The logo of South African coal miner Exxaro is seen outside the company's Pretoria headquarters, South Africa.
The logo of South African coal miner Exxaro is seen outside the company's Pretoria headquarters, South Africa.

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

STAFF REPORTER
Norway pension fund sells R1.2bn Caterpillar stake over Israel links

Norway’s largest private pension fund has exited its stake in Caterpillar, citing concerns that the US company may be contributing to human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza.

KLP, based in Oslo, sold Caterpillar shares and bonds worth 728 million kronor (R1.2 billion) earlier this month, according to Kiran Aziz, the firm’s head of responsible investments. She pointed to the use of the Texas-based company’s equipment "to demolish Palestinian homes and infrastructure to clear the way for Israeli settlements." Aziz also cited allegations that Caterpillar equipment is being used by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The pension fund’s decision feeds into a broader campaign by human rights activists urging the finance industry to divest and consumers to boycott companies linked to Israel. The IDF launched its military campaign in Gaza after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens.

Caterpillar wasn’t immediately available to comment.

"Although Caterpillar has shown itself willing to engage in a dialogue with KLP, the company’s responses failed to credibly substantiate its ability to actually reduce the risk of violating the rights of individuals in situations of war or conflict, or of violating international law," Aziz said. "The company cannot provide us with assurances that it is doing anything in this regard."

-BLOOMBERG-

ChatGPT voice assistant delayed for safety reasons

OpenAI is delaying the release of a much-anticipated voice assistant feature for ChatGPT in order to ensure it can safely and effectively process requests from millions of users.

The artificial intelligence startup unveiled the voice option at a product launch event in May for GPT-4o, an updated version of its GPT-4 model that is better at handling text, audio and images in real time.

In a statement, OpenAI said it had originally intended to roll out the voice feature to a small group of paid ChatGPT Plus subscribers in late June, but decided it needs another month to “reach our bar to launch.”

“We’re improving the model’s ability to detect and refuse certain content,” the company said on Tuesday.

“We’re also working on improving the user experience and preparing our infrastructure to scale to millions while maintaining real-time responses.”

The delay represents a possible setback for OpenAI as it works to stay ahead of an increasingly crowded field of AI rivals.

The company had introduced a more limited option for ChatGPT to talk back to users last year, but the new feature promised to be faster and pair with powerful image-recognition capabilities to turn the chatbot into a far more useful and dynamic conversational partner.

On stage at the launch event, OpenAI employees showed off ChatGPT responding almost instantly to requests such as solving a math problem on a piece of paper placed in front of a researcher’s smartphone camera.

-BLOOMBERG-

Nvidia shares surge nearly 7%, bouncing after $430 billion market slump

Shares of Nvidia surged nearly 7% on Tuesday, snapping out of a three-session tailspin that had erased about $430 billion from the artificial intelligence chipmaker's market value.

Nvidia's shares finished at $126.09, after a tumble that saw them lose around 13% from their June 18 close of $135.58. The drop followed a rally that accelerated after a 10-for-1 stock split that took effect on June 10.

"The bounce today is a normal technical bounce after a 15% drop in three days; you're not going to go straight down every single day," said Tom Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital in New York. "It's a great company, it's a great CEO, and you have insiders selling three-quarters of a billion worth of stock just as retail investors were getting involved with the split," Hayes added.

Nvidia's breathtaking rise and its position as the dominant provider of chips to support artificial intelligence applications have made it emblematic of this year's tech-driven boom in U.S. stocks.

Shares of Nvidia, which last week briefly became the world's most valuable company, are up 154% this year and have accounted for nearly 30% of the S&P 500's year-to-date return as of Monday's close, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The index is up 14.6% this year.

-REUTERS-

Lower Eskom offtake hurts Exxaro interim coal production and sales

Exxaro Resources has warned that its half-year coal production and sales volumes are expected to decrease by 14% and 12%, respectively, "mainly due to the reduced demand from Eskom" at its Grootegeluk operation, the mining group said in a pre-close briefing on Tuesday.

Exxaro said the first three months of the year were challenging in terms of offtake from Eskom’s power stations in the Waterberg region, although improvements were observed in the second quarter.

Eskom is Exxaro's largest customer, accounting for close to 60% of the miner’s annual sales volumes.

Exxaro’s head of minerals, Kgabi Masia, said Eskom’s offtake in the first three months of the year had been very challenging, partly due to trouble with the feeding lines, such as the conveyor belt, to the Medupi power plant.

Eskom demand, however, appeared to be recovering and last month, for the first time, "we met budget supplying into Eskom", Masia said.

Although half-year production and sales have been impacted by Eskom, Exxaro’s forecasts for the full-year remain more or less on track.

Price improvements in the second quarter of the year also improved the economics of exports through alternative ports.

As such, Exxaro said domestic thermal coal sales are expected to decrease by 54% based on the diversion of domestic sales into the export markets, mainly at the Mpumalanga mines. Export sales, meanwhile, are expected to tick up by 23%, enabled by moving volumes through alternative export channels.

-FIN24-

Kommentaar

Republikein 2024-07-22

Geen kommentaar is op hierdie artikel gelaat nie

Meld asseblief aan om kommentaar te lewer

Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 15 vs 64 DHL Western Province | Hollywoodbets Sharks XV 21 vs 31 Airlink Pumas | Vodacom Bulls 25 vs 13 Toyota Cheetahs XV | Fidelity ADT Lions 25 vs 13 Suzuki Griquas Rugby World Cup U20: England U20 21 vs 13 France U20 | Australia U20 6 vs 14 Argentina U20 | Ireland U20 24 vs 38 New Zealand U20 | Italy U20 13 vs 24 Georgia U20 | Wales U20 31 vs 47 South Africa U20 | Spain U20 24 vs 19 Fiji U20 Katima Mulilo: 13° | 33° Rundu: 13° | 34° Eenhana: 13° | 34° Oshakati: 14° | 32° Ruacana: 14° | 33° Tsumeb: 17° | 30° Otjiwarongo: 11° | 29° Omaruru: 12° | 30° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Gobabis: 8° | 30° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 16km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 10:00, High tide: 04:01, Low Tide: 22:27, High tide: 16:30 Swakopmund: 12° | 15° Wind speed: 15km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:59, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:28 Walvis Bay: 10° | 20° Wind speed: 17km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:58, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:27 Rehoboth: 9° | 27° Mariental: 10° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 24° Aranos: 9° | 28° Lüderitz: 11° | 19° Ariamsvlei: 10° | 25° Oranjemund: 9° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 27° Lubumbashi: 13° | 31° Mbabane: 12° | 23° Maseru: 3° | 19° Antananarivo: 12° | 25° Lilongwe: 16° | 30° Maputo: 17° | 24° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Cape Town: 9° | 15° Durban: 13° | 21° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 30° Harare: 14° | 27° Currency: GBP to NAD 23.54 | EUR to NAD 19.86 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.25 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.28 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.26 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.58 | USD to EGP 48.36 | USD to KES 130.98 | USD to NGN 1584.2 | USD to ZAR 18.25 | USD to ZMW 25.9 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1757.83 Down -0.25% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13623.01 Up +0.20% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 28783.24 Up +0.45% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 393.81/OZ DOWN -0.0074 | Copper US$ 4.20/lb DOWN -0.013 | Zinc US$ 2 749.30/T UP 0.1% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.66/BBP DOWN -0.0082 | Platinum US$ 945.60/OZ DOWN -0.0252 Sport results: Currie Cup: NovaVit Griffons 15 vs 64 DHL Western Province | Hollywoodbets Sharks XV 21 vs 31 Airlink Pumas | Vodacom Bulls 25 vs 13 Toyota Cheetahs XV | Fidelity ADT Lions 25 vs 13 Suzuki Griquas Rugby World Cup U20: England U20 21 vs 13 France U20 | Australia U20 6 vs 14 Argentina U20 | Ireland U20 24 vs 38 New Zealand U20 | Italy U20 13 vs 24 Georgia U20 | Wales U20 31 vs 47 South Africa U20 | Spain U20 24 vs 19 Fiji U20 Weather: Katima Mulilo: 13° | 33° Rundu: 13° | 34° Eenhana: 13° | 34° Oshakati: 14° | 32° Ruacana: 14° | 33° Tsumeb: 17° | 30° Otjiwarongo: 11° | 29° Omaruru: 12° | 30° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Gobabis: 8° | 30° Henties Bay: 11° | 17° Wind speed: 16km/h, Wind direction: S, Low tide: 10:00, High tide: 04:01, Low Tide: 22:27, High tide: 16:30 Swakopmund: 12° | 15° Wind speed: 15km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:59, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:28 Walvis Bay: 10° | 20° Wind speed: 17km/h, Wind direction: SW, Low tide: 09:58, High tide: 03:58, Low Tide: 22:25, High tide: 16:27 Rehoboth: 9° | 27° Mariental: 10° | 27° Keetmanshoop: 9° | 24° Aranos: 9° | 28° Lüderitz: 11° | 19° Ariamsvlei: 10° | 25° Oranjemund: 9° | 18° Luanda: 20° | 22° Gaborone: 11° | 27° Lubumbashi: 13° | 31° Mbabane: 12° | 23° Maseru: 3° | 19° Antananarivo: 12° | 25° Lilongwe: 16° | 30° Maputo: 17° | 24° Windhoek: 8° | 25° Cape Town: 9° | 15° Durban: 13° | 21° Johannesburg: 12° | 22° Dar es Salaam: 21° | 31° Lusaka: 16° | 30° Harare: 14° | 27° Economic Indicators: Currency: GBP to NAD 23.54 | EUR to NAD 19.86 | CNY to NAD 2.51 | USD to NAD 18.25 | DZD to NAD 0.14 | AOA to NAD 0.02 | BWP to NAD 1.3 | EGP to NAD 0.37 | KES to NAD 0.14 | NGN to NAD 0.01 | ZMW to NAD 0.69 | ZWL to NAD 0.04 | BRL to NAD 3.28 | RUB to NAD 0.21 | INR to NAD 0.22 | USD to DZD 134.26 | USD to AOA 872.64 | USD to BWP 13.58 | USD to EGP 48.36 | USD to KES 130.98 | USD to NGN 1584.2 | USD to ZAR 18.25 | USD to ZMW 25.9 | USD to ZWL 321 | Stock Exchange: JSE All Share Index Same 0 | Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) Overall Index 1757.83 Down -0.25% | Casablanca Stock Exchange (CSE) MASI 13623.01 Up +0.20% | Egyptian Exchange (EGX) 30 Index 28783.24 Up +0.45% | Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) DCI 9380.4 Same 0 | NSX: MTC 7.75 SAME | Anirep 8.99 SAME | Capricorn Investment group 17.34 SAME | FirstRand Namibia Ltd 49 DOWN 0.50% | Letshego Holdings (Namibia) Ltd 4.1 UP 2.50% | Namibia Asset Management Ltd 0.7 SAME | Namibia Breweries Ltd 31.49 UP 0.03% | Nictus Holdings - Nam 2.22 SAME | Oryx Properties Ltd 12.1 UP 1.70% | Paratus Namibia Holdings 11.99 SAME | SBN Holdings 8.45 SAME | Trustco Group Holdings Ltd 0.48 SAME | B2Gold Corporation 47.34 DOWN 1.50% | Local Index closed 677.62 UP 0.12% | Overall Index closed 1534.6 DOWN 0.05% | Osino Resources Corp 19.47 DOWN 2.41% | Commodities: Gold US$ 2 393.81/OZ DOWN -0.0074 | Copper US$ 4.20/lb DOWN -0.013 | Zinc US$ 2 749.30/T UP 0.1% | Brent Crude Oil US$ 82.66/BBP DOWN -0.0082 | Platinum US$ 945.60/OZ DOWN -0.0252