Current account surplus up
South Korea’s current account surplus hit a nine-month high last month thanks to record exports despite global economic uncertainty, the central bank said yesterday. The surplus reached US$4.94 billion last month, more than double a revised US$2.03 billion the previous month, the Bank of Korea said. Last month’s current account surplus — the broadest measure of international trade — was the biggest since a US$5.11 billion surplus in October last year. With the cumulative surplus reaching US$13 billion for the first seven months of the year, the Bank of Korea bank revised up its full-year forecast to US$15.5 billion.
Rusal first-half profit drops
Russia’s Rusal aluminum giant yesterday reported a 20.5 percent drop in first-half net profit due to higher debt-servicing costs and smaller returns from its partial holding in Norilsk Nickel. Rusal chief executive Oleg Deripaska also predicted sector volatility for the medium term, but added that demand for aluminum “in both established and fast-growing emerging markets” would remain strong. The firm reported a net profit of US$1.09 billion, down from the US$1.37 billion reported in the first six months of last year. Rusal holds an estimated 25 percent stake in Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel producer.
Sinopec first-half profit rises
Sinopec (中國石化), Asia’s largest refiner by capacity, said first-half profit rose 12 percent as higher oil, gas and chemicals revenues helped offset a loss in its refining business. The company, also known as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, said on Sunday that its net profit in the first six months of the year was 41.2 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion), or 0.475 yuan per share, based on international financial reporting standards. The company attributed the improvement to higher oil and chemicals prices and better integration of its upstream and downstream businesses.
LG Display lowers capex
Flat-panel maker LG Display Co’s capital expenditure would drop to about 3 trillion won (US$2.8 billion) next year, with no plan to build additional factories, chief executive officer Kwon Young-soo said. Kwon’s comments, made to the Korea Times in an interview, were confirmed by Son Young-jun, a spokesman for the company in Seoul. The flat-panel maker plans to invest about 4 trillion won this year.
Qatar to invest in merger
Qatar will inject 500 million euros (US$704 million) into the merger of Greece’s Eurobank and Alpha Bank, set to be announced yesterday, a banking official involved in the deal said on Sunday. “There will be a capital injection from Qatar via a 500 million euro convertible bond,” said the official, who declined to be named. “The details of the capital plan will be spelled out tomorrow for the entire capital plan.”
Tiger Airways CEO quitting
Singapore-based budget airline Tiger Airways yesterday announced that its chief executive, Tony Davis, was quitting in November. Davis “is leaving the company on 1 November 2011 to take up a new position outside of the company,” Tiger said in a statement to the Singapore Exchange, where it is listed. Tiger Airways acting chief executive Chin Yau Seng (陳有成) will succeed Davis.