Bridgestone to raise output
Bridgestone Corp plans to spend a total of 1.6 billion yuan (US$252 million) to boost production capacity for radial passenger tires at two plants in China. The world’s biggest tiremaker plans to raise output at its plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, by May next year and at another plant in Tianjin the following month, according to statements on its Web site yesterday. Bridgestone may also raise prices should material costs increase further, chief financial officer Akihiro Eto told reporters yesterday.
Evolution buys BNP unit
British investment bank Evolution , which is the subject of a bid approach from South African financial group Investec, said it had sealed the takeover of BNP Paribas Private Investment Management Ltd. Evolution had already said last month that it was in talks over buying the unit, as part of its plans to grow its wealth management arm. Evolution said yesterday that the acquisition would bring about ￡1.8 billion (US$2.95 billion) in assets under management to its Williams de Broe wealth management arm. It will pay an initial ￡5 million for the takeover.
Toyota drops to No. 3
Toyota Motor Corp has sunk to No. 3 in global vehicle sales from pole position, but is counting on emerging markets to drive a revival in its fortunes. Toyota sold 3.7 million vehicles around the world in the first half of this year, down 11 percent from a year earlier. That put it behind General Motors Co, which sold 4.5 million vehicles during the same period, and Volkswagen AG of Germany, with 4.13 million vehicles. Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director at Toyota’s joint venture in India, said growth in India had been so solid for Toyota he was confident the firm was headed in the right direction.
PostNL’s Q2 profit jumps
The largest Dutch postal company, PostNL NV, reported a second-quarter profit of 1.77 billion euros (US$2.54 billion), thanks mainly to the spinoff of its express delivery arm, TNT Express NV. The profit compares with 2 million euros in the same period last year, but was influenced by both a one-time gain of 2.11 billion euros from TNT Express and a write-down of 397 million euros on the value of its remaining 29.9 percent in the express company. The pair were separated in May, with PostNL receiving TNT shares to leave it with a fairly strong balance sheet. However, TNT performed poorly since then, prompting the writedown.
Current account surplus dips
The nation’s current account surplus shrank by a bigger-than-expected 50.2 percent from a year earlier in June as the impact of the March disasters continued to weigh on exports, finance ministry data showed yesterday. The surplus came to ￥526.9 billion (US$6.7 billion) in June, data showed. The current account surplus decreased for the fourth consecutive month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Q3 GDP to rise 0.2%: bank
The economy is on course to grow 0.2 percent in the third quarter of the year, the Bank of France said in a preliminary forecast yesterday. The figure matched the central bank’s GDP growth forecast for the second quarter. It was 0.3 points lower than the 0.5 percent third-quarter growth forecast by the INSEE national statistics institute. The government expects full-year growth of 2 percent.