Fri, Jan 27, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Abe open to US trade deal

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signaled that he was open to a bilateral trade deal with the US after US President Donald Trump formally withdrew from a 12-nation Asia-Pacific accord this week in one of his first acts as president. One-on-one talks with the US on a trade deal are “not absolutely impossible,” Abe told lawmakers in Tokyo yesterday, adding that he was finalizing negotiations for a summit with Trump. The leaders are set to have a telephone conversation in the coming days before meeting in Washington on Feb. 10. Asked in the Japanese National Diet about the potential fate of Japan’s sensitive agricultural sector in any bilateral talks, Abe vowed to “protect what must be protected.”


RBS increases fine provision

Britain’s state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS) yesterday set aside another US$3.9 billion for US fines over alleged mis-selling of mortgage securities before the 2008 financial crisis. The lender said in a statement that this took the total provision to US$8.3 billion, but it remains in talks with the US Department of Justice over a settlement. Edinburgh, Scotland-based RBS added that the charges were “in relation to various investigations and litigation matters relating to RBS’ issuance and underwriting of US residential mortgage-backed securities.” The enormous provisions would push RBS deeper into the red when it posts annual numbers next month.


SK Hynix profits skyrocket

South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc yesterday said that fourth-quarter profit leaped nearly 90 percent, fueled by a pickup in global demand from smartphone manufacturers coupled with rising chip prices. In a statement, SK Hynix said it posted 1.63 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) in net profit from October to last month, up 87 percent from the same period a year earlier. “Stronger demand and a rise in prices created favorable market conditions” since the second half of 2015, the company said. Annual net profit totaled 2.96 trillion won, down 32 percent from 2015.


Boeing earnings surge in Q4

Boeing Co on Wednesday reported solid fourth-quarter earnings and forecast higher commercial airplane deliveries this year, while its chief dismissed fears that Trump could start a trade war. The US aerospace giant saw a 59 percent surge in earnings from the final quarter of 2015 to US$1.6 billion, beating expectations. The jump was due to higher commercial aircraft deliveries and a one-time charge in late 2015 that made the comparison more favorable. Boeing said it expects commercial deliveries this year to rise to between 760 and 765 aircraft this year, up from 748 last year.


Mattel misses expectations

El Segundo, California-based Mattel Inc on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter results that fell well short of Wall Street expectations and its stock took a big hit in after-hours trading. Mattel CEO Christopher Sinclair cited a “significant US toy category slowdown in the holiday period” among factors weighing on Mattel’s numbers. Mattel reported fourth-quarter profit of US$173.8 million, or US$0.50 per share. Earnings, adjusted for restructuring costs, were US$0.52 per share. The company reported revenue of US$1.83 billion in the period.

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