Sat, Apr 29, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED KINGDOM

House costs, retail sales fall

UK house prices fell for a second month this month, adding to signs of consumer weakness, the Nationwide Building Society said. The 0.4 percent decline, the biggest since 2012, followed a 0.3 percent fall last month. It reduced annual growth to 2.6 percent, the weakest since June 2013, the lender said in a report yesterday. Meanwhile, UK retail sales fell the most since 2010 in the first quarter and a report from YouGov and the Centre for Economics & Business Research published yesterday said household sentiment fell this month to the lowest since July last year. A separate survey from GfK also showed a decline in optimism, though it said confidence is “surprisingly stable” given accelerating inflation and stagnating wages.

BANKING

UBS Q1 profit rises 80%

UBS Group AG fees from wealth management helped drive an 80 percent rise in first-quarter profit, with clients also adding billions of Swiss franc in new money. Net income rose to 1.27 billion Swiss franc (US$1.28 billion) from SF707 million a year earlier, the Zurich-based lender said in a statement yesterday. Analysts were expecting SF953 million, the average of eight estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The wealth management division contributed SF727 million in adjusted pretax profit. The unit saw SF18.6 billion in net inflows during the quarter, mainly from Europe, but “with positive contributions from all other regions,” unit president Juerg Zeltner said.

INSURANCE

Old Mutual to end venture

Britain’s Old Mutual PLC said it would sell its 26 percent stake in Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance Ltd to Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd for about 12.93 billion rupees (US$201.4 million). The sale would end Old Mutual’s joint venture with Kotak Mahindra Bank, the company said on Thursday. The net consideration after tax is 11.7 billion rupees, Old Mutual said. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

DAIRY

No approval for Yili buy

Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co (伊利集團) terminated a planned 4.6 billion yuan (US$666.9 million) purchase of a stake in China Shengmu Organic Milk Ltd (聖牧有機奶業) because it did not win regulatory approval from Chinese authorities. Shengmu shares dropped by the most since 2015. The termination also cancels Yili’s offer to buy outstanding shares of Shengmu, according to a statement from the companies to the Hong Kong exchange yesterday. Hong Kong-listed Shengmu fell as much as 14 percent, its biggest intraday drop since August 2015, while Yili declined 3.4 percent in Shanghai. Yili in October last year announced it would purchase a 37 percent stake of Shengmu, China’s largest producer of hormone-free dairy.

AIRLINES

United reaches settlement

United Airlines and David Dao, the passenger who was dragged from a Chicago flight earlier this month, on Thursday announced they have reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum in the carrier’s latest step to contain damage from an incident that sparked international outrage. United earlier on Thursday said it would offer passengers who give up their seats up to US$10,000, reduce overbooking of flights and no longer call on law enforcement officers to deny ticketed passengers their seats. Southwest Airlines also said that it would end overbooking of flights.

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