Amazon bets on Prime Day in Latin America to battle local rivals

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc’s total sales have soared during the coronavirus pandemic, yet in Latin America, the world’s biggest online retailer is locked in a dogfight with local rivals as it rolls out its Prime Day event in Mexico and, for the first time, Brazil.

During the Tuesday and Wednesday annual shopping event that spans 19 countries, the company will again showcase the discounts and free shipping that come along with a paid Prime membership – a strategy that has helped Amazon reel in repeat shoppers around the world.

Even so, analysts say Amazon faces an uphill battle in Latin America’s top two economies, where success or failure will set the bar for whether it can take on the rest of the region.

“Amazon in Latin America is not the monster that it is in the United States,” said Marcos Pueyrredon, president of Buenos

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Pyka Bets The Path To The Future Of Passenger Planes Runs Through Banana Plantations In Latin America

Oakland-based Pyka shares a goal common to many high-tech California aviation startups: to build an autonomous electric passenger aircraft. However, its first steps to get there have taken the company far away from the pack, first to New Zealand and now to banana plantations in Costa Rica and Ecuador, where it’s preparing to field a robotic crop-spraying airplane called Pelican that CEO Michael Norcia says will prove out technology he believes will lead the way to an era of green, low-cost passenger planes.

The fat-bellied, 500-pound plane can carry more than its weight in liquid pesticides or fertilizer, and is engineered to take off and land in a ridiculously short space: 150 feet, half the length of

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Caterpillar bets on self-driving machines impervious to pandemics

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Question: How can a company like Caterpillar CAT.N try to counter a slump in sales of bulldozers and trucks during a pandemic that has made every human a potential disease vector?

Jason Ramshaw, Commercial Manager for Caterpillar Construction Digital & Technology, demonstrates the Cat Command remote control console to operate a 320 excavator at Caterpillar’s Construction Industries EAME Sales Rally in Malaga, Spain, in an undated handout photograph. Caterpillar/Handout via REUTERS

Answer: Cut out human operators, perhaps?

Caterpillar’s autonomous driving technology, which can be bolted on to existing machines, is helping the U.S. heavy equipment maker mitigate the heavy impact of the coronavirus crisis on sales of its traditional workhorses.

With both small and large customers looking to protect their operations from future disruptions, demand has surged for machines that don’t require human operators on board.

Sales of Caterpillar’s autonomous technology for mining operations have been growing

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Warren Buffett’s Snowflake, Barrick Gold bets signal new strategy

  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has made surprise bets on Barrick Gold and Snowflake in recent months, clashing with the investor’s past warnings about gold, tech stocks, and IPOs.
  • Berkshire’s bosses may be pursuing smaller, more frequent investments and cashing in on corporate actions, Brian Gongol, a longtime Berkshire shareholder, told Business Insider.
  • “I wouldn’t be surprised if Buffett, Weschler, Combs, and Ajit Jain all got on the phone and had a talk where they decided to ‘think small’ with some fraction of the company’s cash pile,” Gongol said.
  • Buffett and his team also signaled Berkshire was “the best big investment they could find” when they spent $5.1 billion buying back stock in May and June, Gongol said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stunned investors when it revealed a $560 million stake in Barrick Gold in August, and shocked them again with its $735 million

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U.S., European oil companies make opposing bets on future

American and European oil companies are taking vastly different approaches in the face of low oil prices and growing concerns about climate change.

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POLL-Investors sour on baht, trim long bets on most emerging Asian currencies

By Shashwat Awasthi

Oct 1 (Reuters)Investors turned bearish on the Thai baht for the first time in two months, highlighting concerns over the pace of recovery in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy through the COVID-19 pandemic and a domestic political crisis.

Bullish bets on most other emerging Asian currencies were scaled back with the U.S. dollar near two-month highs in recent weeks amid uncertainty leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, while market participants further increased short positions on the Indonesian rupiah IDR=.

Short positions on the baht THB=TH were at their highest since late-April, a fortnightly poll of 12 respondents showed, as the government tries to revive the tourism-reliant economy by approving long-stay visas for foreign tourists, providing tax incentives and cash handouts.

Last month, the Thai central bank left interest rates unchanged and upgraded its gross domestic product outlook, but more than two months of

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Investors sour on baht, trim long bets on most emerging Asian currencies: Reuters poll

(Reuters) – Investors turned bearish on the Thai baht for the first time in two months, highlighting concerns over the pace of recovery in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy through the COVID-19 pandemic and a domestic political crisis.

FILE PHOTO: A Thailand Baht note is seen in this illustration photo June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

Bullish bets on most other emerging Asian currencies were scaled back with the U.S. dollar near two-month highs in recent weeks amid uncertainty leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, while market participants further increased short positions on the Indonesian rupiah IDR=.

Short positions on the baht THB=TH were at their highest since late-April, a fortnightly poll of 12 respondents showed, as the government tries to revive the tourism-reliant economy by approving long-stay visas for foreign tourists, providing tax incentives and cash handouts.

Last month, the Thai central bank left interest rates unchanged and upgraded

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BP Bets Future on Green Energy, but Investors Remain Wary

BP


BP -2.81%

PLC has unveiled the most aggressive plans yet by a major oil company to pivot toward cleaner energy. But the revamp has so far failed to ignite enthusiasm among investors despite growing interest in renewables.

The British energy giant’s strategy—the biggest overhaul in its 111-year history—calls for a 40% reduction in oil-and-gas production over the coming decade, greater investment in low-carbon energy and a ramp-up in wind and solar power. No other major oil company has targeted such a steep decline in their main source of profit.

“Our new strategy is going to transform BP into a very different company, not overnight…but fast,” new Chief Executive Bernard Looney told investors this month at an event detailing the plans. He acknowledged there were “a few concerns, some skepticism and even a few myths” about the overhaul.

The 50-year-old BP lifer, who took the helm in February, said the

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Caesars bets $3.7 bln on William Hill takeover [Video]

Caesars Entertainment looks to be placing a big bet.

The U.S. casino operator says it’s in talks to buy UK bookmaker William Hill, in a deal valued at 3.7 billion dollars.

In a joint statement Monday (September 28) the pair said negotiations were at an advanced stage.

The pair already have a joint venture in the U.S., including William Hill outlets in casinos.

Now the new deal would give Caesars full control of that, up from the 20% stake it has now.

But there could be a rival player.

William Hill says it has also received a bid from buyout group Apollo Global Management.

Shares in the UK firm soared Friday (September 25) on reports of that bid.

But then fell right back to previous levels on Monday, suggesting investors are uncertain what price a deal could attract.

Meanwhile, Caesars is getting its stake together.

It’s raising new equity, and

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‘We’re a tech company’: Russia’s Sberbank bets big on strategy shift

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Sberbank <SBER.MM>, Russia’s dominant lender, is planning one of the biggest reinventions in its 179-year history as it seeks to join the likes of Apple and Google in the global pantheon of Big Tech.

The company, which is dropping the word “bank” from its logo as part of this drive, gave Reuters a preview of the devices it has developed to lead its charge – including a TV streaming box, virtual assistant and smart speaker – ahead of their official unveiling on Thursday.

Sberbank’s Chief Technology Officer David Rafalovsky also said in an interview that it was launching “SmartMarket”, an equivalent to Apple’s AppStore or Google Play.

“It’s a huge investment, not a big investment. Even for a successful company, it’s a huge investment,” he said about the new

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