Record trade deficit reported
Tokyo reported its biggest half-year trade deficit ever as exports weakened and fuel imports soared to keep the power on while most reactors were idled in the aftermath of last year’s nuclear crisis. The Ministry of Finance yesterday reported a ￥2.9 trillion (US$37.4 billion) trade deficit for the first half ended on June 30. The deficit was triple the size of the deficit reported for the same period last year. First half exports fell 2.5 percent from last year, while imports surged 13.1 percent. The latest trade deficit is the biggest since Japan started compiling such records in 1979.
Business confidence drops
Business confidence dropped again this month as companies grow increasingly pessimistic about the fallout from the eurozone debt turmoil, data showed yesterday. The Ifo economic institute’s closely watched business climate index dropped to 103.3 points this month from 105.2 points last month, a slightly steeper decline than analysts had been expecting. It is the third month in a row that the index has fallen.
LG reports low profit
LG Electronics reported a lower quarterly profit as its mobile phone division sank to a loss, underlining the challenges for its smartphone business as it struggles with competition from Apple and Samsung. The South Korean company said yesterday its April-June net income totaled 159 billion won (US$138 million) on revenue of 12.9 trillion won. Quarterly income was up nearly 50 percent from a year earlier, but fell 35 percent from the previous three months.
Deutche Bank profit falls
Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, said on Tuesday that its bottom-line profit fell by 42 percent in the second quarter because of the impact of a weaker euro on its business. Deutsche Bank said in a statement that its net profit amounted to 700 million euros (US$845 million) in the period from April to June, compared with 1.2 billion euros during the same period last year. Total net revenues during the second quarter dropped 6 percent to 8 billion euros, while expenses apart from interest payments rose to 6.6 billion euros from 6.3 billion euros.
Daimler profits plummet
German auto giant Daimler said yesterday second-quarter profits dropped sharply despite record sales for its prestigious Mercedes brand and warned of an uncertain outlook for the rest of the year. The group booked 1.52 billion euros (US$1.83 billion) in net profit in the three months to last month, down 11 percent on the same period last year and below market expectations. Pre-tax earnings were down 13 percent to 2.2 billion euros, the firm said.
Nintendo net loss shrinks
Japanese video game giant Nintendo yesterday said its net loss for the April-June quarter shrank by about a third, but said it still hoped to return to profit in the current fiscal year. The firm posted a net loss of ￥17.23 billion for the three months through last month, compared with a loss of ￥25.51 billion a year earlier. The maker of the 3DS and Wii games consoles said its operating loss also shrank to ￥10.33 billion from ￥37.71 billion for the same period last year, but sales fell 9.7 percent to ￥84.8 billion.