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UAE telecoms group e& buys 9.8% stake in Vodafone for $4.4 billion

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© Reuters. The Vodafone logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) -Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC, now known as e&, has acquired a 9.8% stake in Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) for $4.4 billion, it said on Saturday.

The move comes days after e& said it was looking to expand into new markets in Africa, Europe and Asia and in areas outside telecoms such as financial technology as its seeks to drive growth.

Vodafone, like all mobile operators, has been struggling in its more mature markets, where competition and regulation have pushed prices lower.

Net debt at the group has reached 44.3 billion euros, and its Chief Executive Nick Read is under pressure to simplify its portfolio and improve returns after a more than 20% slide in its share price since he took over in 2018.

Vodafone was not immediately available for comment.

United Arab Emirates-based e& said it had made the investment to gain “significant exposure to a world leader in connectivity and digital services”.

e& said it had no intention of making an offer to buy Vodafone, saying it is fully supportive of the company’s current business strategy and its board and existing management team.

“We see this investment as a good opportunity for e& and its shareholders as it will allow us to enhance and develop our international portfolio, in line with our strategic ambition,” said CEO Hatem Dowidar.

The UAE firm recently separated its business into consumer services-focused e& life, e& enterprise, providing digital services to government and business, and telecoms arm Etisalat, which its CEO said is the world’s seventh largest by market capitalisation.

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U.S. agency opens probe into fatal Tesla vehicle crash that killed three

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo on a Model S is photographed inside of a Tesla dealership in New York, U.S., April 29, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A U.S. auto safety agency said Wednesday it has opened an investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicle in California this month that resulted in three deaths and could have been caused by its advanced driver assistance system.

The crash, involving a 2022 model Tesla Model S that slammed into construction equipment in Newport Beach last week, is one of 35 under investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) involving Tesla vehicles in which advanced driver assistance systems like Autopilot were suspected of being used since 2016.

A total of 14 crash deaths have been reported in those Tesla investigations, including the three recent fatalities.

NHTSA confirmed the new probe of a May 12 Tesla Model S crash that killed three in the vehicle and injured three workers, when it struck construction equipment along the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach Police declined to say Wednesday if the Tesla vehicle was in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash, saying it remains under investigation.

Tesla’s Autopilot and other driver assistance systems that handle some tasks for drivers have come under increased scrutiny.

Tesla says on its website that Autopilot provides drivers assistance by enabling vehicles to steer, accelerate and brake automatically but “require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.” NHTSA notes there are no autonomous vehicles for sale that would allow drivers to not pay attention.

NHTSA sends special crash teams to conduct over 100 extensive special crash investigations annually https://www.nhtsa.gov/research-data/special-crash-investigations-sci of “unique real-world crashes” to “perform in-depth clinical investigations in a timely manner that can be used by the automotive safety community to improve the performance of its advanced safety systems.”

Of the 35 special crash investigations by NHTSA into Tesla since 2016 involving advanced driver assistance systems, Autopilot use has been ruled out in three.

NHTSA separately said on Wednesday that in April it had opened another special crash investigation involving a 2016 Tesla Model X in a Florida collision that caused a minor injury, which may have also involved the use of an advanced driver assistance system.

In August, NHTSA said it opened a formal preliminary defect evaluation into Autopilot and has identified at least a dozen crashes involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles. That investigation is still pending.

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Kohl’s loses two senior executives as it looks for a buyer

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The sign outside a Kohl’s store is seen in Broomfield, Colorado February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) – Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:KSS) said on Wednesday two of its senior executives are stepping down from their roles, as the U.S. department store chain hunts for a buyer amid pressure from activist investors to sell itself.

Shares of the company fell 3.6% to $41.4 in extended trading.

Kohl’s said that Chief Marketing Officer Greg Revelle would be departing from the company in June, while Chief Merchandising Officer Doug Howe would leave effective immediately.

The U.S. department store chain said in an emailed statement that Revelle and Howe are leaving the company to pursue other opportunities and that a search for their replacements is already underway.

Over the past few months, activist investors Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Engine Capital LP have called on Kohl’s to sell itself.

Last week, the company’s investors rejected Macellum Advisors’ efforts to replace 10 of its board directors.

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Dow Futures Tick Lower After Wall Street Sell-off Intensifies

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© Reuters.

By Oliver Gray 

Investing.com – U.S. stock futures were trading lower during Wednesday’s evening deals, after major benchmark averages finished the regular session sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its biggest loss since 2020 after retail earnings indicated rising inflation pressures weighing on corporate profits.

By 6:42pm ET (10:42pm GMT) Dow Jones Futures and S&P 500 Futures were each trading 0.1% lower while Nasdaq 100 Futures fell 0.2%.

In extended deals, Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) dipped 12.9% after results as the as the company forecasted a surprising decline in revenue for the current quarter. Q3 EPS came in at 87 cents versus 86 cents expected while revenue came in at $12.8 billion versus estimates of $13.34 billion.

Bath & Body Works Inc. (NYSE:BBWI) fell 6% after reporting, as the company forecasted lower-than-expected second-quarter earnings. Q1 EPS of 64 cents versus 53 cents expected on revenues of $1.45 billion versus $1.44 billion expected.

Synopsys Inc (NASDAQ:SNPS) gained 3.5% as the company reported Q2 EPS of $2.50 versus $2.37 expected on revenues of $1.28 billion versus estimates of $1.26 billion.

During Wednesday’s regular trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1,164.52 points, or 3.57%, to close at 14-month lows of 31,490.07 and posting its largest daily losses since June 2020. The S&P 500 traded 4.04% lower to 3,923.68 while the NASDAQ Composite dropped 4.73% to 11,418.15.

Among stocks, Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) shares tumbled 24.9% Wednesday after the retailer reported first-quarter earnings that were much lower than Wall Street estimated due to rising costs for fuel and compensation.

Major tech companies were also hit amid the sell-off with Block Inc (NYSE:SQ) down 3.2%, Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) falling 7.2%, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) dipping 4.8% and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) down 5.6%.

On the bond markets, United States 10-Year rates were at 2.884%.

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