Tue, Feb 17, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Chinese electric vehicle shares rise on Apple rumors

Bloomberg

Chinese shares related to electric vehicles jumped amid speculation they would benefit from Apple Inc’s entry into the industry.

BYD Co (比亞迪), a manufacturer of electric cars and batteries, surged 9.4 percent in Hong Kong as of 1:17pm. NavInfo Co (四維圖新), a provider of car navigation systems, jumped 10 percent in Shenzhen, poised for its biggest advance since May 2010. Car-accessory maker Ningbo Joyson Electronics Corp (寧波均勝電子) climbed 6.6 percent in Shanghai. The CSI 300 Index gained 0.4 percent, while the Hang Seng Index added 0.3 percent.

Apple is developing an electric vehicle, people familiar with the matter said. The design resembles a minivan, and Apple executives have flown to Austria to meet with contract manufacturers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday last week, citing people familiar with the matter.

“There’s speculation BYD may cooperate with Apple for certain kinds of car parts,” Hong Kong-based Tanrich Securities Co (敦沛證券) investment manager William Fung said.

The market also sees Apple investing in companies like NavInfo to enhance their system, he said.

BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said it did not know what prompted a selloff that drove the stock to a record low in December last year, dismissing rumors — including the arrest of its chairman — and subsidy cuts for alternative-energy vehicles in China.

The shares have since rebounded 28 percent after Apple added the company to its list of assemblers for iPhones and iPads, and as BYD announced it would sell its electronic components unit to Holitech Technology Co (合利泰科技).

Apple, with market capitalization that exceeds US$700 billion, needs to continue growing sales of iPhones while also expanding into new markets such as automobiles if it is to reach a US$1 trillion valuation, Piper Jaffray & Co analyst Gene Munster said on Saturday last week. He added that he does not think Apple would bring out a car in the next five years.

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