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Today's Top Market Headlines – Sep 26, 2017
Alibaba takes control of logistics business, pledges $15 billion to expand network

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group announced it will invest 100 billion yuan ($15.12 billion) over five years to build a global logistics network and also take control of a $20 billion unit, underpinning an aggressive overseas expansion.

Alibaba is investing 5.3 billion yuan in Cainiao Smart Logistics Network to boost its stake to 51 percent from 47 percent. The investment would value Cainiao, a joint venture of top Chinese logistics firms, at around $20 billion.”Our commitment to Cainiao and additional investment in logistics demonstrate Alibaba’s commitment to building the most-efficient logistic network in China and around the world,” Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement on Tuesday.

Source: http://bit.ly/2fnCOdn

Nestle sets formal margin goal, accelerates buybacks

Food giant Nestle (S:NESN) on Tuesday set a formal margin target, as several of its rivals have done, fulfilling another demand by activist shareholder Third Point.

“The company will detail how it will reach its mid-single digit organic growth target by 2020, and will announce an underlying trading operating profit margin target of 17.5-18.5 percent by 2020,” the Swiss maker of KitKat chocolate bars and Nespresso coffee said ahead of a highly anticipated investor seminar.

The London event is the first time new Chief Executive Mark Schneider will lay out his strategy for Europe’s largest company.

Investors are looking for proof that Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food company, can improve performance when the sector is battling a slew of upstart brands and changing consumer tastes and habits.

Source: http://bit.ly/2wiiznV

ABB teams up with Northvolt on Europe's biggest battery plant

Swiss engineering group ABB (S:ABBN) has joined Northvolt’s project to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory in Sweden to cater for expected demand growth for electric cars.

Northvolt aims to reduce reliance on batteries from China and South Korea as European carmakers come under increasing pressure to cut vehicle emissions. Batteries are the biggest single cost of an electric car and VW (DE:VOWG_p) has called for the creation of a European supplier to compete with dominant Asian players such as Panasonic (T:6752), LG Chem (KS:051910) and China’s CATL.

The agreement between ABB and Northvolt covers a supply and technology partnership as well as collaboration on research and product development. ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) will support the initial phase of the project with a 10 million euro ($11.8 million) investment, it said.

Source: http://bit.ly/2fo3737

UBS CEO sees room for banking M&A in Italy and Europe

There is room for consolidation in the banking sector both in Italy and in Europe, UBS (S:UBSG) Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said on Tuesday, adding political and regulatory authorities would support the process.

“Political and regulatory willingness (to allow banking mergers) are coming,” Ermotti told a banking conference in Milan organised by Bloomberg.

Attending the same event, Mediobanca (MI:MDBI) CEO Alberto Nagel said he saw room for consolidation “not now, but in 18 months” among Tier 2 banks, while Societe Generale(PA:SOGN) Chairman Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said banking consolidation in Italy “had to happen” because the market there was too fragmented.

Source: http://bit.ly/2xwIZnn