Tue, Sep 26, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

INDUSTRIAL SERVICES

ABB to buy GE division

ABB Ltd agreed to buy the industrial solutions business of General Electric Co (GE) in a deal valued US$2.6 billion that will accelerate the Swiss factory equipment supplier’s move into services spanning engineering to delivering power supplies, to next year’s Olympic Games in South Korea. The transaction is expected to generate cost savings of about US$200 million annually, the Zurich-based company said in a statement yesterday. GE started a bidding process for industrial solutions in December. Bloomberg News on Friday reported that the two companies were close to a deal. Chief executive Ulrich Spiesshofer has made digital solutions and services a cornerstone of his growth strategy and his latest deal will bolster its offering of critical power, transformers and related services for customers such as hospitals, data centers and refineries.

JAPAN

Japan Post stake sold

The government raised about ¥1.3 trillion (US$11.6 billion) selling a stake in Japan Post Holdings Co, completing the nation’s biggest public offering this century. The shares were sold to domestic and foreign investors for ¥1,322 apiece, 2 percent lower than yesterday’s closing price, Tokyo-based Japan Post said in a regulatory filing. Almost two years after the company was listed along with its banking and insurance units, Japan is further divesting its ownership partly to fund the reconstruction of areas destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the northeast. Demand for the offering withstood headwinds, including the stock’s underperformance, losses stemming from a botched acquisition, declining mail volumes and low interest rates that are eroding profitability.

UNITED KINGDOM

BOE warns consumer lenders

The Bank of England (BOE) said rapid gains in consumer credit could cause UK banks to suffer bigger losses than they are expecting if the economy weakens. “Lenders overall are placing too much weight on the recent performance of consumer lending in benign conditions as an indicator of underlying credit quality,” the bank’s Financial Policy Committee said yesterday. “As a result, they have been underestimating the losses they could incur in a downturn.” In the event of a recession, losses from defaults in consumer loans would reach £30 billion (US$40.6 billion) within three years, the bank’s stress tests showed.

TECHNOLOGY

Uber urges talks with London

Uber yesterday called for talks with London’s transport regulator to be held as soon as possible and pledged to make improvements in the way it reports serious incidents in a bid to retain its license. On Friday, Transport for London, which regulates transport, deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and decided not to renew its license to operate, which was to end this week, citing the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers. London police earlier this year complained that Uber, which is backed by Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, was either not disclosing, or taking too long to report, serious crimes including sexual assaults and that this put the public at risk. Asked about the criticism, Uber UK head of cities Fred Jones apologized about a specific incident and said the firm was working with the Metropolitan Police to make improvements to its reporting process. “We’re working with the police to figure out how we can do this in a better way that’s helpful to them,” Jones told BBC radio.

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