Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. bought 33 million shares of Groupon Inc., making it the fourth-largest shareholder in the online deals website that has lost 86 percent of its value since going public more than four years ago.
The Chinese e-commerce giant owned 5.6 percent of Chicago-based Groupon as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing on Friday. Alibaba has also accumulated stakes in online retailer Jet.com Inc., augmented-reality provider Magic Leap Inc. and car-booking company Lyft Inc. The purchases are part of the Chinese company’s strategy to learn more about the U.S. market as it expands internationally, said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc.
“They don’t want to have their own operations, so they are investing in other companies to help them learn and pave the way for more robust activity down the road,” Luria said.
A spokesman for Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba declined to immediately comment on the filing. Bill Roberts, a Groupon spokesman, said the company hadn’t been aware of Alibaba’s stake until Friday’s filing.
“Alibaba has a reputation as a long-term holder, and we’re pleased that they take the same view of Groupon’s opportunity and execution as we do,” Roberts said.
Alibaba’s stake was reported hours after Groupon had its best day with investors in more than four years. Groupon surged 29 percent to $2.89 at the close Friday in New York, the biggest single-day increase since Nov. 4, 2011 — the day after its initial public offering at $20 a share.
Groupon on Thursday reported fourth-quarter results that beat analysts’ estimates, driven by purchases in North America. The company said profit excluding some costs was 4 cents a share, compared with the average analyst estimate for a break-even quarter.
Toyota Marks 25th Anniversary of Sienna, Lauches Limited Edition
Toyota launches Sienna 2023 to celebrate the model’s first quarter-century of popularity with a limited edition to mark its 25th Anniversary.
The ultra-sporty XSE model, on which the Toyota 25th Anniversary Edition is based, features dark 20-inch split-5-spoke wheels, bolder front and rear bumpers, black-painted caps, and a sport-tuned suspension that is exclusive to the XSE. The XSE Plus Package adds roof rails, Premium Audio with JBL speakers and GPS, wireless charging, and a 1500-watt converter to the Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition, which is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The Sienna 25th Anniversary Edition is available in Celestial Silver and Wind Chill Pearl, both of which are appropriate for the occasion. The two exterior colors are accented by special black badging and exterior trim, including mirror caps and shark fin antenna.
The external mirrors with memory, auto-dimming, puddle lights, power-fold, and reverse-tilt down function are among the amenities added to this celebratory model from the Limited grade.
The Limited additionally includes heated and ventilated front seats with memory, as well as black leather-trimmed seating with silver-colored stitching.
Onboard comfort is enhanced by the Limited’s memory steering column and second-row seats with ottomans, while lighted door sills greet front passengers.
A customized black key fob cover with silver-colored stitching bears a “25th Anniversary” logo, and special “25th Anniversary” floormats pamper the feet.
Also, the Toyota Audio systems in the 2023 Sienna provide a plethora of connectivity and entertainment options, with something for everyone. The LE grade’s base Toyota Audio system comes with a 9-inch touchscreen, six speakers, Android AutoTM, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa compatibility, seven USB media ports, hands-free phone capability, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, SiriusXM with a 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription, Safety Connect with a 1-year trial, and Wi-Fi Connect with up to 3 GB within a one-month trial.
When minivans initially became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, Toyota first imported its rear-drive Van and then the more market-friendly Previa. Meanwhile, Toyota was working on a far more focused entry, the Sienna, which debuted in 1998.
The Sienna has shown to be right on target for the market, evolving to a degree of family car perfection with each design iteration.
Toyota as a brand has retained a great lead in car sales globally despite chip shortages. Investors King explained that in 2021 Toyota surged by 10.1 percent, beating its German counterpart, Volkswagen, and Electric Vehicle, Tesla to having the highest sales record in the world.
Investors King gathered that maintaining the top sales record for two years in a row, Toyota Motor Co. stated that it sold 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, including those by affiliates Daihatsu Motors and Hino Motors. That is 5 percent fewer than the number sold in 2020, its lowest sales figures in 10 years, and more than 8.88 million vehicles delivered by Volkswagen AG within the same year.
Fidelity Bank Partners Edo State and GIZ to Host CBN RT200 FX Exports Roundtable and Sensitisation Workshop
Leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to host an exports roundtable and policy sensitisation workshop for businesses in Benin-City, Edo State capital in partnership with the Edo State Investment Promotion Office (ESIPO) and GIZ on Tuesday, 24 May 2022.
The event, which would be the fourth edition of the bank’s CBN RT200 FX Sensitization seminars following successful outings in Kano, Ondo and Plateau States in February, March and April 2022 respectively, is part of the bank’s initiatives to help importers pivot to exports.
According to the Divisional Head, Export and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank Plc, Isaiah Ndukwe, Fidelity Bank’s decision to partner ESIPO and GIZ is borne out of the need to help exporters to build their business management capacity and is further proof of the value the bank provides to export-oriented businesses in Nigeria.
“At Fidelity Bank we are known for empowering our customers with the necessary financial and non-financial services to upscale their businesses. We consider the CBN RT200 FX scheme an amazing opportunity for businesses to bolster their FX earning capacity and we are delighted to collaborate with ESIPO and GIZ to host businesses in and around Benin City to a workshop to help them take advantage of the scheme”, explained Ndukwe.
Launched on February 10, 2022, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of measures to reduce the increasing demand for foreign currency by importers, the RT200 FX scheme is designed to help Nigeria achieve $200 billion in FX repatriation from non-oil exports over the next five years. The policy has been hailed by stakeholders in the export sector as an initiative capable of stimulating the growth of non-oil exports in Nigeria.
“The goal of the roundtable is to identify and promote viable non-oil export opportunities, provide financing options, and proffer steps to removing the identified bottlenecks in the export process for non-oil products from Edo State to the global market. It will provide a platform for the exporters to meet with the export regulatory bodies and express their challenges which hinder exports. The event will also serve as an opportunity for the regulatory agencies to address the challenges on the spot and provide solutions to them with a view of enhancing Nigeria’s capacity in the African Continental Free Trade Area deal”, commented Marcus Unuebho of the Business Development Support and Export Unit, ESIPO.
On his part, the Technical Advisor for Edo State, Local Economic and Value Chain Development, GIZ SEDIN, Nosakhare Omon Aigiomawu stated that, “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the drivers of local economic development. Collaborating to provide market linkages and access to finance would address major constraints to these groups and ensure more employment creation as well as higher income”.
Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged commercial bank operating in Nigeria with over 6.5 million customers serviced across its 250 business offices and digital banking channels. The bank was recently recognized as the Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking & Finance Awards. The bank has also won awards for the “Fastest Growing Bank” and “MSME & Entrepreneurship Financing Bank of the Year” at the 2021 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards.
Bank of Industry Disburses N213.63bn to Over 30,000 Businesses in 2021
The Bank of Industry (BOI) has revealed that it disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 businesses in Nigeria in the 2021 financial year.
The Managing Director of BOI, Olukayode Pitan disclosed this at the 62nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the bank on Thursday in Abuja. He said that the bank was able to successfully scale up its developmental impacts in 2021 despite the challenges and limitations caused by COVID-19.
Pitan said “at the peak of COVID-19 in 2020, the bank took steps to support customers with a two per cent reduction in interest rates for a year alongside an extension of loan tenors and moratoriums. He said that the operating environment improved in 2021 and that is the reason they have decided to extend the incentives until March 31, 2022.”
He added that all ongoing projects were reviewed to assess emerging risks and opportunities and also additional support was provided.
“In the year under review, the bank disbursed a total of N213.63 billion to 30,406 Nigerian enterprises through both direct and indirect methods. This represents a 47.3 per cent increase over disbursements in 2020.
“The 2021 disbursements include N2.99billion to 22,120 farmers through our smallholder farmers on lending product and one billion Naira to 4,000 micro-retailers through our MSMEs distributor finance programme.
“At BoI, we have since taken measures to ensure that our systems, processes and people are continuously equipped to meet the evolving business environment.
“Today, we are a more agile and adaptive institution, able to provide the necessary developmental support for Nigeria’s real sector in an ever-changing economy.
“Our commitment to building a resilient organisation that can respond to the needs of our customers and operating challenges is unwavering.
“We strongly believe that we can achieve this with the continuous support of the stakeholders.” he further said.
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