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Apple likely to unveil its first retail store in Saudi Arabia by 2019

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 10:39:26 +0530

In a bid to establish a direct presence and expand its foothold in the Middle East region, the U.S. tech behemoth Apple has been reportedly in licensing talks with Saudi Arabia to launch its first store in the Gulf Kingdom. As reported, the iPhone maker has been holding extensive discussions with the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the nations foreign investment license provider. For the uninitiated, Apple currently sells its products in Saudi Arabia via third party sources. As per authentic sources, the licensing agreement is likely to be concluded by February next year, with Apple aiming to unveil its first full-fledged retail store by 2019. Furthermore, it is also being reported that the American electronic commerce and cloud computing giant Amazon, has approached the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority as it plans to invest in Saudi Arabia. The talks are in the initial phases, cite sources. The Gulf kingdom has been relaxing regulatory hurdles for the past few years, particularly the limits it had prescribed on foreign investors. With the falling crude prices, Riyadh had been compelled to diversify its oil-dependent economy, claim reports. For the record, Saudi Arabia commands 38% of the Middle Easts total GDP, making it the largest economy in the region. According to the World Banks 2015 Ease of Doing Business report, the Gulf kingdom, endowed with largest oil reserves in the world, was ranked in the top three countries. As a consequence, this resulted in the Middle East nation grabbing the attention of prominent investors, leading tech giants and major business houses of the world. It would be prudent to mention that Saudi Arabia has a continuously expanding domestic market that is complemented with an annual population growth rate of 3.5%. As per reliable sources, half of the Kingdoms population is under the age of 25 which makes it an attractive investment destination for the worlds notable technology players. Meanwhile, both the companies and SAGIA are yet to affirm the development, cite reports.



WHO includes gaming disorder as a mental ailment in its beta charter

Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:38:57 +0530

The World Health Organization (WHO) has apparently included gaming disorder in its list of mental health disorders, which is expected to be released in May next year during the eleventh update of the international classification of diseases (ICD). As per WHO, playing video games excessively can result in severe mental health disorders. The International body of the UN defines the disorder as the recurring behavior pattern of severity in an individual leading to considerable damage in educational, personal, occupational, and social functioning. According to one of the key officials of the global public health organization, the beta draft of the forthcoming new ICD-11 encompasses only the clinical description of the gaming disorder and not its prevention or treatment. Reports have claimed that as per this draft, an individual can only be diagnosed for the gaming disorder if he/she plays video games offline or online for a minimum twelve months. It has also been stated that doctors can include these individuals in the beta draft the ones who are diagnosed with severe symptoms of the gaming disorders as a result of playing video games for shorter durations. Medical experts have claimed that people who are being diagnosed with this particular disorder and are being treated for the same in the video game addiction centers, are liable for insurance payments as well. A spokesperson at the WHO has affirmed that the inclusion of any disease in ICD helps the disorder to be seriously considered in international circles, while numerous countries draft their healthcare and medical policies. Apparently, this inclusion also helps in the allocation of funds for the prevention as well as treatment of the disorder. With the official declaration of gaming disorder as a mental health condition, WHO has made it legal for the healthcare service providers to diagnose the individuals for the ailment and provide them with the necessary treatment.



India to outpace China globally as the largest importer of LPG

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 14:49:55 +0530

India is reportedly anticipated to become the worlds biggest LPG importer by the end of this month, comfortably exceeding Chinese LPG imports amounting to nearly 2.3 million tons. According to authentic sources, LPG consignments arriving on the Indian shores are expected to touch a figure of 2.4 million tons this month courtesy, the huge gas consumption for cooking purposes. Reports claim that the countrys LPG imports have increased from 1 million tons per month in 2015 to massive volumes by the end of 2017. Industry analysts have stated that the proactiveness displayed by the Indian government through induction of new schemes for providing energy to millions of poor families across the country has led to the rise in the LPG connections from 140 million in 2015 to 181 million by 2017. Reliable sources cite that the countrys average monthly LPG imports this year are nearly 1.7 million tons, which is lagging way behind the Chinese figure of 2.2 million tons. But it has been claimed that India has surged ahead of Japan in terms of LPG imports this year by approximately 1 million tons. Experts have predicted that the growing consumption of LPG in cars as a result of high taxes levied on the use of gasoline in the vehicles has created a heavy demand for the product across the automotive sector in India. According to reliable estimates, Japan, China, and India account for nearly 45% of overall LPG purchases across the globe. It has been claimed that though the Middle East is the largest LPG supplier of India, the country has started importing the product from the U.S. Data retrieved from the reliable sources has revealed that India imported nearly 2 lac tons of LPG from the U.S. commencing from nearly 50,000 tons to 1 lac tons of the product import earlier during the year.



China’s Geely expands beyond the home turf, buys stake in AB Volvo

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 19:11:36 +0530

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the renowned Chinese company that bought Volvo Cars in 2010, has recently announced that it has agreed to acquire a stake in the Swedish bus truckmaker Volvo AB, from activist investor Cevian Capital for around $3.3 billion. Reportedly, Geely is expected to buy an 8.2% stake in AB Volvo. Industry experts speculate this move to mark another big step in the Chinese automakers push for expanding its business outside its home country. For those unfamiliar, when Geely bought Volvo from Ford, it eventually became the first Chinese carmaker to overtake its rival through acquisitions, rather than joint ventures. According to earlier reports, the Volvo Car Group was a spin-out from the AB Volvo around two decades ago, however, with this recent move of acquisition, Geely revealed that it had no intention to try and reunite the two businesses. Geely Chairman Li Shufu, was reported quoting that the company is eager to work with AB Volvo, which is recognized for its proud Scandinavian history, breakthrough technologies, leading market positions, and environmental capabilities. For the record, AB Volvo accounts for over 45% of Dongfeng Commercial Vehicles, which is recognized as one of the Chinas largest truckmakers. The company also has a significant construction business in China. Sources reveal that the deal was initiated at Geelys request and on completion of the transaction it will make Geely the largest individual shareholder in AB Volvo and also enable it to be the second largest with respect to voting rights after Industrivarden an investment firm of Sweden. Moreover, reliable reports claim that the profitability and sales at Volvo Cars has significantly scaled up under Geelys leadership. The car business made operating proceeds of 10.4 billion Swedish crowns in first three quarters of 2017, which was reportedly up from 1.6 billion from 2011 a year later when Geely acquired Volvo Cars from Ford. For 2017, Volvo shares rose over 50%, thanks to the robust demand for bus and trucks in the major markets.



Wesfarmers enters a deal with Coronado to sell Curragh coal mine

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 22:11:12 +0530

In a major breakthrough witnessed across the coal mining sector, Wesfarmers Limited, an Australian firm in the retail, fertilizers, and coal mining business, is anticipated to sell Curragh coal mine to Coronado Coal Group for seven hundred million Australian dollars. According to industry analysts, the deal will help the former churn revenues worth 100 million Australian dollars. Reports state that Wesfarmers expects the sale of the coal mine to be completed within 6 months. In addition, the Australian firm is also reviewing its coal asset Bengalla Coal mine located in Hunter Valley. Reports state that the firm will invest the proceeds from the sale in its current business or may be able to provide it to the investors or even use it to pay for the debts. According to authentic sources, Wesfarmers had purchased the Curragh coal mine for approximately 200 million Australian dollars in 2000. Being worlds biggest metallurgical coal mines, it outputs nearly 8.5 million tons of coal each year and an additional 3.5 million tons of streaming coal annually. A key official of the firm has stated that the decision to sell the Curragh mine is based on the fluctuations witnessed in the coal costs, even though the mining operations had fetched the firm high returns over the past few years with an annual IRR of over 40%. Industry analysts have claimed that the firm will receive 25% of the coal mines export revenue, which is expected to be more than the metallurgical coal price of USD 145 per ton over the coming two years. Reports cite that the is earning per share dilutive by nearly 4% on the pro forma fiscal basis. However, it has been observed that the compensation can climb up to nearly USD 285 million if the recent costs remain consistent for the coming 2 years.



US to revise offshore safety rules to promote more drilling activities

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 22:48:24 +0530

Touted to be one of the most debatable move under the Trump administration, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is considering easing offshore oil and natural gas safety regulations that were put in place after the BPs Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. Reportedly, the move would significantly reduce the role of the US government in the offshore oil drilling production activities. Furthermore, say sources, the U.S. regulator is also considering giving oil gas operators the access to Arctic region for a longer period than what is currently allowed a rule change which could boost interest in drilling and exploration activities. According to reports, several industry groups criticized the elements of the current offshore safety rules which included the frequent testing of standardized safe drilling margins and blowout preventers. Arguably, these norms enabled significant increase in costs for offshore operators. For the record, Deepwater Horizon rig explosion - the largest oil spill in the history of the U.S. oil gas industry and also the worst marine oil spill on record, left 11 dead and let over 200 million gallons of unrefined oil gush liberally into the Gulf of Mexico. In essence, the Obama administration, after five years of research and inputs, has enacted some well-controlled rules to prevent the Gulf from another such blowout, state experts. Amidst these incidences, the BSEE is also considering rolling back many of the offshore drilling rules, arguing that the oil gas industry should have more control over its own safety protections. Moreover, the regulator further claims that its proposed rule change to the US government would save the oil industry more than USD 900 million in the coming 10 years. Reports state that the BSEE had proposed relaxing requirements to stream real time data in onshore offshore oil production. Sources reveal that the agency has already sent its proposal to the White House budget office, however, details of the proposals have not yet been made public.



Boeing in discussions over acquisition of jet manufacturer Embraer

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 18:27:21 +0530

The Boeing Company, a U.S. based firm manufacturing selling airplanes, has grabbed headlines this week for its proposed takeover of a key jet maker. Reportedly, Boeing is amidst serious discussions to acquire Embraer S.A., a major manufacturer of commercial, defense, agricultural aircrafts based in Brazil. According to authentic sources though, the acquisition can see the light of the day only post the approval of the Brazilian government. Industry analysts anticipate that if the deal is approved, it would result in the consolidation of the passenger jet duopoly across the aviation sector. According to a key government official in Brazil, the President of the country would offer full support if Boeing intends to establish a partnership in the country, however, an acquisition bid is likely to be rejected. Reports cite that this is Boeings biggest acquisition post its purchase of McDonnell Douglas, a U.S. based aerospace manufacturing firm defense contractor, twenty years back. Experts claim that this move is aimed at countering a threat from Airbus SE, which signed an agreement with Bombardier in October 2017 to acquire a major stake in the new CSeries jets manufactured by the latter. As per reports, post the announcement of the discussion related to Boeings takeover of Embraer, the latters shares of the latter increased by over 20% in New York and closed at USD 24.42 per share. Boeings stocks fell by 1% with individual share price last evaluated at USD 295.03. Reports cite that with the acquisition of the Brazilian firm, Boeing for the first time will expand its manufacturing base out of the U.S. With the emerging trend of mergers acquisitions witnessed across the aviation business to acquire competitive edge, Boeings decision is likely to strengthen its position in aerospace sector over the coming years, claim analysts.



Top-league consortium to finance Australia’s largest wind farm

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 17:50:32 +0530

Telstra, Coca-Cola Amatil, Melbourne University, and the Australia New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) are reportedly expected to buy out the energy generated from the Murra Warra wind farm in Australia. The strategic move will assist the firms in securing access to sustainable energy, thereby enabling them to provide power supply for more than 220,000 households across the country in the near future. According to expert opinions, the proactiveness displayed by the firms will help in fulfilling the nations objective of lowering GHG emissions. Authentic sources cite that the wind farm in Victoria is projected to generate nearly 226 MW of energy in its initial phase of power production and is anticipated to possess approximately 116 turbines. Industry analysts are of the view that the farm has the ability to generate nearly 429 megawatts of energy and can reduce GHG emissions by about nine lakh tons every year. According to reports, the height of the turbines has been estimated at approximately 220 meters and the farm is expected to commence its operations by 2020. As per the pre-purchase agreement, Telstra is predicted to offer energy services to the rest of the group. Experts have stated that the interest exhibited by the firms in the purchase of the renewable energy can boost the use of green energy across myriad industries in the country. This initiative is also set to spur the construction of more such wind farms across the region, cite reliable sources. It has been claimed that the construction of the wind farm will begin next year. According to the reports, it is projected to be the largest in the country, followed by the Macarthur Wind Farm. Sources have claimed that the Murra Warra wind farm plans to generate nine more megawatts of power as compared to its Macarthur counterpart.



FDA gives green signal to Luxturna for genetic blindness treatment

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 17:36:45 +0530

In a major breakthrough witnessed across the healthcare sector, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Luxturna, a kind of gene therapy to treat a rare genetic eye disease caused due to gene mutation, developed by Spark Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical startup firm. As per the FDA, the treatment has received the authorization for treating patients affected due to confirmed biallelic RPE65 mutation-related retinal dystrophy, which results in the loss of vision and can lead to complete blindness. Industry analysts have claimed that Luxturna will accrue a revenue of nearly USD 78 million next year with its sales expected to rise up to USD 238 million in 2019. Though the key officials of Spark have not unleashed the treatment charges, experts are of the view that the therapy will cost nearly USD 1 million for the patients. After the declaration of FDAs approval of Sparks new gene therapy, the companys shares rose by 4% to reach USD 50.82. According to the FDA commissioner, the approval of the new therapy is the first of its kind for treating vision loss occurring due to an inherited defect in the genes. He further stated that such new discoveries in the field of biotechnology can help in curing a plethora of dreaded diseases. Medical experts claim that Luxturna injects a functional piece of DNA in the eye cells of the adults possessing the defective gene that causes the disease leading to blindness. According to them, the therapy is not a cure, but it is aimed at halting the growth of the disease. As per authentic sources, the ICER (Institute for Clinical and Economic Review), a U.S based nonprofit entity studying the cost-effectiveness of new procedures and therapies, plans to conduct a meeting soon to examine the effectiveness of Luxturna in January next year.



Toyota to develop a fully-electrified vehicle range by 2025

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 15:20:55 +0530

Toyota Motor Corporation, a reputed Japanese automotive company, is reportedly planning to convert its entire lineup of gasoline-powered vehicles into electrified ones over the forthcoming eight years. The company apparently aims to deliver at least ten battery-powered automobiles that would be in the running from 2020. According to reliable sources, over the last many years, the automobile manufacturer has been manufacturing hydrogen fuel cell as well as hybrid automobiles with the Prius being its best hybrid electric vehicle model till date. Currently though, the automotive giant is aiming to manufacture a complete electric vehicle model on a substantially large-scale, amidst the speculations that China would be the companys targeted region for expanding its electric car business. Sources have also cited the firms plans to sell purely battery-powered electric cars across the U.S., Japan, Europe, and India. Toyota ultimately aims to make sure that at least 50% of its annual sales are brought forth by electric vehicles - electric cars and hybrid vehicles. Reliable sources claim that the company has plans to sell nearly 5.5 million electric cars yearly till 2030. Recently, the automotive behemoth has also announced its collaboration with Panasonic Corporation to jointly manufacture next-gen batteries for electric cars lithium-ion batteries for the firms plug-in hybrid cars and gasoline-electric vehicles. Toyota has been reported to invest around USD 13.3 billion in battery production by 2030 for firmly consolidating its presence in electric vehicle market. As per experts, the escalated automobile production across the globe giving rise to high fuel emissions has posed a huge threat to the green ecology, compelling the government to implement strict environmental regulations. Toyota has, for quite a while, faced criticism for having delayed undertaking its CSR with regards to ecological concerns. Perhaps on the basis of these grounds, the company may have taken a strong initiative for massive EV manufacturing, cite sources.



Aerion & Lockheed join hands to build first supersonic passenger jet

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 18:16:04 +0530

In a key turn of events witnessed across the aerospace sector, Aerion Corporation, a U.S. based airplane manufacturer, and Lockheed Martin have collaboratively decided to form a strategic alliance to build the worlds first supersonic passenger plane. It is believed that both the firms are keen on jointly devising a framework on all the program phases encompassing engineering, production, and certification as per the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding). According to authentic sources, Aerion has been enhancing its supersonic engine design over the last three years post declaring its launch of a three-engine aircraft design in 2014. In the past, Aerion had paired with Airbus SE to build the structural design of the AS2 supersonic aircraft before collaborating with GE Aviation for constructing the engine for the jet. The latest AS2 supersonic plane designed by the former is projected to fly by 2023. It has been reported that NASA is also designing a supersonic jet for travelers in collaboration with Lockheed and is expected to test the same by 2021. With many of the key players across the aviation industry trying to build supersonic jets, the partnership between these giant firms aimed at creation of world class supersonic commercial planes will augment the growth of aviation industry in the years ahead, claim analysts. As per the executive Vice-President of Lockheed Martin, Aerions A2 design integrated with the Lockheeds innovative aerospace technology will mark a new chapter in the history of the aviation sector. With the escalating demand for comfort and quick air travel, reputed participants across the aerospace sector have been joining forces to cater to the changing consumer demands through the manufacturing of new airplanes embedded with advanced aerodynamic technology. The fierce competition over designing of new passenger jet systems, in tandem with the rising trend of deploying green technology is forecast to result in the massive production of cost-effective and proficient airplanes over the next few years, cite experts.



Office for Nuclear Regulation sanctions new nuclear reactor design

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 15:18:18 +0530

The Office for Nuclear Regulation has taken a major step toward building a nuclear power station in Wales by approving Hitachis reactor design for Horizon Nuclear Powers plant at Wylfa. For the record, the design of advanced boiling water reactors has been under inspection since 2012. Reports cite that Horizon Nuclear Power is looking forward to building another nuclear power plant at Oldbury in Gloucestershire after the successful deployment of the new power station at Wylfa, where it will install the recently approved advanced boiling water reactor design of Hitachi. The chief executive of Horizon Nuclear Power, Duncan Hawthorne stated that this was one of the biggest milestones that has been achieved in recent times, and would provide them a major opportunity to move forward toward building more nuclear power plants in UK. As per reliable sources, Hitachi has been looking for sufficient financial support, which in the event it fails to obtain by the middle of 2018, it would stop funding plants, as it has already invested GBP 2 billion on this current project. The chief nuclear inspector of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, Mark Foy has further added that the approval for the generic design of advanced boiling water reactors was one of the important steps undertaken by the Nuclear Regulation to construct those types of reactors across UK. He also added that the new reactor design has fulfilled the countrys all safety standards. The initiatives taken by the UK government are likely to curb carbon emissions with the development of clean and reliable power from several nuclear power plants including Oldbury and Wylfa. Apart from the Welsh plant of capacity 2.7 GW, another UK based energy company, EDF has also been constructing a nuclear power station of 3.2 GW capacity at Hinkley Point in Somerset. Reportedly, the decreasing energy cost of offshore wind power has generated fierce competition in the energy sector, prompting governments to build new nuclear power stations across UK over the years ahead.



Target’s takeover of Shipt to pose challenges to Amazon & Walmart

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:39:48 +0530

Target Inc., the second largest discount store retailer across the U.S., has reportedly purchased Shipt Inc., an online grocery delivery service store, for a valuation of USD 550 million to speed up its same day delivery operations across the U.S. The acquisition is expected to help the former deliver furniture, electronic items, groceries, and other products to customers on the same day of placing the order, thereby leading to a considerable rise in customer satisfaction. Experts also speculate that the strategic move will enable Target to make same-day delivery to its customers at nearly 50% of its 1,834 stores by 2018 and assist in its product line expansion by 2019. The firm has apparently decided to offer the product delivery to the customers on the same day of the order placement at most of its U.S. stores by 2018. According to reliable sources, the acquisition of Shipt Inc. and Grand Junction by Target Inc. will further enhance its logistics operations capabilities. With the rising competition witnessed across the eCommerce sector, Target is likely to further ramp up its same-day delivery activities in the future. Sources have confirmed that with the buyout of Parcel, a New York based logistics technology firm, Walmart will also increase its same-day dispatching ability. As per the online survey conducted by Temando, nearly four out of five online shoppers prefer product shipments on the same day of placing the order. As per opinions put forth by reputed industry analysts, the acquisition of Shift Inc. will help Target Inc. to successfully conduct same day delivery operations in a rather cost-effective and highly proficient manner. The large shopper network of Shift Inc. across seventy-two U.S. cities along with its large product portfolio will also apparently help Target accelerate its same day delivery activities across the country.



Bombardier Transportation inks deal to supply Aventra Trains to UK

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:57:22 +0530

Bombardier Transportation, a rail equipment division of the Bombardier Inc. based in Canada, has entered into an agreement with a UK rail firm to supply nearly 333 of its rail cars to the latter for USD 724 million. According to the pact, the former will deliver three-car Aventra trains for metros and five-car Aventra trains for long distance travels. Reliable sources have cited that Bombardier will also get the contract for maintaining the rail vehicles as stated in the pact. It has been estimated that the contract for rolling stock and maintenance will cost nearly CAD 928 million. According to authentic sources, Bombardier Transportation is anticipated to manufacture electric carriages at its Derby unit in the UK with new Aventra trains projected to be delivered during the period from 2020 to 2022. A key official of Bombardier has stated that these vehicles will improve the travelling experience of passengers and provide them with more ease, comfort, and convenience during rail journeys. Even the UK Secretary of State Transport has confirmed that heavy investments in the rail transportation sector across the country with improvements in rail infrastructure connectivity will make travelling more comfortable. As per the key officials of the UK railway transportation sector, the nation is witnessing rapid railway modernization. It is forecast that the rail modernization program across West Midlands will help in faster travel and offer reliable travel service for passengers with the induction of advanced trains. With the enrichment of rail connectivity and upgradation of its infrastructure, the businesses in the region are likely expand at a robust pace, say experts. It has also been predicted that the strategic move will attract massive investments from the rail transportation sectors across other regions of the country, thereby helping in the modernization of the overall rail infrastructure across the nation.



Sanofi’s first short-acting insulin, Admelog receives FDA approval

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:42:20 +0530

The U.S. FDA has approved first short-acting insulin, Admelog to control increasing risk associated with diabetes. After several clinical trials on Admelog from September 2017, FDA has now granted the final approval to this diabetes treatment drug, which improves blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes, children aged 3 years, and the elderly with diabetes mellitus of type 1. As per the estimates by CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), more than 30 million people across the United States suffer from diabetes, which tends to increase the risk of serious health issues such as kidney damage, heart disease, blindness. The risk associated with these long-term complications can be reduced with insulin treatment, which seems to have been the base of the aforementioned discovery, as per sources. Reliable reports state that the new drug approval application could be sanctioned through 505 (b)(2) pathway, commonly called as Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The new drug approval may also depend on FDAs approval of similar drugs earlier. The use of such pathways is likely to reduce the overall development cost associated with products, which may be supplied to the patients at a lower cost, state sources. The deputy director of FDAs New Drug Evaluation II, Mary T. Thanh Hai has stated that they were approving a short-acting insulin drug for patients as per the required safety and effectiveness standards. The scientific data associated with Admelog includes two phase 3 clinical trials for which approximately 500 patients had enrolled. Reports cite that in the clinical trials, the research team of FDA had found certain adverse reactions associated with the intake of Admelog such as rashes, itching, and hypoglycemia. Allergic reactions, thickening or thinning of fatty tissue, and adverse reactions at injection site are also other implications of Admelog, claims the FDA report. Reportedly, caregivers and patients have been advised by the FDA to check the blood glucose level before being treated with insulin products, to prevent the onset of any other complication due to Admelog.



Mineral Resources places the highest bid worth $484mn to acquire AWE

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:09:15 +0530

The Australian mining company, Mineral Resources has placed a bid of USD 484 million on the AWE gas company. Apparently, this is the third takeover bid placed in the last two months by major firms to acquire the Australian gas exploration and production company. Mineral Resources has a 100% scrip offer, valuing AWE at 80-cents per share. Sources cite that this offer could help AWE shareholders emerge as the strongest in Mineral Resources, with a combined ownership of 13% in the firm. As per reports, Mineral Resource announced that this acquisition was one of its business strategies to penetrate the oil and gas sector. Furthermore, it has also stated that the AWE acquisition comes under the clean energy strategy of securing gas resources for energy supply chain, including LNG plants to supply power solutions to several end users. Sources cite that the China based CERCG (China Energy Reserve and Chemical Group) had earlier placed a revised bid of USD 463 million to acquire AWE. The business manager of CERCG Australia, Kevin Gao had also claimed that the AWE acquisition may help CERCG to ante up their experience by establishing a successful gas business across Australia. In fact, analysts were doubtful if CERCG could return with an exclusive offer to counter Mineral Resources. According to reports, the AWE board has not favored any of the offers yet, and may plausibly be looking forward to sealing the deal with a few more attractive offers. Sources state that taking into account the uncertainty of bids, AWE has appointed Highbury Partnership and UBS as financial advisers and Allens as its legal adviser. Renowned analyst Mr. Lennox has apparently claimed that the battle among industry giants to acquire AWE might also bring Australian domestic gas providers such as Beach Energy into the limelight. He has further added that this shift of focus may shed a positive light on Australian domestic gas suppliers as well.



CPPIB acquires major stake worth around USD 248 million in GHKLP

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:53:40 +0530

The logistics real estate sector in Hong Kong may have just witnessed a rather remunerative step toward its development. As per sources, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) made an investment of nearly USD 248. 4 million in Goodman Hong Kong Logistics Partnership (GHKLP) to acquire the latters stocks. For the record, GHKLP currently, is the leading provider of modern warehouse space in Hong Kong with possession of twelve properties and fifty percent stake in Container Terminal 3 based in the country. It is also an international industrial property group handling real estate property such as commercial spaces, logistics services, and warehouses across sixteen countries. Market analysts have claimed that the firm has exhibited a high performance in the logistics real estate sector since its initiation in 2006. According to the head of CPPIBs real estate investment division in Asia, the logistics sector in Hong Kong possesses an immense growth potential with the citys strategic location seen as a passage to China. He also further stated CPPIBs cordial business relationships with Goodman will help it to expand across the rapidly expanding logistics industry. As per reliable sources, GHKLP has invested USD 3.675 billion in nearly thirteen assets across the country, which also includes a fifty percent interest in the joint venture of Goodman Interlink and CPPIB. Experts are of the view that limited supply of high quality commercial space in Hong Kong and escalating global demand for land properties have succored the growth of real estate sector in the country. Industry analysts have further predicted that the strategic move will help CPPIB, a major real estate investor in Hong Kong, to expand its business in the country. Even the rapidly emerging eCommerce industry in Asia and the geographical location of the country is expected to attract more investors towards the logistics real estate sector of the country.



ACCC drags GSK & Novartis to federal court over false product claims

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:20:20 +0530

In what may seem to be a major jolt to the pharmaceutical sector, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a legal suit against GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis in the Federal Court of Australia in the context of making false claims over the effective use of Osteo gel Voltaren Emulgel to treat osteoarthritis. The ACCC has charged the firms on the grounds of incorrect marketing tactics that have misguided patients to pay more for the products to treat osteoarthritis. This is the second such litigation filed by the ACCC against any drug maker. Sources have stated that in 2016, ACCC filed a lawsuit against Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc in the federal court of Australia, citing the reason that the latter had engaged in deceptive promotional practices by falsely claiming its Nurofen product to possess the ability to treat a specific kind of pain. The federal court had then slapped a USD 6 million fine for Benckiser after finding that the product contained Ibuprofen lysine 342mg - the same active constituent in other generic medicines. A key official of ACCC, condemning the misleading claims made by pharma giants stated that the products targeted the older section of the patient population, who were more prone to get affected by osteoarthritis. According to him, most of the patients buy both Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel, armed with the assumption that they would require both the products, and end up spending more on osteoarthritis treatment. However, GSK, which purchased Voltaren from Novartis in 2016, refuted the allegations made by ACCC, claiming that though the formulas of both the gels were similar, Osteo Gel possessed an easy-to-open cap and its use in osteoarthritis was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over two million of the Australian populace suffers from osteoarthritis. Some of the patient groups such as Arthritis Australia have also apparently raised voice against misleading promotional activities carried out by the reputed pharma firms for its products that possess no additional features.



Oath Inc. files a litigation against Mozilla for agreement breach

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:37:51 +0530

Oath Inc., the parent firm of Yahoo, has reportedly filed a legal suit against Mozilla Firefox citing that the firm had violated a long-term deal with the former, through the replacement of Yahoo as a default search engine with Google. As per reliable sources, on 10th November 2014, Yahoo and Mozilla signed a five-year joint agreement, according to which Firefox would make Yahoo its default search engine in the U.S. on mobiles as well as personal computers, displacing Google. On these grounds, Yahoos executives claim that Mozilla has violating the partnership deal. According to the charges filed by Oath Inc., Mozilla is liable to pay Yahoo all the monetary damages as well as interest as a part of compensation for the contract violation. On the other hand, Mozilla has filed a cross-complaint against Yahoo and Oath in 1st December 2017, claiming that it had the rights to end the contract. The browser also stated that the decision of terminating the agreement was based on the grounds that the Yahoos utilization as a default search engine adversely affected Mozillas business. The firm even claimed that it had lost a major portion of the industry share to Google Chrome due to the below par user experience of the Yahoo browser. According to Mozillas officials, Yahoo had been unable to deliver the effective search quality standards that it had committed to providing, as a part of the deal that took place three years back. The former even stated that earlier, Mozilla had held discussions with Yahoo on its speed and performance as well as the search engine results and desired improvement so that both the firms could accrue massive revenues. But according to Mozilla, the firm witnessed no improvement in the performance of Yahoo search engine, leading to users looking out for another option, which ultimately has resulted in the termination of its three-year-old deal with Yahoo.



Airlines ban smart suitcases installed with non-removable batteries

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 18:43:39 +0530

In a strategic move witnessed across the aviation sector, American Airlines has prohibited passengers to a carry battery-powered smart luggage that does not have the facility of removing batteries. The airline declared its policy last week and has announced its enforcement with effect from January 15th, 2018. Earlier, the airlines had expressed concern over the large-scale use of hazardous lithium-ion batteries in the smart luggage as the reason for prohibition. Sources also claim that Alaska and Delta Airlines will follow suit with Southwest United Airlines reviewing its air travel policies. It has been observed that lithium-ion batteries used for charging smart luggage may get overheated and catch fire on board. As per record, in 2016, the U.S. department of transportation had prohibited the use of Samsungs Galaxy Note7 after finding that the defective batteries in the smartphones had caused them to burst. The chief officials of Alaska, American, and Delta Airlines have reportedly asked passengers to remove the batteries from their smart luggage prior to the check-in procedure. The airlines have categorically put in a request that though batteries remain installed in the carry-ons, they should be removable and should be unloaded during the checking of the smart luggage at the gate. Few of the smart luggage manufacturers such as Modobag have apparently claimed that they manufacture suitcases embedded with the facility of easy battery removal. The chief marketing officer of the firm has stated that the company plans to design suitcases in a way that could assist the consumers to remove the batteries more conveniently. He was also quoted stating that lithium batteries that help in charging Modobags smart luggage make use of technology that is completely different from lithium-ion battery technology deployed by other smart suitcase manufacturers. Some of the key players across the smart luggage industry, have apparently even stated that the drawback in the new airline policy is that it draws a similarity in the luggage technology deployed by myriad firms, which indeed is far from the truth.



JAL invests $10mn in Boom to enhance in-flight passenger experience

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 19:01:45 +0530

Japan Airlines Company Limited (JAL), reportedly the second biggest passenger flight provider in the country, is expected to invest nearly USD 10 million in Boom Supersonic Inc. As per reliable sources, the funding is aimed at manufacturing aircrafts that can fly at a rapid speed of over 1450 miles per hour, that would considerably reduce the flight period by half, thereby enhancing the passengers flying experience. According to the agreement between JAL and Boom Supersonic Inc., the former is provided with an alternative to purchase at the most twenty supersonic jets. Experts across the aviation sector have assessed that even though Boeing and Airbus claim of garnering substantial revenue through the rise in the number of passengers, it has been witnessed that their newly developed aircrafts are unable to reduce the travel time. This would indeed prove to be beneficial for both the passengers as well as for Boom Supersonic, state experts, as the latter will reduce the flight time through the production of aircrafts possessing cruised velocities. According to the key officials of Boom Supersonic Inc., the firm is in search of choosing a site for the new aircraft production and expects to deliver commercial aircraft service by 2023. Business analysts claim that the company plans to hold the test flight of its supersonic demonstrator jet, viz., XB-1, by 2018 and will deliver the flight service to passengers in the middle of 2020. Experts state that partnerships between the aircraft manufacturers to promote innovations in the aircraft designs for reducing the travel time marks a new era in the field of aerospace sector. The move will encourage other firms to follow the suit, thereby prompting more investments across the aviation industry to produce new time-savvy aircrafts, they say. Furthermore, reports claim that aerospace partnerships such as the aforementioned will also facilitate the growth of global trade business.



Sanofi’s profits to dip as its dengue vaccine faces dire criticism

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 19:26:51 +0530

In a turning tide of the events, the use of Sanofis new vaccine for dengue has been severely restricted, owing to the evidence that it can lead to further deterioration in patients who have not been infected with the ailment before. The chief officials of Sanofi are expected to make suggestions to the national regulatory authorities in France that the vaccination should not be prescribed for patients who have no history of being infected by dengue. As per medical experts, results obtained from the clinical tests performed on the patients a few years earlier depicted that the Dengvaxia vaccine offered a constant shield against dengue to those patients who were earlier affected due to the ailment. However, later on, it was found that people who were not afflicted by the virus suffered much more post the vaccination. Initially, the firm had predicted bright growth prospects for its dengue vaccine, projecting that it would accrue a revenue of nearly EUR 1 billion per year from its sales. But, as per the estimates its sales in 2016 were assessed at EUR 55 million, much below expectations. A reliable research group has forecast that the yearly sales of Dengvaxia vaccine will reach EUR 360 million by 2022. Sources have claimed that dengue infects millions across the globe and nearly 20,000 persons lose their lives due to the disease each year. Though Sanofis Dengvaxia is the first approved vaccine of its kind, research has already depicted the limitations of vaccination through mixed results obtained from the data of clinical tests conducted on four dissimilar kinds of virus. It is anticipated that the business rivals of the firm such as Takeda Pharmaceutical are also developing an improved version of a vaccine against dengue, which can significantly impact Sanofis market position over the coming years.



Rolls-Royce, Siemens, and Airbus to build hybrid electric engine

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:38:45 +0530

This week witnessed what can be called as one of the most striking deals in recent times, as Siemens, Airbus, and Rolls-Royce, three highly distinguished names, joined forces to develop a hybrid electric engine. The move, as is reported, is forecast to reduce air travel costs and prevent depletion of non-renewable sources of energy such as fossil fuels. According to reliable sources, the firms in question jointly announced details about the E-Fan X program at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. Reports cite that the demonstrator aircraft equipped with hybrid-electric technology is forecast to fly by 2020, after comprehensive ground tests performed on a BAe 146 airplane. It is expected that one of the latters four gas turbines will be replaced with a 2 MW electric motor. The three firms are anticipated to contribute their technical expertise and intense experience in the domain of hybrid electric technology toward the E-Fan X program. Airbus will apparently supervise the overall integration as well as the amalgamation of hybrid-electric propulsion engines, batteries, and flight control. In addition, the company is also reported to be handling the monitoring of the control architecture of hybrid-electric propulsion machine. On the other hand, Rolls Royce will handle the operations of turbo-shaft engines, power electronics systems, and the 2 MW generator, while Siemens would deliver 2 MW electric motors with embedded power electronic control units. Industry experts state that the innovations witnessed across the hybrid electric technology will help in improving the fuel performance, safety, and energy efficiency of the commercial aircraft in the future. The E-Fan X program is a vital step towards creation of a successful next-generation aerospace technology, cite sources. Analysts are of the opinion that with the world witnessing rapid innovations in the battery technology and electric motors, the strategic initiative taken by Siemens AG, Airbus SE, and Rolls-Royce to join hands for manufacturing hybrid electric engine would prove to be a windfall of sorts for the renewable energy sector.



Microsoft & SAP to deploy one another’s cloud computing solutions

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 18:28:24 +0530

SAP Software Solutions and Microsoft Corporation have reportedly decided to increase the use of each others cloud-based products after integrating SAP HANA enterprise cloud system with the Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service developed by the tech giant. Both the firms have jointly issued a statement, in which Microsoft declares that it would make use of SAPs S/4HANA database to efficiently run the firms internal operations. SAP on the other hand, had announced that it will run more than 12 of its crucial internal systems on the Azure cloud solutions. Industry analysts cite that the strategic move will encourage the regular clientele of the firms such as Costco, Coca-Cola, Coats, and Columbia Sportswear to run the SAP software on the MS-Azure cloud computing solutions. According to industry experts, SAP helps its clients run software products not just on Azure, but also on other cloud platforms. On the other hand, both Microsoft and SAP have signed a pact to work jointly towards integration of MS Office 365 with SAP. As stated in the nomenclature of the agreement, the latter is expected to run the HANA software on Azure. Reliable sources have claimed that both firms plan to store records of internal projects to offer the clients guidance as well as enterprise architecture for installing SAP applications on Azure. Furthermore, some of the key officials of SAP have stated that SAP Ariba, a U.S. based software firm acquired by SAP SE, is presently making extensive use of Azure cloud services. It is reportedly anticipated that the firm aims to further explore the applications of the cloud computing solutions in the future. Cloud computing professionals are of the view that the integration of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud on Microsoft Azure will help the customers run S/4HANA in a more secured and managed cloud computing environment. Experts, alongside, project that consumers will acquire application management product expertise from SAP and myriad cloud computing services from Azure.



South32 spins off its major South African coal operations to hit JSE

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 17:45:08 +0530

In a bid to ensure its ongoing sustainability and improve its operational competitiveness, South32, an Australian mining and metal company has recently unveiled its plans to separate its South African coal operations. Apparently, this move is set to establish SAEC (South Africa Energy Coal) as a stand-alone business from the fiscal year 2018 a strategy that could observe a rise in local ownership of the business. Sources revealed that South32s move to spin out and restructure its South African coal operations would create more opportunities for Board-Based Black Economic Empowerment entities, employees, and communities to own a share of the business. By broadening its ownership, the company plans to register its name on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. For the record, the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment consortium owns around 8% of SAEC. In a company statement, South32 said that its SAEC business desired ongoing investments that would aid the company to easily meet and sustain its production and supply activities. According to reports, the company further plans to commence a process to widen its ownership, once SAEC is established as a stand-alone business. Experts predict that this change would allow the diversified miner to further streamline and simplify the way it manages its global portfolio. Reportedly, South32, the company which spun out of the mining giant BHP in 2015, also revealed its plan to invest USD 301 million investment in one of its South African coal operations Klipspruit, to extend the life of the project for another 20 years. Analysts predict this project extension to ensure the employment of 740 people and create around 4000 jobs during the construction phase. The production from this site is expected to commence from the fiscal year 2019. In the recent stock exchange reports, shares of South32 climbed by 16.4% since the beginning of the year. In November, the company exhibited an all-time high record with share prices closing in at USD 3.61.



H2 Biopharma buyout by Aurora Cannabis finalized at USD 25 million

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:19:59 +0530

Aurora Cannabis Incorporation, a Canada based medical marijuana producer, has reportedly declared that it is all set to acquire the reputed Quebec based late phase ACMPR applicant, H2 Biopharma Incorporation, through a binding stock buyout transaction. According to the reliable sources, the former is expected to make a total payment of nearly USD 25 million for the proposed acquisition, including the closing as well as milestone payments. The buyout apparently, is expected to mark Auroras fourth production facility in Canada and the second facility in Quebec along with its 40,000 sq. feet production facility called the Aurora Vie on Montreal island. It has also been stated that this acquisition deal is subject to the regulatory approval by the Toronto Stock Exchange. If reports are to be believed, H2 Biopharma Incorporation is on the verge of completing its purpose-built cannabis production facility spread over 48000 sq. feet, which is located in the vicinity of Montreal and the Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International Airport. This Lachute facility, which is anticipated to produce nearly 4,500 kg of high quality marijuana each year, reportedly has the access to water and inexpensive power supply supported by better infrastructure. H2s acquisition, thus, will help Aurora to further expand the capacity of this production facility and improve its overall marijuana output, cite renowned industry analysts. Apparently, it has been observed that there is an excessive demand for legalized regulated cannabis items across the domestic as well as globally evolving markets. By means of leveraging its current financial position, outstanding liquidity record, in conjunction with its long years of experience to create technologically modernized cannabis units, Aurora, say experts, is anticipated to achieve top-notch output and asset distribution at an attractive price-value. Furthermore, this deal has also been declared to fulfill the regional as well as global demand for cannabis products, cite reports.



Aussie resellers to pay USD 200K to Microsoft as copyright damages

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 23:32:10 +0530

In a major turn of the events witnessed across the software industry, Microsoft Inc. has signed an agreement with four Australian vendors, who sold the companys unlicensed software products. Be Baffled, one of the four vendors, has agreed to make a payment of USD 50,000 to Microsoft in the form of compensation for violating its patents. As per the deal, the former has promised Microsoft that it will not sell any of its unlicensed software products here on. The IT giant has also entered into an agreement with an Australian firm called Impact. The deal refrains the latter from carrying out activities violating the rights of Microsoft. This includes selling a personal computer having an attached imitation copy of Microsofts authenticity certificate and the deployment of an unlicensed copy of the new version of the Windows operating system in the PC. In yet another strategic move, the Budget PC firm has declared to make a payment of USD 150,000 to Microsoft as a part of the reimbursement for the copyright violation. As per the key officials of Microsoft, the Budget PC comprised the Windows 7 installed copy that used the product key of the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher program. As per reliable sources, Microsoft has partnered with Ausgamekeys, a former registered user of eBay, to bring an end to the its copyright violation. In a keynote, Microsoft declared that it had purchased all the three USB storage keys from the latter and found that each of the keys possessed a pirated copy of Windows 8.1 Pro. The latest sources affirm that the IT firm is busy investigating the cases related to the copyright violation of its products and taking legal actions against the resellers of pirated Microsoft products. The company also periodically furnishes information about the resellers who sell unlicensed Microsoft software products to eliminate copyright infringement in Australia.



Ford to join hands with Mahindra for electric vehicle production

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:19:09 +0530

The Ford Motor Company, a U.S. based automobile manufacturer, and its Indian counterpart Mahindra Mahindra Limited are likely to manufacture their own electric cars in India to reduce road pollution occurring due to fuel emissions from the automobiles. According to reliable sources, Mahindra Mahindra, which manufactures e2o micro electric vehicles, is anticipated to develop a new electric vehicle line in the country by collaborating with Ford India. Earlier in September this year, Mahindra and Ford entered a strategic alliance for jointly working on the production of connected cars, electric vehicles, and their distribution. With both the giant automobile manufacturers endowed with the expertise to develop SUVs, this collaboration is anticipated to result in the rapid expansion of the automobile business across the country. Industry experts also claim that India has a huge potential of becoming the worlds third biggest automobile market. Both the firms are expected to sign a three-year strategic partnership deal, which will help them reduce vehicle production costs, increase their ROI, and create new car models. The key officials of Mahindra Mahindra Limited are of the opinion that the production of electric vehicles will support the Indian governments motive of annihilating gasoline-powered internal combustible engines by 2030, making India a leading business destination for electric vehicles. The announcement of the strategic partnership led to Mahindras shares closing at INR 1416 as on 21st November 2017. As per industry analysts, the hazardous pollution in the country arising due to vehicular emissions and the dire need to maintain the ecological balance has prompted the Indian Government to undertake the initiative of producing cars powered by electricity. Experts also cite that the adoption of growth tactics such as mergers acquisitions as well as joint ventures between giant automobile firms would most certainly boost the growth of India electric vehicle market.



U.S. DOJ to halt AT&T’s bid to acquire mass media firm, Time Warner

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:56:18 +0530

In a major turn of the events witnessed across the telecom sector, the U.S. department of justice (DOJ) has filed a legal suit to halt Time Warners acquisition by ATT, citing the reason that the merger will reduce competition and result in increased costs. According to the Department of Justice, the acquisition will help the latter gain power, compelling its competitors to pay large amount of currency for Time Warners content. It also stated that the merger will put brakes on the evolution of new digital television services and will only help in serving the interests of ATT. On the other hand, ATT has decided to fight back by terming the strategic move as a departure from the regular U.S anti-trust practice. As per reliable sources, the decision to block the merger was based on the political influence with the current U.S. president objecting to the acquisition during his election campaign in 2016. Last year, the telecom firm had declared its decision to purchase Time Warner at USD 85 billion. The main objective behind the acquisition was to pack video entertainment with its mobile service. The latter owns HBO, Turner Broadcasting, and Warner Bros., which can assist the former in fulfilling its goals. ATT in addition, has also claimed that the acquisition will benefit the consumers as it will be able to provide improved access to premium content on the latters mobiles. Key officials of ATT have claimed that the U.S. antitrust authorities usually approve vertical mergers such as ATTs acquisition of Time Warner as these deals have proved to be advantageous for the customers without reducing market competition. Earlier, the U.S. media had reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had advised ATT to sell a few of its assets as a pre-condition for getting approval. Apparently, the other alternatives also comprised selling the rights of Turner Broadcasting or the satellite network services.



Banks in Hong Kong close accounts of many Bitcoin firms

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:14:54 +0530

In a major breakthrough witnessed across the banking sector, financial institutions in Hong Kong have frozen the accounts of bitcoin firms, compelling the organizations to open accounts in the foreign banks. Reportedly, in the first half of September 2017, the Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong had informed the Gatecoin exchange that its account was suspended without any prior notice or explanation. As per the chief official familiar with the matter, the firm had multiplied its consumer base over a three-month span during which the bitcoin cost had been rallying. However, the banks action had caused a major upheaval in its functioning. As per the experts, this was a first of its case in which the bank had frozen the account of a firm without providing it with a prior intimation or notice. In yet another such move, Fubon Bank imposed a daily transaction limit on Gatecoin, which the latter could not fulfill. Later, the bank disabled the account of Gatecoin citing the reason of the daily transaction limit. Experts have predicted that the banking practices witnessed in Hong Kong will have a major impact on the growth of bitcoin industry in the country with new buyers unable to buy bitcoins without possessing a local bank account. After the termination of its accounts by the banks in Hong Kong, Gatecoin has apparently informed its customers that the bitcoin transfer transaction were suspended till further notice. For the record, Gatecoin has revealed its plans of working with European banks such as the reputed Swiss bank. Apparently, it has even been stated that the fund transfer to and from customers is likely to occur nearly after two to six weeks. Some of the bitcoin startups such as Bitspark, cite sources, were forced to open their accounts overseas, as banks in Hong Kong declined the permission to open an account.



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. Represent[...]



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 autom[...]



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, Tr[...]



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[...]



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 [...]



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 r[...]



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 s[...]



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 de[...]



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[...]



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 neurobio[...]



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 custome[...]



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 [...]



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[...]



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 ene[...]



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 Se[...]



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 th[...]



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 M[...]



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 s[...]



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 p[...]



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 p[...]



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 ener[...]



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 packag[...]



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[...]



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 ground[...]



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,[...]



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[...]



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[...]



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 boost[...]



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 essentiall[...]



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[...]



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 [...]



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 wou[...]



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 e[...]



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 [...]



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[...]



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[...]



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 [...]



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 wil[...]



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 p[...]



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-[...]