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Amazon denies giving loan to Deliveroo; Juul stops flavored vape sales in Canada


* Inc. denied lending money to Roofoods Ltd., which operates as Deliveroo, amid an ongoing probe into the e-commerce company's $575 million investment in the U.K.-based food delivery startup, Bloomberg News reported, citing a company statement. Amazon reportedly said it continues to comply with the initial enforcement order from the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority, while Deliveroo declined to comment.

* Juul Labs Inc. will stop selling its mango, vanilla, fruit and cucumber-flavored e-cigarette pods in Canada, CBC News reported, citing a company spokesperson. Tobacco- and mint-flavored vaping pods will remain available in the country, the report said.


* Walmart Inc. unit Flipkart Pvt. Ltd. opened two new fulfillment centers in the Indian state of Haryana to scale up its supply chain infrastructure. The centers, spread over 900,000 square feet, will create 5,000 jobs in the region.

* Grocery delivery startup Instacart said it plans to roll out its click-and-collect pickup service across all 50 states in the U.S. by the end of 2020. The company also appointed company executive Sarah Mastrorocco as general manager of Instacart Pickup.

* French retailer Auchan Retail International SA announced a transformation plan called Auchan 2022 "to adapt to the new challenges" in the retail market. Under its initiative, the retailer plans to cut 517 jobs in France, involving voluntary departures of head office employees and support service staff. The company also will focus on enhancing its e-commerce offering and digital services to suit customer preferences, aiming to double its food turnover in e-commerce by 2022.

* Turkish delivery startup Getir has raised $38 million from a group of Silicon Valley investors led by venture capitalist Michael Moritz, the Financial Times reported, citing co-founder Nazim Salur. With the latest funding round, the startup's estimated valuation would be more than $500 million, the report said. Getir has an average delivery time of 10 minutes, according to its website.

* Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd. said total net sales at its overseas unit, 7-Eleven Inc., rose 6.5%. The Japanese company's general merchandising arm, Ito-Yokado, saw a 7.5% decline in total sales during the month. Supermarket chain York-Benimaru's total sales grew 0.3%, while department store chain Sogo & Seibu's total sales fell 4.5%. Seven & i Food Systems Co. Ltd., which operates restaurant chain Denny's in Japan, saw its total sales fall 6.9% from the year-ago period.

* German food retailer Metro AG confirmed its sales and EBITDA guidance for fiscal 2019-2020 as its total sales rose 2.2% to €7.5 billion in the first quarter. On a like-for-like basis, sales grew 1% year over year.

* Carrefour SA opened its first hypermarket in Uganda, in partnership with franchise partner Majid Al Futtaim Group. The new store, in the capital city of Kampala, has created 130 jobs.

* Russian food retailer PJSC Magnit said its revenue during the two-week holiday period ended Dec. 31, 2019, increased 8.5% year over year, as like-for-like sales rose 0.6%.


* Pubinno, a startup that makes artificial intelligence-based beer tap systems, is looking to expand into the U.K. and the Czech Republic, company co-founder Can Algul told Bloomberg News in an interview. Algul reportedly added that the company is expecting a valuation of $30 million after its latest fundraising round, and it aims to reach $1 billion by 2023.

* Coca-Cola Co. said Ronald Allen will not stand for reelection for the board of directors at the company's annual shareholder meeting in April.


* French field seeds producer Groupe Limagrain Holding SA is setting up a new legumes business with an aim to deliver plant-based food products from 2021, Reuters reported, citing CEO Damien Bourgarel.


* Japanese meat processor NH Foods Ltd. is preparing to introduce five plant-based meat products, primarily made from soybeans, in March, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The company reportedly expects to generate sales of ¥500 million from its new range's first year on the market.

* Nestlé SA launched a coffee-roasting service platform, dubbed Roastelier, to allow baristas to roast coffee beans in-store and personalize coffee blends. The system is being rolled out across Greece and Scandinavia, with a Europe and Latin America launch coming up later in 2020.

* U.K.-based poultry producer 2 Sisters Food Group Ltd. said Chairman Charles Allen will be retiring from his position and will be succeeded by Richard Pennycook, former finance director of Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC.

* Beyond Meat Inc.'s stock closed 2.37% higher at $117.05 per share on Jan. 14 after China's Xinhua news agency reported that the plant-based meat producer is hoping to tap into the Chinese market in 2020. "We haven't announced anything, but we are expected to do something this year," Beyond Meat Executive Chairman Seth Goldman reportedly said at an expo in New York.

* Beyond Meat inked a multiyear pea protein supply agreement with plant-based ingredients supplier Roquette. The plant-based meat producer said the expanded agreement "significantly increases" the amount of pea protein to be supplied by Roquette over the next three years, compared to the amount it supplied in 2019.

* Nestlé and Starbucks Corp., as part of their licensing deal, will launch a new line of Starbucks-branded products, including cold brew concentrate and fresh brew coffee, in the U.S. in February. The new line will be a part of the coffee chain's at-home coffee offering.


* Domino's Pizza Inc. reiterated its two- to three-year outlook of same-store sales growth in a range of 2% to 5% and global retail sales growth of 7% to 10%. Meanwhile, the pizza chain expects food costs to rise between 1% and 3% in fiscal 2020 in the U.S. CFO Jeffrey Lawrence also reaffirmed Domino's target to open 25,000 stores globally and achieve retail revenue of $25 billion by 2025.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng declined 0.39% to 28,773.59, and the Nikkei 225 fell 0.45% to 23,916.58.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.10% to 7,629.13, and the Euronext 100 was essentially flat at 1,157.62.

On the macro front

The U.S. PPI-FD, the U.S. Empire State manufacturing survey, the Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations report, the U.S. EIA petroleum status report and the U.S. beige book are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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