Saudi Aramco’s record-shattering IPO is on the horizon. Here are 6 of the biggest risks the company sees moving forward.

By Anne workforce / November 21, 2019

saudi aramcoREUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Saudi Aramco filed its prospectus late Saturday, giving potential shareholders a new look at the company’s performance before its initial public offering.
The state-owned company is set to float the largest IPO in history, and the prospectus details a number of risks the firm anticipates moving forward.
Aramco faces pressure from political unrest in the region, armed conflicts, climate change movements, government ties, and future oil demand.
Even the size of the offering could pose issues for traders, as any IPO of this size is “unprecedented,” Aramco wrote.
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Saudi Aramco published its prospectus late Saturday, detailing several risks the state-owned company anticipates.

The oil conglomerate’s public debut is set to be the largest IPO in history. Though the prospectus didn’t suggest a valuation, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has previously stated Aramco should be valued at $2 trillion.

Bankers have had a harder time estimating the company’s worth, offering valuations ranging from $1.1 trillion to $2.5 trillion. A closer estimate should arrive November 17 when individual investors can begin bidding on shares. The process ends December 4 and will yield a final offer price ahead of a larger public sale.

The prospectus details how the share offerings will take place, and is meant to market the shares to potential investors. Here are six key risk factors highlighted in the document and how they could drag the company’s valuation lower in the future.

Armed conflict
Reuters

Two Aramco facilities were forced to cut production after September 14 drone attacks crippled much of the company’s infrastructure. The strikes reportedly led Aramco to delay its IPO as it looked to give investors more detail around how the attack harmed revenues, and the conglomerate cited additional attacks as a key risk moving forward.

The September attacks prompted a 20% spike in oil’s price per barrel — the most on record — and led Aramco to slash more than half of its daily barrel production. CEO Amin Nasser told CNBC on October 9 that the firm would return to “maximum sustained capacity” by the end of November.

September’s drone strikes weren’t the only time Aramco has been the focus of armed conflict this year. Unmanned aerial vehicles targeted the East-West pipeline in May, and the Shaybah oil field was damaged in August attacks. Additional attacks from terrorists, rebels, or other armed forces “could have a material adverse effect” on Aramco’s revenue stream and the world’s oil supply as a whole, the prospectus said.

Climate change
Charlotte Greenfield/Reuters

Recent global protests against climate change have increased public scrutiny of oil producers, and Aramco’s large footprint in the industry leaves it particularly vulnerable to a mass movement toward sustainable energy. Aramco cited governments’ pressures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a critical threat to oil demand, and called the landscape of GHG-emission laws “difficult to predict with certainty.”

The oil conglomerate also noted that the mix of domestic and international climate policies such as the Paris Agreement establish several different paces for the development of green-energy laws. Any significant shift away from hydrocarbon-based fuels could force Aramco “to incur costs or invest additional capital,” according to the prospectus.

Peak oil
Reuters

The company’s prospectus included an industry assessment from consulting firm IHS Markit, which showed oil demand starting to contract as soon as 2035. Though Aramco didn’t specifically endorse the findings, their inclusion points to a major hurdle down the road.

A second projection — which takes a faster move to renewables into account — suggests peak oil demand will arrive in the late 2020s. Such a deadline would give Aramco less than a decade to diversify its revenue stream and move away from hydrocarbon fuels.

The company’s chief executive previously wrote off renewable energy as a threat to Aramco’s main product, attaching additional significance to the IHS study. He deemed the move to renewables as “not based on logic and facts,” and said their popularity was “formed mostly in response to pressure and hype” during a February 26 speech.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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BIG TECH IN TRANSPORTATION: Strategies legacy players can deploy to limit the threat to their market position

By Anne workforce / November 21, 2019

This is a preview of The Big Tech in Transportation research report from Business Insider Intelligence.
Purchase this report.
To check to see if you already have access to Business Insider Intelligence through your company, click here.

wwdc carplayBig tech companies — specifically Google-parent Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon — have their eyes set on the transportation space, which is undergoing a rapid transformation. Across the globe, legacy transportation firms are contending with forces that are reducing the appeal of traditional gas-powered vehicles, including the rise of mobility companies like Uber and Lime, regulatory pushes for cleaner vehicles, and consumer demands for a more streamlined, digital in-car experience. These forces have made traditional transportation companies both more vulnerable to challengers and more willing to work with nontraditional players. 

Having already shown an ability to disrupt traditional industries by rapidly innovating, creating best-in-class user experiences, and earning the loyalty of consumers across the globe, big tech now appears poised to propel the transportation industry into a new era. This includes launching mobility services of their own, backing some of the world’s most successful transportation startups, supporting alternative energy sources for vehicles, and bringing their popular tech products into vehicles. 

In the Big Tech in Transportation report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the moves that Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon are making to gain a larger foothold in the transportation industry. We outline potential next steps each may take based on those moves. Finally, we highlight the different strategies legacy auto firms will use to better compete as big tech companies raise their profiles in transportation.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The best places to buy women’s jeans

By Anne workforce / November 21, 2019

A great pair of jeans is a staple every woman should have in her wardrobe.
Our favorite place to buy women’s jeans is Everlane because the denim fits well, is affordable, and is made transparently.

If there’s an equivalent in your closet to, say, butter in your refrigerator, it must be your favorite pair of jeans. Is there a food that butter does not improve? No. Is there an outfit that a good pair of jeans does not make better? Absolutely not. Is butter a necessary part of life? Yes. Do you need jeans to get through society? Surely. You see, the parallels are uncanny.

While there exists no shortage of stores from which to purchase your new favorite bottoms, there are a few places that we turn to without fail for a great pair of long-lasting, comfortable, and good-looking jeans. And that’s because they satisfy a few key criteria.

First and foremost, you’ll want your jeans to be incomparably comfortable. After all, I practically live in my favorite pair, and that’s only the case because wearing them and wearing leggings are about equal when it comes to mobility and stretchability (though leggings, are not, in fact pants).

Second, you’ll want to think about your favorite cut. The boot cut, believe it or not, appears to be making a comeback, though other classics like the straight cut or skinny cut are also great options. Be sure that your favorite jean purveyor offers more than just one jean varietal — after all, you’ll need different jeans for different occasions.

Of course, you should also keep price point in mind. While a great pair of jeans will last you for years on end (and as such, can justify a high price tag), it simply is not the case that buying a great pair of pants requires you to pay an arm and two legs.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to pay attention to the type and quality of denim used in your jeans. Given that the fabric can make or break your pants, this is certainly no place to skimp. Be sure that your favorite jean purveyor sources its denim from top of the line suppliers, and know how to take care of this durable material. After all, the longer you own your jeans, the better they look.

No matter which of our favorite stores you choose for your next shopping spree, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Here are the best places you can buy women’s jeans:

Best place to buy women’s jeans overall: Everlane
Best place to buy comfortable jeans: Mott & Bow
Best place to buy plus-size jeans: Warp + Weft
Best place to buy petite jeans: Madewell
Best place to buy high-end jeans: Rag & Bone
Best place to buy skinny jeans: Liverpool
Best place to buy performance jeans: DUER

Updated on 11/13/2019 by Remi Rosmarin: Updated prices, formatting, and links. Added Madewell and Rag & Bone as new picks. We also added other brands we love for your consideration. 

The best place to buy women’s jeans overall
Everlane

Somehow, Everlane’s wide selection of jeans looks great on just about everyone. Coupled with the brand’s radical transparency and affordable prices, Everlane denim is a hit. 

Perhaps the reason that Everlane jeans look so good on so many women is that it incorporate elastane into its fabric. That means that your jeans are just stretchy enough to ensure that you’re always comfortable, and always look your best.

Everlane’s defining trait has always been its transparency, and it prides itself on informing customers exactly where its products are made and how much it costs to make them. When Everlane first started making denim apparel back in 2017, it managed to attract a waitlist that was 40,000 people long. And now, nearly two years later, its jeans are still just as popular. Like Warp + Weft, Everlane ensures that its LEED-certified factory in Vietnam recycles 98% of its water. The plant also uses alternative energy sources to further reduce its carbon footprint.

When it comes to Everlane’s styles, I’m a big fan of both the High-Rise Skinny Jean and the Kick Crop Jean. As a petite person, I’m always a bit skeptical of “crops,” which tend to look like, well, full-length jeans on my frame. But the Kick Crop Jean somehow works on a variety of different heights, which is a feat in and of itself.

The vast majority of Everlane jeans incorporate some amount of elastane in them for that trademark stretch. The Slim Fit has just 2 percent elastane, which is enough to notice the difference in feeling, but not enough to make your jeans lose their shape. You can always opt for other pairs with more or less elastane depending on just how stretchy you’d like your jeans to fit.

Pros: Affordable; stretchy (which makes them universally flattering); comfortable

Cons: Jeans with elastane tend not to last as long as 100 percent denim

Shop premium women’s denim from Everlane

The best place to buy comfortable jeans
Mott & Bow

Mott & Bow makes some of the most comfortable jeans around, and with just a few styles to choose from, you won’t be paralyzed by choice.

If you’re looking for jeans that you can literally live in, you’re looking right at Mott & Bow. The brand’s founder, Alejandro Chahin, was born and raised in the denim business, and the Honduran denim factory from which Mott & Bow gets its fabric is the same factory that his family founded. That means that this denim is time tested and truly some of the most comfortable material out there — so much so that I’m sometimes sad to replace my jeans with my PJs at the end of the day.

This is a sentiment shared by other folks at Business Insider as well. Our senior director, Breton Fischetti, once wore them on a six-hour flight as an alternative to sweatpants.

I’m also a particular fan of Mott & Bow for its straightforward approach to jean styles. Unlike other brands, which run the risk of overwhelming you with the sheer volume of jean options, Mott & Bow only has three offerings from which to choose: straight, slim, and skinny. And for you jean purists out there, you won’t have to worry about distressed looks or odd paint splatters that are meant to make you look handier than you are. Rather, Mott & Bow jeans are simple, sleek, and classic.

Folks are also particularly taken by Mott & Bow’s free try and return service, which is exactly what it sounds like: pick a pair of jeans, get them sent to your doorstep to try them on, and if you don’t like them, just send them back. It’s like turning your own home into your dressing room. And if you need any additional help, you can always turn to Mott & Bow’s phenomenal customer service reps.

Pros: Straightforward styles; incredibly comfortable fit; high-quality material; great customer service

Cons: If you’re looking for more variety in your jeans, Mott & Bow may be too to-the-point

Shop premium denim at Mott & Bow here

The best place to buy women’s plus-size jeans
Warp + Weft

Warp + Weft makes some of the most comfortable jeans I own, and with several beautiful styles, even more beautiful washes, and sizes ranging from 00 to 24, they’re a great place to turn when replenishing your jean supply.

You may not have heard of Warp + Weft yet, but believe me, you’ll be hearing of them for years to come. The brand comes from the creative director of DL1961, and it’s quickly made its way into my heart and closet. Aside from killer looks, Warp + Weft also boasts eco-friendly production methods, soft and comfortable fit, and inclusive sizing.

And when we say eco-friendly production, we mean it. Alas, most jeans are not particularly kind to the earth, as a traditional pair of jeans actually requires 1,500 gallons of water to produce. Warp + Weft, on the other hand, has somehow slimmed down its production to require just 10 gallons of water per pair, and recycles 98 percent of that water.

The jeans that come out of this process are some of the softest I’ve ever worn. For years, I decried jeans, determining that they were far too stiff and immobile for me to live my best life. But Warp + Weft has changed my mentality altogether. It seems to be thanks to a proprietary cotton wrapping technique, which makes all four of the company’s core fabrics extremely soft and surprisingly breathable. Despite this level of comfort, they still look structured and sleek, and no matter how many times I’ve run them through the wash, I haven’t made them look like jeggings instead of jeans.

When it comes to variety in selection, Warp + Weft has more than enough to go around — whether you’re looking for a relaxed straight jean or a pastel boot cut, you’re in luck. And with sizes ranging from 00 to 24, just about anyone can find a great fit here. Plus, the brand sells both women’s and men’s styles (and kid’s too!), so you and your entire family can go out on the town in matching jeans (if you’re into that sort of thing). I also love the different washes that Warp + Weft offers, particularly the Seine — it’s a dark blue that looks effortless and timeless, and would be just as appropriate for work as the weekend.

Somehow, everything still costs under $100, with most jeans priced at $98, and outlet deals cost even less.

Pros: Inclusive sizing (00 to 24), incredibly soft denim, wide selection of styles and washes, affordable price point

Cons: If you prefer a more traditional raw denim feel, the softness of Warp + Weft may be a bit much

Shop Warp + Weft jeans for women

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Cornish homes take part in trial to supply clean power to grid

By Anne workforce / November 20, 2019

Project links solar-fitted premises in ‘milestone’ to form a mini virtual power plant

Hundreds of homes and businesses in Cornwall have started selling electricity to their local energy network and the national energy system in a pioneering move.

The trial is the first time that traditional energy users – such as homes, hotels and businesses – have acted as suppliers in a microcosm of a full energy system.

Continue reading…

Read more: theguardian.com

Fruits and veggies can rot quickly because of a pesky gas called ethylene. Here are the items you should never store together.

By Anne workforce / November 9, 2019

fruit bowl

If freshly bought bananas, melons, or greens rot quickly in your kitchen, you’re probably storing your produce incorrectly.
Some fruits (and a few vegetables) emit a gas called ethylene, which breaks down chlorophyll, the chemical that keeps plants green and helps them make energy. 
Some fruits and vegetables make lots of ethylene, some wither in its presence, and some are unaffected.
Here’s where to store produce to prevent rot and decay.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you’ve ever bought bananas, avocados, apples, or greens only to find them rotting the next day, take note: You could be storing the wrong fruits and veggies together.

Many fruits produce a barely detectable chemical called ethylene as they ripen. Too much ethylene can lead to a loss of chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants (and their bounty) green and allows them to convert light into energy. When chlorophyll breaks down, leafy greens turn yellow or brown.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: What fruits and vegetables looked like before we domesticated them

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Africa poised to lead way in global green revolution, says report

By Anne workforce / November 9, 2019

Continent is set for massive urbanisation but can avoid relying on fossil fuels, says IEA

Africa is poised to lead the world’s cleanest economic revolution by using renewable energy sources to power a massive spread of urbanisation, says an IEA report.

The IEA, or International Energy Agency, predicts that solar energy will play a big role in supporting the continent’s growing population and industrialisation over the next 20 years.

Continue reading…

Read more: theguardian.com

From aging dinosaurs to failed startups, these are 13 of the biggest tech companies that went under in the 2010s

By Anne workforce / November 8, 2019

old blockbuster

The 2010s saw booming growth across the tech industry, but some companies didn’t survive the decade.
Many of the companies that went under in the past decade were aging dinosaurs that couldn’t adjust to changes brought about by new technology.
Other high-profile casualties included startups who raised hundreds of millions in venture capital before ultimately collapsing.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The 2010s were a decade of massive transformation for the tech industry. Advances in technology brought nearly every industry online, and the proliferation of mobile devices and social media fundamentally changed the way consumers and businesses interact.

The 2010s were also a bloodbath for companies that couldn’t keep up with seismic technological changes.

Dozens of high-profile companies went under in the past decade. While some were doomed by their reliance on outdated tech, others were new startups that raised millions before burning out.

These tech and media companies are now synonymous with obsolescence, but their decline and failure can provide valuable lessons about how fast industries are changing and what happens to entities that can’t keep up.

Here are 13 of the most notable tech companies to go under in the past decade.

2010: Blockbuster
Yelp/Guy B.

Year founded: 1985

Peak valuation: $8.4 billion in 1994

Declared bankruptcy: September 2010

Even though Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy nearly a decade ago, there’s one privately-owned Blockbuster franchise store left in the world. Read more about it here.

 

 

2011: Solyndra
AP

Founded: 2005

Peak revenue: $140 million in 2010

Went out of business: 2011

The solar power startup was the first to receive a clean energy loan guarantee from the federal government in 2005. It shuttered in 2011, just five months after a visit from President Barack Obama.

2011: Palm

Founded: 1992

Peak valuation: $53.3 billion in 2000

Went out of business: 2011

One of the largest beneficiaries of the dot com bubble of 2000, Palm was once valued higher than McDonalds, Chevron, and General Motors.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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