TOP 5 STOCKS TO WATCHOUT:-
1.YUM :Yum Brands Inc, parent company of fried chicken chain KFC, said it was pausing investment in Russia, a key market that helped the brand achieve record development last year.
Yum also said it was suspending operations of its 70 KFC company-owned restaurants in the country and finalizing an agreement to suspend all Pizza Hut restaurant operations in Russia, in partnership with its master franchisee.
Yum, which has at least 1,000 KFC and 50 Pizza Hut locations in Russia that are nearly all independent franchisees, said in a post on its website dated Monday that it had “suspended all investment and restaurant development in Russia while we continue to assess additional options.”
The restaurants are owned and operated independently through franchise agreements, meaning Yum does not have as much control as if it ran them itself but also has less exposure to financial and operational risks.
Last year was a record year of development for KFC, led by new restaurants opening in China, India and Russia, executives said during an earnings call on Feb. 9.
Overall, KFC international opened more than 2,400 gross units in 2021. In Russia, the company was opening about 100 new restaurants annually and had expected to continue “a similar expansion strategy going forward.”
Many companies have begun to pull their business out of Russia amid sanctions and outrage over the invasion of Ukraine. Calls for more companies to follow suit are growing.
2.APPLE: Apple Inc on Tuesday launched a low cost 5G iPhone SE, the cheapest of its kind, that would directly compete with rivals in the mid-range smartphone market and give the world’s most valuable company a chance to woo consumers on a budget.
At the event, titled “Peek Performance”, Apple also introduced its fastest chipset, a brand new high-performance computer and brought nearly all of its devices on the 5G bandwagon.
3.CREDIT SUISSE:-.Investors managing $2.4 trillion are calling on Credit Suisse to take tougher climate action, including cutting its exposure to fossil fuel assets.
“The message from investors is clear: Credit Suisse must urgently back its long-term net-zero ambition with robust fossil fuel disclosures, policies, and targets,” Jeanne Martin, senior campaign manager at ShareAction, said in a statement.
The 11-strong group, which includes Europe’s biggest asset manager Amundi, said Switzerland’s second-biggest bank also needed to improve its climate disclosures, align its coal, oil and gas policies with best-practice and set short-term targets to cut fossil fuel-related lending.
The group, which includes the municipal pension fund for Credit Suisse’s home city of Zurich and the Swiss federal pension fund, said it was submitting a resolution to Credit Suisse’s annual general meeting (AGM) on April 29.
If taken to a vote, the resolution, coordinated by responsible investment NGO ShareAction and Swiss pension fund adviser Ethos Foundation together with the Swiss Association for Responsible Investments, would be the first climate-related vote to be put to a Swiss company at its AGM.
Credit Suisse said it was engaged in dialogue with shareholders and would outline reductions to its oil, gas and coal financing in its sustainability report on Thursday.
“Credit Suisse’s sustainability position is clear,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “We have made a public commitment to achieve net zero across our operations, supply chain and financing activities by 2050.”
4.TOYOTA:-Toyota Motor Corp agreed on Wednesday that its union demand for annual salary and bonus hikes will be fully met in the new fiscal year, President Akio Toyoda said.
Nissan Motor followed suit with the same response to its union’s demands after Toyota’s announcement, in a sign of broadening momentum towards wage hikes needed to stoke a virtuous cycle of wage growth and private demand.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has urged profitable Japanese firms to raise pay by 3% or more to help achieve his “new capitalism” agenda aimed at boosting wealth distribution.
Neither Toyota nor Nissan unveiled an extent of pay hikes immediately.
The decisions at the two major Japanese automakers were made during the annual labour talks at blue-chip companies a week before they are concluded on March 16.
Toyota, the largest auto maker, has long served as a pace-setter of the annual wage talks, which is followed by not just the auto sector but other industries, including smaller enterprises.
5.ADIDAS:-German sportswear group Adidas expects a halt to its Russian operations due to the war in Ukraine to put up to 250 million euros ($273.1 million) of sales at risk this year, it said on Wednesday, but forecast a bounce in its China business.
The company said on Monday it had suspended operations in Russia – where it operates about 500 stores, a quarter of its total – including via its online shopping site.
Adidas forecast an 11-13% increase in currency-neutral sales in 2022, including the risk to its business in Russia and Ukraine, with Greater China set to see sales increase in the mid-single digits after a consumer boycott in 2021.
Its shares opened up 7%, helped by the relatively upbeat outlook for 2022, especially for China, with analysts noting the earnings forecast is ahead of consensus expectations.