Red Bull announced on Tuesday its first foray into the exclusive world of the hypercar with a limited production run of 50 starting in 2025.
The RB17 road car will carry a price tag of £5 million (5.79 million euros), before tax, a statement reported, with the project overseen by Andrew Newey, the Chief Technical Officer who designed Red Bull’s four Formula One world championship winning cars.
Production on the two-seater hybrid V8 engine producing over 1100bhp will be at Red Bull’s Milton Keynes site.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the RB17 “marks an important milestone in the evolution” of their Advanced Technologies arm which for the first time is producing a car with the energy drinks giant’s logo on the bonnet.
Newey said the RB17 “distills everything we know about creating championship-winning Formula 1 cars into a package that delivers extreme levels of performance in a two-seat track car”.
He added: “Driven by our passion for performance at every level, the RB17 pushes design and technical boundaries far beyond what has been previously available to enthusiasts and collectors.”
Red Bull are joining a club which was valued at USD 13.7 billion in 2019 and which counts among its members pitlane rivals Ferrari, McLaren, and Aston Martin, whose Valkyrie supercar was designed by Newey.
Hypercars are a rare breed, with only around a dozen marques, their natural habitat the wealthier corners of the earth with Europe’s place as the leading sales region due to be challenged by Asia Pacific according to industry forecasts.
No recession in Switzerland this year: chief economist
Switzerland does not expect to dip into recession this year despite the threat of an energy supply squeeze, the government’s chief economist said Sunday.
The Swiss economy is “doing well” despite the impact of the war in Ukraine on energy prices, Eric Scheidegger told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper.
He said it was down to companies to steel themselves for the possibility of power shortages in the winter months.
“We may have to revise our economic forecast downwards for next year. The revised forecast will be published on September 20. However, we do not expect a recession for this year,” Scheidegger said.
“We run the risk of an energy supply bottleneck in winter. If there are persistent production interruptions in the EU and we ourselves have a gas shortage, it becomes problematic.
“In our negative scenario, we expect zero growth for 2023 instead of growth of almost two percent.”
Despite the threat of power shortages and the effects of the war in Ukraine, Scheidegger does not see a serious economic crisis heading towards Switzerland.
“At present, the economy is still doing well. Current indicators show that the economy in this country also developed well in the second quarter — after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine,” he said.
“Economic support measures such as general perks or tax relief are currently therefore neither necessary nor helpful,” he added.
– ‘Foreseeable events’ –
Scheidegger said the Swiss economy was less susceptible to high energy prices than other European countries as gas accounted for only five percent of its total energy consumption.
He said the government would discuss possible measures to curb high energy prices in the coming weeks, which could involve reducing health insurance premiums for low-income households.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs official said the help for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic could not become the norm during economic downturns.
“It’s been known since spring that there can be a power shortage in winter. Companies have time to prepare for this,” he said.
“Companies can, and must, take this operational risk into account… it is up to companies to prepare for foreseeable events.”
As for inflation, he said Switzerland was “an island of bliss” compared to the United States, and inflation was likely to fall before the end of the year.
“At 3.4 percent, inflation is much lower here than in other countries. Core inflation — inflation excluding fresh food, energy and fuel — is at two percent,” he said.
Markets struggle as strong US jobs boost Fed rate hike bets
Asian markets struggled Monday and the dollar held big gains as a blockbuster US jobs report ramped up bets that the Federal Reserve will announce more sharp interest rate hikes as it tries to tame runaway inflation.
While the employment reading — which was more than twice as high as expected — indicated the world’s top economy remained resilient despite rising prices and borrowing costs, it will complicate the bank’s plans to tighten monetary policy.
Traders have hoped that with several indicators pointing to a slowdown, including GDP figures showing a technical recession, policymakers could begin to ease back on their pace of rate hikes.
Now, speculation is growing that the Fed will have to announce a third successive 75 basis-point increase next month, particularly as officials have said their decisions will be data-dependent.
“Friday’s payroll report indicates an overheated labour market that continues to tighten further,” said SPI Asset Management’s Stephen Innes.
“Hence at minimum, the markets expect another 100 basis points of Fed funds rate increases over the next three meetings… with risks skewed towards significant increases.”
All eyes are now on the release this week of US July inflation data, which is expected to show a slight slowdown from June but still at four-decade highs.
The “report seems very unlikely to offer ‘compelling evidence’ of a slowdown needed for the Fed to pull away from its aggressive inflation-fighting mode.” Innes added.
The jobs figures left Wall Street’s main indexes mixed Friday, and Asia followed suit with markets fluctuating in early trade.
However, there was some relief that tensions had calmed since Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week sparked a furious reaction from China that saw it conduct days of live-fire military drills around the island.
Hong Kong dipped along with Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Manila, Jakarta and Wellington.
Tokyo edged up and Shanghai was flat, with better-than-expected Chinese trade data offset by fresh worries about Covid lockdowns in the country that threaten the economic recovery.
The prospect of higher interest rates sent the dollar surging, and it held on to those gains in Asia.
Bets on a recession across leading economies continued to weigh on oil prices as investors worry about the impact on demand — figures last week indicated Americans were driving less now than in summer 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
A rise in US stockpiles was partly responsible for a 10 percent drop in the commodity last week, pushing WTI below $90 for the first time since February.
Both main contracts have lost all the gains seen in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which led the United States and Europe to ban imports of Russian crude, hammering already thin supplies.
– Key figures at around 0230 GMT –
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 28,241.09 (break)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.6 percent at 20,072.68
Shanghai – Composite: FLAT at 3,227.00
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0181 from $1.0184 Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2071 from $1.2075
Euro/pound: UP at 84.35 pence from 84.32 pence
Dollar/yen: UP at 135.32 yen from 135.00 yen
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.2 percent at $88.87 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.3 percent at $94.68 per barrel
New York – Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 32,803.47 (close)
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,439.74 (close)
Japan’s SoftBank reports record quarterly net loss
Japan’s SoftBank Group on Monday reported a record quarterly net loss of $23.4 billion, after central bank interest rate hikes caused tech shares to tank.
The telecoms firm that has turned into an investment behemoth posted a net loss of 3.16 trillion yen, nose-diving from a net profit of 761.5 billion yen in the same April-June period the previous year.
A weaker yen and the “global downward trend in share prices due to growing concerns over economic recession driven by inflation and rising interest rates” contributed to the slump, it said.
Among its portfolio companies that suffered large losses for the quarter were South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang and US meal delivery platform DoorDash, SoftBank added.
SoftBank’s big stakes in global tech giants and volatile new ventures have made for unpredictable earnings, and it has lurched between record highs and lows in recent years.
In May, it reported its worst-ever full-year net loss — and a then-record quarterly loss for Q4 — after a bruising year in 2021-22 that saw its assets hit by a US tech share rout and a regulatory crackdown in China.
That came after logging Japan’s biggest-ever annual net profit in 2020-21, after people moved their lives online during the pandemic, sending tech stocks soaring.
And in 2019-20, SoftBank Group reported a then-record annual net loss of 961.6 billion yen, as the emergence of Covid-19 compounded woes caused by its investment in troubled office-sharing start-up WeWork.
Hideki Yasuda, senior analyst at Toyo Securities, told AFP the company “cannot help” big losses, “because the market is down”.
The company “faces a very tough situation in the immediate term”, Yasuda said before the earnings announcement.
“They have to wait for the market to rebound. You have to look at the company through the lens of long-term investment. It may experience one or two bad years, but over a decade or more, the world economy will keep growing and it could grow further.”
The US Federal Reserve and many other central banks have announced aggressive rate increases aimed at battling sky-high inflation linked to the Ukraine war and Covid-related supply chain woes.
But going against the grain, the Bank of Japan has stuck to its long-held monetary easing policies because it sees the latest price hikes as temporary.
This has pushed Japan’s currency down to 24-year lows against the dollar in recent months, driving down the yen value of SoftBank’s investments.
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