Saturday, February 24

Tag: business

Apple hit with second downgrade this week as iPhone worries grow
Business

Apple hit with second downgrade this week as iPhone worries grow

Apple Inc. was already the least-loved big tech stock on Wall Street. Growing concerns over iPhone sales have now triggered a second downgrade this week, cementing analysts’ cautious approach. Piper Sandler & Co.’s Harsh Kumar cut his Apple rating on Thursday, citing a weak macro environment in China that will dampen demand for iPhones. “We are concerned about handset inventories,” Kumar said in a note, lowering his recommendation for Apple to neutral from overweight after holding a bullish view since March 2020. “Growth rates have peaked for unit sales,” he said. Kumar’s downgrade follows a more bearish move by peers at Barclays Plc, where analysts led by Tim Long cut their rating to underweight on Tuesday. Coming into 2024, Apple was already the big tech stock with t...
TotalEnergies to review land buyouts in contested Africa projects
Business

TotalEnergies to review land buyouts in contested Africa projects

French energy giant TotalEnergies on Thursday said it had launched a review of its land acquisition practices for controversial $10-billion projects in Uganda and Tanzania slammed by environmentalists. TotalEnergies is pushing ahead with its Tilenga drilling project in Uganda and the 1,443-kilometre (897-mile) East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) to transport it to the coast in Tanzania in the face of opposition from activists and environmentalists. “This mission will evaluate the land acquisition procedures implemented, the conditions for consultation, compensation and relocation of the populations concerned, and the grievance handling mechanism,” the statement said, adding that it would submit its report by April. Tilenga targets oil under the rich Murchison Falls nature...
Tencent buybacks hit record as China watchdog roiled markets
Business

Tencent buybacks hit record as China watchdog roiled markets

Tencent Holdings Ltd. bought back a record HK$10 billion ($1.3 billion) of shares in December and has accelerated the pace even further into 2024 after China’s gaming regulator surprised investors with a raft of new regulations that triggered a broad tech selloff. China’s most valuable company sharply boosted its buybacks as the shock announcement triggered a 12% plunge on Dec. 22. Tencent has since increased daily purchases to about HK$1 billion, compared with an average of HK$375 million a day last year prior to the sweeping gaming restrictions. The controversial regulations, which encompass caps on in-game spending and a ban on rewards for frequent log-ins, revived fears that China was reverting to a 2021-style crackdown on the internet arena. While Beijing has since sought t...
Silicon Valley startups had their worst funding year since 2019
Business

Silicon Valley startups had their worst funding year since 2019

The value of venture capital deals in the US last year fell to levels not seen since 2019, according to new year-end data highlighting startups’ chaotic 2023. Over the last 12 months, investors poured money into artificial intelligence startups, but the rest of the industry foundered. According to early data released by research firm PitchBook on Thursday, venture capitalists invested $170.6 billion in the US in 2023, over an estimated roughly 15,000 deals. That deal value is down by about 30% from 2022. The VC industry also declined globally last year. Around the world, investors put $345.7 billion into startups, down 35% from what they spent last year and the lowest outlay since 2017. Venture capital is an influential part of the global business ecosystem. Bets from VCs hel...
Rolex is raising UK watch prices, but its US pricing is unchanged
Business

Rolex is raising UK watch prices, but its US pricing is unchanged

Rolex SA, the top maker of Swiss watches, has raised prices in the UK while leaving its US pricing unchanged. The Geneva-based watchmaker, known for models such as the Submariner and Daytona, increased prices at dealers in the UK by an average of about 4% to start the year, according to a report by analysts at Barclays. The price increases were previously reported by Britt Pearce, a UK-based Youtube channel, and by Screw Down Crown, a watch-focused blog. A spokesperson for Rolex declined to comment. While the price of a Rolex Air King model rose to £6,500 ($8,206) on Jan. 1 from £6,250 in 2023, prices at US dealers were unchanged, Barclays analysts wrote in a report on Watches of Switzerland Group Plc, the top seller of Rolex watches in the UK. When the watchmaker raise...
Turkey’s IC, MAHB seek deal on 2nd Istanbul airport
Business

Turkey’s IC, MAHB seek deal on 2nd Istanbul airport

IC Holding AS and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) agreed to collaborate for Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen, as Turkish company explores acquiring a stake in the airport. Discussions are at a preliminary stage between MAHB and IC Holding, a Turkish infrastructure company and airport operator, and may or may not result in the latter acquiring a stake at the airport, according to people, who asked not to be named as the deliberations are confidential. IC Holding declined to comment. MAHB said it is entering a “strategic collaboration” with IC Holding but refrained from disclosing further details. Sabiha Gokcen Airport named Serhat Sogukpinar as the new chief executive as part of the collaboration, according to a separate statement on Dec 26. Sogukpinar currently serves as head o...
Proton Ends 2023 with Best Sales Growth Since 2012
Business

Proton Ends 2023 with Best Sales Growth Since 2012

National automaker Proton achieved its strongest sales performance in a decade in 2023, marking five consecutive years of growth. Proton sold 154,611 units last year, a 9.3% increase over 2022. This included 12,711 units moved in December. The company held 19.4% market share for the year. CEO Li Chunrong credited the rebound in demand for Proton's PIES models - the Persona, Iriz, Exora and Saga. The Persona saw sales jump 48.9% to 24,362 units, making it the number two model in its segment. The Saga was Proton's top seller at 70,184 units, up 25.6% and driven by first-time buyers. Proton's SUV lineup, including the X50, X70 and X90, has sold over 200,000 units since its launch. With its position as Malaysia's number two automaker solidified for a fifth straight year, Proto...
Malaysian Manufacturing Sector Endures Ongoing Weak Demand Despite Signs of Stabilisation
Business

Malaysian Manufacturing Sector Endures Ongoing Weak Demand Despite Signs of Stabilisation

The Malaysian manufacturing sector continued to face challenging conditions at the end of 2023, according to the latest PMI data from S&P Global. Demand remained subdued, leading firms to cut back production for the 17th consecutive month amid limited new orders. However, the rate of decline in output eased to the slowest pace since August. Despite weak demand, manufacturers added staff for the first time in eight months in December, albeit at a marginal rate. Input price inflation also slowed for the first time in three months to the weakest since September. The seasonally adjusted PMI was unchanged at 47.9 in December, signaling business conditions remained difficult. Manufacturers cited weak customer confidence and subdued demand. New orders fell for the 16th straight ...