Sun, Oct 30, 2016 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

SOVEREIGN DEBT

S&P negative on UK outlook

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) on Friday said it was keeping a negative outlook on Britain’s “AA” sovereign credit rating due to ongoing uncertainty about the country’s future outside the EU, after downgrading it in the wake of June’s referendum. Factors that could trigger a further downgrade include weaker-than-expected growth, a decision by foreign central banks to sell some of their holdings in the pound or a new referendum on Scottish independence, the ratings agency said. “In our opinion, ‘Brexit’ presents a significant risk to the UK’s track record of strong economic performance, and to its large financial sector in particular,” S&P said.

INTERNET

EU warns WhatsApp

European privacy watchdogs on Friday warned WhatsApp over sharing user information with parent company Facebook Inc. The Italian antitrust watchdog on Friday also announced a separate probe into whether the popular messaging service obliged users to agree to sharing personal data with Facebook. The EU’s 28 data protection authorities said in a statement they had requested WhatsApp stop sharing users’ data with Facebook until the “appropriate legal protections could be assured” to avoid falling foul of EU data protection law.

ENERGY

Exxon profits drop 38%

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, on Friday reported a 38 percent drop in quarterly profit that still beat Wall Street’s expectations as cost cuts partly offset declining crude oil prices. The company reported third-quarter net income of US$2.65 billion, or US$0.63 per share, compared with US$4.24 billion, or US$1.01 per share, a year earlier. Earnings fell in all of the company’s divisions, including the refining arm, which has generally bolstered profits when oil prices are low. Production fell about 3 percent to 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, the company said.

ENERGY

PetroChina profits fall 77%

PetroChina Co (中石油) posted a 77 percent decline in third-quarter profit as a suppressed international oil market and lower domestic natural gas prices eroded earnings at the country’s biggest producer. Net income fell to 1.2 billion yuan (US$177.96 million) in the July-to-September period, the Beijing-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday. Higher earnings from refining and chemicals were overwhelmed by losses on production and weaker performance from its natural gas and pipelines units. Revenue dropped 3.8 percent to 411.4 billion yuan.

BREWERS

Anheuser-Busch downbeat

Belgium-based brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has scaled down its revenue forecast for the year following poor results in Brazil. The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois had earlier predicted that net revenue would grow ahead of inflation. However, the company on Friday said in a statement that “given the weak results in Brazil, we now expect growth in line with inflation.” The news comes a month after shareholders approved AB Inbev’s takeover of SABMiller PLC, the maker of Fosters and Miller beer.

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