Marlboro cigarette maker Altria's $1.8 billion investment in the cannabis producer Cronos is a win-win, according to an analyst.
"Cronos provides Altria a unique entry into cannabis and we do not think Altria is taking on outsized risk while entering a new high-growth category," Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen, said in a note out on Monday.
Cronos has a relatively smaller cultivation capacity than most of the other major Canadian cannabis producers, but a higher efficient operating line, Azer says. While Cronos's revenue over the last 12 months - $12 million sales - ranked only the sixth among major Canadian marijuana producers, its gross margin ranked second.
"Cronos has been judicious with capital, and has embraced an asset light model that does not prioritise cultivation (consistent with tobacco)," Azer noted. "Their business model is less capital focused and more reliant on sourcing cannabis from local farmers, similar to tobacco companies."
Moreover, Cronos' focus on rare cannabinoids is a point of differentiation for Altria, Azer said.
"While the potential uses of cannabinoids are vast, Cronos believes the key to successfully bringing cannabinoid-based products to market is in creating reliable, consistent and scalable production of a full spectrum of the ~100 cannabinoids, not just THC and CBD," which are the two primary cannabinoids that occur naturally in the Cannabis, she added.
Azer believes Cronos can leverage Altria's expertise to create value-added form factors while focusing on ingredient composition without reliance on a massive cultivation infrastructure.
Azer has an "outperform" rating and a $74 price target for Altria - a 40% premium to where shares are trading on Monday.
Several South African liquor outlets are apparently running out of Castle Lager beer, as a shortage of bottles affected production.
Refilwe Masemola, South African Breweries director of external communications, said a shortage of reusable bottles has slowed the production process. There have been delays in returning these bottles to SAB, Masemola said, without giving more details.
“Our production teams are [however] hard at work to ensure that those outlets that may be affected are well stocked over the coming days,” Masemola told Business Insider South Africa.
“We are in fact ahead of our production schedule, which should bring some comfort to our customers.”
Castle Lager is one of South Africa’s most consumed beers and was for the first time named the 25th most valuable beer brand in the world in 2018.
South Africa is, on average, one of the world’s highest liquor consumers, and consumption tends to increase considerably over the festive season.
The First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, David Lipton, Tuesday, warned that `storm clouds’ were gathering over the global economy.
According to Lipton, who said governments and central banks might not be well equipped to cope, the fund had been urging governments to “fix the roof” during a sunny last two years for the world economy.
“But like many of you, I see storm clouds building, and fear the work on crisis prevention is incomplete,” he said.
Lipton, who spoke at at banking conference hosted by Bloomberg, also warned that strains could leave policymakers under pressure and in uncharted water.
“Central banks would likely end up exploring ever more unconventional measures.
“But with their effectiveness uncertain, we ought to be concerned about the potency of monetary policy”, he said.
The inflow of investment into Nigeria declined by $2.66 billion between the second and third quarter of this year, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown.
According to the NBS capital importation report for the third quarter of this year posted on its website on Tuesday, the amount of investment the economy attracted in the third quarter was $2.85 billion, representing a decline of 48.21 per cent over the $5.51bn which the economy attracted during the second quarter of this year.
According to the report, when compared to the third quarter period of 2017, the $2.85bn investment for the economy in the third quarter of this year represents a decline of 31.12 per cent.
The report further puts the overall investment the economy attracted in the first nine months of 2018 at about $14.66 billion.
A breakdown of the $14.66 billion showed that the sum of $6.3 billion was attracted in the first quarter while the second and third quarters each attracted $5.51 billion and $2.85 billion respectively.
“The total value of capital importation into Nigeria stood at $2.85 billion in the third quarter of 2018.
“This was a decrease of 48.21 per cent compared to Q2 2018 and a 31.12 per cent decrease compared to the third quarter of 2017″, the NBS report says.
The NBS further revealed that the largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for $1.73 billion or 60.5 per cent of total investment inflows, followed by “other investment”, which accounted for $601.53 million or 21.07 per cent of total investments.
The report also said foreign direct investment followed as it accounted for $530.63 million or 18.58 per cent of total capital imported in the third quarter.
By sector, the report said investment in equity dominated the third quarter of 2018 accounting for $1.67 billion of the total capital inflow in the quarter.
In terms of country of destination, the NBS report revealed that the United States emerged as the top source of capital investment in Nigeria in the third quarter of 2018 with $911.33 million, accounting for 31.91 per cent of the total capital inflow in the third quarter of 2018.
Prices of crude oil in the international market have rebounded after the most recent production cut deal reached by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members led by Russia.
The current gains that see price near $62 a barrel, is also coming on the heels of the shutdown of Libya’s largest oil field after protesters forced its closure.
Brent futures rose as much as 1.1 percent after jumping 2.7 percent as producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia committed to removing 1.2 million barrels a day of output, more than the market had expected.
Prices have slid from a four-year high in early October highs after Washington gave temporary exemptions from sanctions to eight nations to continue purchasing Iranian oil, while America exacerbated a global glut by pumping at record levels.
Brent for February settlement increased as much as 66 cents to $62.33 a barrel on London’s ICE Fu-tures Europe exchange and traded 0.5 percent higher at $61.96 a barrel in London. Futures rose $1.61 to $61.67 a barrel.
The global benchmark crude traded at $9.28 above US West Texas Intermediate for the same month.
WTI futures for January delivery were little changed and traded at $52.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices rose 2.2 percent to $52.61. Total volume traded was 32 percent above the 100-day
The White Lion Seed Company will launch its brand at the Cannabis Expo on Thursday, in anticipation of selling industrial quantities of dagga seeds – and starter kits for home growers.
It believes the regulation that will allow it to sell seeds for R500 per pack will be in place by early 2019.
Then, the company says, it will be all about the genetics, to provide the exact high or medical treatment customers are looking for with just the right strain of marijuana.
During the course of 2019 – and hopefully in the first quarter – The White Lion Seed company hopes to be selling 5-seed cannabis starter kits for between R450 and R750 each, with everything you need to grow your own high.
Then it will be all about the kind of high, or medical treatment you are looking for. In the market for feeling very stoned? The Exodus Cheese marijuana strain may be for you. Just need some mild relaxation? Maybe the Super Lemon Haze plant is more for you.
"It is all about the genetics, even if you are doing medical or extracting [active ingredients]," says White Lion's Cornel van der Watt. "Before you do anything you should look at the genetics."
Even though private use and possession of dagga has effectively been decriminalised, selling seeds remains illegal. Nonetheless, White Lion will be launching its brand at the Cannabis Expo that starts on Thursday, in the anticipation that such restrictions will lift very soon.
As soon as that happens, Van der Watt says, beer companies will be looking for cannabidiol or CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from dagga; drug companies will be looking for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in dagga; and ordinary people will be looking for designer highs of all kinds. Then there will be strains aimed at specific medical outcomes such as reducing inflammation or tapping down on appetite.
White Lion has a partnership in place with a major Dutch distributor, says Van der Watt, and is actively breeding its own strains, in territories where that is legal, to create cannabis plants with predictable levels of active ingredients.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene with the U.S. Justice Department in the case against a Chinese telecommunications executive if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing.
"If I think it's good for the country, if I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made - which is a very important thing - what's good for national security - I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary," Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters in the Oval Office.
At the request of U.S. authorities, Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested earlier this month in Vancouver on charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The arrest came the same day Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a 90-day truce in their trade war during summit talks in Buenos Aires.
Trump, who wants China to open up its markets to more American-made products and stop what Washington calls the theft of intellectual property, said he had not yet spoken to Xi about the case against Huawei's executive.
Meng, 46, faces U.S. accusations she misled multinational banks about Huawei's control of a company operating in Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions and incurring severe penalties, court documents said.
If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions. A Canadian court on Tuesday granted bail Meng while she awaits an extradition hearing.
Trump, who has made sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program a signature part of his foreign policy, was asked whether Meng could be released.
"Well, it's possible that a lot of different things could happen. It's also possible it will be a part of negotiations. But we'll speak to the Justice Department, we'll speak to them, we'll get a lot of people involved," he said.
Asked if he would like to see Meng extradited to the United States, Trump said he wanted to first see what the Chinese request. He added, however, that Huawei's alleged practices are troubling.
"This has been a big problem that we've had in so many different ways with so many companies from China and from other places," he said.
In the wake of his meeting with Xi in Buenos Aires, Trump said during the interview that trade talks with Beijing were underway by telephone, with more meetings likely among U.S. and Chinese officials.
He said the Chinese government was once again buying large quantities of U.S. soybeans, a reversal after China in July imposed tariffs on U.S. supplies of the oilseed in retaliation for U.S. duties on Chinese goods.
"I just heard today that they're buying tremendous amounts of soybeans. They are starting, just starting now," Trump said.
Commodity traders in Chicago, however, said they have seen no evidence of a resumption of soybean purchases by China, which last year bought about 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports in deals valued at more than $12 billion.
South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Motor Group shook up its executive ranks on Tuesday and appointed its first foreign head of research and development, raising expectations of a smooth transition of power at the family-run business empire.
The reshuffle, first reported by Press on Tuesday and confirmed by Hyundai on Wednesday, is part of preparations for generational change in the executive ranks at South Korea's second-largest family-owned business empire.
Group President Albert Biermann, a German former BMW executive, was named head of research and development, replacing longtime executives Yang Woong-chul and Kwon Moon-sik. The move was seen as a significant step to bring in fresh ideas at the Korean-dominated group.
In all, 17 top executives were reassigned across the group including at Hyundai Motor Co <005380.KS> and Kia Motors Corp <000270.KS> - which together form the fifth-biggest automaker in the world.
The move follows the promotion of Euisun Chung in September to Hyundai Motor's executive vice chairman, moving him closer to succeeding his 80-year-old father, Mong-Koo Chung, as group chairman.
It comes as Hyundai Motor Co battles to reverse falling profits as a result of U.S. recall costs and weak sales in the U.S. and Chinese markets.
Hyundai Motor Co shares jumped as much as 9 percent to their highest level since Oct. 10, while shares in affiliates like Hyundai Mobis <012330.KS>, Hyundai Wia <011210.KS> and Hyundai Glovis <086280.KS> also rallied.
While the announcement by Hyundai on Tuesday of a major investment in fuel cell production also lifted sentiment, analysts said most of the share price rise could be attributed to the leadership changes.
In particular, it signaled that the junior Chung was making progress with his plans to restructure the sprawling group after a previous plan was scrapped due to opposition from U.S. hedge fund Elliott.
"The reshuffle signals that the junior Chung is tightening his grip on the conglomerate, a move which raises investors' hopes for change," said Kim Joon-sung, an analyst at Meritz Securities.
In a sign that Chairman Chung's grip may be weakening, one of his closest lieutenants, Hyundai Motor Co Vice Chairman Kim Yong-hwan, was reassigned away from the core automaker and named vice chairman of steelmaking affiliate Hyundai Steel <004020.KS>.
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that the reshuffle was "part of a generational change (the junior) Chung is pushing for."
Hyundai Motor Co chief innovation officer Youngcho Chi was promoted to president, as the automaker tries to catch up with its rivals in future technologies such as car-sharing.
Biermann, a former BMW performance vehicle development official, is one of several foreign executives that heir apparent Chung, 48, has brought into the traditionally Korean-dominated group.
In October, Thomas Schemera, also a former BMW executive, was appointed to lead product planning for autonomous cars, connected and electrified vehicles, while Luc Donckerwolke, a former Bentley design chief, was appointed to oversee design at Hyundai and Kia.
The group has previously appointed new senior executives at its overseas operations, including China and the United States.