Volkswagen Sells Stake in Electrify America to Siemens
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Volkswagen AG has agreed to sell a minority stake in its U.S. electric-vehicle charging business to Siemens AG , in a transaction that provides $450 million in new money and values the charging network at $2.45 billion, the companies said Tuesday. Bringing Siemens into Volkswagen’s Electrify America LLC generates additional funding to drive an expansion of EV charging that aims to more than double the number of charging stations that Electrify America operates across the U.S. and parts of Canada to 1,800 by 2026. Reston, Va.-based Electrify America also offers EV charging stations for use at home. The deal marks the first time that VW has brought an outside investor into its U.S. charging unit, which the company launched in the wake of the 2015 “dieselgate” emissions scandal. It also underscores VW’s plan to push hard into the U.S. EV market as a way of boosting its overall U.S. market share. The company also recently announced that it would revive the iconic Scout off-road vehicle brand as an independent brand in the U.S. and begin production in 2026 of a fully-electric pickup truck and large SUV for American consumers. VW will provide the bulk of the new financing for Electrify America. Siemens, through its investment arm, Siemens Financial Services, is acquiring a minority stake in the charging network and will receive a seat on the company’s board.
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Tuesday, the SMI lost 0.9 per cent to 10,810 points, closing just above the day's low. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 13 price losers and 7 price gainers. 31.4 (previously: 37.86) million shares were traded. Among the individual stocks, shares of Nestle, Roche and Novartis slipped between 1.1 and 1.7 per cent. Bucking the European trend, where banks edged higher on strong US cues, shares of CS Group (-0.2 per cent) and UBS (-1.0 per cent) lost ground. Credit Suisse announced it was realigning its strategy as part of a comprehensive cost-cutting programme despite a difficult market environment. The bank outlined it is targeting savings of CHF 200 million by 2023 through the consolidation of its technology platform. Another CHF 400 million in synergies are to be added in the medium term. Helvetia shares, on the other hand, were up 1.4 per cent. The company is acquiring a further 10 per cent of Caser's share capital and now owns 80 per cent of the Spanish insurer.
European shares made solid gains on Tuesday as investors assessed the impact that China's loosening Covid-19 restrictions would have on global supply chains. At the sound of the bell, the Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.27% to 416.2 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 gained 0.64% to 6,086 points and 0.66% to 4,715.6 points respectively. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 gained 0.35% to 13,231.8 points and the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.9% to 7,323 points. The easing of health regulations in China is supporting cyclical stocks, particularly the automotive sector. Faurecia gained 3.39%, Renault rose 2.35%, Valeo advanced 4% and Stellantis gained 1%. Aerospace and defence group Airbus (+1.86%) won a €160m contract to design the FORUM satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA). Construction and concessions group Vinci (+1.74%) has won a rail contract in France worth an initial €118 million over five years. The contract awarded by SNCF will start in January 2024. Tyre maker Michelin (+0.6%) will sell its Russian operations to local management by the end of 2022. Michelin said its balance sheet exposure on the scope of this project was around €250m. Digital assistance services provider Solutions 30 (-0.34%) has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire French energy renovation specialist EnergyGo for an undisclosed sum. Pharmaceutical, food and environmental testing group Eurofins Scientific (+0.18%) bought back fixed and floating rate undated supersubordinated notes (TSSDIs) for €307.7m.
U.S. stocks slumped Tuesday, giving up early gains and falling for a second consecutive day as investors parsed fresh economic figures for clues about the pace of monetary-policy tightening. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 491.27 points, or 1.6%, to 30946.99. The blue-chip index was up as much as 1.4% earlier in the session. The S&P 500 closed down 78.56 points, or 2%, at 3821.55. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index fell 343.01 points, or 3%, to 11181.54. Stocks lost their early momentum Tuesday after data from the Conference Board showed consumers’ short-term outlook for the U.S. economy dropped sharply to its lowest point in nearly a decade. Consumer confidence also fell for a second consecutive month as Americans continue to assess the impact of high prices and rising rates. The S&P 500 is on track for its worst first-half performance since 1970, down nearly 20% this year. Energy stocks comprised the only positive S&P 500 sector on Tuesday. Diamondback Energy added $5.41, or 4.4%, to $129.80. Occidental Petroleum advanced $2.81, or 4.8%, to $61.71 as a filing showed Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway added to its holdings in the energy company, lifting its stake to 16%. Travel stocks also got a lift following the news from China. Wynn Resorts gained $1.82, or 3.2%, to $59.51, and Las Vegas Sands rose $1.34, or 4%, to $34.51. Consumer-discretionary stocks led the S&P 500 lower following the consumer-confidence reading. Nike was among the biggest laggards on the index, falling $7.72, or 7%, to $102.78 after the sneaker maker reported quarterly sales that were roughly flat and a decline in earnings. Mega-cap technology stocks also sold off, dragging down the major indexes. Apple, Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet each shed at least 3%. Amazon.com fell $5.82, or 5.1%, to $107.40.
In Asia, major indexes edged lower. In Japan, the Nikkei-225 drops 1.2 percent to 26,733 points. Especially semiconductor stocks are under pressure. Lasertec fall 3 percent, Advantest 2.4 percent. The benchmark indices in Shanghai and Hong Kong decline by 0.8 and 1.6 percent respectively. The Kospi in South Korea also slips by 1.5 percent. Automotive stocks are under pressure. Thus, Hyundai Motor and Kia lose 5.4 and 4.5 percent respectively. Apparently, there have been investigations at Hyundai Motor in Germany in the wake of the diesel scandal.
Long-dated U.S. government debt yields rise amid curve steepening, with the 2-year Treasury note gaining 0.019 percentage point to 3.122% and the 10-year rising 0.013pp to 3.206%. Both are off recent highs. The spread between the two maturities widened a little over the past three days, a period in which the two-year yield rose 0.112pp and the 10-year gained 0.138pp. Fresh GDP data is expected Wednesday morning, while PCE inflation is due Thursday.
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