Sat, Sep 26, 2015 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TOBACCO

Japan seeks Reynolds assets

Japan Tobacco Inc is in talks to buy cigarette assets from Reynolds American Inc as the company seeks to expand outside of its shrinking home market, according to people familiar with the talks. The Japanese firm may acquire assets worth about US$5 billion, including some of the Natural American Spirit tobacco brand that is part of a Reynolds operating company, the people said. Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is the second-largest US tobacco company.

BANKING

US suing Deutsche Bank AG

Deutsche Bank AG must face a US government lawsuit seeking to recoup more than US$190 million over an alleged tax fraud 15 years ago, after US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan rejected arguments that the government failed to state a legally sufficient claim, and waited several years too long to sue. The government accused Deutsche Bank of using shell companies to avoid capital gains taxes on Bristol-Myers Squibb Co shares it acquired in late 1999, when it bought a company sitting on a large unrealized gain in the drugmaker.

UNITED STATES

Housing sales jump 5.7%

Sales of new single-family houses jumped last month to a near eight-year high, according to Department of Commerce data released on Thursday. New-home sales ran at an annual pace of 552,000 last month, up 5.7 percent from the July rate of 522,000, which was revised upward by 15,000 from the prior estimate. House prices also rose with the median price at US$292,700, up 0.5 percent from July.

MACHINERY

Caterpillar plans job cuts

Caterpillar Inc on Thursday said it could cut up to 10,000 jobs through 2018 as part of a restructuring plan to save up to US$1.5 billion annually. The company said it would cut between 4,000 and 5,000 jobs by the end of next year, with most of them in this year. Caterpillar also said it expected this year’s revenue to be about US$48 billion, US$1 billion lower than its previous forecast. Revenue is expected to fall about 5 percent next year, the company said. The company said the restructuring could impact more than 20 facilities around the world.

RETAIL

Hennes & Mauritz sales jump

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB on Thursday said third-quarter sales grew nearly 20 percent as the company grabbed more market share, with plans for further expansion. Net profit remained flat at 5.3 billion kronor (US$630 million), largely because of increased costs caused by a strong US dollar, while revenue surged to 46 billion kronor from 38.8 billion a year earlier. The company plans to open about 400 new stores by year-end, expanding to about 700 stores in 28 markets.

FINANCE

Lone Star ups Quintain bid

US private equity firm Lone Star raised its offer for Quintain Estate and Development PLC to £745 million (US$1.13 billion) yesterday. The company’s revised offer comes a day after the Times reported that activist shareholder Elliott Capital Advisers had taken control of a 12.9 percent holding in Quintain and felt the original offer undervalued the company. The new offer represents a £0.10 per share increase over Lone Star’s original offer.

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