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TALKING POINTS

Innovation Park in Andover to be upgraded

LIFE SCIENCE

Innovation Park in Andover to be upgraded

A life-science real estate firm on Wednesday announced that it has acquired Innovation Park in Andover with plans to spruce up its amenities. IQHQ Inc. plans to redesign the 200,000 square foot campus on 4 Corporate Drive, adding new amenities such as a cafe and fitness center, which will both have indoor and outdoor spaces. Citing an increasing demand for office and lab space, the company said Innovation Park’s newest tenants — the University of Massachusetts Lowell and drug and device development firm Ora Inc. — have signed long-term leases. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but this is the company’s third project in Greater Boston. The firm’s other downtown assets include 109 Brookline Ave., a 285,000 square-foot lab and office building near the Longwood Medical Area, and the Fenway Center project, a development that will include lab, office, and ground-level retail space. — ANISSA GARDIZY

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INTERNATIONAL

Harvard professor Reinhart named chief economist of World Bank

The World Bank named Harvard University professor Carmen Reinhart as its chief economist, tapping an expert in the history of debt and financial crises as the global economy suffers its deepest downturn since the Great Depression. The appointment is effective June 15, President David Malpass said in a statement Wednesday. Reinhart is known as co-author, with Kenneth Rogoff, of the 2009 book “This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly.” The book made them go-to resources on the history of government defaults, recessions, bank runs, currency sell-offs, and inflationary spikes. Reinhart joins the World Bank at a time when Malpass has expressed concern that 60 million people may fall into extreme poverty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS

AVIATION

Rolls Royce to cut 9,000 jobs, fallout from aviation downturn

Jet-engine maker Rolls Royce is cutting 9,000 jobs and considering closing sites as the pandemic-fueled travel slump drastically shrinks the aviation market, according to a statement Wednesday. The plans are based on the assessment that the wide-body market will shrink by about a third from 2019 levels and take three to five years to rebound. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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AVIATION

Emirates wants to cancel order for five Airbus jets

Gulf airline Emirates is seeking to cancel five of its last eight A380 deliveries, with manufacturer Airbus SE pushing back because the planes are already in assembly, according to people familiar with the situation. Dubai-based Emirates plans to take three more of the double-deckers before the end of its fiscal year next March, but doesn’t want the remaining five, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the talks are private. Airbus is proposing a deferral of deliveries or payments, the people said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Target’s online sales soared as people shopped from home

Online sales at Target more than doubled as the pandemic put millions in lockdown during the first quarter, revealing further the critical role big box stores played in getting supplies to an immobilized population. The Minneapolis company reported Wednesday that comparable-store sales, which include online purchases, rose 10.8 percent for the three-month period that ended May 2. That was fueled by a 12.5 percent jump in the number of items customers bought with each trip to the store as families made major restocking runs, but fewer of them. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

EXERCISE

Tonal seeks new equity as sales rise with more at-home workouts

Tonal, a company that sells a wall-mounted workout station for $2,995, has seen a jump in sales as more people work out at home and is in talks with investors about raising new equity. The new round of funding would value the company at $250 million or more, said people who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The company makes a station that employs artificial intelligence and competes against products including Lululemon-backed Mirror and Forme. It charges users $49 per month for virtual personal training sessions. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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FINANCE

Deutsche Bank says remote work will save money on office space, travel

Germany’s Deutsche Bank says it is in good financial shape and will push ahead with cost cuts to bolster profitability — and its CEO says working from home could play a role in that. CEO Christian Sewing said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, held online due to the coronavirus outbreak, that the company was on track to meet its goals for cutting its cost base to 17.0 billion euros ($18.6 billion) in 2022 from 21.5 billion euros last year. He said that efforts to adapt to the coronavirus outbreak through remote working and video conferencing raised the possibility of spending less on office space and travel. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUTOMOTIVE

Volkswagen removes social media ad criticized as racist

Germany’s Volkswagen has pulled a social media ad for a new car and apologized after an outcry over its racist overtones. The ten-second spot posted on Instagram and Twitter shows a massive white hand pushing a black man away from beside a new yellow Volkswagen Golf parked on the street, then moving him to an open doorway and flicking him inside a French cafe. Commentators on social media also noted that as the German-language slogan “Der Neue Golf” — “The New Golf” — fades into view, the jumble of letters can be read as a racial slur for a brief moment. And the cafe’s name is Petit Colon, which in French literally means the “Little Colonist.” Volkswagen told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the video had been pulled and that “we can understand the outrage and anger.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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RETAIL

Booming Walmart looks to open more Sam’s Clubs in China

Walmart plans to expand its members-only warehouse chain, Sam’s Club, in China to 100 stores in the next eight years as it embarks on an ambitious growth plan after the coronavirus pandemic. The local unit of the Bentonville, Ark.-based company told employees about the goal in a town hall meeting on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified as they are not authorized to speak publicly. The retailing giant, which reported a blowout quarterly performance Tuesday, is one of the few winners of the coronavirus crisis that has upended every aspect of modern life and hurt sectors from aviation to luxury. As governments worldwide impose lockdowns and social distancing measures, consumers are panic-buying household essentials and also cooking at home more, boosting Walmart’s sales across the globe. — BLOOMBERG NEWS