1.TOYOTA:-Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it expects to spend more than $13.5 billion by 2030 to develop batteries and its battery supply system – a bid to lead in the key automotive technology over the next decade.
The world’s largest automaker by volume, which pioneered hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles with the popular Prius, is now moving rapidly to deliver its first all-electric line-up next year.
Considered a leader in developing batteries for electric vehicles, Toyota said it aims to slash the cost of its batteries by 30% or more by working on the materials used and the way the cells are structured.
2.ALIBABA :Chinese prosecutors have dropped a case against a former Alibaba Group Holding Ltd employee accused of sexually assaulting a female colleague, saying they had determined he had committed forcible indecency but not a crime.
She said superiors and human resources did not take her report seriously, triggering a fierce public backlash against the e-commerce giant, which later fired Wang and suspended other executives.
Prosecutors, however, have approved the arrest of the client who has been identified by his surname Zhang.
Jinan police have accused both men of committing acts of forcible indecency but have not provided details of the acts. The female employee in her account said she was mostly unconscious during the incident and woke up with her clothes removed.
Reuters was unable to reach Wang or Zhang for comment. Alibaba said in response to the decision by prosecutors that it has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct. Jinan Hualian Supermarket, Zhang’s former employer, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
Chinese law says those using violence or coercion to act indecently against others can be sentenced to as much as five years in prison but does not define an indecent act.
Since first surfacing in August, the female Alibaba employee’s allegations have triggered much online discussion about sexual harassment in China as well as the country’s culture of heavy drinking during business meetings.
3.HYUNDAI MOTORS--Hyundai Motor Group said on Tuesday it plans to offer hydrogen fuel cell versions for all its commercial vehicles by 2028 and will cut the price of fuel cell vehicles to battery electric levels two years later.
The group, which comprises Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Corp, currently has one fuel cell bus and one fuel cell truck, the Xcient Hyundai, on the market. There are 115 of the buses on the road in South Korea and 45 of the trucks in operation after they were rolled out in Switzerland last year.
The two South Korean automakers together offer 20 models of commercial vehicles including trucks, buses and vans, and sold about 287,000 last year.
The group, whose only other fuel cell vehicle on the market is Hyundai’s Nexo SUV, also said it will develop fuel cell vehicles for Kia and its premium Genesis brand, which could be launched after 2025. It did not mention specific targets for fuel cell versions of passenger vehicle models.
The plans are measured ambitions to push ahead with hydrogen technology despite its relative niche status, while the automakers also expand their battery electric vehicle line-up.
Advocates assert that hydrogen fuel cells are cleaner than other carbon-cutting methods as they only emit water and heat, but the technology has only seen limited usage in the auto industry amid concerns about high costs, the bulky size of fuel cell systems, the lack of fuelling stations, resale values and the risk of hydrogen explosions.
Industry-wide, some 10,000-15,000 fuel cell vehicles are produced globally a year compared to 4-5 million electric vehicles, Hyundai said.
Other major automakers pursuing hydrogen fuel cell technology include Toyota Motor Corp, BMW and Daimler . They have been encouraged as Europe and China have set ambitious emission reduction targets and talk of hydrogen infrastructure support increases.
4.VISA:Visa Inc . stock has fallen under some considerable pressure of late, amid the continued rise of the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) trend.
BNPL firms such as Affirm Holdings (AFRM) could take a bite out of the volume of credit card fees charged over the coming years, even as consumer debt levels look to rise further. I am neutral on Visa stock.
Shares of the leading credit card company now find themselves in correction territory, down over 10.9% from all-time highs hit back in late July, and up a mere 3.4% year-to-date. (See Visa stock charts on TipRanks)
In a frothy stock market, Visa’s correction definitely seems like a timely opportunity to bag a bargain, but investors should weigh the risks brought forth by the disruptive BNPL firms.
Such disruptors may continue joining forces with major retailers, with the hopes of offering consumers the ability to put on debt without compounding interest.
.5.STANDARD CHARTERED – Standard Chartered has agreed a joint venture deal to launch a digital-only bank in Singapore with the country’s National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
A Standard Chartered vehicle will take a 60% stake in the venture, worth 144 million Singapore dollars ($107.28 million), with the NTUC’s enterprise arm taking the remaining 40% stake, worth S$96 million, the London-listed bank said on Monday.
The planned venture comes after StanChart launched its digital-only Mox Bank brand in Hong Kong last year and amid a boom in fintech investments in Southeast Asia.
A decision on the Singaporean venture’s branding has yet to be decided, a Standard Chartered spokesperson said.
The Standard Chartered vehicle involved in the transaction obtained a full Singaporean banking licence in December last year, the company said.