Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - Page 6 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

MULTINATIONALS

Sony eyes ¥500bn profit

Sony Corp forecast operating profit will reach ¥500 billion (US$4.2 billion) in the year starting April 2017, the Tokyo-based company said yesterday. That compares with its forecast for ¥20 billion in operating profit this year. Sony is also targeting a boost in its return-on-equity to above 10 percent. Sony shares closed at ¥3,174.5 before the announcement. The stock has surged 28 percent this year, compared with a 5.3 percent rise in the benchmark TOPIX. Sony this month forecast an annual operating profit of ¥20 billion, compared with an earlier projection for a ¥40 billion loss.

HONG KONG

Shanghai short sales coming

Foreign investors will be able to bet on declines in Shanghai equities through the exchange link with Hong Kong starting on March 2. Short sales will be limited to 1 percent or less of daily turnover for a specific stock, or a maximum 5 percent for the total trading over a 10-day period, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd (HKEx) said yesterday. Traders can only input short-selling orders in multiples of 100 shares, while the price can’t be lower than the most recent execution level for a security, HKEx said.

SHIPPING

Neptune sells logistics unit

Singapore container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) said on Tuesday it is selling its logistics business to Japanese freight company Kintetsu World Express Inc for US$1.2 billion. NOL said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange its decision to sell APL Logistics would allow it to focus on its core liner shipping business. Proceeds from the sale will be used to strengthen the company’s financial position, including repaying debts, said NOL, Southeast Asia’s biggest container line. NOL, which is 65 percent owned by Singapore state-linked investment firm Temasek Holdings Ltd, said the transaction would be completed by the middle of this year.

REAL ESTATE

Morgan Stanley seeks exit

Morgan Stanley’s property unit appointed advisers as it seeks to exit its A$9 billion (US$7 billion) real estate business in Australia. Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing said in a statement it plans to sell its holding in Investa Property Group, Australia’s third-biggest owner of city center offices, and that UBS AG and Morgan Stanley Australia would “explore strategic alternatives.” Morgan Stanley said successful bidders could engage the office management unit to run any of the properties they acquire. Potential overseas buyers include LaSalle Investment Management, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Blackstone Group, the Australian newspaper has reported.

TRAVEL

Expedia to raise AAE stake

US online travel operator Expedia Inc announced on Tuesday that it had signed an agreement with AirAsia Berhad to purchase an additional 25 percent equity interest of a Singapore-based joint venture between the two companies. This US$86.3 million investment will increase Expedia’s total ownership in AAE Travel Pte Ltd to 75 percent, the company said in a statement. The joint venture was formed in 2011. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year, at which point Expedia expects to include the joint venture financial results in its consolidated financial statements. The company said its consolidated sales this year may show a strong growth from US$5.76 billion last year.

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