Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US
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Updated 18 October 2021

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

Toyota to build $1.29bn battery plant for hybrids, EVs in US

DETROIT: Toyota plans to build a new $1.29 billion factory in the US to manufacture batteries for gas-electric hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

The plant location was not announced, but the company said it eventually will employ 1,750 people and start making batteries in 2025, gradually expanding through 2031.

The plant is part of $3.4 billion that Toyota plans to spend in the US on automotive batteries during the next decade. It did not detail where the remaining $2.1 billion would be spent, but part of that likely will go for another battery factory.

It comes amid a flurry of global announcements about shoring up production of batteries for electric vehicles. Most automakers are working to transition away from internal combustion engines to zero emission battery vehicles.

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, and LG Energy Solution said Monday that they plan to build a battery manufacturing facility to help the automaker get 40 percent of its US sales from electric vehicles by 2030. They did not say where the plant would be.

Ford, General Motors and Toyota have announced large investments in U.S. battery factories. GM plans to build battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, while Ford has plans for plants in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Toyota will form a new company to run its new US battery plant with Toyota Tsusho, a subsidiary that now makes an array of parts for the automaker. The company also will help Toyota expand its US supply chain, as well as increase its knowledge of lithium-ion auto batteries, Toyota said on Monday.

“Today's commitment to electrification is about achieving long-term sustainability for the environment, American jobs and consumers,” Ted Ogawa, Toyota’s North American CEO, said in a statement.

The new plant would likely be near one of the company’s US assembly plants in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama or Texas.

Toyota plans to sell 2 million zero emission hydrogen and battery electric vehicles worldwide per year by 2030. In the US, Toyota plans to sell 1.5 million to 1.8 million vehicles by 2030 in the US that are at least partially electrified.


Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit

Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 7 sec ago

Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit

Rising costs, pandemic curbs take a bite out of McDonald’s profit
  • Sales rise in Italy, Germany, France, the US and the UK boosted total revenue by 13 percent to $6.01 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31

McDonald’s Corp. missed revenue and profit expectations on Thursday, as higher costs and dismal sales in its over 4,500 restaurants in Australia and China due to pandemic-led curbs ate into gains from growth in the United States in the fourth quarter.


Operating costs rose 14 percent to $3.61 billion as supply chain bottlenecks led the world’s largest burger chain to spend more for ingredients such as chicken and beef, as well as packaging material, while it also raised wages in the United States.


Shares fell nearly 3 percent as sales in China contracted after some cities banned dining in restaurants to control fresh outbreaks ahead of the Winter Olympics. In Australia, sales growth remained muted compared to a year earlier.


“COVID-19 continued to result in varying levels of government restrictions on restaurant operating hours, limited dine-in capacity and, in some cases, dining room closures,” McDonald’s said.


Sales rise in Italy, Germany, France, the US and the UK boosted total revenue by 13 percent to $6.01 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, but still the company missed market expectation of $6.03 billion, according to Refinitiv data.


Meanwhile, expenses for the burger chain that has more than 40,000 restaurants in over 100 countries have been rising. While McDonald’s had raised prices in 2021, higher costs continue to weigh on profit as it was forced to increase wages to retain workers in the United States, its largest market.


On a per share basis, McDonald’s earned $2.23, but missed analysts’ average estimate of $2.34.


Its US same-store sales increased 7.5 percent compared to analysts’ estimate of a 6.8 percent rise, thanks to the launch of special menu items such as McRib, loyalty program-driven growth in digital sales and higher prices.


Global same-store sales jumped 12.3 percent, compared with Wall Street estimates of a 10.73 percent rise. 


UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn

UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 34 min 2 sec ago

UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn

UAE’S First Abu Dhabi Bank books profits of $3.4bn
  • The outstanding performance reflects indicators of economic recovery and positive momentum for the bank's core business

RIYADH: Largest bank in the UAE, First Abu Dhabi Bank announced its financial results of the last fiscal year with profits of 12.5 billion dirhams ($3.4 billion).

This figure compares to 10.6 billion dirhams in 2020, representing a 19 percent increase, according to a statement.

The outstanding performance reflects indicators of economic recovery and positive momentum for the bank's core business, the statement revealed.

Moreover, the group’s revenue saw a 17 percent surge thanks to strong trading performance and growth in fee-generating business. This contributed to alleviating the repercussions of low interest rates, the statement said.

Operational costs rose when compared to the corresponding period in 2020. This comes as a result of the persisting investments in digital and strategic initiatives as well as taking into consideration Egypt’s Bank Audi business.

Asset quality maintained adequate rates thanks to the proper management of risks and stimulus measures. These were within the framework of the comprehensive economic support plan tailored for the country’s central bank.

The group also maintained strong levels of liquidity, financing, and capital altogether.

Founded in 2017, FAB provides financial solutions, products, and services through its corporate and investment banking and personal banking franchises. 


Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  

Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 39 min 39 sec ago

Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  

Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia jumps into the Kingdom’s IPO market  

RIYADH: A leading fitness player in the Kingdom and globally, Gold’s Gym Saudi Arabia, has appointed a financial advisor amid plans to list on Saudi Exchange’s parallel market, Nomu.

To manage and lead the initial public offering, the fitness club selected BMG Financial Group, according to a statement by BMG.

US-based Gold’s Gym has several branches across Saudi Arabia, which are all owned by Jeddah's Batterjee Holding Co.


Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals

Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals
Updated 45 min 5 sec ago

Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals

Dubai, Monaco sign agreement to attract ultra-wealth individuals

RIYADH: Government-owned Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre, or DMCC, has signed an initial agreement with Monaco Economic Board in a bid to attract ultra-rich individuals. 

Dubai and Monaco are both synonymous with the ultra-wealthy. The agreement focuses on enabling Ultra High Net Worth Individuals and family offices, with DMCC being the primary destination for global business. 

This comes as the two cities seek to further strengthen the economic synergies and expand bilateral trade relations, the Government of Dubai Media Office reported. 

“The agreement will build on our existing strategic bonds and allow us to explore further trade opportunities between our two countries,” CEO and executive chairman of DMCC, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said. 

“In line with its mandate to attract trade to Dubai, DMCC continues to expand its global network and work closely with its stakeholders to nurture a thriving business ecosystem in Dubai,” he added. 

The deal comes following the recent European roadshow held by DMCC, where it signed agreements with key counterparts and strategic partners to strengthen collaboration and attract foreign direct investment to Dubai. 

 


Kuwait’s credit rating downgraded to ‘AA-’ by Fitch

Kuwait’s credit rating downgraded to ‘AA-’ by Fitch
Updated 15 min 37 sec ago

Kuwait’s credit rating downgraded to ‘AA-’ by Fitch

Kuwait’s credit rating downgraded to ‘AA-’ by Fitch

RIYADH: Kuwait has had their long-term foreign-currency issuer default ratings, or IDR, downgraded from 'AA' to ‘AA-' by Fitch Ratings.

The downgrade comes as a result of the ongoing political constraints on decision-making that is contributing to structural challenges in the Gulf state. 

Despite national dialogue held to address some points of dispute with the opposition, political divisions linger and are expected to prevent a reform in Kuwait’s fiscal rigidities.  

Since 2017, the Gulf state has been under discussions regarding a debt law, reflecting the slow processes of decision-making.

Upon approval of the debt law, the credit rating company projects a rise in Kuwait’s debt to around 50 percent of gross domestic product, up from the current 10 percent. 

The Kuwaiti government has been trying to pass a new public debt law to ease liquidity shortages in the country, with the parliament repeatedly blocking the bill.