niche brand presence for its self-driving cars. As per reports, the concept model of Toyotas autonomous car embedded with AI, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will be designed to conveniently interact with drivers, while simultaneously generating a database of user habits, emotions, and preferences, through deep learning. With regards to EV manufacturing, Toyota has reportedly been facing tough competition from automobile developers and technology firms working in self-driving technology. The company may possibly invest close to USD 1 billion through 2020 for working on automated driving technology while exploiting artificial intelligence as a principal supporting tool. Toyotas current concept-i prototype in fact, is a battery-electric vehicle, which can travel up to 300 kilometers with single-time charging. The vehicle has also been touted to encompass exceptional features, with the help of which it can monitor the emotions alertness quotient of drivers through their body languages, actions, and voice tones. Reportedly, through the information obtained from driver behavior, the newly built concept-i car, in all likelihood, may take over the driving tasks completely, when it estimates that the driver has been exhibiting tiredness and may not be able to drive safely. In a scenario where the automotive market has been facing a stiff challenge from the mobility sector with regards to vehicle ownership, Toyotas incorporation of artificial intelligence in its vehicles is poised to strengthen its position in electric cars industry, cite experts.



UK government’s clean energy growth plan to meet 2050 climate target

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:43:26 +0530

The British government has declared a clean energy strategy for investing millions in low carbon innovations and renewable technology to accomplish its 2050 emission goal. In order to tackle carbon emissions, the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial strategy plans to invest close to GBP 2.5 billion by 2021. Reportedly, it is also looking forward to utilizing offshore wind energy for electric vehicles. The funding amount is reportedly segregated depending upon end-use sectors, namely, transport, energy, waste, and agriculture. The plan entails an investment of GBP 265 million for smart energy systems and GBP 1 billion to promote low-emission and electric vehicles. Speaking along the same lines, in a bid to enhance energy efficiency, the UK government has been pushing itself to convert as many homes as possible to minimum energy performance band C by the end of 2035. Most of the industries have welcomed the governments energy strategy, however, the plan has been facing some criticism on account of some of the outlined policies. The research director of TaxPayers Alliance, Alex Wild argued against the Minister for climate change, Claire Perry, regarding the governments stand to reduce stamp duty to lure people into refurbishing their homes for making them more energy efficient. Mr. Wild further added that it was quite complicated to deal with the British tax system any way, and any misstep would complicate the system further. The Solar Trade Association has also expressed disappointment regarding the governments low carbon agenda, as it curbs future opportunities for solar power. However, the plan has received approval from the Aldersgate Group, an association aiming toward the accomplishment of a sustainable economy. The governments agenda to use clean and green energy across the automotive sector is likely to encourage industry giants to invest heavily in advanced technology developments. Considering the positive impact of clean energy adoption on the economic growth of UK, various organizations have expressed their support regarding the clean energy strategy.



Taiwan’s trade commission slaps a 774-million-dollar fine on Qualcomm

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 01:07:46 +0530

Qualcomm has been facing a series of antitrust probes since the last few years, one of the latest ones sourced from the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC). If reports are to be believed, TFTC has levied a fine of close to USD 774.14 million on Qualcomm, citing reasons of antitrust violations of its chip technology. Back in 2015, the company was fined USD 975 million by the Chinese regulators, while in December 2016, the Korean regulators penalized Qualcomm with a fine of USD 854 million for non-compliance of its competition laws. Sources claim that now, even European regulators have depicted antitrust concerns on Qualcomms bid to buy NXP semiconductors. Qualcomm provides wireless data connectivity for mobile phones and has a monopoly over WCDMA (3G), CDMA, and LTE chipsets. TFTC claims that Qualcomm has been refusing to share its patented technology with other players in the chip market. Qualcomm however, disagrees with the decision taken by the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission, in accordance with which it plans to challenge the decision in court. Reports so far, claim that the company is looking forward to appealing against the amount of fine and the method deployed for calculating the same. In addition to the fine, Qualcomm has to submit a progress report every six months on the negotiations carried out with other firms as a penalty. TFTC claims that Qualcomm has allegedly been misusing its position in the chip market by charging unfair rates for its patented modem chips. Its business strategy is likely to prove disastrous for other market giants, as the company offers patent royalties to major dealers. Additionally, the company has been asking cell phone manufacturers to exclude a few clauses from contracts that may let Qualcomm access sensitive information from competitors related to sales targets, product models, chip prices, and sales volume. Given that this strategy may damage the position of other chip market players, TFTC has levied a fine against the company, under section 9, clause 1 of the Fair Trading Act. TFTCs decision may, in all probability, hamper Qualcomms business model in the years ahead.



Walmart launches its app-based swift return service

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 17:04:12 +0530

This Tuesday, the retail space witnessed one of the biggest scoops with Walmart announcing the launch of streamlined return process that is claimed to shrink the return processing time of an item significantly. Allegedly, the retail giant, through its app, would allow customers to refund online orders in just few minutes by simply scanning QR code at the store. Experts claim this move to be another attempt by Walmart to position thousands of its stores at a competitive advantage over its arch rival Amazon. Toward the end of Q1, 2017, the big box giant made to the headlines with the announcement of its strategic partnership with Google for the launch of voice activated shopping service through Googles virtual assistant. Reportedly, this collaboration has allowed consumers to take advantage of Walmarts patent Easy Reorder feature through a seamless integration with Googles shopping service, Google Express. In addition to this partnership, in January this year, Walmart also launched free two-day shipping of more than two million items, that required no membership. While Amazon is still struggling to match up Walmarts physical infrastructure, the e-commerce mammoth is making a headway toward honing the online return procedure in some of its newly acquired Whole Food stores, cite experts. Recently, the retail giant has penned a deal with kohls to make return easier for its online customers. Reportedly, as of now, the service would be limited to 82 selected locations centering around Chicago and Los Angeles areas. Allegedly, return procedures remained an area of focus for the countrys top two retailers. While it is still to be seen which return procedure grabs the top position in the long run, it is irrefutable that e- commerce market is the next combat zone for the retail giants. Walmarts business model and structure has dramatically changed over the years, and experts claim that this new return process is yet another consumer-friendly move by the retail major to strengthen its position in the competitive business space. Walmarts revamped return service is expected to get operational by the end of 2017, cite reliable sources.



Waymo launches a public education campaign to bring awareness about self-driving vehicles

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 18:18:40 +0530

Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc., has recently launched a public education campaign titled Lets Talk Self-Driving with an aim to eradicate the cynicism that many Americans possess related to autonomous technology. This Monday, the U.S. conglomerate announced to team up with a host of disability and safety advocacy groups namely the National Safety Council, the Federation for Blind Children, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the campaign. Reportedly, Waymo proclaims that the advertisement campaign would spread awareness around a technology that for so long remained inaccessible to most of the Americans. Reportedly, this has been, by far, one of the most appreciated initiatives ever taken in self-driving car market. As per reliable sources, the advertisement would first launch in Arizona, where the organization has already started its self-driving car testing. For this project, Waymo is also planning to include outdoor billboards, digital ads, radio spots, and fuel pump advertising. The financial layout of the project has not been disclosed by the company. Allegedly, the declaration comes on the heels of the lack of awareness and reluctance by the Americans toward the notion of autonomous vehicles. As per reliable sources, a major chunk of the American population lacks a proper knowhow about self-driving cars. As reported by the AAA (American Automobile Association) earlier this year, almost 75% of the U.S. drivers are reluctant to ride in a driverless vehicle. As claimed by experts, the ad campaign would also limit the increasing rate of traffic accidents in America, which led to approximately 37,461 casualties in 2016, a number which is deemed to be the highest from what has been recorded since 1990. Recently, the Senate panel unanimously gave the green signal regarding the use of autonomous cars, which however requires undergoing a full Assembly poll before being implemented. Reportedly, some of the automotive industry giants including General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co, Alphabet, etc. have petitioned for the mentioned legislation, while the auto safety units have expressed their disagreements regarding the senate bill.



China to accelerate its drug approval system to cut down lengthy delays

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 18:44:55 +0530

China is set to speed up its approval system for medicines and also plans to accept data from clinical trials that are carried out overseas. Reportedly, these changes in the drug approval system will cut down extensive delays in approval processes for new treatment, by several years. The move, announced by Chinas cabinet, is likely to open huge opportunities for local drug innovators and overseas drug makers who repeatedly face lengthy time gaps until the new medicines enter the market. Chinas initiative is likely to help the country bridge an innovation gap with the developed international pharmaceutical market. The announcement comes on the heels of the demand for new therapies that has been significantly increasing in China due to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Additionally, the countrys growing geriatric population is also expected to boost the drug industry. These factors, cite experts, may help support the shift from conventional drugs to more innovative medicines and equipment in the region. Faster drug approvals are expected to provide a major thrust to the blockbuster drugs from multinationals like AstraZeneca Plc., Pfizer Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline Plc., that are looking forward to penetrating deeper into the China market. For the record, China is worlds second largest pharmaceutical market having expended USD 116.7 billion in 2016, after the United States. Experts speculate this move to improve patients access to new treatments and medicines, thereby increasing revenues of pharmaceutical companies. It is also likely to help the Chinese industry select its players who are fittest for survival, those who would uplift the overall competitiveness. According to the document that reforms the drug approval system, the Government of China will relax the processes for research institutions to conduct clinical trials and also establish a compulsory licensing system for clinically needed drugs equipment. The government is also expected to foresee new set of rules that will protect patents.



Walmart acquires NYC company Parcel with an aim to offer same-day delivery services

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 22:39:23 +0530

In a bid to sharpen its delivery skills, Walmart has closed a deal to acquire Parcel - a delivery logistics startup. The retailer giant plans to leverage Parcel for last mile delivery to customers in New York City and offer same-day delivery services for both fresh frozen groceries as well as general merchandise. For the uninitiated, Parcel is a Brooklyn based logistics company that operates 24/7 and is renowned for its same-day, overnight, and in scheduled two-hour window delivery services. The company already handles the supply of delivery services for online retailers such as Bonobos and online meal kit delivery companies like Martha Marley Spoon and Chefd. Reportedly, Parcel will continue to service its current client base, but Walmart will utilize the companys network to ramp up its own same-day delivery offerings for both Walmart.com and its internet retailer Jet.com in NY. The deal places its foundation on the fact that more customers expect to have the option for fast delivery when placing their online orders. Thus, with this acquisition, Walmart believes that Parcel will help the company reduce the costs associated with the deliveries in addition to helping it better compete with the e-commerce giant Amazon.com. For the record, Amazon already offers its prime members with free two-hour delivery on a limited assortment of goods and also lets these customers leverage the option of same-day delivery for free on a collection of more than a million products. Walmarts focus on the fast delivery options shows how the priorities have undergone a paradigm shift for majority of the retailers, as now-a-days, they travel to shoppers homes rather than the other way around. In this transformed landscape of the online retail market, the ability to deliver as fast as possible with low costs is poised to bring forth tremendous advantages for online retailers. Moreover, such moves emphasizing on swift delivery options are clear indicators of the fact that these retail giants are mastering the delivery game to fend off competitors. Amazon and Walmart have always been neck to neck and now, they have been observed chasing each other down by following a pattern of similar moves. For instance, in June, Walmart announced its plans to purchase online mens fashion store Bonobos Inc., for USD 310 million. However, on the same day Amazon also revealed its plans to acquire supermarket grocer Whole Foods Market Inc., in a USD 13.7 billion deal. Representatives of both Walmart Parcel have declined to reveal the deal value, but sources claim the acquisition price to be not more than USD 10 million.



Nissan to recall automobiles sold in last three years across Japan, firm may face monetary losses of close to USD 220 million

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 17:27:26 +0530

Japans second largest carmaker has been forecast to be majorly impacted by faulty inspections, after Mitsubishi. The faulty inspection has pushed Nissan to recall 1.2 million vehicles manufactured for domestic market due to security reasons. For completely resolving the issue and maintaining its reputation in the regional market, Nissan would need to bear costs of more than 25 billion yen, i.e., nearly USD 220 million. The massive recall includes models such as the Serena minivan and the Note compact hatchback, amongst other top sellers. Post the firms investigation into the safety measures of their cars, Nissan has arrived at the possible conclusion that the models produced from October 2014 to September 2017 have not been compliant with the set standards. Accordingly, Nissan CEO, Hiroto Saikawa announced that the company would be re-inspecting the vehicles, which were manufactured in the last three years. He also added that the company is looking forward to providing the expected monetary compensation to its consumers, which would amount for close to 5% of Nissans 2017 profit forecast. The company had appointed an inspection team including an independent third party to investigate and brainstorm the cause of failure. Nissan has not yet been able to unearth the actual cause behind the faulty inspections, as the complete investigation would continue until the end of October. The inspection has turned out to be a cause of humiliation for the Japanese car maker, given its established, well-respected position in the country. In Japan, vehicle producers normally conduct the registration for the vehicle, but after the government notified Nissan regarding the inspection irregularities, the company has decided to stop registering its new vehicles in Japan. Post the recognition of inspection problem, Nissan has adjourned the shipment of its new vehicles including the electric car, the revamped Leaf. This issue wont apparently affect the profitability landscape of Nissan in the automotive market outside of Japan, cite experts. After the re-inspection, Nissan plans to resume the shipping and registration activities in the country. Considering the overall monetary losses that the firm would be facing, Nissan is looking forward to strictly follow the vehicle inspection codes to prevent the recurrence of a similar issue, given that consistent occurrences of such issues have considerably affected the reputation of the automotive industry. Last year, another Japanese carmaker faced a similar problem, bordering on fuel efficiency test failure, which affected its business share negatively, nonetheless, the company has apparently regained its market position in recent months.



Adidas’ emphasis on athleisure apparel manufacturing proves disastrous for Nike product sales

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 09:45:31 +0530

One of the most acclaimed sneaker designer brands in North America, Nike, has reportedly suffered a catastrophic fall in its home country, possibly subject to design failures. Ironically, rival firm Adidas, the renowned German footwear brand, has defeated Nikes brand Jordan to emerge as the second-best popular sports footwear brand in the U.S. The share market holds evidence of a different kind with regards to the Nike-Adidas tussle on Wednesday, Nikes shares were down by over 3%, while Adidas has gained 27% shares in European trading. Nikes standard policy of sticking to the traditional fashion post its strategical shift to a contemporary design tactic has backfired on the company, severely damaging its product sales and popularity. Nike has consistently manufactured basketball and running sneakers without implementing any change of fashion, which has considerably reduced its consumer base across U.S. Moreover, the companys retail partners including Dick and Foot Locker have also not been very successful to attract more customers. As opposed to its arch rival, Adidas has capitalized more on the ongoing fashion shift, which has indeed proved to be rather fruitful for the German footwear maker with regards to its sales in the United States. Subject to Adidas design strategy, Nikes Jordan brand has reportedly confronted a slew of problems. According to analysts, the footwear market player may have incorporated too many outdated styles in its products, which may have possibly tarnished the image of Jordan. Even a year back, Adidas had 6.6% shares in U.S. footwear market, but its emphasis on athleisure has nearly doubled its shares in the first eight months of 2017. In contrast, Nikes shares downed by 1.9% in 2017. Nike is still leading the sales of footwear across U.S., but Adidass manipulation with regards to the preferences of the American consumers about athleisure has now become a legend of sorts in the U.S. retail market. Nike however, seems to have realized that it has been trailing down its mojo in the United States. Pertaining to the business loss, recently it has commenced the strategy of direct-to-customer sales to collect more capital revenue. The sales of Nikes sneakers in North America are slated to continue their halt for next few months, but the American footwear maker is quite confident that it would get back on track post the launch of new products. Nikes president, Trevor Edwards has been quoted stating that the company is focusing on maintaining the balance between scarcity and scale through its direct-to-consumer sales. Considering the dominance of Adidas in the U.S. footwear market, Nike is trying to provide innovative products to customers, which is likely to help the firm regain its position in the footwear industry in the years ahead, say experts.



FDA gives the green signal for Abbott’s finger prick-free blood sugar proportion monitoring device

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:31:57 +0530

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially approved the FreeStyle Libre, a bottle cap-sized wearable sensor device developed by Abbot laboratories, a U.S. based healthcare firm, to continuously check the glucose levels in diabetic patients. As per reliable sources, the equipment is water-resistant and can be efficiently worn while swimming as well. It is also equipped with advanced technology that eliminates the need for daily finger pricking and can be easily scanned over fabrics clothes. In addition, the equipment comprises a small reader that scans the sensor, gathers real-time data about the glucose levels in the patient, and examines the sugar level measurements taken during the last eight hours. Abbots move has been touted to prove highly beneficial for the healthcare fraternity. Earlier in 2016, FDA had approved a similar type of product introduced by the Dexcom Incorporation, a medical device manufacturing firm based in the U.S. Unlike Abbots freestyle Libre, however, the tool was supposed to be calibrated with a finger prick two times in a day to measure the glucose levels in the diabetics, which is where Abbots equipment takes an upper hand. After receiving the approval for its wearable sensor equipment, Abbotts shares depicted a rise of 3.6%, closing at USD 54 per share, while Dexcoms shares plunged to 34%, cite sources. If reports are to be believed, the cost of the wearable sensor Libre in the U.S. will be equivalent to its costs across Europe. At present, the sensor reader cost around USD 140 for a single patient in Europe and necessitates replacement every ten days. The yearly cost amounts to USD 1900 across the region, which also encompasses the price of one reader and twenty-six sensors. The U.S. houses close to 30 million diabetic patients, many among which are reported to be using standard glucose monitoring devices that require multiple finger pricking. In addition, these devices display only the current glucose level in the patients. Abbotts freestyle Libre device, on the other hand, helps in continuously monitoring the glucose levels in the patients, which would undoubtedly prove to be highly beneficial for diabetic patients. Experts cite that the device is likely to substantially impact the product landscape of the United States medical device market in the forthcoming years.



AliPay to disembark in Canada, Alibaba aims to strengthen retail ties between Canada and China

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 17:14:17 +0530

Chinas renowned e-commerce giant, Alibaba plans to usher AliPay, the countrys leading third-party online payment solution, in Canada. In order to officially launch the platform in Canada, Alibaba has been reported to have joined forces with the Canadian tech magnate, Snap Pay Inc. If sources are to be believed, retail merchants across the Canada belt would be licensed to accept Chinese currency from Chinese consumers, right from the onset of the last week in September. AliPays launch in Canada comes on the heels of Alibaba tailoring itself to play host to illustrious top shots, including the likes of Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the Gateway 17 Canada conference to be held in Toronto. The Prime Minister, at the conference, is expected to liaison with Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba with regards to the promotion of the growth of the e-commerce business for Canadian entrepreneurs in China. For the record, Jack Ma has also willingly played host to Trudeau, Chrystia Freeland the Foreign Affairs Minister, and major Canadian business representatives at Alibabas worksite in Hangzhou, merely a year ago. The president of AliPays North American counterpart, Souheil Badran, has been quoted stating that Alibaba intends to offer Canadian merchants every opportunity they can, to penetrate the retail market in China. According to Badran, close to 450 Canadian merchants have already accepted AliPay unofficially. The company intends to continue delivering the convenience of paying home currency in a foreign land, to its Chinese consumers in Canada. Vice-versa, it also aims to offer Canadian retailers and distributors the scope of accessing the Chinese market. AliPays launch in Canada is another precedent citing the expansion policies of Alibaba, which seem to be escalating by the day. For the record, AliPay has now completed 13 years in operation, having been initially launched in 2004. Currently, the online platform boasts of more than 450 million active users. When AliPay was close to completing a decade in the industry, the platform surpassed PayPal as largest mobile payment platform across the globe (somewhere in 2013). As of now, AliPay is the proud payment platform division of the Chinese shopping giant Alibaba, established in 1999. It is also prudent to mention that the parent firm seamlessly operates numerous online marketplaces and reinforces vital services along the likes of digital media, cloud computing, and logistics, which would most certainly contribute toward upping AliPays ante in Canada, as per experts.



Pfizer takes Johnson & Johnson to court for its anticompetitive actions regarding the Ramicade drug

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:28:02 +0530

Two of the most globally reputed pharma companies, Pfizer and Johnson Johnson are squaring off a new front in their legal battles over a rheumatoid arthritis drug. According to reports, the worlds largest drugmaker, Pfizer, is suing Johnson Johnson for implementing illegal anti-competitive practices to thwart its cheaper biosimilar of a powerful rheumatoid arthritis drug called Inflectra, launched in late 2016. Sources revealed that the monopolistic actions of JJ have blocked over 70% of patients from having access to Pfizers copycat drug. The brawl between Johnson Johnsons Remicade the best-selling medicine by far and Pfizers biosimilar Inflectra has opened doors to another legal battle in the global biologics and biosimilars market, which, for the record, witnesses numerous legal encounters regarding costs, patents covering the drug, and other competitive barriers. In this lawsuit filed by Pfizer, the company accused JJ for its anticompetitive actions that denied access to Pfizers biosimilar in the US market. It further undermined the company for lowering its drug prices and blocking Pfizers biosimilars from entering into the market, on purpose. For the record, biosimilars are intended to be a lower cost alternative and not the exact copy of the expensive drugs. Pfizer further claims that JJ made a deliberate attempt to suppress the competition in an aim to maintain its own monopoly for Remicade. In essence, Pfizer suspects JJ for violating the principal goals of the Federal Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act. Meanwhile, Johnson Johnson has been selling Remicade for last two decades and it carries a sticker price of approximately USD 26,000 per annum for a typical user. While, on other hand, Pfizers Inflectra costs around USD 21,000 marking as much as a 40% discount. In the lawsuit, Pfizer has also mentioned that even with the discount, Remicade accounts for 96% of the overall market and generated USD 4.8 billion in US sales, because of JJs contracts between health insurers, hospitals, and clinics. On the contrary, Johnson and Johnson dismissed the lawsuit filed by Pfizer, stating that it had no merit and the allegations are baseless. The president of Janssen Biotech, a division of JJ, further revealed that they are competing on value price, and it is the fierce competition that is bringing down the overall cost of Remicade and not its anticompetitive behavior.



Fujitsu launches its new version mainframe OS to focus on digitization

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 19:37:34 +0530

Fujitsu, a leading Japanese company in information and communication technology (ICT), reportedly, will continue making investments in the development of critical mainframes, as is evidenced by the introduction of its latest operating system. This version of Fujitsus operating system is designed to feature the long-term significance of mainframes in the digital world with highly advanced technology, interoperability, security, and high availability. Despite being an aging computing technology, mainframes are still the powerhouse of the large data center. Some estimates also claim mainframes to account for as much as 80% of the global corporate transactional data and to interact with over 90% of mobile apps. Fujitsu Software BS2000 OSD/BC V11.0, the latest version of Fujitsu OS software strongly emphasizes on the key features that are necessary for innovative and secure digital co-creation. With this new edition of operating system, this computers market behemoth has set an industry milestone with the first-time support delivery of live migration between System/390 servers. This real-time capability of the operating system is likely to provide new flexible options to improve downtime and maintenance. Apart from this, the BS2000 operating system is also expected to extend the storage integration for text-based files a feature that will support seamless data transfer and exchange over shared NAS storage. The communications hardware market giant has also added new diagnostic functions and encryption capabilities in its BS2000 operating system to boost long-term availability. Experts vouch for the authenticity of the fact that over the years, mainframes have proven to be the most efficient and reliable solution for processing huge amount of data with the highest possible speeds. With the IT giants latest edition of operating system, it is quite evident that these companies are meeting the challenges of the next era of computing and processing, heads-on, by providing higher-level digitization and advanced interoperability with open systems. In other news, Fujitsu America, Inc., has also made it to the headlines by announcing its launch of new appliance that can address the needs of customers seeking strong hybrid cloud solutions, to simplify their cloud management requirements and reduce cost. This appliance features a pre-validated and a pre-installed version of Fujitsu Software Enterprise Service Catalog Manager (SESCM). SESCM is a self-service portal that helps enterprises and service providers offering single end-to-end solutions, by automating the delivery of infrastructure, software, and platform services for customers. Meanwhile, Fujitsu has also announced its plans to partner with VMware and extend its global partnership to empower digital transformations.



Super Retail Group effectively tackles Amazon’s foray in Australia, explores options to expand its digital offering pipeline

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 12:38:00 +0530

Super Retail Group, a massive retail chain based in Australia, is one of the few firms that seems to have an ace plan up in its sleeve for coming to grips with Amazons forthcoming entry in the Australia retail turf. If sources are to be believed, the Australian retail firm has opened up its communication channels with Amazon and has simultaneously prepped up its digital offerings. Australias marketplace, in the recent months, has been ablaze with the news of Amazons decision to completely establish its presence in the countrys retail fraternity. The online retail market giants announcement of penetrating the Australian belt took half the world by storm, including prominent investors, economists, and the Australian stock market in its entirety. Post its announcement, most analysts predicted the genesis of an era of doom for the Australian retailers, while many others categorically declared that the region would remain markedly untouched by Amazons embrace. The ASX-listed Super Retail Group was among the several retailers that Morgan Stanley predicted, would experience downfall post the arrival of the U.S. online behemoth. For the uninitiated, the Super Retail Group is a massive retail biggie in Australia, and the proud parent honcho of recognized brands such as Rebel, Rays Outdoors, Amart Sports, Infinite Retail, and many more. In the last six months, the shares of Super Retail Group shares have fallen by around 25%, possibly due to the fact that investors remained perpetually doubtful about Amazons impending influence on the company. However, Supers annual result announcement has depicted a positive result of sorts the company exhibited more than 62% increase in the net profit, amounting to around USD 101 million. The shares opened to positive response, and closed at around 7%, with an individual pricing of more than USD 8. These positive results have led the company to remain upbeat about its success, with or without the entry of Amazon. Also, having recognized the changing dynamics of the retail industry in recent times, the companys heads have been unanimously planning to devise novel strategies for product sales and revenue generation. Super Retail Group now plans to expand aggressively in digitization. In the last financial year, the digital sales in the companys sports segment depicted a rise of 73%, the leisure division rose by 150%, while the auto sector was up by 75%. The companys top shots claimed that these numbers were hugely driven by the click and collect strategy a rather remunerative advantage that brick-and-mortar storeowners possess, as opposed to the owners of businesses that solely operate online. The chief executive of the company was quoted stating that we can serve customers in whatever way they want to be served, thereby affirming that Super Retail Group could certainly corner the market with its digital offerings. For the record, the companys digital sales have, on an average surpassed 70% in practically every division. The company has also held insightful conversations with Amazon with regards to whether it would be willing[...]



Genentech’s obtains priority revenue from the U.S. FDA for its Hemophilia A treating drug, Emicizumab

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 20:06:44 +0530

The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has accepted the BLA (Biologics License Application) of Genentech for licensing its investigational bispecific monoclonal antibody referred as Emicizumab prophylaxis to be used in treating Hemophilia A. The antibody helps in bringing together factors IXa and X, the proteins that help in activating the natural blood clotting characteristic in the human body. For the record, Hemophilia A is basically an inherited disease with clotting factor VIII causing rise in bleeding, generally among males. The FDA had reviewed the utility of the medicine in treating adults, children, and adolescents with Hemophilia A, and then granted priority review for the drug. Medical research states that one among three persons is affected from Hemophilia A and develops inhibition to standard clotting factor VIII, that obstructs the treatment and creates life-threatening conditions in the individual with excessive bleeding from joints. Genentech had performed the clinical tests of Emicizumab prophylaxis on children, adolescents, and adults during its Phase III study. Emicizumab was inoculated in the patients through their skin once a week during the trials. Outcomes derived from the experiments conducted on children, adults, and adolescents displayed the medicinal ability of the drug to prevent bleeding and treating hemophilia A. The firm, a prime member of the Roche Group, a key pharmaceutical market giant, has a great reputation of innovating new methods of antibody treatments to fulfill the global medical requirements. It is also collaborating with the U.S. FDA to introduce new prophylactic therapies for finding a hemophilia A cure. The BLA for Emicizumab prophylaxis is based on Phase III Haven 1 and Haven 2 clinical test outcomes. Genentech had published its experimental data from its Haven 1 experiments in the New England Journal of medicine and declared the outcomes from both its Phase III studies at the 26th ISTH (International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis) Congress held in July 2017. For the uninitiated, FDA grants priority review designation for the safer drugs having ability to improve the diagnosis and treatment of chronic ailments. The organization had granted a breakthrough therapy designation for Genentechs antibody for its inoculation in adolescent and adults with hemophilia A in 2015. But the firm is awaiting the decision regarding the approval of the Emicizumab, which is scheduled to be taken on February 23, 2018. The firm has also submitted data statistics from its Haven 1 and Haven 2 experiments to the European medicine agency for approval. It now remains to be seen if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will approve of the Emicizumab prophylaxis.



Nestle to face a legal controversy over Poland Spring Water, having been alleged as a ‘colossal fraud’

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:34:36 +0530

Nestle, one of the leading giants of the food and beverage industry seems to be in a legal dispute with one of its bottled water brands. Poland Spring Water, manufactured by Nestle has been slammed with the Federal lawsuit this week, claiming it to be a colossal fraud. The plaintiffs, in this case, argue that the company has been consistently misleading the consumers by labeling the particular drink as 100 percent spring water emphasizing on its supreme quality. The legal claim also alleges the defendants non-spring water, Poland spring water, as nothing but common ground water that fails to comply with the FDA standards. As per market records, Nestle Waters was earlier sued in 2003 for falsely advertising that Poland Spring hails from a source deep in the woods of Maine in the U.S. In addition, the lawsuit filed also included several other claims like the breach of contract, deceptive labeling, and more. Back then, Nestle settled the issue, and the controversy of whether these bottled waters are sourced from a spring or not was hushed up and swept under the rug. The suit has now been revived when the Connecticut-based giant seeks to expand in Maine to address the increasing demand for purified bottled water, cite reliable sources. The plaintiffs have claimed that not even a single drop of the proclaimed Poland Spring water originates from sources that meet the FDA definition of spring water. According to the Food and Drug Administration, to be legally labeled as Spring water, the fluid must be collected only from an underground formation where the water naturally flows to the Earths surface. It is reported that the defendant, in order to experience a lucrative market share, has been illegally mislabeling Poland Spring Water as 100% natural spring water since its inception in the U.S. food and beverage industry in 1993. The lawsuit claims that the Nestles Poland Spring water is actually ordinary ground water that is drawn from wells located near low lying populated areas. Despite the chain of claims that have brought forth, Nestle has been trying hard to refute all the allegations. As affirmed by one of the spokespersons of the company, Poland Spring water meets all the regulations enforced by FDA defining spring water, and all the federal and state regulations governing spring classification. It has been also reported that Nestle is seeking state approval for a public water district well source located in Lincoln. Holding a couple of plants in the United States and basking in the present success of bottled spring water in the country, it now remains to be seen how Nestle deals with the unavoidable legal controversy.



IBM’s & Alberta’s AI platform to diagnose schizophrenia by scanning brain blood flow with 74% accuracy

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:33:25 +0530

Envisaging IBMs research efforts conducted alongside the University of Alberta (UoA), it looks like artificial intelligence and machine learning are on the precipice of revolutionizing medical diagnosis. With AI already proving its worth in the medical field, the collaboration between Alberta and IBM is slated to use the latters AI platform that has been advancing in learning algorithms to quickly diagnose schizophrenia with 74% accuracy. The research also depicts further potential to anticipate the severity of specific symptoms in schizophrenia patients, which was not possible earlier. For the uninitiated, schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, and can affect a persons ability to feel, think, and behave clearly. As per statistics, this mental disorder can affect 7 to 8 of every 1000 people, and those diagnosed with the illness can experience movement disorders, hallucinations, and cognitive impairments.However, the RD activities conducted by IBM Alberta Centre could shortly help doctors specialists diagnose the inception of the disease, using AI and MRI scanning process. IBMs most famous supercomputer with AI technology, Watson, has already proven that neural networks are astonishingly proficient in developing even designing effective cancer treatments. Now, it has again successfully built a neural network that can detect the blood flow within the brain. The schizophrenia research team first trained its neural network on a 95-member test squad. Among these, 46 patients were diagnosed with schizophrenia and 49 healthy patients were found bereft of the disorder. The goal of the study was to connect IBMs computer scientists with Albertas computer science and psychiatry department to access a larger group of patients and data. Analyzing scanning the fMRI images as the patients completed an audio-based exercise, the neural network illustrated the flow of blood through various parts of brain and cobbled up a prognostic model of whether or not the patients suffered from schizophrenia. This innovative multidisciplinary approach has provided renewed insights that could lead researchers to unearth more effective treatments and better understand the neurobiology of schizophrenia. The contribution of AI in this treatment approach may also have a rather transformative impact on healthcare artificial intelligence market. Currently, schizophrenia doesnt really have a medical testing procedure or an absolute diagnosis, subject to which quite some time may be wasted before it can be properly diagnosed. However, with the deployment of AI, IBM UoA will be able to explore and create computational psychiatry that can more quickly access patients with disorders like schizophrenia. Experts cite that IBMs AI will successfully disrupt the global health industry. The company has also joined forces with HSBC to develop cognitive intelligence technology for boosting financial services.



Hangzhou joins forces with Alibaba, collaboration aims to revamp the city’s house rental service

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:21:33 +0530

Chinas eminent e-commerce behemoth, Alibaba has signed a strategic agreement with the Zhejiang government, which aims to make use of the companys superior technology to create an efficient online system for house rentals. Alibabas decision to deliver a high-grade online housing rental system for its home city of Hangzhou stems from the crucial fact that Chinas housing rental market across key cities has been taken over by real estate bureaus, and is rampant with legal disputes and fraud. The country has been experiencing robust urbanization, leading to a subsequent demand for housing and towering house costs across major cities, eventually heading toward a rather disorderly rental property market. The business is characterized by landlords forcing tenants out of the house prior to the end of the lease period, real estate agents raising rents unreasonably, property owners refusing to adhere to building safety standards while renovating the house, and refusing to return the deposit amount while tenants leave the flat. In a bid to terminate these unethical practices, the government of the Zhejiang province has collaborated with the China retail market giant to come up with an efficient house rental program. A few prominent real estate firms already have apps, however, it has come to notice that the vital information is not shared with everyone. Potential clients are forced to compare various offers from different apps, in addition, these firms do not even have a reliable credit system. With Alibabas involvement to brainstorm an online system, a credit system such as that of the Zhima Credit, by Ant Financial, one of key subsidiaries of Alibaba, is likely to be in place, claim sources. The online rental system that will be created by the retail mammoth will reportedly include the information about all the apartments from individuals, real estate agents, and the government. Tentatively titled the smart house renting system, this program will be backed by Alibabas online payment technology, credit system, and big data analytics. As per sources, this system will be designed to prevent fraudulent agreements between the real estate dealers and customers, and will help people in the entire rental process right from searching for apartments to signing the final papers. The program is anticipated to be launched by the end of September, say reports. Hangzhous landlords and real estate agents are required to register their names and their properties along with a bout of related information on this platform, post its official launch. The propertys ownership and other details will be verified for the sake of authenticity by the local housing firm prior to posting the information on the platform. For the record, Hangzhou was among the first 12 cities that was selected by the Central Government to improve the outlook of the local housing rental business.



Anthem is on the verge of withdrawing from Nevada’s health exchange policy citing reasons of uncertainty regarding the Affordable Care Act

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:41:46 +0530

Anthem, Inc., the renowned American trusted insurance plan provider, has pulled down a shocker by announcing the withdrawal of its health insurance plan from Nevada. Back in 2010, President Barak Obama had signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to provide Medicare benefits to the American citizens. Now, in the light of the decision taken by the Trump Administration to reduce the allocated funding to the healthcare sector, Anthem plans to backtrack its footsteps from Nevada. Anthems bolt-from-the-blue move is likely to hamper the market scenario in the state. The governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval, has openly expressed his apparent disappointment and frustration due to Anthems sudden initiative. Out of the 17 counties in Nevada, Anthem has pulled out its plan from three of the most populous counties. Due to the lack of government funding, the insurance company has decided to terminate the plans in collaboration with U.S. government. As per reports, in the remaining 14 counties of Nevada, Anthem will continue to provide health insurance plans privately. The Trump Administration had recently decided to reform healthcare plans by reducing the premium policy amount so that every American can buy an insurance plan. Owing to the submissive changes in the pricing and planning of the Affordable Care Act, insurers are now increasingly hanging by the thread, which has resulted in many insurance companies pulling out of the healthcare exchange. The rising uncertainty among insurers regarding the Federal operations and regulations, may be another reason for Anthem to pull out of the Nevada health exchange policy, cite experts. Apart from Nevada, insurers have also been pulling out their plans from Ohio, Missouri, and Washington the regions encompassing a substantial number of rural counties. In Ohio, Anthem Inc., is supposedly the leading company selling health insurance plans in all the 88 counties for 2017. However, in 2018, the firm plans to leave nearly 10,500 people across at least 18 counties all high-and-dry, without any insurance plans. This abrupt initiative undertaken by this insurance company is likely to make a slightly negative impact on U.S. healthcare market over the years ahead. President Donald Trump and the Republican lawmakers have already called for the submission of premium rates and plans from various insurers for the year of 2018, as the government has been working continuously to bring about a plethora of changes in the legal framework. As per the latest reports, insurers have increased their premium rates by up to 50% to 60% or more, for the year of 2018. Other than Anthem, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., two other health insurance giants, have also decided to pull out of the Affordable Care Act in 2018. A significant supply of subsidies from the government to lower the premium costs may possibly be the only solution pertaining to which insurers are likely to hold their decision of withdrawing [...]



MSAR government inks a strategic agreement with Alibaba to develop Macau smart city

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 19:03:52 +0530

The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) has decided to sign a strategic alliance with one of the largest retailers of the global e-commerce market - Alibaba. Post conducting extensive research, the Macau government has chosen Alibaba as their developing partner to undertake the development of data technologies and cloud computing. Through this agreement, Alibaba aims to enhance the qualities of the Macaus public services such as healthcare, tourism, urban management, and transportation. In its first five-year development plan, the Macau government had penned down its vision to introduce Macau as a smart city. In addition, the government also aims to implement various services related to information technology sector. The deployment of IoT has already been projected to contribute majorly toward the development of APAC e-commerce software market. Additionally, in the Asia Pacific region, Alibaba has the reputation of implementing stringent information security practices, due to which the MSAR government will not find the necessity to carry out the rework of existing infrastructure facilities. Reportedly, the MSAR government has divided the Framework Agreement of Strategic Cooperation on Smart City Development project into two phases. In the first phase, they are planning to cover major areas related to technological development such as, medical services, tourism, transportation management, and training of IT professionals by implementing cloud computing data center. By the middle of 2018, the Government Information Bureau (GCS) is expecting the release of the first phase of the project. Alibabas rich experience with regards to technology installation across various developed cities are likely to help government over the years ahead. The second phase of the project will commence from 2019 and end in 2021. In this phase, the development related to the customs clearance and environmental protection has been scheduled to be carried out. Through this agreement, Alibaba has the advantage of expanding the scope of cashless transactions across various tourist spots and airports by installing consumer market tools such as mobile payments and online promotions. This strategy is likely to enhance the smart transportation network, which will favorably optimize the management of Macau transit in various modes of transport such as waterways, airways, and roads. Apart from transportation, Alibaba plans to implement the latest electronic medical system in the healthcare sector. In the smart city plan, the healthcare sector is likely to be linked to the global online medical database, which may help healthcare providers. Alibabas chief officer, O Lam, has been quoted stating that Alibaba will contribute significantly to accomplish the long-term development goals of the MSAR government. This collaboration is likely to change the face of the city by means of smart technologies. Alibaba also seems to eman[...]



European oil & gas firms seek authorization to explore the U.S. offshore wind energy market

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 18:58:54 +0530

The latest buzz garnering attention in the bandwagon is that of major European firms such as Statoil, DONG Energy, and Royal Dutch Shell keenly seeking to explore the lucrative fast-growing U.S. offshore wind energy market. As per reports, Statoil has already been granted a license to build a wind farm near the coast of New York. The firm is training its employees to work on the wind project and will promote its new floating turbine in the U.S. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, a British - Dutch multinational oil gas firm, was selected earlier this year by the U.S. government to pass a tender for acquiring an offshore wind venture license in North Carolina. Dong Energy, the largest integrated energy based firm in Denmark, having commenced its offshore wind energy production activities near the coast of New Jersey, has also begun its operations in Boston. Though DONG has already made large investments in the renewable sector, Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil are still deeply rooted in the business of oil gas exploration and production activities. Reports state that renewable energy costs in Europe have declined to a substantial extent and this has encouraged DONG to put forth a proposal with no subsidy. However, the investment costs for the offshore wind energy projects in the region are very high, amounting to billions of dollars. Also, the exploration activities in the U.S. oceans will further raise the turbine costs for European firms such as DONG Energy. Moreover, oil firms based in the U.S. have already made heavy investments across solar energy and onshore wind energy sectors. However, they seem ready to explore offshore wind energy market, provided the government offers the required financial assistance. As per the reports unleashed by reliable sources in December 2016, offshore wind energy production costs that a firm would incur in the U.S. was estimated to be double the energy production costs incurred by any firm on onshore wind projects and combined cycle gas turbines. Lesser-known firms of Europe have also been gaining traction across the U.S. offshore wind energy industry. Avangrid, an energy service delivery firm as well as a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Iberdrola S.A., have been provided an authorization to carry out their offshore wind energy activities across Virginia in the U.S. Additionally, JDR Cables Systems, a UK based firm providing subsea power cables to the oil gas firms across the globe, has also been provided with a contract of USD 275 million for providing electric cables to the U.S. offshore wind farm positioned near the Maryland coast. It is predicted that the European firms will reap huge revenues from large investments across the U.S offshore wind energy sector despite the political changes and upheavals in the U.S.



Indian government on the verge of blocking Shanghai Fosun’s 1.3 billion-dollar bid to takeover Gland Pharma

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 17:09:06 +0530

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has decided to block the bid offered by Chinese conglomerate Fosun to acquire the Hyderabad-based Indian drug maker Gland Pharma Ltd., as cited by reliable reports. Fosun International Limited had offered an amount of USD 1.3 billion to Gland Pharma, however, the deal has been facing strong objection, while government officials have been citing reasons of the current cross-border stand-off between the two countries. Gland Pharma, as reported, has categorically stated that the organization does not have any inkling of the governments decision, since the deal has received approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI) few months before. This agreement is likely to be Fosuns largest acquisition in India pharmaceutical market, as the Chinese conglomerate will acquire an 86% stake in Gland Pharma, post the deal. As per statistics, the pharmaceutical market in India is the third largest sector in terms of volume and is expanding enormously subjected to the deployment of favorable Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policies by the Indian government, in a bid to attract foreign investors. For the record, Gland Pharma is one of the dominant players of injectables market and has made it to the headlines for the development of various advanced technologies. The organization is also reputed to have established the Heparin technology in India and is a global leader in the Glycosaminoglycans range of molecules. On these grounds, experts vouch for the fact that Fosun stands to gain heavily from Gland Pharma Ltd. Fosun has been waiting for the deal approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of India, however, on the basis of the political tensions between both the nations, it is likely that the deal may be blocked by the Committee. The company has stated that the Chinese authorities have sanctioned the takeover of the Indian injectable drugmaker. The latest news bulletin states that the approval date for this deal has been extended to September 26. Losing the nations mammoth pharma company to the traditional rival in the pharmaceutical sector has been posing controversial questions to the Indian regulators. Also, there are chances that this deal may reduce the importance of Indias contribution to the pharma industry over the years ahead. Gland Pharma has been contributing majorly to the Indian drug making sector, which mainly encompasses the development of syringes, pumps, bags, and vials. These injectables are very difficult to produce as compared to regular drugs. This deal will handover all four factories of Gland Pharma, based in Hyderabad, to Fosun. The senior executive of Gland Pharma is surprisingly not expecting any hurdles blocking the success of this deal. Since no official confirmation has been received regarding the deal opposi[...]



Charter Communications turns away Sprint’s long-standing proposal for merger

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 17:14:46 +0530

The reports on Sprint Corps exclusive merger with Charter Communications had the telecom and media fraternities buzzing of late. However, after several weeks of apparent discussions regarding the deal, a new report has come to the fore, which suggests that the latter has rejected a possible merger with Sprint, which otherwise could have created a new entity controlled by SoftBank. Charter revealed that it would stay with its existing wireless reseller Verizon Communications Inc, rather than swap to the one with Sprint. Sprint, the fourth largest wireless carriers company has been eager to collaborate with Charter since a while now, to create a communication and media behemoth, which in turn would help it lock horns with ATT, Verizon, and T-Mobile. This merger would have created a one-stop shop for customers looking for mobile services and internet. It would have also formed a stronger footing in creating the infrastructure required for 5G wireless technology. Charter is the second largest US cable company after Comcast, and shares a good mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) relation with Verizon Communication, the numero uno wireless carrier company of the United States. In the early months of this year, Verizon, encompassing a better network than Sprint, had also expressed its interest in taking over Charter. In the event that the proposed acquisition would have borne fruit, Verizons partnership would have benefited both, Charter and Comcast in rolling out their wireless plans to customers, given that USAs top wireless carrier has strong MNVO agreements in place. In the meantime, Sprint had also allegedly been discussing a possible merger with its rival, T-Mobile. Japans Softbank Group, which controls Sprint, till date, remains quite interested in merging Sprint with USAs another wireless carrier, T-Mobile - controlled by Germanys Deutsche Telekom AG. The biggies of wireless telecommunication carriers market such as Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, and US Cellular have been joining forces with one another, given the high penetration of smartphones and internet access in the region. Estimates claim the American belts to account for more than 34% of the overall market share, subject to the fact that the region may witness rigorous advancements in wireless technology. The merging of companies like Sprint and Charter in this scenario could have offered a full suite of telecommunication services to customers, and would have resulted in a head-to-head competition with the tariff packages sold by phone giants Verizon and ATT. The closing of Charters window has strongly paved the way for Sprint to resume its discussion with T-Mobile or other partners as it would create a bigger wireless carrier merger to take on larger competitors.



Enel Green Power Espana awarded contract by Spain Government to construct solar plants of 339 MW capacity in Bajadoz and Murcia

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:58:04 +0530

The latest scoop to grab the headlines in the renewable energy cosmos is that of Enel Green Power Espana being awarded a solar capacity of 339 MW by the Spanish Government to construct solar plants in the country. The acquisition of this green energy tender by Enel adds another feather to the companys already enviable cap of achievements in the renewable sector, as the firm had already been awarded a wind energy tender of 540 MW last May. For the uninitiated, Green Power Espana, or EGPE, fully owned by Endesa Generacion, is basically the Spanish subsidiary of the Italian energy company Enel SPA. EGPE currently operates an appreciable renewable energy capacity of around 1,675 MW in Spain, fragmented into hydropower, wind, and other sources, such as biomass and solar. As per reliable statistics, 43 MW of the total operational capacity is attained from hydropower, 14 MW from biomass, solar, and other sources, while 1,618 MW is obtained from wind. At present, EGPEs plants generate a commendable 4 TWh of green energy on an annual basis. Reports cite that the Enel Group will pour in a stupendous capital of around EUR 270 million for the construction of the solar capacity, which is apparently a part of its investment strategy elucidated in its latest strategic plan. The solar plants are anticipated to gain ground by the year 2019, post which the obtained energy will be sold in the Spanish pool market. The government of Spain is expected to provide incentives via annual capacity payments that will guarantee stable returns for over 25 years of the lifespan of the facilities. The green energy tender awarded to Enel is a part of the Spanish Governments strategy to help the country achieve accomplished heights in global renewable energy market. For the record, the government of Spain had launched an initiative to achieve a target of obtaining 20% (or around 3 GW) of energy consumption from renewable sources by the year 2020. Keeping abreast of the same, the government aims to collect at 3,000 MW through this tender. It has been reported that once the solar plants, which will be constructed in Bajadoz and Murcia, are up and running, they will produce at least 640 GWh of clean energy annually. Statistically, the generation of this energy is equivalent to preventing carbon dioxide emissions of around 384,000 tons, to say the least, which would have otherwise been generated through conventional fuels such as diesel and coal. For the record, the Enel Group had also recently inaugurated a wind farm in Brazil of 90 MW capacity through its subsidiary, EGPB (Enel Green Power Brasil Participacoes). One of Enels top management employees in the renewables department stated that this tender will bring about a revolutionary breakthrough for the company as well as for the country, as Enel strives to affirm its[...]



UAE-Qatar conflict instigates the former to authorize its first condensate supply from the United States

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:46:22 +0530

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently purchased a cargo of condensate from the Eagle Ford the premier liquids-rich development located in Texas. As per sources, this deal is the first acquisition of the UAE from the U.S., following the disastrous Qatar crisis, that was acknowledged as one of the most disturbing altercations of recent times. Post cutting off all official relations with Qatar, the Arabian Peninsula nation has been undertaking consistent efforts to replace its condensate supply which it would previously acquire from Qatar. The U.S. thus stands to receive one of the first offers for oil supply from the UAE. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-owned oil gas market giant, has signed a tender that declares the purchase of a condensate cargo from the Eagle Ford, which will be delivered to the country in September. While no official confirmation has been provided about the volume of the acquisition, reliable sources cite that the cargo would arrive in a supertanker with a capacity of holding at least 1 million barrels of oil. Backing up a little for the uninitiated, the May of 2017 witnessed the state-run Qatar News Agency being hit by a disastrous cyberattack, through which articles shedding a positive light on Israel, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iran, came to the fore. The articles sparked a furor among Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other Middle East countries, sowing the seeds of perpetual animosity in the Arabian Peninsula. The UAE, among the many nations, was the one that openly accused Qatar of attempting to destabilize the Middle East economy by supporting terrorist, extremist and sectarian organizations,. Post the crisis, most of the Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, cut off all diplomatic relations with Qatar, dropping a bombshell across the globe. At the onset of July, the CEO of Qatar Petroleum had stated that ADNOC had facilitated the halting of the Qatari condensate shipments. The company also stated that it would contemplate legal action over what it considers a deliberate counterstroke of sorts. As per sources, ADNOC had been receiving up to 1.5 million barrels of condensate from Qatar every month. Post the Qatari disaster, however, ADNOC has tried to replace the condensate supplies with Saudi Arabias condensate production from Khuff. However, the production of Khuff is reportedly intended solely for domestic consumption, which has led ADNOC to strike a deal with the United States for oil supply. For the record, ADNOC has a constrained range of condensate suppliers currently, since supplies across the Asian continent have been tightened subject to the surging oil demand from Indonesia and South Korea. With the Qatar crisis still being a grist for the gossip mills, it remains to be seen how the o[...]



Abundance’s corporate initiative for UK’s first geothermal project raises over GBP 1 million within a mere 48 hours of its launch

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 12:33:24 +0530

The exemplary success of the deployment of geothermal technology to generate electricity in Iceland and Italy may have, in all likelihood, goaded the UK government to tap the geothermal potential of the country to generate power. Financially endorsed by the Local Authority and the European Union grants, the construction of UKs first commercial geothermal power plant is now underway, near Redruth in Cornwall. While this head-turning scoop had already made global headlines, what has catapulted it back to the front page is the involvement of Abundance in the project. As per reports, this ground-breaking project is likely to be funded by Abundance to generate geothermal-based electricity in the United Kingdom. Abundance Investment is basically a peer-to-peer finance platform that is renowned for pouring in capital for projects that contribute toward environmental safety. Keeping in line with its principal mission, Abundance Investment has now launched the United Downs Geothermal bond in a bid to raise around GBP 5 million for the construction of UKs first geothermal plant. As per the latest news, the bond has successfully raised more than GBP 1.6 million within a couple of days since the launch date. For the record, this geothermal project has already been awarded a funding of GBP 2.4 million from the Cornwall County Council and a grant amounting to approximately GBP 10.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund. The project will span for 18 months, in the duration of which an injection well and a production well is projected to be drilled and tested prior to the construction of the power plant. As per experts, the project is likely to account for an upsurge in the regional geothermal power market. Reports cite that the plant has been planned to encompass a capacity of 3 MW and will, in all probability, generate sufficient electricity for at least 5,500 households on an annual basis. According to the bond, Abundance will pay 12% returns to the investors post the 18-month project culmination term. Reports also cite that the bond is eligible to be held in Innovative Finance ISA, Abundances tax-free scheme. Abundances co-founder apparently had a word to say regarding the renewable energy wave across the globe. He has been quoted stating that most of the investors are on tenterhooks to commission funds for the deployment of renewable energy. All in all, experts affirm that investors are eager to give the green signal for projects that contribute toward environmental protection and maintenance. For the record, the United Downs Geothermal bond is one of the many green energy projects that has been funded by Abundance in recent times. For instance, the finance platform had recently launched the Green Deal bond for a valuation of G[...]



SunPower turns out to be energy supplier for France, plans to deliver high efficiency solar panels for Tenergie solar projects

Tue, 25 Jul 2017 17:27:50 +0530

SunPower Corporation, the reputed majority-owned subsidiary of Total SA, the French multinational oil gas company, has taken the renewable energy industry by storm with the announcement of its solar panel supply to a French solar project of renowned importance. As per the latest reports making rounds, SunPower Corp. is planning to further consolidate its position across the France belt by supplying high efficiency SunPower E-Series solar panels of capacity 29.9 MW to Tenergie, the renowned French renewable power producer, for numerous ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects that the company plans to develop in France. For the uninitiated, Tenergie is an Aix-en-Provence-headquartered IPP (Independent Power Producer) boasting of the ownership and operational holder of more than 200 MW of wind and solar power plants situated in Italy and France. Currently, as per estimates, it has been reported that the renewable energy market player owns and operates around 54 MW ground-mounted PV plants, 27 MW of wind power assets, and 103 MW rooftop PV systems. The company encompasses around 212 MW capacity projects in the pipeline, 50 MW of which are allocated for rooftop PV plants, 48 MW of wind power projects, and 114 MW for large-scale solar power projects. Sources assertively cite that SunPower will be responsible for delivering solar panels to be installed on 2 ground-mounted projects with a capacity of 3.1 MW and 157 rooftop projects with a total capacity of 26.8 MW. Tenergie has declared that these plants, in all probability, are likely to be commissioned by the end of 2018. SunPowers top shots are reportedly thrilled with the ongoing deal, and one of them has been quoted stating that the company is in affirmative regarding its supply deal with Tenergie for the development of solar panel projects in France that will subsequently generate energy from renewable sources. Given that the SunPower E-Series solar panels produce 30% more energy compared to conventional models. As per reliable reports, SunPower has been establishing milestones with regards to the contributions it has been making toward global solar panel market. Similar to the Tenergie order, the US firm has apparently received orders for the installation of 200 MW capacity solar panels from France in the recent months. Toward the end of May, it was declared that the company secured contracts to supply 64 MW for rooftop projects for the first round French tender, which reportedly, was about 31% of the total solar panels required for the awarded solar projects. All the projects are slated to be commissioned and manufactured at its French manufacturing facilities only, cite sources. Neither SunPower nor Tenergie however, have actually revealed any detail[...]



Scotland chronicles a path-breaking renewable energy world record, maximizes its overall green energy production through wind turbines

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 17:33:40 +0530

Scotland has been immensely successful in developing an ample amount of energy through wind turbines in the first half of 2017. As per analysts, 1,039,001 MWh of electricity had been delivered to the National Grid in June, and this entire supply has been produced through wind turbines. Figures depict that the power generated in June was sufficient to fulfill the electrical needs of almost 118% of Scottish households, which amounts to nearly three million homes. Scotlands overall power usage for the first half of this year was nearly 11,689,385 MWh with wind energy accounting for approximately 57% of the overall power consumption of the country. These figures, affirm experts, are evidence enough to state that Scotland has indeed set a magnificent world record when it comes to renewable energy utilization. Scotlands massive energy generation via wind turbines has attracted large-scale investments in the wind energy sector across the globe, which in turn, has provided a positive impetus to the employment framework. According to one of the senior officials of WWF, Scotland is one of those few countries that is proactive in implementing renewable energy initiatives, and in effect, is making it clear to the world that the country is completely focused on curbing the greenhouse effects caused due to fossil fuel emissions. Most of the industry experts have predicted that the use of sustainable energy is likely to benefit the heating and transportation sectors across the world, which demands the government of Scotland to be forerunner on the execution of energy conservation policies. Scotland has thus, set an example of being a low carbon emitting nation across the globe. Estimates from January to June 2017 has demonstrated a rise of 24% in comparison to 2015 during which the wind turbines had generated 53,59,995 MWh of power across the region. According to authentic reports, the energy generation from the wind turbines in Scotland was more than 13% in the first quarter of 2017 as compared to the power generation during the first quarter of 2016. Today however, the country has been catapulted to a position when it can produce renewable energy of nearly 9.3 GW four times that of the energy production during last 10 years, which will undoubtedly drive the global renewable energy market. Undeniably, the country is confident of establishing itself as a green energy powerhouse, driven by the favorable green energy initiatives put in practice by the regime.



Merck, Pfizer, & Corning team up on a new packaging glass vial project, venture likely to bring about 4,000 high-tech jobs for Americans

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:21:36 +0530

The United States recently witnessed one of the biggest pacts in the pharmaceutical and glass market with the announcement of the strategic collaboration between pharmaceutical giants Merck and Pfizer with New York based glass manufacturer, Corning Inc. Reportedly, the agreement would focus on manufacturing a new kind glass called valor glass for storing injectable drugs. With an initial investment of USD 500 million, Corning is set to create 1,000 new job opportunities for the Americans, cite reliable sources. As per the estimates, the deal would eventually result in an overall investment of USD 4 billion, creating 4,000 jobs for the American populace. The innovatory glass packaging solution, Valor glass, is profoundly considered a breakthrough in the pharmaceutical packaging sector, as claimed by the company. Apparently, this packaging enables superior strength, chemical durability, and is highly damage resistant, which undeniably ensures a high level of quality assurance to the pharmaceutical companies. Merck, the pharmaceutical behemoth, is joining hands with Corning Inc. in the project right from its inception to advance this glass vial for its manufactured medicines that are critical to store. As per experts, the pharmaceutical space is, of late, experiencing an era of scientific innovation. Valor Glass is the manifestation of a similar advancement in material science, being a glass material that is highly customized and purpose-based for the storage of vaccines and medicines. Merck is planning to design several injectable products which will be a good fit to this advanced glass packaging. One of Pfizers high officials affirmed that the companys previous experiments with this new Valor glass technology has depicted amazing outcomes, and via this partnership with Corning, Pfizer will completely exploit the full potential of this new glass packaging solution by using it for every one of its manufactured products. The American administration seems to be highly optimistic toward this cross-technology market alliance and economic investment. Around 98% of the pharmaceutical glass packaging was previously made overseas, however, this strategic move will redirect the packaging process back to the United States, making it an important landmark in Americas technological advancements and employment opportunity forum. Getting a next generation packaging solution on board requires an advanced manufacturing platform, financial backing, and a strong consumer base. As per sources, the project will be requiring FDAs approval and the Federal governments support at multiple levels as it progresses. However, with the loyal consumer base of Merck and Pfizer and the[...]



China’s Cosco Shipping to get hold of Orient Overseas International for a staggering USD 6.3 billion

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 18:05:57 +0530

The latest quantum leap witnessed by the competitive arena of the shipping industry is that of Chinas Cosco Shipping taking over container carrier, Orient Overseas. According to experts, the acquisition is a part of Chinas ambition to strengthen its hold over global shipping containers industry. Cosco, Chinas shipping major, has long since been wanting to grab the drivers seat in the global shipping business space. Having made an offer to buy out its rival, Orient Overseas International of Hong Kong, in an all cash acquisition, Cosco is likely to conquer the third position among major container liners in the world. The acquisition is also likely to make the combined entity a potentially stronger Asian competitor against 2M formed by Switzerlands Mediterranean Shipping Company and Denmarks Maersk Line, which are amongst the two largest container fleets. Denmarks AP Moeller-Maersk, for the record, is a no.1 shipper with 643 ships, contributing to more than 16.4% of container traffic. On other hand, Cosco itself ranks no. 4 with 8.4% of container traffic and 317 ships. Acquiring Orient Overseas will add 11.7% to its market share, owing to which it will be subsequently positioned ahead of CMA CGM Group, headquartered in Marseilles, France, with a market share of 11.2%. Cosco believes that this takeover will enable both the companies to realize synergies and enhance their profitability as the worldwide shipping industry is already struggling in the wake of sluggish international trade and plunging freight rates. Analysts vouch for the fact that the shipping industry being quite fragmented in nature, some consolidation may help the business to transform and garner profit. Similar moves are being witnessed across the globe to increase shipping sales, reduce costs, and improve the overall efficiency. The combined entity of Cosco and Orient Overseas is likely to operate more than 400 vessels with a capacity of over 2.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units. As per reports, Cosco will pay a premium of around 37.8% on the closing price of HKD 57.10 on the last trading date, which comes to around HKD 78.67 for each Orient Overseas share. If this deal obtains approval, Cosco will hold a share of 90.1 % of the combined entity, while its partner Shanghai International Port will hold the remaining 9.9%. This acquisition is set to strengthen Coscos market position, and the company is also likely to pursue lucrative targets in the future. This is evident from Coscos strategic planning the firm has recently signed a deal with the Wuhan government for a series of logistics and shipping activities. Under the agreement, Cosco will use Wuhans str[...]



Cargill has initiated a partnership extension with FareShare to advocate its commitment to sustainable nutrition

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:57:39 +0530

The acclaimed American food nutrition company, Cargill, Inc., has decided to expand its partnership with FareShare, the UK-based food redistribution firm, with a view to help the latter address food wastage in an economical, environment-friendly methodology. On these grounds, the food beverage firm has reportedly extended its relationship with FareShare, inked in 2009, and has commenced the new alliance with a deal to supply fresh chicken, free of charge, every week, to the charity firm. As per a reliable source, Cargill, as per the terms of its initial partnership with FareShare, has already provided more than EUR 600,000 in funding to the social organization that converts an environmentally hazardous issue into a social cause. One of the top officials of Cargill was quoted stating that through this agreement, Cargill aims to contribute its bit toward environmental concerns by supplying affordable, nutritious, and safe food to deserving communities, through Fareshares initiatives. For the uninitiated, FareShares numerous drives include providing breakfast for kids, lunch clubs for aged people, homeless hostels, and domestic violence refuges. With the escalating development of the food processing market across the globe, FareShare is focusing on relationship building with various manufacturers, producers, retailers, and manufacturers to address them regarding food wastage control. This goal of the organization is concentrated on supporting local communities, since the firm works toward converting wasted food into nutritious meals for the deserving masses. One of the management-level employees of FareShare has stated that there is always a huge requirement for fresh meat in all food categories of FareShare, and that a significant gap perpetually exists between supply and demand. On these grounds, he has also affirmed that the companys partnership with food and nutrition company Cargill is likely to help FareShare overcome the scarcity of meat supply, now that Cargill has pledged to supply fresh chicken from middle of June 2017 to the FareShare Regional Centre in Bristol. According to the estimates provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately 8.4 million people in UK found difficulties to procure edible food. Also, it has been projected that the UK food and drink industry is equipped sufficiently, to provide around 270,000 tons of extra food to the needy crowds. Keeping these statistics in mind, Cargill has come forward to extend its alliance with FareShare and be a part of the sustainable nutrition trend. This agreement has been predicted to prove highly[...]



Global automotive giant Ford to shift its Focus car manufacturing base to China by the year 2019

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:58:39 +0530

Ford Motors, an established automobile manufacturer based in the U.S, has declared that it will import Focus vehicles from two of its production units based in China from the onset of 2019. Experts claim this move as an effective measure taken by one of the worlds largest car manufacturers to reduce the operational costs pertaining to the declining car sales in the U.S. In addition, experts also assert that this strategic move will help the firm save capital investment costs close to USD 1 billion. This valuation also includes the costs incurred by the firm due to the cancellation of its proposed Focus car production plant construction in Mexico. The costs, for the record, amount to nearly USD 500 million. This major change of plan by Ford has been viewed by the companys top officials as the best step toward cost reduction. It is also a perfect alternative that can help the firm fulfill its business objectives through enhanced vehicle production supported by the large supply of the manpower at reasonable costs. The automotive market player has already ensured that the jobs of its workforce based in the U.S. will not be affected as a result of the shift in the car production base. In fact, the manufacturing of Focus cars at the Michigan assembly unit in the U.S. will continue only until the first half of 2018. However, the Fords U.S. plant will begin the production of Bronco mid-sized SUV cars and Ford Ranger mid-sized pickup trucks in 2020. As per reliable reports, Ford has also announced its decision to increase its car production in China other than its two Focus car manufacturing units. In future, Ford is expected to invest nearly USD 900 million in its Kentucky unit to augment the production of its Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition automobiles. This investment, as per analysts, is likely to generate more than 1,000 jobs, which would join Fords current workforce of close to 7,600. With the advent of innovative technologies in the car manufacturing sector along with the introduction of new designs fitting consumer requirements, a rise in the demand for SUVs and trucks has been observed in the U.S., which has subsequently led to lowered sales of small cars in the nation. Again, the preference for compact vehicles in the U.S. have been diminishing with a drop of 20% in the vehicle sales due to escalating SUV trends and declining fuel costs. On these grounds, it is yet to be seen whether the production of the Focus automobiles abroad will be able to reap rich dividends for the firm in the future.



EPSRC’s sizable endowment for an electric vehicle venture leads WMG to join hands with Jaguar Land Rover

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:42:16 +0530

Perpetually upholding its emblematic reputation of providing generous grants for research in sciences and engineering programs, the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) has committed itself to yet another benefaction by providing an initial funding of GBP 5.7 million to WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick. EPSRCs game plan behind offering this grant involves its preferential stand toward improving the research and development programs at WMG in the disciplines of engineering, electronics, power, and physical sciences. With this grant, EPSRC expects the Coventry-based academic institution to form a Prosperity Partnership with Jaguar Land Rover, the renowned British automotive firm headquartered in Coventry, United Kingdom. This collaboration is apparently a testimony of the automotive market players measure of commitment toward Coventry. Jaguars Chief Executive, in addition, has pledged to put Warwickshire and Coventry on the Britain map as far as vehicle electrification is concerned. For the record, Jaguar had announced earlier this year, that it intends to construct its first EV, named the Jaguar I-Pace. Apparently, reports have already surfaced regarding the cars possible sales, which may go on floors by 2018. The testing of the car has already commenced in Warwickshire and Coventry. With EPSRCs grant, Warwickshire and Coventry have embarked upon a progressive path toward the development of electric vehicles. The University also intends to provide additional funding besides the initial grant. Furthermore, it has been revealed that post joining forces with WMG, Jaguar Land Rover will also provide the necessary capitalization for the electric car project to propel forward. EPSRCs grant will be utilized by both these powerful organizations to undertake research focused on batteries, bearing gear surfaces, electric machines, energy systems, power electronics, and advanced propulsion. As per sources, WMG is apparently overwrought with gratification upon receiving the grant and collaborating with the Coventry-based car maker. One of WMGs chief faculty members was quoted stating that this alliance will help to get a handle on vehicle electrification. Experts claim that this interspersed proposition is intended at bringing UK at the forefront of industrial and scientific growth over the years to come. For the record, Jaguar Land Rover has not washed its hands off fuel-powered vehicles, the automaker is working toward building clean diesel petrol engines. Nonetheless, recognizing the potential of the [...]



Volkswagen to discontinue the sale of its Touareg car brand in the U.S. from the year 2018

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 21:33:45 +0530

Volkswagen, a reputed German car manufacturer, has decided to stop the sale of Touareg cars, a mid-sized luxury crossover SUV in the U.S. after a long spell of declining revenue from the sales of these cars. The firm could sell only 386 Touareg SUVs in the month of June 2017 and just 1,630 in the first half of 2017. The sale of the firms brand SUV cars displayed a deficit of nearly 26% during the first six months of 2017 as compared to its sales during the same period in 2016. Reportedly, the reason for this loss has been attributed to the firm targeting the car requirements of only the premium audience while completely ignoring the masses. Again, the three-row and seven-seat Atlas SUV model of the firm, priced at nearly USD 30,500 and less than nearly USD 20,000 as compared to the cost of the Touareg SUV, had affected its summer sales in 2017. A new car model, Touareg premium, was launched by the German automotive market player way back in 2004, which has, since then, undergone huge alterations. It had received many awards, including Motor Trends SUV of the year since its inception in the car market in 2004. Its effective driving ability, sufficient storage cabin space, and off-roading capability had made it highly competitive and a popular brand during this thirteen-year span. But the automotive giant has introduced Tiguan and new Atlas SUV in the U.S. car market this year and has finally steeled itself to completely wind up the sales of its decade-old Touareg SUV in the U.S. from onset of the year 2018. Experts have also forecast that the firm will make heavy investments in the production of new Atlas SUV premium cars and increase its sales in the U.S., thereby largely covering the losses it will apparently incur due to the sales of Touareg SUVs in 2017. Volkswagen is making drastic changes in its car model and is designing its cars as per the ever-changing consumer requirements. Its production of smaller crossover new generation cars is thus justified as it matches the requirements of the modern-day consumer. Industry analysts claim that these technological innovations will not only assist the firm in enhancing its vehicle efficiency but also in expanding its sales volume improving the brand equity of its products.



Alibaba launches the Taobao Global U.S. Merchants Network and connect the US SMEs to 500 million costumers

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 22:50:49 +0530

The Chinese mega e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has announced the launch of an online network to provide easier access to the small-scale US manufacturers for tapping into the Chinese market. The Taobao Global U.S. Merchants Network will provide small medium-sized businesses the required access to over 500 million consumers who are on Alibabas platform. The pairing of this network will enable the 300 Taobao global merchants to work and identify the number of U.S. small scale businesses that can be brought via an online medium to Chinese consumers. Taobao is a consumer-to-consumer website, which includes social engagement, shopping, product discovery, and content. This announcement comes just after the Gateway 17 conference held in Detroit, which featured a segment on how to capitalize on the fastest-growing Chinese consumer market. As this conference brought over 3000 entrepreneurs under one roof, it was expected to draw the attention of many small businesses who were interested in entering the Chinese market. Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba, the renowned China retail market player, while speaking in Detroit, revealed the companys sales to cross USD 1 trillion in coming three years along with getting qualified as the fifth-largest economy of the world by 2036. According to a recent announcement, Alibaba targets to have more than 2 billion buying customers on its platform over a time span of 20 years and has thus welcomed more than thousands of U.S. SMEs join its network. Adding to its pledged commitment, Alibaba is also aiming to generate 40% of its revenue in the next five years from its international transactions. This announcement is also in favor of boosting the employment levels in the U.S., as it will allow Americas small businesses to sell their goods to the Chinese and Asian consumers via Alibabas platform. The meeting regarding the same has already taken place between the President-elect, Donald Trump and Alibabas Executive Chairman Jack Ma, focused on creating 1 million new jobs for the Americans. Alibaba has taken significant efforts to solve many operational challenges to connect U.S. SMEs with Chinese consumers, as earlier, there was much ambiguity regarding the supply chain, tax, marketing strategy, regulations, and execution of the operations. In a bid to resolve these claims, Alibaba, in all probability, will organize seminars and trainings on logistics and other e-commerce issues on a regular basis. This will help the merchants in the network t[...]



Shire obtains preliminary injunction against Roche over emicizumab

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 16:34:52 +0530

Renowned specialty biopharma giant Shire Plc, has been granted legal rights by the Hamburg court to injunct Swiss drug maker and arch rival Roche, regarding emicizumab, also called ACE910, the reputed hemophilia treatment drug. Headquartered in Dublin, Shire has watched its shares plummet over the course of last year as Roche surged ahead in the battle over emicizumab. Shire has fought back, making alleged claims against Roche, with regards to the effectiveness and safety factor of emicizumab. In fact, as per an official statement released by the massive pharmaceutical market player, the company has sought this injunction to avoid any further propagation of incorrect depiction regarding the adverse events that took place in the HAVEN 1 emicizumab Phase 3 trial. Reliable sources cite that Shire accused Roche of misleading patients and making false statements regarding the hazardous effects of emicizumab recorded in its clinical trials. In defense, Roche has specified that the company is committed to taking decisions in favor of patients. Disregarding the claims made against it by Shire, Roche has stood firm regarding the clinical trial protocol of emicizumab. Certain reports state that Shire has taken this stand as an interim measure to circulate accurate and sufficient information regarding the phase 3 clinical trials of emicizumab conducted by Roche. In all likelihood, this action undertaken by Shire is likely to generate awareness among patients and physicians regarding the efficacy of the drug. Shires claims against Roche may have stemmed from analysts findings regarding adverse events in Roches studies, including thrombotic microangiopathy - which essentially signifies blood vessel damage in vital organs. A report from an unclaimed source had even stated that a patient had lost his life due to rectal hemorrhage, after being treated with emicizumab. Roche rubbished the reports and took an unyielding stand with regards to the effectiveness of emicizumab. This has been proved by the companys statement recorded last month, wherein it has been claiming that emicizumab has cut down the bleed rate by 87% in patients who resist standard therapies as opposed to those who were treated with other drugs. The reputed Swiss drug maker has been looking forward to amassing a chunk of the 11-billion-dollar hemophilia drug market with massive sales of emicizumab. To compete with the traditional treatments offered by Novo Nordisk and Shire, it has been reported that Roche will a[...]



Volvo Cars to phase out conventional engines as it embraces electrification

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:15:16 +0530

Volvo Cars has proclaimed that from 2019 onwards, every Volvo it launches will be either hybrid or solely battery-powered. This premium car maker company became the first mainstream automaker to mark the historic end of car models that are otherwise powered by internal combustion engine. As electrification is paving the way for a new phase in the automotive business sphere, Volvo has significantly placed battery operated and electric models at the core of its business. Even though Volvo Cars currently represent a small share of the entire automotive market, this decision of going completely electric is one of the boldest commitments the automaker has given till date. The company will introduce its portfolio of new electrified models ranging from plug in hybrid cars, mild hybrid cars, and fully electric cars. During the period between 2019-2021, Volvo will present five 100% electric powered car models. All through its 90-year lifespan, Volvo has always been at the forefront of novel automobile technologies by pioneering innovations such as the 3-point seat belt and other safety structures. Moreover, in recent years, it has focused on auto-cars and self-driving technology. Driven by its commitment to innovation and safety, this Sweden-based company is taking bigger steps toward Vision 2020 of providing death proof cars soon on the road. Despite being headquartered in Sweden, Volvo is owned by a Chinese company named Geely Automobile Holdings, which even manufactures battery-powered cars for the regional market. Geely bought Volvo for USD 1.8 billion in 2010 from Ford and has poured considerable investments in facilities, new models, and technology. Under Geelys ownership, Volvo has experienced a renewed traction, and recorded sales over 6.2% in 2016s annual results. Volvos battery-powered vehicles will be manufactured initially in China, and eventually at its new factory near Charleston, S.C. Currently, Volvo is committed to bringing over 1 million electrified cars on the road by 2050 and thereby meeting its sustainability goals by partaking in the climate-neutral production process. Meanwhile, Volvo isnt the only company thats making big bets on electric vehicles. Tesla has also announced its ambitious aim of bringing electric cars to the mass market with its Model 3 series. Volkswagen has also launched its electric car concept and plans to sell more than 3 million EVs by 2025. Mercedes has also introduced the EQ brand, and is planning t[...]



European Union’s regulatory body EC puts a red signal on the Qualcomm-NXP semiconductors merger deal

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 19:08:19 +0530

In what seems to be one of the major breakthroughs of recent times, the European Commission has decided to halt the merger deal between NXP semiconductors and Qualcomm after the latter failed to furnish the necessary details to the EU regarding the deal. The decision was based on ECs concerns over the business monopolization by the merging firms as well as the price hikes. Also, Qualcomm has a long history of charging copious amounts of currency in terms of royalty charges for making use of its technology copyrights. Reportedly, the European Commission fears that NXP can repeat the same by selling its intellectual property rights at higher costs after its merger with Qualcomm. For the record, the global semiconductor equipment market player had planned to acquire NXP, a semiconductor manufacturer based in Holland, for USD 38 billion last year in the month of October. In April 2017, the U.S. antitrust authorities had given the green signal to the supposed merger. However, the deal could not be closed this year, as the EC has decided to stop its antitrust merger review on June 28, 2017 following its inquiry into the business practices of Qualcomm. On the grounds of lack of relevant information regarding the merger, the European Commission undertook a full-scale investigation of the case in the month of June. The hearing deadline on this merger issue is scheduled in the month of October 2017. But this date has been further extended until the firms provide the Commission with the complete information. Meanwhile, The European Unions regulatory authority has provided sufficient time to both the firms for supplying the necessary documents required for the merger. This is not the first time the European Unions regulatory body has gridlocked the merger of two big companies. In the past, it had stopped the closure of many such mergers and partnerships, which eventually had to be scrapped off. For instance, on 9th September 2016, the European Commission halted the merger agreement between The Dow Chemical Company and DuPont, but granted conditional approval to the deal in March 2017. On July 2016, this regulation enforcement agency of Europe had raised concerns over the Faiveley Transport Company and Wabtec Corporation merger. The deal was completely finalized on December 1, 2016 after receiving the EC approval on October 1, 2016. The merger between Biomet Incorporation and Zimmer Holdings was also suspended three times b[...]



Broadcom-Brocade deal conditionally sanctioned by the FTC, commission draws up regulatory compliance to prevent potential breaches of competitive laws

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 15:20:53 +0530

Broadcoms acquisition of Brocade, a deal professed in November 2016 has finally won the U.S. antitrust approval post addressing FTCs concerns claiming the USD 5.9 billion deal to be anticompetitive. The apprehensions are grounded on the fact the deal would sabotage the competitive landscape of the fiber channel switches market altogether, creating a biased rivalry between the only two players in this space- Cisco Systems, Inc., and Brocade Communications Systems. Reportedly, the deal has already received a go-ahead from the European and Japanese regulators. San Jose, California based Broadcom manufactures fiber channel application specific integrated circuits or ASICs, which it supplies to both Brocade and Cisco. With this merger, Cisco would face a potential threat to its contendership in the fiber channel switch industry as Broadcom has access to Ciscos competitively sensitive critical data. Post the acquisition of Brocade, Ciscos only competitor, Broadcom might use this confidential information to exercise market control for Brocade, which would intimidate the industrys competitive hierarchy. The consent to this deal by FTC carries terms and conditions pertaining to the materialization of this pact. This includes creating of a firewall which would restrict Broadcom to use Ciscos critical data for any intent other than manufacturing, design, and sale of ASICs for the renowned communications hardware market player, Cisco. Reportedly, Broadcoms operational unit assigned for Cisco would also have different facilities and a separate and secured information technology system, which would grant access only to authorized individuals. Cisco breathed a sigh of relief with FTCs move to protect it from the potential competitive threat which might have come as a token of this merger. As per reliable sources, the commission would also appoint a monitor for a tenure of five years to assure the compliance of the terms. This appointment might further be extended to an additional five years, as required. Reportedly, the consent will soon be published in the Federal Register by the FTC, and will be subject to public comment for 30 days- through August 2, 2017, following which the consent will receive the final verdict. In the event of this procurement getting through, Broadcom would vend off California based Ruckus Wireless, which was purchased by Brocade in 2016 for a valuation of USD 1.5 billion.



Germany breaks sustainability records, generates 35% electricity from renewables

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 16:07:28 +0530

Germany has raised the percentage of its overall electricity generation from renewable sources to 35% this year. As per the BEE renewable energy association, Germany had produced 33% of its electricity from renewables in 2016, and has increased this proportion by 2% in the first half of the ongoing year. Earlier reports state that Germanys evolution to renewable energy commenced in 2010, as an aftermath of the Fukishima nuclear accident. The country aims to phase out its nuclear power plants by 2022. Germany, one of pioneers of sustainability, has always been a lucrative business ground for global renewable energy market. The utilization of renewable energy in this country has been surpassing commendable heights since the last two decades, partly due to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) that was introduced in 2014. The current year witnessed a reformation in the Act with a view to curtail renewable energy costs for customers. Experts state that it is therefore no surprise, that Germanys power generation from renewable energy has increased by 2% from that in 2016. As per reliable sources, so far, in 2017, Germany has been sourcing its electricity needs from renewable energy in effect, almost 85% of electricity has been generated from sustainable sources in sunny and windy days. Germanys voracious preoccupation with renewable energy is not restricted within the country. Recently, toward the end of June, the German government had initiated the Marshall Plan for Africa to set up around 100 partnerships, using German energy cooperatives as role models. Africas energy demand is slated to increase by 80% until 2040, on the grounds of which the German Development Ministry will create similar energy cooperative groups in Africa to increase their energy production from renewables. The German government has also declared that they will allocate EUR 31 million for the implementation of Zambias Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff program to increase the nations power generation capacity from sustainable resources. As per reports, one of Germanys key goals, was to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a humongous 40%, until the year 2020, from what the value was in 1990. The BEE states that this goal seems to be slightly far-fetched, however, the nations aggressive efforts to promote sustainability are likely to give this goal the impetus it requires. As per the BEE, the reducti[...]



UPS strengthens commitment to sustainability, declares target of 25% renewable energy by 2025

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 16:26:35 +0530

United Parcel Service, the largest package delivery service company across the globe, has sworn to source almost 25% of its power consumption from renewable energy, by the year 2025. The supply chain management market giant has released its most recent corporate sustainability report that extensively elucidates the companys numerous efforts to produce electricity from sustainable sources and achieve a target of 25% clean energy by 2025. In addition, the report also entails the initiative of the firm to lower carbon emissions from all its ground operations worldwide by 12%. These goals apparently, were formulated on the basis of the methodologies developed by firms that are a part of the Science Based Targets global initiative. The Atlanta-headquartered package delivery behemoth has been hoping to achieve its GHG emission lowering target by ensuring that one in four new vehicles bought on an annual basis will be designed to run on alternative fuel energy. Another goal by UPS is to source 40% of all its ground fuel requirements from renewable sources of energy by 2025. As per estimates, this figure was 19.6% in 2016. Currently, UPSs fleet comprises over 8,000 vehicles that are designed to run on sustainable fuels sources and are equipped with advanced technology. As per the experts in UPS, the company will plan to achieve its goal solely through e-mobility. The firm has invested more than USD 750 million in alternative fuels since the year 2009, and plans to invest more over the years to achieve its clean energy target. As per a press release announced by the company, this new vision necessitates a smart logistics network that comprises highly advanced facilities and technologically powered vehicles endowed by offshore wind power plants, on-site solar power plants, and renewable natural gas diesel provided by means of advanced energy infrastructure. For the record, UPS has recently invested USD 18 million in an on-site solar plant in eight of its facilities, which has generated a PV capacity of 10 MW to the sites. The company had installed its first solar plant 12 years ago. The recent solar investment represents the companys five-fold funding in solar power. With a plethora of renewable energy related projects already in its kitty, UPS has already proved its capacity to undertake operations sourced from sustainable sources. It sh[...]



BMW plans to consolidate vehicle equipment to make heavy investments in its R&D operations

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 18:30:24 +0530

BMW, one of the oldest and most popular German automakers, has been undertaking crucial steps with a view to increase their research and development spending by 2019. The latest scoop points toward the direction of BMW venturing into the manufacturing of autonomous and electric cars. In all probability, BMW is heavily trending toward the extensive production of connected vehicles. In addition, it has been reported that Chinese automakers have been defying all odds to dominate the electric vehicle market. Experts have stated that this is certainly a red alert to the European carmakers to accelerate themselves into the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. Electric hybrid vehicles are seemingly less profitable than petrol diesel vehicles. BMW has apparently recognized this theory and in consequence, has been brainstorming strategies to save costs by reducing the complexity of its equipment portfolio. One of the chief executives of the automotive giant was quoted stating that the targeted investments in RD are equipped to modernize their manufacturing process. Sources affirm that in a bid to convert its theory into action, BMW has dropped the manual gear shifting facility from various car series such as the BMW 2 series cars. This has taken place particularly across the United States. In addition, in the new emerging 5 series diesel based cars, the manual gear shifting option has been conveniently removed. As per the statement released by one of BMWs top officials, this kind of revolutionary step in the manufacturing process will lead to the lowering of the overall costs of auto parts. In addition, the number of engine variants is also expected to be reduced. Despite the slight slump in the Europe market, BMW has witnessed significant demand for its vehicles across the region. The company has some vital innovations in the pipeline, which is likely to generate disruptive trends in the global automotive market. Furthermore, it has also been reported that the chief managerial authorities of BMW are planning to cut down the vehicle inventory, with the reduced order intake and residual values. As per statistics, BMW has, in 2016, spent about 5.5% of the total revenue on RD activities. The forthcoming three years will witness an increase in the investments from 5.5% up to 6% of the total revenue generat[...]



Medtronic PLC signs outcome based diabetes deal with Aetna for offering enhanced value based services

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:39:46 +0530

Medtronic Plc., the Dublin based medical device manufacturer, has recently announced an outcome based agreement with Aetna, the healthcare insurer, for patients suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, who are currently using Medtronic insulin injections. This is undoubtedly one of those deals that manifests the escalating growth of value-based healthcare contracts across the global pharmaceutical market. The program reportedly is designed only for those patients who choose to opt for Medtronic insulin pump therapy that is highly customized in terms of insulin dosage as per the individual requirements. The agreement sheds a positive light on Medtronics commitment toward their customers that majorly includes uplifting patient experience, improving the clinical outcomes, and overall lowering the total cost of care. Working hand in hand with Aetna, this U.S. medical device market player is ready to align diabetes treatment to a more outcome based cost effective care that would benefit the patients to live with better health and greater freedom. It also depicts Medtronics strong confidence in their product that is featured with SmartGuard (TM) technology. Growing clinical evidence is further strengthening its market valuation. This strategic partnership with Aetna will offer lucrative incentives for the deployment of the aforementioned technology that would spread awareness among the increasing obese population base. Though the financial detailing surrounding the agreement has not yet been disclosed, as per experts, Medtronic has established reimbursement policies with Aetna in order to achieve the clinical improvement thresholds. Aetna, on the other hand, will have access to the companys comprehensive support services and advanced diabetes technologies. This appreciable move by both these leading giants in the medical space, marks the footstep of a dynamic healthcare value-based model that not only ensures better outcomes, but also better cost targets. With this joint venture, patients will have uninterrupted access to advanced diabetes management solutions. Over the years, the healthcare system has observed a paradigm shift from the conventional fee-for-service model to a value care arrangement that rewards providers considering the efficiency and quality of their services. Med[...]



Bekaert joins forces with ArcelorMittal, agreement aims to seal a 62.4 million-dollar steel wire deal in Brazil

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 11:51:09 +0530

According to the latest buzz on the grapevine, esteemed steel magnate, ArcelorMittal, has collaborated with Bakaert, the accomplished technology leader in steel wire coatings and transformation, with regards to a steel wire deal. The transaction currently stands at USD 62.4 million and is deemed to extend the partnership of both companies in the country of Brazil. ArcelorMittal, one of major companies partaking in the global revenue share of ferroalloy market, had recently been in the news for more reasons than one. As per reliable reports, the multinational steel manufacturing corporation based in Luxembourg had recently led a consortium that will purchase the steel plant Ilva. Discussions regarding the deal had been on board since a while, however, the deal has now gained fruition. As per the official press release, AM Investco Italy Srl has won the Ilva deal. The consortium has closed the negotiations and has signed binding contract with the Italian government to buy Ilva along with its subsidiaries. The official documentation will be closed by the end of this month. Post this noteworthy partnership, ArcelorMittal has reportedly added another feather in its cap of achievements with the Bekaert steel agreement. As per reports, this transaction incorporates Bekaerts wholly-owned steel cord subsidiary in Sumare, Brazil, into the Belgo Mineira Bekaert Artefatos de Arame partnership. Through this alliance, both the steel conglomerates plan to expand their collaboration in Brazil with an aim to gain supremacy on the technological advancements and operations of the steel cord business in the nation. The joint venture has, until now, been titled ArcelorMittal Bekaert Sumare Ltda. The official statements from Bekaert affirm that the proceeds of the alliance are around EUR 56 million (USD 62.4 million), which has led to a profitable gain of EUR 38 million, that will be considered as a part of Bekaerts financial statements for Q1 2017 and Q2 2017. It has been revealed by ArcelorMittals top officials that the steel giant, through this alliance, stands to accrue enormous financial benefits, by means of expanding its assets and operations on the tire cord industry that is reputed to manufacture bead wires and steel cords for vehicle tire. Furthermore, the deal[...]



The aftereffects of the Amazon-Whole Foods multi-billion-dollar deal - France’s Carrefour likely to be Amazon’s European target

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:21:28 +0530

Amazon, the super-imposing online retail market player, has signed an agreement to acquire Whole Foods Market Inc., the American supermarket chain that stocks foodstuffs that are completely devoid of colors, sweeteners, artificial preservatives, flavors, and hydrogenated fats. The deal sent shock waves across the retail and e-commerce industry, leading to supermarket stock prices taking a massive hit across Europe and the United States. As speculations are rife regarding the precision and timing of Amazons decision to purchase Whole Foods Market and its possible repercussions, experts have been focusing on the companies that are likely to benefit from this colossal deal. As per reports, one of the major firms that is likely to face the limelight is Carrefour S.A., a reputed France-based multinational retail store and one of the largest hypermarket chains across the globe, with headquarters in Boulogne Billancourt, France. Reliable reports state that Amazons acquisition of Whole Foods was valued for around USD 13.7 billion. The deal has come forth at a crucial time, as Walmarts discounting strategy and subsequent growth in the online shopping sphere has already led to huge food brands facing intense pressures in the global market. The aforementioned deal is likely to raise the prices for packaged goods cross brick-and-mortar and online stores. Experts say that conventional food brands, such as Kelloggs and General Mills will occupy the centre aisle space across grocery stores, with Amazons foray into natural and organic food industry. Carrefour, like most supermarket chains, has been struggling in the race against Amazon for a long time. The company is at the helm of the e-commerce industry in France. Like most French retailers, Carrefour has been very successful in e-commerce, especially with regards to its click-and-collect services, that have been prominent across its stores in the U.S., long before Walmart had introduced the service. Carrefour has recently appointed Alexandre Bompard as their Chief Executive Officer, who has, since the year 2011, been the leading electronics retailer for Fnac Darty SA, the omni-channel retailer operating in major European countries. As per estimates, Bompard had brought several investors[...]



Nestlé Waters to pour in USD 6 million investment to support the Closed Loop Fund

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:20:25 +0530

In an effort to find a national solution to the recycling gap across the American sub-continent, Nestl Waters North America has announced an investment of USD 6 million in the Closed Loop Fund. Closed Loop Fund is a social impact investment fund that finances recycling infrastructure and sustainable technology programs in the cities of United states. Colgate-Palmolive, 3M, Coca-Cola, Procter Gamble, Goldman Sachs, Johnson Johnson, Unilever, Walmart, and PepsiCo are the other well-known brands that are a part of the prestigious Closed Loop Fund. The Closed Loop Fund, till date has diverted over 100,000 tons of recyclables from landfills. Moreover, it is also working toward eliminating around 40 million tons of greenhouse gas. These initiatives are likely to provide an economic benefit of more than USD 40 million to the municipalities and will also help unlock some further investments in recycling. The so-called recycling gap refers to the wastage of resources that can be possibly recycled, but in reality, are not. In the U.S. about 75% of the waste stream is recyclable, however just 30% actually gets recycled. In 2015, municipalities and businesses in the U.S. have spent more than USD 5 billion in waste disposals in landfills. The industry experts claim that the problem lies in the infrastructure, as most of the recycling units are unable to collect, sort and process the plastics to make a profit. Landfill waste is in high demand as a raw material among the textiles and packaging manufactures. Bottled water giant Nestl Waters commitment of USD 6 million is a significant investment in creating a shared value in the recycling supply chain. The investment is likely to enable people to recycle more and boost the development of recycled products, providing a substantial impetus to Global biodegradable paper packaging materials market. Nelson Switzer, the chief sustainability officer at Nestl Waters, in a statement, publicized the U.S. as a country with potential to lead the way in recycling while scaling the economic growth, creating jobs, and securing a sustainable future. The company also aims to achieve zero landfill waste in their products and operations. The investment has proved to be an effe[...]



Clinical collaboration between Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb to target the emergence of new cancer therapies

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:56:04 +0530

Novartis, a notable giant in the pharmaceutical market, has declared a strategic collaboration with the reputed American pharmaceutical firm, Bristol-Myers Squibb to carry out research activities on cancer treatment outcomes. To improve the effectiveness and tolerability of cancer drugs such as Mekinist (trametinib) and Opdivo (nivolumab), both the firms are willing to develop new potential treatment options. As per reliable statistics, colorectal cancer claimed the lives of nearly 694,000 patients in 2012. In the same year, the prevalence of colorectal cancer patients across the globe was nearly 1.4 billion. Considering this death rate, Novartis has taken initiations to enhance the efficacy of the drugs to increase the survival rate of cancer patients. Both the pharma giants, viz., Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb are planning to implement the combined effect of Mekinist (trametinib) and Opdivo (nivolumab) drugs on cancer cells. As per reports, Opdivo (nivolumab) is gaining popularity across the globe owing to its capability to fight against multiple types of cancer tumors. This drug has been accepted across more than 60 countries in the world, out of which the most prominent regions include Europe, Japan, and the United States. This research based collaboration will generate a new effective way to overcome the drawbacks of Mekinist (trametinib) drug, since Bristol-Myers Squibbs expertise is reportedly targeted toward immuno-oncology therapies. One of the top officials of Novartis stated that this clinical collaboration will prove to be beneficial for the field of scientific and medical research as well as the patients suffering from terminal cancer, owing to the ongoing efforts taken to enhance internal immune-oncology. The legacy of Novartis in the combination of medicines will contribute significantly to this collaboration and will lead to the development of innovative and effective treatment options, state experts. Official authorities have also announced that based on the collaboration agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will invest considerably in numerous research and development activities that will result in effective combination therapies and dosage scheduling.[...]



Roquette expands its business horizon in pharmaceutical excipients market

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:58:04 +0530

Roquette, a global supplier of plant based innovative pharmaceutical ingredients has recently announced its strategic acquisition of the renowned Brazilian tablet maker, Itacel, which is essentially a subdivision of the well-known excipients manufacturer, Blanver. This strategic investment will extend Roquettes penetration in the regional landscape of Latin America, since Itacel, in the present scenario is a front runner in Latin Americas food excipients and pharmaceutical markets. With this acquisition, Roquette will have the opportunity to establish a strong customer base across this belt, state industry analysts. Founded in 1933, Roquette, the France rooted firm, presently supplies a range of plant-based natural food supplements and reportedly has a yearly turnover of more than USD 2 billion. Itacel, on the other hand, headquartered in Brazil, has already gained an international popularity in the pharmaceutical industry with its novel product offering that is used for drug formulations. Indeed, the acquisition is not only slated to mark the entry of a new competitor in the pharmaceutical excipients market, but is also forecast to allow Roquette enhance its contribution toward the food, health, and nutrition sectors. As per reliable reports, Itacels parent company Blanver is now interested in establishing two other business forums - active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, which seems to be the sole cause of divesting its excipients business. Subject to the customary conditions in terms of commercial support, industrial assets, technical know-how, and product portfolio enrichment, the union of these two well-established firms is expected to simultaneously profit one another. As stated by a higher official, through this strategic alliance, Roquette will introduce its expertise in the business that would further enrich Itacels long held cellulose based infrastructure and assets. The newly joint business model is expected to establish a better customer reach in the excipients market, addressing the future needs through more innovative solutions. This collaborative approach also marks a milestone in the global pharmaceutical industry. Bl[...]



Novartis achieves positive Phase III results for AMD, Eylea to face stiff competition ahead

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:51:22 +0530

Novartis, the renowned Switzerland-based pharmaceutical market player, has received data from two Phase III trials, namely, HAWK and HARRIER, that depict the optimum performance of its new VEGF-A inhibitor RTH258 (brolucizumab). As per news reports, this inhibitor, dosed four times on an annual basis, matches the results depicted by Eylea. The inhibitor is expected to go ahead with the regulatory compliance by the beginning of 2018. Novartis had been facing a period of slump post the launch of Eylea by Regeneron and Bayer, that was priced at a low amount, and the dosing schedule of which is less frequent. Eylea introduction had slowed down the sale of the VEGF-A inhibitor Lucentis, which was reportedly a joint venture between Novartis and Roche. Post the lukewarm performance of Lucentis, despite its first-to-market advantage position, the business position of Novartis in global age related macular degeneration drug market had been lowered by several notches. The pharma giant however, is all set to reclaim its lost position with the launch of RTH258. For the record, RTH258 (brolucizumab) is a single chain antibody component that enables better tissue penetration and robust clearance from the system circulation. Novartis took this drug under their wing in the first quarter of 2016, when the firm revamped its Alcon eye care business. According to the experiments conducted, the 3 mg and 6 mg dosages of this new drug match the 2-mg dosage of Eylea, in the average change in BCVA (best-corrected visual acuity). The two drugs were even found to have comparable after-effect profiles. More than 57% of the patients in the HAWK trial and more than 52% of the patients in the HARRIER trial received RTH258 every 3 months, as opposed to the Eylea dosage schedule of 2 months, thereby reducing the number of injections to four times on an annual basis, with comparable results. If everything goes as per what Novartis has planned, RTH258 will catapult Novartiss position in global AMD market. This would be a welcome change for the pharma company post its disappointment of 2016, when its anti-PDGF aptamer pegpleranib failed the Phase III[...]



Nestle holds a major stake in the purchase of Freshly, the US-based ready meal delivery startup

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:25:56 +0530

Nestle is ready to hone its distribution network in the fast changing U.S. retail market with its announcement of acquiring a minority stake in the New York based ready meal start up, Freshly. The announcement of the deal has come just after few days post Amazons declaration of purchasing Whole Foods Market for an estimated value of USD 13.7 billion. In this transformative scenario, where high-end organic supermarket chain could turn into a mass retailer market, the Swiss food giant, Nestle, via this strategic move, is trying to regain its lost position in the American belt. Nestle has undoubtedly, always been a big name in the global retail market. Of late, however, the company has been facing few challenges in the U.S. ready meal market. Estimates depict that the regional share had fallen from 18% to 17.4% over the past five years (2011-2026). It had also been reported last week that Nestle is about to release its U.S. confectionery business, which generated sales of almost USD 923 million in 2016. Acquiring a portion of Freshly would not only provide Nestle with an access to the growth prospect of the retail market, but it will also bring about reciprocal benefits for Freshly. Nestle, with this strategic alliance will exploit Freshlys advanced analytics and highly effective distributive network which in turn would strengthen its position in the online retail market. Headquartered in New York, founded in 2015, Freshly, has a subscription based model that offers consumers diversified meal plans via a rotating menu on their website. The company also has nearly 400 employees. This close partnership with Nestle will enable Freshly to continue its expansion in the market by allowing them to access a broad customer base. Though Nestle hasnt yet disclosed its exact investment amount in Freshly, as per expert analytics, the Swiss firm would help the startup construct a new East Coast kitchen and distribution center in the U.S. The conventional food business model is observing a paradigm shift, with consumer inclining toward more health-conscious food that is a good fit for their healthy lifestyl[...]



Google’s Alphabet Incorporation to sell robot-manufacturing firms Schaft and Boston Dynamics to Japan’ Softbank Group

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:15:40 +0530

Softbank Group, a multinational telecommunications internet firm based in Japan, has decided to purchase robot maker Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Incorporation, a U.S. based multinational firm and a parent company of Google, to be a forerunner in the smart robotics business. The transaction is also expected to support the growth of Japan robotics industry and offer bright future prospects for the overall robotics industry. As per the deal, SoftBank will also purchase Schaft, a reputed Japanese robotics company, from Alphabet Inc. The former had already developed Pepper, the worlds first robot that is reputed to have the ability to understand human emotions. Boston Dynamics, a spin off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the first developer of robots that were designed to exhibit animal-like traits, has always remained at the forefront of the news columns, having had the reputation of being mentioned in myriad news snippets on a daily basis. It had already created the robots that can jump, climb staircase, and run. The firm had constantly displayed its ability to manufacture new robots resembling animal prototypes which could trek across all kinds of landscape. It had also posted online videos more often on the web and social networking sites. The robot maker claims that it has already developed two robots, one of which runs as fast as 20 miles/hour, and the other that is designed to accompany marines on job and help them by carrying 500 kilos of load. Analysts have predicted that the robotics industry has tremendous growth potential. Consequently, firms such as Softbank are expected to make notable contributions towards the expansion of this industry. Last year, Softbank had set a vision to enter artificial intelligence, smart robotics, and IoT (Internet of Things) business. The firm is the key merger acquisition participant in the tech fraternity and had already acquired ARM, a UK based chip designer. A few days back, Saudi Arabia and Softbank also launched a wealth fund worth USD 100 billion, termed as a vision fund which will make investments in [...]



Volvo promises to bring sustainability in its new business models

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:10:55 +0530

Volvo, a Swedish multinational manufacturing company, is now committed to roll out more safe, sustainable, and convenient cars on the road. In this regard, the company is upgrading its business model to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and be a force for change. Volvo CEO Hkan Samuelsson is encouraging the entire automotive industry to adapt to exclusive customer demands and follow Volvos lead to purse sustainability. With the changing preferences of the buyer regarding car ownerships, Samuelsson believes that sustainability of the product will draw immense success. Moreover, the CEO also displayed complete confidence in the companys next-gen, fully electrified, autonomous, and connected vehicles which will enable the future of the cities to be safer, smarter, and cleaner. The UN Global Compact Nordic Network meeting for 2017 had taken place in Gothenburg recently. Samuelsson used the two-day event to bring Volvos commitment to the sustainability business in the limelight. He also addressed the delegates by speaking about the limitations with the internal combustion engine as far as the sustainability mission is considered. Furthermore, he added that the company has a truly ambitious target when it comes to electrification. Presently, Volvo has committed to bring 1 million electrified vehicles on the road by 2050, and intends to help meet their sustainability goals by having entirely climate-neutral manufacturing operations. Volvo acknowledges their ambitious mission but also sees this as a necessity for the future of environment and safety. Speaking of safety, the company is taking even bigger steps with an aim to reduce the number of deaths or fatalities people encounter. Volvo with the introduction of its new sustainable model intends to reduce the number of road accidents to zero by 2020. This Sweden company, which has built its reputation on safety, says that Vision 2020 is about providing death proof cars soon on the road. The paradigm shift toward sustainable transport will present great opportunities for the [...]



Walmart to accelerate its growth in e-commerce to compete with Amazon

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:02:44 +0530

Wal-Mart has been pushing hard to catch up with Amazon to sustain its position in the e-commerce battle among leading retailers. This American multinational retail corporation, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, has already been taking baby steps to combat with the e-commerce market giant, Amazon. Walmart, a retail outlet that operates a chain of hypermarkets, grocery stores, and discount department stores, was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton and has now gotten aggressive in its battle with many e-commerce behemoths, Amazon being on the top of the list. Keeping up with the latest trends in the digital world, Amazon has been swiftly improving its delivery options and online portfolios. However, Walmart and other top notch retailers are still tackling problems to catch up with the online leader. Nevertheless, though Amazon has long dominated e-commerce, Walmart, in an equivalent way, has ruled the brick-and-mortar retail. Amazon was not the first online company, but has been the most innovative amongst others. A part of Amazons success can be attributed to its wide range of product offerings. As per reports, its first steps to success can be credited to a meager product category - books. With the introduction of Kindle, the company achieved popularity and maintained its position by coming up with several new innovative products and services. Now, the firm has been doing great by penetrating its services into their consumers everyday lives. As per the bank Macquarie, more than half of the funds spent online in the U.S. are being credited to Amazon. Offerings such as Prime service and Kindle have paved the path for this companys success, according to a leading report focusing on the success of e-commerce. On the other hand, Walmart being worlds largest company by revenue and the largest private employer in the world, with over 2.2 million employees, is somehow struggling to connect with its consumers and woo them over exclusive deals. In the meantime, this company has been signing agreements to enhance its b[...]



Dow Chemical Company to invest in Saudi Arabia for setting up a coatings and silicones unit

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:21:59 +0530

Supporting Saudis Vision 2030, Dow Chemical Company has signed an agreement to develop a manufacturing unit in Saudi Arabia. This agreement is likely to provide the region with water-treatment applications and a wide range of polymers for coatings. The proposed agreement also includes a memorandum of understanding for a feasibility study on Dows Performance Silicones franchise. The deal signed in the presence of U.S. President Donald Trump and the Crowned Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is set to bring state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This move will further serve to integrate the former Dow Corning silicones business into Dow. The proposed silicones investment comprises a construction of fully integrated high performance silicones and integrated siloxanes complex. Situated in PlasChem Park, Jubail, the coating facility will provide Saudi with a wide range of acrylic-based polymers for architectural and industrial coatings and detergent and water-treatment applications. The products manufactured from this coating facility are intended to witness heavy demand from solar energy, high performance building and construction, personal and home care, medical devices, oil and gas, and automotive sectors. The development of new hybrid materials that serve as unique and technology rich products will complement Dows existing coating market in Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and other provinces of the Middle East. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia proclaimed a series of deals worth more than USD 55 billion with the U.S. companies to make progress in their Vision 2030 plan that aims at a monetary diversification in the countrys economy. The region concurrently reached the initial stages of agreements with US oil and gas companies, industrial manufacturers, and defense companies. Boasting of a long-term strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia of about 4 decades, Dow, renowned oil and gas market player, has earned the tag of being the larges[...]



McClarin Plastics expands its business in Oklahoma, firm plans to increase the workforce base in Oklahoma City

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:32:07 +0530

McClarin Plastics, a pioneer of fiberglass reinforced, composite, and thermoformed plastics is all set to expand its business base in central and southwest region of U.S., with its recent investment in Oklahoma-based Custom Composites. Though the financial details have not yet been disclosed by the company, the news has come to the fore subject to the fact that McClarin Plastics has joined hands with a high stature private equity firm in Oklahoma named MetaFund, that owns Custom Composites. McClarin Plastics, one of the foremost manufacturers of chemical composite products, plastics, and complex assemblies has always experienced a rigorous demand for its engineered products in the U.S. Through this alliance, the company seems to have taken a step further in improving the production capabilities in customer composites, thereby delivering a better customer experience. It is also expected that this acquisition will help McClarin Plastics to establish a strong ground on custom composites with the influx of expert employees. An additional capital investment plan by McClarin in Custom Composites recent 83000 square ft. production will be a new add-on gain from this deal, as it indicates that the company intends to expand its footprint in the state. Custom Composites and McClarin together will continue to supply novel composite products to varied end use industries including construction, transport, agriculture, railways, as well as the medical sector. For more than sixty years, McClarin Plastics has been a forerunner in custom modeling and fabrication of composites and thermoformed plastics. With Custom Compositess involvement, the company has garnered an even stronger foothold in Central and South Western U.S composite market. McClarin plans to primarily serve Custom Composites existing customers and later, spread its wings in additional businesses in the Oklahoma City. The acquisition represents the next level of evolution for McClarin Plastics, as the firm w[...]



Sinopec aims to bifold foreign investment, sets a target exceeding USD 30 billion

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:18:40 +0530

Sinopec Limited, renowned Chinese oil and gas company headquartered in Beijing, China, plans to increase invest more than USD 30 billion to expand its market overseas. The company, which is reportedly owned by the Chinese government, had already invested around USD 16 billion between 2010 to 2015, for the expansion of its operations abroad. This investment was targeted for business expansion in 30 countries, where Sinopec Ltd., also called China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, already has more than 50 projects in continuum. Sinopecs move - a government sanctioned line of expenditure, has been received with accolades from state-owned and private companies. Trade analysts are of the opinion that this policy could help Chinese companies evade stringent finance controls that have been the cause of investment curtailing abroad. In addition, it is also expected that this initiative will help China look for growth opportunities abroad and access energy resources, on the grounds that the countrys resources seem insufficient. Reliable statistics prove that Sinopec, one of the key players operating in global oil gas market, has a sufficient finance pool to double its investment and strengthen its business base abroad. The firms balance sheet depicts more than USD 19 billion in cash, which amounts to more than 130 billion yuan. The year 2016 also witnessed Sinopec take over Chevrons key assets in South Africa, for an estimated amount of USD 1 billion. A leading report states that the 2013 foreign investment of Apache Corp, leading petroleum and natural gas company based in Houston, Texas, was one of Sinopecs largest acquisition. For the uninitiated, Sinopec, in 2013, bought around 33% of the business operations of Apache Corporation in Egypt, for a valuation of approximately USD 3.1 billion. Back then, a regional protest involving the then President had threatened the successful turnaround of Sinopecs newly signed deal, however, the co[...]



Unilever launches its sustainable packaging technology, commences by recycling used sachets to biodegradable ones

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:20:04 +0530

Unilever, the consumer goods tycoon, has announced its latest technological move toward sustainable packaging. The technology will basically focus on the recycling of billions of sachets the company sells annually and aims to avert their outflow in the waterbodies. This will help the company to brainstorm a complete circular economy approach, letting it extract the maximum out of its resources. This move is in compliance with the companys claim earlier this year to ensure that all its plastics will be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Unilever has built this recycling technology - CreaSolv Process with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Germany. The technology functions on the idea of separating the plastic polymers from the used sachets and then recycling them to create fresh sachets for the new Unilever products. This technology will aid Unilever to take a leap from its traditional economy approach, by recycling post-consumer sachets into highly valuable polymers. The company plans to open a pilot plant in Indonesia to assess the long-term feasibility of the technology. The country has drawn the attention of Unilever on account of the enormous amounts of waste it produces annually. Reports state that out of 64 million tons of waste Indonesia produces yearly, 1.3 million tons culminates in the ocean. Upon the successful viability assessment of the approach, the company plans to leverage the technology as an open-source for other industry partners, including its competitors. Reliable sources cite that this technology innovation by Unilever, the owner of renowned brands such as Dove, Sure, Marmite, etc., will create a massive impact on the emerging and developing economies, where the larger share of the population comprises low-income consumers preferring single use sachets over the expensively packaged products. Unilever also perceives the recycling a[...]



Volkswagen refuses to let its final investigation report go public

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:57:24 +0530

The German automotive giant, Volkswagen (VW) which has acquired 70% of the U.S. light-weight diesel car market, is now simmering in its own toxic juices for cheating on diesel emission tests. The Volkswagen Group authorities revealed at the companys annual shareholder meeting that they will no longer release the final report about the investigation into its diesel emission cheating scandals, conducted by U.S. law firm Jones Day. Heres an overview of what has happened so far: Volkswagens special emissions software that allowed cars to sense the testing parameters set by the Environmental Protection Agency have been touted as a violation of the Clean Air Act. The so-called defeat devices were programmed to switch between two operating modes as per the parameters so that the cars would easily pass the test. Moreover, backed by a huge marketing campaign and the promotion of Clean Diesel as a strong alternative to electric and hybrid cars, VW accounted for a major surge in its sales. Some time back, the company confessed that around 11 million cars across the globe and 8 million in Europe were installed with the so called defeat devices. According to EPAs findings, the fraud covered 482,000 cars in the U.S., comprising VW models Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat and also the VW-manufactured Audi A3. The Management and the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen have however recognized that a disclosure of the results of the investigation at this moment would invite heavy fines and more lawsuits for the company. The companys top executives addressed its 3000 investors that there has been be no written concluding report by Jones Day and for some legal reasons, the company will avoid the publishing of their final report. However, the shareholders at the meeting were not satisfied with the explanation and demanded a further clarification from the company to move on from their biggest-ever bu[...]



BASF to serve as a Silver sponsor for FFA in 2017, chemical magnate’s alliance with FFA gets stronger

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:21:47 +0530

BASF SE, the largest chemical producer in the world, based in Germany, will reportedly serve as a Silver sponsor for FFA in 2017, thereby strengthening the 60-year-old partnership of BASF with the National FFA Organization. BASF has been working with the National FFA Organization for more than six decades regarding agricultural education and the future of farming. The company has been providing donations and opportunities to the members of the FFA to build communities, strengthen the base of agriculture, and become established world leaders in their own right. Working as a Silver sponsor for FFA, BASF is likely to increase the number of sponsorships for FFA. As of now, it has been reported that BASF funds delegate programs, Teach Ag program, state officer programs, and grain production placement proficiency programs. BASF officials state that preparing the youth for their future responsibilities and making students and teachers understand the curriculum design and its relevance with the agricultural sector is a part of their responsibility. The BASF team also intends to continue financing FFA to help students better understand what skills and expertise they need for their careers and how best it can be achieved in the current industry scenario. For the uninitiated, the National FFA Organization is an American 501 youth organization established in the year 1925, specializing in technical growth and career counseling. Involving students from the middle and high schools, FFA aims to support and promote agricultural education, make the youth understand the agricultural discipline and the future of farming, and provide them opportunities for personal growth, career training, and leadership. Reliable statistics state that the National FFA Organization provides career training and growth opportunities to more than 640,000 students (who are members of the [...]



BASF and PI industries enter into a strategic collaboration that aims to change overall agrochemical market dynamics

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:02:04 +0530

BASF, a renowned name in the global chemical and agriculture market and PI Industries, a notable agrochemical company, have recently signed an agreement to create a strategic model that will offer effective crop protection solutions to farmers. This strategic alliance between PI industries and BASF is expected to strengthen the business position of both the aforementioned firms and also benefit the global agro-based economy. As per the agreement, PI industries will promote BASFs new herbicide for maize and will also market the latters advanced fungicides technologies for rice, wheat, as well as fruit and vegetables. These two companies, well-established in their respective domains, have been working hand in hand on crop protection solutions for the past two decades. Through this collaboration, both the agro-based firms are aiming to bring forth the best possible protection mechanisms to agriculturists, the deployment of which will not hamper the crop productivity. PI industries has already established a strong foothold in the crop protection industry with their unique business model that revolves around a superior agrochemical value chain. Right from making heavy investments in RD activities, technological integration in chemical and engineering related services, to partnering with the best leading farms, PI industries has always come up with the best innovative crop protection solutions. With its advanced technological sphere, this well reputed agrochemical company, since the last six decades, has partnered with leading brands and has established liaisons with nearly fifty thousand retail points across the Indian sub-continent. BASF, on the other hand, is a global player in the chemical market and boasts of an impressive case of innovative products. Its partnership with PI Industries will bring forth more innovative solut[...]



ExxonMobil to purchase one of the world’s biggest petrochemical-refining plant of the Jurong Aromatics Corporation

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:12:14 +0530

Jurong Aromatics Corporation, based in Singapore has signed an agreement with ExxonMobil that enables the latter to purchase Jurongs petrochemical-refining plant by the second half of 2017. The acquisition of this plant will raise the annual aromatic production of ExxonMobil in Singapore to over 3.5 million tons, out of which paraxylene production would amount to 1.8 million tons. This strategic move is expected to help ExxonMobil acquire a competitive edge in terms of revenue gains and increased brand presence. ExxonMobils decision to acquire the firm was based on the benefits provided by the plant location for the petrochemical and refining sectors and the strong position that Singapore holds in world trade subject to its robust economic development. The largest crude oil manufacturing plant of ExxonMobil, possessing a manufacturing capacity of 592,000 barrels of crude oil per day, is based in Singapore and comprises of world-class steam crackers. The integration of Jurong aromatics plant operations, producing 1.4 million tons of aromatics per year with the existing manufacturing unit production activities of ExxonMobil in Singapore will help the latter increase its overall production, fulfill global demand, and expand its business in the Asian continent. ExxonMobil is also willing to provide employment to the qualified staff of JAC (Jurong Aromatics Corporation) to ensure the safe and effective functioning of the newly acquired plant. This move, state experts, will not only support employee retention, but will also enhance the plant production by utilizing the knowhow experience of the staff acquired by the firm. By the end of 2017, this integrated unit is projected to produce performance resins and halobutyl rubber for adhesive applications with the help of its specialty polymers faciliti[...]



Germany produces more than 85% of energy from renewables, breaks global energy records

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:22:02 +0530

In what seems to be one of most spectacular, eye-popping scoops of recent times, Germany has produced more than 85% of its energy via renewable sources. While the countrys contribution to global renewable energy market is not unheard of, the fact that it has efficiently managed to utilize sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower to generate more than three-fourth of its energy is a news to reckon with. Subject to the fact that the weather had been sunny all along with a slight hint of mild winds, Germanys alternative energy generation facilities were able to harness energy from the sun, wind, and biomass. Apparently, during the weekend when the country made this path-breaking record, the coal-firing stations were relieved from operation and the output from nuclear power stations were drastically low. In March, more than 40% of the countrys energy utilization was obtained from alternative sources. This number is now more than double (85%), which is monumental, say industry leaders. Comparatively, in 2015, the U.S. registered a little over 16% of the total energy generation from renewable sources, which is far lesser number than what Germany has achieved. Germanys sustainability program leaders affirm that this number will become the norm by the year 2030, and achieving more than 80% of the overall energy generation from renewables will no longer be a something that is likely to gain a jaw-dropping reaction. Reportedly, the government of Germany has been making substantial investments in renewable energy industry since the year 2010. The country produces energy from the solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass sources and has a remarkable contribution in biomass fuel industry. Reliable studies also depict that Germany houses numerous giants such as Pin[...]



Flipkart’s acquisition of Snapdeal awaits the final green signal from Nexus Venture Partners

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:58:14 +0530

Snapdeals sale to Flipkart - the sensational acquisition which is still not through, has taken another interesting turn with Kalaaris affirmation to the deal value set by Softbank. Softbank, the largest shareholder in Snapdeal has been emphasizing since long on the sale of its portfolio company to online retail giant Flipkart at approximately USD 1 billion. However, the deal was stuck with a strong resistance from the other two investors, namely Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital, on grounds of the extensive depreciation from its peak value USD 6.5 billion during its last funding in February 2016 to USD 1 billion, the proposed value by Softbank for the merger. Recently, the deal has shown some movement with Kalaari coming to terms with Softbank deal set up. Softbank, as per the shareholder agreement, requires the consent of at least two stock holders in Jasper Infotech, a company which owns Snapdeal, to go ahead with the sale. After the green signal from one of the Snapdeals early investors - Kalaari Capital, Softbank is now in discussions with Nexus Venture Capital to push the deal through. Reportedly, Softbank already holds a prominent share in Indian startups such as Ola, Oyo, and Grofer. Post the acquisition of Snapdeal by Flipkart, the Japan based investment firm will also be one of the major stakeholders in Flipkart with an investment ranging between USD 1 billion USD 1.5 billion. Flipkart has also pitched in for its purchase of Snapdeals online wallet - Freecharge, at an estimated sale value between USD 40 million USD 75 million. The deal if successful, will prove to be a huge loss for Snapdeal, which bought Freecharge at around USD 400 million in a cash-and-stock deal in 2015. Freecharge was also addressed as one of the top[...]



The FDA issues warnings to 14 companies for marketing illegal cancer remedies

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:28:48 +0530

The Food and Drug Administration has notified 14 companies for illegally selling untested products as a viable treatment medication for cancer. Reliable sources state that 14 U.S. based companies have been found to manufacture and sell more than 65 products which apparently claim to diagnose, prevent, or cure the universally dreaded terminal disease - cancer. These products have been developed, marketed, and sold to consumers without the approval of the FDA, which is a clear violation of the FDA norms. As per the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is illegal for medical, healthcare, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical companies to market and sell products that claim to prevent, diagnose, or cure diseases without presenting viable evidence of its safety and assurance to the FDA. These companies however, have manufactured creams, oils, syrups, herbal exotic teas, pills, drops, ointments, and extracts such as that of asparagus and other organic veggies, and falsely declared these products to possess anti-cancerous properties. The companies have extensively marketed these unapproved products on social media and online portals as feasible cures for cancer. Desperate marketing one-liners include selectively kills cancer cells, shrinks malignant tumors, treats all forms of cancer, miraculously kills cancer cells and tumors, and the like, as per the company websites and promotional adverts, many of which have been prompting desperate consumers to buy these products. Some of these companies have also reportedly developed diagnostic devices that use digital thermal imaging thermography, as an alternative to mammography, to diagnose breast cancer. The FDA has declared that many of these thermography devices are unauthorized an[...]



Apple plans to invest USD 1 billion for the expansion of its data center in Nevada

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:20:04 +0530

Apple has recently announced its plan to make an investment of approximately USD 1 billion for expanding its huge data center situated to the east of Reno, in the state of Nevada. This announcement has come barely a week after Apple had earlier disclosed its plan to provide funding worth USD 1 billion for generating more manufacturing jobs in the United States, however, the announcement carried no mention of the Nevada data center expansion plan. Apple, a leading name in global and Europe data center market, aims to create numerous job opportunities for U.S. citizens. Reports state that in order to reiterate its contribution to the economy of the United States, Apple had, a while earlier, released a breakdown of its workforce, amounting to roughly 80,000 U.S. workers, state by state. With the expansion of its Reno data center, Apple plans to generate jobs for hundreds of U.S. citizens in operations, construction, and manufacturing. Sources state that the Reno City Council has even given the green signal to the tech giant for the construction of a 4-million-dollar warehouse in downtown Reno, which will enable Apple to pay millions of dollars worth of tax to the City Council. In order to keep up with the promise of providing jobs, Apple has planned to triple its recruitment at the Reno campus. The Nevada data center currently employs more than 700 workers, and the company intends to hire 100 more workers to add to this number. Furthermore, sources disclose that the expansion of the data center will lead to the tech magnate hiring at least 300 workers for construction jobs. The data center at Reno has been touted to be the first significant project that has contributed to the states economic[...]



Canada’s Competition Bureau approves Dow-Dupont merger post the outlined asset sales of both the chemical giants

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 13:15:09 +0530

The latest buzz that has become the talk of the industry is Canadas affirmative nod to the strategic merger of Dow and DuPont. As per reliable sources, Canadas Competition Bureau has given a ruling that allows the Dow Chemical Company, a major player in global chemicals market, to form a strategic alliance with DuPont, the renowned agrochemicals industry giant, provided both the firms divest some of their assets. The announcement is in line with what Dow and DuPont have already experienced. Previously, while seeking approval from other countries, both the chemical magnates were allowed to continue with the strategic merger, as long as the conditions prescribed by the regulatory authorities were met. For instance, the merger between Dow Chemical Company and DuPont had been recently approved by the United States based on the condition that both the firms will sell a portion of their certain crop protection products. The deal had initially faced a lot of flak and was condemned by the head of the U.S. National Farmers Union, as it was deemed to increase costs and threaten the livelihood of the farmers. However, the U.S. antitrust enforcers have now given a conditional approval for the 130-billion-dollar deal. Post dealing with the United States, Dow and DuPont sought an approval from Canada and have received an affirmative response, with the same conditional propaganda that they had earlier dealt with. As per the deal, Dow is required to sell its assets of ethylene acrylic acid copolymers ionomers to SK Global Chemical Company. In addition, DuPont, being one of prime corporates operating in global herbicides market, will sell some of its assets including the Precisi[...]



MYOB acquires Reckon’s accounting business for USD 180 million

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:12:40 +0530

MYOB, the Australia based accounting software conglomerate, has recently penned a deal of USD 180 million with Reckon for acquiring the latters accounting group division, in a bid to step up its position in the highly competitive software accountancy business. As claimed by sources, the deal, once officially approved by the New Zealand Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, would bring three patent product lines of Reckon, namely Reckon Docs, Reckon APS, and Reckon Elite under MYOBs veil. Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, Reckons aforementioned product range, as of now, would be rebranded as MYOB, with a long-term plan of transitioning all these products to the MYOB cloud-based platform. For the record, the book value of Reckons accounting practice software business was USD 38 million. The deal seems to be in tandem with MYOBs business strategy of mainly concentrating on the belt spanning New Zealand and Australia, rather than expanding globally like its immediate rivals, Intuit and Xoro, cite experts. Reportedly, following the acquisition, almost 120 people who are closely linked with Reckons three products would be offered jobs at MYOB. Speaking of the acquisition, one of the eminent spokespersons of MYOB, stated that the deal would help MYOB deepen its relationship with more than 3000 accounting practices across New Zealand and Australia, that had been deploying Reckons products so far. It has been further reported that, through this acquisition, MYOB is anticipating an accelerated delivery of its online practice suite, that would offer an online migration path for Reckons Accounta[...]



Airbus clinches a record 430-jet deal with Indigo Partners

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:28:19 +0530

One of the most significant aerospace events in the world, the Dubai Airshow, is set to incorporate its order book with a mammoth aircraft deal. The European aeronautical giant, Airbus SE, has confirmed that it has clinched an order of 430 jets, by a U.S. equity firm, Indigo Partners, valued at about $50 Billion. The announcement of the deal came on Wednesday morning and is being touted as the biggest commercial-aircraft pact in the history of the aviation industry. The deal comprises of 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos that would be inducted into Indigos airlines investment portfolio including Wizz Air, Frontier Airlines, MEXICOS Volaris and Chiles Jetsmart. The deal offers an upgraded version of single-aisle aircrafts to the existing fleets of Indigo Partners airlines, especially the low-cost carriers flying from Denver to Budapest. For the record, A320 aircraft, launched in the late 1980s, is regarded as the pioneer in the aviation arena as it was the first plane equipped with state-of-the-art technologies such as fly-by-wire controls and other unique features such as side-stick to steer the aircraft. Unsurprisingly, A320 has emerged as the best-selling airliner of Airbus owing to its unparalleled characteristics. Meanwhile, Airbus had received a severe blow on day one of the Airshow, with the United Arab Emirates, the prominent Middle East Airline granting its $15 Billion order to Boeing. According to aviation analysts, the latest Indigo order has put the European aircraft maker back in the game, with some claiming the deal to have outshone the orders won by Boeing until Wednesday. Commenting on the deal, A[...]



Uber to witness severe face-off as Lyft expands services to Toronto

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:06:23 +0530

Amidst the latest buzz surrounding the cab industry, it appears that the raid-hailing giant Uber will have some fresh competition in the city, as its chief rival Lyft has announced its plan to expand its service to Toronto. Reports claim that Lyft is planning to offer ridesharing services to the GTA residents in its first foray outside the U.S. market by the end of the on-going fiscal year. For the record, the San Francisco based company, Lyft, operates in more than 300 U.S. cities and is touted to be the fastest-growing on-demand transportation service in the country. If sources are to be believed, over 50,000 Toronto folks have already downloaded the Lyft app on their smart phones a clear indicator notifying that ridesharing enthusiasts are looking for alternative options to local taxis and Uber. Lyft anticipates that it will soon receive a license to function in the city from Municipal Licensing and Standards and thus compete with Uber on hospitality and affordability. On issuing the transportation license, Lyft is poised to become the fifth private transportation company in Toronto. For the record, Lyft was founded in 2012, and just like Uber, its divers are considered independent contractors and not employees. The company further aspires to have enough drivers to respond to the ride requests in 2-3 minutes as it does in the prominent U.S. cities. Reports claim that Lyfts service will be available in the Greater Toronto Area from Hamilton to the west and Oshawa to the east by mid-December. Moreover, the company plans to offer the city five options which include Lux, viz luxu[...]



Shell significantly divests a stake of AUD 2.2 billion in Woodside

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 20:48:19 +0530

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has slashed its holding in Woodside Petroleum to 4.8% from 13.28%, in its latest bid to boost its non-core disposal program that aims to alter its stake from being an associate holding to an investment in securities in the latter firm. The latest stake sale is part of a $30 Billion non-core disposal program slated to conclude over the next three years by the Anglo-Dutch oil major. For the record, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, is customarily referred as Shell, is an Anglo-Dutch oil and gas behemoth headquartered in the Netherlands. The stake offloading is reported to raise $1.7 Billion as the company has worked out an underwriting agreement with two investment banks to sell 8.5% of Woodside net for A$31.10 per share. Shells Chief Financial Officer, Jessica Uhl stated that the sale has been initiated as a part of the continuing plan to redesign the company. She further claimed the proceeds from the sale would be utilized to reduce the companys overall debt. Shell has reportedly confirmed to not dispose any more stake in Woodside for ninety days post the completion of this sale. For the record, Shell sold 10% of the capital of Woodside in November 2010 while retaining 24.27% interest in the company. The stake sale continued in 2014 with Shell selling approximately 9.5% issued capital of Woodside, further diluting the interest to 13.58%. According to recent reports, Shell launched the stake sale as it felt that the influence of the firm in Woodsides financial and operating policy decisions was on a decline. Meanwhile, Woodside, Australias l[...]



Vodafone-Cityfibre deal shudders the fibre industry in UK

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 12:54:46 +0530

The British telecommunications giant, Vodafone has announced its partnership with the UKs largest wholesale fibre network infrastructure provider, Cityfibre to build a full fibre network which is expected to reach 5m homes by 2025. The move, by all accounts, is likely to tremble the broadband market in the UK, as several analysts enthusiastically described the alliance as the dawn of a new UK. The initial phase of the collaboration has been envisioned to build full fibre network to 1m homes in 12 cities of the UK by 2021. The network would probably be further extended to 4m homes by 2025. The initial cost of the network infrastructure, over 20 years of timeframe, is valued to be around 500 million. Vodafone is likely to emphasize upon serving the second-tier cities in the UK, presently being under-served by other influential companies such as BT Group and Virgin Media. The alliance puts the dominance of BT Groups Openreach division and Virgin Media at stake, as it creates a third robust network within the UK that will build full fibre directly to the doors of customers. According to a few recent reports, the country has fallen behind other nations in terms of ultra-fast broadband speeds. UKs communications regulator, Ofcom, which has been consistently advocating the notion of a third strong network alternative, welcomed the move. Ofcoms competition director, Jonathan Oxley stated that the entry of a new player has demonstrated the real impetus behind full fibre broadband in the country, which will accentuate the countrys future[...]



China-US sign LNG agreement to develop the natural gas sector

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:19:29 +0530

The United States and China have apparently agreed to work alongside to develop the natural gas sector across the former. If reports are to be believed, this deal comes along the heels of the U.S. President Donald Trumps visit to China, in the course of which most China-based companies have agreed to invest in the development of the liquified natural gas sector in Alaska. Experts claim that this deal marks a precedence in the natural gas sector, with U.S. likely to become one of the major sources of energy supply for China. Sources claim that the state of Alaska, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, China Investment Corporation, China Petrochemical Corporation i.e. Sinopec, and the Bank of China have undersigned an agreement after the U.S. President promised to improve trade and economic relations between the U.S. and China. In 2016 alone, U.S. apparently witnessed USD 347 billion trading loss in goods with China. For the uninitiated, China is among the worlds top three gas buyers and imports a large amount of LNG pertaining to the governments strategy to adopt green energy facilities. Speaking about the upcoming benefits of this deal, the President of the Energy Foundation China, Zou Ji apparently mentioned that this bilateral trade to export LNG from United States to China could favor the governments effort to enhance the air quality in china and make a transition toward carbon-free environment by switching to gas from coal. Reports state that in the past few years, the demand for natural gas acr[...]



Adidas rolls out its first shopping app in San Francisco

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 19:19:26 +0530

The German sports behemoth, Adidas, unveiled its first shopping app at the worlds largest software conference, Dreamforce 2017, which is being held in downtown San Francisco from November 6-9. The announcement, made by the CEO of Adidas, came on the first day of the conference. The shopping app offers customized suggestions based on consumers personal style and behavior. The personalized shopping app, powered by Salesforce, will ensure smooth access to the brands online store and offer customized recommendations based on consumers personal style and behavior. The app is optimized to feature fitness inspiration through tailored blog posts, articles, and videos. The app also provides its users with real-time updates regarding sports, products they care about and news about athletes. The latest application, as of now, is available for download in the U.S. and the UK through Google Play Store and Apple Pay, with Adidas hopeful to roll out the app in other countries in the first half of 2018. The Adidas App is the fresh addition to the ever-growing e-commerce footprint of the brand, with the company aiming to achieve 4bn in sales by 2020, from its own e-commerce platforms. Joseph Godsey, Head of Digital Commerce of the brand, stated that the new app is one of the key pillars that will steer the companys growth, as over 60% of traffic to Adidas online shopping portals is from mobile phones. He further remarked that the launch of Adidas App has truly personalized and enhanced the [...]



HSBC & Barclays initiate investments in green finance projects

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:44:55 +0530

In a significant push toward the sustainable financing, leading banks HSBC and Barclays made separate announcements, on Monday, to endorse and encourage environmentally viable projects in a big way. In the latest bid to foster clean energy projects and to lower carbon-based technologies, HSBC said it will provide $100bn to the growing arena of green finance by 2025. The banking giant further stated, it will discontinue financing the upcoming coal-fired power projects in developed economies, while making an announcement to source its entire electricity requirement from clean energy sources by 2030. Meanwhile, in a first for the UK market, Barclays PLC, a major bank with an influential presence in the U.S. and the UK, successfully issued a 500m green bond backed by British assets. The issuance was well-received, with the transaction being oversubscribed four times totaling a 1.85bn order book. The proceeds gained from the green bond will be utilized to finance and refinance the Barclays residential mortgages on England and Wales situated assets which rank in the top 15% of least carbon-emitting properties in these countries. The ratings are based on the energy efficiency estimated by the UK government in Energy Performance Certificate report published earlier this year. The heightened awareness regarding the consequences of climate change and the rising political pressure at the global scene to avert the dangers of climate change has assisted the gr[...]



Altice USA to provide voice & data services via Sprint’s network

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 16:03:17 +0530

The reputed U.S. cable giant, Altice USA, has recently inked an agreement with Sprint Corp., becoming the newest firm to enter the U.S. wireless market in a bid to strengthen its consumer base. The deal, which marks yet another attempt to consolidate the American cellular industry, will allow the cable operator-Altice to sell wireless services via Sprints network. Of late, cable companies have been pushing hard to boost their consumer offerings by taking on mobile data and wireless telco services. However, to do so, these cable operators need access to a broad cellular network, which may have triggered the necessity for them to collaborate with communication service companies, cite industry experts. Under the terms of Altice-Sprint agreement, Altice will have full use of Sprints network to provide nationwide voice and data services. In return, Sprint will apparently use Altices cable infrastructure to transmit cellular data and develop a next-generation network. For the record, Altice is the fourth largest broadband communications and video service provider in the U.S., providing cable-TV, internet, WiFi, and phone products under its Suddenlink and Optimum brands. The company is currently the only major U.S. cable operator to have announced a large-scale fiber deployment. On other hand, Sprint has a vast spectrum capacity than any other U.S. carrier, which has kept the company at the forefront in managing the growing de[...]



Ford Motors teams up with Roush to enhance Mustang GT performance

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 18:05:16 +0530

The Ford Motor Company, a U.S. based car manufacturer, has formed an alliance with Roush Performance, a rather pivotal automotive industry giant, in order to speed up the racing ability and speed of its Mustang car model. For the record, this automotive marvel has been the first vehicle that defined the automotive domain ever since its inception in April 1964. As per authentic sources, Roush is expected to fit the aftermarket supercharger in the recent model of Ford Mustang V8 GT, which will help the vehicle cross a speed limit of up to 700 hp. The blower apparently, would also help uplift the torque up to 610 lb. feet. The package has been designed to work with V8 Mustang and the V8-engined F-150 Ford pickup irrespective of whether the vehicle comprises automatic or manual transmission. The innovative, reliable, and robust supercharger equipment is yet another effort made by the two firms to improve vehicle performance, cite experts. Through the improvisation in the horsepower and torque, both the companies plausibly aim to enable car owners to enjoy a terrific driving experience. Sources claim that the supercharging kit is also provided with a three-year warranty coverage, similar to an official Ford component. As per one of Roushs officials, the highly engineered supercharger kit is the blend of 2018 5.0-liter engine and a fully integrated 2650 supercharger system, that would combinedly give[...]



Earbud startup Doppler Labs to shut down after raising USD 50mn

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:45:54 +0530

A smart earbud company, Doppler Labs, has announced that it is apparently shutting down all its operations, after running out of cash and options. Reportedly, the startup behind the Here One earbuds raised more than USD 50 million in funding from investors such as Live Nation, Universal Music, and the Chernin Group. Reports claim that despite Dopplers nifty technology that competed with the Apples AirPods, the Doppler earbuds flopped in the mainstream market. The smart earbuds came in a package of noise-cancelling and active listening features that allowed users to drown out airplane noise while still being able to hear human voices, amplify the bass at a concert, etc. Amid these attractive features, the startup which raised USD 50 million in 2016 was not able to conduct sufficient sales, on the grounds of which it reportedly landed the company into a precarious position. In consequence, Doppler failed to convince for any further cash infusions. On further investigation, it has been detected that the design defects and battery life are the prime factors behind lower sales, negative reviews, and poor word-of-mouth for the earbuds. Statistics claim that Dopplers Here One was only able to hit sales of 25,000 units, while the owners were expecting hundred thousand-plus. In retrospect, Dopplers CEO Noah Kraft said the companys downfall was subject to its hardware business[...]