24 Aug 2021

1.SAMSUNG: -Samsung Group will invest 240 trillion won ($206 billion) in the next three years to expand its footprint in biopharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and robotics in the post-pandemic era, Samsung Electronics  Co Ltd said.

The jewel of South Korea’s biggest conglomerate on Tuesday said the investment through 2023 will help strengthen the group’s global standing in key industries such as chip-making, while allowing it to seek growth opportunities in new areas such as robotics and next-generation telecommunications.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker, said the group plans to solidify technology and market leadership through mergers and acquisitions. It did not provide a breakdown of the investment figures.

The firm did not say whether the latest investment figure includes the $17 billion it was reportedly spending on a new U.S. chip contract chip factory. The plan is 30% larger than Samsung’s previous three-year strategy floated in 2018. The group decided to increase investment to retain technological leadership, especially during “emergency situations” at home and abroad.

“The chip industry is the safety plate of the Korean economy… Our aggressive investment is a survival strategy in a sense that once we lose our competitiveness, it is almost impossible to make a comeback,” Samsung Electronics said in a statement.

Chip rivals including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and Intel Corp are making large investments amid a global chip shortage and intensifying competition in the advanced chip segment.

Samsung Group has 59 affiliates with assets totalling 457 trillion won, according to South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission.

2.WALMART : Walmart  on Tuesday launched a delivery service for other merchants throughout the United States, an announcement that comes as goods sellers scramble to secure deliveries ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season.

Walmart has this year been trialing its first company-branded “last-mile” delivery vans, taking a page out of Amazon’s play book as pandemic-led e-commerce demand pressures United Parcel Service , FedEx  and the U.S. Postal Service.

Through its latest program, called Walmart GoLocal, Walmart will dispatch workers from its Spark delivery network to merchants’ stores to pick up items and then deliver them to shoppers. Over the past year, the retailer has doubled Spark’s coverage to more than 500 cities, Walmart Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said last week on an earnings call.

“We were looking at different potential revenue streams, ways to commercialize the capabilities and scale that Walmart has – and so we’ll think about what that means as this program unfolds,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of Walmart’s U.S. last mile business.

Walmart declined to give specifics about the program’s fee structure, but said it would be “competitively priced.”

Amazon.com , the world’s no.1 online retailer, delivers packages via a same-day service called Flex  and contracts with van fleets that drop parcels on doorsteps.

Walmart’s move comes as traditional carriers are looking at another chaotic holiday season that, like last year, will see them struggling with more packages than can be delivered.

During the holiday peak season, there are expected to be some 5 million more parcels per day seeking delivery than providers able to handle that demand, UPS Chief Executive Officer Carol Tomé told analysts in July.

The company, which delivers packages for both Amazon and Walmart, recently said it was exploring super-fast local delivery apart from the pricey express deliveries offered by the company and rival FedEx.

3. JOHNSON& JOHNSON-  At least six U.S. states, including Georgia, did not fully sign on to a proposed $26 billion settlement with three drug distributors and Johnson & Johnson , which have been accused of fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic, according to the states’ attorneys general.

States had until Saturday to decide whether to support the $21 billion proposed settlement with McKesson Corp , AmerisourceBergen  Corp and Cardinal Health Inc  and a separate $5 billion agreement with J&J.

But in a sign that talks were continuing despite the passing of the deadline, Georgia – the most populous hold-out state – on Monday indicated it could wind up backing the agreement.

“We have not rejected the deal, but we have not joined because at the present time joining the national settlements does not guarantee the best outcome for Georgia and its counties, cities and citizens,” said an emailed statement from the office of the attorney general, Christopher Carr. “We remain active in representing Georgia throughout negotiations, and we’re going to continue to get input from Georgia stakeholders.”

4.PAYPAL:-PayPal Holdings Inc will allow customers in the UK to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies starting this week, the company said on Monday.

The roll-out, which marks the first international expansion of PayPal’s cryptocurrencies services outside of the United States, could inspire further mainstream adoption of the new asset class.

With over 403 million active accounts globally, the San Jose, California-based company is one of the largest mainstream financial companies to offer consumers access to cryptocurrencies.

PayPal launched cryptocurrency buying and selling in the United States early this year, later enabling customers to use their digital coin holdings to shop at the millions of merchants on its network.

The company hoped its foray into the new asset class would encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that may be developed by corporations and central banks.

“We are committed to continue working closely with regulators in the UK, and around the world, to offer our support— and meaningfully contribute to shaping the role

digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce,” Jose Fernandez da Ponte, vice president and general manager for blockchain, crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said in a statement.

In the UK, PayPal’s service will rival that of established cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase  Global Inc, as well as well fintech startups such as Revolut.

Customers will be able to buy bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash through their PayPal wallets online or on the mobile app.

The move comes as more established financial companies have started offering their clients, both consumers and institutions, access to digital assets, amid rising cryptocurrency prices.

.5.VOLVO – AB Volvo said on Monday it had struck a deal to buy a heavy duty truck subsidiary of Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) for about 1.1 billion Swedish crowns ($125.7 million) to make trucks in the world’s biggest vehicle market.

The acquired business includes a manufacturing site in China’s northern city of Taiyuan. Volvo said it aimed to start production of its new heavy duty Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX trucks there at the end of next year.

The plant will have an annual production capacity of 15,000 trucks within a few years, with the potential to increase capacity further, Volvo said.

Chinese Geely, which owns passenger car company Volvo Cars, also holds a stake in AB Volvo. U.S. automaker Ford holds a stake in JMC, which makes Ford-branded vans and sport-utility vehicles in China.

Global truck makers are planning truck production in China due to the booming logistics services, including e-commerce, and new orders as authorities introduce increasingly tougher safety and emission regulations.

Scania, a unit under Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle arm Traton SE, is building a wholly-owned factory in an eastern Chinese city, while a joint venture between Daimler  and Foton said it would make Actros heavy duty trucks there.