Thu, Dec 07, 2017 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TECHNOLOGY

Bitcoin breaks US$12,000

Bitcoin surpassed US$12,000 for the first time amid speculation that the widespread use of futures would help lead to digital currencies being viewed as a legitimate asset class for mainstream investors. Cboe Global Markets Inc has said it would start trading bitcoin futures on Sunday, while CME Group Inc’s contracts are set to debut on Dec. 18. NASDAQ Inc is planning to offer futures next year, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s Cantor Exchange is creating a bitcoin derivative and LedgerX already offers options.

RETAILERS

Steinhoff CEO resigns

Steinhoff International Holdings NV chief executive Marcus Jooste resigned with immediate effect after the global furniture and clothing retailer reported irregularities in its accounts that require further investigation. The owner of the France-based Conforama furniture store chain and Pep clothing stores in Africa has appointed auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers to probe the matter, it said in a statement on Tuesday. South African billionaire and chairman of the company, Christo Wiese, is to run the company on a temporary basis. The retailer, which has its origins in South Africa, has a base in Amsterdam and a primary listing in Frankfurt, on Monday said it was not able to release audited full-year financial results yesterday due to matters related to a criminal and tax investigation in Germany. Steinhoff shares have slumped 18 percent over the past two days, the most since the Frankfurt listing in December 2015.

SHIPBUILDERS

Samsung Heavy sells shares

Samsung Heavy Industries Co is seeking to raise 1.5 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) in a new share sale as it works to improve its finances. Samsung Heavy aims to complete the sale by early May, the company said in a regulatory filing and e-mailed statement. The company is among the South Korean shipbuilders that have struggled to emerge from a slowdown after excess global capacity and a plunge in crude oil prices crimped demand for vessels and deep-sea platforms used to drill for oil. Shipyards in South Korea — home to the world’s top three builders — eliminated at least 20,000 jobs last year.

TRANSPORTATION

Lyft funding round grows

Lyft Inc said its latest funding round is growing 50 percent to US$1.5 billion, giving the ride-hailing start-up more financial firepower to compete with its larger, troubled rival Uber Technologies Inc. The round, led by Alphabet Inc’s CapitalG investment unit, brings Lyft’s post-money valuation to US$11.5 billion, the start-up said on Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. Fidelity Investments Inc and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan took part in the latest round, along with existing investors including AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR, Janus Henderson and Rakuten, Lyft said.

FINANCE

MUFG to buy Danamon stake

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MUFG) is likely to buy 40 percent of PT Bank Danamon Indonesia in two phases, the first of which might take place early next year, Aristiadi, head of foreign bank supervision at the regulator OJK, told a group of reporters in Jakarta yesterday. The Japanese bank’s main lending unit is seeking to spend ¥200 billion (US$1.8 billion) on the stake and might consider obtaining a majority holding in the future, the Nikkei Shimbun reported last month. OJK said at the time that MUFG should consider merging its local unit with Danamon.

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