The world this week -- Business
After years of complaints from investors that its sprawling empire of businesses was hindering profits, General Electric decided to split into three, independently run companies.
Its health-care assets will be spun off in 2023; energy and power will be rolled into one and spun off in 2024; and aviation is to remain the sole focus of today’s GE.
The conglomerate has been shedding businesses for over a decade.
The decision to split heralds the end of arguably the world’s best-known conglomerate, a titan of American business throughout the 20th century.
Rivian, a maker of electric vehicles backed by Amazon, had a successful stockmarket debut on the Nasdaq.
Its stock rose by 30% above the offer price, giving it a market capitalisation of over $100bn, more than either Ford or General Motors.
The company raised around $12bn, making it the biggest IPO in America since Alibaba’s listing in 2014.
At the opposite end of the motoring business, Hertz’s share price fell by 10% on its first day on the stockmarket since the company emerged from bankruptcy.
The European Union’s General Court, the lower tribunal of the Court of Justice, dismissed Google’s appeal against the 2.4bn euro ($2.8bn) fine that the European Commission imposed on the company in 2017 for anti-competitive practices that favoured its own comparison-shopping service.
In the one ray of light for Google, which is also appealing against two other blockbuster antitrust fines in Europe, the court said that general search is not included in its ruling.
Rolls-Royce said it had received enough investment from private partners to start building small modular reactors, or small nuclear power stations, in Britain.
The government is contributing towards the project as part of its “green industrial revolution”.
Britain’s economic growth rate slowed in the third quarter, to 1.3%.
As in other countries, supply-chain problems are hindering the recovery.
GDP is still 2.1% smaller than in the final three months of 2019.
Oil prices climbed higher, with Brent crude once again over $85 a barrel.
In America the price of petrol at the pump hit an average seven-year high of $3.41 a gallon.
California remains the most expensive state in which to fill your car, with petrol averaging $4.64 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association.
The price of fuel is a big factor behind America’s surging inflation.
The annual rise in the government’s consumer-price index leapt to 6.2% in October, up from 5.4% in September, the largest jump since late 1990.
Stubborn inflation is putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to bring forward an interest-rate rise.