Wed, Jan 31, 2018 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

REAL ESTATE

Report accuses Airbnb

A report from critics of Airbnb Inc said that the vacation rental Web site is driving up rental prices and reducing housing availability in New York City. The analysis published on Monday came from a researcher at McGill University in Montreal and was commissioned by the Hotel Trades Council, a union of hotel workers. Several local neighborhood organizations were co-sponsors. The report found that Airbnb listings have removed 7,000 housing units from circulation in the past three years and increased median rent in the city by US$380 a year.

BANKING

JPMorgan names execs

JPMorgan Chase & Co said that two of its top executives would share the role of president and chief operating officer of the financial services firm. The New York bank on Monday said that Daniel Pinto and Gordon Smith would assume the duties yesterday. The 55-year-old Pinto is chief executive officer JPMorgan Chase’s corporate and investment bank. Smith, who is 59, is chief executive officer of consumer and community banking. The co-presidents and co-chief operating officers are to report to Jamie Dimon. Dimon, who is chairman and chief executive officer of the company, said he and the board agree he will continue in his current role for about five more years.

ELECTRONICS

Philips gains from health

Dutch electronics giant Philips NV yesterday posted soaring profits of 1.87 billion euros (US$2.3 billion) for last year, as it increasingly focuses its business on health technology. Net profits were up 25 percent, while sales rose by 2 percent to almost 18 billion euros, as health-conscious consumers snapped up everything from electric toothbrushes to kitchen appliances. “2017 was a good year, as we continued the transformation of Philips into a focused leader in health technology and delivered on our improvement targets for the year,” chief executive Frans van Houten said in a statement. Philips is best known for the manufacture of lightbulbs, electrical appliances and television sets.

INDONESIA

Palm oil production up

Palm oil production last year rose about 18 percent from a year earlier to a record high on favorable weather, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association said. Output climbed to 38.2 million tonnes from 32.5 million tonnes in 2016, Togar Sitanggang, secretary-general of the association, known as Gapki, said yesterday. Total production, including palm kernel oil, rose to 42 million tonnes from 35.6 million tonnes in 2016, Sitanggang said.

PHARMACEUTICALS

Sanofi buys Ablynx

French drugmaker Sanofi SA has made another big purchase aimed at strengthening its position in rare disease treatments, buying Belgian biotech company Ablynx NV for 3.9 billion euros. Sanofi on Monday announced that the deal was approved by the boards of both companies. Sanofi is paying 45 euros per share. Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S had also sought to buy Ablynx, but the Belgian company said Novo Nordisk’s offers were too low. Ablynx is notably developing nanobodies, small antibodies that it hopes can be used to treat blood disorders, inflammation and respiratory diseases. Sanofi said the purchase will boost its rare blood disorder portfolio, after announcing earlier this month that it is buying US hemophilia specialist Bioverativ Inc for US$11.6 billion.

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