Tesla aims to build 500,000 vehicles per year near Berlin

A China-made Tesla Model 3 vehicle at the Shanghai Gigafactory of the US electric car maker in Shanghai. (Reuters)
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Updated 05 January 2020

Tesla aims to build 500,000 vehicles per year near Berlin

  • US automaker wants to construct Model 3 and Model Y vehicles

BERLIN: Tesla plans to build half a million electric vehicles a year at its future factory outside Berlin. Planning documents posted online reveal that the US automaker wants to construct Model 3 and Model Y vehicles at the site in Gruenheide, as well as “future models.”
The so-called Gigafactory — Tesla’s fourth — will include facilities to assemble entire electric vehicles, including the production of batteries.
The plans will have to undergo an environmental impact review and public consultation.
Tesla aims to start operating the plant in July 2021, an optimistic time frame by German standards. Construction of a nearby airport for Berlin began in 2006 and the opening has been delayed for eight years.
On Friday Tesla posted a jump in car deliveries in the final three months of 2019.
The firm founded by controversial entrepreneur Elon Musk delivered 112,000 vehicles in the quarter ending Dec. 31, a nearly 23 percent from the same three-month period of 2018.
The positive results contrasted with those of conventional auto giants like General Motors and Fiat Chrysler that reported middling sales which pressured their share prices.

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Tesla delivered 112,000 vehicles in the quarter ending Dec. 31.

But Tesla shares rallied further on the news, the latest in a run of better performance reflected in strong third-quarter earnings in October, a splashy launch of a new SUV design in November and the successful ramp-up of a Chinese car factory earlier this week.
Things have improved considerably from the early part of 2019 when US securities regulators sought to sanction Musk for violating a settlement over his August 2018 statements on Twitter tied to a quickly-aborted effort to take the company private.
In April, Musk and the Securities Exchange Commission settled the matter, imposing clearer guidelines on topics Musk should avoid on social media, including statements about acquisitions, mergers, new products and production numbers.


$8bn blow to Erdogan as investors flee Turkey

Updated 09 July 2020

$8bn blow to Erdogan as investors flee Turkey

  • Overseas holdings in Istanbul stock exchange are at lowest in 16 years

ANKARA: Foreign capital is flooding out of Turkey in a massive vote of no confidence in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic competence.
Overseas investors have withdrawn nearly $8 billion from Turkish stocks since January, according to Central Bank statistics, reducing foreign investment in the Istanbul stock exchange from $32.3 billion to $24.4 billion.
As recently as 2013, the figure was $82 billion, and foreign investors now own less than 50 percent of stocks for the first time in 16 years.
“Foreign investment has left Turkey for several reasons, both internal and external,” Win Thin, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, told Arab News.
“Externally, investors fled riskier assets like emerging markets during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of those flows are returning, but investors are being much more discerning and Turkey does not seem so attractive.”
In terms of internal factors, Thin said that Turkish policymakers had made it hard for foreign investors to transact in Turkey. “This includes real money clients, not just speculative.
“By implementing ad hoc measures to try and limit speculative activity, Turkey has made it hard for real money as well. Besides these problems, Turkey’s fundamentals remain poor compared to much of the emerging markets.”
Erdogan allies claim international players are manipulating the Istanbul stock exchange through automated trading, and have demanded action to make it difficult for them to trade in Turkish assets.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Credit Suisse were banned this month from short-selling stocks for up to three months, and this year local lenders were briefly banned by the banking regulator from trading in Turkish lira with Citigroup, BNP Paribas and UBS
JPMorgan was investigated by Turkish authorities last year after the bank published a report that advised its clients to short sell the Turkish lira.
MSCI, the provider of research-based indexes and analytics, warned last month that it may relegate Turkey from emerging market status to frontier-market status because of bans on short selling and stock lending.
With the market becoming less transparent, overseas fund managers, especially with short-term portfolios, are unenthusiastic about the Turkish market and are becoming more concerned about any forthcoming introduction of other liquidity restrictions.
The exodus of foreign capital is likely to undermine Turkey’s drive for economic growth, especially during the coronavirus pandemic when employment and investment levels have gone down, with the Turkish lira facing serious volatility.