Sun, Apr 03, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

US car sales growth slows

Automakers on Friday reported another month of higher US sales last month, but there were signs the multiyear boom might be coming to a close. The auto industry, which has enjoyed seven consecutive years of US sales growth, sold slightly less than 1.6 million vehicles last month, according to Autodata. That was an increase of 3.1 percent from the year-ago period, but about 60,000 below the level expected by analysts at Edmunds.com.

INTERNET

GIC to invest in Ancestry

GIC Pte, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and technology investor Silver Lake Management LLC are to buy into Ancestry.com LLC, the US genealogy company said. The investment values Provo, Utah-based Ancestry at about US$2.6 billion, it said on Friday. Ancestry, which provides data on family histories and runs a DNA-testing service, has more than 2.2 million paying subscribers, the company said. Genealogy is the most popular hobby in the US after gardening, USA Today reported in 2014.

BANKING

Santander to close branches

Banco Santander SA intends to close about 450 branches in Spain as the lender steers customers into digital banking to save on costs and bolster profitability, according to an internal memo dated on Thursday. That represents about 13 percent of Santander’s 3,467 branches in Spain. Most of the affected branches employ fewer than four people, the bank said. The Comisiones Obreras union said Santander has informed it of plans to close 425 branches this year.

AVIATION

Bombardier receives order

Canadian aviation giant Bombardier Inc on Friday announced it has received an order for 20 of its Challenger 350 business jets valued at about US$534 million. The small twin-engine jet can carry up to nine passengers and fly as far as 6,000km on a single tank of fuel. The Montreal-based company did not disclose the buyer. The first C Series jetliner is now expected to be delivered and go into service in June.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

California sues over loans

California sued Morgan Stanley over claims it misrepresented “complex investments” sold to the state’s employee pension funds, including the type of subprime mortgage-backed securities that led to the global financial crisis. California Attorney General Kamala Harris accused Morgan Stanley of bundling high-risk loans from subprime lenders — some directly funded by Morgan Stanley — and selling them to investors without disclosing its own concerns about the poor quality of the debt, according to the complaint filed on Friday in San Francisco state court.

PETROLEUM

Mexico reserves drop 21%

Mexico’s government oil commission said the country’s proven reserves of oil and gas dropped by a startling 21 percent last year. The commission on Thursday said that combined oil and gas reserves amounted to 10.24 billion barrels of crude equivalent at the end of last year, compared with 13 billion barrels at the end of 2014. A drop in revenue and temporary cash flow problems have led state-run Petroleos Mexicanos to cut back on exploration.

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