Tue, Apr 07, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

ELECTRONICS

Toshiba to investigate fall

Toshiba Corp fell the most in more than a year after the company said it would appoint a committee to investigate possible problems with its accounting. The maker of nuclear reactors, chips, appliances and electronics dropped 4.9 percent, the most since Jan. 31, to close at ¥487 in Tokyo trading. Toshiba will form a panel to examine the “reasonableness of estimates” when using the percentage-of-completion accounting method for some projects, it said on Friday after the market closed. The effect on earnings has not been determined, the Tokyo-based firm said in a statement. “The announcement doesn’t give us a good impression of Toshiba,” SMBC Nikko Securities Inc analyst Yukihiko Shimada said. “A sense of uncertainty will spread about the credibility of the company’s accounting.” The investigation will take about a month, the company said.

BANKING

Mizuho to hire RBS staff

Mizuho Financial Group Inc plans to hire as many as 200 people from Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) in the US as part of its deal to buy loans from the British lender, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Japan’s third-biggest bank by market value is in talks to take on 130 to 200 employees from RBS’ US unit, including fixed-income and loan staff members, the person said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Mizuho said in February that it would buy the loans for about US$3 billion to gain access to corporate clients in North America. The portfolio consists of US$36.5 billion of loan commitments to about 200 investment-grade companies, of which US$3.2 billion has been drawn.

OIL

Indonesia to levy export tax

Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, will impose export levies to fund biodiesel subsidies as well as replanting, research and development. Shippers will pay a levy of US$50 per tonne for palm oil and US$30 for processed products starting this month, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Sofyan Djalil said in Jakarta on Saturday. The government will keep the threshold for application of a separate export tax at US$750 per tonne, Djalil said. The nation boosted the mandated amount of palm blending in diesel to 10 percent from 7.5 percent in 2013, and ordered power plants to mix 20 percent last year. The biodiesel subsidy was raised in February to 4,000 rupiah (US$0.31) per liter from 1,500 rupiah and the mandated blending for diesel will increase to 15 percent.

REAL ESTATE

UK to boost first-time buyers

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said he wants to double the number of first-time home buyers as opinion polls continued to show a tight race before the May 7 election. Osborne told the Sunday Telegraph that his Conservative Party would seek to increase the amount of first-time buyers to 500,000 per year by 2020 if it wins re-election. Osborne has sought to rejuvenate the housing market as a driver of the British economy with programs such as Help to Buy, in which the government assists those with small down payments to buy property. They would be extended to meet the new target, he said. Osborne said he also wants to boost home building. Asked if a lack of supply risked stoking a housing bubble, he said that the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee can step in to cool the market.

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