General Electric announced on Tuesday that it planned to break itself into three publicly traded businesses, the latest effort by the 129-year-old industrial conglomerate to simplify its business and lift its stagnant stock price.
The company said it would spin off its health care division in early 2023, and its energy businesses a year later. That would leave its aviation unit as its remaining business, which would continue to be led by its chairman and chief executive, H. Lawrence Culp.
Tuesday’s announcement is perhaps the most drastic effort yet by G.E. to reinvent itself, as it has struggled to bolster its fortune following the 2008 financial crisis. The company has moved to wind down its once vast financial arm and spin out or sell various businesses under pressure from investors.
Shares in G.E. were up more than 10 percent in premarket trading following the announcement.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Turmoil in China’s real estate sector could threaten the United States, the Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday.
In its twice-yearly update on the American financial system, the U.S. central bank said it was concerned both with how high the levels debt had grown in China’s corporate sector and with how Beijing was tackling the debt.
The financial troubles of China Evergrande Group, the world’s most indebted developer with a $300 billion debt pile, has set off panic in global financial markets and at home. What initially emerged as concern over one heavily indebted company has spread to a number of other real estate companies. Those developers are showing their own signs of stress as they struggle under mountains of debt and a property market slowed by tightening government controls over borrowing.
The regulatory focus, the Fed said, “has the potential to stress some highly indebted corporations, especially in the real estate sector, as exemplified by the recent concerns over China Evergrande Group.”
These stresses, in turn, could spill over into the broader economy.
“Given the size of China’s economy and financial system as well as its extensive trade linkages with the rest of the world, financial stresses in China could strain global financial markets through a deterioration of risk sentiment, pose risks to global economic growth, and affect the United States,” the Fed said.
At least six Chinese property developers have defaulted on foreign bonds in recent weeks, rattling domestic financial markets and raising the cost of borrowing for all Chinese companies. Property prices are slowing and fewer people are buying apartments, worsening the outlook for the sector. Evergrande, which has more than one million unfinished apartments across the country, is facing a deadline on Wednesday to make at least $150 million in bond payments.
After decades of binge borrowing, Chinese regulators have cut off real state sector funding. Many developers sold apartments and took payments from home buyers before they had completed the properties, creating a difficult situation not just for banks and investors but also for individual homeowners.
Macy’s said on Monday that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by May and start offering education benefits to employees in February.
The increase will lift Macy’s average base pay above $17 an hour, a company statement said. Macy’s did not specify its current minimum wage, but said it varied by location. The education program will cover tuition, books and fees for programs including high school completion, college preparation, and associate and bachelor’s degrees within a network. It is expected to cost the company $35 million over the next four years.
Macy’s will also offer employees an extra paid day off, it said.
Retailers have been scrambling to hire ahead of the all-important holiday season, which is expected to be bustling after a grim 2020. Many chains are raising wages and offering new benefits and additional flexibility in their pursuit of hourly workers.
Jeff Gennette, the chief executive of Macy’s, told The New York Times in a recent interview that there was “a war for talent at the front lines.” The retailer has said it aims to hire 76,000 full- and part-time employees this season.
For decades the British government has routinely approved offshore oil drilling projects in the North Sea.
But a proposed oil field in deep waters northwest of Scotland’s Shetland Islands has become a crucial test case for the government, environmental groups and the oil industry, The New York Times’s Stanley Reed reports.
Environmental activists want to stop the project from proceeding, and they have seized on Britain’s role as host of a major United Nations climate conference in Glasgow this month as an opportunity to confront the government over its continued support for the oil and gas industry. They point to studies that say new investment in fossil fuels must stop in order to curb global warming.
The energy industry says the British economy will need oil and gas for years to come.
Both sides agree that rejecting the project, known as Cambo, would signal death for the oil industry in Britain, and, perhaps, other countries.
“Rejection of Cambo would actually say we are not serious about energy policy in the U.K.,” said Mike Tholen, director for sustainability at Oil and Gas UK, an industry group.
For Caroline Rance, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, “Cambo is a very egregious example of the U.K.’s climate hypocrisy,” she said. “This is the reason that Cambo has become such a big, iconic fight.”
A silicon shortage is upending the $500 billion chip industry, and many of the shifts are likely to outlive the pandemic-fueled dearth. The lack of the tiny components — which has pinched makers of cars, game consoles, medical devices and many other goods — has been a stark reminder of the foundational nature of chips, which act as the brains of computers and other products.
Chief among the changes is a long-term shift in market power from chip buyers to sellers, particularly those that own factories that make the semiconductors, The New York Times’s Don Clark reports. The most visible beneficiaries have been giant chip manufacturers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which offer services called foundries that build chips for other companies.
But the shortage has also sharply bolstered the influence of lesser-known chip makers such as Microchip Technology, NXP Semiconductors, STMicroelectronics, Onsemi and Infineon, which design and sell thousands of chip varieties to thousands of customers. These companies, which build many products in their own aging factories, now are increasingly able to choose which customers get how many of their scarce chips.
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