Toyota to raise production
Toyota has told its suppliers in Japan to prepare for ramped up production next year and the following years, signaling that the automaker is confident it’s back on a growth track after being hit by massive recalls and the tsunami disaster. Toyota Motor Corp spokesman Paul Nolasco said yesterday that there was a meeting with suppliers earlier this week so they could be ready to increase production. He said the numbers were guidelines, not targets. Citing unidentified Toyota officials, Kyodo News reported that the plan for next year calls for production of 8.9 million vehicles — a record for Toyota — with 3.5 million vehicles produced in Japan and 5.4 million units overseas. Nolasco declined to confirm the numbers.
Standard Chartered profits
Standard Chartered, the British-based emerging markets bank, said yesterday that net profits rose 20 percent in the first half to a record US$2.52 billion as revenues soared. Profit after tax for the six months to June compared with net profit of US$2.10 billion a year earlier and beat expectations of US$2.42 billion, according to a poll of analysts from Dow Jones Newswires. Revenues jumped 11 percent to US$8.76 billion in the first half.
Societe Generale slumps
French banking giant Societe Generale said yesterday its second-quarter net profit slumped 31 percent as it took a charge for its exposure to Greek debt and warned of a difficult 2012. The bank said its three months to June net profit came to 747 million euros (US$1.07 billion) after it set aside 395 million euros for losses on its holdings of Greek government bond. Societe Generale also downgraded its outlook, saying that its forecast for a net profit of 6 billion euros next year “looks difficult to achieve.”
LivingSocial agreed to buy South Korean online daily deal provider TicketMonster in a stock-swap to expand further into the Asian market, the companies said on Tuesday, without disclosing the value of the deal. The acquisition is LivingSocial’s largest to date and comes as the No. 2 US daily deal player steps up overseas competition with Groupon.
Investors block Kirin bid
A US$2.53 billion bid by Japan’s Kirin Holdings Co for a controlling stake in Brazilian brewer Schincariol Group is failing to win over investors in either company. Schincariol minority shareholders have vowed to block the sale in an apparent family feud over the fate of the company, and investors in Japan appear to worry the bid may be too expensive for the Japanese drinks company.
Banks need restructuring
South Korea’s financial watchdog said yesterday it had asked for an injection of US$472 million in state funds next year to restructure the ailing savings bank sector. Savings banks have been under severe strain because of their exposure to the weak real-estate industry, with eight suspended because of their poor finances. The Financial Services Commission said it asked the finance ministry to allocate 500 billion won (US$472 million) from next year’s budget to restructure the distressed sector. The request requires governmental and parliamentary consent.