Sat, Apr 18, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

China delays tech rules

Chinese regulators suspended the implementation of guidelines that would limit banks’ use of foreign technology, a person familiar with the matter said. Banks received a notice this week from the banking regulator saying that the rules need to be revised, the person said, asking not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly. The guidelines, which had been due to take effect this month, have been delayed, not scrapped, the person said. Trade groups from the US, Europe and Japan this week urged China to suspend the bank technology rules, saying the policies discriminate against foreign firms and limit Chinese companies’ security options.

FOOD INDUSTRY

Nestle sales beat estimates

The world’s top packaged food maker Nestle SA yesterday posted better-than-expected growth in the first quarter despite currency exchange rates that hampered sales. The company also confirmed it expected about 5 percent growth this year. It said sales rose 0.5 percent to 20.9 billion Swiss francs (US$21.8 billion), adding that currency exchange rates, especially the strong Swiss franc, trimmed reported sales by 4.5 percent. However, organic sales rose 4.4 percent, higher than the 4.1 percent forecast by analysts polled by the Swiss financial news service AWP.

BANKING

Goldman, BofA issue debt

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Bank of America Corp (BofA) tapped capital markets on Thursday after posting above-forecast profits as banks look to boost reserves to meet regulatory requirements. Goldman Sachs, which posted its highest earnings per share in more than five years, sold US$2 billion of perpetual preferred securities, while Bank of America, the second-largest US lender by assets, sold US$5 billion in debt. Goldman’s net income surged 40 percent to US$2.84 billion, or US$5.94 per share, from US$2.03 billion, or US$4.02, recorded a year earlier. Bank of America Corp posted profit of US$3.36 billion in the first quarter as expenses declined. Net income was US$0.27 per share, compared with a loss of US$276 million, or US$0.05 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

ENERGY

Schlumberger profits plunge

Schlumberger Ltd, the world’s largest oilfield services provider, reported its lowest first-quarter profit in four years and announced another 11,000 job cuts after customers slashed spending in response to tumbling crude prices. Net income fell to US$975 million, or US$0.76 per share, from US$1.59 billion, or US$1.21 per share, year-on-year, the company said on Thursday. That is the lowest for the period since 2011. Excluding one-time items, per-share results beat the US$0.89 average of 35 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

TECHNOLOGY

Google alters mobile search

Google Inc is about to change the way its influential search engine recommends Web sites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that is expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information. The revised formula, scheduled to be released on Tuesday, is to favor Web sites that Google defines as “mobile-friendly.” Web sites that do not fit the description are to be demoted in Google’s search results on smartphones and tablets while those meeting the criteria will be more likely to appear at the top of the rankings — a prized position that can translate into more visitors and money.

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