Thu, Apr 14, 2016 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

RETAIL

Tesco reports net profit

British supermarket giant Tesco PLC yesterday said that it has rebounded into slender annual net profits, after a vast property writedown and challenging home trade sparked a record loss the previous year. Earnings after tax stood at £138 million (US$197 million) in the 52 weeks to the end of February, Tesco said in a statement. That contrasted with a loss of £5.7 billion in the group’s previous financial year. Pre-tax profits stood at £162 million after a loss of £6.3 billion a year earlier. Last year’s record loss was prompted by £7 billion of one-off charges, mostly linked to a writedown on the value of Tesco’s property.

ECONOMY

France forecasts growth

France yesterday said it is on track for modest growth this year, at the same rate as earlier projections, and also left its public deficit forecast untouched. GDP growth in the eurozone’s second-biggest economy is expected to be 1.5 percent this year and the same next year, the French Ministry of Finance said. That is slightly more optimistic than forecasts by both the European Commission and the IMF. France’s public deficit is still expected to be 3.3 percent of GDP this year, dropping to 2.7 percent next year.

AUTOMAKERS

S Africa eyes assembly plant

South Africa is in talks with five vehicle manufacturers about a proposed new assembly plant in the port city of East London, a potential boost for an industry that is using government incentives to attract investment from companies, including Ford Motor Co and BMW AG. East London IDZ SOC Ltd, which operates an industrial park, is seeking to sign three producers within a year to assemble vehicles in a shared facility, Tembela Zweni, the state company’s executive manager for zone development, said in an interview. South Africa last year announced it would extend its automotive-incentive program, which encourages vehicle production in the nation through tax breaks.

INVESTMENT

IPO changes proposed in UK

The regulator that helps oversee UK banks and brokerages proposed changing the process for initial public offerings (IPO) to reduce favoritism and ensure that investors are better informed. Analysts at firms not underwriting an IPO should have more access to the company’s management, and the timing of publication of an approved prospectus should be changed to provide investors with more information, the UK watchdog said yesterday. Investment banks handling the deals often allocate shares to favored customers from their other businesses, which might not be in the issuer’s best interests and might shut out other investors, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

OIL

Kuwait to guard facilities

Kuwait is deploying national guard units to run and protect some oil facilities after workers announced a major strike for this weekend, a newspaper reported yesterday. Citing unnamed sources, daily Al-Rai said that units from the national guard would start deploying from yesterday at some facilities in the Gulf state’s oil-rich southern region. The units would provide protection and run operations at the facilities, the independent daily said. Kuwait’s oil workers’ union decided to begin an open-ended strike from Sunday, following a dispute with the oil ministry over proposed pay cuts.

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