Sat, May 17, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

CHINA

Foreign investment rises

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China rose 5 percent year-on-year to US$40.3 billion in the first four months of this year, lifted by funds from Asian neighbors, the government said yesterday. For last month alone FDI — which excludes investment in financial sectors — was up 3.4 percent at US$8.7 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. However, that was down from US$12.24 billion in March. “Investment from major countries and regions into China maintained a stable growth momentum,” ministry spokesman Shen Danyang (沈丹陽) said in the statement. In the January-to-April period, the top five investors included Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and China’s special administrative region of Hong Kong, the ministry said. Investment from Japan plunged 46.8 percent to US$1.6 billion, it said, as a political row over disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Taiwan also claims, has made Japanese companies reluctant to pour funds into its neighbor.

PROPERTY

Deutsche Bank sells casino

Deutsche Bank AG is cutting itself free of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort and casino, saying it is selling the swanky but unprofitable high-rise complex on the Strip to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII for US$1.73 billion. The German investment bank said in a statement on Thursday that the cash deal remains subject to regulatory approvals. The bank had intended to sell the property from before it even opened in 2010 and had placed The Cosmopolitan in a separate bank division devoted to winding down or selling unwanted investments. Blackstone, which owns US$81 billion in real-estate assets globally, is in the business of buying underperforming property and improving it for resale.

RETAIL

Wal-Mart income hit

Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s first-quarter net income fell 5 percent as bad winter weather and financial struggles kept customers from spending at the world’s largest retailer. Wal-Mart’s latest performance appears to show that many people are having a hard time stretching their money between paychecks. The company’s shares fell nearly 2 percent as Wal-Mart reported results that missed Wall Street’s expectations for the third time in five quarters and gave a weak second-quarter earnings forecast. For the period ended April 30, the Bentonville, Arkansas, company earned US$3.59 billion, or US$1.11 per share. That compares with US$3.78 billion, or US$1.14 per share, a year ago. Wal-Mart said that bad weather hurt earnings by about US$0.03 per share. Its performance was also dinged by a higher-than-expected tax rate. Income from continuing operations was US$1.10 per share. Analysts, on average, expected earnings of US$1.15 per share, according to a FactSet survey.

SEMICONDUCTORS

Applied Materials eyes Q3

Applied Materials Inc gave a forecast for fiscal third-quarter sales that topped the low end of analysts’ estimates as it takes market share and demand for display-making machinery rebounds. Revenue in the period that ends in July will be US$2.24 billion to US$2.35 billion, based on the company’s prediction for sales to be down 5 percent to flat from the prior quarter. Analysts were estimating US$2.16 billion to US$2.46 billion and an average of US$2.32 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit before certain items will be US$0.25 to US$0.29 a share, the company said in a statement on Thursday, compared with an average projection of US$0.27.

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