New rules aim at blocking deals in risk of leaking know-how
Germany has approved rules to make it easier to block the sale of strategically important companies to investors from outside the European Union, prompted by concerns about China acquiring German expertise by that route, Reuters reports. The new regulations, which come amid fears of rising protectionism hurting world trade, allow the government to block takeovers if there is a risk of important know-how being lost abroad. The rules do not need parliamentary approval.
Switching to wind and solar power would cost €217bn by 2035
France could close “up to 17 nuclear reactors” by 2025, according to the French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot’s announcement on 10 July. Hulot said the move aims to bring policy in line with a law on renewable energy that aims to reduce French reliance on nuclear power to 50%.
The cheap city vehicle Fiat 500 became enormously popular in post-war Europe
The people’s car, the symbol of Italy, Fiat 500 has turned 60 years old. To celebrate the occasion, last Sunday more than 1,200 vehicles, different reiterations of the brand, flocked to the Italian town of Garlenda.
Banks allocate $2bn for Africa
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) signed last week a landmark agreement to jointly pull together the sum of $2bn over the next three years to finance projects in Africa in agriculture and food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises, health and education.
Saudi Arabia, Russia near huge arms deal
Riyadh and Moscow have signed a preliminary agreement on military cooperation worth $3.5bn, Sergey Chemezov, president of the Russian state company Rostec Corporation said last week.
China builds artificial intelligence industry
In one Chinese province, artificial intelligence (AI) appears to create abundant jobs, but only for those in the know, Xinhua reported. A senior official in Zhejiang Province, home to Alibaba, said on 10 July that the province aims to hire more than 110,000 AI professionals in the next five years.
Philip Morris to compensate Australia
Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian government millions of dollars after unsuccessfully suing the nation over its world-first plain-packaging laws, news wires reported.
Shell to spend up to $1bn a year in clean energy
Royal Dutch Shell will be spending up to $1bn a year by 2020 on projects within its new energies division, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul last Monday.
In Brief
Google wins huge case on back taxes in France
Google will not have to pay €1.1bn in back taxes, after the technology giant won a legal case brought by the French authorities. A court in Paris ruled that the firm's Irish subsidiary was not liable for tax in France. Google employs 700 people in France, but advertising contracts sold in the country are booked through its subsidiary in low-tax Ireland. In 2015 the company paid just €6.7m in corporate taxes in France. The court ruled that Google did not have a “permanent establishment” in France to justify the bill.

OPEC sees lower demand for its oil in 2018, points to surplus
World demand for OPEC's crude will decline next year as US shale producers and other rivals pump more, OPEC said on 12 July, suggesting the oil market will see a surplus in 2018 despite an OPEC-led output cut. In a monthly report, the oganization forecast the world will need 32.20 million bpd of crude from its members next year, down 60,000 bpd from this year. OPEC also reported a jump in its June output to levels above the forecast of average global demand for its crude this year and next, hindering efforts to reduce a glut if it persists. 

Tesla mass-market Model 3 first cars finally released
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk shared last Monday the first images of the company's Model 3 after it came off the assembly line. The Model 3 is Tesla's first mass-market car and the first 30 owners will get in the driver's seat on 28 July. The four-door Model 3 will then be available to the public, with a base price of $35,000 (€30,600), almost half that of the Tesla's next-cheapest model. Tesla's share price more than doubled between December and late June as investors backed Musk's strategy.

China shipping firm Cosco buys HK rival for $6.3bn
Chinese shipping giant Cosco is set to buy its Hong Kong rival OOIL for $6.3bn. The deal would make Cos­co the world's third biggest shipping company, with more than 400 vessels. The family of Hong Kong's first CEO Tung Chee-hwa founded OOIL, and still holds a 69% stake in the company. They have accepted the offer, but it still needs the approval of Cosco shareholders, as well as US and Chinese regulators. It would be the latest in a wave of mergers, which has left the top six shipping lines controlling almost two thirds of the market.