Wed, Mar 23, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

APPLICATIONS

Nintendo game a hit

Nintendo Co yesterday said its first smartphone game attracted more than 1 million users three days after release — good news for the Japanese game giant that was long reluctant to stray from its console-only policy. Nintendo last week released Miitomo — a free-to-play and interactive game, which allows users to create “Mii” avatars — as it tries to compete better with rivals. Users can customize the avatars’ outfit through in-app purchases and interact with characters created by other people or friends. The number of users for the game, rolled out in Japan on Thursday last, surpassed the 1 million mark on Saturday, a Nintendo spokeswoman said.

STOCK MARKET

Zhuhai Boyuan delisted

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has delisted investment firm Zhuhai Boyuan Investment Co (珠海市博元投資) for providing false information, an exchange statement said, the first time a listed company has been removed under new disclosure rules. The Shanghai exchange on Monday approved the delisting of Boyuan over “fake” financial information, including inflated assets, revenue and profit, the statement said. Both domestic and foreign investors have long had concerns over the reliability of Chinese corporate accounts and information after a series of scandals, but Boyuan was the first company struck from the bourse since new disclosure guidelines were introduced in 2014, according to the exchange and media reports.

ECONOMY

Ifo business index rises

Germany’s Ifo Institute said its index of business confidence, a closely watched gauge of economic activity in Europe’s largest economy, has risen after three months of declines. Munich-based Ifo yesterday said that its main index rose to 106.7 points from 105.7 points the month before. The increase was also more than anticipated. Market expectations were for a more modest rise to 106.0 points. Industrial firms saw stronger demand for consumer goods, the institute said in a statement. The improvement comes as fears about global trade and financial-market turmoil seem to be easing after a shaky start to the year. ING-DiBa economist Carsten Brzeski said that “German businesses seem to have shaken off fears of long-lasting global slowdown.” Germany’s economy grew by a quarterly rate of 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, and has a low unemployment rate of 4.3 percent that has helped buoy consumption.

BANKING

Analysts tout Citigroup split

Analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc on Monday waded into the debate over breaking up the US’ biggest banks, releasing a report that urged Citigroup Inc to split up. In the report, the analysts said that Citigroup’s stock price is being held back by regulations that require big banks to hold large amounts of capital. The analysts said Citigroup could break up in several ways — by selling part of its Banamex unit in Mexico, splitting its consumer and corporate units in the US into two companies, or selling its international operations. Together, the moves could increase Citigroup’s market value by 57 percent, to US$198 billion, the analysts estimated. In a statement, a Citigroup spokeswoman said: “The board remains confident that the current strategy being executed by the existing management team will yield the best long-term results for shareholders.”

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