- Samsung Takes $10 Billion Hit to End Galaxy Note 7
Samsung has killed off the Galaxy Note 7 in the hope of limiting the fallout from its exploding smartphone fiasco.
The South Korean firm decided Tuesday to permanently halt sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7 just hours after telling customers to stop using all versions of the smartphone. Its stock plummeted 8% in Seoul, wiping about $17 billion off the company’s market value.
The high-end phone was supposed to do battle with Apple’s (AAPL, Tech30) iPhone 7, but instead ended up doing serious damage to Samsung’s reputation.
Analysts say Samsung’s (SSNLF) move to ditch the Note 7 entirely would be costly — it could put a $9.5 billion dent in sales and erase $5 billion in profits, according to one estimate. But the risk of prolonging the agony was worse.
“It’s a painful move but perhaps not an entirely bad one in the grand scheme of things, as it helps isolate and contain the bad perception to that specific product rather than spreading fear that all Samsung phones might explode,” said Bryan Ma, vice president of device research at IDC.
The credibility of the world’s biggest smartphone maker was on the line after a series of missteps.
It was forced to recall about 2.5 million Note 7s in early September, just two weeks after the phone was launched, saying faulty batteries were causing some to burst into flames. It then started to issue replacement phones but a number of customers reported that those devices were also catching fire, including one aboard a passenger jet.
Samsung is now scrambling to limit the damage from one of the biggest smartphone recalls ever.
Identify the problem
Top priority will be to establish what exactly went wrong. The company initially blamed problems with a battery from one supplier. Experts say they believe a design flaw may have been responsible.
“The discontinuation signals that the root of the problems does not lie in the production errors, but possibly in the product design,” said TuanAnh Nguyen, a research analyst at Canalys.
Mark Newman, a Bernstein analyst who covers Samsung, said the battery explanation did not add up.
“There appears to be something else at play,” he said.
Come clean quickly
Once it’s figured out the root cause, Samsung needs to be upfront with its customers. Otherwise the failure of the Note 7 could hurt sales of other Samsung phones and products.
“Users are scared to use Samsung at all,” Ma said. “Samsung said they fixed it, but the problems keep happening.”
Unless that impression can be corrected fast, the release of its next Galaxy S series model, which is expected early next year, could be tarnished.
“Honesty and transparency is needed to repair the damage to its brand image,” said Nguyen. “Failure to do so will create long lasting repercussions on its other product lines,” he added, suggesting the company may even have to drop the Note branding altogether.
Samsung told customers in South Korea on Tuesday that they will be able to exchange their Note 7 for another smartphone. The exchange program will begin on Thursday and run through the end of the year.
It was not immediately clear what customers in other markets could expect in terms of a replacement or compensation. Analysts say as many as two million devices may still be in use around the world.
Analysts at Nomura estimate ditching the Note 7 could mean $9.5 billion in lost sales and wipe out $5.1 billion of profit.
But Samsung, which has a market value of about $194 billion and annual sales of $179 billion, should be big and profitable enough to weather the loss of one model.
“The majority of Samsung’s profits are now generated outside of phones, predominantly from their strong component divisions,” Newman said. “And within the handset division, the Note line is not the main driver of profit.”
SEC To Ban Unregistered CMOs From Operating By Month End
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it will stop operations of Capital Market Operators (CMOs) that are yet to renew their registration on May 31, 2021.
This was contained in a circular signed by the management of SEC in Abuja on Monday.
On March 23, SEC had informed the general public and CMOs on the reintroduction of the periodic renewal of registration by operators.
The commission noted that the reintroduction of the registration renewal was due to the need to have a reliable data bank of all the CMOs registered and active in the country’s capital market.
“To provide updated information on operators in the Nigerian Capital Market for reference and other official purposes by local and foreign investors, other regulatory agencies and the general public, to increasingly reduce incidences of unethical practices by CMOs such as may affect investors’ confidence and impact negatively on the Nigerian Capital Market and to strengthen supervision and monitoring of CMOs by the Commission,” SEC explained.
According to the circular, the commission said CMOs yet to renew their registration at the expiration of late filing on May 31, would not be eligible to operate in the capital market.
It explained that CMOs were required to have completed the renewal process on or before April 30, however, the commission said late filing for renewal of registration would only be entertained from May 1 to May 31.
SEC also said that asides from barring the CMOs who failed to comply accordingly, their names would be published on its website and national dailies.
It added that names of eligible CMOs would be communicated to the relevant securities exchanges and trade associations.
A Threat to Revenue As Nigeria’s Largest Importer of Crude, India slash Imports By $39.5B
Nigeria’s revenue earning capacity has come under threat following the reduction of importation of crude oil by India.
India, Nigeria’s largest crude oil importer, reduced crude oil imports by $39.5bn in April, compared to the same time the previous year, data from India’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell showed.
According to the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, India’s crude oil imports from Nigeria in 2020 amounted to $10.03bn.
This represented 17 percent of Nigeria’s total crude exports for the year according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as quoted by OilPrice.com.
As Nigeria’s largest importer of crude oil, lockdowns in India’s major cities from the COVID-19 surge in April had ripple effects on Nigeria’s oil sales.
The NNPC was prompted to drop the official standard price of its main export streams, Bonny Light, Brass River, Erha, and Qua Iboe, by 61-62 cents per barrel below its April 2021 prices. They traded at $0.9, $0.8, $0.65, $0.97 per barrel respectively, below dated Brent, the international benchmark, as Oilprice.com showed.
India had been buying the not-too-light and not-too-heavy Nigerian crudes that suited its refiners.
Reuters reported that the Indian Oil Corporation’s owned refineries were operating at 95 percent capacity in April, down from 100 percent at the same time the previous month.
An official at the IOC was quoted as saying, “If cases continue to rise and curbs are intensified, we may see cuts in refinery runs and lower demand after a month.” Hundreds of seafarers risked being stuck at sea beyond the expiry of their contracts, a large independent crude ship owner reportedly told Bloomberg.
India reportedly bought more American and Canadian oil at the expense of Africa and the Middle East, reducing purchases from members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to around 2.86 million barrels per day.
This squeezed the group’s share of imports to 72 percent from around 80 percent previously, as India’s refiners were diversifying purchases to boost margins, according to Reuters.
India also plans to increase local crude oil production and reduce import expenses as its population swells, according to Bloomberg.
A deregulation plan by the Narendra Modi-led government to boost national production to 40 million tonnes of crude oil by 2023/2024, an increase of almost eight million tonnes, had already been initiated.
According to Business Today, an Indian paper, the country currently imports 82 percent of its oil needs, which amounted to $87bn in 2019.
Invest Africa and DLA Piper Partner to Support ESG Best Practice in African Renewable Energy Projects
The global law firm, DLA Piper, has partnered with Invest Africa, the leading trade and investment platform for African markets, to support the development of ESG best practice in African renewable energy projects.
Clear Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and measurements have become an increasingly important part of fundraising as investors seek to align their portfolios with sustainable growth. For a continent boasting ample natural resources, this presents a significant opportunity for Africa’s green energy sector. However, renewable does not always equal sustainable and developing and articulating ESG metrics can pose a significant challenge to projects as they prepare investment rounds.
The project will assemble experts from the worlds of impact investment, development finance and law. Across a series of online meetings, participants will discuss strategies to improve ESG practices in African renewable projects from both a fundraising and operational perspective.
Amongst those speaking in the inaugural session on Thursday 13th May are Cathy Oxby, Chief Commercial Officer, Africa Greenco, Dr. Valeria Biurrun-Zaumm, Senior Investment Manager, DEG, Orli Arav, Managing Director – Facility For Energy Inclusion (FEI) – Lion’s Head Global Partners, Beatrice Nyabira, Partner, DLA Piper Africa, Kenya (IKM Advocates) and Natasha Luther-Jones, Partner, Global Co-Chair of Energy and Natural Resources, International Co-Head, Sustainability and ESG, DLA Piper.
Veronica Bolton-Smith, COO of Invest Africa said, “Africa is particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change despite contributing very little to global emissions. As the price of renewables fall, they will form an ever more important part of Africa’s electrification. In this context, it is essential that projects be given the tools to apply best practice in ESG not only from an environmental perspective but also in terms of good governance, fair working conditions and contribution to social inclusion. I look forward to working closely with DLA Piper on this important topic.”
Natasha Luther-Jones, Global Co-Chair Energy and Natural Resources and International Co-Head Sustainability and ESG at DLA Piper also commented, “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges companies, and people, face today and when we look at its reduction – whether that be in how we power our devices, what we eat or how we dress, where we live or how we work – all roads come back to the need to increase the amount of accessible, and affordable, clean energy. However, renewable energy companies are not automatically sustainable as sustainability is a focus on all ESG factors, not just environmental. We know the need for renewable energy is only going to continue to rise, and therefore so will the number and size of renewable energy companies. The additional challenge is to make sure they are truly sustainable organisations and that’s what we’re excited about discussing during the webinar.”
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