Sun, Jul 02, 2017 - Page 14 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TECHNOLOGY

Fine to cut Alphabet profits

Alphabet Inc late on Friday said that the European Commission’s antitrust fine would reduce second-quarter profits by about US$2.74 billion. The company plans to report the fine in a separate operating expense line on its income statement. It is not tax deductible, so the charge would reduce Alphabet’s net income and earnings per share by the full US$2.74 billion, it said in a statement. Analysts expect Alphabet, the owner of Google, to report second-quarter net income of US$5.78 billion. Google has 90 days to deliver a solution that appeases EU regulators or face further fines.

TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft to focus on cloud

Microsoft Corp is planning a global sales reorganization to better focus on selling cloud software, people familiar with the matter said. The restructuring is scheduled to be announced as soon as next week and is to affect the firm’s Worldwide Commercial Business under Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois’ global sales and marketing group, the people said. Job cuts are likely to result from the changes, the people said. The shifts are to be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and is to also affect local marketing efforts in various nations, people said. Microsoft declined to comment.

FINANCE

Berkshire buys BofA shares

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc is buying 700 million shares in Bank of America Corp (BofA), making Buffett the largest shareholder in two of the US’ largest banks. Berkshire on Friday said that it is to convert warrants purchased in Bank of America back in 2011, when the bank was struggling following the financial crisis, into common shares in the bank. Berkshire is to surpass mutual fund giant Vanguard Group Inc as the largest shareholder in the bank. Buffett is also the largest shareholder in Wells Fargo & Co.

SAUDI ARABIA

Economy shrank by 0.5%

The nation’s economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, illustrating the scale of the challenge facing its new heir as he overhauls an economy still reliant on a struggling oil industry. GDP was 643 billion riyals (US$171.5 billion), compared with 646.4 billion riyals in the same quarter last year, the General Authority for Statistics said on Friday in a report on its Web site, using preliminary data based on 2010 constant prices. The IMF expects economic growth to slow to 0.4 percent this year, the least since 2009. Saudi authorities have said they expect overall growth to exceed 1 percent this year.

ENTERTAINMENT

Bride auction to change

Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride is losing a scene where a bound and tearful woman is on the auction block for pirates to buy as a wife. A banner that says: “Auction, take a wench for a bride,” is to be changed to: “Auction, Surrender yer loot,” and the woman is to become a pirate. Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown on Friday said the changes would be made at the Paris park this month and at the Anaheim, California, and Florida parks next year. The change is the most recent of several updates to the ride, including one where a scene was altered to have pirates chasing a woman’s food instead of the woman.

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