MUFG aims to boost capital
Japan’s biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), plans to boost its capital by ¥1 trillion (US$11 billion) through public offerings of common stock, news reports said yesterday. The banking group plans to carry out the capital increase by the end of next month, the Nikkei business daily and other media said. If realized, this would be the largest capital boost by common stock in Japan, Nikkei said, adding that this was in response to global regulatory pushes for improved capital bases at banks.
HSBC to get new landlord
Banking giant HSBC said on Friday it was selling its London headquarters to the National Pension Service of South Korea (NPS) for £772.5 million (US$1.3 billion). “We actively manage our global real estate portfolio in accordance with the needs of our businesses and in the interests of our shareholders,” HSBC’s chief technology and services officer Ken Harvey said in a statement. “We are delighted the National Pension Service of Korea, one of Asia’s largest sovereign investors, will be our new landlord,” he added. HSBC will retain occupancy of the building under the leaseback deal.
Vivendi snaps up GVT stake
France’s Vivendi said on Friday it had acquired 37.9 percent of Brazilian telecom operator GVT and irrevocable options to buy another 19.6 percent, giving it control of the group. Vivendi “concluded an acquisition contract with Swarth Investments LLC, Swarth Investments Holdings LLC and Global Village Telecom (Holland) BV, the founders and controlling shareholders of GVT (Holding) SA,” the company said in a statement. The French firm said that “in conformity with Brazilian regulations, it will launch a public offer for 100 percent of GVT capital at a price of 56 reals following the purchase of a controlling interest in the business.” The offer values GVT at around 7.2 billion reais or 2.8 billion euros (US$4.2 billion), Vivendi said.
Petrobras’ Q3 profits drop
Lower oil prices contributed to a US$1.48 billion cut in third-quarter profits for Petrobras, the Brazilian state-controlled energy company said late on Friday. Petrobras saw July-September profits slide to 7.3 billion reais from 9.8 billion reais for the same period last year, it said. It blamed lower oil prices in the wake of the global financial crisis, as well as an extraordinary late payment it had to make for its participation in an offshore Brazilian oil field.
Dreamliner issue ‘resolved’
Boeing said on Friday its new 787 Dreamliner aircraft remains on track for its first test flight by the end of the year and that a problem noted in a news report had been “resolved.” The aerospace giant commented after the Wall Street Journal reported it discovered a new issue with the composite material in the plane’s wings as it reinforced an area of the fuselage of the aircraft. The Journal said metal bolts inside the wings of one of the six test airplanes were found to have slightly damaged the surrounding material. “The issue raised in the article has been resolved,” a Boeing spokesman told reporters. “We are progressing well toward first flight and are on track to fly by the end of the year.”