News Archive


Lyft IPO puts investors in self-driving cars as well as ride services

DETROIT (Reuters) – An initial public offering by Lyft Inc will give investors a way to jump into self-driving cars, although the ride services company and rival Uber Technologies Inc may have to wait years before sending a driverless robotaxi to a customer.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that San Francisco-based Lyft is close to hiring an IPO advisory firm as a first concrete step toward becoming publicly listed.

Lyft would establish a public valuation for ride services startups that has been elusive. Lyft was valued at $7.5 billion in its latest fundraising, while larger rival Uber is valued at $68 billion. Some question whether that is fair, given the range of scandals at Uber this year. In August, Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi set a new tentative timeline for Uber’s IPO of between 18 and 36 months.

A ride services IPO tests the belief of many auto industry insiders that individual auto ownership will wane as people will sell their cars and rely on “mobility services” such as ride services, car share, bike share – and self-driving vehicles.

A Lyft IPO “is going to tell us what the valuations of these mobility services companies really are,” said Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner.

A public offering by Lyft, which offers similar services to Uber and markets itself as a friendlier company, is “a proxy for whether next-generation mobility is as disruptive as private investors think it is,” said venture capitalist Evangelos Simoudis of Synapse Partners.

Self-driving technology is being developed and tested by dozens of companies, although it is not ready for real-world use.

Self-driving cars are expected to reinforce the move away from individual car ownership, by driving down the cost of a ride and driving up the cost of vehicles.

Auto industry executives estimate the cost of driving a mile in an owner-driven vehicle is about 60 cents to $1.00, and a mile with a Lyft or Uber driver is about $2.50 to $3.00.

Replacing the human driver with artificial intelligence and electronics could eliminate about two-thirds of the cost, they say, and Lyft is making an early, important bet on taking advantage of that change.

An IPO that values Lyft higher than its current $7.5 billion “is a step in a long journey toward self-driving” vehicles, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of LMC Automotive.

Lyft already has struck agreements for automakers Ford Motor Co (F.N), Tata Motors Ltd’s (TAMO.NS) Jaguar Land Rover and General Motors Co (GM.N); and technology companies Waymo, a unit of Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Drive.ai and nuTonomy to test autonomous vehicles in its network. That could eventually lead to the technology companies and fleet owners using Lyft as their network provider, although some, including GM, may also create their own services.

Uber, by comparison, has a much deeper financial commitment to developing self-driving technology. “Partner with as many tech companies as possible is the right move,” given the number of developers, Ramsey said. But, he added, it would likely be the end of the next decade before there were substantial numbers of self-driving cars creating revenue.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Peter Henderson and Phil Berlowitz

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/1eBJY5dnBVo/lyft-ipo-puts-investors-in-self-driving-cars-as-well-as-ride-services-idUSKCN1C41IY

Addison Lee seeks more London drivers after Uber license loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Premium car service Addison Lee plans to increase driver numbers in London by up to a quarter, it said on Friday, just as rival Uber [UBER.UL] is set to lose its license in Britain’s capital.

London’s transport regulator said last Friday it was stripping Uber of its operating license, which will end on Sept. 30, citing problems with the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks.

Its 40,000 drivers can still provide rides with the San Francisco-based company until an appeals process ends, which could take months, but many are concerned for their livelihoods.

Addison Lee, the second biggest private hire operator in London behind Uber, has around 3,600 drivers, which will rise to around 4,450 under the plan.

A further 100 drivers will be added to its Tristar brand, who will also mainly be in London.

“With demand growing and Christmas approaching, Addison Lee wants to add to the pool of talented drivers providing our passengers with a premium service,” Chief Executive Andy Boland said in a statement.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the announcement was also linked to competitor Uber’s troubles.

”The campaign was driven not only by Addison Lee’s growth but by the current market situation where Uber drivers are uncertain about the future,” the source said.

Like Uber, Addison Lee treats its drivers as self-employed, entitling them to only basic protections, rather than workers, a category of employment law that also means they would be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay, among other benefits.

Earlier this week, a tribunal ruled that a group of Addison Lee’s drivers were workers. The firm is still considering whether to contest the verdict.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/x1AVGBWd8o0/addison-lee-seeks-more-london-drivers-after-uber-license-loss-idUSKCN1C40WO

Addison Lee seeks more London drivers after Uber license loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Premium car service Addison Lee plans to increase driver numbers in London by up to a quarter, it said on Friday, just as rival Uber [UBER.UL] is set to lose its license in Britain’s capital.

London’s transport regulator said last Friday it was stripping Uber of its operating license, which will end on Sept. 30, citing problems with the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks.

Its 40,000 drivers can still provide rides with the San Francisco-based company until an appeals process ends, which could take months, but many are concerned for their livelihoods.

Addison Lee, the second biggest private hire operator in London behind Uber, has around 3,600 drivers, which will rise to around 4,450 under the plan.

A further 100 drivers will be added to its Tristar brand, who will also mainly be in London.

“With demand growing and Christmas approaching, Addison Lee wants to add to the pool of talented drivers providing our passengers with a premium service,” Chief Executive Andy Boland said in a statement.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the announcement was also linked to competitor Uber’s troubles.

”The campaign was driven not only by Addison Lee’s growth but by the current market situation where Uber drivers are uncertain about the future,” the source said.

Like Uber, Addison Lee treats its drivers as self-employed, entitling them to only basic protections, rather than workers, a category of employment law that also means they would be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay, among other benefits.

Earlier this week, a tribunal ruled that a group of Addison Lee’s drivers were workers. The firm is still considering whether to contest the verdict.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/x1AVGBWd8o0/addison-lee-seeks-more-london-drivers-after-uber-license-loss-idUSKCN1C40WO

Addison Lee seeks more London drivers after Uber license loss

LONDON (Reuters) – Premium car service Addison Lee plans to increase driver numbers in London by up to a quarter, it said on Friday, just as rival Uber [UBER.UL] is set to lose its license in Britain’s capital.

London’s transport regulator said last Friday it was stripping Uber of its operating license, which will end on Sept. 30, citing problems with the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks.

Its 40,000 drivers can still provide rides with the San Francisco-based company until an appeals process ends, which could take months, but many are concerned for their livelihoods.

Addison Lee, the second biggest private hire operator in London behind Uber, has around 3,600 drivers, which will rise to around 4,450 under the plan.

A further 100 drivers will be added to its Tristar brand, who will also mainly be in London.

“With demand growing and Christmas approaching, Addison Lee wants to add to the pool of talented drivers providing our passengers with a premium service,” Chief Executive Andy Boland said in a statement.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters the announcement was also linked to competitor Uber’s troubles.

”The campaign was driven not only by Addison Lee’s growth but by the current market situation where Uber drivers are uncertain about the future,” the source said.

Like Uber, Addison Lee treats its drivers as self-employed, entitling them to only basic protections, rather than workers, a category of employment law that also means they would be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay, among other benefits.

Earlier this week, a tribunal ruled that a group of Addison Lee’s drivers were workers. The firm is still considering whether to contest the verdict.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Mark Potter

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/x1AVGBWd8o0/addison-lee-seeks-more-london-drivers-after-uber-license-loss-idUSKCN1C40WO

VW takes new $3 billion hit over diesel emissions scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) added provisions of around 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) on Friday to the mounting total from its diesel emissions scandal, which has already cost the company around 20 billion euros.

“The reason is an increase in provisions relating to the buyback/retrofit program for 2.0l TDI vehicles, which is part of the settlements in North America that is proving to be far more technically complex and time consuming,” it said in a statement.

Its shares dropped after the statement and were down 3.1 percent by 0757 GMT (3.57 a.m. ET), at the bottom of the German blue-chip DAX index .GDAXI, which was up 0.2 percent.

Volkswagen has recalled around 11 million vehicles worldwide since admitting two years ago to manipulating emissions tests in the United States. About 8.5 million of those are in Europe.

“You have to ask if this is a bottomless pit,” said one Frankfurt-based trader.

Volkswagen said the extra provisions would be reflected in its third-quarter operating results, which are due to be published on Oct 27.

Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), which owns a 30.8 percent stake in Volkswagen, said the new provisions would also affect its results, but stuck to a wide range for its expected 2017 post-tax profit of between 2.1 and 3.1 billion euros.

Munich prosecutors arrested a former board member of Porsche in connection with the emissions scandal at Audi (NSUG.DE), a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Audi admitted in November 2015, two months after parent Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal broke, that its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engines were fitted with an auxiliary control device deemed illegal in the United States.

($1 = 0.8480 euros)

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Additional reporting by Hakan Ersen; Editing by Georgina Prodhan

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/Z68cAFkrLo8/vw-takes-new-3-billion-hit-over-diesel-emissions-scandal-idUSKCN1C40RJ

VW takes new $3 billion hit over diesel emissions scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) added provisions of around 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) on Friday to the mounting total from its diesel emissions scandal, which has already cost the company around 20 billion euros.

“The reason is an increase in provisions relating to the buyback/retrofit program for 2.0l TDI vehicles, which is part of the settlements in North America that is proving to be far more technically complex and time consuming,” it said in a statement.

Its shares dropped after the statement and were down 3.1 percent by 0757 GMT (3.57 a.m. ET), at the bottom of the German blue-chip DAX index .GDAXI, which was up 0.2 percent.

Volkswagen has recalled around 11 million vehicles worldwide since admitting two years ago to manipulating emissions tests in the United States. About 8.5 million of those are in Europe.

“You have to ask if this is a bottomless pit,” said one Frankfurt-based trader.

Volkswagen said the extra provisions would be reflected in its third-quarter operating results, which are due to be published on Oct 27.

Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), which owns a 30.8 percent stake in Volkswagen, said the new provisions would also affect its results, but stuck to a wide range for its expected 2017 post-tax profit of between 2.1 and 3.1 billion euros.

Munich prosecutors arrested a former board member of Porsche in connection with the emissions scandal at Audi (NSUG.DE), a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Audi admitted in November 2015, two months after parent Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal broke, that its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engines were fitted with an auxiliary control device deemed illegal in the United States.

($1 = 0.8480 euros)

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Additional reporting by Hakan Ersen; Editing by Georgina Prodhan

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/Z68cAFkrLo8/vw-takes-new-3-billion-hit-over-diesel-emissions-scandal-idUSKCN1C40RJ

VW takes new $3 billion hit over diesel emissions scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) added provisions of around 2.5 billion euros ($3 billion) on Friday to the mounting total from its diesel emissions scandal, which has already cost the company around 20 billion euros.

“The reason is an increase in provisions relating to the buyback/retrofit program for 2.0l TDI vehicles, which is part of the settlements in North America that is proving to be far more technically complex and time consuming,” it said in a statement.

Its shares dropped after the statement and were down 3.1 percent by 0757 GMT (3.57 a.m. ET), at the bottom of the German blue-chip DAX index .GDAXI, which was up 0.2 percent.

Volkswagen has recalled around 11 million vehicles worldwide since admitting two years ago to manipulating emissions tests in the United States. About 8.5 million of those are in Europe.

“You have to ask if this is a bottomless pit,” said one Frankfurt-based trader.

Volkswagen said the extra provisions would be reflected in its third-quarter operating results, which are due to be published on Oct 27.

Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), which owns a 30.8 percent stake in Volkswagen, said the new provisions would also affect its results, but stuck to a wide range for its expected 2017 post-tax profit of between 2.1 and 3.1 billion euros.

Munich prosecutors arrested a former board member of Porsche in connection with the emissions scandal at Audi (NSUG.DE), a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Audi admitted in November 2015, two months after parent Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal broke, that its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engines were fitted with an auxiliary control device deemed illegal in the United States.

($1 = 0.8480 euros)

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Additional reporting by Hakan Ersen; Editing by Georgina Prodhan

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/Z68cAFkrLo8/vw-takes-new-3-billion-hit-over-diesel-emissions-scandal-idUSKCN1C40RJ

Asia shares recuperate after rough week, dollar in better health

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares regained some poise on Friday after a tough week in which the gathering risk of a U.S. rate rise lifted Treasury yields toward nine-year highs and left the dollar on track for its best week so far this year.

European markets have fared much better with Eurostoxx 50 futures at a three-month top in early trade, while the DAX and FTSE both added 0.2 percent.

E-Mini futures for the SP 500 were steady near all-time peaks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced 0.4 percent, but was still down 1.7 percent for the week so far. For the quarter, it looked set to gain 4.7 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei was a fraction lower, though South Korea managed to rebound 0.8 percent. Shanghai shares firmed 0.2 percent but were flat on the week.

Many Asian markets have been cold-shouldered this week as investors priced in a greater probability of a rate hike from the Federal Reserve in December.

Fed funds futures 0#FF: now imply around a 73 percent chance of a move at the Dec. 12-13 policy meeting, sharply higher than just a few weeks ago.

As a result, yields on two-year Treasuries reached a near nine-year top before settling at 1.46 percent on Friday. They had been as low as 1.254 percent early in September.

Adding to the upward pressure was President Donald Trump’s proposals for steep tax cuts which, if passed, could benefit U.S. corporations’ profit margins.

The plan, however, lacked any detail on how it might be paid for and faces much opposition in Congress.

“As tax negotiations intensify, significant procedural, fiscal and political constraints are likely to become apparent,” cautioned Richard Franulovich, an analyst at Westpac, while noting the economic benefits of the plan were also in doubt.

“The size of the tax cut is simply too large to be realistic and repealing deductions will prove politically difficult.”

Still, a tax cut that made U.S. equities more attractive while lifting the dollar and Treasury yields would likely prove negative for emerging markets, particularly those that relied heavily on foreign investment. [EMRG/FRX]

The risk alone was enough to rattle share, bond and currency markets in Asia on Thursday, and they will remain vulnerable to headlines on the tax package as it moves through Congress.

DOLLAR REPRIEVE

The jump in Treasury yields proved a much-needed tonic for the U.S. dollar.

Against a basket of currencies the dollar was up 0.18 percent at 93.250, while gains for the week of 1.17 percent were the largest since December.

The euro hovered at $1.1776, having bounced from a six-week trough of $1.1715, but was still down 1.5 percent for the week so far. If it remains there, that would be the largest weekly loss since November 2016. [USD/]

The dollar was also on track for its third week of gains on the Japanese yen at 112.66, just off a peak of 113.26.

On Wall Street, the Dow had ended Thursday with a minor gain of 0.18 percent, while the SP 500 added 0.12 percent and the Nasdaq was flat. [.N]

All three were at or near record highs, stirring concerns about rich valuations.

The forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) on the SP stood at 17.9 compared with its long-term average of 15.1, while the forward P/E on the Russell is 26.3 against an average of 21.3.

Important data on inflation from the European Union and the United States are due later in the session, along with economic growth figures in Canada.

Early readings on Chinese manufacturing are out on Saturday ahead of a week-long holiday in the Asian giant.

The EU also faces more political uncertainty on Sunday when Catalan separatists are set to defy Spanish efforts to block an independence referendum.

In commodity markets, oil prices were near to chalking up another weekly gain as investors wagered that efforts to cut a global glut are working and the demand outlook is improving.

Brent was 7 cents higher at $57.48 a barrel, heading for a fifth weekly climb and a 10-percent gain for September. U.S. crude eased 9 cents to $51.48.

Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/dkeOiRrNOlI/asia-shares-recuperate-after-rough-week-dollar-in-better-health-idUSKCN1C403K

Asia shares recuperate after rough week, dollar in better health

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares regained some poise on Friday after a tough week in which the gathering risk of a U.S. rate rise lifted Treasury yields toward nine-year highs and left the dollar on track for its best week so far this year.

European markets have fared much better with Eurostoxx 50 futures at a three-month top in early trade, while the DAX and FTSE both added 0.2 percent.

E-Mini futures for the SP 500 were steady near all-time peaks.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan bounced 0.4 percent, but was still down 1.7 percent for the week so far. For the quarter, it looked set to gain 4.7 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei was a fraction lower, though South Korea managed to rebound 0.8 percent. Shanghai shares firmed 0.2 percent but were flat on the week.

Many Asian markets have been cold-shouldered this week as investors priced in a greater probability of a rate hike from the Federal Reserve in December.

Fed funds futures 0#FF: now imply around a 73 percent chance of a move at the Dec. 12-13 policy meeting, sharply higher than just a few weeks ago.

As a result, yields on two-year Treasuries reached a near nine-year top before settling at 1.46 percent on Friday. They had been as low as 1.254 percent early in September.

Adding to the upward pressure was President Donald Trump’s proposals for steep tax cuts which, if passed, could benefit U.S. corporations’ profit margins.

The plan, however, lacked any detail on how it might be paid for and faces much opposition in Congress.

“As tax negotiations intensify, significant procedural, fiscal and political constraints are likely to become apparent,” cautioned Richard Franulovich, an analyst at Westpac, while noting the economic benefits of the plan were also in doubt.

“The size of the tax cut is simply too large to be realistic and repealing deductions will prove politically difficult.”

Still, a tax cut that made U.S. equities more attractive while lifting the dollar and Treasury yields would likely prove negative for emerging markets, particularly those that relied heavily on foreign investment. [EMRG/FRX]

The risk alone was enough to rattle share, bond and currency markets in Asia on Thursday, and they will remain vulnerable to headlines on the tax package as it moves through Congress.

DOLLAR REPRIEVE

The jump in Treasury yields proved a much-needed tonic for the U.S. dollar.

Against a basket of currencies the dollar was up 0.18 percent at 93.250, while gains for the week of 1.17 percent were the largest since December.

The euro hovered at $1.1776, having bounced from a six-week trough of $1.1715, but was still down 1.5 percent for the week so far. If it remains there, that would be the largest weekly loss since November 2016. [USD/]

The dollar was also on track for its third week of gains on the Japanese yen at 112.66, just off a peak of 113.26.

On Wall Street, the Dow had ended Thursday with a minor gain of 0.18 percent, while the SP 500 added 0.12 percent and the Nasdaq was flat. [.N]

All three were at or near record highs, stirring concerns about rich valuations.

The forward price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) on the SP stood at 17.9 compared with its long-term average of 15.1, while the forward P/E on the Russell is 26.3 against an average of 21.3.

Important data on inflation from the European Union and the United States are due later in the session, along with economic growth figures in Canada.

Early readings on Chinese manufacturing are out on Saturday ahead of a week-long holiday in the Asian giant.

The EU also faces more political uncertainty on Sunday when Catalan separatists are set to defy Spanish efforts to block an independence referendum.

In commodity markets, oil prices were near to chalking up another weekly gain as investors wagered that efforts to cut a global glut are working and the demand outlook is improving.

Brent was 7 cents higher at $57.48 a barrel, heading for a fifth weekly climb and a 10-percent gain for September. U.S. crude eased 9 cents to $51.48.

Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/businessNews/~3/dkeOiRrNOlI/asia-shares-recuperate-after-rough-week-dollar-in-better-health-idUSKCN1C403K