Vietnam Law May Impact Facebook, Twitter; Amazon Has A Sleep Tracker; India Lures Apple, Dell, HP: Top Financial Media Stories Thursday, Sept. 29

Zinger Key Points
  • A new Amazon device can monitor people's sleep. Separately, the Seattle-based company boosted pay for U.S. front-line employees.
  • Gilead identified two individuals responsible for allegedly orchestrating a counterfeit scheme.
  • H&M has a cost savings plan.
Vietnam Law May Impact Facebook, Twitter; Amazon Has A Sleep Tracker; India Lures Apple, Dell, HP: Top Financial Media Stories Thursday, Sept. 29

Reuters

Vietnam's Social Media Law May Impact Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

  • Vietnam plans to introduce new laws to limit which social media accounts can post news-related content. This could come as a setback for social media giants such as Meta Platforms Inc.'s META FacebookAlphabet Inc.'s GOOG GOOGL YouTube, and Twitter Inc. TWTR.

BP-Cenovus Energy Ohio Refinery Remains Closed After Fire Incident

  • BP plc BP laid off most contractors at the Toledo, Ohio, refinery it owns with Cenovus Energy Inc. CVE.
  • Approximately 160,000 barrel-per-day plant will experience a prolonged shutdown following last week's explosion and fire.

Merck Inks Supply Deal To Commercialize COVID-19 Pills In China

  • Merck & Co. Inc. MRK signed a cooperation framework agreement in China for its COVID-19 antiviral pills, which were co-developed by Ridgeback Therapeutics
  • The pharma giant has granted Sinopharm exclusive import and distribution rights to Lagevrio (molnupiravir).
  • The companies will also negotiate the feasibility of a technical transfer under the framework so that the drug molnupiravir could be produced and provided in the Chinese mainland market.

CNBC

Porsche Shares Race Higher In Landmark Frankfurt IPO

  • Shares of Porsche's parent company Volkswagen AG VWAGY rose in its Frankfurt stock market debut.
  • Touted as one of the biggest initial public offerings in Europe, the shares traded at €84 ($81) in Frankfurt on Thursday morning, after the IPO was priced at €82.50.
  • The IPO is expected to provide Porsche with a financial boost of €19.5 billion.

McDonald's Rejects Owners' Plea To Delay Changes In Franchise Policy

  • The National Franchisee Leadership Alliance representing McDonald's Corp. MCD restaurant owners said the company had rejected their proposal to delay franchising policy change.
  • In a letter to the owners of the alliance, McDonald's denied the request to make changes in June 2023 instead of Jan. 1, 2023.
  • The new franchise policy changes left several owners unhappy, expressing their lack of confidence in CEO Chris Kempczinski.

Bloomberg

India Offers Incentives To Apple, Dell, HP

  • India plans to boost the financial incentives for tablet and laptop manufacturers, wooing companies like Apple Inc. AAPLDell Technologies Inc. DELL, and HP Inc. HPQ to broaden or begin local production.
  • Notably, India wants to court Apple, which already assembles iPhones in India, to make iPads locally.
  • India weighed offering up to INR 45 billion ($549 million) per manufacturer. Foreign companies must invest INR 7 billion in India over five years.

Great News For Alibaba And Peers As HSBC Finds The Sector Promising

  • HSBC Holdings plc HSBC saw prospects in Chinese sectors, including internet firms with better-than-expected earnings growth, developers to win from significant industry consolidation, renewable firms blessed with favorable policies, and consumer goods producers that benefit from demographic shifts.
  • HSBC analysts highlighted an apparent disconnect between the gloomy macroeconomic picture and the more positive bottom-up view of Chinese equities.
  • Additionally, most funds are underweight, and valuations are low.
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABABaidu Inc. BIDU, and Tencent Holding Ltd. TCEHY top the list of Chinese tech titans.

Wall Street Journal

Chevron Sells Global HQs In California, Expands In Texas

  • Chevron Corp. CVX has sold its current California headquarters and plans to move into a leased space about one-third of the size. 
  • Chevron also signed a lease for nearly 400,000 square feet of space in a nearby office building that could house about 2,000 employees after interior construction finishes in late 2023.

Benzinga

Musk Touts Starlink's Utility In 'Heavy Seas & Hurricane Winds' As Ian Rages

  • Elon Musk highlighted the advantages of having a Starlink internet connection during rough weather as Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to make landfall in the U.S.
  • Musk took to Twitter late on Wednesday and said the Starlink Maritime system enables high-speed internet connectivity even in "heavy seas & hurricane winds."

Apple May Build 'New' Car Project Team By End-2022, Says Analyst: What It Means For Cupertino's Self-Driving EV Plans

  • Apple's self-driving car continues to be pushed out despite on-and-off rumors about the project getting started.
  • Cupertino could soon have a well-set team in place for the car project, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from Taiwan-based TFI Securities. 
  • "My latest survey indicates that Apple will likely build the new Apple Car project team before the end of 2022," Kuo said in a tweet.

Amazon Bumps Payout For US Warehouse, Delivery Workers

  • Amazon.com Inc. AMZN boosted pay for its U.S. front-line employees.
  • Average starting pay for front-line employees in customer fulfillment and transportation (or warehouse and delivery workers) increased from $18 per hour to more than $19 per hour, with employees earning between $16 and $26 per hour in the U.S.
  • Anytime Pay provides Amazon employees access to up to 70% of their eligible earned Pay whenever they choose and without fees.
  • Amazon also announced additional investments in career development programs.

Amazon Unveils Bedside Sleep Tracker

  • Amazon announced a contactless gadget that can monitor people's sleep.
  • The online retailer said its $139.99 sleep gadget, dubbed Halo Rise, tracks room temperature, humidity, and light, plus the breathing patterns of the person closest to it. 
  • Advanced machine learning and sensor technology provide highly accurate ambient analysis of sleep patterns.
  • The device can personalize a person's bedtime and morning routines when paired with Alexa.

Gilead Investigation: 2 Kingpins Associated With Fake HIV Medicine

  • U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly has ordered the freeze of several assets related to people and entities accused of operating a U.S. supply chain that distributes counterfeit bottles of Gilead Sciences Inc's GILD HIV drugs.
  • Gilead has identified and named as defendants two individuals responsible for leading and orchestrating the counterfeit scheme.

H&M Proposes Cost Cut To Offset Economic Pressure

  • Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB HNNMY has unveiled a SEK2 billion (~$178 million) cost savings plan to streamline the business further.
  • The company expects the savings from the program to become visible in the second half of 2023.
  • H&M's Q3 net sales increased by 3%. In local currencies, net sales decreased by 4%.
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