In today’s top stories, BP is among eight companies who will receive UK government support to undertake large-scale carbon capture. Elsewhere, China Mobile has bought a stake in Postal Savings Bank of China, the latest cash-rich Chinese telecom company to buy a stake in one of the country’s banks. There are question marks over the future of the metaverse, as Disney closes down its metaverse division. Toyota’s February sales hit a record high as it rebounded from pandemic-induced supply shortages, while Indonesia is pushing US lawmakers for tax credits under the IRA, saying its vast nickel reserves could help meet EV demand.
BP receives government support for carbon capture
BP [BP.L] and Equinor [EQNR] are among eight companies who will receive government support to enter the UK’s first large-scale carbon capture efforts in the north of England. Over the coming years, the British government is expected to spend £20bn supporting the technology, which it views as a key component of efforts to achieve net zero by 2050.
Postal Bank shares jump on China Mobile stake
Postal Savings Bank of China [1658.HK] gained up to 4.3% Thursday morning as China Mobile [0941.HK] agreed to buy a 45bn renminbi stake in the company. The move continues a trend of cash-rich Chinese telecoms companies buying stakes in the country’s banks. China Mobile has an 18% stake in Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co [600000.SS].
The contracting metaverse
Once touted as the bright future of technology, the metaverse now seems to be collapsing in on itself, as Disney [DIS] this week closed down its metaverse division. Mark Zuckerberg, who rebranded Facebook as Meta [META] in a nod to the online realm, appears to have switched focus to AI, while Decentraland real estate prices have fallen nearly 90%. Sony’s [6758.T] PlayStation VR2 headset sales are also facing a slow start.
Toyota hits February sales record
Toyota [7203.T] claims its February sales hit a record high of 773,271, up 10.3%, as it rebounded from pandemic-induced supply shortages. Renault’s [RNO.PA] iconic 1970s Renault 5 city car will be reincarnated in EV form in 2024. Meanwhile, Hitachi [6501.T] and Honda [7267.T] are restructuring their auto parts venture Hitachi Astemo, bringing in JIC Capital, which will hold a 20% stake.
Indonesia pushing for nickel credits
Indonesia is pushing US lawmakers for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), saying its vast nickel reserves could help meet EV demand. The country’s leaders feel its exclusion from the IRA is unfair, but US decision-makers are cautious about China’s control over Indonesia’s nickel industry. The UK has watered down its EV mandate, allowing carmakers to trade allowances with each other and defer early milestones.
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