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Business news and updates: The U.S. opens probe into Tesla’s Autopilot after series of crashes

Dynamic Business brings you a daily rundown of the most recent business news and developments from Australia and around the world. Here’s the roundup for August 17: 

Half of Victoria business want mandatory COVID-19 jabs

According to a study conducted by the state’s leading industry group, over half of Victorian businesses want mandatory COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. 

According to a study done last week by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of approximately 1600 enterprises, 45 per cent of businesses favour the proposal, while another 29 per cent support compulsory vaccination for some professions. 

The announcement comes after the state recorded 22 new local cases and extended its existing lockdown for another two weeks.

CBA records increase in loan deferrals

The country’s largest bank predicts that the Delta outbreak will result in an increase in loan deferrals and cautions that businesses will want concrete answers about when lockdowns will be lifted. 

The Commonwealth Bank’s retail and commercial branches have both expressed concerns about the mounting financial pressures on the economy, while more than half of the population is affected by shutdowns. 

In light of the lengthy lockdowns in NSW, CBA’s retail banking chief Angus Sullivan stated that about 2000 repayment deferrals across the mortgage and personal lending were being lodged with the bank each week.

China’s steel production cuts to impact Australia’s construction business

China’s attempt to restrict steel production might have an impact on Australia’s burgeoning building industry, with increased prices hitting the crucial material used to build houses as well as supply issues. 

According to sources, Beijing is also intending to levy additional duties on steel imports, which would drive up prices even higher, making many Australian importers wary of doing business with China. 

It comes as Chinese businessmen seek to protect themselves from cost overruns by incorporating new clauses into contracts with Australian importers that would hold them liable for any future tariffs paid.

Sydney Airport aims to squeeze higher price from super giants

The board of Sydney Airport is attempting to extract more money from a group of investors bidding for the valued asset, rejecting a sweetened $22.8 billion offer but stating it will engage if a larger proposal is made. 

However, as a sign of the target’s board’s difficult balancing act, the target’s largest shareholder, UniSuper, has increased the pressure by saying the amended bid was a reasonable offer and that the board should talk with the bidders.

U.S. opens probe into Tesla’s Autopilot after series of crashes

Following a series of collisions involving Tesla models and emergency vehicles, US auto safety officials launched a formal safety investigation into Tesla Inc’s driver assistance technology Autopilot.

Blue Origin sues U.S. government after $2.9 billion SpaceX lunar lander contract with NASA

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ company, has filed a lawsuit against the United States government over NASA’s decision to award a $2.9 billion lunar landing contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

India’s PM unveils $1.8 trillion plan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a $1.83 trillion infrastructure plan. The strategy, dubbed “Gati Shakti,” aims to expand manufacturing and increase jobs, however, specifics have yet to be published.

China’s retail sales dwindle as virus rebounds

Retail sales and industrial production in China slowed in July, according to official statistics, with a rebound in COVID-19 weighing on demand and recent rains disrupting businesses. The world’s second-largest economy recovered quickly from last year’s COVID-19 pandemic, defeating the virus through mass testing and rigorous lockdowns. 

However, a nationwide flare-up caused by the Delta variation has jeopardised the good news about growth by resuming localised lockdowns and imposing stringent travel restrictions.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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