06 Jan 2022

1.TOSHIBA-The second-largest investor in Japan’s Toshiba  Corp on Thursday called for an extraordinary general meeting, seeking to force the company to win two-thirds support for a three-way breakup plan that has angered some major overseas shareholders.

The proposal by Singapore-based hedge fund 3D Investment Partners marks the latest in a long and acrimonious battle between the once-mighty tech conglomerate and a number of its foreign shareholders, many of them activist funds.

Toshiba is now about 30%-owned by foreign hedge funds, many of which doubt whether management’s plan to split the company into three businesses – one each for energy/infrastructure, electronic devices and flash memory chips – can maximise shareholder value.

The break-up plan was announced last November after a five-month strategic review following years of accounting scandals and governance issues that undermined investor confidence and saw Toshiba’s market value more than halved, to around $18 billion, from an early 2000s peak.

If 3D’s proposal for the meeting were to be accepted, it would trigger a vote that could ultimately scupper the break-up plan, a strategy that carries echoes of a similar move announced last year by General Electric (NYSE:GE) Co.

3D owns more than 7% of Toshiba, a stake worth well over a billion dollars. In a statement, it highlighted concerns about the cost of going ahead with the split before getting a mandate from shareholders, and called for Toshiba to resume its strategic review.

2.GENERAL MOTORS:  The demand for electric vehicles pushed U.S. automakers last year to unveil plans to spend billions of dollars to electrify gasoline models or introduce electric cars and trucks in a bid to catch up with market leader Tesla  Inc.

General Motors Co and Ford Motor  Co are among those leading the chase. Last week, Ford’s market value rose above GM for the first time in five years in a sign of increasing investor confidence in its electrification strategy.

Brokerage Wedbush estimates the electric vehicle (EV) market could be worth $5 trillion over the next decade. Here is a list of the major U.S. EV companies, along with their models and deliveries, if applicable:

3.HONDA:- Honda Motor Co and its Chinese joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor said on Thursday they would build a new factory in Wuhan to exclusively manufacture electric vehicles (EVs) from 2024.

The factory would have a production capacity of 120,000 vehicles a year, Honda said in a statement.

Honda, Japan’s second-largest automaker, is set to launch a new EV brand https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/honda-launch-new-ev-brand-china-next-year-2021-10-13 in China this year called e:N Series with plans to roll out 10 models with partners Dongfeng and GAC.

4.WALMART: Walmart Inc workers in the United States who must isolate or who have tested positive for COVID-19 will receive one week of paid leave instead of two under a new policy that aligns with a change in U.S. health guidance.

A memo, seen by Reuters, sent on Tuesday to U.S. hourly store employees and long-haul drivers said COVID-19 positive workers and those required to quarantine – by Walmart , a health care provider or a government agency – are eligible for one work week of paid time off.

The company’s guidelines follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated recommendations last week that people isolate for five days after a COVID-19 infection, instead of 10 days.

The retailer, the largest private employer in the United States with about 1.6 million workers, is among the first major retailers to reduce paid leave for COVID-19, and could serve as a bellwether for other major employers.

The move comes as a spike in COVID-19 cases is causing significant labor shortages across an industry that is already battling supply-chain snarls, product shortages, rising inflation and rocketing transportation costs.

A Walmart spokesperson confirmed the COVID-leave policy change. Workers who continue to be sick can potentially receive additional COVID-related pay for up to 26 weeks.

The spokesperson added that Walmart was asking corporate employees to work primarily from home until Jan. 30, rather than Jan. 10 previously announced.

5.BANK OF AMERICA:- Bank of America Corp  told workers on Wednesday it will donate $100 to local food banks for every one of its employees who gets a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and notifies the bank before Jan. 31, according to a memo seen by Reuters.

It is a new spin on the $100 financial incentives that some cities and states offered newly vaccinated residents, and comes as companies look for ways to protect staff and ultimately return to work in offices.

Bank of America, the United States’ second-largest bank, said it would donate up to $10 million for workers who get booster shots this month or who have already gotten the shot if they register that information with the bank.

The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity in the United States, hitting needy families and the nonprofits that serve them, bank Chief Human Resources Officer Sheri Bronstein wrote in the memo. Bank of America has donated $150 million to fight hunger since 2015.

U.S. financial firms have also been more aggressive than other industries in encouraging employees to return to offices. However, a number of big banks, including Bank of America, have advised employees to work from home for at least part of this month to avoid the highly infectious Omicron variant, which has caused COVID-19 cases to skyrocket.