Sun, Nov 06, 2016 - Page 16 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

BANKING

Standard fires top executives

Standard Chartered PLC dismissed the head of its private-equity business and is weighing plans to shutter the unit over the next two years, according to people familiar with the matter. The lender this week ousted Standard Chartered Private Equity chief executive officer Joseph Stevens, and ASEAN regional director Bert Kwan, said the people, who requested anonymity as the matter is not public. The firm’s chief executive officer Bill Winters, who had discussed selling the business to the unit’s managers, now favors winding it down after disagreements on price, the people said. Shaun Gamble, a spokesman for the London-based bank, declined to comment beyond a September statement that Standard Chartered is “looking at non-core businesses, or those that do not sit within our tightened risk tolerance.”

SHIPBUILDERS

Firms bid for S Korea’s STX

Four companies submitted bids to buy South Korea’s troubled STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd, a Seoul bankruptcy court said on Friday, with media reports suggesting they included three European firms. A court spokesman declined to identify the bidders, or clarify what precisely they had bid on. Buyers were offered the choice of buying STX and its profitable French unit separately or as a package. The Seoul Economic Daily, citing industry sources, said the bidders included Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, Dutch group Damen and French state-controlled naval shipbuilder DCNS. Once South Korea’s No. 4 shipbuilder, STX sought a court-led restructuring in May. Creditor banks have stumped up more than 4 trillion won (US$3.5 billion) to bail the company out, but its total debts stood at 7.3 trillion won as of June.

MULTINATIONALS

Berkshire Q3 profit falls

Berkshire Hathaway Inc on Friday reported a 24 percent year-on-year drop in third-quarter profit because last year’s results were helped by a huge paper gain on the value of its Kraft Heinz Food Co stake. The conglomerate recorded solid results at most of the more than 90 companies it owns, posting net income of US$7.2 billion, or US$4,379 per Class A share, in the quarter. That is down from US$9.43 billion, or US$5,737 per A share, a year ago when it recorded a US$4.4 billion after-tax gain from the merger of Kraft and Heinz. Revenue at the Omaha, Nebraska-based company grew slightly to US$59.07 billion in the quarter, up from US$58.99 billion last year.

BANKING

Commerzbank sees profit

Commerzbank AG said it expects to post a full-year profit after costs tied to chief executive officer Martin Zielke’s overhaul pushed Germany’s second-largest lender into a third-quarter loss. The net loss of 288 million euros (US$320.89 million) compares with a profit of 235 million euros a year earlier, the Frankfurt-based company said in a statement on Friday. In the third quarter, the bank recorded provisions for loan losses of 275 million euros, the highest level since the second quarter of last year. The charges will probably amount to less than 1 billion euros this year, despite the “continuously challenging situation” on the shipping market, the bank said in the statement. Commerzbank said it expects a “positive net result” this year.

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