Wed, Jul 30, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ENERGY

Russia told to pay Yukos Oil

Russia has been ordered to pay more than US$50 billion for expropriating what was once the nation’s largest oil producer, Yukos Oil Co, in a court ruling that said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government used tax claims to destroy the company and its CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a political opponent. The Permanent Court for Arbitration on Monday said that the Russian government owes the money to the former majority shareholders in Yukos. Moscow vowed to fight the decision, one of the largest commercial arbitration awards in history, raising the prospect of a new round of legal battles as the shareholders seek to enforce the decision.

TAXATION

‘Inversion’ deals hurt US

US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew warned on Monday that the surge in companies moving offshore via mergers to skirt US taxes could weaken the nation’s finances. Taking aim at “inversion” deals, Lew said the US Congress needs to amend tax laws to eliminate takeovers of foreign companies by US firms with the primary aim of seeking an address in a cheaper tax jurisdiction. Lew said companies had touted up to US$1 billion in annual tax savings by moving their address offshore, which could impact the annual budget, US$3.8 trillion in the current year.

AUTOMAKERS

Honda posts US$1.4bn profit

Honda Motor Co yesterday reported an April-June fiscal first-quarter profit of ¥146.5 billion (US$1.4 billion), close to what analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast. The company raised its annual profit forecast to ¥600 billion from ¥595 billion. Quarterly sales totaled ¥2.988 trillion, up 5 percent from a year earlier. Honda, which sold 1.06 million vehicles in April to last month, expects to sell 4.83 million vehicles for the fiscal year through March next year. The Tokyo-based company sold 4.32 million vehicles last fiscal year.

AVIATION

Airbus cancels order

Airbus has canceled an order for six A380 superjumbos from Skymark Airlines because the Japanese company is facing financial difficulties, the French daily Les Echos reported on Monday. The European aircraft manufacturer reportedly terminated a US$2.2 billion contract, signed in 2011, last week. Skymark posted its first net loss in five years of 13.5 million euros (US$18.1 million) last fiscal year.

SOUTH KOREA

Current account in surplus

Seoul logged a current account surplus of nearly US$8 billion last month, slightly down from the May figure as import growth outpaced exports, the Bank of Korea said yesterday. The current account, the broadest measure of foreign trade in goods and services, showed a surplus of US$7.92 billion compared with a revised figure of US$9.08 billion the previous month. In the first six months of the year, the surplus stood at a record US$39.2 billion, compared with US$31.3 billion a year earlier.

ENERGY

Total selling coal assets

French oil giant Total on Monday said it had inked a deal to sell its South African coal assets to mining company Exxaro Resources for US$472 million. Exxaro is South Africa’s second-largest coal producer, with seven coal mines that produce about 40 million tonnes annually. Last year Total Coal South Africa sold about 4.5 million tonnes of thermal coal, mainly to Asian markets, making it the fifth-largest producer in the country.

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