Sat, Jan 07, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

POLITICS

Trump still anti-AT&T bid

US president-elect Donald Trump remains opposed to AT&T Inc’s planned US$85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc, Bloomberg reported, citing people close to the president-elect. Trump, who has been silent about the transaction for months, told a friend in the past few weeks that he still considers the merger to be a bad deal, Bloomberg reported. He believed the deal would concentrate too much power in the media industry, Bloomberg said. Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, is also opposed to the deal, Bloomberg reported, citing another person.

RETAIL

Wal-Mart reaches Visa deal

Wal-Mart Stores Inc reached an agreement to continue accepting Visa Inc credit cards in Canada, ending the retailer’s threat to bar the world’s largest payments network from its 409 stores in the country. Customers in Manitoba and Thunder Bay, Ontario, would be able to use their Visa cards from yesterday, Alex Roberton, a spokesman for the retailer, said on Thursday in a statement. Wal-Mart’s Canadian unit threatened in June last year to expel Visa from all of its stores nationwide unless the network agreed to lower the amount it charges for credit-card transactions.

CYPRUS

Bank says it repaid bailout

Bank of Cyprus, the Mediterranean island’s largest lender, on Thursday announced it had paid back in full the 11.4 billion euros (US$12.07 billion) in Emergency Liquidity Assistance it received in an international bailout. The bank said in a statement that it was “another significant milestone in the journey back to strength since 2013.” In March 2013, Cyprus clinched a 10 billion euro loan from the EU and IMF to bail out its troubled economy and oversized banking system. Under the terms of the deal, the government was required to close the island’s second-largest bank, Laiki, and impose a 47.5 percent haircut on deposits above 100,000 euros at Bank of Cyprus.

PORTUGAL

Lone Star ‘most promising’

Portugal’s central bank said on Wednesday an offer from US private equity firm Lone Star is the most promising bid to buy Novo Banco SA, the so-called good bank salvaged by the Portuguese government from the collapse of major lender Banco Espirito Santo SA. The Bank of Portugal said it has invited the fund, based in Dallas, Texas, to “deepen negotiations” over the possible purchase, though it said rival bidders have expressed a willingness to improve their offers and would not be excluded. The statement gave neither price tag nor date for a final decision. It did not name the other bidders.

SERVICES

UK sees 17-month high

A survey of Britain’s services sector, which accounts for the bulk of the economy, shows it grew at a 17-month high at the end of last year. The purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of business activity, rose for a third month to 56.2 points last month from 55.2 in November. The index, published on Thursday by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, is on a 100-point scale, with figures above 50 indicating growth. The improvement was due to an increase in new work and comes despite uncertainty over the country’s decision to leave the EU. Britain says it will trigger the two-year Brexit process by the end of March.

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