Company news in brief

Shares in Country Garden suspended

Trading in debt-ridden Chinese property developer Country Garden was suspended in Hong Kong yesterday, days after it postponed the release of its 2023 results.

The firm is among a number of China's largest developers battered by a crisis in the country's property sector and struggling under a mountain of debt, fuelling concerns about the stability of the world's second-largest economy.

"At the request of the company, trading in the shares of the company on the stock exchange will be suspended ... pending publication of the 2023 Annual Results," Country Garden said in a Hong Kong exchange filing.

The real estate behemoth on Thursday postponed the expected release of its 2023 results, saying it "needs to collect more information to make appropriate accounting estimates and judgements". – AFP

Formula One owners buy MotoGP

Formula One owners Liberty Media have agreed to buy MotoGP on Monday in a deal valued at around US$4.5 billion, the American company said.

MotoGP said in a statement that Liberty Media would acquire "approximately 86%" stake from Spain-based owners Dorna in a deal valued at 4.2 billion euro.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 subject to clearances and approvals by competition and foreign investment law authorities in various jurisdictions.

Liberty will not be the first company to own both Formula One and MotoGP.

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners had owned both F1 and MotoGP but was forced to sell the motorcycle series to buy F1 after EU competition regulators raised objections. – AFP

Huawei profits more than doubled

Chinese tech giant Huawei said on Friday its profits more than doubled in 2023, as it ramps up efforts to bounce back in a year that saw the company apparently defy US sanctions with the release of a high-end smartphone.

The Shenzhen-based company has been at the centre of an intense standoff between China and the United States - Washington has warned that its equipment could be used for espionage by the Chinese government, an allegation Huawei denies.

Sanctions since 2019 have cut the firm's access to US-made components and technologies, forcing it to diversify its growth strategy.

Huawei said it generated a profit of 87 billion yuan (US$12 billion) last year, more than double 2022's 35.6 billion yuan but short of its record 113.7 billion yuan profit in 2021.

Revenues also surged by 9.6% to 704.2 billion yuan.

"We've been through a lot over the past few years," rotating chairman Ken Hu said Friday. – AFP

Eskom signs training deal with Russia

Eskom and Russian state-owned nuclear company Rosatom have signed a training "action plan" that aims to increase employment for African graduates of Russian universities.

According to Eskom, the plan includes joint education programmes for employees; joint degree programmes among Rosatom and Eskom partner universities; and a train-the-trainers hydrogen programme developed by Rosatom.

The companies further agreed on co-programming the Obninsk Tech School for Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) that takes place in June in the Russian town of Obninsk, which this year celebrates the 70th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear power plant.

In 2014, South Africa agreed that Rosatom would build up to eight nuclear reactors in SA, to supply up to 9.6GW of power.

The plan fell apart when it turned out that then-president Jacob Zuma, who had reportedly personally struck the deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had neither the authority nor political support to bind South Africa to what would have been its biggest procurement deal ever. – Fin24