Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.11.01]





Sany Group

Chinese crawler crane breaks world lifting record

Chinese manufacturing giant Sany Group's crawler crane, boasting the highest lifting capacity in the world, was put into service on Thursday, demonstrating China's advanced manufacturing level.



Shell registers $447 loss as charge offsets surge in oil prices

Royal Dutch Shell has reported a net loss of $447m in the third quarter of 2021 as it has written off $5.2bn in non-cash charges related to commodity derivatives.

The company posted gains of $489m in the third quarter of 2020.

The Dutch firm’s adjusted earnings in the three months ending September stood at $4.13bn, up from $955m in the same quarter a year ago.

Cash flow from operations, excluding working capital, surged to $17.5bn in Q3 from $14.17bn a year earlier.

This was driven by commodity derivatives and ‘outstanding’ cash generation across the firm’s businesses, the oil firm noted.

Shell reported a net debt of $57.5bn in the third quarter of 2021, compared to $73.5bn last year.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said: “This quarter we’ve generated record cash flow, maintained capital discipline and announced our intention to distribute $7bn to our shareholders from the sale of our Permian assets.”

Furthermore, the company has unveiled plans to cut 50% of absolute emissions by 2030, compared to 2016 levels on a net basis.


CNOOC announces increase in net production

CNOOC Limited announced on Thursday it has achieved a total net production of 144.1 million barrels of oil equivalent for the third quarter of 2021, representing an increase of 9.9 percent year-on-year.

Production from China increased 13.0 percent year-on-year to 100.1 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly attributable to production growth from the commencement of new projects including the Caofeidian 6-4 oilfield, the Luda 21-2 oilfield and production growth from onshore unconventional gas fields.

Overseas production increased by 3.2 percent year-over-year to 43.9 million barrels of oil equivalent, it said.


Sinopec reports enormous net profit in first three quarters

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, announced on Thursday its net profit during the first three quarters reached 60.755 billion yuan ($9.5 billion), up 148.5 percent year-on-year.

The company's operating income in the first three quarters reached 2 trillion yuan, up 29 percent year-on-year. Net profit attributable to equity shareholders of the company reached 59.89 billion yuan, it said.

During the first three quarters, the company achieved good performance in operation and profitability. Oil and gas production, refinery throughput, total domestic sales volume of refined oil products and total chemical products sales volume recorded year-on-year increase. Operating profit was 84.81 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year increase of 1,578.3 percent.

Domestic demand for natural gas continued to grow rapidly, with an apparent consumption up by 16.6 percent year-on-year. Domestic demand for refined oil products recovered steadily and demand for major chemicals sustained stable.

The company attributed the performance to expanding markets and controlling costs, despite international oil prices going up.

During the first nine months, the company has also strengthened risk exploration in new regions and new sectors, which led to new discoveries in the Tarim, Sichuan, and Erdos Basins, as well as major breakthroughs in continental shale oilfields of the Bohai Bay, Sichuan and North Jiangsu Basins.

The company has also efficiently proceeded with the capacity building of major natural gas and crude oil projects, and natural gas production increased by 13.7 percent year-on-year and crude oil production kept stable.


Chinese market drives Coca-Cola's growth in Q3

The performance of the Chinese market, driven mostly by category breakthroughs and capacity development, has fueled the growth of global beverage giant Coca-Cola according to its third quarter fiscal report.

On Oct 27, the Coca-Cola Company said it has recorded third-quarter net revenues of $10.04 billion, up 16 percent year-on-year and exceeding market expectations of $9.75 billion. Its net income reached 2.47 billion, up 42 percent year-on-year.

In terms of sales, global unit case volume grew 6 percent. Asia-Pacific unit case volume grew 3 percent year-on-year driven by India and China, resulting in even performance on a two-year basis.


PipeChina starts up Zhangjiakou pipeline in advance of Olympics

China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network Corp, China's largest energy infrastructure owner also known as PipeChina, said on Wednesday the Zhangjiakou branch of the fourth Shaanxi-Beijing gas pipeline was put into operation on Oct 22 to ensure gas supply to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

The project started construction in August and is one of the pipelines sending gas to Olympic venues and stadiums. The operation will also supply sufficient gas to the capital during the heating season this year, the company said.

The Zhangjiakou branch of the fourth Shaanxi-Beijing gas pipeline consists of six lines with a total length of 160 kilometers. It is designed to transmit 3.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year.

According to PipeChina, the company's annual pipeline transmission capacity has reached 268 billion cubic meters so far. It plans to supply more than 110 billion cubic meters of natural gas during the heating season this year.


TCL driven by transformation and innovation, founder says

Transformation and innovation are the key factors that drive TCL Technology Group Corp to grow into a globally competitive technology company, said Li Dongsheng, founder and chairman of TCL.

Li shared the process of TCL's transformation from a consumer electronics manufacturing enterprise to a high-tech giant and his views on the upgrading of Chinese manufacturing industry at a new book recommendation event held in Beijing on Tuesday.

The book describes the development process of TCL in the past 40 years, mainly covering industrial upgrading, technological innovation, core capacities improvement, globalization and the transformation related to TCL.



Iron ore giant Vale signs equipment deal with China's top machinery maker

Vale, one of the world's largest iron ore producers based in Brazil, said on Wednesday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with XCMG Construction Machinery Limited, a subsidiary of Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co Ltd, which is China's largest machinery manufacturer, for the potential supply of mining and infrastructure equipment, including zero-emission and autonomous equipment.

According to the memorandum of understanding, prototypes of the equipment including two electrical battery-powered mining haul trucks up to 72 tons with zero emission will be delivered to Vale to be tested in its operations in Minas Gerais in Brazil and Indonesia in the first half of 2022. Another electrical truck up to 240 tons with zero emission will also be tested at a yet to be decided date.


ExxonMobil Q3 profits rebound to $6.8 bn on higher oil prices

In response to rising global economic activity, ExxonMobil Corp announced it would revive its long-dormant share repurchase program next year.

America’s largest oil and gas company reported a third-quarter net income of $6.8 billion, or $1.57 per share, the company’s best result since the last quarter of 2017. Comparatively, the company had lost $680 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company earned $1.58 a share, beating the Refinitiv estimate by two cents. With natural gas prices soaring and energy shortages pushing oil to a three-year high, third-quarter results were the best for refining in at least two years. The price of crude oil continues to climb toward a seven-year high.


COSCO raises stake in Greek port

China COSCO Shipping Corp, the country's largest shipping group, announced on Monday that it has completed an additional 16 percent stake acquisition in the Greek port of Piraeus, marking a fresh step in turning the port into a major international transit hub for products and services between Asia and Europe.

The move came as Greece's parliament approved the sale of another 16 percent stake in Piraeus Port Authority SA(PPA), the largest port in Greece, to COSCO Shipping in September. It raises the Chinese company's stake in PPA to 67 percent.

Under the agreement signed between Greek government-owned Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and COSCO Shipping in 2016, the Chinese investor paid 280.5 million euros ($327 million) to HRADF for the initial acquisition of a 51 percent stake in PPA.

It will pay another 88 million euros within five years for the additional 16 percent in PPA, according to the deal.


Samsung Electronics Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results

Samsung Electronics today reported financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021.

Total consolidated revenue was a quarterly record of KRW 73.98 trillion, a 10% increase from a year earlier, which was the previous high. Operating profit increased 26% from the previous quarter to KRW 15.82 trillion, the second-highest ever, as favorable market conditions continued in the memory market while the foundry and display businesses achieved robust sales. The finished product businesses also posted solid performances.

The Memory Business saw a significant improvement in earnings with record quarterly bit shipment, as well as the second-highest revenue for DRAM, and the Foundry Business’s results improved due to strong sales to global customers. For the Display Panel Business, earnings rose as major smartphone customers launched new products.

The Mobile Communications Business saw a sequential improvement in earnings on the back of strong demand for new foldable models and low- to mid-range smartphones as well as growth from tablets and wearables. The Networks Business expanded its global business, including in North America and Japan, and continued to grow 5G network installations in the domestic market.

The Consumer Electronics Division saw strong expansion of the premium TV and Bespoke product lineup, but profitability declined due to rising raw materials and logistics costs.

The strength in most currencies against the Korean won, with the US dollar, in particular, had a positive impact of approximately KRW 800 billion on operating profit compared to the previous quarter.


Microsoft overtook Apple and became the highest market-valued company in the world

The change is a fact after the rise of Microsoft shares as a result of the announced higher-than-expected earnings in the last quarter due to the strong financial results of the cloud services of the software giant.

At the same time, Apple shares fell after sales of giant technology for the last quarter were weaker than Wall Street forecasts, mainly due to supply problems that led to disappointing sales of the iPhone in the three months to the end of September.



Facebook officially changes its name and is renamed Meta

Facebook announced Thursday that it officially changed its name and will operate under the name Meta, as confirmed by the co-founder of the US company Mark Zuckerberg, reports AP. The move, announced during the annual developer conference, seeks to reflect the new approach of the company. company that works in the construction of its 'metaverse'.


Investment will help firm emphasize clean energy

Affinity Asia Pacific Fund V under Affinity Equity Partners will invest HK$2.80 billion ($360 million) into Towngas China Company Limited, representing 13.3 percent of the enlarged capital of Towngas China, the company said on Thursday.

The investment will support Towngas China's evolution into an integrated clean-energy provider, accelerate the roll-out of distributed solar photovoltaics as part of the smart energy solution, and secure long-term growth, said the company.

Towngas China will also be renamed Towngas Smart Energy Company Limited, it said.

The partnership with Affinity will enable Towngas China to accelerate its long-term vision to create an integrated, sustainable, and tangible smart energy business, built on three core pillars: integration, digitalization, and de-carbonization, the company said.


Daimler Q3 Profit Rises, Revenue Flat, Units Sales Down; Backs FY21 View - Quick Facts

German automaker Daimler AG (DDAIF.PK) reported Friday that its third-quarter Group net profit was 2.57 billion euros, 19 percent higher than last year's 2.16 billion euros. Earnings per share were 2.31 euros, up 21 percent from 1.91 euros last year.

Group EBIT was 3.58 billion euros, a growth of 17 percent from the prior year. Adjusted EBIT increased 4 percent to 3.61 billion euros.

Group revenue was 40.08 billion euros, nearly same as last year's 40.28 billion euros, amid considerably lower production and sales due to the semiconductor shortage.

Total unit sales decreased 25 percent to 577,800 passenger cars and commercial vehicles from 772,700 units a year ago mainly due to the global supply constraints.

Looking ahead for fiscal 2021, the company said it remains on track to meet full-year targets thanks to a more robust business, resulting in an EBIT increase despite a challenging environment.

The company projects Group EBIT will be significantly above the level of 2020, which was adversely affected in particular by the covid-19 pandemic.

Demand for all products remains strong in all markets as the world's pre-eminent luxury brand continues its global rollout of electric-only vehicles.



What’s the New Amazon “Product Opportunity Explorer” tool

Amazon has announced a tool that will give sellers access to information about what shoppers are currently looking for and help make it easier to choose which products to create next. Amazon calls it the Product Opportunity Explorer and says that it’ll give sellers access to data and trends that will help them “identify opportunities to launch new, high-potential products to serve unmet customer demand.”

While Amazon mentions a seller as saying that they're looking forward to getting 'recommendations that are especially relevant' to their business, it's easy to envision other sellers being concerned that Amazon's ideas could lead to businesses ripping off existing products.



Toyota's Sept. global output drops 39% on year amid supply crunch

Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday its global output dropped 39.1 percent in September from a year earlier to 512,765 vehicles, affected by supply chain disruptions in Southeast Asia amid a coronavirus resurgence and semiconductor shortage.

The output, well below the initial plan of 900,000 vehicles, fell for the second consecutive month. But the world's top-selling automaker expects a record-high-level output of 850,000 to 900,000 units in November amid easing COVID restrictions in Southeast Asia.

Reflecting the impact of the production cut, its global sales in September declined 16.4 percent to 700,122 vehicles, falling for the first time in 13 months, Toyota said.

The automaker has trimmed its output outlook for fiscal 2021 through next March to 9 million vehicles, down 300,000 from its initial plan. In fiscal 2020, the global output was about 8.18 million units.

'Although the coronavirus infection and parts supply situations remain uncertain, we will make efforts to minimize the impact as much as possible,' a Toyota official said.

Toyota has been known for its robust supply chains, but factory shutdowns in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam caused difficulty in securing enough parts.

The global chip crunch had already hit auto manufacturers as the pandemic boosted demand for semiconductors, key components used in everything from game consoles to cars.

In September, Toyota reported a 29.9 percent fall in overseas output to 376,015 vehicles, while domestic production plunged 55.3 percent to 136,750 units.



Saudi Aramco's Q3 net profit at $30.42bln, owing to rising crude price, strong sales

State oil giant Saudi Aramco has announced its Q3 net profit after zakat and tax at 114.09 billion riyals ($30.42 billion), a 158 percent rise compared to the same quarter last year, owing to rising crude oil prices and volumes sold as well as stronger refining and chemicals margins.

The company posted sales worth 359.09 billion riyals  ($95.76 billion) in the quarter compared to the same time last year.

Aramco paid $18.8 billion in dividends in Q2 and will make a dividend pay of the same amount for Q3, which will be paid in Q4, according to a statement from the oil giant.

Commenting on the results, Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser, said: “Our exceptional third quarter performance was a result of increased economic activity in key markets and a rebound in energy demand, as well as our unique low-cost position, our financial discipline and our proven ability to reliably deliver essential energy and chemical products to our customers.'