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Huawei 2020 revenue ticks up despite U.S. sanctions, chairman says

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Huawei 2020 revenue ticks up despite U.S. sanctions, chairman says 1

By Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies saw slight revenue and profit growth in 2020, in line with its expectations, its rotating chairman said on Tuesday, even as Washington toughened up sanctions against the Chinese telecom equipment maker.

The company was put on an export blacklist by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019 and barred from accessing critical technology of U.S. origin, affecting its ability to design its own chips and source components from outside vendors.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it poses a security risk.

“Huawei was confronted with some extraordinary difficulties last year,” rotating Chairman Ken Hu said at industry event Mobile World Congress Shanghai.

“Operations were relatively stable and in line with our guidance, registering slight growth in revenue and profit.”

Earlier this month, the company’s founder and Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei said he hoped the Biden administration would “harbour an open policy” towards U.S. firms doing business with Huawei in his first comments to the media in about a year.

China has so far spent more than 260 billion yuan ($40.27 billion) in building its 5G network, an official with the Ministry of Information and Information Technology said on Tuesday.

Huawei on Monday unveiled its new 5G Mate X2 foldable phone, which will use the company’s proprietary Kirin processor.

Though with the cheapest model starting at 17,999 yuan ($2,788), the phone is not positioned to challenge the mainstream phone market.

Huawei set up 50,000 5G base stations in Indonesia, Hu said, adding that it plans to build 2,000 base stations in remote regions of Ghana.

The company is expected to post its full-year results in March, a spokesman said.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Writing by David Kirton; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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Britain’s G4S recommends $5.4 billion Allied Universal bid, ending takeover tussle

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Britain's G4S recommends $5.4 billion Allied Universal bid, ending takeover tussle 2

(Reuters) – Private security firm G4S on Tuesday recommended shareholders vote for Allied Universal’s final offer valuing the British firm at 3.8 billion pounds ($5.35 billion), after a rare auction ended a bitter months-long takeover battle with Canada’s GardaWorld.

Allied Universal in a separate statement said it has extended its offer period deadline for the 245 pence per share G4S offer to March 16 and the acceptance condition was lowered to 75% in nominal value and voting rights of G4S shares from 90% earlier.

It has obtained “substantially all” of the required antitrust regulatory approvals including in the U.S. and European Union, Allied Universal added. Britain has not yet approved the merger.

The auction for G4S ended abruptly on Monday after hostile bidder GardaWorld stuck with its December bid of 235 pence per share for the world’s largest private security firm and Allied Universal told the takeover regulator it would not revise its offer on day one.

On Tuesday, Allied also said it would not increase its 245 pence per share offer that was first announced on Dec. 8. G4S had backed that offer in December after repeatedly rejecting GardaWorld’s hostile advances.

The battle for UK’s G4S had hit a deadlock earlier after the North American bidders repeatedly extended their offer deadlines and shareholders’ acceptance was low, as investors held out for a higher payout.

That led to Britain’s Takeover Panel stepping in to help resolve the bid battle by setting a Feb. 20 deadline for both bidders to make their offers final or head to auction on Feb. 22.

($1 = 0.7107 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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Deloitte launches its Doing Business Guide for the United Arab Emirates: Business agility in a COVID environment

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Deloitte launches its Doing Business Guide for the United Arab Emirates: Business agility in a COVID environment 3

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken vast measures to ease doing business in the country in the short term, and progressed initiatives of strategic and long-term success.

Some of the immediate measures included the extension of Value Added Tax (VAT) filings, Covid-19 measures for the economic substance rules, refund of Customs duties, as well postponements of rent payments, cancelling of fines, waiving of licenses fees and other registration fees in mainland as well as Free Zones.

With this in mind, Deloitte has just launched its “Doing business guide UAE”, a taxation and investment guide to help investors gain a working perspective on the operating conditions and investment climate in the Emirates.

“Over the last twelve months, the United Arab Emirates has demonstrated unparalleled resilience with the COVID-19 outbreak and fostered its stance as a leading hub for investors, businesses and individuals. The country deployed several measures including significant medical response as well as fiscal stimulus packages. This agile response has laid the basis to increase foreign direct investment and attract talent,” explains Jan Roderick Van Abbe, Director, International and M&A Tax, Deloitte Middle East.

In late 2020, the UAE amended the Commercial Companies Law to allow 100% foreign ownership in mainland with some exceptions still to be confirmed. The UAE also introduced relaxed residency and visa requirements and recently announced that UAE citizenship will be granted to foreigners, subject to certain conditions.

“The UAE is a regional trade hub and a focal Middle Eastern destination for international investors. The open environment, stability, infrastructure and efficient corporate and immigration processes have attracted many investors throughout the past years. The UAE authorities oversee ongoing reforms to ensure that the country offers an efficient regulatory framework enabling companies to access the talent and workforce they need to operate in the country and wider region,” added Hadi Allawi, Partner and Immigration Leader, Deloitte Middle East.

In addition, Dubai  also launched a virtual/remote working program enabling eligible foreign professionals, entrepreneurs and company owners to work remotely from Dubai for up to one year with the ability to bring their family members with them as well as access all services in the Emirates, including accommodation, utilities, and schooling for children.

To view the full report, click here.

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Total sells wind and solar farm stakes to Credit Agricole and Banque des Territoires

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Total sells wind and solar farm stakes to Credit Agricole and Banque des Territoires 4

PARIS (Reuters) – French energy group Total has agreed to sell off stakes in some wind and solar farms to Credit Agricole Assurances and Banque des Territoires, in deals which Total said would boost its cash flow and return on equity.

Total said on Tuesday that Crédit Agricole Assurances would buy a 50% stake in nine wind farms (103 MW) and 44 solar power plants (182 MW) for a total capacity of 285 MW.

Banque des Territoires would buy a 50% stake in a portfolio consisting of eight solar farms located in New Caledonia with a total capacity of 53 MW, with the deals giving 100% of the portfolios an enterprise value of $600 million.

“These farm downs are the implementation of the business model we have defined for the development of renewable energies aiming to achieve over 10% return on equity,” said Julien Pouget, senior vice president of Total’s renewables unit.

Earlier this month, Total reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings as oil prices stabilised, and said it would change its name to TotalEnergies to reflect its move towards the renewable energy sector.

Total is building up a portfolio in the renewables and electricity sectors that could account for up to 40% of its sales by 2050, while also eyeing opportunities for divestments which could increase its cash flow and return for investors.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, editing by Louise Heavens)

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