Wed, Jun 21, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Tesla China plant nears

Tesla Inc is close to an agreement to produce vehicles in China for the first time, giving the electric-car maker better access to the world’s largest auto market, people familiar with the matter said. The agreement with the city of Shanghai would allow Tesla to build facilities in its Lingang development zone and could come as soon as this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. Tesla would need to set up a joint venture with at least one local partner under existing rules and it was not immediately clear who that would be. Setting up local production is key for chief executive officer Elon Musk to continue growing in China, where Tesla’s revenue tripled to more than US$1 billion last year. Assembling vehicles locally would allow the company to avoid a 25 percent tax that renders Model S sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles more expensive than in the US.


Hutchison chief to retire

Billionaire Li Ka-shing (李嘉誠) has told associates that he plans to retire by next year as chairman of his flagship CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (長和集團), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Li has not specified a date, but is likely to step down by his 90th birthday in July next year, the newspaper reported. The tycoon plans to remain as senior adviser and keep his office atop CK Hutchison’s headquarters building in downtown Hong Kong, the report said.


Libya boosting output

Libya is pumping the most oil in four years after a deal with Wintershall AG enabled at least two fields to resume production, adding to the challenge that OPEC and allied producers face in trying to pare global crude inventories. The North African nation is producing about 900,000 barrels a day, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak to the media. Output has risen on the resumption of fields developed with Wintershall and from a boost at Sharara, Libya’s biggest deposit, which is pumping 270,000 barrels a day, the person said on Monday.


Chipotle expenses rising

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc told investors that it is spending more on marketing and promotions as it tries to bounce back from a food-safety crisis. The burrito chain expects the expenses to rise by as much as 0.3 percentage point from the previous three months, according to a filing on Monday. The Denver-based company does not anticipate that food costs will change, accounting for about 34 percent of sales. The outlook sent Chipotle shares down as much as 3 percent to US$445 in extended trading. They had been up 22 percent this year through Monday’s close, lifted by optimism that the firm could execute a comeback. For the full year, Chipotle reiterated a forecast for same-store sales in the high single digits. It expects to open as many as 210 new restaurants.


Natural gas futures drop

US natural gas futures slid the most in four months on forecasts of milder weather that would curtail demand for the power-plant fuel after a hot spell last week. Temperatures may be mostly below normal in the central US and average on the east and gulf coasts from Saturday to Wednesday next week, the Commodity Weather Group LLC said.

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