Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

Saudi arabia

Pipeline leak kills contractor

A contractor was killed and three other workers were injured in a pipeline leak, state-owned oil giant Aramco said yesterday. Aramco tweeted that the leak occurred at the Abqaiq facility, 60km southwest of the company’s main Dhahran compound. The two contractors have since been discharged from hospital. The country is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy and plans to list Aramco on the stock market in 2018. The kingdom has announced budget cutbacks after its 2015 deficit snowballed to US$97 billion.

AUSTRALIA

Tax cut to include big banks

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has rejected calls from some lawmakers to exclude the nation’s four big banks from a planned company tax cut. “A company tax rate has got to really go across all corporations,” Turnbull said on Saturday in Queenstown, New Zealand. “Distinguishing between one sector and another is not a practical measure. I’m not aware of that ever being done in any other jurisdiction.” Some backbench lawmakers from the ruling Liberal-National coalition have called for big banks to be cut out of the government’s US$48.7 billion plan to reduce the company tax rate to 25 percent from 30 percent, according to the Australian newspaper.

AUSTRALIA

Accenture to hire in US

Technology consulting and services company Accenture Ltd on Friday announced plans to boost its US workforce by 30 percent in the coming three years. The company said it will create “15,000 highly skilled new jobs” in the US, increasing the size of its overall workforce in the country to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020. The hiring would come with the creation of 10 new “innovation hubs” and an investment of US$1.4 billion in training employees “leading-edge capabilities” for doing their jobs. “Today marks a key moment for Accenture to help our clients play an even bigger part in the nation’s growth and innovation agenda,” Accenture chief executive officer Julie Sweet said.

BANKING

BofA head to get US$20m

Bank of America Corp (BofA) chief executive officer Brian Moynihan is getting a big pay raise this year. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank on Friday said that its board of directors awarded Moynihan a pay package of US$20 million for last year, up from his package of US$16 million for his work in 2015. Most of that pay package is to come in the form of stock, about US$18.5 million, compared with Moynihan’s US$1.5 million base salary. The board said the pay was reflective of the big jump in profits the bank experienced last year. The bank last year earned US$17.9 billion in full-year profits, up 13 percent from 2015.

ENTERTAINMENT

Paramount eyes new leader

Viacom Inc is in discussions with Paramount Pictures chief Brad Grey about a change in leadership at the studio after a string of box office duds, according to a person familiar with the talks. Changes could be announced next week, the person said. Grey, 59, has been chairman and chief executive officer of Paramount since 2005, the longest tenure of any current studio head. The film business initially thrived under his direction, but its performance dropped precipitously more recently. The studio lost US$445 million on sales of US$2.66 billion last year.

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