Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

GERMANY

Jobless figures dip with fall

The unemployment rate dipped to 5.4 percent last month as the buoyant labor market benefited from a traditional autumn increase in hiring, official data showed on Thursday. The Federal Labor Agency said the number of people registered as unemployed stood at 2.389 million last month — the first time the figure has dropped below 2.4 million since 1990. There were 60,000 fewer people out of work than in September.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Starbucks to sell Tazo

Starbucks Corp on Thursday reported disappointing sales growth at its coffee shops around the world, and announced that it would sell its Tazo tea brand to Unilever PLC for US$384 million. The coffee chain also said that fourth-quarter sales rose 2 percent at its established locations worldwide. Analysts had expected a rise of 3.3 percent, FactSet said. Overall, the company reported net income of US$788.5 million, or US$0.54 per share, in the three months ending Oct. 1.

FINANCE

Credit Suisse profits jump

Credit Suisse Group AG has reported a nearly sixfold jump in third-quarter net profit behind a “very strong” performance by its wealth management business amid continued cost savings and a restructuring plan at the Swiss bank. The Zurich-based bank on Thursday predicted strong global economic growth in the fourth quarter of the year that could underpin its results despite political uncertainty. Net income rose to 244 million Swiss francs (US$244 million) in the third quarter, up from SF41 million a year earlier. Adjusted net revenues fell 2 percent to SF5 billion.

SINGAPORE

Goldman Sachs probed

Prosecutors and police are looking at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s relationship with the scandal-hit Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The Singaporean economic crime unit and city prosecutors have interviewed current and former Goldman executives who worked on bond offerings from 1MDB. 1MDB, founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is facing money laundering probes in at least six countries including the US, Switzerland and Singapore.

RETAIL

HBC confirms Signa bid

Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC) on Thursday confirmed having received an “incomplete, non-binding and unsolicited offer” from Austria’s Signa to buy its German department stores Kaufhof. HBC said in a statement that it had received the offer, which had first been disclosed in the German media. Reports said Signa had offered 3 billion euros (US$3.5 billion) for Kaufhof, but HBC pointed out that there was “no evidence of financing” in the bid.

AUSTRALIA

Consumers pull back

Heavily indebted households are pulling down the shutters on consumption as retail sales suffered the weakest three-month stretch in seven years. Sales were flat in September, after slumping 0.5 percent the prior month and dropping 0.3 percent in July, government data showed yesterday. That is the worst run since 2010. September’s stagnant retail sales were dragged down by a 1.7 percent drop in other retailing, a category that includes newspaper and book shops, recreational goods and pharmaceutical toiltetry and cosmetic goods. That was offset by a 2.1 percent surge in department stores.

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