European shares open higher…Guinness recall
UNDATED (AP) – Shares have opened higher in Europe after gains in most Asian markets driven by hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine may hasten a return to normal for the global economy. Benchmarks rose in Paris, London and Tokyo but slipped in Hong Kong and Shanghai. New Chinese regulations focused on technology companies pulled shares in companies like Alibaba and Tencent sharply lower.
LONDON (AP) – The British government plans to increase its power to block or modify foreign investment in the U.K. on national security grounds under legislation to be introduced today. The National Security and Investment Bill would require businesses to notify the government about deals in sensitive industries, including defense, transportation, communications and artificial intelligence. The government will then have 30 days to review the transactions and impose conditions on those deemed to pose a risk to national security. The legislation, which applies to technology and intellectual property as well corporate takeovers, follows similar moves by the U.S. and Australia amid increasing concern about investment from potentially hostile countries such as China.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – One of the world’s biggest grain exporting houses has signed an agreement to sell a 45% stake to the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. The development comes as the United Arab Emirates tries to improve its food security. Louis Dreyfus Company, a family-owned commodities trading giant, reached the deal today to sell an indirect equity stake to Abu Dhabi’s ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies. Louis Dreyfus also says that it signed a long-term commercial supply agreement with the state-owned Emirati company.
BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese industry group says sales of vehicles including trucks and buses rose 12.5% over a year earlier in October as the industry recovered from the coronavirus. But total purchases in the year’s first 10 months still were below pre-virus levels. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says that sales in the biggest global auto market rose to 2.6 million. It says sales of SUVs and other passenger vehicles grew faster than overall purchases but gave no details. In the year through October, total vehicle sales declined 4.7% from a year earlier to 19.7 million.
LONDON (AP) – Irish brewer Guinness is recalling cans of its recently launched non-alcoholic stout over contamination concerns. The brewer described the recall of Guinness 0.0 as “precautionary” and related to a “microbiological contamination.” It impacts the British market since the product was not yet on sale in Ireland. Guinness 0.0 was launched last month amid much fanfare after four years of development. The brewer is urging anyone with cans of Guinness 0.0 not to drink it but says the contamination issue does not impact any other Guinness variants or brands. The new brew was developed in response to what Guinness said was growing consumer appetite for non-alcohol, lower-calorie beverages.