Westpac profit jumps 14%
Australian banking giant Westpac yesterday posted a 14 percent jump in full-year net profit with all core divisions performing well, capping a bumper year for the country’s major lenders. The result in the 12 months to Sept. 30 came in at A$6.82 billion (US$6.44 billion), compared with A$5.97 billion the previous year. Cash earnings — the measure more closely watched by analysts, which strips out volatile items — were up 8 percent at A$7.10 billion, slightly better than expectations, with its share price lifting 0.41 percent to A$34.72 in early trade.
HSBC’s Q3 profit up 30%
HSBC Holdings PLC said third-quarter pretax profit rose 30 percent as the lender cut costs and focused on its most lucrative markets. Pretax profit rose to US$4.53 billion from US$3.48 billion in the year-earlier period, the London-based lender said in a statement yesterday. Chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver said in May that he will cut an additional US$3 billion of expenses after beating an earlier target with the closing or sale of 60 businesses and the elimination of 46,000 jobs since the start of 2011. The bank has struggled to boost revenue that has been crimped by the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe, the winding down of its US consumer-finance operation and slower growth in China this year.
Ryanair profit set to fall
Ryanair’s annual profit is set to fall for the first time in five years as intense competition in Europe pushes average fares down by around 10 percent over the winter months, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers said yesterday. The Irish budget carrier cut its profit forecast further for its current financial year ending in March to about 510 million euros (US$688 million) from 570 million euros. Chief financial officer Howard Millar said passenger numbers were stable and on-board spending was growing, but that people were only booking discount fares, a sign Europe may not be recovering as quickly as many people hoped.
Horlick plans Web site
London businesswoman Nicola Horlick is planning to start a crowdfunding business named Money&Co early next year that would help businesses to source financing directly from investors, bypassing banks. Horlick will become chief executive officer of the business that will operate as a Web site, Money&Co said in a statement, distributed via e-mail by MHP Communications. “It is a smarter way for businesses to get the capital they need and for people to get a better return on their cash,” Horlick said in the statement. “At the moment, banks are not doing enough for credit-worthy businesses.”
Kirin eyes rest of San Miguel
Kirin Holdings Co is interested in buying the rest of San Miguel Brewery Inc if approached, a person with knowledge of the matter said, after the Philippine beermaker revealed several bidders are vying for the shares. Kirin, which holds about 48 percent of the brewer and is Japan’s biggest drinks maker, is not in talks with co-owner San Miguel Corp, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The Japanese company would consider a deal should San Miguel offer to sell its 51 percent stake to Kirin, the person said.
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
BAD RAP: The exchange said Tatung had seriously breached shareholders’ rights and failed to give a satisfactory explanation of its board election dispute Tatung Co (大同) shares yesterday plunged by the maximum daily limit of 10 percent to NT$18.90, the lowest in three months, after the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on Tuesday evening changed the company’s classification to a full-delivery stock effective tomorrow. The TWSE’s move follows the company’s failure to give a clear and satisfactory explanation of why it deprived dozens of shareholders of their voting rights during a board election at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday morning. Under the exchange’s regulations, investors are not allowed to engage in margin trading of a full-delivery stock, TWSE spokeswoman Rebecca Chen (陳麗卿) told
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in