Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ECONOMY

IMF says BOJ ‘very brave’

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Friday hailed the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) “very brave” surprise move to step up its support for the nation’s recovery. Lagarde praised Japan where “very brave monetary policy has been displayed, with a very constant and decided drive focused on ... taking Japan out of the rut where it has been for ten years,” in comments at a central bankers conference in Paris. On Oct. 31, the BOJ said it would widen its asset-buying plan by as much as ¥20 trillion (US$174 billion), bringing it to an eye-popping ¥80 trillion annually as the outlook for growth and inflation worsened.

DEBT

Argentina pans judgement

Argentina on Friday told a New York judge that its court-forced bond default has spurred a raft of new lawsuits against the nation, threatening to further tie it up in litigation. In a letter to Judge Thomas Griesa, whose ruling blocking the nation from making a debt payment forced it into default in July, Buenos Aires complained that the result has been 25 new lawsuits from creditors. The “practical effect” of Greisa’s injunctions on the nation servicing its debt to its main creditors “has become clear since they went into effect this past June. They did not ‘end’ the litigation,” Argentina said.

OIL

OW files for bankruptcy

One of Denmark’s largest companies, ship fuel supplier OW Bunker A/S, on Friday filed for bankruptcy after saying it had discovered a US$125 million fraud at its subsidiary in Singapore. The company said two employees at Singapore-based Dynamic Oil Trading had been reported to the police following Wednesday’s announcement that the group had uncovered the fraud. The group, one of Denmark’s largest companies by revenue, said a review of its risk management contracts had revealed a mark to market loss of around US$150 million rather than the US$24.5 million announced on Oct. 23.

TELECOMS

AT&T plans to buy Iusacell

US telecom giant AT&T Inc on Friday announced plans to buy Mexican wireless operator Iusacell for US$2.5 billion and use it to create a mobile network spanning the two nations. The deal gives AT&T an additional 8.6 million subscribers in Mexico, and comes following reforms in the nation aimed at boosting competition in the wireless sector. AT&T said the deal is set to be completed when Mexican conglomerate Grupo Salinas closes its purchase of the 50 percent of Iusacell it does not already own.

FINANCE

Berkshire Q3 profit falls

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported a 9 percent drop in third-quarter profit versus the same period a year ago, when the company had large investment gains. Berkshire on Friday said it earned US$4.62 billion, or US$2,811 per Class A share. That is down from US$5.05 billion, or US$3,074 per share, last year. Revenue grew 10 percent to US$51.2 billion. Buffett is chairman and chief executive officer of the Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate. Berkshire wrote down the value of its investment in British retailer Tesco by US$678 million. The Tesco writedown was part of an overall loss of US$107 million on Berkshire’s investments and derivatives.

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