ArcelorMittal wants to cancel its takeover of the Ilva steelworks in Taranto, Italy. Library picture: Massimo Todaro/Shutterstock
New speaker selected in UK, Microsoft Japan four-day workweek and Luxembourg startup sends wine into space. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
ArcelorMittal pulls out of Ilva acquisition
Europe’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, said it was withdrawing from an agreement to take over the Ilva steelworks after it lost temporary immunity from environmental laws. Ilva, located in southern Italy, employs 8,000 staff and was placed in state administration in 2015. Last year ArcelorMittal began operating the heavily polluted plant, which it was due to buy outright, and promised to inject more than €1bn to bring it up to environmental standards. But Italy’s parliament revoked the shield law, which ArcelorMittal said would “materially impair” its turnaround plan. The Luxembourg-based steelmaker already sold other facilities to meet EU competition rules before the Ilva deal was completed. Sources: AFP, Ansa, Financial Times and Reuters.
Uber shares down on losses
Shares in the ride-hailing firm Uber were down by more than 5% in after-hours trading after it posted a third quarter loss of $1.2bn, although total revenue was $3.8bn, beating analyst expectations. Sources: CNBC, Financial Times, Reuters and the Verge.
Lufthansa strike this week
Cabin crew at Lufthansa, Eurowings and Sunexpress Airlines have called a strike for Thursday and Friday. Sources: AFP, Deutsche Welle and Reuters.
BA owner to buy Air Europa
IAG, the parent of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, will acquire Madrid-based Air Europa for €1bn. Sources: CNN, the Independent and RTE.
Four-day workweek boosts Microsoft Japan by 40%
Productivity and sales jumped during a Microsoft Japan trial where staff were paid to take Fridays off. Sources: BBC, CNBC, the Guardian and NPR.
Migrants found in refrigerated truck
Police found 41 men and boys, mostly Afghans, in a refrigerated lorry (which had not been switched on) in northern Greece. Sources: CNN, the Guardian, Sky News and Reuters.
Number 10 will not approve the publication of a parliamentary report into alleged Russian interference in UK politics until after the 12 December general election. Sources: BBC, the Guardian, Independent and Sky News.
Thursday 7-Friday 8 November, 10am-6:30pm: International fair for prospective university students at Luxexpo (free). Thursday 7 November, 5:30pm: Head of Luxembourg financial regulator CSSF Claude Marx, UK ambassador John Marshall and others provide a Brexit briefing to members of the British and Irish chambers of commerce. Thursday 7 November, 6pm: Indian Business Chamber of Luxembourg conference on the “Future of public transport” (PDF). Tuesday 12 November, 6:30pm:Delano Live on employment trends (enter to win free passes).
Here are 3 business & finance stories you may have missed
Automotive: The UK government has floated introducing green number plates, which could lead to parking and traffic privileges for electric car owners, per the BBC. Fintech: The ride- hailing service Uber unveiled its new financial services unit, Uber Money, initially to provide mobile banking to its 4m drivers, although it could later be expanded to consumers, per CNBC. Market regulation: “Germany’s takeover rules are more S&M than M&A” is the headline of this Reuters opinion piece.
Here are 3 science & technology stories you may have missed
Genetics: A DNA analysis concluded that the cradle of modern humanity is in northeastern Botswana, but other researchers are very, very skeptical, per the Atlantic and BBC. Privacy: The Australian government wants to use a facial recognition system to guard against underage access to pornography, per ZDnet and the Register. Microbiome: Researchers found a link between gut bacteria and overcoming fear in mice, per Science magazine.
Wine in space
Space Cargo Unlimited, a Luxembourg startup, has launched 12 bottles of fine Bordeaux wine to the International Space Station, where they will stay for a year. The reds will then be studied for the effects of radiation and weightlessness on wine. Sources: Associated Press, Sky News and Techcrunch.