09 April 2021 | Geschäft

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

Colombia rejects Glencore unit's return

Colombia's national mining agency (ANM) said on Wednesday it has initially rejected a request by coal miner Prodeco, a wholly-owned unit of miner and commodity trader Glencore, to return two of its Colombian concessions.

Anglo-Swiss company Glencore said in February Prodeco would hand back its operations at the Calenturitas and La Jagua mines to Colombia, after its request to keep the operations on care and maintenance was denied by the ANM.

"It's not possible for the agency to approve the request for resignation because it is not up-to-date in complying with all contractual obligations at the time of submitting the resignation, as required by the mining code," ANM president Juan Miguel Duran said in a separate message.

The two mining operations are made up of five concessions, including one at Calenturitas. Resignation requests for the three remaining concessions are still being evaluated, Duran said, while a sixth concession at La Jagua finished in 2019.

Glencore's coal production in 2020 fell 24% to 106 million tonnes, with Prodeco's output plummeting 76% to 3.8 million tonnes. - Nampa/Reuters

Exxon explores sale of elastic polymer business

Exxon Mobil Corp is exploring a sale of its Advanced Elastomer Systems (AES) division, potentially valuing the elastic polymer maker at around US$800 million including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would allow the oil major to nibble at its debt pile, which totalled US$45.5 billion at the end of December. Its shares are up around 37% year-to-date on investor expectations that the company will benefit from a recovery in energy prices.

Exxon has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to solicit interest in AES from potential buyers, including private equity firms, the sources said.

The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. Exxon and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Exxon incurred a historic loss of US$22.4 billion last year. It is trying to convince a skeptical Wall Street that it can rebound after years of overspending left it deeply indebted and lagging rivals better geared for a world demanding cleaner fuels. - Nampa/Reuters

Airbus deliveries seen accelerating in March

Europe's Airbus accelerated jet deliveries in March, putting it within reach of matching or even eclipsing last year's first-quarter total, which was only partially affected by the coronavirus crisis, tracking estimates showed on Wednesday.

The plane maker delivered 122 aircraft in the first three months of 2020, with deliveries coming almost to a halt after France and other nations-imposed health lockdowns in mid-March.

After a slow start to the year, Airbus delivered 53 jets in the first two months of 2021 and then accelerated sharply in March, according to industry sources and unofficial estimates.

The Hamburg-based Airbus Finkenwerder News blog, which closely monitors deliveries for the best-selling A320 family, said March deliveries more than doubled to 44 compared to January.

Airbus also delivers smaller A220 jets and larger A330 and A350 aircraft. Some large jets are still going into storage because of a slump in international demand, while narrow-body flying is picking up quickly in markets such as the United States and China. - Nampa/Reuters

Toyota unveils new models

Toyota Motor Corp unveiled new models of Lexus and Mirai in Japan, equipped with advanced driver assistance, as competition heats up to develop more self-driving and connected cars.

Toyota's latest launch comes as automakers, electric car start-ups and tech giants invest heavily in so-called active safety features.

The Japanese carmaker's new driving assist technology, or Advanced Drive, features a level 2 autonomous system that helps driving, such as limiting the car in its lane, maintaining the distance from other vehicles and changing lanes under the driver's supervision on expressways or other motor-vehicle only roads.

The new models are Toyota's first products brought to the market that provide over-the-air updates and utilise AI technology centred on deep learning, said Toyota executive James Kuffner, who is also the head of Toyota's research unit Woven Planet.

"This is really an important first step in our journey towards software-first development," he said at an online briefing yesterday, adding that the company has tried to design the software to be truly global and to provide re-usability. - Nampa/Reuters

Tesla scouts for showroom space in India

Tesla Inc is scouting for locations to open showrooms in three Indian cities and has hired an executive to lead its lobbying and business efforts ahead of its planned entry into the country, sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

The electric-car maker in January registered a local company in India, where it is expected to import and sell the Model 3 sedan by as early as mid-2021, seeking to target rich customers in a niche market.

The world’s most valuable automaker by market capitalisation is looking for commercial properties as large as 20 000-30 000 square feet each to open showrooms and service centres in the capital New Delhi, financial hub Mumbai in the west and tech city Bengaluru in the south, three sources said.

Separately, Tesla has recruited Manuj Khurana, a former executive of India’s investment promotion body Invest India, in the first major hire to lead its policy and business development efforts in the country, two other sources said.

In October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter the company will enter India in 2021 “for sure”, though the billionaire had issued similar tweets in the past. - Nampa/Reuters

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