Wed, Jan 30, 2019 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRICITY

PG&E files for protection

PG&E Corp yesterday filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, succumbing to liabilities stemming from wildfires in northern California in 2017 and last year. The owner of the biggest US power utility has filed a motion seeking court approval for a US$5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing, it said in a statement. PG&E listed assets of US$71.39 billion and liabilities of US$51.69 billion in a document filed in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. “Throughout this process, we are fully committed to enhancing our wildfire safety efforts, as well as helping restoration and rebuilding efforts across the communities impacted,” PG&E interim CEO John Simon said. The company said it intends to pay suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided on or after the date of the filing.

ISRAEL

Intel to invest in new plant

Intel yesterday said it is expanding its operations in Israel, where ministers said that the US chipmaker would invest about US$10 billion in a new plant. “Intel today announced it will submit a business plan to the government of Israel for continued investment in the company’s Kiryat Gat manufacturing site,” a statement from Intel’s Israeli representatives said. Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon late on Monday said he was informed by Intel of its “unprecedented decision expected to bring thousands of jobs to the south.” Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said that Intel had chosen to “build its most advanced plant here in Israel.” Last year, Intel had already decided on a US$5 billion upgrade to the site.

TECHNOLOGY

Bug allows eavesdropping

A FaceTime bug lets people hear and even see those they are calling on iPhones, even if the other person has not answered. When a telephone number is dialed on FaceTime — the iPhone’s calling feature — the caller can swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap an option to add a person, video demonstrations showed. If the caller then enters their own number as that of the added caller, a group call begins, even though the person being called has not answered. The caller can then eavesdrop on the person being called, and in some demonstrations even watch them through the camera app. Declining a call breaks the connection. The bug, initially outlined by Apple Inc product and review Web site 9to5Mac.com, was reported by several media outlets. An Apple statement quoted in US media said that it was aware of the issue and has “identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”

SOFTWARE

SAP to restructure

German giant SAP SE yesterday said it would launch a nearly billion-euro restructuring plan after profits stagnated last year, adding that it is on track to grow revenue and earnings this year. Net profit last year added just 1 percent to about 4.1 billion euros (US$4.69 billion), but operating profit surged 17 percent to 5.7 billion euros, on revenue up 5 percent at 24.7 billion euros. SAP said it plans to spend 800 million to 950 million euros “to further simplify company structures and processes.” Executives aim to realize a “minor cost benefit” this year, before slashing annual outgoings by up to 850 million euros from next year. The program comes on top of the group’s US$8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics, which CEO Bill McDermott said meant SAP was “poised to revolutionize the business software industry.”

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