Connect with us

Top Stories

Weichai Power’s Strategic Equity Investment in Ceres Power Receives Final Chinese Approval

Published

on

Weichai Power's Strategic Equity Investment in Ceres Power Receives Final Chinese Approval

Ceres Power (AIM: CWR) (“Ceres Power”, “Ceres”), developer of the SteelCell®, a world-leading, low cost Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology, is pleased to announce that Weichai Power (“Weichai”) has received relevant approvals from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for its proposed equity investment in Ceres announced on 16 May 2018.

Further to the announcement made by Ceres on 16 May 2018, relevant competent authorities in the PRC have approved the proposed equity investment by Weichai in Ceres.

Approval covers the initial investment of c.£17m to take a 10% stake in Ceres and is priced at 15.08p / share, an 18% premium to the date of the initial announcement.

Approval also covers the additional potential equity investment of c.£23.2m which is conditional on the signing of further commercial agreements before 30 November 2018.

Approval marks a significant milestone before the formal start of the relationship with Weichai, one of the leading automobile and equipment manufacturing companies in China.

The parties will initially work on jointly developing and launching a fuel cell range extender system for China’s fast growing electric powered bus market.

Ceres will now seek shareholder approval for authorities to issue the Ordinary Shares arising from these investments, and will shortly send out a Notice to a General Meeting.

The second potential equity investment of c.£23.2m will be by way of warrant at an exercise price of 16.45p/share, a 29% premium on the market value at the time of the initial announcement. This warrant will allow Weichai to hold in aggregate a 20% equity holding in Ceres and will be automatically exercised on the signing of the further commercial agreements expected later in 2018, subject to certain conditions.

Alongside the investment, Ceres and Weichai intend to enter a broader strategic collaboration to jointly develop and launch a SOFC fuel cell range extender system for China’s fast growing electric powered bus market. Weichai has a wide network of customers in China with sales volumes of c.30,000 buses per year.

The strategic collaboration is currently expected to begin with an initial Fuel Cell System technology transfer to Weichai in 2018 for the development and demonstration of CNG fueled SteelCell® SOFC hybrid electric buses in China by 2019. The parties then expect to progress to further trials of multiple buses and SteelCell® SOFC stack supply by 2020.

Weichai is listed in Hong Kong and Shenzhen with a market capitalization of c. US$10bn, and has a strong track record of making strategic investments in businesses around the world, including SociétéInternationale des Moteurs Baudouin in France, Power Solutions International lnc. in the U.S. and KION Group AG (MDAX-listed) in Germany.

The low-emission public transport market in China represents a major commercial opportunity for Ceres’s technology. This is being driven by the Chinese Government, which is stimulating this sector through subsidies and Zero-Emission Zones designed to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, while increasing public health and lower operating costs.

In addition to these benefits and increasing the operational range of electric buses, the Ceres Power range extender has the advantage of being able to run on widely available fuels such as CNG and does not rely on the roll out of hydrogen infrastructure.

Top Stories

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe

Published

on

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 1

By David Milliken and William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below zero later this year or in 2022 if a recovery in the economy disappoints, especially if there is persistent unemployment, policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday.

Vlieghe said he thought the likeliest scenario was that the economy would recover strongly as forecast by the central bank earlier this month, meaning a further loosening of monetary policy would not be needed.

Data published on Friday suggested the economy had stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown hit retailers last month, while businesses and consumers are hopeful a fast vaccination campaign will spur a recovery.

Vlieghe said in a speech published by the BoE that there was a risk of lasting job market weakness hurting wages and prices.

“In such a scenario, I judge more monetary stimulus would be appropriate, and I would favour a negative Bank Rate as the tool to implement the stimulus,” he said.

“The time to implement it would be whenever the data, or the balance of risks around it, suggest that the recovery is falling short of fully eliminating economic slack, which might be later this year or into next year,” he added.

Vlieghe’s comments are similar to those of fellow policymaker Michael Saunders, who said on Thursday negative rates could be the BoE’s best tool in future.

Earlier this month the BoE gave British financial institutions six months to get ready for the possible introduction of negative interest rates, though it stressed that no decision had been taken on whether to implement them.

Investors saw the move as reducing the likelihood of the BoE following other central banks and adopting negative rates.

Some senior BoE policymakers, such as Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, believe that adding to the central bank’s 875 billion pounds ($1.22 trillion) of government bond purchases remains the best way of boosting the economy if needed.

Vlieghe underscored the scale of the hit to Britain’s economy and said it was clear the country was not experiencing a V-shaped recovery, adding it was more like “something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery.”

“I want to emphasise how far we still have to travel in this recovery,” he said, adding that it was “highly uncertain” how much of the pent-up savings amassed by households during the lockdowns would be spent.

By contrast, last week the BoE’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, likened the economy to a “coiled spring.”

Vlieghe also warned against raising interest rates if the economy appeared to be outperforming expectations.

“It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.

Higher interest rates were unlikely to be appropriate until 2023 or 2024, he said.

($1 = 0.7146 pounds)

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit

Published

on

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 2

By William Schomberg and David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month hit retailers, and business and consumers are hopeful the vaccination campaign will spur a recovery, data showed on Friday.

The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of businesses, suggested the economy was barely shrinking in the first half of February as companies adjusted to the latest restrictions.

A separate survey of households showed consumers at their most confident since the pandemic began.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

The central bank expects a strong subsequent recovery because of the COVID-19 vaccination programme – though policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech on Friday that the BoE could need to cut interest rates below zero later this year if unemployment stayed high.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due on Monday to announce the next steps in England’s lockdown but has said any easing of restrictions will be gradual.

Official data for January underscored the impact of the latest lockdown on retailers.

Retail sales volumes slumped by 8.2% from December, a much bigger fall than the 2.5% decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and the second largest on record.

“The only good thing about the current lockdown is that it’s no way near as bad for the economy as the first one,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The smaller fall in retail sales than last April’s 18% plunge reflected growth in online shopping.

BORROWING SURGE SLOWED IN JANUARY

There was some better news for finance minister Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce Britain’s next annual budget on March 3.

Though public sector borrowing of 8.8 billion pounds ($12.3 billion) was the first January deficit in a decade, it was much less than the 24.5 billion pounds forecast in a Reuters poll.

That took borrowing since the start of the financial year in April to 270.6 billion pounds, reflecting a surge in spending and tax cuts ordered by Sunak.

The figure does not count losses on government-backed loans which could add 30 billion pounds to the shortfall this year, but the deficit is likely to be smaller than official forecasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said.

Sunak is expected to extend a costly wage subsidy programme, at least for the hardest-hit sectors, but he said the time for a reckoning would come.

“It’s right that once our economy begins to recover, we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable footing and I’ll always be honest with the British people about how we will do this,” he said.

Some economists expect higher taxes sooner rather than later.

“Big tax rises eventually will have to be announced, with 2022 likely to be the worst year, so that they will be far from voters’ minds by the time of the next general election in May 2024,” Samuel Tombs, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.

Public debt rose to 2.115 trillion pounds, or 97.9% of gross domestic product – a percentage not seen since the early 1960s.

The PMI survey and a separate measure of manufacturing from the Confederation of British Industry, showing factory orders suffering the smallest hit in a year, gave Sunak some cause for optimism.

IHS Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, said the improvement in business expectations suggested the economy was “poised for recovery.”

However the PMI survey showed factory output in February grew at its slowest rate in nine months. Many firms reported extra costs and disruption to supply chains from new post-Brexit barriers to trade with the European Union since Jan. 1.

Vlieghe warned against over-interpreting any early signs of growth. “It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.

“We are experiencing something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery. We are clearly not experiencing a V-shaped recovery.”

($1 = 0.7160 pounds)

(Editing by Angus MacSwan and Timothy Heritage)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output

Published

on

Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output 3

By Devika Krishna Kumar

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday, retreating further from recent highs as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.

Brent crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $63.60 a barrel by 11:06 a.m. (1606 GMT) U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 60 cents, or 1%, to $59.92.

This week, both benchmarks had climbed to the highest in more than a year.

“Price pullback thus far appears corrective and is slight within the context of this month’s major upside price acceleration,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.

Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, analysts estimated.

Texas refiners halted about a fifth of the nation’s oil processing amid power outages and severe cold.

Companies were expected to prepare for production restarts on Friday as electric power and water services slowly resume, sources said.

“While much of the selling relates to a gradual resumption of power in the Gulf coast region ahead of a significant temperature warmup, the magnitude of this week’s loss of supply may require further discounting given much uncertainty regarding the extent and possible duration of lost output,” Ritterbusch said.

Oil fell despite a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to Feb. 12, before the big freeze. Inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels, their lowest since March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday. [EIA/S]

The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Still, analysts did not expect near-term reversal of sanctions on Iran that were imposed by the previous U.S. administration.

“This breakthrough increases the probability that we may see Iran returning to the oil market soon, although there is much to be discussed and a new deal will not be a carbon-copy of the 2015 nuclear deal,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.

(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Editing by Jason Neely, David Goodman and David Gregorio)

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 4 UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 5
Top Stories3 hours ago

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe

By David Milliken and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below...

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 6 UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 7
Top Stories3 hours ago

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit

By William Schomberg and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month...

Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 8 Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 9
Trading3 hours ago

Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities

By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar lost ground on Friday, extending Thursday’s decline as improved risk appetite...

Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high 10 Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high 11
Trading3 hours ago

Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Tom Wilson NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin touched a market capitalization of $1 trillion as it...

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 12 Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 13
Investing3 hours ago

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equity markets snapped a 3-day losing streak to...

Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile 14 Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile 15
Business4 hours ago

Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile

By Gilles Guillaume PARIS (Reuters) – Renault said on Friday it is still fighting the lingering effects of the COVID-19...

Portable Oxygen Concentrators Market to Register 7.8% CAGR Through 2026; Sales to Surge as Oxygen Therapy Becomes Crucial in Covid-19 Treatments 16 Portable Oxygen Concentrators Market to Register 7.8% CAGR Through 2026; Sales to Surge as Oxygen Therapy Becomes Crucial in Covid-19 Treatments 17
Research Reports6 hours ago

Portable Oxygen Concentrators Market to Register 7.8% CAGR Through 2026; Sales to Surge as Oxygen Therapy Becomes Crucial in Covid-19 Treatments

Portable oxygen concentrator manufacturers are largely concerned with the maintenance of inventories throughout the coronavirus crisis, with optimization of supply...

Cancer Supportive Care Products Market to Reach US$ 32 Bn by 2030; Sales Limited by Complications for Cancer Patients Through Covid-19 Infections 18 Cancer Supportive Care Products Market to Reach US$ 32 Bn by 2030; Sales Limited by Complications for Cancer Patients Through Covid-19 Infections 19
Research Reports6 hours ago

Cancer Supportive Care Products Market to Reach US$ 32 Bn by 2030; Sales Limited by Complications for Cancer Patients Through Covid-19 Infections

The cancer supportive care products market is anticipated to reach a valuation of US$ 32 billion by 2030. The industry is expected...

Bronchoscopes Sales to Rise 1.5x Between 2018 and 2028; Potential Covid-19 Diagnostic Applications to Generate Lucrative Growth Opportunities 20 Bronchoscopes Sales to Rise 1.5x Between 2018 and 2028; Potential Covid-19 Diagnostic Applications to Generate Lucrative Growth Opportunities 21
Research Reports6 hours ago

Bronchoscopes Sales to Rise 1.5x Between 2018 and 2028; Potential Covid-19 Diagnostic Applications to Generate Lucrative Growth Opportunities

Bronchoscope manufacturers remain focused on development initiatives to improve product functionality and accuracy for higher adoption amid healthcare facilities. The bronchoscopes...

US$ 1.1 Bn Hypoparathyroidism Treatment Market Still in Infancy 22 US$ 1.1 Bn Hypoparathyroidism Treatment Market Still in Infancy 23
Research Reports6 hours ago

US$ 1.1 Bn Hypoparathyroidism Treatment Market Still in Infancy

Mushrooming incidences of thyroid cancer have amplified the number of thoracic surgeries, thus stimulating growth of hypoparathyroidism treatment market. Future...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now