Thu, May 04, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

AUTOMAKERS

US sales plummet

Automotive sales in the US slowed significantly last month, compounding several months of declines and suggesting the industry’s record sales streak might be behind it. The big three US automakers on Tuesday all reported that sales fell last month compared with the same period last year. Industrywide, automakers sold 8.3 percent fewer cars last month compared with March, and 4.7 percent fewer year-on-year, according to Autodata. It was the fourth consecutive month of falling sales for the industry. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales fell to 16.88 million units, from 17.4 million in the same period last year when automotive sales were headed for another record year, according to Autodata.

AUTOMAKERS

VW’s Q1 profit surges 44%

Volkswagen AG (VW) said its first-quarter profit surged 44 percent as the company continued to work past a scandal over its diesel cars that were rigged to cheat on emissions tests. Costs and fines from the scandal that emerged in September 2015 have been a drain on VW’s large cash pile since, but the firm’s chief financial officer yesterday said that the company was solid enough to handle added costs this year. VW also reaffirmed its profit goal for the full year. After-tax profit rose to 3.4 billion euros (US$3.71 billion), up from 2.4 billion euros in the same period last year. The results beat analyst estimates of 3.1 billion euros, compiled by financial information provider FactSet.

BANKING

BNP says Q1 results ‘solid’

French bank BNP Paribas SA yesterday said it got off to a good start this year, notching up “solid” results in the first quarter on the strength of the financial market. The company said in a statement its net profit rose by 4.4 percent to 1.89 billion euros in the January-to-March period, beating analysts’ expectations of a figure of about 1.6 billion euros. Revenues advanced by 4.2 percent to 11.3 billion euros, also outpacing expectations.

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft bets on students

Microsoft Corp is taking aim at Google as it introduces a Surface device for students and a slimmed down Windows for the classroom. The new Surface Laptop is the first Surface device without a detachable keyboard. Microsoft said the new laptop has up to 14.5 hours of battery life, compared with 12 hours for Apple Inc’s MacBook Air. The Surface Laptop is to come out on June 15. The laptop runs Windows 10 S, a streamlined version of the ubiquitous operating system. Microsoft said new education PCs running Windows 10 S would start at US$189, a little more expensive than the cheapest Chromebooks. The Surface Laptop is to start at US$999, the same as the MacBook Air.

LAWSUIT

Malaysian sues over airbag

A Malaysian man has sued Honda Motor Co and Takata Corp for wrongful death after his wife was killed in a car accident that left shrapnel from a defective airbag part lodged in her skull. Nida Fatin Mat Asis, a 29-year-old doctor, was driving the Honda City that crashed in Malaysia’s eastern Sabah State on April 16 last year. An autopsy found shrapnel from a Takata airbag inflator in the base of her skull. The lawsuit was filed in a US District court in Michigan on Monday.

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