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General Motors And Ford Production Hits a Snag 🚨
General Motors and Ford have separately announced in a statement that they are halting production on their respective flagship performance cars for a week amid rising supply chain woes.
Auto giant Ford said that it would halt production at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, which builds the Mustang, for a week due to the global chip shortage.
Last month, the situation led Ford to stop production at its Kansas City assembly plant that builds F-150 pickup vehicles for a week.
Ford had already raised concerns in the last month that the persisting semiconductor shortage would lower vehicle volumes in the current quarter.
On the other hand, General Motors has decided to stop production for a week at the Lansing Grand River assembly due to a temporary part shortage not related to the chip crisis. The plant makes the Cadillac CT4, Cadillac CT5, and Chevrolet Camaro.
GM and Ford are not the only two automakers that have faced supply chain issues. Other automakers like BMW, Tesla, Volvo, and Toyota, among others, have faced similar issues, leading to production cuts in recent months.
Samsung Electronics Q1 Profit Tops Market Expectations ⬆️
Samsung Electronics reported an estimated 50% spike in quarterly operating earnings to post its highest first-quarter profit since 2018.
The company’s first-quarter profit reached 14.1 trillion Korean won (~$11.6 billion) in a preliminary earnings release, versus a Refinitiv SmartEstimate of 13.3 trillion Korean won, beating expectations as solid demand underpinned prices for memory chips.
Samsung’s revenue also rose 18% from the same period a year ago to a record 77 trillion Korean won, which was also above market expectations.
Though the prices of memory chips declined in the first quarter, analysts say that strong demand from data center clients as well as wary investment spending by chipmakers and limited capacity expansion boosted Samsung’s chip earnings, making about half of its total profits.
Besides memory chips, the electronic giant’s earnings were also supported by brisk smartphone sales in the quarter, along with disruption at a rival NAND Flash chip plant owned by Japan’s Kioxia, and American firm Western Digital due to contamination of raw materials.
Meta is Reportedly Making Its Own Digital Currency
Meta is reportedly planning to introduce a digital currency as well as lending services to its family of apps, which include Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, to reward creators and lending and other financial services.
With this move of introducing tokens and virtual currency, Meta is aiming to explore alternative revenue sources as there is a declining interest in Facebook and Instagram.
The potential virtual currency of Meta, which is reportedly dubbed ‘Zuck Bucks’ after CEO Mark Zuckerberg, will be aimed at use in the metaverse.
The report says that Meta is not exploring traditional cryptocurrencies tied to a blockchain, but rather centrally controlled tokens to be used within its apps, similar to an in-game currency.
Besides creating a digital currency, the company is also planning to create ‘social tokens’ for engagement rewards along with ‘creator coins’ for influencers.
Meta’s introduction of digital currencies into its apps may be coming alongside its non-fungible token integration (NFT) for Facebook and Instagram. The company was planning to launch an NFT pilot program in May 2022.
Financial Infrastructure Startup Fidel API Raises $65 Million in Series B 💰
Fidel API, a UK-based company that provides a financial infrastructure platform, has raised $65 million in its Series B funding round.
The funding was led by Bain Capital Ventures and also saw participation from Citi Ventures, RBC Capital, and Commerce Ventures. Existing investors NYCA Partners and QED Investors, among others, also participated in the funding.
Founded by Dev Subrata and Andre Elias in 2018, Fidel API is a global financial infrastructure platform that provides tools to build powerful, real-time products on top of payment cards.
The company’s platform enables developers to create programmable experiences that enhance the value of using and accepting payment cards.
Companies like Google, Royal Bank of Canada, and British Airways, among others, are leveraging Fidel API’s tools to power a range of solutions, including digital receipts, loyalty, rewards, and much more.
Fidel API plans to use the fresh funds to double its global headcount with a particular emphasis on engineering, sales, and product hires.
In addition, the capital will also be used to accelerate investments into existing products, in addition to newer product capabilities across identity verification, consent management, and payments.
Around the Web 🌐
Sweden Completes Phase Two of E-Krona Pilot: The central bank of Sweden has successfully completed its second phase of trials for its proposed digital currency known as the e-krona. According to Riksbank, the country’s central bank, the digital currency is technically ready to be integrated into banking networks and facilitate transactions.
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