Wed, Mar 11, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

Thiam to lead Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse Group AG named Prudential PLC’s Tidjane Thiam to replace Brady Dougan as chief executive officer as the bank grapples with regulations that have hurt profit and weakened capital. Dougan is to step down at the end of June, Credit Suisse said in a statement on its Web site yesterday. In a separate statement, Prudential said a successor to Thiam has been found and would be named once the regulatory approval process has been completed. The switch puts an Ivory Coast-born French national who has spent the past decade running insurance businesses atop Switzerland’s second-biggest lender. Dougan, who has led Credit Suisse since 2007, has contended with pressure to shift strategy away from investment banking as the company’s stock posts one of the worst performances among European banks this year. Thiam has run Britain’s largest insurer by market value since 2009, almost tripling its stock price while successfully betting on Asia to drive up profit.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Twitter opens HK office

Twitter Inc has opened a Hong Kong office, its first in the region, the company whose microblogging services are blocked elsewhere in China said yesterday. The office, to be headed by Twitter executive Peter Greenberger, is intended to allow the San Francisco-based company to tap China for advertising revenue, the company said, even if Internet users on the mainland cannot see those ads. Twitter collected US$479 million in fourth-quarter revenue from advertisers who paid to inject their ads, known as “promoted tweets,” into Twitter users’ timelines. The company has 288 million users worldwide. China’s censors have blocked Twitter since 2009 along with US social media platform Facebook Inc and Google Inc’s YouTube. Beijing officials say this censorship is necessary to maintain social order.

TRANSPORTATION

Uber touts women’s work

Uber Technologies Inc said it will create 1 million jobs for women within the next five years in a partnership with the UN aimed at advancing gender equality. The alliance with UN Women also marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on women’s rights and economic empowerment, the San Francisco-based company yesterday said in a blog. Driving for Uber offers “flexibility and optionality that are particularly attractive for women,” Uber general counsel Salle Yoo said in an interview. Uber counts 160,000 active drivers in the US, and given that just 14 percent of those drivers are women, “there is still room to grow,” Yoo said.

AUTOMAKERS

Audi profit slowed last year

Audi AG’s profitability slipped last year as the luxury vehicle division of Volkswagen AG invested in adding manufacturing capacity and developing new models like the revamped Q7 sport-utility vehicle. Operating profit narrowed to 9.6 percent of sales last year from 10.1 percent in 2013, Audi said yesterday in a statement. The margin this year will be within the manufacturer’s 8 percent to 10 percent target corridor, it predicted. To underpin expansion plans, Audi is spending about 4.8 billion euros (US$5.2 billion) a year through 2019, a 9 percent increase from its previous rolling five-year budget. With models ranging from the US$18,400 A1 hatchback to the US$165,000 R8 sports car, the world’s No. 2 maker of luxury autos is pushing to overtake No. 1 BMW by the end of the decade.

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